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  1. 51 points
    Hey all, I have been using this forum for some time now and have learned a great deal through it from everybody. But I have recently come to notice a trend - comments are generally becoming more snarky, pointed, and for the lack of a better term, more aggressive. The veterans on this forum know quite a bit and it's awesome that they spend the time to share their knowledge and experience with everyone else. New users as well. But perhaps all of us can be a bit friendlier towards other posters. Sometimes certain questions or comments might sound annoying/dumb, etc, particularly for those who may be further in their legal education or career. Yes, we also get the odd trolls as well but the mods do a great job on that front. Perhaps this thread comes across as a waste of time as well, in which case the mods can lock it. But I just thought I'd share my thoughts on what I have observed, especially as we are all interested in a profession that has the fair or unfair reputation of being cold, cut throat, etc. Being a bit gentler might inspire some others who are on the fence to chime in more, which will almost certainly lead to a more inclusive and helpful board. That being said, I am certainly not a know-it-all and hope this message does not translate as such. As mentioned, I love the wealth of info that is often shared here. It is a great resource, so thanks! Cheers!
  2. 36 points
    I grew up with violence and constant poverty, spending my early years living with a single parent as her welfare coupon. My mother had serious addiction problems, continually making bad decisions and bringing in criminals to live with us, whereas my father had precarious health while facing immigration problems (he fled torture and entered Canada as an undocumented refugee and that legal fight dragged on). That was my introduction to law and it came in elementary school: appearing in court to support a protection order after one of my mother's former partners threatened to slit her and my seven year old throat, which was after he had broken in through a window to steal our stuff; being a token in messy divorce/custody proceedings; writing a victim impact statement about child sexual abuse by one of my mother's partners in the same month as I was learning what a 'paragraph' is; needing to write a statement to support immigration on humanitarian and compassionate grounds; needing to understand what I was being coerced into, e.g. refusing my mother's request to place a condom-wrapped package inside a men's restroom stall at the hospital for her partner, who was under escort by the police from jail for treatment of a self-inflicted injury so that he could smuggle in drugs to earn money; and dealing with well-intentioned yet useless social workers in/out of foster care (including a foster parent who was subsequently convicted for sexually abusing dozens of victims). When you're in that kind of situation and you don't have a voice -- with nobody fighting on your behalf -- the law just feels oppressive while it decides every facet of your life for you: who you live with, whether there's any food in the fridge, whether you can sleep safely tonight, whether your father remains in the country, etc. I escaped the cycle of poverty only after I found my own voice. I became interested in law out of that necessity and those circumstances bred ambition, academic curiosity, and perseverance. In school I was fairly STEM-minded and I pursued a STEM undergrad, not really knowing where I'd end up -- graduating high school was more than my parents or siblings ever managed, so just getting into undergrad was ambitious. That said, my underlying interest in law never subsided and an internship during my undergrad gave me the opportunity to do good for others through the law. Afterwards I participated in a couple related undergrad ECs and then worked in a few law-related jobs. There was a point as a legal assistant where I was nearly doing the entirety of our senior lawyer's job -- dealing with clients, evaluating what immigration programs clients were eligible for, collecting and combing through their documents, identifying/addressing issues and drafting submissions, and preparing complete applications and presenting for his review/signature (and seldom did he ever have any to make) -- at which point I realized I probably do have what it takes and that it would be worth the investment. And so here I am, off to law school... (Apologies for oversharing. I hope to encourage anyone who doesn't fit in with the other backgrounds posted here to know you're not alone and everyone's journey is different.)
  3. 30 points
    I just got an offer for articling that I accepted and decided to graph my job hunt using a Sankey Diagram. Apologies for the bad colour coding, I used a web tool that didn't have a ton of customization. Rejections include times where firms just didn't respond. I also would have sent significantly fewer applications if not for the pandemic, as I had an opportunity that evaporated due to the circumstances.
  4. 30 points
    ah yes, nothing says "image of success" like a 19.99$ H&M blouse.
  5. 22 points
    "Why do you practice in the area you do, and how did you get there?" I stare at the wall and ask myself this question all the time.
