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UNB law students help Supreme Court resolve challenging legal issues

When a justice of the Supreme Court of Canada calls you, it might be a sign you did something wrong. However, for UNB law students Curtis Doyle (MA'13, JD'20) and Erik Arsenault (JD’21), it was long-awaited good news.

Supreme Court Justice Michael J. Moldaver called Curtis to tell him he had been chosen to serve as his clerk beginning in the summer of 2021.

In the spring of 2021, Erik received news he too would begin a one-year term following the completion of a clerkship at the Ontario Court of Appeal. His SCC clerkship began in the summer of 2022 with The Hon. Justice Andromache Karakatsanis.

The Supreme Court has jurisdiction over disputes in all areas of the law, including constitutional law, administrative law, criminal law and private law. It has made decisions on such important matters as medically assisted dying, Indigenous rights, interprovincial trade and immigration.

The ultimate experiential educational opportunity for law students

During their clerkships, Curtis and Erik put their legal education into action by researching cases, preparing memoranda and generally assisting on the Justices of Canada’s top Court.

Being selected for a clerkship is no small achievement. Every year, the Supreme Court of Canada selects only 36 recent law graduates from among hundreds of applicants. The application process is exhaustive and the qualifications, from academic excellence to interpersonal skills, teamwork and legal experience, are demanding. Just getting an interview is an accomplishment.

Practical focus leads to success

In 2022, UNB Law students accepted clerkships at several prominent courts including the Federal Court of Appeal, the Ontario Court of Appeal, the Federal Court of Canada, and the Tax Court of Canada.

In addition, this past summer, six UNB law students headed to Bay Street in Toronto to work at some of the most prominent full-service law firms in the country and around the world. This was the most significant Toronto recruitment in the last decade.

UNB Law is known among the law schools of Canada for preparing students well for the workplace. Here you will find one of the strongest career-oriented JD programs designed to ensure graduates are ready to take their place in the profession.