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Law Clerk Program

Law clerkship

Do you have an interest in criminal and/or military law?

Are you interested in a clerkship with the Chief Justice of a national appellate court?

The Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada offers a single yearly clerkship opportunity.

Clerking with the Chief Justice of the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada [CMACC] provides those with a particular interest in Criminal Law and/or Military Law with a unique experience. The CMACC hears appeals from courts martial, which are military courts established under the National Defence Act. In this capacity, the CMACC essentially performs the function of a provincial superior court of appellate jurisdiction, in relation to criminal and military law. A clerkship at the CMACC provides a behind the scenes look at how an appellate court operates, while offering a wide and diversified view of the Canadian military justice system and its foundations.

Work Setting

As a law clerk, you will be involved from the moment a party files a proceeding in the Registry, until a decision is ultimately rendered. Working closely with the Chief Justice of the CMACC, a law clerk is called upon to perform the following tasks: (1) conducting initial research on issues under appeal; (2) preparing pre-hearing bench memos; (3) conducting post-hearing research as requested; (4) editing judgments/orders; and (5) editing the translated version of the judgment/order. Regular discussions are held with the Chief Justice and Judges of the Court on various legal issues that arise in the cases to which you are assigned.

In addition to the work related to appeals and motions before the CMACC, the law clerk may also be asked to assist with papers and/or speeches given by the Chief Justice at conferences or address other legal issues which arise in relation to the administration of the CMACC.

A law clerk’s employer is the Courts Administration Service, the government body established by law to provide administrative services to the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada as well as the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court and the Tax Court of Canada.

Working long hours and weekends may be required.

In addition, the year begins with extensive in-depth substantive and procedural training on the various areas and issues of law that a clerk may encounter during the course of their clerkship.

Opportunities to observe the law in action

When the CMACC sits in Ottawa, you are encouraged to attend the hearings.

When the CMACC sits outside Ottawa, videoconferencing can be arranged to permit the CMACC law clerk the opportunity to view the hearing. A clerk’s access to these videoconferences is intended for training purposes only. The clerk’s access is also subject to the consent of the panel and of the parties, as well as the availability of the equipment.

In addition, the CMACC clerk will be expected to attend any Supreme Court of Canada hearings of appeals to it from the CMACC.

Application Process

Applying for the CMACC law clerkship

Candidates are invited to apply for the position of law clerk to the Chief Justice of the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada. There is 1 position available.

Who Can Apply

Permanent residents of Canada and Canadian citizens, residing in Canada or abroad.

Please note that preference will be given to Canadian citizens.

How to Apply

Applicants must use the on-line application system, which will be available as of November 23, 2020, on the CMACC web site:

Candidates must submit their application by January 11, 2021.

The application must include:

  1. A curriculum vitae (specify citizenship);
  2. Copies of transcripts for all your post-secondary studies (except the law school transcript);
  3. A letter explaining why you are seeking the position; and
  4. One sample of legal writing which you have entirely written yourself (maximum of 15 pages). Please note that two writing samples are warranted only if you submit a sample in each official language.

In addition, we must receive:

  1. Official law school transcripts - the university must send them directly to the administrators of the law clerk program.
  2. Three letters of reference - the referees must send their letter directly to the administrators of the law clerk program.

You will not be penalized if your official law school transcript or letters of reference are received after the application deadline. However, your application will not be considered complete and submitted for consideration until we have received all necessary documentation.

NOTE: Law school transcripts and letters of reference submitted directly by applicants will not be considered by the Chief Justice or the administrators. Those documents must be forwarded directly to the administrators by the university or the referees, as the case may be. If more than three reference letters are submitted, only the first three received will be considered.

Interviews

Interviews for a clerkship for the year 2022-2023 will take place between February and mid-March 2021.

We thank all applicants for their interest; however, we will only contact those candidates selected for an interview.

Additional Information

For further inquiries regarding the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada clerkship, please contact: Adrian Bieniasiewicz at (613) 948-3540 or by e-mail at clerkship-clericature@cas-satj.gc.ca.

You are also welcome to visit the following Websites:

Articling Requirement

Candidates should consult the law society of the jurisdiction in which they intend to practice, about whether a clerkship at the CMACC constitutes part or all of their articling requirements. Admission to the Bar in any jurisdiction is NOT a requirement for the position.

Terms and Conditions of Employment

Place of Work

Ottawa, Ontario.

Period of Employment

August 9, 2022 to July 28, 2023

Qualifications

  1. Education

    Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor or equivalent completed before August 9, 2022. If you attended law school outside Canada, please visit the following site: www.cicic.ca.

  2. Essential Qualifications

    • Analytical skills
    • Ability to synthesize
    • Ability to conduct research
    • Ability to communicate effectively in writing and orally
  3. Mandatory condition of employment

    Enhanced Secret security clearance.

