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  1. Professors?

    This may be true. I don’t know. The real thing people ‘worry’ about, with respect to grades, is the propensity of professors to give LPs. Students are under the impression or misapprehension that certain professors give out more LPs than others. I believe* LPs are discretionary, from 0% up to 10% of the class. I couldn’t name professors with reps either way (i.e. that regularly give out a lot of LPs or none), and have no data to corroborate this. The ‘antidote’ to this worry, obviously, is to work hard enough that no professor has reason to give you an LP. My experience with professors has been pretty much uniformly positive and I wouldn’t sweat it, OP. I’m actually kind of excited to hear about Hadfield.
  2. ‘Small and midsized firms can have nepotistic hiring practices’ is a really horrible (and kinda hilarious) response to the claim that ‘small and midsized firms can have discriminatory hiring practices.’ Something being true doesn’t make that and other objectionable practices justified. Edit: My habit of obsessively editing posts has made this different from the quote below. But uhh I stand by everything(?).
  3. Mid-life crisis during Articling?

    God forbid they grew up in Toronto.
  4. I had no idea Clyde & Co. had a Toronto office! I don't know anything about them, sadly. You may want to reach out to former students etc. if you want to learn more. Clyde & Co. is obviously an international brand, but I have no idea what the Toronto office's work is like. I note that the firm's Toronto and Montreal offices appear to have been established in 2011 through the acquisition of Nicholl Paskell-Mede, an insurance boutique. That probably colours a bunch of the work they do today, and it is an area in which Clyde & Co. is internationally well regarded. (Incidentally, Clyde & Co. is the only Band 1 insurance disputes firm in Canada on Chambers. Who knew?)
  5. Really depends on what you mean by ‘international’ firm. I will try to unpack that a bit: Several prominent and great Canadian firms are members of ‘vereins,’ a type of Swiss corporate structure the details of which are immaterial. The upshot is that they are largely independent from the branches in other countries. Such firms include Norton Rose, DLA Piper, Baker Mackenzie, and Dentons. It’s probably best to think of these guys as large national firms, with an international network. An exception might be made for Gowlings WLG, which is basically just a Canadian and a UK firm grafted together — no idea how that affects their work. Then there are Canadian firms with foreign satellite offices. The satellite office is often very small, and often generates work for the home office in Toronto. There are too many examples and permutations to list: Many firms have very small offices in London and New York. Faskens, has an office Johannesburg—presumably to service mining clients. Osler has a relatively large New York office, which I believe does more substantive work in the city for Canadian clients. Then there are American firms with Toronto satellite offices. Paul, Weiss and Sullivan & Cromwell come to mind, although I believe there are more. These offices (i) pay ridiculously well but (ii) are tiny and (iii) do essentially one type of work: cross-border capital markets. The ‘genuinely’ international firms, if we want to call them that, don’t really have presences in Toronto. Thinking of places like Allen & Overy, Freshfields, White & Case, to name a few. These firms would be distinguished from the vereins in that, although they operate internationally, they remain largely cognizable as a single firm. Often they market themselves specifically to handle international transactions or disputes. I am sure I have said lots of stupid things in the above, but hope that is helpful.
  6. Maybe this is just stating the obvious, but prestige can be both an end and a means. In fact, I’d say that prestige is frequently chased by law students precisely because prestige itself is considered to be a means to (perhaps more noble!) ends. It’s easier to get that relatively cushy in-house job or that amazing public interest gig or that elite boutique job when you have a resume laced with prestigous ‘things,’ the argument runs. (This is sometimes conflated with or disguised, I think, by the assertion that Bay Street firms or whatever will ‘train you well.’) Is this incorrect? Is it wrong?
  7. Agreed. I’d only add that the MGA does appear to have a more formal placement system. 1L positions require pretty serious legwork — but what doesn’t? The only other advantage I can think of is that the MGA candidates may be better-placed for non-legal positions — positions which, in principle, IHRP can’t fund.
  8. For better or, more likely, for worse the greatest value in the MGA is the additional summer to pursue an internship or fellowship at organizations that are extremely hard to break into after school or absent formal recruiting relationships. Good luck getting an entry-level position at the UN (or similar) without an internship — and good luck securing one without being in some kind of formal educational program. Is the additional chance at such a position worth the monetary and opportunity cost of the MGA to you? Probably not, for most people. (Especially since IHRP will fund positions at UN/WHO/World Bank for straight JD students in 1L.) But for some? Maybe.
  9. thoughts on canadian law firm rankings?

