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Uriel last won the day on December 15 2017

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  1. A law school to match my personality

    I also was going to say Osgoode.
  2. Tips on Being a Great Summer Student

    Gave it some thought and I think these are the categories I subconsciously use to evaluate summer students. Most people fall between the extremes in the first two categories. The vast majority of summer/articling students are reasonably generic in terms of performance since we're all effectively trained the same way. If you have three or four Awesome traits and no more than one or two Not Awesome ones, you're probably in good shape. Cross the line into Extremely Not Awesome and you should be grateful to escape the firm with your articling requirement satisfied. Awesome Punctual: Meets or beats deadlines, or gives lengthy notice of inability to meet deadlines Intellectually curious: inquires after file and seeks updates or more work Adds value: During basic tasks, notices discrepancies and raises new arguments or points of evidence Skilled: Is developing background expertise in a useful area and can contribute in substance Extreme attention to detail: no spelling or grammatical errors, no incorrect dates or page references Excellent firm citizen: joins teams and groups, volunteers to do heavy lifting on charity and firm events High EQ: Bonds with staff, clients and counsel Confident: Neither arrogant nor avoiding responsibility Polished: Speaks well, well groomed, impressive brand ambassador Team player: Sacrifices where appropriate, seeks assistance and relief as necessary Not Awesome Unreliable: Misses or pushes deadlines, turns in half-complete or rushed work, advises that deadline will be blown with insufficient time to restaff Passive: Accepts and performs work, does not contribute enthusiasm or helpful perspective Drudge: Works to rule, performs strict task assigned only, actively avoids adding value Generic: Understands general principles of law, equally useless across the board Careless: Generates more work for lawyers who have to become editors and footnote-checkers Absentee: Demonstrates no aptitude for, or interest in, business side of legal practice Low EQ: Denigrates or abuses staff, unfriendly or self-obsessed Confidence imbalance: Either too arrogant to take instruction or too meek to defend a good idea Sloppy: Projects incompetence and disorganization Work generator: Work only creates more tasks for other members of the team to fix or manage Extremely Not Awesome -ist: Demonstrates racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-Semitic tendencies Dishonest: Goes beyond generally acceptable mischaracterization (e.g. "Uh... I'm working on that") to outright answering direct questions falsely Unethical: Plagiarizes, breaches confidentiality, tampers with witnesses, etc. Treacherous: Develops reputation for throwing others under the bus, starting rumours, cruel or disrespectful attitude to staff, students or lawyers (clerks are fine, they'll handle you themselves) Abdicates responsibility: Straight-up refuses, or accepts and does not perform, tasks assigned Saboteur: Actively damages lawyers' relationships with judges, opposing counsel or clients
  3. I'm coming around to this point of view. Take a look at the partner's office and take a stab at whether or not mementos are their thing. My articling principal and I had a bit going where she was kind of my Yoda, so I ended up getting her a little action figure of Yoda, modified to wield a teeny tiny copy of an important factum she let me put in under my own name. It went up on the shelf of knickknacks behind her desk.
  4. Ahhh, I didn't have that context in mind at all. I honestly couldn't say. I don't know enough about the situation, whereas I'm sure recruiting staff are following it very closely. I'd be hesitant to speculate.
  5. I wouldn't give a blanket statement. Credit/no credit Trial Advocacy or clinic work can be very useful not only in giving you a litigation background but demonstrating an interest in litigation. Ditto for classes like Negotiation or ADR. Credit/no credit research projects, or credit/no-credit Law and the Movies might be a little shakier. But generally speaking, one course isn't going to make or break an application no matter how bad it is; and a "credit" in a credit course isn't "bad". There are worse things than demonstrating some actual intellectual curiosity. A very significant number of applicants have a credit course. It's normal. I'm not sure if that answers the question. Am I right in interpreting that there's an option to spend the whole year credit/no credit? If so, yeah, I think I'd want to see a pretty sterling record before that point and a decent reason why that was done. Maybe our recruiting staff has a different view, but I'd feel like I lost the ability to assess you compared to your peers at Oz and especially other institutions.
  6. Usually you're segregated into a certain service. There are programs for civil assistance and programs for criminal assistance. I wouldn't volunteer to do criminal work because I'm not competent to do so. In respect of conflicts, it's tricky. If all the volunteers are conflicted off a Scotiabank file, for example, that person might have to go without assistance. Everyone hates it when that happens, but we can't ethically give advice on how to sue or defend against our own client for a cascade of reasons. Yet another reason why legal aid should be expanded at least to the bare minimum level afforded to litigants in most U.S. states. Part-time volunteers should fill a middle space between legal aid and retained counsel; they shouldn't be the default option on every litigation step for such a large proportion of Canadians in the civil system.
  7. Our pro bono programs either put us in as duty counsel or against the feds. Comparatively small risk of conflict on a limited-scope retainer under the Rules.
  8. It does vary a lot based on the firm. Some do virtually none at all. Several have formally recognized programs in conjunction with pro bono non-profits. So, for example, some firms do all (or most) of the grievance work for employees in a certain industry; or serve as duty counsel at a specific courthouse; or work on case files for a specific immigration law clinic. The area of law might not matter too much, as firms often treat these programs as good training grounds for oral advocacy. It doesn't matter what you're arguing as long as you're arguing it. Some firms do try to harmonize the industries in which they do pro bono work with their practice areas, but I can't imagine the conflict screens go easily in those cases. They act for the big guys the little guys are against, right? One of the big, big downsides to working in a large law firm is that it's very difficult to do pro bono work of your own volition, for business, insurance and professional responsibility reasons. You're exposing the firm to liability for any mistakes you might make, and this kind of work is usually not the area of law in which you practice. Then there are the conflict issues. Whenever I'm duty counsel at the Superior Court or Small Claims, you see a claimant come in contra one of the big banks, and look at the Biglaw associates scatter! I've often said that I either want to stay in a big firm forever, or go do the exact opposite and run my own shop out of a little Victorian storefront somewhere. This is a big reason why. I'd love to be free to offer my services for a good cause without dragging the baggage of 800+ lawyers with me every step I take.
  9. Applicant information from Windsor leaked

