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thegiggler

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  1. I've written the screening test a lot of times, never managed to get to the in person interview. I work for the crown in another province now. It seems pretty typical for crowns across Canada to start with a temporary contract and perhaps be on temporary contracts for a significant amount of time before ever getting a permanent position, particularly in any of the main cities.
  2. It's a totally different ball game. In these types of jobs, as opposed to private practices, the general impression you're giving the interviewers is only a very marginal factor. Whether you're doing an actually written component or an in person interview, your answers are being recorded to be reviewed by other people who you might not be meeting with. You need to familiarize yourself "competency based interview questions" and strategies to answer them https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/careers-myhr/all-employees/career-development/competencies-in-the-bc-public-service/interviews-hiring You need to be patient, because the process will take a lot longer than private practice, and you need to be prepared to possibly go through the process many times over the course of years before you finally get something.
  3. The only constructive suggestions I can come up with for improving family law is preventative: better education. Parenting education should be way more strongly emphasized in this country, even "strongly encouraged" for anyone wanting to have kids. Part of that education should be a family law component where people learn something about family law and what happens if you end up having to co-parent. If you can prevent people from making children as bad life choices you'll solve a heck of a lot of family law problems.
  4. Well if you want tact, call a tactician. You want someone's ass nailed, you come see Gus Petch.
  5. I gotta admit I can't really complain about the new legal aid rates, and I'm not trying to sound like a complainer. I think the legal aid tariffs give better financial incentive to family files over criminal and that's probably by design. Busy crim lawyers who get their efficiency down can probably get to a point where they're making comparable money for comparable hours as their family counterparts. For beginner lawyers the problems is either you are on your own and not getting enough files to work on or you're with a firm who's taking a cut. Either way, in the context of graduating with law school debt and paying the cost of living in a place like the GTA, the answer to OP is yeah, it's a tough go. You're right that family law can supplement a criminal law practice but if a person goes that route my prediction is that person's criminal practice has a good chance of being pushed to the side or forgotten about because it's just that much harder to make a go of it in crim as opposed to family.
  6. 1) Yes, billing by the hour is a consolation. In my jurisdiction, legal aid family law is billed by the hour where as criminal law is billed on a block rate, and the result seems to me to be that it's much easier to make a living doing legal aid family law than legal aid criminal. I'll definitely tolerate way more of a client yelling at me on the phone if I'm being paid by the hour for it. 2) Legal aid will cut off the funding at a certain point and leave it to you to handle the client. As long as you get the client some kind of order which promotes stability, legal aid is happy with your work. The problem, to me, is the whole getting off the record thing. As a civil lawyer you're probably more used to it than I am. With family law the litigation can go on forever and ever and ever, and the clients will try and suck you into that. You definitely need to define early on what you will do for the client, do it (or give it your best shot) and get rid of them. Well, getting rid of them can be easier said than done when you're navigating the law society code of conduct and the rules of court. 3) There's definitely a LOT of demand for family lawyers but there's also a lot of family lawyers out there. It can be difficult to start getting paying clients if you're in a major centre with a lot of family lawyers in the market. 4) I get really sick of dealing with people's divorces. I'm not sure it gets monotonous, but it gets tiring. 5) Family law is not something you can just learn in whole before setting foot in practice. But on the other hand, there's a lot of tolerance for small mistakes and it's pretty easy to jump in and start figuring things out. I don't think it'd be too hard of a transition for you, as long as you have a way of getting files. 6) Family law has probably when of the strongest looking futures for demand, especially in the post-covid economy.
  7. I've been guilty of the former a couple of times, but in my defence it's because the accused isn't giving me anything to work with but I still gotta canvas the crown for early resolution positions in order to give the guy his advice. I'm glad to say that I've pulled off the latter even more times in my humble career. The thing to understand about that is that I might've spent like an 1/2 an hour to 1 hour reviewing the file, 1 to 2 hours getting to know my client (depending on how respectful of my time and how keen they are get things dealt with), 1 to 2 hours drafting my letter or e-mail (depending on how tough of a pitch I'm making) 4-5 hours of sitting around in court and doing the sentencing, and legal aid will pay me, in the end, less than $500 for all that. It's not a sustainable way to make a living. And that, Umpalumpa, is the very crux of the problem of trying to make your living as a criminal defence lawyer in the city.
  8. I wouldn't say burn out, but tired, cynical, unsympathetic and feel I'd rather be doing something else, for sure. You have to give a crap to burn out at something. On a less cynical / more positive note, a lot of clients are reasonable people with reasonable expectations and serving them can be less stress than some other areas of litigation like Crim defence, for example because you can get paid to do things which are frankly not a lot of pressure like negotiating consent orders or attending case conferences. Family can be a good balance between the boredom of just sitting in an office pushing paper and the stress of always being in court under high pressure. Sometimes you help someone solve a problem and feel good about things. It's the severely personality disordered clients who cause an inordinate amount of trouble. Identify them and set boundaries early. Personally, I will not tolerate someone calling me on my cell phone to yell/swear at me, for example. Also, try caring less. 99% of the time the clients are the authors of their own misfortune. It's a business for us.
  9. I've written the BCPS test like probably 5 or 6 times, every time it was a little different. I've written a 15 minute version before and it was all multiple choice done through a website.
  10. I feel ya. Articling in crim defence almost bankrupted me. If it's not too late make sure you max out your student line of credit because after you graduate you will no longer be able to borrow more on that at most banks. And with that salary you won't get much of any other credit except high interest revolving credit. If you're in a really bad spot near the end, an option, not recommended option--but if it gets to that point--might be to sign up for credit cards with introductory no-interest balance transfers and juggle your balances for 6 months until you get called, then get a salaried lawyer position and apply for a proper loan to consolidate. Like I said, I'm not recommending it, but if youre facing insolvency...
  11. Well of course it is. Criminal law and family law litigation are espe ially depressing. That doesn't necessarily mean you need to be depressed (but you probably need to take extra care that yoou don't let it make you depressed), and there is positives to the job which are different between crown and defense side.
  12. I'm about the same level call as you and I've done only litigation, and almost all my experience being in criminal defence and family legal aid. I'm very introverted and for most of my life have been an "avoid confrontation at all costs" sort of person (I began becoming a little more accepting of confrontational situations prior to going to law school). I thought tax law might be well-suited to my personality when I was in law school, but I didn't do so good at it. I think most people would guess that my personality is not a good fit for litigation. Yet I've consistently gotten good feedback with regards to my natural abilities in the courtroom, and I keep getting further opportunities in litigation. I've had a number of mentors, on the other hand, who pride themselves on thriving on confrontation, yet they report experiencing basically same kind of stress and discomfort with the job as me. Here's my theory: no one likes litigation. That's why they pay you to do it. You get used to it is what they'll tell you. My advice: take the job.
  13. Thought I'd share this recent case from BC about an articling/principal relationship gone bad https://www.bccourts.ca/jdb-txt/sc/19/13/2019BCSC1352.htm yikes!
  14. So, yeah, if the question is "why don't you go to crown", for me the answer is that actually I've applied like probably almost 10 times but never seem to get through the recruitment (so I dunno, maybe it's just that I suck).
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