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Everything posted by rglasgow

  1. I once had a motion on the morning of Christmas Eve.
  2. [moment of levity] Clearly the American schools are inferior because only inferior Ivys like Yale and Harvard have law schools. Now if Princeton offered a law school... [/moment of levity]
  3. Billing Hours

    I hear at Morgan's the cool kid table is made up of gold and the skulls of their enemies.
  4. Quitting Articling

    I hear at Morgan's they don't just make you check your phone - they implant a communication chip directly into your brain so you don't need to waste the time physically looking at or picking up the phone.
  5. I will say that, from a personal point of view, I will add just about anyone that asks to be a connection on linkedin and wouldn't think anything untoward about a law student adding me on the service. Heck, I think that's partially what it's for.
  6. International Opportunities

    Prefacing my comments with the knowledge that I work at a large national firm, so mileage may vary. Frankly I don't do much international travel, and a lot of it is what Maximumbob has identified - work comes in from other places needing help on Canadian law issues for import/export issues. Others are Canadian importer/exporters needing similar help or help interpreting or getting guidance on issues like economic sanctions or export controls. However, some of the files you work on do require the possibility of travel, such as corruption investigations and ISDS cases. These can land you out in some very... interesting... locales. You also do a lot more travel across the country than outside it - as frequently you're working in a small department of a much larger firm with both your own international clients, but also helping out the various other business units when they hit an "international-y" problem. Nowadays a lot of that can be handled remotely with calls and video-conferences, but even today a lot of people greatly appreciate a true face-to-face meeting. I'd also agree with Maximumbob again that the practice area that's underrated and, in many ways, understaffed. Canada for a long time has been a relatively internally focused country (apart from our resource industries). But with increasingly globalized trade, and further FTAs that greatly open up the services are, our economies are becoming increasingly enmeshed with those of our trading partners. It doesn't help that when most people think of "international law" they immediately seize on human rights, social justice, or other government focused areas and don't realize the very real need for lawyers in private practice in this public/quasi-public law area. For a lot of people they just assume it's not something you can really do as a career choice, so they never really consider it. Which is a shame because the work can be incredibly fascinating (though most of it not as exciting or exhilarating as the adrenaline rush of an ongoing trial).
  7. International Opportunities

    To be fair some of us do practice international law - but it tends to be international trade law (customs, export controls, corruption of foreign officials, and investor-state dispute settlement) more than international human rights/criminal work.
  8. Certificate framing

    Not gonna lie. I initially read this as asking about "Certificate Farming"
  9. Given that the vote is nearly 50/50 - it's odd nearly all the comments are on the "nay" side. I was wondering if someone who voted yay to term limits could provide their rationale? As I said, it seems odd to me that you would, prima facie, just exclude anyone from an appointment when they have a load of experience, capability, and expertise in a field. I would definitely support 10 year renewable terms (or heck, I'd actually go with 3-5 year terms that are renewable) - it just seems to me that term limits are generally a bad idea. Earlier we discussed other public employees and it bears questioning - would those that vote for term limits here also advocate for term limits for police officers? Fire fighters? Foreign affairs officers? CBSA agents? What is the line, and why is the line there?
  10. I can't imagine the reason for term limits in general. I mean, can you imagine this applying in any other context, "Look - we know you've spent the last 10 years on this job. And you've accumulated huge amounts of expertise and experience which are relied upon by our clients and partners [read in this case - parties and the judiciary]... but look it's been ten years. Yes, we realize you're still fantastically qualified and highly regarded - but nope, time's up. Goodbye" It just seems wrongheaded that not only will some of the most experienced people be excluded from jobs - but that this exclusion is a feature and not a bug.
  11. Osgoode Hall Restaurant

    Let all who have never dined there be guided by this.
  12. How to Make the Most Cash Money in Law

