The Legal Profession

the legal profession

The New York State Court System has one of the largest caseloads in the nation. Attorneys are an integral part of the court system and represent approximately a quarter of the non-competitive workforce. Attorneys work statewide providing legal assistance and legal services to judges, the court system and court clients. Attorneys typically work in one of three settings:

• As part of a legal team or law department researching and analyzing legal issues from civil and criminal cases in trial courts and the appellate courts (Court Attorney)

• As part of a legal team or law department providing legal research and advocacy services in the Mental Hygiene Legal Services (MHLS), attorney disciplinary committees and Article 18B panel administration units (Attorney)

• As Law Clerk to Judge assisting individual judges with legal research and analysis and drafting decisions, orders and opinions (Law Clerk to Judge)

Attorneys may also work in specialized departments such as Counsel’s Office advising the Chief Judge and the court system on administrative and procedural matters; the Labor Relations Office assisting with labor contract agreements; or coordinating legal services in the Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution. They may also work as part of the Board of Law Examiners developing New York State Bar Exam standards; serve quasi-judicial functions as Support Magistrates in Family Court or work in supervisory roles managing a team of attorneys, support staff and casework as Court Attorney-Referees.

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How Can I Apply for a Position in the Legal Profession?

Attorneys enter the court system either as personal appointees to a judge as Law Clerk to Judge or through a traditional job interview process for Court Attorney and Attorney positions. Visit Current Opportunities for job opportunities in the legal profession including minimum qualifications and information on the application process.


What Qualifications Do I Need to Become an Attorney in the Courts?

Minimum qualifications vary by title. Visit Current Opportunities for specific title requirements.

Candidate must meet the following minimum entry-level requirements to work in the legal profession in the court system:

  • Must be a graduate of an accredited law school and
  • Must be admitted to the NYS Bar within 18 months of appointment

How Do I Advance in the Legal Profession?

Career progression in the legal profession includes advancement through the Court Attorney, Attorney and Law Clerk to Judge series and related attorney titles in departments such as Counsel’s Office and Labor Relations. Attorneys may also move between title series and court types.

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Career Progression


















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