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  1. 24 points
    It's really bold of you to assume that I, and many others, would even have the opportunity of "summering at a firm before law school."
  2. 16 points
    Not all future lawyers have a career like that to fall back on - a B.A. doesn't get you anywhere these days. I'll take law school over doing construction for the rest of my life, thanks though.
  3. 16 points
    Lawyer1017, I got accepted off the waiting list on August 18th. I didn't have the heart to tell you, or anyone else on here, as I felt the full wait of the anxiety in waiting - perhaps double as I'm twice your age! Now or never, it feels like... Classes start next week, so there is still time to be hopeful! Please let me know if you get accepted, and thanks for commiserating with me all these months. We have exchanged 199 messages (this makes 200) trying to figure out our chances. Also, you have the next 24 years to apply and get in at a younger age than me.
  4. 15 points
  5. 14 points
    1) I don't know how I'd possibly get the opportunity to summer at a law firm. I live in a semi-rural area with one firm whose building is the size of a living room. I can't afford to drive 1.5 hours to Vancouver everyday, much less for free, to get this experience. I can't afford to move yet either. 2) I have no previous career to fall back on. My skills lead me to believe I'd do well in law, although it's true that I don't know that for certain. But I've never earned more than $15/hr, in jobs where I'm cleaning black silt out of my orifices for weeks and lifting stuff that has made it so I can't wear a backpack without pain now. As a best result I could wind up as, I don't know, a probation officer, and almost certainly hate my job forever because it wasn't what I wanted. I don't like to think of what the worst result is. Or, I could go to law school and get a job I might like, with a potentially bad work/life balance. I'll take the gamble of the latter.
  6. 13 points
    I regard my current happiness with the law as the fortuitous outcome of a calculated risk. That is all it will ever be for anyone. The only concrete consideration is a financial one.
  7. 13 points
    What is appropriate and socially acceptable: "Kind regards" What is ABSOLUTELY inappropriate and will cause a double take: "Kind retards" I have been on the receiving end of the latter once.
  8. 13 points
    I am not sure this hammer serves any useful purpose, and is nothing more than an instrument for driving nails into wood Being helpful can be rewarding! You should try it pfft, noobs If you don't want to waste any part of your life typing out lengthy responses to repetitive questions that might not turn out to be helpful to anyone, I have bad news about the legal profession God yes This is a hobby. What, you want me to go paint model cars? lol this is not what legal clinics do, do you think you show up to a legal clinic with your transcript to talk about how admissions will approach your exchange grades or you could "read" the information on a "web site" Not precious enough to dissuade you from setting up a second account to post this
  9. 12 points
    I'd have more enthusiasm to engage in this discussion if it wasn't started by such an idiot. Then again, at least some of the satisfaction I gain from posting comes from correcting idiocy, so I can't really understand why I'm having trouble rousing enthusiasm for this one. Many here are familiar with my theses on class politics. I do believe that we get an unrepresentative sampling of all possible law school students/applicants etc. because there's some truth to the fact that anonymous advice on the Internet is a second-best option to advice from real people. I don't accept the idiotic suggestion we're somehow less authoritative than other anonymous sources of advice on the Internet just because General Idiot says so, but I do acknowledge this isn't a place you come if your parents are lawyers, or know a lot of lawyers. It's a place that you find because you don't have better sources of advice. And in some cases where you stick around because you realize that despite having found other sources of advice, what you get here is shockingly good. But that's not where it starts. Here's a story. I remember when I was in undergrad and contemplating law school I actually wrote an email to some lawyer who had a column in, I believe, The Metro (that subway rag) and it was on employment law or maybe real estate or something. I asked his advice only because I had his email and I literally couldn't think of