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  1. 42 points
    Yes, your girlfriend is a bitch and you're better off without her. You asked the wrong question. Does it really matter whether this is some extraordinary opportunity that comes along once in a lifetime, rather than a merely decent opportunity that happens to suit you well? Is that really what matters? Like, you can justify ending your relationship for the former but not the later? If your girlfriend is telling you to leave by Friday if you won't stay with her, there's no future there that you want. And I don't know if you need further motivation at this point, but small town girls will definitely drop their panties easily for the new lawyer in town. Hell, their mothers will make sure they look extra easy before sending them out to meet you. Just sayin. Good luck.
  2. 33 points
    Wow guys. So, update: took the job and got kicked out tonight. The hometown in question is 90K-100K in population. I am, unfortunately, a heterosexual male.
  3. 33 points
    I think this ties into discussions had earlier about whether criminal defence is welcoming to women, etc. Here is a classic example of a male criminal defence lawyer who can come across as progressive and empathetic on a host of issues but then talks about women as "small town sampler platters" being "easy and dropping their panties" for any old male lawyer. And to say you would say this in a professional office setting? Now imagine being a female articling student or junior lawyer working with a few guys like this and not being able to say anything, or having three male co-counsel like this. That's what it's like to be a female defence lawyer and sometimes it gets really tiresome having to hear this crap because it's a reminder that our profession is still an old boys' club.
  4. 31 points
    It's an old, old joke, but... Q. What do you call the person who graduated last in their class in medical school? A. Doctor. OP, you have passed all of your classes. You're moving on to second year, and with it, your dream of becoming a lawyer is coming closer. Yes, those aren't great marks. You should take the summer for some reflection, probably talk with other students and some of your professors to try and determine how you can improve. And yes, there are some articling jobs that are very mark-dependent that you probably won't be able to get (though strong 2L marks will make up for a lot). But even then - lets take the worst case scenario and say you graduate with a C to C+ average, somewhere near the bottom of your class. You've still graduated! Show some hustle, look for articling jobs that aren't going to be so focused on law school marks, and ask yourself what other way do you have to really market yourself to employers and potential clients. Once you're a lawyer I can assure you that no one ever asks to see your transcripts.
  5. 29 points
    Hi everyone, Just thought I'd make a thread about this to spread some awareness. It's caused a little awkwardness from time to time so I'm putting it out there in the student universe. Some of us out here adhere to the "Senior Call Pays" rule, an old legal-profession tradition where it falls upon the master to feed and board the apprentice. In your legal career, you will often (but maybe not usually) find senior lawyers paying for your coffee, drink, meal, cab, etc. without asking first. If that happens, just say thanks. Unless you're really upset, I'd suggest you don't insist and pull out your wallet. It's a good tradition and one that works out well with the parallel tradition of young lawyers being deeply in debt and senior lawyers being affluent. Plus, it's often the case that the senior lawyer is getting reimbursed from the file you're working on or a mentoring budget, etc. (This goes double on Bay Street. I know those of us from more modest backgrounds are taken aback at the idea that a stranger that's doing us a favour would spend $75 on a lunch for us --- but we're also not familiar with the idea of being able to lose $5,000 out of your savings account without even noticing, so.) I get this the most when I get a PM asking for a coffee chat. Because of the structure of my days, I'll often bump it to a lunch or drinks or something. I remember what it's like being a broke student --- I'm only a marginally less broke associate now (daycare is expensive!) I'm not going to force you to meet me in a place where the drinks start at $14 and then let you get the bill. Come on now. Just pay it forward when it's your turn. Sometimes that's going to mean you're getting drinks for a table of five. Sucks, but you got free stuff earlier. Time value of money.
