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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/21/19 in all areas

  1. 5 points
    I'll do my best to keep this from being a long and convoluted story, especially since I'm writing it by phone! What follows might be a bit syrupy, but I would have wanted to hear it last November, so here goes. There are going to be a lot of people over the next month telling you not to stress out over your first exams: that they don't matter that much, that a bad mark is not the end of the world. Do me a favour. Listen to those people. My first mark at law school was a big, stinky C. The mark itself looked and felt like an open wound from a shattered beer bottle. It was the only mark I had in my pocket as I went home for the December holidays. I got to listen to the lamentations of my classmates at the end-of-term party: "I feel so stupid! I've never had a B+ in my life!" "Well, at least it's not a C+, man, that would be a kick in the face." "Ha! Yeah, that's basically code for, 'get out of law school'." It was humiliating, depressing, and stressful in the extreme. Questions started to float, especially as my exam marks started coming back with Bs --- and those were the good ones. Was it a huge mistake to come to law school? Should I ever have quit that great job? Am I really so much dumber than everyone else? What I didn't realize at the time was that just like me, anyone else who went through the same thing was too humiliated to talk about it. But I wasn't alone, and these things do happen. Now, for the point! Most of you will do beautifully, and rock the hell out of your exams. That's what curves do. Almost all of you will ride those exams like an insolent mule and stagger lopingly into the ruby sunset. But for those of you that do start slow, like me, don't lose faith in yourselves. You got this far for a reason, and no one gets into law school that can't hack it. (Though whether they want to is another matter.) I promise, there really is such thing as a slow start, and you WILL get better. Looking back on my notes, I can actually see the transformation around Valentine's Day. You won't notice it happening, and you will probably still feel like you bombed your finals, but you'll actually learn a lot from your first term and turn out more awesome than you think. I got the word yesterday; I'm off to my favourite firm on Bay Street. I would have never thought it was possible any time last year, in the pressure cooker that is 1L. So please, do your families and friends a favour in the slim chance you're a slow starter too --- don't beat yourself up. It gets better, a lot better, and in the big picture your first term marks often couldn't be more irrelevant. Really. No, really. Shut up. Really. There's more than enough paranoia to go around in 1L, but the truth is you'll be exponentially better educated in April than you can be in December, and when it comes time to find work, people are going to hire you, not your transcript. So, I suppose, I'm putting this up in case anyone feels like they've had a catastrophe in January, or after exams. If you can't find anyone to talk to anonymously, please do send me a PM. People can go from the bottom of the class to the top. I know many who did, and I'm one of them. I bombed my first term, bombed December, and came back with enough rocket power that I absolutely shocked myself when our grades came back. Now the sun's in the sky and I couldn't be happier. So get out there and give 'em hell, 1Ls! You'll be amazing! And even in the off chance you're a little (or a lot!) less than stellar, trust me --- it's far from over, and the wide horizon is still swelling before you. Though you will feel like cat vomit ground into shag carpeting. That's just what's up, I'm not going to lie, but once you get over the shock, I swear: those exams have definitely not heard the last of you!
  2. 3 points
    I was really busy around application time and had less than a week to write personal statements. I had midterms, papers due, studying for the lsat, and was in a bad place mentally. I essentially wrote about how I was so smart I didn’t try in undergrad and still did very well and would surely be at the top of my class one I found something I cared about (aka the law). I think I said something along the lines of my life goal being to dominate intellectually at something and I thought that something was the law. I would have straight up rejected me if I were them (I was waitlisted). It was probably the most humbling experience of my life. I am no longer an asshole and got into UBC and western so far this cycle
  3. 3 points
    You were told this by someone at the firm? Summer student classes aren’t even that big. And if I didn’t already have doubts that this was true, the fact that you referred to students at a seven sister firm as “summer associates” makes this post really suspect. Sure firms have cultures but don’t spread stupid rumours
  4. 3 points
    Graduated with around 180k debt. Currently on a first year government salary. No regrets. No pain, no gain. 😀
  5. 3 points
    Ignoring all ethical, moral, and legal elements, I have to point out the OP's boss seems quite stupid. They are paying a lawyer's salary for high school tutor work. I'm pretty certain I could find companies online willing to write an essay for $50...maybe there's a reason the office has no work.
  6. 3 points
    Going to have to reset the "How to spend a Bay street salary" thread.
  7. 2 points
    I would recommend khan academy LSAT prep! It's completely free and it helped me get from a 152 to a 176 in 5 weeks.
