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  1. 82 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. 53 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. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 45 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 38 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 33 points
  12. 33 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.
  13. 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
  14. 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.
  15. 30 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!
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 28 points
    I think it's more common during articles.
  21. 28 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.
  22. 27 points
    I graduated law school in 2018. I used to read forums like these a lot, and looking at them now, I can clearly see so much of the anxiety I once felt about law firm rankings. I've made a lot of progress on those anxieties and wanted to share some wisdom of how things look from "the other side". From where you stand right now, it's understandable that rankings seem important. I guarantee you, however, that over the long term law firm rankings are not very important. Your concern with rankings is largely driven by your ego -- you want to work at a prestigious firm because you think that will reflect well on you, or because you believe it is a measure of your worth. If you are being honest with yourself, you do not want to work at these firms because that is where you think "the work is the best", "the people are the smartest", or "that is where you will be happiest". As you go through your career, you will realize those statements could be true of a lot of firms. You want to work at these top firms to make your parents proud and feel good about yourself when you tell people where you work. The wake-up call all corporate lawyers one day get is this: these firms do not care about you, as a human. Law firms are not benevolent organisations. They are for-profit pyramid structures where lots of associates serve as cannon fodder so that a small group of partners can make vast sums of money. As a general trend, the better the firm (according to your rankings), the higher the pay. But the higher the pay, the worse the hours. Firms are not charities, they are not giving you more pay because they like you. They are giving you more money because they are charging their clients more, and they are charging their clients more not because they can do work that other firms cannot (when you do deals you will sit across from "lower ranked" firms), but because they can get it done faster (a.k.a. you work longer hours). These firms rank well because they deliver for their clients, yes, but at your expense. To these firms, you are 100% dispensable until you become a partner, at which point you prove your worth largely by how much money you bring in. If you want to have a long and prosperous career, where you make lots of money, feel fulfilled and have real responsibility, do not worry about law firm rankings. Worry about doing a good job at whatever firm you do end up at and about making career moves based on genuine enjoyment of the work. Over time, it is this behavior which will be the determinant of your long-term financial success, stamina, and happiness. Loosen your grip on the image or story you've crafted for yourself about how your life can or should play out. The reality is that you have very little control over the future and the trajectory of your life will ultimately be determined in large part by events beyond your control. Most people can barely control their own thoughts and emotions, so what makes you think you will be able to bend the world to your will. Yes, you should continue to work hard and push yourself. And yes, if you are genuinely interested by a certain practice area, you should try to work at firms with strengths in that area. But stop obsessing over rankings. Focus on what is real in the present moment, let go of your ego, and you will find your way.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 26 points
  27. 26 points
    I don't mean to derail this conversation any more, but "work your ass off" means very different things for those who come from an extremely financially stable background vs. those who don't. It's a lot easier to "get into university, maintain a high GPA, pass the LSAT, get into law school, maintain good grades in law school, kill articling interviews, work yourself to the grindstone during articling, pass the bar" when you don't have to worry about financial burdens. utmguy is not guilty - he/she is just recognizing that he/she had it better than other people. No need to lambaste someone acknowledging that.
  28. 25 points
  29. 25 points
    I don't care if the Fall semester is in sign language and taught by a gorilla on Skype, I want in and I want to start by Fall. Would be more than happy to snag whatever seats are forfeited or deferred from anyone who's put off by online classes.
  30. 25 points
    Each year at Dal, they gathered us in the atrium and offered everyone who wasn't interviewed by either Stikeman Elliott or an appellate court near the Laurentian river as a sacrifice to the ghost of JSD Tory. This helped ensure that school's recruiting numbers stayed high. I only escaped by hiding in the basement under a fort made of old McGill guides and feeding on scraps that fell from wine and cheese events above. Needless to say, 2L and 3L grades felt functionally meaningless, given that the only two options were (1) a life of work on Bay St. following your first year of law school or (2) literal death.
