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Showing content with the highest reputation on 08/18/18 in all areas

  1. 5 points
    I would worry about the optics of connecting with an articling candidate on LinkedIn in advance of interviews. In particular: If during a formal recruitment period, could connecting with an applicant during a regulated period ever be viewed as offside Law Society rules? As an articling interviewer, I'm instructed by my firm to avoid any communication with applicants to the extent possible. If I accept a connection request, could the applicant read into it something about their chances of being hired? I don't want to add to the already-extensive list of things that articling candidates read into.
  2. 4 points
    After many attempts, apparently linking images is borked. But video works!
  3. 3 points
    And yet some people get all upset when we refuse to delete old posts... 😁
  4. 3 points
    I bankrupted her while I was in 2L. And I wholeheartedly enjoyed it.
  5. 3 points
    Probably because in a free society, that question is irrelevant. We don't need reasons to permit things. We only need reasons to ban things.
  6. 2 points
    Front me experience, having visited the schools I was extended offers to, it really was beneficial for me. In fact, upon visiting one school I left it knowing where I would be accepting my offer to. The value in visiting is that it allows you to prod the minds of students there and uncover details into student life and opportunities not captured in promotional materials. For instance, upon one of my visits I discovered that one school had minimal clinical opportunities for students. The scarcity of clinical opportunities could not be found anywhere in promotions materials. My recommendation is that you wait until you have offers and settle on two competing schools. Then go and visit each. Plus if you wait and get invites to tour days there’s always lots of free food. Best of luck in the coming cucle!
  7. 2 points
    I thought I would throw in my 2 cents here as well. Its a complex question. To ask yourself should you take the risk of massive debt to pay for tuition and living expenses for 3 years ( well over 150 000 for 3 years at the Toronto schools), should you take away time from the work force and thus suffer lost opportunity and lost wages, all to enter a profession with a disparity between the number of law graduates and available number of jobs in the legal profession? In addition, the future of the landscape of the legal market with the rise of artificial intelligence is also another discussion. How many, and what kind of jobs in the legal profession will be available in the future? Albeit, the latter point is something that will likely effect numerous professions and society at large. The point is, there are numerous things that should make one pause before jumping in and taking this calculated risk, no matter the age of the applicant. Then when you take into consideration the age, it does make one think of even more variables involved that might not apply to the younger applicant who is 24 years old. One has to ask themselves, when would I like to have children and start my family? Or perhaps you already have a family and need to provide in some capacity. One has to ask themselves, could age bias effect me negatively in any way in gaining employment, or the variety of opportunities' available to me? Also something to ponder, when taking a risk such as the one described at 28, the ability to maneuver into another career path yet again ( lets assume one does not like practicing) could become more restricted than if one is 23. One has to ponder the all the variables involved on a singular timeline ( wanting to purchase their first property, paying off school debt, starting a family and raising children, the stresses of law school and legal practice, the sacrifices necessary for career advancements and where one wishes to take their career etc.) and think about how everything might intersect, and how all the variables may effect one another. There is a lot to think about lol I will share a few anecdotes. I'll start of with one related to law. I had the pleasure of meeting an alumni at one of Osgoode's welcome events. This person had started their legal education at 30. Before deciding to go to law school, they were an actor. They ended up deciding to go to law school, and ended up at Osgoode. They ended up getting work positions after 1L, and it eventually led them to their current career in Law. Today, this individual has a successful career working for the government. So this anecdote can be your canary in a coal mine 😆 They battled through matters which could have been difficult to deal with while going through law school e.g. starting a family, but they did persevere and they did manage to get through it successfully. They seem to have a career they enjoy, I can estimate they are earning a very good salary ( by my ideals), they have a great family life, it seems to have turned out well. Of course, this is one anecdote. We would definitely be able to find others in contrast to the one given. However, this is here to help show you that hope can exist at the end of that tunnel lol. I had two other professors of mine while doing my undergrad. Both started their bachelors around 23 and their PhD's at 27, and got tenure track positions in their mid 30s. Their decision to jump into science was arguably a much more risky proposition than entering into law, given the current status of the job market in academia. However, they had a passion for what they did, and they wanted to go for it. They faced obstacles, but they persevered and shattered them and kept moving. They knew there was risk if they went down that road, but they thought to themselves it was worth it. My last anecdote, I had met the director of one of the Md-PHD programs at a Canadian medical school by sheer chance. I was picking up cell lines, the lab happened to be that of the directors. Upon finding this out, I asked for some of their time to ask questions as I was a prospective applicant for the upcoming cycle. They were kind enough to grant me that time. As I voiced my concerns of going down that road due to my age etc., I was surprised to hear that they entered medical school at 28. They had a career in engineering before that, but they did not enjoy it. So