  8. 2 points
    Huh? Law students don't know fuck all. The reason they hire them is to find out where they fit in, at which point they're forced to...specialize. In fact, big firms seem to do exactly what you suggest, more than any small firm would.
  9. 2 points
    My two cents: you don't get a good sense of a firm's actual culture until a few months into articling. Anyone who's still in law school and telling you about a firm's culture is basing it on either second hand information or a very limited amount of time at the firm.
  10. 2 points
    No one can answer this question. The number of hours it takes one person will not be the number of hours it takes another person. And the same person may take a completely different number of hours to receive an H in one class than another. Also, even if they knew they exact number of hours they had studied, there would be significant variation within these hours in terms of active studying time (as opposed to time spent staring off into space, checking Twitter, etc.). People also notoriously overreport or underreport the amount of work they do in law school for a variety of reasons. Also, even if someone who got an H were able to tell you exactly how many hours they studied, they have no idea how many hours it would have taken them to get an H. For example, could they have studied 10% fewer hours and still received an H? 20%?
  11. 2 points
    OP, you seem pretty adamant about pursuing law regardless of what people here are saying. What was the point of this?
  12. 2 points
  13. 2 points
    Accepted Today Applied in September LSAT- 159 GPA- 3.5 Extensive ECs, Years of Work Experience, Good References Will be accepting, see you guys in September!
  14. 2 points
    I think you're really trying to avoid difficult courses, but don't want to admit it.
  15. 2 points
    This definitely does not sound ideal. Start looking for a new job ASAP. If you absolutely cannot bear to stay at this place any longer due to mental health reasons, then quit now. Your health should be #1. Although it is easier to find a job when you already have one, I've seen plenty of lawyers land on their feet without too big of a gap on their resumes when looking for a job while unemployed, be it due to being let go, contract work expiring, leaving on their own terms, etc. You'll be fine. Don't let fear keep you in a damaging situation. But make no mistake about it. If you can tough this out while lining up another role - do it.
  16. 2 points
    There's a dropdown menu above where your status is that shows you what each status means.
  17. 2 points
    Okay, I'm going to give you some very important information to start, and slide gradually into opinion. I know it's hard to separate fact from perspective, at times, so I want to start by acknowledging the slippage. As a fact, the sorts of legal practice you will most easily be exposed to in law school - in both official terms and unofficially through other students talking about what they are aware of and engaged with - is skewed heavily towards business-oriented legal practice. And this is an inaccurate view of the legal market as a whole. No one is doing this intentionally and it's not a conspiracy, but it does happen as a strong trend nonetheless. The simple fact is that some kinds of law happen primarily in the context of large and organized employers and other kinds of law happen primarily in the context of smaller legal practices, often sole practitioners. Your CDO is eager to bring you every contact and opportunity that they can, but they can't get every individual lawyer to play ball with their processes. Small shops don't hire their students a year in advance so that they can participate in OCIs. A two-person operation sure as hell isn't sending someone around to every law school in the province to conduct on-campus interviews. And so the predictable consequence is, what you see is skewed badly towards what happens in large firms. Now, students routinely fuck one another's heads (and their own) into imagining that if they want to have a career at all they need to get on board with these large employers and do business-oriented law. The groupthink gets intense. Again, it's not intentional, but it's powerful. Particularly, the biggest problem is that because large and organized employers hire far earlier in the cycle, any student whose interests don't align with the work these employers do feels immense pressure to not pass up the chance to apply to jobs they don't even want. They pass on that pressure to others, and you end up in the situation you've just described. Often, students don't know what they want. They are encouraged to pursue "full-service" firms based on the idea that they'll be exposed to a little of everything. But that's flatly untrue. Full-service doesn't really mean full-service. There are all kinds of things you'd never see done in a large firm. What full-service really means is "a full range of all the legal assistance that large entitles (corporate and otherwise) and high networth individuals might routinely seek." But that doesn't mean everything. Also, students who have been conditioned to always chase the best and hardest things to achieve may feel that corporate practice is the next version of that, but that's also not true. No question, articles and future employment in large, national firms is competitive and represents some of the harder positions to obtain. But there's plenty that's highly competitive outside of this environment also. There's absolutely no truth the the idea that the best go to Bay Street, and everyone that's left over settles for other things. As an aside, the OP has already gotten halfway through an exercise that I often recommend to students who don't know what they want to do. The most natural thing is to start with a practice area and try to find interest in this or that area of law. The OP has mentioned some interest in torts. That's fine. But the OP's first instinct was to emphasize