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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/18/18 in Posts

  1. 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.
  2. 13 points
    Pay your employees. To any students reading this, having prior law firm experience is entirely unnecessary to getting hired at a large firm and more often than not is not at all a deciding factor. You're better off earning some money and getting any form of work experience than giving away your labour for free to someone that wants to take advantage of it for the promise of "exposure". Read up before you work "for exposure": https://www.theguardian.com/education/2018/jul/09/creative-careers-is-it-ever-worth-working-for-exposure https://www.forbes.com/sites/lizryan/2017/03/13/no-i-wont-work-for-free-for-the-exposure/#6af4dab64402 https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/10926-no-working-for-free.html
  3. 12 points
    I think the starting question here was both original and interesting, and so it's a shame this discussion has so quickly spiraled into the usual patterns. I'll answer the original question first, before I contribute to further derailment. Speaking as a criminal defence lawyer in sole practice, I am happy with my income at present. It's also improved lately. I wasn't unhappy with it previously, but I can see how I might have become unhappy with my income before too long if it was entirely stagnant at the level it was at with no clear path to improvement. And that is, undoubtedly, one of the frustrations and difficulties with self-employment. When you work for someone else there are milestones clearly in front of you. If nothing else there's the reasonable and rational prospect of an annual raise that should be by at least some small margin greater than inflation. When you work for yourself ... well, Legal Aid hasn't raised their tariff rates in several years now. So if you do a lot of Legal Aid and aren't working more or bringing in more private clients, you're actually making less in real terms every year. That's got to hurt. I don't want to speak too specifically to criminal defence right now, and in practical terms I know very little about personal injury law or what the income is like. But I will theorize that part of the difference is between self-employment in crim and working in an organized firm in PI. Because PI is certainly not "Big Law" in a true sense, but it's bigger than crim. Working as an associate locks you in at a reasonable mid-point. A firm has to pay associates at least reasonably well or no one with even half a brain would take the work. But I wonder about the upper-end prospects for anyone who doesn't become a partner or start their own practice successfully - and launching a practice in that field is still harder than crim. Meanwhile, the entry point for crim and the entry-level income is lower. But when you're doing your own thing in crim you can end up with a very good income in the future, and beholden to no one. I'm not talking only about the Marie Heneins and the Alan Golds. There are a lot of higher end criminal lawyers that no one outside the field has heard of that earn very good incomes. Their practice isn't flashy but it is lucrative. And for whatever it's worth, it's a hell of a lot more dignified than PI work. At some point KingLouis and I might take this off-line, because the rest of what I have to say would be very specific. But just because you can't easily see the path forward in sole practice doesn't mean it isn't there. I'm hardly an authority on this topic. But I'm far more confident than I was in the earliest stages. Now on the topic of the derail, I'll just say that shawniebear's tone rubs me the wrong way also, but he's at least put his finger on the real issue. He says that what's good enough for most people - even the large majority of people - is simply not good enough for him. That's fine. I mean, it isn't an attitude I can easily deal with when it's stated so nakedly and embraced so fully, but let's at least allow that he's set a starting point for his assumptions. If you feel the only way to live properly is to have far more than most people around you, then it's certainly your right to pursue an income appropriate to your "needs." But I think it's also more respectful to state these self-identified needs as such, rather than implying that most everyone else around you are stupid losers who have settled for table scraps and lives of failure. To be perfectly honest, I'd have a lot of trouble going back to a "normal" income myself, now. But I also know that I could do it if I had to, and it wouldn't make me miserable. There's so much more to life than money. And it's a privilege to be able to say that, and to focus on things in life that aren't about food, shelter, immediate safety, etc. But that's a privilege we all enjoy even on what passes as a modest income in Canada. Once those safety needs are taken care of, it's simply wrong to describe the rest of what you want as a need of any sort. It's a priority you choose to have. And if that's where your priorities lie, that's your choice and I'm really not going to suggest you need to apologize for it. But I will say that these priorities inevitably compete with other priorities, and as I point out often when you focus on X you invariably need to give up Y. Money has a way of obscuring that trade-off sometimes, and it can be dangerous. Don't lose sight of what you are passing up to earn more money. I guess it comes down to this. There are people in law - even a large number, I suspect - to whom earning potential is a huge draw into the field. Again, I truly won't denigrate them as a group. But when you introduce their attitude into a discussion as though it's the only reasonable way of looking at income at all ... yeah, that's going to start arguments. It implies that a lawyer who isn't making a large income (large by any ordinary definition) is somehow a failure. And I know lawyers who live very modest lives but have successful careers by any definition I care to apply - they are busy, respected, fulfilled, and do important work. Does it really matter so much if they go home to a rented apartment? Maybe it matters to you. But don't imply that they're wrong and you're right. And also, I work with and represent clients, quite often, who just don't have much. I know I'm more successful than they are. I know I have far more. But I don't feel better than my clients. I truly don't. I'm not a superior breed of human being who needs to spend $8 on a cup of coffee every time they spend $2. If I felt that way, I couldn't do my job properly anymore. Anyway, that's it.
