03/12/13 Marshall County Superior Court I Judge, Dean Colvin appeared before the County Council Monday seeking an increase in the range of pay for law clerks in the county. Colvin said he was going to lose his current clerk who is making just over $12.00 an hour because she accepted a law clerks position that is paying $18.00 hourly.
The Judge explained that in the 2013 budget the pay range was set from $11.37 up to $13.08. In a discussion last week with the county auditor the judge thought that raising the upper end to $15.00 would be better but further thought on the issue lead him to ask the County Council to increase the upper level to $18.00 hourly.
During his presentation Judge Colvin stated that most law clerks come from Valparaiso University and driving from Valpo to Plymouth is a disadvantage with the price of gas. He also indicated that having the range in pay allows for consideration in determining the hourly pay and looking at where they are in law school, the experience they may have and their ability to write.
When asked how many hours a law clerk may work he indicated during the school year it may only be 7 to 8 hours unless there is a special project he has them working on and then it might be as high as 10 to 12 hours a week. During the summer a law clerk may work in the area of 30 hours a week typically on special projects.
Colvin indicated that the current market conditions have made it difficult for lawyers to find a position. He also noted that he had been fortunate enough to have a law clerk that had already passed the bar but hadn’t been able to find a position.
The county has law clerks in several budgets: Superior Court I & II, Circuit Court, the Prosecutor’s Office and in the Pre-trial Diversion budget. The range of pay would be in effect for all law clerks in the county budget.
The motion was passed to increase the pay scale from $11.37 on the low end up to $18.00 on the high end. The County Council unanimously approved the request. It was also noted that Superior Court II has a budget of $12,000 for law clerks this year.