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Ask A. Harrison Barnes, lawyer and founder of the best way to gain experience out of law school, and odds are, he’ll tell you a judicial clerkship is the way to go.  They’re both prestigious and competitive – and perfect for recent law grads.  These positions last usually no more than twenty four months, which is ideal.  It provides new lawyers real courtroom experience and uninhibited access to the goings on even more so than law school provided.

It’s also a great way to gather a wide range of experience across many legal specialties, says the founder.  This kind of experience looks great on a resume and is an ideal way to network.  Wondering what it is a judicial clerk does?  A. Harrison Barnes offers these facts:

“It’s important to realize the responsibilities will vary from one courtroom setting to another”, says Barnes; but they’re almost always full time positions and include legal research, writing court opinions, proofing and checking citations.  He might also serve in the capacity of an assistant to the judge.  Trial court clerks will discover their duties might be a bit more detailed than say, an appellate court clerk only because of the litigation process.  Trial briefs need to be written, contact with both attorneys and even witnesses is usually required.  On the other hand, says Barnes, appellate court clerks will discover they spend a lot of time writing and reviewing court cases for accuracy.  Your contact with others, such as attorneys and witnesses will be a bit more limited than those trial court clerks are afforded.

Think this might be a great career move for you?  Here are a few of the qualifications:

* You’ll need to have completed your law degree
* It also helps to have an impressive educational career with awards and other highlights
* Odds are, if you graduated below the top 25% of your class, you’ll miss out simply because these positions are in big demand throughout the country (this is another incentive to do well in law school)
* Most judges set their own hiring criteria, so the better armed you are before applying, the better your odds for getting the clerkship.

Your salary will likely be based on the court’s budget, your memberships, including a bar membership, and often your level of experience will play a role.

Still, says Barnes, judicial clerkships offer a rare opportunity for those eager lawyers who want to learn all they can so that they can best meet the needs of their future clientele.  It’s a great opportunity and if offered the position, one that should not be squandered.  For more information on law jobs in every state, be sure to visit  You’ll discover access to thousands of legal jobs, tips and advice and a sterling resume critique process – it’s all yours for the taking.

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