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About Hesse

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  1. UBC probably does marginally better in placing grads into Vancouver Big Law firms due to it being located right in Vancouver, but UVic and UBC are pretty much regarded as on-par by Vancouver firms.
  2. UBC grad here. If you're interested in criminal law, UBC has some fantastic experiential learning opportunities to get a sense of what the practice of criminal law is actually like. Off the top of my head there's: Law Students Legal Advice Program (LSLAP): Legal aid clinic that 1Ls can start volunteering for from day one. You can start taking on very minor criminal defence files (assault, uttering threats, etc.) and appearing in court right away. Pro Bono Students Canada (PBSC): This is an umbrella organization that can pair you with a public interest group doing work in certain areas. I can't recall exactly what criminal law-focussed programs there were, but I remember reading about a few of them. Innocence Project: I did not take this clinic but my understanding is that there's less courtroom work and more of a focus on research. It sounds like a pretty great opportunity to learn about the criminal justice system. Criminal Law Clinic: This is a great clinic where you focus exclusively on criminal files in the Downtown Eastside's Provincial Court. Most students work with defence counsel, however, every year the Provincial Crown agrees to take two students on and allow them to conduct bail hearings, sentencing and trials as Provincial Crown. It's a pretty amazing opportunity to see what the day-to-day work of a Crown is actually like. On top of that, UBC offers a lot great upper-year courses in criminal law and has some fantastic teachers, both practitioners and professors.
  3. I'm an articling student at a large national firm in Vancouver. On a typical day I come in around 8:45, get to work at 9:00 and usually take off around 6:00 or 6:30. At least one day a week I'll be staying later than that or bringing my laptop home with me and putting in another hour or two at home. I've had to work a few weekends, but for the most part my colleagues are very good at not jamming me with things to do on Friday evening.
  4. https://www.parl.ca/LegisInfo/
  5. BC has Court Services Online where you can access court documents for ongoing cases (pleadings, facta, etc.), albeit for a high fee (something like $6.00 per document). AFAIK, BC is the only province with an online platform to access court documents. In your case: I would maybe make a trip to the Court of Appeal Registry (if possible) and see if you can access physical copies of the documents.
  6. Just out of curiosity, what ultimately happened with this person? Were charges approved against them? If so, did they elect for a trial or settle on a lesser charge? Were they disciplined by the Crown office? I always wondered what would happen in that scenario.
  7. TRU grads seem to place decently well in Vancouver firms, at least from my observation. My completely anecdotal observation is that UBC and UVic grads tend to be represented the most, followed by TRU and out-of-province schools.
  8. Give appropriate notice and it's no problem at all. If you ask the day before whether you can take tomorrow off, then it might be an issue. I had 3 vacation days for my summer and took 2 off; I gave ~4 weeks notice of both.
  9. LSLAP functions like many other legal clinics: you directly assist clients with their legal matters (under the supervision of an actual lawyer). This could include appearing with them in court to defend them on less serious criminal charges, drafting a demand letter to their former employer to help them get severance pay, or helping them deal with an unscrupulous landlord. Pro Bono Students Canada (PBSC) has many more specialized "placements" for students where you may work directly with clients, or you may work with a legal nonprofit organization (e.g. BC Civil Liberties Association). To give you a better sense of what PBSC offers, here's a list of the 2017-2018 placements: http://pbsc.allard.ubc.ca/prospective-volunteers/student-placements/
  10. Go to UBC and save the $$$. It'll make a difference in the long-term.
  11. I can't speak for Ontario and Alberta, but my view is that BC's legal market seems to be doing quite well. Big Law firms have hired an increased number of summer/articling students (and recently raised their pay from $55,000/year to $65,000/year), hireback rates (from articling student to associate positions) are quite good, and I'm told through the grapevine that there are many firms seeking/hiring associates at the 3-5 year call level. Also 98% of UBC Law's graduating class last year had secured articles within 6 months of graduation.
  12. "Crown" in BC means two organizations: the federal government's Department of Justice (of which the federal Crown prosecution service, PPSC, is under the umbrella of), and BC's Ministry of Attorney General (MAG), which the provincial Prosecution Service is under. Employees of both are typically referred to as "Crown" prosecutors. DOJ hires summer students during on-campus interviews (OCIs) in Fall of 2L, and I believe during the articling recruit during the summer between 2L and 3L. Students hired at the DOJ typically "rotate" between PPSC and other areas of law that the DOJ handles (immigration, tax, etc.). BC MAG is slightly different. During my 2L year, the MAG was not hiring summer students for the Prosecution Service and was only hiring summer students for the Legal Services Branch, which does not handle criminal prosecutions. However, in the past the Prosecution Service has hired summer students, so perhaps this practice could return during another year. BC's MAG does typically conduct a recruitment drive for articling positions with the Prosecution Service, but this is held after OCIs, typically in February for 2Ls/3Ls. Hope this answers your questions.
  13. Has anyone heard about second-round interview offers from the BC Courts?
  14. Seems like a bunch of downtown firms have followed Lawson and bumped articling salaries to 65k.
  15. There's a legislated cap on tuition increases in BC universities. I believe it's about 2% a year. This is the only reason UBC tuition remains low: if the cap were to be removed tomorrow the law school wouldn't hesitate to raise tuition substantially. The big secret is there is no sacrifice in education. UBC is a great school despite charging around 1/3 in tuition of the bigger law schools in Ontario (Osgoode, U of T). We can endlessly debate the nuances of how you measure the "quality" of a legal education, but I'm confident in saying UBC would place quite high in any objective measurement (though perhaps I'm biased as a current UBC student 😉). I am not an expert in the economics of higher education, however, my impression is that law schools are actually quite inexpensive to administer. Beyond professor and administrator salaries, there really aren't a whole lot of fixed costs to running a law school (unlike other professional programs like, say, medicine or dentistry, where educating students requires expensive labs and other equipment in addition to professors and administrators). I think high tuition costs for law school are primarily driven by universities understanding that the willingness to pay of potential law students will always be quite high because the schools can simply point to high starting salaries in Big Law as justification for increasingly high tuition. However, the reality is that many law school graduates don't end up making Big Law salaries, and many graduates are left saddled with substantial debt. Students should be a lot more critical about universities justifying increasingly high law school tuition. UBC, UVic, McGill, U of C, U Sask, U of A, and UNB are all similarly-priced schools that provide great law programs. They are proof that students don't need to sell their firstborn child to get a proper legal education.
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