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NucksFTW last won the day on January 27 2013

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  1. I know a lawyer in BC who has a sole practice without a trust account. He practices mostly wills & estates, and I understand he generally bills a flat fee after the work is completed.
  2. I am a business lawyer at a mid-sized firm that includes eight personal injury / ICBC defense lawyers. I understand these lawyers expect the pre-no-fault files to keep them busy for approximately the next five years. Four of the lawyers are senior calls who I expect will retire within the next five years or when the work dries up. The other four lawyers already have somewhat varied practices, and I understand they intend to put greater emphasis on other practice areas over time, including family, construction, estate litigation and commercial litigation. One of the lawyers recently added an immigration law practice to his service offering.
  3. You should really determine if you want to work in Calgary or Vancouver, and pick which school to attend based on that decision. UVic is a better option for Vancouver, and U of C is a better option for Calgary. Quite soon after law school starts you will need to determine which market to apply to if you decide to partake in the 1L recruit. I don't think it makes much sense to decide which school to attend based on keeping slightly more options open for another 6 - 12 months. That said, UVic students probably have marginally better access to the Calgary market than Calgary students have to the Vancouver market. UVic is a harder school to get into, and there's maybe some perception that it's a better school than U of C. The Vancouver market is likely slightly more competitive than the Calgary market as well. Another difference to consider is that UVic has more of a focus on topics like environmental law, aboriginal law, and social justice, while U of C has a greater focus on energy law and corporate law.
  4. I don't think U of C publishes details regarding where students end up articling. My guess would be something along the lines of: 60% in Calgary, 15% in Vancouver, 10% in Edmonton, and 15% elsewhere in Canada. This is just an estimate based on my graduating class from U of C in 2014.
  5. U of C articling placement rates: Class of 2018: 99% (1 non-report; 3 not seeking) Class of 2017: 99% (1 non-report, 4 not seeking) Class of 2016: 96% (3 non-reports, 3 not seeking) Class of 2015: 96% (1 non-report, 3 not seeking) Class of 2014: 99% (1 non-report, 2 not seeking) Source: https://law.ucalgary.ca/future-students/why-ucalgary-law
  6. Calgary graduates do get articles on Bay Street, but the numbers are relatively low (around 4-5 students per year). Most of the class intends to work in Calgary or Vancouver, so it's difficult to quantify how many students get Bay Street jobs compared to how many students are seeking them. Overall, it is more difficult to get a Bay Street job from Calgary than it is from Windsor. If you go to Calgary, you won't have the networking opportunities with Toronto firms or the Alumni base in Toronto. The career office in Calgary also won't be much help with placements in Toronto. Some firms do come to Alberta for OCI's (I believe they were in Edmonton in my year), but many firms don't make the trip so you can only apply directly for in-firm interviews. Given the OP's stated goals, I would recommend going to Windsor over Calgary.
  7. The categorization of those firms was in response to the list in the original post, and not intended to identify tiers of law firms. BLG, Dentons, and probably McCarthy's should be in the larger firm bracket for the Calgary market.
  8. McLennan Ross - the Edmonton office is a full-service firm, but the Calgary office only does litigation. I understand the Calgary office does a lot of insurance defence work. Brownlee - the Calgary office only does insurance defence work and municipal law. The Edmonton office is more of a full-service firm. Field - this is a solid firm in Calgary with a full-service offering. Field's work is more mid-market, and they generally aren't advising on the larger files that are the domain of the top national firms (and BDP). Field also does a lot of insurance defence work. Lawson Lundell - this is one of the top firms in Vancouver, and Calgary is a satellite office. The Calgary office has been growing rapidly over the last few years, and they now have a solid Calgary presence. I believe this includes adding quite a few lawyers from BDP. As the Vancouver office is a major player, Lawson Lundell will advise on some of the larger files that you typically see the top national firms working on.
  9. I worked with a lawyer in Calgary who came from a very wealthy family. This lawyer developed a significant practice quite quickly, and became a partner at a national firm relatively early in his career. My sense was that his pre-law connections were very helpful in building his practice, although it still takes a lot of work to leverage those connections to generate legal work.
  10. I could definitely see a law firm with a substantial regulatory practice hiring this type of candidate in an associate counsel role. Experienced associate counsel can generally negotiate more favourable employment terms, so the hours expectations would be different from a typical associate. Is that what you have in mind?
  11. I'll just add that the distinction between national firms and regional firms is not particularly important in the Vancouver market. For example, regional firms like Lawson Lundell and Farris have more impressive clients and better work than most of the national firms in Vancouver. In-house departments, government, and other law firms (the traditional exit options) are well aware of the relative strength of these law firms and will not hesitate to hire from top regional firms. You need to be careful with national firms, as the strength of each office within the firm can be significantly different.
  12. UBC and UVic are the best options if you want to practice in this region. They are the established schools with the most alumni in the area, and they are relatively inexpensive. If you can get into UBC or UVic, I would recommend going to either one. After UBC and UVic, U of C would be my next choice. Calgary is a manageable drive form BC's southern interior, and I would prefer to live in Calgary during law school compared to Edmonton or Saskatoon. After U of C, I would choose U of A, then U of S or TRU. I know TRU is closer to your desired market, but I think the more established schools generally provide better career options to their graduates.
  13. The range for a third year associate in Kelowna is approximately $80,000 - $92,000. Most of the bigger firms in Kelowna give annual raises to associates of roughly $10,000.
  14. The market rate for second year associates in Kelowna is approximately $70,000 - $80,000 per year, with the bigger firms generally paying at the higher end of that range. It would not be reasonable to ask for $100,000 as a second year associate in Kelowna. My understanding is that none of Farris, FH&P or Pushor Mitchell pay second year associates $90,000. That's the top of the range for third year associates.
  15. Kelowna law firms generally have a better work life balance than the big firms in Vancouver, but the difference isn't necessarily massive. The billable hour targets for associates at Farris in Kelowna and FH&P are around 1,500 hours per year.
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