Legal File Clerk Career Profile

A legal file clerk is someone employed in law firms to assist the attorneys with administrative tasks. It is an ideal entry-level position for someone aspiring to become a lawyer. The job familiarizes the candidate with every aspect of a law firm’s functions in prosperous as well as lean times. As a legal file clerk, you might have to perform more than one role. Maintaining records of all the cases, organizing storage of the abundant paperwork and performing the role of a receptionist are a few of the many responsibilities entrusted to a legal file clerk. Considering the above-mentioned details, this would be an ideal position for someone responsible enough to handle a huge amount of information.

Required Educational Qualifications

In order to become a legal file clerk, the following qualifications are considered important:

  • An undergraduate degree in any field with a good G.P.A. is often required.
  • Completion of at least 2 years of study at a law school is considered a plus, although it is not compulsory.
  • In the absence of a law school degree, completion of any additional courses related to law could satisfy the needs of an employer.
  • Many law firms also hire candidates with strong administrative skills even though they lack a degree in a subject related to law.
  • Strong verbal and writing skills combined with the ability to adapt to new methods of technology is mandatory.
  • There is also a possibility of getting hired without any formal education. In this case, on-job-training is provided.
  • The ability to meet strict deadlines is a must.

Nature of Work

A legal file clerk works in close association with lawyers as well as other professionals in a law firm. Hence, the candidate must be prepared to work according to the schedules of the higher authorities. The hours of work vary depending on the firm and the nature of tasks entrusted to the clerk at a specific time. Typical tasks of a legal file clerk involve:

  • Interacting with the higher officials to obtain details regarding the tasks for the day.
  • Interacting with the clients to obtain information regarding the case.
  • Assisting the attorney in preparing paperwork for the cases.
  • Organizing the records of unsolved and solved cases.
  • Preparing synopses of various meetings conducted in the firm.
  • Organizing the schedules of the firm’s lawyers and keeping them updated on any changes.

Salary and Advancement Opportunities

As of 2009, entry-level legal file clerks earn around $10,000 to $15,000 a year. As their experience increases, their earning capacity can rise to $35,000 per year. Some legal file clerks are also paid on an hourly basis. Typical hourly wages of a legal clerk range from $15 to $17.

As far as growth opportunities are considered, this position could serve as a first step in becoming a lawyer. Candidates with interest in administrative tasks could be promoted to supervisory positions in law firms.