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  1. 21 likes
    I don't think those things have anything to do with whether you get A's, B's or C's.
  2. 17 likes
    Congrats to everyone who got an articling position! Now that a few days have passed, I thought I would give some feedback for those who weren't able to secure a position. I'm currently articling at a place that participated in the recruit. I was able to sit in on the discussions with our articling committee and I can give some insights into what they said helped and hurt candidates. Some of these are probably obvious, however there were still multiple candidates who made these mistakes. So here are some of my comments: 1. The difference between an offer and no offer is tiny. If a place is hiring 5 students, the difference between the 5th and 6th candidate can be extremely insignificant. So try not to think that you weren't good enough for the job. We would have been happy with any of our top candidates, but all our first choices accepted so we couldn't move down our list. This also means that the reasons you were passed over could have been very small such as strength of reference letters, lack of eye contact, being 5 minutes late etc 2. It's very helpful to have spoken to a lawyer or current student before you interview. Not only is your name already in their ear, but you can customize your responses to the type of work that they do. Many students had no idea the type of work that we do other than the limited info on our website. Do your homework! 3. Be extroverted. Soooo many candidates got dropped on day 1 because they were so timid that getting information from them was like pulling teeth. If you aren't engaging in the interview, it's not going to be a very enjoyable experience for the interviewers. The interviewers are going to be interviewing somewhere between 8-20 candidates PER POSITION, so being boring will drive the interviewers crazy. If you got an interview, they thought you were qualified, now it's your job to separate yourself from the crowd. If you can't excited about an interview where you talk about yourself for an hour, how are you going to get excited about doing hours of due diligence. 4. Don't sound like you just googled the employer. You could tell that some students had done their research on our place which is a good thing. However, some students sounded like they were simply repeating obscure factual information about our work in an attempt to impress. If you're listing off facts about our place without focusing on why those facts are important to you, then it just sounds like you memorized our website. No one is impressed if you can list off exact dollar amounts of deals, that just comes across as artificial. 5. If you meet current students, you are still interviewing. At our place, we got to participate and give our feedback to the articling committee. Some candidates got dropped because when they spoke to us, they forgot they were still interviewing. Some checked their phones, some swore, some made off-colour comments, some just didn't care or made no effort to talk to us. If you were engaging and professional with us, we told the committee. If you were bored or inappropriate with us, we told the committee. 6. If you think you have the job, act like you don't. One candidate came in the first day and wowed everyone. They were the consensus top choice after day one. After the second round of interviews, they had dropped to number 8. The second interview, they were so confident that they had the job, they relaxed and just acted like they were friends with the interviewers. It was such a stark change from the first day that the committee was concerned that the whole first day was just a front and that they would revert to being way too casual the second they got the job. 7. If a place is your first choice, for the love of god say it! On the last day we were interviewing only a few people and only one of the group would not get an offer. One person never mentioned where we stood with them, the others all said explicitly that we were the top choice. Which one do you think didn't get an offer despite it turning out that we were their top choice? And don't just say "You're one of my top places." If they are your top choice, say in as explicit detail as possible that you will accept an offer from them at 8am. 8. Be nice to the other candidates. For starters, they may end up being your co-worker. Secondly, if you're rude to them in front of us it looks like you don't play well with others. We told the committee when candidates were either really nice or really rude to the other students. 9. PROOFREAD YOUR APPLICATION MATERIALS. I know this bears no repeating, but several people got lowered because there were still spelling and grammar mistakes in their materials. When there is so little separating you from another candidate it can be as little as a spelling mistake to sink you. 10. Respect lawyers and students' time. Several candidates who got an interview, asked to set up a call or coffee chat with a lawyer or current student. Some of these candidates either were very late to these calls or chats or simply didn't respond back to the lawyer/student after they got back to them. This is extremely unprofessional. It is better to not set up a call than to set up a call and miss it or ignore a lawyer's responding email. 11. Talk about what you did, not where you worked. I'm not saying to not discuss your workplace, but the focus should be more on what you've done rather than where you've been. Several people discussed in excruciating detail the entire history of the place they worked at without talking much about what they did there. They're interviewing you not your workplace. 12. Put something interesting in your personal interest section. I would bet that about 80% of students put travel in their personal interest sections. That's fine, but literally every other student had it and the interviewers don't want to ask every student about travel. Try to put something that almost no one else has and you will see that you will get asked about it constantly. One word of caution, don't put something that you would be afraid of an expert pressing you on. One of the candidates put something on that one of the lawyers is an expert in and could tell that the candidate didn't actually know what they were talking about. 13. Explain how your experience fits with the type of work we do. Several candidates had great experience, but when they described it, it didn't sound like any of the type of work that we do. It doesn't matter how good your experience is, if it doesn't fit with what we do. However, even if your work doesn't have any applicability to the type of work we do that doesn't mean it's useless. Being able to pull different skills and experience from past jobs and explaining how you can apply those skills to this job is the best way to prove that you are the right candidate. 14. Don't be negative. Some people started by saying how bad their day had been. Some people described their past work as dry and boring. Some people talked about how they hated law school. It doesn't matter if any of those things are true, don't tell the interviewers or students that. The interviewers don't want someone who they're going to feel guilty about giving work to. Quite simply, lawyers want to work with positive people. 15. Lastly, explain how you can help them, not how they can help you. Some people only described how this place would improve their skills or allow them to gain exposure to X area. But they didn't talk at all about how they would actually help the lawyers. While the lawyers obviously want you to gain experience, they want to do so in a way that also benefits them. Articling is a 2 way street, you help them and in return they help you. Hope this helps!
