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barelylegal

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barelylegal last won the day on September 26 2016

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  1. 2018 2L Recruitment

    Blakes also participated in the articling recruit a few years back, I believe partially because they were going to have an articling class with no students from a particular Ontario law school (and then they hired several from that law school in the recruit). There are different kinds of gaps that firms might want to fill.
  2. This actually happened to someone who interviewed at my firm a couple of years ago - the airline lost their luggage and they had to run around to find things to wear last minute. Their outfit wasn't the most well-fitting/polished, but they turned it into a fun anecdote, we all laughed about it because shit happens, and it certainly wasn't counted against them
  3. But the point is that "getting away with it" isn't the same thing as it being fine. Look at what @Uriel wrote above - you wouldn't not hire someone because of a fashion decision during interviews, because it's coachable. They get the job, but that doesn't mean it's fine for them to continue dressing that way, and the firm hopes and expects they'll learn better with some time. There actually aren't two different sides being argued here. One side is saying that if you're junior (i.e. a student interviewing), you probably won't be faulted for a fashion issue at that point, but you'll probably be expected to change to fit the mold until you're at a point where that's less important. The other side is saying that if you're not junior (i.e. have reached that point where it's less important), you have more leeway to make your own rules and deviate from the norms.
  4. I don't think they're dated, but I think it's harder to look sharp in them. I wore pantsuits more often when I started out, mainly for comfort / having less familiarity with how to put a good professional outfit together. I reached a point where I realized that pantsuits tend to be less flattering (or, at least, much harder to find the exact cut that doesn't seem vaguely frumpy on you), and that I generally looked/felt better and more professional in skirt suits. I think it's that pantsuits tend to have baggier legs (as @providence alluded to above), and that's not really the style these days. This is kind of my point. I believe you just did OCIs, right? So you're currently in 2L. And yet you're here arguing with lawyers about what's appropriate to wear in a large law firm. No, if your boss is wearing a dress and blazer to the interview, it's not necessarily okay for you to do that. Your boss has developed a reputation and has credibility, so she can be more flexible in her wardrobe without impact. As a student, you have no reputation or credibility, and as an entirely unproven entity, the little things (like wardrobe choices) can have a larger impact. Fine, you got offers without wearing a suit - that doesn't mean it's acceptable to everyone at those firms, or at other firms, or to opposing counsel or clients you might be meeting with. For all you know, the firms who made you offers thought you were brilliant and personable, and made you offers DESPITE your clothing, just hoping that you'll pick up the wardrobe side once you're there. I don't know why you'd choose to take the more controversial route when you don't have the proven value to justify the risk.
  5. Here's the thing with the makeup - there isn't a clear standard or requirement. You can look totally put together with a lot of makeup, a little makeup, or even no makeup. There are days I wake up and just can't deal with putting on anything beyond a swipe of mascara, and I'm still able to present as sufficiently professional. If a student interviewing for a job showed up with noticeably smeared makeup, I'd have a bit of a negative impression - you didn't have to wear makeup, you made the choice to do so, you should be prepared to make the effort to maintain it. I'd probably think better of someone who wore no or minimal makeup and looked totally sharp, than someone who wore more makeup but it was messy or otherwise unprofessional. I'd think something like shoes is similar. As far as I'm concerned, heels are not a requirement - and now, more than ever, given the highlights on the health problems associated with heels, I think it's a more widespread view that heels are not required in order to look professional. You can look professional wearing flats, low heels, or high heels. If you make the choice to wear high heels, you should be able to walk in them - if you're stumbling around on heels, I might have a somewhat negative impression as a result, since you didn't have to wear them, made the choice to, and then didn't ensure you could do so professionally. As for attitudes toward suits, I think that's a symptom of a more general attitude in students these days. In the past couple of years, I've noticed that articling students generally seem to have an attitude that they know best, they know what they're doing, they know how they want to do things and that's just how it's going to be. For example, I've noticed that they seem less receptive to advice or criticism (e.g. reacting with veiled internal eyerolls, instead of actually taking in advice from those more experienced). Friends at other firms have told me they're seeing the same thing. I think this could extend to wardrobe matters, too - instead of trying to fit in with a culture they're hoping will accept them (and waiting until they're a bit more valuable/established to break the mold a bit), they're deciding for themselves what they think is or should be appropriate for interviews, and trying to set the rules before they've put in the work. When I started out, I dressed hyper-professionally all the time - suits basically everyday. After working for a couple of years, building a reputation and establishing myself, I then started to deviate a bit - I still wear suits to court, to meetings with counsel, to most client meetings, but I'm more likely to throw on a dress and blazer now if I'm just working in my office or meeting a client I'm exceptionally comfortable with. You bet I wear jeans on casual Friday, but it took me probably 1-2 years to get there.
  6. Usual caveat that my experience with this is in the context of the articling recruit (which, I understand, is comparable to in-firms). We don't have a hiring committee - for us, the people in the room are those who conducted interviews. The exception to this is the meeting after our reception, which is open to any lawyers who attended the reception. Our meetings are the same as others have described above, though - discussing individual candidates, figuring out definite yeses/nos, arguing for or against certain people, eventually reaching some sort of consensus. Certain partners tend to have a bit more sway in the discussion, but everyone there is heard out and everyone's opinion has value. It's pretty varied. Maybe someone is very obviously (to us) more interested in social justice or government work than private practice. Maybe someone talked about their deep involvement in controversial or radical ideological groups to everyone they met. Maybe someone somehow made no impression on anyone / no one could remember them.
  7. Question

