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beyondsection17

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  1. 1. Criminal 2. Labour & Employment 3. Probably Insurance / PI. In that order.
  2. I don't mean this negatively, but I would weigh the opinions of practicing lawyers on this issue higher than the opinions of those who have yet to even begin law school.
  3. Let's say you have 8 law schools and you give them all scores out of 100. Of the top six, let's say one gets a score of 90, three get scores of 85, two get scores of 80. And then when you move down the line, the seventh school gets a score of 70, and the eighth gets a 50. The sixth and eighth schools, though close in "ranking" (whatever the heck that means in this context), are not at all comparable. I think the value of an established alumni base cannot be overstated.
  4. You don't NEED to find an articling position no matter where you go, now that the LPP exists. Also, Lakehead sold their students this same promise and I'm fairly confident many Lakehead grads who wanted to work in Toronto ended up applying to articling jobs anyway because - gasp - law firms know that no matter how many clinics a student worked in, law graduates who have not articled are not competent to practice. Stop. You should 1000% choose Windsor (single JD) over Ryerson. And your friends who say they are choosing Ryerson over Queen's are probably lying to you about having been accepted to Queen's. Go to Windsor.
  5. Paliare Roland is definitely biglaw. A better way to think of "biglaw" is those firms that serve huge, multinational corporations as clients. Boutiques are just as competitive (and often even more competitive) than larger full service firms.
  6. My colleague and I were going through summer student applications the other day. While we obviously looked at each one individually, I immediately felt an affinity towards those students who went to Western, who had competed in the same moots I had competed in and later judged, and who had been involved in the same clinics where I was involved. My colleague who went to Windsor immediately was drawn to the candidates from Windsor who she felt had similar experiences to herself. While we all judge candidates on their merits, these intangible factors do end up playing a role. Nobody reading your job application will ever have gone to Ryerson.
  7. I went to Western, it was great. People in my class got all kinds of jobs. I work with many UofT grads, all of whom say UofT was great. I think your job prospects are fine wherever you go, exception being if you're aiming for a job in New York (in which case, you should go to UofT). Absent that, go somewhere (in Canada) where you'll accrue as little debt as possible and where you will be happy. Oh also, when weighing opinions on this subject, keep in mind that UofT law students on this website who've paid the exorbitant tuition that UofT charges probably have a vested interest in proving to you, and to themselves, that the reputation UofT carries is worth the cost. I don't know that it is. But hey - I didn't go to UofT. Best of luck with your decision!
  8. Just FYI, the Dean is actually wicked smart, an excellent professor, and a lovely person.
  9. Yes, cherish these moments learning from intellectual heavyweights, because 3-4 years later when you're an extra $100,000 in debt, working as a junior lawyer eating rice and beans for lunch in the office next to the UofC grad who got the same job as you, you may not care nearly as much about that.
  10. I actively sought out classes taught by adjuncts and practitioners. People have different views on the purpose of law school, but for me, I wanted to go to law school to learn how to practice law (hilarious, I know). The tenured professors I had (who were all experts in their fields, and often were very effective teachers!) almost never had even set foot in a law firm or legal workplace. I found that I got more real-world, black letter law advice from practitioners than I did from professors.
  11. 1. The hours in most in-house departments are 9-5, and I'm only expected to be here during the normal working day. Of course, I have professional obligations over and above my employment contract - I run a busy a practice, and by way of example, you can't really be counsel on a jury trial while only working 9-5. I would say most of us here are out of the office by 6:30 on a normal day, with some working later if they're busy, and weekends only if there's actual reason to do so (e.g. trial, arbitration, etc). 2. My understanding from speaking to my friends in the defence bar is that the compensation in-house is comparable to what people at the same year of call are making in defence firms for junior and mid-level associates. The challenge arises when you reach "partnership" level - obviously you're capped working in-house and won't make "partner" the same way you could at a firm.
  12. Like most people, I fell into insurance defence. In law school I knew I wanted to be a litigator and I applied broadly. I never specifically intended to be an insurance lawyer, but I'm glad that this is where I landed. I find insurance interesting because at its core, it's about people and their stories. When I dive into a file I learn everything there is to know about one specific person, and how their life was or was not impacted by one specific moment in time. I craft a narrative, a theory of the case, and I assess what I think a jury would do if the file were to go to trial. I don't think I would be as interested in general commercial litigation, but at the same time I've never done that so it's possible I'd find that just as interesting. I go to court a lot. As an articling student I was in court more often, because I was handling a lot of small claims files and I was in Masters court bringing motions for lawyers. Since I've been called, I don't really go to Small Claims anymore and I rarely go to Masters court, and instead I spend more time in discoveries, mediations and pre-trials. But at my office we have arbitrations and trials proceed quite regularly, and I believe we litigate much more than people I know in firms. I would also say that being in-house allows you to get on your feet in court earlier in your career. Because we're in court so often, and because we don't have to bill or posture to a client, we don't reserve all the appearances or trials for senior counsel.
  13. The biggest differences between litigating in-house vs at a defence firm stem from the fact that in-house we're paid on salary, and we don't bill a client by the 6 minutes. As a result, we can generally litigate more, worry less about nuisance settlements, and generally spend less time fretting about the legal cost being incurred by the client. We also worry less about metrics or timelines, and more about the actual value we're providing to the client and the result we can achieve in the litigation. Similar to TD, yes, though just like at firms, every in-house group is different in their policies, expectations, and work environment.
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