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Diplock

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Diplock last won the day on September 6

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  1. Leaving aside whether or not I believe this is a good idea, have you looked into the NCA (that's the National Committee for Accreditation)? With your existing law degree from a Common Law jurisdiction, it seems likely to me that you'd qualify for the "equivalent" of a Canadian J.D. with perhaps a few courses or exams along the way. That' is a very doable way to become qualified to practice law in Canada, though again, that only means you're qualified and not that you'll have the career you want. Perhaps a bit counter-intuitively, while the "fast" way to become qualified as a lawyer in Canada is perhaps available to you, actually gaining entry to a Canadian law school may be difficult/impossible currently. Leaving aside the reasons why you believe your grades suffered, your GPA is very bad even read generously, I don't know what you mean by the LSAT you are "targeting" but you need an actual score before anyone will care, and all the rest of it ... look, while every school will promise to consider you as a total applicant, the reality is that it's grades, LSAT, and everything else. No matter how many cool things you've done and nice letters that people will write for you, if you aren't a competitive applicant you aren't a competitive applicant. If you do become qualified as a lawyer in Canada, your grades from undergrad will be almost immediately irrelevant. No one will care again. That said, qualifying as a NCA applicant with no networks in Canada and no domestic experience may limit your options, and that could easily become a career-long problem. Good luck.
  2. Looking for some guidance

    I've been reluctant to post because I'm not sure I have anything positive to contribute in line with what you've asked. But maybe what I most want to say spins towards a useful suggestion, if you bear with it. Leaving aside the finances, and whether or not it makes sense to look for a new profession at this point in your life (truly - I see nothing wrong with chasing your dreams) I'm left with a burning question. What actually leads you to believe you'd be any good at this? You say you were a very poor student. Okay. Now you're much older, but even now you say your LSAT will be bad. You do realize that both the qualification to become a lawyer and the practice of law involve a lot of studying, right? And that the LSAT, for all its flaws, is intended to capture the skills that go into logical and legal reasoning, right? So ... what makes you believe you'd be a good lawyer? Answer that question, because you're going to need it for when you apply. If you do have real, professional experiences that make you believe you could do well in this profession, then lean on those. Draw out the essence of them in a meaningful way. Expand on that if you can. And if it's there, great! If not ... maybe this isn't such a good idea. It's fine to say that non-traditional candidates can succeed in law sometimes. That isn't untrue. But it isn't enough to say "look at me, I'm non-traditional - wouldn't it be cool if someone like me became a lawyer!" Wendy Babcock wasn't just a sex trade worker. She was a lifelong advocate and crusader for the rights of sex trade workers. She was doing legal work long before she attended law school. She wasn't accepted to law school because they thought it would be cool to accept any random sex trade worker. And for what it's worth, I don't necessarily believe that simply being around lawyers and legal work for a long time qualifies you either. It explains your interest, but not your aptitude. Answer that question, and you may have something. Without it, it really does feel like a mid-life ego thing. Good luck.
  3. Should I Drop Out? (ADVICE NEEDED)

    To add what Providence is saying, with few exceptions, the cases you are studying at this point really can be boiled down to principles of just a line or two - the key rule that case spoke to meaningfully, and which became so foundational to the law that we still care about it today. All the rest - the fluff about what happened, who it happened to - that's all meaningless. Now, there are two exceptions. First, when you're reading recent cases, you don't have all the history behind you to clarify what matters about a case and what doesn't. Time may eventually clear it up, but right now you don't know for sure. And second, when you are dealing with a really nuanced use of an established rule, the details of the foundational cases may matter because you may wish to argue an exception around them (or reply to such an argument) and then a closer reading is called for. But for law school purposes, yeah, you really can take a case like Carbolic Smoke Ball (just thinking of one thing you'd surely get in first year) and turn it into a one line rule in your mind. Everything else doesn't matter.
  4. Should I Drop Out? (ADVICE NEEDED)