  4. Varying language requirements

    Proficiency in one of Canada’s official language is mandatory. Proficiency in both official languages will be considered an asset.

  5. Assets

    Interest, knowledge or experience in Criminal Law and/or Military Law.

  6. Pool

    A pool of qualified candidates may be established as a result of this selection process.

  7. Valid email

    Our preference is to communicate with candidates by e-mail. Therefore, you must include in your application a valid e-mail address that is functional at all times and accepts messages from unknown users.

  8. Employment Equity

    The Public Service of Canada is committed to building a skilled, diverse workforce reflective of Canadian society. As a result, it promotes employment equity and encourages you to indicate voluntarily on your application if you are a woman, an Aboriginal person, a person with a disability or a member of a visible minority group.

    The Public Service of Canada is also committed to developing inclusive, barrier-free selection processes and work environments. If contacted in relation to a job opportunity or testing (including interview), you should advise us in a timely fashion of the accommodation measures which must be taken to enable you to be assessed in a fair and equitable manner. Information received relating to accommodation measures will be addressed confidentially.

Salary and Benefits

The current salary is $68,666 per annum.

  1. Leave
  2. Other benefits

    • Dental Plan
      (premiums presently covered by employer)

    • Public Service Health Care Plan (optional - employee and employer contribute)

    • Long Term Disability Insurance (mandatory)

    • Death Benefits (mandatory)

    • Pension Plan (mandatory)

FAQ

  1. Should I take particular courses if I want to clerk at the CMACC?

    The CMACC does not require that clerks take any particular courses. However, given the jurisdiction of the Court, it is helpful to have taken a range of first year and upper-year courses in the fields of Criminal Law and/or Military Law.

  2. Do I submit all my documents online?

    You are required to upload the following directly within the online application : cover letter, C.V., writing sample and undergraduate/graduate transcripts. Special characters (à, é, ç, ê, etc.) should not be used in document titles.

    Although you are required to upload your undergraduate/graduate transcripts in the online application, your law school transcripts MUST be forwarded to us directly by the University Registrar, at the following address:

    Adrian Bieniasiewicz
    CAS - 7th floor
    90 Sparks Street
    Ottawa Ontario
    K1A 0H9

    The University may email your law school transcript to clerkship-clericature@cas-satj.gc.ca.

    Your referees must send their signed letter of reference in PDF format, with the document titled as specified below, to clerkship-clericature@cas-satj.gc.ca.

    The letters should be titled: YOURNAMErefREFEREENAME

    For example, if Professor Ashley Smith writes a letter of reference for John Doe, the letter should be titled: DOErefSMITH

  3. Can I submit my application to multiple courts supported by the Courts Administration Service in one transaction?

    Yes, you can. However, please note that you may only do so if you are applying for any of the following courts: Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada, Federal Court of Appeal and Federal Court. This will not be possible if you wish to apply to the Tax Court of Canada.

  4. What are the Salary/Benefits that a law clerk is entitled to while clerking?

    See section "Salary and Benefits"

  5. What are the expectations for reference letters?

    If you are applying only to the CMACC, reference letters should be addressed “To the Honourable Chief Justice.”

    If you are applying to multiple courts supported by the Courts Administration Service (Federal Court of Appeal, Federal Court, Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada  and Tax Court of Canada), reference letters should be addressed “To the Honourable Justices.”

    They should be signed and, if possible, printed on official letterhead. Preferably, your letters of reference will be submitted by professors of law or legal professionals who have supervised your work.

    Please note that only the first three reference letters received will be considered. If applying to more than one Court, be aware that the same reference letter will be shared among the Courts. Multiple reference letters written to individual Courts by the same referee will not be considered; only the first letter received from each of the three referees will be uploaded to the application.

  6. If my references or law transcript are received after the deadline, am I disqualified?

    You are responsible for submitting a complete online application by January 11, 2021. This includes the documents you are responsible for - cover letter, C.V., writing sample and undergraduate/graduate transcripts. You will not be penalized if your official law school transcript or letters of reference are late. However, be aware that your application cannot be processed and submitted for consideration until all necessary documentation has been received, including the official law school transcript and reference letters.

  7. Once my application is complete, what happens next?

    Once all the necessary documents have been received and it has been determined that you possess all essential qualifications, your application will appear in a database accessible to the Chief Justice. If you wish to also be considered for a clerkship with the Federal Court of Appeal and/or the Federal Court, you may indicate this by selecting all courts in the database. The Chief Justice will make a selection of interviewees, and interviews will be held from February to mid-March. Once the Supreme Court of Canada has made all of its clerkship offers, the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada proceeds with its offer. There is an agreement with the Federal Court of Appeal and the Federal Court to issue simultaneous offers. In the event that you receive several offers, you will have time to decide between the Courts.

  8. Will I be informed if I am not hired?

    Once a law clerk has been hired for the CMACC, the candidates who were interviewed will be informed that the process is complete.

Date modified: 2020-06-03