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rziegler

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  1. 10 reasons TO go to my law school

    Clementine is fantastic!
  2. 10 reasons TO go to my law school

    A U of M one was done relatively recently, but wouldn't suffer from an update: 1) No "minus" letter grades: That C- becomes a C, A- becomes an A, etc. By the numbers, you might, at another school, be a B- student, but at U of M your transcript will indicate that you are a B student. I don't know why that is but I am sure I have benefitted from this somewhere along the line. 2) Clinics: One of the reasons I applied to Robson Hall in the first place was for the University of Manitoba Community Law Centre. It's a Legal Aid clinic that focuses on summary conviction matters with no risk of jail time. Even post-Jordan, the clinic runs through 500-600 matter in a year, so it isn't implausible to have conduct of 30ish files as just a 2nd year volunteer if you're so inclined (I was). I am aware of some clinics that don't run certain matters. To my knowledge Thunder Bay won't do drive impaired files, and Windsor doesn't do DVs. Those make up the bulk of my file load. By the time I graduate, I will likely have held conduct of roughly 100 files, run around 15 or so trials along with pre-trial motions (prepping many more) and countless sentencing hearings, and routinely corresponded and negotiated with the Crown on summary conviction matters. We work with and represent real clients, regularly appear in court, and manage our own file load, all under the supervision of practicing Legal Aid lawyers who are extremely invested in the success of the clinic and the students. I cannot emphasize enough what a great experience the University Legal Aid Clinic is if you are keen and self-directed. Further, the law school recently (to no fanfare) established a wrongful convictions clinic, and will begin work with five clients in the autumn. Outside of criminal law, there are excellent clinics and interships available if you're interested in family law, and I have heard good things about the clinical administrative law course. 3) Excellent engagement with the local bar: This was touched on before, but I think it warrants repeating. The local bar in all areas of practice is extremely engaged, and often eager to meet with and help students. I had an email sent out to the Criminal Defence Lawyers' Association's members' list for help on something, and within three hours multiple lawyers had responded. 4) Crim-defence firms and articling: I don't know exactly how this works in other cities but quite a few, I would guess most, criminal defence firms in Winnipeg hire articling students a year in advance. These places all advertise through job postings, so there is less need to cold call and hustle for a job. 5) Cheap tuition: Well, relatively cheap tuition. The administration raised tuition without raising tuition by lowering the number of required credit hours while keeping annual tuition fees the same. In effect, you take, I think, a class and a half less, while still paying the same amount. Since the dollar amount hasn't changed, I don't think too many people have noticed. In any event, I would guess that U of M is amongst the least expensive common law programs in Canada. 6-10) Winnipeg ain't all that bad: Winnipeg has a bad rep, and it's largely justified. However, there are a lot of things working for it that I would just throw into one category. To start, Winnipeg has some pretty good cafes and restaurants. If you know where to look, you'll find quite a few treasures. Thom Bargen is probably my favourite cafe in Western Canada; Segovia has some of the best tapas I've come across even compared to Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto; and Sous Sol and Langside Grocery have high-quality and imaginative cocktails in a speakeasy setting. There are tons of great and inexpensive ethnic food options throughout the city (Khao House, Sukothai, etc.). Granted, there is an entire sea of mediocrity to navigate here, I would assume that that's largely true anywhere. As well, a surprising number of big name artists stop through Winnipeg. In the last two years, some of my favourites have dropped in, as well as other big names such as Kanye West and Paul McCartney. Obviously Winnipeg has a major hockey arena for the Jets, as well as a CFL team. We have the Human Rights Museum, as well as a fairly solid art gallery. There are any number of nice parks scattered throughout the city, recreational sports teams, etc. There are loads of festivals throughout the winter and the summer. In other words, you aren't deprived of many experiences you would normally have in other major Canadian centres (except Uber and Car2Go, I guess). As well, a lot of people who are from away, settle here. The average cost of a house is about $300k. Taxes are high (15%) but generally the cost of living is pretty low here. I can rent a nice home in a nice neighbourhood for $1100-1200/mth all inclusive. The summers here are beautiful: warm, usually sunny and clear, and lush and green. Finally, there seems to be recognition that Winnipeg, and other towns, are sorta isolated from the rest of the country. This gives way to a "make your own fun" vibe much of the time.
  3. 10 reasons not to go to my school.

