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2013 Law Clerk Handbook (Print Version) Adobe Acrobat PDF logo

General Information for Prospective Law Clerks - Effective July 2013

Application Deadlines for the 2015-2016 Clerkship:

Applications for Supreme Court law clerk positions for the 2015-2016 clerkship should be received no later than September 15, 2014 to be reviewed in time for the formal selection process; however, individual justices may make offers before that date, and applications received after that time may also be reviewed by individual justices who have not yet made their selections.

Applications for law clerk positions with the Alaska Court of Appeals should be received no later than October 10, 2014.  The court may make some job offers prior to the application deadline.  For this reason, we urge you to submit your application early in the fall semester.

Applications for law clerk positions with Superior Court judges should be received no later than October 31, 2014. Individual judges may make job offers prior to the application deadline.

Applications for law clerk positions with the District Court in Anchorage and Fairbanks should be received no later than October 31, 2014. The judges may make job offers prior to the application deadline.

The Law Clerk Handbook will be updated in the Spring of 2014 to reflect any changes in salary, benefits, or recruitment procedures.

This handbook provides an outline of basic benefits and general information for applicants or appointees to the Alaska Court System Law Clerk Program.  It contains the following information:

PLEASE NOTE that although information in this handbook is current as of the date of publication, the salary, benefit levels, and other conditions of employment are subject to change without notice. This handbook does not constitute an offer of employment or a guarantee of current salary and benefit levels.

Employment can only be offered subject to legislative funding. The Alaska Court System Human Resources Department will confirm the salary and benefit level authorized for the current fiscal year (July 1-June 30.)

If further information is required, please contact the Human Resources Department, at (907) 264-8242, or write to:

Alaska Court System
Human Resources Department
820 West 4th Avenue
Anchorage, AK 99501-2005

For more information on the Alaska Court System please visit our website at http://www.courts.alaska.gov.

This edition supersedes previously published editions of the Alaska Court System Law Clerk Handbook.

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General Information

Alaska has a unified, centrally administered, and totally state-funded judicial system. Alaska has no city, county, or borough courts. There are four levels of courts in Alaska, each with different powers, duties, and responsibilities.

The Alaska Court System is comprised of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, the Superior Court and the District Court. The Supreme Court and the Superior Court were established in the Alaska Constitution. The District Court was established by state statute in 1959. The Court of Appeals was established by state statute in 1980. Jurisdiction and other areas of judicial responsibility for each level of court are set out in Title 22 of the Alaska Statutes.

Law clerks are presently employed at all four levels of the court system. Law clerks are normally hired for a 12-month appointment. The 12-month appointment usually begins in August or September. Law clerk positions are classified as exempt, "at will" positions. Upon appointment law clerks will be required to sign an Oath of Office and provide proof of U.S. citizenship or employment authorization. Law clerks appointed to Superior or District Court clerkships will be required to undergo a background check.

Generally, law clerks perform legal research and preparation of memoranda of law for a justice or judge. However, the use of the courts services has expanded and the duties of the law clerk have grown in diversity. Therefore, all persons who are selected to work for the Alaska Court System must be prepared to effectively handle a varied and heavy workload. On occasion, a law clerk may be appointed as a deputy magistrate and assigned limited judicial duties. No additional compensation will be given during the performance of deputy magistrate duties.

In accordance with Alaska Court System Personnel Rule PX9.09 no person may be employed in a position within the Alaska Court System who is the spouse or close relative of the chief justice, the administrative director, or the human resources director.  A law clerk who is related to a judicial officer (other than the chief justice) or to any other employee of the Alaska Court System (other than another law clerk) may be hired and employed as long as the administrative director approves, after considering the nature of the relationship, the court location, and whether the employment will have an impact on court operations.

A law clerk who is the spouse or a close relative of any other law clerk employed by the Alaska Court System may be hired and employed without prior approval of the administrative director, as long as the relationship is disclosed to the law clerk’s supervising judicial officer at the time of hiring.

For purposes of Personnel Rule 9, “spouse” includes any person with whom the law clerk maintains a shared household and conjugal relations. 

