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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/24/18 in all areas

  1. 18 points
    Hey this happens all the time. Everyone moves around for reasons like this. You arrange a meeting with your boss. Tell them the truth, keep it simple. You like working at this firm. You have been offered a position elsewhere for more pay doing x, y, z. You are giving them x weeks notice (whatever is in your contract). You are going to take this position but want to discuss your departure with regard to passing on files, training a replacement, etc. Most of all you want to emphasize how wonderful the firm has been, that you are appreciative of their support and training, and how much you want to maintain a good relationship going forward. This is a professional decision and not a personal one. Then end the meeting. Don’t start carrying on and essentially asking them to make you feel better about this. It’s a professional decision, not a personal one, so be a professional throughout.
  2. 13 points
    Law is an entrepreneurial profession, even when you are someone else's employee. I don't recommend always leaving a good position only for more money, and it's always worth weighing what you have before you jump for something better, but if you really are confident that something better is available, that's what you should do. There are no rewards for "loyalty" when that's really just a way of saying that you've put someone else's needs in this profession above your own. Putting your family first, people you love ... that's admirable. Putting a boss first is just stupid. Do what's best for you, because everyone else will do the same.
  3. 12 points
    ACCEPTED TODAY!!!! Originally 77/298 and then 12/158!!! WOOT WOOT!!!
  4. 10 points
    Just wanted to reach out and thank everyone who replied to this thread. Your advice and encouragement was much appreciated. I ended up leaving the firm that I was at, and I am at a new firm where I feel that I am a better fit. The lawstudents.ca community is amazing and I am thankful to be a part of it.
  5. 10 points
    My dude, class privilege is only one element. Racial privilege is absolutely a thing. Someone growing up in the Appalachian hills as the child of out-of-work coal workers does not have class privilege over the child of a black NBA star. But if both of those kids were men and pulled over by cops, which do you think would get better treatment? Which would you think would be more likely to walk away, or not walk away from that encounter? Your second paragraph is entirely backwards. The very immutability of racial presentation is part of why that privilege exists. A white presenting person, in a white dominated culture, like U.S./Canada, will have certain privilege over those of other races. These are facts. Accept them. No one is asking white people to be ashamed for being white, but they are damn sure asking white people to recognize the lived experiences of minorities and the realities on the ground in white dominated (and in the case of the U.S., openly, consistently and aggressively white supremacist) cultures.
  6. 8 points
    Hi all. Long time lurker here. Thought I’d share some insights I’ve gathered over the past couple of years of law school with those of you about to embark on the 2L recruit. Here are a few tidbits that I think I’d have benefited from had they been shared with me prior to OCIs. Relax. OCIs are less important than you think. If you want to end up on Bay Street, there are plenty of ways to do so outside of the OCI recruit. If you don’t, great, because many exciting summer opportunities arise outside of the formal OCI recruit, and many, many, many more employers partake in the articling recruit as do in OCIs. If you end up without a position on Call Day, you are among the majority of your class, and the most of you will end up finding awesome jobs elsewhere. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Preparation is, IMO, the key to success in interviews. Anticipate the questions that you’ll be asked and prepare responses for those questions. Don’t necessarily have your answers scripted, but have an understanding going in of what points you want to make mention of in responding to particular questions. The more prepared you are, the more relaxed you’ll feel and the more easily you’ll be able to field questions from your interviewers. Think about the following questions, each of which I distinctly recall being asked during my own interviews: Why do you want to practice (insert practice area) law? What draws you to our firm? Describe a challenge you’ve faced in your previous employment and explain how you resolved it. Tell me about that thesis paper you wrote. I see you worked with X company for a number of years, what’s all that about? Have you had any negative customer service experiences? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What do you like to do outside of school? If you were employed at our office and you were managing multiple assignments and a partner asked you to take on a new, urgent assignment, what would you do? You mentioned X as among your hobbies and interests. I do that too, and I know tons about it. What do you think about this thing that just happened that’s related to our shared interest? What has been your favourite class at law school? Do you have any questions for us? Have 1 or 2 thoughtful questions prepared for your interviewers, but don't limit yourself to those questions. Some of the best questions are those that arise naturally in the course of your conversation. E.g., if a lawyer mentions something about their firm that piques your interest at the outset of the interview, ask about it when the opportunity arises. Otherwise, try to avoid asking questions that you could ask any lawyer. Show that you’ve done some research by crafting some insightful