  31. 25 points
    I too struggled with answering this question. There are certainly elements of my life with which I am very satisfied, and law is a defining part of it. I'm very satisfied with my job, with what I do everyday, with the people I work with, with the people I work for, and the compensation I get for it. I am also satisfied with my general position in life. Growing up, I was repeatedly told that I was a failure, I would not amount to anything, and that people like me don't enter this profession. Everyday I can wake up and do what I do as a massive "fuck you" to the people who said I couldn't or shouldn't do it. That is pretty satisfying for me. But at the same time (and mindful of potentially stepping into the cesspool created by Mycousinsteve) I do feel guilty about my success. I am incredibly conscious of the fact that I earn now as a young lawyer what my father was earning, after a lot of struggle, at the peak of his career. My mother works a close-to-minimum-wage job and works way harder than I do, but I charge 20+ times more than she makes an hour. Something just seems off about that sort of discrepancy. I get it that I am smart (relatively speaking) and that has its market value; but I wouldn't say that it is all effort and no luck of the draw. I just happen to retain and understand more information than the average person, am able to direct that towards seemingly useful ideas, and am able to express those ideas in a coherent and polished way. All of that means that I get to live way better than my parents ever could. So when I take my parents to a nice restaurant, I am equal parts satisfied that I can take them to that place, but also guilty that more value has been placed in me than them because of some random combination of values.
  32. 25 points
    Some people may tell you, at times, that you should regularly acknowledge your privilege when you have it. I'm not one of them. What you choose to acknowledge, or not, if your business, and people who shove your face in it at inopportune times are assholes. However, if someone else chooses to acknowledge their privilege, and you are triggered simply by hearing that, then you have become the asshole in the exchange. Big time. I'm not even going to refute your ignorance. I'll choose another time and place. You don't need to agree with every commonplace fact to function as a lawyer - and yes, the existence and nature of "privilege" if not its absolute contours is a commonly acknowledged fact - but you do need to be able to hear things you don't agree with without completely losing control of your sense of the appropriate. You're responding to an off-hand comment, and objecting simply to hearing someone else offer perspective on their own life. Right, wrong, or otherwise, someone else's perspective on their own life is none of your fucking business - even if they were wrong and you're right. Neither of which are true here, btw. Grow the fuck up.
  33. 25 points
    I wrote a response yesterday - deleted it, thought about it some more, and came to the understanding that this might not help the OP but I want to say it. THIS PROFESSION IS NOT THAT GREAT. All over this site are people who are putting their entire heart and sole into the fulfillment of a dream. That's great, wonderful, reach for the stars, rah rah ... [NTD: insert a great deal more bs here] But, many years out - the happiest "lawyers" I know aren't practicing law. (note in point - probably the smartest guy I knew in law school now does this: http://www.mycozyclassics.com/ ). We have a huge burn out rate and our predictors for mental and physical health are among the lowest of all professions. A large enough portion of us as to be very scary have alcohol and drug dependency issues. The majority of the lawyer/parents I talk to would not recommend this job to their kids - I know I wouldn't (if either of them come decide to do it of their own accord - they will have my support of course - 'cause parenting- but believe me I am really working on how fun STEM subjects are). It also just isn't the path to riches and easily attainable upper middle class living it once was. And I say this as someone who has worked very hard to create a practice that is sustainable from a mental and physical health perspective. I know we are suppose to overcome every obstacle climb every mountain [ntd: more of that bs here as well please] - but please take a long second look - "failing" at this specific objective maybe the very best thing that ever happens to you. Edited to add - I am more than happy to talk one on one if you like. I don't know what skills i bring to the table in that regard. What I do know is that when you say "i want to die" that I can speak for all of us here and in the profession when I say "we don't want you to". We want you healthy and strong.
  34. 24 points
    I don't quite understand this attitude. People work very hard to get into law school and then pay tens of thousands of dollars to attend them. The school's aren't doing them some favour by letting them attend, they earned it and will be paying for it. The idea that revrent gratitude is owed to the institution seems odd to me. People have every right to be disappointed and frustrated, pandemic or not.
