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Fourth-year Bay Street Litigation Associate - AMA


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#1 Uriel

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 09:19 AM

Hi all,

 

I tend to think it's implicit that you guys can essentially ask us anything at any time, but I know we tend to hang out in the "lawyers" boards, so I'm starting a new thread just to reiterate that we're an accessible resource for all of you.  

 

It's just about the season for accepting offers of admission, so I'm just putting my hand up for any applicants out there that might have any last-minute questions about law school or legal practice.  Happy to talk about anything from accepting an offer of admission all the way through to getting ready for the jump to partnership.  

 

My background, if it helps:

  • Did a Master's degree before law school at U of T
  • 2011 grad, 2012 Call to the Bar
  • Practice largely in class actions, commercial litigation and public law

A couple of qualifying statements: 

  • I only do litigation at a big firm, so I don't know too much about solicitor practices or practice in a small firm or government
  • I have some experience with hiring, but not with law school admissions
  • I'm not a mega-authority on any one specific issue, and other counsel are very much encouraged to join and pitch in here

While I'd be glad to answer anything from how to take notes and what to wear on your first day, to the state of the legal market and employment prospects, I've noticed in my brief career that the most important question for applicants and law students to ask is, "I have a mental image of [this part of law school/legal practice] being like this.  Is it actually like that at all in real life, or is that just TV/my own idealization of a situation that might not exist?"  

 

People tend to be especially confused about what "international law", "environmental law", "constitutional law" and "public interest law" actually entail, but virtually everyone has a mental image of what they're signing up for and the reality is always going to be off at a right angle.

 

That being said, as the title reads, go ahead and ask me anything!


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#2 InsertPseudonymHere

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 09:35 AM

I can sense this thread being very helpful.

How many hours, on average, do you work a week?
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#3 pzabbythesecond

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 09:43 AM

I'm a 0L and going to Law school next year, but not completely sure where yet. 

 

I've done a tremendous amount of research the past couple years in terms of what I would actually like to do, through either personal research or getting advice from lawyers and professors. That being said, I realize it's almost likely I completely change what I want to do once I actually start classes, but I may as well be as informed as I can be along the way. That being said, here's where I am now:

 

Ideally, yes, i'd like to go after the unicorn that is "international law". I also realize that reasonably, this may never happen, or even if it does, most likely much later on in my career. I would like to work for organizations like Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, etc, with the ultimate cherry on top being work at the ICC or ICJ.

 

I also understand that, at this point at least, it's looking likely that i'd be taking on close to a hundred grand in loans to fund my education. I also know that court experience is basically necessary, especially for the ICJ, etc. 

 

Now, I'm not really at all interested in working criminal defence, so criminal prosecution would be the rational and most relevant choice here. But I also know it's not likely I pay off my school loans in 5 years on a Crown's salary (which isn't anything to scoff at in its own right). 

 

So to wind down this unnecessarily long summary, how tough is it to go from litigation in a field like your own (with the research i've done, this actually seems the most enjoyable to me) to crown's prosecutor after 4-5 years? I also feel like I already know the answer to this, and that it's very difficult, but I thought I might ask anyway.

 

Thanks!



#4 TKNumber3

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 09:48 AM

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Would you rather kill a man with your bear hands, or a bear with your man hands?


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#5 jswagbo

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 09:56 AM

What are the exit options for corporate litigators? Do people still go in-house after doing their biglaw time or is that something that mostly for people who do transnational? Also do you like your job and do you feel it was worth the U of T debt?


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#6 SaucyIntruder

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 10:15 AM

Hi Uriel. 1L here. I'm new to the board so I apologize if you've answered these somewhere in the past.

  • Did you have a sense of what kind of law you wanted to practice before/during law school? Any advice for someone who isn't sure which way to go?
  • What can I do to catch your attention in my 2L summer application?
  • What networking strategies have you personally found to be most effective? 
  • What does the journey to partner actually look like? 

