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FineCanadianFXs last won the day on August 29 2016

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  1. Going Into Summer After 2L Without a Job

    Never too late to start getting to know your profs, and everyone should--you pay for access to them!; I wouldn't cold call profs you barely know asking if they'll hire you. They won't; But you could contact profs whom you admire, and who teach in an area you like, and see if they are willing to talk to you about your future career. If they agree, and when you meet, you can discuss your employment issues with them and they may have some tips or may help connect you with someone who is looking for some help. Generally speaking, law students seemingly have no clue how to (or are afraid to) network/hustle for jobs and it is a consistent problem I see on this board. One to which I'm sympathetic, particularly for more introverted types, but certainly also one which law students really need to get over unless they have an A+ average or nepotistic advantages or both. There is no industry I know of where networking doesn't give you some kind of advantage in finding decent employment, and better still, employment that caters to your interests (since you probably won't waste time networking with lawyers practicing completely out of your area of interest). In any case, you should be proud of yourself for acknowledging you're in this position not necessarily because you're unqualified, or bad at interviews, but rather because you aren't hustling--at least that's what it sounds like. That's great! A lot of people believe they are entitled to get what they want by doing very little and making no professional friends, and you've gotten over that hump. Now you can start reaching out to people and developing a web of contacts who may be willing to help find you law work, even if only short-term and unpaid. Better than a blank space. (Also note, RA positions at my university as well as other interesting job opportunities tended to arise even well after exams and into the summer. Don't lose hope.)
  2. Tips on Being a Great Summer Student

    I don't know. Maybe not fatal, but I certainly have no hesitation about drawing rather adverse inferences from anything like the above bold portion. It's 2018—the year of the pooch—and by now there is absolutely no excuse for failing to learn Word's formatting and style functions like a proper tech-savvy grown-up person. Law is largely professional writing. Word processors are the tool of the professional writer. Learn how to use your tools for goodness' sake! I'd have questions seeing a mechanic holding a monkey wrench the wrong way; or, getting pants returned by my tailor to discover they repaired them using two different and mismatched threads to repair them. A good rule which I think all of the above falls under is to avoid ever submitting work that forces more work upon the person to whom you provide that work.
  3. We're Starting Articles Soon. Give us advice!

    Agreed. Not the same. Better.
  4. Is law school fun?

    Surely it's subjective, so you're going to get mixed reviews. Also, it will depend on where you go and with whom you have class and spend time. I sincerely loved law school. I was highly involved socially and academically, and made maximum use of my tuition--I made sure I always had something to do. I had incredible and passionate professors who were great at their jobs and whose passion was contagious. I had excellent classmates and friends who eased the pressure of performing, and who never really exacerbated any sort of overwhelming competition. I get that not everyone has the same experience (or may even be capable of that same experience for a variety of reasons) but in my view the best way to approach law school is to go with the flow, allow yourself to be easily fascinated, and make and take opportunities wherever they arise. Unless you have to for some reason, don't just go to class and go home. Don't just read the readings and write the exam. Get into it, and you'll have a great time; that'll position you well to love practice, too.
  5. Not really but sort of. If you have a demonstrated interest in a subject, it doesn't matter if you took the class. For example, if you edited your school's family law journal and RA'd for the family law profs and you write a blog about child support, you probably didn't need to take the class. On the other hand, if there's not one thing on your resume that says "family law" but you're applying to a firm that does exclusively family law, well, I mean, they'll wonder why. Wouldn't you? So, doors don't close, but they're harder to get into if you have zero demonstrated interest in that subject; because other people will. You shouldn't really stress about this too much though, because (1) there are always other ways to put a particular area of the law on your resume; (2) you can buttress a broad legal expertise by taking crucial and general topics (like evidence, conflict of laws, criminal/civil procedure, etc.); and (3) your upper years are your chance to really go exploring for areas that fascinate you. It is more valuable to you to discover and pursue the law you're passionate about than to have "real estate" on your transcript just in case, someday, somewhere, you decide you want to practice real estate law even though it bores the everloving crap out of you.
  6. We're Starting Articles Soon. Give us advice!

    Government gig or clerkship and you'll be fine. Live within walking distance of that job and you'll be extra fine. Or get a cat.
  7. My advice would be to go watch court. It's public and it's free. Ideally, you should find an area of law you're interested in and see if you can follow a trial that sounds worth observing.
  8. Suits For Men

    If you're rich, as much as you want, but probably not more than $1500, and if you're spending that much or more it should probably be bespoke or else you're getting ripped off. If you're poor, as little as you can afford, but you won't find anything below $100 unless it's a hand-me-down or lucky thrift-store find. You only need one suit through law school, but having a backup is nice. A sportjacket or blazer makes a fine more affordable backup too.
  9. Workload in law school

