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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/29/16 in all areas

  1. 86 points
    I can't believe I am saying this but it does look like uozone was just slow to update. Just checked again and I am pleased to say I have been admitted to my dream school, one that took me three years to do and took every single ounce of faith to continue. I became really cynical after a while because I didn't think I was capable of pursuing law school for a multitude of reasons, all stemming from my continuous rejections. But I knew I had something to offer and kept the faith. Part of me thinks I was never supposed to be here because of my past and the struggles I've endured. However, that's what makes this all the more special. I could go on and on. I have a complex mix of emotions right now but I am ultimately ecstatic. My future begins today. THANK you to all of the well wishers and waves of support I've had on this forum. Y'all are the best. Stats: 3.4 cGPA, 3.9 L2, 164, MA degree. Time to show uOttawa what I'm made of! Going to accept the offer tomorrow.
  2. 57 points
    So after @capitalttruth mentioned about a status update, I checked my file and saw i was under evaluation. Checked again 15 mins later and saw a BIG FAT ADMITTED. I SPENT 10 MINUTES BREAKING DOWN AND CRYING TEARS OF JOY GUYS. AFTER FOUR YEARS OF APPLYING TO LAW SCHOOL, AND WAITLISTED AT WINDSOR (lol) THREE TIMES, I AM SO HAPPY TO SAY I GOT ADMITED AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. anywho, 3.56cpa, 154 lsat, 3.78l2 good luck all. I'm going to go do some drinking now.
  3. 54 points
    Hi all Just a general FYI. The title says "we" because I know I'm not the only one. The number of 170 LSATs on this site is frankly unbelievable. As in, literally, not believable. I can't disprove it in absolute terms, but there's no reason to believe this site somehow attracts top LSAT performers in far greater numbers than others. So I default to the more reasonable explanation. A fair number of you are lying. I keep wanting to call out individual "chances" threads on this topic, but unfortunately on any particular data point it's entirely possible that one person did get a 170 LSAT. I mean, some people do. It's not impossible in any specific case. It's just impossible statistically, as an overall trend. And it should stop. You're freaking each other out. You're freaking yourselves out. Speaking as a guy, the harm in every guy telling other guys that he's got a 10-inch dick is that every single fucking guy who participates in that conversation (with the odd rare exception - and good on you buddy!) leaves that conversation feeling less adequate. And ends up with a distorted view of reality. What the hell good do you really think you're doing yourselves, asking about your chances of admission to law school based on hypothetical test results that bear no relation to past performance or reasonable expectations? Are you so badly in need of validation that you'd lie just to get it? That's genuinely as pathetic as creating a false online profile on a dating site, just so people can express interest in the person you're pretending to be. The psychological bill comes due with interest down the line. It's is true here also. I don't know where or how 170 became the assumption people want to make about their future performance on the LSAT, but that's something around the top 2-3% of all test-takers. It is not a reasonable assumption to make unless you are consistently writing practice tests in the 170s, and even then it's a stretch. You should evaluate your chances based on a 170 LSAT, and ask questions about your chances based on a 170 LSAT, once you actually fucking well have a 170 LSAT. Anything else and you are wasting your time, wasting our time (by "our" I mean the people on this site trying to help you out), and contributing to a bad psychological experience for everyone who comes to this site and keeps reading about these scores like it's somehow normal or common. It's not healthy. Seriously, just stop it. You don't need a 170 LSAT to get into law school any more than you need a 10-incher to satisfy a partner. And quite honestly, if every other thing about you as a candidate is so lacking that you need to bank on a 170 LSAT to make up for it, it's not a lot different from that guy who's just hoping that his big dick will make up for everything else that's lacking about him. If that's you, and you're banking on the hypothetical LSAT, maybe try taking a harder look at all the reasons you need it so badly, rather than praying for penile enlargement to save you. Anyway, carry on and Merry Christmas.
  4. 52 points
    Hey all, I have been using this forum for some time now and have learned a great deal through it from everybody. But I have recently come to notice a trend - comments are generally becoming more snarky, pointed, and for the lack of a better term, more aggressive. The veterans on this forum know quite a bit and it's awesome that they spend the time to share their knowledge and experience with everyone else. New users as well. But perhaps all of us can be a bit friendlier towards other posters. Sometimes certain questions or comments might sound annoying/dumb, etc, particularly for those who may be further in their legal education or career. Yes, we also get the odd trolls as well but the mods do a great job on that front. Perhaps this thread comes across as a waste of time as well, in which case the mods can lock it. But I just thought I'd share my thoughts on what I have observed, especially as we are all interested in a profession that has the fair or unfair reputation of being cold, cut throat, etc. Being a bit gentler might inspire some others who are on the fence to chime in more, which will almost certainly lead to a more inclusive and helpful board. That being said, I am certainly not a know-it-all and hope this message does not translate as such. As mentioned, I love the wealth of info that is often shared here. It is a great resource, so thanks! Cheers!
  5. 50 points
    Like many of you, I could not believe it when I saw it. After getting rejected everywhere last year, I wasn't sure if I was going to get in. I am happy to say that I was accepted today. LFG!!! cGPA: 3.62 LSAT: 156
  6. 49 points
    Not sure why you need to be so vague in your posts. We can either wait to hear confirmed news, or you can say that a source (unconfirmed or not) has said that big firms will be laying off lawyers/cutting pay/shutting down, whatever. Saying “shit is hitting the fan this week at some big firms” without further comment or context is simply unhelpful.
  7. 48 points
    I’ll be working on an assignment and suddenly find myself on the 6th page reading admissions from 2017 to a school I didn’t apply to ??
  8. 46 points
    I mentioned this earlier, but I was laid off on March 25th. My (now) former firm practised personal injury law on the plaintiff side. We had 6 lawyers. I've been practising in personal injury almost exclusively since my call to the bar in 2016. Since my layoff, I've been applying pretty widely to job postings in the GTA related to that area. I had 6 interviews and recently accepted an offer to join a larger PI firm for more money than I was making before. The offer that I accepted was ultimately brokered by a recruiter who reached out to me on LinkedIn. Anyhow, I'm not sharing this to brag or otherwise gloat. I just thought landing a gig was an interesting (and lucky) thing to have happened during the pandemic. I used LinkedIn, Indeed and Ziprecruiter to apply for gigs before the recruiter got in touch.
  9. 43 points
    My Law School Rankings: 1. Queens. I went there. Ergo, is best school. 2. UBC. I live in Vancouver and it is closest geographically to me. Ergo, is second best school. 3. UVic. See #2 and extrapolate. Also craft beer. 4. TRU. See #3. Also wine country. 5. UNB. Probably should include an Eastern school somewhere around here. 6. U Of M. See # 5 and extrapolate. 7. All remaining Ontario schools are all exactly the same because this will make most of you foam at the mouth, and that’s funny. 8. U of S. I know nothing about this school at all so it gets the benefit of the doubt. 9. Dalhousie. I once dropped poutine here and a seagull came and ate it and seagulls are the assholes of the sky so you get last. 10. McGill actually gets last because I speak no french at all. 11. If I forgot anyone else they are tied for very very last. 22. U of C and U of A don’t even rank because booooo Flames and Oilers.
  10. 42 points
    More serious note to all you crazy over-achievers: some of you who are compulsively checking are going to get bad news. Right here and right now I want you to realize and acknowledge that this potential answer does not define who you are and does not have the power to destroy your life. If it's bad news, I want you to take a deep breath and accept that you are simply part of a vast community of people who did not get in to U of T but went elsewhere, or applied again, or went in a different direction. And the overwhelming majority of those people "made it", after learning the crucial lesson that life isn't a straight line or a series of brass rings. If this is you over the coming weeks or months I want you to be cool with yourself. I want you to find a good person - your brother or your best friend or your aunt or your classmate - whoever you feel safe talking to - and call them first. I want you to be scared and angry and worried and ashamed in that safe space. Then I want you to give yourself a big effing break and enjoy your holidays, outdoors as much as you can. I give you permission to tell people you don't want to talk about it, I give you permission to realize that other schools are excellent options and get excited about them, and I give you permission to take a year off from the stress and re-centre yourself. Whatever you need, whatever works for YOU. I also and perhaps most importantly give you permission to tell ANYONE who reproaches you or teases you or blames you to fuck the hell off. it can be extremely cathartic and is also a very important life skill you may as well learn because, frankly, it can be a lot of fun to do. Hang in there everyone. It's going to be ok.
  11. 42 points
    Okay, I've been wanting to post something here all day, since this showed up in the afternoon. And I'm still not done working (perhaps itself an indictment of the legal profession) but I don't want to let people keep mocking the OP's concerns. Because while I don't share them, I see a basis in them that others may have missed. And economic privilege absolutely plays a role. You can run the numbers on a legal career and in the end they look pretty good. They look good despite the unconscionable inflation of tuition in recent years. They'd look good even if (and likely when) tuition continues to balloon far faster than inflation. And on that basis it's easy to laugh off this sort of concern. Or to greet it with a sort of shrug and a "yeah, it sucks, but don't worry you'll make it back." And that attitude misses the real reasons why students who do not come from wealth are not attending law school. Let's turn this question around for a moment. If the concern isn't real, why are law schools so predominantly filled with students who come from privileged backgrounds? Do you think it's because poorer students have no interest in law? Are inherently less talented? (Note - I particularly love the eugenics-based argument where deployed - that the children of the already wealthy are just inherently and genetically superior). Do you put it all down to pre-law school advantages? Some of it is that last part, yes. Existing advantage can pave the way to law school with tutors, LSAT prep, privileged connections, etc. Yes, that happens too. You know what else happens a lot? Potential applicants who could attend law school if they wished to are simply scared as fuck of the debt they need to take on to do it. Sticker shock is real. It doesn't matter that the math bears out after 10, 15, or 20 years of working life. Speaking as someone who had trouble making rent in my early 20's, on minimum wage jobs, the idea of being in tens of thousands of dollars of debt - never mind the six figures we're looking at now - was fucking terrifying. I was broke, but at least I wasn't saddled with debt I had no hope of repaying. We can look at the average outcomes of legal graduates and see it works out for most. But what about the remainder? Students who come from wealth and privilege know that when push comes to shove, they have a safety net. The rest of us don't. When I was in those same early 20's, to my great embarrassment, I had to ask my father one month to help with the minimal rent I was paying on a place I shared with two other guys. I'll never forget how terrible I felt when he had to tell me he didn't have the money to lend me. Law is becoming a profession of the wealthy and privileged. The very profession that is entrusted with protecting the rights of all people in society is looking less and less representative of the people in society - at least from the perspective of economic privilege. And that is both disgusting and disturbing. This issue cannot be laughed off by people who've never had to worry about who could help them make rent if they can't make it themselves. It can't be solved by larger loans and lines of credit. We are, absolutely, fucking scaring the hell out of students from poorer backgrounds who'd attend law school if they could, but absolutely can't risk - can't even conceive - of how they'll pay off the loans required if they don't end up landing a good job afterwards. My advice to the OP is simple. Take the loans, take your chances, and go to law school. The rich (and their children) keep getting richer exactly because they take these chances and play the odds - which are actually good odds in the end - and they don't have to worry about the downside so much if they lose. The downside will scare you. You'd be an idiot if you weren't scared by it. But use that and work hard. Then when you get there, remember where you came from.