  4. 12 points
    Boy do you have an interesting view on life. I get COL is high in Toronto. But to say 75k a year (a single person salary) is nothing is just so crazy to me. And both my parents are professionals. I'm not saying this even from personal experience. I just have my eyes open enough to know how ridiculous that sounds.
  5. 12 points
    I don't have any answers for you, but I love the honesty. I have no doubt that this thread will get juicy.
  6. 11 points
    That is a ridiculous statement. It depends on the relative returns of real estate vs whatever you invest in.
  7. 11 points
    Essay based exams aren't especially common compared to hypothetical style questions, although some profs do include one such question on an exam (generally worth much less than the hypothetical). Scoring rubrics are very common. I don't know what you mean when you ask about hitting on all of the points and getting "full marks." No one ever hits on all of the points. I've literally never seen it before. I've never even seen someone come especially close for that matter. But more importantly, law schools generally have a B curve, so if most students were to hit on most points, they would still get Bs. Writing style doesn't tend to matter much, although if the writing falls apart too much, then you can cease to make your substantive points clearly, which will affect your grade. Multiple choice exams are very, very uncommon. Just because there is subjectivity doesn't mean that something is "arbitrary". You might disagree with the way that the marker approaches grading assignments, but their method isn't arbitrary as long as some sort of method was used (as opposed to grades being randomly assigned, for example). You cannot "know" that the time you put into readings will be "directly correlated" to your grades, but it has nothing to do with "arbitrariness". Some people just get things quicker than others, some people work smarter than others, some people are more focused when they read, etc. I don't think it can really hurt you to spend more time rather than less doing readings (unless you are working so much that you are sleep deprived or something of that nature), but you can't expect it to pay off. Most of your classmates will be working fairly hard, most of them are smart, and all of you will generally all be on a B curve. Anecdotally, some of my worst students have been very hard working and some of my best students have been slackers. It seems quite difficult to predict. Regardless of how law school exams are graded, you can't be sure that you will do well. You will probably end up with a whole bunch of Bs, just like most other people in law school. That's just the way it goes. As for wanting to see a past exam, google it. There are tons online.
  8. 10 points
    That feeling when you have a couple of festive soda-pops with the lads, only to come home a little wobbly-legged, log-in to OASIS and realize that you've been accepted to Osgoode! Not sure if it's the excitement or the beer, but I'm gonna go wake up all my neighbours now. Mature Student cGPA: 3.33 (from false-start 20 years ago) L2: 3.96 LSAT: 167 Softs: University Senate, volunteer work, novelist, dad
  9. 10 points
    Highly exploitative thread. I'm reporting it and calling out OP for being sneaky and preying on unsuspecting undergrad students who don't know better. Shame on you.
  10. 9 points
    1. Condo in the borders of the City of Toronto = Toronto condo. Not to mention not everyone works downtown etc. And whining about an hour commute? I know people who commute longer driving, let alone by transit. 2. You didn't say some lawyers, you said "most" lawyers have to drive to different courts. And now you're conceding it's a luxury - albeit a "minimum luxury" whatever that means. For someone with children it may change the analysis, but lots of professionals don't need a car even if they choose to own one, regularly taking transit or even biking to work (have health club membership and shower there, etc.). 3. If you want to argue that you won't be happy without earning at least $150K or whatever, go ahead. But to redefine what Toronto means and consider luxuries as necessities and so on greatly weakens the arguments you have about the broader picture. 4. Again etc., I'm not going to argue phone plans etc. Look, if you're saying that you will only be happy with owning a downtown condo close enough to work to walk but you'll own a car anyway, spending nearly a thousand a month on groceries, and so on, I can't say you're wrong, because I don't know you. But I'll certainly argue you're wrong to extend that to presuming that all people (or all lawyers?) need all of that to be happy, and without it they're doomed to a life of abject misery and toil or whatnot.