  6. 29 points
    It's hard to believe I'm already this far out from being a summer student. It feels like I was just that little bucket of nerves a few weeks ago. For context, I'm a fifth-year litigation associate at a Bay Street firm. (Actually, crap, I'm about to be a sixth; we'll be hiring the fifth round of associates under me in the next two weeks. Good God.) There's some great advice in here already, but my perspective has adapted a bit as I've gotten more and more distant from the experience of summering, and gained some understanding of what partners are thinking and what their needs are. (I haven't quoted everyone and I might overlap on some existing responses, but these are the main things that occurred to me as I was reading through the thread.) All Firms Are Different: The dreaded 'culture' word raises its ugly head. All firms do the same work and look the same on paper, but their cultures are actually quite different. I read with some horror about the 'scooping' of work that was going on at Harvey's firm. If anyone was undercutting other students at my firm, it would be apparent quickly and that student would not be doing well with the partnership. But our system is built to be highly collegial rather than highly competitive, and if there's a rift in the student population we're rigged to see it early. We don't have the Pearson Specter Litt 'bullpen of conspiracy' going on. As students, we would actually hold off on taking work if it sounded like something Susan would have wanted to do. That might sound like a brag, but it has its drawbacks too. Our students' collegiality can sometimes devolve into a casual approach to work and collaboration, which I imagine is much less of a risk in a more cutthroat environment. And we're not doing it to be bunnies and rainbows; we have a sound strategic business purpose for fostering maximum cooperation and community-building. Solve The Problem Part 1 - Actually Deal With The Problem: The most important thing you need to do is change your mindset from question-answering to problem-solving. Whenever we ask you to do something, it's because we're in a situation where we need your help. When you come back with your assignment, please make sure you have actually provided that help. Apply this thinking to all situations. See above, where everyone is suggesting, "Sorry I can't help you, but I've checked around and Amir and Susan can"? They're showing you an iteration of this principle. I'm not asking, "hey, out of curiosity can you help me with this project?" I'm saying, "I need help with this project and I'm coming to you with that problem." Saying 'no' with a cool apology is legit, but it isn't actually helping; you've just sent me away with the same problem. Saying 'no' with contact information has gotten me closer to having my problem solved. I tip my cap to the students that save me that half-hour of muddling around with a staffing decision. The example I always give is of the student that was asked to note up a section of the Evidence Act that permits the introduction of government records into evidence without having to be sworn by a government employee. After three weeks, the student came back advising me that there were no cases on that point. He was right. There were, however, hundreds of cases on the specific subsection dealing with it. And obviously there must have been those cases --- obviously government records get into court somehow. See, he answered the question, but didn't help me at all. I might have asked him, "note up Section X"; but what I wanted help with was finding a way to get those records into evidence. Try to understand the 'why' behind every assignment, so that you can provide the help you're asked for; or even add value. More often than not, lawyers (and especially associates) don't even know the right questions to ask. You can become a superstar if you regularly show up in people's offices showing them a thoughtful assessment of the best thing to do next, rather than just performing a function and receding back into your charging station. (Just make sure you don't spend dozens of extra hours chasing a lead --- check in before stumbling down a rabbit hole you weren't asked to investigate.) Solve The Problem Part 2 - Deal With The Problem Yourself: Don't be Lily. Lily is a kid I saw at a family picnic once that ran up to her mom in a panic and said, "Mom, there's a bee!" No one knew where the bee was, or what was to be done about said bee, but we were all officially on notice about the bee situation. I get three or four Lilies in each articling class. They run into my office and tell me they screwed something up, and they stare at me with wild, panicked doe eyes waiting for me to fix it for them. But they were hired because they are among the leading intellects of their generation. And yet, decades of performatted education with defined performance parameters and minimal real-world work experience has left them not incapable of proactive problem-solving, but unfamiliar with that process. When the process breaks or something goes wrong with the superstructure of an assignment, they run to the teacher. Are they capable of solving these problems? Absolutely. Are they dumb for not doing it? Absolutely not. But they seem to have this trained reflex to report to authority rather than assuming it themselves. Confidence is a factor too, of course. Scenario: A student sends out an affidavit with some privileged notes in it and comes screaming up to me: "Mom, there's a bee!" Here's what you ought to do. Get a draft without the notes ready. Attach it to a quick e-mail advising opposing counsel of the issue and asking them to destroy the original and advising that a fresh copy is on its way. Then call me and let me know what the problem is and what you plan to do about it. I might have a better idea, but I also might just have to say "ok, go ahead". If you've prepared a solution, you can minimize the impact of your error on me to near-zero. If you just rush into my office saying there's a bee, we have to discuss the problem and hash out a solution together --- even when nine times out of ten I'm just sitting there coaching the student to reach the solution she would have reached on her own anyway. It's a huge waste of time. Solve The Problem Part 3 - Don't $%&* Me Over: The corollary of trying to solve my problems is trying even harder not to be my problems. I once gave someone a week to do an assignment and she came by three days in to tell me that she got started and realized that there's no way she can do this and meet her other, pre-existing commitments. That was a drag, and it cut down the next student's timeline by three days. But hey, you dealt with the issue and it all worked out. Seven out of ten. Competent job. Would work with again. But very often I run into the day-before or morning-of Liturgy of Excuses. At that point, just flip me off and strut laughing off to the bar. I mean, you might as well own it at that point. If you're creating an emergency for me, don't waste even more of my time explaining how really none of this was your fault. All I care about is getting