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Recruitment and Appointment

Prospective law clerks should apply to each court according to the guidelines set forth below.  Clerkships in all levels of court are for a one-year term, beginning in late August or early September.  Prospective law clerks should submit their applications in the summer or autumn preceding their anticipated clerkship year.

The Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals generally begin extending clerkship offers in late September or early October for the following year.

Applications for Supreme Court law clerk positions for the 2014-2015 clerkship should be received no later than September 20, 2013 to be reviewed in time for the formal selection process; however, applications received after that time may also be reviewed by individual justices who have not yet made their selections. The court may make offers to some applicants before the application period closes.

Applications for Court of Appeals law clerk positions for the 2014-2015 clerkship should be received no later than October 31, 2013.  The court may make offers to some applicants before the application period closes.  For this reason, we urge you to submit your application early in the fall semester.

Applications for law clerk positions with the Superior Court should be received no later than October 31, 2013.  Applicants should be aware that individual judges may make job offers before that date.

Applications for law clerk positions with the Anchorage District Court should be received no later than October 31, 2013. Applicants should be aware that the hiring committee may make job offers before that date.

All law clerks must have received an LL.B. or a J.D. degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association by the time they commence their service.  An applicant’s failure to graduate from an accredited law school will require a rescission of that applicant’s offer of employment with the Alaska Court System.  Law clerks need not be members of the Alaska Bar.

SUPREME COURT

The Supreme Court is the appellate court of final authority in Alaska. There are five Supreme Court Justices. Four justices are currently located in Anchorage, one is currently located in Fairbanks. Each justice employs three law clerks. Each spring or fall a justice travels to the nation’s leading law schools for purposes of interviewing applicants. Selections are usually made by December for the following year.

To apply for positions in the Supreme Court the applicant must submit: a cover letter, resume, a copy of all law school transcripts, a brief writing sample which was not substantially edited by someone else, and two or three letters of recommendation from law professors or employers. The entire package should be sent to the justice for whom the applicant is interested in clerking:

Alaska Court System
Supreme Court
303 K Street
Anchorage, AK 99501

Each year the justices of the Alaska Supreme Court hire 15 law clerks. The justices are often asked to share the applications of other qualified individuals with judges of the superior and district courts. Individuals who would like to have their applications shared with judges for clerkships in the trial courts should complete the form in Appendix 2 Adobe Acrobat PDF logo and submit with the application.

COURT OF APPEALS

The Court of Appeals hears appeals in criminal and quasi-criminal cases (such as juvenile delinquency cases). There are three appellate judges, all located in Anchorage. To apply for positions in the Court of Appeals, applicants must submit: a cover letter, resume, a copy of all law school transcripts, a brief writing sample which was not substantially edited by someone else, and two or three letters of recommendation from law professors or employers. The entire package should be sent to the judge for whom the applicant is interested in clerking:

Alaska Court System
Court of Appeals
303 K Street, Rm. 419
Anchorage, AK 99501

SUPERIOR COURT

The Superior Court is the trial court of general jurisdiction, which also has appellate jurisdiction over the District Court appeals. There are 42 superior court judgeships throughout Alaska. Selections are usually made in the winter of each year for the succeeding fall. Each superior court judge employs one law clerk. To apply for positions in Superior applicants must submit: a cover letter, resume, a copy of all law school transcripts, a brief writing sample which was not substantially edited by someone else, two or three letters of recommendation from law professors or employers, and a completed background check authorization form. The form is also available at (Law Clerk Background Check Form Adobe Acrobat PDF logo ).

To apply for clerkships in the Superior Court of the First Judicial District, send the entire package to the Area Court Administrator.

To apply for clerkships in the Second Judicial District, send the completed package to one or more specific judges directly.  A list of judges and their addresses is listed in the court directory.

To apply for clerkships in the Superior Court of the Third Judicial District, the applicant may do either of the following:

  1. Send the completed package to one or more specific judges directly. A list of judges and their addresses is listed in the court directory.
  2. Send the completed package to the Area Court Administrator. Please indicate in your cover letter the communities in which you are interested in working. Copies of your application will be available to judges throughout the Third Judicial District.

To apply for clerkships in the Superior Court of the Fourth Judicial District, send the completed package to the Area Court Administrator.