  11. 9 points
    TL;DR: read only bolded text. I'm not in employment law, I don't know the jurisdiction, and even if I did I wouldn't be giving legal advice, nor presuming to advise whether or not to discuss this with an employer or not. I do wonder, however, if someone had strong reasons not to wear a suit for (1) particular cultural dress; (2) gender non-conforming dress (i.e. either wearing a suit, or not wearing a suit but wearing dress, skirt, etc., depending); (3) was e.g. a double-leg amputee and wore only a shirt and jacket with shorts not a suit with pants with empty legs; or (4) had religious reasons for different attire (observant Jews or Muslims wearing things in court not permitted to others, for instance, or violating an employer's usual dress code); would they receive more sympathetic consideration than OP? I'm not trying to pick on quoted posters, I'm just wondering about varying tolerances for accommodations based on unconscious uninformed judgment of the validity or importance of the underlying cause, even if the exact same accommodation (not wearing a suit) is in issue? I strongly suspect that many employers, including law firms, would react differently to the same accommodation (can't wear the usual expected formal attire) rather differently without even thinking about it (i.e. unconsciously/unintentionally). Also, I wonder how much of a hardship it really is to not wear a suit with clients. I can't recall having read about the suit issue specifically, but have certainly read about junior lawyers or articling students with unusual hairstyles (e.g. as gender identity?) or piercings or tattoos or clothes being tolerated, and have seen senior people who, when meeting with clients, wore whatever they wanted even if everyone else was in a suit, because they knew their value and their employer would live with it whether they liked it or not. Or to put it another way, if something would be tolerated from a senior partner, is it really an undue hardship to tolerate it from an articling student or junior?
  12. 9 points
    I think I messed up my notification settings, so I'm just seeing these updates now. I know that others have addressed your comment generally but I thought I should also take a minute to respond and add my perspective, since you were responding to my post. In addition to the totally valid points that others have raised regarding physical healing, breastfeeding, and practical considerations like childcare, we should think seriously about your implication that women and men are making different "decisions" about taking time off. One of the key ideas in this thread a recognition of the fact that women and men do not have the same options regarding parental leave in private practice. If I (as a female associate) had a child tomorrow, my firm would compensate me for 17 weeks of fully paid leave and would have no issue with my taking 52 weeks of total leave. If my husband worked at the same firm (or any other major Toronto firm like it, to the best of my knowledge), he would be compensated for 4 weeks of fully paid leave and would generally be expected to return to work following that 4 week leave. Perhaps if he pushed, he would be able to take further unpaid leave, but it wouldn't be the norm for a male associate to take additional unpaid time off in my workplace. On the other hand, a full year of leave (17 weeks paid and the balance only receiving EI) would be the default/assumed trajectory for a female associate. So when you say that they made different decisions (the implication being that they could have made the same decision, in which case they would have had the same result) - I don't really think that's a fair reading of the situation. In my opinion the relevant decision was to have a child, and the way that they progress through the system following that decision is different because of a host of factors that are not really within control of the parents (those factors being biological, societal, workplace-related, compensation-related, etc.). Conversely, as Erinl2 mentioned, there are some workplaces now offering benefits for the male parent to also take substantial leave, and I think those workplaces will see greater numbers of women advancing as a result (and happier families and employees generally, because as leafs_law has mentioned, this isn't just a "women's issue" - men want and deserve to have an opportunity to participate in parental leave programs too).
  13. 9 points
    You may have picked the wrong profession.
  14. 8 points
    You are just privileged. It's important you take a second to appreciate that. Don't call 75k "nothing". I know people working their tails off to provide a good life for their families on 40k a year. Yes they live in Toronto. Yes those kids still live good childhoods. It's not "nothing".
  15. 8 points
    It's one thing to try to justify an online UK law degree, but to denigrate lawyers who graduated from Canadian schools seems a lot like sour grapes.