  6. 22 points
    I am pretty sure OP is not an attractive woman but is someone trying to see if an attractive woman would have an advantage over others. Women don't usually refer to themselves as "females" and if we're buying Jimmy Choos, we're not pairing them with an H&M blouse. 😉
  7. 22 points
    OP, I have been in your shoes and I had the exact same mindset you had. I got good grades, participated heavily in law school, worked hard and got to the final interview stages with many of the downtown law firms but unfortunately could not secure articling. It also ate away at my confidence and in my case I had huge family problems at the exact same time. Eventually I did find an articling position through a cold application after the bar exam and surprisingly it gave me an opportunity to work in an appellate setting that I was not expecting during articling. Hopefully the advice I can give will help you through this rough patch in your long legal career: 1. Don't isolate yourself from your friends, family or colleagues. I told everyone in my network about my situation and what resulted was a large group of people went to bat for me in finding articling possibilities and putting in a good word for me. My law school professors, associates/partners at firms and a couple of the Bay Street recruiters went above and beyond to help me out. What I learned from that collective effort is that although interviewers may not have seen my true potential, the people that truly mattered already believed in me. I am confident the people in your network will likely be there for you if you ask for the help. 2. Be patient with the process. Some of my classmates did not secure articling until late November-December - surprisingly they ended up at firms they wanted to land at during the OCI process. I have met lawyers who graduated during the 2008 financial crisis, whom did not secure articling for almost a year. Those lawyers are now at mid to large downtown firms and one now runs the litigation department at his firm. With the current pandemic it may delay the hiring process, but once the pandemic subsides you will start to see firms open up their recruitment as they evaluate their post-COVID-19 legal needs. 3. It's okay to feel this way. I have yet to meet a single person that wouldn't feel dejected after putting a lot of effort into something. That being said, there are constructive ways to release your frustration: exercise, talk with mental health counsellors, etc. I have encountered classmates that did not release their frustration in the best of ways and unfortunately it amplified their problem even more because it made people reluctant to help them out. 4. You are already developing a trait that some lawyers do not possess: resilience. This will be useful in your legal career as you will find dealing with setbacks easier to manage. 5. Take a break from the job search for a couple hours in the day. Take up a hobby or do something fun because it will improve your mood. You may not realize this but having a good mood really shows itself in an interview - the same goes for having a bad mood. I know this because one my associate friends interviewed a colleague of mine from another Ontario law school and I learned that mood was the reason why my colleague was rejected - not the grades, experience, etc. Anyways hopefully this helps and keep us posted on the search.
  8. 19 points
    I like watching the failings of heterosexuality so family law was a natural fit. ☺️ In all seriousness, my strength and interests lie in people/client management. I enjoy breaking down complex legalese and help manage emotion. Family law is very emotional and I get to be the person who can be a stabilizing actor in turbulent times. Family law also lends itself to my collaborative approach to law. Family is also a very hands on field. I'm not lost in esoteric and abstract laws - there are many common sense solutions that exist. Plus I feel like I am directly involved in making change to my clients. (Obvs only talking about the positives/reasons I chose this field - many annoyances/frustrations too!).
  9. 16 points
    I’m deeply passionate about helping institutional clients figure out how to make more money, keep the money they have, or get the money someone else has. cc: @Diplock
  10. 16 points
    OH MY GOD YOU GUYS GO HUG A BUNNY
  11. 16 points
    Guys I know it is really stressful....trust me, I'm just as upset and stressed but what I've been doing to calm myself down especially with these delays is set a date that I will genuinely allow myself to be upset and worried. My date is June 27th where if I don't hear back, I can be upset for that day and talk about how upset I am and order my favourite food and just binge watch my favourite show as a way to get over it. I don't recommend constantly being upset about it because at the end of the day, what's going to happen is eventually going to happen. It's best to let it go for now and be happy about the fact that we get to live to see another day, surrounded with friends, family and we also have the opportunity to apply to law school. We are all very terrific outstanding people and we should be proud and acknowledge that regardless of what ANY school says ❤️❤️❤️ Let's add some positivity during this time
  12. 15 points
    @BQ - Context matters. And the arguments you are deploying here are exactly what causes me to boycott the "off topic" section of this site, and why I just stop participating in certain discussions. I'm not going to parse what I said and meant vs. what you said and meant. I know what I mean, and it's obvious what you mean. Even if we're using the same words, we're saying different things. And that's obvious. Picking out individual phrases and starting a debate about them doesn't help us at all, it just distracts from what is otherwise a meaningful discussion. Here's the bone I want to throw you, however, as everyone dog piles on you in a semi-deserved fashion. I don't think you actually disrespect what I do. I just think you don't understand it. Not remotely as much as you think you do. And the same goes for other, related areas of law. You work in an area of law (or aspire to - what year are you in again?) where success is defined by working