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  1. 27 points
    I graduated law school in 2018. I used to read forums like these a lot, and looking at them now, I can clearly see so much of the anxiety I once felt about law firm rankings. I've made a lot of progress on those anxieties and wanted to share some wisdom of how things look from "the other side". From where you stand right now, it's understandable that rankings seem important. I guarantee you, however, that over the long term law firm rankings are not very important. Your concern with rankings is largely driven by your ego -- you want to work at a prestigious firm because you think that will reflect well on you, or because you believe it is a measure of your worth. If you are being honest with yourself, you do not want to work at these firms because that is where you think "the work is the best", "the people are the smartest", or "that is where you will be happiest". As you go through your career, you will realize those statements could be true of a lot of firms. You want to work at these top firms to make your parents proud and feel good about yourself when you tell people where you work. The wake-up call all corporate lawyers one day get is this: these firms do not care about you, as a human. Law firms are not benevolent organisations. They are for-profit pyramid structures where lots of associates serve as cannon fodder so that a small group of partners can make vast sums of money. As a general trend, the better the firm (according to your rankings), the higher the pay. But the higher the pay, the worse the hours. Firms are not charities, they are not giving you more pay because they like you. They are giving you more money because they are charging their clients more, and they are charging their clients more not because they can do work that other firms cannot (when you do deals you will sit across from "lower ranked" firms), but because they can get it done faster (a.k.a. you work longer hours). These firms rank well because they deliver for their clients, yes, but at your expense. To these firms, you are 100% dispensable until you become a partner, at which point you prove your worth largely by how much money you bring in. If you want to have a long and prosperous career, where you make lots of money, feel fulfilled and have real responsibility, do not worry about law firm rankings. Worry about doing a good job at whatever firm you do end up at and about making career moves based on genuine enjoyment of the work. Over time, it is this behavior which will be the determinant of your long-term financial success, stamina, and happiness. Loosen your grip on the image or story you've crafted for yourself about how your life can or should play out. The reality is that you have very little control over the future and the trajectory of your life will ultimately be determined in large part by events beyond your control. Most people can barely control their own thoughts and emotions, so what makes you think you will be able to bend the world to your will. Yes, you should continue to work hard and push yourself. And yes, if you are genuinely interested by a certain practice area, you should try to work at firms with strengths in that area. But stop obsessing over rankings. Focus on what is real in the present moment, let go of your ego, and you will find your way.
  2. 25 points
  3. 21 points
    The power imbalance is significant here. This is not two colleagues who disagree or calling out a buddy over pizza. I think you should reach out to a trusted professor or admin person and explain you have concerns (up to you if you name the prof or not) and you to figure out how they can be addressed. If you focus on what next steps would be you can make a more informed decision about whether to take them. It’s a cautious route but should get you better situated to act. You can also be more direct and email the Dean about your concerns. It may be that you wouldn’t be the first to do so. An email - something in writing - is harder to ignore than a simple conversation. I suppose this goes without saying but there are ways and ways to approach the actual complaint. “I have concerns about X topic as it was phrased because it relies on offensive stereotypes about lesbians” is a lot more effective than “Professor Y is a homophobic misogynist”. (To use extremes - you get the idea.) Focus on what you want the resolution to be: a change to any future class assignments? An apology from the prof to the student body? A formal complaint filed against them with the University? You might not get it but it will focus you and inform how you go about this.
  4. 17 points
    1. The vast majority of your future classmates feel as you do. The few that have some comfort level (usually because a parent is a lawyer) know less than they think. It all evens out in the first six weeks. 2. Be prepared to put in time. Feel scared, feel anxious, feel uncertain - and do the work. Do it anyway. Do it early, or late, or worst, or wrong - but do it. And if you struggle meet your prof and take advantage of office hours and ask senior students for their outlines/notes. In short, always value learning over appearance. A lot of big talkers sink in first year because they refuse to admit they need the life saver. You reach out and grab on. 3. The work is new, and the environment is new. The latter may be a harder adjustment. Spend this summer hanging out in your very first suit. Try on those heels. Tie that tie. Iron that shirt. Try to get over your rookie “firsts” so you are somewhat comfortable at least faking it - and back to #1 - most of your peers are there with you. You made it it this far. Maybe it will challenge you - but rise to meet it. You can - now make sure you do.
