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  1. 18 points
    Have you read the thread or just commenting based on Diplock's and Rhino's recent contribution? Rhino, have you read Diplock's September advice? Many people gave sensitive and practical advice back in September, recommending to address mental health and their own personal. This thread screams "read everything before commenting". This whole thread is also geared towards practitioners and is in a section named as such (something that posters on this site struggle to recognize at times). We're not crisis responders or therapists, nor should we hold ourselves out as such. Suzanne came to the forum seeking advice from articling students and lawyers. That's the POV that our responses will be framed from. Anyone speaking further than a referral to MH services or speaking of their own challenges with MH/therapies that worked for them are offering inappropriate advice (that can border on negligent coming from a lawyer). Diplock's responses seem rough but you need to frame where he is coming from. Diplock is an SP in criminal law in the GTA. That may not mean a lot to people but for those who get criminal law practice and geographical realities of a large urban centre, it means he had to fucking hustle his dark, bitter heart out there. He had to build his business, deal with all the bull that it entails (being spread too thin, no work-life balance, credit bills, assistant relationships, reputation, etc.) while working with clients with a wide range of social and mental health struggles. He has seen a lot of personalities, overcame his own challenges and built his own practice. Given his personality and practice, I'm also going to assume he has to play social worker in his practice. Diplock's advice (freely given when life coaches would charge hundreds) boils down to - 1) encourages Suzanne to refocus on her priorities, 2) focus on the day-to-day in front of her, 3) don't worry about the larger, "structural" changes that is bothering her, and 4) encouraging her to get to a point where she can worry about those larger issues. That's also Rhino's advice. Diplock is right - focus on getting through the small tasks. Ignore the wider "it's not fair" structural issues. The best way to get to a position to effect change is to get through the situation and get called. (As an aside, there is something to be said about a poster complaining that the law society doesn't offer enough counselling - how many people can say they have access to these services (certainly not the vast majority of my clients!) Other posters have already done the "it gets better" talk. Suzanne is still at the place where she can't even fathom that it can. The story she painted in September demonstrates that there is waaaay more than is being presented so many of the practicing lawyers' Spidey senses are tingling. Poster already identified she left one gig and is now struggling in this role. Diplock is right. Suzanne wants to vent and that's fine. Lawyers are terrible people to vent to as our profession is built on trouble shooting through crisis from a legal and practical perspective. We're not therapists or social workers - but we'll damn right steer you in the right direction in a no-no sense approach. Whether y'all listen or not (or are ready to listen/reflect) is on you.
  2. 9 points
    So, was it hard? Well, sort of! The first 2 months were excruciating, but looking back, I think it was not the workload that made it challenging; it was the mental overload. Within two weeks of starting law school, I contemplated dropping out. During the first two weeks, all classes would leave my entire body in sharp pain and would give me some nasty migraine. You have probably already heard something along, law school is mentally challenging because of the competition. However, I think what is not emphasized enough is that the content of the courses themselves can take a toll on your mental health, especially if you are a person, like me, who literally feel the pain of others. Criminal law was the toughest. Almost all cases involved a form of violent crime, and reading some of them was paralyzing. Some call it the collective pain; whatever it's called, law school proved me that it's real. On the other hand, law school can be exciting, fulfilling, and even fun. If you are in law school because you love studying the law, you will find yourself fully engaged with every case. Plus, you are surrounded by driven people who have no shame in talking about ideas and projects for hours. Also, you learn a totally new language in only a few months and impress yourself. For me, things got much better after I received my midterm grades. At that point, I had some idea of where I stood in my class, and I was happy with my grades. But until I could find that certainty, I had to develop a routine to keep myself sane. How did I keep sane? I have dealt with depression and anxiety in high school, so I had some idea of what worked for me. I exercised almost every week and maintained my meditation routine (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4gZgnCy5ew&t=497s) --> (this is the guided meditation that I used). I started drawing and painting to prevent law school from murdering my right brain and semi-creative soul. Perhaps what helped the most was dancing alone in my room to "Shake it Out" - Florence and the machine :). What, like, it's hard? It was like poking yourself in the eye with a fork and liking it! I will leave you with that! Happy Holidays
  3. 5 points
    I have been going through a long harrowing thing for the past couple years and one of the most powerful things pushing me forward has been thinking and talking with others about the world can be better in the future. I think it is a pretty universal response for people facing oppression. Hope, I think they call it? Even though I am through the worst of it now, I still dream about how I can help the people who will have the same experience as I did in the future. And while I'm not President of the Law Society or living in some shitty Clarence Darrow movie, I am affecting small changes towards that dream now and it makes me so fucking happy. I would have killed myself if I had to follow Diplock's advice. (also: my thing heavily intersects with law/my career as a lawyer but I would never post in public here because this forum is very bad at empathy. I hope you have some people you can talk to in your personal life!)