  12. 41 points
    Hi all, I can't believe it, but I was accepted yesterday (Jan 29th), but just saw the acceptance on OASIS this morning!!! OLSAS GPA: 3.3 B2: not sure of the conversion, but was about 89% LSAT: 152 Indigenous Status, wrote about personal connection to MMIW and childhood abuse as a factor for going into law, which probably really helped me. I'm in utter disbelief right now, I've been crying all morning.
  13. 41 points
    Yes, your girlfriend is a bitch and you're better off without her. You asked the wrong question. Does it really matter whether this is some extraordinary opportunity that comes along once in a lifetime, rather than a merely decent opportunity that happens to suit you well? Is that really what matters? Like, you can justify ending your relationship for the former but not the later? If your girlfriend is telling you to leave by Friday if you won't stay with her, there's no future there that you want. And I don't know if you need further motivation at this point, but small town girls will definitely drop their panties easily for the new lawyer in town. Hell, their mothers will make sure they look extra easy before sending them out to meet you. Just sayin. Good luck.
  14. 40 points
    Yes, as that third year applicant, it was lovely to receive a pm from you immediately after I posted on the acceptance thread that simply said, "I'm third year applicant LSAT 178 GPA 3.91. WHY AM I NOT GETTING A CALL," with no follow up when I tried to reassure you. Maybe your attitude bled through on your application. Emotional intelligence is an important skill. Best of luck to you this cycle.
  15. 39 points
    I'm like 99% sure that I would not have been as stressed if I had never found this website lol
  16. 39 points
    I'm a solo practitioner who is working to expand, and as part of that I just finished going about hiring an articling student. What follows is my advice to students on what to and not to do in the course of securing an articling spot. Please note that this does not necessarily work with every other employer, even if they are small firms. These are merely my own observations and views based on my recent experience in hiring an articling student, mixed in with my experience of hiring summer students in the past. I will break this down into the following sections: Cover Letter, Resume, Application in General, Interview, Application Procedure, and Concluding Thoughts. Cover Letter The reason I put the cover letter first is because it is the single most important thing I look at. Surprised? Frankly, I was too. When I was a student I didn't think the cover letter mattered all that much. What could you possibly want to know about me that isn't in my resume? That's where my education and experience are, so why do you want me to state it again in the cover letter? Well, it turns out, employers don't want that. We've just gotten used to it because, frankly, most applications suck. 1. I'm going to lay a hard truth on you now. You aren't special. I know, Disney said otherwise, but you have no idea how not-special people are until you've got a bunch of CV's lined up and everyone is basically the same. Most of the classes are the same, most of the grades are pretty close (that B curve...), most of you have the same experiences as each other (basically pick two or three of a legal clinic, pro bono, writing for or editing a law journal, entry level summer position at a firm where you basically filed documents when you weren't just sitting around with nothing to do, and/or some kind of law school club). Do you know what I use the cover letter for? I use it to determine if you can string coherent sentences together. How's your spelling and grammar. Did you manage to spell my name/the name of my firm correctly? No joke, that's how low the bar is. What I've found is that a lot of people are very, VERY careless with their cover letters. You know what it says to me if you're careless with your job application? It tells me that you have poor attention to detail and are going to let a lot of things slip through the cracks. 2. Your cover letter should make it seem like you bothered to look at my firm's website. It's not rare that I get a cover letter that talks about wanting to do stuff that my firm clearly doesn't do. 3. I get it. You're busy. I remember thinking "I don't have time to make an individualized cover letter for every single firm." That's fine. I did the same thing. But you can't make it be obvious that you didn't care. If you want to design paragraphs that you can just reuse again and again and just have to change out the firm name, that's fine, but at least put some effort into that. 4. So if the basic use of a cover letter, for my purposes, is to see that a person can manage to show basic attention to detail, good spelling, grammar, and writing habits, what does a great cover letter look like? The best cover letter I have ever seen was submitted this summer by a Queen's student. He had three solid paragraphs on what he could do for me and my firm, and a final short paragraph about why he was interested in working for me. The paragraphs were concise and got straight to the point. He had clearly either looked at my website or else had devised a cover letter that worked for small firms and blended things very well. He talked about what he'd accomplish and that translates into "this kid will make my life better," and "this guy will help my business grow/help me make money." I was ready to hire him over the phone just based on that. Sadly, when I called him to book the interview the very next day, he'd received a job offer that morning and taken it. Just based on how amazing his cover letter was, I wanted to hire him. I had my assistant look into the budget to see if we could increase what we were going to pay because I didn't want him to slip away. THAT is what a good cover letter can do. You have to think about it from the employer's perspective. I'm not trying to hire someone so I can give someone a job. I have a need that I am trying to meet. What is my need? How do you help fulfill that need? That's what you need to ask yourself. It has little to nothing to do with what you're interested in or mentor-ship (usually. That said, I personally get a kick out of teaching and mentoring so I do look for an eager student as well). 5. By the way, if you have a problem with your academic history, such as your grades or a gap in time, confront that in your cover letter. Don't go on about it at great length, but at least mention it and be upfront. One of the students I interviewed had such a deficiency in his academics that I almost tossed his application into the pile of applications to interview only if I didn't find a winner in my top 10 list (I broke down the applications into an initial top 10, followed by subsequent groups of 10). But when I looked over his cover letter, I was impressed that he addressed the issue. He did it succinctly and directly. I respected that and put him straight into the top 10 to interview (I didn't select him in the end, but I think he was in my top 3). 6. Oh, and don't include weird stuff. If your cover letter starts to read like a dating profile then I'm going to slowly get weirded out. 7. As an additional note, I'm just going to point out that women are really kicking men's asses in this area. So to the men reading, if you want to do better then maybe talk to women you know. I find women put in the effort to properly edit their cover letters, and pay close attention to detail. When it isn't done, then it really shows, and guys... your stuff really shows. Also, men seem to be prone to doing weird stuff like giving me strange information and even including head shots. Why would you do this? I'm told it's common in Europe, but this isn't Europe. Do the normal things everyone else is doing! Resume 1. Your resume's all look fairly standard, and that's not a bad thing. When resumes stood out for me because of their style instead of their content, it was NEVER for a good reason. You want to go the extra mile on your resume style? Make sure it matches the style of your cover letter and reference list (if you make one. I did when I was applying around, since it give a quick reference guide, but you don't have to, in my opinion). If you use a letter head that indicates your contact info and name, and especially if it has a line below it to separate it from the page, then it should align with the one on your cover letter. It makes it look crisp, well thought out, and well put together instead of being a hodgepodge of documents. 2. As for how you order the content, I recommend that you start with your education (which can include a section on awards, or you can weave it in to the education points), then go to work experience, then go to volunteer, and then leave associations/clubs for last (if you do it at all. Frankly, you should only be listing that stuff if you did something on the exec).You can have a publication section if it's applicable, but I'd probably put that after work experience. Frankly, your education and work experience should appear on the first page. It's okay if your work experience bleeds onto the second page, but that's why you always do these things with the most recent stuff first. 3. If you're going to include an "interests" section, please keep it really, REALLY short. It can be one line at the very bottom. 4. If you went to school abroad, please don't put your work experience first and then bury your education on the second page. Every single time I saw this it was done by an Ontario student who went to school abroad at one of the usual suspects (Bond, City of London, Leicester, Cooley, etc.). It's not clever. It just makes me assume you're ashamed of where you went. Pretty well anyone looking at your application will assume you went to one of those schools because you couldn't get into school in Ontario or even Canada at large. Maybe your undergrad grades were crap (usually the case from what I saw), or maybe your LSAT score wasn't good enough (which I assumed was the case when the undergraduate grades seemed fine). But then there's always the chance that you actually wanted to go to one of those schools (for some weird reason), or that you were actually a fine student with a fine LSAT score and just didn't get into a Canadian school. It happens. I'm sure there are a number of people who go to these schools who were the final ones to not make the list into a law school here who were as good or even better than the bottom admits who may have been admitted for other random reasons (like a particularly good entry essay/"about me" section/personal statement). Be upfront. Trying to hide this stuff makes me think that 1. you're ashamed, and 2. you think you can pull that one past me (or anyone. We will obviously check where you went, if only out of curiosity). Hiding it does nothing. It doesn't emphasize your experience to me. Have both education and work experience on the first page and you're fine. I will sift through your resume to find what I want in the order I want to find it (what school did you go to, what experience do you have, did you keep busy with extra-curriculars instead of work experience, is your resume a hot mess). It doesn't increase your odds of me noticing your work experience and it just makes you stand out as different from the rest of the applicants (and not in a way that's good). Law isn't generally about reinventing the wheel. We have particular formats that we MUST follow. I want to see that you can follow a format. What you do inside of that format is where you can impress me. Great experience, great writing, etc. but if you can't handle formatting/instructions then we have a problem and I don't care what experience you have. Whether I like it or not I have to submit stuff in particular formats as mandated by the courts and/or the government. That's life. Application in General 1. Your formatting should match throughout. It just looks better and doesn't look half-hazard as a result of mismatch. 2. On a couple of occasions (it's rare that I do it) I have seen applications where I thought the applicant might be interesting and worth at least an interview, but their application was kind of crap. On one occasion I asked the individual to redo their application package and resubmit it. I even gave notes as to what I thought the problems were (normally they'd just go into the rejection pile, but there was something about this person that made me interested enough to want to give them a second chance). What was sent back to me was largely the same damn thing. They made a few changes, but they didn't alter one of my main notes to them, and then justified leaving it as was in the email back to me. Basically, I thought they put too much about their interests all over the application. Again, to be frank, I don't care about your interests. That you really like to bake is not going to make me hire you (though when you mention particular things that you cook my assistant wonders if you're going to bring samples to the interview since you talk it up so much). I informed this applicant that it was a bit strange that it appeared so prominently in their cover letter, and then again in the resume interests. While it was fine to have it in their resume interests, the cover letter wasn't really the place for it and there was more I wanted to know. They emailed back that they decided to leave it all in because they'd gotten good feedback and follow up questions about it from others who had interviewed them. In my head, all I could think was "I'm sure you got follow up questions, and feedback, but I don't think the feedback was as good as you think it was." Basically, it's something that makes you stand out in a weird way. Not that baking is a weird hobby, but just that it's a weird choice to feature it so prominently when applying for a position that has nothing to do with baking. Also, I had just given them negative feedback about it but they chose to leave it in. Even if you want to leave it in for other interviews, at least take it out for the person who is giving you a second shot. Not doing so makes you look stubborn and incapable of following instructions, not to mention bad with constructive criticism and feedback. 3. Speaking of following instructions... FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS. Check the website of the law firm. Read the instructions regarding the application carefully. Before I go through the applications my assistant divides them up. The easiest separation she does (beyond just checking for spelling and grammar in the cover letter. And I don't mean with a dictionary, I mean just on reading through it for command of the English language) is those who were able to follow instructions and provide a full application package and those who couldn't/didn't. If you're asked for a cover letter, resume, transcripts, and letters of reference (if any) then provide those. And I recommend doing it IN THAT ORDER (that being the order listed). I ask for them in that order because 1. that's usually how it's done, 2. that order makes a lot of sense if you think about it, and 3. that's the order in which I care about what you're submitting. Same thing with the writing sample (arguably I rank that one above the letters of reference). 