  3. 17 likes
    I guess it's been long enough that the Scotiabank internal memo to staff about not going to forums promoting yourself as an agent by pretending to be a different poster who has used said agent's services no longer gets passed around? Anyway Saif, nice of you to join us here, but as we've mentioned in the past, it's always a smart idea if you are trying to shamelessly self promote your services through deception to maybe not post from a Scotiabank IP address and sign up using an email address with your name in it. I'm glad other people have found your services helpful and the information regarding the payment plan is appreciated, but the deceptive self advertising is against the rules here.
  4. 16 likes
    Today in court... (Note - I almost posted a thread called "Today in Court" for this content, and briefly imagined it could become a regular thing for me and/or others, but then quickly realized that it would lead to puncturing the anonymity many of us still prize, and/or problems with confidentiality. So this is a one-off and likely to remain so. It's also easier to leave it here.) So, today in court I was sitting around in the hallway with my vaguely aggravating client who was there so I could sort out some ridiculous thing that almost no other lawyer would ever bother doing and for which it was just about certain I would never get paid. This is a client who is factually guilty of stuff, including stuff I was there to help fix. He's pled guilty to crimes, he's been found guilty of crimes, and so he is, by any reasonable definition, a criminal. He's also making reasonable efforts to sort his life out, and when he isn't screwing up in stupid ways he has the potential to be a contributing member of society. A sketchy looking dude approached us in the hallway, and made the right sorts of noises to indicate that he wanted a private word with my client, who is also a kinda sketchy looking dude. I had the strong sense they didn't know each other, though I couldn't be sure. What's this guy want with my client, I'm wondering? Normally, in court, I'm the one getting random questions. I have a suit on and look like I know things. I do, in fact, know things. So it makes sense to approach a lawyer. But why the client? My two major theories at that point were that random sketchy dude was either asking whether the lawyer over there (me) was actually any good before asking for help, or else wanted to know where to find drugs. Client comes back. Turns out that sketchy looking dude just got out of custody and needed a TTC token to get home. So my client gave him one. He said he knew the guy was legit because he recognized the prison shoes (a detail I missed) and told me a story about how he once walked home in those shoes. They aren't good shoes, btw. Basically glorified slippers. And just like that my day was far, far better. Sure, I'm spending my time on something I'll never get paid for, and it's essentially charity. But the guy I'm spending my time on cares enough about other guys even worse off than him that he'll give them what he's got when they ask. And honestly, he looked like someone you could ask, much more than me, in my suit. Yes, many of my clients are factually, and legally, and by definition, criminals. So what? They can still be good people. They may be better people than others who have never been caught and convicted of a crime. Hell, they may even be better people than others who have never committed any crime at all (though few people can say that) but just live their lives as selfish assholes. Just something to remember, the next time you're tempted to say, to yourself or to others, that criminals deserve whatever happens to them and it doesn't matter how hard we step on them. It does matter. They are still people. In many cases they are good people. And honestly, right then and at that point in my day, I don't know if I'd have handed over a few bucks to the sketchy dude who approached me in the hallway. So he asked the right guy to lend him a hand. Not me - my client.
  5. 14 likes
    I read this paragraph and thought you were being paid by someone from the LPP to say those things.
  6. 12 likes
    Yeah it does. Maybe not at the Admissions level, I don't know. But once you get into law school (or grad school?) - if you do - you are sunk. It's a curve and your competition will have spent the last three years of their undergraduate degrees challenging themselves while you coasted along. The sudden shift in difficulty and amount of work to say nothing of the intellectual demand will stagger you. Bad plan. Don't do it.
  7. 12 likes
    Those things may be beneficial, if they are all actually achievable, for some 0Ls but there is no single plan that is going to make it an achievable goal for a 1L to get A grades. If it were that simple, everyone would do it and everyone would get A's, which cannot happen. I think it's important for everyone to find what works for them. For many, it will be the same type of work habits that they had in undergrad. I know that i didn't change much of what I'd done for the previous four years. I didn't, however, do anything on grishamlaw's list and I graduated with honours, which at U of T, at that time meant an A average. There is no magic formula for getting A's in law school. There have been many discussions here about the best way to approach law school, e.g., keeping up with your readings, attending all classes, making use of office hours if necessary, not waiting until the last minute to study for exams, etc. Those discussions show that what works for one person will not necessarily work for another. Some of my classmates spent hours daily in the library, yet I set foot in the library maybe a handful of times in three years. Some formed study groups, I never did. Some decided they could skip class and just do the readings, I always attended class and I did all the readings. I rarely went to office hours, some classmates did it regularly. All of us may have been making the right choices for ourselves, but these choices may not have worked for others. I think a lot of who makes up the top maybe 10% of the class, who have A averages, is a combination of innate ability and luck, with a dash of good work habits.
