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Uriel last won the day on April 29

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  1. GARY: Hey Laura, did you figure out what's going on with the treatment of the jet under that tax treaty? LAURA: Yeah, I staffed it out to Unfortunateson; look at this memo, it's eleven pages long. GARY: Any good? LAURA: Amazing! He's got this section in here for further reading and even has a little blurb on academic opinions about the likelihood of the treaty's renegotiation. Look at this stack of reference materials. GARY: I haven't worked with him yet. LAURA: Well, give him a shot. He's kind of a keener. Good sense of humour, too. GARY: Somebody we should look at? LAURA: Yeah, he's been coming out to the lunches and everything, so I think he's got an interest in the group. GARY: did he get a C in tax tho LAURA: yes he got a C in tax GARY: nooooo LAURA: noooo [brandishes sacrificial knife] GARY: nooooo [draws curtains] AMIR: [entering from outside in black hood] nooooooo OTHER ASSOCIATES: [enter from outside in black hoods, chanting collectively] he had a bad exaaaaaaam
  2. FWIW, I've had an extremely difficult few years working with the Scotia LOC branch. They seem to be more than a little disorganized over there. Doesn't necessarily mean the product is bad.
  3. Being a first alternative means you were indistinguishable from a hire. If you were the first alternative at multiple firms, there's nothing to improve.
  4. I never 'got' LG. Bombed it. On the upside, apparently you can completely botch that section and still get a 90th percentile result. So don't fret if there's one section that always gives you trouble; it's not the end of the world.
  5. Yes, that is what I meant. I specifically didn't say send the e-mail, but that sentence was definitely ambiguous as to whether you should send it or not. I'm saying, get your solution ready and then go check to see whether you execute. [shoeless in the photocopy room with a tumbler of bourbon] yes i am the ultimate role model
  6. Medical doctor. Chemical engineer. Securities broker. Surveyor. Certified Management Accountant.
  7. Close, close. It's actually going forward and I just left this open and tapped away at it for a few days. I haven't looked at the numbers but remember to keep the two numbers correlated. Firms' 1L/2L hiring will dip when they satisfy their staffing needs through the other process. So if I hire 15 1Ls instead of 10, I'll hire 20 2Ls instead of 25 the following October. Or if we loved the applicants in our OCI process and had some urgent projected staffing needs, we might hire 36 through OCIs instead of the usual 28 --- but then only take 3 1Ls instead of 7 when we're hiring just three months later.
  8. Hard to say across the board but I'm getting a very strong buzz from a number of different firms. Expect hireback to be high. We're all on fire over here. I'd be very surprised if 1L hiring didn't at least maintain in place over last year. That being said, I issue my usual warning against the certainty of damaging your 1L grades versus the extreme uncertainty of an attempt to secure a virtually mythical 1L summer job. I didn't apply for them when there were only four available in the City of Toronto, and I still wouldn't today unless I had really desirable work experience, specialist credentials, or stratospheric fall grades. It's such a huge amount of work and distraction at such a competitive time for such a low-probability shot.
  9. URIEL FINCH 198x - 2017 A Clear Man A Helpful Man Tended to be a Bit of a Read
  10. Oh, and one more thing. I'm noticing that I'm gradually getting more crotchety and me-focused in the way I describe student work. That's unfortunate, and I regret if it's coming out that way. But here's another tip underlying that situation: A lot of your peers don't give one shit about this job. I know a lot of you are going to be shaking your heads, because you're the kind of person that goes on to a law students' web forum. But believe me, although you need to work super hard to land a job and you should be diligent about everything you do, don't stress yourself out to the level of burnout. You have numerous colleagues that really just want to pay off their student debt and get out. You have numerous colleagues that plan to leave right after articling anyway because all they want is the credential and the call to the Bar. You have numerous colleagues that have business or political aspirations and do not intend to practice law. You have numerous colleagues that have family businesses or other connections and are just kickin' it for the salary until they're asked to leave. You have a ton of colleagues that are going to realize they hate this job and want nothing to do with it. The end result of that for me is that I get a lot of half-assed work that I really would not have expected from students at this level. Half-assed work well under the level they were performing at in law school because all they wanted was this job, temporarily. How they perform now is irrelevant to them. The end result of that for you is that you might be intimidated by your peers' credentials or intellect or social skills and connections and push yourself to the breaking point in an attempt to compete... only to find out that it's just like law school: most everyone is doing worse than you think, and far worse than they would ever admit. So, work hard and pay attention to details and you will be more successful than you think. And forgive us jaded associates that might grumble about students from time to time as we've been burned by apathy more times than we'd like to recall.