    There's almost no way to reply to this topic without being mean, so I have to ask, are you terminally clueless about education in general, or just presenting a caricature of your discontents because you're unhappy right now? I promise that I won't kick you when you're down no matter which it is, but it has to be one or the other. Because either what you're writing at the moment is just too absurd to be true, or else you really managed to get through a lot of school without cluing into basic realities. What you are saying, basically, is that you don't like reading, writing, thinking, working hard, working long, solving problems, or doing things that challenge you. Now I do, totally, appreciate that the legal profession isn't for everyone. But based on what you're saying here, you shouldn't be pursuing a profession at all - and certainly not one that involves any kind of book-learning. I mean, have you ever considered becoming a carpenter or something, or some other skilled trade? Because unless you intend to do something where you work with your hands instead of your head all day long, you're just not going to get away from most of what you say you dislike. I'll repeat what others have said. The first couple of weeks of school are not any reflection of what real legal practice looks like. But if you're telling the truth right now, your problems run deeper than being surprised by the nature of legal work, even assuming you have an accurate picture of it right now. How about we try this. What did you think legal practice might be like? What did you imagine you'd do all day long? Instead of learning how the law works, did you think you'd just tell people what you think and that your opinion, based in nothing, would carry the day? I'm not trying to make fun of you, truly. I'm just trying to pin down the problem. Try telling us what you expected. That's something concrete, at least.
  5. If I'm not mistaken, "priority neighbourhood" is a United Way thing, and perhaps is in City of Toronto vocabulary also. But it wouldn't mean much to anyone from outside of those contexts. So definitely don't use the term. It'll confuse the shit out of people. More generally, I think you're fine to talk about socio-economic challenges you've faced, just be careful of two things. First, avoid the Fallacy of the Perfect Life (tm). That is, do not presume that everyone else around you, as applicants to law school and your potential colleagues in the future, all lived privileged lives with private tutors, trust funds, and the like. There are cases of that in law school. I won't lie. Hell, I'm the economic class warrior on these boards. But context matters. It's worth mentioning, for sure, but don't exaggerate every experience you've ever had in life to the point where you compare yourself against some hypothetical person who's life is perfect. That person doesn't exist. Rich kids have problems too. Be sure whatever experiences you intend to lean on go beyond the ordinary hardships of life. Second, even when you are talking about something worth talking about, don't assume your experiences are somehow unique or that the person reading your statement might not share them, understand them, or even have experiences that go far beyond them. If you write some arrogant shit like "unlike the rest of the legal profession, I understand what it's like to grow up in poverty" just remember that your statement might be read by some legal academic who grew up in a fucking refugee camp. And if you write from the assumption that your audience is privileged, and you aren't, you're going to sound like a tool. So, in summary, yes it's an appropriate topic. But approach it properly.
  6. You're not going to get a single clear answer. Every law school decides for themselves what their admissions policies will require. So an individual school may be able to answer your question in relation to only that school, but will probably still say "apply and we'll see what we think then" because getting a guarantee in advance is hard. No one can, or ever could, tell you what all schools will do with it.
  7. Getting a disclosure for a traffic ticket

    Without getting into legal advice, I believe that disclosure issues may rise more often in traffic ticket disputes than in more serious criminal cases. Leaving aside genuinely novel and contentious issues around disclosure (i.e. what records are really in the control of the Crown), criminal cases to proceed more-or-less smoothly, as providence, MP and others have pointed out. But in the small number of traffic cases I've dealt with, there really is a greater laxity from the Crown - even to the point of not meeting basic requirements. There's room to do something with that, if you're willing to be clever and/or an asshole about it. I don't know if that's what the OP meant, but it's something. Remember, btw, that they have law students doing this stuff in traffic court. You may roll your eyes as an experienced Crown prosecutor. But if a formal disclosure request rattles a student, it's done its job. There's some potential to that approach that goes well beyond whether it's strictly required or not.
  8. University of Sussex - Brighton

