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  1. 25 points
    I didn’t read this whole thread but I’m pretty sure that part of what’s going on here is that you need to stop giving a shit so much. This is one of the most important and underrated skills of having a successful career. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve watched burn out of jobs or the profession altogether because they drive themselves crazy. A lot of “success” in any business, and in having a happy life in general, is learning to calm down. If somebody asks you to write a factum in a day they’re going to get whatever an articling student can churn out in a day, which is going to be hot garbage, but so what? Obviously it wasn’t very important if they’ve asked you - an articling student - to do it in a day. It’s not sustainable to treat this as a life or death thing. Just do your best and forget it. I’ll let you in on a little secret: nothing you do matters that much. You’re a paper pusher. A desk jockey. Even more than that you’re a junior paper pusher. You have to let things go. You’re not a heart surgeon, and even heart surgeons have to let it go. I don’t have the constitution to be a heart surgeon and have people die on my table and just walk out and forget it but I thank god that some people do because we need these people. But your situation is even easier because you’re just a lawyer. What you do does. not. matter. Especially on the margins. You really think that guy was going free or getting custody because your third edit of some paragraph really changed the judge’s mind? Just do what you can and move on to the next thing. If you can get the hang of this you’ll have a longer and more successful career than people who don’t and you’ll provide more value to your clients too, because you’ll get better with more experience without burning out. That’s the guy I want operating on my heart when the time comes.
  2. 25 points
    Hi everyone, I'm pleased to finally release a project that I've been working on since law school started last fall. It's a web app that builds off of my current one, but makes substantial improvements. It has the following features: Admissions FAQ - The number one thing that applicants come here for is to find answers to their common law school questions. I've compiled all of the information I've gleaned over the course of the last several years related to admissions from a variety of sources, including this website, practitioners, and a number of law school colleagues who've served on admissions committees. Hopefully it will help out new applicants! OLSAS GPA Calculator - Much like the old one, it calculates your OLSAS GPA, but it's cleaner, supports applicants who have grades from more than one university, and supports grades from US schools. It also saves your grades so you can edit them later. Admissions Predictor - I've expanded on the old utility and included some feedback about grades and LSAT that will be personalized to your stats. It even has a neat graph to go with it. And, it gives you your chances given the model I built from the data on this website. Personal Statement Assembler - One of the main problems I had when I applied was the fact that OLSAS is terrible with personal statements. It mangled what I typed if it contained certain special characters. Character counts were way different than the ones you got from Word if you pasted stuff in, so you ended up having to edit in-place. The editor times out after a while, so hitting save sometimes became a gamble. The personal statement assembler presents you with the prompts from each school and gives you a much nicer editor that counts characters like OLSAS and replaces special characters with their ordinary alternatives. It also saves your place regularly, so you don't end up losing everything by accident. It basically gets your personal statement ready to be pasted into OLSAS. You can see some screenshots of these features on the home page. There's even a neat feature where you can take the grades and test scores you entered and create an anonymized link so you can share them with people here (or elsewhere) and get feedback. Your schools, courses, and any identifying info will be redacted, and you can disable the link whenever you want. My goal with this is to make the law school application process as painless as possible. Hopefully this helps a bit. I'm always looking for feedback, so feel free to shoot me a message or reply! PS - I should note that this is a personal project and is not affiliated with Morgan or ls.ca, so if you have any questions about it, I'm the guy to contact!
  3. 21 points
    As sometimes happens, the problem with this thread is that it's trying to be two things at once. Those things are, roughly: 1. I have a problem, what can I do to solve it? 2. I am miserable, and I want my misery validated. For the last couple of pages, this discussion has been entirely about "2." Not surprising. OP isn't helping himself there, because that's all he wants to complain about. Every suggestion that his misery ins't objectively reasonable gets met with more argument. Here's the thing, though. It doesn't matter. Misery doesn't need to be valid to be real. One person's dream job is another person's nightmare. Arguing over how a person "should" feel about something has got to be the stupidest waste of time imaginable. So here's my only advice to the OP on that topic. When you are feeling shitty about your life, confide in your friends and family who have a natural wellspring of affection for you. Don't bring it to the Internet. You won't do well here. On the first question, which is actually the more important one from the perspective of helping the OP in any meaningful way, the answer is fairly simple. Many articling situations are difficult and disappointing. Not surprisingly, many first jobs in law don't turn out to be everything that every law student ever wanted. But it's less than a year of your life and you get through it. If you are not being abused or asked to do unethical things, then it doesn't sound like there's anything wrong, exactly, with this job, other than the fact that it's not what you want. I think everyone (including the OP) blew past the point where he complained about the work itself (too much research, no time in court, no client interaction, etc) and that's actually really important. It's easy to do work you enjoy. But I'd be miserable too sitting at a computer writing all day also. The good news is, once you get called you can reexamine your situation and find whatever work in law that you want, or do something else entirely. But the "solution" to your problem, in immediate terms, is to suck it up and realize that it's a short term thing that you get through. Let me add two final points. First, this has been canvassed above, before, but if you actually feel like you're on the verge of losing it, stop what you're doing and get help. Get real help. My version of problem-solving help may be the last thing that someone in genuine crisis needs. Get help-help. Second, your need to be right is interfering with your need to be happy. Stop trying to convince everyone else working in law that the thing that makes you unhappy represents some kind of universal injustice that everyone should be outraged about. Your problem is that you are unhappy - not that you are the only sane person who sees slavery and exploitation where everyone else sees a good job. So you gotta let that one go.
  4. 16 points
  5. 15 points
    I'm a solo practitioner who is working to expand, and as part of that I just finished going about hiring an articling student. What follows is my advice to students on what to and not to do in the course of securing an articling spot. Please note that this does not necessarily work with every other employer, even if they are small firms. These are merely my own observations and views based on my recent experience in hiring an articling student, mixed in with my experience of hiring summer students in the past. I will break this down into the following sections: Cover Letter, Resume, Application in General, Interview, Application Procedure, and Concluding Thoughts. Cover Letter The reason I put the cover letter first is because it is the single most important thing I look at. Surprised? Frankly, I was too. When I was a student I didn't think the cover letter mattered all that much. What could you possibly want to know about me that isn't in my resume? That's where my education and experience are, so why do you want me to state it again in the cover letter? Well, it turns out, employers don't want that. We've just gotten used to it because, frankly, most applications suck. 1. I'm going to lay a hard truth on you now. You aren't special. I know, Disney said otherwise, but you have no idea how not-special people are until you've got a bunch of CV's lined up and everyone is basically the same. Most of the classes are the same, most of the grades are pretty close (that B curve...), most of you have the same experiences as each other (basically pick two or three of a legal clinic, pro bono, writing for or editing a law journal, entry level summer position at a firm where you basically filed documents when you weren't just sitting around with nothing to do, and/or some kind of law school club). Do you know what I use the cover letter for? I use it to determine if you can string coherent sentences together. How's your spelling and grammar. Did you manage to spell my name/the name of my firm correctly? No joke, that's how low the bar is. What I've found is that a lot of people are very, VERY careless with their cover letters. You know what it says to me if you're careless with your job application? It tells me that you have poor attention to detail and are going to let a lot of things slip through the cracks. 2. Your cover letter should make it seem like you bothered to look at my firm's website. It's not rare that I get a cover letter that talks about wanting to do stuff that my firm clearly doesn't do. 3. I get it. You're busy. I remember thinking "I don't have time to make an individualized cover letter for every single firm." That's fine. I did the same thing. But you can't make it be obvious that you didn't care. If you want to design paragraphs that you can just reuse again and again and just have to change out the firm name, that's fine, but at least put some effort into that. 4. So if the basic use of a cover letter, for my purposes, is to see that a person can manage to show basic attention to detail, good spelling, grammar, and writing habits, what does a great cover letter look like? The best cover letter I have ever seen was submitted this summer by a Queen's student. He had three solid paragraphs on what he could do for me and my firm, and a final short paragraph about why he was interested in working for me. The paragraphs were concise and got straight to the point. He had clearly either looked at my website or else had devised a cover letter that worked for small firms and blended things very well. He talked about what he'd accomplish and that translates into "this kid will make my life better," and "this guy will help my business grow/help me make money." I was ready to hire him over the phone just based on that. Sadly, when I called him to book the interview the very next day, he'd received a job offer that morning and taken it. Just based on how amazing his cover letter was, I wanted to hire him. I had my assistant look into the budget to see if we could increase what we were going to pay because I didn't want him to slip away. THAT is what a good cover letter can do. You have to think about it from the employer's perspective. I'm not trying to hire someone so I can give someone a job. I have a need that I am trying to meet. What is my need? How do you help fulfill that need? That's what you need to ask yourself. It has little to nothing to do with what you're interested in or mentor-ship (usually. That said, I personally get a kick out of teaching and mentoring so I do look for an eager student as well). 