First Judicial District
(This district offers clerkships in Juneau, Ketchikan, and Sitka with five Superior Court Judges.)

Alaska Court System
Area Court Administrator
First Judicial District
PO Box 114100
Juneau, AK 99811-4100
907-463-4753
907-463-4720 FAX
Second Judicial District
(This district offers clerkships in Nome, Barrow, and Kotzebue with three Superior Court Judges.)

Alaska Court System
Area Court Administrator
Second Judicial District
PO Box 1110
Nome, AK 99762
907-443-5216
907-443-2192 FAX
Third Judicial District
(This district offers clerkships in Anchorage, Dillingham, Kenai, Kodiak, and Palmer with twenty-six Superior Court Judges. This District offers two clerkships in Anchorage serving ten District Court Judges)

Alaska Court System
Area Court Administrator
Third Judicial District
825 West 4th Avenue
Anchorage, AK 99501
907-264-0415
907-264-0610 FAX
Fourth Judicial District
(This district offers clerkships in Fairbanks and Bethel with eight Superior Court Judges.)

Alaska Court System
Area Court Administrator
Fourth Judicial District
101 Lacey Street
Fairbanks, AK 99701
907-452-9201
907-452-9206 FAX

ANCHORAGE DISTRICT COURT

The Anchorage District Court has limited civil and criminal jurisdiction and consists of 10 District Court judgeships. The Anchorage District Court judges share two law clerks. To apply for positions with the District Court, applicants must submit: a cover letter, resume, a copy of all law school transcripts, a brief writing sample which was not substantially edited by someone else, two or three letters of recommendation from law professors or employers, and a completed background check authorization form. The form is also available at: Law Clerk Background Check Form Adobe Acrobat PDF logo

The entire package should be sent to:

Area Court Administrator
Anchorage District Court
825 W. 4th Avenue
Anchorage, AK 99501

Map of Alaska Judicial Districts and Court Locations.

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Salary

Salaries for law clerks differ depending on the classification level of the law clerk. It is important to note that all base salaries listed below may be adjusted upward to compensate for geographic pay differentials in most communities outside Anchorage.

The Law Clerk I classification applies to persons working in District and Superior Court. The base salary is $1,915.50 semi-monthly.

The Law Clerk II classification applies to persons working in the Court of Appeals. The base salary is $2,044.50 semi-monthly.

The Law Clerk III classification applies to persons working in the Supreme Court. The base salary is $2,187.50 semi-monthly.

NOTE: These base salary rates are effective July 1, 2013. The salary at each court location is listed in Appendix 1. Salaries are paid twice monthly. Pay periods end on the 15th and the last day of the month. Payroll warrants are issued approximately two weeks after the end of the pay period. In some cases, the first pay warrant will not be received until one month after a law clerk starts work.

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Basic Benefit Package

As of the date of publication of this pamphlet, the basic benefit package for law clerks includes medical and dental coverage for the law clerk and eligible dependents, personal (vacation and sick) leave, 12 paid holidays, and the option to purchase life, disability, survivor, dependent care, and health care reimbursement benefits through the AlaskaCare health insurance plan. This package is subject to change. Please confirm the terms of your proposed employment with the Human Resources Department before you commence work.

During the 12-month appointment, law clerks are not eligible to participate in the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS). Employees of the State of Alaska do not participate in the Social Security System.

HEALTH INSURANCE:

The basic health insurance package for law clerks and eligible dependents is provided through the AlaskaCare health insurance plan. Effective in 2014 the benefit year begins January 1 and ends December 31.

An employee must elect coverage within 30 days of the hire date; failure to make a selection within the first 30 days will result in the default plan. The default plan consists of the economy medical and preventive dental options.

Employees and their qualified dependents become eligible for health insurance coverage under AlaskaCare on the 31st consecutive calendar day of employment. Leave without pay taken during the first 30 days of employment may postpone the coverage until 30 consecutive days have been met. (Law clerks are not eligible for paid leave during the first 30 days of employment.)

AlaskaCare is a flexible benefits program, which provides an opportunity for the law clerk to select from several health plans and levels of coverage based on individual needs.