    Prestigious from who’s perspective? The market for what? Jobs? M&A legal services? Leaving aside whether or not prestige is helpful, your list is missing some big names (Lenczner, e.g.) that I think would have to be on any reasonably-informed commercial litigator’s list. Actually, I’ll go a step further and say that many of the boutiques, in many practice areas, are more prestigous than the usual suspects on Bay.
  10. I can’t answer the big questions, but consider knocking off some degree requirements in the first semester: biz orgs and admin, in particular. Get them out of the way and, in the process, you may find yourself better-placed to choose electives in the second semester.
  11. Deciding a direction in law

    One way (and a good one) of thinking about this is through the lens of your career: If you want to practice family or criminal law, demonstrating interest in that area may not only compensate for, say, less than outstanding grades. In fact, and maybe more likely, demonstration of such an interest can be a prerequisite for articling with boutiques. But that's not the only way to think about it. One of the advantages of choosing an area to focus on, independent of your career aspirations, is that it allows you to 'focus' your learning and social experiences at law school. Classes in related areas of law can complement each other, making studying easier and deepening your understanding of the broader province of the law. On the social side, it's nice to do extra-curriculars with people who don't only share an interest, but with whom you can suffer through the same classes. All of this is obvious. I suppose my main point is that it is simply helpful to choose something, even if you don't know what, regardless of whether it'll help your career. Do you like the idea of international law? Spending a great deal of your time in that area (e.g.) probably won't help you get a job -- but it will almost certainly help you make friends and make law school a more pleasant experience. Anyway, don't sweat it. All of the above is moot as a 0L. You'll get to law school and figure it out just fine. (Lot's of people don't specialize, at all, ever, in law school and do just fine academically and socially.) Go in with an open mind. And if you do specialize it's more likely than not that you'll stumble into an area you didn't know you could love before you loved it.
  12. Law School Debt

    Travelling is a great idea. Enjoy. An interesting thing—and I think too often ignore—about travelling is that the returns are often realized long after the fact. You gain wonderful memories, potential friends, interesting things to talk about, and potentially an opportunity to learn something about yourself and the world. These will stick with you long after you come home. I always find it a little silly to delay travelling on the basis that you’ll have time later—even, god forbid, when you retire. At that point, the upside is for all of the above is substantially limited—purely because you'll have less time to enjoy the residual effects. That all sounds rather cold and calculated, but I really think it matters. See a bit of the world. Enjoy it now. You can. Reap the benefits for years.
  13. Life After the SCC

    To be clear, I meant that firms go to the court to interview clerks for associate positions.
  14. Life After the SCC

    Someone better informed can correct me, but I believe there is an SCC OCI (on...court...interviews?) process.
  15. Cambridge vs UofT

    U of T sent 25 students to NY this summer, for what it’s worth. This year may be an outlier, but it is not as remote as people suggest (cf. several Canadian law schools’ placement rates on Bay). London is far more difficult in the years immediately following graduation. I am also familiar with Oxbridge, although not in the context of a law degree. My advice—generally given in the context of grad school and post-grad work—is that if you can go, you should. It’s just an incredible experience. That said, try to find out what college you’ll be placed in. It makes a difference, and might weigh in on your calculations. You’d be insane to give up a spot at Trinity to go to U of T, e.g. Another consideration might be whether you have any doubts about practicing law. You can take an Oxbridge degree and go to many interesting and potentially lucrative careers (banking, consulting, whatever) with relative ease. If you have any questions regarding Cambridge or U of T feel free to PM me. EDIT: Also, I haven’t read this thread in its entirety, but if you are dead set on becoming a lawyer, it’s important to consider that the path you have set out in the UK is to become a solicitor. Becoming a barrister is far more difficult.