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  • A law clerk or a judicial clerk is a person who provides assistance to a judge in researching issues before the court and in writing opinions. Unlike the court clerk and the courtroom deputy, both of whom are administrative staff for the court, a law clerk assists the judge in making legal determinations. Most law clerks are recent law school graduates who performed at or near the top of their class. Studies have suggested that clerks to be influential in the formation of case law through their influence on judges' decisions. Working as a law clerk generally opens up career opportunities. In many nations, clerk-duties are performed by permanent staff attorneys or junior apprentice-like judges, such as those that sit on France's Conseil d'État. In English Courts, they are known as Judicial Assistants. The European Court of Justice uses permanent staff attorneys and the Stagiaires. Australia, Canada, Sweden and Brazil have notable clerk systems. While there has been relatively little inquiry comparing clerks across nations, some research has been done comparing clerkship practices in the U.S. with other nations' courts. In some countries the position of law clerk does not exist.

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