AlaskaCare health insurance options may be purchased with benefits credit and, if necessary, through pre-tax payroll deductions.

Law clerks covered by AlaskaCare must elect a medical and dental plan; vision coverage is optional.

Law clerks will be provided an opportunity to elect, change, or delete health coverage for qualified changes in status or during open enrollment, which normally occurs in November of each year. Changes made during open enrollment are effective for the next benefit year beginning January 1.

Upon separation from state service, law clerks will have an opportunity to elect continued medical, dental and/or vision coverage for the law clerk and eligible dependents through the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) health continuation plan. Coverage so elected must be the same or lesser than the level of coverage in effect at the time of separation. Full responsibility for payment of the monthly premium lies with the law clerk.

LEAVE:

Law clerks are provided personal leave during the 12-month appointment. Personal leave will accrue at the rate of 6.56 hours for each full semi-monthly pay period that the law clerk is in pay status.

Law clerks are not eligible to take personal leave until completion of 30 calendar days of full-time continuous service after appointment. Law clerks must receive prior approval from the supervising judge before leave is used.

Accrual of personal leave will be reduced on a pro-rated basis for any semi-monthly pay period during which leave without pay occurs. Other benefits such as health insurance coverage may be affected by periods of leave without pay.

Any unused personal leave will be paid at the time of separation from state service in a payment that equals the cash value of the law clerk's personal leave at the time the leave was accrued.

HOLIDAYS:

Law clerks are provided 11 paid holidays in which the court system will close for business in observance of the holiday.

The holiday formally known as Lincoln's Birthday will be treated as a floating holiday. On the date of the holiday, law clerks will have one additional day of leave  credited to the personal leave account. The court system will remain open for business on the day recognized as Lincoln's Birthday.

Law clerks are entitled to, and compensated for, the holidays as noted above provided the law clerk is in pay status on the regular work day immediately preceding the holiday and in pay status on the regular work day immediately following the holiday. If the law clerk is in leave without pay status for the entire day of work, either before or following a holiday, the law clerk is considered to be in leave without pay for the holiday.

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Mandatory Supplemental Benefits System (SBS)

In 1980, the State of Alaska withdrew from the Social Security System and instituted the Supplemental Benefits System (SBS). A mandatory 12.26% of each law clerk’s gross semi-monthly wage is contributed to SBS. One-half of this amount is paid by the employer and one-half is deducted from the law clerk’s salary. The entire amount is deposited into the law clerk’s annuity account.

The SBS annuity is pre-tax money. Law clerks may choose to invest this account in a variety of funds. The rate of return will depend on the investment fund chosen. Within 30 days after the date of hire, law clerks will receive a packet of information in the mail about the available SBS investment funds and enrollment instructions

After separation from state service, law clerks may elect to defer the annuity account until age 70½ or select from one of the following disbursements: lump sum, five year certain, ten year certain, fifteen year certain, single life annuity, life with ten years certain, life with fifteen years certain, or one of two “joint and survivor” annuities. Payments may begin after the law clerk has been terminated for 60 days. Under federal law, there may be an additional federal early withdrawal penalty tax on any disbursement other than a lifetime annuity, single life or a joint and survivor annuity. Additionally, 20% income tax withholding (which is NOT a penalty) will be enforced. Contact the Internal Revenue Service or your tax advisor for further information or advice on this plan.

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Optional Benefits

Certain benefits described below are available and may be purchased through the Select Benefits System. Complete and detailed information on options will be provided to each law clerk at the time of appointment or during law clerk orientation. The premiums for these optional benefits are deducted from the law clerk's pay.

Life Insurance Benefits: Law clerks may select life insurance in varying amounts. Life insurance covers the law clerk only. Cost depends on the amount of coverage selected. Accidental Death and Dismemberment may also be purchased for the law clerk and/or family. Again, the cost depends on the coverage selected.

Disability Benefits: The disability insurance pays the law clerk when a total disability occurs. Three plans are available. The cost depends on the coverage selected.

Survivor Benefits: The survivor life insurance benefit pays monthly for a selected period of time instead of in a lump sum. Law Clerks may choose the number of years for designated beneficiaries to receive benefits. The number of years selected determines the monthly benefit amount. Cost depends on the age of the law clerk.

