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About hitman9172

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  1. hitman9172

    Salary Negotiation Tips

    I think it's rare for first years to negotiate salary, but it all depends on your negotiating leverage, which is very context-specific. You might have a reputation for good work that you can bring up, or you might be able to leverage other offers you've received to negotiate a raise. If you're like most first year associates in that you have no billable history/client network to point to, and you have no other competing offers, you'll probably just have to accept what you're offered.
  2. hitman9172

    Are You Happy With Your Income?

    Working a shitty job definitely helps people cope with the rigours of law. I've noticed the lawyers in my office who are typically the least stressed out are the ones who had a terrible job before law school. For me, it was doing 12-hour days in a food-processing plant for $12/hour. On my walk to the office, I often find myself very thankful I'm not splattered in fish guts anymore.
  3. hitman9172

    Lawyers and The Stock Market

    I've been investing in stocks since before I entered law school (practicing lawyer now). I'd recommend creating a portfolio of index fund ETFs. Doesn't take much time to do and you can invest broadly in different stocks and bonds at a very low cost. If you're risk averse, just buy more bonds than stocks. If you're holding for the long-term, don't stress too much about the volatility in stocks. As a starting point, I recommend reading through the Canadian version of Bogleheads, Financial Wisdom Forum, and its finiki, particularly the Getting Started page. FWF and Bogleheads changed my life.
  4. hitman9172

    Are You Happy With Your Income?

    I do have to say that lifestyle creep and the wealth effect have affected my life a lot more since I entered law than I thought they would. When I was working $12/hr jobs throughout school, I always thought making six figures would be far more than enough to sustain my lifestyle. $100,000 per year seemed like a dream and a never ending amount of money. However, I find that I spend a lot more money now without thinking and I’m often thinking about my next raise or bonus and comparing myself to my peers at other firms to see if I’m “underpaid”. I think ambition and striving to improve one’s lot in life is positive, but l’ve been trying to make a conscious effort lately to tell myself that what I have now is enough to live the life I want. When I find myself unsatisfied with how much money I make, I often think about the story where Kurt Vonnegut tells his friend Joseph Heller that a certain billionaire makes more money in one day than Heller has made throughout his entire life. Heller replies to Vonnegut, “Yes, but I have something that he’ll never have. Enough.”
  5. hitman9172

    Are You Happy With Your Income?

    Absolutely agree. I love investing and personal finance, and it makes a lot more sense for me to invest in stocks/bonds rather than real estate at this point. As for the original question, I make low six-figures as a junior associate in Big Law. I make enough to afford everything I want, other than maybe a down payment on my own condo or house (but I’m in no rush to get either of these). However, I think my obsession with compounding investment returns and portfolio growth makes me think that what I make now isn’t enough, and that I need to make more so that I can invest more, even though a raise wouldn’t affect the quality of my life in a noticeable way. The curse of ambition I guess.
  6. I’ve lived in Vancouver my entire life and have been to SFU Burnaby a handful of times, for specific events. It’s pretty far out of the way, and if you’re not a student, there’s not a high chance you’ll ever go there. Nothing against the quality of the university though, but it’s nestled up on a mountain in a part of Metro Vancouver that doesn’t draw much through-traffic. Have been to SFU Surrey many times though, as it’s attached to a mall, next to a skytrain station, and located in a central part of Metro Vancouver’s second biggest city.
  7. I have heard of Trinity College before and have been told by people from UofT that it's "the best" college at that university. (I went to UBC, so can't confirm that). Trinity definitely does have some strong alumni though: Jim Balsillie, Michael Ignatieff, John Tory, and Malcolm Gladwell, to name a few. I don't think Trinity provides the same level of connections as the "elite" US schools. There doesn't seem to be as much disparity of wealth or socioeconomic status anywhere in Canada as there is in the northeastern United States, where you have ultra-high net worth families dating back hundreds of years.
  8. hitman9172

    Vancouver Law Job or Calgary Law Job?

    Especially when oil prices rebound.
  9. hitman9172

    Work hours in big law

    Don't I know it.
  10. hitman9172

    Work hours in big law

    Theoretically discretionary, but primarily via hours billed. Not sure how many hours qualified people for each level, as most people kept quiet about their bonuses. The 5-30% range was confirmed to me by someone on the business side of the firm.
  11. hitman9172

    Work hours in big law

    Bonuses at my (large) firm ranged from 5-30% last year. Even the highest billers (well over 2000 hours each) were capped at 30%.
  12. hitman9172

    Dollar value of an articling student?

    I crunched the numbers for my firm once and came to the conclusion that (most) articling students are profitable to the firm. Also my personal opinion that articling should be eliminated.
  13. hitman9172

    Work hours in big law

    FWIW, the litigators at my firm have more predictable schedules than solicitors. As Jaggers touched upon, the litigators usually have more notice of things that will take up large chunks of their time.
  14. hitman9172

    Transfer to another office

    From what I’ve seen in Vancouver, it’s directly into a practice group. You can specialize in that practice area after you’ve been in that group for a few years. For instance, you get hired into corporate/commercial and later specialize in working with franchises. Or you get hired into real estate and later specialize in leasing.
  15. hitman9172

    Transfer to another office

    As soon as possible. Also get in touch with recruiters. I’ve received several interview offers for junior associate positions at other large firms within the last 6 months through recruiters.