  4. 5 points
    I grew up in Ontario but haven't lived there for a few years (out of Canada for work post-grad). I picked UBC over UofT because: (a) The tuition was significantly cheaper. So much so that combined with awards and bursaries--which UBC gives out very generously, in my experience--my 1L tuition will be less than two years of my undergrad tuition was at an Ontario university. Of course, YMMV based on your financial situation (+/-), but 11k base is an astronomical difference from the 36k sticker price I was looking at for UofT. I can't speak to the bursary/award situation there as I declined before I got that far but maybe someone else can elucidate further for you. I can afford to fly home on cheap flights more often or for recruits when I need to. I can afford to do anything I want to do post-grad now rather than being saddled with a requirement to enter BigLaw ASAP to pay off a PSLOC etc, which makes the experience of law school grade anxiety much more manageable, in my experience. (b) The difference in global reputation is marginal, and even moreso within Canada. UBC, UofT and McGill are the only universities anyone had heard of at the place I was working at in two different non-Canadian major cities (financial services). Everything I've heard from our CSO and from my older UBC law friends is that self-selection is entirely at play when these statistics come out RE: Bay Street, but I would caution you to take this with a grain of salt, of course. It's inherently subjective and anecdotal. They collect data on people who do apply to the Toronto recruit, but whether people are following through on it or simply accepting a Vancouver/Calgary option isn't as clear from the numbers I've seen. (c) On a more personal and totally arbitrary level, I had lived in Toronto for my undergrad and thought it might be a nice experience to go somewhere fresh and beautiful for my law school years. Vancouver is stunning when it wants to be, and the ease with which I can be 5km into a hike on a Sunday morning when I need a break from the serious intensity that is feeling like you're less clever than everyone else no matter how much you read and review is an incredible thing. 1L will be hard, but experiencing it in a place as beautiful as BC helps. I don't want to convince you to come to UBC, because perhaps UofT will be the easier route to Bay Street, all things considered. But I have to trust that if you work hard and aim high, you will end up there in the end if you want--just with significantly less debt and a few less pounds from all the green juice, yoga and hiking you've indulged in over the last three years. Good luck with your choice!
  5. 4 points
    When you say you're "by far most interested in health law", what are you referring to? What do you think "health law" is? Do you want to work in medical malpractice litigation and sue doctors (or defend doctors against lawsuits)? Do you want to work in personal injury / insurance litigation where you'll read people's medical records all day long? Do you want to forego practice all together and work in health policy, crafting legislation that you feel will promote health and well being? At the end of the day, you can do those things anywhere. And FYI - the "Centre for Health Law, Ethics and Policy" probably won't teach you a single thing about medical malpractice or insurance litigation. (As an aside - I also have a health sciences background and went to school hoping to work in "health law". By total chance I landed in insurance defence litigation and I enjoy it. It's also much more health-centric than I ever thought my job would be. Feel free to DM me if you have specific questions about this area of law or anything like that.)
  6. 4 points
    I'm fairly certain that most firms only allow associates to wear Gucci products if they have performed or agree to perform Lil Pump's Gucci Gang in front of the partners at the annual Christmas party. As you're a law student/articling student, I can only imagine you would have to perform said masterpiece while dressing up as the man himself.
  7. 4 points
  8. 3 points
    Off the top of my head you want to mention: you are organized, quick to learn, confident on your feet, and have excellent research skills. Crown have a quasi-judicial role. Make sure you get that. It’s not just lip service to an idea: Crown fully embrace it and are guided by that principle every day. If you don’t know what that means, look it up. Your cover letter should be succinct and flawless. A big part of Crown work is getting the point across clearly and briefly in under ten minutes in a busy courtroom because they have 80 files to get through in one day. Your writing should signal that this is a skill you posses: no wordiness, no saying the same thing two ways, no meandering.
  9. 3 points
    Speaking from personal experience, it is actually a great option financially speaking. I'll exclude the JD\MBA from this discussion though. If you take the JD\MA Econ for example, it takes the same amount of time to complete as a JD. However, the MA is free. You don't pay anything extra for it. You pay the regular UofT JD tuition like everyone else. But what you do get access to is TA opportunities. At UofT, you can easily rack up $15k in TA work during the school year (once you get used to marking, it's really not a lot of work). It really helps pay down your debt. You get credit for your law degree and MA when you do certain courses. And the extra work that you do is just taking two 5-course semesters whereas JDs take only 4. 1L is exclusively law courses like every other JD. That's what gets you hired for the 2L recruit anyways. To add it all up, you get a free graduate degree and $45k of funding over 3 years. You can't ask for a better deal than that. The combined program allowed me to graduate debt free despite no substantial financial support. JD\MBAs are an extra year, much more money and I don't see the same benefit financially speaking.
  10. 3 points
    To relay some hearsay from a partner at Davies- "The only reason we have that nickname is because nothing rhymes with McCarthy Tetrault".
  11. 3 points
    I was really busy around application time and had less than a week to write personal statements. I had midterms, papers due, studying for the lsat, and was in a bad place mentally. I essentially wrote about how I was so smart I didn’t try in undergrad and still did very well and would surely be at the top of my class one I found something I cared about (aka the law). I think I said something along the lines of my life goal being to dominate intellectually at something and I thought that something was the law. I would have straight up rejected me if I were them (I was waitlisted). It was probably the most humbling experience of my life. I am no longer an asshole and got into UBC and western so far this cycle
  12. 3 points
    Look here. I have no hobbies, no girlfriend, no children, and since Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner got overpaid by at least a million or so each, the Leafs don't have a viable back goalie, meaning I no longer follow a single, successful professional sports franchise. You can't take away bitching about being a lawyer. I won't let you.
