epeeist

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epeeist last won the day on October 4 2016

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  1. Just from glancing at the previous link, at least some of the tables specify the incomes are for those who are employed. Are the median and mean figures you note above for all males 25-34 with bachelor's degrees, or only for employed males 25-34 with bachelor's degrees?
  2. I can't comment on government interviews though what you're saying agrees with what I've heard. And some law firms or interviewers may try to take you outside your comfort zone, one should be prepared for even the hackneyed what's your biggest strength, weakness, why did you want to become a lawyer, apply to their firm, if they went to the same law school what did you think about prof. X, etc. And generally wholeheartedly agree with you (though my experience was many years ago) re having some currency, sometimes if you're a boring person, become genuinely more interesting, even if it's only by virtue of reading a few books and seeing a few movies (mix of artsy and popular). Have a couple of outside interests on the last line of your resume that you're able to talk about and come across as a friendly, multidimensional person - I included fencing, and noted that I was a varsity athlete, and virtually every interviewer (including those where I ended up articling) asked me questions about it and so I was prepared to summarize it briefly, say why I took it up in law school, etc. If you hate hockey, don't lie and say you love it, but find at least one reasonably popular spectator sport to pay at least some attention to and/or have a reason for why you like watching it so you can shift the direction.
  3. [portion only quoted, emphasis in original] Caveat, I'm a PT sole practitioner, opinions based mostly on some social discussions (and here) and what I've read including some LSUC material. I generally agree with the other comments, but it does seem to me you're being too vague. People's interests can and do change through articles, what someone thinks they're interested in doing before they have any practical experience should be taken with a grain of salt, but you've given no indication of what you think you want to do. The perception in law in Ontario seems to be that, in part because the LPP is relatively new and different, that if one doesn't article it's perceived that it's because one couldn't get articles and is thus a less attractive hire as an associate. I think that's a bit unfair, but as I recall stigma was one of the reasons advanced for ending the LPP program (before LSUC decided to extend it at least a few more years). The usual, and usually correct, advice would be to article. The main reasons not to would be if e.g. one can't afford it (e.g. articling position requires a car you would have to buy or lease) family reasons (e.g. spouse working in Toronto and articling position in another city), significant concerns about the articling firm/principal/lawyers, or you're 100% sure (you think...) that you have absolutely zero interest in any of the fields, or related fields, to what the articling firm practices in. None of those seem applicable to you unless you're absolutely uninterested in all of real estate, family, and commercial law, and even then it might be a good idea to article for the stigma reasons.
  4. Ah, but having Italian sandwiches is more likely to make you look like a plebeian...in the classic sense of being a commoner of ancient Rome. If you don't want to look like a plebeian, go recline on a couch while eating, should there be one there (ideally also asking for a staff member to serve you grapes or whatnot...).
  5. (Caveat, anything like this is long-ago for me, I'm a PT solo now). Those are two different questions. In a firm tour you're at the office during business hours, I think you can be a bit keener and ask slightly more meaningful questions, though even when I and others promised people absolute confidentiality and that nothing they said would be reported unless it was akin to criminal behaviour, everyone was still too afraid to ask about hours worked per week or weekend work or feedback or best and worst parts of the week or the job or anything like that, it was more what area of law do you find most interesting and similar boring questions that aren't particularly useful (how does what I find interesting help a total stranger?). At a networking event if someone's eating and drinking their tolerance for faux questions which are really an attempt to make you seem smarter (like asking what most impressed them about the firm when they were interviewing...blecch) may be more limited - they're probably more interested in, do you stand out in a particularly bad way as someone to avoid hiring? I doubt you could say or do something particularly impressive unless it's a situation like @twinsfindme discusses, though being spectacularly unimpressive is much easier to manage... Whether true or they were joking, at one long-ago event an associate who I was getting along with warned me to make sure not to be one of the last people there (not to stay too late), that whoever stayed until the very end was presumed to lack judgment and/or social skills. And not overstaying your welcome either in a firm tour or networking event is a good idea anyway. Also, if there's one table with sandwiches with ingredients like soppressata and capicollo at one table and Mexican food at another, make sure to go for the former unless it's a union-side labour firm... https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/07/18/the-insensitive-intimidating-sandwich-and-its-salami/?utm_term=.4a21f275fba2
  6. Caveat: PT only now and at most a few active files, formerly IP litigator but now general. There's what's interesting because of the facts, what's interesting because of the law, and what's interesting because of the people involved (e.g. an interesting client or opposing counsel can make up for an otherwise boring file). I liked IP litigation because I found often both the law and underlying facts were interesting, and because of the need for enforcement even in relatively low-money disputes to e.g. preserve trade-mark rights, you got into some interesting areas. Contempt, piercing the corporate veil, etc. I still like litigation and do some PT, even small claims because I find it stimulating to be in court and even analyzing the case and drafting pleadings is interesting. More generally - and going beyond my own experience - the intellectual stimulation has nothing to do with the significance of the file in monetary or other terms. An interesting constitutional challenge might arise from a traffic stop with no charge, a small claims file might have really interesting factual and legal issues, and so on. It's just that unless there's sufficient money or principle involved, you probably aren't going to be able to pursue the matter as much as you might like to.
