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realpseudonym

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  1. Law school and exercise

    Re reading notes. I take super minimal notes while I'm reading before class. Sometimes I scribble a word or letter in the margins (e.g., T for legal test, P for a principle, O for obiter, etc.) That helps with (i) ensuring that I'm actually looking for takeaways, rather than just moving my eyes over words, and (ii), makes it easier to return to the case later, if necessary. If I find something I actually need clarification on, then I'll make a note in Onenote (or wherever I'm writing my class notes) so I don't forget to ask. But I don't start with long summaries / case briefs anymore. It's just not efficient. Sometimes I'll take slightly longer notes on paper if there's complicated logic - it can help to write it out. But that doesn't seem necessary very often. Re not understanding. Providence's order of studying priorities seems right to me. The goal isn't to clearly grasp everything before the lecture - you won't. And even if it was realistic, full understanding isn't necessarily desirable. It might be that a case is confusing, but the confusing parts aren't really that important. That's where waiting for class sometimes helps - a prof's lecture is their attempt to highlight the issues and arguments that they think are important. It might also be that the readings are hard to understand. Sometimes, the law is confusing, because the law is confusing. There are tonnes of contradictions and ambiguities in the common law. For example, the SCC's reasoning on consenting to assault in Jobidon and the socially valuable events exception is a little ambiguous: what is a socially valuable event? In contracts, the law around certainty is confusing. The English courts go back and forth between the non-interventionist approach in May & Butcher and the House of Lords' intention test in Hillas v Arcos. If you were crystal clear on that stuff after reading it yourself, then that would almost be weird. A lack of understanding isn't always a reflection on the student - sometimes it's the courts. This isn't a bad thing. If there's no right answer, then there are only issues, and arguments to be made based upon the application of relevant rules and principles to the facts of the exam. In these cases, if you're confused, then you might not be missing something. Something might be missing from the law. So don't automatically freak out if you don't get everything right away.
  2. Law school and exercise

    I don't have anything super unique to add. I'm also not an all star law student, so take any advice with a grain of salt. I've never regretted taking time to exercise. Regular workouts make me calmer and more productive, so it's always been worth it. I even workout before morning exams and will continue to do so. I'm sympathetic to the need to work a lot. I'm not a super fast worker, and feel like I need to study longer hours than some other people. But yeah, working more isn't always better. Based upon my own limited experience, there hasn't been a strong correlation between hours worked and law school grades. I've done okay on exams where I did minimal prep. And I've bombed others, where I studied my hardest. For studying, do whatever works for you. But be cognizant of the fact that you might not know what's working, yet and you don't have to learn everything. In terms of my day-to-day prep, I do enough so that I can follow along in class. When profs refer to cases and ideas, I like to have some idea what they're talking about. But I know some people who try and understand all the material before the lecture starts, by doing complete summaries and analyses of every case. I don't think that's very efficient. Profs exist to identify and clarify important concepts -- let them do so. If you're still struggling afterwards, read the cases in-depth, check the CANs, or ask the prof. In terms of exam prep, I mostly just do practice exams and review problems now. I start by doing a quick review of the concepts. Then I go through an exam untimed, with notes. Eventually, I'll try timed questions. If I feel like I'm missing issues or struggling with concepts, then I focus on learning those pieces before trying more questions. Again, do whatever you find works. But this is working better for me than spending hours and hours reading every line of every case for every class. I don't. I skim and I read headnotes to get an idea. Then I fill in the gaps later.
  3. Tips to save characters on OLSAS

    Here are two versions from the same excerpt. It's from "Forget the Wind-Up and Make the Pitch: Some Suggestions for Writing More Persuasive Factums", by John Laskin, J.A.. The first has 3,849 characters with spaces. The second one has 3,793 characters. Like you've suggested, I removed paragraph breaks and changed "and" to "&" in the second. I also removed the headers. Look at the two of them. You would have saved fifty-six characters. Is that worth it?
  4. Good Undergraduate degree for Law?

