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FineCanadianFXs last won the day on August 29 2016

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. What law school courses did you find helpful for the bar?

    There are no law school courses that are helpful for the bar. Period. Do not waste your time trying to get a heads up on the bar by taking a course you've no interest in. Take classes that interest you. Many students realize retrospectively that they wasted their time taking a "bar-related" class. I have never, ever, heard anyone say "phew, sure glad I took Real Estate else I'd have goofed". As an example, I took zero courses related to the Solicitor exam. Yet, I passed the Solicitor. I can't tell you why or how because I don't know and nobody does, but the point is that I was fine. And I'm glad I didn't waste time taking something I cared little about. Just to repeat for emphasis: there are zero law school courses that will assist you in writing the bar exam. Don't even bother worrying about the bar exam until you've graduated. But, if you just can't help yourself, you won't do yourself any damage by familiarizing yourself with the Rules of Professional Conduct.
  5. To the 1Ls, on the occasion of their first exams

    I stand corrected - that makes way more sense, though.
  6. To the 1Ls, on the occasion of their first exams

    I think all Ontario schools teach Admin in 1L now, unless I'm mistaken. I was going to suggest Civil Procedure as the hardest 1L course. For the same reason that Admin law will be difficult, Civil Procedure makes little to no sense for 1L students. Some, but not many law students enter 1L with any significant trial experience or understanding of our court system. True the large overarching ideas in CivPro can be understood by anyone, for example limitations periods, jurisdiction, class actions etc. These are not tough concepts. We've all seen people get served documents on TV. But, I found it nearly impossible to actually contextualize much of CivPro's nitty-gritty until I actually had some hands-on experience with the civil litigation process. Criminality, and property, and contracts are all ubiquitous human "stuff". There may be difficult concepts within those subjects, but it isn't really all that hard to contextualize by imagining the details underlying a complex murder or a squatter finding treasure on someone else's farm or some promise made by a company about their flu remedy. Contextualization makes grasping the hard principles a bit easier because you can at least understand what is so important about these cases and why courts struggle to adjudicate them. CivPro not so much; I can't imagine 1Ls really being able to contextualize Admin concepts easily either. I think its preposterous to teach CivPro when many students may only have studied one civil-based class already like Torts or Contracts. How do you relate? Like, what is a motion, when do you do them, who do you do them to, and why, and how do you know you have to do one? When do you crossclaim, when do you third party someone? What's the difference between summary and default? When and why would you want a jury and how do you get one? What the heck is a reference? How can 1L's genuinely understand this process and why it is the way it is when all they know of civil law is, like, Duty of Care? Now, on paper, CivPro is admittedly an easy subject, so I'm sure some here may disagree with me, fairly. But in my view (like Admin) it should be a 3L course because that would maximize students' capacity to actually relate to it.
  7. To the 1Ls, on the occasion of their first exams

    Some tangible advice: design your summary in a way that assists you (I always brought in a one-pager list of "things to look for" designed to cue me specifically while reading the question to ensure I didn't miss any key or obscure issues); always read the question first so you know what to look for while reading the fact scenario; don't start typing until you've read and fully understood the question (and the fact pattern); read slower and take notes while you read; breathe normally; have fun. Well, it sounds somewhat like you're a stressball during exams. Yes, that's normal...until the point where it start affecting your normal functions--like, typing shouldn't get harder because you're stressed. Neither should your ability to articulate yourself (at least, not beyond typo and grammar mistakes, which are expected on exams and Profs can read past those; don't worry about them). Forcing yourself to think and express yourself at a higher velocity than you're humanly capable may be an issue (in which case, slow down). Did you try writing practice exams under timed conditions? Did you adjust and redesign your summary based on how useful it was for you while you wrote that/those practice exam(s)? The more you practice and prepare, the greater your confidence, the more likely you'll enjoy writing the exam and expression your vast storehouse of knowledge. The less you've prepared, the greater your stress and as your preparation goes down, the more likely your physical manifestation of that stress wlil be exacerbated. In any event, you haven't even gotten your grades back, so who cares? Why are you even asking for tips right now? Come back in January.
  8. To the 1Ls, on the occasion of their first exams

