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About rziegler

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  1. Speaking anecdotally, it's tough to judge how well U of M students fare overall at finding employment (I assume you mean articles and/or clerking) in other provinces since the vast majority that I know express no interest in leaving. Most students at Robson Hall that I'm aware of aspire to settle in Winnipeg, and tend not to consider work in other provinces. This includes a number of Dean's Lister and students who are clerking or have clerked at the SCC, FC, FCA, TCC, etc. I think, perhaps, it is difficult for many Canadians to believe that many Manitobans live in Manitoba because they are sincerely happy doing so, and not for lack of options. I'm any event, most of the students I know who wanted to leave Manitoba found work precisely where they wanted--including me. Several ended up on Bay Street, although most that I am aware of went to full-service corporate commercial firms in Alberta. Obviously a few that I know struck out, but this was after being extended interviews on the strengths of their resumes and transcripts. From what I know, maybe 10-15 per cent of my graduating class applied out of province. CDO OCI-receptions for Calgary firms, historically, been woefully under-attended.
  2. How far did you move? Calgary to Winnipeg. What were your thoughts of how you would fare in your move/re-settlement in your new city? I didn't think much of it initially. I knew Winnipeg was a bit rundown but assumed that overall it would be similar to Calgary. Did these anticipatory thoughts match the reality of the process? No. Winnipeg differs markedly from Calgary, in my view. How did you manage to maintain your focus succeeding in law school while worrying about integrating in your social environment where you didn't know anyone? I didn't worry about "integration". I moved with my partner. I was a few years older than most of my class. I wholeheartedly pursued my interest in a career in criminal defence, which eventually led me to a group of people who shared my enthusiasm. I always had a plan to return to Calgary so I spent more time focusing on building my resume, and less time thinking about my general social milieu. I didn't worry about liking everyone in law school, or everyone in law school liking me partly because FOMO has been in my rearview for a number of years. None of this is to say that I actively avoided my colleagues or equated being career-oriented with licence to be a prick. Try not to be the "I'm-here-to-work-not-make-friends"-person. Friends are important to have in law school because they will likely be the only people in your life who will, in all likelihood, have some idea about the stress and sense of accomplishment attendant to law school. But, (1) friendships often happen on their own time, and (2) you can establish your priorities early, and be disciplined in sticking to them. I made some strong friendships, most of which I expect to endure. Of those friends, plenty often declined to go out because they wanted to get things done. In any event, I felt I had the freedom to be selective in which events I chose to attend. No one will expect you to attend every single event, and, frankly, few events in first year are likely to be dispositive to your future. Were there any techniques or advice you applied to help make your transition easier? 1) I looked for my "places". I had my favourite cafes, my favourite restaurants, my favourite bars, my favourite places to run, etc. This gave me a sense of continuity. It also doubled-up as an opportunity to get to the know the city. I felt less like a tourist when I could own my experience in the community. I went out to festivals and made my own traditions with my partner--you can easily do that with friends too. 2) I just did a lot of the same things I did before. Regular exercise. Attention to sleep and diet. Time with my partner. Law school might be a new chapter but it isn't necessarily a new book. I think there is, in first year, a lot of social pressure to magically and abruptly become a brand new human being. There is less pressure to reinvent yourself than some people may feel. Sometimes you can succeed by doing the things that have worked for you in the past. 3) I wish I had been able to take possession of my apartment sooner. I got to Winnipeg less than a week before orientation. I needed more time to unpack everything, get my apartment in order, get a new driver's licence and car insurance, healthcare card, hydro, and all those other small things you take for granted in day-to-day life. In retrospect, had it been feasible, I would have moved a month before orientation to get my bearings. 4) I mapped out a set of general goals and followed them unapologetically. To be clear, by goals, I meant pursuing particular opportunities and experiences and immersing myself as fully as possible. Having even a rough exit plan was helpful. This made my transition easier because I woke up every morning feeling like I had a purpose. It made tolerating the tedium of, say, torts (which I hated) much easier knowing that that class was just part of a bigger picture I was constructing. As well, it made it easier for me to know when I wanted to say "Yes" or "No" to opportunities--academic, social or otherwise--as they arose. To be clear, a lot of law students (and some lawyers I know) don't have a clear picture of where they want to go with it all. Some students ostensibly "know" what they want to do and then change their minds. That's fine too. For many, law school is a process of elimination wherein you determine what it is you are not interested in. 5) I afforded myself the luxury of time in terms of feeling oriented and coming to grips with everything around me. I have lived in enough new places now to know it takes me 12-18 months to feel truly "transitioned". 6) Also, if you can afford it, and public transit is wanting in your area, having a car is really helpful. That independence did a lot for me, and I don't mind paying for it.Were these variables of any concern to you at all? No, although I found it harder adjusting to Winnipeg than I did to law school.
  3. lol wow The consensus on this board is that comparing law schools qua LAW SCHOOLS is mostly pointless... But, here you are wanting to debate the merits of comparing law schools based on the reputations of their respective universities to deliver quality undergrad programs...And, are we talking all undergrad programs? Specific ones? It is kind of like deciding whether you want a navel orange over a mandarin orange based on the capacity of their respective gardens to grow carrots. Like, suppose garden X and garden Y both grow perfectly fine navel oranges and mandarin oranges respectively, what does it possibly matter that garden Y has a poor reputation for growing carrots?
  4. A U of M one was done relatively recently, but wouldn't suffer from an update: 1) No "minus" letter grades: That C- becomes a C, A- becomes an A, etc. By the numbers, you might, at another school, be a B- student, but at U of M your transcript will indicate that you are a B student. I don't know why that is but I am sure I have benefitted from this somewhere along the line. 2) Clinics: One of the reasons I applied to Robson Hall in the first place was for the University of Manitoba Community Law Centre. It's a Legal Aid clinic that focuses on summary conviction matters with no risk of jail time. Even post-Jordan, the clinic runs through 500-600 matter in a year, so it isn't implausible to have conduct of 30ish files as just a 2nd year volunteer if you're so inclined (I was). I am aware of some clinics that don't run certain matters. To my knowledge Thunder Bay won't do drive impaired files, and Windsor doesn't do DVs. Those make up the bulk of my file load. By the time I graduate, I will likely have held conduct of roughly 100 files, run around 15 or so trials along with pre-trial motions (prepping many more) and countless sentencing hearings, and routinely corresponded and negotiated with the Crown on summary conviction matters. We work with and represent real clients, regularly appear in court, and manage our own file load, all under the supervision of practicing Legal Aid lawyers who are extremely invested in the success of the clinic and the students. I cannot emphasize enough what a great experience the University Legal Aid Clinic is if you are keen and self-directed. Further, the law school recently (to no fanfare) established a wrongful convictions clinic, and will begin work with five clients in the autumn. Outside of criminal law, there are excellent clinics and interships available if you're interested in family law, and I have heard good things about the clinical administrative law course. 3) Excellent engagement with the local bar: This was touched on before, but I think it warrants repeating. The local bar in all areas of practice is extremely engaged, and often eager to meet with and help students. I had an email sent out to the Criminal Defence Lawyers' Association's members' list for help on something, and within three hours multiple lawyers had responded. 4) Crim-defence firms and articling: I don't know exactly how this works in other cities but quite a few, I would guess most, criminal defence firms in Winnipeg hire articling students a year in advance. These places all advertise through job postings, so there is less need to cold call and hustle for a job. 5) Cheap tuition: Well, relatively cheap tuition. The administration raised tuition without raising tuition by lowering the number of required credit hours while keeping annual tuition fees the same. In effect, you take, I think, a class and a half less, while still paying the same amount. Since the dollar amount hasn't changed, I don't think too many people have noticed. In any event, I would guess that U of M is amongst the least expensive common law programs in Canada. 6-10) Winnipeg ain't all that bad: Winnipeg has a bad rep, and it's largely justified. However, there are a lot of things working for it that I would just throw into one category. To start, Winnipeg has some pretty good cafes and restaurants. If you know where to look, you'll find quite a few treasures. Thom Bargen is probably my favourite cafe in Western Canada; Segovia has some of the best tapas I've come across even compared to Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto; and Sous Sol and Langside Grocery have high-quality and imaginative cocktails in a speakeasy setting. There are tons of great and inexpensive ethnic food options throughout the city (Khao House, Sukothai, etc.). Granted, there is an entire sea of mediocrity to navigate here, I would assume that that's largely true anywhere. As well, a surprising number of big name artists stop through Winnipeg. In the last two years, some of my favourites have dropped in, as well as other big names such as Kanye West and Paul McCartney. Obviously Winnipeg has a major hockey arena for the Jets, as well as a CFL team. We have the Human Rights Museum, as well as a fairly solid art gallery. There are any number of nice parks scattered throughout the city, recreational sports teams, etc. There are loads of festivals throughout the winter and the summer. In other words, you aren't deprived of many experiences you would normally have in other major Canadian centres (except Uber and Car2Go, I guess). As well, a lot of people who are from away, settle here. The average cost of a house is about $300k. Taxes are high (15%) but generally the cost of living is pretty low here. I can rent a nice home in a nice neighbourhood for $1100-1200/mth all inclusive. The summers here are beautiful: warm, usually sunny and clear, and lush and green. Finally, there seems to be recognition that Winnipeg, and other towns, are sorta isolated from the rest of the country. This gives way to a "make your own fun" vibe much of the time.
  5. A full list for U of M hasn't been done since 2014. There will probably be some overlap with the old list, but nothing wrong with shaking off the dust with an update. N.B.: I am from neither Winnipeg or Manitoba in general--my views, to my knowledge, greatly diverge from many of my colleagues who hail from here. 1) The driving/roads/public transit in Winnipeg: The driving here is cartoonishly bad. I have lived in and visited, and more importantly driven in, major centres all across Canada, and in Europe. I have never seen anything quite like Winnipeg. I have written this before but I will post it again verbatim: drivers in Winnipeg are apparently most comfortable cruising at 15 - 20km under the posted limit. Unless you're in a parking lot. In which case, they drive as though they're manning an M4 Sherman and the war effort literally depends on aggressively stop-starting every several metres. The roads throughout the city have the level of quality one would expect of a bombed-out Chechen war zone. In terms of city planning with respect to roads, well, there is literally an area called "Confusion Corner", which throws off even the locals now and again. Couple that with the above, and you have something that resembles a Ren and Stimpy cartoon. Except you aren't watching it. You're in it. If driving in general in Winnipeg is a Ren and Stimpy cartoon, then public transit is its own special episode wherein the bus drivers have conspired to dictate their own timetables while they drive. Maybe this happens everywhere, but I literally once had a bus driver stop at 7-11 to buy a Slurpee. 2) Beer selection: I don't know why, but the beer selection here is, uh, pretty narrow. Manitoba Liquor Mart stocks a few local craft beers, a whole lotta uncle beer, and then a few other Canadian craft beers. If you're looking for something a bit different, well, you're SOL. There is something an illusion of plenty but you'll come to as soon as you wanna try that sweet sweet sweet honey wheat beer like you did on a beach on the West Coast, or an East Coast watermelon blonde. The local beer is passable, and better than, say, Bud Light, but if you're a bit of a snob, or at least stubborn in your tastes, it is generally going to be lacking. 3) Weather/climate: Not much to say that hasn't been said already. This year we've ranged from -40 degrees up to 37 degrees. Fall and spring seem to last about two-and-a-half weeks. If you can't handle seasonal extremes, you will be unhappy here. 4) Insular social culture (at least to start): At least to start, "Friendly Manitoba" generally means Manitobans are friendly to other Manitobans. Once you're in, you're IN but, hoo boy, attempting a normal conversation or a little banter for the first little while is a bit of doozy. It'll be acutely noticeable if you're from a place where quality customer service is part of the broader social culture. 5) Manitoba Public Insurance: I just really hate dealing with public auto insurance. A lot. It would seem as though a lot of people do but there isn't really any political inertia to do anything about it. 6) Regionally-focused job prospects: This has been touched on before, but it's worth noting that this hasn't really changed. I am not sure it's necessarily the fault of the administration or the career development office since the vast majority of law students here are from Manitoba and want to stay in Manitoba. At least with my year, a number of Calgary full-service firms had intended not to participate in OCIs given the studentry's extremely low-level of interest. The reality is that U of M is a regional law school meant to service Manitoba, and, again, the majority of the students here are from Manitoba and at least SEEM like they want to stay here. If you're from out-of-province and intend on returning home, recognize now that the law school isn't particularly focused on or interested in helping you leave. I don't really subscribe to the notion of the career office handing you a job (or even really mapping everything/anything out) but just be prepared to hustle hard if you intend to article in another jurisdiction, especially if you aren't interested in or able to find work at major firms with the resources and capacity to participate in OCIs. 7) Narrow elective/clinical offerings: This has also been touched on but is also worth confirming. I suspect (to be clear, I am speculating) this is largely because the faculty turnover rate seems quite high here, and probably understandably so. The faculty members who would normally teach a particular elective might be gone by the time you get around to taking it. Sometimes the faculty hires practitioners to teach that courses, sometimes it doesn't. 8) Location: The school is way the hell away from the downtown and any of the nicer areas of town. It's a 25 minute drive from campus to the courthouse and the rest of the downtown, which is going to matter to you if you're volunteering or working for the University Legal Aid Clinic. 9) The building: If you're expecting an exterior of dignified red bricks and ivy to summon up the spirit of Chief Justice Dickson, or an interior of sleek frosted blue-green glass windows as you stare unto the (pretty crap-looking) Red River, haha, too bad; you get concrete. From an architectural lens, the campus is a microcosm for the entire city, which is sorta this weird hodge-podge of beautiful old (retrofitted) colonial buildings, complex geometry and transparent glass aesthetics, and Brutalism. Unfortunately, the law school is just pure functional Brutalism. It looks less like a law school, and more like an imitation of one. Granted, this will be the least of anyone's concerns, assuming you notice at all, but if you are dreaming of something aesthetically/cosmetically pleasing, haha, too bad, you get concrete. Also, the law school is basically stuck with one thermostat with two settings: too hot, and too cold. There is no in-between. 10) SNAILS: Snails are a phenomenon at all law schools. I personally don't mind them since I work in my office or off campus, and also I don't really care, but, wow, is it apparent how many of them there are at U of M. Part of that stems from the fact that the law school, I guess, rents out one of its classrooms for ESL classes. So they don't occupy just the law library, but the common room, lounges, and empty classes.
  6. Silk was a pretty solid BBC legal miniseries. Obviously not a movie but in many ways a better representation/approximation of criminal trials and advocacy than American depictions at least with respect to Canada.
  7. I am pleased personally with the outcome here, but I think I'm more pleased to see some discussion and clarification of "Charter values" in the concurring decisions and dissent.
  8. https://www.facebook.com/groups/185238652255567/ There is now a Robson Hall Class of 2021 Facebook group that all incoming students are encouraged to join!
  9. Yes, absolutely. I wasn't clear on expressing that in my initial post. I would definitely plan something in advance rather than just sauntering through Calgary unannounced.
  10. Hi all, I could use a bit of insight/perspective. I am studying at U of M. I am very keen on articling at a crim defence firm since that is the area in which I would ultimately like to work. I am equally keen on returning to Calgary. I have a few indirect connections to crim defence lawyers in Calgary. I also intend to cold-call several defence firms in Calgary, and then fly out there at the end of April for a few days (recruitment period is early June) just to get some face time. I think I have a generally solid resume (ex. upcoming summer job as a student supervisor for our Legal Aid Clinic, conduct of 30+ clinical files to date, several trials, Charter motions, dispos, remands, crim-related PBSC work, above average grades, etc.). But, I am concerned about being a faceless application come recruiting time, and a bit sensitive to applying to small firms from out-of-province. Any thoughts on whether this sort of exposure be truly helpful outside of just sending in my applications come recruitment time? Obviously if I could save on the cost of a return ticket (and time) I would, but I am not really stressing about it too much. ***I will be applying to both Crowns' offices. I understand that that may be a more practical avenue back to Calgary but I am far more attracted to defence work. Further, I am aware of some people who secured clerkships in Calgary as a way in/back--I am not really that guy, and, in any event, the deadline is far past.
  11. Yeah, pretty much this. Not a bad idea to go on a trip during the listed dates. However, I would add that the first month of law school is a very very busy time for most people. It will be in your best interest to accomplish any personal or day-to-day tasks in advance because you likely will really really really not want to once school begins. Need to see the dentist? Get that check-up now. Need that oil changed? Get it done. Really, anything you are putting off, get it done over the summer because, again, you will really not want it on your mind once everything gets going.
  12. Yeah, I remember noticing the same thing when I started researching crim firms (and their articling students and associates) in Calgary. Whatever nascent notion I might have had about sorta, ya know, just walking into a job at some of these crim firms was replaced by a sense of, "How the fuck do I possibly step my game up that much?" Still figuring that one out most days... Top-tier firms attract top-tier talent apparently.
  13. At least last year, Pro Bono Students Canada, which connects law students with law-related volunteer positions, asked for resumes and not transcripts. PBSC will accept applications sometime in September, I would guess. As for summer work, you can use your midterm law grades and/or your undergrad grades depending on the position you are applying for. Most summer job posts I have seen wanted something academic on which to base their decision in addition to your resume. Keep in mind that will you be competing with all of the interested 2Ls for summer work. So, if you don't get a law-related summer job in 1L, well, most of us don't. Finally, non-law-related volunteer opportunities abound at Robson Hall, and across campus and in the city. Once the school year commences, there will be a stream of email updates on this kind of stuff--you certainly won't be left in the dark. For now, just chill.
  14. Given your past personal circumstances, you may want to research and consider applying under the "Individual Consideration" category (http://umanitoba.ca/admissions/media/law_bulletin.pdf; http://law.robsonhall.com/future-students/juris-doctor-j-d/admission-to-first-year/individual-consideration-category/), although with a sufficiently strong LSAT score, you may not need to. This isn't a backdoor into law school but rather an opportunity for you to explain some of the circumstances around your GPA, and how that has been a barrier to what would have otherwise been a more successful undergrad experience. Otherwise, I would echo what ElevenUnderwood said above: do some more research on other law schools' admissions criteria. I would also gently add that getting into law school is one thing; competing for good grades once/if you're in is another. Yes, Robson Hall has generous drops. But quite a few students at RH attend because they actually want to be in Manitoba, not because it's a last resort for them. Some of their LSAT scores and GPAs would have been competitive at common law schools throughout the country. They didn't need those drops in the first place. They will be working just as hard as you for top grades and good jobs. I am not saying that you will do better or worse than them, but just keep in mind that acceptance into law school is only one piece of the puzzle. I know that that may seem abstract right now. But consider how doing average or below average at U of M may affect your other goals. As well, FWIW, U of M is not a realistic option for you until you have an LSAT score with which to make that determination. As well, aspiring for the 95th percentile is laudable but not realistic for most people. At least I don't think it is. Maybe you will be one of the fortunate few. I mean, you can figure out what score you or someone like you would need to be a "good contender", but that doesn't speak to whether you will get that score. I would simply suggest to study hard and write the best LSAT that you can. Consider taking additional courses in areas that you like to improve your GPA, if possible. Do some more research on common law schools that interest you. Understand their admissions criteria. Maybe you have a stronger L2/B2, and applying to L2/B2 schools would be in your best interest. Again, as ElevenUnderwood pointed out, you might have a better go of the admissions process by applying to "holistic schools" that weight your resume. Give yourself time to do these things. Then start considering which law school is realistic. Apply broadly to schools in jurisdictions in which you would like to live or could tolerate living, in addition to schools that you think are realistic. Because it might be that you get off of a waitlist into a school you would prefer to attend. Now, to be clear, I am not saying the sky is the limit. I am saying do some more research and take more steps to give yourself the best chance you can rather than sticking all your eggs in the golden LSAT score basket.
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