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  1. 33 points
    While I can't speak for the legal market as a whole, in terms of gaining legal experience you're going to be responding to an unprecedented problem that no one knows what the holy fuck to do about. And that is, of itself, valid legal experience. Tomorrow, I'm going to a court to figure out a very messed up situation with a client caught up in this (intentionally vague, here) and then I'll be working some more on related issues. It's true that the cash flow for legal businesses may be impacted. And it's possible some articling jobs may be threatened as a result. I can't dismiss that possibility. But it would take either a very tight-fisted or desperate employer to fire articling students over this. Almost any lawyer I know would save money or take the hit elsewhere first, until there were no other options. Bottom line - this is going to create a significant amount of work (just responding to the general mess) before it creates no work. And then courts are still going to need to find a way to function. Which again, may occur in novel ways that constitute some of the best training available. Also, what solutions exist will be technology-driven, so younger folks may have an advantage there. So basically, buckle up, be prepared to be creative and flexible, try to maintain some positivity, and learn as much as you can from this experience. The very definition of lawyering is responding to shit that no one else knows how to deal with. If it was as simple and straight-forward as paint-by-numbers all the time, then any idiot could be good at it and we wouldn't get paid as well as we do. Some lawyering is routine. But honestly, that shit is basic and you can learn it any time. If there's less of that happening right now, it's no great loss. It's learning how to deal with the very not-routine stuff that will teach you how to be good at this.
  2. 25 points
    Many food banks aren't stringent about means testing. The idea being that the costs of enforcement are higher than the returns from catching fraudsters, and they don't want to dissuade the needy from accessing their services by raising the administrative burdens. The programs are often run by good people who don't like to turn anyone away. I think that's right. But someone with a full time job and five figures in the bank is not their target recipient and shouldn't have gotten help. As someone who volunteered at food banks for many years, I know that lots of small donations come from people with little or nothing. We saw people on social assistance, who were still struggling to make ends meet come in with a few extra items from the store or a couple of dollars here and there. Others gave their time to sorting, packing, and distribution. They did so, because they benefited from the program and wanted to ensure that others in the community got the same amount of help. Often there's not enough nutritious food, so we usually prioritized families with kids, even though there were lots of other people who needed those items too. I can guarantee you, none of us were there to help someone fund their JD, even if that person came from a lower income background. Maybe you don't care about any of that, and fair enough. But I'd advise you not to proudly announce it to your classmates and colleagues the way you did here. Reputation is important in this profession. I'd want nothing to do with someone who (i) took from the hungry to fund their degree and (ii) either thinks it's clever to imply that Mal meant give back the food, rather than donate going forward, or is too dumb to understand that "give back" referred to donations.
  3. 23 points
    I don't care if the Fall semester is in sign language and taught by a gorilla on Skype, I want in and I want to start by Fall. Would be more than happy to snag whatever seats are forfeited or deferred from anyone who's put off by online classes.
  4. 23 points
    I find myself with time to weigh in on this, since I was summoned. I originally had the OP pegged with two, fairly common problems. I've since added a third. This is going to be a longish post, but what the hell. It's not like I'm allowed to go anywhere anyway. Good Old-Fashioned Arrogance This is the least interesting thing the OP is doing. I wasn't going to start with this, but everything else stems from it. It basically boils down to this. You've got some strange ideas in your head based in limited exposure to actual legal practice. That's fine - it happens to all of us. But most of us are willing and able to correct our strange beliefs when we get better information from people who know more than we do. So far, with limited exceptions, OP has not done that. And unless he (she? - I'll say "he" until corrected) fixes that approach, it's going to make their whole career harder and more limited. I've said this before in other contexts, but the problem with law students is that prior to law school, most of us are used to being one of the smartest people in many environments we find ourselves. So we get used to the idea that our thoughts and opinions - even formed in relative ignorance - are often better than the thoughts and opinions of others. It's gross to say it that way, but often still true. Then we get to law school and most of us learn better. For the first time, we're surrounded by people as smart or smarter than we are. And