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Showing content with the highest reputation on 12/06/17 in all areas

  1. 9 points
    Jesus Christ ... this thread. I'll say something far less practical and probably something that is not even my place to say. I might even be completely off base in my assumptions but I write this for sunnyskies and anyone else reading this thread that has suffered from depression. I am really sorry to hear that. It's frustrating and painful. What makes it painful is that you may have already been dreading it. In some ways a meeting like that vindicates every depressive instinct you may have. You are not good enough. Apparently, it's now a matter of contract. It is probably not a surprise to hear the reasons why. You already know where you are failing. You may even think you are failing in ways your employer doesn't even care about. You are probably so quick to characterize things as "failings" that it did not even occur to you that I could have easily said "areas where you can improve." You might think being hard on yourself reflects just how seriously you take your obligations. Believe it or not, many people do not have the instinct to think themselves failures. People who never experienced that instinct cannot comprehend what it is like to live with that instinct for decade after decade. You likely have an idea of the kind of lawyer you want to be and by not meeting your own expectations the person you are really letting down is yourself. In that sense, it does not really matter what I or Diplock think about what it means to be a lawyer. I am confident you know what it means to be a good one. You already know where you need to improve and you are already doing things that you are supposed to be doing to fix the problem. Congratulations! You know you have the capacity to be an intelligent, capable, and effective advocate. This is correct. You also know that you are not perfect. Please remember this means it is OK if you aren't recovering yourself in the "optimal" way. We put so much time and energy into law that it is easy to forget: you are a lawyer but a lawyer is not all you are. You are many things to many people, and you are more than just a lawyer to yourself, too. Whether you meet your employer's expectations or fail them, whether you leave this position and find another lawyer gig (or a worse gig), or leave law altogether ... whether you find a cure for all your life's ills and become the kind of person you wish you were always - none of those things need to happen for you to be OK in the end. You will be OK in the end, I am telling you that. You did not come here by accident and trust yourself that you will steer your life to the best of your ability. All you can do is live every day according to your own values, however you can manage, and if you have a bad day shoot me a PM because Jesus [email protected]#king Christ sometimes it really [email protected]#king sucks.
  2. 2 points
    No, Lawschoolhopeful2017 called the whole thread useless because 1 GPA wasn't posted. If you are curious about something, ask.
  3. 2 points
    Because lawschoolhopeful2017 didn't actually ask for it. It costs nothing to be respectful!
  4. 2 points
    I think you need to expand your social circle a bit; you might find a greater diversity of opinions on how impressive it is. In all seriousness, some ppl who aren't in the legal industry are impressed by law school, doubly so if you're going to a law school they have heard of before (which is maybe a handful across Canada, and mainly for historic reasons). The rest of the world isn't so impressed...
  5. 2 points
    I understand, but no one actually asked them for their GPA. I'll do it....
  6. 2 points
    If you'll notice, I said for the most part and 100% of people care? Who are all these people you're telling you go to Osgoode? And why are you telling them? I suppose it may depend who it is you're telling and why it impresses them but, trust me, the only ones who discuss 'prestige' persistently, are law students, not lawyers. And I say this as someone who also only applied to U of T and Osgoode, and got into both, with a large entrance scholarship to Osgoode, but who chose U of T. My reasoning was primarily because I didn't want to move, or commute. It had nothing to do with prestige and I'm in my sixth year of practice and can't say that I've had any conversations with anyone about my prestigious JD.