  35. 24 points
    I see day 15 of social distancing is going well on this forum
  36. 24 points
    ALEXANDER How can I, bastard, orphan son of a whore And a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in the Caribbean By providence, impoverished, in squalor, become a fancy Osgoode Haller? DIPLOCK I get it, young man, no doubt you've seen your share of strife But's there's this thing I call the Fallacy of the Perfect Life Your dad's gone - that sucks, but it's not a claim for Access How's that gonna explain your repeated mediocre LSATs? Yeah, so, if the shoe fits wear it Your application sucks but you've got years to repair it And if you make that effort I sure do wish you the best, sir But don't you fucking come back here and ask 'bout going to Leicester
  37. 24 points
    Hi all - this forum has been so helpful (and anxiety-inducing, at times!) that I wanted to share my personal adventure on the road to law school acceptances - for those needing a bit of love and support at this time in the application cycle. When I first considered applying to law, I wrote the LSAT on a whim and scored in the 140's; a few months later, I tried again, with a one-point increase in score. I had applied to UVic that year (also on a whim, so stupid), and was rejected (duh). My self-confidence was bruised, and I figured law wasn't for me, so I put the idea of law school to bed. After a good deal of wallowing, some painful self-discovery, and way too many episodes of Gilmore Girls, I decided to pull my socks up and try, try again. I was in graduate school at the time and self-studied while completing my thesis (so stupid - see a theme here?). I wrote the exam and scored in the 150's. Forever the idealist, I re-wrote a few months later, still in time for that application cycle at UVic, and scored the exact same as before. This was a fantastic wake-up call, fueled by two years of rejection. The LSAT is a beast, I was not "smart enough" to take it on without support - that's something I needed to accept. I dished out a painful $1,000, took time off work, and gave myself one month of full-time studying to try, try again. I told the instructors of the course that my goal was a 160, because I truly thought that's all I would be able to achieve. Progress was slow, but as the month came to a close, I saw improvement, scoring on practice tests between 160-162. I wrote the exam for a fifth time, and scored a 163. This year, I applied to five schools: TRU, U of M, U of A, U of S, and UVic. I've been accepted to all/waitlisted at UVic. My approach to the LSAT was sloppy, I recognize that. I was nauseatingly idealistic about my ability to self-study and receive an offer with some cheesy 80's music playing the background with smiles all around. For the majority of us, getting into law school is tough, admissions committees are ruthless - but that stubborn determination paid off, even if it took a few years! So, for those of you tackling the LSAT right now, or waiting anxiously to hear from the schools you applied to, know that if it doesn't happen this year, or on this exam, you have options, and you have time. One way or another, you'll make it happen. Be ambitious, stay strong, keep hoping, and be the badass future law student that you are. Cheers! 🍻
  38. 24 points
    This is not how this thread works, but congratulations on your offer.
  39. 24 points
    There is no employer, no 'sweat shop', that would prevent one from having the time to take advantage of other pursuits of interest. None. I know hundreds of lawyers. I grew up in a home with a parent who is a lawyer. I have cousins, extended family members and family friends who are lawyers. I have law school friends, clerking friends, colleagues, who are lawyers in a wide variety of practices from large firms to in-house to government to small boutiques to sole practitioners, and at all stages of career from new associates to senior partners, GC, etc. I cannot think of even one person who does not have hobbies/interests/activities/community involvement. Not a one. Sports - hockey, hiking, skiing, competitive running, cycling, softball, soccer; book clubs, theatre, teaching, mentoring, board members, volunteer work, - I know lawyers involved in all of these and this is just a list off the top of my head. And this isn't even to mention the added responsibilities of children for those who are parents. I wouldn't want any prospective student, current student or young lawyer to think that what prohacvice is describing as his/her experience is anything but extremely uncommon, and is more likely to be a personal choice that is unwise. @DarklyDreamingDexter There is no reason to think that you are being unrealistic about having time to pursue your art. You may not be able to do it every day but there will be nothing stopping you on a permanent basis.
  40. 24 points
    That’s a beautiful summary of why privilege is invisible. For a long time this profession was the almost exclusive domain of white men. Every one of them would say he earned his place on hard work and hence wasn’t “privileged”.
