Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


TheScientist101 last won the day on May 26 2014

TheScientist101 had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

380 Good People

1 Follower

About TheScientist101

  • Rank

Recent Profile Visitors

915 profile views
  1. Oath versus affirmation discussion (spliced)

    As an articling student I was asked to swear a number of affidavits to submit into evidence ( a very common practice in Trademark Oppositions). The first time I did it, when it came time to draft my affidavit, I noticed the typical language of "I TAKE OATH AND SWEAR AS FOLLOWS". I pointed out to the supervising lawyer that I was an atheist and as such I felt it dishonest to swear an oath. I asked if we could change it to affirm, to which she of course agreed - what's interesting is that I searched our national data base for a precedent with standard "affirm" language and I couldn't find any affidavit within the past 10 years that used it - everyone used "oath" language. If someone stuck a bible in front of me and told me to swear to tell the truth it would mean nothing to me (It would more effective if I was asked to swear on the most recent publication of Nature magazine.). In a way I'm obliged to let a Court know that - otherwise before I even give my testimony I'm being misleading.
  2. Chances 3.72 OLSAS GPA, 151 LSAT.

    Yes - it's possible. Look we all know that the University of Ottawa's admissions process is largely a "black box". When you hear people on here say that there is "little" emphasis on the LSAT, what they mean is that Ottawa will routinely offer first round acceptances to candidates with a 157, which is lower than most universities which generally offer their first round to candidates with an LSAT over 160. At the University of Ottawa, as you go lower than 157, those acceptances (first round or otherwise) appear to be more rare. Let's not sugar coat this though, although there is *technically* a chance, a 151 is very low and it is in your best interest to rewrite in December to try and pull it up.
  3. Salary in Edmonton

    I think so? I've heard of it at multiple firms.
  4. Salary in Edmonton

    First, my apologies to the OP - my previous response to a post seems to have derailed the thread topic, I don't have anything to compare how I work now to how I would have worked in Ottawa. I only know "targets" - from what I'm hearing from other firms the typical Bay target (if a firm has a target) is 1800 hrs/year. In Ottawa the target is about 1750, plus a non-billable target (generally 100-300hrs). My current Bay firm does not have a non-billable target, so, on paper it looks like I may have actually worked more in Ottawa as a first year. Is that how it really is? I have no idea - all I know is that I've been here for 3 months and right now I'm averaging about 10% above my monthly targets. I'm in the office about 10-12 hours a day, and I average about 5hrs every weekend. When I was in Ottawa as an articling student I worked just as hard (but again, is that a real comparison?). When I articled in Ottawa I always said that I just could not imagine working much more than I did at that time (and by all definitions I am a workaholic) - I don't notice that I'm working more in Toronto and I don't think anyone here wants me to.
  5. Salary in Edmonton

    I used to come at this from the perspective of comparing the Ottawa law market to Toronto (after reading this thread it seems that Edmonton and Ottawa are pretty comparable regarding compensation). Now, I'm not sure what the cost of living is in Edmonton, but in Ottawa we rented a 780sq ft. condo in the down town core for $1400/mth including parking and utilities. We have since moved so I could take a position on Bay Street and we had to consider the increased cost of living in making our decision. In Toronto, we could have gotten about the same type of condo for $2500/mth (it turns out we opted to move a little further out so we could have more space and a backyard). We find that many other factors are close to what we would have paid in Ottawa (groceries, gas prices, public transportation etc.) In the end, it's the rent that is far more expensive and that's $1100 extra per month or 13 200/year. After taxes, I"m probably bringing home about $16000 more per year than I would have been in Ottawa. So, for my first year - I agree, I'm not making 'that much" more money than I would have in Ottawa. However, I think it can really make a difference when you look at the lockstep progression (especially in light of the "new" numbers being reported on Bay right now). In Ottawa my first three year lockstep would have looked something like: $75K, $85K, $100K. In Toronto, it's looking like $100, $120 $150. By third year, even when you consider the difference in the cost of living, that's a huge difference. Note that my comments are restricted to renting, I have no idea what the housing market is like in Edmonton, but I'm sure it is a fraction of Toronto prices. Would a third associate in Edmonton have a shot at saving enough money to own a house? I don't know - but in Toronto many answer that question in the negative.
  6. Vacation

    I stand corrected. Good thing I wasn't giving legal advice there
  7. Vacation

    I think that anywhere you work has to give a minimum 2 weeks* - I'm assuming this rule applies to all articling positions. *note I am not an employment lawyer and this is not to be construed as legal advice.
  8. Vacation

    Ah yeah, okay - that's what I figured. I was at a firm where, as an articling student, we were paid out for unused vacation, I'm at a different firm now and will inquire about the policy but at least my suspicions are confirmed here and I know what to expect. Thanks!
  9. Vacation

    As a tangential question - do most firms pay out unused vacation days? Or do you just completely lose out if you don't take it?
  10. Having students evaluate associates ?