  7. [portion only quoted, emphasis added] I'm a long-ago graduate, but still have good memories (and occasionally go to homecoming etc.), so I was curious and had a few comments. I'm sorry to hear re #1 that selection is such a problem. My own memory (I did the Jessup moot 2nd year) is that the selection process even though it included tryouts was too focused on marks, and not recognizing that for mooting, performance mattered a great deal. This had consequences sometimes for some teams in some moots later, when the academically-gifted but not so good at thinking on their feet team members didn't do so well in the actual moot portion. And it was also unfair to some people who would have been great at a moot but just didn't have high marks (I'm thinking of some people who did first-year competitive moots where the selection process was because no/few marks available based on performance, and did well, but in 2nd year lost out to those who in competition would do, and did do, more poorly). Even in 3rd year, I was interested in a moot and was even sort of recruited by a prof for one they wanted me to do, but I ended up declining because while I wanted to do a moot, I didn't really want to deprive a 2nd year of the chance to do one. #4, likewise sorry to hear. At least at the time I went they made some effort to offer benefit more broadly, e.g. Q&A panels with lawyers who had non-traditional careers, small/solo practices not biglaw, etc. I don't understand the bolded portions #5 compared with the last bit, elitist and friendliest? Or did you mean law school somewhat elitist, but Queen's students generally (i.e. including non-law) friendly? Because I really liked my fellow students even when I thought them overanxious, and I liked the students from other years also, but you have to have some tolerance for people's insecurities. I had more friends and acquaintances outside law than usual (due both to sports and some friends of non-law housemates etc.) and found it was sometimes more relaxing to hang out with some people who weren't so focused on law to the exclusion of discussing what was happening in the world... #7, maybe you can comment again once you article and go into practice. I found that both law school so-called practical exercises, and even LSUC assignments and exercises (as existed at the time I went through, there was a bar ad program) bore little relation to what made sense in actual practice. #8, I think requiring people to attend (or rather, giving an incentive to attend) is good, and being prepared to discuss the readings (i.e. readings before class) is good at least in theory. In practice, to give an anecdote I recall one student said something surprisingly smart (given my opinion of them) in one class, I was remarking on this in a complimentary way to someone else later, they said the student only said what they did because they had a particular outline from a prior year that said essentially to make that point (this student I was speaking to had the same outline).
  8. Thank you for posting the info, including hourly rate info.
  9. Usual caveats, my experience is years ago and I had an engineering degree, I did IP litigation for a few years (with an engineering degree, and good marks in law school so I actually articled at a full-service firm to get a broader experience then shifted to an IP firm as an associate), though now my FT career is non-law and I only practice civil litigation part-time (so pay more attention to people like S.U.!). I've certainly met IP litigators without technical backgrounds, but I don't know how common/feasible it is now, because if a law firm has a choice of hiring you, with some IP courses, or someone else, who may have worse marks in law school but has a technical degree (and maybe even a doctorate), which will be good for client relations and understanding technical things even if not directly related to the field of practice of the law firm (if they specialize in e.g. pharma or something), why would they hire you? How do they know you're even really interested and not just trying to get a job? I think (this is speculation, don't rely on it!) that if you have excellent law school marks and took all the IP courses offered at your law school (or most of them), and it's clear you're really interested, that you should get some interviews, but will you be hired? One firm I interviewed at (again, many years ago) said they offered me an interview only because my marks were good, but they were looking that year specifically for a lawyer with a mechanical engineering background or something like that (they told me this at the beginning of the interview, so it's not like I screwed up and they were giving a polite FOAD!). How much worse will it be for someone without any technical degree? Not sure if it's worth it or how much it would help, but I knew one lawyer who did a part-time professional LL.M. in an area of law they wanted to get into to demonstrate to potential employers they really wanted to do that work, and they got interviews and a job (though whether they needed to go to that extreme, and whether it would work for you for IP, even if you were willing to do that, are uncertain - and are you going to be taking a part-time LL.M. in IP while working at a non-IP firm, how's that going to look to your current employer?). That said, if you're genuinely really interested in IP why wouldn't you at least take the courses in law school? Your uncertainty over doing so suggests to me that maybe you're not that interested? Unless you think that your marks in IP would be significantly worse than the alternative courses you'd take (though unless the professors have particularly harsh reputations, how would you know that?). Just one slightly picky thing, for the benefit of OP, in Canada as you know you can become a patent agent without a technical background, it's just that you're not going to have much like finding someone to employ you without such a degree while you're getting the experience needed, as a patent agent trainee, to qualify to write the exam...so it's effectively not an option, but practially not prohibited by law or regulation (i.e. de facto not de jure). in the US you can write the exam without experience, but you need a technical background, and you have to be either a US citizen or resident in the US and entitled to work there to be a patent agent or patent attorney (a patent agent who is called to the bar in at least one US jurisdiction). There are also reciprocal rights but that's getting further afield.
