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  1. 28 points
    I think it's more common during articles.
  2. 24 points
    I don't want to derail this thread and wasn't going to comment further, but this just irked me quite a bit. Do you know that immigrants and first generation Canadians are flooding professional school programs like medicine, dentistry, and law? Something they all have in common is that they worked hard (very hard) to be there. You yourself admitted to not working harder in undergrad. I came from a relatively poor background and was working multiple jobs in undergrad while commuting 4 hours to university everyday. I went to Osgoode and got into a number of other schools as well. My parents came to Canada with nothing and could not afford to pay for my education even if they had wanted to. Yet you have the luxury of travelling abroad for law school and are calling the people here who worked their asses off to get into Canadian programs elitists...tell me, who is actually privileged - you or me? If I did not get into a Canadian law school, my legal aspirations were done. I took out OSAP and a student line of credit at prime interest rate to pay for the whole thing. I depended on bursaries from my law school. While you can take out a line of credit to attend a foreign school, you need a co-signer with good credit (which I did not have) and the interest rates are high. Scotiabank just recently stopped giving out loans to students travelling abroad altogether. We need to stop these kinds of nonsense statements in its tracks. I see it a lot from my friends and peers who went abroad for law school. Something they all have in common is that they come from money, are well-connected, and they didn't work as hard as us elitists in undergrad to get into a Canadian school. But, hey, bring out the banners and march on the streets because us elitists are blocking them access to these "high paid jobs" to maintain the status quo.
  3. 23 points
    ALEXANDER How can I, bastard, orphan son of a whore And a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in the Caribbean By providence, impoverished, in squalor, become a fancy Osgoode Haller? DIPLOCK I get it, young man, no doubt you've seen your share of strife But's there's this thing I call the Fallacy of the Perfect Life Your dad's gone - that sucks, but it's not a claim for Access How's that gonna explain your repeated mediocre LSATs? Yeah, so, if the shoe fits wear it Your application sucks but you've got years to repair it And if you make that effort I sure do wish you the best, sir But don't you fucking come back here and ask 'bout going to Leicester
  4. 16 points
    That's the right attitude. It's the system, man, that's keeping you down. If only they would stop judging you based on the fact that you haven't been very successful to this point in school, you'd just be so much more successful in the future. God damn elitists, letting in students based on their past performance, and not on how much they really really really really know they'd be great lawyers.
  5. 16 points
    Not sure where you're getting your info from. I watch this documentary about lawyers called Suits and they yell at each other all the time.
  6. 15 points
    As someone who is the best, let me tell you it is equally hard to accept the outright overcrowding of plebes and n00bs out there cluttering up the world with inferiority. Two sides of the same coin I say. Best thing to do is just drown out the noise by putting more feathers in my cap. I often enter competitions I know in advance I'm going to win just for the taste of victory. Because no matter how sour there's always that pinch of sweet that reminds me nobody can ever surpass me; my perch atop success mountain is sturdier than any oak. I don't know if that answers your question.
  7. 14 points
    If you weren't the gold medallist, aren't you used to not being the best? Just apply the same mindset.
  8. 13 points
    Talk about how you believe workplace policies have become unreasonably restrictive when it comes to relationships between lawyers and students.
  9. 12 points
  10. 12 points
    Maturity. You'll grow out of it. Or ultimately burn yourself out. It's not a healthy mentality. There are many metrics. Are you the best because of billing? High numbers doesn't mean that you necessarily did a good job. Are you the best because of a really awesome outcome on a deal? Did you burn a bridge while taking a hard line stance to get that awesome deal? Are you the best because 3 partners like you? Meaningless if judges roll their eyes when you walk in. There is more to life than your job. Focus on doing a good job. Be proud of what you do. There is a balance though. Focusing on one area (like your job) can be detrimental to other areas (family, relationships and self care).
  11. 10 points
    That's for the union side firms. For management side, you need a convincing anecdote to explain why you've always wanted to oppress workers for a living.
