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  1. 7 points
    I don't get how whenever this topic comes up, we consistently hear that Ryerson is in Toronto, and as a result, of course people will want to go there over anywhere else. I mean, why not? Toronto is the centre of the universe. It's such a silly thing to say, because to assume it's true would mean that the majority of people who want to go to law school are willing to forego over a century legal scholarship (Osgoode) or close to it (Queen's, Western) in order to be closer to some poppin' clubs, pubs, and food joints. Yes, Toronto is the centre of commerce and law in the whole country, but being a stone's throw from all of it means very little while you're still in law school. Believe me, I doubt that anyone who likes the idea of "living in downtown Toronto" wants to do so because of proximity to all the tall buildings near King and Bay. And anyway, you'll get just as much exposure to biglaw (if that's your goal) at Queen's from practitioners and professors as you do at Osgoode or U of T. Yeah, you can't attend firm events at a moment's notice but you certainly can attend some. But even if you don't attend any, it's not likely to penalize you, as you will still participate in OCIs. There, the only thing that matters are your grades and personality, not that you had been to a firm meet-and-greet in first term of 1L and met some random lawyer over hors d'oeuvres. To assume that people will flock away from Osgoode, Queen's, or Western to Ryerson simply by virtue of the location of the school is ludicrous. People don't make these decisions solely by that measure. History, academic achievement, prestige (ugh), and all of these things matter. That is the context in which one decides which school to go to (that, and I suppose, the province you want to practice in, but even that isn't strictly required to be a consideration in all instances). People aren't stupid. They don't go, "oh hey, I got into Ryerson and Queen's, but I'll pick Ryerson because I love the idea of taking long walks down the waterfront and that's the only reason I choose Ryerson." Queen's is cheaper, it has a myriad of accomplished academics and teaching practitioners, its graduates have been on appellate courts and the SCC, national and regional firms have alumni lawyers and partners. Why wouldn't you pick Queen's? No, most likely Ryerson admits will be those who have not gotten into the other schools, or have gotten into places like Lakehead or Windsor and want to stay in the GTA. They will, statistically, likely be members of a less competitive class. Maybe in a couple of decades, when its graduates have forged a path to partnerships at various notable firms and the alumni network becomes relatively strong, it will start to compete with the balance of the law schools. We'll see.
  2. 5 points
    Finding out that the "girlfriend" of a client I needed to get an affidavit from was the spouse of another client.
  3. 4 points
    Was having this discussion with some colleagues and thought it would fun to continue it here. Mine continues to be when a client calmly cracked a beer in court while a cop was testifying. Think about how loud that sound is, and then amplify it by about a bajillion to account for the silence and decorum of the court against the backdrop of my total and utter lack of preparation for that moment.
  4. 4 points
    The reality is that people with a solid B average can still get 10+ OCIs. This isn't particularly helpful. OP finished above average in every class and should be getting more OCIs Edit: for some reason, I read OP's marks as all B+s and I just saw that is not the case. 10+ is a bit of a stretch here and I agree with you regarding this average not getting a lot of attention, but 1 is still pretty low.
  5. 4 points
    Anything to do with the actual practice of law (classroom only courses).
  6. 3 points
    Fairly neccessary? Uh, no. I work in the financial district of a major Canadian city and I literally NEVER see anyone wearing one anymore. Maybe on some salesman at Nordstrom or something. Not on lawyers.
  7. 3 points
    No. From past experience, I know that poster was in the top 10% of their class. I don’t know why they continue to omit that while talking about getting 18 OCIs as a transfer student from Ottawa, as if those two factors were in any way deciding.
  8. 3 points
    I think UofT is the school that it is largely because of its location. A lot of really strong applicants want to study and live in downtown TO (for various reasons), so you get really high admission stats, therefore a strong class, good/successful lawyers, a strong alumni base, etc. Also, because of the high demand to go to UofT, they can charge high tuition, and therefore hire the best profs, etc. etc. Obviously other factors play a role, but I think location is a big one. Ryerson will benefit from the same factor. IMHO, it won't long before Ryerson has high admission stats, potentially only second to UofT if my theory is correct.