5. By the way, if you have a problem with your academic history, such as your grades or a gap in time, confront that in your cover letter. Don't go on about it at great length, but at least mention it and be upfront. One of the students I interviewed had such a deficiency in his academics that I almost tossed his application into the pile of applications to interview only if I didn't find a winner in my top 10 list (I broke down the applications into an initial top 10, followed by subsequent groups of 10). But when I looked over his cover letter, I was impressed that he addressed the issue. He did it succinctly and directly. I respected that and put him straight into the top 10 to interview (I didn't select him in the end, but I think he was in my top 3). 6. Oh, and don't include weird stuff. If your cover letter starts to read like a dating profile then I'm going to slowly get weirded out. 7. As an additional note, I'm just going to point out that women are really kicking men's asses in this area. So to the men reading, if you want to do better then maybe talk to women you know. I find women put in the effort to properly edit their cover letters, and pay close attention to detail. When it isn't done, then it really shows, and guys... your stuff really shows. Also, men seem to be prone to doing weird stuff like giving me strange information and even including head shots. Why would you do this? I'm told it's common in Europe, but this isn't Europe. Do the normal things everyone else is doing! Resume 1. Your resume's all look fairly standard, and that's not a bad thing. When resumes stood out for me because of their style instead of their content, it was NEVER for a good reason. You want to go the extra mile on your resume style? Make sure it matches the style of your cover letter and reference list (if you make one. I did when I was applying around, since it give a quick reference guide, but you don't have to, in my opinion). If you use a letter head that indicates your contact info and name, and especially if it has a line below it to separate it from the page, then it should align with the one on your cover letter. It makes it look crisp, well thought out, and well put together instead of being a hodgepodge of documents. 2. As for how you order the content, I recommend that you start with your education (which can include a section on awards, or you can weave it in to the education points), then go to work experience, then go to volunteer, and then leave associations/clubs for last (if you do it at all. Frankly, you should only be listing that stuff if you did something on the exec).You can have a publication section if it's applicable, but I'd probably put that after work experience. Frankly, your education and work experience should appear on the first page. It's okay if your work experience bleeds onto the second page, but that's why you always do these things with the most recent stuff first. 3. If you're going to include an "interests" section, please keep it really, REALLY short. It can be one line at the very bottom. 4. If you went to school abroad, please don't put your work experience first and then bury your education on the second page. Every single time I saw this it was done by an Ontario student who went to school abroad at one of the usual suspects (Bond, City of London, Leicester, Cooley, etc.). It's not clever. It just makes me assume you're ashamed of where you went. Pretty well anyone looking at your application will assume you went to one of those schools because you couldn't get into school in Ontario or even Canada at large. Maybe your undergrad grades were crap (usually the case from what I saw), or maybe your LSAT score wasn't good enough (which I assumed was the case when the undergraduate grades seemed fine). But then there's always the chance that you actually wanted to go to one of those schools (for some weird reason), or that you were actually a fine student with a fine LSAT score and just didn't get into a Canadian school. It happens. I'm sure there are a number of people who go to these schools who were the final ones to not make the list into a law school here who were as good or even better than the bottom admits who may have been admitted for other random reasons (like a particularly good entry essay/"about me" section/personal statement). Be upfront. Trying to hide this stuff makes me think that 1. you're ashamed, and 2. you think you can pull that one past me (or anyone. We will obviously check where you went, if only out of curiosity). Hiding it does nothing. It doesn't emphasize your experience to me. Have both education and work experience on the first page and you're fine. I will sift through your resume to find what I want in the order I want to find it (what school did you go to, what experience do you have, did you keep busy with extra-curriculars instead of work experience, is your resume a hot mess). It doesn't increase your odds of me noticing your work experience and it just makes you stand out as different from the rest of the applicants (and not in a way that's good). Law isn't generally about reinventing the wheel. We have particular formats that we MUST follow. I want to see that you can follow a format. What you do inside of that format is where you can impress me. Great experience, great writing, etc. but if you can't handle formatting/instructions then we have a problem and I don't care what experience you have. Whether I like it or not I have to submit stuff in particular formats as mandated by the courts and/or the government. That's life. Application in General 1. Your formatting should match throughout. It just looks better and doesn't look half-hazard as a result of mismatch. 2. On a couple of occasions (it's rare that I do it) I have seen applications where I thought the applicant might be interesting and worth at least an interview, but their application was kind of crap. On one occasion I asked the individual to redo their application package and resubmit it. I even gave notes as to what I thought the problems were (normally they'd just go into the rejection pile, but there was something about this person that made me interested enough to want to give them a second chance). What was sent back to me was largely the same damn thing. They made a few changes, but they didn't alter one of my main notes to them, and then justified leaving it as was in the email back to me. Basically, I thought they put too much about their interests all over the application. Again, to be frank, I don't care about your interests. That you really like to bake is not going to make me hire you (though when you mention particular things that you cook my assistant wonders if you're going to bring samples to the interview since you talk it up so much). I informed this applicant that it was a bit strange that it appeared so prominently in their cover letter, and then again in the resume interests. While it was fine to have it in their resume interests, the cover letter wasn't really the place for it and there was more I wanted to know. They emailed back that they decided to leave it all in because they'd gotten good feedback and follow up questions about it from others who had interviewed them. In my head, all I could think was "I'm sure you got follow up questions, and feedback, but I don't think the feedback was as good as you think it was." Basically, it's something that makes you stand out in a weird way. Not that baking is a weird hobby, but just that it's a weird choice to feature it so prominently when applying for a position that has nothing to do with baking. Also, I had just given them negative feedback about it but they chose to leave it in. Even if you want to leave it in for other interviews, at least take it out for the person who is giving you a second shot. Not doing so makes you look stubborn and incapable of following instructions, not to mention bad with constructive criticism and feedback. 3. Speaking of following instructions... FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS. Check the website of the law firm. Read the instructions regarding the application carefully. Before I go through the applications my assistant divides them up. The easiest separation she does (beyond just checking for spelling and grammar in the cover letter. And I don't mean with a dictionary, I mean just on reading through it for command of the English language) is those who were able to follow instructions and provide a full application package and those who couldn't/didn't. If you're asked for a cover letter, resume, transcripts, and letters of reference (if any) then provide those. And I recommend doing it IN THAT ORDER (that being the order listed). I ask for them in that order because 1. that's usually how it's done, 2. that order makes a lot of sense if you think about it, and 3. that's the order in which I care about what you're submitting. Same thing with the writing sample (arguably I rank that one above the letters of reference). 4. By the way, with your letters of reference, I'm rarely reading them in full. Usually I skip to the bottom to see how they recommend you in the last line or two. Usually that indicates to me how strongly they felt about recommending you, and whether or not they did it because they felt obligated to or because they were legitimately happy to recommend you. Not that your letters of reference will make or break you (at least with me. I think I'd use them as a tie breaker usually), but I want you to know what I'm looking for, and how many shortcuts there are for your interviewers to read between the lines. I think I've only ever called on reference, and it was for the articling student I just hired. There was a lot in there that was great, but there were one or two things that weren't where we'd want it. It came down to him and one other applicant who didn't have any flags but also didn't have as many strong positives in their favour (in particular it was . I had my assistant call the reference and confirm what was in the letter and the nature of the experience that was listed in the resume. If it checked out and they were as excited about the applicant as they seemed in the letter then he'd get the job. If not, then I'd give it to the safer bet with less experience. Everything checked out, and the reference couldn't say enough good things about the applicant. So that's who we went with. 5. Oh, last point, but this related to the weird stuff in cover letters and resumes, because I don't care about your interests you shouldn't include weird stuff that makes me dwell on it. Usually it's guys who are guilty of this because they like to let me know that they enjoy deadlifting and the like. Just say "working out" or "going to the gym." It's an application, not a dating profile. Interview 1. Don't just be on time, be early. I think 15 minutes is good. Half an hour is ridiculous and a bit weird. Just a few minutes is the same thing as being dead on time. Reasons to be early: a). It makes you seem interested and eager. b). It makes you seem punctual, good at planning, responsible, and generally on the ball. c). I may be able to see you earlier than we planned/booked because of any number of reasons, and it puts me in a better mood to remain productive and therefore have the option to see you a bit earlier. I've actually done this when applicants showed up early and the interview before them (or meeting, or phone call, or whatever) is cancelled. d). If you're going to be late, or you think you'll be late, CALL US! Give us a heads up. Making your excuses once you arrive makes me think you were late and misjudged things and now you're lying to me with a fake excuse. Calling while you're on your way to say "I'm so sorry, but there's been an accident on the road and we're all just stuck and not moving" or "my cab got lost," or whatever, makes me believe you, see you as considerate with regards to the time of others, level headed, thinking clearly under pressure, and just generally on top of things. That said, it's always best to not be late, because it means you adequately evaluated how much time you'd need to accomplish the task of arriving. 