that affidavit filed and you're no longer part of that equation. And don't get creative with it. I'll never forget homeboy that decided to pop into my office the day before a deadline and just alpha-male confirm with me that we agreed on a different, later deadline and is that made-up date still cool. I still don't know what he was thinking, like I would have forgotten what the deadline was? Say I gave him a deadline building in two days for review before my filing deadline. There's no way I would have agreed to a deadline three days later, after the thing was due to be filed. You're going to disappoint people. I still do. Often. Every day. At home and at work! But we're not high school principals; we're co-workers trying to get our own work done and you're doing a chunk of it. Give us the same heads-up you would give your friends on Law Review if you weren't going to make the editorial deadline and needed someone else to pick up the slack. Don't count on Future You to pull it off somehow. Do Good Work for Lots of People: This seems like it should go without saying, but it's a lot more complex than you think. Your hireback is a committee decision. Every firm does it differently but generally speaking there's something resembling a vote. Don't assume you know the politics of that situation. Did you work exclusively for the most important partner in the group? Great! Maybe she doesn't even remember your name, though. Or maybe the other partners are sick of her getting her pick of students and she has more than enough support already. Did you really ingratiate yourself into a subgroup? Fantastic! What's their work-in-progress looking like? Can they support more than 0.5 of an associate for the next three years under the current strategic plan? It's a good idea to have champions, but it's a great idea to make sure everyone in the department you're applying for knows your name and respects your work. If two people love you, that might be enough --- if they have enough pull and enough work that particular year to get you hired. Much better is to have one person absolutely adore you and everyone around the whole table agree that you're an asset. So, as difficult as it is, try to walk the line carefully in terms of taking on work. Try to work for a diversity of people while cultivating a key partner or two, but don't take on so much work that you disappoint half the people doing the hiring. Aim to be 80% busy (so that you only end up 125% busy). It's better to have Partner X pounding the table for you and 10 people nodding along than to have Partners X and Y advocating for you, four people nodding and Partners A and B mumbling about your lazy research. To The Extent Possible, Be Eager: Look, we've all been articling students and summer students. We know how much it sucks to be told on Friday afternoon that your weekend is ruined. It doesn't feel good to do that to someone, and more often than not, we do it to the students we like the most because we trust them in a crisis. We like doing that even less. You don't need to be a robot or pretend it doesn't suck, but it sure helps if you can bring some positive energy to the situation. Moping and pouting isn't a good look; it makes it hard to imagine you sticking with this job for very long. We're Going To Forget You're A Summer Student: I saw this up top, and I'm horrified at how bad I am for this. Now that many firms have first-year summer students, second-year summer students and articling students rotating through and interviewing in three different waves every year, I'm sorry. The months fly by here as we rush towards the next deadline and I can barely remember that it's Tuesday. I might know a student very well, but I might not have the capacity to always remember if I've seen someone for the last two years because they were a 1L or 2L summer two years ago. The more insidious part of this problem is in our expectations. We will always feel like we don't know too much. Impostor syndrome is common among Bay Street associates. I still kind of feel like a veteran articling student. But what that means is we don't appreciate how much we've learned until we interface with someone that hasn't learned it. Once you get to five years of call, you gradually start losing touch with how confusing it is to sort out what you're supposed to put in a Notice of Motion, or what kind of facts you can lay out in an affidavit. I'm always seeing partners frustrated with correcting students' vocabulary. ("There was no award made; there was an order issued.") It's little things like the wrong word in the wrong place that get more senior people frustrated. Don't let it get to you. They have to deal with it every day and you're not the only one that's still learning. Wherever you're confused about what a partner wants, consider popping in to see an associate. Sometimes we can give you a road map within five minutes that will save you three hours of procedural or precedential research. Just Pay Attention to Stuff: At every firm in every country forever, the #1 complaint of lawyers is that students aren't detail-oriented enough. Use spellcheck if you're not a strong writer. Don't use generic language where it isn't warranted. Assume every minor inaccuracy is a problem. For example, don't write in a memo "but this point is controversial" without following up with an explanation as to how and why; or "there are several cases on this point" without providing citations to show you know that for a fact. You're being asked to be extremely diligent in tracking down the most minor of details, and there's no substitute for spending the time to make sure it's right. What we want more than anything is to develop a level of trust with you that could justify giving you significant responsibility. We love it when that happens; it makes our life easier and we like helping you along to the next level. But that's hard to do when you spell the plaintiff's name wrong and your research is full of generalities and platitudes. It's a huge adjustment for everyone to get four big boxes of documents and be honest-to-God expected to look over all of it. And to be able to say, "No, Ms. Smith was not informed of that meeting" because you literally read all her e-mails. And when you saw an unfamiliar e-mail address in the cc: line, you pulled up that e-mail address and read all of those too. I just can't tell you how good it feels as an articling student and as a lawyer to be in a situation where the judge asks, "did Ms. Smith have any actual notice of this?" and to be able to make eye contact lawyer-to-student, shake your heads and reply confidently, "No, Your Honour." The scramble when the student is like, "I don't think so; I don't remember any" is a bad, bad feeling. It's a hard job. But it can be a really fun job. And we pay you a ridiculous amount of money at a ridiculously young age to compensate for the 'hard' part of that equation. So buckle up and work hard enough to give yourself confidence later, when you need to rely on the fruits of that hard work. Phew. There I go again with a huge post that was supposed to be short. Good luck out there!