  9. 3 points
    Your threads are getting shut down pretty quickly, so this appears to be my last shot. I’m writing this because prospective students and other people heading into OCIs read the forum and they should have a reasonable response to the anxiety in your threads in order for them to build their own healthy relationship to law school. I think everyone has confirmed for you that you do not need an HH to get an OCI position. That’s statistically demonstrated in the UV surveys and every graduate of UT law will (and has) told you that we knew people with no HHs who got the same jobs as people with HHs. It’s been a few years since I dug into the stats, but while only 40-something percent get an OCI gig, something like 70+% of the people who toss in their name get interviews. That’s an extraordinarily high number - there is no other job I have known of other than medicine where such a huge number of graduates get a shot at top paying jobs. It may well depress you to know that buying the UT admission didn’t buy you a job, but relative to the world of options any of us could have faced, we all came out of law school with pretty remarkable employability, especially considering law school teaches so few skills. It’s late August. If your year is anything like my year, you will find the halls of UT largely insufferable until call back day. Students will grow increasingly nervous. They will share greater and greater numbers of supposed ‘insider’ wisdom and little tricks like ‘Blakes likes people who wear straight colored ties; no design’ - that’s one a human being, a real live breathing human being who considers themselves smarter than your average anti-vaxxer, actually said to me. They actually thought a serious law firm had a secret tie color policy, like a caricature of skull & bones. The real truth is, as it almost always is, far more boring and straightforward: law firms may have grade floors, they may have flexible floors that can be impacted by your resume/life experience, but once OCIs start it’s just a question of whether you interview well and leave a good impression on people, as in literally every other job on the face of planet earth. Get this deep into your heads - law student job apps are not unique, they are just job interviews like any other, and the more you buy into the skull & bones image of Toronto law, the sillier you sound. This is all a function of immaturity, crippling inability to deal with uncertainty (itself a function of inexperience in life), and, bizarrely, success. At law schools with very low biglaw rates, students do not experience the same kind of stress about grades or OCIs. It sounds weird to say that the higher your chances at something, the higher your anxiety, but with students it’s often true. The reason is that you’re not merely hoping to get a job or pay a bill, but actually trying to affirm your sense of self. We talk about law students as ‘type A’, but it’s far more accurate to say they’re just highly insecure and lack the life experience to contextualize unfamiliar developments. You walk out of undergrad seeing yourself as one of the smart kids, one of the success stories - then law school comes and there’s a meaningful risk you’ll have to reframe yourself as someone who isn’t always awarded the highest honors by whatever authority is standing nearby - scary! And what’s worse, half of your friends get to keep that identity as you watch it sail away. That’s far harder to swallow than if one out of twenty friends retains that identity. So how to stay sane, happy, un-anxious and productive? You need to recognize that the set of fears you’re treading in is quick sand. There is no set of secret buttons you can push to get As or get the job you want. There is no checklist. There is no secret another classmate knows that you don’t know, and the student who tells you they know the secret is masking their insecurity by feigning knowledge. There is no magic, no incantation, no study approach, no flash card trick, no reading selection method, nothing at all that will give you certainty. All you can do is your best, and the good news is that’s very often enough. A prof is mean or another classmate cold? Son. You’re out here talking about your dream of being a bigshot corporate lawyer. Someone was mean to you? Boo hoo. Aren’t you trying to become the guy who fields furious calls from private equity clients at 11pm? None of us enjoys assholes, and I’m the first guy to tell you all of that shit should end, but you can’t really cry to me that you’re struggling in life over a prof being mean to you but also you deserve to represent some of the most notably asshole-ish clients on earth. If you can’t stay happy through a mean prof, why should I recommend hiring and putting you in front of a mean client? Sounds like a terrible idea. And this applies far wider than corporate law - you want to be a criminal defence lawyer? Want to handle divorces? Employment disputes? We have a job to do here, some people are going to be assholes and you need to be able to just set that aside and not take it personally in order to do your duty effectively. School is hard? You don’t know if you’ll get an A? Son. You’re asking for a seat at the table of stress. You think school is hard, wait till you’re the only person really in charge of making sure $800,000,000 is transferred properly and correctly. Wait till someone’s liberty is on your shoulders. A child’s life. I’ve written this spiel a bunch of times, but you need to reframe all of this in your head as something motivational. You want to be great at something? Good. It’s hard work and there’s stiff competition. Do you think Sidney Crosby was sad the first time he found a league he couldn’t score 280 points in? Or do you think he woke up and thought ‘great, I’m where I belong and I’m being challenged’? Take a look at yourself. Do you want to be the person who can only feel happy when they’re in a room they can dominate? Or are you the person who wants to grow, challenge and find their ceiling - actually flex the muscles of their ambition and capacity with real peers? Be the second guy. Not because it gets you riches, but because it’s more fun for you and everyone else in the room. Do the right things. Exercise, take long breaks, smoke a joint and play video games...whatever is pleasurable. Be happy because life is happy - the sky is beautiful and rain feels nice and dogs are entertaining and strawberries are delicious. If you literally have zero friends, go make friends. Honestly, take a week to go camping and clear your head if you get too deep into the muck. Law will be here when you return. Stop listening to the rumor mill. Stop paying attention to everyone else’s anxiety. Stop using the hallways as an echo chamber of fear and intrigue and judgment. For the love of sweet baby Jesus, stop believing that 2Ls have secret insider information on law firms - they barely know how to get to the buildings and much of the ‘knowledge’ they pass along sounds hilarious to practicing lawyers. But most important of all, stop letting your sense of self and identity get tied up with being a law student. You are not a law student, you are a human who happens to sometimes go to a law school. I am not a lawyer, I am Hoju and I spend too much of my time at a law firm. One day I will be Hoju-who-doesn’t-spend-too-much-time-at-a-law-firm. One day I will be Hoju-who-doesn’t-practice-law. One day after that I will be Hoju-who-is-dying. The only consistency is Hoju, everything else is just sauce. You are your interests, your loves, your creation, your intent, your actions and your thoughts, and only some of those do or should relate to being a student. Here’s the good news: being stable in your identity, having a healthy response to school, and managing challenges with motivation rather than anxiety are all things that will help you to succeed in our field much, much, much, so much more than one extra HH. I can’t tell you how much more. This is where you come back and say “that’s all well and good but I have a practical problem in front of me where I need to get a job and the odds are uncertain”. Indeed they are and always will be - it’s entirely possible that OCIs is the time in your life when the odds you get some job you want are highest, but sure, I agree they are uncertain. That is precisely the reason your rock in the storm is your actual identity - you, a human, who among other things, happens to go to law school. Now that we’re back to square one, I’ll ask it again: Are you the human who wants to coast, or are you the human who wants to be challenged and to grow? You’re the latter. So enjoy it - you’ve finally found the right room.
  10. 3 points
    I was interviewing a client and she's talking about how she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. I asked her whether she had evidence with her and she unbuttoned her top two buttons, before I'm like "wait no what are you doing stop I meant medical evidence, like documents from your doctors or something, stop." Also, the "oh shit" moment when someone threatens you with physical violence.