that doesn't mean we can't have good ideas of our own. But it does mean that the first thing that pops into our head probably isn't the brilliant insight everyone was waiting for. Somehow, OP got all the way through law school and into articling with that ridiculous arrogance intact. And I fail to see why. Was this person even a particularly distinguished law student? If so, I fail to understand how or why they ended up articling for crap wages in a not-especially prestigious practice. Don't get me wrong - good students can and do pursue crim. But seriously - get the hell over yourself. If you were Marie Henein's star recruit then maybe, maybe a thimble-full of arrogance (and not the truckload you've got) would be warranted. As stands, you are fucking nobody. And you think you have all the answers? The only good lawyers I know are ones who are constantly open to the possibility that someone else around them - judges, opposing counsel, students, anyone - might be about to say something smart they haven't considered yet. When you close your mind to that, it isn't proof of your superior insight. It's proof that you are just a stupid kid who hasn't gotten over the ego you developed in high school when everything was easy. Excessive Ideological Identification With Your "Side" I find it ironic that the OP wanted to go about Crowns that he feels are being too Crowny. First let me say it does happen on occasion that Crowns are just too Crowny. But it also happens at times that defence are too defencey. And most of the time neither is true. So let me start where the OP is being flatly, ridiculously ignorant. To suggest that "all Crowns are this" is something he can't possible even have perspective on. See arrogance, above. And also, he's heard differently from many practicing lawyers now. So either learn the lesson or don't. Most Crowns have an excellent perspective on the law and take a balanced approach to it within how the law actually works. See below. Where this gets amusing rather than just ignorant is that the OP seems to expect Crowns, in order to be "fair," to move to positions that any practicing lawyer would deem ridiculous. Wanting a conditional sentence in Humbolt...I can't even. Let me get back to arrogance for a moment. You are a fucking articling student with no experience at all and you're looking at a high profile case and thinking "the Crowns aren't doing their jobs right, the defence aren't doing their job right, the judge obviously can't do their job right either..." Who in the holy fuck do you think you are?!? I don't know the bar in BC which means I don't know the players involved. But when I saw pictures of those lawyers going in and out of court with their client, I saw lawyers with the weight of the world on their shoulders and I empathized with them. And you saw...lawyers with decades of experience that you don't have, but who clearly need to take a lesson in sentencing from your punk ass? Back to my previous point. There is an objective truth to the law. There is a sentencing range for driving offences causing death. Defence know it, Crowns know it, and one day you'll know it too. The law isn't based on your gut-check opinion - or mine or anyone else's. It changes and develops, yes, but it still moves within parameters and with reference to existing jurisprudence. If your idea of "good" Crown judgment is that the Crowns should entirely abandon those existing standards and advocate a defence-friendly reformation of the law...that's just fucking crazy. There are times when defence may advocate for something entirely novel. Even those situations are rare. Expecting the Crown to join us is impossibly stupid of you. And the only way you can imagine that, the ONLY way you can think that's not ridiculous, is if you are ideologically buried up to the neck in your own ass. This is why your accusation is ironic. Either side can get afflicted with this problem. And you are developing a bad case of it already. Don't turn into one of those idiot defence lawyers (and there are a few, just like there are some Crowns) who believes everything the Crown does is wrong, stupid, and prejudicial. That's like being a fan who screams at the ref every time they make a call against your team - as though you honestly believe that everything the ref calls against your team is wrong, and somehow the league has recruited an entire squad of refs who hate your team specifically. As a fan you can believe that if you want to. It still makes you a stupid fan, but fandom comes with that right. As a lawyer, it makes you a very stupid and ineffective lawyer. Thinking Your Opinion Matters Based on new issues you've raised, I'm going to add this. And I'm quoting (and paraphrasing) the late, great Eddie Greenspan. When a client sits down in your office (or when you visit one in jail) you don't know if that client is guilty or innocent. After you've heard his story, you still don't know. You will never know until the court pronounces guilt or innocence, at which point it becomes someone else's problem. This may be a point too subtle for you to appreciate right now, but you need to remember and absorb it over time. Legal guilt is a product of the justice system. It happens when a court pronounces guilt. It isn't perfect and it isn't the same thing as factual guilty. Factual guilt is between the client and God. Legal guilt is something far more complex and