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  1. 19 likes
    I like it, but I hope you don't make a habit of this kind of thing. I spent yesterday unwisely Facebook stalking exes. It turns out that I can't be trusted with the rest of the internet.
  2. 16 likes
    It's hard to believe I'm already this far out from being a summer student. It feels like I was just that little bucket of nerves a few weeks ago. For context, I'm a fifth-year litigation associate at a Bay Street firm. (Actually, crap, I'm about to be a sixth; we'll be hiring the fifth round of associates under me in the next two weeks. Good God.) There's some great advice in here already, but my perspective has adapted a bit as I've gotten more and more distant from the experience of summering, and gained some understanding of what partners are thinking and what their needs are. (I haven't quoted everyone and I might overlap on some existing responses, but these are the main things that occurred to me as I was reading through the thread.) All Firms Are Different: The dreaded 'culture' word raises its ugly head. All firms do the same work and look the same on paper, but their cultures are actually quite different. I read with some horror about the 'scooping' of work that was going on at Harvey's firm. If anyone was undercutting other students at my firm, it would be apparent quickly and that student would not be doing well with the partnership. But our system is built to be highly collegial rather than highly competitive, and if there's a rift in the student population we're rigged to see it early. We don't have the Pearson Specter Litt 'bullpen of conspiracy' going on. As students, we would actually hold off on taking work if it sounded like something Susan would have wanted to do. That might sound like a brag, but it has its drawbacks too. Our students' collegiality can sometimes devolve into a casual approach to work and collaboration, which I imagine is much less of a risk in a more cutthroat environment. And we're not doing it to be bunnies and rainbows; we have a sound strategic business purpose for fostering maximum cooperation and community-building. Solve The Problem Part 1 - Actually Deal With The Problem: The most important thing you need to do is change your mindset from question-answering to problem-solving. Whenever we ask you to do something, it's because we're in a situation where we need your help. When you come back with your assignment, please make sure you have actually provided that help. Apply this thinking to all situations. See above, where everyone is suggesting, "Sorry I can't help you, but I've checked around and Amir and Susan can"? They're showing you an iteration of this principle. I'm not asking, "hey, out of curiosity can you help me with this project?" I'm saying, "I need help with this project and I'm coming to you with that problem." Saying 'no' with a cool apology is legit, but it isn't actually helping; you've just sent me away with the same problem. Saying 'no' with contact information has gotten me closer to having my problem solved. I tip my cap to the students that save me that half-hour of muddling around with a staffing decision. The example I always give is of the student that was asked to note up a section of the Evidence Act that permits the introduction of government records into evidence without having to be sworn by a government employee. After three weeks, the student came back advising me that there were no cases on that point. He was right. There were, however, hundreds of cases on the specific subsection dealing with it. And obviously there must have been those cases --- obviously government records get into court somehow. See, he answered the question, but didn't help me at all. I might have asked him, "note up Section X"; but what I wanted help with was finding a way to get those records into evidence. Try to understand the 'why' behind every assignment, so that you can provide the help you're asked for; or even add value. More often than not, lawyers (and especially associates) don't even know the right questions to ask. You can become a superstar if you regularly show up in people's offices showing them a thoughtful assessment of the best thing to do next, rather than just performing a function and receding back into your charging station. (Just make sure you don't spend dozens of extra hours chasing a lead --- check in before stumbling down a rabbit hole you weren't asked to investigate.) Solve The Problem Part 2 - Deal With The Problem Yourself: Don't be Lily. Lily is a kid I saw at a family picnic once that ran up to her mom in a panic and said, "Mom, there's a bee!" No one knew where the bee was, or what was to be done about said bee, but we were all officially on notice about the bee situation. I get three or four Lilies in each articling class. They run into my office and tell me they screwed something up, and they stare at me with wild, panicked doe eyes waiting for me to fix it for them. But they were hired because they are among the leading intellects of their generation. And yet, decades of performatted education with defined performance parameters and minimal real-world work experience has left them not incapable of proactive problem-solving, but unfamiliar with that process. When the process breaks or something goes wrong with the superstructure of an assignment, they run to the teacher. Are they capable of solving these problems? Absolutely. Are they dumb for not doing it? Absolutely not. But they seem to have this trained reflex to report to authority rather than assuming it themselves. Confidence is a factor too, of course. Scenario: A student sends out an affidavit with some privileged notes in it and comes screaming up to me: "Mom, there's a bee!" Here's what you ought to do. Get a draft without the notes ready. Attach it to a quick e-mail advising opposing counsel of the issue and asking them to destroy the original and advising that a fresh copy is on its way. Then call me and let me know what the problem is and what you plan to do about it. I might have a better idea, but I also might just have to say "ok, go ahead". If you've prepared a solution, you can minimize the impact of your error on me to near-zero. If you just rush into my office saying there's a bee, we have to discuss the problem and hash out a solution together --- even when nine times out of ten I'm just sitting there coaching the student to reach the solution she would have reached on her own anyway. It's a huge waste of time. Solve The Problem Part 3 - Don't $%&* Me Over: The corollary of trying to solve my problems is trying even harder not to be my problems. I once gave someone a week to do an assignment and she came by three days in to tell me that she got started and realized that there's no way she can do this and meet her other, pre-existing commitments. That was a drag, and it cut down the next student's timeline by three days. But hey, you dealt with the issue and it all worked out. Seven out of ten. Competent job. Would work with again. But very often I run into the day-before or morning-of Liturgy of Excuses. At that point, just flip me off and strut laughing off to the bar. I mean, you might as well own it at that point. If you're creating an