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Another Hutz

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Another Hutz last won the day on October 18 2018

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  1. Just to clarify since I anticipated this point about luck and creating your own luck, etc. I assume dear reader is making their best/good faith effort. That increases the chances of a good outcome. And if you don't know what you should do, find out, and then do as much as you reasonably can. It will likely work. You should focus on what you can control, not what is out of your hands. But after all that is said and done, after you've perfected your effort, the tragedy/comedy of life is such that the outcome can be decided by one of the million things out of your control. For example, here are some unusual the perfectly ordinary circumstances under which I obtained articles: Previous articling student was fired mid-cycle (I think he was "transferred" to a different firm, everyone was tight lipped about it, but he definitely had to go was my impression.) Lawyer doing the hiring was very impulsive. As soon as he thought I was good enough, he did not want to do any more interviews, and the other lawyers laughed and told me he was joking. Shortly after I get a call saying yeah he was serious. It was in the morning so I'm sure there were candidates scheduled after me that weren't even interviewed. Of course, I had unique traits/achievements obtained through effort that played a role. But I could have done everything right and ended up being scheduled later in the day, only to be told 'sorry position filled' before interviewing. It continues into practice, too. Once I was sent to chambers get an order on some questionable facts. The master of the day was a hard-nosed old timer that infamously enjoyed needling lawyers and articling students alike. When I went up, I was expecting the worst, wishing I had better facts. Instead, as old-timers can do, he glossed over everything and just gave it to me. If I had a nicer master that attended to the details, I might not have gotten the order. It's not fair and that's my point. Certainly you should do your best but don't expect that with 100% effort, you'll get 100% of your hopes and dreams. It's a recipe for a mental health crises when you get a big fat 0%. I've ranted enough. World isn't fair. Prepare yourself accordingly.
  2. A good way to find the right answer to a question is to have someone post a wrong answer and wait for the correction. 🤣 I graduated without articles. Although I had a handful of interviews so I won't presume to know what it's like for you. Looking back with 20/20 hindsight, it was my demonstrated interests that helped me the most in getting interviews. (1) Demonstrated interest and (2) appear affable+competent. Oh and luck. Have you tried using your luck? Don't spend all your luck in one place. You'll still need some to find the right people in your personal life and get you out of sticky situations. Luck is a huge factor in life. Yes, very important. Being at the time and place when opportunity spawns on the map. I would highly recommend being lucky. If it sounds absurd to be in control of your luck, it's because it is. Sometimes, putting in 100% good faith effort gets you 75% of the way. You have zero control over the other 25%. That's just the way things are.
  3. Don't focus on your current peer group. Think about your future peer group. Well, not just that. Think about what you have to do. I mean that literally. Are you sitting alone in an office at 9pm on a Tuesday? Are you rushing through paperwork in a hospital? Are your legs tired from walking all day or are they tense from sitting all day? When you wake up the next morning, who are you going to interact with? Imagine being able to help someone but they don't take your advice. Imagine someone eager to take your advice but you can't do a single to help. Imagine reading, reading, and reading, then writing, writing, and writing. Imagine cutting someone open. Imagine listening to a stranger tell their story for the first time, realizing they expect advice from you mere seconds after they stop talking and after you have run out of questions. Realize that a job where you never stop learning means there will always be relevant things about which you are ignorant. The last thing you should be imagining is what some rando thinks. Because your peers will be focused on the job. Your patients/clients are focused on their own needs. Your friends and family will probably just want to see you more often. Any talk of prestige will be insufferable and if anyone starts talking to you about it, you'll wish it would die a thousands deaths. Your energies are finite. Don't waste them.
