Law Clerk

Post-Secondary Programs
Credential Earned: Ontario College Diploma (2 Year)
Campus: Distance
Program Length: 4 Semesters

Program Codes
B258 (Distance CH)
B258W (Distance CH – Winter)

Delivery Method
All instructors are offsite and all lectures are provided by distance through video and/or web-based platforms.

Program Description
Offered exclusively online, Northern’s two-year Law Clerk program has built-in flexibility as you gear up for a career as a legal assistant in a law office, or government or industry legal department. Focusing on real estate, wills, estates, and family law and litigation, you’ll learn how to conduct advanced legal research, navigate conflicts of interest, and interview clients to assess the truthfulness of a claim. You’ll get up to speed on legal terminology, master law office management, and even get a crash course in civil and criminal litigation.

What’s more, you’ll also improve your written and verbal communication skills. And ultimately put it all to the test in a fieldwork placement in the working world. This program has both a fall and a winter semester intake. The faculty members are lawyers and law office professionals. The Law Clerk program provides flexibility for returning or mature learners by offering fall and winter intakes. Classes have a regular schedule and students can log into the live classroom from any personal location or Northern College campus.

A 120-hour placement in or nearest to your home community gives you real-world exposure and a real edge in finding work.

Through this online web format, students can see the professor and have the option of sharing their image. The app sharing tool allows for PowerPoint slide presentations, images, documents, and includes a virtual whiteboard. This virtual classroom also provides for chats, polling, verbal and written communication among students and professor. For additional flexibility and access, programs are recorded for student use and review.

Courses in the Law Clerk program are supported asynchronously through the college’s learning management system, Blackboard Learn. Course materials are uploaded online. Students can join discussion boards, share documents, and connect with the professor and other students.

Contact Information

For questions about being admitted into the program, please contact Northern College Admissions at admissions@northern.on.ca or by phone at 705-235-3211 ext. 7222.

For questions about the content of the program, contact the Program Coordinator.

Program Coordinator
Voula Zafiris, M.Ed.
Tel: 705-672-3376 ext. 8838
Email: zafirisv@northern.on.ca

Distance Learning Officer
Eliisa Ollila
Tel: 705-567-9291 ext. 3671
Email: hldisted@northern.on.ca

Student Success & The Northern Experience

Deniese Morris accepting award from Northern College president

“The entire Law Clerk program faculty showed their unwavering dedication to ensuring the academic success of their students. They all made the material being taught in their respective courses come to life, which made it easier to learn and retain the information.”

Deniese Morris
Law Clerk Graduate & Governor General Medal Recipient

 

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Course Information

Course descriptions can be found below.

Please note, course information is based on our current offering and is subject to change. Current students can find more information on courses in their student account.

If you have questions or require program information for previous academic years, please contact the Program Coordinator.

2024-2025 Academic Year

Semester 1

This course will focus on the management of law office/department and office etiquette and enable students to identify and work with time management, file management, and client accounts. It will also introduce the student to legal terminology and citation, legal correspondence, and legal documents. The student will learn techniques to organize job searches, draft cover letters, and tailor resumes specifically for law firms.

42 Hours

Working as a successful Law Clerk for either a law firm, the government, or private industry, requires an individual to possess many skills, not the least of which is the ability to use a variety of software programs to properly draft, create, and format documentation.

This course introduces students to many of the software programs of the MS Office Suite and acts as a guide through the proper use of each program to generate accurate, ready-for-delivery documentation.

42 Hours

This course is designed to give the students a background of real estate terminology, an overview of the steps and procedures of a residential real estate transaction and the purpose of each stage. Emphasis is placed on the law clerk’s role and responsibilities in this process. Estates and interests, legal descriptions, liens, government controls, electronic registration and title searching are discussed and applied to the overall understanding of residential real estate law. Students create transfer, charge and discharge paper documents and access Teraview Web to conduct property and writ searches.