emergency for me, don't waste even more of my time explaining how really none of this was your fault. All I care about is getting that affidavit filed and you're no longer part of that equation. And don't get creative with it. I'll never forget homeboy that decided to pop into my office the day before a deadline and just alpha-male confirm with me that we agreed on a different, later deadline and is that made-up date still cool. I still don't know what he was thinking, like I would have forgotten what the deadline was? Say I gave him a deadline building in two days for review before my filing deadline. There's no way I would have agreed to a deadline three days later, after the thing was due to be filed. You're going to disappoint people. I still do. Often. Every day. At home and at work! But we're not high school principals; we're co-workers trying to get our own work done and you're doing a chunk of it. Give us the same heads-up you would give your friends on Law Review if you weren't going to make the editorial deadline and needed someone else to pick up the slack. Don't count on Future You to pull it off somehow. Do Good Work for Lots of People: This seems like it should go without saying, but it's a lot more complex than you think. Your hireback is a committee decision. Every firm does it differently but generally speaking there's something resembling a vote. Don't assume you know the politics of that situation. Did you work exclusively for the most important partner in the group? Great! Maybe she doesn't even remember your name, though. Or maybe the other partners are sick of her getting her pick of students and she has more than enough support already. Did you really ingratiate yourself into a subgroup? Fantastic! What's their work-in-progress looking like? Can they support more than 0.5 of an associate for the next three years under the current strategic plan? It's a good idea to have champions, but it's a great idea to make sure everyone in the department you're applying for knows your name and respects your work. If two people love you, that might be enough --- if they have enough pull and enough work that particular year to get you hired. Much better is to have one person absolutely adore you and everyone around the whole table agree that you're an asset. So, as difficult as it is, try to walk the line carefully in terms of taking on work. Try to work for a diversity of people while cultivating a key partner or two, but don't take on so much work that you disappoint half the people doing the hiring. Aim to be 80% busy (so that you only end up 125% busy). It's better to have Partner X pounding the table for you and 10 people nodding along than to have Partners X and Y advocating for you, four people nodding and Partners A and B mumbling about your lazy research. To The Extent Possible, Be Eager: Look, we've all been articling students and summer students. We know how much it sucks to be told on Friday afternoon that your weekend is ruined. It doesn't feel good to do that to someone, and more often than not, we do it to the students we like the most because we trust them in a crisis. We like doing that even less. You don't need to be a robot or pretend it doesn't suck, but it sure helps if you can bring some positive energy to the situation. Moping and pouting isn't a good look; it makes it hard to imagine you sticking with this job for very long. We're Going To Forget You're A Summer Student: I saw this up top, and I'm horrified at how bad I am for this. Now that many firms have first-year summer students, second-year summer students and articling students rotating through and interviewing in three different waves every year, I'm sorry. The months fly by here as we rush towards the next deadline and I can barely remember that it's Tuesday. I might know a student very well, but I might not have the capacity to always remember if I've seen someone for the last two years because they were a 1L or 2L summer two years ago. The more insidious part of this problem is in our expectations. We will always feel like we don't know too much. Impostor syndrome is common among Bay Street associates. I still kind of feel like a veteran articling student. But what that means is we don't appreciate how much we've learned until we interface with someone that hasn't learned it. Once you get to five years of call, you gradually start losing touch with how confusing it is to sort out what you're supposed to put in a Notice of Motion, or what kind of facts you can lay out in an affidavit. I'm always seeing partners frustrated with correcting students' vocabulary. ("There was no award made; there was an order issued.") It's little things like the wrong word in the wrong place that get more senior people frustrated. Don't let it get to you. They have to deal with it every day and you're not the only one that's still learning. Wherever you're confused about what a partner wants, consider popping in to see an associate. Sometimes we can give you a road map within five minutes that will save you three hours of procedural or precedential research. Just Pay Attention to Stuff: At every firm in every country forever, the #1 complaint of lawyers is that students aren't detail-oriented enough. Use spellcheck if you're not a strong writer. Don't use generic language where it isn't warranted. Assume every minor inaccuracy is a problem. For example, don't write in a memo "but this point is controversial" without following up with an explanation as to how and why; or "there are several cases on this point" without providing citations to show you know that for a fact. You're being asked to be extremely diligent in tracking down the most minor of details, and there's no substitute for spending the time to make sure it's right. What we want more than anything is to develop a level of trust with you that could justify giving you significant responsibility. We love it when that happens; it makes our life easier and we like helping you along to the next level. But that's hard to do when you spell the plaintiff's name wrong and your research is full of generalities and platitudes. It's a huge adjustment for everyone to get four big boxes of documents and be honest-to-God expected to look over all of it. And to be able to say, "No, Ms. Smith was not informed of that meeting" because you literally read all her e-mails. And when you saw an unfamiliar e-mail address in the cc: line, you pulled up that e-mail address and read all of those too. I just can't tell you how good it feels as an articling student and as a lawyer to be in a situation where the judge asks, "did Ms. Smith have any actual notice of this?" and to be able to make eye contact lawyer-to-student, shake your heads and reply confidently, "No, Your Honour." The scramble when the student is like, "I don't think so; I don't remember any" is a bad, bad feeling. It's a hard job. But it can be a really fun job. And we pay you a ridiculous amount of money at a ridiculously young age to compensate for the 'hard' part of that equation. So buckle up and work hard enough to give yourself confidence later, when you need to rely on the fruits of that hard work. Phew. There I go again with a huge post that was supposed to be short. Good luck out there!