they went to medical school through the MD-PhD stream, as they had an interest in both the scientific and clinical aspect of medicine. They finished their education around 40. Looking back now with an established Lab and clinical duties in the hospital, they informed me they were content in their decision. They love their job, take satisfaction from their work, and are proud of the accomplishments they made. By no means was it easy, it was a difficult journey. They are not swimming in the lapses of luxury, but they are financially stable and do something they truly love. They knew the risks, calculated the different variables, and they went for it. It turned out well. These are just 4 positive anecdotes of people who embarked on their path to their career later in life, and of how it worked out well in the end. There will be many stories where the situation might have not turned out so ideally. However, these 4 situations at least let us know in the back of our mind it is at least possible. This can be a powerful thing in times of difficulty and doubt. I asked myself these very questions, and continuously have more run though my head. I am 28, went through this cycle and have accepted an offer of admission from Osgoode. I am extremely happy, proud, and humbled to have even made it to this point. Given my background when younger, it was highly unlikely. However, I do not know where this path may take me. I do not know if this will be a worthwhile risk, only time will be able to show. I made a calculated move when deciding to apply to law school. I had finished a summer internship at UHN, and due to talking to some of the post docs ( luckily my lab was all post docs, some of whom were very helpful to me in giving me valuable insight and advise) , my own changing personal situation, and other factors, after the internship completed I decided to not try and shoot for the MD-PhD route. I had known for a long time I did not want to go into some of the other professions eg veterinary, dentistry, optometry etc., for a variety of reasons. I did have an affinity towards medicine or law, again for a multitude of reasons ( some being personal). With both options being attractive to me, I decided to put my resource and very limited time ( all this was decided with weeks before the deadlines for applying to both professional schools) towards applying to law school. I did that for many reasons, including higher odds of getting to a given law school versus a given medical school program ( thus not having to spend more valuable time applying through multiple cycles of admission), the duration of time to complete the education, the ability to stay in Toronto for family reasons, the timing of admissions and the writing of the MCAT/LSAT, etc. I wrote the LSAT, waited and waited, and now that chapter is all done with and I await to see how the next chapter turns out. I can empathize with a lot of your concerns. I understand the job market prospects, and I understand the potentially difficult lifestyle that could come with the work. I understand the magnitude of some of the sacrifices that might arise on my path, and some of those sacrifices having to be made by those around me as well. There will be foreseeable and unforeseeable obstacles in my path, and I do not seeing this being easy. However, I have now committed to this journey and will do everything that is within my power to make the most of it. With that said, whatever happens will happen and I must mentally be able to be content with the eventual outcome. For me, the risk was worth it due to the allure and possibility of attaining the outcome(s) of the different potential paths that this decision could yield. I guess you have to estimate and ponder all this as well. Good luck in any case!
  8. 2 points
    The absolute worst is the people that list "hanging out with family and friends". First of all, duh. We all like the people we like. That's not an interest. Second, I don't know your friends, Kristen. How do you think that conversation is going to go? "Okay, so seriously is Carmen ever going to find a guy that she doesn't just find endless fault with? What is wrong with her honestly? Tristan was pretty good for her I thought." That's what gets me about the travelling, reading, cooking, lifting... whenever you list an interest, try to pick something (or write it in such a way) that allows me to have a follow-up comment that keeps the conversation going. Here's what goes wrong: You get the point, right? If the only question you're going to get leads to "that sounds nice" within two questions, you're not really setting yourself up for an A+ interview. If these are your actual interests, give us something we can sink our teeth into so that we can have a real conversation. Give me a heads-up so that I can come up with a fruitful question for you in advance. "Nonfiction reading (post-WWII Europe)" <-- See, we can talk about history, politics, authors, ideas. Much better than just describing a literary experience I haven't shared. "Travelling (Cruises)" <-- Here we can talk about shows, ports, the food, how you pick a trip, secret tips for getting the best cabin (or whatever, I don't know cruises), etc. Much more fruitful than "I went to a beach and laid down on it". "Cajun Cooking" <-- Here I can ask you about trips, your family, what "real" Cajun food is, how you got into something so specific, etc. And you can be ready for a more specific question. "Powerlifting" <-- Much better than "working out", I can ask you how competitive you are, why you chose that and not bodybuilding, what your specialty is, how often you find time to train... To be sure, blowing this section of your resume doesn't cost you anything. But you can really help yourself out if you give your interviewer the ammunition they need to engage with you. If you leave your interests vague and generic the only result is going to be an awful lot of you answering broad, sweeping questions that will make you feel untethered. It continuously baffles me that people seem surprised when I ask them questions about their interests. It's like they're thinking, "What? I told you I like cooking. I just like it. What's with all the questions?" That's the thing, Kristen, this isn't kindergarten. I'm not asking you for your favourite hobbies to prove that you can spell them. I'm asking you for conversation starters.
