The greater Los Angeles region remains the nation's top employment spot for judicial law clerks. These detail-oriented assistants are responsible for conducting research and handling complex secretarial, paralegal and other administrative tasks for court judges. In L.A., clerks earn an average annual salary greater than $67,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is a dutiful position that requires exceptional writing skills and a well-rounded understanding of many areas of law.
Fernando Becerra, Jr. is one of more than 850 assistants in L.A. now working to help secure the efficiency of courtroom operations and procedures. "I take advantage of every opportunity to maintain and refresh all my skills sets," said Becerra, a judicial assistant at The Superior Court of California in the County of Los Angeles. "I am constantly reading literature and resource materials in all my fields of interest to keep abreast of current trends and developments."
What prompted you to enter the criminal justice system?
"I come from a law enforcement-oriented family. Since a young adult, I have always been interested in law enforcement."
What is your educational background?
"I have earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in public relations and a minor in business administration. I have several certificates from various schools, agencies and organizations in the areas of labor negotiations and human resources."
How are your academic accomplishments benefiting you?
"One of my personal goals in life is to be a life-long learner and educator. I strive to always learn new things and if I can, teach others what I have learned from all my experiences and academic achievements. I find this personally fulfilling and rewarding."
What is your message to aspiring judicial law clerks?
"Keep and maintain a clean and clear criminal background, because all law enforcement-related agencies conduct a background check of some type. Also, remember that bigger opportunities become available with higher levels of education. Moreover, be mindful that law enforcement agencies recruit and need employees with various educational backgrounds, such as accountants, human resources professionals, attorneys, counselors, investigators, scientists, engineers and graphic artists. The possibilities are almost endless."
Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist. Some news articles she has authored are archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
for more features.