4. By the way, with your letters of reference, I'm rarely reading them in full. Usually I skip to the bottom to see how they recommend you in the last line or two. Usually that indicates to me how strongly they felt about recommending you, and whether or not they did it because they felt obligated to or because they were legitimately happy to recommend you. Not that your letters of reference will make or break you (at least with me. I think I'd use them as a tie breaker usually), but I want you to know what I'm looking for, and how many shortcuts there are for your interviewers to read between the lines. I think I've only ever called on reference, and it was for the articling student I just hired. There was a lot in there that was great, but there were one or two things that weren't where we'd want it. It came down to him and one other applicant who didn't have any flags but also didn't have as many strong positives in their favour (in particular it was . I had my assistant call the reference and confirm what was in the letter and the nature of the experience that was listed in the resume. If it checked out and they were as excited about the applicant as they seemed in the letter then he'd get the job. If not, then I'd give it to the safer bet with less experience. Everything checked out, and the reference couldn't say enough good things about the applicant. So that's who we went with. 5. Oh, last point, but this related to the weird stuff in cover letters and resumes, because I don't care about your interests you shouldn't include weird stuff that makes me dwell on it. Usually it's guys who are guilty of this because they like to let me know that they enjoy deadlifting and the like. Just say "working out" or "going to the gym." It's an application, not a dating profile. Interview 1. Don't just be on time, be early. I think 15 minutes is good. Half an hour is ridiculous and a bit weird. Just a few minutes is the same thing as being dead on time. Reasons to be early: a). It makes you seem interested and eager. b). It makes you seem punctual, good at planning, responsible, and generally on the ball. c). I may be able to see you earlier than we planned/booked because of any number of reasons, and it puts me in a better mood to remain productive and therefore have the option to see you a bit earlier. I've actually done this when applicants showed up early and the interview before them (or meeting, or phone call, or whatever) is cancelled. d). If you're going to be late, or you think you'll be late, CALL US! Give us a heads up. Making your excuses once you arrive makes me think you were late and misjudged things and now you're lying to me with a fake excuse. Calling while you're on your way to say "I'm so sorry, but there's been an accident on the road and we're all just stuck and not moving" or "my cab got lost," or whatever, makes me believe you, see you as considerate with regards to the time of others, level headed, thinking clearly under pressure, and just generally on top of things. That said, it's always best to not be late, because it means you adequately evaluated how much time you'd need to accomplish the task of arriving. 2. During the interview, do not interrupt. Speak clearly. If you're offered water and you know you tend to get a bit dry mouth during these situations, ACCEPT THE WATER! Don't feel like you need to fill all moments of silence with noise. I'm not looking for noise, I'm looking for good answers. You don't have to "uuummm" and "aauuuuhhh" before you speak. Take a moment. Take a breath. Take a sip of water. Think about what you're going to say. People who seem calm, confident, collected, and like they're thinking things through go a LONG way in my books. 3. The first question you're asked is either going to be an ice breaker or, in the case of other firms, a standard "why do you want to work here" or something like that. For my ice breaker questions I will ask you something that stood out for me from your resume or transcripts. Did you list that you like to do spelunking? I'm going to ask you about cave diving (please don't make any sexual innuendos. Because we want everything to be above board we won't be making such jokes, we won't be responding, and that means your comment will just hang in the air awkwardly). Did you take weird sounding courses like "thinking about thought?" I will ask you what you learned in that. I generally don't care about the answer. I'm looking to make you feel more comfortable by giving you a genuine softball as the first pitch. I know these things are stressful (and some of you show up shaking like leaf), and my philosophy is that you will eventually become comfortable working here even if you're hella nervous and anxious most of the time, and that you will likely do better work when relaxed, and that the interview process is stressful, so if I can help you relax a bit then I'll get to know more about the real you and whether or not I want to work with you. 4. That said, no matter how comfortable we get during the interview, remember that it's still an interview. Sit up, don't lean back and to the side in the chair. Don't slouch. Don't get overly casual in your language. For the love of god, don't start talking to me about family issues or mental health problems, because I promise you I'm a lawyer and not your therapist! There is a time and a place for that sort of discussion and it's NOT in the middle of your interview. 5. Oh, and you may be interested in work life balance, but please don't use the term "work life balance." You want to ask me about the hours? Fine. Do so. But when you tell me that you're concerned about work life balance then it really does conjure up this notion of fragility (rightly or wrongly). I know the big downtown firms talk about it on their websites and in seminars, but I promise you that they don't actually care. They're trying to attract top level candidates but they will chew you up and spit you out (I've known a few friends who went and then left the practice of law all together afterwards because of the stress). If you're concerned about work life balance then ask the questions around it, don't just ask me about work life balance. I'm usually in the office 7 days a week and 12 to 16 hour days are not uncommon for me at all. I don't expect you to do that (obviously. The burdens of a small business owner are not something I would shovel onto a student), but I don't want to hear about your need to ensure that you've got enough time to Netflix and chill. The reason I work those long days and hours now is because I'm still young enough to do so and I assume it will pay off for me with an easier time later. If you tell me that your priority is balance now then I assume you're not someone who thinks about short term sacrifice for long term gain. How does that help you? 6. When you come to the interview, bring additional copies of your application package (make sure you're using the right one for the right firm). I've never needed them, but you should have them in case. If I've lost your application then I probably won't waste time to go find it and will continue on without it. It sucks, but that means a worse interview for you. I prepare for the interviews I hold, but not everyone does, so come prepared. 7. Make sure what you're wearing looks good/appropriate. This is really more directed at the men, so I'm going to talk about this in terms of suits (I don't think there's ever been a problem with what women have worn to interviews at my office). Please make sure your suit fits. Some of you show up in suits that you look like you're swimming in, and they're almost always plain black (I assume it's for funerals). I assume it's your dad's suit and you're borrowing it. Do yourself a favour and go to Moores when there's a special on (like a two for one sale). You need a blue one (dark blue. It's not prom) and either charcoal or grey. Do NOT go plain black (that's for proms, weddings, and funerals). Get some shirts that fit properly. Look at tie combinations. Don't just go with a plain one, but don't go crazy with the patterning. It should look nice but not be something I keep staring at because I can't figure out what's going on with the pattern. With blue suits you should wear brown or burgundy shoes with a matching belt (for bonus points, if your watch has a leather strap, match the watch strap/watch). If you're wearing charcoal/black, then only black shoes and belt will do. If you're wearing grey, you can go with just about any set of shoes and matching belt, though I find burgundy doesn't look as good with grey, and I prefer black with it (in all cases, your socks should match your suit pants. Not exactly, obviously, but blue with blue, grey with grey, black with black). The standard is a white shirt, but you can go with colour just don't go overboard. Subtlety is good. If you're going to do colour, then I recommend a tie that has colours of the shirt and the suit in it (or at least of the shirt). If you talk to someone at Moores they can help you out. French cuffs are a bit much, so I don't care how much you like your cuff links you should leave it at home. Don't wear lapel pins (unless it's remembrance day, then the poppy is fine), and pocket squares are unnecessary (but if it's part of your style, then sure. Just keep in mind we can often tell when you're not comfortable with what you're wearing and that it's just not your style). Tie clips are fine (I wear them), but please wear them properly. If you wear them right at the top then I assume you figured you should "bling" up and add flair, but you have no idea what it's actually for and so you just look ridiculous. Wear the tie clip about 1/3rd to half way down. I usually put mine towards the bottom of where the skinny part of the tie is behind the main tie. Also, make sure the tie clip matches with what your wearing. I take into account the finish on my watch and the buckle on my belt, as well as the colour of the tie. You want to look put together. Oh, but don't bother with a three piece suit. You will just look uncomfortable. Those things are better when you're going to be taking your jacket off, and you shouldn't take it off during the interview. Also, this isn't 'Suits', it's real life. Speaking of Suits, don't buy high peak lapel suits. That's a Harvey Spektor thing, but no one actually does that unless it's on a Tuxedo or you're running a game show or hosting an auction (something like that). Go regular notched lapel. And while having your pants tapered can look nice, I recommend doing it as a slight taper from the knee down. Doing it higher up makes them look like you're trying to recreate skinny jeans. If you can't afford a lot of tailoring then that's fine, but at least get what you buy off the rack fitted to you. There's plenty of places you can go to get that done cheap (often most small shops that do dry cleaning services will do it). Best bet is to go shopping with a friend who knows something about this stuff and go to a place like Moores and they'll help you out. 8. You will see me taking notes. Don't get flustered about me writing stuff down. I may not be writing down anything related to what you're talking about in the moment. It may not even be about you if I've just had a thought about something else. Sometimes I'm writing down exactly what you said because I like the way it sounds and I may want to quote it later. Sometimes I'm taking notes like "good posture," or "answered directly," or other things like that. Don't get nervous, just keep talking to me. Even if I'm not making eye contact while doing it, you should still be looking towards me (or my assistant, who sits in on interviews) ready to make eye contact. 9. If you've prepared an "elevator answer," try not to stick to the script too hard. In fact, scripts are lame. I want to see how you do as just you. On the subject of yourself, you shouldn't need much preparation. 10. Have questions prepared to ask me about the firm, or your duties, or anything like that. It's okay if I end up answering the question before you get to ask it when I give you a spiel about us. You can say so, I won't hold it against you. But you should seem like you at least thought about it. 11. While my assistant sits in on the interviews, don't read too much into it if she has to leave in the middle. Assistants handle all the things that keep the firm running so that lawyers just have to sit down and do the work they can bill for and then pay the assistants. While big firms might do this, I don't like to charge for check-up phone calls or drafting confirmation letters, or doing anything that isn't legal work. My opinion is everything else required to do the legal work should be built into the price. In order to do that, assistants have to carry a lot of the burden and sometimes that means she doesn't have a solid half an hour to an hour to sit there. Usually I'll warn interviewees as we get started, but just in case, don't read too much into it (unless it's right after you said something that caused my facial expression to change and you weren't sure if you should have said it but decided to anyway. Then it might be an indication of what you just said... so, you know, don't say inappropriate stuff!) 12. Likewise, don't get too nervous if the interview gets a bit shorter than you expected. The articling student we hired was one of our shorter interviews. The interview length tends to be determined by a few things, including when I feel like I've got the information I need, how quickly you answer questions, how quickly I remember the questions and think of follow ups (which sometimes can take me a couple tries to frame and phrase properly. I'm only human), and whether or not I start droning on in answer to a question of yours. Don't feel bad about it. It often doesn't mean too much (unless I just feel like I'm getting nowhere with you and your answers aren't addressing the questions). Sometimes the length of the interview will be affected by things that have NOTHING to do with you. As the day wears on, I get more efficient at asking questions and drawing out answers, so that cuts down on the time too. 13. Your handshake should not be weak. Don't squeeze off my hand, but I shouldn't be shaking a wet noodle. Have direction behind it. Don't just put your hand in my hand. 14. If you've got an interview, odds are that you're going to look, on paper, pretty similar to the others, and that likely means you have similar ideas about work and the like. Many of you interview quite similar (so my notes often say things like "confident" or "well spoken). Interviews are more of an elimination round than anything. You don't win much, though you CAN if you blow us away (we like confidence, good command of language, direct in speech, and good at talking about what you can do and what you've overcome). Application Procedure 1. When you receive notice about the interview, it's a good idea to follow up and confirm the date and time. It makes you look organized. Feel free to ask if you should bring anything additional or if we want additional information. People who look eager are great! 