How to become a Law Clerk

Law clerks perform a variety of legal tasks under the supervision of solicitors, barristers or clerks of court. Law clerks may assist their employers in all areas of law, including probating (proving the validity of wills), conveyancing (dealings in land and property), criminal law, family law, wills and power of attorney, insurance law, environmental law, human rights law, company law and civil litigation.

Personal requirements of a Law Clerk

  • Interested in the law
  • Good knowledge of the English language
  • Able to work accurately with attention to detail
  • Able to think logically and clearly

Education & Training for a Law Clerk

You can work as a law clerk without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications. You may like to consider a VET qualification in business administration (legal), legal services or legal practice. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a law clerk through a traineeship in Legal Services or Business Administration (Legal). Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.

Duties & Tasks of a Law Clerk

Law clerks may perform the following tasks:

  • search land titles to check details such as property boundaries and ownership
  • attend settlements for the purchase or sale of land
  • examine contracts and obtain relevant information so that solicitors can proceed with finalisation
  • fill out necessary forms and lodge them with government offices or the courts
  • undertake company, business name, bankruptcy and other searches
  • assist with maintenance of bookkeeping records
  • assist with the preparation of briefing papers for use by barristers when a solicitor’s client has to go to court
  • assist clients by providing information about legal processes and statutory information
  • assist prosecution or defence lawyers in court and arrange for the attendance of witnesses at court
  • assist barristers and senior counsel with case management.

Employment Opportunities for a Law Clerk

Law clerks are employed in a wide range of industries. They work for independent law firms, barristers, government departments and the legal departments of large organisations. Many law clerks begin their careers as legal secretaries or receptionists, learning about the law and legal language before taking on more responsibility.

Specialisations:


Settlement Clerk

A settlement clerk performs specialised administration work associated with real estate settlements.

Additional Information
Students and people employed in this occupation may be eligible for enrolment with the Institute of Legal Executives (Victoria). After gaining experience in the field, graduates of approved courses may be eligible for membership as a Fellow of the Institute. Fellows of the Institute are recognised as ‘Legal Executives’.
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