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  1. 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
  2. 30 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 27 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!
  6. 27 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.
  7. 27 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.
  8. 26 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 23 points
    This is not how this thread works, but congratulations on your offer.
  12. 22 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! 🍻
  13. 22 points
    I turned down this offer earlier today. Thank you all for your input.
  14. 22 points
    This post highlights the the exact type of person you are. This is ridiculous.
  15. 22 points
    You'd be surprised. I was in court in a medium-sized city a couple of weeks ago for a routine matter on consent. I wasn't expecting anything special to happen; the court was making its way through the list, I was barely paying attention, when a tort issue came up between a female plaintiff and male defendant. What caught my attention was the judge's question: "Before we proceed any further, defendant's counsel must acknowledge that the protection of women's rights are the most important thing in the law, much more important than any male entitlement." I was pretty shocked, but the defendant's lawyer - a highly esteemed member of the local bar with lots of family law experience - coolly rose and replied: "Your Honour, who is responsible for the protection of our fundamental rights in Canada?" The arrogant judge gave a Soros-like smirk and replied, "The Attorney General of Canada - who is a woman, as it always should be." "Wrong. It's been 58 years since John Diefenbaker created the Bill of Rights. If Jody Wilson-Raybould were responsible for protecting our rights, we would all be in internment camps by now." The judge was visibly shaken, dropped his gavel and copy of The Rights Revolution. He stormed out of the courtroom (and nobody stood) showing the same childish rage that left-wingers display when they demand 'equity' in the legal profession. There is no doubt at this point that the judge wished he had sought power by running as a PPC candidate in the next election rather than some unelected unaccountable sunshine list public sector appointee. The lawyers, the court clerk, the court reporter, and the interpreters all donated to Maxime Bernier that day and bought copies of Twelve Rules for Life for themselves and all of their friends, family, and colleagues. An owl named "enforced monogamy" flew into the room and perched on the Canadian flag, shedding a tear on the ((gold fringe)). O Canada was sung several times with the godly 1926 lyrics, and the Duke of Edinburgh himself showed up and declared that there are only two genders. The judge and the entire Canadian Judicial Council were removed by Order-in-Council the next day, they all had to move to northern Manitoba and died because they refused to use fossil fuels for heat. So you'll be fine, OP.
  16. 22 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”.
  17. 21 points
    As a follow-up, I accepted a paid position from a promising personal injury firm just now. Thank you all for your sound advice.
  18. 21 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.
  19. 21 points
    Please show some respect for all of the other talented people who are working incredibly hard to get an acceptance from any Canadian school. You received two acceptances before December, relax. There are so many others here who would do anything to be in your position.
  20. 21 points
    As sometimes happens, the problem with this thread is that it's trying to be two things at once. Those things are, roughly: 1. I have a problem, what can I do to solve it? 2. I am miserable, and I want my misery validated. For the last couple of pages, this discussion has been entirely about "2." Not surprising. OP isn't helping himself there, because that's all he wants to complain about. Every suggestion that his misery ins't objectively reasonable gets met with more argument. Here's the thing, though. It doesn't matter. Misery doesn't need to be valid to be real. One person's dream job is another person's nightmare. Arguing over how a person "should" feel about something has got to be the stupidest waste of time imaginable. So here's my only advice to the OP on that topic. When you are feeling shitty about your life, confide in your friends and family who have a natural wellspring of affection for you. Don't bring it to the Internet. You won't do well here. On the first question, which is actually the more important one from the perspective of helping the OP in any meaningful way, the answer is fairly simple. Many articling situations are difficult and disappointing. Not surprisingly, many first jobs in law don't turn out to be everything that every law student ever wanted. But it's less than a year of your life and you get through it. If you are not being abused or asked to do unethical things, then it doesn't sound like there's anything wrong, exactly, with this job, other than the fact that it's not what you want. I think everyone (including the OP) blew past the point where he complained about the work itself (too much research, no time in court, no client interaction, etc) and that's actually really important. It's easy to do work you enjoy. But I'd be miserable too sitting at a computer writing all day also. The good news is, once you get called you can reexamine your situation and find whatever work in law that you want, or do something else entirely. But the "solution" to your problem, in immediate terms, is to suck it up and realize that it's a short term thing that you get through. Let me add two final points. First, this has been canvassed above, before, but if you actually feel like you're on the verge of losing it, stop what you're doing and get help. Get real help. My version of problem-solving help may be the last thing that someone in genuine crisis needs. Get help-help. Second, your need to be right is interfering with your need to be happy. Stop trying to convince everyone else working in law that the thing that makes you unhappy represents some kind of universal injustice that everyone should be outraged about. Your problem is that you are unhappy - not that you are the only sane person who sees slavery and exploitation where everyone else sees a good job. So you gotta let that one go.