  5. 17 points
    1. Toronto 2. Calgary 3. Montreal 4. Ottawa 5. Halifax 6. Vancouver
  6. 16 points
    Having worked at firms of all sizes, including sole, boutique, mid-sized and large, I prefer large (where I currently work), although love none. Litigation billables are easier at large firms. The amounts in dispute and assets at stake are typically larger and more important in most litigation files relative to the litigation files you will typically deal with in smaller firms, hence you are not required to be nearly as cost conscious. Sure, it's easy to say "be more efficient", but if you want to deliver a strong work product, you need to take the extra time to do so. I don't mind mindless document review - it's boring but easily billables. You have more resources, you are better compensated and you have more leverage on the labour market. Those are the main selling points. If you are really craving the small firm experience, BigLaw will get you there. I have noticed a few posters mention that BigLaw is intellectually stimulating and others mention that you give up your life in BigLaw or don't have the same level of responsibility. In my view, even simple collections actions are plenty stimulating for the intellect. The law is simple (creditor is owed money), but delivering a practical solution, while having in mind costs, enforcement, obtaining judgment in the most efficient manner and then being forceful enough to execute on your game plan, is challenging. You don't need complex class action work to be stimulated. If anything it's confusing and annoying. As for giving up your life, this is often true at any sized law firm. Many small firms have abusive work environments where they underpay and overwork desperate associates. And if you are interested in leaving the law after 5 years, you can survive as a perfectly average associate in big law without working crazy hours if you have good attention to detail, hover around your target and are responsive to the requests of senior lawyers (i.e., answer emails right away, do as they ask right away, etc.). You will likely not be partner material if you want chill hours, since you will have to take on a second job (i.e., business development), but if your plan is to exit, you don't need to work crazy hours. The star associates or associates at Davies and Osler are typically working the crazy hours. The average associates hover around target (because the star associates get more work assigned). There is nothing wrong with being average. You are still a lawyer. As for having a high level of responsibility as a young lawyer, this is overrated in my opinion. Having worked at a small firm where I was given a high level of responsibility with minimal oversight, it can be extremely overwhelming and it's honestly significantly easier and less stressful to act as the junior under the guidance and leadership of a senior lawyer. The senior lawyer is usually more competent and it's ultimately his/her head that falls when things don't go right. You will also become a better lawyer yourself while working under good lawyers as a junior.
  7. 15 points
    This thread is exhibit A why a halfway house between pass/fail and grades was a very stupid idea.
  8. 15 points
    Well everyone, this turned out to be a bit of a non-issue, as I received an acceptance to Queen's literally the day after making this thread. The deadline for me to accept is May 21st, for all those curious. I'll still hold out hope to get off the waitlist for Western and Osgoode (with Osgoode being my top choice), but I am now no longer afflicted with the same degree of uncertainty. Just wanted to say an extra thank you to all who contributed their advice, and I hope that future law applicants find the information here useful. Also, shout out to @Luckycharm for his/her amazingly accurate prediction. Best wishes to you all.
  9. 14 points
    I can relate to feeling discouraged after having a rough go at 1L. I received a couple C+'s, but worse: also a D+. I figured my law career was over before it had truly begun. I summered at a large national firm (hired before my grades came out) and didn't get hired back because of my grades. I was embarrassed and felt defeated. I learned that I simply didn't navigate 1L properly. It wasn't that I needed to work harder, but that I needed to work smarter. I managed to steadily improve from one semester to the next, earning a 3.5 GPA in my last semester. Despite this, I never found an article during law school. Shortly after graduating I was able to get a job at a small shop...maybe because they didn't care to check my grades. I decided to see this firm as a stepping stone to where I actually wanted to be. I figured if I could become a good lawyer, my grades wouldn't matter anymore. And guess what...it worked! Before I finished articling I was able to secure a job at my dream firm (mid-size regional), just through my networking, interviewing skills, and legal experience (I ran my own files and got quite a bit of experience under my belt). Now my grades are completely irrelevant, as I am told I work at a level beyond my year of call. So my message is this: as much as your grades may be a tough pill to swallow right now, and may present some challenges in the near future, they are not the be all and end all. Learn from this, and improve. In any event, grades only take you so far. So much more goes into being a good lawyer. If you still want this, you can still have a great career.
  10. 14 points
    An update... The word on the street is that both Alberta schools are going primarily online. Update: Both have now emailed their students, so this is now official news. Another update: Lots of universities have made announcements this week, but I would hold off on making any big decisions about moving, etc. until you hear from the law schools. The university guidance is pretty general and faculty-level information will be more specific. Information from law schools may take another week or two. I just talked to a colleague, and both of our schools have faculty meetings scheduled next week when all of this will be discussed and details ironed out. You will want to know what things will look like at the law school before making any decisions about moving, etc.
  11. 14 points
    Hey everyone! Western just released a statement that they are officially moving forward with a mixed model. Some courses will be online and some will be taught in person. The president said students can plan to be on campus and should proceed accordingly in terms of housing, etc. THIS GIVES ME HOPE link: https://www.uwo.ca/coronavirus/presidents-updates/
  12. 13 points
    Ah, the F-word. I hate that word. It's a meaningless word. Fair doesn't exist in the abstract. If it did, children wouldn't get cancer. Fair exists only in specific contexts, and then it is the product of specific values, tests, and criteria. Invoking "fairness" without specifying what you think those values, tests, and criteria should be is just an attempt to avoid confronting what you are really saying, and to assume that the values you are bringing to your idea of what "fair" should look like are inherently universal values, when they are anything but. So, here's what I think you are saying. You are saying that every law degree from any school that chooses to offer something and call it a law degree should be treated equally. And you are saying that every student who attends any such school, however shady, ill-reputable, or half-assed, should be treated like every other student who attended any other law school. And that's your idea of what fair should look like. And that idea proceeds, I suppose, from the idea that the NCA and the various Law Societies exist to give everyone a chance if they want a chance to practice law. And all of those assumptions and beliefs are simply wrong. Schools are not all equal. Law Societies (and the NCA process) doesn't exist to give you a chance to practice law if you want one. They exist to make sure you do not practice law unless you're competent to do so. And if you imagine it's somehow "unfair" that you get to the end of this process and found you cannot be licensed as a lawyer, I'd like you to consider this. This isn't new information. You had access to this information prior to starting whatever degree you've completed, and it isn't like you aren't an adult when you started. So do I think that the public should be protected from people wanting to practice law who can't even figure out what's required in order to practice law? Fuck yes. How in the world do you imagine you are competent to solve other people's legal problems when you can't even be bothered understanding what's going on in your own life? If you want to call things "fair" or "unfair" based on whether or not you get what you want, then go ahead. But the world doesn't owe you an equal share of what you want just because you want it. Legal practice exists to help real clients. And until you realize this process isn't designed to help you become a lawyer, it's designed to stop you from becoming a lawyer (and, in all probability, fucking up others peoples lives in the process) unless and until you qualify properly, none of this is going to make sense to you.