    I've missed humongous, glaring issues and gotten a B. heck, I'm sure I've gotten A's missing big-time issues too. Not spotting every issue (unless they really pile up) isn't going to affect you that adversely. It'll only affect your position in the curve if everyone else happened to be more perceptive than you (which is why it is best to stop worrying--you cannot control how smart or perceptive your colleagues are). It is (probably-I'm not a professor btw if that isn't clear) far worse to demonstrate a complete failure to understand the law--that is what is likely to rank you at the bottom. In other words, there is probably always a certain percentage of your colleagues who simply "do not get it". That is the trouble zone. And that's less of an issue-spotting problem and more of a comprehension problem. Anyway, you cannot control the curve! Forget about it!
  9. To the 1Ls, on the occasion of their first exams

    It totally depends on the prof, the area of law, and the specific fact scenario (and note: that's exactly one skill that law school is teaching you: how long should I argue this dumb unpersuasive issue?) It should be generally clear from all three how profoundly you should investigate any issue. If, for example, your prof spent three classes on one topic, it's probably wise to really investigate issues arising about it. If it's some peripheral thing that's kind of unpersuasive even to you, and that you spent all of ten minutes on in class, it is still worth noting, but get it over with and move on (unless it is obvious, of course, that the question was designed to get you to focus on it!) But remember, your professors usually (not always) spoonfeed you their expectations by tipping their hand in lectures. Doesn't mean you won't get points for finding novel issues they hadn't even thought about...you probably will! But you should never give up your crucial points by going for bonus points. Just like its bad strategy to lob three pointers all game; even GSW knows that. You should balance showing off your fundamental knowledge with a bit a creativity.
  10. To the 1Ls, on the occasion of their first exams

    I doubt any law student anywhere ever successfully elaborated on everything they were supposed to. I never felt like I finished an exam. Most of them are designed that way. In any event, I recommend you stop thinking about exams you already finished but for which you've yet to receive a grade: a futile exercise and a tremendous waste of energy.
  11. To the 1Ls, on the occasion of their first exams

    Well to be fair, I always did want to talk about the exam. I was an eager keener and I actually enjoyed writing law exams; I usually found it pretty fun. Studying up to that point may have been miserable, but the exams were always a nice kinetic release of pent-up mental energy. And, its nice to talk about fun stuff after its done, the same way you'd talk about competing in a sporting event or playing a game, etc. BUT, before I get accused of contradicting myself, it's important to note that fun stuff usually isn't graded. And when you're an anxious law student (especially in 1L when your pressure levels are up there) its just a bad idea as @Ryn says to enter speculation mode. It's like a professional boxer after the final round talking to her corner about how she did and whether they think she won or not. That's a bad idea. Wait for the judgment, then blab it up.
  12. To the 1Ls, on the occasion of their first exams

    I'm sure this has been suggested numerous times here already, but also: stop talking about the exam once it's over! Repress and decompress. Or as with @Uriel's above quote two scenarios, talking about it will result in increased suffering, e.g.: [1] I thought I did well but after talking to my friends I'll have incredible anxiety until I get my grades back (at which point you may still feel disappointed or defeated); or, [2] I thought I did well and after talking to my friends I feel even better, but after getting my grades back I suffer incredible disappointment. The best scenario is (imo) the third: [3] I stopped caring the second I handed my booklet in. You're still going to get your grades! No matter what! You will be surprised or disappointed, but there's no purpose to boosting or minimizing your expectations. You should keep your expectations exactly where you left them when you finished writing and just hide them somewhere while your brain goes on vacation (or starts studying for the next exam). And, I understand that the adrenaline is still pumping, and heck you've been wracking your brain for three hours on that bonkers fact scenario, and you see your friends and you just want to vent about it because. But I promise you will feel so much better if you just shut up; zip your kissers, congratulate your friends on their completion and go do and talk about anything else. Years after, I still think about and talk about some of my exams--usually they're designed on extremely topical issues or cases, so naturally they stay relevant. And some were complete shitshows that always make for a good story or bit of nostalgia. But there's certainly no rush to chat about it, it isn't going anywhere.
  13. Boss Placed Me On Probation

