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TheScientist101 last won the day on April 9

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  1. Post hire-back etiquette

    Yeah, this was the type of situation I had in my mind. A situation where you want to switch cities, or go to a firm with a more focused practice area (maybe you're doing a split of wills, family and real estate and you just want to do wills etc.) During the interview there would have to be a clear differentiation from the firm that you're at and the one you want to move to. There has to be a convincing reason why your jumping.
  2. So, I think the answer is it depends. Medium sized firms tend to have different arrangements when it comes to salary and they are not necessarily "lock-step" so the effect on the cap for earnings will be variable. Large national or international firms have a predictable lock-step grid for the first 5-7 years so you will know going in exactly what to expect and how high your salary will go - usually large firms tend to set their lockstep in accordance with other large firms in the market so if you land at one of them the odds are that you will be at the higher end of earning potential. I think your question is "will I earn more in the long run at bigger firms when compared to smaller ones" and the answer to that is not necessarily. A small firm can still have big clients but less over-head (and this is often the case with small boutique firms). Usually these firms pay the same if not more than bigger firms. The answer to your second question also depends. I know that some larger firms will only hire articling students from other larger firms. However, this could change when you get into the small boutique context. Let's say you articled at an international trade boutique that caters to large international clients. The size and focus of that firm will necessarily mean that you get "more" experience in that area than your colleagues artlicling at a large full service firm. At large firms artlicling students can't really "focus" on an area like that - they rotate into a business department and, if an international trade file comes across their desk, they can help out with it (but only for a few months until they rotate again). Therefore, when you come from a small boutique, the quality of your experience might be looked on as more favorable when compared to your colleagues who articled at larger firms. In IP, firms do not tend to prefer whether an associate candidate articled at another large firm with an IP department - we only want the candidate to have IP experience and in many cases, experience from a small boutique is better than experience at a larger firm.
  3. Post hire-back etiquette

    I agree that there is a benefit to staying a longer period of time so that you can look less "flighty" to potential firms. However, I also think there could also be merit to answering this question honestly after a shorter time period, i.e. they offered me a hireback, I knew that I didn't want to stay there long term, but it's better to look for a job when you have a job and when I saw this position at this firm come up I didn't want to miss an opportunity to move onto somewhere where I believe I can really excel.
  4. Post hire-back etiquette

    I echo Providence and bob, I think a big mistake that juniors (including myself) can make is a mis-appropriated sense of "loyalty" to firms that give you love. The truth is, they are making a business decision when they make their hire back decisions. Likewise it's within your purview to make similar business decisions. A good friend of mine always said that it's better to look for a job when you already have a job - that just makes good business sense.
  5. Clerkships

    At Ottawa U you can request your ranking at the end of each year. A criterion to meet "Dean's List" used to be that you had to be within the top 10%. Therefore if that designation was on your transcript you knew that you were within that percentile. I'm not sure whether that criterion still exists now though.
  6. I know of a few medium sized firms in Ottawa that pay articling rates at $5K-$15K) more than the large firms in town (and that's in addition to benefits, bar fees and an articling bonus). It could be that the partners at those firms are more generous and they have less bureaucracy to get through to bump the pay. Perhaps they feel it allows them to choose the best students and to offer some real competition for students who would normally be drawn by bigger firms.
  7. GPA for IP law.

    If you're interested in IP then, sure, you should give it another try. If your goal is to get a job (any lawyer job) on Bay, then I would apply broadly. Cater your application to each firm and highlight your engineering experience for IP and tech firms. If you are also interested in Ottawa, also note that there tends to be at least one or more 2L spots for Ottawa IP recruit - that happens at the same time as the 1L recruit (so be ready for it in the fall). If a firm is looking for an electrical engineer then a B average will not automatically preclude you from the spot. But you are going to have to put forward a very persuasive application package to beat out the other electrical engineers that have higher averages. Best of luck.
  8. Do lawyers ever have really "grand" offices?

    How do you deal with confidentiality issues in that type of environment? For example - what about conflict walls? do you just never sit beside lawyers who are conflicted out of a file?
  9. GPA for IP law.

    I work on Bay in IP. I'm not going to go tit-for-tat with you on an off-topic discussion (that already happens way too often on these boards). OP - suffice to say, you are probably not going to get a job at a Bay street firm with a C average from any school - regardless of the practice area.
  10. GPA for IP law.

    Riiiiiiggghht - because Osgoode is just so much more superior. They're "C" is actually considered a "B" by all firms. I cannot see that conversation ever happening within a firm hiring committee. And don't shit on Windsor - their IP program is actually quite strong.
  11. GPA for IP law.

