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chvrches

I graduated in May, should I even bother to keep applying?

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I graduated in May, but was amongst a handful of the unlucky people in my class who couldn't find an articling position. The last interview I had was at the beginning of August. I've started looking at the possibility of articling for the 2018-2019 year, but it seems like a lot positions have been filled already, or there are positions available at smaller firms that aren't really accessible to me right now (I'm currently staying in a very small town that's hours away from the nearest city so it's not possible for me to put in a lot of legwork). Plus, having already graduated, I don't have as much access to my school's resources as I did when I was there. But, the biggest issue I think I'm facing is that firms are more likely to hire a new graduate as opposed to me. I feel like I've really missed my opportunity, which is just unbelievably frustrating (especially since my closest friends all found articles without much trouble and are now halfway through it and loving it). So, what do you guys think? Is there any genuine possibility of me finding articles, or should I just try to move on to something else (which at this point, financially, also seems like an impossibility, because there is another field that I'm interested in, but I can in no way afford to go back to school for it)?

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What province? If you’re super stuck and in  Ontario there’s always the LPP.

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Would you consider relocation? Like you said, there may be positions at smaller firms in some of the bigger city centers. I imagine you have a much better shot at some of these jobs if you are able to meet the lawyers/HR from the firms? Don't give up! I'm rooting for you!

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26 minutes ago, Ryn said:

What province? If you’re super stuck and in  Ontario there’s always the LPP.

I'm from Atlantic Canada, but am willing to work in any province for at least the articling period. But I can't afford the LPP (or the cost of living in Toronto).

 

26 minutes ago, AudreyBerry said:

Would you consider relocation? Like you said, there may be positions at smaller firms in some of the bigger city centers. I imagine you have a much better shot at some of these jobs if you are able to meet the lawyers/HR from the firms? Don't give up! I'm rooting for you!

Relocation except back to my parents' house isn't possible right now. I'm currently working for minimum wage and living with friends rent free. My only real option is finding a position online and then saving every cent I make until the position starts to save up for rent.

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Have you looked into split articles? Have you connected with any local lawyers or organizations like the CBA? Have you followed up with your profs (who might know some one who knows sone one)? 

What were you good at? What do you want to do? Litigation? Solicitor work? 

Do you have any serious stumbling blocks? Big difference between a B student who slipped through the cracks and some one with mostly Cs or even Ds.

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29 minutes ago, Hegdis said:

Have you looked into split articles? Have you connected with any local lawyers or organizations like the CBA? Have you followed up with your profs (who might know some one who knows sone one)? 

What were you good at? What do you want to do? Litigation? Solicitor work? 

Do you have any serious stumbling blocks? Big difference between a B student who slipped through the cracks and some one with mostly Cs or even Ds.

Early on there was one solo practitioner who offered to let me do some crim, but that's all he practises so he doesn't take on actual articling students. Other than that, no, split articles never came up. There really aren't any lawyers local to where I am, it's a very small town. Almost all my grades were Bs, with a couple As and a couple Cs. I also didn't really have a close relationship with any profs; we had small classes, but I wasn't the type of student to go see them in their offices or anything like that. So, my biggest stumbling block was probably that I didn't really connect to any profs or any lawyers when I had the chance. Networking isn't my thing.  But honestly, I don't see law as a long-term thing for me (unless I found the right job), and I think interviewers can tell (and I could tell that having mostly non-law related interests on my resume threw off some firms during OCIs).

My best classes were admin, competition, legal history, and negotiations, though I'm actually most interested in torts, crim, IP, and human/civil rights law. If I could just be locked in an office all day doing the research, that's where I'd be happiest. I'd also probably prefer a non-firm environment, like government or in-house counsel, but my law school was very geared towards helping us find firm jobs and little else.

Edited by chvrches

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6 hours ago, chvrches said:

I'm from Atlantic Canada, but am willing to work in any province for at least the articling period. But I can't afford the LPP (or the cost of living in Toronto).

 

Relocation except back to my parents' house isn't possible right now. I'm currently working for minimum wage and living with friends rent free. My only real option is finding a position online and then saving every cent I make until the position starts to save up for rent.

