Malicious Prosecutor

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Malicious Prosecutor last won the day on April 25

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  1. I think you're making a bit of a logical fallacy here Diplock. No one is saying 'certain areas of law don't care if new hires are good or not'. The question rather is "are there certain areas of law that don't put as much focus on marks'. And my understanding is that the answer to that question is "yes". And crim law is one of those areas. Of course I'm not saying that makes crim law easy to get into, or that we'll hire any old schlub! But rather if you're looking to break into crim law a passion for crim and courtrooms and solid advocacy will go a lot further than marks. A C+ student with a lot of experience in legal aid clinics and an obvious passion for crim law is more likely to get crim articles than a B+ student without those things.
  2. Very few people coming into the LSAT do well on a cold test like that. Writing the LSAT is definitely a teachable skill though.
  3. Don't overthink this. You're from BC and would like to move back there. Flights to and from Winnipeg and Vancouver are noticeably cheaper than to Ottawa (and take much less time). Winnipeg is known for having a high crime rate, but as an aspiring criminal lawyer this is a plus because I believe their clinic program is quite strong. Manitoba's career office may be focused on the local market, but I would believe so is Ottawa. Don't worry about firms doing OCIs - those aren't the criminal firms anyways. And cheaper tuition is always a factor.
  4. So the one proviso here is if you're talking about the Dual JD Windsor program. If that is the case, you should be aware that you have to pay full tuition at both Windsor and Detroit Mercy - effectively paying double the cost. In that case the sheer savings of some $60k may make Lakehead a more appealing school.
  5. I didn't article in a rural location, but I did work as a junior lawyer. Sadly the numbers are going to be all over the map. Some firms will probably pay fairly generously. Some probably won't. Ask for a city-sized salary (albeit not what the top firms are paying) as a starting point. Your employer can always say no.
  6. No "a-ha!" Eureka moment. I remember watching LA Law back in the day as a kid (thus dating myself - think of it as Suits from the 1980s) thinking that looked like a kind of cool job. So law was always my plan, despite not knowing a huge amount about the real life practice of law. In university you have to take an undergrad, and I was convinced to take a "practical" degree in the Sciences. My marks weren't stellar so I thought law school might be beyond me, so I dedicated myself to my science courses. I got a job in a northern community in my field and I quickly went "what the hell am I doing?!?" and quickly signed up for the LSAT. With a strong LSAT and a slight uptick in my marks I was accepted to law school and off I went. I know going to university can be kind of scary and exciting, but don't get too worked up about long range plans. Take courses that line you up for psychology, and just worry about getting good marks for your first year. You have several years to sort out your long-term career plans.
  7. There are timelines posted on each law schools web pages. I randomly googled two schools, and they won't start accepting applications until late August or some time in September. Which makes sense as the admissions departments are still in the midst of doing 2017 admissions.
  8. It's an old, old joke, but... Q. What do you call the person who graduated last in their class in medical school? A. Doctor. OP, you have passed all of your classes. You're moving on to second year, and with it, your dream of becoming a lawyer is coming closer. Yes, those aren't great marks. You should take the summer for some reflection, probably talk with other students and some of your professors to try and determine how you can improve. And yes, there are some articling jobs that are very mark-dependent that you probably won't be able to get (though strong 2L marks will make up for a lot). But even then - lets take the worst case scenario and say you graduate with a C to C+ average, somewhere near the bottom of your class. You've still graduated! Show some hustle, look for articling jobs that aren't going to be so focused on law school marks, and ask yourself what other way do you have to really market yourself to employers and potential clients. Once you're a lawyer I can assure you that no one ever asks to see your transcripts.
  9. Not a factor. They'll have a whole year of first hand experience in seeing you work. That counts far, far more than a year-old exam mark.
  10. The LL.B. is the original, the true deal. The JD is but a pale imitation, worthless really.
  11. The OP is a brand new call, sole practitioner, looking to break into family law legal aid work? Yikes! OP, I don't know how you can find a mentor, but you're going down a very difficult road. Best of luck to you.
  12. I think other's have said it before, but I know many, many lawyers that used either anglicized versions of their names (Obama at times used Barry instead of Barack), or wholesale adopt a new name (A Vietnamese lawyer I knew went from Nguyen to Gwyn). Not to mention all those women lawyers whose "professional name" is different from their legal name. So I don't think the OP has any real legal problems surrounding identity fraud. But... it sounds like the OP didn't pick a name he intends to use professionally from now on. That would be one thing, and easily explained "Hey I'm sending you my transcripts - you should note that although I use Smith professionally, my last name is listed as Hussein on my transcript". Instead he did this as some kind of sociology experiment. And it's going to be difficult to talk down this - you're essentially saying the firms wouldn't have contacted you using the original name. Which, even if true, nobody likes to have it pointed out. So which is it OP - are you looking to live with your new name or not?
  13. Well no - by the time I got into law school I was bitten by the Biglaw or bust mindset. I didn't even apply for government articles! (I'm not saying this was a good decision, mind you) As BQ pointed out, that kind of legal work is done by DOJ lawyers. Very few if any government agencies have their own lawyers - it's pretty much all done by DOJ. When I was with DOJ (as a Federal Prosecution Service Lawyer - later on split into PPSC) it didn't seem like the civil side DOJ lawyers did much Environmental work, though possibly I wasn't in the right office. But really, if I came out of law school saying "I want to work on Environmental Law with DOJ" - I am now limiting myself to working with just one single employer, and doing just one specific kind of practice within that one single employer. I don't know that is great career planning...
  14. No. It's very easy to "specialize" in business law by taking a lot of business-law type courses, without having the school have a formal specialization program.
  15. 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.