Court and Administrative Tribunals Clerkships

On this page:
Les cours et tribunaux
Who should apply?
Eligibility
Course description and credit weight
Timeline
Funding
Mandatory reports and essay
Application form
Contact
Testimonial

The Court and Administrative Tribunals Clerkship offers students the opportunity to earn academic credits while working as a research assistant for a judge or member of an administrative tribunal in Montreal during the academic year.

Les cours et tribunaux

Les étudiant.e.s sont jumelé.e.s avec des juges des cours et tribunaux suivants pendant toute l'année universitaire (6 crédits pour un minimum de 200 heures de travail) :

  • Cour d’appel du Québec
  • Cour supérieure du Québec* 
  • Cour du Québec, chambre civile
  • Cour du Québec, chambre criminelle
  • Cour du Québec, chambre de la jeunesse
  • Tribunal administratif du Québec
  • Cour municipale de la Ville de Montréal
  • Cour du Québec du district de Laval, et de Lanaudière (not available for 2023-2024)
  • Cour du Québec, chambre civile (Saint-Jérôme, Laurentides)
  • Cour du Québec, chambre de la jeunesse (Saint-Jérôme, Laurentides)
  • Tribunal des droits de la personne**

Students may also apply for permission to organize their own “ad hoc” clerkship with a court outside Montreal. The deadline to apply for the Fall/Winter term "ad hoc" clerkships is the same as the one we offer via the SAO. Once permission is granted, students are responsible for applying to the host court and arranging the clerkship themselves. Students may obtain 3 credits for 100 hours of work. In past years, students have organized their own clerkship with the Supreme Court of Israel (see the Hon. Morris J. Fish Clerkship Award) and the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts.

*Cour supérieure du Québec, Montreal district includes Longueuil. Students interested in a placement in Longueuil can indicate this on the application form and in the letter of intent. If nominated for a placement at the Cour supérieure du Québec, the court will take this into account if a resident judge from Longueuil is available to supervise a student clerkship. The Cour supérieure du Québec prefers full-year student clerkships. However, if strong candidates are only available for one term, it is possible to be considered for this placement. Note that this is not a guarantee that the SAO will nominate or that the Court will accept a student for one term only, as preference is for full-year. 

**Note aux étudiante.e.s qui veulent postuler au Tribunal des droits de la personne. Une personne sera acceptée pour ce stage de 6 crédits, d'une durée d'un an, et devra satisfaire aux exigences suivantes:

  • La réussite préalable d'un cours sur les droits et libertés de la personne, ou l'engagement à suivre un tels cours.
  • Une sensibilité et un intérêt marqué en matière de droits et libertés de la personne qui se démontrent par leurs implications ou leur lettre de motivation.
  • Soit avoir suivi un cours sur la Charte des droits et libertés de la personne du Québec, soit s'engager à suivre un tels cours.
  • La capacité d'aménager son horaire avec une certaine flexibilité. Les étudiants devraient pouvoir disposer d'au moins d'une journée par semaine durant toute la durée de son stage de manière à pouvoir être disponibles pour des auditions sujettes à des changements ou à des règlements hors cour.

Who should apply?

This will be an ideal choice for students wishing to work closely with a judge and gain a behind-the-scenes view of the Quebec judicial system. Clerkships allow students to improve their legal analysis, research and writing skills in both French and English. 

Eligibility

Open to students who have completed at least 2 years of the BCL/JD Program, and all first and second year required courses. Students must have completed Advocacy as well. Students must have a minimum 2.70 CGPA to apply.

Course description and credit weight

3 or 6 credits

Timeline

Applications will be initially assessed by the SAO in April. The SAO will determine the nominations based on CGPA, demonstrated legal research and writing experience (for instance: legal clinic course, law journals, Research assistantship, etc), year in the program, full-year vs. single-term placement, and other relevant experience.

If nominated, the student’s application package (cover letter, CV, transcript) will be sent to the court for final assessment at the end of April/early May. The courts will determine who is selected for a clerkship – therefore, a nomination is not a guarantee of a clerkship position. Students will be notified of the court's decision as soon as possible.

Funding

Students who already receive student aid may qualify for a Enriched Educational Opportunity bursary.

Mandatory reports and essay

Students doing a clerkship are required to complete a midterm report, final report, and end-of-term essay.

The midterm and final report templates and submission deadlines will be emailed to students before the start of their student clerkship.

The end-of-term essay should be addressed to the Associate Dean (Academic). The essay must be in the form of a 2 to 4 page essay (Times New Roman size 12, double-spaced) and must include the standard SAO cover pagePlease discuss a specific legal topic or issue that you have explored during your student clerkship. Explain why this topic is particularly significant, relating it to the mandate of the court/tribunal, the specific needs of the court or tribunal and the challenges they face, and to your personal experience working there.

End-of-term essays are to be submitted in PDF format via email to SAOassignments.law [at] mcgill.ca

Please note → Midterm reports, final reports and end-of-term essays do not need to be read or signed by the student clerkship supervisor. You are free to voice your feelings and concerns.

Clerkship applications for 2023-2024

Deadline: application and all documents are due on March 20th at 15:00.

  1. Veuillez remplir le formulaire qui se trouve sur la page des formulaires du SAO. Application: 2023-2024 Clerkships
  2. Téléversez une lettre pour chaque cour et/ou tribunal sélectionné, exposant votre intérêt pour ce programme et les motifs de votre choix. Please address your letter to the judge at the court and/or tribunal you are applying for. See page 2 of the application instructions form for the list of judges to address your letters to.
  3. Téléversez également votre curriculum vitae
  4. Upload a copy of your official transcript – you need to request your eTranscript on Minerva. See McGill's Electronic Official Transcripts (eTranscripts) page for more information.

If nominated, the cover letter, CV and transcript that you submitted will be sent to the court. The court makes the final decision regarding the application.

 

Faculty contact

For more information, email sao.law [at] mcgill.ca.

Testimonial

“In my experience, working as a student clerk at the Court of Appeal includes research and writing on the cases assigned to you, and an ongoing dialogue about these cases with your judge and their clerk. I felt both prepared for this, in that I had already done quite a bit of research and writing, and entirely unprepared, in that it was the first time I applied those skills in a practical context. It is intimidating but ultimately very gratifying to form your own opinion on a case, sometimes in an area of law unfamiliar to you. I was forced to learn fast and was given quite a bit of encouragement and support along the way. I’ve also loved working there alongside taking courses - the two complement each other, in that you’re seeing the practical implications of what you’re learning in class in real time.”

Stephanie Belmer, 2022-2023 participant, BCL/JD


“Mon stage à la Chambre de la jeunesse m’a permis de voir le côté humain du droit, un aspect qui n’a pas vraiment la chance de prendre vie lorsqu’on lit de la doctrine et de la jurisprudence sur les bancs de la Faculté. Cette expérience a été essentielle et formatrice dans mon parcours juridique en ce qu’elle m’a permis d’acquérir une vision pratique de la profession, de la procédure civile et du processus décisionnel du juge. 

J’ai développé une compréhension critique et approfondie du droit de la protection de la jeunesse, du droit pénal pour adolescents et des enjeux sociaux qui sous-tendent ces champs de droit. J’ai aussi pu interagir avec tous les acteurs du système judiciaire- les juges, les avocats de la Direction de la protection de la jeunesse, les procureurs de la Couronne, les avocats de la défense, mais aussi les greffiers, les huissiers et les interprètes.”

Amélia Souffrant, 2021-2022 participant, BCL/JD

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