    I can't be the only one who got the "Cash money... cash money ya!" song in their head from this thread title.
  13. It's not just cash - it's offsets. You have a very limited selection in housing (indeed, at times you get none) and sometimes the bureaucrats can get pissy (we once had an audit and a whole hullabaloo over whether a particular officer's posting housing was 2 square feet over the limit for their salary level) but you pay substantially lower rent than you ever could here. You also get additional benefits if you happen to have a family - such as equivalent education guarantees (largely in the form of private/international schools whenever you're on posting). Also note - this is to the best of my recall, it's been a few years and from what I've heard the austerity measures the government has taken has hit all branches of the government (including DFAIT) leading to some cutbacks which could change some of the above. I will agree to this wholeheartedly. I can't remember if it was in another thread, or this one that I then decided not to post because I was somewhat onery that day, but if you want to earn a lot of money either become an entrepreneur and take huge risks, or go into the financial banking sector (usually at an i-bank and then make the slide into private equity where the big money typically is) - though that latter path demands an extraordinary constitution and for you to be very good at your job.
  14. The real key for government work isn't so much the salary, but the benefits. And I'm not just talking about the vested defined benefit pension. If you go on to work as counsel for DFAIT (or whatever they're calling it these days), you accrue significant benefits from living abroad (allowances, utility benefits, COLA, cheap housing etc).
  15. Is a Canadian Law Degree worth it?

    Ignoring the petulant bullies that call themselves protesters in Quebec. General Canadian undergrad tuition is still ridiculously cheap. College tuition is even cheaper. Professional schools are expensive. One reason for this is because of the expectation that professionals have higher future earning power and thus their degrees can be more expensive. Importantly, another reason is that a some of law school tuition doesn't actually stick around in the law school. A lot of the money that's paid by professional students gets set aside into the "general" fund - which then gets applied back to the school at large (thus making professional schools money dynamos of sorts). Why do schools NEED this money dynamo? Because undergraduate tuitions are so low and that money is needed for both faculty and equipment (modern high-tech lab equipment does not come cheap). I actually agree with some of the above - notably that I think there are enough opportunity costs that students would still have to seriously consider whether or not they want to go into law. My problem is the assumption that you can just drop money on this problem from "the government". Which government? Is it the Provincial government that is so far in the red that it's getting its credit rating downgraded? You can't just spend money freely and expect no repercussions. There is a bottom somewhere (particularly when you don't control your own monetary policy). So who is going to pay for this? Or are you going to severely cut lab equipment supplies? Cut back on the number, quality, and hours of libraries? Sell off corporate sponsorship (The Pizza Pizza Library - we find your book in 30 minutes or less)? And in a couple years the Province would be completely broke and we'd be here. Also - given how many of my colleagues seem to take Caribbean vacations during our spring break (and the number of undergrads that take similar trips during theirs - or ski vacations) they're clearly not hurting for money. People that are hurting for money don't flit off for that kind of trip (at least, one would expect they don't). I just have trouble holding these two thoughts in my head: 1) I'm too broke to pay for anything. Law school is too expensive. I need more money from the government. 2) I'm going to Cuba! Woooo! It's like those two ideas are angry weasels that we through into a sack. A reasonable brain looks at them and realizes they can't both be true if we're being intellectually honest. It takes real cognitive dissonance to reconcile the two angry weasels. I'm not trying to say that students shouldn't take breaks or go on trips - merely that it's completely mealy mouthed to, on the one hand, say "woe is me I cannot afford tuition for a human capital building move that on a statistical level creates more wealth for me in my lifetime than I could possibly be paying" and then say "let's blow a couple thou on booze and sunshine"
  16. Lawyers and Morals

