maximumbob

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maximumbob last won the day on August 19

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  1. Why does Toronto make so much more than Saskatoon? Do you really need to ask that question?
  2. That would be my guess. Not only is cost of living high, but salaries start lower as well.
  3. As Jagger's noted, there are some opportunities for movement, but they are limited. I know a few people who have changed offices within my old firm, so that does happen. But it's limited in a few ways. First, in practice national firms might have offices in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and/or Calgary - if you're not a civil law lawyer, that leaves you with 3 options. Second, there are differences in the sort of work done between those markets - if you want to go to Calgary, whaddaya know about oil and gas law? I don't want to overstated that - corporate M&A is corporate M&A whether you're buying an oil company or a car company, but there are frictions. Third, and a related point, what happens to your relationships - so much about the practice of law is who you know (and who knows you), moving cities regularly isn't likely to help that. Finally, the move has to make sense for the firm. The people I know who have made those moves either because the firm wanted them to help build up a practice in another market, or because they were strong lawyers looking to move for other reasons and we didn't want to lose them. As for moving internationally and between firms, well, that happens to, although as Jagger's points out there are jurisdictional limits to it. I know a few competition lawyers, for example, who have jumped to the UK, because competition tends to be a pretty portable practice - I doubt there would be much demand for a Canadian tax lawyer. There may be other practical limitations - do you speak the local language, would your family want to live there (and, yes, don't forget about them - I doubt my wife would be keen to regularly give up her professional job to go galavanting around the world with me - in practice people go practice somewhere else when they are young then come back and settle down). Also, firms do get worried about lawyers with lots of names on their resume. It makes them wonder if there's a problem with you. And telling them, no, I just like to move around, isn't going to help much. For most firms, their associates are an investment in future partners, and their partners are an investment in the future of the firm, an itenerant wanderer doesn't fit into that scheme. if you want to do biglaw, get used to living in one or two cities, and travel the world in your spare time.
  4. That is excellent advice - a must read for candidates.
  5. I think McMillan used to out on a business etiquette program in the summer. It was damned good - I wouldn't know any of that stuff without it. That was one of the few summer firm events that was useful.
  6. My experience is generally sit down dinner with 2 or three lawyers. But each firm does things differently. Some will book an entire restaurant, and have a reception before you sit down with 2 or 3 lawyers. Some will each sent each candidate off with different lawyers to different restaurants (I used to play the game of "spot the student interview dinner" but it wasn't that challenging). Some firms have receptions. Generally when they have a reception, they tell you it's a reception.
  7. I'm not sure that's the best strategy. Ask yourself this question: how many clients in Australia or the middle east have Canadian businesses (or are likely to). I think they key for Canadian lawyers looking to develop an international practice is to focus on foreign advisors. As often as not, the way a deal works is a client goes to their usual lawyers in their home jurisdiction (say, the UK or the US) and says "I want to buy this Canadian company, who do you use in Canada" or, more often, "I want to buy this global business with a small Canadian piece, who do you use in Canada". And if you really want to carve out a name for yourself, focus on foreign markets/foreign advisors that are not well served by Canadian advisors. Don't go bother Freshfields or Sullivan and Cromwell, because they have existing relationships with everyone. Go bother the huge foreign firms that you have never heard of (and who, assuredly, has never heard of you) and which probably has clients that you would kill to have and get yourself on their radar screen. Because the reality is that, in most markets at most firms, a lawyer might, at most, know one or two Canadian lawyers/firms, and doesn't know shit from shinola about Canadian firms. I recall being in Chicago a few years ago speaking with a US lawyer at a regional law firm lamenting how they had not received great services from a "prominent and we'll respected" Canadian firm. I didn't have the heart to tell them that that firm probably would - objectively - be one of my last choices for the type of work they were doing. It was the only one they'd ever heard of. But, once they knew me, I got a couple of referals of good files out of them. The problem isn't that the Canadian market is saturated, it's that Canadian lawyers don't make enough of an effort to sell themselves to foreign firms (and I know of a few who really aren't great lawyers, but who do make the effort and are wildly successful). Remember this: foreign markets are filled with law firms that you'vernever heard of which are as big or bigger than the biggest Canadian firms and which know nothing about Canada.
  8. I thought the original post was brilliant and much funnier than the edit. And really, there's really only one distinction "it costs more".