2. During the interview, do not interrupt. Speak clearly. If you're offered water and you know you tend to get a bit dry mouth during these situations, ACCEPT THE WATER! Don't feel like you need to fill all moments of silence with noise. I'm not looking for noise, I'm looking for good answers. You don't have to "uuummm" and "aauuuuhhh" before you speak. Take a moment. Take a breath. Take a sip of water. Think about what you're going to say. People who seem calm, confident, collected, and like they're thinking things through go a LONG way in my books. 3. The first question you're asked is either going to be an ice breaker or, in the case of other firms, a standard "why do you want to work here" or something like that. For my ice breaker questions I will ask you something that stood out for me from your resume or transcripts. Did you list that you like to do spelunking? I'm going to ask you about cave diving (please don't make any sexual innuendos. Because we want everything to be above board we won't be making such jokes, we won't be responding, and that means your comment will just hang in the air awkwardly). Did you take weird sounding courses like "thinking about thought?" I will ask you what you learned in that. I generally don't care about the answer. I'm looking to make you feel more comfortable by giving you a genuine softball as the first pitch. I know these things are stressful (and some of you show up shaking like leaf), and my philosophy is that you will eventually become comfortable working here even if you're hella nervous and anxious most of the time, and that you will likely do better work when relaxed, and that the interview process is stressful, so if I can help you relax a bit then I'll get to know more about the real you and whether or not I want to work with you. 4. That said, no matter how comfortable we get during the interview, remember that it's still an interview. Sit up, don't lean back and to the side in the chair. Don't slouch. Don't get overly casual in your language. For the love of god, don't start talking to me about family issues or mental health problems, because I promise you I'm a lawyer and not your therapist! There is a time and a place for that sort of discussion and it's NOT in the middle of your interview. 5. Oh, and you may be interested in work life balance, but please don't use the term "work life balance." You want to ask me about the hours? Fine. Do so. But when you tell me that you're concerned about work life balance then it really does conjure up this notion of fragility (rightly or wrongly). I know the big downtown firms talk about it on their websites and in seminars, but I promise you that they don't actually care. They're trying to attract top level candidates but they will chew you up and spit you out (I've known a few friends who went and then left the practice of law all together afterwards because of the stress). If you're concerned about work life balance then ask the questions around it, don't just ask me about work life balance. I'm usually in the office 7 days a week and 12 to 16 hour days are not uncommon for me at all. I don't expect you to do that (obviously. The burdens of a small business owner are not something I would shovel onto a student), but I don't want to hear about your need to ensure that you've got enough time to Netflix and chill. The reason I work those long days and hours now is because I'm still young enough to do so and I assume it will pay off for me with an easier time later. If you tell me that your priority is balance now then I assume you're not someone who thinks about short term sacrifice for long term gain. How does that help you? 6. When you come to the interview, bring additional copies of your application package (make sure you're using the right one for the right firm). I've never needed them, but you should have them in case. If I've lost your application then I probably won't waste time to go find it and will continue on without it. It sucks, but that means a worse interview for you. I prepare for the interviews I hold, but not everyone does, so come prepared. 7. Make sure what you're wearing looks good/appropriate. This is really more directed at the men, so I'm going to talk about this in terms of suits (I don't think there's ever been a problem with what women have worn to interviews at my office). Please make sure your suit fits. Some of you show up in suits that you look like you're swimming in, and they're almost always plain black (I assume it's for funerals). I assume it's your dad's suit and you're borrowing it. Do yourself a favour and go to Moores when there's a special on (like a two for one sale). You need a blue one (dark blue. It's not prom) and either charcoal or grey. Do NOT go plain black (that's for proms, weddings, and funerals). Get some shirts that fit properly. Look at tie combinations. Don't just go with a plain one, but don't go crazy with the patterning. It should look nice but not be something I keep staring at because I can't figure out what's going on with the pattern. With blue suits you should wear brown or burgundy shoes with a matching belt (for bonus points, if your watch has a leather strap, match the watch strap/watch). If you're wearing charcoal/black, then only black shoes and belt will do. If you're wearing grey, you can go with just about any set of shoes and matching belt, though I find burgundy doesn't look as good with grey, and I prefer black with it (in all cases, your socks should match your suit pants. Not exactly, obviously, but blue with blue, grey with grey, black with black). The standard is a white shirt, but you can go with colour just don't go overboard. Subtlety is good. If you're going to do colour, then I recommend a tie that has colours of the shirt and the suit in it (or at least of the shirt). If you talk to someone at Moores they can help you out. French cuffs are a bit much, so I don't care how much you like your cuff links you should leave it at home. Don't wear lapel pins (unless it's remembrance day, then the poppy is fine), and pocket squares are unnecessary (but if it's part of your style, then sure. Just keep in mind we can often tell when you're not comfortable with what you're wearing and that it's just not your style). Tie clips are fine (I wear them), but please wear them properly. If you wear them right at the top then I assume you figured you should "bling" up and add flair, but you have no idea what it's actually for and so you just look ridiculous. Wear the tie clip about 1/3rd to half way down. I usually put mine towards the bottom of where the skinny part of the tie is behind the main tie. Also, make sure the tie clip matches with what your wearing. I take into account the finish on my watch and the buckle on my belt, as well as the colour of the tie. You want to look put together. Oh, but don't bother with a three piece suit. You will just look uncomfortable. Those things are better when you're going to be taking your jacket off, and you shouldn't take it off during the interview. Also, this isn't 'Suits', it's real life. Speaking of Suits, don't buy high peak lapel suits. That's a Harvey Spektor thing, but no one actually does that unless it's on a Tuxedo or you're running a game show or hosting an auction (something like that). Go regular notched lapel. And while having your pants tapered can look nice, I recommend doing it as a slight taper from the knee down. Doing it higher up makes them look like you're trying to recreate skinny jeans. If you can't afford a lot of tailoring then that's fine, but at least get what you buy off the rack fitted to you. There's plenty of places you can go to get that done cheap (often most small shops that do dry cleaning services will do it). Best bet is to go shopping with a friend who knows something about this stuff and go to a place like Moores and they'll help you out. 8. You will see me taking notes. Don't get flustered about me writing stuff down. I may not be writing down anything related to what you're talking about in the moment. It may not even be about you if I've just had a thought about something else. Sometimes I'm writing down exactly what you said because I like the way it sounds and I may want to quote it later. Sometimes I'm taking notes like "good posture," or "answered directly," or other things like that. Don't get nervous, just keep talking to me. Even if I'm not making eye contact while doing it, you should still be looking towards me (or my assistant, who sits in on interviews) ready to make eye contact. 9. If you've prepared an "elevator answer," try not to stick to the script too hard. In fact, scripts are lame. I want to see how you do as just you. On the subject of yourself, you shouldn't need much preparation. 10. Have questions prepared to ask me about the firm, or your duties, or anything like that. It's okay if I end up answering the question before you get to ask it when I give you a spiel about us. You can say so, I won't hold it against you. But you should seem like you at least thought about it. 11. While my assistant sits in on the interviews, don't read too much into it if she has to leave in the middle. Assistants handle all the things that keep the firm running so that lawyers just have to sit down and do the work they can bill for and then pay the assistants. While big firms might do this, I don't like to charge for check-up phone calls or drafting confirmation letters, or doing anything that isn't legal work. My opinion is everything else required to do the legal work should be built into the price. In order to do that, assistants have to carry a lot of the burden and sometimes that means she doesn't have a solid half an hour to an hour to sit there. Usually I'll warn interviewees as we get started, but just in case, don't read too much into it (unless it's right after you said something that caused my facial expression to change and you weren't sure if you should have said it but decided to anyway. Then it might be an indication of what you just said... so, you know, don't say inappropriate stuff!) 12. Likewise, don't get too nervous if the interview gets a bit shorter than you expected. The articling student we hired was one of our shorter interviews. The interview length tends to be determined by a few things, including when I feel like I've got the information I need, how quickly you answer questions, how quickly I remember the questions and think of follow ups (which sometimes can take me a couple tries to frame and phrase properly. I'm only human), and whether or not I start droning on in answer to a question of yours. Don't feel bad about it. It often doesn't mean too much (unless I just feel like I'm getting nowhere with you and your answers aren't addressing the questions). Sometimes the length of the interview will be affected by things that have NOTHING to do with you. As the day wears on, I get more efficient at asking questions and drawing out answers, so that cuts down on the time too. 13. Your handshake should not be weak. Don't squeeze off my hand, but I shouldn't be shaking a wet noodle. Have direction behind it. Don't just put your hand in my hand. 14. If you've got an interview, odds are that you're going to look, on paper, pretty similar to the others, and that likely means you have similar ideas about work and the like. Many of you interview quite similar (so my notes often say things like "confident" or "well spoken). Interviews are more of an elimination round than anything. You don't win much, though you CAN if you blow us away (we like confidence, good command of language, direct in speech, and good at talking about what you can do and what you've overcome). Application Procedure 1. When you receive notice about the interview, it's a good idea to follow up and confirm the date and time. It makes you look organized. Feel free to ask if you should bring anything additional or if we want additional information. People who look eager are great! 