interest in helping people. To me, the clearest division in legal practice (not in terms of the law, but in terms of what it feels like to be a lawyer) is between institutional vs. retail legal practice. In other words, large firms serve entities. They deal in abstract work, and work with representatives and corporate officers to pursue that work. That's institutional. In the sort of work performed in smaller law offices (this is a generalization - not always true but usually true) you're serving individuals. In other words, real people with problems affecting themselves. This is retail work. Note, "problems" is a broad term in this sense. Residential real estate fits this bill. So does immigration. The point is, you're working directly with the individual clients. To students who can't figure out what they want to do, I encourage everyone to stop thinking about practice area and to start thinking about the clients themselves. Some areas of law are inherently oriented to individuals - criminal law, family, immigration, much of real estate, some areas of tort (personal injury - absolutely - though mainly plaintiff side) - while others are institutional. It's a good place to start thinking - better, in my view, than trying to find intellectual interest in an area of law divorced from considering what it will feel like to work with a particular kind of client. The toughest part of the advice I saved until the end. For those students who decide through whatever means that their interests align more with retail-type smaller legal practices, there is nothing at all wrong with this sort of work. You can have a great career doing it. But you won't find the same support and guidance in law school towards that kind of a career as you would towards the large employers doing OCIs. You'll be stuck, unavoidably, trying to network more directly, searching on your own for job postings, etc. It won't be spoonfed to you. And worst of all, if you want to stay true to these ambitions, you'll be skipping OCIs while all your classmates are freaking out over them, you're virtually guaranteed to be heading into 2L without a summer job lined up for the end of the year, into 3L without articles in place, etc. Which isn't to say you won't find those jobs - not at all. Just that the employers you'll be looking for probably won't hire that far in advance. So you'll be staring down a lot of anxiety. And frankly, a lot of students break and apply to OCI employers anyway, and some end up working exactly where they don't belong. Which I am convinced contributes to the big-law burnout rate. Anyway, that's a lot of information. I hope it helps. Incidentally, to remind, I'm in criminal defence, myself. But for all of the above, despite your question being more about family law, it's exactly the same. I've been there and done that. And it worked out very well for me.
  18. 2 points
    Do profs at your school set minimum summary lengths, or are you just stating a personal preference as an absolute requirement for success?
  19. 2 points
    This section was painful to read. It sounds like your school just supports causes/plans events which focus on diverse ideas/cultures?? and they advertise it? What kind of conservative, right wing course are you even looking for? The whole 'half of orientation has to do with natives' part is particularly painful. *Indigenous* law is very important considering Canada's history. If I were to make a list for UWindsor #1-10 would be admin. It is insane how long it takes admin to get anything done. We received our grades a month ago, and they literally can't figure out how to rank >160 students, since the system apparently used to do it for them. It is wild. They don't answer emails, they can't make a timeline and, if they do, you can guarantee it won't be met.
  20. 2 points
    The problem is that the world is not black and white. In every area of law, not just criminal law, there exists the potential for emotionally challenging situations. None of the practitioners who have responded in this thread, whether its Hegdis, Diplock, myself, or others, are oblivious to these realities, despite what you seem to think. We have a professional responsibility to set our emotions aside though and be zealous advocates for our clients, because that's what the system expects and requires. We find different justifications for ourselves to allow us to do that, for some it is belief in the system, for others in the understanding that almost any issue has at least some perspective that can be meritorious, or for more still that it is not as simple as guilt or innocence / right or wrong, and for even more still, something else entirely. I cannot speak for Hegdis, and I would not presume to do so in an area where his years of experience vastly exceeds mine, particularly in the area of criminal law. I can tell you that, while I am not a criminal lawyer, it was not because I was worried I would have to defend those who had committed heinous acts; I believe strongly in the idea that even the worst offender who has committed the most inhumane acts, is entitled to a vigorous defence, because that is how I have confidence that our society is a just one. Where even the worst are entitled to rights and protections, I have confidence that those who are wrongfully accused or whom actually have mitigating factors, the system will hear, consider, and treat accordingly. I am certain it would be difficult to know that your brilliant advocacy lead to a murderer being released, but I believe that we would find the justifications to keep doing it, because we have to for the system to work. The thing is though, Diplock is right that it's not limited to criminal law. Family lawyers must live with the fact that their advocacy will sometimes lead to broken homes, and often their best case scenario is working out an arrangement that makes everyone only somewhat less miserable. Commercial lawyers must ask themselves the implications of the asset purchase