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About Demander

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  1. Ask a 3L!

    I sure agree that struggle builds character, but if we're going to develop our own career direction using our wits and experience, we shouldn't have to pay the salaries of CDO officials. If we're paying, we might as well have the option of allowing our guts to go soft as we get shepherded into careers. I'm kidding of course. I do agree that there are skills that come with being able to find a job on one's own, but celebrating the inadequacies of the CDO feels too much like celebrating our tuition money burning, burning, burning....
  2. Ask a 3L!

    They didn't explicitly order me to become a corporate lawyer -- they told me to apply to "all" the firms, and to express my interest in their practice areas. Then, the person enumerated a bunch of business law firms that were hiring my year.
  3. Ask a 3L!

    I should also add that I would be shocked if this differed by law school. I by no means wanted to imply this is a U of T thing.
  4. Ask a 3L!

    Hence "in my experience." I completely understand why the CDO would organize itself around Bay street OCI jobs -- there are lots of them, and they pay well. In addition, the larger firms all seem to offer a lot on their websites in terms of sample resumes, cover letter advice, explanations of what they're looking for and how the hiring process works. Students can easily find all that on their own, so i would have appreciated the CDO making an extra effort in other areas where employers aren't so helpful. More than that, I think I was just a bit irritated that when I expressed specific, non-corporate interests, the response was kinda dead. I was advised to apply to the Bay st firms.
  5. The outrageous tuition definitely makes it harder to accept low-paid summer positions with charitable orgs/NGOs and even some other lower-paying public interest employers. However, U of T does offer some assistance to people trying to find those types of positions (talk to the IHRP office, and to the Asper Centre, for instance). The Career Development Office, which is responsible for helping students find jobs, is extremely unhelpful when it comes to public interest (or really most non-corporate law) positions. Most students have trouble affording public interest work -- but I think it's kind of what you make of it. Every law school is fairly expensive, and there are a lot of advantages to living in Toronto, like being able to meet with people from the workplaces you're interested in applying to/ lots of cool visiting speakers/ local non-school events where you can meet people in different public interest areas. Upper year students are also a great resource -- in my experience at U of T, upper years have given me some hope that it is not just possible but also reasonable to pursue a public interest career -- and many of them have jobs/ end up articling with cool employers and can tell you about their experience. I don't think this is something that only exists at U of T, but it does exist at U of T, too.
  6. Working is always better than not working (at the stage where money is still a positive, the job is safe and not horrendous, and you can still benefit from having it on your resume). You don't need full-time studying, or even "every spare moment" to study for the LSAT... I did ok (163), but I got in everywhere I applied (I applied to 8 Canadian schools and now go to U of T). I worked full time while studying, and had a research gig on the side that also took up a lot of my time. I just took it slow, and studied little by little over a longer period. Some people can't do that, and prefer to take a bunch of full days of studying right before the test. The LSAT is not a good test for that type of study IMO, since it tends to test how you think and how quickly you come to the right answer. I think it's quite usual for people to take a little while to get comfortable enough with the questions and format to develop that speed.
  7. Ask a 3L!

    I'm not a 3L, but I can tell you that if you're social-justice oriented, you'll be fine when it comes to your fellow students/expressing your views in general conversation/chatting and arguing with profs, though you might start running into trouble when you get to summer job applications. In my experience (which is still pretty limited) the CDO really pushes students to apply to all the Biglaw firms and kinds treats other ambitions like they're *just a phase* I wouldn't say that U of T has a corporate vibe, but that a lot of students are interested in business law. That said, there are plenty of students interested in social justice, with varying degrees of seriousness.
  8. Extracurriculars, volunteering & work

    I'm almost certain U of T takes a holistic approach -- I don't think I would have stood much of a chance with my LSAT and cgpa otherwise.
  9. I entered law school with enough money to pay for the first year's tuition -- but only because I knew I was going to qualify for provincial financial aid, and had the option to move in with family members if I completely ran out of money. Even with a large professional student line of credit, I wouldn't have felt secure enough entering law school without those backups (but that might only be me)!
  10. Need Some Advice as I Reroute