2. If you email or call in, we do make note of that. One application that made it into our top picks was only selected because the individual called back to confirm everything and was well spoken on the phone. I didn't even speak to him. My assistant liked how confident he sounded. 3. Be nice and respectful to everyone at the firm, not just the lawyer interviewing you. The assistant you might not think much of? She's more helpful to me than any 10 of you. Good assistants keep a firm running. Great assistants basically run the firm and just give the lawyers law stuff to do. I have a great assistant. I can't do without her, meanwhile I don't even know your name. If you're rude to her, take a guess at how that will play for you. Also, who do you think controls the order in which I look at these applications? Whose opinion do you think I will listen to about them? If you can't get along with my assistant then you can't work here, because I need her and she's amazing at her job. And if she's not happy, that's going to effect me and my practice. When you're rude to my assistant, she will tell me. She will mark it down on your application and make sure I know about it, because she knows I will back her up (if only because she backs me up). So do yourself a favour and don't be an ass. 4. After the interview, do a thank you email. I always thought these were stupid, but once you're on the other side you like to know that it's appreciated that your time was taken up. Actually, I don't even care about that so much, but it's more that it starts to stick out when someone DOESN'T do it vs. doing it. Also, my assistant likes it and, well... see above. 5. If you don't get the job, it's okay to follow up and ask what you could have done better. Generally, people don't mind that. But don't be surprised when sometimes it's ineffable. Often there isn't one mistake I can attribute it to. Sometimes it's just that another person had more experience in an area I need someone with experience. Sometimes it's demeanor/attitude, and sometimes it's confidence, and sometimes it's that you made an inappropriate comment or seemed to not know about the firm at all. But often it's that you were just edged out based on something else (not always, though. At bigger firms it's different. But here, I don't have the time to interview a hundred people, so it's a pretty hard selection process to get to the interview stage). 6. When communicating with the firm, I should not suddenly be receiving lots of emails from you. One to confirm the interview and follow up with questions if any, and a thank you afterwards. We're not pen pals (also, you'll probably be dealing with my assistant). 7. DO NOT try to add me on LinkedIn or other social media at any point during the course of the application process. It's seriously weird to me. I don't know if that's a younger person thing (not that I'm that old, I'm only at the old end of millennials so there shouldn't be THAT much difference in our thinking) but it's strange. We're not buddies. If you get the job, I guess you can add me on LinkedIn (not that I use it), but generally you should wait until you've started the job. Concluding Thoughts There is a standard way of doing the interview process that you shouldn't deviate from. Most of the decision process is made by eliminating people who make mistakes (incomplete package, bad formatting, poor grammar and spelling/command of the English language, poor communication skills in the interview, not following standard procedures). If your application is just plain weak, then you've got problems. Poor grades, going abroad to a last-chance-law-school, and no work experience will simply not bode well for you. I guess you can do the LPP, but you'll still have to pass the NCA's and Bar exams. After that you need to either start your own firm or adjust your expectations severely in terms of what your work will look like. A lot of places you want to work won't hire you, and the places that will hire you will have lousy pay structures. You've got to think about that stuff carefully when doing this. If you haven't gone to law school yet but are considering it and you can foresee these problems. then maybe think hard before committing to this career path (it could be an expensive mistake). Also, if you get hired, that isn't the end of things. I have been deeply impressed by my recent hire who asked if there was legislation or acts he should be reading before starting so that he's up to date on areas of particular concern to me, and offered to assist with some things. That's one hell of a way to impress, which is especially important in firms where you want to be hired back or get a really strong letter of reference. Frankly, I think all of this can be summed up by effort. Some people are prepared to put in the effort, and other people aren't. If you're ready to make the effort to do things properly, you'll do fine. If you aren't, then you won't. Good luck out there.
  6. 15 points
    It really, really depends on what kind of law you're doing. I know some people that love their jobs and live for the weekend. Their jobs are excruciatingly dull. They interface with people at banks and financial companies whose jobs are also excruciatingly dull. But they bond over that and gossip about TV shows or concerts and make a good network of client/friends, and at the end of the week have a palatial cottage in the Muskokas where they can shake off the detritus of the week. There are other people that have jobs that just really suck. Same kind of case or deal every single day. They're stuck doing it, and they don't like it, and so they do a bad job, then they get in trouble and the spiral of not liking the job continues. I don't blame those people at all for living for the weekend. Some people are living their ideology, working for Legal Aid or political or non-profit organizations or in immigration or criminal defence. Their work might be hard but it's incredibly fulfilling and they'll often tell you it's more of a calling than a job. I always love doing pro bono work and helping real people with problems they can't work through. I don't know if they would call it fun, but their work gives their life a higher meaning and they can see the good they're doing in their communities. Then there are dopes like me out here doing complex litigation. I love this job. I'm learning about a new industry every week --- electrical engineering, pharmacy, bedpan manufacturing, hot dog processing --- and playing a sophisticated game against motivated, well-trained opponents. I'm a private investigator, business advisor, nonfiction writer, advocate, academic or interrogator depending on the hour of the day. As I often say, this job is great --- there's just sometimes a little too much of it. Don't get me wrong, I look forward to the weekends. But this is the first job I've had where I never feel like I'm dragging myself to the office in the morning. I'm at least neutral, and often motivated to get in here every day and kick some ass. My advice to law students and young associates is usually to pay a lot more attention to the kind of lifestyle associated with a certain kind of practice, and less about the academic content of that area of law. Most of the time people will settle on their jobs due to things like hours, contact with other people, stress, predictability, and the skills they get to use, rather than settling on bankruptcy because they think the laws are neat.
  7. 14 points
    Some thoughts (caveat, long time since I did this, and PT solo only - because I'm happier with FT work another field): 1. GET HELP ASAP. Your mental and physical health and interests of your employer and clients all, at the extreme end, match up. If someone has serious problems, better - however difficult or embarrassing - to address them ASAP while it's controllable, not after it's too late for you (and clients and the firm) to deal with things. How and what to do, I don't know, I don't know you and wouldn't presume to advise you specifically. So my advice is, get competent advice and help. I don't know whether the Ontario lawyer assistance phone plan for stress/wellness etc. covers articling students or not (and even if so that's only an initial call) but you say you're in a mid-size Ontario city, there are resources. Employer might have a confidential EAP program. Etc. 2. You may be embarrassed and not want to talk to anyone, but you need to. Start anonymous and hour own professionals (family and friends it depends on whether or not they can be helpful or more not understanding why you're stressed). You will need to talk to your articling principal/mentors/others also, but since you haven't already I assume you don't consider them that approachable so start with other sources of help? But, I don't know your situation. 3. Item 1 above is more important - your own health and safeguarding the interests of clients and your employer. Then, you can think about and get advice on, to the extent possible, figuring out what to do career-wise. Can you safely (to your own mental/physical health and that of clients and employer) stick it out until the end of articles, even if after being called you leave the profession? Do you need to stop now, whether or not you ever return? I don't know, that's why you need to get competent advice. I think that if safely possible, getting called gives you more future options even if not the practice of law, but that is very much secondary to your own safety etc. as per #1 above. 4. I think I read a few years ago a US figure, within 5 years of graduating law school fewer than 50% are practicing law. I say that because, if you end up leaving law, you are far from the only one.
  8. 14 points
    Thought I'd follow-up on this thread. I didn't get into the JD-MGA program in the end (and honestly, I'm kind of glad I didn't). I just wanted to thank everyone who shared their thoughts last fall. I took much of this discussion to heart, even if it was a little hard to hear at first (mainly because I'd already based part of my submitted personal statements on an admittedly naive and under-informed notion of international law). Anyway, largely because of the discussion here, I amended parts of my PS for later-cycle school applications - one of which turned into an offer of acceptance. I've come to realize that my initial motivations were not the problem per say, but the path I envisioned was probably unrealistic. I know there is so much work to be done to help protect human rights and civil liberties here in Canada (criminal defense, immigration, refugee law, to name a few) and I hope to pursue something along those lines. That being said, I'm really looking forward to learning more about the above areas of law (along with other areas of practice) and feel open to going in other directions. Time will tell. Thanks again... Cheers.
  9. 13 points
    Some light reading for you guys: http://www.lsuc.on.ca/integrity/ https://www.lawsociety.bc.ca/support-and-resources-for-lawyers/act-rules-and-code/code-of-professional-conduct-for-british-columbia/chapter-3-–-relationship-to-clients/ etc.
  10. 12 points
    U of T grads are also more likely to be intolerable ballbags than most other people.