  12. 10 points
    When you transfer out, you need to have a clear explanation for your decision and ambitions to avoid looking like some aimless nomad who won't commit to the program. So when you apply to other schools, make sure you are very clear that with your 1L pedigree you expect to stand out from your classmates; that your admission at UofT and your experiences there will make you a top candidate for leadership in the student body given the higher admissions standards and superior instruction. I'd suggest you attach a copy of the Maclean's ranking, and maybe print out copies of the recent lawstudents.ca Accepted threads from both schools. You should also send these, along with a copy of your transfer application, to the ECs you might want to run next year such as student newspapers, law journal, clinics, etc.
  13. 10 points
    This idea that you will do well in law school, in spite of the fact that you performed exactly average at an average university undergrad program, and average on the lsat, is mindboggling. I'm going to say something that may be controversial, but I feel confident enough to say it at this point. Your grasp of english seems poor. Whether that is or isn't because of your immigrant background, I don't know. I'd assume yes, but I personally know many immigrants who never bothered to improve their english to passable, despite living in Canada for a decade, as a teenager. Law is very demanding, and one of the critical aspects is a solid grasp of language. You don't seem able to write a competent or coherent sentence, and seem to have a very bad grasp of grammar. With this in mind, it would be very difficult for you to succeed in law school, where you're expected to read thousands of pages of case law (often in very old english), and where your grades will at least be somewhat affected by your ability to write and communicate your ideas in time pressure exam conditions. Whether or not you will get into a Canadian law school, I don't know. I'd be surprised, but I've seen canadian law school admissions which raised both my brows. Whether you should go to law school is another question, and with the little I've seen of your writing, I personally would tell you not to. At least not yet. Work on your English and get it up to a university level of writing. Then if you still want to go to law school, rewrite the lsat and see where you stand.
  14. 9 points
  15. 9 points
    Buy a book stand. Metal, wood, doesn't matter. They make them for iPads too if you're an all-digital type of person. It's a nice quality of life upgrade to have something to prop up whatever you're reading at eye level so you don't have to hunch over your desk.
  16. 9 points
    I like Deadpool's statement. I came to Canada when I was 30 years-old. I could not even speak English at all then. Canadian employers just dismissed my first Undergrad degree because the degree came from a non-English speaking country. I had to redo my undergrad from a Canadian university. So, no pains, no gains. To the OP: I think that you'd better to consider applying to Windsor's dual JD program; first, you have not decided between the US and Canada. Additionally, you may get in the program with your current stats.
  17. 9 points
  18. 9 points
    I had a similar experience when I started articling - for the first month or two, I was getting very little work, despite repeatedly asking for things to do. I started in the summer, and a number of the lawyers told me there simply wasn't that much work going around. Still, I was concerned because: 1) I felt like I wasn't getting the experience I needed; and 2) I was expected to hit target billables. Ultimately, the problem fixed itself within a few months, and I ended up getting plenty of work. A few things I did in the meantime: enrolled in CPD programming; attended court to watch motions, trials, etc.; reviewed my firm's precedents and prepared some helpful guides for myself; and asked the lawyers to tag along on appearances or sit in on client meetings. Though this didn't solve the "billable" problem, I at least felt like I was being productive and taking advantage of learning opportunities. Definitely keep offering to take on work (from any of the lawyers and in any practice area). Keep a record of your offers to do work. That way, if you get comments that your billables aren't up to par, you can show that you've been proactive and your lack of billables isn't due to a lack of effort.
  19. 9 points
    New calls should still apply to anything that requests 1 or 2 years experience. My call to bar was boring. Very self congratutory speeches mirroring deadpool's experience. Seriously, felt like a meeting that could have been completed by email. I only chatted with my alphabetically assigned neighbour. His girlfriend just got a clinic articling position so we chatted about that (since i was with lao). That said, some people did cry. It is quite a big deal to become a lawyer. Many people in that room were first lawyers in the family, or even in their communities. Many people had to sacrifice a lot of time, relationships and experiences.
