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jjbean

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  1. There are plenty of very qualified professors who can teach the basics of law and who are willing to do so for $150k per year rather than $300k (in fact, many practitioners will do it for a nominal fee). There is no justification for UofT's outrageous tuition fees.
  2. Wait until OP sees McGill's tuition rates....
  3. jjbean

    Salary Negotiation Tips

    I would just reiterate that collective bargaining doesn't have to conform to traditional industrial agreements. Even physicians, who are private business owners with an incentive to maximize profits, bargain collectively with many provincial governments (and in some provinces, like Alberta, that right is enshrined in law). Also, there is often lots of ambiguity between management and employees. Determining whether a "supervisor" is an employee (and in a bargaining unit) or a manager (and therefore excluded) is bread-and-butter work at labour boards. There are established tests and lots of decided cases.... Associates would clearly fall within the employee category.
  4. jjbean

    Salary Negotiation Tips

    Call me optimistic! Lawyers collectively bargain in a whole series of workplaces in Canada. (Yes, my reference was to associates bargaining in a larger firm, not the profession as a whole). Legal Aid Ontario lawyers bargain collectively, as do federal government lawyers in almost all jurisdictions across the country, as do associates at a variety of labour firms in downtown Toronto.... The view that collective bargaining is only for lower skill professionals is pretty outdated in the research and in practice. Physicians bargain collectively in every province in Canada, as do other professionals (planners, etc.) across civil services in most provinces. Federal government lawyers have had a collective bargaining structure in place for years and have bargained several collective agreements. I'm not sure why you think it would not be feasible in the private sector. It might not be a formal union, but a strong and united associates' committee in a large firm can exert far more pressure than individual associates bargaining on their own. Also, your description of the purposes of collective bargaining are very... industrial. Collective bargaining is about creating workplace fairness by having a counter-weight to what is usually almost unlimited employer power. In some workplaces (such as those you described), this means predictable seniority-based progressions, to protect against favouritism. But collective bargaining is not required to produce that result. Lawyers could collectively bargain lower yearly hour targets, or higher bonuses, or more vacation, or better benefits and salary. The point is to come together to get a better outcome in your particular workplace, not to replicate how others have approached it in other work locations. TL;DR: Professional collective bargaining is a thing. Labour relations have moved past the industrial revolution.
  5. jjbean

    Salary Negotiation Tips

    Alternatively, do what other private sector workers have done when they want more of their excess value to go to them rather than their bosses: organize. Depending on your jurisdiction, you may not be able to unionize as a lawyer, but you can work with other associates to pressure for fairer compensation. Not easy, but not impossible.
  6. jjbean

    Law Firm Culture and Numbers for Edmonton Firms

    B&C, DC, and Field all seem to have typical big-ish firm reputations. Not great hours, a lot of sexism, etc. But YMMV. Haven't heard anything about Emery.
  7. I graduate from McGill in 2017 and don't know a single person who took an unpaid position. Some people took six months to find a placement, travelled, worked non-law jobs for a bit, but everyone seems to have landed somewhere decent.
  8. I received my updated ID card within two weeks. The certificate hasn't arrived yet, and I was called on June 1 of this year. I emailed the Law Society and they indicated it can take a few months, depending on when they receive all of the paperwork from the courts. Good luck! Maybe reach out to the Law Society if you need it urgently. Your status on the website should change to "practising" within a couple of weeks. Not sure if that's enough for your new jurisdiction...
  9. I will be called shortly and would like to get a gift for my principal. She and I have a good relationship, my firm is small, and I'm staying on. I thought I would check in to see if LS folks have good ideas of gifts (from the articling or principal experience) or thoughts on appropriate price ranges. Thanks in advance.
  10. Hi All, What is folks' experience with their hour quotas/targets being in billable vs. billed vs. receipted hours? I've chatted with a few lawyers who seem to have different experiences. My firm uses a receipted hours target, which works generally but can get tricky when partners assign large projects that end up having significant write-offs or discounts. Thanks in advance for thoughts.
  11. jjbean

    Edmonton First Year Salaries

    I'm in a firm that size. Articling is $50k. First year is around $63. Second year in the $70s. Third year in the $80s. Not sure beyond that.
  12. jjbean

    Boss Placed Me On Probation

    If you end up being terminated, talk to an employment lawyer. They may have opened the door to a human rights claim because of their intrusion on your mental health issues.
  13. jjbean

    Upset by summer employment situation

    Not super interested in how it comes across. Nor am I saying how resources should be spent. I'm indicating what the law is.
  14. jjbean

    Upset by summer employment situation

    Sole practitioners are not employees.
  15. jjbean

    Upset by summer employment situation

    It's contextual. Law enforcement officers' associations routinely invoke the right to a safe workplace to get their members better equipment, PTSD treatment, training, etc. Even employers whose employees inherently face danger are required to minimize risk. If you're a lawyer and your mental health is being adversely affected at work and your employer could address it, you have the right to make an occupational health complaint. The fact that virtually no one does is a reflection of our unhealthy workplace norms, not the rights that we actually have. In this case, OP is a law student. Law students' work, even in a poverty law clinic, is not inherently dangerous. OP has in fact identified an entirely reasonable way to address the extreme situation they are facing - an actual lawyer or social worker could step in and assist. A brief workshop on mental health does not excuse the employer from providing support to mitigate an unhealthy work environment. These rights aren't contentious. They're the backbone of occupational health and safety law.
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