artificial than that. And the reason I say that is because you are one small part of the legal process that is going to create an outcome. You cannot prejudge that outcome when a client sits down across from you. If you think that you can, that means that you believe your knee-jerk opinion is larger than the system itself. See arrogance, above. And read it several times again. Your opinion, not now and not after 40 years of legal practice, is NOT a substitute for the entire justice system operating with its checks and balances. If you think that it is, get the fuck out now and find an area of work you are better suited for. We have an adversarial justice system. Your job as defence counsel is to advocate one side of the case, and to argue it as best you can against a Crown whose job is to advocate the other side. We both have rules to follow within those roles - the rules are asymmetrical but we still have rules to follow. And then based on everything that goes before the court (again, following rules) the judge (or jury) will find fact. That's how this works. Right now, your problems span arrogance and attitude and your general misapprehension of how this all works. You don't only want to abandon your own appropriate role, you fault the Crown for not abandoning theirs. There's so much wrong with your ideas here I could write for pages and pages more and still not capture it all. Bottom line - you are an articling student because you need to learn. Law school cannot and does not teach practical criminal law (or probably practical anything) in a useful way. So basically, as someone who just started, you know fuck-all nothing. And that's fine. You could get good at this, if you actually learn what you're there to learn. But I'll tell you, based on your interactions here, you're not off to a good start. Good luck.
  5. 22 points
    I see day 15 of social distancing is going well on this forum
  6. 19 points
    You used a food bank while saving $40K+ in cash?
  7. 19 points
    Contact your law society first thing tomorrow. This kind of thing cannot go down as described. There are rules and the virus does not render them obsolete.
  8. 16 points
    Where the hell do you go to law school, Louisiana?
  9. 15 points
    Wait what? Being in law school is great during a recession... Way better than many other options. I started in 2009 just after the recession and by 2012 everything was doing really well.
  10. 14 points
    I hear Morgan's commissions artists to do full on Medieval royalty style portraits of their summer students - the sitting is apparently the first full week of orientation.
  11. 14 points
    Although this may cause some short-term problems for me, I'm not really concerned about the future of my practice. Criminals are gonna crim.
  12. 14 points
    It's the poster's classmates who are toxic?
  13. 13 points
    This discussion is taking a time-out. Do not start another thread on the same topic. This has required too much of the mod team's time and, for god's sake, people, we have other far more important things to do than to referee immature law students. Go read a book, watch season 3 of Ozark on Netflix, take a social-distancing walk, bake a cake, call your mom but, please, for all that's good and holy, grow up! For you prospective and current law students, please keep in mind that you are interacting here with possible future classmates, colleagues and employers. And don't forget to wash your hands!
  14. 13 points
  15. 13 points
    This thread is a perfect illustration of some of the silliness that results from this site's incessant repetition of the mantra that "all Canadian law schools are equal." 0Ls will say they prefer Ryerson over established schools because they like the paint colour on the walls there, and they can point to thousands of posts on the forum saying "all Canadian law schools provide a quality education," "'prestige' doesn't matter in Canada," "all Canadian schools are roughly equivalent," etc, to support the contention that their arbitrary and ill-considered reasoning for preferring a school is perfectly valid (because they've seen over and over claims that school choice doesn't really bear any relation to any of those factors that actually matter). I realize that countless threads comparing prestige and rankings, asserting that one school is objectively "better" than another in some vague way, etc, are equally annoying, but the current culture on this site tends to reinforce people making decisions to get into six figure debt without really thinking their options through critically (as evidenced here).
  16. 12 points
    I hope you are going to give back once you are a lawyer.
  17. 12 points
    Can't believe I'm actually writing this but I got accepted (still not sure if this is an April Fool's joke by Allard but I'm praying it's not haha). 84.1% GPA w/drops 163 LSAT UBC is my #1 school (and also the only school I applied to) so I am beyond shocked and excited.
  18. 12 points
    Been lurking for a while now. Offer today, blown away, so grateful. Applied in discretionary and got accepted into general. gpa with drops 83.3 (self calculated) LSAT 166 will be accepting
  19. 12 points
    Okay well this became about as dumb as I remember law student debate circles. Everyone go enjoy getting stoned at 3pm and strolling into a Pass. Worry about employment markets later. Nothing you can do for now.