for the biggest clients with the most money. I mean, correct me if I'm wrong (there's an equal danger I'm out-of-touch with other practice areas) but I don't think I am. That simply isn't true in other areas of law. You're trying to impose a rubric on poverty-type legal work that simply doesn't fit. And while you may come across as offensive, the only thing I find offensive about your posts on these subjects is that you can't accept that you really don't get what you're in no position to get. Ironically, this may be very helpful towards answering the OP's questions. Because this is the debate, in a nutshell. Law students want to imagine there's a hierachy in legal practice. They look for it everywhere. And even the ones drawn to "public interest" law keep chasing the dragon of prestige, like they think Amal Clooney might one day participate in OCIs and recruit them in the same way a Bay Street firm might do so. Here's the bottom line. Helping poor, vulnerable, and marginalized people is never prestigious. And you know why? Because prestige is a social construct. It exists in the minds of the people around us and nowhere else. And when you are working to help clients that most people don't give a shit about, there is absolutely no way to do that in a way that makes other people think what you do is important. Anyway, I'm done here. And honestly, the reason I rail against misconceptions in the minds of people like BQ who do or aspire to do mainstream business-type law isn't because I feel disrespected by you. I mean, most lawyers of that type probably don't respect what I do very much. But fuck em. I don't need or particularly want their respect. It's because there are students in law school, and on this forum, who need to hear from me much more than they need to hear from you. And I really don't give a shit what you think about my practice or of lawyers like me. I just wish you'd stop thinking you have it figured out, when you very clearly do not.
  13. 15 points
    Family Law - I grew up in a family marred with fist-sized holes in walls, mismatched dish sets, Children's Aid Society calls, weeks of silence, and a perpetually empty fridge. I was raised in a culture where violence is politely kept indoors. This is why I care about family law because a carefully considered parenting plan and support regime can mean the world for a child.
  14. 15 points
    Okay, I've been wanting to post something here all day, since this showed up in the afternoon. And I'm still not done working (perhaps itself an indictment of the legal profession) but I don't want to let people keep mocking the OP's concerns. Because while I don't share them, I see a basis in them that others may have missed. And economic privilege absolutely plays a role. You can run the numbers on a legal career and in the end they look pretty good. They look good despite the unconscionable inflation of tuition in recent years. They'd look good even if (and likely when) tuition continues to balloon far faster than inflation. And on that basis it's easy to laugh off this sort of concern. Or to greet it with a sort of shrug and a "yeah, it sucks, but don't worry you'll make it back." And that attitude misses the real reasons why students who do not come from wealth are not attending law school. Let's turn this question around for a moment. If the concern isn't real, why are law schools so predominantly filled with students who come from privileged backgrounds? Do you think it's because poorer students have no interest in law? Are inherently less talented? (Note - I particularly love the eugenics-based argument where deployed - that the children of the already wealthy are just inherently and genetically superior). Do you put it all down to pre-law school advantages? Some of it is that last part, yes. Existing advantage can pave the way to law school with tutors, LSAT prep, privileged connections, etc. Yes, that happens too. You know what else happens a lot? Potential applicants who could attend law school if they wished to are simply scared as fuck of the debt they need to take on to do it. Sticker shock is real. It doesn't matter that the math bears out after 10, 15, or 20 years of working life. Speaking as someone who had trouble making rent in my early 20's, on minimum wage jobs, the idea of being in tens of thousands of dollars of debt - never mind the six figures we're looking at now - was fucking terrifying. I was broke, but at least I wasn't saddled with debt I had no hope of repaying. We can look at the average outcomes of legal graduates and see it works out for most. But what about the remainder? Students who come from wealth and privilege know that when push comes to shove, they have a safety net. The rest of us don't. When I was in those same early 20's, to my great embarrassment, I had to ask my father one month to help with the minimal rent I was paying on a place I shared with two other guys. I'll never forget how terrible I felt when he had to tell me he didn't have the money to lend me. Law is becoming a profession of the wealthy and privileged. The very profession that is entrusted with protecting the rights of all people in society is looking less and less representative of the people in society - at least from the perspective of economic privilege. And that is both disgusting and disturbing. This issue cannot be laughed off by people who've never had to worry about who could help them make rent if they can't make it themselves. It can't be solved by larger loans and lines of credit. We are, absolutely, fucking scaring the hell out of students from poorer backgrounds who'd attend law school if they could, but absolutely can't risk - can't even conceive - of how they'll pay off the loans required if they don't end up landing a good job afterwards. My advice to the OP is simple. Take the loans, take your chances, and go to law school. The rich (and their children) keep getting richer exactly because they take these chances and play the odds - which are actually good odds in the end - and they don't have to worry about the downside so much if they lose. The downside will scare you. You'd be an idiot if you weren't scared by it. But use that and work hard. Then when you get there, remember where you came from.
