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About WicketStyx

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  1. Posted this in the "Pandemic" thread, but I suppose it is relevant here. Myself and three others were laid off yesterday. Small PI firm in the Greater Toronto Area. 4 lawyers, maybe 6-7 paralegals and 4-5 support staff in total. My boss adamantly told me that it was not a performance issue and that it was just down to numbers. It was a little hard to take - the year had been going very well numbers-wise for me (in terms of settlement figures) up until the last week and a half. Basically, all of our mediations and EFD's that were scheduled to occur in the next six weeks had been cancelled. Counsel were generally hesitant to switch the in-person mediations to teleconferences or videoconferences. As well, there is a very strong preference for in-person discoveries in the PI field. Mediations are where a ton of our files settle. It seems as though the powers that be at my firm are now trying to settle whatever files were earmarked for mediation at a discount to bring some money into the firm and keep the lights on. We tried to settle files over the phone and via e-mail in the last few weeks, but many of our opposite numbers were either not in the office or in quarantine. Then, in the event that we did reach them, it would take a long time to get instructions from their adjuster clients. Bummer.
  2. Whereabouts (roughly) are you located? I'm in the Toronto area and I often see NCA networking events being advertised online. The group around here appears to be robustly run and quite active. I do not have much advice about the interpersonal issues that you are facing (though I certainly remember feeling similarly when I was looking for an articling gig), but I'd check out networks for people in my situation.
  3. Striving to be aggressively passable is where it's at for me, lately.
  4. It's almost as if "benefiting from privilege" and "working hard" are not mutually exclusive concepts. Woah.
  5. Generally, I feel satisfied. The first couple years of practice have certainly been tumultuous. I've learned a lot and I think that I'm building a strong reputation and greater confidence in my abilities. I live a comfortable lifestyle in a very trendy part of town and I can afford to do fun things on a regular basis. The stress and some of the hours that I pull are negatives, but I feel as though I'm doing important work that matters. Furthermore, it is challenging work by just about anyone's standards and I regularly feel proud of rising to the occasion and managing a successful practice. There have certainly been a fair share of dumb mistakes and cringey moments, but I've tried to take it all in stride. Conan O'Brien once said about comedy that, when it's going well, he'd do it for free. When it's going poorly, he continued, he'd rather do anything else in the world. I catch myself thinking the same thing about litigation, but (and this is perhaps for the best), most of the day-to-day stuff falls somewhere comfortably in the middle of those two poles.
  6. It's interesting how closely the above mirrors my experience with the bar and with articling. OP: it's very possible and not at all suicidal. Others have made these recommendations individually, but here is what I would consider the most important assets in passing the bar: 1. Keep to a consistent, reasonable schedule in terms of reading the materials 2. Possess/create/acquire decent indices and become familiar with their layout 3. Absolutely make sure that you have a timing sheet/chart when you go into the exam - the chart is likely to be off by about 5-10 questions compared to the actual bar exam that you write, but I found it invaluable in staying on track when writing the exam 4. Don't leave off reading the solicitor materials until the two week gap between that exam and the barrister's exam (or vice versa); in other words, I found it helpful to keep to my reading schedule up until pretty close to each exam - it didn't really harm me that I had finished the barrister's read-through about a month before the barrister's exam and had dug into the solicitor's material by the time that the barrister's exam occurred 5. Be very aware of timing during the exam - circling a question and moving on if you are having trouble locating the answer after a minute or two is not only acceptable, it's crucial; it hurt for me to do this, in a sense - I wanted to be done with questions completely before moving on, but that will be a death sentence when you realize that there is ten minutes left and about 25 questions remaining that you have not even read yet.
  7. Sorry to hear of your troubles. The following is simply what worked for me. From your description, it seems that at least one area where there is room for improvement is time management. While I certainly felt rushed, I also had more than enough time to get to the ends of both exams as well as to circle back and get the questions that I skipped earlier. This may seem obvious, but I cannot stress it enough: SKIP questions that you are not finding the answers to within 2-3 minutes (tops) and move on. Circle these unanswered questions and come back to them later. I found it difficult to consistently do this, as I hated the idea of not being completely done with a section, but it's critical. You'll squander a ton of time if you don't do at least some strategic skipping. Also, were you using a time chart? If so, disregard this piece of advice. If not, I'd highly recommend using one. Your chart may be slightly inaccurate, given that it would be based on a total number of questions that may be off by five or so. Regardless, the chart kept me on track and helped me to feel as though I was actually making progress during the exam (instead of wading about in what seemed like an infinite sea of difficult questions). Beyond that, you should receive a customized report from LSUC with some information on your performance for individual sections. I never got one myself, but I was told that it gives you some information on your performance vs what a passing score would be. Focus on problem areas for your next writing.
