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About besmackin

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  1. Somewhat related to this, but has anyone else heard about bonuses being larger this year? Heard that a big firm was giving out 25%-30% bonuses (at relatively lower hour thresholds). Some friends at smaller firms are also reporting larger bonuses than typical. Not sure if it’s because it’s been a very profitable year for law firms, or if it’s related to the special bonuses US firms have been paying out.
  2. When I was a student, I had a self imposed rule to not answer emails after 9PM, unless I was told to watch my email that night. If it came in after that, I might look at it and wait to respond in the morning. I was hired back and I never had any negative feedback from any partner or associate. In my experience, if there was any pressure to be online at all times, it was peer pressure from other students who insisted on answering emails within 5mins no matter what, but YMMV. I don't mind answering emails late at night if it's truly urgent. But what I hate is false urgency, where either someone had an arbitrary self-imposed internal deadline to meet and then don't look at the file for weeks on end, or the reverse, where someone decides to sit on a file for weeks and suddenly decide tonight is when we'll get to it. Also if I get a heads-up that I'll be getting emails that night, I'll be a lot happier than if I get an "urgent" email when I've already sat down with a beer and halfway through a movie. I've only encountered a single instance where a truly urgent situation developed spontaneously, and it was only for a fairly unique practice area. And in that case everything was done through phone calls since timing was so crucial. As an in-house counsel that uses bay st firms, I just care if my external counsel responds within 24 hours and that they follow through on meeting deadlines. Seeing someone email me at 2am on a Saturday doesn't impress me, and I wish people who did this used delay send until the next business day. So overall, I'd agree an easy way to make juniors' lives easier is to reduce not actually urgent "urgent" communications and give people heads up if their evening/weekend will be ruined. If some email rule could facilitate this, I'm all for it. Someone above made an excellent point, if it's not urgent enough for a phone call, it's not actually urgent at all.
  3. Lol that's not even what I said, and I'm not even a student so I honestly don't care about these posts. Rightly or wrongly some people who don't know you irl will perceive you a certain way if you make certain social media posts. Choose to care about it or don't man, no skin off my back
  4. For people who think like this, I wholeheartedly suggest that they make whatever unreservedly self-congradulatory posts on their social media of choice. Great way to weed out the douchebags who holds petty grudges from your professional circle
  5. For the most part, people won’t remember your grades or what you said and did, but they’ll remember how you made them feel. No one is really going to hold it against you if you made a self-aggrandizing post that one time, but there are so many great lawyers out there that people can pick and choose who they want to work with for reasons a lot more arbitrary than whether someone makes obnoxious social media posts (and they do, all the time). Some of those people who struck out this recruit will be able to refer work to you or act as your client a lot sooner than you’d expect, so I’d say it can’t hurt to be excessively considerate. But sure, if you don’t need or want any business from psychologically broken sore losers anyway, then I guess you can post whatever you want and it doesn't really matter
  6. I think it's this survey that was sent out a while back: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1uqhhz4gYJw5YNT_o_p6uYGq7RYgTMeRiZJyINptTfxo/edit#gid=1615579633 This post had some summary information on the data: https://lawstudents.ca/forums/topic/63905-survey-re-ontario-salary-data-collection/?do=findComment&comment=867911
  7. I had some passing interest with environmental law in school. I recall that it was a lot of administrative law, for example, representing a corporate client in working with the Ministry of Environment to address compliance / remediation issues under the Environmental Protection Act, or working with the regulatory authorities in acquiring environmental assessments/approvals/permits for pipelines, factories and the like. You'd mostly be working in the infrastructure, energy, natural resource and real estate spheres. I think occasionally you would also touch on things like insurance or tort litigation, e.g. if there was a spill or contamination on a property, but that didn't seem very common. It’s a fairly niche field for sure. It is also very much intertwined with aboriginal law for obvious reasons. Willms & Shier (https://www.willmsshier.com) is one of the better known environmental law firms out there, but I think most big firms have an environmental law group. There are also organizations like WECL (https://www.wcel.org) that work in this field. To directly answer the original question, I don’t know that any of the schools listed by OP have a particular reputation in environmental law. My impression was that if you wanted to work in this field it was better to go to school out west because of the larger natural resources industry in BC/Alberta. If OP is very interested in the US, I recall that Vermont had a reputable environmental law program and I vaguely knew of someone who turned down offers from Canadian schools to go there (not sure what they're up to now), but I personally wouldn’t bother to spend the money on an American law school out of the T-14. Also, fwiw, I was told that the most important thing if you wanted to do "environmental law" would be to get the right summer experience at an organization like WECL, but they're very competitive.
