Law Clerk Program - Articling Opportunities
Each year the Court of Appeal retains the services of two law graduates, who serve as law clerks working under the direct supervision of the Chief Justice of New Brunswick. While the successful candidates work closely with the Chief Justice, they also work with the other justices of the Court. The work of a law clerk includes preparation of a synopsis of cases to be heard during the month, researching legal issues, preparation of legal memoranda, editing of draft reasons for judgment and assisting in the preparation of speeches and papers to be presented by members of the Court. Law clerks are given the opportunity to attend appeal hearings and, thus, are able to follow the history of an appellate case, beginning with the parties' legal submissions and ending with the issuance of a judgment. Clerks are also given the opportunity to assist the individual judges with respect to motions that are processed and heard during each month. As the Court of Appeal is a generalist court, law clerks are exposed to a broad range of legal issues in both the civil and criminal spheres. In addition, the clerks are allowed time off to work in a law office.
Why Clerk with the Court of Appeal?
Working at the Court of Appeal permits law graduates to acquire experience with both practice and substantive issues. Law clerks receive hands-on and daily exposure to both the trial and appellate court processes and, as well, soon learn those qualities essential to effective appellate advocacy. The opportunity for law clerks to attend at appeal hearings enables them to distinguish between effective and ineffective advocacy, while at the same time being exposed to a broad range of contemporary legal issues. Equally significant is the opportunity for law clerks to work closely with individual judges and to witness the appellate process, from beginning to end. This experience provides law clerks with a solid foundation on which to build their legal careers. A clerkship with the Court of Appeal provides a unique opportunity to participate in the judicial process.
Law Society Admission Requirements
Clerkship with the Court of Appeal meets the Bar Admission requirements imposed by the Law Society of New Brunswick. As well, other provincial law societies recognize that service with the Court of Appeal fulfilling all or part of the student's articling requirements. Candidates should verify this with the Law Society of the jurisdiction where they will be seeking admission.
Salary and Benefits
Law clerks are presently paid $39,999.70 per year and are reimbursed their tuition fees for the Bar Admission Course. After six months of service with the Court of Appeal, law clerks achieve the status of employee under the Civil Service Act of New Brunswick and, hence, are entitled to the benefits generally available to all civil servants, including optional health and dental coverage. This status also allows law clerks to apply for "In-Service" competitions, which are not immediately available to members of the public.
Place of Work
The Court of Appeal is located in the Justice Building in downtown Fredericton, close to the universities and other public institutions.
Period of Employment
Typically, clerkships with the Court of Appeal are for a one-year period from June 1 to May 31.
Each successful applicant must have obtained a law degree from a recognized Canadian law school, or such other institution as the Chief Justice recognizes as an "equivalent".
Written applications will be received from students in their second year of law studies for the position of law clerk to the Chief Justice of New Brunswick. Applications should reach the Chief Justice no later than the end of January. Candidates must forward: a curriculum vitae; official transcripts of law school marks and copies of transcripts for all other post-secondary studies; three letters of reference, two of which must be from persons familiar with the candidate's academic work; a letter explaining why the candidate is seeking the position and, one or more recent samples of legal writing. All applications are to be addressed to:
The Honourable J.C. Marc Richard
Chief Justice of New Brunswick
Justice Building, 427 Queen Street
Fredericton N.B. E3B 5H1
Candidates will be invited to an interview with the Chief Justice. Interviews are traditionally conducted during the month of February and/or March. A decision follows within a few weeks.