Each year, the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia employs law clerks who support the work of the Justices of the Court. All applicants must have graduated from a recognized law school in Canada to qualify for these positions.
Among other responsibilities, law clerks assist the judges with legal research.
How to Apply
Applicants must mail or hand-deliver a hard copy (on paper) of their official sealed transcript of marks from law school. The Court also requires copies (paper or electronic) of your Curriculum Vitae (CV), a cover letter, and three signed letters of reference from three different individuals. If submitting the reference letters electronically by email, the letters must be signed, in PDF format, and submitted by the person providing the reference, not the applicant. Alternatively, the applicant can mail or hand-deliver hard copies (on paper) of the original signed letters of reference.
Deadline for Applications
The Supreme Court law clerk position for 2022-2023 has been filled.
Place of Work
The clerks for the Nova Scotia Supreme Court work out of the Law Courts at 1815 Upper Water Street in Halifax. The building is in the downtown core, overlooking Halifax Harbour. The clerks’ offices are situated on the 7th Floor, near the Judges' Library and the office of the librarian.
Period of Employment
The period of employment is for one year, typically starting in August. The terms are renewable.
The primary duty of the law clerks is to provide legal assistance to the Justices of the Supreme Court on a variety of legal subjects. Other duties include:
- Conducting detailed research and preparing memoranda of law, as requested by the judges;
- Reviewing files, both before and after hearings, and preparing preliminary briefings on points of law;
- Assisting the Chambers Judge and reviewing files in preparation for Chambers sessions, including any research that may be required by the Chambers Judge;
- Participating in office meetings and discussions with the judges, both individually and in groups, as determined by the judges;
- Assisting with the organization and coordination of special study projects on certain points of law; and
- Assisting in the preparation of materials for judges’ seminars and related issues.
The law clerks are also expected to provide administrative assistance to the Supreme Court, including:
- Managing the database of written court decisions, on a relief basis;
- Supervising the work of the part-time student clerks; and
- Serving as the back-up manager of publications for the release of written court decisions.
All applicants must have graduated from a recognized law school in Canada. Preference will be given to candidates who are admitted as a member of the Bar of a province or territory of Canada; however, all interested graduates are encouraged to apply. The ability to read and work in French is not essential but considered an asset.
Salary and Benefits
The salary and benefits for law clerks working with the Supreme Court are as follows:
In 2022, a candidate who was admitted as a member of the Bar of one of the provinces or territories of Canada made $65,979 per annum.
In 2022, a law graduate not yet admitted as a member of the Bar of one of the provinces or territories of Canada made $45,063 per annum.
Except as provided by agreement or by the Labour Standards Code of Nova Scotia or other applicable legislation, law clerks are not entitled to any benefits and do not come within the Civil Service Act or other legislation relating to persons in the public service. Law clerks will receive 15 vacation days per annum.
If a candidate for a law clerk position is not already admitted as a member of the Bar of a province or territory of Canada, the clerkship may count for a portion of the candidate's articling requirements, depending on the province or territory in which the candidate wishes to be called. For more information on articling requirements, the candidate should contact the law society of the province or territory in which he or she intends to be called.