  20. 12 points
    If it helps anyone at all, once the virus becomes more contained or there's a vaccine or whatever it is that brings down the curve, the courts will be SLAMMED. In the long run there's likely going to be more hiring to process the glut. That's my take anyway. Right now everything is getting bumped eight weeks down the line. That means six months or a year from now there's going to be a lot of catch-up to do.
  21. 11 points
    It’s not thinking negatively about a student. If you get one resume from a kid with As or B+s and one from a kid with Ps, you know that kid #1 is strong and you have no idea about kid #2. You guys are all bananas. I knew law students were insecure, but I had no idea the insecurity reached so deep as to prefer guaranteeing you can’t be assessed over taking a shot at doing well in law school. Just shoot your shot. The kids at mandatory P/F schools have lost the chance to demonstrate they’re capable. Don’t lament not being in that club.
  22. 11 points
    The difference between that and this is that Ottawa kept them as acceptances, as opposed to Ryerson saying “nevermind, you’re not actually in”
  23. 11 points
    So... U Ottawa had to increase their class size after erroneously accepting students. It's still a respected institution. Perhaps running to the Internet after Ryerson's seemingly honest mistake that they are looking to rectify is more reflective of you than the school.
  24. 11 points
    My small firm is fine. No lay offs, understanding that our litigation practice is completely crippled until courts reopen. We're ok until June 1st because of back billing and I had a strong billing year. So long to summer bonus though. And my cpd stipend. Very fortunate to have stable paycheque and reduced expectations at this time. Focus on resiliency, overcoming grief and trauma. (It helps that the managing partner has a social work background).
  25. 11 points
    For all the outrage this is causing, this won't negatively impact that many of you. The temporary move to pass-fail grading will just make everyone look average for a semester or two. For about 65-80%, (depending on your curve), you'd all get mostly Bs, a couple of As, a couple of Cs, and maybe a D if you had a braincramp or missed a question on an exam. You'd then get an outside shot at the most competitive positions, but are more likely to end up articling at one of the many non-OCI/clerkship jobs and move on to a relatively prosperous life, undefined by your law school exams. For all the average students, I'm guessing it's status quo vis-a-vis grading and OCIs. For the A students, this sucks, and it's nice for C students. I'm guessing the most upset people are assuming that they're going to be at the top of the class. If you actually were, that kinda sucks -- you'll all get bumped to the middle (although, again, you're probably going to be average overall: that's how averages work). But honestly, if you're as good at law exams as you think you are, you'll be fine, because you're a sharp legal analyst and you'll prove that later. Anyway, if it makes you happy, grab your pitchforks, virtually march on the dean's office, and burn your law schools to the ground via some sort of instagram-style fire filter (I don't know anything about filters). But I mean, c'mon. Almost everyone is making sacrifices right now, and moving to pass-fail is definitely not the worst. I have a refugee claimant who has waited two years to get before the RPD, so that she can hopefully become a protected person, and be reunited with the baby (now child) she had to leave behind after she fled horrific persecution. If she can accept the delay with grace, hopefully you'll adjust to your new grading system. Because really, I think you're going to be perfectly okay.
  26. 11 points
    This is the first major pandemic most of us are dealing with. The vast majority of lawyers that discuss are not privy to the kind of information people are asking. It's all bald allegations/ theories at this time. I recognize that it's a nerve-wracking time right now. Let's not fall into panic. Take a step back, breathe, and give it a few days for more information to develop. To be frank, no one in this thread can answer what may or may not happen. This is Day 1. Heck, it's been 4 hours since Superior Courts opened and I am still receiving updates to what was said about the courts.
  27. 10 points
  28. 10 points
    Maybe 1Ls, but most large firms on Bay Street have photographs of their 2L students. Also, this is a weird thing to mention as a metric of experience.
  29. 10 points
    Take an edible and (re)watch True Detective season 1. You'll learn just as much as you would from Getting to Maybe, plus you'll have taken an edible and watched True Detective season 1.
