A judicial law clerk, also commonly known simply as a law clerk, is a prestigious job. In general, judicial law clerks provide assistance to a judge in many different capacities. Despite the title of clerk, a law clerk's duties don't normally include the typical duties of other types of clerk including filing, typing and making copies. Instead, judicial law clerks work as an assistant to a judge and help that judge make good legal decisions based on law. The way law clerks help judges make this decision is by researching and analyzing complex legal issues and overseeing the actions of courtroom employees, litigants and the public that may have an interest in the case.
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The limits and expectations of judicial law clerks greatly depend on the country the court resides in and the level of the type of court that the law clerk is employed in. In the United States, judicial law clerks research law and write opinions for judges to read. This complex research helps judges make the best decisions possible.
Some law clerks also help to watch over courtroom proceedings, which includes organizing exhibits to be used during trials, analyzing complex legal issues and communicating with the judges staff, in and out of the courtroom. Judicial law clerks often have to confer with litigants about cases and often times will be the judges public figure when dealing with the general public. Many countries who employ judicial clerks, have many of the same expectations. Even though judicial clerks in different countries may have slightly different titles and expectations, many of the position's expectations are fundamentally the same. Countries where the roles of a judicial law clerk are similar to the United States include Mexico, the Philippines, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Singapore and Sweden.
The job of a judicial law clerk means the candidate must be prepared to work anywhere at essentially anytime. Typically, judicial law clerks will have their own office space, near the judge they are assigned to, in a courthouse. While they will surely spend a great deal of time there, a law clerk will spend a great deal of time all over the courthouse including the judge's chambers and the judge's courtroom. In addition to these locations, due to the need to research legal issues, a law clerk may have to travel near or far, or will have to take work home with them to complete.