  7. 2 points
    Well, if we've learned nothing from the Weinstein affair, you probably shouldn't be "handling" them. I'm a big fan of a modified throw them to the Wolves routine. They're learning to be lawyers, and the only way to do that is to do the work that lawyers do. But, they are learning, so you need to account for that. My approach, for what it's worth, was this. First, give them detailed and thorough instructions. Explain the context, what you expect from them, and where it fits in to the entire piece of what you're doing. If you ask them to do something without context, it's not likely to be what you want. Give them precedents, where relevant, and suggest starting points for research (leading cases, texts, articles, databases to use) - assume they haven't a clue what they're doing, they probably don't. Encourage them to ask questions, and to come back for more questions and clarification if they need. Tell them that there's no such thing as a stupid question. Maybe have them check in at different phases of their work (dig around for a bit, then let's talk about what you found, then you can dig around a bit more as needed before starting the memo). Second, set a deadline that is well ahead of when you actually need their work product. That seems unfair and students always complain about that, but the thinking is two-fold. First, they're still learning, which means no matter how good they are (or think they are) whatever they give you will likely need some work before you can turn it into final work product for the client/partner. It is a rare day indeed when a student produces a memo or document that you can just flip along to a client. Second, they're still learning to manage their practice, so odds are they may fuck up the timeline you give them - don't box yourself into a corner, give yourself some buffer space (and if you don't have any buffer tell the student that it is a hard deadline). And do yourself a favour, if you need something Wednesday morning, don't tell the student "get me something on Wednesday" tell them end of day Tuesday. Third, give feedback. They're not going to learn from their mistakes unless you tell them about it. You may not be their principal, but you still have an obligation to help them develop. If they give you written work product, go through any changes you made to it with them. If they were substantive changes, talk to them about why you think the analysis was different - maybe they have a response that you haven't thought about. Similarly, explain stylistic comments. The best mentors are the ones who take your marked up email, memo or agreement and walk you through their changes. That's how you learn from your more experienced peers.
  8. 2 points
    I'd say he's pretty clearly joking here, I wouldn't even go so far as to call it speculating.
  9. 2 points
    A very reliable imaginary source has informed me that the OLSAS carrier pigeons with GPA/ LSAT scores arrived first at the House of WIndsor, then to the Halls of Osgoode, then to Chateau Western, Queens, and Ottawa. The UofT pigeon could not survive the Mississauga smog so a drone will be sent in its place. In following, the admissions committee received said bundles and have begun identifying their early applicant decisions. The schools this year have decided to employ a variety of techniques in choosing their future law cohort: Windsor- A more comical version of 52 pick-up Osgoode- dart board Western- Pawned off to 2nd year Ivey students. They had to submit commentary on each student's app by Dec 2. Queen's- all apps to be raffled off to a poor soul at the ad-com secret santa party Ottawa- traditional reviews Toronto- outsourced to Taiwan Consequently, as a result of these innovative adcom decisions, the first three remaining schools to release decisions (en-masse) will be: Western (Dec 6 midday), then Osgoode (Dec 7), then Ottawa (Dec 8)
  10. 2 points
    I've worked through every Christmas break for the last five years. This year I might be checking out after the 17th. Mrs. Uriel doesn't believe me. I don't believe me. And yet, there's the calendar.
  11. 2 points
    I only examined an expert witness once in my legal career and I felt like Perry Fucking Mason. Afterwards I realized that I had been wildly mispronouncing the name of the disease in question. No one in all the prep of the expert and discussion with my articling principle had been able to tell me. I assume that they were just too embarrassed for me.
  12. 1 point
    yeah not after lawschoolhopeful2017 asked for it
  13. 1 point
    Especially if it's a corporate law matter; students seem to get in-depth introductions to civil litigation and public law at law school, but in my experience the "corporate/commercial"/transactional skills are mostly learned on the job. (We all take contracts, business associations, and income tax, but that just gives the basic starting points of that kind of practice.)
  14. 1 point
    I think it might be difficult to know whether law is not right for you long term without actually articling and practicing first. OP is exasperated at the moment. It's easy when you're feeling that way to convince yourself that this thing that you've spent years working towards isn't what you really want. It's a defence mechanism and it's a normal reaction. OP, it may be the case after you find articles and practice that you don't enjoy it, but it's premature to make that decision now. Others have been in the same position as you before and found articles. As others have suggested above, you do need to put in the legwork to succeed. If it's a viable option for you, have you considered volunteering at a legal aid clinic? Lawyers working in those clinics often have networks that could be useful in your search. Good luck!
  15. 1 point
    Dude, I'm happy you exist. I will probably PM you one day.
  16. 1 point
    I don't think learning French would be a major asset to your employability prospects in Toronto, but I do occasionally see a few positions within the government (within the Ministry of the Attorney-General) that considers French as an asset, sometimes even a necessity. If you aren't interested in the public sector, then it would be worthwhile to focus on another language as others have mentioned (i.e. Mandarin, Arabic, Punjabi, Korean, Vietnamese, Farsi, etc.).