Much appreciated!



#7 Uriel

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 10:38 AM

I can sense this thread being very helpful.

How many hours, on average, do you work a week?

 

I'll give the truth, which is both the most and least helpful answer.  There's no uniformity.  Zero.  I'll do 35 billable hours one week and 90 the next.  It really depends on your practice and what's going on with it.  A litigator like me could have a 90-100 hour week getting ready for trial and a 30 hour week catching up on letters once the trial's over.

 

Generally speaking, I roll into the office around 10:00 (I drop off my daughter at daycare and spend some of each morning with her) and stay late (9:00-11:00) three nights a week and come home early two nights a week.  No two lawyers have the same schedule, but this works out beautifully for me.

 

I'd say on average, I'm working (not necessarily billing) 55-60 hours a week, with very heavy weeks once or twice a month.

 

I'm a 0L and going to Law school next year, but not completely sure where yet. 

 

I've done a tremendous amount of research the past couple years in terms of what I would actually like to do, through either personal research or getting advice from lawyers and professors. That being said, I realize it's almost likely I completely change what I want to do once I actually start classes, but I may as well be as informed as I can be along the way. That being said, here's where I am now:

 

Ideally, yes, i'd like to go after the unicorn that is "international law". I also realize that reasonably, this may never happen, or even if it does, most likely much later on in my career. I would like to work for organizations like Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, etc, with the ultimate cherry on top being work at the ICC or ICJ.

 

I also understand that, at this point at least, it's looking likely that i'd be taking on close to a hundred grand in loans to fund my education. I also know that court experience is basically necessary, especially for the ICJ, etc. 

 

Now, I'm not really at all interested in working criminal defence, so criminal prosecution would be the rational and most relevant choice here. But I also know it's not likely I pay off my school loans in 5 years on a Crown's salary (which isn't anything to scoff at in its own right). 

 

So to wind down this unnecessarily long summary, how tough is it to go from litigation in a field like your own (with the research i've done, this actually seems the most enjoyable to me) to crown's prosecutor after 4-5 years? I also feel like I already know the answer to this, and that it's very difficult, but I thought I might ask anyway.

 

Thanks!

 

Cool!  So, first things first, that's not international law --- it's criminal law.  International law generally deals with treaties and trade pacts, and the conflict of laws when the Taiwanese manufacturer screws up an order for the American retailer.

 

Next up, as I'm sure you realize, it's virtually impossible to plot out a career that gets you where you want to go.  I'm not saying it can't be done, but I am saying that fully 50% of your class has the same ambition as you, and there are only a handful of extraordinarily accomplished, superlatively brilliant, exceptionally experienced people that get to appear before the ICC in a given year.

 

In several cases, you clearly already know this but for the benefit of others, a few of the leading misconceptions in aiming at a public interest career are as follows:

  • Non-profits hire in-house lawyers.  (I mean, they do, but their budget generally goes elsewhere.  They might have one or two on staff, but largely they rely on pro bono work from practicing lawyers.)
  • Non-profits hire students fresh out of law school.  (When you have the best lawyers in the country salivating to take on Amnesty's high-profile, feel-good, change-the-world cases for free, why on earth would they hire someone with no experience for money?)
  • I can specialize in non-profit law and work my way up.  (You can, especially if you're a tax lawyer, but when it comes to the court battles you imagine, why would Human Rights Watch take on someone that's been toiling in obscurity on noble causes when the best, most illustrious lawyers in the country would do that work for free?  If anyone has a shot at arguing something at the ICC, it's going to be Marie Henein, not a Crown prosecutor.  And when I've worked for big, noble causes I've gotten the job because the client wanted to hire a really, really great litigator, so they called my Bay Street firm for a big-name trial lawyer.)
  • I'm the only one willing to make the salary sacrifice.  (There is no one in your class that does not want a job where they change the world.  Only a few are there to get rich; most are there, frankly, to get respect and admiration.  There are several non-profits that I can't even get to return my phone calls when I'm offering work for free.)
  • Non-profits are the good guys or the most dedicated lawyers.  (I have gone up against several white-hat non-profits and in some cases they have been the most bare-knuckle, underhanded, borderline incompetent, ethically dubious counsel I've ever had to face.)
  • Crown prosecution is the way to the ICC.  (I'm not an expert in the ICC or criminal stuff generally, but it's hard to imagine that working in a government job is a fast-track to getting that job.  I mean, it worked for one guy.  By far the better way to get to the ICC would seem to be specializing in criminal defence and being retained by the accused.  There are just simply more of them than there are prosecutors.  That being said, it looks like the path tends to involve being appointed to numerous international justice panels, which will involve more wheeling and dealing and taking risks than hard work in a given spot.