  11. It's hard to believe I'm already this far out from being a summer student. It feels like I was just that little bucket of nerves a few weeks ago. For context, I'm a fifth-year litigation associate at a Bay Street firm. (Actually, crap, I'm about to be a sixth; we'll be hiring the fifth round of associates under me in the next two weeks. Good God.) There's some great advice in here already, but my perspective has adapted a bit as I've gotten more and more distant from the experience of summering, and gained some understanding of what partners are thinking and what their needs are. (I haven't quoted everyone and I might overlap on some existing responses, but these are the main things that occurred to me as I was reading through the thread.) All Firms Are Different: The dreaded 'culture' word raises its ugly head. All firms do the same work and look the same on paper, but their cultures are actually quite different. I read with some horror about the 'scooping' of work that was going on at Harvey's firm. If anyone was undercutting other students at my firm, it would be apparent quickly and that student would not be doing well with the partnership. But our system is built to be highly collegial rather than highly competitive, and if there's a rift in the student population we're rigged to see it early. We don't have the Pearson Specter Litt 'bullpen of conspiracy' going on. As students, we would actually hold off on taking work if it sounded like something Susan would have wanted to do. That might sound like a brag, but it has its drawbacks too. Our students' collegiality can sometimes devolve into a casual approach to work and collaboration, which I imagine is much less of a risk in a more cutthroat environment. And we're not doing it to be bunnies and rainbows; we have a sound strategic business purpose for fostering maximum cooperation and community-building. Solve The Problem Part 1 - Actually Deal With The Problem: The most important thing you need to do is change your mindset from question-answering to problem-solving. Whenever we ask you to do something, it's because we're in a situation where we need your help. When you come back with your assignment, please make sure you have actually provided that help. Apply this thinking to all situations. See above, where everyone is suggesting, "Sorry I can't help you, but I've checked around and Amir and Susan can"? They're showing you an iteration of this principle. I'm not asking, "hey, out of curiosity can you help me with this project?" I'm saying, "I need help with this project and I'm coming to you with that problem." Saying 'no' with a cool apology is legit, but it isn't actually helping; you've just sent me away with the same problem. Saying 'no' with contact information has gotten me closer to having my problem solved. I tip my cap to the students that save me that half-hour of muddling around with a staffing decision. The example I always give is of the student that was asked to note up a section of the Evidence Act that permits the introduction of government records into evidence without having to be sworn by a government employee. After three weeks, the student came back advising me that there were no cases on that point. He was right. There were, however, hundreds of cases on the specific subsection dealing with it. And obviously there must have been those cases --- obviously government records get into court somehow. See, he answered the question, but didn't help me at all. I might have asked him, "note up Section X"; but what I wanted help with was finding a way to get those records into evidence. Try to understand the 'why' behind every assignment, so that you can provide the help you're asked for; or even add value. More often than not, lawyers (and especially associates) don't even know the right questions to ask. You can become a superstar if you regularly show up in people's offices showing them a thoughtful assessment of the best thing to do next, rather than just performing a function and receding back into your charging station. (Just make sure you don't spend dozens of extra hours chasing a lead --- check in before stumbling down a rabbit hole you weren't asked to investigate.) Solve The Problem Part 2 - Deal With The Problem Yourself: Don't be Lily. Lily is a kid I saw at a family picnic once that ran up to her mom in a panic and said, "Mom, there's a bee!" No one knew where the bee was, or what was to be done about said bee, but we were all officially on notice about the bee situation. I get three or four Lilies in each articling class. They run into my office and tell me they screwed something up, and they stare at me with wild, panicked doe eyes waiting for me to fix it for them. But they were hired because they are among the leading intellects of their generation. And yet, decades of performatted education with defined performance parameters and minimal real-world work experience has left them not incapable of proactive problem-solving, but unfamiliar with that process. When