    I think you stand a good chance of being competitive at many Canadian law schools. Just make sure you provide some kind of explanation for the earlier, less-than-ideal grades, and make sure you have something to point to that shows you've improved over time. The key thing is to have a clear narrative around why you want to go to law school and what you plan to do with your legal education. If you have some good outside-the-classroom experience, I think you are likely to get in somewhere
  11. First year readings

    You just have to make a cardboard cut-out of yourself, seat it at your desk, and then nip out with your laptop. Easy as pie.
  12. First year readings

    In general, it could hurt you because some profs tend to switch up some of the cases each year, so you'll have wasted your time. Another potential pitfall is getting a feeling of familiarity with the cases that might lull you into a false sense of security about how well you understand the material when you step into whatever class it is for the first time. One thing to note is that profs tend to focus on particular things within a case, and they have a lot of their own thoughts/"context" to add to each case. IMO, it makes enough of a difference that simply reading the cases on your own without that context might end up feeling like a waste of time, since you'll have to re-read it anyways in order to make the most of what your prof says. That said, maybe you just like reading case law, and have enough experience from your job to read cases and start pulling together a sense of what the law is in a given area. No harm in that, of course. The only thing is that you might start sick of reading cases all the time, and start wishing you spent more of your summer relaxing. You also might find that you really benefit from going through the cases early on and that this reduces your stress throughout the year (I've never heard of this happening, but it's probably a possibility). Reading random cases is definitely not helpful unless, as mentioned above, you're doing it to get a feel for reading it in a 2nd/3rd/nth language. Good luck! EDIT" to ask: Also, if you already read cases every day... why read more cases? Just get up from your desk and walk around your office/ pretend you have a meeting/ idk, find more work to do?
  13. Family Housing

    I've heard mixed things about family housing (I've never lived there myself) -- but I can attest that the neighborhood is not the kid-friendliest you could hope for. The area around St. Clair West Subway station (also, St. Clair East Subway station) is around 15 minutes by subway away from the law school and much better for kids. St Clair West has some decent-priced rental apartments nearby, and reasonable grocery prices at the Loblaws above the station.
  14. I majored in polisci/international studies/ conflict studies BTW
  15. I feel like a lot of people have OP's question. I'm procrastinating readings, so here are some thoughts: If you're thinking about undergrad, and you find yourself leaning towards using it as a stepping stone towards the law, ask yourself why you want to do that. Do you actually want to do lawyer work? Would you be interested in learning about the law? If you couldn't become a lawyer for some reason, what would you like to do? If you could make a decent amount of money doing any kind of job, what kind of job would you want? What about being a lawyer will help you get the jobs/career you want? What skills do you want to develop so that doing the things you enjoy becomes easier and more fruitful? Since law school requires some undergrad education (but not in any particular area), you should try to find something that you enjoy AND/OR that will help you develop skills that you think will help you in your career. You're going to be dedicating several years of your life to that program, so you might as well choose a major that's going to do something for you while you're in it. Why suffer through a boring, useless program because you thought it would be easier to get into law after? Suffering of that kind is just not necessary. I think I've said this before elsewhere, but another consideration is that undergrad programs open other opportunities, including jobs (oddly enough). If you are stuck in a BS major (and I don't mean a bachelor of sciences), you might be less likely to find cool opportunities, or the opportunities available won't be of interest to you. I guess I just want to recommend keeping an open mind at every stage, rather than planning the whole seven years and shooting through like the only goal is completion. If you do want to be strategic about grades, maybe have that as the second (or forty-fifth) consideration when choosing a major. Don't just browse your university for the easiest courses (but if you're torn between two equally appealing programs... why not?). Keep in mind that you need decent grades, but you also need life experience and writing/reasoning/organization skills (not to mention some personal discipline) to succeed in law. I also want to say that you need to want "something" from your career -- if not for law school applications, then for your own happiness. Just getting licensed as a lawyer isn't enough for that. If you're struggling to work out what you want to do with your career at this stage, and then you do the easiest possible thing in undergrad, you risk missing out on chances to explore what you might actually want/find what you enjoy and develop your skills accordingly so that you can get a job in a related area.