  8. 11 likes
    When applying to Bay Street, if your lowest grade is in Access to Justice you're probably in good shape.
  9. 11 likes
    Hmm, who are you and which world do you live in where people making minimum wage make $50-65k a year? You do realize that the median employment income in Canada for full time employees is $50k a year. And recall, that the "median" employee is someone who has been working for 15-20 years. So to be lamenting about people entering the work force starting at a level of income that many Canadians will only see after a couple of decades of work - and that many will never see at all - is a bit precious. I suspect people would be less down on the prospects in law if they had the faintest clue what a "good" income is for most Canadians.
  10. 11 likes
    ^^^^^Beautiful. I am constantly humbled by the humanity my clients have. Once I was struggling through a client's trial with a brutal migraine. I didn't want my client to know in case he thought it was going to compromise his defence, and I didn't want anyone else in the courtroom to know either. I was due to take some meds at the next recess and I realized I was out of the bottle in my purse but I had some at the office. Frantic texting didn't reveal anyone who could bring them to me, so I had to run back for them and time was tight but I didn't feel I could manage without them. I confessed to my client what was going on in case I was late and ran back to get the meds. When I came back, my client was waiting at the courtroom door for me. He had gone to the cafeteria and got me a cup of ice to hold on my head and some water to take my pills with (he didn't know they dissolve under the tongue.) He had also given the Crown and clerk a heads up that I might be a bit late and "tell the judge not to yell at her because she's not feeling good" as the clerk told me later. I almost dissolved into tears at this point. This was someone accused of a brutal sex assault, BTW.
  11. 10 likes
    Well this should be interesting...
  12. 10 likes
    But would someone really know what you mean if you say "1L" or "2L"? I think the only people who know that terminology are the ones reading sites like this, which is not most people. with people I know, that conversation would go more like: "You're in school? What year?" "Oh, I'm a 2L." "A what?" "A 2L" "What's that?" "That's what some people call people who are in law school. I guess the L stands for law, and the number is your year." "Law students are so fucking weird. Why not just say you're in law school?"
  13. 10 likes
  14. 10 likes
    I am sorry for the slow reply - I just saw your posts today. I would highly recommend calling or emailing us directly if you have an urgent question. We have been – and will continue – reviewing the waitlist regularly, and letting waitlisted applicants know immediately when it becomes apparent that a decision can be made on their application, either way. In our experience with past admission cycles, there are usually changes to our first-year class during the summer; however, the timing of when we can send offers to waitlisted applicants is out of our control. I am sorry, but we do not keep the kind of the statistics you have requested. We are not unsympathetic to the fact that being on the waitlist brings with it a sense of uncertainty. If you feel at any point that you must commit to something else for the fall and no longer wish to be considered for admission, please let us know by email. I am very sorry that I cannot give you, or any other waitlisted applicant, more of an update than that at this time. -Malina
  15. 9 likes
    I don't know if this will help, but as you keep on keeping on you get an inherent automatic clout. Whatever you are doing once you are a ten year call you get a certain status that you can use. You can call people up and when they look you up they see a career behind you and they call you right back with a ready ear. It's actually not that important what you do day to day (although that helps). Sometimes the difference you make is through the cracks and corners of your life. The little influence you exert. Calling your secretary's kid's landlord to remind him he can't legally deny housing to a gay person. Emailing a colleague because your mom's neighbour is getting hosed over a shitty slip 'n fall and a letter will clear it all up. Comforting an old buddy who was pulled over for a DUI and has no idea what will happen next. These networks that twentysomethings sneer at are the coin and paper of your thirties and the privilege of your forties. Going out and doing good is not necessarily a job description: it's a way of living your life. I dunno. Might help. Might not.
  16. 9 likes
    Please, for the love of God. It's bad enough when people cite Wikipedia for definitive authority. Now we're citing Google search? It IS similar to a medical doctorate, yes. And a M.D. is also a second-entry undergraduate degree. It is nothing like a PhD and calling it that is arrogant beyond belief. You can call it a professional degree if you like. That is a very imprecise term but not actually wrong. You can't call it a graduate degree. It is an undergraduate degree, which is exactly the opposite. It's simply an undergraduate degree that requires a previous undergraduate degree - hence, second-entry. Note, further, the only difference between a J.D. and a L.LB. degree is that North American schools caught on that it gives them a recruiting advantage if they throw in a hand job along with the education. And no, I'm not exaggerating or kidding in any sense. People, please. There is plenty of prestige and standing that goes along with practicing law. Provided that you do it reasonably well, you'll earn a good living, you'll be regarded as a professional and educated person, and you'll have all the respect that comes along with that. If you feel the burning need to augment that with false claims, with exaggerations, and with spurious comparisons to the achievements of others, that only proves how desperately you needed the hand job in the first place, and why it works. Just buy a few degrees on-line, maybe an invented foreign title or two, order yourself a family crest, and be done with it.