  9. 2 points
    Maybe some of the people who go to law school actually want to be lawyers? Like... they want to practice law? Just a hunch.
  10. 1 point
    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.
  11. 1 point
    I assume you're talking about Toronto OCIs. Short answer: No. The OCI recruitment procedure is, basically, the earliest that firms are permitted to conduct recruitment activities. In broad terms, firms that participate in OCIs are those that are large or consistently busy enough to have a sense of how many students they want to hire nearly a year in advance, want to scoop up the "top" candidates, etc. The OCI procedures provide structure for this early hiring scramble. Employers aren't required to participate in the OCI process, and lots of firms/employers don't participate in the OCI recruit, for various reasons. Maybe they aren't in a position to know, nearly a year in advance, how many articling students they'll want to hire, or if they'll be hiring at all. Maybe they just don't recruit that far in advance for other reasons. Maybe they want to hire at their own pace, and not be bound by Law Society regulations in that respect. These employers can hire at any time, and you're open to apply to their postings should you not secure a position in the OCI recruit. In broad terms, these employers which hire later on tend to be smaller or more specialized firms, or corporations, or regulatory bodies, or unions, or other less-traditional legal employers.
  12. 1 point
    I have an LLM (in the field of law I planned to/do practice in) and I got it right after my JD and before articling/getting Called. I doubt it has been the sole reason I got my articling position or my job after I got Called, but I was told by my principal that he found the LLM very impressive. I didn't do it to be more employable but rather because I wanted to and I enjoyed the area of law, but I think that it certainly can't have hurt my employability. (Not even remotely in the IP field so can't speak to anything specific to that field).
  13. 1 point
    Did you have prior litigation experience?
  14. 1 point
    I made a transition myself after articling, went from solicitor work into a litigation practice. Did it through sheer networking. Its difficult but very possible.
  15. 1 point
    It depends on whether the other firms participate in the OCI process, I believe. If they don't, I would assume they wouldn't be bound by LSUC's requirement for OCIs
  16. 1 point
    Not at all, you can absolutely keep looking if you don’t get something through OCIs. There are tons of people who don’t find a job through OCIs and find something later.
  17. 1 point
  18. 1 point
    i know its from 2016 but she also said "synical" so theres the straw that broke the camels back
  19. 1 point
    Where are you coming from? What mode of transportation will you take? Will you rent a car from where you are or rent a car in the cities you plan to visit? Ottawa is the second largest city in Ontario. You won't see much if you are not driving.
  20. 1 point
    Uh, because I'm criticizing what I think is an unreasonable inference by employers? I'm pretty sure there's nothing wrong with recommending on one hand "don't go out at night, it's unsafe" but on the other hand investigating a problem with the unsafe streets. Not that this is analogous, but I think you can take my point that recommending while also being critical of the thing underlying the recommendation are two separate things.
  21. 1 point
    TL;DR: making law more accessible and more inviting to people who will serve underserved areas requires either: lowering cost of law school (tuition, debt, lowering time needed, etc.) and government or other economic support to make it viable to work in underserved areas (e.g. if your clients can't afford to pay you, doesn't matter if you're providing a needed service). For Ryerson, if even one person per year does manage to make it to an underserved area (geographic or area of law or both), because the tuition is lower than U of T or Osgoode, isn't that a good thing? Making a very rough analogy to RMC or committing to military service to get funding for one's degree. My recollection (this is years ago from people who discussed it, I assume it's the same now though subject to correction, in US there was some pushback when someone was going to get out of commitment by pro sports team paying money?) is that one is obliged to serve, or repay for education. So why not the "Northern Exposure" approach, make a whole lot of additional law school or medical school placements available to people who are qualified but fall just below the cutoff, if they commit to X years serving in a rural area? Or repay everything with a bonus, like if they get a lucrative law firm job. Well, here's one why not. Unlike medicine, and even if someone gets a lot from legal aid, there's not the same government control of and payments in the market. Let's say a lawyer goes to an underserved area after articling and opens up shop. If people can't afford to pay them, how's that going to work? There has to be additional money made available, and that's not something governments are particularly inclined to do generally, let alone for legal advice. Even if there's an income-contingent repayment loan, they still need to make enough to live, run a business, etc. If not, even if they stick it out the X years, they'll be leaving as soon as they can - if they can, if they haven't been sentenced to a lifetime of being unable to find work or succeed as a solo elsewhere due to lack of credit/money to make a go of it after years scraping by? Like, to adapt/simplify an anecdote, I knew slightly someone with the marks to work at a large Toronto law firm, but as soon as a (very rare!) opportunity came up in their home town with a lawyer there, they dropped everything and moved back, because they genuinely wanted to and such opportunities were vanishingly rare. I'm sure there are many people who'd like to work in and serve rural areas, but a combination of debt, need to live, and far fewer rural jobs, mean they can't. What would make law more accessible as a profession, and lawyers more accessible to clients, is lowering the cost of law school. Whether by lowering tuition, lowering time required to get a law degree (it's much longer than necessary), making debt forgiveness or reduction easier, multiple things, whatever. Merely saying, refine the formula to admit people who genuinely want to go to underserved areas doesn't help if they can't afford to. And if someone e.g. excels in law school and clerks and wants to go to a big firm now, what's wrong with that? If Ryerson has (as I think is the stated intent?) a significantly lower tuition than U of T or Osgoode, doesn't that to at least some extent make a less lucrative practice more viable for graduates, and thus at least to some extent improves access to law of potential clients (and would-be lawyers to the profession, because lower tuition)?
