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About rziegler

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  1. I think Sam Harris's "Waking Up" is a good starting point if you're willing to pay the $150/yr for it. Otherwise, initially I experimented with different guided lessons on YouTube until I coughed up the money. I don't regret it.
  2. I like the pomodoro technique. There are probably lots of apps for it. You could also be old fashioned and get an actual tomato-shaped timer. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomodoro_Technique
  3. Guided mindfulness meditation just 10-15 minutes a day on most days. I resisted trying it for over ten years. I'm glad I've managed to work it into my days.
  4. In my experience, law professors LOVE finding students who share their research interests, and can speak and write (somewhat) articulately on the same. I had a law professor at my school who I trusted, and used him as an occasional (but no less important) interlocutor. I was an active participant in one of his classes, so he was more than happy to sit down and talk with me about what I was working on. Having someone in a position of authority to probe the weaknesses in my understanding of the law was invaluable. It was also encouraging having the same person occasionally agree with my take on something--it signified that I was on the right track. Listening to a professor (whose work I admired) take a strong position outside of class emboldened me to take risks with my own writing. This relationship led to a co-authorship on another peer-reviewed paper with that same professor. I was more or less counselled to just write first, and figure out a target journal second. It's a lot easier to adjust a draft to the preferences of the target journal than it is to try and write with that in mind the entire time (at least it is for me). I have no idea if this is ultimately good advice or not, but it helped me because I wasn't really concerned about what the publication was looking for. I was just happy and motivated to do the writing and the research. In any event, most journals will have calls for submissions published on their websites, and those will outline the research themes they're after, as well as deadlines for submissions. This is probably naive but my experience has been that if a publication likes your paper or your idea, they'll work with you to find a way to get it in and over the finish line. The anonymous reviewers (who I took at face value on everything) will let you know what they think are the shortcomings with your paper. I also gave myself months and months and months to research and write and tinker at my leisure. I'm not concerned about publish or perish, so this made the process a lot more enjoyable while balancing work and school.
  5. I don't want to derail OP's thread but $50k is not out of step with the market in Calgary for criminal defence, at least for 2019-2020/pre-COVID-19. I articled at a crim defence firm in downtown Calgary. Although it would be better described as a low-volume, high-complexity practice, most of my colleagues articling at high volume shops (whether Legal Aid or cash files) either reported earning the same as what I earned, or something close to it. None of us were gold medalists or former SCC clerks. I won't say exactly what any of us earned, but it was significantly more than the apparent Vancouver range of $24-36k.
  6. I've seen some of the effects of this in Calgary already. It's pretty dispiriting. I know a number of articling students at small firms who lost their hire-back positions as a result of the downturn, or are getting hired back temporarily on their articling salaries. A small civil lit firm I'm aware of turfed all of its lawyers and support staff (I think between 12-14 people total). In speaking with several partners at several other small firms, major concerns about solvency were repeatedly expressed. I have little difficulty envisioning a significant outflow of new calls and junior lawyers when, by all appearances, most small firms here are entering survival mode.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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?
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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!
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