  21. 20 points
    For those of us who are already forced, ethically, to do pro bono work for vulnerable clients, I'll lower any remaining boundaries and say this is a fucking disgrace. A fucking disgrace we all could see coming--but, nonetheless, a fucking disgrace. The reactionary bullshit of "Well, don't commit a crime then," is just too much to handle after a long and difficult week. I don't want to believe things are that bad. Though I know they are. My LAO clients (and the ones who can't even get LAO) are the most vulnerable and marginalized persons likely to die in the ditch they're calling home. To suggest that they set their own trials and advocate their own Charter defences and/or factual defences is a sick joke. I'm tired of this. I can see how my clients live before they die at 35. Hey, no problem paying a Crown $200,000 to prosecute some homeless and mentally ill person. But I guess our government draws the line at paying a lawyer (maybe even now a duty counsel lawyer) a pittance to defend that client. We'll see how these cuts shake out--what services are cut, what jobs are slashed. From what I've seen working in courthouses 5 days/week, there's no "fat." Maybe it'll be the entire non-CCC (i.e. refugee/immigration/landlord-tenant) wing. Who knows. I see duty counsel run off their feet in every jurisdiction. I guess we'll see. It's goddamn sad.
  22. 20 points
    Hi Everybody! It's been a while since I checked in on this site...hope you're all doing well! I wanted to take a minute tonight to post about something that happened recently at my firm. For context, I'm a female mid-level associate at a biglaw firm in Toronto. I'm posting for a few reasons - first, because I need to vent somewhere, second, because I think it's important that people acknowledge when these things happen, and third, because I want to record how gender stereotypes have an impact on lawyers in 2018. One of my (also female, also associate) colleagues recently quit. She is by all accounts a skilled and well-liked lawyer. She left our big firm to go to another big firm for better opportunities - a combination of mentorship, file type, partnership prospects, etc. Her decision was a loss for our firm, and a windfall for the firm she's joining. When I spoke with a senior partner about what we could do differently going forward, he said a few things that were surprising to me. He started by saying that different people have different "reasons" for leaving their jobs, and he said that "not everyone is interested in private practice and the path to partnership". At first, I couldn't understand how this related to my colleague's departure - she was going to another prestigious law firm, to continue her private practice with an aim to becoming a partner. As I continued to press him, he shared his theory - he felt that my colleague might have left our firm because she wanted to be an in-house lawyer, and posited that she would use her new position at this other big firm as a stepping stone. Given that I know she has no interest in going in house, I might be biased. Maybe this is something that actually happens sometimes. But I do not believe that a male associate with her qualifications and skills, who decided to go to a competitor firm, would be accused of having a secret plan to go in-house. The suggestion that the senior partner was making was that she wasn't "cut out" for private practice - that in his opinion, she was probably seeking an easier path or a less demanding career. (for the record, I am not at all suggesting that lawyers who work in-house have it easy - many work similar hours to lawyers in private practice, and many are required to have broad knowledge in multiple areas - but I do think that's what this partner was suggesting). Here's why this matters: quite apart from the broader issue of retaining associates, we all (as big firms) have a hard time retaining skilled female associates - especially as they become more senior. Female associates face a host of obstacles that are overt, and to me, this experience really underscored the additional subtle pressures and assumptions that female associates experience on a daily basis. In terms of things that are still overt, they mostly relate to child-having and child-raising. We are frequently asked whether and when and how we plan to have children. We are consistently worried about the significant drop in our salaries during maternity leave (because remember that although many firms are supportive of female associates taking twelve months of maternity leave, they will only pay you for four). We still struggle to be invited to male-dominated events. And every day, many of the