    This times a million. As a summer and articling student I worked with an associate who was truly a terrible communicator. My first encounter with this particular associate resulted in complete disaster and I was reprimanded by the associate and a partner for not properly researching a question. I remember being outraged by the whole ordeal because in my mind, the fault was on the associate for not asking the question properly. The thing is, in this situation, it doesn't help you to play the blame game. Instead you have to take responsibility and make sure it doesn't happen again. For myself, the situation taught me to always take extra steps to ensure that I am understanding the question properly. For any future task I received from this associate these extra steps included repeating the instructions back to the associate, confirming the instructions via email (to have it in writing so if the question did change I could point to that and say - "as I had confirmed this is what my understanding of the question was") and stopping in for clarification once my preliminary research was done. The point is, no matter how terrible an associate is at delegating/communicating, the onus is on you to make sure you've got the instructions right.
  11. Job Search During Articling

    I only applied to very few posted positions mainly because there were not that many of them. Instead I started to tap my network - colleagues at both the firm I was working and whom I had met through law school. I was told that several places were looking but the positions weren't posted. I put application materials together and applied from there. The firm where I currently work we one of these unpostrd positions. I also put a lot, probably 30-40 emails, out to lawyers at firms where I could see myself working. Within my "first contact" email I had about a four-line blurb about myself, I said why I was interested in that particular firm , I invited whomever I was contacting out for coffee then I attached a CV in case they wanted to learn more about me. I was able to get a few (2) interviews using this strategy, and a lot of coffee dates (which was great because it turned into more leads and introductions). Several of the firms I reached out to in this manner contacted me later in the summer to ask whether I was still interested (which, by that time I was not because I was already taken on at a great firm). Reaching out early is not a bad thing - even if they don't know whether they'll have a position it gives you an opportunity to develop your rapport with a firm so that when they are looking, they'll think of you.
  12. Job Search During Articling

    I was in a similar situation during my my articles. I started applying to places in March, and was hired at a great firm at the end of May. In about April I regretted applying so late, mostly because the process of getting hired by a firm takes forever and around that time panic was setting in. I think it's important to remember 3 things. 1. It's never too early to start networking - call people at firms you're interested in and ask them out for coffee - in my experience lawyers (especially junior ones) are always happy to have a chat with you. 2. Make the most of your articles - knowing that you are not being hired back can be a distraction - you just want to secure a job and that can be consuming! I know it can be tough, but try to stay focused on your articling - there is a lot of experience out there that you can get during your articles - and it's important that you get it. 3. During your articles, no matter what, make sure you leave with a rock solid reputation. Again, at times (especially towards the end) it was difficult for me to even care enough to put forth my best effort. But remember - the lawyers you work for and with are those who will be writing your reference letters. They are the lawyers who will work in your professional circles for (probably) the rest of your life. Your reputation starts with articles, keep it golden and it will help with the job search in the end.
  13. Lockstep progression after articling?

    Oh! Something I have consistently wondered though (which may be useful for the forum) is what is the protocol with clerks who have previously articled? Is it Bay street practice to bump them to a second year salary the January after their September start date?
  14. Lockstep progression after articling?

    Yes, what bob and barely legal have said is the practice - often the associate contract will stipulate when you can expect a raise, so for myself (hired summer of 2017) it states that my salary will be the same through December 2018 and in Jan. 2019 there will be a negotiated increase.
  15. Prof recommendations: entering 2nd yr

    I spoke to her a lot outside of the "class-room" context so it's not so weird for me I guess. She really was great, I have to say. Something I really appreciate about her is she is really, truly always willing to help. I visited her several times during her office hours and she was incredibly helpful. Because of my background I was having a lot of trouble picking up the nuance of legal research and writing (I struggled with writing in active voice for the entire first term of law school), she sat down and really took the time to teach me. As long as you are willing to put in the effort to learn, she is willing to go the extra mile in teaching you.