  7. 27 points
    Today in court... (Note - I almost posted a thread called "Today in Court" for this content, and briefly imagined it could become a regular thing for me and/or others, but then quickly realized that it would lead to puncturing the anonymity many of us still prize, and/or problems with confidentiality. So this is a one-off and likely to remain so. It's also easier to leave it here.) So, today in court I was sitting around in the hallway with my vaguely aggravating client who was there so I could sort out some ridiculous thing that almost no other lawyer would ever bother doing and for which it was just about certain I would never get paid. This is a client who is factually guilty of stuff, including stuff I was there to help fix. He's pled guilty to crimes, he's been found guilty of crimes, and so he is, by any reasonable definition, a criminal. He's also making reasonable efforts to sort his life out, and when he isn't screwing up in stupid ways he has the potential to be a contributing member of society. A sketchy looking dude approached us in the hallway, and made the right sorts of noises to indicate that he wanted a private word with my client, who is also a kinda sketchy looking dude. I had the strong sense they didn't know each other, though I couldn't be sure. What's this guy want with my client, I'm wondering? Normally, in court, I'm the one getting random questions. I have a suit on and look like I know things. I do, in fact, know things. So it makes sense to approach a lawyer. But why the client? My two major theories at that point were that random sketchy dude was either asking whether the lawyer over there (me) was actually any good before asking for help, or else wanted to know where to find drugs. Client comes back. Turns out that sketchy looking dude just got out of custody and needed a TTC token to get home. So my client gave him one. He said he knew the guy was legit because he recognized the prison shoes (a detail I missed) and told me a story about how he once walked home in those shoes. They aren't good shoes, btw. Basically glorified slippers. And just like that my day was far, far better. Sure, I'm spending my time on something I'll never get paid for, and it's essentially charity. But the guy I'm spending my time on cares enough about other guys even worse off than him that he'll give them what he's got when they ask. And honestly, he looked like someone you could ask, much more than me, in my suit. Yes, many of my clients are factually, and legally, and by definition, criminals. So what? They can still be good people. They may be better people than others who have never been caught and convicted of a crime. Hell, they may even be better people than others who have never committed any crime at all (though few people can say that) but just live their lives as selfish assholes. Just something to remember, the next time you're tempted to say, to yourself or to others, that criminals deserve whatever happens to them and it doesn't matter how hard we step on them. It does matter. They are still people. In many cases they are good people. And honestly, right then and at that point in my day, I don't know if I'd have handed over a few bucks to the sketchy dude who approached me in the hallway. So he asked the right guy to lend him a hand. Not me - my client.
  8. 27 points
    If you want the job then take the job. It's a good offer and it sounds like you have a shot at being happy there. Sorry about the girlfriend. That ultimatum crap is juvenile and mean. It's your heart in play, so your call, but I think your brain is probably the one with the better plan here. (Diplock: the idea is to raise the bar for dialogue among our colleagues here, not to lower it.)
  9. 26 points
    Let's remember our #1 rule here. For anyone who has forgotten, it's Do Not Be a Jerk! This is a good example of what not to post. And in a thread where people are posting about being rejected? Not nice.
  10. 25 points
    June 9, 2017 edition: Shopify is seeking a "commercial lawyer who can get shit done", and a criminal defence firm in Ottawa advertises "crappy pay" (to start). I like this idea of the ORs unleashed, without editorial restrictions. "Does anyone have a goddamn will for Jane Capet of Haileybury? I swear to god if I have to deal with this family through an intestacy process I am applying to that posting in Iqaluit" "MUNCHAUSEN MELDRUM LLP would like to congratulate our former partner, Ed Papelew, on starting his own practice and taking half our clients you backstabbing bald ingrate" "Need an expert to sign off on your pre-drafted report? Sure, what the hell, we'll do it. Getahun says it's OK, right?" "The Toronto Lawyers Feed the Hungry Program thanks Brathwaite Rexroth LLP for sending three articling students and one of their 40 associates to the meal on February 9. Nice turnout, guys."