questions about your recruiter’s practice. (E.g., if they are litigators, look them up on CanLII and ask a question about the work they did on X case). Also, this may be obvious, but it is very important that you actually listen to your interviewers’ answers to your questions; try to ask questions and make comments that flow from your conversation. There is nothing choppier than listening to the answer to your question and immediately jumping into a subsequent question that has nothing to do with the first question. Avoid the non sequiturs. Segue in. Keep a conversational tone in your interaction. If there is a particular firm that you are dying to work for, let them know! But wait until the time is right. Don’t tell firms during your brief OCI interviews that they are your first choice. Wait until in-firms and wait for the right opportunity. Firms can’t offer you a position before Call Day and they can’t ask if you’d accept a position if you were offered one. That said, they still want to be sure that you’d accept a position if they offered one, because if they offer you a position on Call Day and you choose to sit on it for a while, their second and third and fourth choices might get snapped up by the competition while you take your time to wait for another offer. If they ask a question like: So, what do you think of our firm? That is your opportunity to tell them that you’ve loved meeting their team, you love their exciting practice, and that you’d immediately accept a position of you were offered one (only once you’ve met enough of their team to actually have genuinely come to this conclusion). Also feel free to offer this information without any prompting by the interviewers. With that information in mind, they can feel secure in calling you with an offer on Call Day. Caveat: DON’T SAY THIS TO MULTIPLE FIRMS, AND DON’T SAY IT IF YOU DON’T MEAN IT. Recruiters chat, and they may catch you in a lie if you tell multiple firms. Also, it’ll look bad on you if you tell a firm that you’d immediately accept their offer and then turn around and take 20 minutes to accept once they offer you a position on Call Day. Be cognizant of your image. Be prepared for curveballs. I got the impression that one firm was trying to prompt me to breach confidentiality with respect to some legal work that I had been involved in at a legal clinic. Know what you can and can't talk about when it comes to your legal work, and don't fall into the trap of mindlessly blabbering on about information that you are bound to keep confidential. Multiple firms have asked me what other firms I was interviewing for. One actually wrote down my answer. During the recent articling recruit, some of my colleagues were asked: “If we were to offer you a position at 5:00 pm on Call Day, how quickly do you think you could respond to our offer?” This is obviously a pretty unfair question to ask of a student and is pretty clearly in breach of the Law Society’s Guidelines. A good non-response is to say “Well, I've been very impressed by you and your colleagues and your exciting practices and if I were so fortunate as to receive an offer at 5pm on Call Day, you can be sure that I'd respond very quickly." If there is some kind of glaring issue in your application (e.g. D in torts or zero demonstrated interest in the firm’s practice areas), be prepared to explain it. I hope this is at least a bit helpful. Feel free to reach out with any questions; I'm happy to take a stab. I have partaken in the 2L summer and articling recruits and have secured positions through both processes.
  7. 8 points
    Can we all please dial back on the overt contempt for those with whom we disagree? Rule 3 is in effect here just like in every other topic. I know this can be a sensitive issue but hope springs eternal that we can all act like adults and maybe even professionals. Thanks. /modpost
  8. 7 points
    Great idea. Posting here so I get updates. And throwing down a tip. No time to scour for pic examples, but I'll share one of my favourite most essential fashion rules for both men and women--the "Connect-Two" rule: Your outfit should at most have two items of matching colour--identical or near identical shade (for clarity, your suit counts as one item, which allows a three-piece to work within the rule`s scope. For more clarity, black is an exception. But you certainly can't go overboard with it anyway, lest you start resembling Robert Smith or Siouxsie Sioux or some other goth hero.) For example, let's say you have a crimson red tie and a crimson watchband. Cool! Great way to tie (punintended) your outfit together. Adding crimson shoelaces? Bad idea. Tan shoes and Tan belt? Great, of course those should match. Add a Tan tie? No. Don't do that. Matching emerald tie and pocket square? Not a great idea, but you can pull it off if they're at least different patterns and/or materials, and certainly if you don't add one more thing to your outfit that matches their tone. The reason for this rule is first and foremost that you want to avoid looking like your parents dressed you. You also want to avoid being the "Green Guy" or the "Orange Woman". On the latter point, I'd emphasize that you're allowed to adopt a monochromatic style any given day. Minimalism is a current fashion trend, and monochromaticism is a part of that trend. For example, I go blue a lot, because it's my favourite colour and easy to keep it a conservative look using a navy suit and light blue shirt. Heck, I see lots of men in monochromatic blue probably by accident (or maybe I'm underestimating them). But one difference between someone who looks like they put no thought into how they dressed and someone who did, is Connect-Two.
  9. 7 points
    Got a few interviews in last week --- just getting the subjects to sign off on the transcription before I start posting them, hopefully in the next couple of weeks.
