There are numerous clerkship opportunities available at courts across the country. Clerking is a challenging and rewarding experience. While the work will vary from court to court and from Justice to Justice, students are generally given the opportunity to research and draft pre-hearing memoranda, edit judgments, draft post-hearing memoranda, and assist in writing papers and speeches. Many courts will also provide continuing education programs for the clerks of the court. Overall, the courts encourage and welcome an open and friendly working and learning environment.
The opportunities open to law clerks upon completing their clerkships vary – from working in law firms, to government, to graduate studies and more. These positions are directed towards students with strong research, writing and communications skills.
Clerkships, particularly at the higher levels, are highly regarded in the legal community and thus competition for positions can be intense. Applicants to the Supreme Court of Canada and Ontario Court of Appeal must be screened in advance by the Dean and only the top candidates will receive his recommendation.
Clerking in Ontario may be pursued in lieu of the articles necessary to be called to the Bar. Clerking in another province might not fulfill only some of the articling requirement necessary to be called to the Bar in that province. Students are encouraged to check with the licensing authorities of the provinces in which they are interested in clerking.
In the Fall of every year the Career and Professional Development office hosts a Clerkship Information Session. This is a great opportunity to hear from current court clerks about the clerking experience and gather application information. Concurrent with this session the CPDC will prepare a Clerkship Information Booklet summarizing information about courts across the country and providing application information, deadlines etc… When this information is available it will be circulated to students.
If you are interested in clerking after law school you are strongly encouraged to read the Clerkship booklet in The Source and to make an appointment with the Assistant Dean, Career and Professional Development, to further discuss how to attain this goal.