    I think the reason these two ideas can coexist is that "mediocre teaching and training" certainly exists--you aren't going to find a perfect roster of professors and programming at any school--but it shouldn't defeat a student (especially one paying 60k) from working hard to learn a particular subject. Everybody has had weak professors; but that is not really a good excuse for checking out of a course. Quitting lecture-attendance is fine, by the way. I've done that and I would have no qualms encouraging a law student from considering it when they've realized they aren't getting much from showing up. If you have the reasonable twin goals of learning law and getting decent grades, and your professor's lecturing establishes any barrier to you reaching those objectives, I think it's acceptable to check out. However, typically when I have done that, it leads to more work--not less. If your reaction to a bad professor is to say "screw it", borrow some old summary and cram a few nights before the exam, you might as well burn your tuition money. Forgetting any entitlement you feel you may have to 60k worth of darn good education, your objective should still be to learn the law else you're wasting your own time. Rather, what should happen is that you take the syllabus and spend the two hours you would have spent in lecture online shopping and instead spend it reading the cases and articles that your prof took the time to design so that their students would have all the tools necessary to understand that area of law. Also, while I certainly have my own criticisms of the law school curriculum and can admit its flaws, I always appreciate the boldness of current law students who assert with no experience in education and usually with no real basis underlying their claim that the "law school curriculum is awful and it is in need of major reform". I dunno, maybe wait and see if it sufficiently prepared you to be a lawyer first before you claim it failed at doing that?
  10. Workload in law school

    If I may quibble, especially as someone holding a BFA, I'd say the above bold is a bunk assumption because you are dismissing the work involved and difficulty of that and other programs (even though you deny doing that). So, using a BFA as an example--depending on the nature of the program, of course--a student in the arts typically has to exhibit not merely a significant amount of discipline and develop some reasonably extreme habits, but they also do so under what is usually as hyper-competitive an environment as law school sometimes gets. Who cares if its reading, writing, screenwriting, acting, running scales, or rehearsing the same ballet movements 10 hours a day? Some students are very good at doing what needs to be done in whatever a particular program requires and others aren't. I don't think undergraduate experience reading and writing similar stuff makes any difference; it certainly didn't for me. We reach the same conclusion--that law school work is different and students may have to adjust. But whether or not they adjust--in my view and experience--has nothing to do with a particular undergraduate program. All that matters is whether they can adjust to the nature of unique academic rigors. Some students get it, others don't. As is often expressed on this board in other "help me stop getting C's" threads, usually issues arise when students have bad habits and have difficulty self-assessing their own ability to study a subject and execute what a professor expects of them. In sum: no, the workload isn't heavier for non-reading/writing-heavy undergraduates and I know very few of my fellow BFA-holding colleagues who had any difficulty either. In fact, and somewhat ironically, those who seemed to have the most trouble managing were the English majors. To the OP: you'll be fine. I had the same apprehensions. It was no big deal.
  11. Will I Face Any Issues Being a Conservative in Law School?

    Well look, first of all I spent three good years at Oz, got to know almost all of my cohort, and much of the years above and below me. I tried to get to know as many people as possible, and I think that puts me in a fair position to counter what you've said here by saying: with a few exceptions, everyone was pretty cool across the whole political spectrum and I really have a hard time understanding where you're coming from. We can disagree, having had different experiences, but I definitely see some reason for concern about some of what you're saying and how you're categorizing people. Other posters have better pointed out similar concerns above, and I won't dogpile on that. More importantly, though and of greater concern (and probably more obviously worth mentioning), if you're going around telling everyone that you like Trump, for nuanced reasons, in an unsolicited manner, then yah that sounds super annoying! I would ignore the living heck, for days, out of that nuance. I would similarly ignore those people saying--unsolicited--that they voted for Trudeau for nuanced reasons, are vegan for nuanced reasons or eat meat for nuanced reasons, are either pro-life or pro-choice for very very moral and nuanced reasons, and whatever the hell else for nuanced reasons. Okay, shut up people with your nuanced reasons. That's probably the problem. It is not the politics. It is that there are (probably among the few exceptions I note above) people in this world who demand that those surrounding them need to know where you stand politically--with nuanced reasons. Everyone's around you in law school is just trying to get a B or higher. Nobody cares what anyone else thinks. Full stop.
  12. Re, the red font'd line: Why? You haven't provided a single reason why you want to article. Not only that, but you've stated that it was a mistake to go to law school when you weren't interested in practicing law. So now you're asking if you should...double down? And do another thing just so you don't "waste the opportunity"? If you'd said something to the effect of "I'm still not sure if law is what I want to do with my life" I'd suggest erring on the side of caution and trying articling. However, it kind of seems like you're certain you don't want to practice law. If that's really the case, well, I'd suggest that you don't practice law. I certainly would advise against pursuing IP--it's a relatively competitive market and you seem to have quite limited experience and background. Particularly without a STEM degree or a sincere passion for the law (which clearly seems equally lacking) I'd advise against it. As for corporate law, there may also be some difficulty for you in terms of overcoming general competitiveness for that job market. Generally, though (and if you do opt to seek articles despite my and what I imagine will be more recommendations not to--though, I could be wrong) my thinking is that you'll have to overcome your own insincere dispassion for the law. As in, it is hard enough for applicants who genuinely want to practice a particular area to convince employers they are both sincere about really wanting to do that particular job and are the most capable candidate for that particular role. You may be good at acting, but if not, I hazard you'd want to be in order to overcome that first hurdle. Otherwise, if you come across in interviews and cover letters as you've expressed above, I doubt you'd find quick employment. Or else you maybe just have the most impressive resumé anyone's ever seen.
  13. is 30 too old to start law school?

