Malicious Prosecutor

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Malicious Prosecutor last won the day on April 25

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  1. Lawyers self-selected focus areas in firm bios can often be quite aspirational - as in that's the kind of work they'd like to be doing, as opposed to the kind of work they are doing on a regular basis.
  2. The answer though is going to be different for each person. What worked for someone else might not work for you. What classes did ou get your best marks on, and which courses did you get your worst marks on? What was different about those courses, and how you prepared for them? Did you give yourself enough time to study, or did you leave things to the last minute? Did you keep up with reading? Did you keep notes? Did you revise your notes?
  3. I'm going to stand up for Alberta on this one. I agree that one shouldn't make career plans based on "short term" current job trends. But the history of Alberta has been mostly booming (with the occasional, but harsh, busts) for the last 40+ years. Even in the current recession Alberta continues to gain population at well above the national rate, and the current recession is projected to be over this year and to finally show some economic growth. I know my "on the ground" contacts (specially some extended family working in the oil patch) are reporting things to be better. I'm not originally from Alberta. I came here after graduating. Every once in a while I look into going back home (and given that I work in the public service, it's easy to look at comparable salaries). Even with the current recession I'm much better off financially staying in Alberta.
  4. Perhaps you mean provisional?
  5. I went to school in one province and then articled and wrote bar ads in another. It was a piece of cake. Most of what you learn is either the same or quite similar. In the one or two instances where there was a significant difference in the law it was widely noted, since bar ad people know not everyone went to school in that province.
  6. Your lawyer friend is mistaken. All law school admissions care about is your GPA and LSAT. As long as it is an accredited university they don't care where you went to undergrad.
  7. Just on the topic of "Am I the only complete failure here"... I was talking with a senior lawyer the other day. Somehow the topic of our career paths came up, and she mentioned there was a 15 year gap(!) in between her graduating law school and articling. She quickly explained it as that she graduated into the heavy early 80s recession of Alberta and she found work in other fields before coming back to law in the 90s. She is now a respected senior member of the bar. So no, you're not the only one that has ever had this problem.
  8. Oh come on, take off the rose-coloured glasses. You've never had to sit down and watch hours of video-taped statements? You've never sat through a multi-day fraud trial where you go through hundreds of pages of financial papers? Crim law is probably the most exciting area of law around, but it still has its dull moments.
  9. No, the median really isn't going to be useful either. There is genuinely a wide range of salaries. I understand why people like the OP ask the question - they want to try and plan out what the future might be like. The problem is that you can't. Take articling. I think the biglaw firms are paying into the $90k range for articling. But others are taking articling positions where they work for free. It helps no one to say "well the median articling salary is $50k", when that's probably not the salary anyone is being paid. If you want hard numbers, Canadian Lawyer magazine periodically does a compensation survey. It's accuracy is questionable since it's self-reported and probably not a representative sample. Their last survey was in 2014, and it reports that a 2013 call (1st year) had a lowest reported salary of $40k, a median of $80k and the highest reported was $105k. Ten years out the lowest reported salary was $55k (barely changed), the median was $145k, and the max was now $400k. http://www.canadianlawyermag.com/images/stories/pdfs/Surveys/2014/Comp_Survey.pdf
  10. To be fair I think many schools offered grads the ability to switch their LL.B. for a JD, so this fellow is doing nothing wrong. It just bugs me, is all.
  11. Okay, so I'm going to be fairly mercenary about this. The salary for a starting Crown Prosecutor starts at more like $60k. After a decade you should be nicely over $100k. There is a definite financial incentive. By the way if you are currently working for GOA your time of service will count if/when you rejoin as a Legal Officer in terms of holidays and benefits. Being open to moving to rural areas can make you more desireable to Alberta Justice as well. There are frequent openings in Ft Mac, Peace River, St. Paul, and the like. I can't say whether it would be worthwhile for you or not. Crown jobs (even in rural areas) are still quite desirable and it can be competitive. Myself I went straight from undergrad to law school so I can't offer any insight into the thought process. But the pay scales for a social worker and a Crown are quite different, so it is something to think about.
  12. Do you know what bugs me about that profile? J.D. (Gold and Silver Medalist), University of Calgary, 1987
  13. Well, it's not like a long CV is bad. It's just not something you can easily fix. Just running out and getting a real estate license doesn't show much of anything. But if you had a lengthy history of actually selling real estate that shows a lot (plus maybe you can get some referrals for the firm's RE lawyers). Getting a CPA is much more involved however. Whatever you do don't bother with the Securities course.
  14. Just watching this from the sidelines. As a Crown I obviously want a decently funded Legal Aid program (any run in with a self-rep is ample reason why). I have to say though that in a world of limited resources I'm pretty okay with custody being the cut-off for when someone qualifies for legal aid.
  15. In general, your experience is not that unusual. Busy criminal lawyers will often have multiple courtrooms that they need to be in. Summer students, and articling students are often used in this role of running from courtroom to courtroom helping the lawyer to set matters over, set trial or disposition dates, request adjournments, speak to simple pleas, etc. It's difficult to say because we're only getting one side of the story here. It could be you just don't know enough about the system. But I've seen LOTS AND LOTS of times where students get sent to court not having been told the first thing about the case. They'll come to ask for an adjournment. Crown or the Judge will point out the case has been adjourned 12 times already, and the student, not knowing anything has no reply. Ultimately it's the lawyer's name on the record. If you're in court and you don't have some important information, stand the matter down and get the information. It may bug the lawyer, but he should have given you that information in the first place. "thinking on your feet" is not an excuse for not knowing your file.