  4. It's ripe for comedy once you come to terms with it. It doesn't always have to be so sad and serious. Have some fun with bigotry and injustice. For example, "Congrats on the promotion (black female friend)! ... so who was the more qualified white guy that you stole it from?" Or if someone asks me how many children I'm going to have, I could say, "as many as I tell her to have." The people who would say those things are so oblivious to their own unconscionable conduct that it's comical. A softer one would be, a guy complaining to a woman about how hard it is to find clothes - lol being that oblivious is funny. Like someone walking around with toilet paper stuck to their heel. Brooklyn 99 does a pretty great job with race and gender (obviously not always) e.g. "It's worse than segregation": https://66.media.tumblr.com/fc423a2464686812d53891fe5015f3d9/tumblr_osu8q1JPkK1rkwueoo5_400.gifv
  5. Many people can relate to the difficulties of finding an articling position. I remember how stressful and depressing that time was. From this vantage point I can say I am grateful to my past self for doing what needed to be done and sticking by certain principles. Those can vary and it seems like you already have a gist of what they are for you. As for all the time I allowed myself to worry or stress about the future, that time was wasted. Do the legwork and hope for the best. The rest of the time should be spent doing things you enjoy or being with people you like/love. Assuming you have a sensible goal and are giving a good faith effort, no amount of thinking will get you out of this faster. Get out of your head. You are eventually going to find something, somewhere, somehow. It can be the culmination of years of struggle and grit ... or it could be something that falls into your lap by straight up dumb luck. It can be what you were looking for or something you cannot even conceive now. At the end of the day what matters is the work you do and how you spend your time living. Don't put your life on hold anymore than necessary. I avoid giving you a lecture, e.g. "well, what did you expect with a foreign degree", "some great Canadian law school graduates can't find articles, you really think you should come first", "you think you're the only one with a hard life, why do you think that entitles you to anything?", "you sound pretty privileged, I'mma flex and smack some perspective in you". I assume you already understand that there are various degrees of truth to these and it's important to maintain perspective. But remembering how fortunate you are is only part of the perspective you need to maintain. There's also all that other stuff that makes life worth living, specifically for you. IMO, I don't think people who have it worse than me get anything out of me throwing them a pity party. Acknowledge their reality, let it inform your perspective, then move forward with that (and many other things) in mind.
  6. The hiring process is generally a black box from the applicant side. There are things you'll just never know. My OCI experience is a counter-anecdote to some of the other posts but be warned it's dated by 6 years. Like you I transferred to BC, UVic in my case, after doing 1L OOP. My 1L grades were average (worse than yours IMO), I applied broadly, and received 4 OCIs. That went to 2 in-firms. It became 3 after I sent an email to one firm I didn't hear from expressing continued interest (something like: I know your schedule is likely full, however, if a space were to open up, I would still be interested). I had no in-firm experience, just volunteering at legal clinics. I think I had 2 lunches in addition to the interviews. 3 in-firms turned into 0 offers. Now that I think about it, it was a gruelling time full of never ending uncertainty. Looking back, I would tell myself, "You know nothing (john snow). First, you have a warped and destructive understanding of success and failure. Second, you have no idea whether going 0/3 means you dodged 3 bullets. You really, really don't. And third, you're going to find articles whether you want to or not." The last one is technically not true but believing it really helped me keep chugging along. Best of luck on your OCI. Remember to take a moment to breathe when your body stiffens so you can relax and be kind to yourself.
  7. On Diplock's point, I think it is helpful to keep track of what's happening on the other side because it will help you determine when you are in a "no win" situation. It sounds like a "no win" situation to me. A "no win" is where any action to improve the status quo or do the 'right thing' will almost definitely make things worse, the status quo is also unbearable, and extricating yourself from the status quo is not worth it. Actually, it's so close being worth it that you can't tell, so there's a meta-"no win" there too. Don't look that up btw, that's totally a real definition. Everyone experiences emotional crisis at some point in their lives. I don't mean to be defeatist about it but if you weren't an articling student you would likely experience some emotional crisis at work at some point in your life, and we can't go Isekai or John Wick as a response to it. The answer is attending to your mental health: call the lawyer's assistance program. It's free and you'll be talking to someone who was a lawyer before (as far as I recall). Having access to free counselling is a huge privilege unavailable to many who are going through crises that are just as legitimate as your one. Thankfully, this too shall pass lol sorry gandalf #balrogdidnothingwrong. But seriously, call LAP, give the CBT and counselling work a go, get mixed results, reconsider all your life choices up to this point, get into voodoo dolls to punish your enemies, say no to drugs (I mean it), vent to those you trust, rediscover your hobbies and interests, and give the voodoo dolls a second shot. Tragedy and comedy, name a more iconic duo. EDIT: IIRC you legit cannot work while doing PLTC, like that's a rule somewhere, so to the extent anyone experiences an employer requesting conduct contrary to the rules, remember that feeling when the opportunity to skirt the rules presents itself in your practice (it will definitely happen) and be better. No ... not better. Be Best! lol still can't believe they went with that and anti-bullying.
  8. Make sure you also hydrate as needed. That's what the water near the podium is for. I definitely get cotton mouth easily since I'm not used to projecting my voice in social or work settings. I also agree that knowing the case inside and out helps with confidence/courage. Imagine being the judge or master thinking "Who is this person? What's this about? Why are they here? What do they want? Why should they get it?" Refine your submissions until you discover their simplest form. I found it easier to be confident when I framed my submissions as an explanation for how things are rather than how they should be or what I want. I'm just the messenger here to explain that given these facts + the law, this is the outcome.
