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Bike Tester

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Bike Tester last won the day on January 23 2012

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  1. I was recently informed that my firm is not hiring anyone this year, so I find myself on the job hunt. Looking for opinions here: -Since I won't be called to the bar until June, should I mention this in the cover letter or can I include it in the CV? -I was given an excellent letter of reference. Should I include it without being asked, or simply say it's available upon request? -Should I send out resumes to firms that aren't advertising, or just go through employment agencies? -Is this a time when firms are hiring or does activity generally pick up later in the fall?
  2. To add to this, smaller law schools like Queens or U of T also have first-year mandatory classes with 75-100 students. They just have fewer sections of them. uOttawa has a large class size in terms of total number of students, but the literal size of the actual classrooms is comparable to any other school.
  3. There is unquestionably an underdog mentality to the school. I don't necessarily think that's a good reason not to go, but I'm not going to sugarcoat it. School spirit is almost nonexistent. Given the huge size of the school in the relatively small city of Ottawa, local kids like myself (for whom uOttawa was a first choice) are a surprisingly small minority. The majority of the student body are people from the GTA who couldn't get into U of T/Osgoode and are varying degrees of bitter about this. I have no idea what effect this has on securing a job. Is going to a more "prestigious" school going to give you a slight leg up? Maybe. I'm not going to pretend that there's no chance this is true, because I have no idea what goes into employment decisions. However, I don't know of any firm that would look at uOttawa on your resume and pitch it directly into the trash for that reason alone. I know uOttawa students who got jobs in all sorts of different environments, including Bay Street and even New York (as I mentioned previously). Real law firms (in Canada anyway) don't seem to discriminate based on law school to anywhere near the degree students think they do. Talented students get interviews and find jobs no matter where they go to school.
  4. I did have specific interests, and ultimately ended up at the perfect firm for those interests, but my interviews were a full gamut of almost every type of law imaginable.
  5. I have no idea whether that actually happens or not. Personally, I didn't chance it. I spoke my mind in class, but on exams and assignments, I just repeated the professor's opinions (with reference to case law and everything obviously). Blind grading is a great thing.
  6. It's mostly an Ontario school. A couple people from Vancouver, but not too many. To my understanding though, most of the relatively few people from BC and western provinces did find jobs there.
  7. Competition in the Ottawa market is pretty brutal. It took me and a number of my friends a while to nail down a position. However, in my friend circle at least, everyone eventually found an articling position. I don't personally know of anyone who was left out in the cold and had to do the LPP. The thing about uOttawa is that, for some reason, it tends to attract a lot of people who aren't interested in Bay Street. However, of the people I know who were seriously interested in Bay Street, they almost all secured jobs there. Plenty of successful Bay Street lawyers come out of uOttawa. The American markets are tougher. I actually do know one guy who went to Baker & McKenzie in New York so it is possible, but I wouldn't count on it. I'll be blunt. Compared to most other law schools I visited, Fauteux as a building isn't the greatest. It's far too crowded and most of the building is rather aesthetically unattractive. Food options are not great, and I almost always prepared my own lunches for this reason. Aside from a very good poutine shack nearby, most of your options are going to be overpriced and underwhelming. Overall I think I had a very good experience at uOttawa and I'd do it again. There are some drawbacks like any place, however. My biggest gripes are the building itself and the often incompetent administration (not to be confused with the professors, who are excellent). One gripe I personally had is with the lack of intellectual diversity. Almost every discussion of politics and reform turned into a far-left echo chamber. I know almost every academic institution in Canada leans left, but I feel like this is particularly true at uOttawa. They really don't even try to provide balance, which is something I found somewhat off-putting.
  8. Ottawa is a major city and there are all types of firms here. Due to the oversupply of uOttawa grads it is very competitive however, not going to lie. French definitely gives you a leg up in Ottawa, but very few firms see it as a prerequisite per se. Pay is somewhat low compared to Toronto (not sure about Vancouver or Calgary markets) but from what I've heard, the hours are much more reasonable compared to Toronto so it's a trade-off.
  9. There are a TON of amazing experiential learning/internship opportunities at uOttawa, many of which can count for course credit. Most people don't take advantage, but they're definitely there if you look. I took a bunch myself and have nothing but good things to say about these programs. They were one of the highlights of my law school experience. I don't know about competitive advantage. People tend to believe, rightly or wrongly, that uOttawa is a lower-tier school, and I can't think of any actual advantage from being in the capitol. That said however, in my anecdotal experience I've never found that my choice of law school put me at a disadvantage. I personally had 45 articling interviews with every type of legal employer imaginable, including biglaw, midlaw, small firms, boutique firms, government departments, corporate in-house departments, etc. I (obviously) had a bit of an issue with closing the deal, but that's on me. Seeing uOttawa on my resume didn't prevent me from getting my foot in the door with any type of employer. No leather jackets unfortunately. School spirit at uOttawa does kind of suck, and that's one downside I've found.
  10. Ask me anything you'd like about my experience at uOttawa law school.
  11. Is there any difference between Harcourts and Imperial Robes? And if so, which is better? Also, I heard there was some sort of call to the bar discount. How do I get in on that?
  12. So, there's a rumor going around that the people responsible for the cheating scandal a couple years ago have FINALLY been exposed by the law society, fired from their articling positions at very prestigious firms, and barred from the practice of law for life. However, I can't for the life of me find an article on it or anything substantial to back this up. Does anyone have more info on this?
  13. I participated in this last year and it was a great experience. Would highly recommend! It's no more time commitment than a class would be, and you get a course credit for it. Plus I got to literally speak to a real tribunal representing a real client with a real issue, which is a very rare opportunity for law students.
  14. 7:15 wake up 7:20 actually get out of bed 7:20-7:45 wash up, dress, eat breakfast 7:50-8:15 bus to work 8:30: check email for new assignments, continue working on whatever you were working on the last day 5:15: start thinking about leaving, maybe finish something up. 5:30: actually leave, get on bus to head home 6:00: make/eat dinner 7:00-11:30: go to gym/hang out with friends/play video games/do whatever Maybe I'm just at a super chill firm, but overall, the hours don't live up to the hype in my experience. It's not a 9-5 job, but it's closer to that than you would think. There will be days when there's a tight deadline and I'll have to stay later, but those days are the exception, not the rule. More often than not, I can get all assigned work done during relatively normal business hours without turning down any work or playing it close with any deadlines. The key is to actually work 9-5 without getting distracted. If you learn to do that, you should have plenty of work-life balance.
  15. VICE is garbage journalism that exists solely to get clicks on Facebook with outrageous headlines paired with questionably researched/accurate content. I wouldn't put any stock in it.
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