Get started on your new career as a Law Clerk in just 46 weeks and join the workforce as a specialized professional dealing with the application of law in a variety of settings.
This program prepares students to work in many different legal environments including law offices, government agencies and ministries, legal clinics, financial institutions, and various business enterprises. Our three-semester curriculum provides a solid foundation in legal procedures and substantive law applicable to authorized areas of work for a law clerk. Emphasis is placed on property law, civil litigation, family law, criminal law, wills and estates, legal research and writing, and business law. Students become familiar with office procedures relating to the production of legal documents and specialized legal software programs. Career development is highlighted throughout the program. A four-week work placement provides students with an opportunity to enhance their classroom experience with practical work experience and exposure to potential employers.
A major objective of the program is to develop law clerks who are able to complete independent legal work as part of a team supporting lawyers in the day-to-day routine of their practice. In addition, the combination of business and law subjects provides a strong foundation for career choices in other settings that offer services which apply law to specific interests. Recent employment situations of this type have included court houses, government agencies, community legal clinics, academic institutions, private corporations, insurance companies, and financial institutions.
Credential Obtained in One Calendar Year
Students of this program obtain a full two-year diploma over the course of three consecutive semesters. They can be career-ready in one calendar year!
Opportunities for Additional Credentials
Students of this program are eligible for student membership with the Institute of Law Clerks of Ontario (ILCO). Qualified graduates of this program may apply their academic credits toward ordinary membership in ILCO following employment, or may apply to join other associations such as the Law Clerk Division of the Ontario Trial Lawyers' Association or regional associations of law clerks employed in the field.
This course provides a general overview of the development of legal principles, rights, and responsibilities in the Canadian context, and how they may be applied to selected areas of law that form the substance of other courses in the Law Clerk program. A look at the sources and divisions of law leads into an examination of the Constitution, including its historical development, and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in particular. The course also examines the structure and organization of government in Canada. The executive, legislative and judicial branches are examined, together with contemporary issues in Canadian politics. The structure of the court system is introduced, as are administrative and regulatory bodies. The process by which legislation is developed and implemented is examined. The ethical obligations and roles of legal professionals to the public is provided, as well as the governance by the provincial Law Society.
This course introduces students to the theories and principles that govern creation and transfer of various forms of interests in both personal property and real property in Ontario. A solid understanding of property law concepts is essential for a law clerk as this subject forms the basis for many other areas of law. The course traces the history of property principles and concentrates on definition and classification of current property interests. In addition to examining the various forms of property ownership, students explore the legal restrictions on individual property rights. Further, students study key pieces of legislation that affects property interests in Ontario. A special emphasis is placed on understanding indigenous systems of property in Canada.
This course examines foundational substantive and procedural issues relating to the practice of civil litigation in Ontario. Students acquire knowledge and skills related to the law and procedure of a civil proceeding in the Superior Court of Justice with particular emphasis on the Rules of Civil Procedure including drafting pleadings, service of court documents, discoveries, motions, and pretrial procedures.
This course introduces students to basic forms of communication in the context of the legal profession: written and oral, formal and informal. Students acquire the skills they need to express themselves clearly and concisely in a legal context. Emphasis is placed on developing the rudiments of good writing and legal analysis. Students learn the principles of law office correspondence, memos, reports and summarizing and paraphrase. Students develop active and engaged listening skills to ensure their success in the field of law. Oral, non-verbal, and intercultural communication skills are accentuated. Further, students explore foundational research principles and develop skills related to specialized legal research.
This course provides an introduction to standard computer applications commonly used in a legal office environment, focusing on enabling students to work efficiently and productively. The fundamentals of word processing in MS Word will be applied in the context of legal correspondence, memoranda, and basic legal documents, using correct formatting, spelling, and grammar. Students learn to create professional spreadsheets through Excel. Personal information management systems are also introduced. Emphasis will be placed on building strong and accurate keyboarding and formatting skills. In addition to business software applications, students will become acquainted with professional standards regarding communication by electronic mail and through social media.
This course provides students with knowledge of the principles and legal concepts of residential real estate law. The course focuses on both theory and procedure including legal forms, precedents, and the practical side of real estate transactions. The transactions examined include mortgages, purchases and sales of homes, condominium sales, rural properties, and new construction. Related matters examined include title searches, compliance certificates, requisitions, title insurance, sheriff certificates, zoning and severance applications. This course is intended to develop students' knowledge and application of procedures for a law firm acting for a purchaser, vendor, mortgagor, or mortgagee.
This course provides students with in-depth knowledge of Ontario's inheritance laws and associated procedural matters such as the preparation of wills and powers of attorney documents. Steps in the administration of estates of deceased persons, both testate and intestate, are studied in detail, including the application for certificate of appointment of estate trustees. Estate and trust planning in general receives some consideration, as well as tax issues arising on death. In addition, the course examines various topics in estate mediation and estate litigation.
This course provides students with the skills necessary to research relevant law for lawyers and clients. Students explore research in case law, regulatory and statutory sources, and secondary sources. The course includes training in both traditional and electronic research resources. In addition, students learn effective methods for presenting research findings and incorporating them into firm and client files.
This course develops students' skills within the context of specialized legal procedures. These skills are required to produce legal documents relating to the law clerk's areas of responsibility, including legal correspondence and litigation, corporate law, real estate, wills and estates, and family law. Students learn legal concepts and applications relating to these fields of law and become skilled at completing a variety of legal forms and documents. Through activities such as the study of theory and practical assignments, students are exposed to a wide range of software applications relevant to Law Clerks.