  20. 8 points
    I know you aren't asking whether you should do this. But really. Don't do this. At some point, the licensing process is going to require more than an hour or two per night. It is not a hobby. It requires sacrifice. Pursuing the title of lawyer, without wanting to do any of the work of becoming a lawyer or being a lawyer, is not very good idea. There are easier, cheaper trophies out there. Find one of those.
  21. 8 points
    "So, those raptors won the super bowl eh? Must be nice, since the leafs havent been able to win the world series since '67."
  22. 8 points
    I'll put this as simply as I can. Your writing here, your overall approach to communication, the very logic that underpins the ideas you've expressed...all of it is very sloppy. At the best interpretation, it's sloppy because you can't be bothered making it not sloppy. At the worst interpretation, it's the best you can do. But taking the best interpretation, for a moment, what are you doing here? You're engaging with law students and lawyers who are actually giving you free and meaningful advice, but it isn't worth your time and bother to even try communicating properly. You tell yourself "I could do it right if I wanted to, but it isn't worth it." You tell yourself "I'll save my effort for when it really matters." You tell yourself that you'll be awesome at all this stuff when you start to really try. Okay. When will that be, exactly? You have a bad attitude, and I'm giving you advice in a moderately mean way. But it's still sincere advice based in extensive experience. If you are serious about pursuing a career in law, or really any sort of professional endeavor where you are implicitly in competition at all times with other capable, motivated people, you have to stop telling yourself that you'll try when it's worth it, and that when you finally bother you'll just be awesome because that's what you really are. That bad attitude is what's brought you to the situation you're already in - complaining about how the world won't give you the chances your natural abilities deserve, even though you've pissed away every opportunity to date to demonstrate the abilities you seem to believe you have. Yeah. You deserve the criticism you're receiving here. And you can benefit from it too, if you can only restrain your entirely unjustified ego long enough to realize that the world will never, ever treat you as talented and capable only because you feel that you are. You need to start doing things well - all the time, and simply because that's how you do things - in order to get to where you want to be. Seriously. It's the only way. I know it seems like we're picking on you. And I won't pretend I'm not enjoying kicking you a bit, with this advice. But it's serious advice. Lawyers are professional communicators. Language is our most fundamental tool. A professional athlete wouldn't do things wrong all the time, not caring at all about how they play the game they claim will be their livelihood, and say "I'll be great when it matters." You shouldn't be doing that either. And the fact that you think it's a big old joke that lawyers with lots of years under their belts are telling you this, but you know better...that's your problem, right there. Good luck.
  23. 8 points
    I'm not a K-JD'er (took off one year after undergrad to work), but I'm still relatively young and in my first few months of practice. I've had experiences where clients have refused to work with me, not trusted my advice, spoken down to me, or mistaken me for a law clerk/ assistant. Some of this, I suspect, is a function of being a new call, but I do think some of this behaviour is linked to being a young female, in a profession where people historically expect to be working with an older man. I imagine that these types of experiences are even more common for young, racialized women in the profession. https://www.thespec.com/news-story/9180528--you-don-t-look-like-a-lawyer-female-lawyers-and-lawyers-of-colour-angered-by-mistaken-identity-in-court/
  24. 8 points
    Does your firm have a website with a blog? If so, ask if you can publish something. If not, ask if you can start one.
  25. 8 points
    In my experience, those who are recognized by others as 'the best', are typically very humble individuals who would rarely, if ever, think that of themselves. Don't worry about being the best. Do good work consistently, be a good mentor to others, get the respect of your colleagues. If you are able to accomplish that, you will, or should, be in a good place in life. You are very early in your career and I hope that you can learn this lesson. Otherwise, you are likely to be an unhappy individual.
  26. 8 points
    Forget about being the best. You're a working adult now drifting toward middle life.--just try to stay humble. Outside of some arena where there's an objective measure of performance, the concept of "the best" is purely a manifestation of insecurity. Purely. We're not talking about some race you can win and therefore know you're the superior competitor. The problem with living as "the best" is that it seeps into every task you perform and every conversation you have. A partner pops in to ask you some obscure legal question and you don't immediately know the answer. The guy in the next office does because he just wrote a memo on it last week. You're crushed. You can see how self-destructive that is.