    Yeah, look. He really didn't. I don't have a horse in this argument (to badly mix metaphors) but the key word in his assertion was "likely." As in, "as likely to succeed." He didn't preclude the possibility of success. Only said it was less likely - and I'd go farther, personally, and say it's dramatically less likely - in candidates who have thus far failed to distinguish themselves. I'm sorry, but it's you that's deploying the fallacy here. And that fallacy is, just because (almost) anything is possible, then all of what's possible becomes equally probable. It's a delusion common to mediocre students, to awkward teens who can't get a date, to aspiring writers who can't sell a word, and to really everyone who wants to believe that a Hollywood ending is just around the corner for them, if they just persist a little while longer. This is why I always distinguish the specific from the general. I never advise a single, specific person to give up on their dreams or to stop believing in possibilities. But I do caution regarding general trends, and point out the importance of considering the odds. When we're talking about general trends with no specific person in sight, it's just idiotic to pretend that all outcomes are equally likely. Over statistically sufficient samples, not only to do we know the odds, we can know the outcome with certainty in advance. That's the whole point of statistics. If people get snitty about their personal lives in general discussions, there's nothing we can do about that. Foreign law students, as a group, are weaker students and are less likely to succeed. Ugly kids in high school are, as a group, much less likely to become beautiful and glamorous adults. Uncoordinated athletes are less likely to become good at sports in the future. And so on, and so on. If you are any of those things, I'm sorry to offend. If you were any of those things in the past and, despite overcoming the odds, are offended in retrospect, well, I'm sorry for that too. But we don't owe it to you, out of some misguided attempt to spare your feelings, that we should ignore reality.
  9. Agreed. And in context of unpaid or even badly paid articles, you can negotiate in those terms, absolutely. In related news, I really do believe that the team in the LPP program that's responsible for finding/creating positions is just about its entire reason to exist. I've seen them work. They really do the rounds to make things happen. And maybe it's just because it's an exclusive thing ... I don't know. Does any law schools CDO have an incentive to create a new position that doesn't exist otherwise? It isn't "their" position if that happens, right? But a new 16 week LPP placement belongs only to the LPP. Maybe there's a lesson in that. If the LPP collapses I hope the LSUC retains at least this team. I can see value in paying people to badger the shit out of potential employers - even to promote non-traditional candidates (whatever that means). It's the LPP itself I have issues with.
  10. How about this, then. Describe it however you will, but the job placement ... thing ... is an incredibly artificial experience that does not at all resemble the actual employment market. And I'll agree OCIs can be artificial also, but I think the best way I ever described it, although this may only make sense in my head, is in these terms. The ordinary "rules" of OCIs are designed to protect students from employers, and to avoid firms pushing the boundaries of when and where they compete to recruit the best students. The "rules" of LPP placements are designed to protect employers from students, and to make the process as un-annoying as possible for employers while preventing students from even approaching them save on heavily mediated terms. Now, I'll 100% agree that the LPP does a good job of creating positions where none may have existed otherwise. In fact, based on both what I know here and observations among my colleagues, I'll even say this is the one place the LPP shines. But it doesn't reflect reality. It's the employment equivalent of a lap dance - where almost everyone who pays to play will get some action, but there's some pretty strict rules about how much you're allowed to participate. I'll agree that the LPP worked out for you, cluj, and unlike providence I don't consider it such a slam dunk argument to say "of course you endorse it, you came out of it!" I mean, I'm almost surprised you haven't slung the same argument right back. Maybe it's so obvious you couldn't be bothered. But however you slice it, articling is pretty much the real employment market (though with some artificiality still baked in) and the LPP is basically more school, with a fairly high-end co-op experience. Students do this all the time. Not only in law, but generally. Can't get a job? More school is the answer! Except at some point you just reach the end of that treadmill and reality smacks you in the face. I really don't wish anyone ill. The individual story behind any particular student will always be unique, and I'm sure some students will start great careers coming out of the LPP. Just as some students start great careers coming out of Bond. But overall I don't like what the LPP represents. It's another example of the "no one left behind" delusion that's trying to convince everyone that in a free market, competitive economy we can somehow guarantee that everyone gets the career they want. And that's bunk. It's stupid, it's irrational, and it's never been true. But we keep lying to ourselves and lying to the students in the system. If we wanted to manage the whole economy - strictly limit available qualifications, assign jobs, etc. then sure, we could guarantee relative degrees of success to everyone. But it would take, without exaggeration, full-on communism to make that happen. Short of that, the free market dictates that some people are going to lose. Anyway. The LPP is still here, at least for now. But anyone who tries to convince me it's a different-but-equal situation is going to drive me bonkers.
  11. I agree, and I'm sympathetic to those students. Believe me, I am. But I guess this is the part of the conversation where I start to sound like an asshole. We're talking about students who have graduated with law degrees and can't convince anyone to pay them to do legal work. I know that articling is a special requirement and at times epeeist and I have diverged on this subject. But to me, at least, the only difference between a law graduate who can't convince anyone to pay them to work as a student and a called lawyer who can't convince anyone to pay them to work as a newly-minted lawyer is a piece of paper. I know that piece of paper seems all important when it's the next step in front of you, but that's exactly my point. Thinking only in terms of the next step is short-sighted in the extreme. If someone intends to stay in this profession, they should do what makes the most sense to put themselves in the best position moving forward. Unless they literally can't afford to eat (in which case, see below) I would advise any student facing the LPP-or-imperfect-articles situation to prioritize the best experience and opportunity over some difference in income. And that's the same advice I give to students who ask about working during law