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.