who else to ask. Now honestly, if I tried harder I could have found better people to network towards. But that's how far removed I was from legitimate sources of advice. He didn't answer, btw. I've reflected on that many times since, when I get tired questions from people by PM that I think I'd rather not bother with. But complete silence is a message of its own, and one I'd rather not send. I do believe this forum mainly serves students who wouldn't get decent advice otherwise. And yes, does it far better than whatever other alternatives might exist on the Internet. Could it be a subreddit instead? Well, with the same people, sure. But it's the community that makes it good, not the posting format. The crap people bring from elsewhere sometimes (not that I go looking for it myself) constantly amazes me. Citing some American source about how to hire an applications consultant to dress up your personal statement with heartwarming stories of the adversity you've overcome in life when the housekeeper you were much closer with than your own parents was hospitalized with cancer and someone else who didn't know how to prepare your eggs properly was making your breakfasts all through your exams. I mean seriously. I don't need General Idiot telling me what else is on the Internet. I know this community is that much better, which is a big part of why I come back. That, and knowing that the people who come here for advice are the ones who really need it - not the one's who'd ask dad's golfing buddies first. Now, the easiest and laziest smackdown in the world. Dude. Everything you've posted here has been completely fucking nuts, and based in gross misunderstandings about how the law and the legal marketplace works. And rather than be grateful that complete strangers are taking their time to try to help you, and actually listen to what they have to say, you've responded at every turn by doubling down on your stupidity and insisting you already know everything there is to know. Now you come back with this idiocy, presuming to tell me that I'm wasting my time here. Well with you, I obviously AM wasting my time. Although you've pulled the "useful idiot" move here really well, by asking an interesting question intended purely as troll bait. I acknowledge that other than being a useful idiot you're a waste of my time and keystrokes. But other people aren't. And honestly, the basis of your questions and criticism really do fall within the Dunning-Kruger Effect where you can't understand why anyone would find this forum useful simply because you are too stupid yourself to find use in it. You just lack the insight and ability to tell good advice from bad because to you they both seem the same. And yeah, I type one hell of a lot more than 40 WPM also. Just fyi.
  10. 12 points
    I didnt know anyone in the legal field when I began considering law school. I was in life sciences and competing against students who had 4.0 GPAs and talked about nothing but med school, all day every day. I was not one of those perfect students and assumed the entrance barrier for law was just as high. After graduating undergrad with my biology degree and zero relevant experience, I truly believed I was at a dead end while (unsuccessfully) searching for minimum wage lab tech jobs. This forum was the only way I was able to candidly learn about the profession and is honestly the reason I pursued a legal career. I'll never forget the day I found the old "rate my chances" thread, took my first practice LSAT, and realized I could actually get into law school with my stats. Threads about dressing professionally (I thought a black suit was the peak of business professional), what to put in a personal statement or cover letter, how to handle stress in 1L, how to nail an OCI, etc. have saved me many times. Four years ago, I truly could not have imagined that I'd someday be working in downtown Toronto making a near six figure income. And I owe a TON of gratification to the posters on this forum, who have been more helpful than any CDO, recruiter, lawyer, or upper year student I've spoken to. I doubt, OP, that you'd think it was a waste of time for a lawyer to mentor a student. Why is posting on this forum any different? Edit: Also, I sometimes am amazed at how important this forum has become for the Canadian law landscape, even though for some reason students treat it like a secret. But the influence is huge. Here's an example: I was having a conversation with another student before OCIs and we were trying to name the Seven Sisters. Without a hint of sarcasm, he suggested "Morgan's?"