Dependent Care Assistance Plan (DCAP): Law clerks may designate an amount to be placed in a reimbursement account whereby the law clerk can be reimbursed with pre-tax dollars for care of elderly parents, a handicapped spouse or child care. NOTE: Currently the Internal Revenue Service allows a tax credit for dependent care. However, expenses reimbursed by this plan are NOT eligible for the tax credit. The Internal Revenue Service requires forfeiture of any monies remaining in DCAP after all eligible expenses for the benefit year have been paid. Law clerks should give careful consideration to the relative financial benefits of these options. The professional advice of a tax advisor would be very helpful in deciding which option to select.

Health Flexible Spending Account (HFSA): HFSA is designed to cover some, but not all, health expenses. Law clerks may contribute up to $208 pre-tax dollars each month into an individual plan account for reimbursement of health expenses not otherwise covered by the health insurance plan. NOTE: The Internal Revenue Service requires forfeiture of any monies remaining in HFSA after all qualified claims for the benefit year have been paid. Law clerks should give careful consideration to the relative financial benefits of HFSA.

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Transportation and Relocation Expenses

Transportation/Relocation reimbursement applies to full-year law clerks only. If you have any questions regarding travel and relocation expenses, please contact the Fiscal Operations Department at (907) 264-8221 or travel_desk@courts.state.ak.us.

ELIGIBILITY

Effective July 1, 2013, law clerks living outside Alaska will be eligible to receive either a set moving allowance or a direct reimbursement of certain transportation and relocation expenses incurred from their place of hire to the assigned court location. For law clerks opting for a direct reimbursement, the Chief Financial Officer may approve transportation and relocation expenses from a location other than the place of hire if expenses to relocate from the alternative site do not exceed costs to relocate from the place of hire.

Law clerks hired within Alaska, but not in the assigned court location, are eligible for transportation and relocation expenses incurred for intra-state travel. Law clerks residing in the assigned court location are not eligible for transportation and relocation expenses.

PAYMENT OF MOVING ALLOWANCE OR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES

Effective July 1, 2013, law clerks who are relocating from outside of Alaska will be offered the choice of accepting a set moving allowance OR reimbursement of travel expenses. Law clerks will not be paid the allowance or reimbursed for transportation and relocation expenses prior to being placed on the Alaska Court System payroll. For reimbursements, it may take as long as three weeks for the reimbursement to be processed and paid. Law clerks opting to accept a set moving allowance in lieu of reimbursement will be paid the allowance as additional compensation through their paycheck. This additional compensation is subject to the usual payroll taxes. Acceptance of the set moving allowance eliminates the requirement that the law clerk submit receipts to the court system for reimbursement; however, law clerks may want to retain receipts for transportation and moving expenses, which may be deductible for income tax filing purposes. It is the responsibility of the law clerk to plan accordingly.

I. SET MOVING ALLOWANCE FOR RELOCATION TO ALASKA

The allowance to be paid is dependent upon the travel “zone” from which the law clerk is relocating.  The clerk is considered to be relocating from the place where the law clerk was hired, which is usually the state where the law clerk’s law school is located.  The following table reflects the zones applicable for each state:

Zone 1
Zone 2
Zone 3
Zone 4
California
Arizona
Arkansas
Alabama
Nevada
Colorado
Illinois
Connecticut
Oregon
Idaho
Iowa
Delaware
Washington
Montana
Kansas
Florida
 
New Mexico
Louisiana
Georgia
 
Utah
Minnesota
Indiana
 
Wyoming
Missouri
Kentucky
 
 
Nebraska
Maine
 
 
North Dakota
Maryland
 
 
Oklahoma
Massachusetts
 
 
South Dakota
Michigan
 
 
Texas
Mississippi
 
 
Wisconsin
New Hampshire
 
 
 
New Jersey
 
 
 
New York
 
 
 
North Carolina
 
 
 
Ohio
 
 
 
Pennsylvania
 
 
 
Rhode Island
 
 
 
South Carolina
 
 
 
Tennessee
 
 
 
Vermont
 
 
 
Virginia
 
 
 
West Virginia

The following table lists the set moving allowance that will be paid based on the zone of the state where the law clerk was hired. This is the total set moving allowance; it factors in the cost of airfare as well as shipping expenses.

