I was surprised today when, while I was casually glancing through Yahoo News, I found that an article on the worst 10 jobs in America included judicial law clerks at number seven on the list. This list was apparently based upon a survey featuring actual feedback from across a wide section of jobs.
Again, I find this shocking because my clerkship was one of the best years of my life. My friends who clerked almost uniformally agree with that sentiment. Most New Jersey attorneys I have spoken with about the subject say the same thing, “the clerkship taught me so much, and was one of the best years of my life.”
Most importantly, I found that my clerkship was a great training ground for my job as a New Jersey Divorce Attorney. Too often law schools fail to prepare future lawyers for the actual real-life requirements of their jobs.
Perhaps a clerkship is just different in New Jersey, but here’s what the article had to say about clerk’s dissatisfaction with their jobs.
Clerkships are among the most highly sought-after positions in the legal profession. A law clerk assists judges as they write opinions, and the ones who get the job are almost always near the top of their class at law school. Six justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, including Elena Kagan and current Chief Justice John Roberts, were all law clerks early in their careers. The job clearly beefs up a resume. Yet law clerks still report high levels of dissatisfaction. The hours are long and grueling, and the clerk is subject to the whims of sometimes mercurial personalities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reported the job brings in a median salary of $39,780 a year—not exactly striking it rich—and those looking for advancement within the position simply will not find it.
Maybe New Jersey law clerkships are looked upon so favorably because they are generally only for one year. In other states, if there is not a restriction on the amount of time one can clerk, then I could see that leading to issues.
If any law students looking to practice in New Jersey ever read this blog post, my recommendation would be to seek out a clerkship. They are invaluable in so many ways, and so undeserving of being placed anywhere on a list of “worst jobs in America.”
Your New Jersey Divorce Lawyer:
If you’re considering a New Jersey divorce or Family Law action contact me to discuss your options. You can schedule an initial consultation by calling my office at 908-237-3096 or by scheduling your own divorce consultation online by clicking here.