  17. 9 likes
  18. 9 likes
    Okay. Since this seems to be going long enough to merit a serious reply, here it is. First, although everyone who thinks they've found a "trick" hates to hear this and doesn't believe it, one person's easy course is not another person's easy course. That's because, again, believe it or not, what makes something "easy" for a person tends to be a function of natural ability and interest. You will, I absolutely guarantee it, find yourself floundering in courses that someone promised you would be easy. And you know why? It's because a significant enough portion of the other students in any class will be made up of people who took that class because they genuinely care and have interest and insight. You may think that "Introduction to Cinema" (or whatever) sounds like a bird course, where you just watch movies and write whatever the hell comes to mind. But some of the students around you will be genuinely fascinated by contemporary media. And their work, fueled by actual motivation, will be far superior to the bullshit you produce while congratulating yourself on finding the "easy" course. Second, every grading curve I've ever seen, both formal and informal, skews higher in upper year courses because the schools know that the weaker students have been weeded out by that point and they don't want to punish students for taking upper year courses. The result is that averages actually tend to go up. So if you really want to, go ahead and stick with first year classes. But quite honestly, it's an idiotic strategy. Most students I know complain bitterly about the curves in first year classes, and the upper year students who go slumming there looking for easy marks tend to get unpleasantly surprised. Third, undergrad really is a gateway to the rest of your life. And if you want to be the person who phones it in for the rest of your life, and aspires to a mediocre career in some kind of acceptable law firm ... well, okay, and good luck to you. But you honestly think you've achieved something by getting into "some" of the best business schools based on your high school grades? Jesus Christ kid. My memories are getting hazy at this point, but aren't you still writing five paragraph essays and doing t-bar accounting in high school? You might as well tell me you had a good batting average in T-ball. So far you've academically out-performed a peer group that's comprised primarily of teenagers held hostage by a government that's keeping them in classrooms against their will. I mean, I suppose that's better than performing badly against that same group. But please, let's not confuse it with achievement of any kind. By the time you start competing to get into law school, and then to succeed in law school, and then for the career you want, you'll be up against a peer group comprised entirely of talented, hard-working, and very accomplished people. The attitude you are cultivating right now will just about guarantee that you compare very badly to that peer group. Fourth, and finally, if you listen to nothing else please listen to this. You are on a website, here, where you actually have access to a large(ish) group of successful and practicing lawyers. And we're all telling you that you make no fucking sense right now. If you insist on believing you've found the clever trick that we all missed, you can go ahead and believe that. But that is really, really, really unlikely, isn't it? Work through the whole idea carefully in your brain - you want to find the easy way, and you may not be the smartest kid, but you've spotted this one very clever trick that ... all the really smart and accomplished people somehow missed? You can't have it both ways. You can't be so smart that you've found a way to succeed without being smart, based on the theory that everyone else missed it. It just doesn't make sense. So maybe try listening to people who are actually trying to help you - in and around making fun of you. Anyway, good luck. P.S. To everyone else - yes, I said it. Easy girls and easy women. Go ahead and be mad at me for saying it, if you want to. But to make this clear, I am not for a moment judging any female for being "easy." I don't suggest it is in any way a bad thing, or a reflection on their character. I'm just saying, it's the one thing in my life where I realized early on that getting something the "easy" way was actually just as good, or in some cases better, than getting it the "hard" way. And I realized this long before Tinder.
  19. 9 likes
    Double monitor set-up at home and work. Seriously, it's impossible to go back to just one screen afterwards.
  20. 9 likes
    "I'm glad you asked that really stupid question your honour, because that provides me with an opportunity to correct your ignorance and provide you with an understanding of the relevant law that you clearly lack".
  21. 9 likes
    You quoted Erinl and then purported to agree with something other than what she said in your quote. She didn't say that "luck is a big factor" but rather that success in the 10% is a "combination of innate ability and luck, with a dash of good work habits." I'm always skeptical of advice that comes from a source that's desperately eager to believe what they are claiming is true. Of course every student wants to believe that with sufficient hard work, with sufficient will, with sufficient determination, or whatever else it comes down to when you really really want something, success can be guaranteed. But have you actually found that to be true? Or do you only wish it were true? Yes, innate ability plays a large role. No one likes to hear that, but it's true. It's a gross and unhelpful simplification to pretend that you either hit the jackpot or you're left on the margins scrambling for table scraps. I mean, seriously. The rest of your post makes it sound as though everyone not in the top 10% is somehow starving. I cannot agree that any amount of hard work can somehow guarantee that one is going to come out on top in the most challenging pool of talented people. I absolutely endorse the view that with sufficient hard work, reasonable habits, and realistic expectations, just about anyone in law school can forge a good career for themselves. But now we're saying different things - one that you haven't agreed with, and another you haven't even considered. It's fine to promote good work habits. But right now, your post reads like another version of "here's what you do to guarantee a 170+ LSAT." And really, does anyone thing it's reasonable to write something like that and mean it literally?
