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Ilinizas

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  1. This is one reason a usually avoid this community. There is far too much nonsense like this. We can disagree without calling each others' posts "bullshit", and further, you didn't even try to provide a useful counter-argument, and even further, I didn't say that was my position - I asked a question to get opinions on a position I've heard.
  2. I've never seen a DIY kit that didn't add at least some value. DIY kits typically include an education element. You need to learn how to fill out the form, and there are usually instructions to do that. If that education piece is done well, then it's valuable, but unless someone profits, it's not ever going to exist. So, the idea that no one should profit, essentially means that this will never be an option. As for "lack of money" v. "lack of education"... how do people get educated? They pay for it. It seems like a 6 of 1 and a half dozen of the other situation. They pay for education by hiring a lawyer. I guess, for me, it's a bit strange to hear you say that on one hand, you've seen so many people fuck things up trying to do it themselves, and on the other hand, "cost" isn't the primary barrier to accessing legal services. Why are there so many self-reps, and why are 20% of the incorporations in California done by LegalZoom? I guess you Professor would say... "the lack the education." And the logical next question - so now what? "Everyone should just hire a lawyer"? That's not really working all that well.
  3. I agree. That's the unknown that we need someone to figure out. In my mind, it should be a simple microeconomics question, but lawyers serve so many verticals, that it probably changes for most legal solutions. Like, typically, when the price decrease, more people are willing to purchase the service. (I'm paraphrasing), Would a lower average cost for a will increase the overall market, or just decrease the cost paid without expanding the number of people purchasing? I don't know. Good question. I do wonder though, if this touches on the (at times) self-serving nature of self-regulation. Should our focus be on the effect on the size of the marketplace, or should it be on the % of consumers receiving an affordable legal solution (and increasing the available legal solutions so that more consumers can receive a legal solution).
  4. The challenging part is considering how much people's lives get fucked up because they can't afford a lawyer, and then have to do nothing or do a terrible job (representing themselves, drafting a will, trying to trademark something, trying to manage employment relationships etc). So, to me, it's not as cut and dry as "inferior product" = litigation. The calculation needs be a cost benefit comparing "no solution" v. "inferior product". I'm not sold one way or the other, but I'm leaning towards cheap standardized products as actually reducing consumer suffering and litigation. It'd be interesting to have an LLM actually look into it though.
  5. The other argument is that greater access to these inferior products will expand the marketplace for legal services. Thoughts on that? Is this good for the profession? Is it good for consumers?
  6. Yes - I guess the argument is that they should potentially have greater access to inferior products that meet at least some of their needs, because otherwise many people live with no solution (40% of people don't have a will; many don't finalize their divorce for years; people have no real employment agreements etc etc.).
  7. Someone told me that 20% of incorporations in California are done by Legalzoom. Then I look to Canada and see stuff like: DIY will kits - https://om.company/ Do your own divorce lecture - http://www.familylawnb.ca/english/uploads/Doing Your Own Divorce - Fredericton Dec_12 (EN) OPT.pdf Uncontested divorce - https://untietheknot.ca/province/alberta/divorce Should there be more education, automation or DIY options available to people that need a legal solution?
  8. I just finished articles, and I wanted to write a short reflection in case it might help someone that's new to law school. Here are a few things I wish I knew before law school started. 1. The most surprising thing is how, unless you drop out, pretty much everyone finds their way. It's all very surprising where everyone ends up at the end of the day, but some students that I saw as "not trying very hard" or "directionless" and with no summer work, ended up with great articling positions and are now lawyers with great small-medium firms in enviable cities. Others, who I don't think ever even applied for a job outside the library until 3L, ended up clerking with justices, and others moved to work with legal aid or the armed forces. I was competitive from the start, and saw the world as a race where some people were inevitably going fall off the track. It's not really like that though. There's room for everyone to find a place to stand. 2. In most situations, your marks matter a lot... then they don't seem to matter at all. Marks open doors, and then it seems to be whether or not people like working with you. What surprised me is that if you can get a law degree you can do the job (there are exceptions), and given there's a pretty standard line of competence that everyone has crossed, it really does start to come down to whether or not people like working with you. I've heard "fit" a few times, and for me, it just means, if you are your authentic self, do your co-workers want you around? When you are, and they do, it'll be a great place to work - and most people like to work in a great place. I think that's why so many people leave private practice to go work for government... most people's authentic selves don't want to do traditional business development. 3. The one thing I disliked the most about law school was that so many people complain about law school. If you find that you complain about law school a lot... consider doing something else. I know one person that quit after 1L, and is now training to be a vet. She seems a LOT happier now. 4. I wish I had picked a focus right after 1L. A lot of people would disagree with me, but I wish I would have really narrowed my focus immediately and spent my time doing extra-curricular or independent courses, or internships etc., with that narrow-focus in mind. There is less and less room for general practitioners, and law is so broad anyway, that I think narrowing your focus early will be rewarding. For example, I knew I liked litigation more than solicitation, but I did an MBA and took 2 tax law classes? Why? I should have been studying at the back of motions and trials once a week for all of 2L and 3L, and should have completed an independent research project on some procedural issue. The law society is going to make sure you cover all the bases in some basic way, so you don't really have to worry about it. 5. If you don't find joy in law, but you are determined to do it, then do something that fills you with joy every week. Studying can kill the joy in your heart if you let it. Go back to point #1.