  17. Ontario Articling Crisis

    Partly because you don't have the funds to create all the jobs required with immediate funds. Those working in the forgiveness programs don't have to be working directly for the government - they can have private sector jobs. The key is that the type of law being done, and the area its being done in, are aimed at areas that are underserved and have access to justice issues. It's related to solving geographic saturation issues that plague articling job requests and access to justice. As for the government simply handing over money, you have problems of a general lack of funds in the public purse. Regardless of what certain students might think, Provinces and nations cannot simply spend more and more money without consequence. The debt forgiveness of those that are going that track can be directly financed by the reduction in subsidization of law school for those that don't go that route. Will it be cost neutral? I don't know - depends on levels of subisidization and levels of loan forgiveness given out. Again , this is an embryonic idea that requires a panel to actually investigate it. If only some kind of law society just had some kind of massive investigatory panel to look at options... Note again - this is simply one idea I've kicked around in my head and think has a certain appeal. I'm sure there are other multilateral options that could work equally well if not better - and all of them likely have better outcomes than LSUC trying to do it alone. Insisting that it had to be a solo initiative by the law society hamstrung the effort from the get-go and I disagree with the process. And I still think you're under-estimating the amount that law school tuition goes to things other than law school - and will continue to as long as undergrad tuitions are kept artificially low and we simultaneously want world class research facilities. Beyond that, I think you must have had some poor professors. I know some of law school are readings of cases, but if your profs have really given you no value add then I'm really rather sorry. Some of my favourite profs have been the ones that have gone through some cases and absolutely eviscerated the judges for what he thinks are misstatements of the law and basic legal principles in his area. Again, there's a difference between "my CDO sucked" and "CDOs are a bad thing". As we used to say in APDA - 'Don't do it the dumb way'. Yes, a poorly run CDO can be a complete waste of money. The solution isn't to dump the CDO, but change the way it works. Have it merged and interact heavily with the alumni relations board. Having experienced a US CDO/Alumni relations effort versus the Canadian one it's absolutely no contest. I still get phone calls from my alma mater about events going on at campus, in my alumni area, for reunions, and, yes, for annual giving donations. Not just emails, mass mail, and monthly alumni magazines, but actual phone calls from people that I went to class with (and frequently had dinner with). The effort taken to reach out to alumni both to stay connected, raise money, and provide a network for careers and personal lives is extraordinary. I credit my undergrad career and alumni offices with helping me secure both a summer job, and a job immediately after graduation. I can agree with you that some law CDOs are as currently constituted giant wastes of money. My disagreement is that the fundamental concept is wrong. I also think that, given the job market, anything a school can do to help their students secure placements is a good thing.
  18. Ontario Articling Crisis

    Partly because our societies are different and the needs of people (especially re access to justice and prevalent legal representation) are different. It's also not exclusively the US model - in fact, it bears more resemblance to the Singaporean one than the one in the US (and I'd refer to the articles of Matt Miller vis-a-vis Singapore, it's not a perfect society but it's certainly an admirable one in what it provides for its citizens). I'm also not saying that the approach is the have all and end all. Or that we should import the US approach wholesale (though I think their equality problems are relatively disconnected from their law school provision methods or teach for America). Rather, that it's a solution that should be looked at - and that it (and other solutions that require government buy-in) are the only ways to solve access to justice issues and articling issues. LSUC is hamstringing themselves and not taking either situation as seriously as they should if they're looking for "LSUC only" solutions.
  19. Ontario Articling Crisis

