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WicketStyx

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. oh my god where am i what is going on here
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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?
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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).
  11. A friend of a friend said that Heenan Blaikie might be downsizing in the next little while. Sounds like hogwash to me, though.
  12. I finished articling on August 9th. My principal is the head of a small PI firm (him and one other lawyer). While hireback as an associate was not an option for financial reasons, my principal did offer me a chance to stay on and get a piece of every file that I settled. Since then, I have been applying to a variety of postings having to do with PI and insurance defence. I have sent out roughly ten applications and have gotten call backs for three (so far). All of these postings called for "1-3 years of plaintiff personal injury/insurance defence experience". Now, obviously, I don't have 1-3 years experience as a lawyer. But, I did work for two auto insurance comanies both before and during law school (claims related, but not in a legal capacity or as a summer law student). I have tried to emphasize these experiences as being in addition to my 10 months of articling. While I have obviously not had a 100% success rate in doing so, I am pleased with the results, so far. Far be it from me to act like some kind of legal employment guru, but I would encourage you to try interpreting the "1-3 years of experience in...." a little more liberally than you have and drawing from any relevant experience in your background or work history. Some employers will stick rigidly to the definition of "1-3 years experience" as of "1-3 years of experience as a lawyer" and some less so.
  13. Fairly early on during articles, I misunderstood a filing deadline associated with a motion we were bringing. The motion had to be rescheduled and pushed back slightly, as a result of my error. Totally my fault. Upon finding out about my error and the need to push the motion back, my boss screamed, swore, ranted for a half hour and threw his chair part way across the office. An hour after that, he told me not to worry and that he made the same types of errors as an articling student. The next day, he was laughing about it. The following weekend, he sent me a text message telling me not to let a mistake like that get to me and that my work was excellent. I finished articling a few weeks ago. While I didn't get hired back in a permanent capacity (it's only a two lawyer firm), my principal told me my work was superb and that he'd hire me in a second if he was bringing in a little more money. He also offered me an opportunity to continue on in a fee-split arrangement and gave me a sizable bonus following the end of articles. Go figure.
  14. I think a mistake that I made early on was to, when asked if I had questions, come up with questions that I thought sounded intelligent as opposed to questions I genuinely wanted the answers to. The people interviewing you are smart - they see through that crap and will tend to be dismissive of such pandering.
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