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TheScientist101 last won the day on May 26 2014

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  1. No co-sign, no hope?

    @bhaywardio I've posted here a few times about getting through law school without the PSLOC. I was once faced with the possibility of not attending because of financial reasons - it was suggested that I take a few years to work and save so I could attend but because of the cross-roads I was at in my career paths (post-doc or law school), working and saving for a few years wasn't really an option - I had to choose what I was going to do with my life and I had to choose it then. If we couldn't afford law school then I was going to accept a Post-doc offer (and it's not like those pay enough for me to have law school tuition saved up after 2 or 3 years). We decided that, although it might be a little uncomfortable, we would try to get through law school one term at a time. In my situation it worked because (1) I landed a 1L summer job (2) I was able to work during law school (I worked as an RA for a variety of profs and as a TA of several law and non-law courses) (3) I was approved for the max amount of OSAP in my first year of law school (which significantly dwindled after my 1L summer but hey those are the blows) and (4) my wife did a heck of a lot to support us. I attended Ottawa U which is about the middle of the road regarding tuition costs, they have a needs based scholarship, if you qualify for OSAP then you receive $2000 off of your first year tuition $1500 off in subsequent years. I also won a few merit based scholarships throughout (totaling about $5000). Now, we didn't do all of law school without the LOC - by the time I was entering third year my wife and I decided that it was time for me to get one because I was doing a lot of extra-curricular activities in my last year and my OSAP was completely drying up (I was making too much money on my own), so in my final year I got one. BUT, had I not, we still probably could have made it work. The point is - there are ways for it to work, but they're not always fun (and not always possible for people - the fact that I had a wife who brought in enough to cover the majority of my living expenses helped a huge amount). I was also in a very unique position because my graduate experience made me very employable in an academic setting (where I was making way above minimum wage). You need to take a good hard look at your options. Stop asking people to co-sign - that ship (and the possibility of a PSLOC) has sailed. If you can figure out how to get through 1L you can try to do that and then hope you can continue on (this is very risky though because if you can't continue then you've really just screwed yourself). Or, you can do what others on here are suggesting which is to take a few years and work - try to save, and then take it from there. Good luck!
  2. Articling hireback

    My experience is with big law (National and international law firms) in Ontario. I've known firms to let their students know as early as January (but this early is very unlikely). Generally speaking decisions are left to as late as possible, because lawyers really want to get every last drop out of their students. For myself, my decision was officially made in March, but most of my colleagues at other firms found out mid to late May.
  3. Thought I was Competitive - No Acceptance?

    Something to remember about Ottawa U is that, at least from the outside, they appear to review applications at random. Like @ericontario said - they don't have an official way to "sort" the applications. It was just as frustrating for me, I only applied to four schools and by February I was in at Windsor, Queens and Western (IP professors from Western even called me to try and get me to go there) but all I got from Ottawa was radio silence. At the time I was super annoyed because I crafted my PS to highlight my interest in their one of a kind IP program and with my background, cGPA and LSAT I knew I was competitive (as was evidenced by my other acceptances). Alas, finally by the end February the stars aligned and I was accepted. For the briefest of moments I wanted to reject them because of how long they made me wait - but cooler (and less arrogant) minds prevailed. Going there was absolutely one of the best decisions I ever made - it made my career. Just remember that the adcoms are working as fast as they can, and, like the entire rest of your career - the process will require some patience (and also possibly some patients if you decide to go into IP, medical malpractice or health law ;)) Best of luck!
  4. Workload in law school

    It matters if you want to clerk or go into academia. Otherwise, I think As may offer you a better chance at Big Law (if that's what you desire) right out of law school, but more importantly, Cs (many of them) will likely close the "direct route to Big Law" door pretty quickly. If someone really wants that career path then they'd have to do a work around and try to get in a few years after law school, when, as you pointed out, no one really looks at grades. Also - totally agree - not the be all and end all - students with terrible averages can end up in the absolute best jobs. However, if you are consistently getting C's then that may be an indicator that you should try different study strategies and seek advice on how to improve your ability to learn, retain and apply law.
  5. Workload in law school

