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barelylegal

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barelylegal last won the day on August 18 2018

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  1. I think it's worth taking a step back in your question. You're asking what will help you get a first-year associate position, but earlier in your question, you note that you "eventually" want to move back to Toronto. Is there a reason it absolutely has to be as a first-year associate? I ask this because it can be quite difficult to land a first-year associate position. Think about what your two proposed options would actually entail: You article in Alberta, then come back to Toronto and look for work as a first-year associate, competing against all the people who didn't get hired on by their firms who are also looking, and with the disadvantages that your experience is outside Ontario and a Toronto firm may be less likely to know of your firm. You article at a smaller firm in Toronto. Smaller firms may have less likelihood of hireback (if they hired on their articling students every year, they probably wouldn't be so small), meaning you still might end up in the same tough job-seeking position as option 1. If you can wait a couple of years, I think it would be much better for you to article at the larger Alberta firm, hopefully get hired on, work for a couple of years and build some experience, then come to Toronto looking for a position as a third-year associate (which is when many people start leaving their firms, and firms look for people at that experience level). A third-year associate is much more marketable than a first-year, in most cases. If it's absolutely necessary for you to come back to Toronto ASAP, I think it would be better to try to find an articling position in Toronto, but know that even that route could have challenges given the types of firms you'll be looking at.
  2. A lot of this is personal preference, but as a starter heel, I'd recommend a black, leather, pointed-toe heel. Just strikes me as the most versatile. Pointed-toe just looks more professional to me than round-toe (the latter of which I'd be more likely to wear to a nice event), and I find that leather is easier to weather-treat than suede, making it more lasting in all seasons. I personally find Naturalizer to make good basic heels that are relatively comfortable, but see what works for you.
  3. That's not so crazy. My firm has 4-6 interviews going at any given time at the start of interview week, with each interview requiring the presence of 2-3 lawyers. With interviews running 8-5, you can get 40+ people interviewed in one day, with enough time for an hour lunch break and ending in time for a meeting before the cocktail reception or dinner, and then you're off to the next round on day 2. I can see this kind of schedule being a pretty crazy amount of work to fill just one spot. But over the course of 3 days? Not necessarily so unmanageable.
  4. I've written several posts on this topic before, I'd direct you to previous topics on working while in law school, but in short - it depends on the person. I worked several jobs throughout law school at Queen's, but they were flexible in a way that let me work them around my schedule. I was able to do this, working probably ~10-15 hours/week on average, while keeping grades up and being highly involved in clinics/moots/extracurriculars. I found that it really helped me with my time management skills, which was a great help during articling and beyond. Perhaps start slow with work to see how you adapt to the requirements of law school, but more generally, I personally don't understand the general aversion on this board to working while in school.
  5. Every firm is probably different, but for mine, all interview feedback requests usually get routed to the student recruitment coordinator, whether sent to them directly or to an associate (who will usually forward it). The coordinator will source feedback from all of the student's interviewers and then discuss with the student. It's really just a time thing - we're really busy and don't usually have time to talk to every student we interviewed, so it's much better to just jot a few notes down for the recruiter when a feedback request comes in and leave it to them to manage.
  6. Unfortunately I can't. My firm has a student recruitment manager who does the initial interview selections. I only get involved when I'm asked to do interviews and given the application packages of the applicants I'll be interviewing. My understanding is that it is more grades-focused than the interview stage would be, but I still don't think there would be such in-depth analysis as considering what a grade from one school would be equivalent to elsewhere. To an extent. They can help people on the cusp. If the room is torn on which candidates are preferred, you might hear things like "X had a great interview, AND their grades are excellent!" or "Z was a little awkward in the interview, but their grades are excellent and their references are all glowing". But interview performance (including any receptions, etc.) is generally paramount.
  7. Yeah, I was going to chime in with what a few more recent posts have covered - firms really don't put such detailed thought into it. If I'm interviewing a student, I'm going to see their transcript and recognize that a B+ or higher is pretty good, an A is really good, many As is particularly impressive, a C or lower isn't great but not really an issue if there's only one. I'm probably not going to think any further than that, because I'm interviewing 8 people tomorrow and 3 the day after and it's currently a Sunday and I still need to get through the rest of their application materials, and once I'm actually in the interview I have more important things to ask about. Once the interview has happened, that's going to be the primary basis of discussion, maybe an offhand comment about whether the grades are good. It's not some extensive analysis.
  8. It's the same as anything else. Take any insurance courses available, as well as more general litigation stuff that's related (for example, I recall, when in law school, that there was a trial advocacy course focused on motions advocacy that was known for being particularly good for insurance-minded students). Get a reference from the insurance professor who's known in the field, maybe an RA position. Insurance defence places are probably closer to large corporate firms in that they don't care quite as much about targeted interest in advance, but they want students to hit the ground running - they will care about litigation interest/experience and they will recognize professors in the insurance field.
  9. This is pretty much what I was thinking - I haven't personally dealt with a statement of uncontested/undisputed facts, but my understanding is that it's generally more common in the tribunal context. As to the difference, generally speaking, certain legal consequences may flow from making admissions vs. simply not disputing certain things, particularly in potential future proceedings.
  10. What did you spend your 1L and 2L summers doing?
  11. While I can't speak with certainly, frankly, I'm not sure firms would go to the trouble of reviewing medical documentation as part of an application package.
  12. I knew I had forgotten one, but couldn't remember which. Clearly blocked it from memory...
  13. In your first year, you won't be selecting courses. All 1Ls take the same core courses - usually something like contracts, torts, criminal law, public/constitutional law, legal research. After first year, you largely select your own courses. I think everyone is required to take civil procedure at some point (that was the case when I was in school, anyway). A lot of schools also require you to take at least one course that relates to advocacy - a moot, a clinic, a course on trial advocacy or mediation/ADR or something like that. Additionally, there are certain core, "black letter law" courses that most people take because they're generally useful - things like evidence, business associations, family law. Beyond that, courses are up to you. Some people have an idea what they're interested in and load up on courses, or clinics, or moots that relate to their area of interest. Some people select courses based on what topics are on the bar exam (though this generally isn't recommended). Some people don't know what they want to do, so just take a wide variety of courses. Some people know whether they prefer to be assessed through exams or papers, and select courses based on grading method. There's a lot of flexibility. Taking courses in particular areas of law is useful to help you figure out what interests you, and possibly get more in-depth knowledge in those areas for practice. However, one big consideration is demonstrating your interest to employers. If you're applying for jobs in criminal law, and you tell a firm you're passionate about criminal law, they're going to want to see something to back that up, so they know you actually mean it and aren't just saying it to get a job. This applies to a variety of firms and practice areas (though perhaps less so for large, full-service firms that have a big selection of practice areas). You can demonstrate this interest through courses, extracurriculars, all kinds of things. The courses you take in school don't govern the type of law you ultimately practice. Law school largely teaches you the core skills required to be a lawyer - any kind of lawyer. Everyone graduating law school gets the same degree - no "major" or "minor" (I'm aware some school offer specializations/streams, but I have no idea what those entail or what benefit, if any, they offer). I mean, when you're in practice, you can pick up a couple of treatises, read some cases, go to some conferences, and become an expert in a whole new area of law - law school (and practice) gives you the basic abilities to do that. For the most part, you really learn an area of law by actually doing it - taking the basics you learn in law school and springing off from there. There's no risk involved simply by working in an area you didn't "focus" on in law school; you become competent through practice.
  14. I don't think an appendix page would do you much good - sure, you say that this situation impacted your final grades, but from the perspective of an employer, how do they know that's the case? An alternate approach, which I've seen in the past and thought had a positive effect, is using reference letters to manage the issue. For the classes where you had lower marks - did you have good relationships with the professor? Participate in class, go to office hours, do well on assignments during the term? Perhaps one or more of them could write a reference letter saying they're familiar with you and your work, you participated in class and demonstrated a solid understanding of the material, but due to extenuating circumstances your final mark does not reflect your true ability or knowledge/understanding. Prospective employers may be familiar with your professors, and/or may place greater weight on a professor's expressed views of you and willingness to write a letter like that than on a bad grade earned on one bad day.
  15. I disagree with your perspective here. If someone studies law abroad with the intention of working in Canada after, then in most cases, either (a) they didn't have the grades to get into a Canadian law school, or (b) they could have gone to a Canadian law school, but made the choice to go somewhere that is widely known to create hurdles. They accepted the risk, and arguably made a questionable decision. Both circumstances give rise to, I think, a reasonable basis for skepticism. If there are truly unique considerations at play - there wasn't initially an intention to move to Canada and circumstances changed, or something required a move to another country for three years but not longer than that for some reason - those can be expressed in a cover letter, and I think would be taken seriously by an employer. Certainly, my firm has interviewed, and made offers to, articling candidates who went to law school abroad, who had unique considerations. But that's not the case for the majority. I'm also not convinced by your comment about how bad it is "to miss out on productive work from qualified candidates because of incorrect assumptions". Sure, maybe you're passing on a candidate who would have done a good job - but there are plenty of Canadian student options who are equally, if not more, likely to do a good job, without the employer hassle of figuring out how to read/assess foreign credentials.
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