  17. 1 point
    I graduated in the past year from the Faculty of Law. Some of these comments are off the mark. Should students really want 'practical experience' (i.e. working for free) instead of actually learning the law in a classroom setting? It seems to be a common refrain that students want more 'practical experience' and want to be 'practice ready'. As an articling student now, let me say that learning practice skills is not the best use of your time in law school. Your goal is to first learn the law, and then become a lawyer. There are two law school models: the full academic approach (used by the premiere law schools), and the 'practice-ready' approach (used by the newer law schools or at law schools where students cannot get articles). The U of A falls into the first category, but still offers a large variety of practical learning opportunities, such as Student Legal Services (SLS), various clinic/placement courses (such as the JAG placement--the only such placement in Canada, the Human Rights Commission placement, the Alberta Utilities Commission placement). You will be a far better lawyer by spending the time in law school to learn how the law works, learn the underlying currents beneath the law, and learn a great deal of substantive caselaw, instead of wasting a valuable year of law school cutting and pasting into statements of claim or making very simple court applications over and over again in a 'practical' year. From the people who I have spoken with, all my peers have secured articles at this point. The Dean mentioned that the articling placement rate post-graduation this year was over 90% again. You will get an article - but it might not be a complete walk in the park to find one. Articling is meant for learning the practical aspects of the law. How should a student decide which law school to attend? When you are attending law school, you are learning the law of the jurisdiction you're in. If you have an interest in practicing law in Alberta, you should attend the University of Alberta Faculty of Law as the largest and most comprehensive law school in Alberta. Likewise, if you have an interest in practicing in BC, attend a BC law school. Students forget that the purpose of law school is to learn the law. Provincial variations in the law are pronounced and you will be best served by learning the law of the jurisdiction where you want to practice. Other considerations should come second to this consideration. Don't waste your time learning the BC Business Corporations Act if you want to practice in some other province. While there will be some parallels with other provinces, you will miss out on picking up the 'mood' of the law in your own jurisdiction, you will get confused with different section numbers, you will learn cases which cannot be relied upon (cases from other jurisdictions are merely persuasive), et cetera. In retrospect, how does the University of Alberta Faculty of Law look to me? In my view I made the right choice to attend the U of A Faculty of Law because I was taught by very well-respected and knowledgeable professors, I made close friends, and came out of law school a different person than when I entered. Professors: Tenured professors (not sessional instructors) give a law school its academic reputation. I found that my professors were generally excellent teachers and many (if not all) had published widely. In many cases U of A profs have written texts or compiled casebooks that are used to teach the subject across the country. However, it should be noted that there were a few professors who I stayed away from, either because of reputation or past experience. I would encourage you to meet your professors outside of class (in office hours or otherwise) and try to get to know them a bit. They are brilliant minds. In practice you will get a kind of spring in your step when you consult Bruce Ziff's book for a file you are working on and remember that he taught you property law. Quality of legal education: The Faculty of Law is fiercely competitive, but not in a mean-spirited way. To get good grades, I had to work harder than I ever did in my undergraduate degree, principally because of the strict curve (which is a feature universal to law schools). In the end, this forced me to learn more of the law and become a better future lawyer. But for some people it was disheartening. I observed a sour attitude toward the law school itself among some students that were not doing as well as they did in their undergrad. Everyone likes to get positive reinforcement and it is hard not to do so. The law I learned was current, very detailed, and accurate. Professors had an encyclopedic knowledge of the law and wanted to share it. Atmosphere: When you attend orientation, YOU MUST talk to a few of your peers. Get to know even one person. There are lots of opportunities to do this. This will be the key to building friendships. Remember that everyone is new and knows no one. A small group of friends will greatly assist in your perception of the atmosphere of the law school. It will also help you get through difficult moments, like a crunch of assignments or exams. The atmosphere otherwise is quite diverse. You have people who love to go out and have a good time (this dies off considerably after first year), others who get involved with a particular club, and others who simply study together in the library. You will probably find a social group you will fit with at the school. Many law students tend to have some unusual quirk to their personality. The perception that U of A is a 'party' school is overblown, in my opinion. Especially after first