  27. 7 points
    When I was in law school, I drank it as fast as I bought it. No need for a rack.
  28. 7 points
    I guarantee you, if there is a lawyer who doesn't like traveling, summer plans, tv, movies or sports, he/she (probably he, TBH) will be happy to tell you about it at length in a tone of voice that suggests he thinks it makes him better than anyone else.
  29. 7 points
    It's almost like competency and commitment are sought after qualities in doctors, dentists and lawyers. Rigged! Sad!
  30. 7 points
  31. 7 points
    Don't steal the thunder of associates, friendo. Note that partners don't technically have salaries, they are owners, and believe me when I say its not really the students that are contributing to the bottom line. Student time is often a write-off, if billed at all. Associates get paid something like 15-20% of what they bill out if they make target, before bonus.
  32. 7 points
    Is this seriously a concern? Are you starting law school, or summer camp?
  33. 7 points
    King Taps has amazing pizza that you can get to go. Edit to add: This is my 1,000th post and it is eminently appropriate that it is about delicious pizza.
  34. 7 points
    Sounds like an opportunity to demonstrate some initiative! Set a meeting with one of the lawyers and propose a blog post in their field that could drum up some business. Write the blog, have them review it and co-author it. Post it and share on LinkedIn, Facebook etc. Worst case scenario: nobody clicks it. But it is a LOT better for your firm and your practice/professional development, than scrolling through your phone.
  35. 7 points
    I'm going to try to say this in a way that doesn't sound snide, but I guess since I've been asked by name I'll give the only answer I know how to give. You've asked so many different questions about so many different kinds of practice and the only thing they have even remotely in common is money. Elsewhere you were asking about major firms. Here you're asking about sole practice. Everywhere you're asking about what's most lucrative, and ping-ponging around incredibly different areas of practice. And I've gotta tell you - I really think you're doing this wrong. Now, I offer this criticism when you've actually finally said something about the sort of law you believe you'd find interesting - and that's great. Because that's what you need to focus on. Figure out the work you want to do. If you can't imagine what the law would be like, right now, think about the kind of clients you want to serve. Start there and then figure out how to be successful within and around your interests. Do not try to shoehorn your interests into wherever you imagine the money to be. It won't work. And it's not that I'm against making money. It's simply that there are capable and ambitious people working in every area of law and this is a competitive profession. If you don't like what you do, and the only thing that drives and motivates you at the end of the day is the love of money, you won't be good at what you do. Which means you won't be terribly successful at it either. Perhaps I'll offer a useful distinction which you seem to not be focusing on. There's what some call "retail" legal work and there is what you might call "institutional" legal work. Retail clients are normal people - people buying houses, with family or criminal problems, civil cases, etc. These are all the areas of law you'd be looking at if you want to start your own practice because individual, retail-type clients can and will hire the lawyer who's just on their own as a lawyer. Institutional clients, meanwhile, are corporations, other entities, high net-worth individuals (I know, not really institutional, but work with me here) who hire firms rather than individual lawyers. These clients and the work they need done are not generally compatible with sole practice. Now exceptions may occur - experienced lawyers may leave a big firm environment and start some kind of boutique that's reputable enough to attract some institutional clients. I don't claim to know this area of law well enough to comment further. But my basic point is this. The areas of practice you'd be looking at doing if you work for a large firm are completely opposite what you'd be doing if you wanted to start your own practice as a recent call. So yeah, I don't know if your various questions are meant to be taken separately. But at least get this idea straight. If you want to be out on your own very soon after being called, you aren't looking to start at a large firm at all. Because they don't do what you'd end up doing on your own. Large firms aren't training lawyers to do retail residential real estate. If they have real estate as a practice area, they are doing large commercial stuff - exactly what you wouldn't do on your own. They generally don't do criminal or family at all, save perhaps as a niche for existing clients. Immigration ... maybe high flying economic immigrants, but not the kind of work you'd do sole. I hope you're getting the idea. If you want to open a small real estate practice (as one example) you want to learn at a small real estate practice. Not to say it needs to be one lawyer in a back room somewhere. But you sure won't be learning this stuff at the firms that you're asking about elsewhere. Anyway, back to the basic point. You're running around in mental circles trying to figure out where the money's at. Stop it. Think about what you want to do first, figure out how you get started at doing that, and then figure out how to do it well and successfully. Hope that helps.
