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About besmackin

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  1. 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.
  2. lol why does every thread that begin with someone asking about chill jobs end up being a discussion on how to become a partner on Bay St
  3. There is a tendency for people on this site to tell OPs to go into biglaw because “it opens doors” or “you may think you want to do X now, but after a stint in biglaw you’ll realize you actually want to do Y”, even when an OP has specifically said they’re interested in an area of law outside of what would normally be practiced in a biglaw firm, and even when the person offering the advice has very little actual experience outside of biglaw firms. While perhaps well-meaning, this kind of advice/commentary doesn’t really help the OP to achieve their stated goals and just reinforces the idea that everyone should want to go into biglaw. Case in point, there was an OP recently who asked a question about practicing in North Dakota with a Canadian degree, and the thread somehow immediately devolved into a discussion about which school gives you the best chance to get into NYC biglaw..
  4. I was speaking to associates looking at lateral opportunities, not students necessarily. But even for students, while lawyers may not criticize their own firm, they will speak positively about firms that treat their employees well. So if you're talking to a lawyer and they're gushing about a competitor, I would read between the lines.
  5. I know something similar happening to at least a couple of midsize firms (GTA) as well. Salary cuts were announced in March, but have not been reinstated, nor has there been any definitive commitment on when salaries will be reinstated. In the mean time, associates are billing just as much since COVID started. I know there's the thought that economic conditions will be uncertain for a while going forward, but there's little excuse for the lack of transparency, and it does seem like some firms are using this opportunity to pad the bottom lines. I for one think this is very short sighted, job market is slow right now, so not much anyone can do for now, but people will definitely remember this...
  6. I was also intrigued by the novelty of the question and apparently you can get a discount at University of North Dakota School of Law if you are a Manitoba resident. They even have a page specifically for Canadian students: https://law.und.edu/future-students/canada.html
  7. Man if I had a nickel for every time a biglaw partner gushed about how collegial their firm is. Just once I wish someone would tell me everyone at their firm hates each other.
  8. Anecdotally, I'm hearing that many shops that didn't have any WFH policies are now considering implementing at least 1 day WFH in the long term. 2-3 days WFH with 3-2 days in office would be ideal IMO. That would make a 30-60 min commute bearable for those that want to move out of downtown (assuming the suburban market hasn't overheated by then), while retaining enough office time for face to face meetings etc. For those not on Bay St, there's no fancy office or free dinners to miss anyway, so the loss of 2-3 office days wouldn't bring much downside. Personally, I wouldn't want to WFH full time, but I would also hate to have to go into the office 5 days a week when it's clearly not necessary to do so.
  9. Having been on both sides of job applications, I find that reference letters are generally a complete waste of time, for both the candidate and the person writing them, and usually the prospective employer too. (I find it especially galling for a prospective employer to request that a current employer act as a reference, but that's a slightly different topic... ) Reference letters add very little to the application as whole when basically anyone is able to find at least one or two profs who can write them what is essentially a form letter - if a student got a good grade in tax law for example, it adds nothing for that student to then also include a letter from the tax prof. To the extent that a good reference letter shows that a student has developed a rapport with a prof, I don't think that's necessarily any indication that the student will be a good employee. (For example, what if a student has a good grasp of course materials and don't see any purpose in attending office hours.) In the past, when I have been in a privileged enough position to do so, I simply refrained from applying for any job that required reference letters. That being said, if I were offering advice to any student, I would obvious suggest that they include reference letters where possible, for the same reasons that I would advise students to send thank you notes after every interview even though I think it's pointless. In the mean time, I try to use my voice (such as it is) to advocate to my superiors that they should not request reference letters. And if I am ever in a position where I can unilaterally make these decisions, I'll certainly not ask for reference letters either.
  10. Good point, I guess I was more thinking flexibility like WFH/remote/alternative working arrangements (non-covid related obv). I take you point about flexibility requiring autonomy/ownership, but I imagine if you're at a job where you can swing a 4days x 8.5hours/day arrangement with 1+ days WFH, you wouldn't need to do things like leaving to do errands middle of the day and go back to work later. What are your thoughts on federal vs provincial vs municipal government jobs? Anecdotally it seems like its much easier to get municipal government jobs than than federal/provincial, but maybe that's just my sample size. Would you say the jobs/benefits are similar?
  11. What are some lawyer or law adjacent jobs that offer the best work life balance? Looking at factors like good hours (let's say maximum 35 hours/week), low stress, high flexibility, things like that. Assuming you need to make a minimum of $50,000/year in take home income.
  12. A word of caution for anyone using this strategy: be very careful that your answer bubbles correctly correspond to the questions that you're answering.
  13. How are you using OneNote? I've tried to use it as place to keep notes etc, but found it was more hassle than it was worth as sometimes my materials ended up in multiple places between the OneNote and my file folder. I've also tried to use a spreadsheet for tracking tasks, but that quickly became a disaster and was promptly abandoned.
  14. Unfortunately, given some of the other info I've previously shared on this forum, I can't name names here (especially the boutiques) without deanonymizing myself. For what it's worth, I can tell you you that bigfirm I'm thinking of isn't one of the seven sisters and the boutiques are a couple of the "elite" boutiques that you'd expect to find on PrecedentJD
  15. Associates at least make six figures. It much worse for the non-lawyer staff making <$50k who are getting laid off.
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