TheScientist101

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  1. Retrospectively I now realize that I was a terrible writer before law school. I recently reviewed my Personal Statement and thought "my God how did they let me in?" - it was cringe-worthy - the entire thing was written in passive voice and I incorrectly used words that I thought sounded "smart". I started almost every sentence with a "Given,", "Here" or "Additionally". Nothing was written "point-first", I had about 3 sentences of "intro" before even getting to my point and points were regularly repeated over and over again. I don't think it was law school in general that helped me to improve my writing, but I attribute a large part of my progress to competitive mooting. For one of our moots I think we had 60 drafts of that darn factum. It was a source of constant criticism for me, but nothing was more sweet then when our Prof/Coach gave it a final review and didn't ask for a revision. Bob is right - practice, practice, practice and be open to and apply the criticism you are given. Now, I don't think I'm a great writer - but I know that I am always improving and I am definitely better than I was before law school.
  2. RE: where to send the application: Even if a firm's website has a designated application receiver (HR personnel, Talent director etc.), in addition to this designated person I still send my application to someone who can contribute to the decision to hire me (ie: a Partner). If it's a small/medium firm, sometimes this means I send it to the name partner. If it is a Large firm I go onto their website and I figure out who is the "big name" of the group with whom I want to work. If I can't tell from looking at the website I ask around and see if anyone knows. If there is no designated receiver identified on the website then sometimes I send it to two people who would contribute to hiring decisions - the point is, I want my application package to be in front of as many people as I can get it to because it increases the odds that someone will actually look at it. Also, I think it goes without saying, if you have anyone who you can name drop in your "first contact" email do it (of course, with the permission of the name dropee). Something like: "My colleague "so and so" has spoken very highly of your firm and encouraged me to reach out..." etc. Good luck!
  3. I was wondering if interviewees can read anything into the order they are slotted when interviewing for junior associate spots. I've seen posts on here referring to orders for in firm slots during OCIs, but I didn't know if the same could be said for associate interviews. Let's say a firm is interviewing over the period of a few weeks, if the firm decides to interview you first is that a good sign? what should you think if you're slotted last? is it a bad sign? Is it something stupid that we shouldn't bother trying to read into? (and why bother because at this point there is nothing you can do about it). Anyone have insight?
  4. I didn't look to see what school you're from, but I know that at the University of Ottawa there is an internal competition to receive a Dean's Recommendation Letter for the SCC and ONCA applications. In order to apply for the Dean's letter you need an A- average for the SCC and a mid-B+ average for the ONCA letter. I've also heard that it is near impossible for Ottawa U grads to get an interview without the Dean's Letter. Although there are no "minimum" grade requirements to apply to those levels of courts, I'm guessing that's the about the cutoff for you to be competitive. Also note that the SCC no longer takes on students without a year of articling or clerking under their belts, so if next January you are in 2L you're going to have to wait to apply to the SCC.
  5. Mine is 4 pages - but that's a caveat to IP because I have a two page addendum where I've summarized my academic projects and listed my publications. Everything else should be no longer than 2 pages.
  6. I agree with sonadera, you are looking at the long game my friend. If you do have an advanced degree (ie: PhD in a life science or degree in engineering) you can apply for a Patent Agent Trainee spot and then get in that way. It also maybe easier if you have some relevant IP experience - such as researching for an IP prof, or taking a ton of IP courses in law school (perhaps you won an award or two?) - something you can point to on your CV and say "see I have THAT relevant experience - it won't be like I'm coming in completely ignorant". If you're willing to play the long game then it's is definitely possible to switch into IP. I know a top IP practitioner who started in criminal law, made the switch into corporate and then into IP. Corporate/Commercial and IP really go hand in hand because of all the licensing agreements you have to deal with. I'm also not sure what the chances are for you to get into a full service firm, but if you can land a spot in the corporate/commercial side of a full service, it may be easier for you to put yourself out to their IP team and see if you can pick up work that way. As for in-house - you might have an easier time if you have experience in privacy law - I've seen a few come up that are both IP/privacy law centered - so if you have that knowledge it could be considered an asset.
