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Thermalstorm

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  1. 2019/2020 Ottawa Articling Recruit

    Ottawa's articling recruit concluded already. All of the interview offers were made weeks ago and call day was on June 18. I believe that the previous poster was asking if all the offers for articling positions had been made, not whether interview offers were extended. There are, of course, plenty of other cities which will still be participating in articling recruits and plenty of articling opportunities arising in Ottawa at later dates, but the official structured recruit is finished.
  2. 2019/2020 Ottawa Articling Recruit

    That is more than likely not the case. Yes, technically, students have 24 hours to consider an offer but no one ever does that because of how inconsiderate it is to those still waiting. Everyone wants the process to move along smoothly and quickly. If you are considering one offer because you are waiting for an offer from somewhere you ranked higher on your list, then you are instructed to call that firm, ask them if all of their offers have gone out, and if they have, then you call the first firm back and accept their offer. It shouldn't take 24 hours to do that. In my case it took 5 minutes. A lot of firms told me that they often call candidates ranked high on a wait list to let them know that there is a student considering an offer, who may ultimately decline, in which case they will be the next person to be called. I'm sorry if you didn't hear anything. Not all of the firms followed up with me either. This is a tough process and a hard pill to swallow. But there will be plenty more opportunities in the future in Ottawa, and there's always the Toronto recruit next month. Best of luck!
  3. 2019/2020 Ottawa Articling Recruit

    Yes, they all went out yesterday.
  4. 2019/2020 Ottawa Articling Recruit

    City of Ottawa Legal Services is making calls today.
  5. Advice on 1L grades

    I have lived here my whole life and many entry level jobs in Ottawa in most fields require bilingualism. The school also promotes bilingualism and emails everything to us in French first, followed by English. Additionally, uOttawa has the biggest law school (400+ students) with three programs - English Common Law, French Common Law, and Civil Law. For those who speak English only, it is difficult because you're in a small legal market competing with others in the French Common Law program who are bilingual. Many of the people in my program (English Common Law) are from Toronto and got jobs in Toronto this summer. For those of us who want to stay here though, it isn't always easy. For this year's articling recruit, there were 31 places which were hiring. Of those 31 places, I could not apply to 10 of them because bilingualism was required. There were three others in which bilingualism wasn't required but was preferred and almost all of the rest of the firms listed bilingualism as an asset. I can see why a lot of people stick to looking for jobs in the Toronto market. Again though, this isn't universal - there were some people I knew who were hired in Ottawa's OCI recruit who speak English only.
  6. Advice on 1L grades

    Of course they wouldn't do that - uOttawa's acceptance yield is not the greatest as is, do you think they would actively promote this fact? It is already obvious to anyone who does their research that this city is bilingual, the school is bilingual, and that some firms value bilingual candidates. I knew this going in. However, I am from here and I chose to go to this school over Osgoode nonetheless.
  7. Advice on 1L grades

    I'm not claiming that those who focus more heavily on grades are wrong in their approach. Employers can do whatever they want. I'm certainly not faulting them for valuing certain skills over others. If a firm has been using a certain "formula" for years and it works well for them, then so be it. However, I was mostly implying that the comments that there MUST be something wrong with my application materials other than what I already identified in my previous posts are a little unfounded IMO if they're coming from people who had NO experience working or applying in Ottawa. It also seems a little strange to me that hiring follows a simple formula of good grades = lots of interviews. The real world and the practice of law would be more dynamic than that, I thought, and would value more than just one's grades. People who never went to law school here, lived here, applied for jobs here, or worked here DO often underestimate the importance of a second language. Ottawa is a bilingual city. Would French be an asset in Toronto or anywhere else in Canada? Absolutely. In Ottawa, however, I would argue that it rises beyond that level. That's not something a lot of people in another city would necessarily give a lot of thought to if they aren't familiar with Ottawa. I still stand by my assertion that a bilingual applicant is better for business in this area than one who is not. Also, just to be clear, I am not knocking any other legal market in Canada. I never indicated that I preferred Ottawa's approach to hiring over other markets. I also didn't mean to generalize my experiences to every firm in Ottawa. The firms that I did get interviews at could have been because of my grades and I acknowledge this. All I said was that I preferred to stay here for work rather than going to Toronto or anywhere else. I was mainly posting this for OP to understand that in my experience, and at least during this year's OCI recruitment cycle in Ottawa, many of my friends landed jobs with less-than-stellar grades. I was trying to assure him/her that they should not count themselves out for this process. Also, I believe that I have been quite introspective and candid about the deficiencies in my prior application materials which I've posted all over this thread. I'm not making excuses for myself. I'm taking responsibility for the position I'm in and I'm moving forward while trying to encourage others who are worried about their grades to do the same.
  8. Advice on 1L grades