  36. 7 points
    I feel all of your pain, it's frustrating. I feel pretty defeated but it only shows to me that there's more work I need to do. So I'm being proactive and taking summer courses and working on my personal statements for next year already. If you have the time, go ahead and start on it. If you feel like studying and taking the LSAT again will help you, go ahead and start on that. Knowing that you can begin working on things in your control may make you feel a bit better. I know it has been for me. Time is the biggest element but it need not feel so long between now and next cycle if you immerse yourself in things you have to do to make yourself more competitive, whatever that may be. Remember, if law school is all that we as applicants make it out to be, this career will hopefully last us for the rest of our lives. What's one more year? As someone who has just turned 28, I feel this the most, but its also the best advice I need to hear.
  37. 7 points
    Oh dear God no. You don’t want to learn the basics as you go along in real estate - get employed by a reputable office and learn the ropes properly first.
  38. 6 points
    I wouldn't do it. You may not out-earn your current position until several years in to practice. You would be giving up a job with a pension, good security, good pay, and upward mobility options for something far less certain and likely much more stressful.
  39. 6 points
  40. 6 points
    The median stats for Oz is posted right on their website (same with U of T since you asked this in that thread too). I'll do your 10 second homework for you - median is around 3.69 cGPA and 161 LSAT. At this point, your posts come off as a not-so-humble brag. What do you think your chances are with close to an A- cGPA and 99th percentile LSAT score? You can very easily google this information.
  41. 6 points
    Frankly, I think that's a bullshit criticism. I believe there is a problem if people are working in an area of law, or aspiring to work in an area of law, for which they have no genuine interest and for reasons unrelated to wanting to do that kind of law. Yes, that's a problem that deserves to be discussed - where it occurs, and if it's a real problem in the situation at hand. But you've turned that idea on its head by saying "if we make your job pay badly enough, you wouldn't do it anymore, which means you don't really care about what you're doing." I do work for legal aid rates a lot of the time, and I'm not immune to that criticism either. Does that mean I don't care about my work either? If you cut my pay enough (and the government did just cut my pay - this isn't a theoretical topic to me) I'll eventually have to look somewhere else. Because I have a family to support, and I'm not going to fail in my responsibility to my own family simply because I want to keep working for nothing. Of course if you box me into that choice, I eventually make the hard decision. Are you really saying that implies something about my own priorities that I need to apologize for? I have some issues with Big Law, at times, but I don't believe we need to turn our colleagues who happen to practice M&A into caricatures of money-grubbing pig capitalists straight out of Animal Farm. It really isn't true. Does money inform some aspect of their career decision-making? Of course it probably does. No one pursues their interests in a total vacuum of other decision-making factors. But again, the same is true of everyone and all of us. Anyone standing outside the legal professional entirely could say "you call claim to love law, but isn't some aspect of that simply that you like working indoors, with your hands clean, and without fear of any physical injury, unlike the large percentage of the world who work are dirtier, more physical, hands-on jobs?" And the fact that any one of us should honestly say "yes, that's part of it" - does that undermine the claim that we also enjoy legal work? You're being unfair. And maybe it takes someone on your own side of the argument to see how badly you've twisted what starts out as a legitimate point.