the process breaks or something goes wrong with the superstructure of an assignment, they run to the teacher. Are they capable of solving these problems? Absolutely. Are they dumb for not doing it? Absolutely not. But they seem to have this trained reflex to report to authority rather than assuming it themselves. Confidence is a factor too, of course. Scenario: A student sends out an affidavit with some privileged notes in it and comes screaming up to me: "Mom, there's a bee!" Here's what you ought to do. Get a draft without the notes ready. Attach it to a quick e-mail advising opposing counsel of the issue and asking them to destroy the original and advising that a fresh copy is on its way. Then call me and let me know what the problem is and what you plan to do about it. I might have a better idea, but I also might just have to say "ok, go ahead". If you've prepared a solution, you can minimize the impact of your error on me to near-zero. If you just rush into my office saying there's a bee, we have to discuss the problem and hash out a solution together --- even when nine times out of ten I'm just sitting there coaching the student to reach the solution she would have reached on her own anyway. It's a huge waste of time. Solve The Problem Part 3 - Don't $%&* Me Over: The corollary of trying to solve my problems is trying even harder not to be my problems. I once gave someone a week to do an assignment and she came by three days in to tell me that she got started and realized that there's no way she can do this and meet her other, pre-existing commitments. That was a drag, and it cut down the next student's timeline by three days. But hey, you dealt with the issue and it all worked out. Seven out of ten. Competent job. Would work with again. But very often I run into the day-before or morning-of Liturgy of Excuses. At that point, just flip me off and strut laughing off to the bar. I mean, you might as well own it at that point. If you're creating an emergency for me, don't waste even more of my time explaining how really none of this was your fault. All I care about is getting that affidavit filed and you're no longer part of that equation. And don't get creative with it. I'll never forget homeboy that decided to pop into my office the day before a deadline and just alpha-male confirm with me that we agreed on a different, later deadline and is that made-up date still cool. I still don't know what he was thinking, like I would have forgotten what the deadline was? Say I gave him a deadline building in two days for review before my filing deadline. There's no way I would have agreed to a deadline three days later, after the thing was due to be filed. You're going to disappoint people. I still do. Often. Every day. At home and at work! But we're not high school principals; we're co-workers trying to get our own work done and you're doing a chunk of it. Give us the same heads-up you would give your friends on Law Review if you weren't going to make the editorial deadline and needed someone else to pick up the slack. Don't count on Future You to pull it off somehow. Do Good Work for Lots of People: This seems like it should go without saying, but it's a lot more complex than you think. Your hireback is a committee decision. Every firm does it differently but generally speaking there's something resembling a vote. Don't assume you know the politics of that situation. Did you work exclusively for the most important partner in the group? Great! Maybe she doesn't even remember your name, though. Or maybe the other partners are sick of her getting her pick of students and she has more than enough support already. Did you really ingratiate yourself into a subgroup? Fantastic! What's their work-in-progress looking like? Can they support more than 0.5 of an associate for the next three years under the current strategic plan? It's a good idea to have champions, but it's a great idea to make sure everyone in the department you're applying for knows your name and respects your work. If two people love you, that might be enough --- if they have enough pull and enough work that particular year to get you hired. Much better is to have one person absolutely adore you and everyone around the whole table agree that you're an asset. So, as difficult as it is, try to walk the line carefully in terms of taking on work. Try to work for a diversity of people while cultivating a key partner or two, but don't take on so much work that you disappoint half the people doing the hiring. Aim to be 80% busy (so that you only end up 125% busy). It's better to have Partner X pounding the table for you and 10 people nodding along than to have Partners X and Y advocating for you, four people nodding and Partners A and B mumbling about your lazy research. To The Extent Possible, Be Eager: Look, we've all been articling students and summer students. We know how much it sucks to be told on Friday afternoon that your weekend is ruined. It doesn't feel good to do that to someone, and more