  10. 7 points
    For what it's worth, if a student gave me their "business card", I won't be impressed. I'd probably think "what the fuck" and promptly lose the card. At these events, you should be trying to get their cards, not handing out yours.
  11. 7 points
    I have a different perspective. Go to the office you articled with and offer to continue to do student work at the articling wage until you get Called. They get a trained up cheap employee and you essentially extend your articles in a way that appears totally unremarkable. (OWH, all problems here on the forum are first world problems. Let’s not jump down some one’s throat over choice of metaphor. )
  12. 7 points
    Hmm. I fear that a faulty premise is leading to a faulty conclusion here. There’s no evidence that anyone who spends as much time on ls.ca as me, providence, or hoju is inclined to working very hard. Which means I would much rather focus on the me who was predestined to waste my day here than the one where this is all my fault.
  13. 7 points
    I don't think the idea that, all things else being equal, a white person has it easier than minorities on average is that controversial. (Similar for discussions on gender and sexuality) Instead I suspect that a lot of the animosity over privilege comes from some of the following: (1) Privilege is frequently used in such a way as to try to classify the entirety of someones existence without consideration for the variation among individuals and without taking into account the hundreds of other privileges that exist. This line of thinking results in things like a certain black YouTube millionaire recording a video in his mansion talking about how a homeless white person has more privilege than he does. (2) Privilege is intersectional, situational, and frequently probabilistic. Which means when talking about average group differences it can be quite effective but breaks down during individual analysis. Some of the privileges that get classified under garden variety "white privilege" are actually an intersection of being white and wealthy or white and upper-class. Subsequently, one of the groups that frequently respond negatively to the idea of white privilege are white poor people because they are expected to answer for advantages they don't experience. (3) Privilege is sometimes weaponized. If a person is first exposed to privilege from a person trying to discuss it in good faith they are more likely to be receptive to the idea than if their first exposure is a raging mob trying to use it as a tool to silence the opposition.
  14. 6 points
    ACCEPTED TODAY!!!! Originally 77/298 and then 12/158!!! WOOT WOOT!!!
  15. 6 points
    I retract my statements about the Boss outfits and defer to those that have some idea what they're talking about. I'm not nearly enough of a fashion guy to know the first thing about womenswear. I also agree with everyone above about the risks of three-piece suits. As I mentioned, I had a little list going of what sorts of things I'd tend to wear and when; and it would have made clear that you definitely don't wear one for a job interview, for all the reasons stated above. As Jaggers says, you kind of just know when you're that guy. Another way of saying you wear what suits you. Your marketing team will call it 'branding'. I came into my firm with some unshakeable first impressions. I came out of the U of T with a bunch of publications, and one of my first steps with the firm was to get them to help out with one of them. I studied class actions way too much and knew all the case names off the top of my head when I arrived, which struck some people. I found myself getting basically all of the research memo work for big cases. Mrs. Uriel was doing her Ph.D. I have an 18th century copy of Charles I's death certificate and a Shakespeare lithograph on the wall. Everyone running into me on the subway usually caught me with my nose in some kind of book six inches thick. It didn't take much to become the Rupert Giles of the litigation department, cleaning my glasses ruefully as the summer students knocked me down on their way up to a free cocktail reception. That reputation had its ups and downs. I got a lot of work and people relied on me, but partners were hesitant to let me argue trials until they had actually seen me cross-examine someone. They put a lot of emphasis on landing clients because it wasn't clear if that was something the Phantom of the Library could do. A few years in, rather than trying to fight it I just embraced it, started wearing the three-piece as often as I liked and declining the occasional event because I hate fun and youth and the rock-and-roll musicks. It became part of the brand. So when I turn up in a tweedy three-piece with a cognac briefcase, sure --- that's Uriel. But I would never wear it to make any kind of first impression at a business event, job interview, witness examination. Once you get to know me a little better, though, I'm told it fits the personality. And, on balance I think for better, just about everyone knows who I am. I'm not just another faceless bearded white guy in a navy suit (and brother, there are a lot of us). By the same token, we've got the dealmaking partner that is allergic to jackets and just wears slacks and a tie all day (definitely not to show off that he still works out every day at 45). We've got the force-of-nature M&A guy that will boast that he hasn't worn a tie since the '80s and then get out drinking with the summer students until 3 AM. There's the regulatory partner that got into this business to wear all the best labels and doesn't leave an inch of her walk-in closets unturned. There's the construction lawyer that doesn't even come into the office if he can avoid it, and who takes pride in having mud on all his shoes. The tax lawyer with the surgeon's cuffs and the actual, fresh flower in his custom-cut sport coat's boutonniere every day. The labour partner who seems to have an inexhaustible supply of Jedi robes and bangles to drape herself in. The research lawyer working his way through a cargo container of identical beige polo shirts. The two real estate partners who buy all the best, most shiny stuff, none of which goes together. The cycling enthusiast who kicks around the office in a dress T-shirt and a $150,000 watch. And about 300 other lawyers that just wear whatever will get them through the week until they're up at the cottage. This profession is forgiving and even encouraging of eccentricity. You just have to grow into it a bit and sort out what your style is, what makes you comfortable, and how well that's going to fit with how you want to present yourself professionally.