42 Hours

This course introduces students to will clauses and interpretation, intestacy, power of attorney for property, and powers of attorney for personal care. Next: estate administration and estate litigation including common forms of proof for an estate trustee, applying for a certificate of appointment, estate administration tax, asset collection, notifying and paying creditors, accounting to beneficiaries and procedures used to challenge the validity of a will.

42 Hours

Legal Communications is designed to provide the law clerk student with the opportunity to improve their writing skills and to become familiar with various forms of communication required of law clerks and legal assistants. Course material will focus on improving verbal and written skills with an emphasis on spelling, grammar, listening and speaking skills. The fundamentals of writing and formatting memos and letters will also be addressed. An Academic Integrity module aims to familiarize students with plagiarism issues in an academic environment and how to avoid being a victim of academic dishonesty.

42 Hours

In this course students will be introduced to basic substantive law concepts and criminal procedures within the Canadian criminal justice system. The students will analyze the elements of an offence, classify offences and identify possible defences in criminal cases.

42 Hours

Semester 2

Improving your knowledge and understanding of the history of the Indigenous peoples of what we now call Canada is an important step to enable Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, organizations, and communities to work together more respectfully. Throughout this course you will have the opportunity to learn, discuss and reflect about many topics that are relevant in the learning journey towards reconciliation.

42 Hours

This course is designed to enable students to understand and practice the computer applications that are essential in the legal environment. Emphasis is placed on legal software that are used in the majority of law offices, notably software used for family law, litigation, real estate transactions, estate law and legal research.

42 Hours

This course will provide the student with a background in the history of family law in Ontario and an overview of marriage breakdown, spousal and child support, financial disclosure, decision making responsibility and parenting time, the Family Law Rules, separation agreements and equitable property rights.

42 Hours

This course will focus on legal client interviewing. The student will understand the varying issues, needs and emotions that legal clients experience and will learn which techniques should be employed with individual clients.

42 Hours

In this course the students will examine some of the essential features of Canada’s legal system, including the Canadian Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

42 Hours

This course will provide students with a framework within which to analyze the legal dilemmas that lawyers face. Case studies and the Law Society of Ontario’s guidelines will be used to focus on lawyer-client confidentiality and expectations, conflicts of interest, client perjury and how lawyers choose and refuse clients. This course will also examine the paralegal practice in Ontario including the paralegal governance and the ethics and professional practice a paralegal is bound by; duty to client, confidentiality and ethical advocacy.

42 Hours

Semester 3

Hands-on training in fundamental accounting concepts as applied in law firms, and using the legal industry standard of PC Law legal accounting software. Students develop an understanding of general and trust accounts, including the Law Society of Upper Canada’s requirements and the obligations related to trust accounts, preservation of client property and withdrawal of trust monies.

56 Hours

Under the guidance of the Law Clerk program faculty members and their Fieldwork Placement Coordinator, students will apply and demonstrate in a real-world work setting the theories and techniques which they have learned. A 120-hour placement. Equals 1 day/week /15-weeks. No courses on Fridays to support this. While the college provides some assistance to students with their placement search, ultimate responsibility for securing a placement lies with the student.

120 Hours

An overview of the civil court process in Ontario, including a civil law suit, procedures proper to the commencement of proceedings, client management and interviewing. An examination of the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedures and the Courts of Justice Act, and drafting of documents including pleadings, affidavits, motions, using the Ontario Court forms. The last part of the course will deal with the procedure and documents used in the process of: examination of discovery, overview of oral and documentary discovery, pre-trial and trial preparation and the trial procedure.

42 Hours

Students are introduced to Ontario and Canadian corporate law. Emphasis on its practical application in the law office setting. Students learn steps and procedures involved in common corporate transactions and the law clerk’s role and responsibilities in the process; to prepare for shareholders’ and directors’ meetings; draft annual corporate resolutions, assist with corporate reorganizations; and conduct due diligence in commercial transactions. Students learn the background for analyzing corporate management, issuance of shares, annual matters, corporate changes, reorganizations and other advanced issues. They distinguish between business and non-profit corporations and develop ability to conduct due diligence and corporate reviews.