    A full list for U of M hasn't been done since 2014. There will probably be some overlap with the old list, but nothing wrong with shaking off the dust with an update. N.B.: I am from neither Winnipeg or Manitoba in general--my views, to my knowledge, greatly diverge from many of my colleagues who hail from here. 1) The driving/roads/public transit in Winnipeg: The driving here is cartoonishly bad. I have lived in and visited, and more importantly driven in, major centres all across Canada, and in Europe. I have never seen anything quite like Winnipeg. I have written this before but I will post it again verbatim: drivers in Winnipeg are apparently most comfortable cruising at 15 - 20km under the posted limit. Unless you're in a parking lot. In which case, they drive as though they're manning an M4 Sherman and the war effort literally depends on aggressively stop-starting every several metres. The roads throughout the city have the level of quality one would expect of a bombed-out Chechen war zone. In terms of city planning with respect to roads, well, there is literally an area called "Confusion Corner", which throws off even the locals now and again. Couple that with the above, and you have something that resembles a Ren and Stimpy cartoon. Except you aren't watching it. You're in it. If driving in general in Winnipeg is a Ren and Stimpy cartoon, then public transit is its own special episode wherein the bus drivers have conspired to dictate their own timetables while they drive. Maybe this happens everywhere, but I literally once had a bus driver stop at 7-11 to buy a Slurpee. 2) Beer selection: I don't know why, but the beer selection here is, uh, pretty narrow. Manitoba Liquor Mart stocks a few local craft beers, a whole lotta uncle beer, and then a few other Canadian craft beers. If you're looking for something a bit different, well, you're SOL. There is something an illusion of plenty but you'll come to as soon as you wanna try that sweet sweet sweet honey wheat beer like you did on a beach on the West Coast, or an East Coast watermelon blonde. The local beer is passable, and better than, say, Bud Light, but if you're a bit of a snob, or at least stubborn in your tastes, it is generally going to be lacking. 3) Weather/climate: Not much to say that hasn't been said already. This year we've ranged from -40 degrees up to 37 degrees. Fall and spring seem to last about two-and-a-half weeks. If you can't handle seasonal extremes, you will be unhappy here. 4) Insular social culture (at least to start): At least to start, "Friendly Manitoba" generally means Manitobans are friendly to other Manitobans. Once you're in, you're IN but, hoo boy, attempting a normal conversation or a little banter for the first little while is a bit of doozy. It'll be acutely noticeable if you're from a place where quality customer service is part of the broader social culture. 5) Manitoba Public Insurance: I just really hate dealing with public auto insurance. A lot. It would seem as though a lot of people do but there isn't really any political inertia to do anything about it. 6) Regionally-focused job prospects: This has been touched on before, but it's worth noting that this hasn't really changed. I am not sure it's necessarily the fault of the administration or the career development office since the vast majority of law students here are from Manitoba and want to stay in Manitoba. At least with my year, a number of Calgary full-service firms had intended not to participate in OCIs given the studentry's extremely low-level of interest. The reality is that U of M is a regional law school meant to service Manitoba, and, again, the majority of the students here are from Manitoba and at least SEEM like they want to stay here. If you're from out-of-province and intend on returning home, recognize now that the law school isn't particularly focused on or interested in helping you leave. I don't really subscribe to the notion of the career office handing you a job (or even really mapping everything/anything out) but just be prepared to hustle hard if you intend to article in another jurisdiction, especially if you aren't interested in or able to find work at major firms with the resources and capacity to participate in OCIs. 7) Narrow elective/clinical offerings: This has also been touched on but is also worth confirming. I suspect (to be clear, I am speculating) this is largely because the faculty turnover rate seems quite high here, and probably understandably so. The faculty members who would normally teach a particular elective might be gone by the time you get around to taking it. Sometimes the faculty hires practitioners to teach that courses, sometimes it doesn't. 8) Location: The school is way the hell away from the downtown and any of the nicer areas of town. It's a 25 minute drive from campus to the courthouse and the rest of the downtown, which is going to matter to you if you're volunteering or working for the University Legal Aid Clinic. 9) The building: If you're expecting an exterior of dignified red bricks and ivy to summon up the spirit of Chief Justice Dickson, or an interior of sleek frosted blue-green glass windows as you stare unto the (pretty crap-looking) Red River, haha, too bad; you get concrete. From an architectural lens, the campus is a microcosm for the entire city, which is sorta this weird hodge-podge of beautiful old (retrofitted) colonial buildings, complex geometry and transparent glass aesthetics, and Brutalism. Unfortunately, the law school is just pure functional Brutalism. It looks less like a law school, and more like an imitation of one. Granted, this will be the least of anyone's concerns, assuming you notice at all, but if you are dreaming of something aesthetically/cosmetically pleasing, haha, too bad, you get concrete. Also, the law school is basically stuck with one thermostat with two settings: too hot, and too cold. There is no in-between. 10) SNAILS: Snails are a phenomenon at all law schools. I personally don't mind them since I work in my office or off campus, and also I don't really care, but, wow, is it apparent how many of them there are at U of M. Part of that stems from the fact that the law school, I guess, rents out one of its classrooms for ESL classes. So they don't occupy just the law library, but the common room, lounges, and empty classes.
  4. best law movies