  11. 12 points
    I don't have any basis to ground this on, but when I read this forum, I get the sense that most posters are white. I will preface this by saying I am no expert in sociological or anthropological studies, but as a visible minority who was brought up by first generation immigrants, I want to point that cultural differences play a very important factor in considering what constitutes as "prestige". Many of my peers comprise of students who were raised within the same context. For our parents, us making it through undergrad and then into professional school, is a huge accomplishment that brings a tremendous amount of pride to our family. You would think that merely "making it" is enough - but it is not. There is a huge amount of pressure on us to "repay" our parents' sacrifice, and that means aspiring to the highest goal possible. I understand some (if not all) of you may feel that Bay Street is not the pinnacle. However, a "Bay Street Job" represents something "tangible" that we can bring back to our parents as a quantifiable accomplishment to show them that their hopes and dreams for us were not in vain. That six figure first year associate salary is something that they can understand. I can guarantee they couldn't tell you who the seven sister firms are even if you gave them a multiple choice test of a) Davies b) Toys R us c) Wal-Mart d) Canadian Tire. But yet, us being downtown, at a prominent centre that pays a lot is something they can take comfort and solace in. Are we wrong for wanting to do our parents proud? I personally don't think so. Do I have "problems" as providence may put it? Sure. But this is 25~ years of upbringing that we have experienced, and it's not something that can be placated by a simple "no one really cares once you are in practice". Even if I agree with all of you, (and on some level I do), the "debt" I owe my parents trumps that. I don't know why I wrote all this, but I just wanted to share another viewpoint that I haven't seen posted in this thread yet.
  12. 12 points
    Also, FWIW, anyone getting into a Bay Street gig for the "prestige" is going to be pretty disappointed. 1. Your friends and family are always going to treat you like you. They might be proud of you, but they're going to keep on being annoyed by the things about you that are annoying, and they'll still support you just as much as they ever have. Mostly they'll be concerned about the number of hours you're working, and upset or offended at how distracted you seem during family events, or how often you cancel plans or forget to get back to their e-mails. Your job stops being impressive pretty quick and just becomes the norm, and eventually becomes an inconvenience or even a flashpoint. 2. Normal people you meet generally respond in the following ways to hearing that you practice on Bay Street*: Tell you about their family member who is in a law-related job, or express their own thoughts about going into law one day Berate you for being a corporate whore (people are surprisingly unfiltered) Immediately ask you for information about their domestic assault charges Kind of gradually stop talking to you I think people just kind of treat lawyers the same, possibly a little worse if you carry the stigma of working for faceless corporations. 3. Your lawyer/law-related friends don't give two toots about where you work because they know three complete morons that are also on Bay Street and it couldn't be less demystified for them. 4. Law students will be very impressed and press you for an unofficial job interview. * I avoid bringing it up as much as possible, but sometimes it's unavoidable.
  13. 11 points
    60 hours as 6 10 hour days is pretty normal for an articling student or a lawyer. That’s pretty good work-life balance to me. That being said, yes, look after your mental health first and foremost. But those hours are not unreasonable. Expecting to work 9-5 while articling is.
  14. 11 points
    Lol. Please, don't spend your summer doing this stupid shit.
  15. 11 points
    Fuckit, you can defend your PS all you want. It sounds like you're still not willing to change, so we're all wasting our time, just like the first thread on your PS. Knock down our advice all you want, most of the people who have given you feedback have either been accepted, or have long finished law school. Perhaps there's a pattern to our advice, seeing as the sample size has grown to the point where you can draw some meaningful correlations. Rewrite it or don't, it literally couldn't affect me less. But it seems like you're backing a losing horse, and if you're not willing to make changes (to your PS, the schools you apply to, etc) to your application, you're gonna be shelling out to OLSAS for a very long time.
  16. 11 points
    This topic has been flogged to death, and everything important has already been said. But just for future reference, you've got that backwards. When someone has already done something, berating them at length is a waste of time. All you can do is engage with the consequences of their actions. It's when someone hasn't done something yet, but either came close or it or is thinking about it, that a long response is appropriate. Because then you can prevent the stupid shit from happening in the first place. Law can be a great profession. And I'm not going to give you a lecture about how you have to cross every t, dot every i, and follow every rule. I know great lawyers who don't do that. And I know opinions will differ and I've just made a controversial statement, but in some practice environments I consider it damn near impossible to follow every rule - and certainly impossible while serving marginalized clients effectively and in volume, for example. That said, law is a profession where you absolutely must know what you are doing, and not doing, at all times. What concerns me isn't that you asked about breaking a very important rule - though you were asking about breaking an important rule, and in a way you should never break it - but that you asked about it in a way that reveals you don't even know the rule exists, and/or that you don't understand how it works or why it matters. And that is really, really bad. Accept the correction and get your shit together. Because if you don't, it's going to eventually cause one of those nightmares from which your career is unlikely to recover.
  17. 10 points
    On this note I do think this is an issue that should be specifically addressed in a mandatory session in the first week of law school. Maybe bring in someone from the Law Society or the insurer, but basically just go through the rules: Here is the Law Society Act, here is what it says about unauthorized practice of law, here is how that is defined, here are the potential consequences, here are the exceptions that allow you to do your clinics, here is the number to call if you have questions. I daresay this would be a more valuable contribution to good conduct in the profession than the ethical lawyering 1L course I got at Osgoode.
  18. 10 points
    You should charge $0 and also not do it.
  19. 10 points
    Seriously, if that’s what people actually think I would be happy to mentor them as follows: -take them down to their local fast food joint to talk to the single mothers working there. One woman at my closest Subway raises 4 children alone on minimum wage. -ask how she keeps lights and heat on, keeps her phone connected, pays bills on time and buys food (hint: she doesn’t) -be glad you are not her, or are not her anymore -get some fucking perspective I mean seriously, you’ve beaten the odds by getting into law school and further beaten them by getting a Bay Street offer. You want more?????? There are people who will never make it to law school who would be great lawyers. My mother, the smartest woman I know, cleans houses and getting that job was an accomplishment for her. Come on!!!! Law schools really are doing a terrible job with admissions if this attitude is common.
  20. 10 points
    I ran some interviews recently and I can share some of my totally subjective takeaways. 1. Be prepared to carry the conversation if the interviewer hesitates. We do run out of things to say. This is not an opportunity for you to blurt your resume. Assume we have read your resume. This is the chance to tell a quick story and ask an enlightened question. So if after a few questions your interviewer makes some offhand comment about the heat: Bad: Yes! I was actually just thinking about the weather today because in my moot, where I came first in my school, after an internal competition and then competing nationally we came second, which was a really fantastic and educational experience, there was a case I had to research which wasn’t really on point so of course I didn’t include it since I know we need to keep submissions focused, but anyway, the weathervane on the guy’s house was really important to the evidence because it - well, there was something about it anyway and it used to get really hot in our library where I spent lots of time researching because I LOVE researching, so this job really appeals to me - and I like court too, obviously. But the air conditioning kept breaking. Good: I remember being really happy about the air conditioning in court last fall, because for our moot we had to wear the full vest and robes and it gets hot when you’re under pressure! How have you found litigating for this firm, do you have a chance to wear your robes fairly often? The bad candidate wears their nerves like armour and comes across as earnest but scattered, desperate to get it all out before they are interrupted. The good candidate has brought up a topic to prompt the interviewer and steered it into a nice, easy direction, allowing some back and forth and is also feeling out how often counsel might appear in superior court. 2. Don’t play games or take it lightly. Don’t refer to other interviews or offers in an effort to make you seem desirable, don’t humblebrag, don’t tell stories that make other people look bad to contrast how good you look by comparison. No one wants to work with that person. As an extension of this do not gossip. You have no idea who you are talking to. That judge you are about to disparage, that lawyer who screwed up in court, the student in your school who did X - just go ahead and assume they are a close personal relative to the interviewer. Discretion and civility are cornerstones to this profession. Demonstrate them. 3. The details matter. My very first stop after each interview was with the receptionist. I wanted to know who was polite, who was friendly, who was dismissive, who was visibly agitated. And believe me, I heard all of the above. The friendly candidate got an edge. Read your job posting carefully. Some one drafted it that way for a reason. While almost no interviews are skills testing scenarios, a passing knowledge of the basics of that area of law is probably a good thing to have. This could come up, even subtlety. The candidate who responds with obvious familiarity with the subject gets an edge. Dress appropriately. The interview is not a time to try out your new personality. Slicked back hair with sunglasses on top or a bright red micro skirt are not interview appropriate attire. Anything stained - no. Anything wrinkled - no.Your clothes should not speak louder than you do. The candidate that looks like s/he could walk straight into court gets an edge. Basic hygiene. Brush AND floss your teeth (seriously!) and wear deodorant and do not wear scent. The colleague one office over might have terrible allergies. Your interviewer might hate bergamot. Many offices are scent free these days for a reason. Be considerate. Finally, if you need a suggestion as to tone: treat your interviewer like a friend’s parent just brought into your home. You don’t know each other but you want them to feel comfortable, learn about you, give you a chance to get to know them. Friendly, warm, relaxed, with just an extra bit of professional polish and probably less personal topics of discussion Hope that helps.
  21. 10 points
    Can’t hear you over the roar of my Porsche’s engine.