    There are a few caveats to your question. First, some IP students (in fact, most IP students in Ottawa) are hired out of first year. I was one such student so I was hired without any law school marks - I only submitted my pre-law school transcripts. Some firms require their 1L students to submit law school marks to them before they are hired back for 2L, but I have never heard that as a reason for a firm to not hire back for a 2L spot or articles. For 2L Toronto positions, every student I know had a B+ average (most self-identifed as being that, others I know for a fact had it because they graduated cum laude). Honestly it really depends on what the firm needs. If they are prosecuting a tonne of nano-technology patents and they need someone familiar in the field to help with that, then they are probably going to put less emphasis on grades so long as they get that electrical engineer. However, even then, I would think the cut off for averages at the time of application is usually a B (I have to say the "C" average anecdote surprised me, I know that definitely would not fly at my firm). If a firm needs someone for pharmaceutical litigation, they may not care whether the candidate has a B.Sc, an M.Sc or a PhD or the specific field those degrees are in - they just want someone who can learn the science and who can draft documents and research. Higher grades are probably more important for a firm with this type of need because the "specialty" is not so important and the depth of qualified individuals applying will be greater. I also note that if you are applying after articles to first year associate positions grades also matter at IP firms. In that situation they want to see that you have an appropriate background, that you have a demonstrated interest in IP (whether through mooting, clinics, researching and/or classes taken) and they usually want you to have articled at an IP firm/department. So, if you land a 1L spot with no grades, totally blow off school and end up with a C average, you could ultimately screw yourself over when it comes time to apply for associate spots.
  12. Why is legal research worth 1 unit?

    A firm is not going to look at your transcript and notice that legal research is only worth 1 credit. What they will notice is your over all GPA and the grade you got for legal research. I kid you not, legal research is one of the most important classes you will take in law school - if you don't know how to research law properly, then you cannot be a practicing lawyer. 99% of the work that a student does at a firm is research - so if you don't do well in that class it could (A) be difficult to over come during the interview process and (B) be difficult to actually do your job if you do get hired by a firm. I'm not sure if she's still teaching it, but in my day Prof. Mallet taught all of the sections. She has a hard exterior, but if you put in your best effort and actually meet with her to try and do well, she will help you. I emailed her multiple times as a summer and articling student to thank her for everything she taught me (I was still using my notes from that class while researching as an articling student). So, the point is that just because it's only 1 credit, do not let that fool you - the class is very, very important and it deserves your best effort.
  13. This is a totally random question, but I've been wondering it for a while and thought I would just ask the ls.ca hive. I noticed that Hollywood always portrays lawyers' offices (especially partner offices) as being very large and grand - normally consisting of a personal washroom, a couch, a meeting table a large desk etc. However, in my experience, lawyers offices are not often that large - or grand. They usually consist of a desk, some chairs and book shelves. Sometimes partner offices are marginally larger, and they may include one additional small table for in-office meetings but it's not noticeably better than other lawyers' offices. Do the offices portrayed in Hollywood lawyer movies/tv shows actually exist in real life? I mean, if they do exist I could understand a justification for such an office is the lawyer is facilitating client meetings in their personal office. However, I don't think that lawyers ever actually meet clients in their personal office - normally we do that sort of thing in a firm board room. So, why would a firm even justify spending the money on something like really fancy partner offices? Like I said - it's a random question that has absolutely no bearing on anything really pertinent - and I'm assuming (like almost all things from Hollywood) these kinds of partner offices really don't exist, but I'm interested to know none-the-less.
  14. Factors in Choosing a Law School

    This list is a great list (especially with Location at the top) but I would have put "tuition" down as being pretty important. There is a vast difference between the tuition at McGill's vs. tuition at UofT. When I was applying I had a great shot at getting into Osgoode, but I didn't apply there because I knew the tuition would have been too much of a strain on my family to justify my attendance.
  15. Clerkships

    I'm not sure if this is true for every school - but at least at Ottawa U it's recommended that you receive a Dean's letter for ONCA and SCC applications. You have to apply for that letter and the cut off for the application for ONCA is mid-B+ (which would be just shy of top 10% - during my time at Ottawa U top 10% was above mid-B+ average). For the SCC the cut off was A- average. Now, it's true that you can apply to those spots without the Dean's letter - but I would think the reason for the cut-off is because the faculty doesn't believe that anything below those averages is competitive. I would think the same is true for FCA - I had a high B+ average and received interviews there with that average. I'm not sure how low you could go for the FC or Ontario Superior Court - but I doubt that anything below a B+ is competitive.