And in response to your last question, it would be extremely difficult for me to segue over to the Crown at this point, maybe not because they wouldn't hire me --- though they might not --- but because I'm just not competent to do that job.  There are kids in law school that know more about criminal procedure than me. Certainly I'm in a better spot than someone doing real estate deals trying to get into the prosecutor's office, but one would think criminal experience would be something they're looking for on the resume.

 

If we were to meet or discuss in private, I'd start asking questions about what it is you'd really like to see in your career that has made you aim at those non-profits and the ICC.  Often a dose of harsh introspection goes a long way to promoting career satisfaction.  It could be that public interest law is what you really, really want to do, and you might be the one to do it... but that's a very expensive proposition and it's extremely difficult to find your way to getting started.  It certainly doesn't come with any financial certainty or job security.

 

Would you rather kill a man with your bear hands, or a bear with your man hands?

 

Well, one makes you a criminal and one makes you a legend, so that's a pretty straight-shootin' answer there.

 

What are the exit options for corporate litigators? Do people still go in-house after doing their biglaw time or is that something that mostly for people who do transnational? Also do you like your job and do you feel it was worth the U of T debt?

 

Exit options:  There's always the bench!  But seriously, there are growing options in the private sector as large corporations start to take more and more of their legal spend in-house.  There are also opportunities for legal support work --- summarizing cases, doing eDiscovery --- but in most cases people just go to smaller litigation shops.

 

Do I Like My Job:  Absolutely.  Love this job.  Sometimes it can be a bit much in terms of hours, but I never wake up feeling like I'm going to work.  I feel like I'm going to go help some people and play chess against some (generally) smart opponents.  You can't say enough about a job that lets you set your own hours, be your own boss (for the most part) and think for a living.  Outstanding pay doesn't hurt either.

 

Worth the U of T Debt:  No.  I'll never know for sure if I would have gotten this job anywhere else, but the U of T premium isn't worth that amount of extra debt; I work with stellar lawyers that got similar educations all over the place.  The main benefits I got out of the U of T were a really great group of nerd friends and the opportunity to study with a handful of academic superstars that made me fall in love with the law.  Was it worth an extra $20,000 or whatever it is now?  Almost certainly not.  Maybe I'd be singing a different tune if I hadn't gotten this job.


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#8 Uriel

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 10:48 AM

Hi Uriel. 1L here. I'm new to the board so I apologize if you've answered these somewhere in the past.

  • Did you have a sense of what kind of law you wanted to practice before/during law school? Any advice for someone who isn't sure which way to go?

Yep!  And like most people, I was wrong.  I thought I wanted to do constitutional law because I'd studied so much political theory and I thought the interaction between state and individual was really compelling.  But then I realized that the law in that area wasn't really appealing to me intellectually as much as the philosophy was; and in the meantime I fell in love with the theory of private law.  Why do I owe you something for making a mistake?  What obligations do we have, or not have, to help one another?  How do we normalize messy real-life crises into tangible, legible legal results?