  10. I don't fault a parent for trying to help their child. I fault the hospital and its staff for cooperating. Oh, it's certainly not the worst thing, but it's symptomatic. Whether or not they increase medical/physical risk, they decrease (or are perceived to decrease) legal risk (perhaps because the risk is more to the mother and less to the infant?).
  11. While that happens, I hate it. I can recall one housemate who was in medical school and whose father was a physician, she mentioned once when she broke an arm or something in a fall her father made sure she was treated immediately (no triage and waiting for his daughter!). And not, as I recall, at a hospital he worked at or anything, just professional courtesy. Politeness, sure, but you shouldn't treat a less-urgent injury ahead of a more urgent one just out of professional courtesy! I'm actually kind of pleased when someone is surprised to find out I'm a lawyer, because to them I seem too nice and reasonable (obviously, my IRL persona is generally nicer than that attitude I have towards some on this board... ).
  12. I'm concerned about sessionals more in terms of how they're treated, the disparity in tuition versus what they're paid and job security, erosion of academic freedom, etc. But I don't see why advanced degrees are or should be necessary to teach at an undergrad level. Anecdotally, one of the best instructors I had was a tutorial instructor in a history course who was working on his Master's. One of the worst I had was a tutorial instructor in a math course who was either working on or had (i.e. postdoc) his doctorate (though in fairness, that was due more to his language skills being so poor that the professor had to take over teaching his tutorials - because of course it would be racist to require an instructor to be able to speak English intelligibly?). Some fellow students in the same undergrad program explained concepts in study groups far more clearly than either professors or TAs in a course with doctorates or masters. In law there were excellent sessionals and crappy ones, and professors with doctorates weren't necessarily better than those without. And so on. I recognize it's a lot easier to measure, hey X% of faculty have docorates, Y% are full-time tenured or tenure track, etc., than to measure quality of teaching and support for students, so it's a lot easier to judge "quality" based on the former. Now, all that said, for some areas of study the size of the university makes a big difference to the resources available to students, e.g. as an undergrad at the U of T I was able to use a scanning electron microscope unsupervised (once I learned how to use it of course!), we did experiments involving neutron bombardment analysis sending our samples through the slowpoke nuclear reactor (that U of T had until 2000 or so?), etc. But for nontechnical subjects, at the undergrad level at least, does it really matter that e.g. the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library has a First Folio? Are your studies of Shakespeare that improved by its presence in a room you'll never see (except when on display)? Now, it may be that resources like that attract better scholars to an institution, but better scholars at the graduate =/= better educators at the undergraduate level.
  13. Necro much? Anyway, my point was that marks should be for analysis, not for mere quotation. I totally agree with you that's how it should be. And most profs/exams were like that. But I had (both in law school and later professional exams) some exams in which there were significant marks available for mere regurgitation; and analysis without verbatim quoting got significantly worse marks. Which I think is ridiculous.
  14. I was away earlier this week, but just generally and re @maximumbob and @providence I attended long-enough ago that given the cost (in line with regular undergrad) and possible early entry (after 2 years undergrad) I knew multiple people who went to law school not intending to practice, but to learn. And I knew multiple people with indifferent GPAs and/or LSATs but who did fine in law school and as lawyers. Sometimes people from sciences or engineering who did great in their undergrads but not so much in law school, sometimes vice versa. Among the limited group with whom it was discussed, LSAT scores seemed much more predictive than GPA for those without arts degrees e.g. in history or political science. So both my theoretical and practical (anecdotal first-hand observation) perspective is that law school admission thresholds are generally much higher than they need to be (or in theory should be) to reasonably ensure law school success, or success as lawyers. Now, practically if you have only X admission spots obviously you're going to accept the highest GPA/LSAT applicants (subject to some diversity etc. considerations, disadvantaged groups, and so forth), so the principle at this point is largely academic, but I hardly think it would be a big problem if e.g. law school were as easy to get into as a basic arts or science undergrad program at a Canadian university. And I think it would be a very modest effort to have a few places (5%? 1%?) for high-GPA low-LSAT and high-LSAT low-GPA students to try and capture some people who e.g. did only so-so in medieval German literature or astrophysics, or contrariwise suffered from scantron panic. My problem with the US law school situation is not so much with the availability of legal education (and I support those states that allow becoming a lawyer without law school), but more that there are market-distorting forces including student loans and deceptive marketing by law schools that affect who chooses to go to law school (this is a gross oversimplification, but I've posted on this topic before...). That some US law schools are closing is good, in my mind, because however distorted there are market forces in play.
  15. Agreeing with your general point, but disagreeing issues are all the same. As long as lawyers recognize that, okay... e.g. if you're a snowbird who's a Canadian citizen but also a citizen of Iran, does that raise issues travelling to the US? Probably officially not (given the current US position on Canadian citizens not being subject to exclusion as others from certain countries are) but the issue still has to be considered and one's client might still run into problems at the border... My opinion is not a legal opinion, but an offhand comment on the political situation, not to be relied upon by anyone...