  13. 13 points
    This is probably the best advice in the entire thread. I swear this forum can be so toxic at times. Accusing OP of being entitled and telling her that her experiences aren't unique is just unnecessary. We get it, it's a competitive field. It can be cut throat. But it does us more good to lift others up than it does to tear them down. OP asked a simple question, where it seems like the resounding answer is that, no, you will not be able to ask for a reconsideration once you're rejected. OP: I agree with this poster that it might be a better course of action to increase your LSAT score. I am in a similar circumstance as you where I only got into Ryerson so far, but I am in Alberta and was hoping not to move if possible. I am looking at the reality of either moving to ON or using the next year to increase my LSAT score. It sucks, but it is OK. There are many people on this forum that have had to apply two, sometimes three years in a row, and they have gotten in. UCalgary is a holistic school, so you're going to see people with lower stats that you get accepted. Law school will always be there, and if you want it badly enough you will put in the work to increase that LSAT score. This is also my first year applying to law schools, and I have found it to be an exhausting process. However, I refuse to allow this process to define how I feel about myself or about other applicants. Instead, you have to try and be happy for those who have gotten in, even though it means that your application was rejected. It's a better look for you. Use it to light a fire under your ass for next year.
  14. 13 points
    You people obsessed with fairness miss the basic reality of law school admissions. The process exists to get the strongest class of students possible - not to give you the chance you imagine you "deserve." No school is going to pass over an objectively stronger applicant and take a weaker one instead in the name of being fair. In specific application to this situation, even if people don't formally defer this year, but choose not to attend and reapply next year, they'll still be strong applicants. No school is going to say "you missed the year you should have applied and now it's not 'fair' to take a spot away from this year's graduates." It just doesn't work that way. Plan your life however you wish. But please, put aside these absurd expectations of what you perceive to be "fairness" when it's really just shorthand for no one denying you what you want, even if they are denying you based on completely rational reasons.
  15. 13 points
    Essentially everyone is this thread: don't pass fail the B OP: Thanks everyone, I pass failed the B The internet is funny sometimes.
  16. 13 points
    I on the other hand really want to escape my family. Lol. I feel you though. After living away from home for 5 years I moved back for this summer after my job plan got sputtered and its been a culture shock.
  17. 13 points
    They were FOOLS not to article later!
  18. 13 points
    You have no idea what you're talking about. For years there has been a recognized "articling crisis," with a significant amount of grads of existing Canadian law schools struggling to find articling positions, and the number of candidates obtaining JDs increasing while the number of spots have stayed the same. More Canadian law schools continue to open (with a new inaugural class starting this fall), further exacerbating this problem. "At least 50 law schools" in Canada is a fucking insane idea. Before you suggest the solution is to eliminate articling, I just want to say that even the "best" law schools don't teach people how to be lawyers and the idea of people with 2.8 GPAs and 148 LSATs going to some shit tier law school and then qualifying and representing clients without having to learn or practice under the supervision of an experienced lawyer is a terrifying idea and it goes against provincial law society mandates to protect the public. And yes, part of the reason to restrict the supply of lawyers is to protect the ability of existing lawyers to make a living, but I can't say I see that as a bad thing when you can look to what has happened to the legal market in the States where there are tons of law schools that are practically open admission. On the one hand there is the protection of the public and the legal profession, on the other hand there is your desire to placate people with shitty stats who can't get into a legit school. I know which side I'd want the scale to tilt. P.S. I was a splitter myself--you don't need to be perfect to get into a Canadian law school, you just need to demonstrate some competence. Which, given the seriousness of the responsibilities placed on lawyers, is more than fair.
