JuBee2

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  1. Something we were encouraged to do last summer was if we really couldn't take an assignment that had a fixed deadline, find another student who could and respond to the lawyer something like "unfortunately I do not have capacity right now as I am working on X, Y & Z, but I have contacted my coworker Jane Doe ([email protected]) who is very interested in this work and is able to complete it by your stated deadline." This saves the lawyer the work of having to contact another student or send the file to the general list and wait for a response. Edit: sorry, just read the rest of the thread about having issues with summer student groups. A lot of that seems like it could have been managed in training - we were explicitly told by more than one lawyer "yeah don't blow off associates, the firm seems big but all the lawyers talk and you'll look really bad if you're constantly telling associates you're at capacity but then running around to partner's offices asking for work"
  2. I was doing far more than 3 a week. This was in fall of 2012 so I don't fully remember my schedule, but I'd say at least 5, maybe more in the month leading up to the October LSAT. I was in school at the time so how long i could spend studying depended on my class schedule more than anything. Sometimes would do 2 in one day, although I didn't do the extra 5th section and I'd stop the timer as soon as I was done and then move on to the next section immediately. Definitely don't do any the day before the exam, as someone posted above.
  3. If you want to improve your spoken French, classes are not really going to help as they're mostly lecture-style. They're a good way to improve your receptive language skills (listening and reading) but not so great for improving your writing (there's usually a maximum of one paper for 1L classes, if any, and I wouldn't advise writing an exam in your second language unless you are very, VERY comfortable) and will not help at all with improving your spoken French. The exception could be Foundations, my class had a fair amount of small group discussion, but that might vary depending on the prof. If you really want to work on your spoken French, make friends with your francophone classmates and speak to them in French. This gets hard though, since generally the francophone students are much stronger in English than the anglophone students are in French, so you'll have to work a bit to overcome the "English-as-default" mentality that can exist at McGill. If you get nervous speaking in French, try it after a couple of beers (this is a 100% serious suggestion). I took Constitutional law in French and did it almost like an English course. Did all the readings in English, wrote my paper and exams in English, and also took my notes in English (I started taking them in French at the beginning of the semester then realized I'd have to translate everything pre-exam anyways). Also took a few upper-year classes in French mostly due to schedule convenience. I found that I was never able to get an amazing grade in those classes, but I also never got terrible grades.
  4. Not me personally, but know two people who received offers last week (Friday I believe).
  5. You should contact McGill's Scholarships and Student Aid Office. They have people working there full time whose job is to answer your questions like these. You can find their contact info here: http://www.mcgill.ca/studentaid/contact-us. The division of who does what can definitely get confusing, but my understanding is that the Faculty of Law ONLY awards entrance and other in-course scholarships, which you're automatically considered for once you apply for financial aid. For more general financial aid (like, a loan from McGill to support you as you complete your degree, which I think is what you're talking about), that's the office I mentioned above. I've only dealt with them to discuss government loans, but I would intuitively agree with pzabbythesecond that if you qualify for financial aid under the amount you requested, they'd just give you lesser amount. They might also have a maximum cap on what they give to any individual student regardless of need, which could be under what you asked for. In that case, the office can help you explore options for funding the remaining amount. Note that to qualify for financial aid, generally students must "apply for and accept the maximum available government student aid for which they are eligible". Anecdotally I know there is some wiggle room on that, but in general McGill financial aid is meant to be in addition to the funding you get from the provincial/federal government (ETA: if you're a Canadian citizen. If not, I have no idea how that system works, and you should definitely contact the office).
  6. McGill graduate here - my impression is a large percentage of McGill students, at least in my year, who CHOSE to participate in Toronto OCIs and applied to Bay Street firms were eventually successful. I'd say probably more than 27% of the people I saw at OCIs eventually landed a Bay Street job - would put it much closer to 40% (this doesn't include people who didn't make it to the OCI stage, I don't know much about those numbers). Obviously this is just anecdotal, but you don't get a sense of that by just looking at total numbers of 2L positions, since McGill has a smaller class size than many Ontario schools and so many pursue other (and I may add, well-paying) jobs in different markets. Looking just at the Ultra Vires numbers you'd come up with a conclusion like "don't go to McGill if you want to work on Bay" but it's entirely possible for someone with that goal in mind who works hard to be successful in Toronto recruitment. I'd also say that the vast majority of McGill students in my year who applied to New York positions (wow! even better pay than Bay Street! the ultimate job you can achieve! /sarcasm) were successful, because again, there's a lot of selection that comes before the application process (in the case of New York, there's not only self-selection but the school will counsel you heavily against applying if they don't think you have a reasonable chance). This isn't a "you should go to McGill" advertisement, just trying to illustrate that we don't have access to all the numbers, so it's impossible to make a 100% accurate assessment of what OP is trying to achieve.
