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Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/21/18 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. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 39 points
    I'm like 99% sure that I would not have been as stressed if I had never found this website lol
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.)
  19. 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!
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 35 points
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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!
  27. 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.
  28. 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! 😊
  29. 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
  30. 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.
  31. 31 points
    ah yes, nothing says "image of success" like a 19.99$ H&M blouse.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. 28 points
    I think it's more common during articles.
  41. 27 points
  42. 27 points
    You should all bookmark this thread and come back in 3-4 years and see whether your plans have changed.
  43. 27 points
  44. 27 points
    Was having this discussion with some colleagues and thought it would fun to continue it here. Mine continues to be when a client calmly cracked a beer in court while a cop was testifying. Think about how loud that sound is, and then amplify it by about a bajillion to account for the silence and decorum of the court against the backdrop of my total and utter lack of preparation for that moment.
  45. 27 points
    Yeah, but they take your left kidney as a deposit and only give it back once you've billed the number of hours that Tony Merchant claimed to docket the previous year. That's a law fact.* *Views expressed above are not factual, do not reflect the views of the lawstudents.ca community, and do not reflect this hat's best effort at humour. To the extent that Bennett Jones' defamation lawyers may read this, I have no assets, only debt, go away.
  46. 26 points
    A preamble: I applied to 40ish firms, got 10 OCIs, 3 in-firms (one with my top choice employer that I had my best OCI with, one with an employer that only invited me as a filler candidate to round out their schedule, and another employer that did not participate in OCIs). I did not progress much further with any of the in-firms, and my phone was silent on call day. After taking some time off in late November to rest and recuperate, I kept applying to summer opportunities and am happy to report that I recently landed a summer position in the practice area that I originally aimed for in the 2L recruit. Coming to the end of my 2L summer job search has prompted me to reflect on the lessons I learned over the past seven months, and I wrote this post in an effort to work through my personal thoughts and feelings. I hope that my post can be a small contribution to the great body of wisdom accumulated in this forum regarding the OCIs, the formal recruit process, and everything beyond. 1. Know when to walk away from recruit-related chatter on lawstudents.ca and IRL I find that at some point in this process that stretches from July to November, checking the forums for updates hits a point of diminishing returns, especially towards the end of OCIs. The summer months are a great time for digging up interesting and valuable posts from past years’ recruit cycles and absorb anything you find helpful. There are some cool tips and tricks about networking and coffee chats, which I think are especially relevant for that early stage of 1L summer when a lot of students are still unsure about the practice area(s) that best fit their interests and strengths. However, as OCIs officially kick off and everyone’s “tunnel vision” begins to take over, refreshing the 2L recruit thread obsessively for minute-to-minute updates on ITCs/PFOs might only heighten your anxiety instead of providing meaningful information. This is especially important for in-firm week where the number of variables outside the candidates’ control increase dramatically. You might want to specifically create a space for yourself where you can do things unrelated to law that help to keep you feeling balanced and well-rested as much as possible. If you are naturally more introverted and the highly interactive, conversational nature of the recruit process is already a challenge to your stamina, know that you are not being selfish or rude by insulating yourself from environments (e.g. the law school building) and social interactions that drain your energy. People who truly care about you and your well-being are going to understand. 2. Know yourself and know the employers There is a place and a time for putting yourself entirely in the interviewer’s/employer’s shoes, such as puzzling out exactly why one employer is interested in knowing your five to ten year plan, and another one wants to know how you deal with micromanaging bosses, difficult personalities and conflicts, and still a third one just wants to hear more about the kind of music you enjoy. You get only 17 minutes in that black curtained booth that lacks any soundproofing whatsoever, and you must be thoughtful in how you want to maximize the utility of those minutes. Your CDO can help you get started on figuring out those questions. But, there are more places and more times where it’s more important to put yourself firmly and properly in your own shoes. One of my favourite things about being a law student is that this profession/industry is very much centered around mentoring, having meaningful conversations and building relationships. As such, like most of my peers, leading up to OCIs, I received loads of earnest and well-meaning advice from upper years, articling students and recently called associates. There is such a thing as too much good intentions, especially when it comes to entirely subjective (and, in hindsight, completely inane) matters related to the recruit. Most of the advice you will get are going to come from people who barely know you as a person, and from their perspective, you are likely just one of a dozen students seeking that holy grail secret to unlock success in this overwhelmingly competitive process. The advice you receive from the successful