A law clerk
or a judicial clerk
is a person who provides assistance to a judge
issues before the court
and in writing opinions
. Law clerks are not court clerks
or courtroom deputies, who are administrative staff for the court.
Most law clerks are recent law school
graduates who performed at or near the top of their class. Various studies have shown clerks to be influential in the formation of case law
through their influence on judges' decisions. Working as a law clerk generally opens up career opportunities.
While there has been relatively little inquiry comparing clerks across nations, some research has been done comparing clerkship practices in the U.S. with non-U.S. courts. Still, in some countries the position of law clerk does not exist. But in many nations clerk-duties are performed by permanent staff attorneys or junior apprentice-like judges, such as those that sit on France's Conseil d'État
. In English Courts, they are known as Judicial Assistants. The permanent staff attorneys, or clerks—called Referendaires
at the European Court of Justice
provide one point of comparison to American clerks. Australian, Canadian, Swedish and Brazilian practices can also help illuminate the similarities and differences across nations.
In Australia, the position of law clerk is known either as "Associate" (in the High Court of Australia
, the Federal Court of Australia
and most State Supreme Courts) or "Tipstaff" (in the Supreme Court... Read More