    You speak as if the US public service pays nothing. Are they making piles of money large enough to swim in like Scrooge McDuck? No - but they're good jobs with decent salaries (in addition to the side benefit vis-a-vis loans). Comparing that to slavery is in extraordinarily poor taste. Not quite as bad as pro athlete's invoking such a thing, but not a huge amount better. Faculty do more than simply teach in the classroom, and their research is the foundation upon which their pedagogy and the general law school experience is based. I, in my personal experience, have found the CDO to hardly be a waste - and in competitive situations, having a strong career office can be a real asset to students. As for building renos - I know Western is embarking on a new plan, and it's much needed. The school needs to overhaul some of its space usage. There are places that see use once in a blue moon that can be better used for instruction space and expanding halls to make them more navigable (and to free space for new lockers that didn't come from the 1970s). Plus renovations allow for reinstallation and improvement of a wireless networking system that's greatly needed. This assumes that faculty won't leave for either non-academic jobs, or flee to other jurisdictions where professorial salaries are high. This is especially true in Canada given our proximity to an American market that has both many openings, and can pay high salaries given their (even higher) tuition. Furthermore, you're greatly discounting one of the prime reasons tuition has risen so heavily - undergrad tuition freezes. Professional programs have more flexibility than undergrad programs to charge higher tuitions and levy increasing tuitions. Universities can then raid these tuition payments to put more money into the general fund for the school. Decreasing law tuition prices would have a noticeable impact on the general funds of the school. I suppose you could increase funds flowing from the province to education. I mean, it's not like Ontario is currently running massive deficits, ruining their credit rating, and has no money whatsoever to dump on problems. Oh wait... we DO have those issues. You can't get something for nothing. "Free tuition" sounds good - until you realize that such a thing can't happen. Not if you want universities that have state of the art lab equipment, front-line caliber faculty, and administrators with the connections required for the university to excel reputation wise (which knocks on to provide more PPPs to further fund labs and research which has massive public benefit). Of course, you could adopt the plan above (or at least investigate it more to determine feasibility). At lower added cost (if any), you end up with those that can afford the higher tuition paying off the tuition of those that cannot. You address access to justice issues, you address localized market saturation issues.
  20. Ontario Articling Crisis

    As someone that went to one of the articling task force presentations I can say I was relatively disappointed in the process. It seemed, to me, that it was less the fact finding mission it was billed as, and more a "We've made up our mind, please tell us how much you like our report and the recommendations therein". There was a complete unwillingness to hear anything that didn't conform with what they'd already decided. The most obvious problem is that they've decided that LSUC has to do this alone, and they can't take any steps that involve the government... to which I'd ask why? You have a lot of politicians that have, at some point been members of LSUC - the lines of communication, friendship, and acquaintance are there to be used. Why not suggest a program like the following (and I'm spitballing here, concepts stolen from Harvard and Singapore): The government immediately abolishes all student grant programs and direct student subsidization of law school programs. It also correspondingly removes tuition freezes from law schools (while also limiting the amount of money schools can siphon off to the general fund) and expands student loan programs for law school students (but again, these will be pure loans, no matter the level). Then, upon graduation, give students a choice: a) Proceed normally. The usual student loan program kicks in. Get job, pay off loans. b) Government will identify areas of the law, and geographic areas within Ontario, that are underserved and require legal