  9. I've heard 30% cant find articles. That seems high to me. I'd guess, within 6 months of graduating only about 10% of those that want articles cant get them. I'm just guessing though.
  10. I remember having one conversation with a partner one day asking about how technology is changing the profession. (S)he said "It's overblown, and I'm retiring in the next 5-10 years, so I don't think about it" - (cue polite laughter, and sinking confidence in my mentors).
  11. Thanks for the advice. I don't think I referred to anyone as "resources." Experienced paralegals should ask for more too. It's a good reality check. I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks again for the advice. Not to drag this out, but I think one potential reason I'm willing to risk it is that I'm not convinced law firms are managing business succession in this era well, and I see a lot of technology eating our breakfast. I'm not stating that I'm convinced the other way either... but... given the increasing rate of change, I wonder: What are self-driving cars going to do to the amount of insurance defence work? How are AI, automated learning, and big data start-ups going to influence the human resource needs of law firm? As we get more transparent marketplaces, how is that going to impact prices? Will I, as an eventual partner, be able to continue low-balling paralegals, and articling students in order to pad my earnings? As our democracy improves, will government contracts automatically go to partners that helped with the campaign, or will that process become more competitive too? I have a hard time accepting the "pay your dues" 'til you make partner argument, when the partner payout isn't as secure a path as it might have once been. That is one of the reasons I'm willing to risk a negotiation. I trust senior lawyers from a legal mentorship perspective, but have my doubts when it comes to business development. There are other more personal reasons too, but that is definitely on my mind too. I don't think that's arrogant. I think I'm interpreting the evidence I see (mostly) at the National CBA conference, and it's concerning. I don't expect any of these arguments will come up in a negotiation.
  12. I guess it comes down to how much I'm willing risk being shut out and going it alone. I would rather not, given the mentorship, access to exceptional paralegals, access to great clients and interesting work, etc etc. It just feels a little too exploitative - but maybe that is just the nature of employee/employer relationships. Employees are (often) valued according to how much money they make employers. ... let me phrase it a different way... IF a hypothetical first year associate successfully negotiated a higher salary, what would you expect gave them that leverage?
  13. Great considerations. Sounds like there's not a lot of negotiating going on. Thanks a lot for writing.
  14. I'm just wondering if anyone has tried to negotiate better compensation than what you were originally offered for articling or as a 1st year associate. How did it go? What did you not like about their original offer? What did you end up with? I know law firms have many expenses, but I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around (as an example) 55k first year associate starting salary, while billing (as an example) 1500 hours at about (as an example) 190$ and hour = 285k. It's an example. Even at 1200 hours, it's still 228k in revenue. And it's not like they need to pay tax on it before paying wages. Thanks.
  15. It is one of the strangest things I have ever heard to have a general consensus be... "it's a waste of time to try and learn the material outside of class." I think it's mostly because people don't enjoy reading and learning law. Why on earth would encourage future colleagues to not bother with it, and spend time doing other things... especially when they are such a fragile time in their careers. The job market is tough, and to me, it seems either a little self-serving or a little naive to say "don't bother trying to learn the material before class." The only answer I've heard so far is (a) you might learn something that you aren't going to be tested on, and (b) aren't there a bunch of other things you can do that are more fun? They don't hold much wait given what 0Ls might be going through. It seems unpopular, but I stand by my statement that pre-learning is good idea because you can learn it on your own, it's enjoyable, it'll help with marks, and ultimately make one more employable.
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