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KOMODO

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KOMODO last won the day on February 3

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  1. (oh and by "staff" I mean lawyers too - I think most of our lawyers are working from home now)
  2. My firm (biglaw / Bay Street) and several others are remaining open but strongly encouraging WFH for all staff. Staff who do not have remote access yet are getting it and/or laptops in the next couple of days. All non-essential in person meetings cancelled, including between office team members. Anyone coming back from anywhere not permitted in the office for at least 14 days. Anyone who is still coming to the office today/tomorrow (mostly assistants who are waiting on remote access) has been instructed to flex their schedule so they don't travel at rush hour. In other news, Blakes has a confirmed case... https://www.blakes.com/pages/2020/covid-19-update
  3. $180 at mine, but I think BJ/Davies/Osler are all higher now.
  4. Sounds possible, just a bit harder. If I were in your shoes (and I don’t know what your firm or grades were like, but I assume both were decent), I would get in touch with as many firms as possible to let them know you’re interested in commercial RE specifically (assuming that’s true). Big firms and mid-size ones. Reach out to both the associate director type people and individual associates (they also earn referral bonuses if you’re hired, so they’re motivated to help if the firm actually is looking for a 3rd year but can’t find one, which happens all the time). But pick one associate to contact per firm, because it would seem weird if you contacted 5 and they talked about it. Most calls/emails probably won’t work out, but eventually one might, and once you get your foot in the door there are so many options. There are also a couple of postings for under 3 years right now so of course apply to those. Good luck!!
  5. I think this is an important caveat from that article? "After this item was first published on Monday, Osler spokesperson Judy Stein-Korte contacted Legal Post to note that firm does not provide data to the U.S. publisher: “Osler has never participated in any survey in which we are asked for financial data including the recently published Global 100 List. Numbers attributed to Osler are entirely speculative.” Those numbers all sound high to me to be 2016 averages, but again, I'm just an associate and don't actually know. But my guess is that Am Law might not actually know either.
  6. Always! If you have 3+ years of commercial real estate experience in Toronto, there are lots of firms looking for you. I think this week there were nearly 10 ads in the ORs, plus many other firms who would love to hire but aren't specifically posting right now. We get pretty constant recruiting calls, and we're desperate for junior to mid partner level people. The key though is having several or more years of commercial real estate experience - not residential, not corporate, not a bit of commercial mixed with wills - there don't seem to be many people who have the skill set everyone is seeking.
  7. These questions are getting so specific that nobody else's answers are likely to be helpful to you - you need to spend a few years working as an associate to see where your interests, strengths and relationships lie, and those items will be way more important determinants than whether you practice corporate law or become a real estate lawyer. I don't have detailed knowledge about partner pay, but suspect some RE partners make more than M&A partners, and vice versa. In both groups, some people become specialists while others serve a broader range of clients.
  8. At my firm/as far as I know: 1. 7-8 years and sometimes more for income partnership, then an additional 1-3 years and sometimes more to move from income to equity. 2. Almost all of them - but to put it another way, very few lawyers who don't make partner stay long term. The firms are trying to change this now, offering more counsel and in house/in firm/business stream positions for senior lawyers, but it's still a relatively uncommon path. 3. I don't know, and I don't think anyone other than partners would really know, but my sense is that earning $750k per year is not the norm. Sounds high.
  9. I'm a biglaw real estate associate in Toronto. I think my experience is closest to hitman's out of the responses in this thread so far. 1. Our base pay is the same and we're billed at the same rate per hour, but I think it's harder to capture time as a real estate associate, so you bill fewer hours, so the bonuses for RE are less than for M&A. If you're on one big M&A transaction, you can turn on your clock in the morning, work all day, and turn it off at night - nearly 100% of your time is captured, and the file size can support that kind of billing. In real estate, you're more likely to have a few purchases, a few other types of files, a few financings, etc. and work on multiple files in a day. You lose a lot of time switching between them, it takes longer to docket, and they aren't as big so you have to show that every billed hour provides value, you wouldn't get away with any padding (on most deals). Sure, when you're the RE lead on a big M&A project, maybe you have a crazy day and bill straight through, but it's not as common as for the M&A guys. 2. I would say you can be extremely busy in real estate, so sometimes you're working insane hours, but it's more possible to have a balanced practice and there's more predictability. In Ontario, you have to close real estate transactions by 5pm, so if you don't, you're extended to the next day (compare with corporate where they can still be trying to close at midnight). Also, as mentioned above, it's more normal to have a long DD period where you're waiting on government responses, finalizing title insurance, etc., so there's more lead time - being busy is just about volume, not urgency most of the time. So yeah, I would say we're more chill. 3. This depends more on the firm than the practice area. There are firms (and partners, and clients) that prefer to do a lot of BD, and others who do less. I have certain clients who don't want to be bothered, and others who love going to games. You will get lots of invites as a real estate lawyer to go to games, concerts, lunches, etc. where *you're* the client, because the title insurers love to take us out, but you can decline if you're not in the mood.