or commercial closing, which will lead to the elimination of twenty-five thousand jobs, putting countless blue collar workers out of work. Labour and employment lawyers must often deal with challenges in the human rights context, or justify terminating an employee for cause, despite knowing that you are taking away that person's livelihood and their ability to take care of their family. Intellectual property lawyers must often defend copyright and patents, resulting in driving smaller companies without legions of lawyers at their disposal out of business. It could be continued ad nauseam. If we are being honest and have any empathy whatsoever, no matter the area of law, there are undoubtedly some days where we hate our jobs. It's not just the emotional and ethical strains, it's that those strains come in addition to the fact that law is a taxing profession, where you are often required to work long hours and late nights in pursuit of your client's goals. It is no mystery why the legal profession has some of the highest rates of substance abuse, alcohol abuse, depression, mental illness, and other such things, when all careers are compared and examined. The reality is lawyers are grappling with the issues you identify, on a level far more complicated than you realize, and not everyone succeeds in coping. The thing is though, for all everything I just said is true, there are so many times where being a lawyer, in any of those fields, lets you do tremendous good. To be frank, it is these days that are truly what gives us the strength to face the darkest days. The day when you successfully acquit the kid who made a mistake one night, or when you help an estranged couple work through their difficulties, or where you are able to advise your client on how to minimize the job losses from the acquisition, or win reinstatement for the disabled employee, or work out a license agreement for the smaller company... The system that creates the emotionally challenging situations is as much responsible for the tremendous good it can create as those hurdles. I return to my initial proposition, it really is not black and white. The system is not black and white, none of us could be defined as "good" or "evil" on the basis of our jobs, and the challenges we face are part of what allows us to do the good we do. It's the bargain we struck, not because we are not prepared to face the emotional challenges that bargain necessitates, but because we've accepted that to do the good we wish to do, we must be prepared to sometimes swallow the bad with it.
  21. 1 point
    Accepted!! Overjoyed. 4.05/4.33, 153 (only write), legal work experience, good social justice related EC’s and personal experience overcoming adversity. Cheers.
  22. 1 point
    OP: the literal embodiment of every negative stereotype of lawyers ever. I say go to law school just as the oracle foretold!
  23. 1 point
    They also known to charge higher hourly rates and get away with it probably because they focus on higher value and less rate sensitive files. Combine that with the lower headcount, and you got it.
  24. 1 point
    RRSP contribution. You splurge with the tax refund.
  25. 1 point
    Accepted today 160, 80% L2 UBC Extensive experience, strong LORs
  26. 1 point
    Wow just got the email :-) OLSAS: 3.6 LSAT: 155
  27. 1 point
    Frequent lurker, soon-to-be grad here. 1L's not as hard as people make it out to be, but it can be tiring, and coming in with a full tank is to your advantage. Best incoming advice not to freak out. If you have the time and means to relax, travel, indulge in your hobby and spend time with people you like, do it. If you're working or still in school, don't freak out and add unnecessary law school prep to your plate. If you're a gunner by personality and are still eager to do something, work on your typing skills. Being a fast, accurate typist is a distinct advantage when it comes to the time pressures of exam time. The best advice depends on the kind of student you are and the kind of situation you're in. Law school teaches you what it wants you to know. People with apparently relevant backgrounds like poli sci, criminology and pre-law don't necessarily do better than people who studied music, kin or whatever. Don't feel pressured to turn into a corporate shill or hardened defense attorney before even starting. There's plenty of time for that.
  28. 1 point
    Admission offer last week cgpa 3.65 lsat 170
  29. 1 point
    I transferred from Ontario to BC for personal reasons. One word of warning is that the law societies are incredibly slow at the transfer process (I'm assuming your current jurisdiction would be as well). While the National Mobility Agreement makes it easy to transfer, administratively, it is difficult. It took about 2 months for the BC law society to process my application, and that included me following-up regularly. That includes the 3 weeks or so it took Ontario to put together the letter of standing. I've talked to others who have done the same and they also said it takes a couple months to process the transfer. Note the fee for me was $1200 or so to transfer alone, plus a call fee of $350 and normal law society fees. So, if you are serious, I would recommend applying to become a member of the Ontario Bar before you move there. You can keep your current jurisdiction's status at the moment as well. That way when you apply for jobs you can say you are called which means you could provide legal services right away. Once you transfer you can choose to keep or surrender your previous status. If you keep both you will have to pay fees for both jurisdictions (though can change the previous jurisdiction to "non practicing"). If you keep it, it will be easier to go back if you choose to. In my situation, I got the BC job and then applied to be called in BC, which as I said, took a couple months. But my new employer was supportive and let me start working, but I couldn't provide any legal advice until I was called.