    I'm not sure whether to feel encouraged or discouraged by all of these comments. As I mentioned in my above post, these are the reasons I can speculate as to why I'm "striking out" so much. The only other reasons I can think of are: (1) I had a whole year of C's and D's in my undergraduate degree back in 2006. (2) My course selection is not appealing to employers (almost no business law classes - some criminal stuff, and some random other courses here and there) (3) Firms see me as a flight risk for whatever reason. Also, I'm not sure if all of these comments are coming from people who only have experience in the Toronto market. It is possible that the Ottawa market is quite different. I think some people on this thread may truly be underestimating the importance of speaking a second language. Some of my friends who got hired during the recruitment process had grades that were marginally better than OP's. They got hired in biglaw, but they also speak French. From a business point of view, someone who is able to bring in clients in both languages is far more valuable than someone who can only bring in English clients, regardless of grades. I also really believe that the Ottawa legal market is more "holistic" like the law school that we have here. Stats and grades don't matter as much as they do in the Toronto market. What exactly do my law school grades demonstrate anyways? Does being at the top of the class mean you'll make a better lawyer than most of your colleagues? I don't necessarily think that's true. To me all it demonstrates is that I'm consistent, that I've got the fact pattern approach down, that I prepare well for exams, I have good analytical abilities, and/or that I manage my time well during exams. It doesn't mean that I work harder. I do not. See above post for evidence of all the things that I didn't do in 1L/2L that my colleagues were doing. And I don't necessarily think that it means I understand the law better or that I would be more successful than my colleagues who have firm experience already. I'm sure many of you know better than I do that the practice of law is nothing like a law school exam under timed conditions. I think the lawyers in this city recognize this also and put less weight towards one's grades. Like I mentioned in my first post, my mentor indicated that at her firm, grades are only used in the initial sorting process and beyond that they no longer become relevant. As far as what kind of law I want to practice, I am literally open to anything except for criminal and corporate/business. If I happen to strike out in Ottawa again then I will move on to Toronto's articling recruit and hope that I can lean on my grades a little more. But at this point I've gotten plenty of advice/help with my applications from two of my lawyer mentors, my friends who were successful through OCIs, and the CDO so I'm done speculating as to what else could be "fundamentally wrong" with my applications. Having an attitude that I am entitled to my pick of jobs simply because I finished at the top of my class will not get me anywhere and is only going to create feelings of resentment that I was passed up for "inferior" candidates. Obviously there is something else about my colleagues that makes them a more attractive candidate than myself. And I believe that this "something" must be their prior work experience, language abilities, or other aforementioned things that other posters have claimed firms put little to no weight on. I do really appreciate all of the feedback I have been getting from everyone. But I am curious as to which city you're based in and if you have any experience applying in or working for the Ottawa market. That will allow me to determine how much weight I will give to these answers.
  9. Advice on 1L grades

    I go to school at uOttawa. For context, I did both Toronto and Ottawa recruitment, but I only applied to three Toronto firms and got one interview. For Ottawa, I broadened and applied to roughly 20 places because I'm from here and preferred to stay here rather than going to Toronto. IMO, what possibly went wrong for me was my application materials. My grades are good, but they are the strongest point of my application. Unlike a lot of other students, I had never worked in government, or in a law firm prior to school. In fact, most of the jobs I held were short-term (less than one year) and in retail. I can't say that really helped me. Additionally, Ottawa jobs are uniquely challenging to secure for people like myself who can't speak a word of French. In every interview I had, I was asked about my language abilities. This is also why I had a difficult time finding work that would have been a bit more attractive to firms prior to law school - a lot of government jobs in Ottawa (and a lot of entry jobs in any field for that matter) demand bilingualism. My cover letters for OCIs may also have been too generic. I could not identify an area of law that I particularly liked. I did not want to feign an interest in corporate or business law. This also likely didn't help my case. I hadn't networked with very many firms either. I skipped Career Day, I rarely attended panel discussions. I didn't have contact with many legal practitioners during my first year. To top it off - I did not participate in any competitive moots (I don't particularly care for the moot coach at uOttawa - he is quite arrogant and abrasive). During my summer after 1L I decided to take additional summer courses instead of doing an internship at a law firm like many of my colleagues. So my work experience isn't particularly great. I recognize that this is because I put myself in this position and should have been doing more networking and taking advantage of internship opportunities last summer and in 1L. I did a lot of volunteering and got some legal exposure that way. However, the problem is that a lot of my volunteer experience screams "criminal law" and I have no desire to work in that field. During a few interviews I was questioned why I wanted to work in private law and not criminal law, so this was not lost on those who scoured my resume. I think many assumed that I actually wanted to do criminal law and that their firm (which does everything but criminal law) would have been a last choice for me. I think a combination of these reasons were why I only ended up with 5 interviews in Ottawa and no summer job. However, there is nothing I can do now but learn from my mistakes, move forward, and try my best. I have fared a little better so far for Ottawa's articling recruit (worked on personalizing my cover letters a little more) but am currently still quite stressed out over the whole process and the thought of possibly not having articles secured prior to 3L. My 2L grades were even better - straight A's, but I still ended up with no interview at about 60% of firms I applied to. Anyways, the point of my post was to let OP know that grades are not the be all and end all. It didn't work in my favour, and I believe it is because firms value work experience, connections, etc. just as much, if not more, than grades.
  10. Advice on 1L grades