  11. 3 points
    Well, as a litigator that hated solicitor work, I'll at least try to articlate a couple of aspects of the "fun" solicitors claim to have. First, you have to stop thinking of yourself strictly as a lawyer and consider yourself a business advisor instead. You're not Harvey Specter anymore; you're Tom Hagen. Also a sweet gig. That being done, you're going to spend the first four or five years of practice (in several areas) learning the ropes: how to navigate the Securities Act, or Health Canada, or some other highly complicated minefield of regulation. So you'll be reviewing a bunch of contracts and other instruments time and time again, looking for something specific in each. Very dull stuff for most people. But, the next thing you know, you know what representations and warranties go into virtually every agreement. When you're asked to draft something, you know what's supposed to be in these agreements. The solicitor, like the litigator, is paid to see the world not in terms of Firms X and Y engaging in a joint drilling project with trucks and crews and core samples, but X-ray like, to view the world in terms of rights and relations. They need to get through that forest. Is that Crown land? Who has the timber rights? They'll need a road --- what standards are necessary to construct one? What is the municipality's role in maintenance, and will they adopt the road? All that equipment is on lease --- if you have to go through the forest what kind of defaults are we looking at? More importantly, can the lessor take the equipment back at a critical time? And you've thought of all of those things beforehand, because you're experienced with these things, and you've made everything from the asset lease agreement to the Crown license proof against all the hazards you foresaw. You keep the law from adversely affecting your client by managing it from the outset, as opposed to the litigator, who uses the law as a weapon after things have turned sour. You start to see contracts not as exchanged promises (like scholars do), or perimeter fences (like litigators do), but like working, vital engines of a relationship between complex entities. You, moreso than the scholar or the litigator, will get what happens if something pops loose. You know how all the working parts fit together, and you understand your client's business almost as well as he does. So when the client talks about sending something in a week late to a joint venture affiliate, you're the only person in the room with alarm bells going off. That means that they'll fall behind on Schedule X, which means that Clause Y doesn't apply, which means Penalty Z kicks in, which jeopardizes both the project and the relationship with the joint venturer, while simultaneously costing a lot of money. You're the natural bridge between a "pure" lawyer, who talks in obscure terminology and prefers that no company take any risk, ever --- and the people actually out there making the economy run, for whom the law is an incomprehensible Malebolge and you're their corporate Virgil. You're alert to the business repercussions of legal actions, and the legal repercussions of business actions and you "quarterback" the legal needs of your client. In many cases, you'll even be invited to join the board or to go in-house. The other factor is that as you start to perceive contracts as living instruments that give flesh and breath to a relationship between companies, you start to become interested in creating those engines, and customizing them for your client's use. This can range from the simple tailoring of obligations into something simple and effective (that otherwise might have been an argument waiting to happen), to something as sophisicated as planning an emergency takeover defence, and laying a trap for unscrupulous M&A vultures. (It was a solicitor that invented the poison pill, after all.) Together with your tax personnel, you turn a complicated idea into a thing of beauty, shedding as little in cash and bureaucracy as possible between every level of engagement in a project, and defining the future of a company in a substantial way for the foreseeable future. You watch as buildings rise and fall, incredible products improve the quality of life worldwide, and important corporate citizens behave well and scrupulously --- all under your guidance. But first, check these 800 lease agreements for rofers. Finally, there is something to be said for the non-adversarial nature of solicitor work --- not just with the adverse party, but with your client. As a litigator, I'm always having to inform my clients of their obligations, which they do not appreciate. And I take strategic steps to win, which costs money, which is bad. I mean, the trial will already be expensive, do we really need all these motions in order to win it? (Yes.) And then, remember that what I do doesn't make them any money --- it just stems the loss of money to some extent, or recovers some percentage of money they already budgeted on having. No one is excited to sue. They counted on having $2 million next month, and now I'm telling them they might settle for $1.3 a year from now. Yay, thanks, lawyer. You're the best. That's not the case with the solicitor, who makes the big deal happen, who actually does negotiations and comes to you at the end of the day shaking your hand and telling you how much money you're about to make. When a solicitor's job is done, they're invited to the closing party in the box at the Leafs game and they drink all night making plans to go to the cottage in the summer. The client sees you as part of the team and an integral part of the success of his life's work. When a litigator's job is done, a letter comes in from the insurance company or CFO demanding an audit of the time you spent on the case and seeking to reduce your fee. The client sees you as a grudgingly necessary expense that swelled out of proportion. He's glad to be rid of you, and hopes never to see you again. At best the client feels an exhausted, resentful sense of relief. TL;DR: Some people would rather be a GP than a pathologist.
  12. 2 points
    Personally, I think the sharpest look a gentleman of the law can endorse is the timeless black suit, white dress shirt, black wingtip oxfords, and white pocket square aesthetic. It is absolutely essential that the gentleman unbutton at least the top three buttons of his dress shirt (total power move). Oh, and make sure you have your hair slicked back (like David Beckham). There you have it: you will almost certainly receive every position you interview for and gain the trust of every partner upon arrival. Not sure what all the fuss about a tie or tar clip is about. Amateurs.
  13. 2 points
    I don't even know what "zero extra-curriculars" could look like. The curriculum is, by definition, everything you formally study. Extra-curriculars are everything you do and learn from outside of that. Are you seriously telling me that you only study and do absolutely nothing outside of that that has any redeeming value, instructive aspect, or useful opportunities for personal development? As noted above, if you aren't ticking off any of the boxes that your peers may be chasing down, that's fine. Law schools are less impressed by yet another club president than you may imagine. But you might want to reflect on how you spend your free time and whether any of the things you do, on campus or otherwise, may be worth thinking about in terms of how you are learning from it. I'm not recommending this as an exercise in inflating your own activities. I mean, really think about what you do and why it's meaningful. I honestly can't believe you do nothing at all. And if you think that you do, it's probably because you're accepting someone else's ideas of what has value and what doesn't, rather than applying your own
  14. 2 points
    It's only September. You should wait until you actually write the LSAT, then actually apply and see what schools accept you.