  7. It's definitely a really unnatural procedure. I was staying with a friend who works in PR during Toronto in-firms, and she was around when I was composing my "You are my first choice and if I got an offer I would accept it" email to the firm I eventually got hired at (not in those exactly words, obviously). She was absolutely baffled by that - her biggest concern was that by doing that I would lose any advantage in negotiating a salary, benefits, etc by telling them outright I wouldn't be considering other offers. Had to reassure her that there's absolutely no negotiating things like that at this stage and if I went to another firm their compensation package would be practically if not actually identical. That's why the CDO is so important - some parts of recruitment are very counter-intuitive if you've worked in other fields.
  8. - Know the resources you will need to go to if you begin to fail before you need them (counselling, academic accommodations, financial services, etc). Even if you have never needed anything like that before, law school is a whole other ballgame. I think Orientation Week is becoming more useful for this kind of information now than it has been in the past. - Get to know your professors. Start in 1L, and if you like a professor, keep taking classes with them and keep getting to know them. There's a whole "your education will be enriched!" line people use often when talking about this, which is not helpful when you've got a million other things on your plate or when you get to the point where you just want to get your degree and get out. But you should do it anyways, because that's the best way to get reference letters. I graduated recently with a good GPA, a great articling position, but couldn't apply to clerkships because I just had no one who could write me a decent reference. Don't do this, it's disappointing. - Everyone at McGill has roughly the same GPA. Unless you're one of those few wonder children who can get their GPA above 3.30, your time is better spent pursuing your interests through extra-curriculars if you want to have a competitive application for jobs. There are very few firms who won't interview you if you have just a solid B average, but there are a lot that won't interview you if all you do is go to class and study. - Be strategic with how you spend your time studying. It's better to focus a lot on one single class you can potentially get an A in and do just enough to get a B in the other 4 than to try to spread your efforts around evenly and MAYBE get a couple B+s. This is especially true if the A class is in a subject matter you are very interested in practicing. - That being said, McGill law can be frustrating in that I don't think anyone really knows how to do REALLY well consistently. I found that interest in the class materials, time spent studying, method of studying, even my own assessment of my understanding of the materials did not necessarily correlate to the grade I got in the end. This is one of the biggest changes I noticed from previous higher education (undergraduate classes for me were easy: if I worked harder and was more interested in the subject, I'd do well; if I spent less time on the class or was disinterested and disengaged, I'd do less well). I had more than one exam period at McGill where I'd get a B in a class where I'd done all the readings, gone to all the classes, thought I really understood the materials, and generally really liked the class but then get a B+ or an A- in a class where I just downloaded a summary a week before the exam and read it over a couple times. This underscores the importance of extra-curriculars. Consistent dedicated involvement in related clubs, part-time work, etc is key to showing interest in a particular area because you can't count on things like, oh, well I know I want to work in criminal law so I'll just study super hard for all my criminal law-related classes and get some As and then I'll get the job of my dreams! Maybe if you're super lucky/figure out The Secret but that's not like 90% of people. - Don't buy coursepacks in 1L (at least for Torts and Contracts, I can't comment on the new Property or Crim classes). I can't remember reading more than a couple cases, and you can find them all online anyways. Mostly you'll just be using summaries and your class notes to study. - If you want to work in Montreal, start learning how to network at cocktail events early. Course (Montreal's full-service firm recruitment) requires you to go to a LOT of cocktails. - Unlike Ohmeohmy, I wasn't surprised at the amount of work. Was more surprised at what I talked about above - that you can work that hard and still do just mediocre. It takes an attitude adjustment if you're used to getting fantastic grades when you apply yourself. 1L for me was a lot of school work as well as a lot of taking a good, hard look at myself and being like "What things do I like about myself now that I am not getting As? Who am I as a person if I'm not a top of the class student?" - Every single person at McGill has wanted something (a grade, a summer job, a club position, a clerkship, an exchange placement) and has failed to get it. I mean everyone. Keep this in mind when it becomes hard to look at people and be like "wow I want what they have" - they are doing this too, about something else. Stay empathetic, even when your default reaction is jealousy. I don't use this forum a lot because I'm afraid of revealing too much and people guessing who I am but please feel free to PM me if you want to talk or have questions! Except don't PM me about your chances to get in; I honestly have no idea about that and will be most unhelpful.