  19. 12 points
    So I think there's a distinction to be made between the experience working in biglaw doing solicitor work vs litigation. I am a litigator who doesn't know the first thing about solicitor work and I also have never worked in biglaw - getting this out right up front - but I have many friends who do work in biglaw, and many current colleagues who previously did. I assume the training for solicitors in biglaw is great, and many corporate lawyers certainly go on to do their 3-4 year tour of duty at Blakes/Torys/Stikes (etc) and then parachute over to an in-house counsel position at a corporation that they wouldn't have gotten but for having been at Blakes. Fantastic. However, I'm not so certain that the litigation experience in biglaw is as transferrable into equivalent types of smaller shops and in-house departments. The best analogy I've heard (from a friend who works as a litigator in biglaw) is that the two types of roles can be compared to a car mechanic vs. a mechanic working on a Boeing 747. As a litigator in a smaller shop, you're kind of like a car mechanic. You learn from other car mechanics how to service a whole car, from beginning to end, and after gaining the requisite experience are able to deal with all problems that may come up on that car. You're also more able to take a job as a car mechanic at another shop if you ever want to move, because the overall skillset is largely the same (though the types of cars may be different). You are capable of standing on your own two feet and solving whatever problem relating to cars lands on your desk, whether it's drafting an initial opinion or going to trial. In biglaw in litigation, it's more like you're part of a large team working to service a Boeing 747 - one person deals with the fuselage, one person deals with the wings, and you as a junior might be dealing with the front left landing wheel. And you will become very good at dealing with the front left landing wheel. One day, after putting your time in on the front left landing wheel, you might get invited to learn about the whole landing mechanism, and so on and so forth. And after ~10+ years of learning about servicing a Boeing 747, you could have the chance to be the person in charge of coordinating all the other humans servicing the various parts of a Boeing 747. On paper that's awesome - Boeing 747s are much larger than cars, obviously, and are much more rare, and much more lucrative. But there are a lot more jobs for car mechanics than there are for Boeing 747 mechanics. And the problem is that most lawyers don't stay in biglaw long enough to become that guy who makes the decisions about the Boeing 747 - most leave after 4-5 years, at which time you may know a lot about the landing gear of a Boeing 747, but not a ton about how to fix a car. Since most employers don't deal with Boeing 747s, they deal with cars, that skillset - dealing with and servicing a car from beginning to end - is the skillset you'd be hired for if you were to apply to a smaller shop as a 3-5 year call. And you'd likely be woefully unprepared if all you'd ever worked on was the front left landing wheel of a Boeing 747. That's just one perspective on why lawyers in smaller shops don't ooh and ahh at litigators in biglaw the way many people may assume they do. They just do a different job, they're paid well for it, and at the end of the day, they're quite happy being car mechanics. /end
  20. 12 points
    Bad Rep In law school, I find a lot of the "bad rep" that Big Law gets comes from two places, one fairly legitimate, the other not. First, a lot of the hate on big law is from students who strike out on the recruit, then "suddenly" realize that they never wanted to be in big law. In order to justify their "decision" not to be in big law, they have to hate on it. It's kinda like when your buddy gets dumped and suddenly needs to tell everyone how bad his ex was. Second, there's a cohort of law students who view big law as "selling out". They came to law school with the idea that they were going to change the world and/or make a difference in vulnerable communities, or something like that. Thus, they view anyone working in big law as selling out their souls, even though many students go to law school with the intention of working in big law. That's my view from law school, anyways. There are legitimate gripes about big law from practice standpoints that I think others are likely better suited to speak to. Work Life Balance With regards to work life balance, I think it's reasonable to say that, on average, lawyers at big firms work more billable hours than many of their peers. With that said, it's by no means universally true – @Diplock has spoken extensively about the level of hustle needed to succeed as a sole practitioner, and I think it's fair to say that it's at least comparable to big law in terms of hours worked. Benefits First and foremost, you'll be starting your career as an employee of a relatively large "company", which is beneficial for a bunch of reasons. You'll have good benefits, including health and dental, money towards a gym membership, and often a paid-for cellphone. You'll have a steady salary, with regularly scheduled increases in income. You'll also get to practice in what is most likely the cushiest setting possible. You'll have secretarial support, often dedicated secretarial support for ~16 hours a day and overnight secretarial support if needed (plus weekend support). You'll have a law library filled with texts and knowledgable librarians who can help with research. You'll rarely have to be concerned about the cost of a disbursement. You'll have access to free coffee/pop/snacks. You'll have paid for dinners and weekend meals. Does Law School Performance Correlate with Success This is likely to be controversial, but probably. Employers routinely use grades to sort through candidates, which seems to suggest that at least some degree of success is correlated with law school performance. Every year there's always some story about a firm that did a bunch of research and found that grades don't matter and that's why X firm is great to apply to if your grades suck (last year, the rumoured firm was Stikes), but then the people who end up working there always seem to end up being the same caliber of student as everywhere else. Prestigious positions like clerkships also usually have rather high grade expectations, and again it would be odd if grades aren't predictive of success but courts are relying on them so heavily. And when you look at the list of very successful lawyers in the world, a lot of them have indicators of having been quite successful law students – either starting their careers at prestigious firms or clerking at prestigious courts. None of that is to say that students with bad grades aren't going to be successful in their careers. Lots of them are. But it seems likely that there's at least some correlation between law school performance and career success.
  21. 12 points
    1L is stressful and a lot of work because you have no idea what you are doing. 2L and 3L are a complete joke. In 1L, learn very quickly that outlines and memorizing rules are what matters most for the exam. You don't need to know the "holding" of every case you read for class. Learn the rules, learn how to apply them to hypothetical facts, and that's it. I wasted so much time first semester of 1L reading cases and I really regretted it. Once I understood how law school worked, I spent second semester of 1L learning rules from outlines and practicing hypotheticals. There were classes I didn't read a single case for. I ended up on dean's list after 1L. I wish someone had given me this advice. In 2L/3L, if you've secured a summer associate position you can effectively stop worrying about your grades. Also, at this point, you should understand how to study for law school exams and you can therefore stop reading for classes and just learn the subject matter 3 weeks before each exam and get B+'s. In 2L/3L I spent most of my time sleeping in, watching sports, and hanging out with friends. Try and enjoy this time; everyone tells you to do this but you will inevitably stress for no reason, do more work than is necessary, and then years later give some law student advice to please try and relax 2L/3L. P.S - Law school/ the law in general attracts some of the most neurotic, hyper-competitive people out there. People complaining that law school is sooooooo stressful are just trying to impress people by saying they're in such a difficult program. Even on this site, people claim "there's no such thing as an easy law school class."This would be funny if it wasn't such an obvious lie. 1L is stressful because you're new and everyone is nuts. Learn the rules, learn how to apply them, and try and have some fun for god's sake.