people in positions of power at our firms still assume that we are less interested or capable or able to become successful partners. For all of the discussion and effort that takes place about understanding and fixing the problems that prevent female lawyers from staying at law firms and progressing, it still seems to me that many female associates are "written off", or aren't fought for, because it's assumed that they will take time out of their working lives to have and raise children. Here's the tough thing to fix about it: in many cases, it's true. Women are still expected to take a twelve month maternity leave, whereas men (in my personal experience) are not expected to take paternity leave of more than a couple weeks, if any. Women are still generally expected to take on a bigger role in raising their children when both parents continue working. Without addressing these later assumptions, it's difficult to criticize people for making the earlier assumptions that women will eventually require more flexibility - they often will. But is that right? Relatedly, I found the recent episode of that Netflix series "explained" about the gender pay gap very interesting, and would recommend it. It suggested that unless men are equally expected to take leave to have and raise children, the gap will remain difficult to close. Anyways, those are my thoughts as a full service law firm associate in 2018. I'd be interested to know what others think about this story and/or these ideas generally. Feel free to share your own anecdotes if you feel comfortable, I would be interested to know whether others are having similar experiences.
  23. 19 points
    Op, tbh, only do it if your gf is OVER 2 points above you on the scale, and has discussed marriage with you. That’s, in my option, the only way to rationalize it.
  24. 19 points
    I've been meaning to make this point for ages, in response to this subject and in particular the title. I just haven't had time. I have two related rules I live by which, when taken together, render this question meaningless and even self-destructive. Those rules are: 1. Never assume you are going to out-perform the people around you, and 2. Never be afraid of competing at any level In application to my own practice, it would go something like this. Sometimes people in smaller markets want a defence lawyer from Toronto. I have no idea why. It isn't like we have no crappy lawyers in Toronto, and it isn't as though small market lawyers are necessarily bad. I understand, to some minor degree, why clients feel like they are getting something special from Toronto. But that's a delusion particular to clients. I would never, ever, walk into a smaller courthouse and assume that I'm a big deal just because I come from the city. That lawyer I've never heard of may be great. Hell, he or she may be far smarter than I am, to work someplace where the houses are affordable and the quality of life leaves time to actually enjoy a professional income properly. On the other hand, I can't succumb to anxiety over my relative abilities either. I litigate before the same judges who see the best defence lawyers in the country. I argue with Crowns who have 30 years of experience. If I wasn't sure I could handle the big show, I couldn't do my job at all. These two rules are not contradictory. They are complimentary. You can't be afraid of competition. You also can't take it for granted, or assume you're better than anyone else just because of some real or imagined achievement in your past. So, in application to choosing a law school, if you somehow believe you can guarantee you'll be a big fish at Windsor, Lakehead, or anywhere else, you're simply wrong. No one is stupid in law schools. Yes, the class on average may be stronger at certain schools. But there will be brilliant students at every law school and you may not be one of them. In fact, you likely won't be. Imagining you'll stand out at any law school is arrogant beyond belief. You have no idea what you're facing in terms of competition. At the same time, you can't be afraid of competing with "the best" at U of T, UBC, or anywhere else. If you're afraid of the competition as students, what the heck are you going to do in legal practice? At some point, you'll be facing a lawyer at a school you were afraid to go to because you might look bad by contrast, only that lawyer graduated 20 years ago and now she has two decades of experience on top of the presumed superiority to start with. You can't adopt that view. Assume you can compete everywhere, and don't assume you'll dominate anywhere. Anything else is an impossible and unproductive attitude to take into a legal career.