    I think my whole life has revolved around how great I'll be as a human at 56. And who even knows how to measure year of call? There's no accepted definition. Calendar year of call (January 1, 2012): 6th year <- most commonly used as shorthand Call to the Bar (May 15, 2012): 5th year <- most commonly used when someone stops to think about it Start date (September 1, 2012): 5th year First year of practice ("non-stump year", "first year associate") (January 1, 2013): 5th year
  10. Applicant information from Windsor leaked

    Very disappointed to see that AD Herlehy is female, thus robbing me of a perfectly good "just let the boy leak your data" joke. *crickets* Egh, you kids with your YouTubes.
  11. Applicant information from Windsor leaked

    That seems fine.
  12. Bad 1L Grades - large distribution

    Just came across this thread --- and mwa ha! You are all wrong. The assumption there is correct: it was a first-term "C" and first-term exam results don't count. My "C" was for a term paper, though, in small group Torts. It counted. My "C+"es in my Property and Contracts exams, though, did not.
  13. Firm Perks

    I've seen that too --- I think we went at 10 months or so. Seems like every two weeks there's another 18-month-old having a complete meltdown for their first week. I've heard that there can be very good outcomes from starting them as infants; it's just in my experience most parents don't want to take that option but feel they have little choice financially. Glad to hear that you had such a positive experience! I'm half-inclined to ask where you went.
  14. Firm Perks

    Maybe you can fill in the gap here, since you're much more of an expert on the ins and outs of employment law. I thought you had to stop working before you could even apply, that there was a one-week wait period of no pay, and then you would be paid for the remainder in the first 28 days. Which is to say, you're not making rent unless you put it on your credit card. So if you take three weeks off, you're getting $1,100. In my case, the mom was a student so she wasn't entitled to anything. It's a huge hit. Rather than saving up $3,000 to cover the month, I just blew my vacation and got paid. Things would be a lot easier if you could apply for EI in advance of going on leave. You're right in that my proposal doesn't apply to the much more dire situation facing sole practitioners and other small business owners. It was a specific proposal for a specific kind of workplace. If I'm honest, I don't have any good idea how to build a better system for women in those situations. In terms of the biological component, I'm definitely not advocating for any less time for maternity leave! I hope I didn't come across as suggesting that the paternity leave should be taken out of a partner's leave, or that mat leave should be in any way abridged or considered a closed issue. There's still a lot of work to be done, even in well-funded employer situations, to encourage and facilitate healthy pregnancies and infant rearing. (Why doesn't everyone just consider a mat leave year a nullity, rather than adding an integer to the denominator of billable hours over years worked?) I mean, if we're being honest, a year (or 35/61 weeks, as the case may be) is a completely arbitrary figure for mat leave. If we were actually designing the system intelligently from scratch, rather than reacting reflexively to women unexpectedly entering the workforce and then trying to build around that male-centered improvisation, we would probably start from the principle that you should have three months of sick leave in the third trimester and 18 months to get the child up to an age where external care isn't detrimental to mom or tot. We were lucky (kind of?) in that Mrs. Uriel was a student when she had our daughter. On the one hand, we were pretty broke. On the other, though, she had some freedom to hang on to the wee one until she was ready for daycare. It's nothing short of brutal what our system puts women and infants through when they don't have the luxury of not working, or getting by on a third of their pay. I don't know how we, as a society, can walk past infant rooms in a daycare and be all right with that as the status quo for anything but the most affluent families. But maybe that's just an unwarranted emotional reaction on my part.
  15. Firm Perks

    I've put my neck out more than a few times for extended paternity leave benefits. I think there are still some big firms that offer dads the statutorily mandated unpaid-leave time only, unless they've cleaned up their act since the last time I looked into it. That's a nightmare. EI takes longer to process than the average dad can afford to take off, particularly in large cities with large-city rent. My firm is now quite progressive on paternity leave and mandatory advancement of moms on leave --- I can't take the credit but I hope I helped --- but when I took off I had to burn three weeks' vacation just to avoid loss of pay while I supported my wife, who had complications after the birth. Not only does that egregiously suck, but it exacerbates the privilege of male lawyers. If you're going to press us back into service in a week and a half, you're effectively formalizing a rule that women (and women only) are to be penalized one full year of career progression per child. If men were given four months (a pipe dream, but imagine), then the difference between that dad and a career-driven mom that comes back after eight or nine months is basically negligible. A rounding error in an eight-year track. If your firm is still stuck in unpaid leave mode for dads, and especially if you're a dad-to-be, consider reaching out to recent moms and see if you can coordinate some pressure on the powers that be. It was miserable for me, and now we have people making partner while on mat leave. It's so much easier to promote a firm when you're proud of it.