Law clerks can’t be prevented from being called to the bar
Steven Barrett recently represented the Association of Law Officers of the Crown in a grievance against the Management Board of Cabinet, which employs the law clerks who work for the Superior Court of Justice.
After ALOC obtained bargaining rights for articling students (including law clerks), the government implemented a pre-employment condition that would prevent Superior Court law clerks who had articled elsewhere (and who were otherwise eligible to be called to the Ontario bar) from being called to the bar during the term of their clerkship. The purpose was to save money – if the clerks became lawyers they would have to be paid at the beginning lawyer rate of ALOC’s collective agreement.
ALOC argued that the government could not unilaterally impose terms and conditions of employment on individuals, given that there was a collective bargaining regime in place and it was the exclusive bargaining agent.
The arbitrator agreed with ALOC. Click here for more information.