    Silk was a pretty solid BBC legal miniseries. Obviously not a movie but in many ways a better representation/approximation of criminal trials and advocacy than American depictions at least with respect to Canada.
  5. Trinity Western Loses 7-2

    I am pleased personally with the outcome here, but I think I'm more pleased to see some discussion and clarification of "Charter values" in the concurring decisions and dissent.
  6. https://www.facebook.com/groups/185238652255567/ There is now a Robson Hall Class of 2021 Facebook group that all incoming students are encouraged to join!
  7. Yes, absolutely. I wasn't clear on expressing that in my initial post. I would definitely plan something in advance rather than just sauntering through Calgary unannounced.
  8. Hi all, I could use a bit of insight/perspective. I am studying at U of M. I am very keen on articling at a crim defence firm since that is the area in which I would ultimately like to work. I am equally keen on returning to Calgary. I have a few indirect connections to crim defence lawyers in Calgary. I also intend to cold-call several defence firms in Calgary, and then fly out there at the end of April for a few days (recruitment period is early June) just to get some face time. I think I have a generally solid resume (ex. upcoming summer job as a student supervisor for our Legal Aid Clinic, conduct of 30+ clinical files to date, several trials, Charter motions, dispos, remands, crim-related PBSC work, above average grades, etc.). But, I am concerned about being a faceless application come recruiting time, and a bit sensitive to applying to small firms from out-of-province. Any thoughts on whether this sort of exposure be truly helpful outside of just sending in my applications come recruitment time? Obviously if I could save on the cost of a return ticket (and time) I would, but I am not really stressing about it too much. ***I will be applying to both Crowns' offices. I understand that that may be a more practical avenue back to Calgary but I am far more attracted to defence work. Further, I am aware of some people who secured clerkships in Calgary as a way in/back--I am not really that guy, and, in any event, the deadline is far past.
  9. Ask a current student...

    Yeah, pretty much this. Not a bad idea to go on a trip during the listed dates. However, I would add that the first month of law school is a very very busy time for most people. It will be in your best interest to accomplish any personal or day-to-day tasks in advance because you likely will really really really not want to once school begins. Need to see the dentist? Get that check-up now. Need that oil changed? Get it done. Really, anything you are putting off, get it done over the summer because, again, you will really not want it on your mind once everything gets going.
  10. Yeah, I remember noticing the same thing when I started researching crim firms (and their articling students and associates) in Calgary. Whatever nascent notion I might have had about sorta, ya know, just walking into a job at some of these crim firms was replaced by a sense of, "How the fuck do I possibly step my game up that much?" Still figuring that one out most days... Top-tier firms attract top-tier talent apparently.
  11. Ask a current student...