  25. 19 points
    Accepted today - no e-mail but status changed on ozone and I have my PDF in front of me as proof LSAT 156 cGPA 3.1 and L2 3.3 Older student with an MA and tons of work experience I have been working at this for two years (studying LSAT and applying). I was rejected in 2017, waitlisted in June of this year and am now finally accepted. I'm on the verge of tears right now...
  26. 19 points
    I found law school was a time suck too, but let's not resort to hyperbole and raise anyone's anxiety unnecessarily. I had plenty of time for 8 hours of sleep a night and hobbies about 95% of the time as a law student. As a lawyer, I still have time for both. Sure, some nights go longer than expected. And sometimes I get a little less sleep than usual or I have to choose getting takeout and going to the gym instead of cooking, going to the gym, painting, and then playing video games. If your entire life is utterly consumed by law, I think that speaks more to time management than the nature of practice. If you can't find 40 minutes a day to relax and draw, it might be time to reassess your time management skills and become realistic and efficient about how you schedule and prioritize your activities. Every lawyer I know pursues hobbies. You'll be fine to keep drawing.
  27. 18 points
    I did not know I needed to explicitly state reasons to post on this forum - I ask because I am a young associate myself and I want to hear more from women who’ve been doing it longer. i want to hear their genuine experience without being sugarcoated for workplace formalities. As a woman on Bay St myself I find myself wondering what makes YOU assume we’re not? 3-5 years were in brackets as an example. Personally, that is my experience. I am asking how to balance killing it at work, as I try, and having quality time with my husband. I want to hear Senior Associates + Partners’ with children experience Reality is, on Bay, there are women, like me (thats what makes me assume), who want to make Partner and want to start a family and who may also be of colour and are more likely prone to code switch often. Side note though (I’ve been reading your comments on the forum for a while) I dont believe you’re on Bay St + I am certainly not interested in your male partner’s experience, so I don’t understand why you’re commenting in a manner clearly intending to undermine the purpose of my post.
  28. 18 points
    To me, the key part of this subject title is the anxiety over giving up something "for good." That's something you (and all law students) need to make peace with. When you are young and talented and privileged you go all your early life getting told you can do anything. You internalize that message. And to a degree there's truth to it. But the other side of that truth is that you won't do everything. You can't. Obviously. Don't try to keep all your options open. It's an idiotic and self-defeating way to live. Every choice you make, every path you commit to, implicitly rejects other choices and other paths. If you fear closing off options, you'll continually hedge against committing to the things you actually want. And that's no way to live.
  29. 18 points
    Thank God someone finally showed up and told us the TRUTH. Seven years into practice, I've finally found the guru who'll educate me.
  30. 18 points
    Hey this happens all the time. Everyone moves around for reasons like this. You arrange a meeting with your boss. Tell them the truth, keep it simple. You like working at this firm. You have been offered a position elsewhere for more pay doing x, y, z. You are giving them x weeks notice (whatever is in your contract). You are going to take this position but want to discuss your departure with regard to passing on files, training a replacement, etc. Most of all you want to emphasize how wonderful the firm has been, that you are appreciative of their support and training, and how much you want to maintain a good relationship going forward. This is a professional decision and not a personal one. Then end the meeting. Don’t start carrying on and essentially asking them to make you feel better about this. It’s a professional decision, not a personal one, so be a professional throughout.
  31. 17 points
  32. 17 points
    Accepted today! GPA: 3.0 L2/B2: 3.91 Lsat: 161 General category!!!!!!!! I can't believe I've been accepted in one of the first rounds. I applied to the MA econ/JD program and really focused my PS on why I specifically wanted to go to Queen's for that program. I started bawling when I saw the acceptance because I really couldn't believe it! It's my first choice so I will most likely be accepting Good luck everyone!!