  3. 15 likes
    First, it's a free, anonymous internet forum - it's bound to be negative sometimes. Second, you're reading selectively. There is definitely encouragement on this forum(e.g., Uriel on first law school exams, but also countless other posts and messages exchanged everyday). Third, when I ask a question here, I'm asking people for their honest opinion. People in real life have a tendency to hold back. I certainly do. When I'm talking to people, I have other concerns. I want them to like me, I'm worried about hurting their feelings, or I'm busy, and don't want to invest a lot of time into someone else's problems. So I'm trying to present myself in a certain way. My advice might reflect that. When people post here, they're giving you a different range of perspectives that are more detached from social and relational pressures. You're right, insofar as you don't have to accept advice you get here. If you want to go law school and find a career in international elder law, then you have every right to try. But you're wrong to discount the discouragement as just "negativity and ridicule." When you post, you're asking for peoples' perspectives. The responses that I've seen you get, reflect the honest perspectives of practicing lawyers and of law students. Again, it doesn't mean that they're necessarily right, or that you have to accept their words. But they're not the responses of people just trying to put you down or something (that does sometimes happen here - it's human nature). They're taking the time to tell you what they think. Trashing everyone for being negative doesn't make this forum more positive. It just adds to the negativity. If you want to have a positive influence (not saying I do this - just that it's how I'd like to behave), then try receiving others' opinions with grace and respect. Then help out others when you can.
  4. 14 likes
    Look cbee, I'm not trying to be negative. I'm trying to tell you the advice I kind of wish I'd heard before going to law school. Pre-law, my original plan was to be an environmental lawyer. Like you, I wanted to help save the world. I took an environmental law course (not through the faculty of law) and talked with the instructor, who was a lawyer. He certainly encouraged me to go that route. As I got into law school though I found that "environmental law" isn't much of a practice area. Oh don't get me wrong, there are plenty of lawyers whose work touches on the environment. But they work as oil and gas lawyers, or real estate lawyers, or admin law lawyers. No one I've ever met worked a majority of their time as an "environmental lawyer". Even the instructor of that environmental law course - he wanted to do the majority of his work in environmental law, but it was little more than a side-line to whatever his regular source of work was. But I can just tell you're going to go "but wait! There's probably an environment non-profit somewhere that hires lawyers!". There probably is. But again, the numbers of those jobs are really, really small. And depending on what your personal financial resources are, they're not terribly well paid either. Ultimately everyone has to find their own balance between work they find rewarding and interesting, and in positions where they can actually find work, or be well rewarded. Personally I've worked in a few different practice areas. I did business/securities law for a bit but found it incredibly boring, and not very personally rewarding. I did family law because clients were beating down my door, but found it personally tough to do. Ultimately my own balance was coming to the Crown's office because it held the right mix of being personally and socially rewarding (helping victims of crime), and came with a decent salary and benefits package. But you'll find your own balance.
  5. 13 likes
    Right. Because "dream big" and "you can do anything you want to do" is somehow better advice. For that you don't need an online forum at all - you just need some posters with cats on them and self-affirmations to repeat every day. The difference between advice you receive in person and advice you receive on the Internet (here or elsewhere) can be summarized very easily. When you know someone personally, you are special to them to at least some degree, and often to a a very high degree. When taken as a special case, it's easy and even responsible to say "sure, chase your dreams!" and "you can do anything!" But when you don't know someone personally, you aren't special at all. And in that case, reality says that most kids are not going to be astronaughts and professional ball players, no matter how much they might want to be. And pretending that every kid is going to space one day isn't just irresponsible, but willfully stupid. Let me use a simple, every day example from my line of work. I represent people who get in trouble with the law. And today, as frequently happens, I explained to a client that I was taking precautions on his file based on the assumption that one day he might be charged with further crimes. Now, he'll swear up and down he will never be in trouble again. All of my clients say that. And I know (I damn well know) that statistically speaking, many of them will be in trouble again. If I were representing a friend's son, rather than some random client, I might be more invested in his success and I might be more inclined to believe that he, unlike my other clients, will stay out of trouble in the future. But no matter what I believe, or what I want to believe, the responsible course of action is still the same - to take reality into account, and to plan in every case for the likelihood that they may get in trouble again. Because that's my job. If you want this forum to be a corner of the Internet where we simply assure every person who comes here that they are special, and they'll beat the odds, and achieve their dreams, and that settling for anything less is for everyone else in the world ... well, you can make a website for that, I guess. And you can fill it with rainbows and unicorns. But what the hell do you even think you are saying when you assure absolutely everyone in the world that they are special, and that it's only other people who have to settle for less than their dreams? By definition, everyone can't be special. You've just recreated the same nonsense where students come around here expecting that students in a class should receive grades in a distribution that proves everyone is above average. If you want affirmation from people who think you are special, turn to people who know and who are invested in your success, in your family, etc. If you want advice from people who don't assume you're special at all, go to the Internet. If you can't handle that, your option is to not log on. But expecting the people who participate here to treat everyone as special is both irrational and professionally irresponsible. My very job dictates that I assume otherwise. Why would I do less on a forum?
  6. 12 likes
    Oh, and one more thing. I'm noticing that I'm gradually getting more crotchety and me-focused in the way I describe student work. That's unfortunate, and I regret if it's coming out that way. But here's another tip underlying that situation: A lot of your peers don't give one shit about this job. I know a lot of you are going to be shaking your heads, because you're the kind of person that goes on to a law students' web forum. But believe me, although you need to work super hard to land a job and you should be diligent about everything you do, don't stress yourself out to the level of burnout. You have numerous colleagues that really just want to pay off their student debt and get out. You have numerous colleagues that plan to leave right after articling anyway because all they want is the credential and the call to the Bar. You have numerous colleagues that have business or political aspirations and do not intend to practice law. You have numerous colleagues that have family businesses or other connections and are just kickin' it for the salary until they're asked to leave. You have a ton of colleagues that are going to realize they hate this job and want nothing to do with it. The end result of that for me is that I get a lot of half-assed work that I really would not have expected from students at this level. Half-assed work well under the level they were performing at in law school because all they wanted was this job, temporarily. How they perform now is irrelevant to them. The end result of that for you is that you might be intimidated by your peers' credentials or intellect or social skills and connections and push yourself to the breaking point in an attempt to compete... only to find out that it's just like law school: most everyone is doing worse than you think, and far worse than they would ever admit. So, work hard and pay attention to details and you will be more successful than you think. And forgive us jaded associates that might grumble about students from time to time as we've been burned by apathy more times than we'd like to recall.