 

And also, constitutional law is almost always criminal law, and I didn't have the stomach for the emotional gut-punches that practice served up for me.

 

The only thing I was right about was that I wanted to be in an adversarial position, doing litigation and going up against other people, speaking in court and making arguments instead of drafting complex documents.

  • What can I do to catch your attention in my 2L summer application?

Get really good grades and have relevant work experience.  Failing that, put in interests other than travel and reading.  Those interview questions never go anywhere.  "Where did you go / What book did you read?"  "Here / This one!"  "Huh.  Cool."

  • What networking strategies have you personally found to be most effective? 

I'll let you know if it happens.   :)

 

If anything, showing up to the same event over and over again, and not being too shy to go talk to equally awkward people that know they need to network but don't want to.

  • What does the journey to partner actually look like? 

Could write a book on that one!  But if you mean mechanically - as in, what must be done to become a partner downtown - it's something like this:

 

- Beat 90% of your high school class and get into a good university

- Beat 80% of your university class and get on the Dean's List

- Beat 90% of all LSAT test-takers and apply to law schools

- Beat 75% of all law school applicants and get into a school with a solid Bay Street placement rate

- Beat 75% of all students in your law school to get a top-quartile placement

- Beat 80% of all OCI applicants to your firm to get hired

- Beat 50% of all articling students to get hired back

- Years 1-3: Learn the law and excel in legal practice, bill around 1800 hours each year, do not drop out

***

- Years 4-6: Learn to manage files and delegate authority, begin business development, bring in a client or two, bill around 1800 hours each year, do not drop out

- Years 7-8: Take control of significant files, become an authority in your area of law, demonstrate excellence in all areas of practice, make the firm a lot of money

- Beat 50% of other partnership applicants

- Step 3: Profit

 

Just a final note, I'm not trying to toot anything here; I'm just saying that a very large number of students apply to law school thinking they're going to make partner at a big firm.  I'm right there at the asterisks and I'm still not sure I'm going to make it.  What I'm saying in the above is, look at the numbers before making a huge financial wager on the certainty that you're going to get down the entire list.  You need a better reason for going to law school than the unbridled confidence that you'll be a Biglaw partner.  If it was that easy, everyone would do it.

 

Much appreciated!


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#9 Law2015

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 10:52 AM

Thanks so much for posting!

I'm really interested in getting into civil litigation, not sure exactly what yet but especially interested in class actions. I have a few questions:

(1) Before the 2L recruit I need to try to decide if I want to go for boutique litigation firms or a big full service (if 'm so lucky to have options). My main worry about applying to big full service firms is that there is no guarantee to end up in the litigation department. Do you have any thoughts on this from your experience?

(2) How important is doing competitive mooting? I have a summer job (currently a 1L) in the litigation field so I feel like showing interest won't be an issue. But will it look bad if I tryout and don't make any competitive teams for the moots? Looking at bios of litigators I tend to see many if not most did mooting throughout law school. I'm an OK speaker but i don't know that I could make any of the teams.



#10 Uriel

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 11:09 AM

Thanks so much for posting!

I'm really interested in getting into civil litigation, not sure exactly what yet but especially interested in class actions. I have a few questions:

(1) Before the 2L recruit I need to try to decide if I want to go for boutique litigation firms or a big full service (if 'm so lucky to have options). My main worry about applying to big full service firms is that there is no guarantee to end up in the litigation department. Do you have any thoughts on this from your experience?

 

No you don't!  Apply to both and hope someone takes you!

 

If, however, you do get the opportunity to pick --- first off, congratulations!  Secondly, you're going to want to be more concerned with which firms you're talking about than the generic idea of big firm vs. boutique.  Having the choice between Lenczner Slaght and Cassels Brock is different than having a choice between Paliare Roland and Torys --- and I don't mean that in terms of the glowy, abstract law student idea of "prestige"... I mean the culture in those places, and the work they do, is radically different.  Something most students miss in their OCI scramble is that you don't want the 'best' firm you can get.  You want the one you'll be happy in long enough to make partner.