  22. 10 points
    Here is where the deviousness is located. And you can agree, or disagree. But the point at which we butt heads is usually at this intersection. I'll agree that for a candidate who goes in with their eyes open, and as the best of bad options a foreign law degree isn't necessarily the wrong choice. And a foreign graduate with the right skills, attitude, and a dash of luck can be successful upon return. But anyone who'd recommend this as a preferred path, or blind themselves to how hard and uncertain this path really is, relative to learning law in a domestic program, is crazy. Usually you seem willing to agree with this, in broad terms. Sometimes, I feel like you seem so invested in defending your own success that you are willing to hold it out as a model to follow. And truly, it isn't. At least not until all other options are exhausted. So what's wrong with leading high school graduates directly into some combined bullshit-at-Trent/Laurier degree, followed by a weak foreign law program? The problem is that it deprives these students of the opportunity to choose a better, surer, faster, and less expensive path into the legal profession. You finished your undergrad with no other options. These students haven't even started their undergrad yet. Some could get into domestic law schools but may not explore those options at all, because they've been rooked early into this sham. Many, many more are simply students without your grit and inherent ability, and they are going to be some of the bad statistics that go into the rule that produces you as the exception. And the few who might have ended up as foreign law students anyway - hoping to become better students in law school after extremely undistinguished performance in undergrad - those few are guaranteed to have that opportunity regardless. Come on. These are foreign law schools that take anyone with a BA and a cheque book. Truly, the best that could be said about these combined programs is that in a small minority of cases they do no harm. And it gets much, much worse from there.
  23. 10 points
    I went to Osgoode and worked in the admissions department, so I'll give you my thoughts. Based on numbers alone, you have no chance. The people who get into Osgoode with numbers in your range are anomalies and should not be taken as examples (probably less than 10 students out of a class of 290, and most of them were mature students with significant work experience). I say throw in an application to Osgoode but do not hedge your bets on it. Invest your time and energy at other schools like Windsor, that do have a truly holistic process and care more about your personal circumstances and extracurriculars. Osgoode receives 2500+ applications for 290 spots, and there will be people applying with better stats than yours who have similar experiences. I scanned your experiences and it's rather common among the Osgoode student body; this is not to take away from it but to say that it may not be as unique as you think. There were students in my class who came from poverty, who are immigrants, who are racialized minorities, who are LGBTQ, who had family and personal tragedies, who can speak multiple languages (very diverse class), who had significant work and volunteer experiences, etc. Osgoode is one of the most diverse law schools in Canada (along with Windsor and Ottawa). I would also be careful about trying to get an acceptance through a "pity parade" of sorts. Ultimately, Osgoode does want to accept a class of very accomplished individuals, who would benefit the legal profession and bring respect and recognition to the school. Don't be misled by students getting in with lower stats - most of them were mature applicants with 5+ years of work experience under their belt. The average cGPA was a 3.67 and average LSAT score a 162 for the last couple of rounds. To put it into perspective, I had a 160+ LSAT score and 3.7+ GPA and fell into at least four of the "categories" you had listed under your experiences. Good luck and I think you have a shot at other law schools, but not really Osgoode unless you get extremely lucky. Edit: Reference letters don't make or break an application (unless it's extremely negative). Profreader mentioned this in another thread, but you can't know how strong a reference letter is if you have not read them. Now if you have read them, then it's also subjective based on the person reading the letter. Most law school applicants have good/strong letters in general.
  24. 9 points
    I have negative net worth, am medium-adjusted and at the top of the bottom of the profession! That's something!
  25. 9 points
    Hellz naw. This is terrible, ridiculous advice. It's not even advice. It's a guilt trip meant to try to get someone who's dealing with a crap situation to give up their spot for someone else's benefit by taking advantage of their difficulties. Nobody on that list is entitled to a spot that's already been given to someone who deserved to be there and desperately wants to go. OP should do everything in their power to find a way to make it work if they can.
  26. 9 points
    180. That'll increase your chances pretty significantly. Like... shouldn't you be aiming for as high as you can? The higher you score, the better your chances anywhere. Would a "162+" increase your chances? Yes, in comparison to a 161. And a 161 will increase your chances in comparison to a 160. And so on. Now if you were asking about specific schools and wanted to see your chances given your GPA and a certain LSAT score, then sure ask away. But I would also implore you to check out the accepted threads to see successful applicants and their stats, look for people with a similar cGPA and see what LSAT score they had to get in.
  27. 9 points
    You could work as a Crown.
  28. 9 points
    I spent 3 years in York Housing and did not get my #1 choice of apartment for the first two years. The best apartments fill up extremely fast. If you submit an application later than April there's a very good chance you won't be getting your preferred accommodations. In my first year I tried to get a place at Atkinson and was told spots filled up for the following school year in February. I hear Passy is not as difficult but the 1 bedroom spots fill up very fast. I remember that in 1L, despite accomodations being "guaranteed", those who didn't apply fast enough were out of luck (I have no idea why they even offer guaranteed housing if they can't honour it TBH). I have a few friends who ended up having to look at off-campus options or alternatively looking at other on-campus apartments. For those who have been told that they have housing but are waiting to hear back on the type - be mindful that guaranteed accommodations means a spot, not your preferred spot. As a tip for anyone reading this forum, I have generally had more success reaching housing by telephone using the general number posted on their site (someone always answers). Emails sometimes take days to be answered, if they're answered at all. Many people end up leaving campus for the summer and then return in the fall. The strike may have resulted in a number of students who elected to defer their studies remaining in their units to complete their classes over the summer. Nothing to do with picket lines. The strike only caused delays for anyone who drove to school. There was absolutely no impact on those who live on campus or use TTC to get to campus. I lived on campus during the strike and didn't encounter a single picketer getting to and from class. Same for friends who came in on the subway (the station is in the middle of campus, away from main road arteries). You wouldn't even know there was a strike. As for the asylum seekers, I am not aware of any being housed at Passy and do not believe they have anything to do with why you're unable to secure housing, or why York is taking forever to return your emails. I take issue with referring to them as "illegal", but that's an argument for a different thread. I will say that you should recognize how absolutely privileged you are to have the means to embark on a nearly $30,000+ per year, top-notch legal education. Not only do you have access this education, but whether it be a 1 bedroom or a bachelor unit, you have the means to put a roof over your head. You should be extremely grateful. Check your privilege.
  29. 9 points
    Sometimes kcraigsejong and I get along on these topics, and sometimes we find ourselves badly opposed. I'm not really sure why, since I could swear my position on foreign law programs is pretty consistent. But I'm not going to start parsing the presentation of their programs on their host university websites. I don't think any school is stupid enough to outright lie, and I'm not saying that they are outright lying. I'm just saying that they are offering the illusion of advantage to ignorant high school applicants (OMG - I can apply to a law program right away!) while they are actually locking their "successful" applicants into exactly the opposite. Since this discussion is going nowhere fast anyway, I'll just make the obvious and necessary reply to this, which I declined to do earlier because it just seemed too mean. Yes, you could be a 5th year call instead of a 2nd year call. And while you are a lawyer in either case, you could be far better off than you are right now - which is to say far less debt or far more savings. And that's not a trivial consideration. You are ducking the question with bigger offices, nicer neighborhoods, etc. It's fine to phrase that question as though everyone's career goals are superficial and trivial. But truthfully, they aren't. Here's the gut punch. You know - and I know - that you don't really have the job you want or the practice you would hope to have. That's fine. Not everyone does. It's a goal to strive for and I truly hope that you one day get there. But if you're going to tell me that you are bone-deep sure that the long, difficult, round-about way you took to become a lawyer in Canada cost you nothing in the end, and you ended up exactly where you'd be regardless ... hell, I can't even finish that sentence. I know you won't tell me that because it's ridiculous. You can't know that. We can't know the path not taken, and there's even some possibility things would have turned out worse had you attended a Canadian law school. But since we can't know the future, we can only go on what's likely. And the likely truth is that you'd have been a better, stronger, more competitive applicant on the job market years sooner. And you want to pretend that's nothing, but we all know it isn't. I can't for the life of me understand why you're so eager to pretend it isn't true, unless it's just a need to delude yourself. Honestly, your whole argument is embarrassing. It's like you're paraphrasing the old joke. "What do you call the guy who graduates bottom of his class in medical school?" Yes, we know. "You call him 'doctor.'" Ha ha. Funny joke. Also true. But no one - literally no one - is so dumb as to believe this joke implies that you might as well graduate at the bottom of your class as at the top, because those results are somehow equivalent. Or that the opportunities that follow next will be the same.
  30. 9 points
  31. 9 points
    "Oh look how impressive I stretch my salary to live in Vancouver, while dodging the one cost that Vancouver is notorious for in actually making living expensive. You guys are complaining about NOTHING!" Puke.
  32. 9 points
    You know, you're throwing a lot of attitude for a guy who showed up here basically yesterday. You may well have a good perspective on issues relating to law school and legal practice, and I haven't seen any evidence yet that you don't know what you're taking about. But you're coming close, here. Any applicant, regardless of references or whatever else, with a 3.3 GPA and a 155 LSAT is obviously a weaker applicant. But the suggestion that a B+ average student could not have strong references - which is to say, could not have impressed professors or other individuals in authority in meaningful ways - is really just absurd. It's an idea that's blatantly at odds with reality. So, yeah. I don't know anything about this student otherwise. But it's entirely possible (though also highly speculative, as mentioned already) that they could have strong references.