  33. 17 points
  34. 16 points
    Ok. Now I know all I need to know. Tell these people to go fuck themselves. Edit to add: Don't actually say that. But this is shady as fuck.
  35. 16 points
    Baby Lawyer sounds like a really bad movie starring the Rock as the part-time dad of Baby Lawyer who gets looped in to helping Baby Lawyer take on a big bad pharmaceutical company all the way to SCOTUS and along the way learns the true meaning of fatherhood.
  36. 16 points
    1. Some people will not graduate with an articling position and will have to go to great lengths to find a position. 2. Some people will have awful experiences articling. I had a position that lasted one day, I left and never went back. I was yelled at and berated by a sole practitioner. Don't "stick it out" it's not worth your self-respect and dignity. Anyone that tells you to stick it out doesn't care about you. No-my "reputation" wasn't ruined. Yes- I found another position within two weeks. 3. Some people will job hunt for 8-12+ months. It can be depressing. Apply to non-law jobs in the meantime, it's not the end of the world. 4. Many lawyers are too proud to admit they struggled to find articling and/or an associate position but trust me you are not alone if you found this post by googling "i cant find an articling position" or "i cant find an associate lawyer position" or "im an unemployed lawyer". Keep your chin up and stop letting a title define your worth. 5. Yes this can happen if you have good grades, summered/articled at a "top firm" or went to a prestigious Canadian law school. 6. Yes it can leave you feeling worthless. But you're not. Stop the negative thinking it will get you nowhere. 7. Yes there's a whole wonderful world outside of our law "bubble". Get out of the damn bubble. 8. I went through all of this. I survived. I have a wonderful position now. 9. I am posting this to give someone the support they need to push through. 10. You are smart and talented. There are so many opportunities out there for you. The world will beat you enough, don't add to it by beating yourself up.
  37. 16 points
    Death is bad and lasts a very long time. Take advantage of the outrageous ancillary fees you are paying at wherever you are, and see a crisis counselor immediately. It's good you're asking for help. Here, or anywhere, seeking help is a start. But what you need is professional help, rather than off-the-cuff ideas from people on the Internet. Seriously. Go now. Everything else can wait.
  38. 16 points
    I don't have any answers for you, but I love the honesty. I have no doubt that this thread will get juicy.
  39. 16 points
    Hey guys! After neglecting the board for a month or so, I came back to find this thread still at the top of the list & thought I ought to update everyone as to what's become of me. You were all so kind with your advice and encouragement. Thank you! You're good eggs. I inexplicably managed to fall ass backwards into an associate's position at a bigger, better firm. It's in a practice group I loved but my articling firm didn't have, and it even pays better than my articling firm would've. I don't doubt a huge part of this is the hot market in Toronto, because I'm not a straight A student or at all connected or anything like that. I did all of the things you guys told me: I got letters, had people make calls on my behalf, asked around, went to every networking event I could afford, checked the TLA/ Advocates' Society/ all other job boards religiously, cold called people like it was my day job & went on what felt like a thousand coffee dates. And that shit panned out- into jobs I wouldn't have been aware of otherwise, and interviews I probably wouldn't have gotten but for the hustle. Oddly enough, though, the job I got materialized out of a cold application. I didn't know anyone at the firm, and I didn't have any intel that they were hiring new calls; I just saw on their website a posting for third year associates and figured what the hell. I have no idea what they decided they liked about my application; possibly someone else's transcripts got mixed in with the rest of my stuff. Anyways, I'd like to add just one thing to the awesome advice you guys gave me. When you're cold calling people for coffee dates, everyone says look for someone who shares something with you: hobbies, schools, whatever. That's good advice. But IMO, the best possible commonality in this situation is someone who also moved around after articling. The junior and mid level associates I found who didn't get hired back and then went elsewhere went above and beyond to help me because they shared my shitty experience and felt bad for me. They rocked. You guys rock! In conclusion: thank you thank you thank you THANK YOU!