  22. 9 likes
    These sorts of anxieties are both natural, but also incredibly confusing, to me. There was a point in my life where I had failed to prove myself in the ways I needed to prove myself if I wanted to be treated like a strong candidate for success, going forward. I responded by taking the opportunities afforded to me, doing very well from that point forward, and eventually I was treated again like a strong candidate for success. Aside from doing nothing, what possible alternative could there be? You are basically saying that you don't see the value in becoming a lawyer unless you end up among the most successful lawyers. And it's fine to aspire to that end goal - lightly considered though it may be. But then you are doubly anxious that you aren't going to be treated like you are heading in that direction - admitted to the top schools, automatically considered by the top employers, etc. - for basically the reason that you have thus far not distinguished yourself as a student. You can explain your past failures to distinguish yourself in whatever ways you want. It isn't a question of whether I believe you or not. The answer is obvious. Start distinguishing yourself. What alternative to law school are you contemplating right now? What profession out there promises some kind of guaranteed return so that you'll soon be making in the six figures? Most especially, what profession guarantees that outcome to not only the best and the brightest, but to pretty much everyone who shows up? Tell me where to find that profession and I'll gladly point everyone there in the future. Applications to law school will plummet. There are no guarantees in life. There are especially no guarantees that the future will be dramatically different from the past, and that you'll transform yourself from a student who does moderately well into a candidate that absolutely everyone wants and shovels money at to attract. If you're waiting for that promise, you'll be waiting a long time. You won't find it in the legal profession, nor anywhere else. Finally, anyone who told you that having a JD and a personality would guarantee you a job at a top law firm is an idiot. Good luck.
  23. 9 likes
    Jesus fucking Christ. This one isn't even hard. OP is entitled to want whatever the hell he wants, and to define his minimum comfortable lifestyle in whatever terms he chooses. Trying to argue him out of his attitudes towards money is stupid and pointless. OP should also learn to understand a basic reality in life. While he's entitled to seek out whatever he wants to seek out for himself, he really needs to learn to read a fucking room before he starts introducing those values into a discussion. Buddy, here's your problem in this conversation. No matter how many times you may try to rephrase, you are presenting your values to a lot of practicing lawyers (at stage in our professional lives you've yet to even achieve) and you are essentially saying "X may be good enough for you but I'm simply not prepared to settle for so little. So how can I get far more than you get by on?" And buddy, it's fine to want more. But if we've settled for so little, and you want so much more, maybe you should ask some other fucking people if you want a reaction other than the one you are getting. Finally, the incomes that people earn in Canada are objective fact, and are presented here accurately. Whether you find it hard to believe or not is irrelevant. It's simply fact. You may choose to want more - nice cars, regular vacations, private school for your kids, etc. etc. But many people get by without those things. If you've never noticed before, you should open your fucking eyes. Because wanting more for yourself than most people have, and viewing yourself as exceptional, is fine. It's even normal. But remaining dirt fucking ignorant of the world around yourself is inexcusable. Good luck.
  24. 8 likes
    Maybe a JehD? I assume the 'eh' would be silent (a la Homer Jay Simpson), but we'd know it's there.
  25. 8 likes
    My gut reaction to this question isn't quite as negative as others' - perhaps because I also know what it's like to come from a place where I didn't have a whole group of people around me, validating and reinforcing my choices in life. That isn't to say it was "hard" for me exactly, or that I found it a challenge to navigate the steps. But I can at least see how it would be easier if you had others doing the same, direct thing at the same time, and how if you're used to having that it might seem (at least initially) a challenge to proceed without it. To the OP, I'd say only this. Apart from writing the LSAT, the steps you need to follow to apply for law school are easy and straight-forward. Writing the LSAT is also straight-forward - it just isn't easy. Perhaps the only thing you need in addition to just following the steps might be information. And here's where I have the most sympathy, Sometimes just being around other people who are engaged in the same process, and are chatting about it, gives you access to questions and answers you wouldn't think of on your own. So, here's the good news. This very site is great at filling that void. If you have questions, ask them. You'll get good answers - probably better than you would from a few other people applying to law school. If you just lack motivation, however, well, get it done. It doesn't get easier. Law isn't a profession for people who need a study party to prepare for an exam. Law is a profession when you're sitting alone at midnight getting it done because it needs to get done. And getting used to that, also, is important. Good luck.
  26. 8 likes
    Wow this post was an emotional roller coaster. From thinking someone was genuinely interested in how law fulfills people's lives to just another money-hungry person too lazy to do their own research. Oh well.
  27. 8 likes
    It's only on a third reading that I realised "gies" was meant to be "guys". Serious piece of guidance: Before you even think about law school, you need to work on your English writing skills (or French, if you aim for Quebec). Your spelling, grammar, use of capitals, punctuation, and sentence structure are all over the map. It's not easy to read what you're writing (not to say it's impossible - but law is a field that requires meticulous use of language). I hope you're not yet in university, in which case you still have time to improve. If you write like this in exams, papers, LSAT writing sample, etc, you are going to do yourself a disservice. Finally - no, there isn't quick and easy money anywhere. If there were, people would already have taken it. Some fields are very rewarding to people who put in a great deal of time and effort, but that's not the same thing.
  28. 8 likes
    Don't become a lawyer. You'll be very disappointed.
  29. 8 likes
    I found having a printer at home to be of some utility.