  30. 1 point
    Lol me too! But my plan is to commit to saying I’m 25 years old for the next few years. That’s 94’ right?
  31. 1 point
    No offence taken. We Windsorites are a thick skinned bunch. And you're absolutely right, statistically speaking, the median T14 law student is an auto admit anywhere in Canada, likely with scholarships.
  32. 1 point
    If you want to practice in Canada, then you should do whatever is necessary to attend a Canadian law school. That isn't simply an opinion, it's a fact.
  33. 1 point
    If a woman told me she’d call me at 5 if she wanted to bang me, or she wouldn’t call me at 5 if she didn’t want to bang me, and I didn’t get a call at 5, I’d assume she doesn’t want to bang me. I don’t think that’s ghosting – there’s a clear time she’ll be in touch if we’re having sex, and the lack of contact tells me everything I need to know about whether or not I’m getting laid during the summer of 2020.
  34. 1 point
  35. 1 point
    I'm going to leave this alone. I hate that every single thread about Ryerson gets derailed and don't think it is fair to future students (I didn't realize when I replied to this comment that it was in a thread about Ryerson). I do think there's room for discussing the appropriate methods of law school evaluation, just as I think there is room for discussing the concerns with an oversaturated legal market or the ideal law school curriculum, but I think that these topics belong in their own threads, as they implicate schools other than Ryerson. In short, I'm making a concerned effort to discourage snarky and off topic commentary about Ryerson so that prospective students can get the necessary information they need.
  36. 1 point
    I articled at a small firm and now work at a different small firm. Articling firm: awful. Current firm: dream job. Biggest difference: the people.
  37. 1 point
    This is a quick and dirty cheat: get yourself onto quicklaw or west law or whatever free thing they give students nowadays. Look up the case. There will be an italicized summary. That is the “headnote”. That is most of what really matters. Unless the assignment wants you to analyze the majority versus minority versus dissent (LEARN THE THREE DEFINITIONS NOW) the headnote will get you 80% of the way there.
  38. 1 point
    You are confusing what a law student does in school with what an "ordinary lawyer" does in practice. These two things are very different.
  39. 1 point
    You know, I think Suzanne has overall been reasonable to this point, and so I've provided feedback in the past and refrained from criticism. I'm not criticizing now either. It's hard to really know what's going on sometimes, because we only have one side of the story. But I still think Suzanne's various issues are plausibly on the side of bad luck rather than self-created problems. Eventually, when the string of bad luck gets so bad that there has to be a common cause, you start to look at the person the luck is happening to. But we aren't there yet. That said, I'm starting to notice one trend. And the only reason I'm focusing on this is because it's the one thing in the OP's (or anyone else's) control. There are two sides to every problem Suzanne is encountering. One side is the problem itself - work-related, logisital, etc. The other side is her own reaction to the problem - that is, to the unfairness of it. And I'd like to offer a countervailing perspective here a bit. Students who get into the legal marketplace sometimes have a grossly unreasonable expectation of absolute professionalism in each and every workplace. I'm a sole practitioner with a few employees. And I get people emailing me asking to be directed to the HR department. It's rare, but it happens. I hope to God none of my female employees become pregnant. Not because I don't recognize their right to become pregnant - just because I don't have even the first bloody clue what I'd do about it. I don't think I'm unreasonable - I certainly don't think I'm a monster. But I don't even know what happens when I get sick for an extended period. How am I supposed to provide a workplace that accommodates this for employees? The list goes on. You just can't expect the same level of professionalism and formality in a small shop as you see in a large firm. And students are utterly fucking blind to this reality, sometimes. So let's turn this on its head for a moment, okay? Let's just take it for granted and assumed that your boss has a somewhat insane wife helping run his practice, who he depends on and who he presumably married because he's in love with her, faults and all, and certainly isn't going to dump because she suffered head trauma. Let's put yourself in his position. What do YOU do? Do you dump your partner because she's unfair to your students? Do you lecture your partner so severely that you put your own marriage at risk to salve your student's hurt feelings? Do you turf your wife from your practice because she's not able to do her job to the professional standard that you demand, even though you may not be able to afford a better replacement and even though your wife may not be employable anywhere else? What is it that YOU DO exactly? I'm not saying that to excuse the situation. I'm saying it to give you perspective on the situation. There may be no perfect solution here. Even if everyone involved acknowledged how entitled you are to the fairness that you expect, it may be impossible to provide it. And