  15. 2 points
    Doubt it. Useful comparators being the business school vs. Schulich. Even Ivy and Queens business school
  16. 2 points
    Here you go. Poor job of advertising so it seems, but the website is now running again after being on a hiatus my year. I remembered I literally had to find the google drive link to get these and I just shared it with friends of mine while most people didn't know about it. Could be that this school is unusually insular, could be that people just don't know about it. http://www.aeclss.ca/summaries
  17. 2 points
    That kind of position would drive me crazy. I like being busy at work; I just don't want to take it home with me, or be doing it all the time (like I was in private practice). I feel like I've got a nice balance with my current employer. They expect a lot from me when I'm there, but don't contact me when I'm on vacation and generally no one emails/contacts you past 5ish (unless there is something crazy going on.)
  18. 2 points
    I found that in 1L it helped me to read case summaries before, rather than after, I read a case. This way I read the case fully knowing what was going on and it helped me pick up on the nuances better.
  19. 2 points
    Isn't OCI where you''re supposed to say that you find every practice area fascinating?
  20. 2 points
    Uh...if you don't know what to do about it, you probably shouldn't be banging your staff.
  21. 2 points
    One of the most important things to figure out early in 1L, and also one of the most difficult, is what method of study habits will work best for you. Someone else's approach may, or may not, work for you. What I did is almost completely different than what has been posted above. I made my own summaries, never used those made by another student. Why would I rely on something that someone whom I didn't know made? That was my way of thinking. Making my summaries was the primary way I studied for exams. I did all my readings prior to class. I didn't like the thought of going to class being, what I considered, unprepared. I never was a part of a study group, probably for similar reasons that I didn't want to use CANs made by others. I think study groups help some students but they can also hinder, so be aware of that. I did well and graduated with honours, so what I did worked for me. It's also possible that another approach would have worked similarly. That's the thing, it's hard to know. It's only, what, a week into school? I wouldn't stress too much at this point. It's early, and you can be sure that you aren't the only one feeling lost. Know, however, that it's wise to keep up with your readings. If you get too far behind, it's impossible to catch up.
  22. 2 points
    I would like to take some time to second this advice. While articling, I developed a fairly serious mental health disorder that took an extraordinary physical and mental toll on me. I was away from everyone I knew and loved, my work was stressful, the hours were long, and in general my superiors didn't believe in positive reinforcement. I took up the LSO's free counselling services, and they set me up with a mental health practitioner in seven days. That is an extraordinarily short time to have to wait for something like that. I assume you are in BC because of the PLTC, so I can't speak to their services specifically, but I urge you to make use of whatever resources you can. I was given 24 sessions - for free - and it made an incredible difference. I legitimately don't believe I would have made it through articling without it.
  23. 2 points
    Most law firms are a pretty charged environment, while I don't think being screamed at is "normal", law is pretty far behind many other professions in creating good work environments. On the other hand, you are having problems with your second articling job. This is a red flag. Most people keep their heads down and work for a year. It is particularly difficult when you are just starting because everything is new; Hegdis gave you the right advice, you need to put in at least 6 more weeks.
  24. 2 points
    Christ that's not too bad at all. Ill have almost 200K of student debt when I graduate. Just the way she goes.
  25. 2 points
    Well that settles it then
  26. 2 points
    Man I don't have any fun judge stories other than "I saw Justice so-and-so on the street!" Opposing counsel was high on cocaine in court once. He lost.
  27. 2 points
    Okay, so I have a civil/corporate story. I'm a junior associate at a small town law firm. Our firm represents a hotel. An oil company is going through a CCAA reorganization. The partner forgets to file whatever paperwork he should have filed in order to get the outstanding hotel bills paid by the oil company. So he send me to the city. Honestly we don't have a leg to stand on other than the fact our debt is really small potatoes compared to the overall re-org, and no one else is really challenging the re-org. This was a long time ago so I forget a lot of the actual legal details. We have to wait for the judge for awhile, and eventually we get told to appear after lunch. The lawyer for the oil company agrees to just pay our hotel bill. We come back after lunch... and the judge is gone. We check with the judge's chambers, and he's left the building. This is a problem - I have to get back to my small town practice (pretty sure this was a Friday afternoon), and this other guy wants to get this reorganization finalized and signed off on. So the lawyer goes "I think I know where he is". he takes me to this ritzy social and sports club. We start wandering around the club, until we eventually find the judge in the men's change room. So the judge signs off of the CCAA order in the change room at the club.