  11. 25 points
    Congrats to everyone who got an articling position! Now that a few days have passed, I thought I would give some feedback for those who weren't able to secure a position. I'm currently articling at a place that participated in the recruit. I was able to sit in on the discussions with our articling committee and I can give some insights into what they said helped and hurt candidates. Some of these are probably obvious, however there were still multiple candidates who made these mistakes. So here are some of my comments: 1. The difference between an offer and no offer is tiny. If a place is hiring 5 students, the difference between the 5th and 6th candidate can be extremely insignificant. So try not to think that you weren't good enough for the job. We would have been happy with any of our top candidates, but all our first choices accepted so we couldn't move down our list. This also means that the reasons you were passed over could have been very small such as strength of reference letters, lack of eye contact, being 5 minutes late etc 2. It's very helpful to have spoken to a lawyer or current student before you interview. Not only is your name already in their ear, but you can customize your responses to the type of work that they do. Many students had no idea the type of work that we do other than the limited info on our website. Do your homework! 3. Be extroverted. Soooo many candidates got dropped on day 1 because they were so timid that getting information from them was like pulling teeth. If you aren't engaging in the interview, it's not going to be a very enjoyable experience for the interviewers. The interviewers are going to be interviewing somewhere between 8-20 candidates PER POSITION, so being boring will drive the interviewers crazy. If you got an interview, they thought you were qualified, now it's your job to separate yourself from the crowd. If you can't excited about an interview where you talk about yourself for an hour, how are you going to get excited about doing hours of due diligence. 4. Don't sound like you just googled the employer. You could tell that some students had done their research on our place which is a good thing. However, some students sounded like they were simply repeating obscure factual information about our work in an attempt to impress. If you're listing off facts about our place without focusing on why those facts are important to you, then it just sounds like you memorized our website. No one is impressed if you can list off exact dollar amounts of deals, that just comes across as artificial. 5. If you meet current students, you are still interviewing. At our place, we got to participate and give our feedback to the articling committee. Some candidates got dropped because when they spoke to us, they forgot they were still interviewing. Some checked their phones, some swore, some made off-colour comments, some just didn't care or made no effort to talk to us. If you were engaging and professional with us, we told the committee. If you were bored or inappropriate with us, we told the committee. 6. If you think you have the job, act like you don't. One candidate came in the first day and wowed everyone. They were the consensus top choice after day one. After the second round of interviews, they had dropped to number 8. The second interview, they were so confident that they had the job, they relaxed and just acted like they were friends with the interviewers. It was such a stark change from the first day that the committee was concerned that the whole first day was just a front and that they would revert to being way too casual the second they got the job. 7. If a place is your first choice, for the love of god say it! On the last day we were interviewing only a few people and only one of the group would not get an offer. One person never mentioned where we stood with them, the others all said explicitly that we were the top choice. Which one do you think didn't get an offer despite it turning out that we were their top choice? And don't just say "You're one of my top places." If they are your top choice, say in as explicit detail as possible that you will accept an offer from them at 8am. 8. Be nice to the other candidates. For starters, they may end up being your co-worker. Secondly, if you're rude to them in front of us it looks like you don't play well with others. We told the committee when candidates were either really nice or really rude to the other students. 9. PROOFREAD YOUR APPLICATION MATERIALS. I know this bears no repeating, but several people got lowered because there were still spelling and grammar mistakes in their materials. When there is so little separating you from another candidate it can be as little as a spelling mistake to sink you. 10. Respect lawyers and students' time. Several candidates who got an interview, asked to set up a call or coffee chat with a lawyer or current student. Some of these candidates either were very late to these calls or chats or simply didn't respond back to the lawyer/student after they got back to them. This is extremely unprofessional. It is better to not set up a call than to set up a call and miss it or ignore a lawyer's responding email. 11. Talk about what you did, not where you worked. I'm not saying to not discuss your workplace, but the focus should be more on what you've done rather than where you've been. Several people discussed in excruciating detail the entire history of the place they worked at without talking much about what they did there. They're interviewing you not your workplace. 12. Put something interesting in your personal interest section. I would bet that about 80% of students put travel in their personal interest sections. That's fine, but literally every other student had it and the interviewers don't want to ask every student about travel. Try to put something that almost no one else has and you will see that you will get asked about it constantly. One word of caution, don't put something that you would be afraid of an expert pressing you on. One of the candidates put something on that one of the lawyers is an expert in and could tell that the candidate didn't actually know what they were talking about. 13. Explain how your experience fits with the type of work we do. Several candidates had great experience, but when they described it, it didn't sound like any of the type of work that we do. It doesn't matter how good your experience is, if it doesn't fit with what we do. However, even if your work doesn't have any applicability to the type of work we do that doesn't mean it's useless. Being able to pull different skills and experience from past jobs and explaining how you can apply those skills to this job is the best way to prove that you are the right candidate. 14. Don't be negative. Some people started by saying how bad their day had been. Some people described their past work as dry and boring. Some people talked about how they hated law school. It doesn't matter if any of those things are true, don't tell the interviewers or students that. The interviewers don't want someone who they're going to feel guilty about giving work to. Quite simply, lawyers want to work with positive people. 15. Lastly, explain how you can help them, not how they can help you. Some people only described how this place would improve their skills or allow them to gain exposure to X area. But they didn't talk at all about how they would actually help the lawyers. While the lawyers obviously want you to gain experience, they want to do so in a way that also benefits them. Articling is a 2 way street, you help them and in return they help you. Hope this helps!
