habsfan93

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  1. Any clerkship is a valuable experience in itself and well worth pursuing, in my opinion. That said, if you are set on working in litigation on Bay Street then some lower court clerkships will further that particular career more than others. I would definitely target the commercial list division of the SCJ. You could also discuss with your firm what clerkships they would think would be worthwhile for you, but don't let them talk you out of a clerkship if that's what you want to do. A clerkship at any court is beneficial if just for the exposure to the judicial process/advocacy.
  2. D+ in contracts blows, but the rest of your grades are good and the strong upward trend should demonstrate to employers that the lousy grade in 1L is not indicative of your ability. In any event why not apply? You have nothing to lose. I know a few people who struck out in the formal articling recruit in 2L summer who applied again after graduation and got interviews. I can't really speak to whether firms view that kind of re-applying unfavourably, my guess is that it varies between firms/markets. It might raise some eyebrows but potential employers understand that the market is tough and that there are a lot more good applicants than there are positions. I do know of one person off-hand who didn't secure articles, worked in a non-law position at a bank, and then got an article through the recruit at a large full-service firm.
  3. Apply. A trial level clerkship could be valuable to an academic career, especially if you pick a court that is specialized or hears a lot of cases in your chosen area, e.g. FC for IP, the tax court for tax. As for the SCC, you sound like you have an outside shot at it. You don't have to be a gold medallist to fit their profile, especially since they just increased the number of positions available and changed the eligibility criteria. So I would say go for it. You mentioned working on your French. I wouldn't really bother (unless you are being modest about your current abilities). French is pretty useless at the SCC unless you have working proficiency in it, in which case it is a major asset. If you claim some French in the application but then can't respond to questions in the interview you end up looking like an asshole. Learning a language is hard and time consuming, and you may not have as much time to devote to it as you think you will given that you are about to start articles. I still encourage you to study the language, but I just wouldn't assume that you will be proficient in time for the interview or the clerkship.
  4. It's a pretty perplexing move. They are increasing the total number of positions while significantly cutting their pool of eligible applicants. Also kinda screws academic minded applicants who might not want to work in a firm or clerk at a lower court.
  5. I can do one for Calgary, in no particular order: 1) Location. I came from elsewhere and really enjoyed my time in Calgary. The city has a lot going for it. Decent nightlife, nice dog/running/biking paths, great ethnic food if you know where to look, proximity to the mountains, et cetera. The U of C campus and surrounding area is nothing special, but you can get downtown in 15 minutes on the C-train. 2) Class size. Each year has about 100-110 students, which I think is smaller than most schools. This means you get to acquainted with everyone pretty quickly and no one is a stranger, which I thought was nice. 3) Cost. Tuition was about 13-14k each year I attended so substantially cheaper (I think) at least compared to the GTA schools. The relatively small class in a large legal/business market also means there is a lot of scholarship/bursary money available. I came in with a thoroughly mediocre gpa and got a substantial entrance scholarship, and also received fair amount of funding throughout law school. 4) Moots. The small class size means you have a better chance of getting on to the more popular moots. U of C also typically punches above its weight in a few of the national moots, thanks to very devoted local practitioners who coach these things. 5) Jobs. If you want to work in Calgary, U of C is the place to go. If you want to work elsewhere then the U of C JD might not particularly help you, but it won't hurt you either. 6) Clinics. Most first year students participate in SLA, and it's typical for volunteers to get their own files right at the start of the year. It's not unusual for students to make court appearances (e.g. to ask for adjournments, enter a guilty plea, etc) within the first few weeks of starting law school. There's also a decent variety of clinical stuff for upper years, including a public interest environmental clinic, an IP clinic, family law, criminal, solicitor type work for startups, et cetera. 7) Sports. There are a fair amount of intramural teams plus other sports (and drinking) centred events such as a golf tournament, hockey tournament, curling, ski trip. 8) Class composition. My class was fairly diverse with a roughly even split between Alberta and non-Alberta residents. Calgary in general is a bit of melting pot and very open to outsiders since most people have moved there from elsewhere. You're less likely to run into set social groups made up of people who went to some camp/high school together than you are at some other schools. 9) Courses. Beyond the typical law school courses, the school's focus is mostly on placing students in corporate firms in Calgary, so you get a decent selection of courses related to business law and oil and gas law. If you are passionate about other things you may not get as many choices as you would at other schools, but that may be for another thread. 10) The block week courses: when I was there, the 1st and 2nd year block weeks were a total joke and a waste of time. The 3rd year one however was actually pretty good, so I put these as a plus. The 3rd year block week basically teaches you how to run a trial. You have practitioners come in who teach you how to examine a witness, make objections, etc. You get to practice cross and direct examinations with real cops, and run a mock trial in front of a real judge. All in all pretty neat.
  6. If you have the grades and want to clerk there then of course it's worth applying. If you are applying to other clerkships then you will have to prepare a similar application package anyways. 2Ls do get hired there and you can always re-apply if you get dinged the first time.
  7. I called the office and they were very helpful. They can't accept money online but they said they would wait a few days past the deadline. Thanks for the advice!
  8. So many tennis players, I guess I should dust off the old rackets and bring 'em out West!
  9. Does anyone know if there is a way to pay the $200 deposit online? I live in the asshole of China and have no easy way to mail in a cheque/money order to U of C. Oh yeah, and I will be attending next year! I'm looking forward to meeting all of you and best of luck to those still waiting!
  10. I didn't get admission to the school I wanted last time around so I was in a similar situation where I was looking for a short term (8-12 months) job that would tide me over until September 2013. Now I work as an English teacher abroad and I can't recommend it highly enough. The salary and work conditions vary a lot between and within countries but it is not difficult to find placements that would allow you to save as much money as you would living in Canada while earning entry level wages. All you need to be to a foreign teacher is a BA and native English ability and there are literally hundreds of thousands of jobs out there.
  11. Are there deals on ski tickets for U of C students? Is it easy to get out to the mountains without a car? Not gonna lie the possibility of skiing in the Rockies every other weekend is a big draw for me moving to Calgary.
  12. Yeah after reading the attached letter it is just an invitation to apply, though if the French common law section is actually as desperate as it's coming across it's got to be much easier to get in there than into the English section.
  13. I got an email from Catherine offering me an acceptance to the French common law JD section even though I applied to the regular English one and haven't gotten into that yet. They must be pretty desperate to find people for the French section but really...what is the upside of studying common law in French?
  14. I would stay optimistic. The deadline to respond to the acceptances that they sent out is March so a bunch of spots will probably open up around then since some people who got accepted to U of C will decline in favour of other schools.
  15. March 31st.