From an “employability” perspective, clerking is a positive step regardless of the legal career you intend to pursue.  While it is true that any student with an interest in academic work should definitely consider applying for a clerkship, students who intend to practice can also benefit from the experience.

What is Clerking?

Clerking gives you an opportunity to see the “inside” of the judicial decision-making process, to hone your research and writing skills and to gain a “judge’s eye view” of good advocacy.

How do I get a Clerkship?

Most Law Clerks are recent law school graduates who performed at or near the top of their class.

Successful candidates for all clerkships are usually selected based on a distinguished academic record, academic recommendations, strong research and writing skills and interviews with judges.

Most Canadian courts accept applications for judicial clerkships from graduating law students or experienced lawyers who have already been called to the Bar in Canada or abroad. Most provincial superior and appellate courts hire at least one clerk for each judge. Typically students in their last two years of law school are eligible to apply for these positions, but increasingly, experienced practicing lawyers are also considered for these positions. The term typically lasts a year.

Clerkships: Federal Court of Appeal Presentation

Where are Clerkships?

Court Approx. # of Clerks per year Application Deadline
Supreme Court of Canada 27 January TBA
Federal Court of Appeal 12 January TBA
Federal Court of Canada 31 January TBA
Tax Court of Canada 10 January TBA
Court of Appeal for Ontario 12 January TBA
Ontario Superior Court of Justice 21 January TBA
Court of Appeal of British Columbia 11 January (TBA)
British Columbia Supreme Court 18 January (TBA)
Nova Scotia Court of Appeal 1-3 TBA

* Students who apply in 3rd year would not be clerking until after their articles are completed. 

** Third year students may apply but cannot have completed articles prior to commencing their clerkship.

For both the Supreme Court of Canada and the Quebec Court of Appeal, being able to work in both English and French is strongly preferred.

What are the benefits of a Clerkship?

Generally fulfills the articling requirement for provincial law societies (check the Law Society in the province you plan to Clerk in just to make sure).

Many law clerks have gone on to become leaders of the profession.

Clerkships for Academic Credit