A law firm may have open positions for various classes of employees. Employees generally fall into one of three classifications: (1) technical, (2) administrative and (3) creators of work product. Technical employees maintain the office machinery such as computers, printing equipment, telephones, furniture, paper shredders and other important devices.
Administrative employees control the flow of paperwork through the firm. A format should be prepared that requires the admin employee to (a) calculate what needs to be accomplished and (b) to carry out the task in an efficient manner. Generally, if the law clerk in charge of the administrative section oversees the work of the admin employees, the work product will flow faster and be done more efficiently.
Law clerks are the major creators of (a) routine legal document drafting assignments. Each law clerk will be assigned tasks that fit that law clerk’s abilities, both intellectually and his or her document drafting abilities. A law clerk’s work product must be carefully examined to determine its quality. If correctional or additional work product must be added, the original clerk must be counseled to correct the clerk’s errors.
Law clerks come with built-in prejudices, primarily because the only real intellectual input they have is dispersed by their law professors. This is a mixed bag. When I attended law school 44+ years ago, all my professors, except one, had spent 25-30 years actually practicing law before they became law professors. The accumulated wisdom that they passed on to their classes has stuck with may of us past retirement. Today, to obtain an actual job as a law professor, the applicant must join the “Society of American Law Teachers.” No one really knows if this is an onerous burden or not. The path thereafter is climbing the greasy pole to retirement.
Having fortunately obtained a J.D. and passed the bar exam, the newly minted lawyer springs forth ready to vanquish all comers with his or her acquired skills and anticipating the sure-to-arrive job paying $125,000 per annum or more in return for dreadful working conditions including 1,000 billable hours a year and a lot of late hours at work. But, the days when a signing bonus was a new Mercedes or BMW are long gone. It’s a hard-scrabble business for young lawyers. No wonder so many of them are turning up their noses.