 

I can't tell you how many friends I have that humblebragged about their stellar firm from OCIs straight through second-year associateship, and then quit to go work in a family law office closer to their house.  There's no point going to a 'prestigious' firm if you're just going to quit.  Better to go to a 'lesser' (ugh, what does that even mean) firm where you'll only make $700,000 a year in partnership but actually make it, than to go to a place you can't stand because you might make $780,000.  That difference, after taxes, is so marginal as to be ridiculous - and trust me, after two or three years, no one really cares where you articled or where you work.  We all know dunces at every major firm and geniuses working above their garage at this stage.

 

So when you're faced with the question, go to the place you like.

 

And in response to your last question, if you're really concerned that you won't be one of the, like, eight students Stikes hires into its litigation group every year, what odds do you give yourself at being the one --- maybe --- that Paliare will take?  It's really hard to say that it's a bigger risk trying to get into the litigation group in a full-service than it is trying to get hired back at a boutique.

 

And if you're at all unsure that civil litigation is what you want, then obviously a full-service is the way to go.

 

(2) How important is doing competitive mooting? I have a summer job (currently a 1L) in the litigation field so I feel like showing interest won't be an issue. But will it look bad if I tryout and don't make any competitive teams for the moots? Looking at bios of litigators I tend to see many if not most did mooting throughout law school. I'm an OK speaker but i don't know that I could make any of the teams.

 

Neither did I, and then they gave me my pick.  If you prepare enough, you'll be surprised how far you can go.  I'm kind of a slow, deliberate thinker, so I never thought I could moot.  I did one of the bigger ones (lost :) ) and now I litigate for a living.  

 

I think most firms, especially full-service firms, will forgive you not having a competitive moot.  Every couple of years we hire a student back that had zero interest in litigation when she first showed up, so you're in the clear.  

 

In a boutique, though, I can tell you that you might get set alight by an OCI interviewer that doesn't see that key evidence that you really, really want to litigate.  The thing is, a stellar litigation performance isn't a product of public speaking skill or debating instincts --- it's preparation, preparation, preparation.  Those answers roll off the mooters' tongues because they've answered them mentally dozens of times.  If a litigation boutique sees a lack of a competitive moot on the resume, you might have an uphill battle because it's something that a litigation keener might have been able to make happen.  One firm in particular did light me up for not having a moot on my resume (I didn't get assigned to mine until halfway through the interview process.)


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#11 cantab12

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 11:11 AM

When you were going through recruitment, how did you decide which firms you liked most? I hear a lot that firm culture matters but to the outsider most of the big firms in Toronto seem very similar (websites can only tell you so much, and almost all say the same things about fostering a collaborative workplace environment and the high value they place on diversity). What criteria did you use to distinguish among firms?

 

Thanks for doing this thread!


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#12 maximumbob

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 11:14 AM

So to wind down this unnecessarily long summary, how tough is it to go from litigation in a field like your own (with the research i've done, this actually seems the most enjoyable to me) to crown's prosecutor after 4-5 years? I also feel like I already know the answer to this, and that it's very difficult, but I thought I might ask anyway.

 

Thanks!

And as an aside to Uriel's answer. There are jobs working for the crown that are not prosecutor jobs.  I imagine it would be hard to transition from a job as a civil litigator to a criminal law post (competing with people who have been prosecuting/defending criminals for 4 or 5 years).  However, as you might imagine the crown also has a lot of civil litigation files.  So, for example, one former colleague of mine ended up working for the DOJ doing bankruptcy and insolvency/collections litigation (because the crown is often one of the biggest debtors in bankruptcy and insolvency work).  There is a small army of crowns who do tax litigation (through, really, if that's what you want to do, you're better off starting with the crown and then moving into private practice, since the crown gives great experience early on, which you can parley into big money if you're any good) and no doubt there are crowns who handle other forms of litigation.  