  15. 14 points
    The curse of online law school dating. You know you can find happiness somewhere that wants you, but what about that good looking law school with those prestigious curves in all the right places.
  16. 14 points
    Did you forget about having acceptance deadlines when you applied to undergrad? What about the fairness to other applicants who are waiting for even one offer, while you are potentially holding on to two? If you accept Osgoode and turn down Ottawa, who is going to take your spot at Ottawa so close to the Fall start date? There are deadlines for a reason. Get used to the concept because it is very relevant to being a lawyer.
  17. 13 points
    You specifically said above that routine clinic work is something no one wants to do but that some people settle for it because they can't get jobs on Bay St. You are wrong about a lot of things on this site (often because you're spouting off about what legal practice is like even though you have never done it), but not usually this wrong.
  18. 12 points
    Well, you can either do law, or more prestigiously pretend to do law. I can't deny there are pros and cons associated with each, but it really is that simple to me. And the choice you make between them will definitely help you identify your priorities.
  19. 12 points
    No, it looks like Johnstone & Cowling LLP still has all their lawyers http://www.johnstonecowling.com/
  20. 11 points
    Also, the term is routine. I regularly handle routine family law issues that are straight forward in a legal sense (though emotion may make it more complicated). Terminology.
  21. 11 points
    Diplock, you are not a well adjusted practising lawyer.
  22. 11 points
    This is going to be meta: no one here can provide you with legal advice.
  23. 11 points
    I had fun in law school through moots, pubnights, mock trial, sports games, etc. but none of it has helped me like doing real legal work has - both for my personal benefit in reminding me at low points why I went to law school in the first place, and also for the results I was able to achieve for my clients. Imagine the feeling as a law student, to have a mentally ill client tell you that you saved their life. Imagine seeing their tears, desperation, joy, sadness, and anger. One of my clients was an alcoholic who had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital, after they passed out drinking at the clinic. Boy did I learn a lot about life from this person. 99% of my clients saw me as a lawyer, not as a law student. They did not know what the difference was, or even care. All they knew was that I was helping to make their lives better. A little easier. These are people who do not just have legal problems, but struggle to put food on the table and a roof over their head. There were clients who even named their newborn babies after students that had helped them. I had clients who bused for hours to come see me for 10 minutes. The stakes are real for them. This isn't just about building work experience or having fun. It's about saving people's lives. Getting clients their ODSP payments on time matters. Getting a NCR status for someone can protect them from spending time in prison, or being deported for criminal inadmissibility. You have no idea the impact and power you hold as a law student. What may seem like a small matter to you, may be life crippling to someone else. In conclusion, clinicals in law school taught me about humanity. We need more law students to engage in this kind of work, and not shy away from it for superficial prestige and to have fun, in my opinion. OP should do both. There is no reason why one can't do both moots and clinicals in 3 years of law school. Working at a clinic is not just for law students wanting to pursue poverty law, social justice, and public interest work. It can also help you figure out your own moral compass and how to engage with people who are not in the same social and economic class as you are.