42 Hours

In this course, students will examine intentional torts including interference with economic relations and malicious prosecution along with the unintentional torts such as negligence. This course will also introduce students to the various factors that form a contract and what affects those contracts. The sale of goods legislation and the various consumer protection provisions will also be examined.

42 Hours

In this course the rights and responsibilities of parties, along with the procedural streams and classification of offences of the Provincial Offences Act will be covered. The students will learn practical skills to deal with a client who has been charged under the POA and to make the necessary preparations required for court, including the motions and applications process, the expectations in the courtroom. They will also analyze the workings of the POA trial, including evidence, witnesses, sentencing, reopening and appeals and become familiar with the common offences under the Highway Act and other common Acts.

42 Hours

General Education Courses are selected online each semester by the student from a list provided and exposes students to a related area of study outside of their immediate academic discipline. Certain programs have predetermined electives. 

42 Hours

Semester 4

This course will begin with a review of the stages of a real estate transaction and the scope of practice of a law clerk. The impact of dealing with condominiums, residential tenancies, rural and new homes on a transaction will be explored.  It will analyze two case studies for two agreement of purchase and sales and students will conduct title searches in Teraview Training for both scenarios.The focus will then shift to opening a purchase and sale file for the case scenarios in Unity and students will create all the off-title documents that are required to complete residential real estate transactions. Students will be using Unity software to create all the documents required and work on both a purchase and a sale file and the Teraview Training environment to search real properties and create e-reg documents such as a transfer, charge and a discharge.

Prerequisite: LC1063 Introduction to Real Estate Law

42 Hours

This course exposes students to the steps undertaken during the debt collection process. Topics include opening and organizing a litigation file, commencing proceedings, default judgment, and enforcement remedies at both the Superior court and Small Claims court jurisdictions. Students will create all of the necessary documents required in a litigation suit and enforcement of the judgment in both courts using the ACL software. They will also prepare a teaching lesson on one of the course topics and present it to the class.

42 Hours

This course will provide students an overview of the landlord and tenant process in Ontario, including both residential and commercial tenancy. An examination of landlord and tenancy law; the legal framework and how the law applies to applications and agreements; terminating agreements and processing applications under the Residential Tenancies Act. A review of the steps necessary to increase rent, reductions and rebates. A review and study of offences under the RTA, Housing Cooperatives, and an overview of the Commercial Tenancies Act and the legal obligations of a commercial landlord.

42 Hours

This course provides fundamental and practical understanding of the key legal issues that arise between employers and non-unionized employees. The course provides students with the substantive and procedural knowledge needed to help those facing challenges in the workplace. Students address both common law and legislation and review the statutory enforcement powers available to the Ministry of Labour as well as the prosecution and defence of quasi-criminal regulatory offences in provincial offences court.

42 Hours

This course will provide those students who have gained basic knowledge of legal communications with a detailed analysis of advanced legal research and writing techniques and styles. The student will learn to identify legal issues and determine the correct research tools, in both paper and computerized format, to analyze and understand those issues. The student will develop the ability to locate, read and analyze legislation, regulations and case law and to draft legal memoranda.

42 Hours

General Education Courses are selected online each semester by the student from a list provided and exposes students to a related area of study outside of their immediate academic discipline. Certain programs have predetermined electives. 

42 Hours

Career Ready Graduates

Articulation Agreements

A number of articulation agreements have been negotiated with universities and other institutions across Canada, North America and internationally. These agreements are assessed, revised and updated on a regular basis. Please contact the program coordinator for specific details if you are interested in pursuing such an option.

 

Pathways to Success

Articulation agreements with Laurentian University and UOIT permit graduates to get transfer credits towards an undergrad degree, another academic path for students to write the LSATs for Law School.