  22. 12 points
    I mean, I'm really not but I also don't want to embarrass myself on a public platform. 🙂
  23. 12 points
    This is an absurd thing to say. I really think we should dial down the anti-Ryerson rhetoric. I agree that Ryerson's law school is poorly thought out, and likely a cash/reputation grab by the university. But it is still a law school in Canada and in Toronto. Yes, graduates will likely have to compete pretty hard to get the coveted jobs their peers have been able to get for years, partly because: (1) articling is not a requirement for Ryerson graduates, but it is still pretty well set as a part of the culture of law students becoming lawyers. It will be years before any evidence will emerge showing whether Ryerson graduates are as well-trained as new calls as their peers who had completed articling; and (2) as a new law school, there is no alumni network or proven track record of graduates, all of which will affect employers' willingness to take risks with new grads. Some will, and eventually it will not be a problem, but it will take years. But all of that being said, Ryerson grads will be trained and licensed lawyers in Canada. That is a substantial leg up on someone who went to a UK law school and has to go through the NCA process, and then articling. There is no way you can reasonably say that you're better off going to the UK over going to Ryerson. It just does not make any sense. I would go so far as to say that a Ryerson grad has a good chance of having better opportunities than a Lakehead grad by virtue of simply being in Toronto, even though Lakehead already has begun to establish a pedigree. (Still, as a school, it is relatively an unknown quantity in Southern Ontario) I'm not a fan of Ryerson for a variety of reasons, many of which I have described before, but like, let's think logically about it and not let our blind dislike get in the way of rational thought.
  24. 12 points
    As usual, in the latest iteration of this ridiculous discussion, the OP who asked the question (and it was a reasonably phrased version of the question) has the choice between listening to various practicing lawyers with their years of experience in the Canadian legal marketplace, or from an unemployed and aggrieved foreign law school graduate who has all the answers and a string of reasons why it's someone else's fault that he (or she?) hasn't been afforded the opportunities deserved. Do I really need to emphasize which is the better source of advice and information? The reason this discussion pisses me off - not just the level of annoyance that comes from someone being wrong but the deep down anger that comes from someone holding an offensive viewpoint and not realizing it - is that the end goal of all of these arguments is that you think you are entitled to practice law. Which means you think you are entitled to represent clients. Which means you think you are entitled to the opportunity to fuck up other people's lives without adequate screening, testing, or any assurance of competence, only because you are so hooked on your own ideas of what you deserve that you haven't even paused to imagine what that means to other people. This is the end result of undistinguished students pushing their goals down the line - again and again - and arguing that even because they haven't really demonstrated any particular talent or ability so far, they deserve the chance to show they can improve at the next step. And anyone who argues they should now be prevented from going further is somehow exclusionary, elitist, protectionist, or depending on the context, possibly racist, xenophobic, etc. Weak applicants to law school argue they deserve the chance to attend law school and compete against objectively stronger students, to prove they can do it. Weak graduates from law schools argue they deserve the chance to become licensed to practice law. And that's when it gets really terrifying. Because now you're holding a scapel and you have no fucking idea what to do with it. The problem with the path that Brokendoor is advocating is that it doesn't lead to practice in large firms at all. Oh, the odd exception occurs, but foreign graduates who become licensed at all don't tend to work in large practices. They join very small practices or set themselves up as soles. In a large practice, there's still (generally) one more level of protection between the client and the newly licensed lawyer who has argued and argued that despite any record of accomplishment to date they still deserve their chance to prove they can (or can't) do it. And if they turn out to be genuinely incapable of producing results (which, to be clear, would be the most likely outcome based on everything we've seen to date) then hopefully the law firm that made the gross error of hiring them in the first place will detect their incompetence through appropriate oversight and fire their ass before they can do any damage. But isn't that what you're arguing against? It's unfair to limit seats in law school. It's unfair to restrict pathways into the profession. You've even argued elsewhere that somehow the entire employment market is conspiring against you, because despite the obvious incentive to hire students like you somehow every lawyer in the province got together at some point and decided not to. Have you considered there could be another explanation going on here? The problem, as noted, isn't really with large firms at all. It's where these lawyers end up instead. They represent real, front-line clients with problems in family law, lower-end civil litigation, immigration, and yes, criminal law - which is my particular corner of the world. They have a license to practice law...badly. And without any meaningful brake between their undeserved faith in their own eternally hidden talents and the unfortunate clients who find them and do not have any independent means of evaluating their skills and credentials. These clients have no way of knowing that the lawyer they've just retained to help them is an incompetent fucking asshole more concerned about their own "right" to practice law than with the fact that someone else is relying on them to save their life from total disaster. This is what everyone misses about legal practice. You imagine you'll get a job at some big firm and some lawyer will hand you a research project or something. For most of us - and almost everyone with an "unconventional" path into the profession (to be briefly polite about it) - it isn't like that. There's no more padding between us and the clients. We either do the job properly, or it doesn't get done properly. And the job is important. That's my point. In many cases it's no less critical than medicine. If you were arguing that the world owes you the opportunity to put your hands in someone's body and handle their organs, I hope to God you'd realize how fucking insane that is. But that's what the practice of law is like to many of the clients who rely on us. Honestly, at the margins, this "I deserve to be a lawyer" crap is just as offensive as the incel "I deserve a girlfriend" movement. At the root, there's an interesting intellectual exercise in deconstructing how the marketplace, or the dating world, may privilege certain kinds of people while leaving others out in the cold. There's undeniable truth to that. But it is also defensible truth, and truth that has good causes and exists for good reasons, despite the fact that you may object to the outcome for you personally. Because your argument leads to the idea that your frustrated ambitions entitle you to clients who rely on you, whether or not you've proved you're up to the job. And the incel argument leads to the idea that the frustrated men who can't find a date are entitled to girlfriends, despite the fact that no one seems to want to date them. You are engaged in the same, deeply offensive, exercise in self-absorption. You only focus on what the experience means to you, and forget that someone else is in that experience with you. And their needs and consent cannot be made utterly subordinate to your desires for yourself. The protections that exist to stop people like you from representing clients unless and until you can prove that you have the necessary skills and abilities to avoid fucking up their lives exist for a reason. And the fact that you can go on and on endlessly about the state of the profession and what you imagine you are owed and how you think everything should work, and never once even realize there is always - always - a client at the end of that line...that just proves why the profession needs screening. Because that omission goes beyond self-absorption. You've been to (a) law school. You should know better. You just weren't paying attention. Again.