  24. 11 points
    I'll be straight with you. This may suck a lot for you now, but is really a blessing in disguise. While getting into law school is a major accomplishment in itself, your journey and hustle does not end there. You need to be able to perform in law school. You need to be able to keep up with your classmates. You need to be able to churn out cover letters, resumes, and application materials for jobs, clinics, research positions, etc. on the fly. Even if you faked your English language abilities to get into law school, you would only struggle once you got there. How do you attend an English-language law school in Canada with weak English writing abilities? This makes absolutely no sense. Lawyers are fluent in language in all its forms, more than the general population. Your English writing ability is seriously lacking now, to the points where even the average population not in law school writes better than you. The admissions committees are doing you a massive favour by not admitting you at this point in time. Improve your English, then reapply. You don't want to fake your way into law school, only to get chewed up and spit out alive.
  25. 11 points
    Where did they say it was?
  26. 11 points
    “Throughout my work as a social worker I witnessed the impacts that the legal system had on the quotidian lives of communities that are socially or economically marginal. Whilst social work has provided me with a trove of tools for front-line practice, I am keenly aware of a legal education’s ability to vastly broaden and deepen the impact I could have on issues of social inequality. This awareness defines my goal to centre my study of law on socially and economically marginalized communities.” Good lord. He should have been rejected for writing this statement. Whilst troving the marginal quotidian vastness I ended up on Bay Street.
  27. 11 points
    It’s all starting to make sense, though. OP is clearly an overweight guy with a triple chin who has recently suffered from a midlife crisis. This has lead him to wear a cheap suit from Moore’s every day while he completes his trucking route, and has even extended to considering a career shift into going to law school, where he will attend an Australian JD, complete a Harvard LLM, then get an SJD before returning triumphantly to Canada to usher in a new golden age of scholastic achievement in public and constitutional law.
  28. 11 points
    What the eff is the PATH? We aren’t ALL in Toronto.
  29. 11 points
    Most Ontario graduates secure articles by the time they graduate, but not all. Many that do secure articles are paid very poorly – minimum wage articles are common in some fields, and unpaid articles aren’t uncommon (although they’ll be banned by the time you finish law school). If you have further questions, it’s probably best to start a new thread, since further discussion of how common it is to have articles by graduation is likely to upset OP unnecessarily.
  30. 10 points
    Do the moot, because your list of pros and cons illustrates that you don't care at all about the people the clinic serves, so it would be better for everyone involved for the slot to go to someone who does.
  31. 10 points
    Web admin now wondering why the site is getting so many hits from across the country today.
  32. 9 points
    Username does not check out.
  33. 9 points
    FWIW, since the OP wanted to know about other lawyers' impressions of PI: Knowing a few PI lawyers, having some mutual clients, and being vaguely familiar with their practices, ethos, etc., I do not hold PI lawyers in poor regard at all. Most of them are honest and hardworking like anyone else. They're usually motivated by a desire to help victims, especially if the victim in question is the "little guy" with no one else to advocate for them. I've come to view personal injury lawyers as kind of like criminal defence lawyers who wanted also to make some money.
  34. 9 points
    Every Career Services Department should make a poster out of this graphic and hang it on the front door.
  35. 9 points
    This was always a strange question. You phrase the question in terms where you are worried your other activities can't demonstrate your area(s) of interest, but then as an aside throw in the fact that you have no areas of interest? Isn't that the more fundamental issue? People who are actually interested in things aren't confused about how to, you know, pursue their interests. They may have very specific questions that sometimes need answers, but nothing this basic. Your issue is that you need to figure out why you're even in law school. Let me correct and/or disagree with one point that's been made here. This is a problem, and will be a problem in interviews and in even deciding which interviews you want to be in, except for "big law" (tm). The reason "big law" can obscure any demonstrated interest in any kind of legal practice is because the process is so generalized it's built on the assumption that come on, doesn't everyone want to work for big corporations? Isn't it every law student's dream in life to learn how to merge corporation A with corporation B in a way that minimizes the tax they must pay to the government and therefore puts more money in the pockets of shareholders? Who wouldn't want to do that? There are two related problems with this. First, it isn't really true to begin with, or even realistic. I'm not here to mock people who do tax, or M&A, or "big law" in any other form. But some people