  42. 6 points
    You hold a small seaside ceremony to commemorate the 28+ hours you spent in some giant room, writing that stupid test. And then you call the law society to check to see if the answers you got in a 2019 thread are still even accurate. Because if this ever somehow becomes relevant, who knows if the rules will be even be the same.
  43. 6 points
    I'd guess that the Ryerson class of whenever will be just as competitive as the French biathletes at the 2026 Olympics. And by that, I mean that I have no idea who is competing, whether applicants will want to pay $26,000.00 so that they can be in earshot of that preacher person with a megaphone in Dundas square, or whether any French people will want to get really good at skiing with rifles over the next few years. Maybe other people know better than I. But I'll just have to wait and see.
  44. 6 points
    It would be a fairer comparison if law schools charged bachelor degree level fees, as they used to (higher, but only slightly so). Yeah, dentistry's a good comparison. No guaranteed employment, work generally not paid for by government (unlike medicine), second entry, and people hate you or hate seeing you while simultaneously needing to do so, meaning they put off seeing you until their problems get worse and more painful to try to fix.
  45. 6 points
    Among a group of lawyers in a firm, it is always going to be impossible to define one person as the best. Everyone has their own mix of strengths. When I was an associate in a firm, I was pretty definitively the best person in the group at legal research. I was better at it than any of the senior partners. But I was terrible at bringing in business. I could write a better factum than a lot of partners, but wasn't great at pitching a client. Other lawyers were great at litigation strategy, or examining witnesses, or making an impressive opening statement. Everyone has their strength, and you succeed when you figure out how to lean on those. Of course you have to keep learning, and continually improve on your weaker areas, but there will always be something that you're comparatively better at. Focus on that.
  46. 6 points
    Passed both. I honestly feel like I won a weird lottery. It is impossible to know how to prepare for this exam and each of us prays what we did will suffice. My heart goes out to anyone who failed one or both of the exams. I know you must feel demoralized and defeated right now, but you shouldn't. You are way ahead in preparing to write it again, and LSO reports that 95% of people pass both within 3 sittings. You got this and we're all cheering you on <3.
  47. 6 points
    I am having a lot of issues with boredom. Called June 2018. This has been a problem for most of my life. In school (all levels, including law school) I would become incredibly bored with most things, but at least every assignment/unit/class had a specified end point after which I could move on to something different. In the last few months of articling I was listless. A lack of enthusiasm towards that area of law caused me to seek work in an entirely unrelated area of law. Now, 13+ months into this role, I am increasingly finding myself in a negative head space. I close one task and move on to a task that is often fundamentally the same thing. This is a solicitor role in a volume-based practice. I like the fact that most files are open and close relatively quickly; I greatly dislike the fact that most files are essentially the same. I experience increasing disdain for my desk, where I spend so many hours a week. I recoil internally when I have to deal with petty little demands near transaction closings. And, for the first time, there is no end date - the intention is that I will do this type of work for decades, barring a drastic change (which would likely only offer temporary relief to these feelings, anyway). I would guess that a lot of you are too busy to feel bored. I can assure you that it is very possible to be both very busy and very bored simultaneously, and that is probably a dangerous combination. On the "Big Five" personality trait / pseudoscience scale, I am certainly high in openness/creativity and low in conscientiousness. I am not so naive as to think that I can make some big move and find my "dream job." This is who I am and this is what the work is, indeed, what most most work is. Yet surely some of you have gone through this realization and these feelings of pervasive boredom at some point in your careers. I am interested in hearing about strategies for farming enthusiasm out of our work, tailoring your practice to suit your personality / eccentricities, etc. I want to make this work long-term but I need to find a source of renewable energy.
  48. 6 points
    Managing people and relationships is a big part of what we do as lawyers. There's "managing up" and there's "managing down." There's also managing clients, which can differ a lot depending on what kinds of clients you have. But if this is what your principal is like, he isn't likely to change. So this is early practice in the "managing up" you'll probably need to do your entire term articling. The fact is, some otherwise very capable and highly paid people are bad at managing the details, and so it can be a very valuable skill if you're able to manage them in such a way that they keep working efficiently. Don't think of it as some stupid, silly thing you shouldn't have to do. Think of it as a valuable and important job you're doing - because it is.