  25. 11 points
    You’ve argued 350 cases since then?! 😛
  26. 11 points
    An updated from my insider knowledge perspective. The schools that have now announced online were most of the ones I had referred to before as likely to go online, although I know of about 3 others that are likely to go online. There's still at least one that is leaning towards in person and possibly others in provinces with low infection rates.
  27. 11 points
    Just one example is that lot of law school exams and essays were too academic as opposed to practical and rewarded the wrong type of skills. I've discussed how I do municipal and planning law here before. A lot of my matters involve going through the legal process of acquiring approvals to convert raw land to serviced land to greenfield or mid-rise/high-rise infill through a series of very expensive ($500,000+ in legal fees) and time (at least 5-years+) processes for subdivisions/condominiums that once developed, are usually worth more than 75-million and some in the billions. If there is no approval, or if there is a bad approval, the developer/municipality is not going to be happy; for the developer the development could be economically unfeasible and for the municipality it could not match their long-term plans. So when those are the stakes, the legal answer has to be as close to perfect as possible. And getting to that kind of answer is not about rushing for 3-hours during an exam by reading off a summary and quickly plugging cases based on your interpretation of what certain legal "rules" or "principles" are into different fact patterns. It is about taking the time to grind through the details and finding the case with the facts and law that you need, or as close as possible, and then making submissions/agreements to execute upon the foregoing. And much of this legal work is integrated into your collaboration with a broad range of non-legal consultants because you need them to help you understand (teach) you the facts: engineers, architects, planners, ecologists, hydrologists, geologists, heritage experts, and etc. So, unlike law school, where I was marked based on being a person who could work independently while rushing through exam questions, my legal practice is about being detail-orientated, working slow and long, and being a team player -- something I've had to learn the hard way as a junior lawyer.
  28. 11 points
    This subject doesn't need to be remotely as complicated as some people are making it. There are two simple topics. First there's the idea that Ryerson is contributing to an oversupply of law graduates. And second there's the question of just who will be attending and how they compare to students elsewhere. Personally, I don't think we needed another law school. But it doesn't influence my opinion of someone who attended Ryerson. I've even recommended it to people. The debate about policy in how we create and license lawyers is interesting to me, but it has nothing to do with the quality of the school or its students. In terms of who attends, it's going to be mainly a cut of the students who couldn't get in anywhere else. You want to insist that a student who almost got into another law school is just as good as some of the students who barely got in? Sure - okay. It's all marginal differences at the edges of admissibility or not. But please spare me the arguments about how Ryerson has some edgy new insight on who will make a good lawyer and who won't - as if every other law school in Canada isn't engaged in the same effort of identifying the best students by every available measure. Claiming that the people behind this new law school aren't just adequate at running a law school but actually have superior insight to everyone else who has been doing it for a long time is just stupid, and reeks of insecurity. Just like my take on foreign law schools, I do not believe (and you'll never convince me otherwise) that a school which takes in a weaker cohort of students will produce a stronger cohort of graduates. That's on average. Of course individual exceptions will vary. Of course specific cases cannot all be captured by broad trends. But I do not believe Ryerson has discovered some new alchemy that will make better lawyers, such that they are actually improving the students who attend more than established schools are improving their own students. So bottom line, the students attending Ryerson who couldn't get in elsewhere are still a class of primarily less talented applicants. Marginally so, perhaps. But still true. All that said, my personal prediction is that Ryerson will quickly leap past Lakehead and maybe even Windsor as the least competitive schools in Ontario, and soon after its reputation will justifiably reflect that placement. That's because Ryerson has one thing going for it that will attract students who have other options but simply don't want to live in Windsor or Thunder Bay. The advantage of simply being in Toronto will give the school a significant edge in attracting a stronger class. Even though it's the third law school in Toronto (or second, depending on how we classify Osgoode) there are a lot of would-be law students from the GTA who can't get into U of T or Osgoode and they'll stay local if they can. Anyway, it's no more complicated than that.
  29. 11 points
    No. It would unduly advantage students with connections to the legal industry, more so than they already have. This is an unnecessary idea. Law is it's own thing. You can get a Bcom without business work experience. A JD is an undergraduate degree. It is far far easier to get work experience in an industry you have credentials for (and are allowed to be licensed in, say as an accountant) than trying to get experience in an industry where literally you need to have gone to law school to be qualified for even entry level jobs. Shadowing a lawyer does nothing to teach students about the industry, outside of seeing that they might be going to court (or not), interviewing people, reading, writing, etc.