help. Places where there might not be the money to afford incredibly high lawyer fees. Places where there are legitimate access to justice issues. Heck, smaller towns where young law students aren't as eager to live (based upon their behaviour).These articling students, and later lawyers, would receive as incentive a loan freeze from the government - interest will not accrue. You then institute a program of accelerating debt forgiveness for each year they work in that community. It's based on a concept of root building. Talking after the LSUC presentation with our CPDO officer, one problem apparently faced by smaller semi-urban/rural firms is that they take articling students that claim they want to live in the community... but only stick around for their articles and thus cost the firm more than they possibly can bring in. After a couple of these types, firms get gun-shy and stop taking in articling students. By leveraging the system to create a rather sizeable incentive for students to stay in these communities over the long term (by keeping loans frozen and backloading forgiveness) you get multiple years of work out of them living in the community. While it's still possible that some will then immediately uproot and flee for Toronto or some-such, it's also fairly natural for people to develop roots and ties into a smaller community over time periods of 5-10 years. The plan can have its costs kept down by being able to funnel monies from those that can afford to pay high tuition (offspring of privilege and those that work in higher paying jobs immediately after graduation) towards those that most need the funds (those that desire to work in under-served communities/areas of the law and those that genuinely need money to pay tuition). At the same time, beyond the possible budget savings, LSUC can sell the government on this by letting them be the champions of a social justice cause - access to justice. You're no longer throwing money at privileged elite law students - now you're throwing money at helping everyday folk be able to get timely legal representation. It's an issue that's been identified up and down the political ladder, and has had numerous SCC judges speak about it. All of a sudden the government of Ontario can be a leader on the issue (and the Premier's office could probably use the win). *** The above might not be the best idea, but it's certainly one that the task force SHOULD have examined (and when I asked them if they had at least contemplated something like that they denied it, claiming they wanted an LSUC only idea, not involving the government). Any idea that simply gets the students that are now having trouble finding articles qualified and that's it (like PLTC) doesn't actually solve the problem; it merely pushes it back one year from articling crisis to first-year crisis. Except now students are out another couple thousand bucks and a year of opportunity costs spent doing PLTC. ETA: What I found angering about the LSUC task force meeting and what they told me is that they didn't say they'd considered the idea and rejected it for X cause, or Y reason (heck, this idea is based mainly on discussions with CPDO about their troubles, information from public figures about access to justice issues, and information on general regional need for more qualified legal representation and would need to be seriously costed and studied before implementation). What got my goat was that it was apparently never considered, and neither was any plan that relied on any party other than LSUC acting purely alone. If you think the articling crisis is a legitimate problem, it likely cannot be addressed in a real and meaningful way without private and government support and participation in the reform process. ETA Part II: The reference to Harvard and Singapore are based upon similar programs that occur there. The Singapore example goes even further, in my mind, and probably in the right direction. Instead of catching people as they come out, they grab them on the way in. The government will gladly pay its top candidates way at any institution (foreign or domestic). They'll pay your full ride at Harvard (and a stipend if my friend is to be believed). In exchange, for a period of X years (based upon cost of the education received) you work for the government either directly (as a civil servant, a prosecutor etc) or for legal aid or a similar program.
  21. Questions about Bar Exams Generally