  30. 8 likes
    I'm going to cite this post as exhibit A in my argument against university education in the newspaper thread. To answer your question literally, law school is indispensible to the practice of law, since you can't practice law without it. But I suspect that isn't what you're asking. Giving a more purposive interpretation to your question, what you learn in law school is relevant to your day to day practice. You will rarely say "I remember XYZ from 1st year contracts" (although it does happen), but ideally you will have internalized that knowledge so that you apply it almost unconsciously. No one is ever going to ask you for an opinion that, say, a corporation has legal personality (thus can be sued), but you will likely be an incompetent lawyer if you don't know that intuitively. Although people will often complain that they didn't learn the practice skills they need to practice in law school - and they don't - the successful application of those practice skills is built on the substantive knowledge they picked up in law school. Think of it this way, what's the most important thing a hall of fame baseball player learns. How to hit a curve ball? How to run down a ground ball up the middle? How to throw on the move? How to read a pitcher? How to judge a fly ball? How to throw a curve-ball? How about how to stand up and walk around? Skills they probably learned when they were one and which they will never consciously think of again for the rest of their life, even though they will use those skills every single day of their lives. Learning how to stand up and walk doesn't make you a hall of fame baseball player, but you can't be one without learning those skills. Law school provides the same level of foundational skills.
  31. 8 likes
    I used it as a shorthand with other law students and lawyers only, never with anyone else. Why would I talk about 1L and 2L with anyone else? Who does that?
  32. 8 likes
    I would think most of that is useless. I never read Getting to Maybe, BTW. I can't imagine how you can learn to write like a lawyer in 0L summer. Writing like a lawyer is a process that you develop throughout law school and articling and into practice. Likewise you don't learn to think like a lawyer by reading one book. That is a process that also is developed over time. Nothing you do in 0L summer will help... except relax, spend time with the people you value, do interesting and unique things if you can, and read for pleasure.
  33. 8 likes
    Mostly it is a B curve. The vast majority of you get Bs. Cs and As are typically taken as an indication of a strength or weakness and that can tilt your options. If you have an A in Contracts, a B+ in Torts, but a C in Criminal, you are probably in pretty good shape for biglaw OCIs (the recruiting process for 2L summer jobs). If you have an A in Criminal, and an A in Evidence, and log a hundred hours working at the student Legal Aid clinic, you are in excellent shape for working at a boutique defence firm or getting hired by the Crown (neither of which really offer 2L positions, hence the inclusion of your Evidence grade). That said you may graduate with all Bs - a couple pluses, a couple minuses - along with most of your classmates, so while you are in law school, pay attention to what you enjoy. Take charge of your education and seek out opportunities that expose you to different areas of law. A person who has focus and drive in one or two areas will have a much easier time of it and is more likely to be satisfied with their eventual job.
  34. 8 likes
    For myself, humility is the next thing to CONQUER. Becoming the most humble is a #squadgoal. I know I can do this because I now have a www.dreamjob.com. YOLO.
  35. 8 likes
    Hi everyone, Just thought I'd make a thread about this to spread some awareness. It's caused a little awkwardness from time to time so I'm putting it out there in the student universe. Some of us out here adhere to the "Senior Call Pays" rule, an old legal-profession tradition where it falls upon the master to feed and board the apprentice. In your legal career, you will often (but maybe not usually) find senior lawyers paying for your coffee, drink, meal, cab, etc. without asking first. If that happens, just say thanks. Unless you're really upset, I'd suggest you don't insist and pull out your wallet. It's a good tradition and one that works out well with the parallel tradition of young lawyers being deeply in debt and senior lawyers being affluent. Plus, it's often the case that the senior lawyer is getting reimbursed from the file you're working on or a mentoring budget, etc. (This goes double on Bay Street. I know those of us from more modest backgrounds are taken aback at the idea that a stranger that's doing us a favour would spend $75 on a lunch for us --- but we're also not familiar with the idea of being able to lose $5,000 out of your savings account without even noticing, so.) I get this the most when I get a PM asking for a coffee chat. Because of the structure of my days, I'll often bump it to a lunch or drinks or something. I remember what it's like being a broke student --- I'm only a marginally less broke associate now (daycare is expensive!) I'm not going to force you to meet me in a place where the drinks start at $14 and then let you get the bill. Come on now. Just pay it forward when it's your turn. Sometimes that's going to mean you're getting drinks for a table of five. Sucks, but you got free stuff earlier. Time value of money.