  13. 3 points
    I'll do my best to keep this from being a long and convoluted story, especially since I'm writing it by phone! What follows might be a bit syrupy, but I would have wanted to hear it last November, so here goes. There are going to be a lot of people over the next month telling you not to stress out over your first exams: that they don't matter that much, that a bad mark is not the end of the world. Do me a favour. Listen to those people. My first mark at law school was a big, stinky C. The mark itself looked and felt like an open wound from a shattered beer bottle. It was the only mark I had in my pocket as I went home for the December holidays. I got to listen to the lamentations of my classmates at the end-of-term party: "I feel so stupid! I've never had a B+ in my life!" "Well, at least it's not a C+, man, that would be a kick in the face." "Ha! Yeah, that's basically code for, 'get out of law school'." It was humiliating, depressing, and stressful in the extreme. Questions started to float, especially as my exam marks started coming back with Bs --- and those were the good ones. Was it a huge mistake to come to law school? Should I ever have quit that great job? Am I really so much dumber than everyone else? What I didn't realize at the time was that just like me, anyone else who went through the same thing was too humiliated to talk about it. But I wasn't alone, and these things do happen. Now, for the point! Most of you will do beautifully, and rock the hell out of your exams. That's what curves do. Almost all of you will ride those exams like an insolent mule and stagger lopingly into the ruby sunset. But for those of you that do start slow, like me, don't lose faith in yourselves. You got this far for a reason, and no one gets into law school that can't hack it. (Though whether they want to is another matter.) I promise, there really is such thing as a slow start, and you WILL get better. Looking back on my notes, I can actually see the transformation around Valentine's Day. You won't notice it happening, and you will probably still feel like you bombed your finals, but you'll actually learn a lot from your first term and turn out more awesome than you think. I got the word yesterday; I'm off to my favourite firm on Bay Street. I would have never thought it was possible any time last year, in the pressure cooker that is 1L. So please, do your families and friends a favour in the slim chance you're a slow starter too --- don't beat yourself up. It gets better, a lot better, and in the big picture your first term marks often couldn't be more irrelevant. Really. No, really. Shut up. Really. There's more than enough paranoia to go around in 1L, but the truth is you'll be exponentially better educated in April than you can be in December, and when it comes time to find work, people are going to hire you, not your transcript. So, I suppose, I'm putting this up in case anyone feels like they've had a catastrophe in January, or after exams. If you can't find anyone to talk to anonymously, please do send me a PM. People can go from the bottom of the class to the top. I know many who did, and I'm one of them. I bombed my first term, bombed December, and came back with enough rocket power that I absolutely shocked myself when our grades came back. Now the sun's in the sky and I couldn't be happier. So get out there and give 'em hell, 1Ls! You'll be amazing! And even in the off chance you're a little (or a lot!) less than stellar, trust me --- it's far from over, and the wide horizon is still swelling before you. Though you will feel like cat vomit ground into shag carpeting. That's just what's up, I'm not going to lie, but once you get over the shock, I swear: those exams have definitely not heard the last of you!
  14. 3 points
    I can't speak to your particular firm, but I have it on good authority that you're likely to be confused with the janitorial staff if you wear something as pedestrian as Gucci at Morgan's.
  15. 2 points
    I think the fact that you're weighing the potential costs is by no means shallow. It's also entirely possible that law school is a financial mistake for some individuals, but that isn't necessarily true for you. Many people self-financed their undergrads and are/will be financing their law degrees themselves. But what kind of cost you're looking at for your JD really varies on where you're studying. If finances are taking up a large chunk of your deciding factor, you'd be better off studying in Quebec or out west. Some people take time off before law school to pay off (some of) their undergrad. Bursaries and scholarships are a thing, too (although bear in mind that taking time off to pay undergrad loans will affect what kinds of bursaries you can get). The cost of law school is a lot no matter where you study, but it also bumps up the earning potential. Of course, few people earn six figures right out of the gate, and there's no guarantee of hitting that potential max. However, there's no guarantee you'll be financially safer by stopping at your BSc, either. Statistically, as a lawyer, you will likely earn enough money at some point down the line to live comfortably. Being good at your job is what's going to increase your chances of financial success by a lot. Law school is an opportunity most people don't get, and unless there's more personal circumstances at work, if you're passionate about it I'd say go for it. But you definitely shouldn't do this without sitting down and taking the time to budget first.
  16. 2 points
    You should send an application into TRU, they have a semi holistic admissions process and Kamloops isn't anywhere near as expensive as Vancouver.
  17. 2 points
    The formula for how many hours to study on a given day is ((R/T)-C)/(B/2) where: R = pages you can read in an hour T = times you check LS.ca per day C = hours in class that day and B = the number of beers in your fridge
  18. 2 points
    The workload in law school isn't that intense, it is still just school. The combination of not knowing where you stand and a lot of dedicated people who are going to be average for the first time in their lives tends to make it a difficult environment. Plus the pressure of finding a job and taking on a lot of debt puts a nice high stakes cherry on top.
  19. 2 points
    In addition to the excellent advice in the preceding post, you're also going to face an uphill climb because you're NCA (unless you're a ~T20 US or Oxbridge). Cold applications are likely to bear little fruit. I would identify the top three areas you want to practice in and do as follows, in no particular order. The key to this game is to hustle like no tomorrow. - Identify which organizations in the city serve this area of law. Is there an OBA section? Another group? Begin attending events put on by the organization, both socials and substantive. Talk to people and when it's right, explain you're looking for an articling position. - Link up with the NCA network (http://www.ncanetwork.com). Attend their events and ask them to connect you with a mentor. - Identify anybody and everybody in your own social circle who is a lawyer or knows a lawyer, ideally but not exclusively in your practice area interests. Meet with them and ask them to introduce you to others. - Contact the LPP program. They likely deal with a lot of NCA candidates and the difficulties/solutions to locating positions for them. Ask for any advice they can provide. - Are you a member of any minority group? If so, join the local bar org and ask for a mentor there too. Attend their events. - Identify folks, including with an NCA background, in areas of practice you're interested in. Meet them for informal mentorship coffees. Don't lead with your request for an articling position somewhere, ask for info about their area of practice etc., but if you connect, consider asking. Of course while doing all this, the better and more focused your own pitch is, the likelier the chance of someone being interested in offering or connecting you with an articling spot. Those are some ideas. You need to get out there and make your own luck/opportunities. Don't just rely on job postings.
  20. 2 points
    Fair enough. I wish you all the best. Your health and happiness are worth more than any job - just know that.
  21. 2 points
    Suzanne, with all due respect why haven't you left already? What are you so worried about? Getting called later isn't worth your mental health or dignity. I left an articling gig after one day. Haven't regretted it once.