Moving Allowance for Law Clerk (no dependents)

Moving Allowance for:
Zone 1
Zone 2
Zone 3
Zone 4
Anchorage
$900
$1,000
$950
$1,125
Barrow
$1,200
$1,300
$1,250
$1,425
Bethel
$1,075
$1,175
$1,125
$1,300
Dillingham
$1,125
$1,225
$1,175
$1,350
Fairbanks
$1,025
$1,125
$1,075
$1,250
Juneau
$900
$1,175
$1,125
$1,300
Kenai
$1,000
$1,100
$1,050
$1,225
Ketchikan
$1,075
$1,225
$1,175
$1,350
Kodiak
$1,075
$1,175
$1,125
$1,300
Kotzebue
$1,075
$1,175
$1,125
$1,300
Nome
$1,125
$1,225
$1,175
$1,350
Palmer
$900
$1,000
$950
$1,125
Sitka
$1,025
$1,275
$1,175
$1,350

Moving Allowance for Law Clerk Traveling with One Dependent

Moving Allowance for:
Zone 1
Zone 2
Zone 3
Zone 4
Anchorage
$1,300
$1,500
$1,400
$1,750
Barrow
$1,900
$2,100
$2,000
$2,350
Bethel
$1,650
$1,850
$1,750
$2,100
Dillingham
$1,750
$1,950
$1,850
$2,200
Fairbanks
$1,550
$1,750
$1,650
$2,000
Juneau
$1,300
$1,850
$1,750
$2,100
Kenai
$1,500
$1,700
$1,600
$1,950
Ketchikan
$1,650
$1,950
$1,850
$2,200
Kodiak
$1,650
$1,850
$1,750
$2,100
Kotzebue
$1,650
$1,850
$1,750
$2,100
Nome
$1,750
$1,950
$1,850
$2,200
Palmer
$1,300
$1,500
$1,400
$1,750
Sitka
$1,550
$1,950
$1,850
$2,200

Moving Allowance for Law Clerk Traveling with Two or More Dependents

Moving Allowance for:
Zone 1
Zone 2
Zone 3
Zone 4
Anchorage
$1,700
$2,000
$1,850
$2,375
Barrow
$2,600
$2,900
$2,750
$3,275
Bethel
$2,225
$2,525
$2,375
$2,900
Dillingham
$2,375
$2,675
$2,525
$3,050
Fairbanks
$2,075
$2,375
$2,225
$2,750
Juneau
$1,700
$2,525
$2,375
$2,900
Kenai
$2,000
$2,300
$2,150
$2,675
Ketchikan
$2,225
$2,675
$2,525
$3,050
Kodiak
$2,225
$2,525
$2,375
$2,900
Kotzebue
$2,225
$2,525
$2,375
$2,900
Nome
$2,375
$2,675
$2,525
$3,050
Palmer
$1,700
$2,000
$1.850
$2,375
Sitka
$2,075
$2,675
$2,525
$3,050

II.  REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES FOR RELOCATING TO ALASKA OR RELOCATING TO ANOTHER AREA WITHIN ALASKA

This section applies to law clerks opting for direct reimbursement of expenses as opposed to receiving a set moving allowance.

A. TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES FOR TRAVEL WITHIN THE UNITED STATES

To be eligible for reimbursement, all transportation expenses must be supported by original receipts and invoices (such as airline ticket receipts.) Credit card statements will not be accepted as a form of receipt. Law clerks will not be paid for tickets obtained through frequent flier mileage plans. NOTE: "Least expensive one-way airfare" may include one or more stopovers or travel segments.