enjoy doing this, while others don't. Skipping over the question with some blithe assumption that it's what everyone wants and should want leads quite a lot of otherwise bright and capable students into jobs they hate and are badly suited for. I'm personally convinced this is where a lot of the big law burn out comes from. Second, I can promise you that big law is the only sort of job you'll ever apply to where no one asks about your interests. You are never going to be in an interview for a job with a family law practice, of a criminal defence lawyer, or probably even personal injury, where all you say is "look, I have pretty decent grades and so you want to hire me for whatever the hell it is you do, even though I have no background in it at all, but since I'm pretty smart I'm sure I can be good at it." No one else adopts this approach. Which is exactly why students such as yourself who wash out of the OCI recruit (which may or may not happen in your case) end up completely screwed. Because they keep expecting their not-quite-strong-enough grades are going to entitle them to a job in the next rung down the ladder. They don't realize that my practice isn't somehow inferior to big law and it's what you do when you can't merge corporation A with corporation B. It's fundamentally different. This is a real problem. It isn't something you should laugh off or dismiss with some wave saying "whatever, no one else really knows why they're in law school either - someone will come along later and pay us all a lot of money to do...something...and then it'll make sense." Motivations and interests do matter. And it's not remotely true that everyone else in law school is also waiting for a future employer to inform them of what they'll be paid to do for the rest of their working careers. Many people do have it figured out already, and more will figure it out soon. Look, rather than continue with this lecture, let's make it this simple. You asked Luckycharm if a lack of ECs etc. caused any problems with securing the job he (she?) desired, and you seemed relieved when the answer was no. Here's the more fundamental question. Do you know what sort of job you desire? And if yes, what's that based on? Why don't we start there.
  36. 9 points
    I have a fairly broad commercial litigation practice. How I got here: It's an annoying response, but I kind of fell into it. I didn't know what I wanted to do when I started law school. By halfway through 2L, I knew I liked litigation (thanks to mooting), but didn't know what kind; I thought I was leaning toward labour & employment. Ended up with a 2L summer job in securities litigation (don't ask me how, I have zero idea), and was surprised to really enjoy it. But I didn't want to pigeonhole myself in the area, so I did the articling recruit and wound up at a broader litigation boutique. Quickly knew I liked commercial litigation best, so I shmoozed with the commercial lit lawyers and managed to make my articling year mostly filled with commercial lit work. Got hired back, and went on my way. Why I love it (and I do love it): Lots of reasons. I always loved contract law in school, and most of my work is contract-based. I prefer working with relatively sophisticated, corporate clients. I prefer working on cases where money is what's at stake, rather than someone's health or family or freedom. I like cases that let me make complex, nuanced legal arguments and challenge me intellectually, which my work does (of course, different people will feel challenged or inspired by different things). I like doing arguments in court that are heavily document-based. I like variety in my work/files, which my practice provides. I like having freedom and opportunity to do business development in whatever style I like best.
  37. 9 points
    I also knew what I wanted to do before going to law school--in my case, criminal law, with emphasis on police accountability and wrongful conviction advocacy. I had zero interest in any other area of law and would rather kill myself than work at Blakes (no disrespect to my very intelligent, interesting, and kind-hearted friends who are inexplicably interested in wasting their lives there). I had prior relevant work experience, which allowed me to easily get into relevant volunteer experience, which allowed me to easily get into relevant clinics and jobs. What I love about it is that I get to help people very directly, the files I work are almost always interesting, the criminal bar is full of mavericks and weirdos with great senses of humour, and I get exposure to the extremes of the human condition and therefore I get perspective on everything. With that said, as you may have noticed above, I'm extremely biased, my interests are quite narrow, and I would never have gone to law school without a specific practice area in mind, so your mileage may vary and I'm probably not a great person to guide lost law students.
  38. 9 points
    This thread reminds me of a video of fools in Manhattan partying it up with no physical distancing or masks, and Governor Cuomo saying "Don't make me come down there!" Well, I'm here and I'm telling all of you to knock it off. If anyone has any actual helpful advice for @Zoye then feel free to offer it, but the back and forth and other commentary is now finished. Thanks.
  39. 9 points
    If you’re at a firm that’s wearing suits and ties still while working from home, I’d also suggest you plan to run once you’ve finished your summer as that’s psychotic.