 

Key point, though, these are often highly sought-after jobs, and the G can generally attract decent talent.  


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#13 Uriel

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 11:21 AM

 

I can't tell you how many friends I have that humblebragged about their stellar firm from OCIs straight through second-year associateship, and then quit to go work in a family law office closer to their house.  There's no point going to a 'prestigious' firm if you're just going to quit.  Better to go to a 'lesser' (ugh, what does that even mean) firm where you'll only make $700,000 a year in partnership but actually make it, than to go to a place you can't stand because you might make $780,000.  That difference, after taxes, is so marginal as to be ridiculous - and trust me, after two or three years, no one really cares where you articled or where you work.  We all know dunces at every major firm and geniuses working above their garage at this stage.

 

 

Just had a bad case of l'esprit d'escalier about how to make this point a little more forcefully.

 

Q. What did the partner at the best Bay Street firm say to the partner at the worst Bay Street firm?

A.  I don't know; it's hard to decrypt yacht-to-yacht communications.


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#14 Uriel

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 11:23 AM

When you were going through recruitment, how did you decide which firms you liked most? I hear a lot that firm culture matters but to the outsider most of the big firms in Toronto seem very similar (websites can only tell you so much, and almost all say the same things about fostering a collaborative workplace environment and the high value they place on diversity). What criteria did you use to distinguish among firms?

 

Thanks for doing this thread!

 

This is really, really hard.  It's only after you see where all your friends go that you begin to see what those cultures are really like.  "Oh, Jason and Amir and Belinda all went to Norton Rose?  Ahhhhhhh, I get it now."

 

The best thing I can recommend is to meet the current students and articling students, maybe even have coffee with an associate at your top two or three choices (max) and see who you get along with.  You'll catch on pretty quick whether you're a better fit at Osler or Goodmans, or whether you belong at Torys versus Bennett Jones.  Some differences are that stark; most aren't.


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#15 Uriel

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 11:33 AM

Hi Uriel. 1L here. I'm new to the board so I apologize if you've answered these somewhere in the past.

  • Did you have a sense of what kind of law you wanted to practice before/during law school? Any advice for someone who isn't sure which way to go?
  • What can I do to catch your attention in my 2L summer application?
  • What networking strategies have you personally found to be most effective? 
  • What does the journey to partner actually look like? 

Much appreciated!

 

I missed this one, and it's a good one!

 

The trick is, different practice areas bring with them totally different lifestyles.  M&A is very up-and-down, lots of vacation here and live-in-the-office there.  Class actions are consistently, endlessly busy while rarely giving rise to emergencies.  Regulatory work is stable and predictable, except in the rare case where it's an absolute tire fire.

 

What I'd recommend if you have no clue at all is to come up with a list of things you don't want to do.  That could be an area (like competition law) or an activity (like "talking in court" or "working with criminals").

 

Then, make a list of all the must-haves and nice-to-haves that you'd like to see in your career.  If "high pay" is a must-have, or upon reflection "business law" is only a nice-to-have, it might narrow down the kind of lifestyle you want.  Then, if you're not too keen on any particular area, you can start looking into whether or not you'll be interested in the areas that offer you the most of what you want.  A lot of people don't really consider tax planning law, or bankruptcy and insolvency, until they see how great that lifestyle can be and then start making inquiries into whether it's as hard, obscure, or boring as it might sound.


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#16 hORNS

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 11:37 AM

If you strike out at OCIs, does that mean you will never be able to get big law? That is pretty much the boat I am in right now. 