2. If you email or call in, we do make note of that. One application that made it into our top picks was only selected because the individual called back to confirm everything and was well spoken on the phone. I didn't even speak to him. My assistant liked how confident he sounded. 3. Be nice and respectful to everyone at the firm, not just the lawyer interviewing you. The assistant you might not think much of? She's more helpful to me than any 10 of you. Good assistants keep a firm running. Great assistants basically run the firm and just give the lawyers law stuff to do. I have a great assistant. I can't do without her, meanwhile I don't even know your name. If you're rude to her, take a guess at how that will play for you. Also, who do you think controls the order in which I look at these applications? Whose opinion do you think I will listen to about them? If you can't get along with my assistant then you can't work here, because I need her and she's amazing at her job. And if she's not happy, that's going to effect me and my practice. When you're rude to my assistant, she will tell me. She will mark it down on your application and make sure I know about it, because she knows I will back her up (if only because she backs me up). So do yourself a favour and don't be an ass. 4. After the interview, do a thank you email. I always thought these were stupid, but once you're on the other side you like to know that it's appreciated that your time was taken up. Actually, I don't even care about that so much, but it's more that it starts to stick out when someone DOESN'T do it vs. doing it. Also, my assistant likes it and, well... see above. 5. If you don't get the job, it's okay to follow up and ask what you could have done better. Generally, people don't mind that. But don't be surprised when sometimes it's ineffable. Often there isn't one mistake I can attribute it to. Sometimes it's just that another person had more experience in an area I need someone with experience. Sometimes it's demeanor/attitude, and sometimes it's confidence, and sometimes it's that you made an inappropriate comment or seemed to not know about the firm at all. But often it's that you were just edged out based on something else (not always, though. At bigger firms it's different. But here, I don't have the time to interview a hundred people, so it's a pretty hard selection process to get to the interview stage). 6. When communicating with the firm, I should not suddenly be receiving lots of emails from you. One to confirm the interview and follow up with questions if any, and a thank you afterwards. We're not pen pals (also, you'll probably be dealing with my assistant). 7. DO NOT try to add me on LinkedIn or other social media at any point during the course of the application process. It's seriously weird to me. I don't know if that's a younger person thing (not that I'm that old, I'm only at the old end of millennials so there shouldn't be THAT much difference in our thinking) but it's strange. We're not buddies. If you get the job, I guess you can add me on LinkedIn (not that I use it), but generally you should wait until you've started the job. Concluding Thoughts There is a standard way of doing the interview process that you shouldn't deviate from. Most of the decision process is made by eliminating people who make mistakes (incomplete package, bad formatting, poor grammar and spelling/command of the English language, poor communication skills in the interview, not following standard procedures). If your application is just plain weak, then you've got problems. Poor grades, going abroad to a last-chance-law-school, and no work experience will simply not bode well for you. I guess you can do the LPP, but you'll still have to pass the NCA's and Bar exams. After that you need to either start your own firm or adjust your expectations severely in terms of what your work will look like. A lot of places you want to work won't hire you, and the places that will hire you will have lousy pay structures. You've got to think about that stuff carefully when doing this. If you haven't gone to law school yet but are considering it and you can foresee these problems. then maybe think hard before committing to this career path (it could be an expensive mistake). Also, if you get hired, that isn't the end of things. I have been deeply impressed by my recent hire who asked if there was legislation or acts he should be reading before starting so that he's up to date on areas of particular concern to me, and offered to assist with some things. That's one hell of a way to impress, which is especially important in firms where you want to be hired back or get a really strong letter of reference. Frankly, I think all of this can be summed up by effort. Some people are prepared to put in the effort, and other people aren't. If you're ready to make the effort to do things properly, you'll do fine. If you aren't, then you won't. Good luck out there.
  17. 38 points
    I just got an offer for articling that I accepted and decided to graph my job hunt using a Sankey Diagram. Apologies for the bad colour coding, I used a web tool that didn't have a ton of customization. Rejections include times where firms just didn't respond. I also would have sent significantly fewer applications if not for the pandemic, as I had an opportunity that evaporated due to the circumstances.
  18. 38 points
    It’s funny how merit = white though, isn’t it? Many white colleagues will always wonder about the “merit” of their racialized colleague while never turning the same eye on themselves. My favourite result from the government experiment of screening applicants by removing their names from their resumes was that the number of racialized candidates moving forward in the process stayed the same, but the number of white candidates went down; simply having a familiar name helps borderline white candidates get ahead.
  19. 37 points
    It's coming up on a year since I wrote the LSAT. Not coincidentally, during this period, I was dealing with the worst depressive episode I'd ever experienced. Depression has been a recurrent visitor in my life since early adolescence, but a dear friend of mine had died in the summer and it left me feeling completely adrift. But I worked through the grief: I managed to keep a steady job, completed a reduced course load at school, and studied for the LSAT in most of my spare moments. I applied to law school that year and got into UBC, but when I felt completely hollow reading the acceptance letter, I knew I was in no condition to go. I figured I'd take a year and set the goal of achieving remission, but short of that I wanted to see a reduction in the onset and severity of my symptoms. So I enrolled in therapy, got some new meds, started working out and meditating -- and as of today, I'm 6 months in remission. I still struggle some days, but not to the extent that it would merit clinical attention, and most importantly, I have tools to deal with my symptoms. In the summer, I thought I'd take another crack at law school. And as of a few weeks ago, I got into all of the schools I'd applied to. This time, in the place of anhedonia, I felt pride and elation reading my acceptance letters. And something else -- gratitude. I felt grateful that I had the means to get treatment, I felt grateful that it worked, I felt grateful that I had the money to pay for LSAT prep, I felt grateful that I had enough ability to achieve a good score. Most importantly, and perhaps this is naive, I felt grateful that I had taken the first steps into a field that isn't just a job, but something more. Something that has such a profound impact on the lives of others that it must be tightly regulated. It's the closest thing I can imagine to a calling. And most importantly, it's a field that is not accessible to many. So to those of you who have been accepted, I say this: no one achieves anything alone. You are not here simply because of some innate giftedness. Not to say that your hard work and ability weren't key contributors to your success. But understand that you are in a privileged position and be grateful.
  20. 37 points
    I grew up with violence and constant poverty, spending my early years living with a single parent as her welfare coupon. My mother had serious addiction problems, continually making bad decisions and bringing in criminals to live with us, whereas my father had precarious health while facing immigration problems (he fled torture and entered Canada as an undocumented refugee and that legal fight dragged on). That was my introduction to law and it came in elementary school: appearing in court to support a protection order after one of my mother's former partners threatened to slit her and my seven year old throat, which was after he had broken in through a window to steal our stuff; being a token in messy divorce/custody proceedings; writing a victim impact statement about child sexual abuse by one of my mother's partners in the same month as I was learning what a 'paragraph' is; needing to write a statement to support immigration on humanitarian and compassionate grounds; needing to understand what I was being coerced into, e.g. refusing my mother's request to place a condom-wrapped package inside a men's restroom stall at the hospital for her partner, who was under escort by the police from jail for treatment of a self-inflicted injury so that he could smuggle in drugs to earn money; and dealing with well-intentioned yet useless social workers in/out of foster care (including a foster parent who was subsequently convicted for sexually abusing dozens of victims). When you're in that kind of situation and you don't have a voice -- with nobody fighting on your behalf -- the law just feels oppressive while it decides every facet of your life for you: who you live with, whether there's any food in the fridge, whether you can sleep safely tonight, whether your father remains in the country, etc. I escaped the cycle of poverty only after I found my own voice. I became interested in law out of that necessity and those circumstances bred ambition, academic curiosity, and perseverance. In school I was fairly STEM-minded and I pursued a STEM undergrad, not really knowing where I'd end up -- graduating high school was more than my parents or siblings ever managed, so just getting into undergrad was ambitious. That said, my underlying interest in law never subsided and an internship during my undergrad gave me the opportunity to do good for others through the law. Afterwards I participated in a couple related undergrad ECs and then worked in a few law-related jobs. There was a point as a legal assistant where I was nearly doing the entirety of our senior lawyer's job -- dealing with clients, evaluating what immigration programs clients were eligible for, collecting and combing through their documents, identifying/addressing issues and drafting submissions, and preparing complete applications and presenting for his review/signature (and seldom did he ever have any to make) -- at which point I realized I probably do have what it takes and that it would be worth the investment. And so here I am, off to law school... (Apologies for oversharing. I hope to encourage anyone who doesn't fit in with the other backgrounds posted here to know you're not alone and everyone's journey is different.)
  21. 36 points
    Hi everyone, I'm pleased to finally release a project that I've been working on since law school started last fall. It's a web app that builds off of my current one, but makes substantial improvements. It has the following features: Admissions FAQ - The number one thing that applicants come here for is to find answers to their common law school questions. I've compiled all of the information I've gleaned over the course of the last several years related to admissions from a variety of sources, including this website, practitioners, and a number of law school colleagues who've served on admissions committees. Hopefully it will help out new applicants! OLSAS GPA Calculator - Much like the old one, it calculates your OLSAS GPA, but it's cleaner, supports applicants who have grades from more than one university, and supports grades from US schools. It also saves your grades so you can edit them later. Admissions Predictor - I've expanded on the old utility and included some feedback about grades and LSAT that will be personalized to your stats. It even has a neat graph to go with it. And, it gives you your chances given the model I built from the data on this website. Personal Statement Assembler - One of the main problems I had when I applied was the fact that OLSAS is terrible with personal statements. It mangled what I typed if it contained certain special characters. Character counts were way different than the ones you got from Word if you pasted stuff in, so you ended up having to edit in-place. The editor times out after a while, so hitting save sometimes became a gamble. The personal statement assembler presents you with the prompts from each school and gives you a much nicer editor that counts characters like OLSAS and replaces special characters with their ordinary alternatives. It also saves your place regularly, so you don't end up losing everything by accident. It basically gets your personal statement ready to be pasted into OLSAS. You can see some screenshots of these features on the home page. There's even a neat feature where you can take the grades and test scores you entered and create an anonymized link so you can share them with people here (or elsewhere) and get feedback. Your schools, courses, and any identifying info will be redacted, and you can disable the link whenever you want. My goal with this is to make the law school application process as painless as possible. Hopefully this helps a bit. I'm always looking for feedback, so feel free to shoot me a message or reply! PS - I should note that this is a personal project and is not affiliated with Morgan or ls.ca, so if you have any questions about it, I'm the guy to contact! PPS - There's a Facebook page now. Spread the word if you like the site!