    Really? This is such a massive waste of resources. Does the law society at least recycle the paper in the binders and reuse the binders themselves - or are there just giant landfills worth of binder waste from the bar ads?
  22. Neither of which involve the "q". I could possibly see "kft" - but even that is a strain on the concept of an acronym. I could maybe possibly see someone saying acronym... but I would not approve. Of the new-fangled slang terms I'd agree on LOL and ROFL being acronyms though.
  23. Well, it's if it's commonly spelled out as a word, to be "qufft" as a pronounciation you need a U, and the U just isn't there. It's like "FBI" - you COULD possibly say "febi" or somesuch, but it just doesn't fit - compared to sonar, laser, NATO etc. I'd definitely put QFT, WTF, and OMG as initialisms as opposed to acronyms. Now the real question is what about JPEG or other similar abbreviations.
  24. To be fair it should be YAISPDM as QFT is an initialism and not an acronym. >.> Then again I'm hardly one to be posting in a thread about not posting much personal information on the foru
  25. Queen's vs. Western (Again!)

    I choose to reject your dichotomy and choose beer flavoured ice cream as the best. But to answer the OP - I'd start by saying that taking a list of things and asking us to compare them is going to lead to odd answers. Why? Because (with the exception of the odd transfer) we'll either have experience at one and only know the other by rumour and speculation or have experience in neither and know both purely by rumour and speculation. So rather than attempt to compare, I'll just give feedback from a UWO perspective: 1) There are plenty of clinical opportunities at Western. We have Community Legal Services which offers a traditioanl legal clinic program. We also have a Business Law Clinic that's fairly well respected and gives you exposure to corporate law problems early in your time at law school and additional training provided by a Bay Street firm. There's also "Sports Solution" which leverages the fact that we have one of an internationally respected sports law expert on faculty (Richard McLaren) to help us operate a sports law based clinic. There's also a very active PBSC presence with many fantastic pro bono opportunities. We also have an offshoot of CLS which handles purely Family Law cases. Finally, in upper year courses we offer students (even those who couldn't get into a clinic in 1L) the opportunity to take courses that let them participate in legal clinics (Lit. Practice, Adv. Lit Practice, and Criminal Advocacy). 2) Pretty good. I didn't get a bursary in 1L but that's partly because I worked prior to first year and got crowded out by the first half year of income I had received and my saved up funds to help pay for LS (yeah, that went empty in a hurry). In my second and third years I received bursaries and I'd say most of my fellow students were in the same boat. 3) CPDO is (from what I've heard from sources I know) apparently something that every school gets feedback on from grads - and that feedback is usually that the CPDO blows chunks. At Western, I actually liked our office, when I used them I found them to be useful, knowledgeable, and prompt in getting back to me - heck, their advice helped me land a job. That said, and in the interests of honesty, I know others that have found the CPDO mediocre, and others bad. I think a lot of it is a crapshoot, and a lot of how you feel depends on the results that you obtain. It also depends on what you want to do (though, I'd caution from ptuting anything in stone yet - I know my preferences swung wildly from what they were as a little 0L), our CPDO knows less when it comes to Crown/non-business postings/job services. 4) Skipping this. 5) I love our profs here. I really really do. My personal favourite is professor Graham who teaches... just about everythign under the sun. I had him for Ethics, Evidence and Statutory Interpretation. It's because he's a specialized Stat Interp prof that he has to remain abreast on most statute based law - and so when they need someone to fill in (eg help - a crim law prof is goign on sabbatical we need someone to teach a crim section) he can step in. I think he's taught something like 13 different course offerings. It also helps that the guy is utterly dedicated to his students. Some of the profs can be polarizing (more than a few fall into the "love them or hate them" category). I'd say that, overall, I've only had two professors that I had a problem with pedagogically - and one of them was a 1L class where you can't select the prof (the other was actually a really good prof in terms of crafting readings and exams, I just subjectively didn't like the lecture style). Overall the faculty is pretty good, and truly excellent in corporate, securities, and private law. We have a small hole in criminal (which I know is a particular strength of Queen's from reputation), but that is something that is something for which a solution is actively being sought. Also, even though it's not faculty directly, I'd also really put in a plug for the administration. THey really do listen to students (from my experience) and try and craft solutions to help - even if those solutions have to be done on the fly. Our new Dean is also a fantastic and dynamic kind of guy, so I can definitely see the school improving to an even better standard as time goes by. 6) It really depends heavily on your course choice. For upper year courses we do a "bid point" silent auction. The course list is released, you bid out of a pool of 25 points you have to spend for your upper two years (that's 25 total, not 25 each year), and then the period closes and they put students in courses based upon points bid. If there's a tie in bid points (say there are 5 places left and 10 people that lal bid 3 points) then tie goes first to 3Ls and then random selection. You CAN bid 0 into a class. I know of several friends that basically would have not spent many of their points (one friend in particular that focused on Family law would have had about 20 points left (since almost every class he wanted to take required no bid to get in since they didn't fill up), but he wanted to guarantee a few classes in 3L so bid like 8 points in them. There are some ultra-competitive classes (particularly in the January term) - but those can be identified since previous year bidding stats (including average student bid and minimum successful bid) are posted for each of the last 5 years or so. I can honestly say that there's no class that I wanted to take but could not because of not getting into the course. Now, I was unsuccessful in taking a couple classes I wanted to take, but that's because other classes I wanted to take conflicted in the same time slots. C'est la vie. 7) Not really - especially not amongst the legal community (as far as I'm aware). Western is very well thought of - particularly in corporate and private law matters. I would say one additional positive to Western is if you get in and then apply (and are accepted) to the HBA/JD or MBA/JD program at Ivey. Ivey is a very well respected (internationally) business law school, and the joint program is great (from what I hear from my joint program folks). 8) I think I've gone into depth above. Western really is a fantastic school. The faculty are incredibly helpful. The admin is responsive to student needs. The atmosphere is... festive. It's nowhere near as frat party esque as the undergraduate life - but there is quite a bit of fun unwinding done by many of the law students.You already live in London so you know the town well enough - for good and bad. Anyway - that's that. I hope this helps with your decision. Now to stop procrastinating and study for Trusts and Security Reg.