  16. 6 points
    ...does he use pocket squares? You might as well ask if he does up his fly.
  17. 6 points
    I can literally think of one person in my personal life who I consider to be successful who doesn't suffer from imposter syndrome. It sucks but it also creates a tremendous motivation to stay a step ahead. I've found a key for me to build confidence is to spend a bit of time reviewing a file when it's done and thinking about what problems I made and thinking about the solution. Sometimes it's clear that this was likely a one-time issue and sometimes it's not a big deal so I don't need to spend any time fixing it until I start to see a pattern emerging. And sometimes it's clear that I need to be asking more questions about a certain area of the file at an earlier time or I'm quite confused about a particular area of the law. And when they are really difficult issues - for instance I've noticed that I suffer from perceptual difficulties insofar as I'm reviewing documents and literally not seeing things on the page that should be obvious - I usually go into a shame spiral for a bit and then try to develop checklists that I update all the time to make sure I'm doing things systematically. When really in doubt, also consider outside help. Ultimately every person in law school and the profession belongs there (there were a lot of other people who didn't get in who also would have belonged there) and you will do fine. One piece of practice advice a more senior member of the bar gave me is that 90% of mistakes go unnoticed and 90% of the noticed ones don't matter and 90% of the ones that matter don't create the trouble you think they'll create. Obviously that's statistically irrelevant but I also found it to be helpful.
  18. 6 points
    There is a point beyond which bare "anything is possible" advice becomes irresponsible. Debating this in the abstract is pointless. In the abstract, anyone can move to a hypothetical ideal and both sides will be correct, as a result. Of course blind encouragement is wrong and ridiculous. And equally so, of course an appropriately couched reply that says IF you do x, and y, and z, then at the end of a long road it may still be possible - that can be correct also. But because both sides are potentially correct in the abstract, we need to look at the actual. And in this case, the OP clearly received a couple of replies that seemed to imply something which was theoretically true was far closer to immediately true than could ever be supported. See his request for a spreadsheet of schools that consider last two, etc. I know we're not giving legal advice on this forum. But I think there's a reason lawyers don't tend to fall into the "there's always a chance" trap, whereas law students (and would-be law students) do so far more easily. It's not because lawyers are more arrogant and students are more sympathetic. It's because when you're in the business of giving advice, professionally (and that's what lawyers do) you quickly realize how dangerous it can be to overstate anything, and how quickly clients will seize on hearing what they want to hear. In criminal defence, if I tell a client who's convicted of a serious offence that a conditional discharge is theoretically available for a crime of that nature, he's never going to hear anything else I say. He'll expect that discharge. So if I tell him this is technically true - as it may well be, and he's entitled to hear it, because I'm certainly not going to lie to him - I need to cram the additional warning that he won't be getting that discharge down his throat with a jackhammer. And I'm sure the same is true in every other area of law. We aren't giving legal advice here. So if the law students and the wannabes wish to stand off to the side and say "we're right, technically, so nah nah!" well, they are entitled to do that. I'll still slap it down, sometimes, but I can't say that you are logically incorrect in an abstract sense. What I will say is, you are indulging in a bad habit that you need to break before you enter into the legal profession. What you say can be technically correct, in some sense, and yet the context in which you say it means that it's still irresponsible. And sure, if you somehow got sued over it or accused of professional incompetence (which would almost never happen) you might still defend yourself by saying "what I said was technically correct" and that could yet be true. But seriously - whatever practice you are working for, whether your own or someone else, will not thank you for creating situations in which you can defend what you said on some technical level but your client is still misled in every practical sense and ends up pissed off at everyone. Do you really think that's what you want? It's the Internet. You can be a dumbass if you want to, and engage in Internet logic. But at least stop deluding yourself about the real context of what's going on here. You're trying to enter into a profession that lives in that context.