  22. 35 points
    One thing I'd like to say on this subject is that I'd encourage anyone going to law school to be kind to themselves. In law school I have worked with and studied under lawyers who were gold medalists, Supreme Court of Canada clerks, Ivy League or Oxbridge grad degreeholders, etc. People who have worked on genocide cases at The Hague, people who have argued or been cited before the SCC, people who have advised Prime Ministers, etc. And many of them did this while juggling family life and all sorts of other responsibilities. I had fewer personal responsibilities and accomplished none of the things any of those people did. It is really easy to forget that studying at a Canadian law school is itself an indication of some degree of success and competence. It is easy to forget that law exams--while not meaningless--assess some very specific skills and aren't necessarily completely representative of your intelligence or ability or potential as a practicing lawyer. It is easy to forget that assessments of you (in academics, in OCIs, in clerkship applications, etc) are relative to other people who are switched on, intelligent, motivated and high achieving people. It is hard to contextualize everything. In short, there is a lot of noise in law school that will inevitably make the majority of people there feel like fuckups. I'm sure that different people will have different ways of dealing with this, but what I found really valuable was doing all sorts of volunteering providing legal services to those who couldn't afford it but didn't qualify for Legal Aid, and keeping the messages that I received from people thanking me and making notes of such things when they happened in person. In the end what has reassured me of my own worth wasn't any grades or recommendation letters or job offers I received, but rather the time a psychiatric patient shook my hand and thanked me because I got him released from the hospital, the time an accused hugged me because I was able to prevent her from getting a criminal record over a minor assault that a prosecutor was treating as the crime of the century, the time a client wrote a long, heartfelt letter thanking me for caring and fighting for them even though I lost their case, the time a single father thanked me for successfully fighting the eviction of him and his disabled daughter, the time that a client's refugee claim was successful and they texted me to thank me for helping make it happen. Whatever else, good or bad, pursuing all of this has meant for me, this all serves as a reminder that I do have value and so did my decision to go down this path. And further, that I owe it to both myself and others to work hard and keep at it, because as law students and lawyers we are empowered to do some real good and shouldn't squander it.
  23. 35 points
    While I can't speak for the legal market as a whole, in terms of gaining legal experience you're going to be responding to an unprecedented problem that no one knows what the holy fuck to do about. And that is, of itself, valid legal experience. Tomorrow, I'm going to a court to figure out a very messed up situation with a client caught up in this (intentionally vague, here) and then I'll be working some more on related issues. It's true that the cash flow for legal businesses may be impacted. And it's possible some articling jobs may be threatened as a result. I can't dismiss that possibility. But it would take either a very tight-fisted or desperate employer to fire articling students over this. Almost any lawyer I know would save money or take the hit elsewhere first, until there were no other options. Bottom line - this is going to create a significant amount of work (just responding to the general mess) before it creates no work. And then courts are still going to need to find a way to function. Which again, may occur in novel ways that constitute some of the best training available. Also, what solutions exist will be technology-driven, so younger folks may have an advantage there. So basically, buckle up, be prepared to be creative and flexible, try to maintain some positivity, and learn as much as you can from this experience. The very definition of lawyering is responding to shit that no one else knows how to deal with. If it was as simple and straight-forward as paint-by-numbers all the time, then any idiot could be good at it and we wouldn't get paid as well as we do. Some lawyering is routine. But honestly, that shit is basic and you can learn it any time. If there's less of that happening right now, it's no great loss. It's learning how to deal with the very not-routine stuff that will teach you how to be good at this.
  24. 35 points
  25. 34 points
    Alright my friend. Dig in and hang on. This is a shit time. It is a shit time to be demotivated, a shit time to be looking for work, a shit time to be isolated professionally. Say it with me: SHIT SHIT SHIT. This is bullllllshit. You have major questions that need to be answered before you can move in any direction - forward, back, sideways. This is a state of paralysis. This is a crisis of energy. This sucks, it sucks, and it is not your fault. It is almost two in the morning where you are. This is not problem solving time. This is shitty brain-setting-off-grenades time. This is shut the fuck up brain and let me sleep time. This is not a good time. Turn off your phone. Call your mom or your best friend. Find a notepad and start writing it all out. Play Animal Crossing. Put on an old nostalgic album. Make a cup of tea. Go outside and walk through your silent and still neighbourhood. You do not need to solve these problems this minute. Put them aside until tomorrow. It’s going to be ok.
  26. 34 points
    I know a lot of people are stressed about starting 1L online, but I think it would be more beneficial to look at the pros rather than the cons right now. A lot of people would be glad to have the chance to attend law school, whether online or not. This is a privileged problem to have. I would also be disappointed if school went online because I was hoping to move to a brand new city and meet a lot of exciting and interesting people. But worrying about it won't change anything besides elevating your stress level. As a lawyer you will probably find yourself in a lot of "less-than-ideal situations" and you must challenge yourself to problem-solve and find ways to make this experience the best that you can. The onus is on you for how good your outlook is, don't make the mistake of concerning yourself with circumstances beyond your control. On the bright side, if you live with your parents for an extra semester you might be able to save on rent and maybe you'll bond with your cohort even more since everyone is struggling to maintain ballast in the same rough waters. At the end of the day, you're one step closer to realizing your dream of practicing law and that alone is something to be grateful for.
  27. 34 points
    Your threads are getting shut down pretty quickly, so this appears to be my last shot. I’m writing this because prospective students and other people heading into OCIs read the forum and they should have a reasonable response to the anxiety in your threads in order for them to build their own healthy relationship to law school. I think everyone has confirmed for you that you do not need an HH to get an OCI position. That’s statistically demonstrated in the UV surveys and every graduate of UT law will (and has) told you that we knew people with no HHs who got the same jobs as people with HHs. It’s been a few years since I dug into the stats, but while only 40-something percent get an OCI gig, something like 70+% of the people who toss in their name get interviews. That’s an extraordinarily high number - there is no other job I have known of other than medicine where such a huge number of graduates get a shot at top paying jobs. It may well depress you to know that buying the UT admission didn’t buy you a job, but relative to the world of options any of us could have faced, we all came out of law school with pretty remarkable employability, especially considering law school teaches so few skills. It’s late August. If your year is anything like my year, you will find the halls of UT largely insufferable until call back day. Students will grow increasingly nervous. They will share greater and greater numbers of supposed ‘insider’ wisdom and little tricks like ‘Blakes likes people who wear straight colored ties; no design’ - that’s one a human being, a real live breathing human being who considers themselves smarter than your average anti-vaxxer, actually said to me. They actually thought a serious law firm had a secret tie color policy, like a caricature of skull & bones. The real truth is, as it almost always is, far more boring and straightforward: law firms may have grade floors, they may have flexible floors that can be impacted by your resume/life experience, but once OCIs start it’s just a question of whether you interview well and leave a good impression on people, as in literally every other job on the face of planet earth. Get this deep into your heads - law student job apps are not unique, they are just job interviews like any other, and the more you buy into the skull & bones image of Toronto law, the sillier you sound. This is all a function of immaturity, crippling inability to deal with uncertainty (itself a function of inexperience in life), and, bizarrely, success. At law schools with very low biglaw rates, students do not experience the same kind of stress about grades or OCIs. It sounds weird to say that the higher your chances at something, the higher your anxiety, but with students it’s often true. The reason is that you’re not merely hoping to get a job or pay a bill, but actually trying to affirm your sense of self. We talk about law students as ‘type A’, but it’s far more accurate to say they’re just highly insecure and lack the life experience to contextualize unfamiliar developments. You walk out of undergrad seeing yourself as one of the smart kids, one of the success stories - then law school comes and there’s a meaningful risk you’ll have to reframe yourself as someone who isn’t always awarded the highest honors by whatever authority is standing nearby - scary! And what’s worse, half of your friends get to keep that identity as you watch it sail away. That’s far harder to swallow than if one out of twenty friends retains that identity. So how to stay sane, happy, un-anxious and productive? You need to recognize that the set of fears you’re treading in is quick sand. There is no set of secret buttons you can push to get As or get the job you want. There is no checklist. There is no secret another classmate knows that you don’t know, and the student who tells you they know the secret is masking their insecurity by feigning knowledge. There is no magic, no incantation, no study approach, no flash card trick, no reading selection method, nothing at all that will give you certainty. All you can do is your best, and the good news is that’s very often enough. A prof is mean or another classmate cold? Son. You’re out here talking about your dream of being a bigshot corporate lawyer. Someone was mean to you? Boo hoo. Aren’t you trying to become the guy who fields furious calls from private equity clients at 11pm? None of us enjoys assholes, and I’m the first guy to tell you all of that shit should end, but you can’t really cry to me that you’re struggling in life over a prof being mean to you but also you deserve to represent some of the most notably asshole-ish clients on earth. If you can’t stay happy through a mean prof, why should I recommend hiring and putting you in front of a mean client? Sounds like a terrible idea. And this applies far wider than corporate law - you want to be a criminal defence lawyer? Want to handle divorces? Employment disputes? We have a job to do here, some people are going to be assholes and you need to be able to just set that aside and not take it personally in order to do your duty effectively. School is hard? You don’t know if you’ll get an A? Son. You’re asking for a seat at the table of stress. You think school is hard, wait till you’re the only person really in charge of making sure $800,000,000 is transferred properly and correctly. Wait till someone’s liberty is on your shoulders. A child’s life. I’ve written this spiel a bunch of times, but you need to reframe all of this in your head as something motivational. You want to be great at something? Good. It’s hard work and there’s stiff competition. Do you think Sidney Crosby was sad the first time he found a league he couldn’t score 280 points in? Or do you think he woke up and thought ‘great, I’m where I belong and I’m being challenged’? Take a look at yourself. Do you want to be the person who can only feel happy when they’re in a room they can dominate? Or are you the person who wants to grow, challenge and find their ceiling - actually flex the muscles of their ambition and capacity with real peers? Be the second guy. Not because it gets you riches, but because it’s more fun for you and everyone else in the room. Do the right things. Exercise, take long breaks, smoke a joint and play video games...whatever is pleasurable. Be happy because life is happy - the sky is beautiful and rain feels nice and dogs are entertaining and strawberries are delicious. If you literally have zero friends, go make friends. Honestly, take a week to go camping and clear your head if you get too deep into the muck. Law will be here when you return. Stop listening to the rumor mill. Stop paying attention to everyone else’s anxiety. Stop using the hallways as an echo chamber of fear and intrigue and judgment. For the love of sweet baby Jesus, stop believing that 2Ls have secret insider information on law firms - they barely know how to get to the buildings and much of the ‘knowledge’ they pass along sounds hilarious to practicing lawyers. But most important of all, stop letting your sense of self and identity get tied up with being a law student. You are not a law student, you are a human who happens to sometimes go to a law school. I am not a lawyer, I am Hoju and I spend too much of my time at a law firm. One day I will be Hoju-who-doesn’t-spend-too-much-time-at-a-law-firm. One day I will be Hoju-who-doesn’t-practice-law. One day after that I will be Hoju-who-is-dying. The only consistency is Hoju, everything else is just sauce. You are your interests, your loves, your creation, your intent, your actions and your thoughts, and only some of those do or should relate to being a student. Here’s the good news: being stable in your identity, having a healthy response to school, and managing challenges with motivation rather than anxiety are all things that will help you to succeed in our field much, much, much, so much more than one extra HH. I can’t tell you how much more. This is where you come back and say “that’s all well and good but I have a practical problem in front of me where I need to get a job and the odds are uncertain”. Indeed they are and always will be - it’s entirely possible that OCIs is the time in your life when the odds you get some job you want are highest, but sure, I agree they are uncertain. That is precisely the reason your rock in the storm is your actual identity - you, a human, who among other things, happens to go to law school. Now that we’re back to square one, I’ll ask it again: Are you the human who wants to coast, or are you the human who wants to be challenged and to grow? You’re the latter. So enjoy it - you’ve finally found the right room.
