Legal file clerks help lawyers keep track of case files by organizing files and putting away new correspondence related to each case in the appropriate folder. Unsurprisingly, this entry-level position does not offer a high salary; however, legal file clerks may be able to advance to higher-paying positions within the field of law.
Most legal file clerks are paid by the hour. Depending on where they live and work as well as their experience level, file clerks make about $10 to $16 per hour. On average, legal file clerks make about $21,000 to $31,000 per year. A large portion of their salaries comes from working overtime or receiving bonuses. Salaries are highest in California and Nevada, where legal file clerks can make up to $16 per hour, and lowest in Pennsylvania, where they may make only $11 per hour.
Type of Job
Most legal file clerks make about the same amount of money regardless of where they are employed. Self-employed file clerks -- clerks who work as independent contractors for various law firms -- tend to make slightly more than average; some self-employed file clerks can make up to $16 per hour. Clerks working in government offices make a little bit less than other clerks; on average, they make only about $10 to $12 per hour.
Years of Experience
Salary goes up as you gain experience in this field. After four years, the average legal file clerk makes about $12 to $16 per hour. Salary holds fairly steady after the first four years; however, after 19 years, the average salary is still only $12 to $16 per hour, according to Payscale.com. Many legal file clerks go on to become legal assistants or lawyers, which helps explain why those who stay in their original profession don't appear to receive significant raises.
File clerks hold entry-level positions in the field of law. These clerks file correspondence and organize records. They must be able to retrieve records easily when a lawyer needs them to do so. File clerks must hold a high school diploma, be able to follow directions and have basic knowledge of filing and filing systems. File clerks may advance to becoming paralegals if they take appropriate educational courses and demonstrate interest in the field of law and the ability to take initiative.