  28. 1 point
    Hi everyone, I'm pleased to finally release a project that I've been working on since law school started last fall. It's a web app that builds off of my current one, but makes substantial improvements. It has the following features: Admissions FAQ - The number one thing that applicants come here for is to find answers to their common law school questions. I've compiled all of the information I've gleaned over the course of the last several years related to admissions from a variety of sources, including this website, practitioners, and a number of law school colleagues who've served on admissions committees. Hopefully it will help out new applicants! OLSAS GPA Calculator - Much like the old one, it calculates your OLSAS GPA, but it's cleaner, supports applicants who have grades from more than one university, and supports grades from US schools. It also saves your grades so you can edit them later. Admissions Predictor - I've expanded on the old utility and included some feedback about grades and LSAT that will be personalized to your stats. It even has a neat graph to go with it. And, it gives you your chances given the model I built from the data on this website. Personal Statement Assembler - One of the main problems I had when I applied was the fact that OLSAS is terrible with personal statements. It mangled what I typed if it contained certain special characters. Character counts were way different than the ones you got from Word if you pasted stuff in, so you ended up having to edit in-place. The editor times out after a while, so hitting save sometimes became a gamble. The personal statement assembler presents you with the prompts from each school and gives you a much nicer editor that counts characters like OLSAS and replaces special characters with their ordinary alternatives. It also saves your place regularly, so you don't end up losing everything by accident. It basically gets your personal statement ready to be pasted into OLSAS. You can see some screenshots of these features on the home page. There's even a neat feature where you can take the grades and test scores you entered and create an anonymized link so you can share them with people here (or elsewhere) and get feedback. Your schools, courses, and any identifying info will be redacted, and you can disable the link whenever you want. My goal with this is to make the law school application process as painless as possible. Hopefully this helps a bit. I'm always looking for feedback, so feel free to shoot me a message or reply! PS - I should note that this is a personal project and is not affiliated with Morgan or ls.ca, so if you have any questions about it, I'm the guy to contact! PPS - There's a Facebook page now. Spread the word if you like the site!
  29. 1 point
    Other posters have mentioned the grades aspect, which is unfortunate to hear as a student so I won't reiterate. I want to however draw attention to this portion of your post as I believe it fed into unrealistic expectations which are now leading to your current shock. Take this advice with a grain of salt, but firms just don't care what names appear on a cover letter. If you spoke with a partner, associate, articling student, law clerk, or custodian, it really doesn't do much, if anything at all, for your application. I can all but guarantee that although you remember this lawyer, he or she doesn't remember you. If a lawyer's name is on the application your best case is the recruitment committee, if this lawyer isn't on it, asks the lawyer about you. If the lawyer remembers you, which they won't, any description will probably not be a very detailed explanation of how you are as a candidate. Probably something like "meh he or she seems normal". Alternately, if the lawyer is on the recruitment committee, this also doesn't help because he or she has interacted with literally hundreds of students and won't have anything magnificent to say about you regardless of how passionate you may have been. The student committees in these firms aren't clueless. They know students are looking for a nepotistic favour by interacting with these lawyers in an effort to get on "the inside". As such, name dropping doesn't help. Apart from this reality, IMO school CDO offices know jack shit about how to get students hired and what firms want.
  30. 1 point
    I would caution students and junior associates with respect to adorning their suits with cheap accessories, especially something like a tie clip (I mostly see these on "amatuers" wearing their first Indochino or similar suit, not on lawyers). Buy some high quality and tasteful accessories. You don't want to look garish/corny, especially if you attend court. Understated is preferable.
  31. 1 point
    The Toronto firms would just probably hire the Ryerson student as an articling student first, before bringing them on as an Associate. I feel like people are underestimating Ryerson. A lot of strong candidates wanting to work in Toronto and attend law school there may choose Ryerson over schools like Western, Queen's, Windsor, and Ottawa, etc. The tuition is not that bad considering its location and transit options.
  32. 1 point
    I think he or she may have meant to read and review each other's essay
  33. 1 point
    Hello! I was in your shoes over a decade ago, so thought I would add my two cents, in case it is helpful. I have a B.Sc. in Chem, studied law at UofT, spent my first few years of practice at a Bay Street firm, and am now practicing at a mid-sized regional firm in Western Canada. I did not participate in the 1L recruiting in Ottawa, but can confirm what TheScientist101 said about 1L recruitment in Toronto. At the time, if you wanted to article at an IP boutique in Toronto, you essentially had to secure a 1L position at the boutique, as they would typically do most of their hiring at 1L, and keep those students through to the end of articles. And, in those days, it seemed to be a requirement that you needed an M.Sc. or Ph.D. in your technical discipline, in order to get into a boutique firm (except for, perhaps, those with engineering backgrounds, for whom a B.Eng. was often sufficient). I tried to get hired at an IP boutique, and had a lot of great interviews at several of those firms in Toronto, but ultimately was not hired, and I think it was that I didn't have an advanced science degree that kept me out. All of my peers who did secure those 1L jobs, had the advanced science degrees. On the other hand, I ended up at a Bay Street firm with a significant IP practice, and in hindsight I think that was the better option. In addition to experiencing many different types of IP work (from TM prosecution to assisting with M&A transactions having significant IP components, drafting licensing agreements, participating in patent, copyright and trademark litigation), I also had the opportunity to experience general corporate and litigation files, and access to CPD on a wide variety of topics. In the end, although I practice IP law exclusively at this point in my career, I think that the broader experience, in my earlier years, has made me a more well-rounded lawyer. This isn't to knock the experience at IP boutique firms, which offer a wide variety of exciting and engaging files to work on, but just offering some perspective on what it is like to gain experience at a general service firm. Many of my friends who ended up at IP boutiques found that they were sometimes pigeonholed into a particular type of IP law once they became an associate (such as, only doing trademarks, or only prosecuting patents for mechanical inventions, for example), which is another factor to consider, if your interest is gaining experience in IP law more broadly. If you end up considering opportunities at larger firms with an IP practice, I found the key was to really do your homework and find out what type of work is available in the firm's IP department. Almost all of the large and medium, full service firms will claim to have a significant IP practice, but in some cases the "IP practice" amounts to a couple of IP lawyers who happen to do a lot of IP-heavy transactional work, and there is very little (or no) IP litigation or IP trademark/patent prosecution work. So, if you are interested in experiencing the various types of IP, you need to do your due diligence to figure out which of the full service firms you are going to target. Also, don't be discouraged if you don't land a 1L position. There are few positions out there (such as in Toronto), and it is highly competitive. I didn't land a 1L job, so I found a research assistant position at the law school over my 1L summer, and then secured a good 2L position. As far as interviews go, you should do everything you can to demonstrate your interest in IP law. I understand that Osgoode offers many extracurricular activities relating to IP, so I suggest you get involved in as many of those activities as possible. Take all the IP courses you can get your hands on (in the 2nd and 3rd years). Do the IP moot (I can't recall what it is called, but there is one). Write some papers, submit articles to the IP blog. And, at least before 2L interviews begin (if you don't succeed in securing a 1L position), try networking with IP professionals and find yourself a mentor or two. There used to be a group called the Toronto IP Group, which was a group of IP professionals based in Toronto, they would periodically hold networking events and I'm certain that students were able to get a membership and attend - these types of social events can be a great way to meet professionals in the field. Another way to connect with a mentor is to check into whether Osgoode has an alumni mentorship program. They had one at UofT, which paired law students with law alumni, and they would try to match you with your field of interest. Through this program, I met an IP lawyer who offered me some great advice over the years, and continues to offer advice and insight to me today, over a decade after we first met. If you connect with someone, be sure to follow up and invite them out for a coffee. Ask them questions about their career and what it took them to get there. If you schedule such a meeting, be prepared to ask focused questions and be considerate of their time. It sounds like a lot of work, and it is, but you would be surprised about the valuable career information and advice that you can gain from this type of networking. And if you are like me (kind of bookish and introverted), this won't come naturally to you... but it is a skill you can develop, and it is great to start building those relationships now. Wishing you the best of luck! Ah, to be a student again...
