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.
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.
Obtaining 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.
Federal Court of Appeal presentation
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.
|Court||Approx. # of Clerks per year||Application Deadline|
|Supreme Court of Canada||27||January 19th, 2024 23:59 PM EST|
|Federal Court of Appeal||16||January 16th, 2024 5:00 PM EST|
|Federal Court of Canada||44||January 16th, 2024 5:00 PM EST|
|Tax Court of Canada||18||January 5th, 2024 23:59 PM EST|
|Court of Appeal for Ontario||21||January 22nd, 2024 23:59 PM EST|
|Ontario Superior Court of Justice||27||January 19th, 2024 5:00 PM EST|
|British Columbia Court of Appeal||12||January 8th – 24th, 2024|
|British Columbia Supreme Court||22||January 8th – 24th, 2024|
|Nova Scotia Court of Appeal||1-3||TBA|
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.
Clerkship for academic credit
Please see the following links: