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TheScientist101

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TheScientist101 last won the day on February 20

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  1. A good research memo will be good so long as you clear it with the firm that you did the work for and properly redact the work product (I know my firm has given permission to past articling students to do this). Otherwise I agree with @TKNumber3. You could even just write a memo on a topic that you're interested in and submit that. In my experience you develop your research/writing a lot throughout articles so I wouldn't use anything from law school unless you sit down and put a lot of work into updating it.
  2. As an anecdote I have a friend who applied to both the Calgary and Toronto offices of a National firm. He got an interview in Calgary, but not in Toronto. He was asked about it during the interview and responded as follows "I am very attracted to this firm because of x, y and z but, because it's such a great firm, I know that it is really competitive to land a 2L spot here. I wanted to increase my chances of a hire and the best way to do that was to apply to two offices." He was hired. Sometimes the honest answer is the best answer.
  3. There are 1L IP positions in both Toronto and Ottawa but, there tend to be many more spots in Ottawa. For example, full service firms in Ottawa participate specifically in the IP recruit and they hire between 2-4 1Ls. To my knowledge, full service firms in Toronto do not specifically hire 1L IP students (I could be wrong on that though, perhaps someone else on here could elucidate). The 1L IP hiring in Toronto tends to be from IP boutiques (such as Bereskin Parr, Smart & Biggar and Ridout & Maybee). Given the small number of spots in Toronto for the 1L recruit, getting a position can be very difficult and if your goal is to crack into the field then it's advisable to capitalize your chances and also apply to Ottawa. The caveat being that the Ottawa recruit happens before the Toronto recruit. If you don't apply to Ottawa and put all of your "eggs" in the Toronto basket then you really could be up the creek (I know several colleagues who did that and regretted it in the end). All of that being said, remember, if you apply to Ottawa firms they want to hear how much you love Ottawa and that you are willing to build your career in the city. Once you get through your summers and your articles and even if you accept an associate position there, you can always canvass for opportunities in Toronto firms for a lateral. IP experience is IP experience - if you are getting it at a top tier boutique or a National/International full service, it's pretty easy to lateral. It's difficult to break into because it is a small bar. It's also difficult to break into because many positions require the requisite background and not a lot of law students come from a hard science background (even fewer have grad degrees in those areas). I caution that grad degrees are not required, it's just more likely that you will get an interview if you have one. Finally, if you are a new call applying to IP spots and you don't have any IP experience from your summering/articles and you have no demonstrated knowledge in the relevant legislation - well, no one is going to look at you. Unfortunately, even when you get to the new call stage, you have to have some experience, so, if you strike out in the 1L IP recruit or landing a 2L or articling IP spot, it can be very difficult for you to get hired in an IP position after law school. Only if you want to prosecute patents. Some places are old school and still make their litigators get it (as a "right" of passage), but most places won't make you do it anymore.
  4. In the IP sphere I've heard that this is the target of a couple of boutiques on Bay. I'm not sure whether that's also true for other firms (full service or boutique) on Bay. Yeah, they avoid that all together by not having a billable target (to all of you non-lawyers out there do not be fooled - this tactic results in the antithesis of a "lifestyle" firm lol)
  5. Definitely not. Average billable rate on Bay for a junior associate (i.e. a first year) is somewhere between $300-$370 Targets are usually between 1500 ("lifestyle firms") and 1900hrs per year. Even on the lower end that would be $450K billed per year (at $300/hr for 1500 hrs). First year associate salary on Bay is usually between $100K-$110K (not everyone followed the McCarthy's increase). So, on the lower end it adds up to about 25%. On the higher end ($370/hr for 1900) it's 15%. And remember - many associates bill over target, and most bonuses cap out at 30% of your base salary so that percentage can tend to get smaller and smaller as you bill more (*sniffle - us Bay street lawyers are just so hard done by...)
  6. I went to law school knowing no one and came out with life long friends. You'll likely have a small group/peer mentor group where you will do activities together (forced socialization). My small group ended up being very, very close (others not so much). There are also a lot of social activities organized during your orientation that will help you to meet people. Remember, virtually no one there knows anyone so a lot of people really want to meet other people - that kind of dynamic makes it easier to introduce yourself and form study/social groups.
  7. As everyone else above has commented the dinners are a chance for firms to evaluate you on a social level and see how you "fit" with the firm. Don't forget that it's also a chance for you to see what lawyers at the firm are like in a social setting and you can decide whether you would like to work with them. In the midst of recruitment I find that towards the end, a lot of students will be happy to land "any where". I get that - at some point we just want a job. We are willing to work anywhere to get the experience and fulfill our articling requirements and if you get just one offer - well, those are the cards you've been dealt. BUT - for many students it is possible that you will have multiple offers and you need to be prepared to rank the firms. Your experience at the dinner, how you view the lawyers and the other students at the dinner will be a big part of that (remember, a portion of those students will be your colleagues for a while). So, during the dinner enjoy yourself, be genuine and don't forget to also have your evaluation cap on.
