What Do You Do? blondegalese Edition


Law Clerk —A person (such as a law school graduate) who provides a judge, magistrate, or lawyer with assistance in such matters as research, writing, and analysis.

-Merriam Webster Dictionary


Today is my one year anniversary of starting my first big girl job as an attorney!!  It’s honestly so surreal to say that as becoming an attorney been a dream of mine since I was in the eighth grade.  I had planned on posting this update on my job for the one year anniversary of my “lawyer-versary,” or my official license date, but I figured this would be a great way to start out the year!

What Is My Job


I’m working as a law clerk for a state trial level judge.  If you’ve read my 1L summer internship post, it’s a similar position to my intern position but it’s a full time lawyer position.  Since my judge is a trial level judge, he only has one law clerk (me!) and I work alongside him and his judicial assistant.  Over this past year, we’ve primarily focused on the area of family law, with some criminal and civil matters sprinkled in.  Although I don’t particularly want to be a family law attorney, I have definitely changed my view on being a trial attorney/prosecutor who is in the courtroom as opposed to a corporate attorney who focuses on contracts, real estate, or corporate transactions.  Being in the courtroom or prepping for arguments is something that I now find really energizes me and I find to be very fun.


How Did I Get This Job


To be honest, I kinda fell into this position after a long period of rejections and discouragement about not finding a job after I passed the bar.  I had a few leads on potential job opportunities before I graduated but unfortunately (or fortunately, since I do think everything happens for a reason) those fell through.  In an almost desperate attempt to get a job before the end of 2019, I found a job listing to be a law clerk on my law school’s Symplicity page (as an alum, you should still be able to utilize your school’s job search tools) and sent my cover letter and resume in for consideration.  Within a week, I had interviewed and was offered the job and less than a month later, I started.  My entire last year of law school, I told everyone I didn’t think being a law clerk was in the cards for me but, obviously, I was wrong.  Looking back, I’m not surprised I’ve enjoyed my experience so far since I really liked being a judicial intern for a summer and never dreaded going to my internship.


What Do I Do


The answer to this question has definitely changed over the course of the past year.  At the beginning of my clerkship, my judge was supposed to be in eight month rotations between family, civil, and criminal divisions over the course of two years.  So that meant we dealt with family emergencies related to custody and protective orders as well as support matters.  And then the pandemic started, where our courthouse was closed only for everything but emergencies.  But when our courthouse reopened, we started handling custody trials as well as emergency custody and civil petitions and minor criminal matters as well as bail petitions and search warrants.  With that background, my actual work focuses a lot on drafting orders, researching issues that arise, drafting opinions for appeals, and sending a lot of emails lol.  I’ve been working remotely since last March so I spend most of my days on Zoom or on the phone with my judge or his assistant and usually have a split screen with an order, opinion draft, or my email.  I definitely stay busy most days and am grateful for having a great team to work with.


I’m so excited that I could officially write my own “What Type of Law Do You Do?” post about what my work is.  I guess what my final takeaway of this post would be is that consider any potential job opportunities you find because it may just be a gem, which is definitely what I think my job is!  Hope you enjoyed this post!

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