  41. 23 points
    I find myself with time to weigh in on this, since I was summoned. I originally had the OP pegged with two, fairly common problems. I've since added a third. This is going to be a longish post, but what the hell. It's not like I'm allowed to go anywhere anyway. Good Old-Fashioned Arrogance This is the least interesting thing the OP is doing. I wasn't going to start with this, but everything else stems from it. It basically boils down to this. You've got some strange ideas in your head based in limited exposure to actual legal practice. That's fine - it happens to all of us. But most of us are willing and able to correct our strange beliefs when we get better information from people who know more than we do. So far, with limited exceptions, OP has not done that. And unless he (she? - I'll say "he" until corrected) fixes that approach, it's going to make their whole career harder and more limited. I've said this before in other contexts, but the problem with law students is that prior to law school, most of us are used to being one of the smartest people in many environments we find ourselves. So we get used to the idea that our thoughts and opinions - even formed in relative ignorance - are often better than the thoughts and opinions of others. It's gross to say it that way, but often still true. Then we get to law school and most of us learn better. For the first time, we're surrounded by people as smart or smarter than we are. And that doesn't mean we can't have good ideas of our own. But it does mean that the first thing that pops into our head probably isn't the brilliant insight everyone was waiting for. Somehow, OP got all the way through law school and into articling with that ridiculous arrogance intact. And I fail to see why. Was this person even a particularly distinguished law student? If so, I fail to understand how or why they ended up articling for crap wages in a not-especially prestigious practice. Don't get me wrong - good students can and do pursue crim. But seriously - get the hell over yourself. If you were Marie Henein's star recruit then maybe, maybe a thimble-full of arrogance (and not the truckload you've got) would be warranted. As stands, you are fucking nobody. And you think you have all the answers? The only good lawyers I know are ones who are constantly open to the possibility that someone else around them - judges, opposing counsel, students, anyone - might be about to say something smart they haven't considered yet. When you close your mind to that, it isn't proof of your superior insight. It's proof that you are just a stupid kid who hasn't gotten over the ego you developed in high school when everything was easy. Excessive Ideological Identification With Your "Side" I find it ironic that the OP wanted to go about Crowns that he feels are being too Crowny. First let me say it does happen on occasion that Crowns are just too Crowny. But it also happens at times that defence are too defencey. And most of the time neither is true. So let me start where the OP is being flatly, ridiculously ignorant. To suggest that "all Crowns are this" is something he can't possible even have perspective on. See arrogance, above. And also, he's heard differently from many practicing lawyers now. So either learn the lesson or don't. Most Crowns have an excellent perspective on the law and take a balanced approach to it within how the law actually works. See below. Where this gets amusing rather than just ignorant is that the OP seems to expect Crowns, in order to be "fair," to move to positions that any practicing lawyer would deem ridiculous. Wanting a conditional sentence in Humbolt...I can't even. Let me get back to arrogance for a moment. You are a fucking articling student with no experience at all and you're looking at a high profile case and thinking "the Crowns aren't doing their jobs right, the defence aren't doing their job right, the judge obviously can't do their job right either..." Who in the holy fuck do you think you are?!? I don't know the bar in BC which means I don't know the players involved. But when I saw pictures of those lawyers going in and out of court with their client, I saw lawyers with the weight of the world on their shoulders and I empathized with them. And you saw...lawyers with decades of experience that you don't have, but who clearly need to take a lesson in sentencing from your punk ass? Back to my previous point. There is an objective truth to the law. There is a sentencing range for driving offences causing death. Defence know it, Crowns know it, and one day you'll know it too. The law isn't based on your gut-check opinion - or mine or anyone else's. It changes and develops, yes, but it still moves within parameters and with reference to existing jurisprudence. If your idea of "good" Crown judgment is that the Crowns should entirely abandon those existing standards and advocate a defence-friendly reformation of the law...that's just fucking crazy. There are times when defence may advocate for something entirely novel. Even those