  11. 11 points
    Yeah. And I know how it seems like we're saying different things, but I agree with you completely. I try to keep this simple and at the level (as best I can guess) of the person asking the question. So when I get someone here - or really any would-be applicant anywhere - asking about how to use the law to reform the whole system rather than reinforce the system by working within it...my go-to answer is that you don't do that by practicing law. You do that by working in politics, or in the streets as a protestor if you don't believe even our political system can function properly. Being lawyer isn't about reforming the law. It's about using the law as best you can on behalf of the client you have. But that's only half of the truth. The other half of the truth is that practicing lawyers change the regularly. But almost all of the time we're changing it in very narrow, very specific ways. The average student in law school - nevermind a wannabe student - wouldn't even have sufficient perspective to appreciate most of the examples I'd use. And that's because changes that are big enough for a layperson to understand and appreciate are the exception. That's the once-in-a-career crusade that overturns Canada's prostitution laws and gets into all the newspapers. But that is not at all normal. The sort of change we're talking about right now (and where BBCB and I agree) is more along the lines of getting the court to adopt a slightly more expansive interpretation of part four in a five part test for...whatever. Which could be incredibly important to the client you have, and might even be followed with great interest by a few hundred other lawyers who appreciate what that means. But that's all. If you want to discuss how the entire legal system could operate differently, don't become a lawyer. Do something else. Legal academia is one answer, sure, but there are others. Legal practice is and remains a wonderful vehicle to effect change. Truly so. But you need to approach it with some humility, appreciate that you are one ant working on a big anthill, and if you move a few grains closer to the top then that's your achievement and it does matter. But it isn't going to look like what you see on television. And just to take one final jab. I've faced the accusation before that I'm somehow "enforcing the status quo" by working within the system. That accusation is generally leveled at me by people whose work product basically consists of writing stuff and arguing with other people who write stuff. And then they all congratulate themselves for this important contribution to society, and feel morally superior to everyone else who are compromising themselves so badly by functioning within corrupt and inequitable systems. But I got a badly disadvantaged foster kid out of jail today. And you wrote an article about how terrible it is that she was ever in jail in the first place. So, you know. Shut the fuck up.
  12. 11 points
    Because I am a sad and lonely individual with no friends and I enjoy nothing more than sitting around in my bathrobe pretending to be a lawyer and fighting with people on the internet and sharing pathetic little in-jokes about bagels and dustbags. It brings sunshine into my life. Don't judge me!
  13. 10 points
    If the difference between offering an articling position and not offering a position is that you have to respect basic employment laws, then you probably shouldn't have an articling student. The idea that articling students, who are among society's hardest working and most educated young people, are worth less than a McDonald's worker has always been absurd to me. Outside of a few exceptions (thinking of criminal law here because of the general problems in criminal defence) good articling experiences already pay more than minimum wage.
  14. 10 points
    This is 100% true. And I struggle with this topic because I know there are foreign study success stories, and it isn't fair to prevent those stories being told here when they are true, but I also know this is a topic where students are incredibly eager to delude themselves and to believe what they want to believe. I also believe it's a topic that invites and involves a fair amount of outright lying, although I cannot prove it. So, just to address and dispel things that I know are outright untrue, here. Applying as a graduate from a foreign law school is not interesting, not remotely "unique" (seriously - look up the word and stop torturing it), and not an attractive feature to any future employer. In the limited amount of hiring I've done, I would say at least 1/3 of all applications I've seen were NCA candidates. Not to say those got interviews or anything, but in terms of total CVs received - yeah, that high. I suspect enough NCA candidates end up applying literally everywhere that their numbers become inflated relative to the size of the cohort. But to imagine any employer will look at your foreign degree and think "hmm, that's interesting and unusual" when their trashcan is full of other students who went to the same place is just an outright lie. Also, this "birthplace of the common law" is a stupid-ass and embarrassing marketing line used by UK schools and should not be repeated outside of that context. It has no logical connection to anything. That's like bragging about how you played basketball for a Canadian university and therefore learned at the birthplace of the sport, when trying to compare yourself favorably to someone playing college ball in the US. It's such a nonsense argument that it undermines the impression left by anyone who repeats it like they think they've said something meaningful. To actually answer the OP, it sounds like you started from a perspective of some knowledge and rationality on this topic. When I was in U of T law I knew one transfer student from Bond, who came after first year. Though note, I think she was their top student, to put it in context. But once she transferred, she was a 2L like any other at U of T. Transferring comes with some issues and dislocations, but if you transfer after first year I don't think a transfer from a foreign school and a transfer from a different domestic school are particularly different. The real issue is just how hard it might be to pull that off. I do agree with the goal though. If you have no choice but to start at a foreign school, you should transfer back if you possibly can. Though remain alert to the fact that you may not be able to, and what that would mean going forward. People will do what they have to do. But I have very little patience for lies and delusion. I especially have very little patience for when they are used as fig leaves to avoid confronting privilege. Pretending that a large firm is impressed by your UK degree from a school that admits almost exclusively Canadian law school rejects as foreign applicants, or that anyone thinks it matters where Carbolic Smoke Ball was decided is just ridiculous. The fact is, the money required to fund law school in a foreign country implies all kinds of other existing privilege. It isn't a 1:1 correlation, but it tracks. And that privilege, more than anything, is what's going to help you score a job afterwards. The worst outcome of not recognizing this is that privileged foreign graduates who want to pretend daddy's money and friends had nothing to do with their success end up comforting would-be NCA students who don't have those same advantages, and who take on hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt on a hope and a dream. Anyway, rant off. And good luck.