  7. 10 likes
    Just checked uoZone and I'm on the waitlist. No idea what to think! It says it's an unnumbered waitlist. GPA: 3.83 LSAT: 154 My LSAT is definitely the culprit. Praying for a good number though!
  8. 10 likes
    Just got my acceptance earlier today! In que since 9th of Feb. No waitlist. Cgpa 3.9 LSAT 149, 150
  9. 10 likes
    Doesn't seem to me like you described a bro at all.. seems like you described some arrogant tool. Look im most likely labeled a bro as well but if you ever described yourself like that in person id laugh you out of the room. You aint a bro bro youre just a douche
  10. 9 likes
    My position here has always been one of general observation / advice giving so I have never been in a position where I am vulnerable and asking for help and assumig the posters here can provide it with any authority. I would venture to say that the forum likely feels more negative to people who have nothing backing them except for dreams and (sometimes but not always) two critical numbers. They are in a totally different position. They are inexperienced to the degree that they can't judge whether various replies are legitimate or full of shit. This makes them defensive when they encounter criticism or anything that sounds critical of their approach or plan. This makes them feel as though they are being attacked. And I have noticed that for some posters, emotions dictate reasoning: they FEEL attacked, so they immediately conclude they are BEING attacked. And that is seldom the case. On the other hand there are some regular posters here who will drop sarcastic comments into threads for the sake of making a witty quip. This is basically why we have our "Don't be a jerk" rule. A newbie has no idea whether they are being assisted or being mocked. It's unfair to a good faith post, however naively made, to be snide. Such remarks frequently derail an otherwise decent thread into snarky retorts and pettiness (I WILL NOW LOOK UP YOUR LSAT AND MOCK YOU, for example). The mods get reports on all of the above types of posts, and we do evaluate and discuss every single one. We do not share that with the complainant poster. If necessary we address the person who is misbehaving. It is seldom public. All this just to say that there is a degree of moderation going on at all times to encourage pleasant and helpful discourse. If anyone thinks anything is out of line, flag it. We will deal with it one way or another.
  11. 8 likes
    I'm glad that there was a healthy amount of negativity and skepticism on this forum when I first started perusing it. Coming from a predominantly non-law familial and social background, I didn't really have anyone who walked this path to talk to about it. Most of the people in my life offered well-intentioned, blind affirmations like "You'll have no problem getting in", "I always thought you'd make a good lawyer" and "I'll probably come to you for legal advice some day". It became sort of an echo chamber of unbridled positivity that was of very limited utility after an boost of confidence. Using this forum as just one of many sources of information about the practice of law and legal education in Canada was very useful to me. It was helpful (if sometimes unpleasant) to read less than glowing predictions about my chances at getting somewhere (or the chances of people whose GPA and LSAT were similar to mine). With that said, I think that this forum should not be one's principal source of guidance about what area of law to practice or where to receive your education. Some of the things that I read on here were dead on and some were completely wrong. That's probably a much better success rate than most online forums, but I tried not to derive an undue amount of inspiration or discouragement solely from posts on here.
  12. 8 likes
    Just a more general thought on the topic of career planning... When I've talked with lawyers about precisely how they wound up with their own unique practices, it's never been "well I took these courses in law school and it worked out from there..." There are some exceptions with people with extensive pre-law backgrounds: the PhD or P Eng who goes to law school to work in IP, or the MD who goes to law school to work in medical malpractice. But for most of us? It just sort of... happens. A lawyer in private practice does a single file for a school board, starts getting more work and then 20 years later is a guru in education law. Someone gets a single referral to do an appeal, then 15 years later has a practice restricted to high level appellate work. A civil lawyer takes a duty counsel spot just to fill in a day in his calendar, realizes he likes Criminal law, and 12 years later is typing on a message board under the name Malicious Prosecutor. In law school you should form some kind of idea about what kind of lawyer you want to be. When asked what kind of lawyer you want to be you should have an answer. But you can't just point to, I dunno, Louise Arbour or Marie Henein and say "I want to have THAT career". It just doesn't work that way. It depends what opportunities will come your way.
