To find out more about the law clerk experience and the application and selection process, scroll down or click on these links.


Former Chief Justices Constance Glube and Michael MacDonald
unveil a plaque acknowledging past Law Clerks of the Court of Appeal.

Applications and requests for further information should be directed to:

Sarah McClare, Judicial Assistant
Nova Scotia Court of Appeal
The Law Courts
1815 Upper Water Street
Halifax, NS, B3J 1S7

Phone: 902-424-6943

The Law Clerk Experience: An Overview

The law clerks provide legal assistance to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal. Under the supervision of the judges, the clerks work individually on appeals and other matters. They also work collaboratively on special and larger-scale projects.

Their responsibilities at the Court involve the clerks in many areas of the law. Since they actively participate in the assignment of their cases, there are opportunities for them to focus on areas of interest and to explore previously unfamiliar areas of law. The clerks are asked to prepare research memoranda, often on challenging, emerging and unsettled points of law.

Clerks generally attend the hearings of the cases to which they have been assigned. As well, when assigned to assist the Chambers judge, they often attend Court of Appeal Chambers. These attendances allow the clerks to observe many different counsel arguing matters on which the clerks have reviewed the written submissions and may have conducted detailed research.

In working for and interacting with all the judges, and by being exposed to so many issues and counsel, the clerks gain valuable insight into appellate decision-making, effective written and oral advocacy, and the judicial process.

What previous clerks have said about the Law Clerk Experience

“My experience as a Clerk at the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal was the best legal experience I will ever receive. Working on a daily basis with the judges was not only rewarding, but it continues to serve me well in my litigation practice. The opportunity to work with all judges that sit on the Court, and to get perspective on how they consider and analyze the law is truly invaluable. I would highly recommend this opportunity.”

Reunion of former Law Clerks of the
Nova Scotia Court of Appeal (2009)

“Clerking at the Court of Appeal was an incredible experience. I was able to get an intimate knowledge of the courts and how the appeal litigation process works that few people have an opportunity to see. I observed the province’s top litigators in action and worked for some of the best legal minds in the country. It also set me up very well to move forward with my legal career.”

“My clerkship at the Court helped me fully under the ‘behind the scenes’ workings of the Court – process and procedure, what the bench needs in order to properly and effectively decide a case and how it goes about doing its analysis, what constitutes good advocacy skills and how important good advocacy is, and insight into the challenges courts are currently facing, such as difficulties dealing with untrained, self-represented individuals appearing in court, and a lack of accessible legal resources.”

“I still think working for the Court of Appeal was the best job I ever had. It gave me the opportunity to become familiar with many different areas of the law, and helped me to figure out where and how I would most like to practice. Most of all, I enjoyed discussing cases with the justices who were always generous with their time and appreciative of the clerks’ efforts. It was exciting to be able to contribute (albeit in small ways) to shaping the law. When it finally came time to leave, I sought and received excellent advice regarding my future career from many of the justices. I would highly recommend a clerkship to anyone who loves the law, and is looking for a fun, supportive and intellectually stimulating place to work.”

Caroline McInnes was a Clerk of the Court of Appeal from 2008 to 2010. She now works as the Registrar of the Court of Appeal and Prothonotary of the Supreme Court.

Place of Work

The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal is located in the Law Courts at 1815 Upper Water Street in Halifax. The Law Courts building is in the downtown core, overlooking Halifax harbour. Inside the building, the clerks are situated on the 7th Floor near the Judges' Library and the office of the librarian.

For more information on the Halifax Regional Municipality click here to go to the

Period of Employment

The period of employment is for one year. Start dates are generally in July and August, although there may be some flexibility in exceptional circumstances.


The primary duty of the law clerks is to provide legal assistance to the Court of Appeal on a variety of legal subjects. Other duties include:

Conducting detailed research and preparing memoranda of law, as requested by the Judges;
Reviewing appeal materials in preparation for the hearing and, if requested, afterwards to summarize evidence and prepare memoranda of law;
Observing the handling of cases in the Court of Appeal and developing an understanding of the process;
Assisting the Chambers Judge and reviewing files before or after Chambers sessions, and providing research as 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;
Involvement in 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 clerks may also be asked to provide administrative assistance to the Court, including:

~ Managing the database of court decisions, on a relief basis;
~ Supervising work of part-time student clerks;
~ Coordinating class visits to the Court; and
~ Acting as the backup to the Publications Manager in the release of court decisions.


All applicants must have graduated from a recognized law school. 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.

Number of Positions Available

The number of law clerk positions may vary from year to year. Typically, one to three positions will be filled each year.

Salaries and Benefits

The salary and benefits for Court of Appeal law clerks in 2022/2023 has not yet been confirmed. Below is the salary information for the previous year:

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.

Vacation - 15 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 he or she 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.

How to Apply

All clerkship applications (including transcripts and letters of reference) must be received by 4:30 p.m. AST on Friday, March 10, 2023. Candidates must submit:

  A cover letter;
  A Curriculum Vitae (CV);
  An official law school transcript (sealed). This document can be mailed, hand-delivered or the Registrar can email an eletronic version to; and
  Three letters of reference. If reference letters are submitted by email, the letters must be signed, in PDF format, and submitted by the person providing the reference. Alternatively, hard copies of documents may be mailed or hand-delivered. Please do not staple your docments.


Emailed documents must be in PDF format. If submitting your cover letter and Curriculum Vitae (CV) by email, the subjest line should read:


LAST NAME, First Name - Clerking Application
(for example: MACDONALD, Catherine - Clerking Application)


Please submit applications to:


Sarah McClare, Judicial Assistant

Nova Scotia Court of Appeal

The Law Courts

1815 Upper Water St.

Halifax, NS B3J 1S7

Receipt of all applications will be acknowledged. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted. Interviews are typically held in April and may be conducted by telephone if distance inhibits travel or in other exceptional circumstances. Successful candidates are advised shortly after the interview process is complete.

For a printable version of the information on this page CLICK HERE >>

For more information on the Court of Appeal Clerkship program, go to FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS >>