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About sarstan

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  1. I felt (and still feel) this way about my articles. I felt like I let a total disappointment who let my firm down and towards the end, I just wanted to get out of there and never go back. After articling and my call , I hibernated for 6 months and barely applied for any jobs. About 2 years later, I asked my principal for a reference and she gave me an excellent one. We went for lunch and I told her a bit about how I'd felt during articles so got a bit of resolution. Now, coming up to my 5-year call mark, I have a good job and don't feel the same way at all. It all worked out, but that was a tough time for me. Take care of yourself.
  2. My government office is now WFH. It's really hard to focus, though...
  3. If you want to practice crim and you can move, you can find well paid crim work and get lots of opportunity in the north. If I were determined to do crim, I'd look into Nunavut, the NWT and northern towns in provinces.
  4. Government. Mass emails saying the regular things: wash your hands. Stay home if sick. For lawyers, though, we are not set up to work from home, so I don't feel as though we are being sincerely encouraged to stay home. In court this week, there was sick duty counsel and a sick judge (granted, she sits far away. We'll see how this all goes.
  5. I'm in government and the expectation is that we will be available from 8:30-5. They don't give lawyers in my office mobile phones, so it's really 9-5. If you have a trial or a longer matter outside of chambers, you will work late, but that's not typical. We also get generous vacation time - government vacation (which is generous to begin with starting at 4 weeks) plus 7 "lieu" days per annum. I leave by 5:30pm 95% of the time and don't even check my email at home (sometimes I want to, but try not to). I am in a smaller centre, so the majority of lawyers in my area do not email or phone you in the evenings and if they do, they don't expect an immediate response. It's all very civilized and a good work-life balance. I would like more flexibility to work from home or modify my schedule just as long as I'm billing enough, though, but maybe that's just because of that whole "grass is always greener" human tendency.
  6. I have been practicing family law for about 6 months now and I really like the work, except...nerves. I love going to court, hearing other lawyers argue and I love developing legal arguments and arguing them for my own clients...until I am the one standing in front of the judge (aka where it matters). I didn't think it would be an issue, but man do I get nervous when speaking in court. Intellectually, I know there is nothing to be afraid of but I have to get over this hump. Does anyone have strategies, tips, resources for how to get over the nerves? I think I'm overthinking the fact that I'm nervous and it only makes me more nervous. The judges have not been not harsh or critical at all and I think it's all in my head. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  7. $500 as an articling student at a 7ish-lawyer boutique firm.
  8. How you bill for admin work that you do?
  9. I work with legal aid in my jursidiction and feel like the whole process could be streamlined in most cases. Mandatory mediation and an administrative process for collecting child support would be my main two suggestions at this point. Child support should not require lawyers and courts in most cases. It should be an administrative process where the administrative body has access to tax records and can enforce. It's ridiculous how much money goes into getting child support orders, enforcing those orders and then how low the rate of collection is in the end. This actually woke me up in the middle of the night last night. I have soooo many clients who are single mothers raising one or more children with zero financial assistance from the father(s). Makes me so angry and I don't think the current system is working.
  10. The "pay-it-forward" approach is what agency work is like for the family bar in my jurisdiction, but it's a smaller centre. But that's just for brief court appearances, from what I've seen.
  11. If you're in Ontario and on FB, the Sole Practitioner Lawyer Listserv is a good resource.
  12. I have ghost-like white skin, often with bruises thanks to a rambunctious dog, so I always wear tights/nylons or pants. You're welcome.
  13. You can try these at your discretion, judgment free: https://lawiscool.com/summaries-collection/
  14. More practice exams. I found them super helpful because they replicate what the test will feel like. The number one skill needed for the bar, imho, is being able to look stuff up fast. Yes, you should know the information, but average speed per question is what it comes down to. I don't remember which practice exams I used, just that they weren't cheap.
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