  13. 8 likes
    I agree with almost all of this post, and I believe there is a reasonable middle ground here. That is, I don't think that this forum should be about blind affirmation. But there is a point at which negativity for negativity's own sake can and does become a problem. On a bad day I can be guilty of that myself, and I try to avoid it. Correction is welcome if I dig too far in that direction. Here's where I'm going to disagree with eeeee above (how many e's do I need?) and point out that when you add details like your financial situation and your willingness to earn less it does impact the quality and the nature of the replies you'll receive. I don't want to deconstruct whatever exchange you had with MP elsewhere. I wasn't paying attention. But I know from experience that a lot of questions on this board (not necessarily yours) start out as very general inquiries and then on receiving answers that presuppose no other specific factors and treat the person asking "X" as a typical example of anyone asking "X" the outraged reply is often some variation of "how dare you pretend to know me - don't you realize X, Y, and Z and don't you feel stupid now?!?" (Where X, Y, and Z may or may not change the advice already offered, but were certainly not stated along with the original question). Interrogating the question isn't done to death. It will never be done to death. It isn't just a way to screw with people. It's a vital part of giving meaningful advice. Again, I know people don't really come here as "clients" and my role here isn't to be a "lawyer" per say, but there's a certain logical framework within which all lawyers operate and there's a reason we became lawyers in the first place. I can't break out of it even if I wanted to, and I don't think my advice would be better if I could. My clients constantly ask the wrong questions, and if all I did for them is provide a straight, factual answer then my reply would be useless at best, and dangerously misleading at worst. A lawyer must dig deeper into any question to determine the assumptions and the intentions behind it, in order to give a meaningful reply. Honestly. We all know this. We all know this. I don't think almost anyone here would imagine that when someone comes and says "if I attend Bond can I still practice law in Canada" that a full and complete answer starts and ends with "yes." If anyone really thinks that's what this forum should be, and that's all this forum should be, it could be replaced with Yahoo Answers. We might debate on exactly how much and how strenuously that hypothetical someone should be warned about foreign legal education. And that's a continual debate. But I don't think anyone believes the whole thing ends with "yes." So unless you do believe that, you endorse interrogating the question whether you realize it or not. I think treating anyone here as special is a bad plan. But I'm willing to treat people as more specific case examples, provided they supply the required information. I'll even suspend class judgment as much as I can to give meaningful advice. If you want to work in International Human Rights Law and you family is so mother fucking rich that it never matters if you ever earn a living wage doing it, your chances of doing that kind of work are going to go drastically up. I'm willing to embrace that advice. And if you're willing and able to self-employ then the risk of attending a foreign law school, going the NCA route and maybe even the LPP ... that does lead to a career, in the end, if you have the financial and personal wherewithal to start your own practice. The "ifs" matter a lot here. Anyway, I don't think we disagree so very much. But I feel this forum is very constructive, all else allowed for. I sure as hell wouldn't go back to what it was 10 years ago, when it was mainly wannabe law students encouraging each other to study hard for the LSAT, score 175+, and overcome their 2.something GPAs, because you know, hold on to your dreams and all that. I'll take a hard reality check over that bullshit any day of the week.
  14. 7 likes
    Still waiting, who's waiting
  15. 6 likes
    URIEL FINCH 198x - 2017 A Clear Man A Helpful Man Tended to be a Bit of a Read
  16. 6 likes
  17. 6 likes
    Received the email about an hour ago. Got accepted off the waitlist. I can't believe it. After two years of applying finally got in. Everything is possible. LSAT: 160 - 156 Cgpa: 3.0 Best 2: 3.4 Last year got rejected from Windsor early in the process.
  18. 6 likes
    No, Jurassic Park taught me everything.
  19. 6 likes
    No shit. Here I am autistic af (I hide it spectacularly well and I have no plans to stop hiding it), struggled to get in because I can't replicate my practice LSAT scores on the actual test, praying to everything sacred that my high IQ, exceptional memory and almost pathological obsession with law will be enough to power through three strenuous years of law school, and meanwhile Chad's biggest worry is how hard it is to be a rich white guy in a profession that still has enough remnants of its old boys' club mentality to make it harder for people like me to break into it. I second artsydork's troll rating. Not amused.
  20. 6 likes
    I can't tell whether the misspelling of 'astronauts' was intentional or not (I really, really hope it was), but had to say that the irony of the implied negativity that 'astronaught' evoked made me smile: "Kid, you may have dreams, but it's futile to think you'll ever become an astronaught." Although urban dictionary tells me 'astronaught' is a kind of sex act so I will reserve final judgement on the intention of the poster... This comment not to be taken as a critique or endorsement of the subject matter in the quoted post, only as a reflection on what I thought was a humorous component therein.
  21. 6 likes
    It took an extra 40 minutes of my life to go rescue that emoji from a backup because I realized it hadn't made the transition and it's the first custom emoji I ever added to this place. Thank you for recognizing my hard work.
  22. 5 likes
    I always thought I was bringing a pretty good amount of sarcasm, but have never been talked to by the mods. I need to up my game! But seriously, if you come around and ask "How do I become a Bay St lawyer" or "How do I become an in-house lawyer" or "How do I become a labour lawyer" or "How do I become a Bay St labour lawyer" or "I've always dreamed of oppressing workers for a living; what courses should I take to further that interest" I will give you detailed and helpful answers. If you ask "How do I get on the Supreme Court" I will probably make fun of you.
  23. 5 likes
    I received my offer of admission about an hour ago. Was previously wait listed. Very happy.
  24. 5 likes
  25. 5 likes
    You'll be fine, because the person you described is almost always fine. Some other people might silently resent you, but if that's the case, then it's probably already happening. And you'll continue being fine with it.
  26. 5 likes
    Is now a good time to bring up my proposal for a "dislike" button?
  27. 5 likes
    I meant it more like this: if you are a lawyer that helps poor people in criminal court you are a criminal lawyer, not a poverty lawyer. If you help out old people in civil court you are a civil litigation lawyer, not an "elder law" lawyer. If you represent First Nations families in family court you are a family law lawyer.
  28. 5 likes
    Four observations. First, in some provinces Canadian trained students are having trouble finding articles, and it's much more challenging for foreign trained students. Second, a willingness to article in rural Canada may give you some flexibility, but I'm not sure how much that compensates for the difficulty facing foreign train students and, moreover, there are no doubt many Canadian trained students willing to do the same thing. Also, how attractive are you likely to be to a practitioner in a rural area - are you from there? Third, with respect to the shortage of lawyers in rural Canada, consider a couple of other point. One, it means there isn't going to be an ample supply of articling positions - students tend to gravitate to cities because that's where the jobs are. Two, ask yourself why there is a shortage of practitioners in rural Canada. Is it because people don't want to live/work there, or is it because the demand for their services isn't enough to make a living. The question isn't whether there is an unmet need for legal services in rural Canada (there surely is, just as there is one in urban Canada), but whether there is an unmet need that is willing to pay you for your services (because, unless your family is so wealthy that you can work for free a la Clay Ruby, and even he bills some of his clients, that's a consideration). I don't know the answer, but don't assume that unmet need mean there is sufficient paying demand to maintain a practice. Fourth, just to clarify, working in the city is not synonymous with working in biglaw. In Ontario, biglaw accounts for, maybe, 15%-20% of articling positions (depending on how generous you want to be with the biglaw tag). The vast majority of students end up articling with medium/small firms, solos and the G.
