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About Caracol

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  1. Why suffer through a few months of something you’re not super keen to learn when you can suffer only a few weeks to learn it for the bar? The bar exams are painful enough, don’t make them worse by starting early 😂 I didn’t take any bar exam-related courses and passed just fine. Most people I know did the same. Take what you’re interested in and worry about the bar exams later.
  2. I was not involved with the admissions committee or anything, but I don't think province of origin is a factor considered by the committee -- I imagine the 86.5% is more likely a consequence of the large majority of applicants being from within Ontario.
  3. I didn't do one, but based on what I heard from those who did a secondment in my articling class: The hours are usually better; It can be somewhat isolating, depending on where you're going; You may have to travel outside of Toronto; You may miss out on events with your student class; and You may be disadvantaged timing-wise in terms of your rotations (e.g., if you go first or second rotation and those are the rotations where everyone is back at the firm making amazing impressions, you may come back feeling disadvantaged; that doesn't mean you are actually disadvantaged though, but I saw some who were temporarily stressed about that). You should also keep in mind that even if you do apply for a secondment, you may not get it, perhaps because going on secondment is over-subscribed or perhaps because either you or the firm aren't certain of where you're going to end up post-articling. If you are at all uncertain about which area of law you ultimately wish to practice, you might want to avoid doing a secondment until you have that certainty.
  4. To add to the post above, some Bay Street firms also have specialized health law practices (Osler, for example). You could also work in-house at a healthcare institution. Options definitely exist - but keep your mind open, as a lot changes between 1L and the end of articling, etc.
  5. I think they may specifically offer these scholarships to entice you to accept. A few years ago, when I received one myself, I remember there was a stipulation that you firm accept within a relatively short period of time. One reason to avoid firm accepting until you have to!
  6. Hey OP, I started law school at 28 (turning 29 shortly thereafter) and never felt too much older than the other students in my cohort. More importantly, I've always felt that my pre-law school experience played in my favour during recruitment and I continue to feel that way in relation to articling. If you want to chat further, send me a PM! I'm happy to share my experiences. You'll be fine!
  7. Hey, In the 2L Bay Street recruit, the firms definitely asked for our undergraduate transcripts, which means they would certainly ask for them during the 1L recruit. From what I heard, at least for some firms, your undergraduate GPA may be given some sort of weight (albeit very small) during the initial review process. I do not know how this applies to firms outside of the formal Bay Street recruit. I wouldn't worry about it too much - you may get a question or two about it during interviews (although I doubt it), but at the end of the day, you got into law school and your law school performance will speak for itself. With regards to the 1L internship, keep in mind that most students do not get one. I don't think firms really care what you do during your summer, as long as you have good grades and have something interesting to talk about during OCIs. I suggest you think about the skills firms are looking for (e.g., team work) and try to get some experience, whether paid or otherwise, that helps build those skills. Good luck!
  8. Yes - that's correct. I think some firms have on their website something along the lines of.. "we are not participating in the formal articling recruit, but would consider CVs from exceptional candidates." So, there may be informal opportunities if you keep an eye on firm websites. A lot of major firms lose a couple people from their summer classes to clerking, NYC, or something else, so it's not crazy to me that firms would be open to adding one or two more people if the right CVs came across their desk. That being said, I think it's incredibly rare.
  9. I know someone currently articling at a large Bay St. firm who previously summered at a large (and different) firm in Vancouver. From what I understand, this person was hired outside of the formal recruit (as this firm did not participate in the articling recruit) and just wrote the Ontario bar this month. So, it’s possible, but not necessarily likely. All the best!
  10. I’m articling at a large Bay Street firm and disagree with much of what you’re saying. I’ve heard from several junior associates that they haven’t worn a suit since their interviews and regularly see women in dresses/jackets. While I like suits myself on certain days, I would never look at someone in a dress/jacket and think it’s “business casual.” I would also never call such a combination “eccentric.” This may not be the case in every firm, but at least in mine, you wear what suits you, as long as it’s professional. It can be pink, blue, green, grey - whatever. I do not think it would affect how people think of you in interviews or at a client meeting. Then again, I’m an articling student so take this with a grain of salt. I don’t speak about this with people; these are merely my observations.
  11. I think telling them would be prejudicial, so now that you’ve already said the words, I’d just leave it as is.
  12. I echo this! I look forward to meeting a few of you tomorrow. Just think - a few years from now you’ll be on the other side, too! All the best.
  13. I used Ontario Law Exam indices for both exams in June and they were perfect (in other words, I passed both exams and found them comprehensive, easy to use, with no errors). I cannot imagine spending weeks creating my own when you can get such excellent quality indices at no fee when you buy practice tests, which you are presumably going to buy anyways. Everyone gets the LSUC table of contents by default, but using both tools together is likely the best strategy. I used the TOC when I could, but used the index when I really had no idea where to find whatever the topic was in the TOC. It’s nice to have two options, as you can choose whatever option is fastest. Good luck!
  14. This. Lots of good advice in here. The only thing I will add is for point 4. I always used past summaries to begin with and followed them during the readings/in class. If they were bad, I made my own; if they were good, I used them and added my own notes and modified as I went. I definitely started that process from day 1 of each term.
  15. I also heard this today from a very reliable source. The numbers sounded the same or similar to those described above for Faskens.
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