situations are rare. Expecting the Crown to join us is impossibly stupid of you. And the only way you can imagine that, the ONLY way you can think that's not ridiculous, is if you are ideologically buried up to the neck in your own ass. This is why your accusation is ironic. Either side can get afflicted with this problem. And you are developing a bad case of it already. Don't turn into one of those idiot defence lawyers (and there are a few, just like there are some Crowns) who believes everything the Crown does is wrong, stupid, and prejudicial. That's like being a fan who screams at the ref every time they make a call against your team - as though you honestly believe that everything the ref calls against your team is wrong, and somehow the league has recruited an entire squad of refs who hate your team specifically. As a fan you can believe that if you want to. It still makes you a stupid fan, but fandom comes with that right. As a lawyer, it makes you a very stupid and ineffective lawyer. Thinking Your Opinion Matters Based on new issues you've raised, I'm going to add this. And I'm quoting (and paraphrasing) the late, great Eddie Greenspan. When a client sits down in your office (or when you visit one in jail) you don't know if that client is guilty or innocent. After you've heard his story, you still don't know. You will never know until the court pronounces guilt or innocence, at which point it becomes someone else's problem. This may be a point too subtle for you to appreciate right now, but you need to remember and absorb it over time. Legal guilt is a product of the justice system. It happens when a court pronounces guilt. It isn't perfect and it isn't the same thing as factual guilty. Factual guilt is between the client and God. Legal guilt is something far more complex and artificial than that. And the reason I say that is because you are one small part of the legal process that is going to create an outcome. You cannot prejudge that outcome when a client sits down across from you. If you think that you can, that means that you believe your knee-jerk opinion is larger than the system itself. See arrogance, above. And read it several times again. Your opinion, not now and not after 40 years of legal practice, is NOT a substitute for the entire justice system operating with its checks and balances. If you think that it is, get the fuck out now and find an area of work you are better suited for. We have an adversarial justice system. Your job as defence counsel is to advocate one side of the case, and to argue it as best you can against a Crown whose job is to advocate the other side. We both have rules to follow within those roles - the rules are asymmetrical but we still have rules to follow. And then based on everything that goes before the court (again, following rules) the judge (or jury) will find fact. That's how this works. Right now, your problems span arrogance and attitude and your general misapprehension of how this all works. You don't only want to abandon your own appropriate role, you fault the Crown for not abandoning theirs. There's so much wrong with your ideas here I could write for pages and pages more and still not capture it all. Bottom line - you are an articling student because you need to learn. Law school cannot and does not teach practical criminal law (or probably practical anything) in a useful way. So basically, as someone who just started, you know fuck-all nothing. And that's fine. You could get good at this, if you actually learn what you're there to learn. But I'll tell you, based on your interactions here, you're not off to a good start. Good luck.
  42. 23 points
    I volunteered as tribute and just called them 5 minutes ago. The information I got: First acceptances will be sent out some time this week. There have been delays due to outside factors not in the school's control.
  43. 23 points
    Dude, come on. This person worked hard to get into law school. Why poke fun at them now? Major congrats oceann. You're going to law school and on your way to becoming a lawyer. Wish you the best of luck in the rest of the process.
  44. 23 points
    Thank you for the thoughtful messages and kind words. This morning I accepted that I was in crisis and a danger to myself, so I reached out to some resources for help. It's been a long day of sitting in waiting rooms and explaining myself to health professionals, but I am safer than I was earlier. There's a tough road ahead and I'm still anxious about my career. But I do feel that after months and months of falling into a hole, I maybe took a small step back up today.
  45. 22 points
    Miller Thompson? Why are we not just naming names.
  46. 22 points
    Well, if accommodations mean any of your classmates (of future colleagues) think anything less of you, congratulations - now you know who the assholes are.
  47. 22 points
    Yeah, because after paying law school tuition for three years and now renting an apartment in Toronto, it's monthly payments on my marijuana and iphone 6 that are the real difference maker.
