There are a number of words and phrases which, when used properly, serve to make criminal procedures all but incomprehensible to the layman. Strafrecht Phrases such as for instance “Comes Now,” and “Counsel of Record,” may cause the typical reader to pause, while phrases like “In Pari Delicto,” or “Sua Sponte,” are confounding in the extreme – not the smallest amount of because they’re words extracted from a dead language. For a highly effective criminal law clerk, however, such phrases and words must at minimum be familiar, as courts often demand their usage in official documents for the sake of tradition and professionalism. Even lacking any adept’s understanding of Latin, a criminal law clerk must be prepared to place these terms throughout legal documents appropriately and, perhaps most importantly, know when to omit these terms. Whereas the absence of these traditional terms could be tolerated by way of a judge, the incorrect placement of those terms might change the meaning of a whole document, and allow it to be inadmissible to court records. As far as efficiency is worried, there’s nothing worse than having to do the exact same work twice.
While archaic terminology is a basic requirement essential for all effective law clerks to master, one surprisingly overlooked qualification is a mastery of the modern modes of communication. Including methods such as for instance email, faxing and even properly formatted postal envelopes. Of the three, properly formatted and professionally appearing envelopes are probably the most crucial, as many courts require original documents and don’t accept facsimile or electronic copies. To be knowledgeable about proper mail-address formatting may appear confirmed – yet, such a familiarity implies intimate understanding of word-processing programs and printer capabilities, as handwritten envelopes are, to express the smallest amount of, unprofessional. That said, understanding of fax systems and the procedure of emailing is also critical; as more and more courts begin to accept digital copies of documents, law clerks are required to be knowledgeable about professionally structured and properly formatted e-docs.
Given the variation between what kinds of documents courts will and will not accept, the main qualification of a criminal law clerk is that of adaptability. Understanding that every court and each judge has their own demands – and to be able to meet those demands – is paramount to being a highly effective legal clerk. Being willing to utilize archaic terminology or modern terminology; being effective at filing documents early enough to meet the demands of courts who require original, physical copies, vs. those which only demand electronic, digital copies; understanding how every individual court schedules hearings; even being effective at meeting the demands of other criminal law clerks – every one of these and more require an capability to conform to each unique case and each unique situation. Without this adaptability, not only can the job of resolving criminal cases be compounded exponentially, however the appeal of a law clerk as a member of staff is inherently reduced.