  29. 5 likes
    Here, I'll give it back. I am a generous admin.
  30. 4 likes
    Got a coat of paint. Some cool new stuff. My favourite is that now you can use 2FA with google authenticator. http://lawstudents.ca/forums/settings/account-security/ There's some background processing that will take a few days to complete so search will be broken for a bit. Sorry. Otherwise, if you find anything broken or that doesn't make sense, let me know.
  31. 4 likes
    Hi all! I was a student member of an admissions committee during my third year of law school, and I thought I would share some insights from the experience that I thought would be helpful. They're mostly focused on your personal statement and references, because those are the parts of your application that are most easily improved, and where the path to "improvement" is least obvious (everyone knows what a better LSAT or GPA looks like). A) First of all, consider what type of personal statement you are being asked for. Does the school want a generic statement, or do they ask you to answer specific questions? If they ask specific questions and you fail to answer them, or you try to force a generic personal statement to fit the questions asked, this will hurt your application. B) If you're applying in a special category (e.g., access, mature, indigenous, etc.), make sure that at least some elements of your application indicate why you fit in that category. It's not enough just to check the box and then talk about why you would make a great law student generally. Those categories exist for several reasons, but two reasons stood out to me as particularly significant: (1) to increase the diversity of the student body and thus the legal profession; and (2) to give talented students who have faced challenges the opportunity to demonstrate that their "numbers" don't reflect their potential. Some students fit both of those descriptions, while others might only fit one. If you're applying in a special category, tell the admissions committee about (1) the benefits that your unique life experiences will bring to the school and the profession and/or (2) the reasons why the challenges you've dealt with in the past will not stop you from being successful in law school. C) Most of the generic personal statements that I read addressed three things: 1. Why the applicant wants to go to law school/be a lawyer; 2. Why the applicant will make a great law student/lawyer; and 3. Why the applicant wants to go to this specific law school. D) I would encourage students not to spend as much space on #3 as they currently do. Compliments about the law school don't usually get you very far, unless they are very specific to your interests, e.g., "As you can see from my degree in biochemistry, I am very interested in the natural sciences, so I am especially interested in X law school because it is the only school with a natural sciences law clinic." Complimenting the law school in general doesn't help the committee - they already think their school is great, and they want to know about you. Compliments that are overblown can actually hurt your application. If you say something about the school being "world-renowned for their legal clinics" when they are not that well-recognized, the committee will think you're blowing smoke, and it won't help your chances. E) As for #1 and #2, the most important thing to do is to provide meaningful examples. The admissions committee is made up of faculty and upper year students. They want evidence or a foundation for your assertions. Bald statements that you are "responsible", "hard-working", "intelligent", or "interested in a career in social justice" will get you nowhere, because literally everyone is making those claims. Applicants that stand out have concrete support that buttress their most important points. E.g., "I have volunteered for the past five years for a victims services organization, and this has fostered my interest in one day becoming a Crown prosecutor." or "My experience working in a law firm gave me exposure to the area of practice I'm most interested in while also honing my attention to detail and my ability to handle a heavy workload." F) Always remember that the people reading your application will know nothing about you other than what is on the papers in front of them. They'll have your transcript, LSAT, personal statement, letters of reference, and the other documents (if any) that you were required to submit. From that they will form their entire impression of you. It might be worthwhile to ask a trustworthy acquaintance (perhaps a friend of a friend) who does not know you well to read your package and see how they would describe you based on that alone. Their answers may surprise you. G) There is no need to write poetically in your personal statement, and if prose is not your strength, you should avoid it entirely. It adds very little to your statement and can end up being a distraction. I also never saw a hook that worked, e.g., "it was a dark and stormy night..." Save those for your applications to American schools. Remember paragraph F above if you plan to use your personal statement to tell one story or are intending to build the entire thing around one anecdote. That will end up being all that the committee knows about you. Ask yourself seriously whether it will be enough. H) Use your letters of reference (if they are requested, don't submit them if they are not) to provide further support for the narrative you've built in your personal statement and other documents. The strongest letters of reference don't seem to come out of left field. The feeling that the committee should get while reading your letter is reassurance that their instincts about you were accurate; the letter of reference provides independent confirmation that you really are as great as you seem. It should go without saying (but sadly it doesn't) that your letters of reference should be from the type of referees the school has asked for, and should never ever be from a family member or close friend. Anyone who has known you since childhood is likely a bad choice. Those letters rarely read as objective accounts of an adult student's attributes. If you really can't get a good reference from the type of referee requested, explain why you were unable to do so. I) If there is an obvious and marked area of weakness in your application, e.g., an academic year where you did particularly badly, or a poor LSAT score, you should quickly address why that incident doesn't reflect your true potential and then move on. The committee will almost certainly notice a significant area of weakness and will wonder what caused you to falter. Don't make excuses, and don't take up your whole application explaining yourself. If there isn't good explanation, you'll just have to bite the bullet and focus on your strengths in the rest of the application. Keep in mind, though, that it's human nature for members of the committee to speculate to themselves about what caused your slip if you don't provide an explanation. That's all I can think of for now. I hope this is helpful and doesn't come across as a silly diatribe. Best of luck to everyone who is or will be applying!
  32. 4 likes
    Je viens tout juste de recevoir une convocation pour une entrevue le 9 mai
  33. 4 likes
    Just wanted to chime in and say that the recent offer I got gave me until May 4th to decide ... So I think it's possible that once this current wave gets back to them they'll be reviewing files to send out other acceptances before the waitlist.