  49. 6 points
    No, it doesn't get better over time. The only thing you gain is the perspective that comes from going through the troughs and knowing that you've found your equilibrium eventually. Now I can say, "I know this sucks. I know I feel like shit and everything can burn. But eventually this will pass." There's no way to avoid the emotional pain of practice if you're doing your job properly. That's like asking how you can stick your bare hand in a fire and not be burned. If you're losing winnable cases by making mistakes, that's a hell you can only escape by acts of mental lifesaving. Here's the reality: if you're litigating cases by calling evidence, this will happen over and over again. There is no way to escape this, even with maximum preparation. What you have to try to avoid is the delusion of thinking every case is winnable. But here's a ridiculous gloss on your question: I won a trial recently for a client who didn't even show up on the original trial-date. I had to go to his house to get him. Today I saw him at the local convenience store, and he gave me the finger.
  50. 6 points
    It's about time for me to chime in and update the forum regarding my experience so far. First, I want to thank everyone who offered their time and advice late last year. Quitting your job to begin an entrepreneurial venture is incredibly scary. I am very grateful for the advice and support I received here. To recap, in November 2018 I was an PI lawyer with about $50,000.00 saved. I wasn't happy as a one trick pony and was considering renting a space and starting a general practice from scratch. It was terrifying. I turned to this forum for advice. I also started meeting with general practitioners in my area to develop a strategy. While exploring my options, I ended up finding two lawyers that share expenses and keep their profits. They were getting older and just so happened to be interested in having another lawyer around. I met with them and it seemed to be a good fit. I gave my employer notice, was fired on the spot and started the next day. I didn't just hang my own shingle and start from scratch. That would have been much harder, and kudos to anyone who has conquered that challenge. Basically, I walked into turn key arrangement where I had two seasoned lawyers to mentor me. I didn't have to be afraid about taking on files where I needed to learn a thing or two along the way. That was a big bonus. To get things started, I put $10,000.00 into the firm's general account and we started a limited liability partnership with my name on the letterhead. I signed up for the criminal and family legal aid panels. I also signed up for the law society referral service which helped initially. Having left a busy PI practice, I also took some dog files to keep me busy (which haven't paid a penny yet). To meet my living expenses, I started taking a draw of $500.00 per week. Some of the best advice I received here was to control my home overhead, which I did. It was the only thing I had absolute control over in the beginning. My draw increased to $750.00 a few months later and I take $1000.00 at present. To my surprise the work started rolling in rather quickly. And not because the lawyers were feeding it to me. My network referred things right away and the phone rang regularly for family law matters. I also picked up some criminal files along the way, and a few real estate transactions started trickling in. Since Nov 2018, I have about 100 files which is plenty to keep me busy. About 90% of the work I brought in myself, whether through legal aid or through the network. The other 10% has been referred by my partners, and I give them 15% of the billings. No two experiences are the same. But mine has been way better than I could have expected. I made just shy of $5,000.00 after tax between Nov and Dec 2018. Between Jan 2019 and present, I've billed $175,000.00 and have collected a little over $100,000.00. I have no doubt I will bill $300,000.00 by the end of the year. I'm working between 45-60 hours a week which keeps my monthly billings are between $25,000.00 and $30,000.00 per month. This is based on $250.00 an hour and legal aid at $109.14 an hour. In terms of overhead, a 1/3 share of rent, two clerks, a receptionist, etc., is about $70,000.00 a year. It's nuts to think about, but I'm expecting to be making a gross income north of $200,000.00 which is more than 3 times what I was earning before. Im also hitting these numbers in a small town where you can buy a house for under $300,000.00. Certainly something to consider for those folks who are entrenched in the big city or bust mentality. Please feel free to ask any questions. I would be happy to post responses and hope the discussion will be useful to other members of the bar considering the plunge into sole practice or partnership.
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