  28. 33 points
    I was asked to provide tips on being a great summer student at a large firm via PM. I thought that others on the forum could also make valuable contributions to the "tips" and that the information could be of value to the LS.ca community at large (even though there are many threads already on the topic). My top tips to being a great summer student are: 1. Take notes when you're given instructions - seriously, walk around everywhere with a note pad and pen so that if anyone grabs you and starts giving you instructions you can immediately write them down. There were times (especially as a first year summer student) when I had to write down instructions phonetically because I had no idea what the heck I was being asked to do and if i didn't have a note pad with me I would have been screwed. 2. when you are taking your instructions from a lawyer who you've never done work for, ask the important questions: what file number is this being billed to? how much time should i aim to spend on it? do you want this in memo form? do you want the cases printed and highlighted or will electronic copies be fine? Large firms also have data bases with loads of precedents so whenever I was given a task for a lawyer I never worked for I always went into the data bases to see how that lawyer liked their memos to be set up - I also spoke to Junior associates or lingering articling students for advice regarding how to approach certain tasks for certain lawyers. 3. Save all of your questions for one meeting rather than asking them as they come up. What I mean by this is once you get your instructions, go away and do your task. As you are doing the task you may have some clarification questions, write them down in a coherent manner and then, when you absolutely cannot do anything more, go and ask them all in one shot. Don't go and bug the instructing lawyer every time a question comes up - you'll be perceived as annoying and incompetent. 4. Always attach a "research trail" at the end of any task you've been given. It's important so the lawyer knows what you have done (and what you haven't done) when completing your research. It's also the best way for you to learn how to improve. 5. I always try to finish the task the night before it's due, sleep on it, and then have a fresh read of a hard copy the day I submit it. Make sure you proof read - nothing is worse then spelling mistakes. 6. Always ask for feedback on the tasks you've been given, whether it's a week or two weeks after you've submitted it, if you don't hear back, pop your head in and ask if they've had a chance to look at it and if they have any suggestions for improvement. 7. Work as a team with your fellow students. Competition between students is really pointless - it just makes you all look bad. The lawyers want to see you getting a long well with people. Keep your speech positive and be kind to everyone you encounter. 8. Be the one the lawyers can depend on. If they are staying late in the office, you should pop your head in and ask if there is anything you can do to help. If they ask you to do something urgently and it means you have to cancel your plans - do it, stay and go the extra mile. 9. If you have nothing to do, go around to the lawyers and tell them you have capacity to take on tasks - even as a student you need to learn how to drum up work. 10. No task is beneath you. You are the guy that will work the weekend in the copy room putting together evidence books for upcoming trial. You are also the guy to proof read factums, do legal research and draft pleadings. If it needs to be done, volunteer to do it and be happy about it (no one likes a complainer). 11. be nice to your support staff. Tell them how thankful you are for their assistance, ask them for help when you need it and, every once and a while, bring them baked goods Good luck to all who will be starting next month!
  29. 33 points
    Just got admitted! Thank you to everyone who was there for me during this cycle! :)!!!
  30. 33 points
    Wow guys. So, update: took the job and got kicked out tonight. The hometown in question is 90K-100K in population. I am, unfortunately, a heterosexual male.
  31. 33 points
    I think this ties into discussions had earlier about whether criminal defence is welcoming to women, etc. Here is a classic example of a male criminal defence lawyer who can come across as progressive and empathetic on a host of issues but then talks about women as "small town sampler platters" being "easy and dropping their panties" for any old male lawyer. And to say you would say this in a professional office setting? Now imagine being a female articling student or junior lawyer working with a few guys like this and not being able to say anything, or having three male co-counsel like this. That's what it's like to be a female defence lawyer and sometimes it gets really tiresome having to hear this crap because it's a reminder that our profession is still an old boys' club.
  32. 33 points
    It's an old, old joke, but... Q. What do you call the person who graduated last in their class in medical school? A. Doctor. OP, you have passed all of your classes. You're moving on to second year, and with it, your dream of becoming a lawyer is coming closer. Yes, those aren't great marks. You should take the summer for some reflection, probably talk with other students and some of your professors to try and determine how you can improve. And yes, there are some articling jobs that are very mark-dependent that you probably won't be able to get (though strong 2L marks will make up for a lot). But even then - lets take the worst case scenario and say you graduate with a C to C+ average, somewhere near the bottom of your class. You've still graduated! Show some hustle, look for articling jobs that aren't going to be so focused on law school marks, and ask yourself what other way do you have to really market yourself to employers and potential clients. Once you're a lawyer I can assure you that no one ever asks to see your transcripts.
  33. 32 points
    As someone that has done exactly what you're all doing, and I know this is easier said than done, but try not to. For the Ontario schools at least, you've submitted everything (barring another LSAT attempt). There's nothing else to do. Checking here, refreshing OLSAS, anxiously awaiting someone to finally post in an Accepted 2021 thread, none of this is helpful. You applied to law school, and you probably applied because you think you have at least a reasonable chance. That puts you ahead of a lot of people that thought about applying and ultimately didn't because of their GPA or LSAT or for some other reason. You've worked hard, you've come a long way, and it's out of your hands now. Enjoy your holidays. Focus on work or school or whatever it might be that you have in your life right now. Even just reduce your checking to once a day, or once every other day. Tabbing out of your assignments to check something that you already kind of know hasn't changed doesn't do you any good. Besides, if you do refresh and see other people getting accepted but you haven't gotten any updates, is that likely to be helpful or harmful to your immediate state of mind? Will you easily be able to return to what you were doing before? Someone else said this on the forum but it stuck with me so I'll repeat it: the nature of law is that you're always waiting for something, and that something is usually already out of your control. Whether it be your acceptance now, or your first set of exam grades back, or news about a job application, or the result of a negotiation or a case verdict or whatever it might be, you're always going to be waiting for something. Enjoy your holidays. Focus on what's still in your control. When the schools have news for you, they'll let you know! Sincerely, Someone who refreshed here and OLSAS too, sometimes three times a day, and didn't get in any quicker because of it.
  34. 32 points
    I just want to congratulate everyone who applied/is applying today! The hard part is over, and now we move into the even HARDER part of waiting to hear back from the schools. But applying, in itself, is something to celebrate so I hope everyone gets to do so in their own ways. Good luck to you all! 😊
  35. 32 points
    Where to start with this one! And of course I see this at the end of the day! I think I'm just going to go point form... -your friends are right - it does get better. Right now everything is brand new, you have to research every last point, you question your every decision. But it gets better. You'll start running into the same legal issues, and no longer have to research them. You have enough experience you know how something will happen. I know I used to have to spend a couple hours getting ready for an impaired - now I typically spend 5 minutes. -please do not be afraid to ask people for advice! Everyone has been there before. I've always found that other Crowns are very generous with their answers and advice. There's no need to re-invent the wheel if one of your colleagues has already done this kind of application, or has already researched a sentencing memo. -all of that being said... crying in the shower every day is probably not normal. Throwing up and getting sick is not normal. That's not that there's anything wrong with you, or that you aren't tough enough or strong enough. I would urge you to see a doctor - not so that he can just prescribe you anti-anxiety meds, but just to double check that you don't have medical issues causing some of your problems. -more generally - self-care is important! Make sure you're eating right. Make sure you're getting some exercise. And for goodness sake alcohol or drugs are not a viable stress-management tool in the long run (you didn't mention, just in case) -you say you are burning yourself up trying to be perfect. I'm going to tell you you can't do this. They don't give us nearly enough time to be perfect. You just need to be competent. You WILL make mistakes. A lot of those mistakes will be from not having enough time to do things. On the really, really important cases sure you take extra time, and dot every eye. But just accept and embrace that mistakes are a part of a crazy busy crim law practice. -it doesn't sound like time management is your problem, honestly -so I'm a Crown from Alberta with 10+ years experience. If it helps to talk to someone not in your office I'm here for you. PM me a message, and we can talk over email or even on the phone
  36. 32 points
    Don't know much about the Seven Sisters, but I can confirm that the Three Brothers pay articling students with either a stone, a wand, or a cloak. Hope this helps.
  37. 31 points
    ah yes, nothing says "image of success" like a 19.99$ H&M blouse.