  34. 4 likes
    Alright. Point taken everyone. And really, no sarcasm, thanks for being honest and trying to push people (and me) into realistic expectations. The thing that has upset me isn't about not thinking I'm special (I'm not) and it isn't about my dreams being shattered that I can't help children in Africa with my law degree. The thing is, when I'm asking earnest questions on a form that is often very useful, and only getting responses that are basically 'don't even consider that job' as defeatist. I'm not asking if I can be the prime minister, I'm asking HOW does one become the prime minister. Well, first you go to law school (or snowboarding school), then you volunteer at your local MP's office bla bla bla. We are all (theoretically) adults here that can make up our own minds about what is realistic and once we have the tools to make a decision, then we can do that. Let me give you an example from something I know a lot about. People ask me about opening a restaurant all the time. I never think it's a good idea. Ever. But if someone asks to sit down with me and have a coffee to talk about it (this happens often btw), I tell them everything they need to know in order to open that restaurant. I tell them that they should work in one first, I tell them that they should talk to other restaurant owners, and I tell them what kinds of things are really, really important to do before opening (like having a lawyer look at the lease...biggest mistake I ever made....cost me over 100k). Anyhow, after all of that is said and done, I ask them if they want to know what I think of their concept personally, and then I tell them that they should know what they are getting into, and probably not open it. The point is, I am answering the question they are asking, and then I slip in my personal feelings about their odds and what kind of a life they are looking to have in the future. What makes this even more frustrating is that it's true that none of you know me, but I'm not financially motivated at all. I want to work in an area of law that will be rewarding, but I'll be happy to make 50-60k for the rest of my life. I'm not rich, I just don't want to be. I'm also going to be lucky enough to finish law school mostly debt free (if I go to UofM) or just a bit in debt (if I get into Ottawa). So I'm less worried about landing a job right away than some people might be. It's true that people in person might be nicer than on forums, but it might also be that online people can be condescending and dismissive because they aren't face to face with someone. The people I'm talking to at work are all regular customers whom I've known for years. And they have told me where I'm being a total idiot, so I feel that I can trust some of the opinions I get. I am very grateful that people are trying to be helpful, but until MPs last post, it didn't really feel like that. I'm believe that people SHOULD be encouraged to be their best, and what that is is different for everyone. Sure, if I get shitty marks in law school, I'm not going to be able to have my choice of jobs. My question was more about what kind of courses should I be taking at which law school to achieve the goals I'm looking to achieve. And if I fail? Fair enough. MP, thanks for trying to give me the advice that you wish you had gotten. I really do appreciate it. Sometimes face to face conversations are better than these online ones because we can react in real time and not in posts, with you turning to sarcasm, and me rage posting about negativity. Now, how the hell do I get on the supreme court?
  35. 4 likes
    The wait is just killing me. I just want to hear something. I've (we've) been waiting for about five months now. I've been having to deal with telling my family members and friends basically daily now that I haven't gotten in. It just stings. I'm praying for the best, but preparing for the worst. I've found some pretty cool government job postings that I am going to apply to now that I have graduated. Hopefully I'll get it and hopefully it'll make the pill easier to swallow lol
  36. 4 likes
    Consider the following points. First "sports law" in both the US and Canada is tiny, and the number of people whose practice revolves around that area is tiny. Second, in practice "sports law" is just commercial law which serves a particular industry - my buddy who works for MLSE does "sports law" which is, in practice, indistinguishable from his old corporate/commercial practice. Third, the US may have specialized firms (no doubt due to economies of scale) but people do serve that market in Canada (though it rarely accounts for the bulk of their practice). Fourth, athletes can usually afford good - nay, great -lawyers, how certain are you that you're all that and a bag of chips? All of which is to reiterate what Diplock said, go to school where you want to work on the assumption that the likelihood is that you won't end up doing sports law. If you do, great, but don't count on it.
  37. 4 likes
    Here's the only meaningful advice I know how to give people in your situation - and it always amazes me how many of you there are, for reasons that should become clear. You are asking about what it would be like to practice a very specific sort of law in Canada as opposed to practicing the same sort of law in America, and I suppose a sufficiently knowledgeable person might come along to answer that question as best they can. But truthfully, that difference - whatever it turns out to be - will be only a very small part of the vast difference in your reality caused simply by living in Canada for presumably the rest of your life vs. living in America for presumably the rest of your life. No one ever likes to hear that their personal plans aren't going to come together, but of the many people who showed up to start law school with very specific ideas of the sort of law they wanted to practice, only a fraction of the same ended up doing that. So now, in fact, what we're talking about is a huge life decision framed around only a chance that you might even end up in sports law, when there are so many other things to consider that will affect your life more, in the long run. Bottom line. Decide if you want to life and work in America for the rest of your life, or in Canada. Life may throw you a curve ball eventually, but that's what you should assume when you choose a law school. To live and work in America, attend an American law school, and to live and work in Canada attend a Canadian law school. It's really that simple.
  38. 3 likes
    Go back through my thread. I was totally up-front about how much time (3.5 semesters actually enrolled in law school, just like quite a few people here) and money (about $60K in tuition, just like anybody who went to some of the more expensive law schools in Canada) I spent on becoming a lawyer: It wasn't a cake-walk but at least I don't teach ESL in South Korea any more -- although I think about it all the time, particularly when people ask me if I think my own life is "ridiculous". I don't know why you'd ridicule me. Yes, I had to take on a student loan. Yes, it was hard to convince friends and family it would all work out. Yes, it was hard to be a decade or more older than almost everyone else in law school. Yes, I had to send out a lot of résumés in order to get ahead. Yes, it was hard to start again when my high-school classmates were already starting to plan for retirement. No, I don't have a wife and kids and white picket fence. No, I don't work in corporate securities on Bay Street. Wouldn't trade it for the world. Or am I being...obtuse?