  36. 8 likes
    And you don't know the situation of a lot of people whose efforts and lives you have essentially dismissed. Before I went to law school, I was saving for law school so I could support myself and my family while studying and not have to have any debt. I (and my kids) lived crammed into two-bedroom apartments with four or five roommates, people sleeping on couches, etc. We ate rice and beans and ramen noodles with egg and generic kraft dinner and canned fruit and vegetables. We rarely went to movies. We bought birthday presents in the dollar store and clothes in the thrift store. We didn't have cable TV. We got a lot of books at the public library and hung out in city parks. We walked as much as possible rather than take transit. And we kept that up through law school. That's how you get by on less than 100K. And that seemed lavish compared to my childhood when there often wasn't even food or warm clothing and utilities were always getting cut off. When I started clerking, I was making 50-something K and I felt rich. All of a sudden, we could have the occasional restaurant meal or buy new clothes at The Gap or H&M - I'd never done that in my life. And you know what? We survived. And you know what else? It built character and it was almost fun. Sometimes I miss those days, when we'd camp in our living room under our comforters and burn candles and incense and talk about our dreams. When I was in law school, I knew I wanted to live differently than I had been living, and that was my motivation to do really well so I could get a decently paying articling/clerking position. I didn't feel entitled to it - I knew I needed good grades that I had to earn. If you have somewhere else to go where you think you can make more, cool. I hope they have the same free healthcare and public education and other services that Canada has. I hope they can offer your family the same type of life they've had. But be aware that there are many, many people who don't have that option and still have to get by.
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    First of all, let me get this straight, you're taking advice about how to get into law school from.... people who couldn't get into law school? Really? Second, it's not about work ethic, or at least, not only about work ethic, it's about learning to think. Thinking is a skill like running or swimming, you only get better by challenging yourself and pushing yourself further. That isn't going to happen taking first year or easy courses.
  39. 7 likes
    I made good on my old threat: Diplock has his own thread now where he and others can discuss how right/wrong he is about X here -
  40. 7 likes
    Good strategy. And are you going practice for the Olympic weightlifting competition by lifting easy weights? Maybe practice for a bike race by riding downhill (and cabbing it back). Practice treading water with a life jacket? Get a sense as to why that might be a bad idea?
  41. 7 likes
    Why are we YELLING like this and sTuFf!!!11!! Is it because WE SPILT SODA on our KeYbOard in our 800 SQUARE FOOT STRIP MALL LAW OFFICE?
  42. 7 likes
    Also, there are different levels of task you will be given and it's good to get a sense of what each is. Sometimes, a justice will be pretty sure what they're going to do and they just want you to dot the is and cross the ts. Other times, they are genuinely conflicted and there is a division or lack of clarity in the law and they are looking for help. So on #1, I wouldn't go through a whole survey of the law, etc. etc. etc. when they just want to know if they're doing the right thing, but on #2, they may want that comprehensive survey of everything available. Then there may be the odd time when the justice wants to do something that would be a change in the law but is worried about going too far.
  43. 7 likes
    Locked myself out of my LSUC account. Welcome to Schroedinger's bar results, wherein I have both passed and not passed until tech support gets around to helping me.
  44. 7 likes
    Passed! I am slightly disappointed they chose today and couldn't push for last Friday. Mondays are just not made for celebrating (but I will nonetheless try)!
  45. 7 likes
    While I'm more on the skeptical side re OP's advice, their law school experience is much more recent than mine. So take anyone's advice, including/especially mine, with a grain of salt. What I do agree with is the learn to learn, be productive, read, and to write. I just don't know if the month before law school at this point, really gives enough time to meaningfully work on those things. One thing that I think would help and be doable within a month, if one doesn't already type well and reasonably quickly, work on it. Even if you take notes in class by hand (and I and others have made posts about studies suggesting that may be better) for assignments and exams you're probably going to want to type, and that's the sort of skill that even in a few weeks you could improve significantly. You want your time during an exam to be focused on reading/thinking/analyzing/outlining/writing, and anything that makes the writing portion more efficient is a plus. Similarly for reading, I'm just not so sure about how much can be done in a month to improve your reading skills. That said, and more generally, I wonder if practice at paying attention and not multitasking - e.g. reading something without TV or music on, phone off, etc. - may be helpful? Yes, some forms of music while studying may be helpful but you won't (shouldn't!) be listening during class. Or maybe practice watching some lectures (about anything) on YouTube similarly without checking email or texts or minimizing the window to listen while searching or reading something else...and perhaps while taking notes to practice? This is just a thought off the top of my head based on what I've read about problems with multitasking and distractions generally, not something I recall having seen specific advice about. Oh, and if one has health (including mental health) or stress issues, try as best as possible to address those before law school, e.g. if you need dental work, or help coping with exam stress, or whatever, if you can address it or start to before September, you should probably do so.
  46. 7 likes
    For those of us who would be sucked into that site for the next three hours, shortcut: "Ned, have you considered any of the other major religions? They're all pretty much the same."—Home Sweet Homediddly-Dum-Doodily (Season 7, Episode 3), giving spiritual advice to Ned.
  47. 7 likes
    Ok. A couple of points. Do you want to practice corporate/business law or biglaw? There are lots of small businesses out East (and in Ontario) who need the services of lawyers, but they're smaller companies and you'll probably be doing more mundane work. No doubt UNb grads serve those companies in the East. And it's not like the maritimes don't have some hefty companies like Sobeys, the McCain family companies, Irving - but much (though not all) of their high end work gets done elsewhere. if you want to do biglaw in Ontario - UNB isn't going to get you there. Not saying it's impossible, just highly, highly unlikely. Also, biglaw firms tend to hire from the top of the class - if you're just scrapping in any windsor think long and hard about whether you want to take the gamble that you will do better relative to your peers than you've done heretofore. Maybe you have good reason for thinking you will, but make sure you do. Finally, don't go some place just because you can get in there. As a practical matter going to UNB would make it harder to come back to Ontario if that's what you want. Figure out where you want to work in the future and choose places based on what achieves that goal.