  48. 22 points
    Okay, I'm going to give you some very important information to start, and slide gradually into opinion. I know it's hard to separate fact from perspective, at times, so I want to start by acknowledging the slippage. As a fact, the sorts of legal practice you will most easily be exposed to in law school - in both official terms and unofficially through other students talking about what they are aware of and engaged with - is skewed heavily towards business-oriented legal practice. And this is an inaccurate view of the legal market as a whole. No one is doing this intentionally and it's not a conspiracy, but it does happen as a strong trend nonetheless. The simple fact is that some kinds of law happen primarily in the context of large and organized employers and other kinds of law happen primarily in the context of smaller legal practices, often sole practitioners. Your CDO is eager to bring you every contact and opportunity that they can, but they can't get every individual lawyer to play ball with their processes. Small shops don't hire their students a year in advance so that they can participate in OCIs. A two-person operation sure as hell isn't sending someone around to every law school in the province to conduct on-campus interviews. And so the predictable consequence is, what you see is skewed badly towards what happens in large firms. Now, students routinely fuck one another's heads (and their own) into imagining that if they want to have a career at all they need to get on board with these large employers and do business-oriented law. The groupthink gets intense. Again, it's not intentional, but it's powerful. Particularly, the biggest problem is that because large and organized employers hire far earlier in the cycle, any student whose interests don't align with the work these employers do feels immense pressure to not pass up the chance to apply to jobs they don't even want. They pass on that pressure to others, and you end up in the situation you've just described. Often, students don't know what they want. They are encouraged to pursue "full-service" firms based on the idea that they'll be exposed to a little of everything. But that's flatly untrue. Full-service doesn't really mean full-service. There are all kinds of things you'd never see done in a large firm. What full-service really means is "a full range of all the legal assistance that large entitles (corporate and otherwise) and high networth individuals might routinely seek." But that doesn't mean everything. Also, students who have been conditioned to always chase the best and hardest things to achieve may feel that corporate practice is the next version of that, but that's also not true. No question, articles and future employment in large, national firms is competitive and represents some of the harder positions to obtain. But there's plenty that's highly competitive outside of this environment also. There's absolutely no truth the the idea that the best go to Bay Street, and everyone that's left over settles for other things. As an aside, the OP has already gotten halfway through an exercise that I often recommend to students who don't know what they want to do. The most natural thing is to start with a practice area and try to find interest in this or that area of law. The OP has mentioned some interest in torts. That's fine. But the OP's first instinct was to emphasize interest in helping people. To me, the clearest division in legal practice (not in terms of the law, but in terms of what it feels like to be a lawyer) is between institutional vs. retail legal practice. In other words, large firms serve entities. They deal in abstract work, and work with representatives and corporate officers to pursue that work. That's institutional. In the sort of work performed in smaller law offices (this is a generalization - not always true but usually true) you're serving individuals. In other words, real people with problems affecting themselves. This is retail work. Note, "problems" is a broad term in this sense. Residential real estate fits this bill. So does immigration. The point is, you're working directly with the individual clients. To students who can't figure out what they want to do, I encourage everyone to stop thinking about practice area and to start thinking about the clients themselves. Some areas of law are inherently oriented to individuals - criminal law, family, immigration, much of real estate, some areas of tort (personal injury - absolutely - though mainly plaintiff side) - while others are institutional. It's a good place to start thinking - better, in my view, than trying to find intellectual interest in an area of law divorced from considering what it will feel like to work with a particular kind of client. The toughest part of the advice I saved until the end. For those students who decide through whatever means that their interests align more with retail-type smaller legal practices, there is nothing at all wrong with this sort of work. You can have a great career doing it. But you won't find the same support and guidance in law school towards that kind of a career as you would towards the large employers doing OCIs. You'll be stuck, unavoidably, trying to network more directly, searching on your own for job postings, etc. It won't be spoonfed to you. And worst of all, if you want to stay true to these ambitions, you'll be skipping OCIs while all your classmates are freaking out over them, you're virtually guaranteed to be heading into 2L without a summer job lined up for the end of the year, into 3L without articles in place, etc. Which isn't to say you won't find those jobs - not at all. Just that the employers you'll be looking for probably won't hire that far in advance. So you'll be staring down a lot of anxiety. And frankly, a lot of students break and apply to OCI employers anyway, and some end up working exactly where they don't belong. Which I am convinced contributes to the big-law burnout rate. Anyway, that's a lot of information. I hope it helps. Incidentally, to remind, I'm in criminal defence, myself. But for all of the above, despite your question being more about family law, it's exactly the same. I've been there and done that. And it worked out very well for me.
  49. 22 points
    I turned down this offer earlier today. Thank you all for your input.
  50. 22 points
    This post highlights the the exact type of person you are. This is ridiculous.
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