    Just to expand on this, especially the bold--as someone who went to law school as a mature student--it really is not difficult to fit in. And I don't agree that you'll necessarily be treated differently by default, either unless you want to be and act like you should be. There were lots of fellow mature students in my year and above and below, and some of the behaviour they exhibited was begging to be treated differently. If that's what you want, here are some juicy mindsets to have: I am more mature than most of the people around me; And, I am more intelligent than most of my colleagues because I have more experience; Because I am more mature and experience and smarter, I won't bother making friends or being friendly. I'll just hang out with all the other elderly people, because that's easiest and they're most like me; I'm too good for most of the childish activities that go on in law school anyway, I won't bother participating or involving myself in anything but classes and studying. Yeah!; And let's face it, I can't possibly relate to young people and they can't possibly relate to me. I won't even bother trying; Plus, I can't possibly keep up with these children, because of how goddamn old I am; Everyone knows how old I am, I must be like a goddamn grandma/pa to these whippersnappers; I should keep reminding people Danny Glover-style how much older than them I am, that way, they'll know I'm different and will know to treat me differently; No, you know what...forget all that; I can relate to these kids and I'll do it by trying to act as much like them as I can, even though that is not my personality at all. On the other hand, if you want to don't want to be treated differently, you could perhaps just: Chill out. Don't make it a thing. Be yourself; be friendly; respect other people and other viewpoints. Huh! That doesn't seem too hard, but for some reason there are always people who prefer the former approach to the latter. I wouldn't recommend it though. *Edit: For finding post-school work, it will also probably not help your chances either if you exhibit any single one of the former mindsets.
  14. Professors going MIA

    Seconded, both of these - my advice above certainly presumed (well not really, you explicitly said "the time for references is coming close") that we were in the realm of "approaching the deadline", which is why I was careful to emphasize erring on the side of checking in. Just to be clear about what a reasonable process might look like, I usually send a complete list of instructions either on acceptance of writing the letter, or a month before they're due (if I didn't have instructions at that time) and I also offer any assistance with regard to postage or pick up or whatever I can possible imagine that would make it easier for them. Then I don't touch the subject until two weeks before deadline, when I pop back in with a forward of that original email saying with a really brief "hey remember this" (usually, they tell me to remind them about it so it certainly shouldn't be annoying to say "as you requested...here is a reminder"). Finally, I'll only check in the week of if necessary (as in, they haven't already confirmed they sent it). The last ones are always the hardest to express diplomatically "hey I know you know my letters are due, but I just wanted to remind you...". Indeed, as @erinl2 and @ProfReader note, if we're in the realm of greater than a month before the deadline, that's way too early. If you happen to run into your ref with great frequency and you're really starting to second guess your own memory, then by all means find an organic way to drop it into conversation "hey, maybe I'm losing my memory, but". Otherwise, chill.
  15. Professors going MIA

    I don't know what your references are for, but in my career I've had to do an incredible amount of reference hounding for applications to any number of jobs schools scholarships internships awards whatever. I've asked a lot, and I know can be a painful process--I always feel like I'm being a burden on people with better things to do, and so I empathize. But, I have never had a reference writer scold me or tell me to back off for sending what are probably too many reminders. Usually, I get a "oh thank goodness you reminded me" response. And sometimes even "please keep me on top of this". They already agreed to write a reference because they like you and want you to succeed. But you're right that they're busy people and so because of that (not despite it) it should not be annoying to help them do the thing they agreed to do for you, provided you don't do it in an annoying manner. You should absolutely be checking up regularly with them, and if they haven't replied in a reasonable amount of time (depending on how close the deadline is) then absolutely check back in. "Hey, didn't hear back just wanted to make sure you got my last email/phone message/knock on your door at 3am" (don't do that last one). In short: you have the obligation to make sure it gets done in time. It's your application or whatever. You have to sometimes get bold about these things despite feeling like you're pestering. Always be polite and gracious, but if you just sit back and take their word that they'll handle it for you, you're going to wind up anxious later and probably disappointed too.