If you are interested in family law and indigenous law, there is a position on the OBA website looking for an articling student in Thunder Bay, Ontario. If you are up for that (provided that you have applied for the licensing process), I don't see why you shouldn't give it a shot. Here is the information below:

 

Quote

 

Bird and Thatcher, a law firm proudly servicing the NorthWest Region for over 25 years is seeking an articling student for the 2018-2019 term. Conveniently located in Thunder Bay, the city has much to offer.

The ideal candidate will possess a strong work ethic, a sensitivity to Indigenous Issues and superior writing skills. 

A 10-12 month contract, the student shall assist with court pleadings, facta, affidavits, filings, interviews, advocacy, press releases and learn from a team of experienced litigators. The candidate will also have the opportunity to travel, including to remote communities, to assist in servicing clients. 

Child welfare litigation, representation of various First Nations, Criminal/ Gladue matters, as well as Family Law will be covered in detail as part of the articling term commencing May 1st 2018. 

Salary- competitive.

Please send CV, cover letter and a writing sample to the address below. Transcripts Optional.

Possibility of full-time position after call to the bar. 

Contact Name Marco Pasquale Frangione - [email protected]

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, dilemma said:

If you are interested in family law and indigenous law, there is a position on the OBA website looking for an articling student in Thunder Bay, Ontario. If you are up for that (provided that you have applied for the licensing process), I don't see why you shouldn't give it a shot. Here is the information below:

 

I never took family law because the prof for it at my school was a disaster, but that position sounds fantastic. Thanks!

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I won't lie. I ended up here because of your negativity elsewhere and I wanted to see where you were coming from. So to some degree I'm primed to believe that your attitude is part of your problem. If I start to hit that note too hard, feel free to tell me that my perspective isn't welcome. That said, it sounds like you don't even want to practice law. And aside from the other barriers you've identified (some of which you could maybe avoid with enough effort, some you're probably stuck with) that's going to be huge. When you can't even focus on what you want to do because you don't even want to be a lawyer ... you do realize that employers will pick up on that, right? I mean, what firm or employer in some other province would ever be motivated to create a position where they pay you well enough that you move there, just to work for articles, and then at the end you intend to move back to your small town which is hours away from any city and practice ... what, exactly? I don't see how any employer would do that or why, and I also don't see how that would even help you in the long run, save that it would salvage your dignity a bit and allow you to call yourself a lawyer. But it wouldn't end up leading to a career.

Maybe get more into the situation you're in? I just don't see what you would be hoping for here, even in a dream scenario, much less in a world that requires compromise. What do you even want?

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Send me a message, I'm a current Dal student and I'll do what I can to send you along some postings for Atlantic Canada jobs if your interested. I'm seeking articles out west but I've been working out here since I started at Dal and maybe I can help some.

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You need to take more responsibility for your own future. It wasn't your law school's career development office's job to find YOU a job. There are options other than living where you are living. You mentioned relocating to your parents' place. Are they in a larger centre? Is that something you can do without emotional or physical damage to yourself? If you're interested in crim and a solo practitioner offered you articles, why didn't you take them? You said criminal law is all he practices so he doesn't have articling students? What do you mean? Lots of people practice only crim and have articling students - and he offered you articles! So I'm not quite understanding that objection. And if you don't like networking and don't see yourself practicing law long-term then why are you so worried about getting articles? You need to figure out what you want. 

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13 hours ago, chvrches said:

I never took family law because the prof for it at my school was a disaster, but that position sounds fantastic. Thanks!

That shouldn't be a problem. If you do end up coming to Ontario, family law is a huge section on the bar exam and it would give you some insight into the area. Even if you didn't do it, you'll eventually get the hang of it with practice. As long as you find it interesting, I think you should definitely try it out. Good luck with everything!

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On 12/2/2017 at 6:07 PM, chvrches said:

But honestly, I don't see law as a long-term thing for me (unless I found the right job), and I think interviewers can tell (and I could tell that having mostly non-law related interests on my resume threw off some firms during OCIs).

If you don't see law as a "long-term thing" for you, what do you see yourself doing long-term? People on this site will reach out to help you but we have to know what you are trying to accomplish. After saying that you don't want to practice law, it's hard for people to use their connections to help you find a job in that field in good conscience. Is there another field that you are interested in or have worked in before? What are your non-law related interests? 