  34. 1 point
    There are a lot more boutiques and smaller firms working on "M&A" write large and corporate finance (in the broadest of senses) that you might think. Take a look around and do some additional searching - there are a bunch that don't recruit through the traditional rigid channels, as far as I can tell. If you're looking to work on large public capital markets transactions, those are few and far between outside of the big firms, some of whom might have articling openings if you reach out - once you're passed the formal recruit cycle, it doesn't hurt to try, though I wouldn't approach every single one. But if you're willing to do M&A writ large (again, largely not public M&A, but the myriad types of private M&A that occur constantly without anyone paying attention), smaller firms do that kind of work all the time. Once you're outside the formal recruit, you have to do a bit more proactive searching and digging because the process isn't spoon fed, but likewise, there are way more law firms out there doing certain types of work that anyone truly appreciates. I work in a big firm and constantly come across firms doing work that I do that I've never heard of, which means that work does exist in some fashion at smaller and mid-size shops.
  35. 1 point
    My original comment was meant to be a bit tongue-in-cheek, so I apologize if it came off as entirely sincere. Here's my real argument: I think getting rid of articling is a mistake. I think the IPC is a poor replacement generally speaking for decent articles. There's a huge "if" there, because it implies that one gets "decent articles" in the first place (and we can argue about what "decent" means in that context, but let's save that for another day). But even with all of the problems in the articling system, and despite all of the challenges of finding good articles and the problems facing students who cannot find articles to begin with, I still think it is a better system than making everyone go through a three-month training simulation and then letting the market decide. Which is precisely what the IPC ends up doing. I don't believe those people are better or even as well trained as a student who articled for 10 months. I think a fully-licensed lawyer should be subject to a minimum standard of competence, and I don't think that 3 months is enough for that. Even 10 months is pushing it, but it's far, far better than the IPC.
  36. 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.
  37. 1 point
    Lots of people handwrite their notes. If you've had good results handwriting in the past, why mess with it until you find a problem? I think the best advice is to do what you've done before and feels natural for your learning style. This difference between law school class time and note taking and other programs isn't the amount of material...it's the material itself and the end goal/how you will use the material. I think in the first couple months of law school, what's most challenging is figuring out the point of the reading and lectures, and what you need to do with all that material to do well. Because of this, there's a tendency to assume you need EVERY WORD the prof says, because you basically have no idea what you might need any of it for. This can lead to giving into the urge to try to fully transcribe lectures, particularly when you're typing. In my opinion, this transcription habit interferes with actually processing information in class. This opinion is backed by some studies, but at the same time many, many top students type their notes and do well. Also, if you find later you have a gap in your handwritten notes, you can always ask a classmate to fill in the gap. Or even better, it's a good starting point for discussing with a prof in their office hours. They aren't going to be mad at you for missing something said in class, they'll just be happy you're working through it and brought the question to them.
  38. 1 point
    Why would you state that planning one's career (which is never a bad thing to plan, btw) around a niche field is a poor choice? If someone is passionate about something, and knows precisely the area that they would like to work, why would that be a bad thing? Your post implies that niche fields of law are not active areas to practice (which is in itself a contradiction; something cannot be niche will simultaneously being non-existent). I would caution against discouraging prospective law students from pursuing specific practice areas, and instead encourage having those passions while keeping an open mind, and knowing that there are multiple ways to engage those practice areas (e.g., in private practice, including full-service firms, working on environmental issues for corporations; or in public capacities where one is actually practising, or using the legal training but in non-legal roles).
  39. 1 point
    I applied to undergrad in 2013 and was not smart enough to call and do my research then. However, things must have changed since then, drastically! They obviously did, because I was able to apply to UofT, Osgoode, Queens and Windsor. It's just my shitty LSAT that held me back and got me rejected. That's got nothing to do with them not accepting the degree. So yeah, you might've been right then, but now your information is wrong and outdated, completely. Of course I'll post the list. Not trying to keep anything a secret. At all. I'm yelling it from the rooftops actually, in hopes that the more old-school forum members can hear me clearly. This is very important for students that are in the shoes that I was in last year.