    I want to second this, which is very sound advice. It goes well beyond mooting and oral advocacy and can help you give better interviews, wedding-speeches, open-mic stand-up comedy sets, even Karaoke (I'm kidding on that last one, don't record yourself doing Karaoke, cheater.) I don't think there is any better public-speaking preparation out there than self-recording, playback, and self-assessment. It is a crucial tool for spotting (annoying) speech idiosyncrasies, and to help you improve or eliminate bad habits or tics. And even if you don't have access to decent video cameras there are these really cool analog video-recorders called mirrors, which will stream your performance in real time! Let's say for example that you've noticed or gotten critical (non-sexist 'smile more!' type) feedback that you don't smile enough when delivering a speech or moot. Ever try holding a smile for a full 20 minutes while delivering a memorized script? It's hard! But more importantly you may think you're actually succeeding in doing it, but the only way to test it is to play back that tape which shows lo and behold you were frowning the whole time. So few people practice things they'd like to be doing because they think they are actually accomplishing it when they are not--and don't know that they are not. Self-recording eliminates any possibility of that. And you'll start paying attention to things you never usually do, like the angle of your face as viewed by your audience, how your hair looks, what you look like when you think you're staring off pensively but actually appear to be completely lost. The first time you do it it sucks, yes. But, the thing is, is that managing those little tics and aesthetic elements will have you improving as you practice to the point where you no longer fear how bad you look on tape because you don't actually look bad anymore. Nervous breakdown avoided. *(sorry for the distraction from the OP's dilemma)
  14. Law school and exercise

    All a result of bad parenting, for sure. Probably also our "prank culture." Thanks, Kutcher. Ontario rarely gets into dangerous territory. Then again, I've gotten toe frostbite playing hockey in sub-zero temps, so there are real risks. But I don't really think that risks are substantially higher in winter than year round (that's why I endorse winter runners, or perhaps yak-traks as @whoknows suggests above). On crazy hot summer days, there's exhaustion and smog. There's always reasons to find not to run--people get eaten by gators in Florida. Generally, unless you have problem asthma, for cold temperatures I'd say its good to exercise caution when Environment Canada starts releasing warnings. Granola bars! Look at rockefeller here why in my day I ate dust and cloves and was better for it. Seriously, though, don't let anyone guilt you out of being frugal, future you will thank you for it.
  15. Law school and exercise

    Completely understandable take. I figure I'm at the same level risk of stab or assault attacks all day long, so I might as well be a swiftly moving target (the plus side of outdoor running of course is an increased confidence in my speed and stamina is that I can outrun the more violent types). But, yeah, I can see that the threat can seem more enhanced depending on the neighborhood and how isolated the community is; Running together with other people is a nightmare and I'm always baffled by those large swarms of jogging groups who chatter it up the whole time, like what are you doing and how are you enjoying yourselves? Chacun à son goût, I guess. A car drove slowly behind me once, which was scary/creepy enough, and then they actually threw an egg at me. An Egg. I couldn't believe it. The world is chock full of terrible people and creeps, but it's best not to let them stop you from doing what you want. Carrying some zesty pepper spray is not a bad idea. (Plus, if you can catch one of those eggs assholes are constantly throwing at joggers, you got yourself an omelet goin'.) I love running in winter. It is totally underrated, and I highly recommend it--the air is extra-fresh, running in the cold amplifies your senses, and you'd certainly encounter fewer cat-callers and egg-tossers. You would need proper winter running shoes (which aren't cheap and probably not in a law student's budget) and you'd probably want to pre-equip your resident St. Bernard with an Irish Coffee. But still, I feel like fair-weather joggers miss the best part of the year. In any event, if you aren't bored of the treadmill yet, that's fine too and no need to mix it up. If the boredom ever does set in, though, my advice to get outside is always there to take.