  19. 6 points
  20. 6 points
    I don't know if this is helpful. Some areas of law are hard, and it's OK to think that. Being told "it isn't that hard" would make me feel like I must be stupid and inadequate if I find it hard. My area of practice, criminal, is hard. Not necessarily in terms of how smart you need to be, though it is intellectually challenging, but it is also hard emotionally, it can be hard to hustle, it is hard sometimes to deal with the people I deal with, it is hard to know that you hold such important issues in your hands and have the immense trust of some very vulnerable people, it is hard to lose a case when this is the situation, it is hard to get through the days sometimes, it is hard to go through the grind of a trial.... it is hard and it should be hard, because if it becomes "easy" or routine, I am probably not taking it seriously enough or serving the clients properly. People don't just not try or develop substance abuse problems because they're lazy and dumb.... they get overwhelmed and give up or develop addictions BECAUSE it is hard. In terms of "imposter syndrome", how this ties in is to realize that it probably is hard for most people and they probably all feel overwhelmed or inadequate at times (again, if they don't they are probably not doing their job properly) but they are sucking it up and doing their best and putting on a good face anyway, and you can still do good work even if you have moments of insecurity and doubt.
  21. 5 points
    Another of my favourite rules, courtesy of Coco Chanel: “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off" https://cache.mrporter.com/images/journal/3d3f6050-58c5-42e6-9df4-edad47b4015c/w500_q65.jpg As I mentioned in the Coffee Chat thread somewhere, a good suit doesn't need a belt. The above outfit (courtesy of Mr Porter) is a perfect example of an extraordinarily simple and subtle outfit that makes a prominent positive statement. There's three cool items here: the green polka dot tie, the navy corduroy suit, and the oxblood derbies. Each on their own is noticeable; the colours may be muted, but because of the fabric, pattern, or style they're all loud elements. To get them harmonious, the outfit is minimally accessorized. No belt. No hat, bright socks, or visible wristwatch either. Non-patterned dress shirt. Your eyes are drawn to the tie or the shoes, but neither is so egregiously bright to overpower the other. The overall effect is a neat minimalist toned-down RGB pattern.
  22. 5 points
    OCI McMillan Aug 29 (McGill).
  23. 5 points
    You are not told when time is up. They leave you to estimate when 35 minutes is up. It is like the 'Price is Right', closest to but not over wins.
  24. 5 points
    Ok, I’ll try to get back on track. I feel privileged being able to wake up and think all day. Even though articling is rough, this sure as shit beats working in a factory getting splashed by flash off of moulds filled with moulten metal. im consistently surrounded by people smarter than me who teach me something new everyday. I’ve worked some pretty dogshit jobs and I’ve yet to dread coming into this one.
  25. 5 points
    I don't know if we really know what the situation is regarding legal employers and hiring of minorities. I haven't seen comprehensive statistics. There is lots of anecdotal complaining about it, but from what I've seen, there are lots of legal employers who are actually very eager to hire good minorities - ones who are bright, have good marks, will be good workers, don't have chips on their shoulders, etc. and on the other side, there are lots of invisible barriers to minorities presenting their best selves to firms. I don't agree that "perfect" diverse hiring, whatever that is, results in perfectly proportionate firms that have exactly the same percentages of each group as in society, with whites being in the majority. First, which market is determining the percentages? The country? Province? City? Neighbourhood? Say you are in Vancouver, BC and going by the province as a whole. About 10-11% of your people should be of Chinese descent. But in Vancouver, it's about 19%. But what if you are in Southeast Vancouver where about 40% are Chinese? Or Richmond, which is majority Chinese? Then this firm is not sufficiently diverse, as it is located in Richmond but only 4/10 of its lawyers appear to be of Chinese descent. Looks like it may also be over representing Filipinos. https://www.cbelaw.com/about/ And this firm is in Richmond but appears to possibly not have any Chinese lawyers (going by photos, names etc - it is possible that some of the people with no photo could be)! Yet going by the logic that it is impossible, or undesirable, to have a firm not populated by a majority of lawyers from the group that is the majority of the population, how can this be? http://www.kzellaw.com/lawyers/index.htm Perfect diverse hiring should not be limited by percentages. They are a good starting point - ie. over 50% of Toronto is made up of visible minorities, so we should be seeing sizable representation of this. About 9% of the city is Black, 13% South Asian etc so we should be seeing reasonable representation from those groups. But it's not as if we can't have 20 out of 100 lawyers be South Asian because they're only allowed to have 13. Percentages also work against minorities who are a very small group ie because people of Japanese descent are only 0.5% of the City of Toronto, they shouldn't have even one lawyer. Or do you lump them in with "Asians" or "visible minorities?" Imagine the nonsense that could ensue from using percentages as the test. If there are no barriers to hiring based on race, and equal opportunities to be in law school in the first place, the numbers will take care of themselves.
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