  40. 1 point
    I've made some posts about my experience on some other threads. 1) I went to Osgoode following my 2 years at UBham. I can confidently say that having an LLM helped me to land my articling position at my top choice firm. I did not have any law firm/ lawyer connections & simply networked. If you have connections or a job lined up, I know a lot of current lawyers who quickly pumped out the NCAs and started their positions. However, I also know people who wrote the NCA exams instead of obtaining an LLM, with no connections and were still able to find positions. Networking is everything. You have to sell why you are the best candidate over those who studied law in Canada. Keep in mind your networking should start before you finish law school (very possible to do so by applying to summer/articling positions from the UK and following your provincial law society's application deadlines for formal rounds). 2) I have friends who are Canadian that stayed in the UK. The process over there is also quite difficult. You can have amazing extra curricular activities and grades and not even get an interview. It's all about networking events and your application cover letter. I don't think there is as much of a stigma behind Canadian and applying to a UK firm. The UK is very open to people from anywhere-- there is a ton of international students that come to study law in the UK. But obviously, like in Canada, UK firms like hiring students who studied three years in the UK versus someone who only studied two and didn't have to take all the required courses that the 3 year students had to. 3) Whether you want to stay in the UK or come back to Canada is up to you. You have to work just as hard to obtain a position there as you would coming back to Canada. You're not a "lawyer" right out of law school in the UK. You must do 1 year in a program post-law school which specializes in the type of lawyer you want to be (solicitor or barrister). You must then complete 2 years training before becoming a solicitor or barrister. Keep in mind those 3 years only make you a solicitor OR a barrister-- not both. If you want to be both (which many people in the UK don't do), you have to go through the process for the specialty you did not originally complete (another 3 years-- not sure if there are any exceptions to this). If you are interested in law that combines work as a solicitor and barrister-- then you may want to stay in Canada. I completed my law school in 2018 and graduated from Osgoode with a LLM last month. I commence articling next month and I am on track to getting called to the bar in June 2020. As I have previously mentioned, I did not have any connections and did the work on my own to obtain a position at my top choice law firm. It wasn't a walk in the park, but it also wasn't impossible. No matter where you choose, you'll have to work hard and go above and beyond to stand out to law firms. Feel free to message me and I can go into more detail.
  41. 1 point
    What I'm getting from other posts is "if you weren't wronged, then your disappointment isn't justified, might even be your fault, so reset your expectations, and make the best of it". I say it's fine to reset your expectations and make the best of this situation. But you can still be disappointed. You thought things were going to work out a certain way, and they didn't, so you're bummed. That's justification enough. But the disappointment you feel in these circumstances is no indication you were wronged. Separate that out. People's lives are complex and they have to make tough decisions. Unless it's a really big deal, and you know everything that went into that decision, don't hold it against them. This includes if someone made a "mistake" by giving you positive indications and then suddenly pull the rug from under you. I wasn't wronged when that happened to me. I had to leave the firm on the same day. It sucked but sometimes it's just the way it goes. I have good relations with them now, they just preferred giving severance and not prolonging things. Ultimately I asked myself, is there an employment contract issue?(no) will they provide a good reference?(yes) Realizing that I magically became content and focused on being productive. Haha, no, I continued to be bummed out and my progress was slow. Sometimes you just gotta busy yourself with this and that while you wait for the disappointment to fade. It gets better.
  42. 1 point
    North York sucks and Montreal doesn't. Keep that in mind as well. I lived a semester in Montreal, and from a student standpoint there is nothing that could be better. Cheap beer, easy to find parking for freinds, they have a subway pass that gives you unlimited rides on the weekends when your pals come to visit. The city is clean, the art gallery is free for young people, arts stuff all over the city, free events all over, the Canadians are cheaper to watch than the leafs. No 401 traffic, or 407 bills. There are still strip clubs.
  43. 1 point
    Bingo. Going in-house was precisely why I chose securities (and I never would have been able to go in-house without that background). I came within an inch of going into litigation after I finished articling, but my extremely wise mentor told me about the different exit opportunities that arise for transactional solicitors vs litigators - and I was sold. Generally speaking, if you look at the demographics of transactional lawyers vs. litigators, you'll find that there are more grey haired litigators around (many of the grey haired transactional lawyers left to collect their pile of stock options).
  44. 1 point
    Just to further clarify, it depends on what you mean by "institutional client". 30 banks or blue-chip reporting issuers? No. 50 clients with revenue in the eight-figure-plus range? Yes. And some people do have an embarrassing share of the market in certain industries. There are senior partners pulling down in excess of $2 million because literally everyone involved in offshore drilling (random example) knows he's just "the guy". No one else has his experience, he knows everyone at the regulator and their kids, he will beat up anyone that tries to horn in on that market with sweetheart deals and free advice, he can connect you with literally anything you require when working in that industry, and when he's gone his firm will have a library of institutional memory completely unmatched by any other firm in Canada. Emerging, small-cap clients will audition for his time and be grateful to be transferred to someone two levels below him just to have access to him in a pinch. This is who we mean when we say "rainmaker", by the way. His very presence makes all the lawyers under him valued commodities of their own, and attracts business without any further positive effort.
  45. 1 point
    I'm not sure what to take from Uriel's posts anymore, I feel like he'll make anything sound exciting.