  12. 24 points
    Shush. Stop trying to derail this thread!
  13. 23 points
    Hi all! I was a student member of an admissions committee during my third year of law school, and I thought I would share some insights from the experience that I thought would be helpful. They're mostly focused on your personal statement and references, because those are the parts of your application that are most easily improved, and where the path to "improvement" is least obvious (everyone knows what a better LSAT or GPA looks like). A) First of all, consider what type of personal statement you are being asked for. Does the school want a generic statement, or do they ask you to answer specific questions? If they ask specific questions and you fail to answer them, or you try to force a generic personal statement to fit the questions asked, this will hurt your application. B) If you're applying in a special category (e.g., access, mature, indigenous, etc.), make sure that at least some elements of your application indicate why you fit in that category. It's not enough just to check the box and then talk about why you would make a great law student generally. Those categories exist for several reasons, but two reasons stood out to me as particularly significant: (1) to increase the diversity of the student body and thus the legal profession; and (2) to give talented students who have faced challenges the opportunity to demonstrate that their "numbers" don't reflect their potential. Some students fit both of those descriptions, while others might only fit one. If you're applying in a special category, tell the admissions committee about (1) the benefits that your unique life experiences will bring to the school and the profession and/or (2) the reasons why the challenges you've dealt with in the past will not stop you from being successful in law school. C) Most of the generic personal statements that I read addressed three things: 1. Why the applicant wants to go to law school/be a lawyer; 2. Why the applicant will make a great law student/lawyer; and 3. Why the applicant wants to go to this specific law school. D) I would encourage students not to spend as much space on #3 as they currently do. Compliments about the law school don't usually get you very far, unless they are very specific to your interests, e.g., "As you can see from my degree in biochemistry, I am very interested in the natural sciences, so I am especially interested in X law school because it is the only school with a natural sciences law clinic." Complimenting the law school in general doesn't help the committee - they already think their school is great, and they want to know about you. Compliments that are overblown can actually hurt your application. If you say something about the school being "world-renowned for their legal clinics" when they are not that well-recognized, the committee will think you're blowing smoke, and it won't help your chances. E) As for #1 and #2, the most important thing to do is to provide meaningful examples. The admissions committee is made up of faculty and upper year students. They want evidence or a foundation for your assertions. Bald statements that you are "responsible", "hard-working", "intelligent", or "interested in a career in social justice" will get you nowhere, because literally everyone is making those claims. Applicants that stand out have concrete support that buttress their most important points. E.g., "I have volunteered for the past five years for a victims services organization, and this has fostered my interest in one day becoming a Crown prosecutor." or "My experience working in a law firm gave me exposure to the area of practice I'm most interested in while also honing my attention to detail and my ability to handle a heavy workload." F) Always remember that the people reading your application will know nothing about you other than what is on the papers in front of them. They'll have your transcript, LSAT, personal statement, letters of reference, and the other documents (if any) that you were required to submit. From that they will form their entire impression of you. It might be worthwhile to ask a trustworthy acquaintance (perhaps a friend of a friend) who does not know you well to read your package and see how they would describe you based on that alone. Their answers may surprise you. G) There is no need to write poetically in your personal statement, and if prose is not your strength, you should avoid it entirely. It adds very little to your statement and can end up being a distraction. I also never saw a hook that worked, e.g., "it was a dark and stormy night..." Save those for your applications to American schools. Remember paragraph F above if you plan to use your personal statement to tell one story or are intending to build the entire thing around one anecdote. That will end up being all that the committee knows about you. Ask yourself seriously whether it will be enough. H) Use your letters of reference (if they are requested, don't submit them if they are not) to provide further support for the narrative you've built in your personal statement and other documents. The strongest letters of reference don't seem to come out of left field. The feeling that the committee should get while reading your letter is reassurance that their instincts about you were accurate; the letter of reference provides independent confirmation that you really are as great as you seem. It should go without saying (but sadly it doesn't) that your letters of reference should be from the type of referees the school has asked for, and should never ever be from a family member or close friend. Anyone who has known you since childhood is likely a bad choice. Those letters rarely read as objective accounts of an adult student's attributes. If you really can't get a good reference from the type of referee requested, explain why you were unable to do so. I) If there is an obvious and marked area of weakness in your application, e.g., an academic year where you did particularly badly, or a poor LSAT score, you should quickly address why that incident doesn't reflect your true potential and then move on. The committee will almost certainly notice a significant area of weakness and will wonder what caused you to falter. Don't make excuses, and don't take up your whole application explaining yourself. If there isn't good explanation, you'll just have to bite the bullet and focus on your strengths in the rest of the application. Keep in mind, though, that it's human nature for members of the committee to speculate to themselves about what caused your slip if you don't provide an explanation. That's all I can think of for now. I hope this is helpful and doesn't come across as a silly diatribe. Best of luck to everyone who is or will be applying!