This course examines in detail the rules, procedures and jurisdiction of the Small Claims Court in Ontario together with select adminstrative tribunals and agencies. Students follow a hypothetical client's path through the front door of a law office, to the preparation of and the defense of a claim, service of documents, preparation for and attendance at trial, enforcement of the judgment and the Rules of the Small Claims Court that apply at each stage. The distinguishing features of the Small Claims Court and administrative agencies and tribunals are reviewed along with general principles of advocacy and administrative law.
Prerequisite(s): BLAW 1007
This course enables students to develop their legal research skills as they conduct an in-depth examination of a specific and topical area of law. In the context of producing a formal legal memorandum, students locate, analyze, and synthesize primary and secondary sources related to their chosen subject. The mechanics of formal legal writing, including proofreading and documentation, are explored in detail.
This course expands on students' knowledge of selected current software packages and focuses on the practical hands-on software applications found in law offices. These software packages enable students to produce legal documents in proper format by a specified deadline using applied computer technology. These skills are required to produce legal documents relating to the law clerk's responsibility in the areas of legal correspondence and accounting, family law, litigation, estates, and real estate law. Students learn applications relating to these areas of law and become skilled at completing a variety of legal forms and documents. Through a combination of theory and practical assignments based on the selected software packages, students develop a wide range of technical skills relevant to the career of a law clerk.
In this field placement course, students have the opportunity to apply the theoretical, technical, and procedural knowledge and skills they have developed throughout the program. Students work in a professional legal environment and interact with other legal professionals and clients, producing legal documentation, reviewing client files, conducting file-specific research, observing in-office meetings and courtroom procedures, and completing other duties as assigned by the placement site supervisor.
This course assists students with preparation for their field placement and subsequent employment in the legal environment. Through a series of career development workshops, students gain the skills necessary for a successful job search, beginning with the preparation of cover letters and resumes directed to a variety of law clerk positions. Students are introduced to interview skills, and gain an understanding of themselves as applicants transitioning into potential employees in the legal environment. Students are obliged to seek out and obtain an appropriate placement opportunity that will further their learning and career development and enable them to proceed to their final placement course.
This course examines both substantive and procedural issues relating to the practice of family law in Ontario. Students acquire knowledge and skills related to the law and procedure of marriage, divorce, custody, access, spousal support, child support and the property rights between married spouses in Ontario. An emphasis is placed on procedural skills and application of family law. Students explore legislation and contemporary issues of family law in Ontario.
Prerequisites: BLAW1001 and BLAW1004
Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) with the majority of Grade 11 and 12 courses at the C, U or M level including the following prerequisites:
• Grade 12 English at the C or U level
• Grade 11 Math
For OSSD equivalency options, see Admission Requirements.
Recommended Academic Preparation
Basic computer proficiency in word processing, electronic file management, and email is recommended. Students who do not have these skills are advised to take a basic computer course prior to entry into Semester One.
If you are missing prerequisite courses, enroll in the Career/College Prep program - free for Ontario residents who are 19 years or older.
When computers are required during class hours, students will be working in computer labs. In order to attend virtual or alternate delivery classes, work in teams in virtual workspaces, or complete homework outside of campus and computer lab hours, students will be required to have the following technical equipment at home:
- Windows Personal Computer (laptop or PC) (Mac computers are not compatible with all software applications)
- MS Office (included with St. Lawrence College fees)
- Webcam and microphone
- USB – 16 GB minimum
- Reliable internet connection, preferably high-speed
- Windows version: 10 or later
Our Kingston campus has seen significant renovation over the past few years, including a brand new Student Life and Innovation Centre that houses a new gymnasium, fitness centre, pub, and more.
Law Clerks are valued for their ability to apply legal skills within varied employment settings. Graduates of this program have found employment in law offices, government departments and agencies, courts, legal clinics, insurance companies, community service agencies, financial institutions, and other related environments where a legal background is an asset.
Recent employers include:
- Cunningham Swan LLP
- Bergeron Clifford LLP
- Viner Kennedy LLP
- Napanee Court House
- Frontenac County Court House
- Queen's University
- Green and Spiegel LLP
- Nelligan O'Brien Payne LLP
- Templeman LLP
Programs at St. Lawrence College are delivered using a variety of instruction modes. Courses may be offered in the classroom or lab, entirely online, or in a hybrid mode which combines classroom sessions with online learning activities. Program delivery can be run weekdays, weekends or evenings. Upon registration, each full-time student is provided a St. Lawrence College email account which is used to communicate important information about program or course events.
Students should note that because many courses in this program are taught by legal professionals, class schedules may include evening courses in each semester.
613.544.5400, ext. 1130
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International Students Contact
+1 613.544.5400 ext. 5514
Credit Transfer Opportunities
SLC graduates have many options to continue their studies with post-secondary institutions across Canada and around the world. Agreements between SLC and other institutions that are specific to this program are listed below. In addition, there are many credit transfer pathway agreements between colleges and universities within the province of Ontario. Please also visit www.ontransfer.ca to search for options relevant to your program area of study.
- Athabasca University - Bachelor of Professional Arts ‐ Communication Studies
- Athabasca University - Bachelor of Professional Arts in Human Services
- Athabasca University - Bachelor of Professional Arts ‐ Criminal Justice
- Athabasca University - Bachelor of Professional Arts in Governance, Law & Management