it may be that basic. You either learn to live within what's possible, and stop expecting the world to become fair for you, or you decide you can't live with it and move on (again). You're in charge of making that choice, at least. But railing against the unfairness of it all is a waste of your time and mental energy. I don't know if that helps at all. Maybe it doesn't. Maybe I'm making excuses for someone who doesn't really deserve them. I can't possibly know what's really going on or what the available solutions may be. Of course much of what I don't know even you (Suzanne) don't know either, so it may be helpful to keep this in mind. You don't know what these people's lives are like when they go home and stop being your boss and his wife and become just a couple trying to operate a very small business with all its difficulties and complications, while at the same time coping with their own real lives, which apparently got very difficult recently. You may think your feelings should be top of mind for them. In a perfect world they would be. But is that realistic, right now? This is what small legal practice looks like - whether you work for someone else or at some point start your own. Get used to it. Because based on where you are right now, the odds that you'll find yourself working anywhere with a HR department any time soon just aren't that good. Not meant to be mean. Hope you take it in the spirit it's intended.
  40. 1 point
  41. 1 point
    I found the same thing. The other benefit I found with handwriting lecture notes was having to process and shorten, to keep pace with the lecturer. Many of my classmates essentially transcribed the lecture, so there wasn't much in-class synthesis.
  42. 1 point
    It's about time for me to chime in and update the forum regarding my experience so far. First, I want to thank everyone who offered their time and advice late last year. Quitting your job to begin an entrepreneurial venture is incredibly scary. I am very grateful for the advice and support I received here. To recap, in November 2018 I was an PI lawyer with about $50,000.00 saved. I wasn't happy as a one trick pony and was considering renting a space and starting a general practice from scratch. It was terrifying. I turned to this forum for advice. I also started meeting with general practitioners in my area to develop a strategy. While exploring my options, I ended up finding two lawyers that share expenses and keep their profits. They were getting older and just so happened to be interested in having another lawyer around. I met with them and it seemed to be a good fit. I gave my employer notice, was fired on the spot and started the next day. I didn't just hang my own shingle and start from scratch. That would have been much harder, and kudos to anyone who has conquered that challenge. Basically, I walked into turn key arrangement where I had two seasoned lawyers to mentor me. I didn't have to be afraid about taking on files where I needed to learn a thing or two along the way. That was a big bonus. To get things started, I put $10,000.00 into the firm's general account and we started a limited liability partnership with my name on the letterhead. I signed up for the criminal and family legal aid panels. I also signed up for the law society referral service which helped initially. Having left a busy PI practice, I also took some dog files to keep me busy (which haven't paid a penny yet). To meet my living expenses, I started taking a draw of $500.00 per week. Some of the best advice I received here was to control my home overhead, which I did. It was the only thing I had absolute control over in the beginning. My draw increased to $750.00 a few months later and I take $1000.00 at present. To my surprise the work started rolling in rather quickly. And not because the lawyers were feeding it to me. My network referred things right away and the phone rang regularly for family law matters. I also picked up some criminal files along the way, and a few real estate transactions started trickling in. Since Nov 2018, I have about 100 files which is plenty to keep me busy. About 90% of the work I brought in myself, whether through legal aid or through the network. The other 10% has been referred by my partners, and I give them 15% of the billings. No two experiences are the same. But mine has been way better than I could have expected. I made just shy of $5,000.00 after tax between Nov and Dec 2018. Between Jan 2019 and present, I've billed $175,000.00 and have collected a little over $100,000.00. I have no doubt I will bill $300,000.00 by the end of the year. I'm working between 45-60 hours a week which keeps my monthly billings are between $25,000.00 and $30,000.00 per month. This is based on $250.00 an hour and legal aid at $109.14 an hour. In terms of overhead, a 1/3 share of rent, two clerks, a receptionist, etc., is about $70,000.00 a year. It's nuts to think about, but I'm expecting to be making a gross income north of $200,000.00 which is more than 3 times what I was earning before. Im also hitting these numbers in a small town where you can buy a house for under $300,000.00. Certainly something to consider for those folks who are entrenched in the big city or bust mentality. Please feel free to ask any questions. I would be happy to post responses and hope the discussion will be useful to other members of the bar considering the plunge into sole practice or partnership.