  46. 1 point
    Yes: 8 AM inteviews are held at 8 AM. There is not, because there's no point. Every firm does it differently, and those differences can tell you a lot about the firm. Generally speaking, you show up, shake some hands and are ushered over to a waiting area (boardroom) with refreshments. You hang out with some articling students and fellow applicants until an articling student comes by to take you to your first interview. That's when all hell breaks loose. Generally speaking, you'll go to a 45 minute - one hour long interview with two interviewers, then get pulled out by the articling student and brought to another one. Then you're done. The 'all hell' consists of the wide differences in interviewing techniques. Some firms are very formal and direct; you're going to be a professional now, so let's see you behave like one. They ask a formalized set of questions off a checklist --- Can you describe a time you overcame adversity? Can you tell me something that's not on your CV that helps show who you are? These are great interviews for introverts that have prepared answers and that don't want to risk too much back-and-forth banter and potential for error. Other firms are the complete opposite. You're brought into an office and start hanging out with two interviewers, and then someone else drops in and says hi, and then leaves, and then you're talking about the library so you keep talking as you take a walk down to the library and meet the library staff. Then the articling student takes you to another interview, and along the way pops in to see anyone else that doesn't look too busy and basically introduces you around to everyone to give you a feeling for the place. And then you mention that you really want to do IP work so they give you a drive-by of a senior partner in IP that can tell you about what their practice is like right now. These interviews are fantastic for extroverts or people that prioritize working at a place where they feel comfortable and among friends. Other firms still attempt behavioural interviewing. Your brain gets a workout, you're arguing legal questions posed to you to a limited extent, you're on the defensive as they put to you that maybe you're not right for the job, and so on. These interviews are great for meritocrats and prestige-seekers, because you really do feel like you 'won' something if you manage to get a job at these firms. Morgans is allegedly infamous for starting off with false accusations of typos in your resume. So that's why there's no big post. There's an enormous spectrum. And that's good! It helps you decide which places are not your kind of workplace. They all look the same online, but they definitely do not all work the same in practice. It's your first exposure to that elusive "firm culture" and "fit" everyone talks about.
  47. 1 point
    My grandfather is an etiquette Nazi and he has pounded this into me. So I'll convey the basic points here: Bread and butter etiquette: - break bread with hands (as said above), do not saw bread with your knife. - if butter is presented in a communal bowl, you take a scoop with your knife and put it on your bread plate and use that. Do not reach to the communal bowl for every piece of bread. Soup etiquette (don't order, it's too messy): - scoop forward (not backwards) with your spoon - do not put the entire spoon in your mouth, bring it to your lips and QUIETLY sip Eating Styles (with your fork and knife): - there are two styles of eating: continental and american. Read more here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-mirza-grotts/table-etiquette-two-diffe_b_594518.html Wine - the servers will continue to pour wine for you, so monitor how much you consume - if you're not used to drinking wine be careful, it comes up fast. - white wine is help by the stem (so your hands don't warm it up by holding the goblet of the cup), and red wine is held by the goblet. Service - food is served from your left and cleared from your right - drinks and soup are served from your right and cleared from your right - orders are taken in order of females (oldest to youngest) and then males (oldest to youngest) The general rule: Go with the flow of the meal and never correct people on their etiquette. Many sophisticated people don't know all of these rules or don't really care (it's not 1930 anymore). I think that's about it.
  48. 1 point
    (Reads thread about attending class while missing class.)
  49. 1 point
    Went back to the OP - best thing I learned during articles was to write it all down, right away. Memo your files. That way, when a client suddenly starts telling you that he never agreed to X, you have a record to refer to. My principle told me to assume every file is going to result in a law society complaint (common enough in my area, but a risk in all areas). Paper your file so you have a clear history of court appearances (including any and all representations you made to the court), client instructions, and what advice you've given based on what information you have. One day, you might really need it.
  50. 1 point
    I'm pulling from real life examples here so it appears that for a few people (and thank God it's really just a few) this advice is necessary, so here goes - My best advice is this: know your place. Especially in court, where you will be at the bottom of everyone's list. Every year some articled student gets worked up and thinks they are being tested or disrespected in some way. They act up. It's a mistake. Some time ago a student actually complained to the judge on the record that the wait for their file had taken half the morning (which is still how long I wait on occasion, depending on who is ahead of me). The judge was unimpressed and the story got around. You don't want to be the subject of a story like that. If there is actually a problem, you deal with it politely and quietly, and then you go to your principle and explain what happened. If there's a reason to intervene or make a phone call to correct an issue or tell some one else off, your principle will do it. Not you. Never you. Speaking of stories - here's my second best advice: keep your stories to yourself. You have no idea who are you are speaking to. You have no idea of the loyalties and disputes between colleagues that have been perculating for years before you showed up. You might think you're telling a harmless funny tale about some random judge. What you don't know is you just insulted some one's uncle, and they're too polite to tell you - but they are going to remember you as an indiscreet gossip-mongering jerk who has no concept of respect for their peers or their betters. Needless to say, if you hear something really really juicy about a colleague - say something about addiction or infidelity or whatever - just shut up about it. I don't remember stories I hear about other people anywhere near as well as I remember who was indiscreet enough to repeat them. And for God's sake do not gossip about the inner workings of your office. If asked, play dumb or deflect. To you, the bar is this great big group of unknown, random people. Within about two years you're going to realize it's a giant web and most of the people in it are connected. Either they went to school together, or they were on a case together, or they work on the same committee, or they're related, or they have some other connection that has established a relationship. You are the newcomer. Eventually you will make space for yourself and you will belong. But while you are new, know your place - and keep your mouth shut. * The flip side to the above is that articled students who are respectful and discreet really stand out. They're more interested in being professionals than anything else. Those people get noticed just because they give the impression that there's no risk that they wil embarrass an office or a colleague. They appear to be focused on the actual work without the distractions of ego or gossip. In short, they come across as adults. It's much much easier to work with and refer cases to that kind of person. They earn a reputation for the right things.
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