  14. 22 points
    I don't think those things have anything to do with whether you get A's, B's or C's.
  15. 22 points
    Mostly because I love talking about myself, but maybe because three stories about lawyers, small towns, and relationships will be useful to someone, here is the story of my adult love-life: Relationship #1. She was also a lawyer. We met during articling. She was the one who got the job in a small town many hours away from the city we lived in. I had no interest in moving to a small town, but when my gf started applying to this small town I figured "well, okay, I guess we can do long distance for awhile until she gets another job back in the city". GF said in no uncertain terms that if we were going to continue I had to move with her to the small town. I did, and got a decent job in private practice there. GF then dumped me two weeks after I arrived. Lesson? Ultimatums are not a good sign in a relationship, whether you give in to them or not. Relationship #2. She was a teacher. I met her several months after breaking up with #1 (though she was still in the small town, which was awkward). At first she was a teacher on a reserve 4-5 hours away, but then she got a job in another small town about an hour away (partially to be closer to me, mostly because it was a better job). Her long-term ambition though was to move back to her home province. In the mean time I was offered a good Crown job in yet another small town, this time about 7 hours away. I asked her to come with me, she declined, and we broke up. No hard feelings there though. Lesson? Sometimes choosing a career move over a relationship is okay. Relationship #3. I was now a Crown. I meet another girl who lives about an hour and a half from me. Things are going good, and she gets a job now in the same small town. We get engaged. Three days before the wedding I am offered a near-dream job in a whole other province. I ask the future-Mrs-MP if she would be willing for us to move, and she says yes. Lesson? She was the right one. If she had said no I would have turned that offer down, no questions.
  16. 21 points
    I guess it's been long enough that the Scotiabank internal memo to staff about not going to forums promoting yourself as an agent by pretending to be a different poster who has used said agent's services no longer gets passed around? Anyway Saif, nice of you to join us here, but as we've mentioned in the past, it's always a smart idea if you are trying to shamelessly self promote your services through deception to maybe not post from a Scotiabank IP address and sign up using an email address with your name in it. I'm glad other people have found your services helpful and the information regarding the payment plan is appreciated, but the deceptive self advertising is against the rules here.
  17. 21 points
    Stopped back just to see if OP is all right, but I can't resist responding, briefly, to Diplock. Diplock, I strongly disagree with you, and I think the tone you are taking -- saying the OP is "wallowing," that their approach is unhealthy, that they are preventing their own recovery -- is both wrong and detrimental. Getting fresh advice and trying new things is maybe step 10. Step 2 is feeling like you're not alone and somebody understands. Step 1 is even being able to talk about what's going on in the first place. Let's try not to shame OP for not being at step 10 yet. They are not "wallowing," nor are they preventing themselves from moving forward. You imply that the fact that they're not ready for the step you happen to get your kicks out of means they are doing this wrong and are somehow at fault, their continued misery is of their own making, they are holding themselves back. Actually, OP is seeking a real human need to feel connected and less alone. And not only is that perfectly okay, but it's actually a crucially important step forward. Good for you, OP, for seeking out what you need right now. Let's try not to knock OP back a step by blaming them for feeling depressed.
  18. 21 points
    Ok, just so I'm clear on the resolution we've reached: 1. Diplock, don't sexually harass your female colleagues; it doesn't matter if you think it's your birthright (this includes talking about their panties, not just butt-pinching!). 2. Providence, don't try to feminize your male colleagues by policing their language (it's perceived as shrill. No one likes a hall monitor). 3. OP, the consensus seems to be that you're not giving off any gay vibes. Personally, I think that you're trying too hard. 4. Artsydork, OP's penis was always part of the equation, implicitly. It seems clear from the facts that it's good not great (not especially long, but thicker than most). I'm open to correction on this point. 5. The majority has found that the OP has tired of this woman's company. A vocal minority find her to be a nag. There are those who have reserved judgement on this matter, out of an abundance of caution that, in my opinion, has no place on the internet. 6. Kurrika likes his ladies to glisten. Personally, I prefer sweaty feet as it allows me to track their movements. My floor at home is covered in talcum powder. 7. Lawful wins the prize for reading the OP (an unnecessary, but traditional approach). In conclusion: it will be a delightful romp when the OP's soon-to-be ex-girlfriend tells her friends that she dumped him and he now lives with his parents.