  22. 1 point
    if you have the ability to why not? the 3 schools mentioned are all linked by via railways. You could plan something around that, if you don't want to drive. You'll get a mental picture of what you are dealing with e.g. the campus, the surrounding city, etc. to help determine where you might like going. Take friends/family, make it a road trip(s) and have fun😁
  23. 1 point
    So you guys are saying I shouldn't endorse your data management skills?
  24. 1 point
    Accepted off the waitlist last Friday (August 10th)! Originally 19th on the waitlist in May
  25. 1 point
  26. 1 point
  27. 1 point
    No, I think Sauder would be the best option. I think they curve grades around a 75% average which is reasonably high, although obviously the program is competitive. I’m not sure how competitive transferring is. Failing that, I would stay at SFU and take fewer classes. I don’t recommend taking Arts because I think you’ll find it a lot harder than expected to do well at this point and if you’re enjoying business, I think it makes sense to continue with it. Plus business is a more versatile degree and you’re probably going to have to take at least an extra year if you swap to Arts in order to have enough credits in whatever major you pick. It doesn’t seem worth it and I think you’re overestimating the likelihood of doing well in Arts (just considering you’re not currently an Arts major). I know the grade conversion sucks but most people who attend UBC Law have managed to overcome it. Your other option is to try to kill it on the LSAT.
  28. 1 point
  29. 1 point
    Yeah I thought the choice of "Goldstein" was interesting, as opposed to Smith, or McDonald, or Woloski....
  30. 1 point
    Man... that Kristen really blew her interview. I interviewed someone who listed "trashy reality TV" as an interest, and gave examples of what are likely some of the most notoriously trashy reality shows. It just so happened that both I and my co-interviewer watched one of them, and it turned into an excellent conversation-starter. I actually respected the confidence I imagine it took to include something like that, which wouldn't necessarily resonate well or reflect positively with every audience - high risk, high reward, in that case.
  31. 1 point
    #52 accepted! AAAAAAAAAAAA - so excited! Best of luck to everyone else waiting.
  32. 1 point
    Can confirm the accuracy of this -- I was #64 and I'm currently #1 on the revised list. I'm keep my fingers crossed for myself as well as everyone else here.
  33. 1 point
    Was originally 65/298, revised now at 2/158
  34. 1 point
    While it's great that TWU has dropped the covenant, I still don't want them accredited. We shouldn't be allowing private religious institutions to train secular professionals. Private universities, especially religious universities, create long-term accessibility problems. If TWU were accredited, that would mean that Christians would have 17 schools to apply to, and non-Christians (or LGBT+ people or whoever else devout Christians don't like) would only have 16. Even if it's not mandatory, it's still a legal education that is intertwined with one particular religious tradition to the exclusion of others. The legal profession is formally independent, but the legal system is a concrete expression of state power, and the law is a profession with a unique public interest. Allowing religious institutions to train lawyers is against the principle of separation of religious and secular state function, or at the very least against the principles of anti-discriminatory ethics and secularism in law.
  35. 1 point
    Do whatever you need to do to get to where you want to be. If you have a lot of debt and want to do corporate to help pay it off, go ahead and do it. I'm not of the mind that you need to have a genuine interest in something to do it. Do whatever is most practical for your life. Plus, you can switch lanes if you choose to once you've paid off your debt or gotten close to. Not like you always have to be in the same area of law. Granted, it'd probably be like a step backwards if you decide to do something else later, but these are sacrifices you'd need to make if you want to get rid of your debt quicker. Heed the warning of others, though, if you do require some interest in what you're doing in order to do it well and bare through it.
