The apex court has released the revised scheme for the law clerks-cum-research associates on short-term contractual assignments who will be engaged on a short-term contractual assignment commencing from the re-opening of the Court after the summer vacation and concluding by the end of the following year’s summer vacation. Provided that the term can be extended for the succeeding year subject to the satisfaction and approval of the Judge with whom the law clerk is attached or the senior-most Judge of the Committee of Judges on Law Clerks.
The major highlights of the scheme are as under:
- A law clerk will be paid a remuneration of Rs 80,000 per month for the assignment term, and if given an extension after twelve months of the initial assignment, then a remuneration of Rs 90,000.
- The Judges of the Court will be entitled to engage four law clerks, of which two will mandatorily be through the selection process of the Registry. They will also be free to engage all four through the procedure. Although, 5 law clerks can be engaged subject to the workload.
- The period of engagement of the law clerk will be counted for the purpose of the eligibility requirement for the Supreme Court’s Advocates-on-Record (AoR) examination.
- After being selected and before being engaged in the Court, they will be trained by the Centre for Research and Planning or the Training Cell of the Supreme Court’s Registry on the preparation of briefs, case notes, research notes, etc.
Apart from this, the scheme specifies the eligibility criteria for law clerks:
- The candidate must not be below the age of 20 years and above 30 years as on the final date for registration for the Law Clerks exam.
- The candidate must be a Law Graduate having a Bachelor’s Degree in Law (including an Integrated Degree Course in Law) from any School/College/University/Institute established by law in India and recognized by the Bar Council of India for enrolment as an Advocate.
- Candidates studying in the fifth year of the Five-Year Integrated Law Course or the third year of the Three-Year Law Course after graduation in any stream will also be eligible to apply, subject to furnishing proof of acquiring Law qualification before taking up the assignment as Law Clerk.
- The candidate must have research and analytical skills, writing abilities, and knowledge of computers, including retrieval of desired information from various search engines/processes such as eSCR, Manupatra, SCC Online, LexisNexis, Westlaw, etc.
Moreover, the scheme provides for the duties and responsibilities of the clerks as under:
- Preparing summary of fresh admission matters;
- Preparing a synopsis of regular hearing matters;
- Sitting in the Court during the hearing of regular matters and noting down all the arguments;
- Carrying out research work for assisting the Judge in the preparation of draft judgments;
- To assist the Judge in preparing speeches and academic papers;
- To prepare headnotes of the judgments authored by the Judges, if required;
- To perform any other work as directed by the Judge; and
- A Law Clerk attached to the Registry shall undertake the tasks as directed by the supervising authority.