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lecavaleur last won the day on January 28 2012

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  1. I actually agree with you there. In my initial comment, it was plainly stated that I was speaking of my experience in my firm. Where I work, if something is billed, it’s invariably paid. That’s the kind of clientèle we are fortunate enough to have. Also, if a partner chooses to discount an invoice by giving a courtesy discount on otherwise billable hours, it’s without prejudice to the associate’s billables. And that’s exactly how it should be, because that is what is fair. If my employer docked my billables because his clients didn’t pay him, or because he chose to give a courtesy discount on otherwise totally billable hours, I’d change employers.
  2. I see we’ve decided to be rude. OK. So to whom exactly do you believe I am giving legal advice, genius? I made a post about *my* position when it comes to accounting for billable hours not billed for reasons attributable only to the absolute discretion of another attorney. I even plainly stated is as, and I quote: “my position”. I don’t see where I’ve advised anyone else to do anything. Is this a legal advice forum all of a sudden despite the explicit instructions of management, or am I right in assuming that this is just an informal discussion about billable hours?
  3. There is no analogy being made. Employers and employees are both debtors and creditors of their respective obligations toward one another. This is my civilian way of speaking, but it doesn’t matter whether you’re applying common law or civilian reasoning, the semantics change nothing. If an employer, through his absolute discretion alone, prevents his employee from realizing a condition of his employment he otherwise would have realized, then the employer should not be entitled rely on the fact the condition wasn’t realized in order apply a sanction on the employee.
  4. Obviously the hours ticked have to be billable. Did I indicate otherwise? Where have I suggested that non-billable work should be considered billable? We are talking about *billable* hours only, unless I’m mistaken. So if an hour is billable under normal circumstances, but the boss chooses not to bill it for extrinsic reasons unrelated to the work itself, he’s free to do that (and eat it). But at the end of the year, I am not going to accept any assertion that I haven’t respected a target because a certain number of otherwise perfectly billable hours were docked from my totals based entirely on someone’s absolute discretion.
  5. In the absence of a clear, initial indication to the contrary, then that is the only rightful conclusion one can make. If Bossman says simply that he wants a target of 1800 billable hours, then, giving the words their usual meaning, that means every hour you tick of billable work is an hour that counts towards that goal. If he gives more specific criteria, then fine. Those will apply insofar as they are reasonable. But the criteria cannot simply be Bossman’s absolute discretion, because then the debtor has no way of knowing what he’s undertaking. He is potentially engaging in a Sisyphean task.
  6. I take the position that if the creditor prevents, based on his own discretion, the realization of a condition he has imposed upon the debtor (i.e. hitting 1800 billables), then that’s on him. The condition is deemed satisfied. That’s always been my approach at my firm, and I’ve never encountered an issue. Fair is fair. I can understand that there are a myriad of reasons why a partner may wish to discount his invoice, but it’s not for me to eat that discount if my work was acceptable.
  7. This is exactly right. I second this 100% A previous employer of mine spent so much money on SEO and Google Ads, and 99% of the calls were people fishing for free legal advice, etc. It's the worst way to find clients.
  8. On t'a déjà accordé une place dans la liste, donc l'analyse des notes et cotes-R est terminée. Tout dépend maintenant du nombre candidatures qui seront retirées par des candidats acceptés ailleurs. Il faut se rappeler que, puisque Sherbrooke est une fac en région, elle n'est pas souvent le 1er choix pour les candidats de Montréal où il y a déjà 3 facs de droit locales. Si t'es 4e et 17e dans les listes mentionnées, mon pressentiment est qu'il y aura vraisemblablement assez d'offres refusées par ces candidats-là pour te faire une place.
  9. I would definitely apply to a couple of other schools, including McGill if you think your profile is competitive. Even if you think your grades are a guarantee of admittance, think again. Pretty much all MTL would-be law students apply to UdeM for the same reason as you - it's close to home and it's a good school. That's a very large number of candidates for a limited number of spots. If your goal is to become a lawyer, then applying to more than one school is just a no-brainer. For example, Sherbrooke is a 90 minute drive from MTL and most Sherby students from MTL go home every single weekend, all year. Ottawa is essentially the same. 2 hours from home. U Laval is probably too far for you and UQAM is its own thing. As for being an native English-speaker in a French school, you won't be the only one no matter where you go. There are Anglos and Anglo-leaning Allos in every school. Most schools allow you to write your exams in English in the first year *IF* the professor agrees (and not all of them necessarily will). But make no mistake, this will be your best opportunity to really master the language if you haven't already, so make the most of it. Don't just hang with all the Anglos for 3 years. Go out of your way to make Francophone friends. Read and write in French. Watch French TV and movies, etc. If you're not very comfortable in French as an attorney in MTL, you will be limiting your opportunities vastly, especially if you want to do any sort of litigation. French is key.