  48. 7 likes
    Over the past few months I’ve been chatting with my colleagues and I thought it might be good to post something here about the importance of your reputation to your career. First – your reputation during summering/articles: I knew coming into my articles that, for various reasons, it was unlikely that the firm could offer me an associate position in my area of interest. For some this might have been a cue to “check-out” (and believe me at times I was tempted), however, I decided that I wanted to use my articles (1) to learn as much as I could and (2) to develop relationships with my colleagues in and outside of the firm. It was a crazy, intense 10 months but it was also incredible. I truly believe that my relationship with fellow articling students, associates and partners will be long-lasting. Don’t forget that when you are looking for an associate position post articles, many firms require reference letters from professionals whom you articled under. Having a solid reputation for great work and work ethic is imperative to acquiring glowing references. If you stop working after hire back decisions are made, then you can kiss your reference letter goodbye. In my situation a number of lawyers at my firm really wanted to hire me back but the business case just wasn’t there – so they worked their networks for me to help me land interviews (some of which were at firms where positions were not advertised). Second – your reputation in law school: I implore all of the law students out there to take stock of your reputation among your colleagues and professors. How do you think they view you? Are you a competitive dust bag who refuses to collaborate? Do you undermine your colleagues to gain an edge on the curve? Are you the lone wolf who will solely conquer Bay street? If this is you – then I suggest you take a step back and evaluate whether this type of attitude is actually going to help you (*hint* IT WON’T). For myself, I worked a lot in law school to forge valuable relationships with my friends and colleagues. Law students please understand that the social aspect of your studies helps to develop solid relationships with your colleagues and this is as important as the actual academia of it all. In my experience the most success I had in law school was a result of collaboration. I’ve shared notes, summaries and maps with pretty much whoever wanted them. I had late night study sessions to teach my friends aspects of courses that I’ve really understood and, in-turn, asked my friends to share with and teach me what they have really understood. I cannot understate the value of their willingness to help and their assistance to my academic success. I know I left law school with a great reputation amongst my peers and professors and when it came time to start looking for a job post-articles my law school colleagues immediately started to contact me with leads on positions. This helped me to secure several interviews at firms for unadvertised positions. One of these turned out to be my dream job and if it wasn’t for the relationship I spent years developing, I probably wouldn’t be at this firm today. Your legal career and success depends on your reputation – In the words of RuPaul – “don’t f*ck it up”
  49. 7 likes
    For those interested, last year's results were released: July 28, 2016 9:23 AM.
  50. 7 likes
    Yeah, you are. I'm not trying to talk you out of anything. I'm just commenting that your position seems illogical. Presumably you didn't make 100K through 3 years of law school and you're not going to make that as an articling student. I don't know what you did before law school, but if you were making 100K then, why did you give it up to go to law school? So I'm assuming you didn't make it then. And if you did that knowing what responsibilities or needs you had, what has suddenly changed except your own inflated expectations? I think honestly that, unless you provide information to the contrary, you are confusing wants and needs. There are lots of things I want to provide my children with - private school education, owning a house with a yard, their pick of extra-curricular activities, etc. Eventually when she gets old I'd love to provide my mother with an apartment attached to that house and a 24-7 private nurse. Those aren't needs. Most of the population raise children and age without those things. Needs to me are food on the table, bills consistently paid, responsible supervision during the day for those too vulnerable to be alone, and a roof over your head in a place that at least is semi-safe. My kids ate ramen and rice and beans and they were loved so hard I never had a moment of concern that they would be all right. They didn't need 100K to feel safe and develop appropriately. Now, I can do a lot more for my family because of what I make, and it is wonderful to be able to do and have those things, but they aren't essential - they are privileges. If you somehow think you NEED 100K, it concerns me as to what you think you need, because, as pointed out, 85% of the population will never be able to have that, so if only 15% of the population can contemplate having this necessity, then the vast majority of our population is deprived of a necessity, and that is a huge problem. So let's assume you don't NEED it but you WANT it. Fine. Everyone's entitled to their own values and standards. If you'd rather go live in some place that denies the majority of its populace basic rights just so you can get 100k (and again I'm assuming, absent other information, that it's that kind of place because I can't see how a new call from Canada could instantly get 100K anywhere else without re-licensing etc. and even probably not then) you are free to try to do that. But it comes across as extremely arrogant and insulting to rub that in the face of everyone else who chooses not to do that or doesn't have that option. I would rather raise my family in a place that, despite its flaws, has universal health care, is reasonably safe from violence, has relatively affordable post-secondary education, etc. Plus you're burning bridges if it doesn't work out and you want to come back. Plus Canada invested in you, subsidizing your legal education and whatever education you had before that, and now you're taking off instead of giving back because it might take a couple of years to make 100K and you want it now. So if you're OK with chasing the money in the face of all that, fine. Just keep it to yourself.