  9. I think this falls somewhat into a grey area and agree with Diplock's phrasing. To add something: applicants are normally worried one particular feature of their application will make the difference. But no matter what you put into a cover letter, some prospective employer will find some part of it mundane, unnecessary, an exaggeration, etc. That also goes for some employer finding some part of it as relatable, impressive, etc. Unless you're a straight-A honours gold-medalist + everyone's favourite personality, there is no "perfect" application package that all your potential employers would agree upon. If you've competently illustrated what you're selling (yourself) based on what they want/need, try not to fuss about the grey areas if you've properly attended to the black/white (analogy is collapsing but plz roll with it). FWIW: I am not an employer but my employer does ask my opinion on hiring and I would have found the explanation of your transcript helpful, as long it was kept to a minimum in providing context for your relevant skills. Oh, also I do think it goes to resilience but IMO resilience is lower priority on the list of relevant qualities.
  10. What I'm getting from other posts is "if you weren't wronged, then your disappointment isn't justified, might even be your fault, so reset your expectations, and make the best of it". I say it's fine to reset your expectations and make the best of this situation. But you can still be disappointed. You thought things were going to work out a certain way, and they didn't, so you're bummed. That's justification enough. But the disappointment you feel in these circumstances is no indication you were wronged. Separate that out. People's lives are complex and they have to make tough decisions. Unless it's a really big deal, and you know everything that went into that decision, don't hold it against them. This includes if someone made a "mistake" by giving you positive indications and then suddenly pull the rug from under you. I wasn't wronged when that happened to me. I had to leave the firm on the same day. It sucked but sometimes it's just the way it goes. I have good relations with them now, they just preferred giving severance and not prolonging things. Ultimately I asked myself, is there an employment contract issue?(no) will they provide a good reference?(yes) Realizing that I magically became content and focused on being productive. Haha, no, I continued to be bummed out and my progress was slow. Sometimes you just gotta busy yourself with this and that while you wait for the disappointment to fade. It gets better.
  11. It's best to go to law school in the same province where you want to work. This is because laws do differ between provinces, so you generally want to learn the law you'll practice, and it's far easier to obtain articles when living in the city you want to work in. It's easier to attend events, make connections, etc. I'm no employer but seeing UVic undergrad + UVic law school is not unusual. There's a bunch of UBC undergrad + UBC law school resumes out there. Having a unique educational history may be an interesting topic of conversation or possibly relevant to the work it self, but it's not necessary. People choose schools for many different reasons, e.g. family, friends, opportunities, having roots, specialization, etc. "Mixing it up a bit and trying something new" is all well and good as long as it doesn't make it significantly harder to get to where you want to go.
  12. Beyond the things mentioned by others, e.g. training efficiency, at some firms and companies there is literally one physical space for the articling student. While there could be a way to accommodate two for a few days, the only ones who would know are the people in charge. It's not a major request but it's also not a trivial request. And if an employer is going to make significant and unanticipated changes to an employee's work space or schedule, it's perfectly prudent to notify that employee first and consider what they say.
  13. Here is some information from the Law Society of Ontario on mental health assistance. Support your sister in making inquiries. https://lso.ca/about-lso/initiatives/member-assistance-program As for advice on surviving the trials and tribulations of the articles search, obviously no one here is going to give you articles, so the only thing to offer is perspective and encouragement. Here is some blatant self-promotion of that. (Note: this is not professional help or advice - the link for that is above): https://lawstudents.ca/forums/topic/43190-i-got-articles-i-actually-got-articles/?tab=comments#comment-566868
  14. >First contested application in chambers. >Get booted to a judge instead of a master. Never done that but ok. >Judge visibly annoyed at this matter being sprung on him during his break. >I have to break it to Judge that this will take 1 hour instead of 20 minutes (that's why we were booted). >Judge is now really upset. >Opposing counsel goes first, says respondent has to produce documents. >Judge in visible agreement. >My turn, first sentence about privacy, Judge says privacy is not relevant ... very awkwardly take Judge to case to prove my point >Judge visibly displeased, tells me to continue, I finish my argument >Opposing counsel replies and in the process mischaracterizes one case, sits down. >...silence as Judge deliberates with a scowl... >I slowly rise to clarify the mischaracterized case >Judge stares daggers at me and says loudly: "You Don't Get a Second Chance". >Fall into my chair, scarred for life. apparently I was not technically entitled to a reply. It goes 1. appellant, 2. respondent (me), 3. appellant reply. Judge decides that I have to produce documents for the court and the opposing party to review so judgment is delayed until that happens. Happy ending: >second appearance. >argue about each document. >Judge decides in my favor for every single one of them.
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