Many people are unaware that a judge has legal assistants in order to help him with his research and writing legal decisions.
It is a prestigious position to be a legal assistant to a judge. You get to see the inner workings of the legal system from the judicial side.
A law clerk, also known as a law secretary will perform much of the legal research necessary for various written opinions. The judge ultimately must sign off on any research or opinions that his law clerks prepare.
A law clerk operates behind the scenes. They are sometimes involved in attorney conferences that the court holds. In some cases, the law clerk may be the one who conducts the court conferences, especially if the judge is busy with a trial.
In the federal court system, a law clerk position may be for one or two years. In the state court system, a law clerk may hold that position for many years. In some cases holding a law clerk position may be a steppingstone to becoming a judge.