year. There are a few people who like to 'go out' but not everyone. When you are out socially, everyone is friendly and open. That was a really nice feature of the school. Location: The City of Edmonton is becoming more 'trendy' in an underground hipster kind of way. The U of A is located in Old Strathcona which is a very diverse area that is filled with students, independent retail and restaurants and bars. The population of the greater City area is about 1.4 million. You will find cool neighbourhoods and stuff to do. But there are rougher areas as well. I do not agree with the claim that there is 'nothing to do'. You can go to small coffee shops, a few of Canada's 'best new restaurants', concerts and events, festivals, etc. The City is not quite as urban as Toronto or Montreal, however. The city is more politically left wing than anywhere else in Alberta, if that is your thing. Some Edmonton residents are pretty standard suburban white people. Career services: I won't comment on this as I understand the department has been revamped and is under new leadership this year. Course selection: Upper year courses are varied and there are many niche courses. You can take a full complement of in depth business law courses (like trusts, judgment enforcement, personal property security, etc), international law (public intl. law, intl. human rights, intl. environment, intl. criminal); aboriginal law, health law, etc. This is a strength but it could still be improved further with more specialized courses. The popular upper=year courses fill up on the day registration opens, but usually spaces will open up in September if you really want to get in. This is a weaker area - there seems to be more demand than spaces for a number of courses and students are inevitably disappointed every year. This was one of my frustrations at U of A law. Library: The library is physically large meaning that you can generally find a place to study. As for library holdings, they are extensive, but some of the titles are out of date due to budget reductions. Librarians are a mixed bag, there are a few really excellent librarians who can really help you with legal research, while others are less capable and don't understand the law (but do understand libraries). Building: The Law Centre is a modernist, brutalist style building that has had various modifications over the years which has debased its original elegant concrete and glass character. If you don't like architecture from that era you won't like it. Campus: Beautiful. The U of A campus is enormous. If you want to get away from the law building there are many other areas to study that are comfortable and tucked away. There are a variety of food stalls in hub mall which provide cheap and tasty meals. Very nice (but busy) gym and sports complex on campus. Two decent on-campus bars. (Law Centre is near a few off-campus bars as well) Future career: U of A students get jobs mostly in Alberta, with an emphasis on Edmonton, many more in Calgary, and rural areas. I know of several who are articling in Toronto as well. Vancouver is not a great legal market...salaries are the same or lower than Edmonton but housing is twice as much. All in all Choose a law school in a province where you want to practice. And have fun!! Law school will be a time like no other in your life: challenging, fast paced, intense and possibly life changing. The U of A is a very good law school and I have not regretted my decision to attend. One other thing I would add is that the U of A is not a hand-holding school. Don't expect to have everything spelled out and arranged for you. For some of my peers I think this was a bit tough. Whether it comes to graduation requirements, class selection, extra-curricular activities to participate in, social decisions, scholarship availability, or grading, you will be treated as an adult and you will have to look for your own path and do your own research. Some other schools might take a more active approach to things like this than the U of A. This mindset extends to the larger university administration which you might encounter if you get involved with a non-law extra curricular group or wish to take one of your options outside of law (which you are allowed to do).
  18. 1 point
    Schadenfreude can also help. Seeing other counsel in motions court before I was up, some of whom were terrible, comforted me that there was no way I'd be that bad. Doesn't help if you're first on the list of course, or if you get a run of good lawyers before you... But seriously, don't just watch great speakers like some politicians who've had coaching and speechwriters. Go watch not-so-great speakers who still have to speak in public, go to motions court sometime (or proceedings before a JP or small claims court or whatever) and even discounting the self-reps I think one will be comforted by how bad one can be and still function as counsel... That's not really applicable to OP who's already been in court, I was thinking more about law or articling students. But just looking at the list and #6 about lurking, I was wondering if it was lurking in the sense of wanting to participate but being too shy, then yeah I can see the point either participate or return to work (with the exception that if it's a really interesting conversation it may be worth listening to). Whereas if it's having something important and urgent to say, then shouldn't one interrupt, briefly excuse the interruption and say what the urgent thing is (e.g. Excuse the interruption but your 2 PM appointment is here, and the building's on fire, and the fire was started by your 2 PM appointment).