  43. 1 point
    Christ those are prob the worst stats ive seen, congrats on pullin that off
  44. 1 point
    Like I said, the reader can decide which argument seems more reasonable.
  45. 1 point
    Graduated with $90k from straight law school debt. Plus another $30 from other things.
  46. 1 point
    I wish I was in a position to keep scrapping but real life considerations do eventually take precedent. I'd like nothing more than to be able to make changes from the inside but I don't see a way to do that at this point and well, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I've come to terms with not becoming a lawyer, I managed to get an OK job in a non-law position that seems interesting. It's not how I envisioned things turning out but, as I said, eventually real life takes over, bills, taking care of family, and other kinds of responsibilities. I do get the sentiment though and it's certainly worth repeating. The one thing I'd like to clear up is I'm absolutely not telling those of Asian descent to not pursue law school. I still think practicing law is a great career. All I'm doing is offering up a warning so that those who are applying have considered an issue like this. A lot of 0Ls go in thinking the big hurdle is getting accepted to law school, and for most that's absolutely true. 3 years ago I was certainly one of those people who thought that. All I'm doing is offering up more information so people with a similar background go into the process more informed. Law school is a big step, it's not an insignificant amount of money and 3 years is a lot of time, a lot of opportunity cost. I just want people to be well informed beforehand. If someone still wants to pursue law school and practicing law in Alberta, I'm glad, truly I am; I'm happy that they think they can find success where I couldn't. The profession needs more representation so I'm thrilled if others can get in there and make a name for themselves. Regarding the statistics I presented here. Admittedly it's flawed, I wish I had added this qualification in the original post but I had a hell of a time even getting it to post properly and just ended up forgetting. I do wish I had more complete data but what I've presented here is more out of necessity than any kind of cherry picking. It's just a by product that largish private firms are the ones who advertise their students, it's my only real source of demographics, at least the only one I'm aware of. Most smaller firms and sole practioners just don't show this kind of thing, that's if they even have detailed webpages at all. Admittedly it would be more representative to give a breakdown of my cohort and quantify for each where they applied, what their experience was and ultimately what their outcomes were. I could actually do this as I've kept in touch with everyone and am familiar with their experiences. I haven't because, well, it becomes pretty obvious who I am and I'd like to maintain a shred of anonymity, if not plausible deniability for this post because, as we've seen from a couple posts on here, it's rustled some feathers in an unfriendly way. I will say this, of that 15% I presented in the OP, 20% of those are indeed working with sole practioners/small firms so it's not an overwhelming majority. The remainder are a combination of those who have left Alberta to pursue the LPP or articling positions in other provinces, are no longer seeking articles or are unemployed but still seeking. I wish this was my own experience that I'm just a flawed applicant, well no, I don't wish that, but if that was the case, I could understand it. No, I've had this conversation with my classmates who are in the same situation and we're all baffled. We're all different yet share a couple similarities, unemployment and similar ethnic background. There's no direct proof of any kind of discrimination, I want to make that clear. As I said in the OP, everyone I've ever talked to has been friendly, positive, welcoming. None of my classmates have mentioned any kind of negative experience. But, it's hard not to draw a conclusion when a single cohesive group faces this kind of trouble when others don't. All I'm pointing out is there is a level of under representation, a trend. As I've said, I'm not looking for any kind of sympathy or trying to "right some kind of wrong". I'm not even looking to debate this point, by that I mean I do welcome discussion on it but I mean I'm not here to convince anyone or change anyone's mind. I've moved on from the law and I'm relatively happy about it. I got a decent job in another field, it's not what I envisioned but I've accepted it. My main point here is to simply present information to incoming applicants. I'm not trying to warn people away from law or say it's a waste I just want people to consider a bigger picture before committing to something like 3 years of expensive law school. It's something I certainly didn't consider so I'm just trying to make sure future applicants take these things into consideration going forward.
  47. 1 point
    Maybe some of the people who go to law school actually want to be lawyers? Like... they want to practice law? Just a hunch.
