Getting a job as a law clerk is a great way to gain experience if you intend to pursue an attorney or paralegal career. However, this isn’t the type of position you can fall into and develop skills as you go. You’ll need to prepare for your first position as a law clerk and for any additional positions you intend to pursue in the future. These tips can help you start your law clerk position with a sufficient degree of preparedness.

Learn About the Court’s Schedules

You should take the time to study the various courts handling cases in the area in which you plan to work. Study the schedule for each court, so you’ll know what each court most commonly handles types of cases. For instance, if the criminal court handles many assault and battery cases, it may be beneficial to study up the laws pertaining to those types of cases.

Sit in on Court Proceedings

You can learn more about how a court handles its docket by sitting in on its proceedings a few times. This will give you greater insight than what you would receive by reading or memorizing the court’s rules. You’ll see how mistakes are made and what is done to compensate for the consequences of those errors. This can help you avoid those pitfalls once you start your clerkship.

Study Popular Court Cases

Another way you can prepare for your first clerkship is to read up on court cases that are popular or frequently cited within your jurisdiction. Since these cases are likely to continue popping up in the cases you’ll encounter, it will be good to be familiar with how judges decide those cases. Reading case opinions will also help you become familiar with the judges in your circuit and how they feel about the key issues you may face in the future.

Finally, you should also take the time to hone your general clerical skills. Learning how to write better through online tools and developing your typing or keyboarding skills can also boost you among those competing for the same positions. Often, an employer in the legal field will be more willing to train someone who possesses advanced clerical skills.