Serving Quebec: Bringing to light the practice of government lawyers

English Closed-Captions are available


My name is Mathieu Trépanier, I coordinate training and recruitment activities within the Sous-ministériat des affaires juridiques of the Ministère de la Justice du Québec. In my recruitment activities, I often explain that to describe the work we do, we are basically the law firm of the Quebec government. If we consult the Act respecting the Ministère de la Justice, in the first sections, it is clearly indicated that the Minister of Justice and Attorney General is responsible for defending all claims for or against the State, so in the end, we represent all the ministries of the Government of Quebec before the courts, but the Minister of Justice also has a role as a jurisconsult and at this level, he provides legal advice to the various government ministries and he also drafts bills and regulations. Of course, we touch on a multitude of legal fields, so you can imagine that the responsibilities of the State, the jurisdictions of the Quebec State are very varied, so we can be in public security, we can be in health, in the environment, in education. Obviously, there are constitutional issues, intellectual property issues, information technology rights, etc. We often boast, and I am convinced that we are right to do so, that we offer some of the best internships for students, future interns. One of our great strengths is that we offer a lot of autonomy to our people, we often have a large volume of work, we have urgent and specific needs, so we involve young people very quickly, whether they are lawyers or notaries, we involve them very quickly in the files, so they acquire a degree of autonomy that is important.

Our young people, on the one hand, they will be involved in files that we will call volume files, so we have several, for example we have government programs for which sometimes there is a challenge that is made, so this is an opportunity often it is several files so it is an opportunity for which they can work and have their autonomy.

Now, there are also larger cases for which the responsibility obviously falls to a lawyer who has more practice and more experience, but often he needs teams around him, so the person who is younger in the team can be brought in, and this is going to be very frequent, to collaborate on these cases, Obviously, the State is involved in all the small and large issues that are in the news, so it is not all the issues that are on our agenda that are in the news, far from it, but there are still some that add a bit of spice to our practice when they arise, So we just have to open the newspaper in the morning and see what the responsibility of the Quebec government is, whether it is for a matter that is in the process of being legislated for example, that is being drafted or that was a bill that was tabled in the National Assembly, you have to know that there is a team of lawyers or notaries who accompany the minister up to the parliamentary committee in Parliament, so these are people who are in our teams who are there where it can also be a file that is in litigation, that is in court, that is in the Supreme Court, again it is our teams that are there. [Music]

The role and practice of the government lawyer is not well known. However, government activities have continued to expand over the last few decades, bringing with them an increasing number of legal issues or disputes.

In Quebec, lawyers working for the Quebec Department of Justice are responsible for providing legal services, both in civil litigation and legal advice, in relation to the complex activities of the Quebec government. More than 500 lawyers and notaries work in the legal teams of the Ministère de la Justice du Québec. These teams are part of a decentralized network of professionals who support the Minister of Justice in his role as Attorney General of Quebec and government jurisconsult.

In this video, Me Mathieu Trépanier explains the exciting and unsuspected challenges of a career in law with the gouvrnment of Quebec. Since 2022, the Ministère de la Justice du Québec has been participating in the internship race and offering law students an alternative in a stimulating professional environment. Me Trépanier explains the particularities of articling at the Ministère de la Justice and how young jurists who are integrated into the teams can aspire to a career in varied and specialized fields of law.

Learn More
About the Lawyer

Stay informed of our latest news and publications