  22. 2 points
    Bumping a thread, but I feel like chiming in because I think I can give you an aspect of what the opinions of professional psychologists are. Before I went to law school, I completed a Master's degree in educational psychology where I learned about assessing academic performance with psychometric testing (such as IQ tests). However, I quit psychology to go into law school. Some of my friends, however, are practicing psychologists and others are pursing PhDs in Educational Psychology so I think my experience might be able to help you. The first thing that I think should be made clear is IQ is not intelligence and there is no such thing as a"genius" level IQ. Psychologists used to think that high IQ equated to genius decades ago. However, they dropped this concept around the mid 20th century. There is no consensus among psychologists with regards to a definition of giftedness or genius. This is why many different schools have different criteria for "gifted" programs. Since psychologists don't have an agreed upon definition of genius or giftedness, schools are left to define "giftedness" whatever way they want to. Some schools use an IQ of 130, others used an IQ of 120 or 125. Some school districts dont use IQ at all (they use a combination of school grades and referral from teachers). There's a lot of research conducted by academic psychologists with regards to finding definitions for concepts such as "giftedness", "intelligence", and 'genius" and part of the reason is to resolve inconsistencies with regards to the use of concepts such as "intelligence" by the general public. However there is still no agreed upon definition of either intelligence or genius. This is still an active area of research among psychologists. As an educational psychologist, when you give something like an IQ test and provide academic assessments, you use evidence based manuals such as this. You have to follow the rules in these manuals, or else you're going to get in trouble and get sued for malpractice. The manuals emphasize the fact that IQ tests like the WAIS or the Stanford Binet are not the same concept as intelligence and reiterate that you cannot define intelligence (for some of the law students and lawyers in this thread, you should read some of these professional manuals written by psychologists before advising people on "intelligence and academic performance"). The manuals also emphasize that despite correlations between IQ and academic performance, causation has not been proven. So, as far as educational psychologists are concerned, the evidence between IQ testing and other psychometric measures of cognitive performance is not strong enough to use with regards to academic advising. Maybe causality will be shown in the future, but for now the evidence isn't strong enough. If you walked into the office of a practicing psychologist, this is what they would tell you. You can use IQ tests (in a holistic assessment) to assess whether someone has the capability of performing in regular educational classrooms. IQ tests can also identify special ed students who can be returned to mainstream education. IQ tests can also identify children, such as those with schizophrenia, autism, Rett Syndrome, Fragile X who need to stay in special education and will not be able to perform well in regular education or go to university. At this point in time, IQ testing can not be used for anything more with regards to assessing academic performance. Just identifying special ed kids. This is why, in gifted programs, you're not allowed to say "oh you high IQ kids are going to have a much easier time in school, you're more likely to become doctors, lawyers, judges, CEOS than the kids in regular education). That's it. Nothing more with regards to education. This is what you get taught about IQ, academic performance and intelligence in psych grad school. If you walked into any educational psychologists' office, this is what they would say. Whatever causes high academic performance is still under investigation by academic psychologists. So, my advice to you would be just do the best you can. Get help from profs and upper years. Keep up with case readings and give it your 100%. I realize this is a long post, but concepts such as IQ and intelligence are complicated subjects. Academic psychologists have devoted their entire professional careers to studying it. Hard to summarize the current opinions among psychologists to a few paragraphs but hope (if you've had the time to read this OP), that it helped answering your questions.
  23. 2 points
    Great thread idea @Hegdis! 1. Generally having my weekends off (used to work Saturdays and Sundays for retail); 2. Being able to eat out at lunch; and 3. Being able to go to Costco and buy the random stuff my partner requests over and above our regular groceries.
  24. 2 points
    1) Do NOT spend time on the exam doing time consuming questions (such as tax or complex equalization payments). Just bubble one and move on. It saves you A LOT of time that could be used to answer two more questions that you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. Remember, every question is weighted the same. The LSO doesn’t care that you got the most difficult question on the exam correct. Guess and move on. 2) Learn to let go. If you are like me, you like to finish a question completely before moving on. This is a grave mistake on this type of exam. Spend the allotted 1 minute and 45 seconds you have on each question (unless you made-up ground by answering some easier questions quickly before-hand). Do not dwell. If you spent more than the allotted time, make an educated guess and move on. 3) Ethical questions are typically answered with the most conservative answer. When in doubt, the answer is almost always “seek the client’s instructions”. 4) For Barrister: I would recommend memorizing the Civil Litigation deadline dates. This saves you tons of time on the test, as there is ALWAYS multiple questions of this nature. It is pretty easy and straight forward to memorize (maybe I am biased, as I articled in this area). 5) The phrasing of some questions do NOT lend itself to be looked up easily. EX) “Which one of these is NOT true” and all the answers are unrelated. I would either skip such a question (mark the answer sheet to remember to go back, if time allows) OR bubble in an answer and forget about it. The time trying to workout the answer will take time away from 3+ questions that you could have looked up easily. 6) People read the materials as though they are going to remember most of it. This is a terrible approach. Read it and make mental notes of what the contents of the chapter are. This will help you look things up faster on the exam. 7) If you are easily discouraged. Do not sit with people at lunch that discuss the exam questions. 8) Put dividers between chapters. 9) Do NOT study the day before. Just relax and get a good night sleep. Chances are that last minute studying would yield no reward. Good luck.
  25. 2 points
    Accepted on December 12. LSAT 162 and estimated L2 of 3.4. Lots of work experience plus an MA.
  26. 2 points
    Sadly, I have heard similar stories more times than I would like. There are some real nut jobs in this profession. Get out ASAP. We are all rooting for you!
  27. 2 points
    I went for the cheaper tuition and the lifestyle. Getting interviews on Bay Street, or elsewhere, isn't really an issue.