  38. 31 points
    Congrats to everyone who got an articling position! Now that a few days have passed, I thought I would give some feedback for those who weren't able to secure a position. I'm currently articling at a place that participated in the recruit. I was able to sit in on the discussions with our articling committee and I can give some insights into what they said helped and hurt candidates. Some of these are probably obvious, however there were still multiple candidates who made these mistakes. So here are some of my comments: 1. The difference between an offer and no offer is tiny. If a place is hiring 5 students, the difference between the 5th and 6th candidate can be extremely insignificant. So try not to think that you weren't good enough for the job. We would have been happy with any of our top candidates, but all our first choices accepted so we couldn't move down our list. This also means that the reasons you were passed over could have been very small such as strength of reference letters, lack of eye contact, being 5 minutes late etc 2. It's very helpful to have spoken to a lawyer or current student before you interview. Not only is your name already in their ear, but you can customize your responses to the type of work that they do. Many students had no idea the type of work that we do other than the limited info on our website. Do your homework! 3. Be extroverted. Soooo many candidates got dropped on day 1 because they were so timid that getting information from them was like pulling teeth. If you aren't engaging in the interview, it's not going to be a very enjoyable experience for the interviewers. The interviewers are going to be interviewing somewhere between 8-20 candidates PER POSITION, so being boring will drive the interviewers crazy. If you got an interview, they thought you were qualified, now it's your job to separate yourself from the crowd. If you can't excited about an interview where you talk about yourself for an hour, how are you going to get excited about doing hours of due diligence. 4. Don't sound like you just googled the employer. You could tell that some students had done their research on our place which is a good thing. However, some students sounded like they were simply repeating obscure factual information about our work in an attempt to impress. If you're listing off facts about our place without focusing on why those facts are important to you, then it just sounds like you memorized our website. No one is impressed if you can list off exact dollar amounts of deals, that just comes across as artificial. 5. If you meet current students, you are still interviewing. At our place, we got to participate and give our feedback to the articling committee. Some candidates got dropped because when they spoke to us, they forgot they were still interviewing. Some checked their phones, some swore, some made off-colour comments, some just didn't care or made no effort to talk to us. If you were engaging and professional with us, we told the committee. If you were bored or inappropriate with us, we told the committee. 6. If you think you have the job, act like you don't. One candidate came in the first day and wowed everyone. They were the consensus top choice after day one. After the second round of interviews, they had dropped to number 8. The second interview, they were so confident that they had the job, they relaxed and just acted like they were friends with the interviewers. It was such a stark change from the first day that the committee was concerned that the whole first day was just a front and that they would revert to being way too casual the second they got the job. 7. If a place is your first choice, for the love of god say it! On the last day we were interviewing only a few people and only one of the group would not get an offer. One person never mentioned where we stood with them, the others all said explicitly that we were the top choice. Which one do you think didn't get an offer despite it turning out that we were their top choice? And don't just say "You're one of my top places." If they are your top choice, say in as explicit detail as possible that you will accept an offer from them at 8am. 8. Be nice to the other candidates. For starters, they may end up being your co-worker. Secondly, if you're rude to them in front of us it looks like you don't play well with others. We told the committee when candidates were either really nice or really rude to the other students. 9. PROOFREAD YOUR APPLICATION MATERIALS. I know this bears no repeating, but several people got lowered because there were still spelling and grammar mistakes in their materials. When there is so little separating you from another candidate it can be as little as a spelling mistake to sink you. 10. Respect lawyers and students' time. Several candidates who got an interview, asked to set up a call or coffee chat with a lawyer or current student. Some of these candidates either were very late to these calls or chats or simply didn't respond back to the lawyer/student after they got back to them. This is extremely unprofessional. It is better to not set up a call than to set up a call and miss it or ignore a lawyer's responding email. 11. Talk about what you did, not where you worked. I'm not saying to not discuss your workplace, but the focus should be more on what you've done rather than where you've been. Several people discussed in excruciating detail the entire history of the place they worked at without talking much about what they did there. They're interviewing you not your workplace. 12. Put something interesting in your personal interest section. I would bet that about 80% of students put travel in their personal interest sections. That's fine, but literally every other student had it and the interviewers don't want to ask every student about travel. Try to put something that almost no one else has and you will see that you will get asked about it constantly. One word of caution, don't put something that you would be afraid of an expert pressing you on. One of the candidates put something on that one of the lawyers is an expert in and could tell that the candidate didn't actually know what they were talking about. 13. Explain how your experience fits with the type of work we do. Several candidates had great experience, but when they described it, it didn't sound like any of the type of work that we do. It doesn't matter how good your experience is, if it doesn't fit with what we do. However, even if your work doesn't have any applicability to the type of work we do that doesn't mean it's useless. Being able to pull different skills and experience from past jobs and explaining how you can apply those skills to this job is the best way to prove that you are the right candidate. 14. Don't be negative. Some people started by saying how bad their day had been. Some people described their past work as dry and boring. Some people talked about how they hated law school. It doesn't matter if any of those things are true, don't tell the interviewers or students that. The interviewers don't want someone who they're going to feel guilty about giving work to. Quite simply, lawyers want to work with positive people. 15. Lastly, explain how you can help them, not how they can help you. Some people only described how this place would improve their skills or allow them to gain exposure to X area. But they didn't talk at all about how they would actually help the lawyers. While the lawyers obviously want you to gain experience, they want to do so in a way that also benefits them. Articling is a 2 way street, you help them and in return they help you. Hope this helps!
  39. 30 points
    Listen, law is a profession, not just a job. It's also a profession that relies heavily on old fashioned ideals like honour and integrity and ethics. We are one of the few professions where you're held to a high standard of behaviour all the time - in court/office and out - and can be expelled from the group and have your license pulled simply because you don't measure up as a person. Being a lawyer means you have tremendous social capital. You can walk into almost any situation and people are going to assume you're educated, intelligent, and careful. Your presence or absence from a situation or enterprise can act as a bellweather for others: if you, a lawyer, join this board/group/rally, it means something. (If you refuse, often it also means something.) In other words your judgment is respected and valued and you can open and close doors with it without even opening your mouth. The profession itself teaches you a lot of transferrable skills that can come in handy elsewhere. Law school teaches future lawyers and the articling process trains them to be lawyers. But lots of lawyers go into politics, into business, into advising, and cease to practise law but make use of the contacts and skills they built while they were counsel. Lawyers have a lot of power. I can walk into a courtroom and assert anything and the court is going to believe me because I am an Officer Of The Court and that means my word is taken at face value unless there's evidence proving I'm full of shit. So I can make submissions to a judge, and the judge will accept them outright, when a judge will almost always take a civilian's input with a grain of salt barring some other corroboration. So I had better know what I'm talking about. This is why lawyers are held to such a high standard; this is why a breach of ethics or a lack of integrity can cost us our license. It's an honour system. I think it's a fine and ancient profession, as things go, and I'm proud to be part of it. But as the man said, with great power comes great responsibility. You have to be a good person, a hard worker, an avid student first.
  40. 30 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.
  41. 30 points
    It's hard to believe I'm already this far out from being a summer student. It feels like I was just that little bucket of nerves a few weeks ago. For context, I'm a fifth-year litigation associate at a Bay Street firm. (Actually, crap, I'm about to be a sixth; we'll be hiring the fifth round of associates under me in the next two weeks. Good God.) There's some great advice in here already, but my perspective has adapted a bit as I've gotten more and more distant from the experience of summering, and gained some understanding of what partners are thinking and what their needs are. (I haven't quoted everyone and I might overlap on some existing responses, but these are the main things that occurred to me as I was reading through the thread.) All Firms Are Different: The dreaded 'culture' word raises its ugly head. All firms do the same work and look the same on paper, but their cultures are actually quite different. I read with some horror about the 'scooping' of work that was going on at Harvey's firm. If anyone was undercutting other students at my firm, it would be apparent quickly and that student would not be doing well with the partnership. But our system is built to be highly collegial rather than highly competitive, and if there's a rift in the student population we're rigged to see it early. We don't have the Pearson Specter Litt 'bullpen of conspiracy' going on. As students, we would actually hold off on taking work if it sounded like something Susan would have wanted to do. That might sound like a brag, but it has its drawbacks too. Our students' collegiality can sometimes devolve into a casual approach to work and collaboration, which I imagine is much less of a risk in a more cutthroat environment. And we're not doing it to be bunnies and rainbows; we have a sound strategic business purpose for fostering maximum cooperation and community-building. Solve The Problem Part 1 - Actually Deal With The Problem: The most important thing you need to do is change your mindset from question-answering to problem-solving. Whenever we ask you to do something, it's because we're in a situation where we need your help. When you come back with your assignment, please make sure you have actually provided that help. Apply this thinking to all situations. See above, where everyone is suggesting, "Sorry I can't help you, but I've checked around and Amir and Susan can"? They're showing you an iteration of this principle. I'm not asking, "hey, out of curiosity can you help me with this project?" I'm saying, "I need help with this project and I'm coming to you with that problem." Saying 'no' with a cool apology is legit, but it isn't actually helping; you've just sent me away with the same problem. Saying 'no' with contact information has gotten me closer to having my problem solved. I tip my cap to the students that save me that half-hour of muddling around with a staffing decision. The example I always give is of the student that was asked to note up a section of the Evidence Act that permits the introduction of government records into evidence without having to be sworn by a government employee. After three weeks, the student came back advising me that there were no cases on that point. He was right. There were, however, hundreds of cases on the specific subsection dealing with it. And obviously there must have been those cases --- obviously government records get into court somehow. See, he answered the question, but didn't help me at all. I might have asked him, "note up Section X"; but what I wanted help with was finding a way to get those records into evidence. Try to understand the 'why' behind every assignment, so that you can provide the help you're asked for; or even add value. More often than not, lawyers (and especially associates) don't even know the right questions to ask. You can become a superstar if you regularly show up in people's offices showing them a thoughtful assessment of the best thing to do next, rather than just performing a function and receding back into your charging station. (Just make sure you don't spend dozens of extra hours chasing a lead --- check in before stumbling down a rabbit hole you weren't asked to investigate.) Solve The Problem Part 2 - Deal With The Problem Yourself: Don't be Lily. Lily is a kid I saw at a family picnic once that ran up to her mom in a panic and said, "Mom, there's a bee!" No one knew where the bee was, or what was to be done about said bee, but we were all officially on notice about the bee situation. I get three or four Lilies in each articling class. They run into my office and tell me they screwed something up, and they stare at me with wild, panicked doe eyes waiting for me to fix it for them. But they were hired because they are among the leading intellects of their generation. And yet, decades of performatted education with defined performance parameters and minimal real-world work experience has left them not incapable of proactive problem-solving, but unfamiliar with that process. When the process breaks or something goes wrong with the superstructure of an assignment, they run to the teacher. Are they capable of solving these problems? Absolutely. Are they dumb for not doing it? Absolutely not. But they seem to have this trained reflex to report to authority rather than assuming it themselves. Confidence is a factor too, of course. Scenario: A student sends out an affidavit with some privileged notes in it and comes screaming up to me: "Mom, there's a bee!" Here's what you ought to do. Get a draft without the notes ready. Attach it to a quick e-mail advising opposing counsel of the issue and asking them to destroy the original and advising that a fresh copy is on its way. Then call me and let me know what the problem is and what you plan to do about it. I might have a better idea, but I also might just have to say "ok, go ahead". If you've prepared