  15. 10 points
    The earliest incarnations of this site are from 2003. Lawstudents.ca as it is known and loved by all is officially 15 years old as of last April. 2 months older than Reddit, which I believe was registered June 2005. We old.
  16. 9 points
  17. 9 points
    Thank you - I am indeed awesome.
  18. 9 points
    Set the tone yourself. If you encounter people being shitty, rise above. It really does have an impact.
  19. 8 points
    I’m personally confused that the advice is “work at a firm before you go to law school” so that you don’t make a mistake by pursuing law, but it turns out that OP did exactly that and is still unhappy with their decision to pursue law...
  20. 8 points
    I plan to support this one. Good on the new Calls putting it forward.
  21. 8 points
    You know what, I do have one meaningful piece of advice. Due to many sorts of client interactions, I am very conscious of how easy it is for clients to imagine there's all kinds of backroom shit going on in criminal law. By this, I mean insane levels of illicit cooperation between defence, the Crown, the court, etc. Just yesterday I spoke to a client who genuinely believes his lawyer cut a deal against his interests with both the Crown and with the court itself in order to benefit another client. That sort of belief is very unhealthy for any client. I could go on at length, but it's just unhealthy to believe things like that. The inherent closeness of everyone in a smaller community surely allows even more potential than usual to contribute to impressions like this. I'd just caution against giving anyone reason to believe stuff like this happens. However obvious it may be to us the system doesn't work this way, it isn't as obvious to accused persons, complainants, etc. that this is true.
  22. 8 points
    Accepted off the waitlist today!!!!!!
  23. 8 points
    Just for context, only approximately 1% of the population of Vancouver is black. I wanted to mention this because I've seen this issue brought up before in relation to UBC by people from elsewhere in Canada who don't know what the demographics of Vancouver are like. I'll leave others to discuss lived experiences as minorities at UBC, because I'm not qualified to speak on the subject.
  24. 8 points
    You're going about this the wrong way. You should never do extracurriculars for the sole purpose of getting into law school. The whole point of them being assessed as part of your application is to show that you're a well rounded person on top of your stats, and doing them just to get admitted defeats the entire purpose of extracurriculars being assessed.
  25. 7 points
    No doubt that the OP will draw the ire of some current (and prospective) lawyers – rightfully so. They have a greater dog in this fight and so I’ll leave it to them to review the numerous issues with the substance of that post. That said, the OP does raise an interesting point (at least tangentially) that is often not considered, at least not deeply enough. That is: why do you want to attend law school? Although every applicant is likely to have a response to this question, most will be superficial. Some examples: I want to help people / I want to effect change, I want to live a life of learning (intellectual challenge), I want the prestige, I want the prospect of a large earning potential, I want to have the ability to work on a diverse range of topics, I want to have an influence in my community, I don't see what else I can do with my insert degree here, etc. This is not a complete list by any means but probably encapsulates many of the purported reasons for attending law school. Note how most of those responses are not particularized to legal studies. In fact, every single one of them could be used as a basis for pursuing almost any other walk of life. I want to be an engineer because I want to live a life of learning. I want to be a doctor because of the prestige. I want to be a social worker because I want to help people. This is not necessarily a bad thing; and given the finite number of realistic justifications, it is natural that they will overlap across decisions. But the truth is, if one does not dig deeper into why they want to attend law school, and instead clings to one of the above reasons, they may find themselves on the other side unhappy (whether it’s due to the crushing debt that doesn’t allow them to do what they wanted, or they find what they wanted to do wasn’t best found in the legal profession, etc.). Part of the issue is social in nature. Law school is tough! And it is prestigious! And so very few will ever question why exactly you want to become a lawyer. If you tell people you want to attend law school the overwhelming response will some variation of “that’s amazing! Go for it, that is big. What an accomplishment”. In the face of that response, it becomes hard to question exactly why one wants to go to law school once they have set on that path. Unfortunately, this locks people into a singular track before they ever seriously question why they want to go and if their reasons may be used to better justify another direction. There are many good reasons to attend law school. And many people who go should have gone. But it is my impression that there is also a non-trivial contingent that go, which probably shouldn’t have.