  8. Not to say that recruitment process is perfect, but in my experience many if not most firms do actively make efforts to create a diverse summer/articling class. IMO the bigger problems often don’t materialize until later down the road. After you start working in specific practice groups, your career is basically controlled by a small number of partners (with little to no input from a professional HR team), and these partners often may not be aware of their biases. As a junior associate, you need mentors/sponsors who are willing to toss you the high value files / tasks to boost your profile and who are willing to go to bat for you when you're up for review / partnership etc. Mentorship/sponsorship are by their nature very informal and personal processes. In my experience, and having spoken to a number of friends in biglaw, it’s often challenging for a BIPOC to form that deep personal affinity with senior partners due to cultural differences etc. Without that strong mentorship, it is very difficult to advance in a firm. I found this article from a former bay st lawyer to be enlightening on the subject: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/hadiya-roderique-black-on-bay-street/article36823806/ Anyways, I don’t want to derail the thread because I do think that this is an interesting conversation to have. But I did want to expand the D&I discussion beyond the recruitment stage. I’m not trying to be too negative about the subject, because there are many successful BIPOC lawyers on bay st. However, students should understand what they’re signing up for - regardless of the controls you put in at the recruitment stage, it’s hard to change people and it’ll be an uphill battle a lot of times unfortunately. If you are a student going through the recruitment process and something about a firm makes you feel uncomfortable, whatever that something is, it’s likely not going to go away after you get hired…
  9. With you on everything else, but if I had 40k to blow on a "cool" car I probably wouldn't spend it on a Honda Accord lol
  10. I think this is a very good point. Personal finance is just that, personal, what works for someone else may not work for you. OP seems be very much focused on minimizing debt, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But if you want to live "comfortably" (whatever that means), that is ok too IMO as long as you're being realistic about your options. I posted about this before, but personally I doubled my rent from 1L to 2/3L by moving out on my own. I ended up significantly over $100k in debt, but it was totally worth it for me as I was so much healthier mentally and more productive living by myself. I'm a few years out now and my debt is under control. If anything, I regretted not getting myself some more creature comforts during law school (like getting a bigger monitor instead of looking at my tiny 13in screen all day). Also, after I started working (even pre-covid), I had to constantly check my phone on vacation and I get even more stressed out thinking about the work piling up on my office when I'm away, so the extra ~3k debt (out of 100k+) to take a short stress-free vacation with some friends during law school would have totally been worth it in retrospect. To be comfortable with this approach, you have to have a relatively high paying job lined up (I waited until after 1L to wait for my grades and assess my chances before pulling the trigger on my plan). You also need to be ok with not having money for kids/cars/houses anytime soon. If you want to figure out how much you can afford to spend, I would figure out the monthly payments that you're comfortable with after law school (assuming a payback period of say 5-7 years), then back calculate a cap on your total acceptable debt, and work out your monthly budget in law school + discretionary spending budget based on your cap. This way you can live relatively comfortably without feeling guilty that you're spending money out of control. Think about your own personal goals and what works for you, don't sweat how other people are spending/saving money.
  11. For any prospective K-JD types reading this, this is an absolutely terrible idea for the vast vast vast majority of people
  12. Impossible to answer this question without knowing what the other options on the table are. If you have a useless undergrad degree, then law school will be worth it. If you already are in a comfortable career in finance / public sector / tech earning 80k and you have opportunities to advance to a 6 figure salary just by showing up, I don’t think going to law school for would be worth it tbh unless you have a real passion for law. That being said, if your ambition is to top out at ~100k, there are easier ways to get there. But if your ambition is to top out at ~200k, I actually don’t know that there are much better options than law school (aside from med school obviously). MBA might be on par, but I wouldn’t say it’s better.
  13. It sounds like prestige is a major factor in your decision making process. I’m not going to trash you for that here, but you should be aware that being a lawyer is not really a prestigious line of of work for most people, and definitely not comparable to being a doctor. Your parents’ idea of a “prestigious” lawyer is probably some Bay St / Wall St / TV lawyer type, trust me there’s no prestige in being a 90-150k lawyer lol. You run the risk of setting yourself and your parents up for major disappointment if you happen strike out in the biglaw recruit like the majority of law students.
  14. One big mistake I made when applying to law school was that I basically only spoke to successful lawyers. For example, I mostly spoke to relatively senior lawyers who paid pennies to go to law school back in the 80s and 90s and then became partners. Even when I did speak to recent grads, I was mostly talking to people who had great grades and easily got jobs on Bay St etc, because that’s the kind of alumni that tend to make themselves available to you, but obviously that was not representative of the typical law school experience. That being said, even now I'm not convinced that there was much more I could have done to understand whether law school was right for me or not. Given the diversity of outcomes possible, there is just no way to know for sure whether a law degree is going to be a good outcome for a specific student, so there’s no point in second guessing yourself after the decision’s already been made. Not saying that students should jump in blindly, but there are inherent risks that no amount of research can remove.
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