  33. 9 points
    @OP - Here are some loosely-related observations that may help you. First, articling is just one of those things you get through. Not everyone articles in completely ideal circumstances. Sounds to me like you've got a pretty decent job aside from the pay issue. Now I'm not saying that makes the issue trivial, but other students end up articling in areas of law they don't want to practice, in highly stressful environments, etc. There's usually something that isn't ideal. Now I'm sure you aren't enjoying this pay issue you have going on, but assuming you were being truthful when you said that money isn't a primary concern for you, you might want to consider - would you rather be making good money is an area of law you don't like? Or making some other compromise? Just something to help put things in perspective. Second, you shouldn't quit articles save for a damn good reason. I'm not one of these people who is going to point out the rules and say "you must follow these rules or dire consequences ensure!" Realistically, you can get away with breaking this and many other rules without anything really happening, save damaging your reputation. But damaging your reputation is a big deal in this game. There may be good reasons to quit articles. In fact I'm sure there are. But "I made a bad deal and now regret it" isn't one of them. Third, your apparent fear that you'll be offered a lowball hireback after finishing articles is just ... bizarre. You complete your articles because you said you would. That's a thing you do. After that, what you do is your own choice. If you get an offer you don't like, don't take it. Honestly, right now you sound like some boy (or some girl) asked you to the prom, and you said yes but now regret it. Agonizing over what you should do next is natural - though I do recommend you keep your word. But imagining that if you go to the prom with this person you'll somehow be obligated to date them for the next three years and then marry them ... that's just weird. Your apparent lack of belief in your own agency is troubling. Fourth, you describe yourself as entrepreneurial, but I worry you may not know what that means in practice. You seem to have trouble convincing your employer of what you are worth and/or have trouble obtaining your fair share of what you're worth in return for your work. You're so bad at this you fail at even raising the topic properly. As a sole practitioner, you don't need to convince just one employer of what you're worth and convince them to pay you properly - you need to convince each and every client of your value, and convince them to pay you properly. If you find that hard, then man you have a lot of work to do. Not to say it's an impossible skill to learn. Others have, and you can too. But while you may be good at some things that entrepreneurs do, you clearly lack in some of the core skillset. Fifth and finally, it's nice you are owning your role in this, but assuming this job actually is paying you less than minimum wage (and by that I mean, less than about $500/week gross) I actually agree that should have been signaled. Now it's also possible you may have missed it. I found myself offering a job to someone once who got all the way though our hiring process, was thrilled to have the job, and then at the end asked what it paid. The pay was posted. And it concerned me this person we just hired seemed to have missed critical information. So just maybe the information was out there. If it wasn't the employer is partly at fault. I'll debate back and forth whether it's ethical to offer articles that aren't paid or aren't paid like any real job. But I think you at least have to warn applicants of what they are applying for if you're going to do that. So if it helps, you can feel validated. It's not just you (unless you missed it). It's a valuable lesson. Learn it and move on. And once you're called to the bar, the next time someone offers you a job, don't want to be told what they are willing to give you - describe what you imagine you are worth. Be realistic, and do the math. Learn the business side of law or you'll always be clueless. But then stand on what you're worth and sell yourself. If you can't advocate for yourself how the hell are you going to do that for a client. Good luck.
  34. 8 points
    Was 49 to 52. In and will be accepting. second Ontario school choice and first admit after a hard series of waitlists.
  35. 8 points
    Everything prov said above. Additionally, I look forward to weekends more now that I have the money to do almost anything I want.
  36. 8 points
    I would find sitting in an office doing solicitor work to be excruciatingly boring. I find my job fun - I love it. I do criminal defence. My job has lots of variety and is literally never boring. I meet with clients from all walks of life - new Canadians, indigenous peoples, rich kids gone bad, street people, blue collar people, youth, seniors - in my office or in jail. I see every emotion and experience you can imagine. I frequently get cases with novel legal issues that stretch my brain and sometimes I get to argue them on appeal and once in a while I contribute to a change in the law! I get the constant rush of going to court and cross-examining people, sometimes catching them in lies, and going back and forth arguing a point with a judge. I enjoy entrepreneurship too which is why I run my own firm with a few colleagues. I absolutely love the feeling of knowing I own and control my own business and don’t work for anyone. I will still sometimes say that I can’t wait for the weekend. Doing all of the above is stressful and intense and sometimes you need a break. And as much as I love my job, I also love my husband and kids and other friends and family and I look forward to and treasure my time with them. So being excited about our weekend plans doesn’t mean I don’t love my job. There are threads about teaching law and the years of study that go into that - it isn’t something you switch to after practice just like that. Some highly respected practitioners do teach a class or two here and there.
  37. 8 points
    pretty suspect personality trait
  38. 8 points
    Would I still get into the law school I got into years ago? Would I be able to get into all of the schools that I have taught at? Nope, better not to know .
  39. 8 points
    hey welcome, ill throw in my 2 cents, 1.co op would be a nice thing to add for experiences, plus in case law school doesn't work up you don't have all your eggs in one basket and are building to have other options available to you, It wont hurt your applications of course it could help ( gpa and lsat are king for Canadian law admissions), the difference a year would make in the big picture is something you must determine, maybe imagine looking back at the age of 40, would you regret taking the year to do the co op? 2. they will look at both, the website says how many credits can be dropped depending on where you are with your degree, they will assess your cgpa by taking all the courses during your undergrad together ( regardless of where taken, as long as they were courses at the bachelors level they will be assessed, call them to verify this though perhaps some details could alter this), adding them all together, then dividing by total number of courses taken all together, then applying drops if applicable depending on the lowest grades overall, your gpa as you have mentioned will not be competitive for ubc thus far, their cgpa average is 83% with drops, you don't choose anything you submit all undergrad transcripts, they look at it all eg I did my first year at York, second and third year at UTM, fourth year at ST George ( the last two are the same school, just 2 different campuses of U of T similar to the 2 campuses UBC has) and every single course I ever took was looked at from each institution and added to my cgpa 3. you could try to raise your cgpa, you're 2 years into your degree I'm guessing at this point, It could be an impossibility mathematically at this point to get into competitive ranges for cgpa ( to give a better idea though we need an lsat score, if you could get close enough for cgpa but destroy the lsat then maybe the index score for ubc might balance out, again to many if's, we need the lsat as well to give an idea of where your stats would compare to class profiles since the score it based of both factors combined together and not separately), but you could definitely try to focus more on last 2 focused schools eg dal, queen, western, etc., it kind of depends on where your gpa goes, as of right now your in a tough spot all over Canada, if it improves over next 2 years different story. retaking classes wouldn't help, all course attempts will be included in the gpa calculations, the previous record cannot be erased it will be looked at no matter what, for ubc some grades are dropped if you are eligible again check the website for that 4. for lsat there is an lsat dedicated area of this site that can really help. Try the powerscore series, or 7 sage, both good areas to start to cover what the lsat touches on very helpful. Get your hands on as many practice tests as possible, and after learning about this test from things like powerscore or 7sage use the practice tests as way to help you study for the real test. No limits on how many times you can take the lsat, most schools including ubc take only the highest score, if the lsat after numerous attempts is not good enough then at that point in time a strategy could be devised to help you if you wish to go that route, but for now just think positive and study hard and lets see what happens with the lsat attempt. I think the lsat is now offered 4 times a year. Applications open up in November I believe, the lsat ideally should be done before the year ends eg take the December lsat or the ones before, I say do at least the few ones before December leaving room for rewrites with ease, the feb. is accepted by some schools but I'm telling you it can screw with the application when you write the feb lsat I don't recommend doing that, I also don't recommend using the dec lsat as the first write for the cycle you will be applying. Everything happens a year earlier btw, if I wanna go next year September to law school in 2019, I have to apply in 2018, have the lsat ideally done when I apply or at the latest in December imo 5. Only other schools in BC are uvic ( Victoria) and tru ( Kamloops) I think, UVIC is pretty much exactly the same in terms of admission profiles as UBC, tru has lower class medians than both of the other schools, but it still is selective and I would take a look at the website for TRU and this websites accepted and rejected threads and take a look at the kind of grades and lsats being rejected and accepted. UBC imo would be best because of location, uvic is also amazing, tru has pretty good stats for there grads so far as well, Canadian schools are very similar in many regards, ideally go to school where you wish to work, we don't really have a ranking system like the US, UBC probably is best for the Vancouver market, but any Canadian school will give you options and an great legal education, but as of right now your grades could be a problem for all schools as they are standing right now, even with a great last 2 years UBC and UVIC could be difficult for admissions, again well need the lsat to guess and see where exactly the next few years go for you in terms of grades 6.Dont feel alone, were all here to help at the end of the day, and a lot of us probably felt somewhat of what you are feeling too, its normal. the unknown can be intimidating. relax I know at times in life we feel afraid confused or scared, but you must develop internal resiliency to move forward in spite of such emotions. You must taken proactive steps to change your life and make what is in your mind come into fruition in reality, I don't think you have read some websites the schools have for admissions properly based off some of your questions, or done some general research . Nothing wrong with that necessarily, but my point is when you want something, you have to do everything in your power to make it happen. You should put in the effort to match your ambitions, and I mean all this positively. You have to do some reflection as well. Why have your grades been so poor? why the breaks from school? How committed are you really to this, what drives you? Is this something that has some deep rooted origins in your mind, or is this something that is just something of a superficial desire on the surface of the psyche? Law school will be much more rigorous than your current studies, you are not doing that well at this level so far, what tells you or a potential admissions committee in the future you have the ability/potential to succeed as a law student? If you really wanted this goal. then why have your grades not reflected this yet at all? Is there valid reasons to the poor performance, and more importantly, are the reasons correctable so you could get a much better academic record to prove that you can perform and deserve your position based on merit? Your path to even get to law school COULD be an expensive, time wise and money wise, investment. Are you willing to do down that road if need be , how much is this goal worth to you and why and how much would you be willing to sacrifice to get to your end goal(s)? Just some questions to ponder.