#17 sherry101

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 11:46 AM

As someone who is potentially interested in litigation, what sorts of activities did you do to improve your public speaking skills? Or were you always gifted in that area and didn't need much practice? On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being a really really damn good public speaker), I'd rate myself a 5. I've been told that I can carry a conversation well and am fairly articulate, but there are definitely a lot of room for improvement, AND, I get super nervous when I have to speak in front of a class, especially during in class participation. I mean, my palms get super sweaty, my voice starts to shake, and I start to slur my speech and I start sounding like I just immigrated here a week ago......even though I pull myself together just fine during less formal interactions. 


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#18 ZedsDead

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 11:52 AM

Just a couple of questions I randomly came up with!

 

I think I read awhile back that your not from Toronto, so were you ever faced with a dilemma about where (city, province) you wanted to work and settle down? This is more for some friends I know who are faced with a decision of having to leave home and with the possibility of not coming back because of distance, competition and the somewhat black hole that is life after law school. 

 

Also, I'm in third year university with the intention of applying to law schools in the fall. Do you have any advice regarding applications, LSAT, preparing for what's likely to be a very busy final year with highs and lows while waiting to hear back from schools?



#19 Hello12345

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 12:03 PM

Sort of a follow up question regarding not knowing what type of law you want to go into. You mentioned making a list of things you don't want to do, which is definitely something I will try, but as a 0L, is it bad to go into law school clueless (for lack of a better word)? Should you have some sort of idea as you begin law school or is it alright to take a very open minded approach and use that first year to find an area of law that you would be well suited to?



#20 Starling

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 12:15 PM

I'm a 0L and going to Law school next year, but not completely sure where yet. 

 

I've done a tremendous amount of research the past couple years in terms of what I would actually like to do, through either personal research or getting advice from lawyers and professors. That being said, I realize it's almost likely I completely change what I want to do once I actually start classes, but I may as well be as informed as I can be along the way. That being said, here's where I am now:

 

Ideally, yes, i'd like to go after the unicorn that is "international law". I also realize that reasonably, this may never happen, or even if it does, most likely much later on in my career. I would like to work for organizations like Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, etc, with the ultimate cherry on top being work at the ICC or ICJ.

 

I also understand that, at this point at least, it's looking likely that i'd be taking on close to a hundred grand in loans to fund my education. I also know that court experience is basically necessary, especially for the ICJ, etc. 

 

Now, I'm not really at all interested in working criminal defence, so criminal prosecution would be the rational and most relevant choice here. But I also know it's not likely I pay off my school loans in 5 years on a Crown's salary (which isn't anything to scoff at in its own right). 

 

So to wind down this unnecessarily long summary, how tough is it to go from litigation in a field like your own (with the research i've done, this actually seems the most enjoyable to me) to crown's prosecutor after 4-5 years? I also feel like I already know the answer to this, and that it's very difficult, but I thought I might ask anyway.

 

Thanks!

 

It seems like Sam Walker from Henein Hutchison has done some work that was related to international human rights. I thought reading his bio was really interesting; it helped me appreciate how exceptional you need to be.

 

 

"Samuel Walker’s practice is focused on criminal and regulatory litigation. Prior to joining Henein Hutchison in 2013, he was a law clerk to the Honourable Justice Morris Fish of the Supreme Court of Canada and trained for a year at leading barristers’ chambers in London, England as a Harold Fox Scholar.

 

Sam is a graduate of Yale University (B.A., History) and McGill University’s Faculty of Law (B.C.L., LL.B.), where he earned a number of academic distinctions. He studied as a Gates Scholar at the University of Cambridge, Trinity College, graduating in 2011 with the Clive Parry Prize for receiving the highest standing in the master’s programme in international law (LL.M.).

 

Sam is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. He is also a Fellow of the Philippe Kirsch Institute, serves as pro bono duty counsel with the Downtown Legal Services Clinic on summary conviction appeals, and is on the junior counsel roster of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association Interventions Committee.

