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About jlw2

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  1. Over the last six months or so, there has been a noticeable increase in job postings in the Atlantic provinces. Not sure if it is due to the success of the Atlantic bubble during the first wave that allowed us all to keep working/living with minimal interruption or a general reaction to an increase in work. Either way, the postings keep coming for private practice, in-house and public sector law jobs. My office has developed a bit of a pattern attracting associates from Ontario, some with local connections but not all. For those of you in other parts of the country, especially larger cities, has Covid made you consider a move? What would it take to get you to take the plunge and relocate? Would you take a pay cut if your cost of living or billable target was lower? In a year like 2020, is Bay Street > the Bay of Fundy? Interested in hearing your thoughts.
  2. Sourced from current associates.
  3. Nothing against Boyne Clarke. I just don't have salary info on them - my comments are re: big 3 only. And the example of a jump from articling salary to first year salary is pretty reflective of what actually happens. You are worth more as a practicing lawyer.
  4. Boyne Clarke isn't big 3. Base salaries for Atlantic big 3 in 2020: 1st year 65-70k, by third year ~85k.
  5. Don't forget about the MELP (Marine & Environmental Law Program) at Dal: https://www.dal.ca/faculty/law/melaw/programs.html
  6. Cole Haan has some great skimmers and loafers with low/no heels. They often have sales and you can also find them at DSW or the Bay on occasion.
  7. My Biglaw firm sends me to career fairs/student meet-and-greet events to get to know potential applicants at the early stage of the recruitment process. We get no official training or list of criteria for "what the firm is looking for in a student", so identifying good candidates at this stage basically comes down to common sense and likability. That is why acting like a real person, rather than the "ideal candidate" is so important in these relatively chaotic settings. We don't want to spend our day talking to people who are trying so hard to be impressive or who are so shy and nervous, that you can't get to know them at all (and we definitely don't want to spend a whole year working with them either). Most of the students I meet at these events never get mentioned in my feedback to the firm, positively or negatively. Here are some things that will make you stand out in a good way: positive demeanor good eye contact is patient and uses good manners when waiting for a chance to speak with a particular lawyer/recruiter speaks to the lawyers/recruiters respectfully, but still like a normal person (not overly familiar nor overly deferential - the vibe should be more like when you're meeting your boyfriend/girlfriends parents) shares relevant information given the context, like practice areas of interest, work experience, intention to practice in a particular city, etc. shows a general understanding of the firm (what we practice, where our offices are) knows when to leave the conversation During the last recruiting cycle, I only gave one student negative feedback. Some students were awkward or made a weird comment, but I mostly just let that stuff slide and don't name them in my feedback to the firm. That way they have the opportunity to turn things around if they get an interview through the formal process based on their qualifications without one little interaction working against them. The negative feedback was for egregious behavior. The student approached the firm's booth and immediately interrupted another student who was in the middle of a conversation with another lawyer from my firm. The student was loud and obnoxious, stayed way too long, and interrupted the other lawyers I was with multiple times during the interaction to try to wedge in more information about their grades and extensive work experience. The student came across as a know-it-all with poor social skills. Don't do that. At the end of the day, we are looking for people who will be working with us for long hours and in stressful situations. The recruiting process can feel intense, but don't let that overshadow you as a person. And if you're a terrible person, go ahead and show us that as soon as possible so we don't waste our time...I'm only half joking.
  8. I think the toughest part of OPs question is the team/ensemble aspect. Taking time for yourself when you are able to go to the gym/relax/enjoy hobbies individually or with others on an ad hoc basis is one thing, but trying to keep a consistent schedule with a group of people who depend on your participation can be really tough during articling and your first year(s) of practice. In those early days, you can feel pressure to flex and sacrifice plans to show those you work with that you are a dedicated and hardworking lawyer. That means you may be faced with letting your team/ensemble down when work comes first, which can add more stress or guilt that you want to take on. I felt a lot of that guilt/stress when I first started, so I took 2 years off from rec sports leagues in favour of other activities that did not have a set schedule or people depending on me to show up. I am now heading into my third year of practice and second season being back with a sports team and it's wonderful. Some people can manage work and teams early in their career and that's great if you can do it. I just knew that when I first started I was personally not in a place to put my foot down if my team commitment clashed with work (or the appearance that I was working...a whole other can of worms) and the idea of disappointing others really bummed me out. As you get more comfortable at work, you will feel more freedom to make firm and consistent plans for your personal priorities, plus you will have proven yourself and your work ethic over your articling year and early period of practice. I hope you find something that works for you. Maybe you can get a spot as an alternate and explain your particular circumstances so the expectations are clear from the outset. It's also good to keep in mind that non-lawyers have busy important lives too and can't always show up to every commitment that they make. No matter what you do, you will eventually get through the scary first bits of figuring out how to make life work as a lawyer and you'll be able to make your own call about what is manageable for you.
  9. jlw2

    Three things.