  9. Aren't you rather conceding my point. Big law employers certainly recognize that, say, UofT cranks out more "quality students" - not surprising given their higher admission standards. Big law hires "quality students" not graduates from a particular school. It doesn't follow from that that it is a better school. I've used this analogy before, let's suppose height is a general indicia of basketball ability (probably fair- the existence of Bugsy Mogues or Allen Iverson doesn't disprove the truth that the greatest basketball players in the world are, generally, freakishly tall). If Basketball program A only recruits students who are taller than 6'2" (let's say, an average of 6'6") and Basketball program B recruits students who are, on average, 5'10", does the fact that Program A wins many more games indicate that it has a better coaching staff, training, leadership - i.e., is a better program? Or does it indicate that if you recruit taller (and, in my example, better) basketball players, you're going to win more games. Now, without any other information, which seems like a more credible explanation to you? I don't doubt you're right that, had you been admitted to a more prestigious school your career would have been easier. But that's like saying that path to the NBA for the basketball player who is 6'6" tall is easier than for the basketball player who is 5'10" tall because he went to Program A, instead of Program B. Surely it's the fact of being 8 inches taller - which is what allowed him to get him into Program A - that makes his path to the NBA easier.
  10. Eh... People with good grades are more likely to be admitted to schools with more rigorous standards, but that's hardly a profound insight. Lots of people with good grades go to schools with lower admission standards for a host of reasons - they're cheaper, they offer a program better suited to their interests, they're located where they live or want to practice. At least in Canada, the admission standards of a given school is not strongly correlated with the quality of the school as a place of learning. UofT doesn't provide a "better" education than, say, Osgoode or Western or Ottawa, it just admits stronger students. Equating hard/easy to get into with being a good/bad school is mistaken (this isn't true of the US law school market, but Canada isn't the US).
  11. I'd put it the other way - in terms of Bay Street jobs, transferring isn't likely to help you. First,i don't know that going to UofT per se improves you odds. This has been discussed to death elsewhere, but my theory is the high hiring rate from UofT has more to do with its selective admissions practice and the interests of its students then any particular advantage of the school. The reality is most UBC students aren't interested in working on Bay Street, but those who are do get hired. Second, for the purposes of 2L hiring, as a transfer student you aren't going to be seen as a UofT student - your transcript is from UBC as are your grades. Even if one believes that going to UofT has magical powers that makes its students more attractive to employers than they would be at another school, at least at 2L hiring that doesn't do you much good. And as Denning points out, if your grades are good enough to justify a transfer, they aren't going to be an issue for employers. Now, I can sometimes understand a transfer from a school which doesn't over much in the way of specialized business courses. I would be surprised, however, if that were true of UBC, given that it serves the Vancouver legal market which has sophisticated business market. The only way in which going to UofT is materially likely to help you might be to reassure would-be employers that you're not a flight risk. Given your financial background, though, I would have though it would be easy enough to pursuade them that you are interested in working long-term in Canada's financial capital. All of which is to say, it's not obvious that the material extra cost of going to UofT versus staying at UBC is worth it.
  12. So, for the sake of reducing the cost of your legal education by, what, 1% you're thinking about not buying copies of core statutes which contain useful annotations, commentary and cross-references prepared by and for practitioners all in a handy dandy single book intended to designed to help people look up key information quickly. Really? I get trying to keep expenses down. This isn't the way to do it.
  13. Yeah, that's my experience too. Bonuses are always discretionary and while they certainly depend on your own performance, will often turn on oerall firm profitability - the partners aren't going to be going into their own pockets to cut you a bonus check.
  14. Be smart? Seriously, there's really no magic to it. Go to class, pay attention (no surfing the net on your laptop), take notes, do your readings, ask questions if you don't understand things, think about issues from different perspectives - don't think about the "right answer", think about "possible answers" - relax.
  15. Well, the numbers are out there somewhere - I think something like 10-20% of the Windsor class ends up on Bay Street. That isn't to say that you have to be in the top 10%-20% of your class to get hired - presumably there are lots of smart people who aren't interested in working on Bay Street (and probably more of them at Windsor than UofT). You do need to do well, though. Back when I did student interviews, I'd say the cut off was a GPA of 3.1-3.4, with the lower one for UofT or Osgoode, the higher for Windsor. You probably want to be in the top 3rd of your class at least.