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About Apothic

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  1. No need for apologies. I wish I could just blurt out my whole law school/job experience story on here. I think that would make it much easier to understand why I chose the summer jobs and article I did. Why I chose to forego OCIs and big firm life. Although I will eventually be moving to a medium-sized firm, so I guess I will see how my perception changes at that time. You are absolutely right about the broad nods to areas of law. Perhaps the issue I'm struggling with is that I simply don't know what I want to do or what I'm good at. There are things I'm passionate about. I like to think that my dream job is working at EcoJustice, but I don't really know what that would be like. I also understand that my life and personality requires work/life balance. Struggling (but mostly kicking ass) with a mental disorder and working even 12 hours a day is absolutely brutal, and 10 hours seems more manageable. So do you pick an area of law you may enjoy less, but gives you more work-life-balance, which in turn will make you happier, even if you may struggle with fulfilling a purpose. How does one figure out where they want to be? It clearly comes easier for some. I feel like I can't spend my career jumping from firm to firm or bouncing between various areas of law. EDIT: My interests seem to change a lot. Prior to law school, I loved criminal law and would often volunteer at the court house working with Aboriginal women. I spent much of my time serving food to the homeless population in our city and working with youth groups. Then I got really into environmental work, volunteered working in that area a lot during law school. Then I did some work in employment law and seemed to really be good at it and enjoy it. My interests are constantly jumping and I'm not really "great" at anything. I'm pretty flexible and what I can adapt to. (And before people start commenting - I have a team of professionals I work with and that mental part of me is overall stable).
  2. Thanks so much for your comment. I'll comment on the rest when I have a bit more time. But I just wanted to comment that I didn't chase the "big job" that impresses people and that my peers wanted. In fact, I took the path less travelled and fought for this job, in-house. People actually told me to my face that I was stupid, and maybe I was and still am, ha ha. I actually specifically avoided OCIs. While I obtained my job during OCIs, I didn't actually apply to any "big firms" because I knew that wasn't where I wanted to be.
  3. Unfortunately, I don't think it's that easy. I cannot quit my current job, as an articling student (well I could, but there are actual aspects that I enjoy and love about it). Also, as much as I like to think "the grass is greener on the other side", I very much know that it isn't always.
  4. You're right that it's not so much about feeling dumb. I've accepted the fact that I'm learning and from all the lawyers I've talked to - the feeling takes some time to go away. Thank you for this. The point you made about not being passionate about my clients/issues could be a plus. I tend to get incredibly emotional and attached to the causes I'm passionate about. Perhaps, I can focus on volunteering for these causes in my spare time rather than focusing my work on it.
  5. You're right. My client is basically a big financial player. I mean, I get that these skills will be useful for what I want to do in the future. Once in a while I get excited because I get to draft a report on the Baker and Redwater cases, or get to write a memo on medical marijuana, or but these just end up being reports that are sent out into the organization, or are kept in the memo bank for lawyers and that's it. I'm not contributing anything to those related causes. I think I have to learn to be patient.
  6. I don't doubt that at all. However, I don't understand how to stop myself from feeling absolutely defeated at the end of every work week. I feel like I've accomplished nothing. I lose to motivation to take on more projects because of this.
  7. I apologize if this is the wrong place to post this. Currently articling. I've discussed this with friends/family outside of law school, current articling friends and lawyers. I still feel stuck. At times, I feel as though I'm not doing as well as I could be doing. I'm not talking about the amount of work I'm doing, how man hours I'm putting in, how dumb I feel 98% of the time. This is more like... am I doing what I'm "meant" to do? Am I doing what I genuinely enjoy doing (within the legal field). Ie. I do a lot of contract drafting, credit agreements, some security files, tax law... but I feel as though this isn't what I intended to do with my career, nor does it fit my personality. I'm passionate about environmental issues, health issues, social justice issues. I could care less about this crap. I try to pretend like I care, and there are some days where I think "hey, this is cool" or "look, I'm contributing". At times, I regret not seeking out a summer job or article with a firm that perhaps practices Aboriginal law, environmental law, health law, employment law, family law... anything, but this. Sorry, this has turned into some sort of rant instead of a constructive post. I don't even have the words anymore.
  8. What did you do in your pre-articling break?

    had ~5.5 weeks off. Travelled for 2 weeks internationally. Spent the rest of the time visiting with friends & family in the city, sleeping, eating, completing projects around the house, doing whatever I felt like doing. It was great.
  9. Articling Timeline

    In Alberta, you cannot start articling until the Law Society receives the "Dean's List" from your school - the list of students who are officially graduating. For 2017, that date is May. 24th. If you need to start before May. 24th, you have to contact your school to see if they can send out a letter to the Law Society on your behalf earlier.
  10. As a 3L, I have not seen any "dominating" of the social scene. There are obviously groups that form - people who like to spend their time at the bar, people who are into sports, and various clubs. Certain people just click together and spend their time together, but that happens everywhere. No one dominates anything though and it certainly wouldn't leak into the career side of things.
  11. I worked through my entire undergrad, did not work in 1L and worked casually (1 shift/week) in 2L and 3L. My 2 cents: don't work in 1L unless you have to. It's a lot of work and can get very overwhelming. You won't want to spend your extra time working, trust me. I found working in 2L and 3L kind of nice, because it forced me to step away from my school and living at the law building.
  12. It's hard to say - but I think it has. I definitely don't worry about needing to find an article that pays more, or go into a certain area of law after articling to make more. I also have no interest in big law, so it's nice to know that money won't hold me back from going after what I want (whatever that is...). But this isn't entirely based on the fact that I have no debt. I also have very few expenses. I live with a SO that currently covers the majority of the expenses and costs of living. My SO makes enough to support both of us for the rest of our lives (although we would have to be careful with our expenses). THAT makes the biggest difference, I think. Knowing that probably 75%+ of the money I make in articling and throughout the first few years of my career can be saved, pending any large purchases or transactions. On another note, even without debt, I'm a person that has to save $1000 before I feel ok about spending $100. So I think my graduating without debt, it's significantly helped my money anxiety and that alone is a huge weight off my shoulder.
  13. Alternative JD Careers--No articling

    That expectation you feel to be in the top 10-20% is all you. No one expects you to be top any %. No one expects you to be anything. Don't put so much pressure on yourself. The best decision I made at the end of 1L, after going through a very serious period of anxiety, depression and suicidal behaviour, was to STOP GIVING A FUCK. I didn't stop going to classes, or learning, or trying the best that I could at everything that I did, but I stopped caring about where I was compared to other students, about whether I was below or above average, about whether I would find an article and then a job and about whether law school was worth it. I just focused on the present moment. If I was in tax law, I just focused on studying as much as I could for the exam, and then wrote it, and whatever happened after that - fuck it. I also started seeing a counsellor - one that my school/the law society provides at no cost to me. That was the second best decision I ever made. I'm now graduating, I have an article, and am SO happy that I pushed through it when I did. (As a side note, I also avoided all the networking BS. I didn't go to career days, I didn't attend every single event that the law school put on. It took ALOT of the stress out of job-hunting/law life. I networked minimally, and only when it really mattered). If you need someone to talk to, DM me. You shouldn't feel like you're failing or expected to do better than you are.
  14. Graduating this year with no debt, and no debt from my undergrad. But I am stressed out to hell that I have very little savings. So I don't know how I would deal AT ALL if I had any sort of debt.