  40. 8 points
    I definitely get a LOT of people reacting positively/seeming impressed that I am a lawyer. In the past, I would meet guys interested in dating me because of it. Many of my past friends and acquaintances are very impressed and comment often on it, especially the ones who haven't had the chance to have much education in life. I do often get into conversations with bartenders, taxi drivers etc and while I never volunteer what I do for a living, it generally gets asked and I answer, and they are generally impressed. My kids' friends' parents tend to be impressed, as do their teachers. I think though that this is coloured by: -if they are from my ethnicity or minority groups in general, they see me as a successful person who rose from their ranks, especially if they know a bit about my family background, and they regard me as a mentor/role model for others -if they are not from my group but they know a bit about my circumstances (know I have kids and their ages so know or figure I started young, etc) then they are impressed that, as I said, I beat the odds, and they want to encourage that in me and in others. I definitely don't have @theycancallyouhoju 's experience of people not thinking it is a big deal. OK, other professional friends with really good careers might not be as glowing/gushing sometimes. But even my doctors, including specialists, have expressed that they are impressed by my job! *And for the record, this isn't that important to me - it's something that happens that I'm used to at this point is all.
  41. 8 points
    @Gomez One would have hoped, given your previous experience, that you would have learned there are consequences to things you do: I would suggest, especially given your past experiences, you might stop and think, hey, I'd better be a bit more careful with not doing stupid risky things that if caught could get me in deep shit. I might think, hey, I shouldn't defraud a stranger by providing them with inadequate so-called help in secret, charging them a fee, engaging in the unauthorized practice of law, when I'm already concerned about my bar admission because of admitted academic dishonesty. I say admitted academic dishonesty because given your attitude here, I don't really care about your protestations of innocence and how you didn't cheat, you were just lazy... I say defrauding a stranger because if someone was a friend, I wouldn't want to treat them like this - I would want them to receive competent help, from a lawyer, covered by malpractice insurance in case I made a mistake. When I was articling and I had an immediate family member - not just a friend - who wanted legal assistance with a business matter, of course with their OK I spoke with my firm (principal who directed me to talk to a lawyer in the relevant area). And of course my family member, not being a selfish idiot, understood this. And I, not being a greedy selfish unethical dolt, understood this. The partner in charge said all the work I did would be zeroed out, so the family member would be charged only a nominal amount for the associate and partner supervision. But there was still of course client intake, a conflicts search, etc. Because just because they were doing me and my family member a favour, didn't mean they didn't take it seriously. The family member was still covered by the firm's malpractice insurance if something went wrong. Etc.
  42. 8 points
    Message from saraeliz: Anyone who has a question should send her a PM.
  43. 8 points
    You have a weak imagination if law school is the most fun way you can come up with to blow 100 grand.
  44. 8 points
    Just accepted off the waitlist via email half an hour ago!!!!!!!!!!! Stats: 3.5cgpa (L3 similar), 153 LSAT, mediocre references, solid personal statement, and good work experience. I am so ecstatic right now. This is my second cycle and I was going to give the LSAT one more shot before giving up on law school but I finally caught my break. I have been lurking this forum for two cycles now and the community has given me so much support throughout the process for which I am grateful. I’m a BC boy that loves to shred so I can’t wait to move to Kamloops. Nows when the real work begins... excited to meet all of you in the fall! PM me if you have any questions and I’ll try to answer them as best I can. Good luck to everyone else on the waitlist!
  45. 8 points
    As always is the answer to this question, it is difficult to answer the prestige question because it can mean so many things. Do you mean: Prestige that will get some girl's interest at a bar?: then all firms are equal. Really, nobody cares past saying you are a lawyer, which to some will be impressive. Prestige that other lawyers will be impressed with: Varies on practice group ,. But for the most part, nobody cares. Prestige that your law school friends will be impressed with you?: I guess your list is fine for solicitor work as long as it is contained to Toronto. For lit work you need to really rethink things. Some boutiques are more impressive than all the big firms. BLG, McCarthy's, and Faskens are bigger players here. Davies is not. For other cities, everything gets scrambled, some firms disappear, others become much more prominent. Anyways do you really care? Or, in your heart of hearts, are you really just after: Prestige that makes you feel good about yourself: Alas, this kind of prestige is, in my experience, only an illusion. As soon as you attain the level you think makes you feel good, you realize how empty it is.
  46. 8 points
    Groceries $90 and eating out $371 for the month. If you believe this person spent a total of $15 a day on food, I have some beachfront property in Oklahoma to sell you. I mean, you could spend $15 a day on food. But you'd have to spend most of it on groceries, and little of it on eating out. Does not compute.
  47. 7 points
    My mother is a very talented, technically brilliant, engineer. She is a manager. She works, on average, probably 50-60 hours a week. She's in her 50s (though if she asks, I said 29. Always 29). She works it because he job necessitates it, not because some corporation is taking advantage of her. My dad is similarly brilliant. He got a similar offer of employment. He chose to remain a non manager to hold onto the labour standards/less expectations (though he goes through his own shit for his job). Life sucks. Try working 3 part time jobs trying to make ends meet. You'll wish you could work 90 hours! Your boss told you no. Your boss in fact just told you he's cutting back your hours. So now you pick up a fourth part time job so you have enough hours. It also means though an additional 4 hours of commute a week that you don't get paid for, to make the same amount, so you can feed your kids McDonald's once a week, spaghetti and some no brand type of meat 4 days a week, chicken 2 days a week. Note your privilege.
  48. 7 points
    You good bruh?
  49. 7 points
    I don't know how much profit there is in focusing on a personal statement, because ideas of what constitutes a "good" statement are so subjective. I don't even know if I wrote a good statement myself. I mean, it got the job done, but maybe it was just my grades and LSAT and other stuff. That said, I would take a solid look at whatever you wrote about the "law in relation to climate change." This is the sort of topic where I find students can veer completely off track and reveal, inadvertently, that they don't know what the law actually does and, by extension, that they don't know what lawyers do. As a lawyer, you argue before decision-making bodies (often the court, sometimes other things such as tribunals) or advise you clients in relation to what would happen if their issues came before courts and other decision-making bodies. That's simplistic, but basically accurate. So what decision-making body do you imagine adjudicates laws in relation to climate change? The answer is, none. What you're talking about is in the realm of treaties and international diplomacy. I'm not saying you're wrong that it's a concern, but it isn't a concern that any court adjudicates. At most, it could theoretically be covered by some kind of treaty like the Kyoto Protocol. But do you seriously think there's actually an adjudicative body where you litigate over disputes? Here is where my knowledge of international treaties ends. There are surely dispute-resolution mechanisms. But the idea that any country would subjugate their sovereignty to an international enforcement agency where you could appeal for a remedy ... that strikes me as extremely unlikely. Even in cases of genocide and war crimes that barely ever happens. International criminal court is, for the most part, more theoretical than actual. You think it's going to happen for climate change? And so again, work in this area (which does happen, and is important) exists in the realm of policy and diplomacy and not in the realm of legal practice. You can talk about this subject and sound intelligent, if you have a nuanced enough view. But it's a minefield. Lots of students talk blithely about "international law" like they think they are going to travel around the world suing dictators and polluters and exploiters until the world gets better. And those students sound like idiots, whether they realize it or not. If you're interested in policy, then you can talk about that. But there's no one to sue in relation to climate change.
  50. 7 points
    TL;DR: Lawyers in Ontario are obliged to assist in preventing the unauthorized practice of law; I felt a longer response was warranted. I was so surprised that anyone who went through law school, doing their own work, and read the Rules themselves, not relying upon others to do so for them, would even think to ask such a question. So I really emphasized the point. Like, if someone is talking about diving headfirst off a cliff into shallow water that has a downed power line in it, they're going to get a fucking lecture on their stupidity, and neck and head injuries, and paralysis, and electrocution.
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