  28. 2 points
    I've been through the JD/MBA program and am now working on Bay Street, I may be able to provide you with the insight you're looking for but I have a few questions for you first: 1. How long have you graduated from undergrad? Are you working right now? MBAs require minimum work year experiences in your application so if you don't meet that, chances are you'd only get into law school anyways if you apply separately to both. 2. When you say you want to "make $$$ ASAP", is that out of necessity or is it an it-would-be-nice-to-have statement? Is $$$ the ultimate goal in your career? Or do you just want to make good $$$ in the process of building a career? There's nothing wrong in saying yes to the former option, but it would be nice to know where you actually stand for me to give you a candid response. 3. Why have you considered pursuing a career in law? What about it intrigues you? 4. What areas of business are you interested in? Is it just in finance?
  29. 2 points
    This behaviour sounds to me like workplace harassment. I have been reading this thread but not replying, because it makes me want to say a lot. So... sorry for the over-long post. Some of the sentences are also a bit convoluted because I'm trying hard to identify neither the former employer I'm going to mention, nor the supervisor I had a problem with. Also, this is my experience. Many years ago, I had a supervisor who was a bully. I was in a senior management position at the organization I was working for (second in command, on paper, at our location), but my boss would regularly dress me down in public or in front of consultants I had hired, and once or twice in front of clients, normally this was for small things or minor errors, and usually involved shouting. He would also badmouth me to others, and seemed to be actively trying to undermine me, even to my friends and people outside our organization. It was terrible. This was my first year in the type of work we were doing, and I had been given responsibilities I had openly admitted were not yet in my skill set, though I could learn. His response at the beginning had been to say that I was up to the challenge, and that he would help me out where I needed it (my previous supervisor had given me a stellar job review). This was not what ended up happening. Because of the stress at work, I started losing sleep and experiencing deep anxiety. I wanted to quit, but felt trapped. But then, following the advice of my partner at the time, I made a list of all the occasions when this boss had bullied me. I wrote them up in a letter (which came to 3 pages), and made an appointment. The letter was very direct, and accused him of repeated instances of unprofessional behaviour towards me, which I was careful to be able to demonstrate, and for each of which I included the date and location, including the names of witnesses when possible, or the precise day and time of emails, etc. I read this letter aloud during our meeting, stating that if his behaviour did not change, this would be my resignation letter to his supervisor at head office (which is who had hired me). This would have been a very serious complaint, especially if accompanied by the resignation of a senior staffer. I later learned that it would not have been the first complaint, or the first resignation, as a result of this person's behaviour. He immediately responded by promising to change, and for the next several months, things were better. Eventually, he reverted to form, worse than before, but by then I was in a better position to quit, and did so almost immediately (I didn't follow through on my threat to send a letter at that point, though I did ask for an exit interview, where I was praised for my way of handling things. My willingness to directly confront the problem and not simply melt or whine had been reported by a colleague to head office). Quitting that job is a decision I have never regretted (except for the fact that I believed at the time that I would need his recommendation to keep working for the organization, which I would have liked to do. I learned too late that that they would have kept me on at a different location, had I asked for a transfer). From this experience I learned a lesson about bullies in the workplace, and how to deal with them, and I have applied it since. This is personal to me, so YMMV, but here it is: 1) If someone is abusing you, they have abused others. The reason they continue to do so is that they can. Ignoring it is likely to make it worse, not better, and in the process you will almost inevitably lose the respect of many who observe it. 2) Document everything. Deal with the bully in writing as much as possible. 3) The ideal is to change the power relationship. It helps to find leverage, an ally (or allies - unions are useful here), a credible threat, etc., all without yourself acting in any way unethically or illegally, and as far as possible without opening yourself to reprisals.. The right kind of evidence can make the bully back off, but you have to be willing to follow through. Don't bluff. Don't lower yourself. 4) This means, in part, that you have to give yourself permission to quit your job if necessary. A willingness to walk away always strengthens one's negotiating position, except perhaps when the other side wants you to walk away (and if they want to get rid of you, then it seems to me it's not a bad idea to leave on your own terms rather than waiting for them to impose theirs). And if you are forced to quit, then you have to decide, carefully, whether to expose the exact reasons, and in how much detail. Sometimes, that's not what you want to do (for example, I would have done so when I made my initial complaint, by submitting the letter. But I didn't do so when I finally did leave, because by then it seemed to me it might have appeared petty). Remember that your own reputation is in play here as well. If you have to do it, you have to do it right. I gave 8 weeks notice, using the end of my contract as the date I would leave (the contract would normally have been automatically extended). 5) The effect of standing up to my bully has been extremely good for me, psychologically; the effect of initially not standing up, extremely negative. Standing up also earned me the expressed respect of colleagues, and has been good for my career. 6) Should you manage to change the power relationship while remaining in the same workplace with the same supervisor, this is likely to revert over time as your supervisor starts to once again feel comfortable. Your fight will then be more and more difficult over time, so leaving must always remain a live option. You can't guarantee a positive outcome, no matter how you deal with this kind of situation. Since leaving that job, I have had another employer whose management style was also characterised by bullying and intimidation. I drew from my earlier experience and responded more quickly. In the end I was not one of those in my workplace who was treated like a doormat. Please note! I am not telling you what to do; I am telling you what worked for me. I suppose it counts as advice, but your situation is not the same as mine. I'm just distressed by your story.
  30. 2 points
    I believe this is generally where the big Vancouver firms are currently at: 1st year call: $103k 2nd: $115k 3rd: $125k 4th: $140k 5th: $155k 6th: $165k 7th: $175k A bit of variability amongst firms and 5th-year-and-above salaries are usually negotiable, but at most big firms they tend to fall around the numbers above. These numbers do not include bonus, which completely varies amongst firms.