    At least last year, Pro Bono Students Canada, which connects law students with law-related volunteer positions, asked for resumes and not transcripts. PBSC will accept applications sometime in September, I would guess. As for summer work, you can use your midterm law grades and/or your undergrad grades depending on the position you are applying for. Most summer job posts I have seen wanted something academic on which to base their decision in addition to your resume. Keep in mind that will you be competing with all of the interested 2Ls for summer work. So, if you don't get a law-related summer job in 1L, well, most of us don't. Finally, non-law-related volunteer opportunities abound at Robson Hall, and across campus and in the city. Once the school year commences, there will be a stream of email updates on this kind of stuff--you certainly won't be left in the dark. For now, just chill.
  12. Given your past personal circumstances, you may want to research and consider applying under the "Individual Consideration" category (http://umanitoba.ca/admissions/media/law_bulletin.pdf; http://law.robsonhall.com/future-students/juris-doctor-j-d/admission-to-first-year/individual-consideration-category/), although with a sufficiently strong LSAT score, you may not need to. This isn't a backdoor into law school but rather an opportunity for you to explain some of the circumstances around your GPA, and how that has been a barrier to what would have otherwise been a more successful undergrad experience. Otherwise, I would echo what ElevenUnderwood said above: do some more research on other law schools' admissions criteria. I would also gently add that getting into law school is one thing; competing for good grades once/if you're in is another. Yes, Robson Hall has generous drops. But quite a few students at RH attend because they actually want to be in Manitoba, not because it's a last resort for them. Some of their LSAT scores and GPAs would have been competitive at common law schools throughout the country. They didn't need those drops in the first place. They will be working just as hard as you for top grades and good jobs. I am not saying that you will do better or worse than them, but just keep in mind that acceptance into law school is only one piece of the puzzle. I know that that may seem abstract right now. But consider how doing average or below average at U of M may affect your other goals. As well, FWIW, U of M is not a realistic option for you until you have an LSAT score with which to make that determination. As well, aspiring for the 95th percentile is laudable but not realistic for most people. At least I don't think it is. Maybe you will be one of the fortunate few. I mean, you can figure out what score you or someone like you would need to be a "good contender", but that doesn't speak to whether you will get that score. I would simply suggest to study hard and write the best LSAT that you can. Consider taking additional courses in areas that you like to improve your GPA, if possible. Do some more research on common law schools that interest you. Understand their admissions criteria. Maybe you have a stronger L2/B2, and applying to L2/B2 schools would be in your best interest. Again, as ElevenUnderwood pointed out, you might have a better go of the admissions process by applying to "holistic schools" that weight your resume. Give yourself time to do these things. Then start considering which law school is realistic. Apply broadly to schools in jurisdictions in which you would like to live or could tolerate living, in addition to schools that you think are realistic. Because it might be that you get off of a waitlist into a school you would prefer to attend. Now, to be clear, I am not saying the sky is the limit. I am saying do some more research and take more steps to give yourself the best chance you can rather than sticking all your eggs in the golden LSAT score basket.
  13. 10 reasons TO go to my law school

    Lol got me right in the schnutz but like Miles always said when life gives you onion rings get your head outta the kitchen and get on the field and just fuckin give er, eh lol
  14. 10 reasons TO go to my law school

    Don't worry guys, I got this--my brocabulary is a bit rusty since undergrad but I think I can communicate with him. Sup, bruh--fist bumpz lol. U of S sounds sick titties lol. alright man, in this crazy ass high stakes game called law school, sometimes when it seems like the boyz are sippin on haterade, theyre droping knowledge lol. were all just Players in the game lol but sometimes you gotta get to that higher level. truth. like, you're on that Smirnoff shit and we just want to see you neckin' down Grey Goose lol. all love, all the time lol. kk man pc lol.
  15. 1L Grade Feedback

    You'll be lucky to get a job pushing a broom around Robson Hall's basement...erm, I mean 1st floor.
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