Law Clerk Program
NOTE: This document was modified on November 16 and 26, 2020. The section titled “How to Apply” was amended with respect to the requirement to submit official law school grade transcripts, and a sentence was added at the end of the section titled "Selection Criteria".
Table of Contents
Law Clerks to the Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada
Applications are invited for 36 positions of law clerks to the 9 judges of the Supreme Court of Canada. A pool of qualified candidates may be established and may be used to staff identical or similar positions.
Place of Work
Supreme Court of Canada, Ottawa.
Period of Employment
Clerkships begin in August 2022.
While clerkships usually last one year, successful applicants may be appointed for a period of one year or two years.
Applicants may indicate in their application whether they are willing to consider a term of two years.
The vast majority of clerkships will be for one year, and applicants will not be at a disadvantage if they are not available to serve for two years.
Salary and Benefits
The annual salary is currently set at $74,122. A fixed amount to assist with relocation from any point in Canada to Ottawa and return is provided.
Law clerks occupy a term position in the federal Public Service and as such are entitled to the same benefits and conditions of employment as term employees.
Under the direction of a judge, a law clerk shall research points of law, prepare memoranda of law and generally assist the judge in the work of the Court.
Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor from a recognized Canadian university or its equivalent;
Notes: Not all law societies recognize service as a law clerk as fulfilling all or part of their articling requirements. Applicants are responsible for checking articling requirements with the law society of the jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission to the practice of law. Law clerks shall devote their full time and attention to the performance of their duties. No time off is permitted to attend any bar admission course or examination which may occur during the period of employment.
Who can Apply
Only persons holding Canadian citizenship or having permanent resident status in Canada or a work permit for Canada may apply.
Applicants must indicate in their application the basis on which they are entitled to work in Canada.
Preference will be given to Canadian citizens. Applications made by persons who are not Canadian citizens are accepted; however, if there are sufficient qualified applicants who are Canadian citizens, the selection will be confined to those applicants.
Proficiency in one official language is mandatory. Bilingual positions requiring proficiency in both official languages are being staffed. Applicants are requested to indicate their level of proficiency in both official languages in reading, written and oral proficiency.
Applicants will be selected for further assessment based on a combination of criteria including:
- letters of recommendation;
- academic excellence;
- ability to work as part of a team;
- ability to work under pressure;
- effective interpersonal skills;
- language skills; and
- range of experience – legal and otherwise.
Applicants are free to indicate on their application if they belong to any of the groups designated under the Employment Equity Act, S.C. 1995, c. 44, i.e. women, aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities. The Supreme Court of Canada is committed to achieving equitable representation of all employment equity designated groups throughout the organization. However, equity, diversity and inclusion extend beyond those four categories, and in that respect, candidates are free to provide additional information about themselves in their application.
Additional Requirements / Comments
Appointment is conditional on a willingness by the applicant to undergo and successfully pass a security clearance at Level II (Secret). The Supreme Court of Canada is responsible for having the security clearance carried out.
Appointment is conditional on a willingness by the applicant to sign and abide by a Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest Declaration.
In accordance with the Public Service Employment Act, S.C. 2003, Part 4, s. 54, appointment to the public service is conditional upon the swearing of an oath or the making of a solemn affirmation by the applicant. The text of the Oath or Affirmation can be found in the legislation.
The Supreme Court of Canada is committed to developing inclusive, barrier-free selection processes and work environments. If contacted in relation to a job opportunity or testing, you should advise the Court in a timely manner of any accommodation measures that should be taken to ensure your access in a fair and equitable manner. Information received relating to accommodation measures will be treated confidentially.
How to Apply
All clerkship applications (including transcripts and letters of reference) must be received by January 18, 2021, 23:59 Pacific Time. Applicants must submit the following documents:
- A cover letter addressing all requirements stated on this posting;
- A curriculum vitae;
- Copies of transcripts for all post-secondary studies, including any post-graduate courses (except the law school transcript (see below)) (in PDF format);
- A filled out application form,Footnote 1 in PDF format.
The cover letter, curriculum vitae, copies of transcripts and application form must be sent by email at the following address: email@example.com. They must be attached to the email as separate documents, and the files should adhere to the following naming conventions:
|Documents||Naming Conventions||For example, an application by Alex Smith could contain the following documents as separate email attachments|
|Cover letter:||LastName, FirstName - letter||Smith, Alex - letter|
|Curriculum Vitae:||LastName, FirstName - CV||Smith, Alex - CV|
|Copies of transcripts:||LastName, FirstName - Transcript 1 (Transcript 2, Transcript 3, etc., if there is more than one transcript)||Smith, Alex - Transcript 1
Smith, Alex - Transcript 2
|Application Form:||LastName, FirstName - Form||
Smith, Alex - Form
In addition, we must receive:
- Official law school transcripts;
- Four letters of reference.
The official law school transcripts MUST be sent directly by the University, at the following address:
Law Clerk Program Coordinator
Supreme Court of Canada
301 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0J1
In addition, the University may also email the law school transcripts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTE (added Nov. 16, 2020): In light of the current pandemic situation, you will not be penalized if your official law school transcript is received after the application deadline or if the university is only able to produce an electronic copy of the transcript. However, your application cannot be processed until all necessary documents are received.
The letters of reference may be included with the applicant’s application or sent separately by the persons who have agreed to forward references. One of the four letters of reference may be from the current Dean of the faculty where the applicant obtained their law degree. One or more letters of reference should attest to the applicant’s academic excellence, effective interpersonal skills, ability to work under pressure and ability to work as part of a team.
The signed letters of reference should be addressed to: Keshani Leblanc, Law Clerk Program Coordinator, and should be sent to email@example.com in PDF format. The files should be named using the following convention:
|Documents||Naming Convention||For example, if Professor Dominique Pereiras writes a letter of reference for Alex Smith, the letter should be titled|
|Signed letters of reference||LastName, FirstName - Reference - Referee’sLastName||Smith, Alex - Reference - Pereiras|
Applicants are responsible for ensuring that their applications are complete and that all materials, including the four letters of reference, have been received by January 18, 2021, 23:59 Pacific Time. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
We thank all those who apply. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted and at that time will be asked to provide two writing samples.
Subject to any changes, the judges of the Court will conduct all interviews by Skype during the week of March 1, 2021. Applicants to be interviewed will be advised by e-mail or telephone. Applicants should therefore include in their materials an address, e-mail address and telephone number where they can be reached or a message can be left during the day. All hiring will be completed by March 23, 2021. Unsuccessful interviewees will be advised by March 23, 2021, or as soon as possible thereafter.
Questions may be directed to:
Law Clerk Program Coordinator
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about the Court’s Law Clerk Program and the clerkship application process, please consult the FAQ on the Court’s website.
- Footnote 1
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