  31. 2 points
    Hi everyone! Received my acceptance by email on the 13th (took me a while to decide to stop lurking and create an account lol). Good chance I accept unless I get Queen's or Western. Regular category LSAT: 163 OLSAS GPA: 2.94 L2: 3.3 Mediocre softs with a year of contracts work at a non-legal firm and a bit of volunteer experience from early undergrad. Presumably a strong personal statement as I wasn't expecting to get any acceptances until the summer with my grades. Hope this gives some hope to those without strong grades!
  32. 2 points
    OP: the literal embodiment of every negative stereotype of lawyers ever. I say go to law school just as the oracle foretold!
  33. 2 points
    Gucci is a fashion house that built its reputation when Tom Ford designed for them in the 1990s. Today, it’s best know for its black face sweaters and corny sneakers and street wear favoured by SoundCloud rappers and other assorted rubes.
  34. 2 points
    Accepted Today Applied in September LSAT- 159 GPA- 3.5 Extensive ECs, Years of Work Experience, Good References Will be accepting, see you guys in September!
  35. 2 points
    I think you're really trying to avoid difficult courses, but don't want to admit it.
  36. 2 points
    Ignoring all ethical, moral, and legal elements, I have to point out the OP's boss seems quite stupid. They are paying a lawyer's salary for high school tutor work. I'm pretty certain I could find companies online willing to write an essay for $50...maybe there's a reason the office has no work.
  37. 2 points
    This definitely does not sound ideal. Start looking for a new job ASAP. If you absolutely cannot bear to stay at this place any longer due to mental health reasons, then quit now. Your health should be #1. Although it is easier to find a job when you already have one, I've seen plenty of lawyers land on their feet without too big of a gap on their resumes when looking for a job while unemployed, be it due to being let go, contract work expiring, leaving on their own terms, etc. You'll be fine. Don't let fear keep you in a damaging situation. But make no mistake about it. If you can tough this out while lining up another role - do it.
  38. 2 points
    Going to have to reset the "How to spend a Bay street salary" thread.
  39. 2 points
    Okay, I'm going to give you some very important information to start, and slide gradually into opinion. I know it's hard to separate fact from perspective, at times, so I want to start by acknowledging the slippage. As a fact, the sorts of legal practice you will most easily be exposed to in law school - in both official terms and unofficially through other students talking about what they are aware of and engaged with - is skewed heavily towards business-oriented legal practice. And this is an inaccurate view of the legal market as a whole. No one is doing this intentionally and it's not a conspiracy, but it does happen as a strong trend nonetheless. The simple fact is that some kinds of law happen primarily in the context of large and organized employers and other kinds of law happen primarily in the context of smaller legal practices, often sole practitioners. Your CDO is eager to bring you every contact and opportunity that they can, but they can't get every individual lawyer to play ball with their processes. Small shops don't hire their students a year in advance so that they can participate in OCIs. A two-person operation sure as hell isn't sending someone around to every law school in the province to conduct on-campus interviews. And so the predictable consequence is, what you see is skewed badly towards what happens in large firms. Now, students routinely fuck one another's heads (and their own) into imagining that if they want to have a career at all they need to get on board with these large employers and do business-oriented law. The groupthink gets intense. Again, it's not intentional, but it's powerful. Particularly, the biggest problem is that because large and organized employers hire far earlier in the cycle, any student whose interests don't align with the work these employers do feels immense pressure to not pass up the chance to apply to jobs they don't even want. They pass on that pressure to others, and you end up in the situation you've just described. Often, students don't know what they want. They are encouraged to pursue "full-service" firms based on the idea that they'll be exposed to a little of everything. But that's flatly untrue. Full-service doesn't really mean full-service. There are all kinds of things you'd never see done in a large firm. What full-service really means is "a full range of all the legal assistance that large entitles (corporate and otherwise) and high networth individuals might routinely seek." But that doesn't mean everything. Also, students who have been conditioned to always chase the best and hardest things to achieve may feel that corporate practice is the next version of that, but that's also not true. No question, articles and future employment in large, national firms is competitive and represents some of the harder positions to obtain. But there's plenty that's highly competitive outside of this environment also. There's absolutely no truth the the idea that the best go to Bay Street, and everyone that's left over settles for other things. As an aside, the OP has already gotten halfway through an exercise that I often recommend to students who don't know what they want to do. The most natural thing is to start with a practice area and try to find interest in this or that area of law. The OP has mentioned some interest in torts. That's fine. But the OP's first instinct was to emphasize interest in helping people. To me, the clearest division in legal practice (not in terms of the law, but in terms of what it feels like to be a lawyer) is between institutional vs. retail legal practice. In other words, large firms serve entities. They deal in abstract work, and work with representatives and corporate officers to pursue that work. That's institutional. In the sort of work performed in smaller law offices (this is a generalization - not always true but usually true) you're serving individuals. In other words, real people with problems affecting themselves. This is retail work. Note, "problems" is a broad term in this sense. Residential real estate fits this bill. So does immigration. The point is, you're working directly with the individual clients. To students who can't figure out what they want to do, I encourage everyone to stop thinking about practice area and to start thinking about the clients themselves. Some areas of law are inherently oriented to individuals - criminal law, family, immigration, much of real estate, some areas of tort (personal injury - absolutely - though mainly plaintiff side) - while others are institutional. It's a good place to start thinking - better, in my view, than trying to find intellectual interest in an area of law divorced from considering what it will feel like to work with a particular kind of client. The toughest part of the advice I saved until the end. For those students who decide through whatever means that their interests align more with retail-type smaller legal practices, there is nothing at all wrong with this sort of work. You can have a great career doing it. But you won't find the same support and guidance in law school towards that kind of a career as you would towards the large employers doing OCIs. You'll be stuck, unavoidably, trying to network more directly, searching on your own for job postings, etc. It won't be spoonfed to you. And worst of all, if you want to stay true to these ambitions, you'll be skipping OCIs while all your classmates are freaking out over them, you're virtually guaranteed to be heading into 2L without a summer job lined up for the end of the year, into 3L without articles in place, etc. Which isn't to say you won't find those jobs - not at all. Just that the employers you'll be looking for probably won't hire that far in advance. So you'll be staring down a lot of anxiety. And frankly, a lot of students break and apply to OCI employers anyway, and some end up working exactly where they don't belong. Which I am convinced contributes to the big-law burnout rate. Anyway, that's a lot of information. I hope it helps. Incidentally, to remind, I'm in criminal defence, myself. But for all of the above, despite your question being more about family law, it's exactly the same. I've been there and done that. And it worked out very well for me.