  36. 1 point
    To OP (and others) never count yourself out of an interview! You have NO IDEA what recruiters are looking for. Why would you NOT apply? You're making a cover letter for other firms anyway, why not throw a cover letter at a firm. Don't apply to firms where you have absolutely no demonstrable interest in their practice area, but apply broadly otherwise. I never understand why a student with average/slightly below average marks would count themselves out without trying. Be realistic in your expectations but don't shoot yourself in the leg before the race even begins :@ *rant over
  37. 1 point
    If you want to go to law school it doesn't make a difference long-term whether you get in this year, or next, or the year after, or even the year after. Getting into law school is very difficult. There are a LOT of amazing applicants. I have talked to extremely smart people who didn't get in anywhere. And then there are people at my law school who I am surprised got in, based on their work ethic and attitude (I am talking about those that I have worked with directly - I am aware you can't judge someone based on their classroom conduct, how often you see them study, even by how many OCIs they got, etc.). A lot of people who deserve to get in, do not get in. If your stats are "good enough" you need to try again. However I do have a couple tough points that apply to applicants with low LSAT scores and low grades. 1. HOLISTIC ACCEPTANCE: This does not mean that they toss away your grades and LSAT score to focus on your extra-curriculars, personal statement and work experience. It means that your extra-curriculars etc. are viewed as giving you an edge over equal/similar applicants who are less well-rounded, or actually show that you're very committed to a certain area of law. For example: There are two candidates with the same shaky grades and lower LSAT score. Both claim to be very into social justice issues. Candidate A has volunteered with homeless people for years, did an MA in social work, wrote a major paper on a relevant issue, etc. Candidate B played sports at a university level and volunteered at a soup kitchen once a week. Candidate A has a much stronger and more believable case, and will be preferred over Candidate B. And then there is Candidate C, with a 170 LSAT and a near perfect GPA. Candidate C will be admitted regardless of their interests or extra-curricular activities. 2. LSAT: If your LSAT score is weak, you need to do everything you can to raise it. Seriously. Especially if your GPA is shaky/borderline. I worked full-time in a major city overseas while studying for the LSAT. It meant that I was writing practice sections on my lunch break, after work when I was dog tired, and on weekends when what I really wanted to do was explore the city. I am not trying to preach about my abilities, because I could not have gone through all that without a private tutor. Yes, I funded it with money I earned at my job. I highly, HIGHLY recommend a private tutor to get an edge. They are a much better investment than any course. The LSAT is to be taken seriously. If you're struggling, own it, and fix it. If you aren't working, then you have the luxury of taking more time to address your weaknesses on your own, joining study groups, etc. TL;DR: I worked full-time while studying for the LSAT and did very well because I had a private tutor who encouraged me, and taught me tips and tricks with sections I was struggling with. I recommend looking into if you're struggling. 3. GPA: If your GPA is low, you need something extraordinary to balance it out, like extensive work experience, a very high LSAT, extraordinary abilities in some field, etc. Or you need to do a second BA. Or you need to do an MA. If you don't have the other experience, can't go to school again and get better grades, you're very likely out of luck for law school unless you start building up your work experience. I had about a C average during my first two years of undergrad. I realized that if I continued on my path I would not get into law school. In my last two years, I hustled, stopped partying and wasting time, did what I had to do and got all A/A-'s. I obtained a very high standing in my MA. I would not have gotten into law school if I hadn't started working very hard at school. Consider it this way. Law schools do not want to take in students who have a poor academic track record, because it makes it very easy to infer that these students will perform poorly in law school. The school would not be doing their due diligence if they did not try everything they could to matriculate capable professionals. It is easier to get into law school than medical school but I also like to think about it this way: I wouldn't want anyone less than a human-robot operating on my heart, brain, or spine. Med schools have incredibly strict admissions standards for a reason. Law schools have high admissions standards for a reason too. They want to matriculate people who are analytical, focused, good writers, etc. etc. People who are capable of using these skills to earn a living and serve the business community, the government, be a facilitator of justice, etc. etc. This is completely understandable. It is unfair to expect a law school to take a chance on you with low stats. It's up to you to improve them.
  38. 1 point
    Clearly you are unfamiliar with government hiring processes, because this is very believable.
  39. 1 point
    Sad, but true. I, an anonymous internet commenter, failed to take the high road when a former Cabinet minister tweeted about her 30 year old law school grades.
  40. 1 point
    Ignore people like this. They pretentiousness on these forums is appalling.
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