  30. 10 points
    For what it's worth I agree with you. As someone who actually went to law school to help "marginalized people" (still in school and have handled crim law, refugee law, mental health law, prison law, residential tenancy and more such files) and who constantly works with people in times of personal crises (worked in law enforcement before law school too), it's been really irritating seeing my peers disingenuously complain endlessly about "equity" issues supposedly raised by the impact of the coronavirus on law school. No doubt some students are more impacted than others right now, but ultimately we are full-time law students with access to student loans and lines of credit and worst case scenario (aside from actually contracting the virus or having a family member that does, which I don't mean to trivialize and warrants all the support we can give) we are going to accumulate a bit more debt but we're not going to starve or go homeless over this. There are peers of mine trying to act like this is a massive class issue just because some people have easier access to printers and other such nonsense examples. That's ad hominem. Regardless of whether that poster is a student or not doesn't make what they wrote less true. Law students, as a group, are less impacted by this than most people, at least in the short term (we'll see about job prospects down the line). I know this is anecdotal, but it gives me perspective: as a result of the pandemic, my brother, sister and mother are all suddenly out of work, and my father is having to close down his business. Meanwhile the only difference it's made in my life as a law student is that I am receiving online rather than in-person lectures and exams. The level of hyperbole that many law students are employing when talking about the supposed disruption to their education is absurd.
  31. 10 points
    No, definitely not. If there's one piece of advice that's pretty universal, it's don't try to do law school before you start law school. You'll be taught everything you need in class, and trying to get ahead will only lead to sooner burn-out/misinterpreting things. You're not going to benefit from trying to self-study. If you want to get ahead on the requirements for 1L, work on your general health, typing speed, and having somewhere to live in September.
  32. 10 points
    You seem very idealistic. It would be difficult to know if firms had really changed their hiring practices because of the lack of grades. For example, let's say that you have a firm that hires 3 summer students after this is all over. Let's imagine that all 3 are from UBC (which still has grades) and none from UVic (which has pass/fail). Because the hiring process is such a black box, you would never be completely sure that this was because of the grading or some other factor. Three people isn't exactly a statistically significant sample size. Yes, it might be clear at the aggregate level that there had been a dramatic shift in not hiring UVic students, but at any one firm that would be far less clear. You are overestimating the importance of students' opinions of firms. You really think that "no students" would want to work at a firm in the future just because they had (seemingly) tended to choose students who received grades during this time? That's preposterous. Sure, maybe a few students might think that, but capable students wanting to work at law firms are a dime a dozen and they are often not able to be choosy. The few who don't want to work there can step aside and plenty more will take their places. This will be especially true in the immediate future when there will be fewer spots. And in the more distant future, a whole new crop of law students who weren't around during this time won't know which firms may have avoided hiring students with pass/fail grades.
  33. 10 points
  34. 10 points
    Okay...but that's true of a lot of people, at every time. Frankly, folks, some concern is warranted. As a self-employed practitioner with staff to pay, I'm worried about my cash flow also. But this isn't a marketplace you can control, even at the best of times. Your career will be an endless series of opportunities to either succeed at some goal you've set for yourself, or else fail at that goal and learn to redirect your energy in a new way. But more simply, no one promised you a career in Biglaw anyway. If that's the only possible future you can imagine for yourself, then planning for other options is a good exercise in all events - regardless of how good or bad the market may be.
  35. 10 points
    Windsor actually just sent an e-mail which included my first name, inviting me to tour the campus during March Break. Absolute savage move, I definitely respect the fact that they went for the burn. If you get the opportunity you gotta dunk.
  36. 10 points
    I got the call today as well for the JD/JID program. I’m so honoured and so grateful to be apart of this program. It was also my top choice and will definitely be accepting. I’m a first time applicant to uvic but this is my second cycle applying to law school. OLSAS CGPA: 3.23, with drops maybe like 3.4 or less I’m not too sure I did not check. I went on exchange in my 3rd year. Took me 5 years to complete degree. L2: 3.5 LSAT: 151 (Dec 2017), 148 (Jan 2020) Discretionary applicant. It’s really personal and so I don’t feel comfortable sharing more about that. From the prairies. Non-Indigenous applicant. 2 years work experience in the non profit sector after graduation. I also had very strong community involvement since high school. Worked part time throughout university while going through school full time. First generation student. Very strong PS and ECs. Decent to kinda strong LORs. NEVER. GIVE. UP.