often than not, we do it to the students we like the most because we trust them in a crisis. We like doing that even less. You don't need to be a robot or pretend it doesn't suck, but it sure helps if you can bring some positive energy to the situation. Moping and pouting isn't a good look; it makes it hard to imagine you sticking with this job for very long. We're Going To Forget You're A Summer Student: I saw this up top, and I'm horrified at how bad I am for this. Now that many firms have first-year summer students, second-year summer students and articling students rotating through and interviewing in three different waves every year, I'm sorry. The months fly by here as we rush towards the next deadline and I can barely remember that it's Tuesday. I might know a student very well, but I might not have the capacity to always remember if I've seen someone for the last two years because they were a 1L or 2L summer two years ago. The more insidious part of this problem is in our expectations. We will always feel like we don't know too much. Impostor syndrome is common among Bay Street associates. I still kind of feel like a veteran articling student. But what that means is we don't appreciate how much we've learned until we interface with someone that hasn't learned it. Once you get to five years of call, you gradually start losing touch with how confusing it is to sort out what you're supposed to put in a Notice of Motion, or what kind of facts you can lay out in an affidavit. I'm always seeing partners frustrated with correcting students' vocabulary. ("There was no award made; there was an order issued.") It's little things like the wrong word in the wrong place that get more senior people frustrated. Don't let it get to you. They have to deal with it every day and you're not the only one that's still learning. Wherever you're confused about what a partner wants, consider popping in to see an associate. Sometimes we can give you a road map within five minutes that will save you three hours of procedural or precedential research. Just Pay Attention to Stuff: At every firm in every country forever, the #1 complaint of lawyers is that students aren't detail-oriented enough. Use spellcheck if you're not a strong writer. Don't use generic language where it isn't warranted. Assume every minor inaccuracy is a problem. For example, don't write in a memo "but this point is controversial" without following up with an explanation as to how and why; or "there are several cases on this point" without providing citations to show you know that for a fact. You're being asked to be extremely diligent in tracking down the most minor of details, and there's no substitute for spending the time to make sure it's right. What we want more than anything is to develop a level of trust with you that could justify giving you significant responsibility. We love it when that happens; it makes our life easier and we like helping you along to the next level. But that's hard to do when you spell the plaintiff's name wrong and your research is full of generalities and platitudes. It's a huge adjustment for everyone to get four big boxes of documents and be honest-to-God expected to look over all of it. And to be able to say, "No, Ms. Smith was not informed of that meeting" because you literally read all her e-mails. And when you saw an unfamiliar e-mail address in the cc: line, you pulled up that e-mail address and read all of those too. I just can't tell you how good it feels as an articling student and as a lawyer to be in a situation where the judge asks, "did Ms. Smith have any actual notice of this?" and to be able to make eye contact lawyer-to-student, shake your heads and reply confidently, "No, Your Honour." The scramble when the student is like, "I don't think so; I don't remember any" is a bad, bad feeling. It's a hard job. But it can be a really fun job. And we pay you a ridiculous amount of money at a ridiculously young age to compensate for the 'hard' part of that equation. So buckle up and work hard enough to give yourself confidence later, when you need to rely on the fruits of that hard work. Phew. There I go again with a huge post that was supposed to be short. Good luck out there!
  12. You never know! I once missed one of the three questions on a Constitutional exam entirely. Figured I'd get a C+ at best, got a B+ somehow. The curve is a beautiful thing.
  13. Hm. Drag. I would have been interested to hear about those policies, but I get the concern. Does anyone else have an alternative "extra compensation" structure they could share with the group?
  14. Just adding to this, sometimes no bonus structure can actually be a positive. Woe betide the associate at the firm with a "holistic" bonus structure in a down year for the firm. I know people at firms like that who have billed 1900 and received nothing. Much better in that case to have been at a "no bonus" firm, fully aware that extra effort would not be compensated, and taken an extra three weeks' vacation instead.