  40. 2 points
    Do profs at your school set minimum summary lengths, or are you just stating a personal preference as an absolute requirement for success?
  41. 2 points
    1. Everyone is so weirdly nice. The professors, the staff and upper years. I found it to be a bit much in the beginning but, before I knew it, I had also turned into one of them. Everyone shares outlines and notes liberally. Speaking openly about grades and gloating is severely frowned upon. The competition is there but it is very much hidden. Honestly, it's a great atmosphere. People are very considerate. 2. The peer tutoring program. The faculty hires second and third year students to hold study seminars and tutor first year students. 1Ls get matched up with upper years according to the difficulty they're having with specific courses, whether the upper year had the same professor as them, the strengths and learning styles of the students etc. Students can choose to either be tutored individually or in study groups. In the first semester, individual tutoring sessions were limited but group study sessions were unlimited. By second semester, they announced that all tutoring was unlimited. They also have a separate law buddy program where first years are linked with an upper year who can provide them with support throughout the year. 3. The amicus support services. They have a counselor dedicated to law students, an indigenous support counselor and a disabilities support person. They make themselves available to you. Most people will suffer through at least some type of crisis while going through law school so its helpful to have people on your side. 4. The co-op program. This program is awesome for gaining experience while getting paid. A number of my friends have gone overseas or out of province for their positions and they love it. The co-op coordinator is great and most postings are interesting. 5. The emphasis on progressive ideologies. From the emphasis of sexual battery in first year torts to the creation of the JD/JID program, this school wants to use the law to dismantle oppressive power structures and I think it does a good job of walking the talk. The course offerings also reflect this. Next year, they're offering indigenous governance, race and ethnicity, animal law, water law, sexual orientation and the law etc. The professors are also great, Elizabeth Adjin-Tettey, Michelle Lawrence, and Kathy Chan are gems. 6. Legal process. The two week introductory course in September taught us basics such as how we should read a case while also providing context surrounding indigenous legal orders. The first year class was split into five (or six) groups and gave us room to get to know each other and the law a little bit before diving into courses. It was a lot of fun- we went on a city tour with different stations, hiked Mount Pkols, and engaged in an informal moot. Paired with the orientation week activities planned by the law students' society, the first month of law school was super memorable. 7. The Law Centre. You get to spend an entire semester working to help the underprivileged and you're graded on a pass/fail basis. It's a great way to spend part of 3LOL. 8. The bursary program is generous to say the least. I've heard that UVic doesn't give out as many scholarships and, instead, concentrates on distributing needs-based bursaries. Coupling this with the fact that the tuition is the cheapest in the country (outside of Quebec), many UVic grads will have a manageable time paying off their student loans. 9. The law building itself is outdated but the very large library is new and it is a beaut. Additionally, they'll start construction on the JD/JID expansion soon which should brighten up the place a bit. 10. The city of Victoria is adorable. Great hikes, cute boutiques and restaurants and lovely people. It offers a small town vibe but you won't miss the necessities. I'm a city girl through and through but I love Victoria. My social cup overflows due to being in law school and my study schedule keeps me from going out that much anyway.
  42. 2 points
    This section was painful to read. It sounds like your school just supports causes/plans events which focus on diverse ideas/cultures?? and they advertise it? What kind of conservative, right wing course are you even looking for? The whole 'half of orientation has to do with natives' part is particularly painful. *Indigenous* law is very important considering Canada's history. If I were to make a list for UWindsor #1-10 would be admin. It is insane how long it takes admin to get anything done. We received our grades a month ago, and they literally can't figure out how to rank >160 students, since the system apparently used to do it for them. It is wild. They don't answer emails, they can't make a timeline and, if they do, you can guarantee it won't be met.
  43. 2 points
    I'm in house, so my experience is pretty similar to what you would get in the standard corporate work world. I'm not sure if I qualify as having kids "early", I think I was practicing for 7 years by the time I had a baby, but not by choice--we took awhile to conceive. 1) My hours were not particularly long when I got pregnant. I worked 8:30-5:30 and through lunch, type thing. I was fortunate that I had absolutely no external signs of pregnancy, no morning sickness, felt great, maybe a bit more tired than usual in the evening. I didn't miss a beat.I was pretty much checked out the last couple weeks of work--pretty much worked till my due date--and by then was very uncomfortable, in pain, etc. but I didn't shorten my hours or anything. In hindsight, I would have taken more time off prior to my due date. 2) I just had a conversation with my boss, when I was 16 weeks pregnant. He took it well. I actually asked him not to tell anyone else, only because we had one person who was a nosy f*ck and I pretty much only wanted her to find out as late as possible, once I was showing. I can't remember how everyone else found out. 3) I returned to work early into a different job. I felt certain things happened while I was away that were unfair to me, and part of it I felt had to do with my absence. Mat leave would have affected my progress had I stayed at my previous employer, but I was able to find another job at significantly higher seniority and pay. My new employer did not care that I was coming off a mat leave. That said, it took us awhile to get pregnant, (which is difficult as a type A who has everything carefully planned!) and during that time, plus the year that I was pregnant, I felt I wasn't able to entertain possible career advancement opportunities when recruiters contacted me for other roles; and I had to hand over an interesting high profile project for someone else to take over for me while I was gone. Other than taking mat leave a bit early, I wouldn't change a thing. My advice would be to make a conscious decision about what you want out of life/career before you come back from mat leave, perhaps as soon as you find out you're pregnant, so you can plan for that while you're away (having said that, during the mat leave, try not to worry about your career and enjoy the time you have with the baby. It really goes by so quickly!) But also know that life happens and how you feel now may be different than how you feel when you are holding your baby.