  19. 1 point
    I've never heard of it being a major asset in Toronto, though I don't work at a Toronto firm. It is helpful for government jobs in Ottawa and for clerking.
  20. 1 point
    For those of you who feel that you have been misled, screwed over, and that some of the firms you interviewed with disregarded LSUC rules, have you discussed this with your CDO? Have your friends that you've cited here also? I think there are cases every year where an employer may not come out and say "we will definitely be calling you with an offer on call day" but perhaps something more like "we would love to be able to make you an offer on call day" or "we can see you working here at the firm". I would not be surprised if there are some who are involved in the interview process who might say things more strongly and more definitively than they should but, as Uriel has pointed out in a few very good posts about the process in this thread, no one knows for sure who is going to get those calls until the discussion/decision meeting takes place. Firms will always need to court multiple students, depending on the number of positions they need to fill. Students should be aware of this, going into the process, and I know that schools prepare students for the process and make this clear. I think the same discussion can be had with the 'monopolizing of time'. Is it actually done intentionally and for some nefarious reason by the firms? For what purpose? I can tell you that every year there have been students that someone in the process has strongly advocated for, and who don't make it past the meeting. This is upsetting for those of us on this side of the table, I can assure you. It is also upsetting when the tables are turned, and you are given all the signals that a student will accept an offer if made, only to be turned down on call day and that results in losing out on another great candidate. It's probably as good an idea now as it was prior to the process for those of you who participated to reread the entire Recruitment thread. There is a lot of good information in here that may allay some of your anger as well as your anxiety about the future. If there are clear breaches of the LSUC rules, your CDO should be told. Enjoy your weekend, mourn a bit and then move on. As has been said ad nauseum here, there are other great opportunities out there, many of them better than what you feel you have lost. I will also add that more than one account is not allowed here. Those of you who have set up a second account for whatever reason, or are thinking of doing so, be aware of this rule and please follow it.
  21. 1 point
    "don't go if it is just because you have nothing better to do" - I dunno, that is basically why I went to law school and it turned out OK for me. I generally enjoyed law school, and I like the job I got as a result. Also, I'd generally recommend ppl not try and figure out what type of law they want to do before law school - there are many, many areas of law that aren't even on the average person's radar; this is best left for when you are in the last two years of school, or arguably even during articles. Hell, some lawyers don't know until after they become lawyers. Ppl have all kinds of advice for others based on their own personal experiences. I'm not sure it's as universally relevant as they often think it is...
  22. 1 point
    I like this thread. My $0.02: So right now I have a condo in Van. The rent I'm getting from it is covering 90% of the monthly cash outflow and the capital gain has been significant in the past two years. But if I get into law school (fingers crossed) I will cash out. My plan is to invest 100% of the money I walk with by maxing my TFSA and whatever RRSP room I have. I'll be buying ETF's as per the Canadian Couch Potato recommendations. Mutual funds have lower returns than ETF's (for the most part) and they also have higher management fees. The only mutual funds I would touch would be Mawer funds (particularly Mawer 150 and Mawer 104). With the money that's left I will try my absolute best to get a small mortgage in Edmonton or Calgary (provided I get into UofA or UofC). My monthly mortgage payment and condo fee would be around 1000 dollars. I will also apply for a student line of credit and use that to pay for the monthly condo fee and mortgage (again, around 1000 dollars). Upon graduation I will sell the condo and wipe the line of credit debt clean. I've done some preliminary math and I think this is a good plan. For you, I don't think buying real estate is prudent. Here's what I would do if I was in your situation: I would borrow the 80k (does the bank allow you to borrow that much in one go?) and max out my TFSA. If you've never thrown anything in your TFSA, you have 57000 in contribution room (57k as of Jan. 1st 2018). But don't go near ETF's. Here's why: your interest rate will not stay at prime + zero or Prime + 0.5 for perpetuity (I've been told that 5 years after graduation your interest is automatically jacked up significantly. Please check the fine print of your agreement and see if this is true. I'm interested to know as