students is probably the same thing they’ve already repeated to numerous others, which is not to say the advice is unhelpful, but it is certainly not likely going to be tailored to you as an individual. This is where you have to do the work the rest of the way, filter out and keep in mind only the parts that make sense for you. For example, most people probably would not disagree that scheduling your top-choice employer as early in the day as possible is an effective way of signalling interest, but if being a functional, engaging, vibrant human being at the ass crack of the morning that is 8AM is just not you, then just go with the 10AM slot. I wish that's what I did, instead of showing my top-choice firm, the only one that sent me an ITC, a fairly underwhelming and unfocused version of myself instead of my best self at 8AM. You have been a full, fleshed-out human being with your idiosyncrasies and specific habits formed over years of your life before you are an OCI candidate, so remember to give yourself some credit for that. It’s too late to shave the square peg to make it fit a round hole, and doing so is not a sure-fire way to success anyways. 3. Know that the playing field is not level There is a painfully long laundry list of things that may, and probably will, make you question whether you belong here. That sinking feeling of not feeling like you belong may permeate for just a moment, or it may stay with you for a while. It may happen at any point in the process, regardless of whether you find a job offer at the end of it or not. Maybe you are a first-generation law student listening in on lawyers talking about polo or hockey or some other crazy expensive niche activity in which only rich upper-class men and women are well-versed. Maybe you’ve had a career or other accomplishments prior to pursuing law, and you are really trying to go in a different direction now, but for some reason everybody interviewing you is still specifically fixated on it and they don’t seem interested when you try to give forward-looking answers about that new direction. Maybe you didn’t grow up using forks and knives, or you don’t like to drink, or you don’t like the food that you didn’t order served at the restaurant you didn’t pick, and this whole dinner-as-interview setup just never made sense to you. Maybe this whole arbitrary selection process just leaves you feeling deflated, confused and boxed-in and you can’t even pinpoint exactly why. At the end of the day, there is no denying that certain people, with certain types of personalities, with certain kinds of backgrounds and experiences will find this process easier to navigate than others. No two people will emerge from the OCI process having the exact same feelings and insights on what they nailed, and what they should have done better or differently. I am 100% in the category that doesn’t jam with the OCIs or formal recruit process, no matter how much my carefully crafted resume and cover letter may convince people otherwise. Throughout the formal recruit process, my biggest fear is always that firms have preconceived notions of who I am supposed to be based on my application materials. There is an ideal picture painted based on tidbits of my life, from my name to my hobbies, that I must strive to fit in order to move forward in the process. But this fear is not worth “performing” who I am, and I don’t think that’s what the firms have in mind either. The recruit process does not offer a level playing field, but I think that’s also because it is not a race, certainly not one where it makes sense to attach your self-worth to the outcomes. 4. Know that this does not change you The formal recruit is an incredibly taxing process that takes a lot of time and effort, with no promise of success. The good news is, the morning after the day when everything is all over, everyone is going to wake up and is going to be the same person, whether they received calls or not. The formal recruit process is not the kind of earth-shattering event that forever changes who someone is. It does influence short-term feelings and judgments; but eventually, the ecstasies and letdowns will subside. There will be new challenges, worries, doubts and accomplishments that come our way as we continue down the paths of our legal careers, no such thing as a one-and-done to make happiness come easy. As hard as it is to do in the moment, try to see past the moment, and search for the longer-term view of your hopes and aspirations for becoming a happier, more fulfilled person who practices law, not just a lawyer. 5. Above all: be kind to yourself! Look, I know that “it will work out in the end” is a common phrase of consolation. You hear that a lot during the formal recruit. But the reality is sometimes things just don’t work out, no matter how much you wish they would, and doing everything you can to set yourself up for success still doesn’t guarantee success, and optimism that feels false doesn't help much at all. There will be so many other failures and disappointments later in life, and some of them don’t come with a nicely planned itinerary, they just show up and you have to deal with them. Striking out of the 2L recruit, in comparison, might just be a well-timed reality check that ultimately clues you in on what you really want outside the traditionally popular career options known to law students. The phone may or may not ring at 5pm on call day, but you are still you, with all the things that you have already conquered and excelled in, with all the things that you want out of a legal career still very much within reach. There are more than enough opportunities coming later in law school, later in your career, and you have more than enough time to give yourself a break and come back to figure it out for yourself. I will end this post with a line from the poem "The Well Dressed Man With A Beard" by Wallace Stevens, which I have copied on the margins of my notebook to keep myself motivated in grinding through the post-OCIs job applications: "After the final no there comes a yes / And on that yes the future world depends." Whether you are a 2L still looking for a summer job, or a 1L feeling scared and unsure about this coming recruit cycle, I wish you all the best of luck, and hope that my post has helped in some small way. Cheers!
