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NYCLawyer last won the day on September 27 2019

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  1. An ambitious Bay Street associate should be spending all of his or her salary. Spending at the edge of your means is a key criterion of partnership material. Living paycheck to paycheck generates the motivation to needed to provide excellent client service and always expand your practice. This is why Jaggers never made it.
  2. Just pm MOL directly and ask him to stop.
  3. So you’re a 1L? This isn’t a decision you’re going to have to make until next summer. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with entertaining the possibility of transferring in the back of your mind until then. You’ll be working with a lot more information then - for example things may turn around and you decide you like law school at U of A and you no longer want to transfer. I generally agree with others that it’s usually not a good idea to transfer only to be with someone, but by summer you’ll know whether you still don’t like it there and whether things are going well with the bf. If keeping open the possibility of transferring is giving you some peace of mind or helping the relationship in the meantime then fantasize away. This is a next summer problem. Just do your best at law school and in the relationship in the short term. He may change his mind too.
  4. Some people may bill over 3000 hours per year in New York but I know many who have made partner billing far, far less - low to mid 2000s is more common even for partner track. There is no need to bill that to make partner at 95% of firms. Hours above a certain threshold is a poor proxy for partnership potential in my experience.
  5. Ha! I have never understood how this works - the random font changes. Do you know?
  6. I have never worked in Toronto but I can tell you that in my experience there is no such thing as “written off” hours in New York. If anything is written off, which would be rare, you would still get full credit for it toward your billables. Almost every hour I worked as a junior associate was billable. Most firms also give full billable credit for pro bono work, at least up to a limit. Others will be able to advise if Toronto is any different. There is a lot of variance between firms and groups in New York regarding how many hours are billed, and within that it varies from year to year. If you start in M&A during a slow time for M&A you may bill 1200 hours (or less) your first two years. And 2800 hours your next two years. I expect that on average top law firm associates in New York bill more than in Toronto but I obviously have only my own experience and my friends’ to go on. Not to sound like a broken record but this is part of the reason I advise people to work where they want to live. Outcomes are very uncertain - if you really wanted to live in New York but stayed in Toronto because you think you’re going to “work less” and it doesn’t happen that way imagine how pissed off you’d be. Just pick a city and try to solve for the other problems once you are there.
  7. Your odds of making partner at Cravath are lower than at Toronto firms but your odds of starting at Cravath and making partner at a New York firm that exceeds Toronto profits per partner are still higher. But to repeat I think this salary comparison business is the wrong way to look it at. Just decide where you want to live.
  8. You could do a lot worse in life than being a 26 year old living in a $1800/month studio apartment in the east village with cash to burn. https://streeteasy.com/building/519-east-12-street-new_york/rental/2882942 Actually, I would easily pay 10k/month to be that person again for a year.
  9. A lot of new lawyers spend a lot of their money in New York but I think that’s more of a lifestyle creep question than a strictly geographical question. I’ll grant that it may be easier to fall into lifestyle creep in New York than Toronto - I have never lived in Toronto as a professional - but it’s not necessary in New York. My favorite dive bar has buckets of 6 Bud Light for $15.
  10. Yes I am in NYC. That budget is feasible if a top priority is to save money. Most people probably spend more than he is on some combination of bars/restaurants/entertainment but you wouldn’t have to. Theoretically you could also spend even less than 2500 + 150 cleaning if you lived with roommates or a significant other and actually beat his target there. More generally I agree with you that the cost of living difference is nowhere near great enough to eat up the compensation difference. Let’s say you’d pay $1500/month more CAD for similar apartments (I don’t think it’s that much especially at the small apartment level, but what the hell). That’s where the real difference is. That’s 18000 CAD. Booze is expensive here relative to the rest of the US but Canadian booze taxes make it the same there. But anyway for fun just throw 1000 CAD on a bonfire every month. Now we’re at 30000 CAD. This is still not making up the difference. You can get back in 2-3 years very easily. After that it could become trickier depending on your goals, practice area and other idiosyncrasies. But it’s still very feasible even then.
  11. You should decide where you want to live for the next 2-3 years. You can save considerably more money in New York in those 2-3 but if you don’t want to be here then it’s not worth it. You should not have any trouble getting back to Toronto in that time frame but obviously you will have built up less goodwill at the Toronto firm. I feel like it’s really a simple question of where you want to live for the next few years. There are costs and benefits to each in money and experience but not great enough to outweigh the simple matter of where you want to be.
  12. It depends a lot on the interviewer. You should be prepared to discuss anything on your resume, talk about your hobbies, and answer dumb stock questions like “what is your greatest weakness.” People who ask stuff like that are the worst. But have some idea of what you’d say and make a mental note never to work with that person if you go to his/her firm. You can mostly just wing your answer to these questions. Part of what they want to see is you can say something coherent to a question you weren’t expecting. So just say something coherent and move on ASAP.
  13. It’s understandable to want to map your career out and feel like you have a plan and are in control but as much as possible try not to feel like you need to do this right now. You’ll hear a lot of people who talk like they have it all figured out but they don’t and are just trying to calm themselves down by convincing others they have it figured out. Just do your best in your classes and each day you’ll learn more about different practice areas and opportunities that may interest you. You’ll have 350 different career plans by the time you graduate and none of them will actually happen. I didn’t take a single class or participate in a single clinic in all of law school that’s relevant to what I do now. I don’t even practice Canadian law at all. Just do your best in classes and forget the rest, at least until the end of 1L. Everybody who is convincing themselves (by trying to convince you) that they’ve put themselves on the path by joining some clinic or connecting with some professor or lawyer or whatever is wrong and you don’t need to worry about it.
  14. 1L is not a time when most people are at their best. They’re insecure and lost. That’s why it feels like high school. The friendships that I formed in law school that I still have are all from 2L and 3L, not that you can’t also form friendships in 1L. Also, don’t feel like law school is the only place you can make friends. Get involved in something outside of law school and make friends there. It’s good to escape the law school bubble even when you do have law school friends. It’s easy to feel like your legal career will be determined by how well you rank or fit in socially at law school but that’s true at all. It’s just a school. You’re a whole person outside of that.
  15. I think Jaggers’ first post is the key thing - the secret to speaking confidently is to know your stuff backwards and forwards. Judges (and any other sophisticated consumer of legal services) are never impressed by rhetorical flourishes but they are routinely impressed when lawyers know the facts, the law and the record well. It doesn’t matter if opposing counsel is louder or more polished than you as long as you know the file better.
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