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With respect to your ultimate question -- i.e. "Should I even bother to keep applying?",  I think that is a no-brainer. Yes. Keep applying. Unless you do not want to article and simply want to hold on to your law degree and perhaps find another profession that will take you and in which your degree will be useful.

However, there are a few things worth mentioning. 

1) "I'm from Atlantic Canada, but am willing to work in any province for at least the articling period"

Coupled with your other sentiments regarding not wanting to practice law long-term, Diplock's comments should be heeded. Your overall attitude and ambitions, if sniffed out by potential employers, will truly operate as impediments to acquiring gainful employment. Any firm/practitioner is more than justified in not offering articles to a student simply because the student needs articles. If you truly want to go through with it, then you're probably  going to have to do a really good job faking your enthusiasm for the firm/area of law. Not the most ethical approach, but I'm not necessarily above doing what has to be done to get a job.

2) "Networking isn't my thing"

It isn't my thing either, nor is it many other people's thing. Networking, especially of the fully deliberate variety, sucks. But, it MUST be done to some extent. We are not governed by robots who can quickly evaluate a candidate's suitability and merit for a given position and allocate positions accordingly. Thus, you are going to have to do the messy work of interacting with your fellow hoo-mans, especially those that may have some say in your future in the profession. Doing so in a way that is genuine, humble, and engaging is another issue. 

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17 minutes ago, kcraigsejong said:

Though I appreciate this advice generally, I have to wonder if the effort you went through is worth it if the law isn't the right thing for someone long term. At that point, I'd just cut loose. 

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12 hours ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

Though I appreciate this advice generally, I have to wonder if the effort you went through is worth it if the law isn't the right thing for someone long term. At that point, I'd just cut loose. 

I think it might be difficult to know whether law is not right for you long term without actually articling and practicing first. OP is exasperated at the moment. It's easy when you're feeling that way to convince yourself that this thing that you've spent years working towards isn't what you really want. It's a defence mechanism and it's a normal reaction. 

OP, it may be the case after you find articles and practice that you don't enjoy it, but it's premature to make that decision now. Others have been in the same position as you before and found articles. As others have suggested above, you do need to put in the legwork to succeed.

If it's a viable option for you, have you considered volunteering at a legal aid clinic? Lawyers working in those clinics often have networks that could be useful in your search. 

Good luck!

 

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21 hours ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

Though I appreciate this advice generally, I have to wonder if the effort you went through is worth it if the law isn't the right thing for someone long term. At that point, I'd just cut loose. 

Likewise.

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On 12/4/2017 at 10:42 AM, jlw2 said:

If you don't see law as a "long-term thing" for you, what do you see yourself doing long-term? People on this site will reach out to help you but we have to know what you are trying to accomplish. After saying that you don't want to practice law, it's hard for people to use their connections to help you find a job in that field in good conscience. Is there another field that you are interested in or have worked in before? What are your non-law related interests? 

Long-term, I would prefer to return to school and pursue library/information studies. The only two jobs I've ever had that I totally enjoyed were in that field. But it wasn't a passion I discovered until 3L, when I still thought I had a hope of articling, so I thought that I would find articles, maybe work as a law for a few years until I could save up enough for tuition and to be able to settled into a new city while studying. My other interests are film and writing, but I know there's no real work in that field, and history which I majored in (which goes with the library/information studies).

I'm not really asking people to use their connections to find me a job, I'm just wondering really if I still have any chance of getting articles compared to people who are newly graduated; would people rather take someone who's been out of school a year? Because I personally don't think so, so I was wondering if anybody else had any experience with that. With so many new graduates coming every year, me still trying seems kind of like a pipe dream.

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I don't think your problem is the gap between graduation and articling. I can't speak to what happens in the maritimes, but in Ontario (at least pre-lpp) you'd still see large numbers of people (call it a couple hundred) who wouldn't find articles by, say, August, but would find positions over the course of the following year. 

But, those are people who desperately want to be lawyers - that comes across in interviews. That doesn't seem to be you, so I'd be worried about drawing conclusions in your unique circumstances. 

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