  48. 1 point
    I'll just reiterate that Dal does suck (IMO) but a solid majority of students do enjoy it, so your mileage may vary. The malcontents like me in the minority though do have legitimate gripes, so the experience can be very hit-or-miss:)
  49. 1 point
    I haven't participated in the course, maybe I will this year, I haven't decided yet. Nevertheless, I would like to stress that it is mainly a "show" for big law firms. They have an incredible PR opportunity, so I think that's the main reason they may "seem nice" during the course. No one wants a bad image, especially when everyone is paying attention. Regarding the process itself, it is very time consuming...writing the letters, waiting anxiously, (possible) rejection and (possible) success. My advice would be to be very realistic about you chances from the start, and even throughout the whole dance (that's what it should be called really). Nothing is guaranteed regardless of how things seem to be going during the course aux stages, always remind yourself that things could change at the last minute (unfortunately, they can pull the plug on an offer for various reasons right at the end). I'm aware that I haven't depicted the course in a very positive manner, but that's the nature of it all. Competition and stress are major factors. It will be a great test of your character and it will allow you to get to know yourself a little better. The ugly side, such as students bickering and stabbing you in the back, is a possible reality too. The point I'm trying to make is that the course should be about "you". Try and block all the factors that are out of your control and, especially, keep your emotions out of it. You shouldn't talk about the process with everyone, keep the details to yourself as people tend to be overly curious about you all of a sudden. Make sure to surround yourself with positive people who will support you no matter the outcome. On a final note, the process is extremely formative. You get to peek behind the curtain of big law firms, something you don't usually get to do that often. Enjoy it as much as you can and make the best of it. Also, always remember, like h4adhunter said, the result will not determine your profesional achievements down the line and will not even determine what area of practice you might go into (if indeed you want to become a lawyer). The rest is all on you. Hope this helps and doesn't discourage you too much !
  50. 1 point
    Hey again! Here are my attempts at your questions: How was your own personal experience with the course? I honestly very much enjoyed the course aux stages, but it may be because it was far from my first time going through interviews and I'm in general not a very stressed out person. I highly suggest you find a way to enjoy the whole process, since it can be quite stressful and thus weigh heavy on a lot of people. Many people say it's very time consuming, but I found it to be quite manageable. I found it fun to see the inside of a good number of firms, meet lawyers from each of them, get to talk to them and gain an overall greater sense of the differences in culture and atmosphere from firm to firm, which is often hard to gauge from the outside. What did you like or dislike? As mentioned, I liked the experience overall and enjoyed getting at least a somewhat inside-view of certain firms. What I did not like however, and what may sound weird to some, is that all my interviews went too well, if you know what I mean. Everyone seemed to be overly nice, with a lack of challenging questions during interviews, which I found to be a tad odd, though it might just be based on past experience. I personally find it difficult to differentiate candidates on certain levels if interviews simply hover on a very amicable level, though again, this may just be me. Is it true that having a prior Bachelor is an advantage? Naturally having a more complete and extensive resumé will help, though only to a certain point. Really once your into the interview round, it means that everyone is qualified on paper, so it comes down to "fit" and how they see you integrating into their firm and culture. Definitely some candidates have further to fall than others, so to speak, but in the end it'll be in your hands during interviews. What I mean by this is that the students with outstanding dossiers will need to "screw up" much worse during interviews than someone who's profile is on the cuff and thus has to prove himself rather than not screw up. A prior bachelor is thus never a negative, though you will want to be prepared for the "why did you decide to go into law after X studies" question. Also, depending on what focus your first Bachelor was in, it may be more or less helpful. Will I be penalized for a few first semester grades which weren't excellent? You won't be "penalized" per sé, but a lower GPA will definitely play into first round interviews since many firms use it as their first (and sometimes almost only) basis of cutoffs. If you have a few poor grades, be ready to explain them (and be honest) if asked. What happens to students who do not get a stage during the course? Many students don't get a stage during the course. Some reapply the year following, while others simply use the various other avenues which are available to us in order to find articling positions. Many firms recruit outside of the "course aux stages" agreement. You can thus find articling positions during your bar, during your third year, and even after the bar through a number of ways. The course is definitely the most straight-forward way of getting into a large corporate firm, but not the only way. I wouldn't however stress about this until your course is over with. My suggestions are then: (1) try and enjoy the process, (2) manage your stress prior and during, (3) realize it isn't the be-all end-all thing that many people make it out to be, (4) manage your time effectively during the preparation and process itself. Hope that answers a few of your questions! Cheers,
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