The Research Service is comprised of 17 law clerks in Montreal, and 13 law clerks in Quebec City. The Court benefits from the services of a Coordinator who ensures a smooth selection process, oversees the training and integration of the new law clerks into the team and lends juridical support to the clerks.
The law clerks are, in most cases, selected one year in advance: a competition is held each year usually in the months of December and January. All candidates are assumed to be admissible to complete their articling requirements for the Bar at the time of hiring, that is to say the start date of employment at the Court of Appeal should coincide with the start date of the clerk's articles. The maximum duration of employment is two years, which permits the law clerks to acquire significant experience from the outset of their career. The first six months of the clerkship satisfies the Quebec Bar's articling requirements.
The Court is looking for candidates who possess a very good academic record as well as an aptitude for research and drafting; such candidates must also demonstrate maturity and autonomy in carrying out their duties. Candidates must have an excellent command of spoken and written French and English.
Upon arrival, each law clerk is assigned to a judge with whom he or she will work for the entirety of the contract and with whom he or she will develop a privileged relationship. A large part of the work is done before the hearing of a case: the law clerk must conduct an in-depth analysis of his or her assigned cases in order to formulate a legal opinion and assist the judge in considering the issues submitted to the Court. The experience is all the more interesting in that it provides for an excellent understanding of the role and functions of a judge. Law clerks attend hearings of the cases on which they have worked. As such, they may observe hearings with a critical eye. If the case is taken under advisement, the law clerk may be asked to do additional research. In this way, the law clerk follows the progress of cases until final judgment is rendered. The clerkship thus provides a unique occasion to work behind the scenes of the judicial system and to become familiar with its operation.
A clerkship at the Court of Appeal also provides for the opportunity to work in different fields of law: constitutional law, criminal law, administrative law, civil law, commercial law, etc. Thanks to this diversity of experience, law clerks acquire a high degree of versatility, in-depth knowledge of the law, and invaluable practical experience in properly managing litigation files. A quick survey of former law clerks reveals that they work in a multitude of settings after they leave the Court of Appeal including:
Special agreements with Laval University and the University of Montreal allow law clerks employed at the Court of Appeal to obtain credits towards a Master's degree (directed research, legal research work carried out in the performance of their duties). For more information concerning these agreements, you are invited to contact a representative of the Research Service of the Court of Appeal.
Candidates who wish to undertake the challenge of this stimulating experience are invited to submit their applications to the Montreal and/or Quebec offices of the Court of Appeal. Once a recruitment period is announced, a notice is posted on the website of the Court of Appeal and of the Quebec Bar School as well as in the Career & Professional Development offices of the faculties of law.
The candidate's application should be forwarded to one or both of the following addresses:
Mrs. Anita Santi
Court of Appeal of Quebec
100, Notre-Dame Street East, Suite 3.60
Montreal (Quebec) H2Y 4B6
Telephone: 514-393-2040 ext. 51246
Mrs. Lynn Brousseau
Court of Appeal of Quebec
300, Jean-Lesage Blvd, Suite R-435
Quebec (Quebec) G1K 8K6
The next call for applications will be posted in December 2019 to recruit law clerks for positions available in January and June 2021.
LANCER L'APPEL. The clerkship program of the Court of Appeal of Quebec celebrates its 10th anniversary. By Shaun Finn. December 2005.