  26. 7 points
    All of the foreign law graduates I know of who had a relatively easy time getting articles had some pretty enviable family connections. It was their network that made the difference. Whether they articled with a family friend or at the family firm, they never had to compete in the same way the vast majority of their foreign educated peers did. If any applicant has that kind of set up going for them, their outlook is much improved.
  27. 7 points
    There are lawyers in small firms that advise in business law and manage a criminal practice. Smaller jurisdictions will have a few lawyers that are in a general practice. Many applicants don't know which areas of law that they might want to end up in and may want to sample those areas while in law school. I don't practice IP but I find copyright really fascinating and took a few courses (and even summered in the area) despite my other interests. Many people don't have access to lawyers and this site might be the only way to ask these sort of questions.
  28. 7 points
    Being thrown in is how everyone learns. COVID has made things difficult for sure but to be honest your articles don’t give you any real proficiency. The real gap is a confidence gap. And yeah, we all give new Calls a break.
  29. 7 points
    I also want to point out that the farther out dad's golfing buddies get from law school, articling, and being a junior associate, the less likely they'll be able to provide useful advice about law school and the start of one's legal career. So, in that way, this forum also serves those who would also have access to information about legal practice from other sources. Some of us stick around for a long time, but there is an underlying revolving door of law students and articling students who are living those experiences now, and that's not necessarily insight you would get from your dad's golfing buddies who articled at Heenan Blaikie.
  30. 7 points
    Chances are you won't be looking at any textbooks during the exam. During open book exams you will be looking through your notes, pre-written answers, and Condensed Annotated Notes ("CANs"). Very few profs (only 1 that I know of at U of A, at least) allowed access to any electronic documents during an exam - the exam software will lock you out of any access to docs on your hard drive and you would need a tablet or something on the side. You shouldn't really need the textbooks unless something goes terribly wrong. During a 1L exam I once had to review a textbook because I had zero idea how to answer a small question and I had allotted enough time in my exam strategy to fish through the textbook to answer it. I couldn't find the answer in there because it's like finding a needle in a haystack under pressure. However, the prof's face when I took the plastic wrap off of a textbook was pretty priceless - he realized I was cracking open the required textbook for the first time during the final.
  31. 6 points
    someone's just trying to hog all the legal work to him/herself
  32. 6 points
    So, this is pretty wild, but I got in today because two people dropped out due to Covid-19. I was #17 on the Manitoba waitlist. #107 on the standard waitlist. 72.61 index score.
  33. 6 points
    Have you ever thought to yourself, "Is there a way to be a Supreme Court Judge without caring about rules of evidence, fair procedure, stare decisis, and without risking a public excoriation by the Court of Appeal by failing to interpret and apply the law?" You're in luck! Apply to a Tribunal today! (In seriousness, I hope someone can share some insight. All I have are spitballs from the gallery towards the CRT/WCB).
  34. 6 points
    This point has been delivered in every Ryerson thread. It is an important reminder but you can't make that point as if it's never been made before then request no one be indecent.
  35. 6 points
    Law school is a trade school (albeit one that generally does a very bad job of equipping students with practical skills for their trade, IMO). If you approach law school wanting to engage in deep philosophical debates about what the law ideally should be, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Law school is fundamentally about working from an existing framework simply because the legal system does operate off of an existing framework. My experience was that certain "critical" professors would provide brief commentary on how and why they don't like certain areas of law for various ideological reasons, but ultimately they are still going to teach you what the law is and you will be expected to build off of that existing framework in exams (barring a small handful of explicitly philosophical or critical course offerings like jurisprudence, etc).
