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About AnonLaw

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  1. Elite Extracurriculars

    Re hockey, I got asked about it constantly at the OCIs and in-firms and you could see the tone change - not for the better - when I said I wasn't into hockey. It's definitely used as a test for fit. There was a certain personality type among at least the men who got jobs on Bay Street who weren't from money or connected. In general those people were charismatic, extroverted and outgoing. That is the same personality type that does exceptionally well in networking, so likely some of these people also whiffed on the OCIs but got jobs because they met people who needed something.
  2. Small firm lawyer, AMA

    I'm working consistently 60-80 hour weeks. I bill far less than what I work, as normal. I have to keep my weekends free for my family.
  3. Small firm lawyer, AMA

    Pretty sure it wouldn't be healthy to work more hours than I do. I'm given a quantity of billings I have to bill every month. If I meet those billings the boss doesn't care how much I work. It's a fair bit less than what I'm billing now.
  4. Elite Extracurriculars

    A lot of Bay Street firms want you to be fluent in hockey.
  5. Small firm lawyer, AMA

    There's probably some kind of niche, but the problem is with subcontracting is that the subcontractor has to be paid even if the client refuses to pay, and real lawyers want real lawyer pay. So if I agree to hire somebody at $200 per hour I'm personally out of pocket if the client won't or can't pay. You can't always have money on trust on a lot of files even if you try your best to. I can hire paralegals for a very reasonable hourly rate if I need something time-consuming and boring done, like scanning, drafting simple forms or letters. I currently hire a paralegal I know for well less than $20 per hour on a "when I need her" basis as a contractor for those sort of things. I just cut her a cheque. And I know her, so I don't have to worry about hiring somebody I don't get along with. When I absolutely can't be in court for something either I can get one of the two other lawyers in the firm to go, or I can ask one of a few friends I know (who are called lawyers) to show up on my behalf.
  6. Actually the only time I've been looked down upon is by family law focused practitioners who look at a client-focused website I have that advertises me doing a specialized area of law that isn't family, and then proceed to allege that I have no idea what I'm doing when I'm asking for (what appears to them) redundant orders. Typically its to completely pin up a potential claim their client could make. I'm a professional so I just joke about them in private later because telling opposing counsel that they are being unfair gets me nowhere.
  7. If you want civil litigation experience "not BigLaw" is actually better. I did a superior court trial three months after getting called and another three months after that. I know 5th years downtown who have never done a trial or have only ever done an adjournment. BigLaw lawyers are not necessarily better. When I see really poorly drafted pleadings it is invariably done by a BigLaw firm, because they rely far too heavily on paralegals to get things done a lot of the time.
  8. Small firm lawyer, AMA

    Pretty much. In general salaries are lower outside of Downtown but not necessarily. But its not guaranteed that the hours will be better. The law schools do a disservice by focusing so much on big firms. Part of this is the fact that tuition is so expensive. If tuition was still sub-$5K like in the 1990s (and rent wasn't so absurdly high) it wouldn't be such a shock to be offered $40K for your starting salary after getting called.
  9. Small firm lawyer, AMA

    Based on my very general knowledge of what large firm associates make I would say that in 2017 I made more than they do, but in 2015 and 2016 I made less. That's the downside of a fee split: You don't have a guaranteed take home each month. I budget as if I bring in my lowest month and that works pretty well. Because I've almost paid off my student loan now (thanks to large lump sum payments) even if I make less in 2018 I will probably have more money. However, if ever I part with my current firm I have a book of business I can take with me. A lot of large firm associates only work files, they don't have the clients. So I'm guaranteed a soft landing if I have a falling out with my current firm, vs people who are let go when they aren't put on the partner track and can't find a job immediately. That's got some value in itself.
  10. Small firm lawyer, AMA

    Combination of the following: 1. My own networking with other professionals. Generally good to target smaller professionals like accountants and realtors. 2. The firm gives me work. 3. Other lawyers. 4. Former and current client referrals. 5. Social circle. I'm involved in a cultural society and they know I'm a lawyer, so I do some work for them every so often.
  11. Small firm lawyer, AMA

    All fee split. No base salary or draw like some firms.
  12. Small firm lawyer, AMA

    Starling: My wife didn't want me to leave the city and it's very hard to get a job "downtown" as a first year if you didn't article there. I started doing some files on the side while I was looking for work, then applied and got hired. The job market is stronger now so "Downtown" may be more accessible now. The application process is a lot closer to non-law jobs. I did one interview, had a lunch and was offered the job, but it was pretty much a foregone conclusion after the first interview. Ludo: I'm a workaholic, so I work 60 hour weeks, 52 weeks per year. I took 2 weeks off in 2017, will try to do 4 this year. I try not to work weekends aside from e-mails because that's "time with wife time". I work the long hours because I want to, though. As long as I meet the billing target for the firm, they don't care how much I work. I'm on a fee split, so the more I work, the more I make. Billing is a drag, though. If you get one of those "bad apple" clients who won't pay then I don't get paid. In a firm where they pay a salary, that risk is on the owner's shoulders.
  13. All of the black letter law courses were useful. My bar course had a big section on the PPSA so secured transactions was useful. Aside from criminal law nothing in the federal jurisdiction was tested in my experience except tax with respect to real estate. So no income tax, GST/HST, aboriginal, JRs, that sort of thing. There's prep courses for the bar. Take those and you'll do fine, especially if you've taken all of the fundamental stuff (first year covers a lot of it anyway). The bar exam is pass/fail and completely study-able. I didn't take any family law in law school, but the prep course gave me the crash course in stuff like the child support guidelines and whatnot. Then again I'm not an Ontario lawyer. If you want province-specific information ask around at the faculty.
  14. Where To Live in Toronto

    Any of the newer condos are fine and there's usually no way to get up the elevator without the fob. But it won't be cheap. But if you're on bay street you're making good money so a 1 bedroom or studio at $1400+ per month might not be a big deal. That said, everything else costs more downtown too, but that's where most of the new construction is. There's new development around a lot of the subway stations on the Yonge line. Maybe try there?
  15. Do Law firms hire incoming ILs in any capacity?

    If you're okay with an "honorarium" you could probably find some paralegal work before 1L.