As the name denotes, the legal clerk responsibilities comprise doing all the routine legal clerical duties along with providing assistance to the lawyers and helping them out in researching, analyzing various law sources, etc. The legal clerk is responsible for investigating the facts, preparing affidavits, and drafting legal correspondence that can be of great help while preparing cases, etc. Thus, if law is your passion and if you are backed with the much needed skills and education, then being successful in this field will definitely prove to be much more easier. To generalize the functions of this professional, the legal clerk performs all the necessary administrative legal support work and is generally employed in a government agency or a law firm. So, before you make an entry in this field, make sure you are well aware of the various responsibilities that need to be handled by this professional.
The legal clerk needs to handle a wide range of duties that include answering the phone calls, responding appropriately to the questions especially pertaining to the court documents, receiving and filing the vital legal information and maintaining and updating those records. Legal clerks perform the general administrative functions and work with people at various levels that include the legal secretaries, clients, paralegal personnel, judges, lawyers and so on. By working in close association with these personnel, the legal clerk is able to gain the much valued experience, as he/she gets exposed to the judicial and legal systems. For better understanding, mentioned below are a few points that will be able to highlight the core responsibilities that need to be handled by the legal clerk working in government or any legal organization:
In addition to the above duties, he/she needs to verify the records and may conduct background checks as well. He/she is involved in issuing the court certified documents and is responsible for calculating the legal filing fees, accepting them, and entering it in the accounting system. He/she is responsible for balancing the transactions at the end of each day and then forwarding it to the finance or accounting department. He/she ensures that all the relevant legal documents have been properly filed before proceeding and submitting them to the court. He/she is involved in processing the cases, assigning the docket numbers and then submitting it to the court. He/she may be involved in issuing warrants, summons, etc., and may notify regarding the cases that have been completed. His/her work might also include reviewing and filing petitions, pleadings, and other legal documents and submitting them for relevant actions from the court. Thus, he/she needs to handle a wide range of duties.
Essential Skills and Abilities
The individual aspiring to stabilize in this career should possess in depth knowledge of legal codes, laws, government regulations and must remain updated with the current changes happening in the legal industry. He/she should pay attention to every minute detail mentioned in the legal material and should have good customer service skills. Besides, he/she should be able to comprehend the legal language well and should be able to demonstrate excellent clerical and administrative skills as well. He/she should have good interpersonal skills as well as good listening skills and should be able to question the clients whenever necessary. Ability to resolve complex issues, critical thinking and good researching skills will be an added advantage as well.
The minimum educational requirement to make an entry as a legal clerk is that the individual should have completed an associate or a bachelorís degree from a recognized university or college in paralegal subject or any other relevant similar field. Some may take up this job even while they are studying or when they obtain their license to start practicing law.
These professionals work in different professional environments relevant to the legal field. They may be involved in family, health, juvenile, or real estate. They should be ready to work under pressure situations and may need to work extra sometimes, extending beyond the normal business hours.
The salary offered for an individual depends on his/her individual skills, educational background and experience. The mean average remuneration offered for this position is close to $27,000 and may vary according to the type, size as well as the location of the organization he/she is working in.
There are bright career opportunities for those wishing to make a career in this legal field. Those who have demonstrated their work will surely rise to the higher positions and enjoy a better remuneration as well.
Thus, if you want to become a complete professional in this field, then the legal clerk responsibilities must be carried out efficiently and effectively.