  10. I am not sure what market you are currently located in. Likely Ottawa, if you're lobbying. I can only speak from my personal knowledge of the Montreal market. You haven't sat the bar exam or articled, so obviously if you want to become licensed, you have to do those two things (mutatis mutandis for the requirements of your jurisdiction - I believe certain provinces have scrapped the bar exam in favour of practice training programmes). That means you are starting from pretty much square one. However I will say that decent firms looking for articling students (outside of OCI's/course aux stages situations) do appreciate candidates with life and work experience (even if it's not law-related). They don't like it as much as they would like actual legal work experience, but they certainly like it better than no experience at all - and much (perhaps most) of the competition has zero experience in anything. Some in-house employers hire right out of articling; some even offer articling positions, but just know that the vast majority want at least 3 years of legal experience (5 years being even more common). So that means you might have to do your time in the trenches. And you know what? There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I cannot even describe how much you will learn doing that. You will be paid a decent salary if you're in the right place (likely not 6 figures in the first few years, but nonetheless). My advice however is to be picky about where you work. Do not work anywhere that you are not 100% sure has a good reputation in your local legal community. There are a lot of shops out there where you do not want to work. Trust me. That said, there are plenty of decent places out there, big and small. You can gain great experience in such a place, and in 3-5 years, you will be a prime candidate for in-house if that's where you want to go, for a larger firm, or for government work. How do you know if a place is decent? Many factors: - Are they offering you a decent wage or is it more like indentured servitude? - Who are their clients? - What does a CanLii search have to say about them (reading between the lines)? Do they have to sue their clients to get paid? Are they constantly losing? Are they litigating files that seem frivolous or insignificant? - Check out the disciplinary record of the partners (if you can do so discreetly); - Are they a revolving door for employees? LinkedIn is your friend. See who is working there now and since when. See who used to work there and for how long. - Reach out to your more experienced friends and ask them what they know. - Use your intuition. If the place just gives you a bad vibe, run the other way. The law scene in Canada is not a dire a situation as in the US. If you are motivated and interested in practising law, you will find gainful employment. If you don't like it, you can do your time and transition to something else with that experience under your belt.
  11. I also 100% agree that in general, Quebec JD's will have a tougher time in other Canadian legal markets (with McGill being the exception). My only goal was to point out that such difficulty is not justified by any actual disparity in education.
  12. A bit late to the game here, but I have a couple of thoughts to tack onto this: 1. Obviously, you are always better off studying in or near the market where you wish to practise. Totally in agreement there. That's just a general rule of thumb and a reality of life. It does have exceptions, however. I personally know graduates of one-year J.D.'s in QC who work or have worked in Toronto as lawyers, both in private practice and in the public sector. 2. I don't see how doing the so-called "national" programme at UofO, either by starting in Common Law and then doing a Civil year, or the reverse, can really be held against a candidate, as either way, it's 6 of one, half a dozen of the other. 3. Graduates of civil law faculties in QC who do a one-year J.D. in common law at any of the faculties that offer it are perfectly equipped to function in any common law jurisdiction in Canada (and beyond). I am astounded at how often people who should know this actually forget it: only private law is of civilian origin in Quebec. It's a mixed jurisdiction. [Edit: I know you know this, but I am pointing it out for the benefit of others.] Law students in Quebec have full, direct, and complete contact with the common law method throughout their studies in all public law courses: constitutional, administrative, criminal, tax, federal labour and employment, corporate law, I.P., etc., etc. They are in no way novices to the common law. Even our civil procedure and rules of evidence are largely a codification of common law principles since Quebec uses the adversarial system, as opposed to the inquisitorial system present in purely civilian jurisdictions. And that's just one way the common law method has rubbed off onto the civil law as practised in QC. Another example is our obsession with precedent (even if, strictly speaking, there is no rule of stare decisis in a civilian system), and the fact that our judges render 100-page judgments without batting an eye, while in a purely civilian system a judgment lasts about 2 pages if you're lucky. Another is the reluctance of our courts to award specific performance even though it is actually the rule, not the exception, in the civil law. The influence of the common law is pretty much everywhere. The only thing QC law grads lack in common law culture is the handful of private law courses which are offered in the said one-year J.D. programmes (contracts, torts, property, fam., remedies). In fact, they lack so few such courses that they often have to take courses in other subjects purely out of interest just to fill all of the time slots available in a two-semester J.D. The fact of the matter is 90% or more of the rules end up being the same in all these subjects anyways; the difference is the method of getting there. The rules that are different can be easily learnt and memorised. After completing such a degree myself, as interesting as it was, it is my opinion that a graduate of any civil law faculty in Canada (even without the J.D.) would be perfectly equipped to prepare for and sit any licensing exam in Canada, Ontario included, by simply reading and learning the bar review materials and passing the exam. I do think there is a plus to having done the extra courses because you get familiar with the landmark cases, but that's nothing that can't be learnt by simply reading a good outline and casebook. Anyways, that's my two cents.