  8. If you're looking to save time you should also use the Ritual app. Most places in and around Bay have it and it allows you to just go there and pick up your order (without waiting in line). It also only lists restaurants that are open. It's basically an uber eats, but you walk and pick up rather than get them to deliver.
  9. This is very helpful and insightful. I can feel that pendulum swinging on me now (which perhaps was the impetus of the original post). I think it's time for me to try and readjust my perspective and professional priorities (easier said than done). Thank you.
  10. I hear you, and understand where you're coming from. In my mind all of your suggestions (providing consistent work, be good to my mentor and respect my colleagues) are a part of being the best. But you don't have a drive to be the best? (at anything in a professional capacity? the best associate? the best partner? the best in your practice group? the best national/international/boutique firm?) If so, then how do you suppress it? I know I'm a baby lawyer, and certainly not even close to the best in the field. But, I have this drive to be the best (eventually the actual best in my field which obviously is a lofty arbitrary goal, but it is a motivational factor that really drives me). On a smaller scale within my own office and lawyers my year of call I don't think I'm the best, and that fact is humbling, but it has the double edge sword of being simultaneously demoralizing and motivating (and, actually because I work with this incredible team it has the effect of making me the best because I am learning from many others who are better than me). I guess I set out to ask whether this is something that others struggle with (and if so, how do they deal) or if other practicing lawyers genuinely don't care (which is how they deal). From the responses it appears as though it's likely the latter.
  11. Not that I had the best "experience" but through various facets I garnered a lot of relevant experience in law school (which really stretches further than mere grades) and I excelled at all of those activities. And when I was typing the original post I know that it probably came across as arrogant AF. Which is not really how I had intended it to be, (but it is what it is). It's just a real problem that I'm having as a naturally competitive person who has a drive to be the best and who has never really had reason to doubt that I've been at or near the top of whatever aspirational mountain I'm trying to conquer. Yet here I am, doubting - and I'm asking for sound advice from the community about what to do about that (because surely, on a forum full of lawyers filled with high achievers others have been here).
  12. We’re lawyers – we compete – right? I am a very competitive person. Not like – I’m going to eviscerate you right here and now (while I pull the heart out of your chest) competitive, but I like to be viewed as “the best”. In law school I felt that in most things I did, I was the best (not purely in grades - I wasn't the gold medalist or anything, but I did well both academically and experientially). I never had a doubt - I knew I was good at this law school thing; I excelled, I did well, I loved every minute of it. As a lawyer, I think I’m going through something here that most people experience in law school where you suddenly realize “hey, is that colleague of mine actually better than me? Do the partners prefer them over me?” – and the existential crisis ensues. How do we, the competitive of the competitive deal with that? Particularly when I don’t even want to compete with associates at my own firm (I actually really like them which is probably part of the reason why they are the best). Do you just accept “hey, they’re better than me” or do you use that as motivation to be better – to eventually usurp the spot as “the best”. Do you just - leave it and not let it bother you? (if so HOW?) I know – it’s a ramble, but I’m worried that my perception of not being the best is affecting my confidence at particular tasks and I know that if I’m not confident, then I surely cannot be at my best.
  13. At first I read this post as "dripping with sarcasm". In case my read of it was wrong - this is basically the antithesis of the right advice - but okay - whatever helps you sleep at night. If you are starting with $40K debt and take out another $135K (assuming you don't take out OSAP), you are graduating with $175K in debt. That's a house (in some less populated areas of the country). I have a fancy Bay Street job and I can tell you that there is no way I could pay that off in the first 5 years of my career. Imagine that OP ends up as a country lawyer making $50K/year (which is nothing to sneeze at, it's where a lot of lawyers end up with their income) - it will be very difficult to pay back $175K at 4% (or more depending on prime) over 10 years. Not if it means that you will be debt strapped and financially struggling for the first 10 years following your "investment". In that case it would be decidedly one of the worst decisions you could have made in your life.
  14. Seems great now! But remember - that is a lot of debt to pay back - you'd be looking at payments of around $1400/mth for 10 years? (that's a guess but I think it would be around there) and that's just for the PSLOC it doesn't include additional OSAP you will/may take on. OP needs to think this through. I also took on a lot of debt to complete law school. For me, totally worth it. I landed a great job on Bay Street, I summered and articled at a great firm. But, as is cautioned - that really only happens for a fraction of law students. A majority land jobs, but do not start at a six figure salary. Having this kind of debt to pay off when you're not making "top dollar" and you aren't guaranteed your lock-step raise can be stressful and defeating.
  15. In Ontario competitive clerkship candidates have at least a high B+/A- average. I'm assuming it's the same across the country. You're below that with your average (but you can also bring it up in your 1L first semester) so clerkship may be a long shot but you might as well apply. You would be more competitive with law firm applications. In Ontario top firms tend to cut off at B+, but a B tends to be competitive for a lot of great positions. Law Review/RAing may help with a path towards clerkship. Mooting/Clinic would help you out with law firm applications.
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