  1. Air Transportation - Law clerks who choose air transportation will be reimbursed for the lesser of: (1) the actual airfare cost, or (2) the least expensive one-way airfare from the place of hire to the assigned court location. For purposes of determining the least expensive airfare, the traveler will not be required to take flights departing prior to 7:00 a.m. or arriving after 11:00 p.m. If accompanied by legal dependents, law clerks will be reimbursed for the cost of one-way airfare for up to two additional dependents, for a total of three one-way tickets. If not traveling directly from the point of hire to the assigned court location, the law clerk is required to obtain and submit with the claim for reimbursement, an itinerary reflecting the cost of a two-week advanced purchase, least expensive, one-way airfare from the point of hire to the assigned court location. This information can be obtained either through a travel agent or through an on-line travel service such as Expedia, Travelocity, or Orbitz and must be obtained prior to commencing your travel to Alaska and must be included with your travel claim.
  2. Land/Sea/Air Combination Transportation

    a. Law clerks (without dependents) who choose other than direct air transportation will be reimbursed the lesser of: (1) the current state per mile rate for the most direct route from place of hire to the assigned court location, or (2) the cost of the least expensive one-way airfare from the place of hire to the assigned court location. For purposes of determining the least expensive airfare, the traveler will not be required to take flights departing prior to 7:00 a.m. or arriving after 11:00 p.m. If not flying or not traveling directly from the point of hire to the assigned court location, the law clerk is required to obtain and submit with the claim for reimbursement, an itinerary reflecting the cost of a two-week advanced purchase, least expensive, one-way airfare from the point of hire to the assigned court location. This information can be obtained either through a travel agent or through an on-line travel service such as Expedia, Travelocity, or Orbitz and must be obtained prior to commencing your travel to Alaska and must be included with your travel claim.

    b. If two or more law clerks share a combination of land/sea/air transportation, each law clerk will be reimbursed the pro rata share of the lesser of: (1) the current state per mile rate for the most direct route from place of hire to the assigned court location, or (2) the cost of two or more (depending on the number of clerks traveling together) adult’s least expensive one-way airfare from place of hire to the assigned court location. For purposes of determining the least expensive airfare, the traveler will not be required to take flights departing prior to 7:00 a.m. or arriving after 11:00 p.m. If not flying or not traveling directly from the point of hire to the assigned court location, the law clerk is required to obtain and submit with the claim for reimbursement, an itinerary reflecting the cost of a two-week advanced purchase, least expensive, one-way airfare from the point of hire to the assigned court location. This information can be obtained either through a travel agent or through an on-line travel service such as Expedia, Travelocity, or Orbitz and must be obtained prior to commencing your travel to Alaska and must be included with your travel claim.

    c. Law clerks with dependents, who choose other than direct air transportation, will be reimbursed the lesser of: (1) the current state per mile rate for the most direct route from place of hire to the assigned court location, or (2) the aggregated cost of one adult’s least expensive one-way airfare plus the least expensive one-way airfare for up to two dependents, for travel to the assigned court location. If not flying or not traveling directly from the point of hire to the assigned court location, the law clerk is required to obtain and submit with the claim for reimbursement, an itinerary reflecting the cost of a two-week advanced purchase, least expensive, one-way airfare from the point of hire to the assigned court location. This information can be obtained either through a travel agent or through an on-line travel service such as Expedia, Travelocity, or Orbitz and must be obtained prior to commencing your travel to Alaska and must be included with your travel claim.

Please be advised that the reimbursement may not cover total transportation costs, such as transporting a vehicle on the Alaska Marine Highway System.

In situations where a law clerk is married to another law clerk and both work at the same location, one law clerk will be treated as a dependent. Only one transportation and relocation allowance will be reimbursed. Married law clerks assigned to different work locations will be treated as single law clerks.

B. TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES FOR TRAVEL OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES

Law clerks hired from locations outside the United States will be reimbursed the lesser of the actual transportation costs for one-way travel from the point of hire or up to $800 in travel expenses, which must be supported by original receipts. Law clerks hired from outside the U.S., who choose to travel by means other than air carrier will be eligible for reimbursement of the lesser of the actual cost of a land/sea/air travel combination or the least expensive one-way airfare from the point of hire to the assigned court location or $800. This reimbursement provision applies to the law clerk and up to two dependents, for a maximum transportation reimbursement amount of $2,400 for a law clerk traveling from an international location with two dependents. All expenses submitted for reimbursement must be supported by original receipts.