  40. 9 points
    Hello all! I hope you are all doing great. I remember how excruciating it can be to wait for the Faculty’s decision. To help you cope with the wait, I decided I would share a little family story with you all. When my dad applied to law school, back in 1989, he knew his application was not very competitive. He decided to give it a shot anyways. He was expecting to be rejected by the faculty. However, and to his surprise, he was waitlisted. He then saw a lot of his co-applicants getting admitted, while his application remained on the ice. As time passed, he gradually lost hope he would ever get into law school (he only applied to one faculty, and decided he would not try again, should he not be admitted). July came, and still no response from the faculty. By then, he had resigned himself. Demoralized, he found himself a job and basically stopped thinking about law school altogether. Just one week before law school was scheduled to start, the faculty called and told him there was a spot for him if he was still interested. He immediately accepted the offer. He is a lawyer to this day. Bottom line: do not give up hope just yet. McGill is known to be slow in their admission process. Given COVID, you can expect even more delays than usual. Thus, as of today, it would be premature for any of you to conclude you are not getting in. Do not draw any conclusion; let the Faculty do so. Try not to worry too much; it will not help, and it will psychologically hurt you. Instead, try and enjoy your summer as much as possible, while it lasts Best of luck to all of you. Feel free to send me private messages if you have any questions. I am always happy to help. G.
  41. 9 points
    I don't want to derail, but just to address @jatthopefullawyer's point, in a way that I believe will be reassuring rather than upsetting to the OP (insofar as my point is that they aren't alone in their situation): Some close friends of mine who I know for a fact have either high B+ or low A- averages (they won course awards, interviewed for appellate-level clerkships, etc--and for reference this is at a school that curves to a B) and extensive volunteering and clinical experience, are still looking for articles. Some other friends who I know are in the bottom 10% of the class, have less impressive ECs, and to be blunt just clearly aren't as smart or hardworking as my unemployed friends, have secured articles. So no, getting decent grades and participating in ECs (which, btw, almost every law student does), doesn't guarantee you anything. You will still need to hustle and grind to ensure things pan out for you. Getting strong grades will leave more doors open for certain competitive positions, to be able to put one's foot forward, but it won't guarantee anything. ECs are a way of showing interest in specific practice areas and building connections, and not much more than that from an employability standpoint. There is definitely a correlation between grades and rate and quality of articling prospects, but it's far from determinative. The thing is, it's a crapshoot. Student A could have just barely not made the cut for a dozen different OCI, clerkship and boutique positions (e.g. ranked number 5 when they are hiring 4 students) and ended up with nothing, while Student B could have been not been looked at seriously by anywhere they applied/interviewed except for a single firm where they really clicked with their interviewer and got an offer. Student A probably is more talented and marketable overall, but Student B ultimately ended up with better outcomes. Students tend to try to look for far more logic and rigidity in this process than there actually is. P.S. - This is completely anecdotal, but it's definitely been a noticeable trend in my experience that the absolute gems I know who haven't been scooped up yet tend to be quiet, taciturn, deadpan people who I believe would have difficulty conveying interest and connecting with interviewers effectively. I didn't use the word "introverted" because I don't think that's necessarily an issue if you can play the game and/or sincerely demonstrate passion for the area you're interviewing with respect to. But if you're someone who this would be a problem for, I'd suggest it would be important to try to work on.
  42. 8 points
    A reminder to all - no one here is really that anonymous. Take a minute to imagine your post history becomes a morning read for your boss / prof / the admissions committee. In the last two weeks we have dealt with a number of posters opening themselves up to potential offline consequences. Since this whole forum is built on a belief that people can easily self moderate and that they deserve the reputations they earn, we don’t allow anyone to delete their post history. This is not meant to scare anyone. But if it scares you, maybe think over any future posts here very carefully... your future self (and the mods) will thank you for it.
  43. 8 points
    You're going to piss people off if you insist on continuing to refer to some work as "high end" or "low end" as if there's some universally agreed-upon measure of merit. And whether intentional or not, these descriptors imply a value judgment about the lawyer doing the work. There are legal minds doing what you call "low end" work at public interest law clinics who could run intellectual circles around the dude at Blakes working on the multi-million dollar transaction. There are Q.C.'s and highly skilled litigators who choose to run a volume-based practice of PI files. Even if there is a weak correlation between certain types of legal work and the competence of the lawyer doing that work... generalize at your peril. "High value," "multi-party," "corporate," "institutional" - these are all objective descriptors of legal work. "Complex" is less clear-cut but still reasonably objective. Most well-adjusted practising lawyers have disabused themselves of the prestige fixation that seems to plague students. So use the descriptors you hear lawyers using, not law students. Or continue to refer to work as "high end" and "low end." Do you. But it's super imprecise, and you will likely offend people, as you have here.