  16. 8 points
    @OP - I suspect this thread won't end up going well, because you've mixed in a lot of concrete complaints and some arguable claims that people will be tempted to, well, argue with, along with your immediate call for help. But I hope that others, like the first two to reply, will focus on the call for help rather than the arguments we can have (and do have, ad nauseam, elsewhere) about the state of the Canadian legal market. All I can add is that things do have a way of working out in the end. And it's hard to see when you're in the middle of it, but eventually you'll end up at a place where you feel good about where you are again, and you'll see that the whole journey, even the parts that may objectively be "bad" decisions, are part of what got you there. When that happens, you'll be able to embrace even the mistakes in your past, because without them you likely wouldn't be in the same place - and like I said, once you are where you want to be, you wouldn't want to change how you got there. I know it can be hard to see that at certain points in your life, and believe me, I've been there. For me it wasn't my professional life, it was other stuff, but I'm confident the same principle applies and I've seen it in others' professional lives also. Life is a long game. It can be very hard when you feel like you've made mistakes you can't "fix" in some immediate sense. It's like that moment when you've been gambling for hours trying to win back your early losses and for hours you've managed to pretend those losses aren't real because you're only down in the moment, and soon you'll hit a winning streak that'll erase them all. That moment when you finally accept that your losses are real and there isn't some quick fix coming ... that sucks. But the next moment is when you get up from the table and get on with the rest of your life, and that feels a lot better. Life really is too complicated to think of it as some scorecard where you are clearly a "winner" or a "loser." We're all both, at different times, and in different ways. I guess I'm just saying, it gets better. It really does.
  17. 8 points
    Accepted Dec. 17. cgpa: 2.87 LSAT: 166 Professional engineer with 8 years experience in oil and gas. Solid references and several long term EC’s in the community. Honestly, I am a little surprised to hear back when I did considering the low cgpa.
  18. 8 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.
  19. 7 points
    Most countries' residential real estate markets aren't a cum dump for Chinese kleptocrats.
  20. 7 points
    If your employer would fire you over a bona fide clothing request, your employer likely has other issues with you, or isn't an employer you want to work for anyways. Wearing a suit isn't a bona fide job requirement in any profession. Period. This is the same bullshit people would give 50 years ago for not hiring persons of colour. "I mean, I'm not a racist, but my clients totally are, and you'd be bad for business. Sorry I can't hire you."
  21. 7 points
    I got through to someone. "Referred for Review" just means the university has the application and they are putting in the information. She indicated that it should not read this way on the portal and that they are working on fixing it. "Referred - Admissions Committee" means the previous step has occurred, been completed, and the contents of the application are given to the law school for review. The law school has nothing to do with the former step.
  22. 7 points
    In today! Category: General (filled out part B) cgpa: (as calculated by OLSAS) 3.75 LSAT: (July) 148 (September) 148 (November) 156. Strong LORs and extra curriculars. Congratulations everyone and good luck to those still waiting!
  23. 7 points
    I wanted to share my story with you, it's not entirely the same as your situation but I think it would interest you. During the first three years after high school I studied in Arts and Sciences and I was forced to withdraw twice from the program. I basically failed every course I took. I think I have something like 13 or 14 F's on my transcript and only like a couple passing grades from those three years. I took time off to figure myself out and then returned when I was finally serious. I changed to the business program and completed my degree in four years. I averaged a 3.6/4.0 over these four years, but this still only brought my cGPA up to 2.6/4.0. I wrote the LSAT once and scored a 166. I'm definitely not competitive at every school across the country with my stats, but there are many schools that I am. I have already received offers at four schools for 2019 and I'm hoping to receive some more. My advice to you would be to go take a couple more years of undergrad courses so you have at least a solid L2 GPA. The cumulative GPA won't matter as much once you have shown that the previous years are not a true reflection of your academic potential. Your LSAT score is incredible and with even a decent L2 would have to make your application hard to overlook. Then focus on applying at L2 schools and schools that drop enough credits to make you competitive like Calgary, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Dal, UNB, Western, Queen's, Manitoba. Manitoba actually has a "Request for Elimination" you can submit. Based on certain factors you can request to exclude a previous program or portion of your transcript. Also, depending on your reasons for your poor performance before maybe you would be a good candidate for a "discretionary" application at some of the cGPA based schools? Anyway, just wanted to provide you with some hope. I have a 2.6 cGPA, a 166 LSAT and 4 offers already.
  24. 7 points
    I used to be a big law associate. I went on a year-long secondment to a very important client, which was not entirely my choice. It was so important to the firm that I come back from the secondment that the client entered into a no poaching agreement with the firm. I came back, energized about resuming my position with the firm and building on my relationship with the client as external counsel. Not only was I not welcomed back with any enthusiasm, I was largely ignored, to the point that I left just over a year later. At the time I came back, another associate (same year, same working group), went on a leave of absence to travel. He came back just as I was leaving. By all accounts, that associate was back up to a full practice within weeks. Guess which gender each of us is. This isn't just about mat leave.
  25. 7 points
    Subtitle: “The devastating consequences of the United States's nonexistent maternity leave provisions.”
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