  19. 21 points
    This is @TheDonald again, isn't it?
  20. 21 points
    I like it, but I hope you don't make a habit of this kind of thing. I spent yesterday unwisely Facebook stalking exes. It turns out that I can't be trusted with the rest of the internet.
  21. 20 points
    Okay, I was going to stop posting here, but I'll make an exception because this tugs at my heartstrings. OP, I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. It really sounds like you're not doing very well right now, and that leaves me worried about you. I know how sometimes people in situations like this isolate themselves, and I just want to know if you have people in your life you can openly and freely talk to about this. It's hard to bear this burden on your own. If you need someone to talk to, please let me know. You can send me a PM, or I'd be happy to meet up with you if you're in Toronto — either to talk about what's going on or just because you need to take your mind off everything for a while. Please know that I won't judge you for this. I've been in some tough situations myself over the years. I don't know why you've had such bad luck with articling, but it sounds like you're doing your best and I expect that eventually you will find something. It's hard to keep going when you feel discouraged, though. I hope that at the same time as you are looking for articles — which it sounds like you're doing in a sensible way — you are making sure to take care of yourself and seeking medical care as necessary. Hang in there. It will all turn out okay in the end. ETA: You're not alone. I know someone who graduated last year and is still looking for articles, and I know a few others who found articles only recently. I expect there are many more, but people tend not to advertise this out of shame.
  22. 20 points
    I am still on their 2012 waitlist
  23. 19 points
    Yesterday I read Diplock talking about this forum getting the professional side of him. Today I read Diplock talking about dropping panties. Stay classy my friend.
  24. 19 points
    Okay, first, everyone calm the fuck down on the legal implications of the OP's actions. Telling someone they are fine to take certain actions is legal advice, but so is telling someone they are not fine. I'm not at all sure the OP crossed a line that would land him in legal trouble no matter the "common sense" issues here, and I can't see why anyone else would be sure either. Are there hypothetical and potential issues here? Yes. I don't think anyone is in a position to say more. So, that said, what I would personally suggest (and this is not at all legal advice, just my own instinct) would be to own your actions in reply, and see what happens. The actual tone of this question, leaving aside the OP's actions, is quite good, which is what's earned my sympathy. This could easily have been a post that basically says "see, see, racism is real!!" (as if we doubted racism exists) rather than a "well, jeez, I didn't think this through - now what?" The same tone should work in reply. "Thank you so much for expressing interest in the application I sent you, but I need to be honest about something. I have a very ethnic-sounding name and in a fit of frustration at my stalled search for articles, I sent a few applications with a more Canadian-sounding name. I realize in hindsight it was a foolish thing to do and I'm sorry to have wasted your time. I did not misrepresent myself in any other way, but all the same I would understand entirely if you would prefer not to pursue this any further." So, what happens if you say that and mean it? Possibly they believe you're nuts. Maybe they are offended. Odds of taking formal action against you (never mind if formal action is even possible) would be almost nil, in my opinion. And maybe, just maybe, they have a positive reaction to your honesty and re-examine their treatment of your application and consider your situation. I can't be certain, really, but it might work on me. I don't think I'm crazy to imagine it could work with others.
  25. 19 points
    Oh, and one more thing. I'm noticing that I'm gradually getting more crotchety and me-focused in the way I describe student work. That's unfortunate, and I regret if it's coming out that way. But here's another tip underlying that situation: A lot of your peers don't give one shit about this job. I know a lot of you are going to be shaking your heads, because you're the kind of person that goes on to a law students' web forum. But believe me, although you need to work super hard to land a job and you should be diligent about everything you do, don't stress yourself out to the level of burnout. You have numerous colleagues that really just want to pay off their student debt and get out. You have numerous colleagues that plan to leave right after articling anyway because all they want is the credential and the call to the Bar. You have numerous colleagues that have business or political aspirations and do not intend to practice law. You have numerous colleagues that have family businesses or other connections and are just kickin' it for the salary until they're asked to leave. You have a ton of colleagues that are going to realize they hate this job and want nothing to do with it. The end result of that for me is that I get a lot of half-assed work that I really would not have expected from students at this level. Half-assed work well under the level they were performing at in law school because all they wanted was this job, temporarily. How they perform now is irrelevant to them. The end result of that for you is that you might be intimidated by your peers' credentials or intellect or social skills and connections and push yourself to the breaking point in an attempt to compete... only to find out that it's just like law school: most everyone is doing worse than you think, and far worse than they would ever admit. So, work hard and pay attention to details and you will be more successful than you think. And forgive us jaded associates that might grumble about students from time to time as we've been burned by apathy more times than we'd like to recall.
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