Law clerks and lawyers can often be confused as being the same, due to the similarities in their job tasks and title. In Ontario, the law clerk can be seen as the right hand man to the lawyer. As law firms and corporate legal departments are constantly being challenged to provide the best possible legal council, and stay up to date with the ever-changing legal system, the need for a law clerk is essential. A law clerk has a general knowledge of the law, practices and procedures involved within the particular field of specialization. They can provide very effective and cost efficient benefits, with their services always being provided under the direction and supervision of a lawyer.
The general function of a law clerk is to relieve lawyers of routine legal and administrative matters and assist them in the more complex ones, whether it is in the office of a sole practitioner or at a multinational corporation. The law clerk will support attorneys by assembling and organizing information for legal documents; researching law; assembling case materials; writing reports and memoranda.
There are many law clerk certificate and diploma courses offered by Ontario educational institutions, for those who choose to pursue this career path. After obtaining this, acceptance into the Institute of Law Clerks of Ontario (ILCO) expands your career opportunities. Belonging to the organization allows law clerks to stay up-to-date on the constantly changing field of law
It is often perceived that the study of law is limited to just lawyers. The law is a complex field to get a career in, but offers many opportunities, such as a career as a law clerk.