If your courtroom fix isn’t being satisfied by the dramatic legal shows on television you may be ready to
take part in your own reality show. The legal world is fast-paced and being a part of the Canadian justice
system can be a thrilling experience. When thinking about pursuing a legal career most people limit
themselves by only considering traditional professions like lawyers and judges. In reality there are several
professionals who keep the legal system moving smoothly.
Law clerks are an essential part of any legal team, helping lawyers and judges prepare by doing
extensive research for a case. There is more responsibility associated with this career than court clerks, if
you’re interested in doing less administrative work and more practical work alongside a legal team this is
the career path to pursue.
So you’re interested in becoming a law clerk, now what? Law clerks earn their educations from accredited
college programs. College programs are ideal if you are a hands-on learner and want to experience the
workplace right away. Several colleges in Ontario offer a law clerk diploma, Centennial College in
Toronto offers a two-year program that is notable. Their program is accredited by the Institute of Law
Clerks of Ontario (ILCO). The ILCO sets the professional standards that are expected of Ontario law clerks.
Developing a college program alongside the leading professional body ensures that you will gain the
professional skills and knowledge you need to continuously improve your skills and contribute to the law
firms and clients you represent.
When it comes to dissecting the program’s curriculum this one delivers. It provides its students with a
complete overview of the legal system and the diverse areas of law so that you can confidently contribute
to any legal situation. The first semester builds your legal foundations with courses that focus on current
issues in Canadian law, strengthen your communications’ ability and business acumen. The course
offerings then become much more specialized with teachings in family law, real estate law, will & estates,
civil litigation and corporate law.
This program delivers a breadth of knowledge needed to work within the legal system, but what makes it
exceptional is the opportunity for you to experience the working world right away. In the final semester
you will take on a 14-week, work placement. Students are given the opportunity to work four-days-per
week in a legal firm, government or business to apply their newly acquired knowledge to the legal
environment. The work placement is an invaluable experience because it gives you work experience that
employers are looking for. After completing the work placement component students find that they gain
more from their education investment because they have a clearer picture of what their future career
entails and the areas they’d like to specialize in.
College programs are distinct because of the life experience they deliver to their students, however
earning a college diploma doesn’t mean you have to close the door on your university degree options. In
today’s working environment most employers want a mix of both worlds: a university degree and plenty
of work experience. When you’re out of high school and choosing your program it can seem like
university and college are two separate worlds that run parallel to each other, but that’s not necessarily
true. Centennial realizes that many students want both so that they can remain competitive in the work
environment, that’s why they have established partnerships with several accredited Canadian universities.
Athabasca University (AB), Algoma University (ON) and the University of New Brunswick are some of the
schools that recognize Centennial College’s Law Clerk diploma and will apply college credits towards
academic study at their institution, allowing students to earn a college diploma and a university degree in
If you are ready to switch from living room court shows into a real-world courtroom drama, you can read
more about this stream of the legal world and the pathways it leads to here.