  44. 2 points
    The problem is that the world is not black and white. In every area of law, not just criminal law, there exists the potential for emotionally challenging situations. None of the practitioners who have responded in this thread, whether its Hegdis, Diplock, myself, or others, are oblivious to these realities, despite what you seem to think. We have a professional responsibility to set our emotions aside though and be zealous advocates for our clients, because that's what the system expects and requires. We find different justifications for ourselves to allow us to do that, for some it is belief in the system, for others in the understanding that almost any issue has at least some perspective that can be meritorious, or for more still that it is not as simple as guilt or innocence / right or wrong, and for even more still, something else entirely. I cannot speak for Hegdis, and I would not presume to do so in an area where his years of experience vastly exceeds mine, particularly in the area of criminal law. I can tell you that, while I am not a criminal lawyer, it was not because I was worried I would have to defend those who had committed heinous acts; I believe strongly in the idea that even the worst offender who has committed the most inhumane acts, is entitled to a vigorous defence, because that is how I have confidence that our society is a just one. Where even the worst are entitled to rights and protections, I have confidence that those who are wrongfully accused or whom actually have mitigating factors, the system will hear, consider, and treat accordingly. I am certain it would be difficult to know that your brilliant advocacy lead to a murderer being released, but I believe that we would find the justifications to keep doing it, because we have to for the system to work. The thing is though, Diplock is right that it's not limited to criminal law. Family lawyers must live with the fact that their advocacy will sometimes lead to broken homes, and often their best case scenario is working out an arrangement that makes everyone only somewhat less miserable. Commercial lawyers must ask themselves the implications of the asset purchase or commercial closing, which will lead to the elimination of twenty-five thousand jobs, putting countless blue collar workers out of work. Labour and employment lawyers must often deal with challenges in the human rights context, or justify terminating an employee for cause, despite knowing that you are taking away that person's livelihood and their ability to take care of their family. Intellectual property lawyers must often defend copyright and patents, resulting in driving smaller companies without legions of lawyers at their disposal out of business. It could be continued ad nauseam. If we are being honest and have any empathy whatsoever, no matter the area of law, there are undoubtedly some days where we hate our jobs. It's not just the emotional and ethical strains, it's that those strains come in addition to the fact that law is a taxing profession, where you are often required to work long hours and late nights in pursuit of your client's goals. It is no mystery why the legal profession has some of the highest rates of substance abuse, alcohol abuse, depression, mental illness, and other such things, when all careers are compared and examined. The reality is lawyers are grappling with the issues you identify, on a level far more complicated than you realize, and not everyone succeeds in coping. The thing is though, for all everything I just said is true, there are so many times where being a lawyer, in any of those fields, lets you do tremendous good. To be frank, it is these days that are truly what gives us the strength to face the darkest days. The day when you successfully acquit the kid who made a mistake one night, or when you help an estranged couple work through their difficulties, or where you are able to advise your client on how to minimize the job losses from the acquisition, or win reinstatement for the disabled employee, or work out a license agreement for the smaller company... The system that creates the emotionally challenging situations is as much responsible for the tremendous good it can create as those hurdles. I return to my initial proposition, it really is not black and white. The system is not black and white, none of us could be defined as "good" or "evil" on the basis of our jobs, and the challenges we face are part of what allows us to do the good we do. It's the bargain we struck, not because we are not prepared to face the emotional challenges that bargain necessitates, but because we've accepted that to do the good we wish to do, we must be prepared to sometimes swallow the bad with it.
  45. 1 point
    Ok, so loosely career services based. Priorities. Let us assume you can afford you rent and basic payments. Let us assume you can put aside family and children. For YOU. Three things that make you happy. Random examples: wool socks. A bottle of scotch. Netflix. A good sushi takeout. The BOTW expansion pack. A golden retriever. Regular RMT massage. Whole bean coffee from that tiny hipster place. A call from your childhood friend. What three things sustain you and make you career choice worth it? Be honest. (Mean judgemental comments deleted on sight.)
  46. 1 point
    Accepted GPA: 91% (self-calculated) LSAT: 169 From Ontario
  47. 1 point
    Taking what OP is saying at face value, this sounds like one of the most exploitative arrangements I've heard of. Get the hell out and best of luck. You deserve better!
  48. 1 point
  49. 1 point
    I articled at a small firm and now work at a different small firm. Articling firm: awful. Current firm: dream job. Biggest difference: the people.
  50. 1 point
    Yeah, I just ... I'm not going to argue with you about your practice. That gets close to the same issue I was pointing out above. But I absolutely cannot agree that saving me time has no value. And I would never use that argument to denigrate the value of a student's work to my practice. In fact, as soon as we accept that logic, I wonder how we justify charging our own clients for doing anything they could theoretically do for themselves - up to and including a set date. We say "we saved you a day in court, hence we billed you" and client says ... what? "I could have done that myself, so the work you performed has no value?" Depending on the nature of your practice, having a student perform work may or may not increase the total volume of files you are carrying, and may or may not lead to increased revenue. But if it doesn't lead to more files and more revenue, but still saves time, it must simply be reducing your overall work load. There's no other possibility. And that still has value.
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