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dan1010 last won the day on October 22 2011

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  1. In Toronto depending on the union I would say most make between 90-130. A few unions pay quite a bit more than that. I know of at least one construction union that was paying its lawyers substantially more (in the neighborhood of 175k).
  2. I would strongly echo the comments in this thread that say people in law school grossly exaggerate how much of a time commitment law school actually is. I think the mentality that the OP is based on is mostly why I stayed away from my law school as much as possible. Everyone would constantly be stressing out about assignments that weren't due for months, exams, or articling positions. Many of these same people would basically live in the library, yet it also seemed as though they were always on Facebook anytime I'd pass by. Time management is key. I had time every week for countless hours of squash, video games, and other hobbies while in law school and I think doing those things helped keep my stress levels to a minimum. You realize how much time you actually had in law school when you start practicing. I work in-house and have pretty reasonable hours compared to most lawyers, but I still have far less time than when I was in law school. Even while practicing though I still have plenty of time for hobbies.
  3. I feel the same way. My work ethic in school wasn't great. I couldn't muster the motivation to study as much as others when i knew i could get a B or B+ studying a day or two before an exam. Articling was completely different. Since I knew my work would actually have a practical impact on people's lives I was very hard working and came out with excellent references. Other articling students that may have had much better grades than I did had a lot more difficulty transitioning into professional life and weren't as successful.
  4. My point (which seems to have gotten lost in this) was that union side lawyers are not a homogeneous group. There are differing political beliefs (albeit mostly left-leaning) and various degrees of commitment to the labour movement. Not all unions are the same either and some are much more politically active than others, which may account for the differences in opinion. Obviously if you hate unions it makes sense to self-select out, but it's not the case that you won't fit in at any union or union side firm if you vote conservative. Yes, you'll be in the minority if that's the case but it's not like you'll be discussing your political beliefs at the office every day.
  5. Like I said I know some personally, so it's definitely not impossible. It's no different than being a defence lawyer and having to advocate for a client without necessarily agreeing with their choices. I mean most of the day to day work will involve similar tasks as management side lawyers would do. One way or another you're usually taking instructions from the client to help them achieve their objectives. Whether you agree with that objective or not is kind of irrelevant. Obviously it wouldn't be a good fit for an individual who is fundamentally opposed to unions, but it's not necessarily so for someone who might be indifferent to them.
  6. Not if there's no expectation that they demonstrate their "commitment to the cause".
  7. I never said anyone is faking commitment, and certainly no one that I've met appears to be doing so. It's a question of degree -- some lawyers will be a lot more heavily invested in the movement than others (e.g. going to protests, supporting strikers, etc.). I wanted to offer an alternative perspective so that OP doesn't think there's absolutely no way to fit in as a union side lawyer unless you've been a labour activist or involved in the labour movement in the past. I've definitely met some conservative union side lawyers, although they are certainly a minority.
  8. I'm sure that's true, which is why I said "not all union side lawyers". I was responding to the general assertion that a person has to be "committed to the cause" in order to be a union side labour lawyer and won't fit in otherwise.
  9. I think you might need to show that you "believe in the cause" primarily at the interview stage. During articling interviews at one firm I was asked whether I had applied to any management side firms. I'm sure I would have been cut immediately had I answered yes. I think some management side lawyers might be surprised to know that not all union side lawyers are necessarily invested in the labour movement. Unions will be your clients if you choose this side, so they're treated like clients. That obviously means advocating for the union's position whether or not you agree with the tactics personally. It's definitely an interesting environment to work in though. Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions.
  10. The general consensus is to go to school where you'd like to work. With that said, however, there are a ton of exceptions to that. The cost of tuition is certainly not something to ignore. I imagine the cost of living is would be a factor to take into account as well. It's not too difficult to get to Toronto from Ottawa. And for the most part if you're doing organized recruitment the interviews will all be within the same time period. I really don't think going to school in ottawa would be a substantial barrier to articling in Toronto if you do well in law school.
  11. How far away are we talking? It's fairly common for people to get articles in Toronto after going to school in other cities and even our of province. I'm currently articling in Toronto, having never put a foot in the city prior to interviews. Sure you might lose the ability to network more but I don't think that justifies paying significantly more in tuition. Most schools will have formal recruitment processes for large markets like Toronto.
  12. I think it might be difficult to know whether law is not right for you long term without actually articling and practicing first. OP is exasperated at the moment. It's easy when you're feeling that way to convince yourself that this thing that you've spent years working towards isn't what you really want. It's a defence mechanism and it's a normal reaction. OP, it may be the case after you find articles and practice that you don't enjoy it, but it's premature to make that decision now. Others have been in the same position as you before and found articles. As others have suggested above, you do need to put in the legwork to succeed. If it's a viable option for you, have you considered volunteering at a legal aid clinic? Lawyers working in those clinics often have networks that could be useful in your search. Good luck!
  13. I felt the same way in 1L. I think I was just sick of school and had no motivation. I'd love to tell you that feeling went away after 1L, but it didn't. I just learned how to succeed in law school classes putting in the minimum amount of work. Even if you don't feel motivated, try to stick it out and treat law school like a job. It's unnecessary to spend every minute in the library as some of your classmates undoubtedly will. Getting involved at the legal clinic definitely helped a little bit as it renewed my interest in practicing law. Also keep in mind that there's a huge difference between law school and practice afterwards. I'm articling now and I don't regret my decision to go to law school at all. Maybe you'll feel the same way. Good luck!
  14. I actually noticed someone using that extra comma in an email recently. I noticed it immediately because it looks so out of place. That's an unnecessary amount of commas in such a short space. "Hi, dan1010, [...]" Nope.
  15. It's not a class. "Course aux stages" is the equivalent of OCI's in English but mostly (if not exclusively) for firms in Quebec. It's just organized recruitment that you normally do in your second or third year. If you're currently a McGill law student there's a lot of information about it on the CDO's website (just google "CDO McGill Law Course aux Stages").
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