How to Become a Law Clerk

  • Added:
    Feb 07, 2014
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How to Become a Law Clerk Photo by Jason White

The job responsibilities of law clerks range from searching and studying legal documents to investigating facts, preparing cases, researching law sources to prepare drafts for attorneys, preparing affidavits for of documents, maintaining and sorting document files and correspondence and reviewing briefs submitted by the parties and preparing closing statements.

Contrary to the job title, the professionals perform a few clerical tasks and most of the times they are involved in administrative duties. They are involved in performing legal researches, drafting legal documents and helping lawyers and judges with complex legal work.

Their job touches almost every aspect of law including documentation, research, coordination, communication and counsel. Being a law clerk is not easy. The individuals applying for these jobs are expected to have undergone a formal education in this field and relevant work experience. Besides they should know the legal processes inside out.
Becoming a Law Clerk

A judicial clerk in Canada is expected to

Have a thorough understanding of Canadian Law
Possess legal research and writing skills
Know about government boards and agencies
Be proficient in computers
Possess excellent written and verbal communication skills
Have understanding of family law, corporate law and civil litigation
Have knowledge in debtor-creditor/landlord tenant law
Relevant work experience
Knowledge about reformed laws

The individuals need to undergo a formal educational course, in order to apply for the position of a judicial clerk. To meet the minimum job requirements, you can enroll into a law clerk diploma course after completing secondary school education.

Choosing the Right Course

A number of colleges in Canada offer post secondary judicial clerk courses. But not all colleges offer work placement as a part of the two-year diploma course. The work placement provides invaluable work experience to students and opportunities to apply classroom learning into real life situations.

Therefore this forms a decisive factor for students who are seeking admission in a diploma course to become a judicial clerk. In addition, there are other points that you should keep in mind while applying for a diploma course in the field. These include:

Is the college accredited with a state governing body?
Does it meet your specific goals?
Does it include any practical, career-oriented assignments?
Does it give you a chance to work with an organization during its tenure?
Does the college offer opportunities for further studies in its campus or associated universities?
good course combines all these features along with classroom lectures and discussions with lawyers and other law professionals.

Applying for a Diploma Course

Once you’ve shortlisted the college after considering the above points, you need to check what documents you need to submit to apply for the course. Typically, admission requirements include a secondary school diploma or equivalent and English Grade 12 C or University and Mathematics Grade 11 or 12 C or University certifications or scores. Some colleges may also conduct a background check for the applicants before offering admission.

The graduates, most likely, find employment with private companies. They can apply for clerical positions in courts after accumulating considerable work experience.

Author's Profile

A post-secondary law clerk diploma course prepares students to assist lawyers and judges in their work and conduct researches and preparing legal reports. A law clerk can find employment with private firms, independent attorneys as well as government institutions of legal justice.

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