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About lawlipop

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  1. Hegdis, thank you for your comments - they are very illuminating. I have a few of follow-up questions: 1. You wrote: "if you destabilize your client base and then your handful of files resolve early without trial, you have no income with which to pay your overhead" I don't understand what this means. Do you only get paid when something goes to trial? 2. How does a lawyer acquire legal aid clients? Say you just articled somewhere but did not wind up getting hired as an associate with a criminal defense firm, how would you go about getting legal aid clients, since you would not yet have a reputation? 3. You mentioned some markets being desperate for lawyers. Would these be Northern locations, small towns? And would a small town have enough potential clients to sustain a criminal defense practice?
  2. What do you mean by 'private practice'?...Sole practitioner, or anything in the private sector? I've previously worked for a couple of govt. departments and I was bored out my mind. If I'm going into law I would like to be in court, not in front of a computer all day. I think criminal defense might be one of the few areas I could see myself really getting into, but I have two questions about it: 1. Is it extremely competitive to get work as a defense lawyer? I've heard from some that it is the most competitive area of law to get into, and yet it seems there is a need for criminal defense lawyers, so I would have thought that anyone willing to take on whatever clients need representation would be able to get work (providing they are competent, of course) 2. With criminal defense is it possible to take on less work that normal (and of course receive less pay)? I'd be willing to put in the hours at the beginning, as Hegdis pointed out is necessary, as long as after a few years I could choose to reduce my workload.
  3. I am a law student with zero experience working in law, so forgive me if my remarks sound ignorant, but I am concerned about my future as a lawyer and would like some input from those more experienced or knowledgeable. Although I am pursuing law I have a part-time career that is very fulfilling to me and which I intend to continue pursuing for the rest of my days. I am not passionate about law and do not want it to dominate my life. However, based on what I have heard and read, the legal profession does not strike me as being very flexible; in fact, it seems to be nearly all-consuming, so I am becoming increasingly concerned that I may have chosen the wrong profession....am I mistaken? I should point out that I am not very ambitious for my legal career and I am not concerned about earning a lot of money. I would be perfectly content making $40 000 to $50 000 a year as a lawyer, supplemented, of course, by my other career. Now if one is willing earn less as a lawyer, is there an option to work less at the same time??? Is it possible to work part-time? If I were to pursue private practice could I not simply take on as few or as many clients as I want. Would this apply to criminal defense, family law and personal injury, all of which interest me? I am also attracted to the idea of being a lawyer in a small town, but perhaps this is a pipe dream? I'm not from a small town for one thing, and for all I know it might be as difficult to bring in business as a sole practitioner as it would be to open up a restaurant, a nursery or any other entrepreneurial enterprise. Any thoughts?
  4. There has been a development in my situation; I've been accepted to UOttawa as a transfer student, to begin studies this January. So that solves the issue of commuting to Queen's. However, I still have two concerns: 1. UOttawa law school is bigger, more anonymous and has lower placement rates than Queen's (from what I've read). So, will I be placing myself at a disadvantage to leave Queen's for UOttawa? 2. Will starting my second year in January put me at a disadvantage, since my progression through law school will be offbeat? I'll be finishing each year a semester behind everyone else (or ahead, depending on how one looks at it) and graduating in December 2014. Wouldn't it be more 'clean' to wait until next September to begin my second year? I'm just worried that a long leave of absence, combined with two sets of transcripts and an offbeat graduation is going to look very messy - and therefore unattractive - to potential employers.
  5. Wow, lots of detailed replies and some pretty strong opinions! Thanks, everyone. Let me expand upon my situation. I already completed my first year at Queens, several years ago, but took a leave of absence for valid and approved reasons. While studying there I lived on campus and was footloose and fancy-free. I am now ready to return but since leaving the program my circumstances have changed such that I have a house, a wife and a job in Ottawa! (Yes, even during a leave of absence one must seek shelter, companionship and an income!) I want to finish what I started at Queens but I really can't ditch my wife for the next two years, give up my job, etc. This is why I thought commuting might be a suitable compromise. I do, however, want to get good grades, since I did in my first year and will likely be at a disadvantage in the hiring process due to the interruption in my studies. I'm not even sure if I'll be able to start in January or if I'll have to wait until next September. I suppose I could aim to go part-time, but again, I imagine that would be frowned upon by most prospective employers.
  6. I would like to remain at Queens but live in Ottawa, for two significant reasons: family and a very rewarding (and well-paying) part-time job that I can continue doing while studying. Does anyone have or know of anyone who has experience doing this, or anything comparable to it? Please note I am referring to 2L and 3L only, since I realize this would be nearly impossible to acheive during first year. Of course I have a car and would aim to schedule classes on no more than two days per week. I'd appreciate any thoughts on this.
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