  47. 26 points
    Hello all! I just wanted to share a small success story related to buying a law practice, because when I was in law school and thinking about articling, the idea of buying a law practice wasn't on my radar. My story: I was a summer student and articled clerk with a regional firm, but my articles focused almost exclusively on insurance defence. I left after articles to do some paternity leave and to lead a justice technology start-up. As it turns out - - - the justice technology start-up "failed". That's a longer story, but back in September I realized that I need a job to pay my mortgage. What options did I have? 1. Get a government job. (It's not really for me) 2. Get a private practice job. (Possible - but I really wanted to be in control) 3. Pay the practicing fee + insurance and start practicing insurance defence. (Possible - but, even given my articles, still terrifying given the lack of mentorship.) 4. ... Buy a practice? ... where the practice area is better suited for a small or solo practice. I decided to look into buying a practice. I identified the 5 lawyers in my area that had been practicing the longest and sent emails asking about "succession planning" and hinting at me being interested in "buying" their practice. Four wanted to talk, and 1 said get in touch in a year or two. (I'm guessing - that even if you need to article - asking about succession planning and purchasing the practice might open a few more minds than just asking about articling). I met with 2, and settled on the one that was practicing real estate and wills & estate. I made it clear that the "payment" would be from future revenues, and that I would need some type of vendor financing. It took us about 50 days to sort out how it would work, and I couldn't be happier. Note: we both needed to get advice from accountants. I am now a partner, but have very little control over the business for 6 months. During that time, the lawyer and his staff are providing a ton of mentorship so that I can get up to speed in real estate and wills & estates. After 6 months, the partnership switches to where I control the practice and my mentor can practice as much or as little as he wants - with draws and allocated expenses attributed accordingly. The "payment" he receives is just set up as an entitlement to draw $X from the partnership over the course of X months - and I required that the payment amount would be dependent on cash flow; low enough to be able to continue to pay office expenses and draw a minimal amount. Luckily - it turns out that my mentor is awesome, and his staff person is awesome, and we're all getting along beautifully. Also - notably - the other lawyer I talked to is going to "walk away in June whether they have someone to take over the practice or not." The other point to note is that - - - older solo practitioners do not have many options to sell their practice, and so the market rate for law practices is quite low. In my mind, I'm almost exclusively paying for mentorship (+ some minor costs for precedents, business processes, office equipment, etc.). Hope this story helps someone that's struggling to figure out an avenue into private practice. Without a competent mentor, it's incredibly difficult. There is just too much uncertainty and risk to weigh on one person's mind. Good luck everyone! Wishing you lots of success! Also - I love a lot about the law students community - but in my experience, there is a lot of needless rudeness. For my own sanity - I'm just going to delete the post if people start being rude.
  48. 26 points
    I've liked so many acceptance posts that the site just gave me a message saying "Sorry, you cannot add any more reactions today." I support you all!!!! Lol ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ
  49. 26 points
    It's really bold of you to assume that I, and many others, would even have the opportunity of "summering at a firm before law school."
  50. 26 points
    I don't want to derail this thread and wasn't going to comment further, but this just irked me quite a bit. Do you know that immigrants and first generation Canadians are flooding professional school programs like medicine, dentistry, and law? Something they all have in common is that they worked hard (very hard) to be there. You yourself admitted to not working harder in undergrad. I came from a relatively poor background and was working multiple jobs in undergrad while commuting 4 hours to university everyday. I went to Osgoode and got into a number of other schools as well. My parents came to Canada with nothing and could not afford to pay for my education even if they had wanted to. Yet you have the luxury of travelling abroad for law school and are calling the people here who worked their asses off to get into Canadian programs elitists...tell me, who is actually privileged - you or me? If I did not get into a Canadian law school, my legal aspirations were done. I took out OSAP and a student line of credit at prime interest rate to pay for the whole thing. I depended on bursaries from my law school. While you can take out a line of credit to attend a foreign school, you need a co-signer with good credit (which I did not have) and the interest rates are high. Scotiabank just recently stopped giving out loans to students travelling abroad altogether. We need to stop these kinds of nonsense statements in its tracks. I see it a lot from my friends and peers who went abroad for law school. Something they all have in common is that they come from money, are well-connected, and they didn't work as hard as us elitists in undergrad to get into a Canadian school. But, hey, bring out the banners and march on the streets because us elitists are blocking them access to these "high paid jobs" to maintain the status quo.
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