  36. 6 points
    As a new lawyer, the bar exam materials are actually pretty helpful when you're managing the entire file on your own. They don't get into much depth obviously, but they're useful for getting oriented or for not forgetting procedural issues. For example, you may be a rockstar at privilege but rusty with how discovery plans work. You can locate a summary of the rules fairly easily within the bar exam materials. Disclaimer: As you might guess, the materials from your year get less and less useful each passing year.
  37. 6 points
    Reading through the thread, a few people commented that people will notice what kind of car you drive. They will - but not in the way you might think (at least as a junior lawyer). If you roll up in an expensive car it's not that the partners are going to think you have such exquisite taste, but rather that you're being foolish with your money. You'd be much better off rolling up in a Corolla than a Lexus. Save the luxury car for once you're more established.
  38. 6 points
    I'm a big fan of this watch: I never feel quite as confident without my turtle time piece on.
  39. 6 points
    Are you seriously comparing people who survived generations of trauma in the past, and often continue to suffer from this system today, to achieving a 99th percentile on a curved exam? EDIT: To add something for OP, I agree that you probably just haven't done enough PTs. You definitely have a chance of improving to some degree with more practice.
  40. 6 points
    Let us know when you get that 175, Saint Augustine.
  41. 6 points
    Your opinion is absurd. The LSAT score is literally curved so, by definition, not everyone can get a 99.5th percentile score. If it were possible to do better by studying more, people would and the test would simply be increased in difficulty. And frankly, people do study for it. So much so that people spend thousands on tutoring and courses to improve. The argument that anyone can get any LSAT score is perhaps counter-intuitively a really shitty thing to say, because a lot of people struggle. A "you can do anything" attitude is a shitty thing to teach, because it isn't true. We're human and we have limits. To suggest otherwise is to implicitly say that any failure is a failure of character.
  42. 6 points
    The only people who would notice a Longines are people who wouldn't judge you for spending that much on a watch.
  43. 6 points
    Don’t greet UCs with a “hello Constable so-and-so” if you run into them. I've seen it happen.
  44. 6 points
    The first thing is to be respectful and compassionate at all times. Most people who deal with Crown know it isn’t personal and appreciate that you’re just doing a job. So make sure it never come across as personal or as a vendetta. Give credit where due and don’t mock or deride people from a great height: stick to the facts. In public you never acknowledge anyone unless they approach you first. In that case a brief nod and then moving away is fine. I know one Crown whose kid plays soccer with the local drug dealer’s kid. Pick up and drop off are a study in professionalism from both revolving around the unspoken agreement that they do not interact. No one is interested in making a big scene outside of court unless they are very very stupid or very very intoxicated. Calmly leaving the situation is all that is called for. Obviously you never bring up how or why you know some one, you never point anyone out to your friends or family, and you never gossip (everyone is somehow related and you might never find the full extent out).
  45. 6 points
    Was just accepted off the waitlist. I am in absolute shock, as I am registered for the LSAT on Saturday. Completely elated! 155 LSAT and 3.8 GPA. Can't wait to meet everyone!!
  46. 6 points
    I swear, every week someone asks this question instead of using the search function, and it's an inane question in the first place for the reasons that @meandtheboys addressed above. It does make inherent sense to me though that there would be a correlation between not having impressive ECs, not being motivated to engage in ECs beyond resume padding for law school, and being incapable of performing a simple search. P.S. I realize that the OP was at least polite about this, but the cynicism, self-interest and opportunism underlying the question just irks me every time.
  47. 6 points
    Ah Morgan’s. In terms of my personal impact on the legal profession that joke might be the biggest part I will have to play.
  48. 6 points
    The vast majority of averagely intelligent test takers don't reach 170, no matter how much work they do.
  49. 5 points
    To be clear, I think this is an extremely important issue, especially in light of recent events, but people who truly want to engage in meaningful discussions about diversity don't start those conversations by saying things like this:
  50. 5 points
    I wouldn't be surprised if nobody else gets accepted off the waitlist this year. I also wouldn't be surprised if 10 people get accepted on the 10th lol. Who knows, this year is such a clusterfuck of unpredictability.
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