  30. 11 points
    I can't believe I'm posting here but got the admission as well. Thank you to everyone who has supported me through these forums. Queens isn't my first choice, but I am extremely relieved to be admitted to a law school. 3.52/L2 3.87/157. LETS GET AFTER IT!
  31. 11 points
    Western is a perfectly reputable school and the OP's concerns are misplaced. However, as usual you have no idea what the hell you are talking about. The fact that you did not go to law school in Canada really shows here. I don't understand why you feel the urge to give prospective students such completely uninformed advice.
  32. 11 points
    By the way, if all you want to do is impress the people who know nothing about the legal profession, get a job as a Crown Prosecutor. Names like Davies, Tories, BJs, McT or wherever mean nothing to 99% of people, but I've gotten a "Holy Shit!" when I dropped my job title to people more than once. And if you want to impress the 1% of people who do know about the legal world, merely being an articling student or junior associate at a nameless big firm isn't going to do it. They know enough to judge you on your actual merits, not your employer.
  33. 11 points
    Who cares what your pre-law school employers would do? Law is its own industry and comparisons to other industries are silly. Also your unionized workplaces wouldn't have students working indeterminate hours without a commensurate increase in pay - how is that even a comparison? Law students aren't paid hourly, which is part of the point. Your hourly student (if somehow asked to work from 8 am to 9 pm or whatever) is compensated for those hours. A law student is not. Why should your employer be able to schedule you in a way that you have no control over and force you to pay for a meal? Should students pack two meals every day? That's a fairly ridiculous expectation when there's no certainty in the hours. It's not law student entitlement/privilege, it's called understanding the market and industry.
  34. 11 points
    https://www.theguardian.com/law/2014/jun/29/law-graduates-legal-aid-university-lawyers This is what happens when you have open law school admissions... "In a country where there are as many as 200,000 lawyers – about one in 300 of the population – there may be a surplus of tens of thousands of highly educated applicants. Burdened with crumpled expectations and large debts, sometimes of more than £50,000, acquired through course fees and living expenses, many find work as paralegals earning less than £20,000 a year with few prospects for promotion. ... We have 10,000 people registered. I met one person who completed their LPC 10 years ago and is still looking for a training contract," he said. "The situation is even worse for those trying to become barristers. I have spoken to people who have first- and upper-second-class degrees from Oxbridge and can't get a pupillage. There's a huge oversupply of law graduates and paralegals, so the firms are able to depress wages unless you get into a specialist area. We see people with £65,000 of debt. It's a tough place to be for a lot of people." ... Canadian law schools have an over 90% articling rate and bar exam pass rates are also higher than it is in most other countries. At least here we can be reasonably sure that once we get into law school, we are going to be lawyers. I'd take those odds any day than the shit show that is playing out with law school admissions in countries like the US and UK. Our system works. Which is one of the main reasons why so many people are trying to get in through a backdoor. The FLSC are more than happy to take your money and let you write the NCAs/enroll in Canadian LLM programs. But are they helping you to find a job? Better yet, do they care?
  35. 10 points
    Nature of issues: Existential Solution: Pizza, Chips, and Beer
  36. 10 points
    It seems insane to me for UofT Law School to run a genuine mixed model. I'll be moving cross-country for law school, and paying Toronto rent on top of the stress of moving for 1 or 2 seminar meetings a week is not appealing in the slightest. It's great for students who already live in Toronto, but what about everyone else? To be fair, it's not clear from the roadmap posted that the Faculty will actually go this direction, only that they may be considering it. Med school (after year 1) is an example of where how online learning is just not feasible. For Law, when the alternative is an 80-student Contracts lecture, I just don't see any scenario when most of this fall in in person. With this reality sinking in, I have to say I'm mostly just glum at the stunted social experience in 1L. I hate talking with the friends I already have on Zoom, how am I supposed to make new ones on the blasted app? Who knows, maybe it'll be this big bonding experience for all of us. It should at least be great cocktail fodder in 15 years, "Ah yes, Corona class of '23--I was really there, but not physically of course *chortle* *chortle*."
  37. 10 points
    As a 3L and as someone who was a Dean’s Fellow at Osgoode, this advice is perfect. I recall in my first two weeks of law school that I felt I couldn’t do it. I even looked up how much money I’d recover from tuition if I dropped out. I had someone speak some sense into me and told me to just stick it out through the first semester and then reconsider then. I did so. I began to love law school, I just did the work and I was fine. Come second semester I did exceptionally well and was able to secure a 1L job. I then can also recall very clearly the final words I wrote on my final 1L exam. I remember the feeling of joy and happiness for having made it through what was a big learning curve. It was so rewarding. I say all this to highlight that law school can be challenging, it can be tiring and it can be frustrating. But remember, you’re in law school to learn. If you knew it all then you’d be wasting your time. You’re there to learn so allow yourself to learn. Allow yourself to feel anxious about not knowing, but do not attribute a lack of intelligence to your lack of knowledge. You’re smart and your flurry of a 1L experience does not negate that. Work hard but allow yourself time to breath. Focus on the learning part of law school. You’re there to learn. You’re not there to get a grade or to appear like you’ve got it all together. Focus on learning, being kind to your fellow classmate and enjoy other parts of life too. If you dk that, law school will be far more enjoyable.