  37. 9 points
    Jesus, the idea that the food bank would be viewed as a way to save money, and not a lifeline for those who actually need it is just..... I don’t even know.
  38. 9 points
  39. 9 points
    I leave this site for 24 hrs and return to one of the weirdest discussions I have seen on this site... ...photos of students? Who’s a sweetheart? What?
  40. 9 points
  41. 9 points
    I see the sense of humour failure is in full force.
  42. 9 points
    In the current/future economy? You take whatever job options that you have until your loans are paid off. It isn't that firms are intentionally penalizing people. They need some way to efficiently sort through job applications and differentiate candidates.
  43. 9 points
    Are you serious? You don't agree with me that some opportunities some from family connections? I know for a fact that is true in some cases. And you don't agree with me that it is easier to take unpaid internships and do travel abroad volunteering when your family has money? I also know for a fact that is true in some cases. You seem very naive.
  44. 9 points
    You aren’t tattling. You are fulfilling a professional obligation to inform the licensing body that governs in your province that your licensing process has been interrupted. You need to tell them anyway. There are two issues here: 1. Call and explain what has happened and ask point blank if “staying home and doing research” can count as articling experience that will allow you to be Called on time. 2. And ask your law society if there are any bursaries or emergency loans available to you as your principal says they can’t afford to pay you.
  45. 8 points
    This is off topic but just wanted to add re: exception to the norm idea - we all think we are going to be the exception to the norm. Especially the kind of people who are interested in going to lawschool. About a year ago, I scored in the 150s on the LSAT with minimal studying. I posted on this forum asking if it would be "worth it" to take a year off, study my ass off, and score in the high 160s/low 170s so that I could get into UofT (as I knew little about law-school at the time and was certain that I needed to get into UofT in order to get a job in biglaw, and that if I really put my mind to it I could get that 170ish score). On that post, Deadpool set me straight pretty bluntly - saying it would be unlikely that I would score that highly even if I put all my effort into it. Long story short, he was absolutely right, and I wasted time & money by studying full-time rather than working for numerous months (though I have now gained admission to multiple law schools in Canada, so taking the year off and redoing LSAT was the right idea - but the point is I expected at least a high 160s score and failed at that). Another off-topic tidbit: Thank you Deadpool and a few other users (whose names escape me at the moment) for being a bastion of information on this cite. You guys have been around for years (from what I've seen), providing lengthy, in-depth answers to important questions all over this forum, and setting people straight when they are wrong, misleading, or (especially) for being too optimistic regarding employment prospects or other things of that nature. I feel way more comfortable starting lawschool this upcoming September as a result.
  46. 8 points
    Is anyone getting any studying done? This week has been my most unproductive week of law school. I went through maybe 20 minutes of one recording.
  47. 8 points
    You should discount their accomplishments to some extent. Generally speaking, they were only able to avail themselves of those opportunities because they had someone paying their bills. Furthermore, it is difficult to know which opportunities they received on merit and which they received because of family connections. It is naive to assume that nothing on a resume is because of nepotism.
  48. 8 points
    I've been on law school admissions committees and I can confirm that these people do exist. There are lots of them.
  49. 8 points
    This. I won't give you employment law advice, or advice relating to your status as an articling student. But as a criminal lawyer currently responding to this situation, I'll just say that no emergency, short of the total breakdown of society, means that we throw out the rule book. We may turn to unfamiliar pages of the book, and argue over unusual applications of rules to unexpected situations, but we don't just ignore how things ordinarily work. Any lawyer should know that, including your employer. And if he/she doesn't, the Law Society certainly does. Good luck.
  50. 8 points
    Yes, but some lawyers - especially sole practitioners ie most criminal defence counsel - are scraping by as it is. This is far less likely to be exploitation than it is an employer barely able to break even with a student on board. OP I hope you have fantastic articles. Working one on one with your supervisor means way more opportunity to learn the hands on day-to-day. Make sure you apply to your CBA subsection and ask for a waiver of fees - ditto any CLE stuff you choose to do. There are a number of waivers or bursaries (quietly) available to people in your shoes. Ask.
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