well.). I would instead purchase a Mawer 104 or Mawer 150 fund, or both. Expect around 6-7%. Mutual funds are actively managed and they usually charge the investor a chunky amount, which could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars over a 30 year period. And for this money they rarely beat the index. But if another 2008 happens, some of these mutual funds can be more sheltered than a portfolio that is full of stock ETF's. You can shelter your own ETF portfolio by dedicating a quarter or a fifth of your portfolio to bond ETF's, but in your case it's probably easier to just buy a Mawer fund and call it a day. I don't think you should use the money as down payment because of the potential rate increase 5 years after graduation (again, I'm not sure about this so please check the fine print). But even without it, I don't think any of the major banks would be willing to give you a mortgage without income. Even if you show up with 80k. They will check to see where that money came from. When I got my mortgage, my bank (Van City Credit Union actually) checked to see where my down payment came from by asking me to provide my bank account statements going all the way back to X number of months/years. They also asked for 2 years of income (minimum). This was before the stress test as well. I honestly don't think you'd be approved. As another poster mentioned, you haven't built up enough of an RRSP contribution room either. Basically they calculate your RRSP room by looking at your previous year's income. Your RRSP room for this year is 18% of your previous year's income, for example. That leaves your unused TFSA room, which I'm assuming is all of it (57k as of Jan. 1st). The investment I would go with inside the TFSA is a Mawer 104 balanced fund, if I were in your situation. http://www.mawer.com/assets/Fund-PDFs/Fund-Profile-BAL.pdf Sorry about the long ramble.
  23. 1 point
    I'm at Melbourne currently studying something else at the Masters level and know a few law students. I'll put it very simply - don't come here. I came here looking at the rankings too an I was sorely disappointed (did undergrad in the US). I do hear from students in other faculties that MLS is a good school, but I would put very little credence in any of the rankings. I can't comment on Sydney Law other than to say it is generally accepted as more prestigious. Not sure how that will translate to job placement outcomes, but Sydney is a bigger city with a correspondingly bigger job market. At least in my field Monash (the other Go8 in town) is known to do a better job placing students into jobs than Melbourne. And let's be honest, employment outcomes are pretty much the only relevant factor when you're doing a professional degree. I was actually surprised by the 75% figure for legal employment considering most of the top 20 US schools are 85+% and a school like Western claims 90% for getting articles by graduation. I realize articles do not equal legal employment but at least you're in there with a fighting chance. Other faculties have statistics so shameful they can't even be published. But given how much MLS charges, they should be ashamed of themselves. In short, probably not worth the AUD 40k (which is equal to 32k USD and 40k CAD by the way). As far as cost - if you're willing to pay full fare to go to MLS, you could probably afford to go to a US or Canadian school. Do that, since as you say, you want to practice in Canada. Work permit - if you are an international student, you will get a 2-year 485 visa (I think, the DIBP website says "for the length of your studies") that gives you full work authorization. It doesn't depend on employer sponsorship. You'll have to convert that into permanent residency in Australia if you want to work here long-term. But just because you have a 2-year work visa doesn't mean people will hire you - once you're past the halfway mark of those two years, you're as good as illegal to employers. I do find that it's a huge handicap not having residency here (I met an American here whom a major firm in town wouldn't hire as a lawyer because she wasn't a resident). If you're going to come to Australia to study, come as a permanent resident - don't come on a student visa. I'm waiting for my green card myself and it couldn't come fast enough
  24. 1 point
    The only thing this "study" concludes is that people who play around on their laptops (as well as those who watch them do so) during "spare time" during a lecture will score lower than those who focus on the material being presented to the class. Well no shit, Sherlock! I clued into that concept during my first semester back in university, when my classmates who insisted on perusing facebook and shopping online for shoes failed tests while I racked up A+'s. Frankly, the title of the article is misleading: laptops have nothing to do with student performance; focusing on the material is the critical factor.
  25. 1 point
    "And turning to the 3D map, we see an unmistakable Cone of Ignorance" http://coneofignorance.org/images/about/coneofignorance5.jpg
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