    Maybe try volunteering with the Elizabeth Fry society or John Howard society. That would give you experience working with people in corrections. And I honestly think it sounds more interesting than tabbing correspondence files for Crowns, or whatever other volunteer work a criminology student might do for a lawyer.
  5. This post (i) raised concerns I share and (ii) articulated them more clearly than I would have done. That warranted a like. I'm only posting to express separate appreciation for saying "has a cow," while arguing that we should critically analyze the claims of both sexual assault survivors and alleged perpetrators. It just adds a little something extra.
  6. It seems unwise to threaten the law school in your personal statement. If you're talking about making a human rights complaint, you're making an implicit threat. It makes you sound like a liability. It's not something people like. It's not the purpose of your personal statement. Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses or their actions. Also, these people probably have law degrees. You don't. I wouldn't try to explain the law in your personal statement. If you make a mistake, it'll serve to discredit whatever else you're saying.
  7. Obviously, it's up to you. But there's significant risk to including this in your personal statement. Honestly, I can't really think of a compelling way for you to talk about it. If I was on the admissions committee, your discussion here would have provoked a number of unappealing scenarios. Those include: You're lying. You know you sexually assaulted someone, but want to go to law school. You're not lying. However, you sexually assaulted someone and think you didn't. This probably means that you don't understand consent, which doesn't really help your application to law school. You're not lying. You might've sexually assaulted someone, but we don't have sufficient facts to determine the truth. You're not lying. You didn't sexually assault someone and everything's okay on that front. If your stats are good, then great. You'll get in. If your LSAT sucks, then you're a borderline candidate. And instead of persuading me that you'd be a good law student and lawyer, you used your personal statement to argue that you're innocent of sexual assault. Being innocent is good, but it doesn't show that you're a good candidate. I'm inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt. But without more facts, I'm somewhere between two and three. And I don't really think you should include more facts in your personal statement. A personal statement that focuses on you sleeping with some girl would be definitively weird. I understand your desire to tackle this head-on. But I doubt there's a compelling way to do so. And I'm not even sure that admissions committees will know about the allegations. I'm not even sure that there were formal allegations.
  8. First trial

    I'm still a student, so I obviously don't have tonnes of experience. But here's one thing that I've already found to be challenging and important. If a witness says something relevant and unanticipated while you're examining them, then you should try to note it. I found this pretty difficult. It was tempting to assume I'd remember it and I didn't want to disrupt the flow of questioning. But if it's something that you need to raise with a subsequent witness, address in closing, or emphasize in closing, then it should really be written down. Hopefully the judge is noting anything important, but you don't want to miss the chance to argue or rebut important facts. Scribble something in a margin (I leave big margins in my notes for this purpose) or jot it down when you come to a break in questioning. If you have a student or other counsel with you, then they'll be taking notes and this shouldn't be an issue. But you're a new call. So I'm just assuming that you don't. Edit: also, if you need it, don't be afraid to stop and review your notes while examining a witness. I'm always afraid that it makes me look less confident and competent, but I know it's way better to stay on track and cover everything. Plus, judges kinda look like they enjoy the chance to finish up notes while you're pausing.
  9. Among the top ten in the world!!!11!

    Being ranked 74th in the world. Less exciting: https://www.dal.ca/news/2017/10/06/schulich-school-of-law-at-dalhousie-ranks-among-world-s-best-law.html
  10. You're asking what you should do about this. That might cross over into legal advice. We're not going to give you that: What do you mean by "my charges can be seen when I apply to universities." Is it a notation on your transcript (i.e., something imposed as part of the university discipline process)? Or is it some weird condition on your sentence? If it's the former, then it might be an issue to address within the university. If it's the latter, it's probably something that would be dealt with within the criminal justice system. Again, I'm not giving advice; I'm not saying you can or should do anything. I'm just curious and trying to understand your problem.
  11. Lawyers with accents

    To OP, I have a couple of points. First, your post is quite well-written. It's not perfect, but I've always found writing in a second language challenging. Hopefully I don't sound patronizing, but I think you should feel good about your English writing skills. Second, I broadly agree with what everyone else has said. I don't think you were necessarily that unclear. But I also don't think you sound British. I think you're pronouncing some sounds with one accent, and other sounds with a different accent. The effect is ... a little strange. Third, I don't think that there's a silver bullet for mastering a second language -- there's no easy way to attain native-level English fluency. You can't just pretend to be British and expect to sound British. You have to put in a lot of hard work. I'm not an expert, but you will probably have to practice word-by-word and sound-by-sound. You struggled with the pronunciation of "r." You can work on that. Listen to how native English speakers say it and practice imitating them. Identify the other words you struggle with. Practice those. Ask your friends to gently correct you when you make mistakes. Maybe you'll need a speech therapist. In any case, there's nothing wrong with having an accent. You can be a persuasive speaker, even if you weren't born in southern Ontario.
  12. OLSAS sketch- Recreational Sports

    Or how your experience behind the service line readies you to serve your clients before the bench. Or serve the other parties with notice. ... Or something. In any case, if you start smacking a criminal code around in court, you'll give the sheriffs some exercise. But otherwise, athletic experience doesn't really transfer that well.
  13. How to study while working

    I agree with the others. Admission to law school, law school, and practicing law all require perseverance. You'll have to work when you're tired. That said, you're not being lazy. Studying for the LSAT sucks -- it's the last thing I wanted to do after getting home from work. It's normal to struggle. You're also showing that you can accept constructive criticism. That's a good quality. Don't beat yourself up -- turn your new resolve into action. Good luck.
  14. Should I Drop Out? (ADVICE NEEDED)

    +1 on headnotes. Headnotes are great.
  15. LSAT recommended for out-of-province applicants?

    Re the bolded sentence. I passed the proficiency test, but my French is shit. There's no way that I could follow a French law school lecture. That's why I didn't go to McGill. Maybe I was an exception.
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