Law Clerk Description
A law clerk’s responsibility is to alleviate routine administrative and legal tasks from lawyers and assist with more complex tasks under the guidance of a lawyer when required. Law clerks may be employed in a law firm, or government or corporate legal departments. There are a variety of areas where a law clerk can develop their career and specialize in a particular area of law; commercial, corporate, litigation, wills and estates, real estate, criminal, and family. This role has become more common as law departments have been encouraged to keep legal costs down by reducing the number of times a lawyer spend on admin work. The role of a law clerk is similar to the administrative duties of a paralegal, but unlike paralegals, law clerks are unable to provide any legal advice.
- Law clerks require a good breadth of legal knowledge and are required to conduct effective legal research for lawyers as directed.
- Proficient written and oral communication skills are needed for this position as a law clerk will be required to do written work and have frequent contact with lawyers and other members of a legal team.
- Law clerks must be able to handle sensitive and confidential information appropriately and act in an ethical manner.
- Attention to detail, excellent organization, and the ability to accurately and carefully review documentation are key for this role.
- Good computer skills and time management are also valuable for this position.
Law Clerk Salary
An average salary is 55K per year in Canada. A more experienced law clerk may make up to 90K.
Law Clerk Hours
Full time and part time positions are common for this role. Overtime work may be required during busy periods.
Law Clerk Training
Training will vary province to province. In Ontario, you may complete a certificate program, join the The Institute of Law Clerks of Ontario and develop your skills on the job. In other provinces, a law degree may be required and the law clerk position is used as an entry level position to progress to become a paralegal or lawyer.
Useful Information About Being a Law Clerk
In Ontario, there is an institute of law clerks which provides a professional network and training: https://www.ilco.on.ca/|Essential skill profile for law clerk (4211): https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/essentialskillsresults/277