school (prioritize school, work only if you have spare time) or who ask about chasing more money (don't work in "BigLaw" for only a few years - no, not even if you can) and in all kinds of other situations also. The problem I face when people deploy the sorts of arguments you are making is this. It isn't that I'm unsympathetic to students who are struggling. It's that at some point, the advice you give to someone who is struggling is to stop fucking killing yourself and do something else. If you can't convince fucking anyone to pay you to work in the legal field, that's a pretty good sign that there's a problem. And yes, you can recover from that. People can and do. But if you plan on sticking around as a lawyer, you should gain experience that's going to ground you in the long run and not try to earn just a few bucks more in the short term. Providence is right. The LPP is primarily turning out would-be sole practitioners. Because that's the likely outcome for students who can't convince anyone to pay them. And yes, articles can do the same, especially when they are at the lower end and in what I call "retail" law. But at least gain experience doing that! I could go on and on. I feel like I'm circling my point rather than making it cleanly. I guess what I'm really saying comes down to this. The hunt for articles is when students really get out there on the job market for the first time and all the artificial crap falls away. Is it fair? Hell no. Is hard work always rewarded? Nope. But that's the real world. Everyone else lives in it and we don't live in an economy that will assign work to the deserving, so get used to it. If someone is struggling on the job market, I think they should take in that information and confront the situation they face. The LPP represents a retreat from reality. It couldn't be more extreme. Despite good intentions and perhaps even good design, it's all about "let's play pretend lawyer in a simulated firm environment" and such jobs that do exist in the placements actually are assigned! Which is great for four months. And then what? I know. Students who are facing that situation say "well, at least I'm a lawyer!" That may make you feel good. But if you can't find anyone to pay you to be a lawyer either, it's pretty theoretical at best. Just saying.
  12. This is off-topic, yes. But there were some great stats in a LSUC paper from about a year ago that looked at bar exam pass rates. And the stats were striking: Domestic law degree plus traditional articling = almost 90% pass. Domestic law degree plus LPP = 70-something% pass Foreign law degree plus traditional articles = 70-something again. Foreign law degree plus LPP = disaster. Something in the 40-50% range. Now, these were first attempt stats. But I am willing to take ability to pass the bar exams on first attempt as a proxy for general overall ability, as a broad trend. Does anyone dispute that? I don't doubt there are exceptions and even some stand out candidates in the mix. Perhaps my "marginal at best" was an overstatement. But "marginal as a group" I'll stand by. There isn't a thick band of strong candidates in there. Not now, and maybe not ever. And I'm sorry if it offends anyone to observe that. But it's the truth, as things stand.
  13. Just to emphasize my point above, I don't at all disagree with the point you are making. But I think that anyone who is considering the topic strictly from a financial vantage has missed the point by a mile. To paraphrase providence above, we're talking about marginal candidates at the best of times. Getting called is only the first of their many concerns surrounding entry into the legal profession. Treating it like it's the end goal is stupid. Students should be asking themselves "where do I stand the best chance of receiving substantial training and creating opportunities for long-term employment in the legal profession" and not "where can I make marginally more or less money over the next ten months."
  14. I'm not disagreeing with you, and I could easily have picked out five comments on the same theme, but I'd like to take issue with the suggestion that it's all about whether or not you get paid, and how much. Whether we're talking about 10 months of articles or 16 weeks of placement during the otherwise X-month long LPP process (I'm really not sure how long) it's still a very small portion of your career. I know people need to eat and pay rent. I know that better than most. But if we're talking about unpaid articles vs. maybe-paid LPP placement, let's agree we're dealing with scenarios where students can survive the process and not starve, and what we're talking about now is quality of experience. I absolutely agree that willingness to pay is one factor that goes into the hopper when evaluating the quality of your experience. As discussed above, while not a determinative factor, I have a better vibe about an employer who can/will pay students reasonably than one that can't/won't. However, we still need to grapple with areas of practice, practical experience, etc., and to me the value of the training itself trumps compensation by many, many times as a factor to consider. The truth is, by the time students hit LPP-level desperation, they are interviewing at potential employers they consider third and fourth-choice options and there's no guarantee they'll do better in LPP placement. Students have very little control over that process, after all. So the odds are high that students might end up in articles that are only tangentially related to their interests and in LPP placements that are the same. Hireback prospects in both are slim, and what prospects do exist may involve options that the student doesn't really want anyway. So, where does that leave us? If you've got an option for free articles on the table but it looks to be solid training in what you really want to do, I'd say take that in a heartbeat. Absolutely take that over the LPP. But if you've got badly paid articles on the table, as an option, but rolling the dice on the LPP will give you at least some exposure to what you want to do (in whatever sort of pretend-law-firm training they do) and the chance to get a more related placement (paid, unpaid, I don't even care) then maybe that's the better option. This excessive focus on pay is missing the point. Articles are still about training and entry into the profession - and that's a much more important issue than how much you get paid. I'm not saying students should be exploited or should resign themselves to exploitation. But also, don't forget what articles are all about.
  15. You know, without going into too many specifics, a few recent experiences have somewhat reset my belief that almost any articles at all are better than the LPP. Depending on practice area sought, I'd be willing to endorse the idea that the LPP could beat unpaid articles, or badly paid articles, under some circumstances. Note that's a very heavily qualified concession, but a concession nonetheless. I still think the LPP is a fix that's worse than the problem, but from the perspective of an individual student just looking for the best outcome in a bad situation, I've probably come to accept it at least a little more than I did a the beginning.
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