C. RELOCATION EXPENSES

Subject to eligibility requirements, a law clerk who has opted to receive reimbursement rather than the set moving allowance may be reimbursed for the expenses of shipping household goods and similar costs up to a maximum reimbursement amount of $500. Original receipts and invoices must support all claims for reimbursement of relocation expenses. Credit card statements will not be accepted as a form of receipt. Reimbursement will not be made for purchasing goods to be relocated. For example, the court system will reimburse law clerks for the cost of shipping a television, but will not reimburse law clerks for the purchase of the television. Reimbursement of relocation expenses should be submitted as early as possible, but must be submitted within three months of commencing work for the Alaska Court System.

CURRENT LAW CLERKS APPOINTED FOR ADDITIONAL ASSIGNMENTS

Law clerks working for the Alaska Court System and appointed to an additional period of service as a law clerk in an alternate court location are eligible for court-paid, one-way airfare for the law clerk and up to two dependents from the location of the current clerkship to the location of the additional clerkship.   The law clerk is also eligible to receive a $500 allowance for shipping costs or for direct reimbursement of shipping costs incurred (not to exceed $500).  Arrangements for air transportation should be coordinated through the travel_desk@courts.state.ak.us.

LESS THAN FULL-YEAR LAW CLERKS

Law clerks appointed for less than a full year will be reimbursed one-way airfare and a proportional relocation allowance as determined by the Chief Financial Officer.

INCOME TAX REPORTING

The Alaska Court System is required to comply with Internal Revenue Service regulations applicable to reporting employer-paid transportation and relocation expenses when directly reimbursed.  Amounts paid to law clerks electing a set moving allowance will be reported as compensation, which is subject to the usual payroll taxes. Law clerks should retain copies of receipts for their tax records or for tax filing purposes.

REIMBURSEMENT AGREEMENT

Those accepting employment with the State of Alaska are required to sign a reimbursement agreement prior to employment. The agreement stipulates that the law clerk will reimburse the state for all or part of expenditures made by the state in connection with the move in the event the law clerk voluntarily leaves the Alaska Court System before the completion of one year of employment.

Reimbursement will be taken from the law clerk's final paycheck. If this amount does not cover the total reimbursement, the law clerk will be required to pay the difference. The following schedule will apply:

100% of the cost of the reimbursement or the set moving allowance paid to the law clerk if the law clerk voluntarily leaves the Alaska Court System before completing 3 months;

75% of the cost of the reimbursement or the set moving allowance paid to the law clerk if the law clerk voluntarily leaves the Alaska Court System after completing 3 months, but before completing 6 months;

50% of the cost of the reimbursement or the set moving allowance paid to the law clerk if the law clerk voluntarily leaves the Alaska Court System after completing 6 months, but before completing 9 months;

25% of the cost of the reimbursement or the set moving allowance paid to the law clerk if the law clerk voluntarily leaves the Alaska Court System after completing 9 months, but before completing 11 months;

0% of the cost of the reimbursement or the allowance paid to the law clerk if the law clerk voluntarily leaves the Alaska Court System after 11 months or more are completed.

Questions regarding the information contained in this handbook may be directed to the Human Resources Department at (907) 264-8242.

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Appendix 1: Law Clerk Salary Schedule Semi-monthly Salaries Effective July 1, 2013

Supreme Court – Law Clerk III

Anchorage
$2,187.50
Fairbanks
$2,253.50

 

 

Court of Appeals – Law Clerk II

Anchorage
$2,044.50

 

 

Superior Court – Law Clerk I

Anchorage
$1,915.50
Barrow
$2,873.00
Bethel
$2,873.00
Dillingham
$2,624.00
Fairbanks
$1,973.00
Juneau
$2,011.00
Kenai
$1,915.50
Ketchikan
$1,915.50
Kodiak
$2,126.00
Kotzebue
$3,064.50
Nome
$2,624.50
Palmer
$1,915.50
Sitka
$2,011.00

 

 

District Court – Law Clerk I

Anchorage
$1,915.50

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Rev. 26 March 2014
© Alaska Court System

www.courts.alaska.gov
webmaster@courts.state.ak.us

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