  39. 3 likes
    Year long lurker, just made an account to share back with the community. Accepted to Osgoode last night / this morning (April 24th technically). Status changed on OASIS last night, but got an email this morning. SUPER excited! This is my dream school and I will be firm accepting as soon as the offer comes in the mail. My stats: cGPA: 3.80 L2: 3.9+ LSAT: 155, 157. Strong ECs and decent references Yes, I filled out part B for diversity, relating to personal circumstances / background (not visible minority diversity). Accepted straight from the queue (went into queue on January 17th), no waitlist. I was so heartbroken by messing up the LSAT, not once--but twice! It made me feel really dumb even though I know it was largely due to a strategic error on my behalf on test day. Anyway, hope this gives hope to splitters!
  40. 3 likes
    From what I've been told, the experience is otherworldly.
  41. 3 likes
    Do you have some alternative definition of "affluent" then?
  42. 3 likes
    Congrats ! I have nearly identical stats, hoping to hear back soon.This post gives me some more hope.
  43. 3 likes
    I only have a limited perspective having attended an American school, but I will say that when I was debating between HYS and U of T, I found the cost of the U of T degree to not be worth it. The school does not offer enough of an advantage in biglaw placement, or in future earning power, or even in terms of things like clinics, professors, and courses, to justify its vastly higher fees compared to other Canadian schools. If you are dead set on working Bay Street, U of T MAY be worth it, but ultimately in Canada, there is no school that provides you with any advantages. At each school, you will need top drawer grades to get Bay Street (unlike in America where biglaw is 95% guaranteed from the top schools), and so, if you are dead set on Biglaw, you may actually want to go to a less intellectually competitive school that will give you more room to succeed grades wise. Nonetheless, that's just my two cents. I've had friends who went to UBC and spoke highly of it, it won't shut any doors for you. And at the end of the day, if you want American work, you should be going to an American school. Getting US biglaw from any Canadian school is incredibly difficult.
  44. 3 likes
    I just got my refusal letter for Uqam, I have to admit im surprised, The last candidate to get preselected the past two years had the exact same cumulative gpa as me, 3.55. I have 51 credits Goodluck to everyone
  45. 3 likes
    In the past, I have been told that the class has been composed of approximately 70% Canadian students and 30% American students, excluding a few international students. It is my understanding that they are trying to increase the proportion of American students. I am an American student. I was admitted on the same day as april23jules (March 23rd), and I received my formal admission packet last Thursday (April 13th). I sent them my seat deposit last Friday! Canadian and American applicants are each evaluated by the same admissions committee. Tuition is the same for both Canadian and American students. It should be noted that the tuition is lower than most American schools, and it is higher than any other Canadian school. As a result, Canadian applicants may be more likely to be intimidated by the tuition. To the extent that the program has trouble attracting American students, it is likely due to UDM's status as a tier 4, unranked school (indicating a ranking below 150). Even though these rankings are assigned by US News & World Report (which is not a credible publication), they are taken very seriously in America. Best, BlueberryTimbit
  46. 3 likes
    I didn't apply to Queen's, but I can definitely sympathize with what you're feeling. I haven't been accepted to the only school I applied to, even though many people have reported acceptances (on many occasions) with lower stats than me. At any rate, and if you don't get in this cycle, you should re-apply because your stats def seem good enough. It seems like half the battle is just getting someone to read your app before the class gets full. I think the process is more the culprit than are your stats. So hopefully, and if it comes to reapplying, the process would have treated you better next time. I'm hoping for an acceptance for you this cycle though!
  47. 3 likes
    First of all I don't think the OP was talking to an Ontario school, since they probably calculated their grades up and OLSAS uses a 4.0 scale. Secondly, OLSAS only facilitates applications in Ontario, I don't think they necessarily regulate things like misconduct. Even in their guides for individual schools, it says the schools may report any irregularities to LSAC. https://www.ouac.on.ca/guide/olsas-western/ Finally, I would assume that at some point, whether it's when you're creating an LSAC account or taking the LSAT, you've agreed to abide by its code of conduct.
  48. 3 likes
    Accepted just now, no e-mail just status change on SOLUS. cGPA: 3.4 L2: 3.84 LSAT 160 Now to decide between Western and Queen's...
  49. 3 likes
    Oh, they have bonuses! And their lawyers can use them to buy really nice shit for their family on amazon (since they don't leav their offices).
  50. 3 likes
    Coming from the perspective of a large firm (but not a full-service/national firm), I'm impressed when students really take ownership of their work and show initiative. This can manifest itself in different ways. For example: - If you get a research assignment and you come across a tangent that seems useful, either just include it if it seems sufficiently relevant/useful, or bring it to the lawyer's attention and ask about expanding the scope of the assignment. - If you get a research assignment and you come across something that seems to go against the premise of the assignment, or that makes the assignment itself not make sense, and you're confident that you're correct about it, bring it to the lawyer's attention and ask if the scope of the assignment should be modified, early enough that you can still make your deadline. - If you get a research assignment and can't find anything (or much) directly on point, try to offer an alternate solution to accomplish the same thing. This involves asking the right questions early on - so you know not only what your assignment is, but WHY you're being asked to look into it. - If you get an assignment that, once you start working on it, seems unreasonably large (like, really unreasonably, more so than the assigning lawyer may have anticipated), respectfully say that you think another student should be assigned to it (early enough that you can still make the initial deadline). Bonus points if you take care of explaining and delegating the assignment to the additional student, so the lawyer doesn't need to spend the time twice. This probably would be most applicable to things like books of authorities or doc review, rather than more substantive work. - If you finish an assignment and know what the next step in the file/process will be, offer to get started on that next step. This has the benefit of getting you more integrated into a file (and, hopefully, eventually making yourself an indispensable part of the file), and shows the lawyer you understand what's going on more broadly than your specific assignment. I only work with articling students now, but many of these are also things I did when I was a summer student (with positive results/feedback).