  40. 16 points
    Put is this way. The real question is this. Have you actually got the grades and LSAT to get into UBC or UVic? If yes, then we're going to have an interesting conversation about when and if it's ever a good idea to attend TRU instead of a better established school. Maybe yes and maybe no. But so far that isn't the conversation you've started. If no, then you are much more within the profile of the large majority of TRU's class - that is to say, students who are by no means "bad" applicants to law school, but who can't quite get in anywhere more competitive. I'll never understand the existential angst that haunts students who attend less competitive programs and then expect to be reassured that their program is just as good as the schools they couldn't get into. That expectation is absurd on its face. If there was absolutely no difference then applicants would find all programs equally attractive and there wouldn't be a gap in terms of the admissions criteria. But you know what? There is a gap. You want to be assured this difference won't hinder your employment prospects in any way? That's ridiculous. You might as well ask for a promise that all legal employers are stupid and somehow don't realize that stronger students go to UBC and weaker students go to TRU. There's nothing wrong with TRU. You can attend law school and have a great career from that starting point. But wanting to be told there's no difference at all is just a bandage for your bruised ego. If you really want to be sure your path through education won't hinder your legal career in any way, as you say, the solution isn't to hope that all legal employers become blind, deaf, and stupid to the point they can't recognize the difference between good students and great students. The solution is just to become one of the great students from this point forward, and commit yourself to the goal of being the best in your class, instead of just pretty good. You do that, and you'll have a great career no matter where you go to law school. But if you'd done that to this point in time, you wouldn't be worrying about what people will think of TRU. So time to decide what you care about most. Good luck.
  41. 16 points
    It really, really depends on what kind of law you're doing. I know some people that love their jobs and live for the weekend. Their jobs are excruciatingly dull. They interface with people at banks and financial companies whose jobs are also excruciatingly dull. But they bond over that and gossip about TV shows or concerts and make a good network of client/friends, and at the end of the week have a palatial cottage in the Muskokas where they can shake off the detritus of the week. There are other people that have jobs that just really suck. Same kind of case or deal every single day. They're stuck doing it, and they don't like it, and so they do a bad job, then they get in trouble and the spiral of not liking the job continues. I don't blame those people at all for living for the weekend. Some people are living their ideology, working for Legal Aid or political or non-profit organizations or in immigration or criminal defence. Their work might be hard but it's incredibly fulfilling and they'll often tell you it's more of a calling than a job. I always love doing pro bono work and helping real people with problems they can't work through. I don't know if they would call it fun, but their work gives their life a higher meaning and they can see the good they're doing in their communities. Then there are dopes like me out here doing complex litigation. I love this job. I'm learning about a new industry every week --- electrical engineering, pharmacy, bedpan manufacturing, hot dog processing --- and playing a sophisticated game against motivated, well-trained opponents. I'm a private investigator, business advisor, nonfiction writer, advocate, academic or interrogator depending on the hour of the day. As I often say, this job is great --- there's just sometimes a little too much of it. Don't get me wrong, I look forward to the weekends. But this is the first job I've had where I never feel like I'm dragging myself to the office in the morning. I'm at least neutral, and often motivated to get in here every day and kick some ass. My advice to law students and young associates is usually to pay a lot more attention to the kind of lifestyle associated with a certain kind of practice, and less about the academic content of that area of law. Most of the time people will settle on their jobs due to things like hours, contact with other people, stress, predictability, and the skills they get to use, rather than settling on bankruptcy because they think the laws are neat.
  42. 15 points
    For anyone who's reading this, who may have received bad grades just as I did.... Just know that I received two job offers (not through OCI's) for summer work. One with a mid-size firm, one with a boutique firm. Grades do not define your success, if you learn to network, interview well and sell yourself properly.
  43. 15 points
    I can't wait to get rejected either.
  44. 15 points
    To be fair, this is more an observable fact than a partisan opinion.
  45. 15 points
    Beyond advice, I just want to say I'm sorry you're going through this. You're valuable, and worth something. You will amount to something (even if you do change paths). People care about you. Merry Christmas.