  44. 8 points
    These are not my personal beliefs, just what I have observed over the years. There is an impression among lawyers and law students that PI and insurance defence are easier practice areas to get into. Everyone knows the difficulty of landing one of the few M&A and securities jobs out there. But with PI, there are a lot of firms that do it and the Toronto articling recruit is 70% made up of PI and insurance defence firms. There are many PI firms that hire unpaid articling students as well outside of the recruitment processes. Many of my peers who did not have the best grades in law school and no particular interest in any area of law, naturally gravitated towards PI and insurance defence. Many foreign trained lawyers go into personal injury law; Jeremy Diamond is the staple example of someone who can attend one of the worst law schools in the United States and make it big in personal injury law in Canada. I cannot think of many foreign trained lawyers in other practice areas that are as well renowned as he is. So generally speaking, I think if something is more easily accessible like personal injury law is, lawyers and law students being the competitive and high-achieving people they are, do not view it as highly. It is not that securities and M&A are necessarily better areas of law to practice than PI. You defend injured parties in one and corporations in another. If anything, the practice of defending injured parties is the more altruistic role. So the stigma against personal injury law among lawyers and law students is largely psychological and not really based in merit or fact.
  45. 8 points
    My sister was graduating law school as I was graduating high school. She would tell me about the things she was learning and I thought it was all very fascinating. I went into undergrad pretty sure that I wanted to go to law school too. Funny story about how my sister ended up going to law school. She got a science degree and was trying to register for the MCAT but the website was always down, so she said screw it and registered for the LSAT.
  46. 8 points
  47. 8 points
    (Just a note that I hid a half dozen posts that were some truly bizarre derail from a poster we won't be seeing much of anymore. Carry on.)
  48. 8 points
    I can’t imagine working in a firm where people care what you wear for the 20 steps between the elevator and your office.
  49. 8 points
    Yes. You have interpreted what I'm saying exactly correctly. In a world where definitions do matter, and in any discussion where wealthy and not has any meaning at all, it's important that we are talking about the same thing as much as possible. Let me put it another way. There could possibly be a discussion where the topic of who feels wealthy and who feels poor is what's most relevant. In a discussion of that nature, all you have to do is ask how someone feels and you have the relevant information. In any other context, what matters is the truth, and not how someone feels about it. Look. I've had this conversation so many times I'm tired of it myself. Economic class is a real identity. Your implicit argument is that it's all too complicated to really think about, and so we might as well pretend that economic privilege doesn't exist. If someone feels strapped because they can only afford a $2m home in Toronto and not the $4m home they feel entitled to, then they're obviously not well-off, right? And worrying about how to pay the mortgage on that $4m home, if you go all-in and find it hard to make the payments, that's basically the same experience as struggling to pay rent on a basement apartment, right? Definitions do matter. Truth matters. Reality matters. And economic privilege is real. It isn't a subjective feeling that exists only in the minds of people who choose to care about money and can just as easily be ignored. And quite honestly, the only people who can possibly believe that's true, in a conversation where your attention has been explicitly drawn to it, are the ones who'd really rather not examine their privilege. Because sooner or later it will lead to a conversation about whether or not everything you've got, on a level playing field, would still be yours. And no one ever wants to have that conversation if they can avoid it.
  50. 8 points
    Personally, when companies and other institutions decide to weigh in on these issues without either (1) having a venerable history as an ally (e.g. having many long-standing policies and practices in support of the cause) or (2) committing to action-oriented policies and practices in support of the cause going forward, it comes off as quite opportunist and trashy. They're very clearly using a popular, serious cause for PR purposes and to stay relevant, yet not positively advancing the cause they purport to believe in. Systematic change does require getting companies and institutions on board, but a tweet or changing your logo on LinkedIn doesn't cut it. If you want the positive PR associated with a cause you've never made any strides towards before, at the very least you should be making meaningful commitments.
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