  13. Hi all, Lawyer in my 4th year of practice in Quebec. Since being called, I've passively considered CBA membership a few times, because I see that it is very widespread in the legal community. However, each time I consider it, I see the price tag and quickly change my mind! Currently in Quebec, it's $712.84 (taxes incl.) a year for regular membership.That's a hefty chunk of change for a magazine subscription and the opportunity to purchase CPD at a discount. So, my question is whether or not it is worth it? Is there value somewhere that I'm just not seeing which justifies the high fees? All opinions welcome. Thanks.
  14. Je ne dis pas que le MBA de Sherby est inutile. Pour certaines personnes (ex. celles qui prévoient une carrière surtout locale), c'est exactement ce qu'elles cherchent. Mais quand un des meilleurs MBA au monde se donne à Montréal, pourquoi pas vouloir en profiter ? En plus, c'est l'occasion de considérer un des autres programmes uniques à Sherbrooke (sciences de la vie, common law, coop). J'ajouterais aussi que le fait de faire un MBA avant même d'avoir occupé un poste à temps plein, c'est très inhabituel. Normalement, les écoles de commerce privilégient (voire ne considèrent que) les candidatures de personnes qui comptent un minimum de deux ans d'expérience professionnelle. Ça aussi serait un facteur qui jouerait dans la décision d'éventuels recruteurs sur le marché du travail.
  15. Avec égards, je dois exprimer un brin de désaccord avec Reminiscent quant à l'opportunité du programme Droit-MBA. Certes, c'est théoriquement un programme innovateur au Québec. Le problème qu'il pose, par contre, est binaire : (1) plus que tout autre diplôme, la valeur d'un MBA est relative quant à sa provenance universitaire : le contenu du cursus académique du MBA à Sherbrooke a beau être similaire, voire identique à celui de HBS ou d'INSEAD, il vaudra beaucoup moins sur le marché du travail que le MBA de ces derniers établissements ; (2) le temps et effort consacrés à la réussite de la partie MBA pourrait nuire à sa performance dans la partie droit de la formation. Tout cela dépend de l'organisation du programme et de l'économie du temps employée par l'étudiant, mais force est de se demander si ce ne serait pas mieux de concentrer tous ses efforts dans la réussite de son bac en droit et, si la volonté de faire un MBA y est toujours à la fin du bac, de le faire dans un établissement plus réputé dans le domaine. À titre d'exemple, HEC Montréal offre de loin le MBA québécois le mieux reconnu au niveau mondial (et il arrive en deuxième au Canada, après York). En plus, on peut le compléter en un an (3 sessions), donc on ne perd pas plus de temps que si on l'avait fait à Sherby. Le droit-coop est un excellent choix, par contre, si on peut s'y faire admettre. C'est effectivement le seul programme du genre et les étudiants de ce programme sont donc parmi les très rares au Québec qui pourront se vanter d'expériences juridiques professionnelles quand viendra le temps de se magasiner un stage du Barreau ou un emploi à temps plein. Ils auront des CV en béton. Donc, c'est sans doute à prendre en considération. Personnellement, j'ai choisi l'option LL.B.-J.D. et suis très content de mon choix. L'existence de ce programme, surtout le fait qu'il se donne en deux étés consécutifs et permet donc de ne pas perdre encore une année scolaire, était un des facteurs m'ayant amené à choisir l'Université de Sherbrooke.
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