    1. My weird and wonderful rescue cat. 2. Living in a place where I have the time, access, and support to have a meaningful role in my community. 3. My recreational sports leagues (the first thing that taught me how to put my foot down about working late for the sake of working late. I couldn't let the team down so I had to learn how to communicate my boundaries and other commitments to partners, and you know what? They respected that!) (4. I got one of those restaurant style grinder cheese graters in my stocking two Christmases ago and it is *life changing*. Just throw a hunk of cheese in there and off you go. You can get them on Amazon for ~$15 and they come apart to go in the dishwasher - best gift ever!)
  10. If you are looking for a good work/school tote, Kate Spade is having a 75% off sale with lots of larger bags and "tech-friendly" options.
  11. This is such an important question! It is difficult to generalize because every office will have its own unique culture. Step one, if no dress code is specified, plan to wear a suit on your first day. This is a generally accepted "first day" outfit, even in offices that have a relatively casual atmosphere, plus it gives you a full day to scope out what everyone else in wearing to get a sense of what is expected of you. Another great way to get that info is to contact those who summered the year before or junior associates and just ask them what kinds of things people wear in the office. Most people want to help and it's a good way to start a relationship with your peers. Once you have your suit and some button ups or blouses to go with it, get a few dresses to pair with the blazer and a few cardigans or jackets to pair with the skirt and/or pants and ta-da you have a capsule wardrobe to last you the summer! I live in a work-uniform of about 15 mix and match outfits and it makes life exceptionally easy in the mornings. No one will remember how many days in a week you wore a suit so long as it is neutral, so no need to fret if your wardrobe is limited when you start out.
  12. I like the Calvin Klein work wear line blouses (available at Dept. stores like the Bay, Macy's, etc.). They have been on a collarless jacket kick in their suit line so they make a variety of collarless tops to complement them (same goes for Tahari) . For example, I have repurchased this one twice: https://www.calvinklein.us/en/womens-clothing/womens-featured-shop-modern-essentials-tops/contrasting-trim-v-neck-sleeveless-top-12407610 . Some of the patterns can be a bit much so, as always, use your judgment. If you feel that standard shells and T-shirt style tops are too casual for your look, try tops with a tie-neck for added visual interest and a professional alternative to a lapel-style collar. J.Crew and Banana Republic can be hit and miss for collarless blouses. If you monitor the sites you can sometimes snag some solid or subtly patterned options in a silky fabric that will add a nice texture to an outfit. Just be sure to read the care instructions carefully - I accidentally melted one with a hotel iron once...
  13. This London Fog Trench has gotten me through many a rainy season: https://www.londonfog.com/women/collections/fall-winter-outerwear/amanda-double-lapel-raincoat-with-detachable-hood.html The fit is great, it's light and the sleeves are roomy enough to fit a suit jacket underneath without looking like the Michelin Man.
  14. For an interview, if you have pierced ears, you may want to throw some subtle studs in. The reason for this is that, if the piercing holes are visible, the interviewer will not know that you don't usually wear jewelry and may wonder whether you got frazzled and forgot to put on your earrings when getting ready for the interview. You don't want them to draw an inference that you are disorganized, not detail oriented, so on and so forth. Or they won't notice/won't care at all. The point is, they have very little information about you as a person at that stage so every little detail has the potential to be extrapolated into something bigger than it is. Once you get hired on and they have a chance to get to know you, don't feel obligated to wear jewelry if you don't want to. You do you. Most people won't notice. Even if anyone does notice and for some odd reason asks you about it, the conversation will go like this: "Why don't you wear jewelry?" "It's not really my thing" "Alright then, so about that mediation brief blah blah blah..." For the second part of your question, I find that Banana Republic and J.Crew often have cute studs at a discount in their sale section. I also like to shop at a little local accessories boutique with nice costume jewelry (no one is going to know or care that you're not wearing *real* diamonds/pearls/fine jewelry. You're just starting out. Just make sure that anything that you do wear to work is in good shape and not discoloured). In terms of interview/work appropriate jewelry, today at the office, I am wearing a pair of teardrop studs similar to these http://www.thebay.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/thebay/jewellery-accessories/fashion-jewellery-earrings/faceted-teardrop-crystal-stud-earrings. My other go-to pair are faux pearl studs similar to these : http://www.thebay.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/thebay/wh-8mm-white-pearlsilver-stud I rarely wear more jewelry than that at work unless its casual Friday and I have plans after 5. I got a lot of mileage out of this necklace for a while, but I lost it (might buy another one now that I think about it): http://www.thebay.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/thebay/pearls-of-love-large-pearl-sterling-silver-necklace-0600090099423--24
  15. I think that looks great. Of my three regular rotation suits, two have the jewel-style (collarless) neckline. Perfectly appropriate and contemporary for work or interviews. You don't need lapels to look professional. Just make sure that you are pairing the jacket with a blouse that is also collarless.
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