 

  1. Support the needs of clients and legal professionals through the use of accurate terminology and professional communication strategies, both orally and in writing.
  2. Complete all work within routine and unexpected timelines and limitation periods within the legal environment.
  3. Use current and relevant electronic and print resources, within the legal environment, to conduct legal research, to assist with file and evidentiary management, to facilitate communication and generate legal documentation, complying with current regulations and procedures.
  4. Research and summarize the presenting legal issues, applying knowledge of substantive law, to support the legal team.
  5. Apply rules of procedure to support best legal practices.
  6. Conduct oneself professionally in adherence to the guidelines of the Law Society of Upper Canada.
  7. Carry out clerical and administrative duties for the operation of a variety of legal environments.
  8. Outline strategies for ongoing professional development to ensure continuing competence as a Law Clerk.
  9. Act equitably and justly with diverse populations.
  10. Provide support for legal professionals in courts and administrative tribunals within the legal system.

Work-Integrated Learning Opportunities

Students will complete a 120-hour Fieldwork Placement as part of their studies to further develop their skills and gain real-world experience. The start of this course will help students create a cover letter and a resume and prepare them for the interview process for their placement in a legal field.  After completing the preparation for placement portion, students are to obtain and arrange a suitable legal Fieldwork Placement in or close to their community with support of the College Placement Coordinator.

 

Career Opportunities

This diploma program offers the student the opportunity to study subject areas necessary to prepare for a career in a law office or related environments, such as legal departments of government and industry. Graduates find emplopyment as a Law Clerk in law firms, record search companies, and in legal departments in the private and public sectors.

Admissions Information & Requirements

Admission Requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)
  • Grade 12 English (C, U)

Or equivalent

 

Academic prerequisites for this program may be obtained free of charge through Academic Upgrading.

Applicants who do not have a high school diploma or equivalent and will have reached the age of 19 years on or before the start of the program must undergo academic testing and may be required to complete Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR) process to demonstrate equivalency of admission requirements prior to admission into a program.

For more details, please contact the Admissions Office at 705-235-7222 or admissions@northern.on.ca.

Tuition, Fees & Payments

Tuition and fees are typically updated yearly for the upcoming Academic Year in May.

Current amount may be based on last years amounts and are subject to change. Ancillary fees vary by campus and program.

If the tuition and fee information for international students does not appear on this page, visit northerncollege.ca/international/tuition to see amounts for general programs.

Please refer to your Student Account for the most up-to-date information.

Student Year Campus Program Code Tuition Ancillary Fees Total Fees
StudentDomesticYear1CampusDistance - CHProgram CodeB258Tuition$2,720.56 Ancillary Fees$910.50 Total$3,631.06
StudentDomesticYear2CampusDistance - CHProgram CodeB258Tuition$2,720.56 Ancillary Fees$822.50 Total$3,543.06
StudentDomesticYear1CampusDistance - CHProgram CodeB258WTuition$1,360.28 Ancillary Fees$854.99 Total$2,215.27
StudentDomesticYear2CampusDistance - CHProgram CodeB258WTuition$2,720.56 Ancillary Fees$822.50 Total$3,543.06
Tuition & Payment Information

Find Your True North.

At Northern College, you’re a part of a community.

From your teachers to support staff and administrators, we are all here to help you get an education and make some lasting connections along the way.

Your success is incredibly important to you, so we provide student supports to help you achieve your goals. From study assistance and accessibility services to mental health supports and financial aid, we’ve got you covered.

Each of Northern’s campuses boasts exercise facilities, a gym, cafeteria, study areas and a library – places that you can go to help keep you focused as you work your way through your studies. The communities we call home are incredible places, filled with amazing people and things to do.

Student Supports & Services

Emma F Law Clerk Graduate

What our students & graduates are saying

“Choosing the Northern College Law Clerk diploma took a lot of soul searching and time before I finally clicked “accept offer!” For me, I had to consider what type of second career I wanted to pursue by balancing the following factors: the type of schedule involved, the industry, the education required, along with my interests and current family responsibilities. The final choice of the Law Clerk program at Northern in partnership with Canadore came down to the accessibility, the course content, the placement portion, and reputation.”

Emma F.
Law Clerk Gradaute

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Here’s how to take your first steps on your new exciting and rewarding career path.

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