  46. 15 points
    During articling I didn't take vacation because articling students are supposed to be proving themselves and it's a tough hireback market and you have to show you're willing to do what it takes First two years after call I didn't take vacation because I'm a junior on a bunch of files and I'm still on a term contract and I can't just leave my senior counsel in the lurch with all the research, drafting, etc Third year of call I didn't take vacation because I have my own files now and I need to take responsibility for them and I can't foist that off on someone who just finished articling Fourth year of call I didn't take vacation because I took a couple of months of parental leave and jeez haven't my coworkers covered for me enough During fifth and sixth year of call I took a week of vacation within North America because it was the slow point of the year and I could respond to e-mails from the computer in the hotel room Seventh year of call I would love to take a vacation but gosh there's a lot of limits to travelling with young kids, I guess it'll be a while before I can really see the world. Why didn't I do this earlier in my career?
  47. 15 points
    I will be frank. When I interviewed students earlier this year, one asked about work/life balance right from the get go. And this is what I thought: This person is not going to be willing to come in early and leave late and if they have to they are going to resent it and complain. Here is why I thought that: Before you get to leave the office at 4pm, you have to earn and learn. When you begin this career the curve is so steep that you simply have to be willing to take the time to learn your job. I can prep a trial in a couple hours. It will take you two weeks. This is why I get to leave early and you don’t. When people who have *literally never spent a working day as a lawyer* are already hinting that they would like to limit their office hours, it makes them seem either ignorant or arrogant. At the beginning you have a long hard slog to get the basics down. This should be obvious. Law is a taxing and difficult profession and we deal with extremely high stakes. A few years in you get your bearings and you can start to relax. But if you come across as unaware of this or unwilling to put in your time, then you are not an attractive candidate.
  48. 15 points
  49. 14 points
    My advice to you (and what would have made 1L much more enjoyable) is to drown out all the noise. Most law students are lovely but some are absolutely insufferable. They’ll humble brag about how their undergrad in Xyz studies has prepped them so well and half the classes are like review, or they’ll go on and on about that family member that’s a lawyer, the list goes on and on. Coming from an educational background that’s vastly different or never having been exposed to the law, this can be intimidating. But I promise you no one has an edge and no 1L knows what the hell theyre doing. Everyone is just as confused and unprepared as you are
  50. 14 points
    I'm not quite as virulent on this topic as I once was, but I would strongly urge the OP (and anyone else presuming to advise the OP - especially those without a history in this profession) to remember that the articling relationship is not an ordinary job. This is true both in terms of the articling candidate's rights and obligations, and the employer's rights and obligations. I took a glance at the OP's history. They graduated in April of last year and only found articles recently. Not long ago they were looking for anything at all, I'm sure. And while a PI firm offering low pay isn't ideal (I can't even fault them for the commute - that's on you for applying there) they at least were willing to pick up a student in the off season and it's still paid. It could be a lot worse. And so far I'm seeing nothing that goes to any dissatisfaction in the actual articling relationship - no issues with supervision, learning experience, etc. My biggest concern is this. Does your new proposed employer know that you are already doing articles elsewhere? If no, you have a problem, and you should probably come clean with them. Because lying your way through this profession is a bad, bad idea. If yes, you may have an even bigger problem. And that's simply because it is almost inconceivably bad form to hire an articling student who is already employed. That isn't to say it can't be done with appropriate caution. But I can barely imagine another firm saying "this person has articles elsewhere, but we'll just offer them a job and see what they do." My point being, if that's what they are doing you probably don't want to work there anyway. It's a little like hooking up with the guy who's cheating on his wife and his existing mistress to be with you. You gotta ask yourself - even if you end up with him, what do you expect in the future? I won't say you need to stay where you are right now. But talk with them honestly about it. A month ago you would have killed for articles anywhere. Maybe this isn't the best time to immediately burn the only bridge anyone has extended to you.
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