    I will share with you some advice that my lawyer mentor shared with me. She is on the student committee at a biglaw firm in my city and participates in all of the major hiring decisions for OCIs. Grades are important to an extent. They are an initial sorting factor in the recruitment process. Her firm usually gets over 500 applications, so the first thing that they look at is the cover letter and the transcripts together. People get placed into three piles: a definitely not pile, a probably pile, and a definitely yes pile. Which pile you end up in is usually heavily based on your grades. However, for those with poorer grades, they also look to the cover letter to see if an applicant has provided an explanation for a poor grade. Some people who would have otherwise ended up in the "definitely not" pile might then get switched to the "probably" pile. Take that advice with a grain of salt as I know there has been much debate on these forums as to whether or not you should address a lower grade in a cover letter. There is definitely merit in the people who say that you don't want to draw attention to a negative or waste valuable space explaining this. However, I do know that some firms in particular, such as the one I am referring to, look for these explanations. There is no exact formula for knowing whether to do so or not - it's a strategic choice you must make. Beyond this initial sorting process, your grades matter very little. At this point it all comes down to prior work experience, personal connections, and your ability to articulate your interest in the firm/organization in your cover letter. In fact, what she said was that their firm mostly hires people from the "probably" pile, rather than the "definitely yes" pile. You have two C's - but you also have several B's and an A and an overall average of 75. This is nothing to scoff at, and I don't believe it makes you an unattractive applicant for recruitment. Do you feel that there was a particular reason why you achieved lower grades in the public law classes? You also describe very diverse work experience - including prior government work. You mentioned that you were interested in pursuing a legal position with the government, so I think your prior work experience is going to really help you. Perhaps I am not the best person to be offering advice to you - I was not successful through OCI recruitment myself. However, I had much stronger 1L grades than you did - 5 A's and 2 B+'s - and this still didn't land me a job - or even very many interviews. There were people I knew who landed biglaw jobs with grades that were only slightly better than yours. I think you have a good chance during this process, depending on the strength of your other application materials. I also recommend doing as much networking as you can, or reaching out to places you're interested in applying and making contact with lawyers or other students there to get a better idea of what the firm/organization is looking for. Best of luck!
  11. I'm about to go into my third year at uOttawa. When I applied to law school, I did all of the same schools that you did. My stats were worse than yours. My LSAT was 163 and my cGPA was 3.07. I had the same issues that you did - I messed up my first year very badly with C's and D's across the board. However my L2 was 3.9+ and I had good EC's (although certainly not as strong or as diverse as yours). Out of the four schools that you've listed I was accepted early to Ottawa and Western, and accepted late to Osgoode and Queens. I think you've got a great chance getting into at least one of these schools and don't count yourself out for Osgoode. Keep your head up!
  12. 2019/2020 Ottawa Articling Recruit

    Has anyone heard from the following: -Soloway Wright -Fasken -CCIJ -Amnesty International -Canada Without Poverty -City of Ottawa -Canadian Union of Public Employees -Canadian Medical Association -MAG -Bayne Sellar Ertel Carter -Connolly Obagi -Goldblatt -MBM Please comment if you know if any of these places have made calls already. Thanks!
  13. 2019/2020 Ottawa Articling Recruit

    There was a document on the Source that contained a list of Ottawa firm's articling hiring intentions and on that document it indicated that Brazeau Sellar was not accepting applications. I also did not see anything on any of the above mentioned forums to indicate that they were recruiting either.
  14. 2019/2020 Ottawa Articling Recruit

    Just got a PFO email from Perley...
  15. 2019/2020 Ottawa Articling Recruit

    The firms are encouraged to make their offers today, but that is not a hard deadline. There could be plenty of calls after today as well.
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