Law Firm Mailroom Clerk Job Description and Career Profile
Maybe you've just entered college so you have a pretty significant stretch of years ahead of you before you complete law school so you can dive into your anticipated career with both feet. Or maybe you've just completed law school and you're studying for the bar exam. In any case, it's never too early to begin building a comprehensive and topnotch resume in your chosen field. The first step can be a job in a law firm's mailroom.
Make no mistake—this is a "foot in the door" kind of position. That said, it has a lot going for it and it can be a great stepping stone. Even if you have no intention of ever pursuing a law degree, it can lead to other more prestigious and better-paying positions with the same firm or with another.
The Duties of a Mailroom Clerk
You'll probably find that you're on a first name basis with the mailman in very short order. Law firm mailroom clerks accept incoming mail and then they process, sort, and deliver it to the proper recipient. You might also be charged with sorting interoffice mail and messages and maintaining mailroom supply inventories. You'll probably have to organize and maintain the mailroom. It becomes your domain.
You'll also be in charge of outgoing mail by preparing it for shipment, as well as logging and distributing overnight packages. Mailroom clerks also operate mailroom equipment, including postage meters, mail sorting machines, scanners, mail sealers, envelope openers, fold-and-insert machines, and labeling machines.
Required Education and Training
At a minimum, a high school diploma or its equivalent is typically required for employment as a mailroom clerk, and many candidates have some post-secondary education as well. Training on mailroom equipment is performed on the job. That said, it's not unheard for an enterprising high school student to fill the position for a summer, either to fill a void within the firm or as an assistant. Anyone over high school age would need a diploma or GED, however.
Law firm mailroom clerks must have strong organizational and clerical skills, as well as basic computer skills and some familiarity with the postal system. Excellent communication and multi-tasking skills are also necessary. The ability to lift heavy items and transport and/or guide up to 100 pounds of material on a cart is sometimes required.
Mailroom clerks pick up and distribute mail throughout the firm several times a day in many law firms. This allows you to meet and interact with staff at all levels. Working as a mailroom clerk will also give you exposure to many different aspects of law firm operations.
This is typically a full-time job that pays anywhere from $13 to $22 an hour as of 2017, depending on the size of the law firm. Mega-firms in large metropolitan areas tend to pay the most. Most smaller firms do not employ anyone in this position at all—mail duties are carried out by secretaries and receptionists.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not anticipate job growth in this area through 2024 because more and more businesses are moving toward electronic communications instead of old-fashioned snail mail. There will probably be some positions available in large firms as long as the U.S. Postal Service is still alive and well, but you might want to broaden your job search to include other entry-level law firm positions, such as receptionist, courier, or IT assistant.