What does the Judges' law clerk do?
Posted in the Charleston Forum
#1 Dec 2, 2013
Ever wonder what a law clerk does to earn their salary? Is the law clerk the one that checks out the law/case law and provides the facts and findings for the judge? Is the law clerk the one that prepares the written Court Orders for the Judge to sign? Is the law clerk the one that is responsible for errors of law when made by the Judge? Is the law clerk the one responsible for ambiguous orders that say 'nothing' about what happened at the hearing?
#2 Dec 2, 2013
They do some of what you say but it all goes through the judge. The judge wouldn't sign or use these things done by the clerk if they are not correct to his/her knowledge. Or not supposed to, put it that way.
#3 Dec 3, 2013
law clerks are attorneys, but while employed as a law clerk they are bound by the same Canons that the Judge is bound by. Law Clerks are not to participate in practices that they know are illegal, BUT neither are judges. So how I see law clerks are simply working for Judges in order to gain more experience to move on to either become a judge at some point in their careers or preparing to be more experinced attorneys at some point in their career plans. BUT with all the corruption that exists in the WV Court system, it appears that in order to work for one of Circuit Court judges a person would have to be 'corrupt' to the bone, don't give a hoot about the practice of law --the learning experience is about 'power and control' 'how to use the system' to benefit their own gain. Who better to teach that lesson then the Judge they 'clerk' for. Corrupt people don't fit well with 'honest' people and 'honest' people don't hang with corrupt people. --Logic says, if you got a 'corrupt judge' 'you got a corrupt law clerk' -- won't have a job otherwise. So do the math -- if a law clerk stays working with a corrupt judge ---then you count on the law clerk being corrupt. Think about it -- its really about 'positioning oneself' or 'prostituting oneself' for eventual wealth which many people attribute to power.
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