  7. I think this might be a bit exaggerated. I certainly don't remember too many people dropping my first year. There are a percentage of transfer students - but that goes for every school (probably an equal number coming in as going out). There is a quick learning curve to first year but it's not that bad. Keep engaged, have fun, and most importantly - don't be an asshole dust-bag - it will bite you later in life. *Edit* - if you mean "dropping off" as in - going into their own holes to study, not "dropping out" - then yes you are correct - some students tend to freak out and hibernate with fun reading materials like their property text book. I pity these students, remember a lot of being a lawyer is about being social. You're going to want to make connections in law school - not only for your social health but also for your future career. Don't hibernate, join study groups, help each other out and say hi to Mike at FnS. Law school is impossible to do by yourself (especially in a hole with a property text book)
  8. I didn't know what Western's tuition was - really $21,700? I was pretty sure that when I was accepted in 2013 it was something like $11,000? it was definitely less than Ottawa U which was $15,000 at the time (and when I left had risen to $18K, so I still assumed that Western was below 18). I had heard that Oz was up over $30K but I guess it's not that high yet. Still. that's a $15K difference over three years, add it to the 20K and now you're looking at a $35K savings by going to Western.
  9. Personally, I would take the scholarship and go to Western. Western is a great school and (at least when I was applying) the tuition there is substantially lower that Osgoode. Cost of living in London is also not too bad. So, you're not only saving the $20K, but you are also saving the difference in tuition which, over the 3 years, could be as high as $30K. That's a $50K difference between the two schools. Even if you have to pay for your living expenses in London it would still be in your financial interest to choose Western. If you don't take it you'll be kicking yourself if you get rejected by Osgoode and have to firmly accept Western without the scholarship.
  10. Yeah - see I wouldn't have even thought of this. People can just be assholes sometime (law students have a particular tendency to fall into this category). Anyway - I think what i was trying to emphasize is that a good articling experience includes being able to work as a team with your colleagues. At my firm, the articling student team is incredible. I would come back just to keep working with them. The way in which we get along has been noticed among the professionals at the firm, and we are told regularly how impressed everyone is with how well we get along. We are very productive together, and I think if we had turned competitively on one another our ability to get shit done would be severely compromised. It also means that if a professional knocks on my door when I'm swamped, I can helpfully offer to find them another student.
  11. Another variation that I like is "Unfortunately I can't because I'm busy doing X, Y and Z all due tomorrow; but if you would like, I can complete it next week, or I can find you another student" At least in my experience, the ability of the students to work as a team is key. At my firm we probably meet close to daily, we have conversations about what everyone else is doing and we all know how much work each student has. This makes it far more easy to divide work. It's almost like as a group of students you are a mini firm within the actual firm. You are all there to serve your clients, the lawyers. The better you work as team, the better service you can give your clients and they happier they are with you as a group.
  12. I need a lead on some of these balanced IP jobs .
  13. For the last question - Yes, you can "article" twice - but it goes the other way around (merely because clerking fulfills the articling requirements for licensing). So, you can article at a firm and then clerk. You can also clerk twice (often that's a path to the SCC, say you clerk one year at ONCA, and the next at the SCC). I have never heard of anyone clerking with the Court and then articling - because of the way the licensing requirements work I think it would actually be impossible to do this. I don't think I can offer qualified answers for your other questions so we'll just leave my contribution at that.
  14. If I had to do it again, I would purchase the index. I chose a small group of people i could trust as an indexing group. It was good - except it took FOREVER. I really don't think it actually helped me study. What I needed to do was purchase an index and then choose a small study group of trusted peers. In retrospect it would have given me far more time to actually study.
  15. The variance could be due to when the date on which offers were given. Generally if you were accepted later in the cycle you might have more time before an acceptance is required.