  38. 10 points
    People tend to think that whatever ECs they personally have participated in and whatever reference letters they personally have obtained constitute "strong ECs & reference letters." That's why you see it a lot.
  39. 10 points
    That's not actually what the email said. The fall semester will be available online - I believe this means that the regardless of whether or not the lockdown is over, you will have the ability to do the fall semester online (helpful for those coming from other cities who can use the distance learning to help them find residence, move, etc). BUT that does not mean that if the lockdown is over that in-person classes cannot also become available. IE. the classes may happen on campus with the prof recording/using zoom at the same time.
  40. 10 points
    My heart really goes out to all the 1Ls having to 1) start law school online and not getting to meet all their peers face-to-face, go for drinks, study together, etc. and 2) having to decide whether they move to their new cities or stay where they are. It's really not ideal, and I'm sorry you all got drawn this not so great hand. But I hope you all make the most of your circumstances ! 1L was such an amazing time for more than just meeting people, so I hope you all take advantage of the opportunities you still will have ! Zoom with your classmates (when you can) to study or just unwind with a drink after a particularly confusing torts class, attend your prof's virtual office hours (some of them are at home alone and I'm sure they'd love to hear from you!), join your school's FB groups and chat with upper years (to maybe get some pretty awesome summaries), get involved in some clubs and enjoy all the positive aspects you will still have access to ! Make the most of the situation and when classes do resume in person (whenever that is) you'll appreciate walking through the doors of the law faculty in person that much more ! And if anyone going to McGill wants to chat or has any questions, I'm more than happy to help any way I can !
  41. 10 points
    I agree, its best to go full online or in-person. I dont want to move 3 hours away to kingston pay thousands in rent dollars for only 3-5hours of in-person learning\per week. Then spend the rest of my days studying in my room alone, as I assume libraries will be closed. This kind of isolated life style is not good for any student's mental health (regardless of law students), especially if they live away from home.
  42. 10 points
    Among the many valuable lessons I have now learned from Jinnie87's insights as a hopeful applicant to law school, I now include the realization that it's too difficult to juggle a law-related job and participation on this forum at the same time.
  43. 10 points
    Placing further restrictions of this sort of thing privileges those who already have connections, the smart student who has to work minimum wage jobs to scrape by is denied even the opportunity to compete. And where is the gain? MBA's are filled with incompetent people who just have a lot of money to throw at a degree.
  44. 10 points
    No offence but this is kind of an insensitive thing to say when you're looking for sympathy...
  45. 10 points
    I'm sure I'm an outlier, but I spent about $30-40 on an LSAT prep book that came recommended (it isn't one that's terribly popular, turns out, but it worked for me) and whatever it cost at the time to write the LSAT once and apply to one law school. I know, it's almost dickish to tell that story. It's like joining a weight loss group and then talking about how easy it is to diet and see quick results. But I do think it's important for at least some people who come here to know that law school applications don't need to be, and aren't intended to be, a massive undertaking in your life - not in terms of time, finances, or psychological energy. I know that some students who feel the need to scratch for every slight advantage turn it into that. And I know that others who don't need every advantage (because they are strong applicants anyway) let their anxiety run rampant and do the same. But please no one imagine that's the only possible course.
  46. 10 points
    Approximate translation: If we happen to pass each other on the street, make eye contact, and nod upwards signaling an invitation to exchange trivial pleasantries.
  47. 10 points
  48. 10 points
    I send work at 5:30 on a Friday to boutiques and big firms alike.
  49. 10 points
    I don’t see why we should admit people to law school if they don’t want to end up being lawyers. I mean, that is the argument that appears to be made here: that JD admissions should be open and let the bar exam or articling weed out those who could be bad lawyers. But I think that’s just an excuse. Because the same people who believe they’d be amazing law students, despite poor grades, if only someone would believe them, are the same people who think they’ll ace the bar exam if they only had a shot. So I think this argument to allow open admission to law schools “because not everyone will want to be a lawyer so we shouldn’t limit legal academics” is a straw man to the true intention. But nevertheless, I don’t think JD admissions should be open. Even though universities like to say a JD is just another academic program, the reality is that it is a professional school where you learn how to be a lawyer (to an extent; the rest is picked up by articling and continuing legal education requirements once you’re licensed). Trying to apply the same argument, to allow open admissions, to something like medicine doesn’t make sense. A JD is rarely if ever useful to a non-lawyer. An MD is rarely if ever useful to a non-doctor. If this is about getting a “legal education”, there are many other undergraduate programs that will do that, and sometimes arguably better. Moreover, one can always audit law courses without actually getting academic credit. So if this is truly about learning, then those solutions would suffice. But this isn’t about learning. It’s about getting a JD, which leads to licensure as a lawyer. It’s not (usually) about being a legal academic. If it was, the person so making the argument would not be frustrated by the climate of NCA students holding UK LLBs. If it was about legal education, you’ve already got a law degree. Why do you want to get licensed? Oh, yeah, that’s because this is actually about being a lawyer, in which case we have all the responsibilities as a society in ensuring a high standard of lawyers. It’s worse to be represented by a bad lawyer than not at all.
  50. 9 points
    As an employer, I would recommend keeping the B. The B won't hurt you, given that your other grades are good. Taking a pass has the distinct possibility of a negative inference.
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