    You'd be lateraling over as a third year associate. You don't start from scratch any time you lateral.
  8. 2018 2L Recruitment

    The above few posts are right - OCIs are not the end of the world, not even close. I feel like I end up retelling this every year, but people seem to take comfort in stories, so... when I was in law school, I totally bombed OCIs. Got a lot of them, most of them felt pretty good, but didn't get any in-firms. It was devastating, and the next few months were hell. I ended up getting an awesome 2L summer job in February or March of 2L (which paid close to OCI employer rates), then was able to transition to my top choice firm through the articling recruit (a downtown firm that doesn't hire summer students). It's far from over if you didn't get an OCI job.
  9. Best Approach

    I haven't heard of anyone ever scheduling a meeting with a recruiter before sending in an application. As for the other things, they're common, but not ALWAYS appropriate/necessary. When I did the articling recruit, I contacted a couple of junior associates at firms from which I received interviews, but only where I had some connection/hookup to them already. I didn't do that in advance of applying. Name dropping in cover letters is super common, but it always felt a bit superficial to me so I never did it, and it didn't seem to affect anything for me.
  10. Suits for Women

    Unbuttoned is fine. I rarely see women's suits buttoned. I only button mine if I'm going outside without a real coat and it's a bit cool, or I don't want it to get scrunched under a real coat.
  11. What are in-firm interviews like?

    Could be any of the above - each firm has their own system. Your best bet is probably to ask upper years at your school who have previously interviewed at the firm.
  12. What kind of summer jobs are available between 1L and 2L?

    I know a lot of people (myself included) who interned at NGOs after 1L, either domestic or international.
  13. In-Firm Interview Schedule

    Definitely do this. I did Toronto articling interviews, having not really lived in Toronto, so I had no familiarity with the downtown core layout or the PATH. It was a rainy week, so I printed a bunch of copies of the PATH map, and drew out my routes between firms in accordance with my interview schedule. It was a lifesaver.
  14. Favourite

    I have a somewhat similar answer to @Hegdis. I work with a senior lawyer who is the best - he's one of the kindest and most ethical people, always calm, always approachable, always available to answer questions and give advice. He's an extremely skilled and thorough lawyer, and he maintains his calmness and approachability while doing discoveries, cross-examinations, etc. - I've seen adverse witnesses act like he's their friend while they're being cross-examined by him. He works with associates/juniors regularly and gives them a lot of freedom and opportunity to have some independence in running/managing his files, while always being available to review or guide. He's also willing to step up on behalf of associates when needed - anything from getting them certain status with institutional clients where appropriate, to managing workload conflicts, to accommodating leaves where firm administration is being difficult.
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