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Faculty of Law
UNB Fredericton

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UNB Law Students secure Clerkships at the Ontario and Federal Court of Appeal

Clerkship recipients (left to right): (Back) Mark Browne, Ontario Court of Appeal; Isaac MacLellan, Tax Court of Canada; Ben Roizes, Federal Court; Daniel Escott, Tax Court of Canada. (Front) Patrick Leger, Federal Court of Appeal; Katherine Peterson, Federal Court of Appeal.

Continuing to punch above its weight, UNB Law, with a 2022 grad class of seventy-nine, secured two of the sixteen clerkships at the Federal Court of Appeal. Patrick Leger (JD ’22) and Katherine Peterson (JD ’22) will clerk for justices David W. Stratas and Wyman W. Webb.

Peterson is excited to join the FCA in August 2023; she looks forward to the value this unique opportunity will bring and hopes it will provide clarity for her future career path.

“I hope that this experience, combined with my articling year, will help me decide what area I want to focus on when pursuing a master’s degree. I always knew a master’s was on the horizon for me, but I want to take advantage of opportunities such as this clerkship before turning my attention back to school.”

UNB Law will once again send a clerk to the Ontario Court of Appeal. Third-year student Mark Browne looks forward to observing and supporting the work of the Court in what he expects will be a tremendously intellectually satisfying experience.

"Working alongside justices at one of the country's top appellate courts will sharpen my legal research and writing skills, expose me to appellate advocacy and allow me to continue public service, having already served the legislative and executive branches of government. Most of all, it will place me at the centre of pressing debates on substantial questions of law affecting society and the administration of justice.”

Mark’s clerkship is the third that UNB Law has secured at the Ontario Court of Appeal since 2019.

Fellow grad Ben Roizes will clerk for the FCC’s Hon. Justice Elizabeth Heneghan beginning in August 2023. In reflecting on the difficult application process, Roizes recognizes the extensive support he received from the law school throughout the application and interview, that including being assigned a faculty mentor by the career services office.

“Thank you to my mentor, Prof. Norman Siebrasse, who was not shy to point out deficiencies in my cover letter that I would not have caught otherwise, and to Prof. O’Byrne, who provided helpful feedback and a reference letter. After receiving an offer for an interview, Prof. Thomson and Dean Marin got on a Zoom call with me within minutes to offer advice on how to prepare for the interview. All of this support was critical to my success.”

UNB Law sending two students to the Tax Court of Canada

Additionally, Daniel Escott (JD ’22) and Isaac MacLellan (JD ’22) have secured two of the fifteen clerkship positions offered by the Tax Court of Canada (TCC) to Canadian law graduates. This is the first time the law school has sent multiple students to clerk at the Court in the same year. The pair will begin their 12-month work terms in Ottawa in the summer of 2023.

The TCC clerkship program is unique. Rather than being assigned to one Judge, clerks work in a pool, assigned to individual cases.

“We will have the opportunity to work with all the judges of the court,” said Escott. “This allows us more opportunity to engage with different kinds of subject matter, as each judge has their own niche. We will prepare bench memos, do a lot of research, and may travel with the judges to attend more complex hearings.”

The recruitment process for the TCC is intensive. Short-listed applicants must first complete a written exam, followed by an interview with a panel of three judges. According to Escott, it was the most challenging job application he has ever participated in.

“It’s an exam on tax law—and it is substantive. You are given an obscure case that the TCC has recently decided. You brief it in a way you would for the bench, and then you provide your objective interpretation of the case—where it stands in your understanding of Canadian tax law.”

For Prof. Vokhid Urinov, UNB Law’s resident tax expert, having two students selected in the same year represents a big step forward for the law school’s tax law programming.

“Our tax law program has evolved greatly over the last few years. Our tax clinic has been a runaway success, recently completing its third year of operation, and our Bowman Tax Mooting team had its best performance to date. I believe this year’s success at the TCC demonstrates that our program is gaining trust and goodwill with the Court and that our increased presence will strengthen our relationship with Ottawa.”

Congratulations and good luck to this impressive group of six, and thank you to the many faculty and staff members who offered their support. We also wish the best of luck to recent alumni who will be beginning their clerkships in just a few weeks, Erik Arsenault (JD ’21), who is clerking for Hon. Justice Andromache Karakatsanis at the Supreme Court of Canada and Lori Wareham (JD ’21), who is clerking for Hon. J.D. Denis Pelletier at the Federal Court of Appeal.

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