 

Sam has published articles and book chapters on topics in criminal law and public international law, including in the Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence andCriminal Law Quarterly. He has assisted leading counsel in cases before the International Court of Justice, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and Inter-American Court of Human Rights. During his legal studies, Sam volunteered at a legal clinic for refugees in Uganda for several months and summered at a New York law firm. In 2006, he spent a year working in the War Crimes Chamber of the Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo."

 

http://hhllp.ca/#team


Edited by Starling, 22 February 2016 - 12:16 PM.

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#21 pzabbythesecond

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 12:54 PM

It seems like Sam Walker from Henein Hutchison has done some work that was related to international human rights. I thought reading his bio was really interesting; it helped me appreciate how exceptional you need to be.

 

 

"Samuel Walker’s practice is focused on criminal and regulatory litigation. Prior to joining Henein Hutchison in 2013, he was a law clerk to the Honourable Justice Morris Fish of the Supreme Court of Canada and trained for a year at leading barristers’ chambers in London, England as a Harold Fox Scholar.

 

Sam is a graduate of Yale University (B.A., History) and McGill University’s Faculty of Law (B.C.L., LL.B.), where he earned a number of academic distinctions. He studied as a Gates Scholar at the University of Cambridge, Trinity College, graduating in 2011 with the Clive Parry Prize for receiving the highest standing in the master’s programme in international law (LL.M.).

 

Sam is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. He is also a Fellow of the Philippe Kirsch Institute, serves as pro bono duty counsel with the Downtown Legal Services Clinic on summary conviction appeals, and is on the junior counsel roster of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association Interventions Committee.

 

Sam has published articles and book chapters on topics in criminal law and public international law, including in the Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence andCriminal Law Quarterly. He has assisted leading counsel in cases before the International Court of Justice, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and Inter-American Court of Human Rights. During his legal studies, Sam volunteered at a legal clinic for refugees in Uganda for several months and summered at a New York law firm. In 2006, he spent a year working in the War Crimes Chamber of the Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo."

 

http://hhllp.ca/#team

 

Yeah, he's definitely been on my search radar for a while now. Another incredible professional that i've spent researching (and currently reading his dissertation) is Payam Akhavan. I understand it's incredibly difficult, and so i've braced myself for the likely scenario that I don't end up able to do any of the things i'm currently looking at, and the also likely scenario that I change my mind completely in terms of what i'd actually like to practise/aspire to do in the long term, but I can only act on what's in front of me right now. I appreciate yours and everyone else's help here!


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#22 Starling

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 01:05 PM

Yeah, he's definitely been on my search radar for a while now. Another incredible professional that i've spent researching (and currently reading his dissertation) is Payam Akhavan. I understand it's incredibly difficult, and so i've braced myself for the likely scenario that I don't end up able to do any of the things i'm currently looking at, and the also likely scenario that I change my mind completely in terms of what i'd actually like to practise/aspire to do in the long term, but I can only act on what's in front of me right now. I appreciate yours and everyone else's help here!

 

Payam Akhavan sounds like an incredibly interesting guy as well. I can definitely see why you would want to be like him or Sam Walker!

 

Best of luck. :)


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#23 artsydork

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 01:07 PM

What would you recommend for a junior call taking files into the court room? Mainly, what are the absolute Uriel TM things to look out for when litigating or words of wisdom you wish you had when you were a ~1 year call.

 

... I, um, ask for a friend. ;-)


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#24 TKNumber3

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 01:10 PM

What would you recommend for a junior call taking files into the court room? Mainly, what are the absolute Uriel TM things to look out for when litigating or words of wisdom you wish you had when you were a ~1 year call.

 

... I, um, ask for a friend. ;-)

 

Work a few of these in there

 

http://trailerpark.w.../wiki/Rickyisms



#25 Radche

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 01:13 PM

What would you recommend for a junior call taking files into the court room? Mainly, what are the absolute Uriel TM things to look out for when litigating or words of wisdom you wish you had when you were a ~1 year call.

... I, um, ask for a friend. ;-)


Make sure to refer to all judges as "your owner".