    I started law school by calculating that each hour of lecture I heard was costing me about $40 - and I was not going to waste a cent of that money (especially because we really had to scrape to cover my tuition). But I quickly discovered that my tuition was not just going towards lecture time, it also contributed to a wealth of opportunities that I could take advantage of in law school (sometimes at the expense of attending lectures). Sometimes there were more valuable things I could be doing with that lecture time, such as TAing or RAing (which I was paid more than $40/hr to do) or participating in clinics or moot prep (which ultimately provided very valuable experience that contributed to me being hired at my firm of choice). I would say all in all I probably skipped a total of 30% of all classes during law school - I ended up with great experience and loads of relevant "law" activities to put onto my CV and still ended up in the top 10% of my class. I'm not saying the lectures aren''t valuable - many of them most certainly are, but sometimes there is a benefit to putting other activities before attending the lectures - so long as it doesn't impact your grades. Sometimes, even if it does impact your grades it can still be worth it. For example, I think that going from an A to an A- is worth performing really well in a moot, presenting at a conference as an RA or being able to assist in an SCC intervention through clinic involvement.
  6. Old thread new question - I've been trying to cut and paste images into a post, the image will show up when I am typing the post but not on the thread once I post it - so how do I get the image into my post? Second - same question but for a GIF - how do I get into a post? (yes - still tech illiterate) - thanks!
  7. I checked my Minerva ten times today. It is making mi-nervas!

    I know nothing about McGill (or its acceptances) but this thread popped up on my feed and all I have to say is it is awesome that McGill's system is called "Minerva" (any other Harry Potter fans geeking out about this?!)
  8. Workload in law school

    This. I came from a STEM background - the workload wasn't heavier per se, it was just different. There was a pretty steep learning curve for the first month but once I got there it wasn't really difficult or "heavy", just... different.
  9. legal research outside canada

    Not sure where you are but your law school should have a Westlaw subscription that should have access to the US and UK version of the westlaw websites. If you're in Toronto the Great Library has the subscription that allows you to access these as well.
  10. 90k in house v 110k at firm

    I just want to clarify that although this can be one's experience on Bay Street it isn't true for everyone. I am a first year at a firm that has the 1800 hr billable target, I have never worked passed 11pm (and I've only worked up until 11pm a handful of times) my usual work day is 10-11 hours in the office maybe 1 at home and about 7 hours working from home on a weekend. Yes, a few times I've had to cancel plans with my (incredibly understanding) wife and the only time I haven't seen my wife on a weekend (I'm taking this super literally, as in - I did not have at least a 15 minute conversation with her) is once when I was out of town for work. I spend at minimum an hour a night with my wife, but normally it's a few hours (home for dinner, put kid to bed, spend time with wife). Also, in my experience if you have two 12 hour roller-coaster days in a row - there is a 99% chance that you will know that's about to happen and you can plan for it (i.e. - I have X meeting with Y client on Thursday and A factum due for B case on Friday etc.). I'm still pretty green in this profession, but so far I do not feel over worked or under appreciated - in fact, I'm loving every minute of the firm life (although I can understand how it's not for everyone).
  11. Leveraging Scholarship Offers

    Just a note that if you accept the scholarship offer then this post will make it very easy for your identity to be discovered (I believe the winners of these scholarships are publicized). Perhaps consider editing so that your anonymity may be preserved for the future. Also - congratulations that is quite the accomplishment!
  12. Ottawa vs Windsor

    One thing I love about Ottawa that I think is very under-rated is your access to the SCC and Parliament. During my time there I met every sitting SCC judge - every time a new judge is appointed we would have a reception and all of them would be there. Heck, there is even an SCC seminar class where you got to go and meet and discuss law with the judges. Additionally, I've said it many times on these forums before - Ottawa's mooting program is absolutely first rate. If you are interested in oral advocacy you really cannot go wrong with Ottawa U. Even in the first year moot the finalists argue in front of, you guessed it, an SCC judge. There is also a wealth of RA and clinic opportunity at Ottawa U as well. You should also note that Ottawa has a separate 2L recruit after Toronto OCIs so if you strike out in Toronto you at least will still have an opportunity to land something at a good firm in the Ottawa market (which you can use as a spring board for eventually getting into Toronto). If you're looking for *prestige* you should note that 3 of the uottawa common law professors were also recently appointed to the Order of Canada. The Dean, Professor Dodek is absolutely incredible, not to mention a variety of other Professors who are the top of their field (Prof. de Beer, Kerr, Magnet, Mathen and Flood to name a few).
  13. Negotiating Salary outside of Toronto

    I'm not sure about corporate/commercial - but I know that in IP, even firms that are small and outside of the downtown core (30-45 minutes away) pay Bay street rates. The location, or the size of the firm doesn't matter so much as the type of clients they are bringing in. If you expect to be doing the same type of work for the same types of clients that you work for on Bay, then at least in IP, I would expect the salaries to be roughly equal.
  14. 2017/2018 Current 1L AMA

    I loved Centretown - still only a 20-30 minute walk to campus (or a $6 uber on really cold/snowy days). Also a quick walk (15-20 minute) to the market or the Glebe. Rent is also really affordable in that area of the city, but you can still score a nice place with good amenities.
  15. Unfortunately a 574 is just a really low score - and although PSLOC are relatively easy to get (as explained above by the Scotia rep), they are not just given out to every applicant. I'm fairly certain that even in 2005-2006 an applicant with that score would not be approved without a co-signer.