  10. 100% agree - the cost is less stressful for us than getting "accepted". We're on 18 waiting lists, and we got on them right away when I found out I was pregnant - before my GP even referred me to an OB. We also found through our tours that there was huge variation between the downtown options, so I have my heart set on one and really hope we get in.
  11. We're a two-lawyer-parent family and will be going the daycare route, so I'll report back to let you know how it goes once I'm back at work! For us, the cost of a nanny seemed prohibitively expensive (daycare will be around $2700+HST per month for the first 6 months then drop by a few hundred at regular intervals as the kid gets older - a nanny was going to be closer to $50k/year for less time coverage once we factored in taxes, etc.). Sure we make lots of cash, but we just recently paid off my student loan and our housing costs are very high, plus we'll be coming off a period where I earn no income for 8 months. I also liked the idea that I'll be *required* to leave the office by 5:30 to pick up our kid (around the corner at 5:45), because otherwise I would have been more likely to work late and not see her. There are two other lawyers in my office who are also using daycare and it seems to be working for them - it's challenging but possible. Granted all this might change with 2 kids. We'll see!
  12. I have total flexibility, and do a lot of "homing from work" (i.e. the opposite of working from home - I spend some time at the office booking doctors' appointments, paying bills, ordering stuff on Amazon, etc.). It works for me because I'm at my desk with my computer and can take a productive break doing my personal stuff, and then get back to work, and when I get home I don't have to do that stuff (though I might work at home at night instead). I also run errands during the day (stores are open, I'm downtown anyways) and work late/from home/on weekends to catch up for missed time for appointments, lunches, etc. I don't need anyone's permission to leave during the day, but as a courtesy I tell my assistant and whoever else I'm actively working with, and I keep an eye on my phone in case something comes up. The problem with all of this is that it causes major burnout. When you have no boundary between your personal life and your work life, you can feel like you're never "off", you're always kind of working. Even when you're out of the office or doing personal stuff, you're thinking about work, feeling guilty for not getting more done, or answering emails on your phone. And because you're always working, you're rarely working at 100%, even when you're fully in the office, because you're thinking about your personal and other stuff. So yeah, there's lots of integration. Probably too much, probably so much that it's worse for you and the work.
  13. Yes, totally agree. The standard for (most of the biggest) Bay Street firms is top up for male lawyers for 4 weeks parental leave, but from what I understand the majority of mid-size firms on and off Bay Street do not offer any top-up for male lawyers. I would love to start seeing policies increase those numbers, but it's an uphill battle and there is a lot of resistance from the firms (all claim that they're doing the same as the market, which is unfortunately almost universally true so far - there have been rumors of one or two firms providing more but no concrete confirmations yet). Once a few move, they all will. On the payback of premiums - yes, it really sucks. I think different firms handle it differently (some cover it) but there are definitely many that require you to write a cheque each month for health, LTD, etc.
  14. The heartening thing is that there's a decent body of research showing that men will take more leave if their employers provide it (i.e., provide top up to normal salaries) - so if we can convince firms to extend the top-up period for partners, I think parental leave will become more normalized for men, which will have a positive effect on women.
  15. 100% I think this is a common feeling among new moms on Bay Street - we make enough money that EI only covers around 20-30% of our normal salary (and then it's subject to tax, paying back firm deductions like health insurance premiums, etc.), so it's challenging to afford to take eight months with only EI. It's a hard thing to talk about because (in my experience) many partners do not understand why associates have an issue - partners have told me that I make enough money "it should be easy" to save for a year long leave. On the contrary, I would suggest most people would struggle to save eight months pay on nine months notice. I think many of the partners with this view forget that their situations, which often included home ownership, stay at home wives, low student debt, etc. were quite different from the situations associates have today. But in fairness, there are also younger people (partners and associates) who feel that the firms cover enough currently, and shouldn't be burdened by covering more. Personally, my husband and I saved aggressively for my leave (which will be 12 months long) before and during pregnancy, and it was somewhat stressful to make sure we had enough money in the bank to cover my usual portion of the bills for the 8 months without normal pay. But we were very lucky - I had finished paying off my loan a year earlier, and we both have high paying jobs. If only one of us made Bay Street money or we still had significant student loans, I would have needed to shorten my leave considerably. Pat leave really is part of the key - if my husband had any amount of paid paternity leave, that would have helped quite a bit. His firm doesn't offer any paid leave for non-birth moms, and from what I understand that's pretty common among mid-size firms. I really hope more firms move to recognize and pay for longer paternity leaves in the next few years.
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