  8. oh my god where am i what is going on here
  9. I'm glad that there was a healthy amount of negativity and skepticism on this forum when I first started perusing it. Coming from a predominantly non-law familial and social background, I didn't really have anyone who walked this path to talk to about it. Most of the people in my life offered well-intentioned, blind affirmations like "You'll have no problem getting in", "I always thought you'd make a good lawyer" and "I'll probably come to you for legal advice some day". It became sort of an echo chamber of unbridled positivity that was of very limited utility after an boost of confidence. Using this forum as just one of many sources of information about the practice of law and legal education in Canada was very useful to me. It was helpful (if sometimes unpleasant) to read less than glowing predictions about my chances at getting somewhere (or the chances of people whose GPA and LSAT were similar to mine). With that said, I think that this forum should not be one's principal source of guidance about what area of law to practice or where to receive your education. Some of the things that I read on here were dead on and some were completely wrong. That's probably a much better success rate than most online forums, but I tried not to derive an undue amount of inspiration or discouragement solely from posts on here.
  10. I articled in PI and now am working downtown doing insurance defence at a boutiqueish sized place. I'm only a first year associate, but I'm very open to answering some questions. I can't really answer about market saturation. PI firms are certainly everpresent, particularly in Ontario. A certain number of very well-known PI "firms" are essentially referral services where injured people (who thought they were getting represented by the firm itself) instead get referred to other, smaller firms that actually practice law. The referring firm agrees with the handling firm to a certain percentage of whatever they settle on. This is now coming under increasing scrutiny and negative attention by LSUC, so I don't think it will continue for much longer. The firm I articled at certainly "paid" for an influx of files, every so often. There seemed to be no shortage of work. Though, accident benefit disputes, which were previously mediated and arbitrated through FSCO, are now being managed by the less formal and more user-friendly License Appeal Tribunal. This move was, at least partially, intended to increase access to dispute resolution for people without lawyers. My articling principal and others had worries that this would result in less plaintiff AB work.
  11. I get that you're just blowing off some steam here, but I am slightly confused. Why do you "have" to be around other people all the time? My law school was small and very tight knit. Believe me, sometimes I resented this and wished it was less so. Still, when I was feeling fed up, I just took my space for however long I needed it. Not once did I ever feel as though my private, solitary time was seriously at risk of being completely usurped. Why do you feel this way?
  12. I articled at a two-lawyer PI firm in North York and then was hired as an associate at a mid-sizeish insurance defence firm in downtown Toronto. I articled from October-August and, if memory serves, I didn't begin applying to associate level positions until late June. My call date was in September, so I was a little wary of applying way in advance of actually being a lawyer. I started applying in earnest when articling was done and especially in September. By mid-October, I had three offers. I think that there is a practicality aspect to consider here: most advertised associate gigs are fairly immediate needs. If you are applying months and months ahead of the conclusion of your articles and your call date, I think you should expect some difficulty. Unless you are a superstar applicant, I doubt they'd hire you very far in advance. External associate hiring processes were much less ahead of time than a lot of articling recruits. I also don't know how useful it would be to chat with adjusters you have come into contact with. Obviously, I don't know the relationships you have cultivated with these people, but, in my experience, they don't have much to do with the hiring process for in-house counsel at their companies.
  13. I had 6 interviews and 2 offers in the two and a half month span between the end of articles and the beginning of my current job. Believe me, I am not (and was not) a star candidate. It took me forever to secure articles in the first place. I was pleasantly surprised at the (comparatively) rapid turnaround time between finishing articles and being hired elsewhere.
  14. I had none of these items with me (well, I had a cell phone, but it died midway through both days). My total lack of success at obtaining OCI's seems so obvious, now.
  15. This didn't take place on Bay Street (it was a mid-sized firm on University Avenue), but I was invited to a second in-firm interview at the conclusion of my first (2013 cycle).
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