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Bike Tester

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Everything posted by Bike Tester

  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.
  16. I called LSUC and they said it's going to be about 2 more weeks until they are ready. Unbelievable.
  17. Law society says 6-8 weeks, but last year they got results back in 4, so you never know. Personally, I am utterly mystified as to even the shorter timeline. How long could it possibly take to run a piece of paper through a Scantron machine and enter a result? Seems like it should take like 3 days tops, even if it's only one employee working 8 hours a day.
  18. That is definitely the case. It's pretty much solely the full-time tenured profs who are like that. The part time/contract profs who come in from firms to teach are almost invariably apolitical, which makes the left-wing echo chambers relatively easy to avoid, at least in terms of class time.
  19. I wouldn't say any of the things you listed as conservative values are accepted at all, let alone accepted as "orthodox truths" in law school, particularly the last two. Generally it's the apolitical types who get biglaw jobs. You are quite right to think that, subject to a few exceptions, it is not the far-left ideologues gunning for Bay Street. While Harper is very despised, I did not feel that it was Harper in particular, so much as conservative ideology as such which was constantly under attack. I do not at all believe that Hugh Segal or Peter McKay, or really anyone to the left of Trudeau (at bare minimum) would find their views well received either. Again, I'm only talking about my experience at uOttawa though. Perhaps things were different at McGill.
  20. Yes and no. I'm talking about "open" conservatives in law school, rather than conservatives at large in law school. I am absolutely certain there were, in fact, a fair number of conservatives present, at least among the student body. They just felt the need to hide in the closet about it. Whether or not this is acceptable representation is a matter of opinion. I am not arguing that there are any pre-law school systemic barriers preventing conservatives from attending law school in the first place.
  21. It's just a hostile and toxic atmosphere for conservatives, one in which they are seen as "the enemy", rather than individuals with a unique perspective which could conceivably be valid, or at least worthy of discussion. Like, for example, on Welcome Day, the professor running the show made at least 3 jokes taking potshots at Harper, and basically laughing about how evil white conservatives are selfish assholes. If any Harper supporters were in attendance, they would certainly have been made to feel very unwelcome. If I supported Harper and decided to go to law school despite this, I would certainly consider keeping my mouth shut to avoid alienating myself from professors and peers. Basically, I think a good way to put it is that going to law school as a conservative is a lot like going to divinity school as an atheist or agnostic (although in my experience going to Catholic high school as an agnostic, Catholics are actually far more welcoming of dissenting opinions than law school "progressives"). If you are a conservative in law school, your views aren't really considered or debated, but rather simply assumed to be wrong because they run contrary to the established orthodoxies of the institution. Consider that the very term "social justice" (a buzzword at uOttawa, as well as a number of other schools) rhetorically assumes without justification that the social and economic views of the left are morally correct and constitute "justice." You have to have a very thick skin to put up with a lot of insults in a space where your presence is not welcomed or appreciated. I'm not sure what exactly you would qualify as "systemic exclusion", but that's basically what I'm talking about. To be clear, I am not implying any sort of conspiracy, or that a conscious effort is being made to keep conservatives out of law. I am just recounting my observations about my experience at one particular school.
  22. That's really neither here nor there. Yes, things used to be pretty exclusive in the past, but it's 2015. If any group (except for conservatives seemingly) was systemically excluded like that today, there would certainly be widespread outrage.
  23. Like I said, schools may vary. I went to uOttawa, which admittedly is known for having a more left-wing slant than a lot of other schools, but I was absolutely astonished by the lack of intellectual diversity there. When I say 0% openly support Harper, I literally mean that I have not met a single student or professor who openly supports Harper. And when I say far-left, I don't mean Toronto Star/CBC left-wing, I mean Tumblr/Jezebel left-wing. Now that said, it's not like everyone at the school was a far-left ideologue, and indeed, it's more of an extremely vocal minority than anything else, but those that are not far-left ideologues simply don't discuss politics at all. So when politics are discussed, it's going to be from a pretty much exclusively far-left perspective.
  24. Be that as it may, 40% of Canadians voted for Harper. 0% of law professors and students that I came across in 3 years openly supported Harper. I don't even personally support Harper, but if you want to talk about creating an actually representative cross-section of Canadian society, this is a matter that should be addressed, no? If an ethnic group, sexual orientation, religious, or linguistic group that comprised 40% of the Canadian population was completely absent (or hiding in the closet) in law school, there would be widespread outrage. A school can't really call itself "diverse" when it's only one point of view being constantly presented.
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