a solution, you can minimize the impact of your error on me to near-zero. If you just rush into my office saying there's a bee, we have to discuss the problem and hash out a solution together --- even when nine times out of ten I'm just sitting there coaching the student to reach the solution she would have reached on her own anyway. It's a huge waste of time. Solve The Problem Part 3 - Don't $%&* Me Over: The corollary of trying to solve my problems is trying even harder not to be my problems. I once gave someone a week to do an assignment and she came by three days in to tell me that she got started and realized that there's no way she can do this and meet her other, pre-existing commitments. That was a drag, and it cut down the next student's timeline by three days. But hey, you dealt with the issue and it all worked out. Seven out of ten. Competent job. Would work with again. But very often I run into the day-before or morning-of Liturgy of Excuses. At that point, just flip me off and strut laughing off to the bar. I mean, you might as well own it at that point. If you're creating an emergency for me, don't waste even more of my time explaining how really none of this was your fault. All I care about is getting that affidavit filed and you're no longer part of that equation. And don't get creative with it. I'll never forget homeboy that decided to pop into my office the day before a deadline and just alpha-male confirm with me that we agreed on a different, later deadline and is that made-up date still cool. I still don't know what he was thinking, like I would have forgotten what the deadline was? Say I gave him a deadline building in two days for review before my filing deadline. There's no way I would have agreed to a deadline three days later, after the thing was due to be filed. You're going to disappoint people. I still do. Often. Every day. At home and at work! But we're not high school principals; we're co-workers trying to get our own work done and you're doing a chunk of it. Give us the same heads-up you would give your friends on Law Review if you weren't going to make the editorial deadline and needed someone else to pick up the slack. Don't count on Future You to pull it off somehow. Do Good Work for Lots of People: This seems like it should go without saying, but it's a lot more complex than you think. Your hireback is a committee decision. Every firm does it differently but generally speaking there's something resembling a vote. Don't assume you know the politics of that situation. Did you work exclusively for the most important partner in the group? Great! Maybe she doesn't even remember your name, though. Or maybe the other partners are sick of her getting her pick of students and she has more than enough support already. Did you really ingratiate yourself into a subgroup? Fantastic! What's their work-in-progress looking like? Can they support more than 0.5 of an associate for the next three years under the current strategic plan? It's a good idea to have champions, but it's a great idea to make sure everyone in the department you're applying for knows your name and respects your work. If two people love you, that might be enough --- if they have enough pull and enough work that particular year to get you hired. Much better is to have one person absolutely adore you and everyone around the whole table agree that you're an asset. So, as difficult as it is, try to walk the line carefully in terms of taking on work. Try to work for a diversity of people while cultivating a key partner or two, but don't take on so much work that you disappoint half the people doing the hiring. Aim to be 80% busy (so that you only end up 125% busy). It's better to have Partner X pounding the table for you and 10 people nodding along than to have Partners X and Y advocating for you, four people nodding and Partners A and B mumbling about your lazy research. To The Extent Possible, Be Eager: Look, we've all been articling students and summer students. We know how much it sucks to be told on Friday afternoon that your weekend is ruined. It doesn't feel good to do that to someone, and more often than not, we do it to the students we like the most because we trust them in a crisis. We like doing that even less. You don't need to be a robot or pretend it doesn't suck, but it sure helps if you can bring some positive energy to the situation. Moping and pouting isn't a good look; it makes it hard to imagine you sticking with this job for very long. We're Going To Forget You're A Summer Student: I saw this up top, and I'm horrified at how bad I am for this. Now that many firms have first-year summer students, second-year summer students and articling students rotating through and interviewing in three different waves every year, I'm sorry. The months fly by here as we rush towards the next deadline and I can barely remember that it's Tuesday. I might know a student very well, but I might not have the capacity to always remember if I've seen someone for the last two years because they were a 1L or 2L summer two years ago. The more insidious part of this problem is in our expectations. We will always feel like we don't know too much. Impostor syndrome is common among Bay Street associates. I still kind of feel like a veteran articling student. But what that means is we don't appreciate how much we've learned until we interface with someone that hasn't learned it. Once you get to five years of call, you gradually start losing touch with how confusing it is to sort out what you're supposed to put in a Notice of Motion, or what kind of facts you can lay out in an affidavit. I'm always seeing partners frustrated with correcting students' vocabulary. ("There was no award made; there was an order issued.") It's little things like the wrong word in the wrong place that get more senior people frustrated. Don't let it get to you. They have to deal with it every day and you're not the only one that's still learning. Wherever you're confused about what a partner wants, consider popping in to see an associate. Sometimes we can give you a road map within five minutes that will save you three hours of procedural or precedential research. Just Pay Attention to Stuff: At every firm in every country forever, the #1 complaint of lawyers is that students aren't detail-oriented enough. Use spellcheck if you're not a strong writer. Don't use generic language where it isn't warranted. Assume every minor inaccuracy is a problem. For example, don't write in a memo "but this point is controversial" without following up with an explanation as to how and why; or "there are several cases on this point" without providing citations to show you know that for a fact. You're being asked to be extremely diligent in tracking down the most minor of details, and there's no substitute for spending the time to make sure it's right. What we want more than anything is to develop a level of trust with you that could justify giving you significant responsibility. We love it when that happens; it makes our life easier and we like helping you along to the next level. But that's hard to do when you spell the plaintiff's name wrong and your research is full of generalities and platitudes. It's a huge adjustment for everyone to get four big boxes of documents and be honest-to-God expected to look over all of it. And to be able to say, "No, Ms. Smith was not informed of that meeting" because you literally read all her e-mails. And when you saw an unfamiliar e-mail address in the cc: line, you pulled up that e-mail address and read all of those too. I just can't tell you how good it feels as an articling student and as a lawyer to be in a situation where the judge asks, "did Ms. Smith have any actual notice of this?" and to be able to make eye contact lawyer-to-student, shake your heads and reply confidently, "No, Your Honour." The scramble when the student is like, "I don't think so; I don't remember any" is a bad, bad feeling. It's a hard job. But it can be a really fun job. And we pay you a ridiculous amount of money at a ridiculously young age to compensate for the 'hard' part of that equation. So buckle up and work hard enough to give yourself confidence later, when you need to rely on the fruits of that hard work. Phew. There I go again with a huge post that was supposed to be short. Good luck out there!
  42. 29 points
    I am not sure this hammer serves any useful purpose, and is nothing more than an instrument for driving nails into wood Being helpful can be rewarding! You should try it pfft, noobs If you don't want to waste any part of your life typing out lengthy responses to repetitive questions that might not turn out to be helpful to anyone, I have bad news about the legal profession God yes This is a hobby. What, you want me to go paint model cars? lol this is not what legal clinics do, do you think you show up to a legal clinic with your transcript to talk about how admissions will approach your exchange grades or you could "read" the information on a "web site" Not precious enough to dissuade you from setting up a second account to post this
  43. 29 points
    Never thought I'd post here, I'm still in disbelief. Saw my status change to admitted! LSAT: 155 (4th take!) CGPA: 3.57 General category.
  44. 29 points
    Good luck to everyone tomorrow. Wish everyone gets a favourable schedule, and for those without ITCs some surprise calls, etc. Either way, it'll all be okay and we'll all be laughing about all this some years down the line. Remember you're all very talented people, and this process doesn't define who you are or your potential.
  45. 29 points
    I didn’t read this whole thread but I’m pretty sure that part of what’s going on here is that you need to stop giving a shit so much. This is one of the most important and underrated skills of having a successful career. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve watched burn out of jobs or the profession altogether because they drive themselves crazy. A lot of “success” in any business, and in having a happy life in general, is learning to calm down. If somebody asks you to write a factum in a day they’re going to get whatever an articling student can churn out in a day, which is going to be hot garbage, but so what? Obviously it wasn’t very important if they’ve asked you - an articling student - to do it in a day. It’s not sustainable to treat this as a life or death thing. Just do your best and forget it. I’ll let you in on a little secret: nothing you do matters that much. You’re a paper pusher. A desk jockey. Even more than that you’re a junior paper pusher. You have to let things go. You’re not a heart surgeon, and even heart surgeons have to let it go. I don’t have the constitution to be a heart surgeon and have people die on my table and just walk out and forget it but I thank god that some people do because we need these people. But your situation is even easier because you’re just a lawyer. What you do does. not. matter. Especially on the margins. You really think that guy was going free or getting custody because your third edit of some paragraph really changed the judge’s mind? Just do what you can and move on to the next thing. If you can get the hang of this you’ll have a longer and more successful career than people who don’t and you’ll provide more value to your clients too, because you’ll get better with more experience without burning out. That’s the guy I want operating on my heart when the time comes.
  46. 29 points
    Hi everyone, Just thought I'd make a thread about this to spread some awareness. It's caused a little awkwardness from time to time so I'm putting it out there in the student universe. Some of us out here adhere to the "Senior Call Pays" rule, an old legal-profession tradition where it falls upon the master to feed and board the apprentice. In your legal career, you will often (but maybe not usually) find senior lawyers paying for your coffee, drink, meal, cab, etc. without asking first. If that happens, just say thanks. Unless you're really upset, I'd suggest you don't insist and pull out your wallet. It's a good tradition and one that works out well with the parallel tradition of young lawyers being deeply in debt and senior lawyers being affluent. Plus, it's often the case that the senior lawyer is getting reimbursed from the file you're working on or a mentoring budget, etc. (This goes double on Bay Street. I know those of us from more modest backgrounds are taken aback at the idea that a stranger that's doing us a favour would spend $75 on a lunch for us --- but we're also not familiar with the idea of being able to lose $5,000 out of your savings account without even noticing, so.) I get this the most when I get a PM asking for a coffee chat. Because of the structure of my days, I'll often bump it to a lunch or drinks or something. I remember what it's like being a broke student --- I'm only a marginally less broke associate now (daycare is expensive!) I'm not going to force you to meet me in a place where the drinks start at $14 and then let you get the bill. Come on now. Just pay it forward when it's your turn. Sometimes that's going to mean you're getting drinks for a table of five. Sucks, but you got free stuff earlier. Time value of money.
  47. 28 points
    I understand this sentiment, but you can be grateful for an opportunity and also disappointed by the prospect that it will take a dramatically different form than you anticipated. For many students, online learning could mean a significant impairment to their learning, extra-curricular opportunities (i.e. skill-building, practical experiences), sense of community, and capacity to build or maintain relationships. That's not to say they shouldn't appreciate how lucky they are, but I think it's unfair to ask students to be excited for any form of law school they can get.
  48. 28 points
    Many food banks aren't stringent about means testing. The idea being that the costs of enforcement are higher than the returns from catching fraudsters, and they don't want to dissuade the needy from accessing their services by raising the administrative burdens. The programs are often run by good people who don't like to turn anyone away. I think that's right. But someone with a full time job and five figures in the bank is not their target recipient and shouldn't have gotten help. As someone who volunteered at food banks for many years, I know that lots of small donations come from people with little or nothing. We saw people on social assistance, who were still struggling to make ends meet come in with a few extra items from the store or a couple of dollars here and there. Others gave their time to sorting, packing, and distribution. They did so, because they benefited from the program and wanted to ensure that others in the community got the same amount of help. Often there's not enough nutritious food, so we usually prioritized families with kids, even though there were lots of other people who needed those items too. I can guarantee you, none of us were there to help someone fund their JD, even if that person came from a lower income background. Maybe you don't care about any of that, and fair enough. But I'd advise you not to proudly announce it to your classmates and colleagues the way you did here. Reputation is important in this profession. I'd want nothing to do with someone who (i) took from the hungry to fund their degree and (ii) either thinks it's clever to imply that Mal meant give back the food, rather than donate going forward, or is too dumb to understand that "give back" referred to donations.
  49. 28 points
    I think it's more common during articles.
  50. 28 points
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