  9. I know I'm a little late for 2L recruitment but I was the biggest one in my summer student group. I'm not plus-sized but I'm on the high end of women's standard dress sizes. It was something I noticed and discussed with other people, so definitely not silly to be worried about this. Among the older lawyers, there were some men who were bigger but very, very few women who were a larger size than me. All I can say is go as hard as you can to compensate for it - make sure you're very well-groomed, have a really well-tailored suit, etc. Sit up as straight in every interview, make sure your posture in cocktails is good.. If you're a woman, wear the tallest heels you can while still being comfortable.
  10. I'm on a law journal that uses the McGill Guide and it's a real pain that the guide is not available online to our authors Us: please ensure your footnotes conform to the McGill Guide to Legal Citation, 8th Edition Authors: ok can I get this guide online? Us: no, you have to buy a book or a Westlaw subscription Authors: lol no I don't know practically how much more work this causes for us in the end, but it would really be useful to have an online edition.
  11. I 100% agree with this. I had no problem with any of the French lectures or readings (and found that there were, in the end, very few that I actually had to do given that you can usually find summaries) but I found a lack of ability to speak/write well in French will limit your opportunities in getting RA positions, Pro Bono placements, Legal Clinic placements, summer jobs in Montreal, etc. These things are, in my opinion necessary, not only to build a solid CV to eventually get a job, but also for a fulfilling law school experience. The faculty tends to downplay this in recruiting speakers of French as a second (or additional) language. If you're an Anglophone with limited French skills, you should take a serious look at your career goals, past work experience, opportunities you have lined up, financial situation, etc before accepting a spot at McGill. Can you afford to take classes over the summer if you can't find a job because of your language skills? Do you have past work experience that can compensate for a lack of legal experience during law school if you can't get placements? Are you the kind of person who will actively seek out opportunities to improve your French (knowing that as a 1L you will be extremely busy all the time and potentially undergoing a lot of new challenges that could impact your level of self-confidence)? I understand a lot of people have valid reasons for wanting to live in Montreal or study at McGill Law. But if your French is not good, and your reasons are something along the line of "McGill is prestigious" or "I don't want to write the LSAT", I think it's important that you understand the reality of being an Anglophone in a city where a working knowledge of French (much higher than McGill's standard of passive bilingualism) is needed for many legal positions, including ones inside the faculty.
  12. There is a national PBSC Wills Project - might have been what bamalam was referring to: http://www.probonostudents.ca/programs/national-projects/wills-project
  13. Current McGill student on track to graduate in 3.5 years. Had a few questions about what to do in that extra semester and was hoping any McGill grads could weigh in: 1. I am planning to write the Ontario bar. Was looking at the LSUC requirements and saw that it is possible (but not guaranteed?) to register in December and write in March. Is there a benefit to doing that as opposed to writing in June? 2. What did you do with your semester off? I've asked around and the most common response I've heard is "travel" but I'm not in a place financially where I feel like that's a good life decision. Is it possible to work between graduating in December and starting articling in August? If so where? Also, if you were ever looking for a job as a new call, would firms scrutinize what you were doing in that period (like if I couldn't find any law-related work and instead got a retail job while doing law-related volunteering, would this be looked down upon?).
  14. Anyone who has summered and can share info on what the composition of their work wardrobe looks like? Number of suits, separates, pairs of shoes etc?
  15. I was actually dissuaded by a friend from taking Law and Poverty this semester because she said based on her experience in the course it might be too much work while I was doing OCIs. Apparently the reading load is quite heavy. My question was actually about taking a non-law course - something in the Faculty of Arts at the undergraduate level, but I think based on D_Ocean_LLB's post and the answer I got from the CDO that I'll look into taking a law course Pass/Fail instead.