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thegoodlaw last won the day on November 11

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About thegoodlaw

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  1. By the time you hit 3L you become pretty efficient at taking in the material, especially when compared to where you were in 1L. That comfort with the material can manifest itself in multiple way, which includes not having to go to class (because you can just read the cases and classes add very little additional value) or you don't have to devote as much time to studying. The same thing will happen when you enter practice. You will start off being very inefficient and working extremely hard. As you grow and get more comfortable with the work, you become more efficient and things get easier.
  2. The rules of grammar were largely constructed in the 18th and 19th century to coincide with the democratization of education in the United Kingdom. They are entirely arbitrary and should not become a straight-jacket for your writing style. Write clearly, concisely, and comprehensively. A judge is not going to pick up on the correct use of a comma, or an em-dash, or a "which" over a "that". They will pick up on a well written submission. If you need to bend the rules of grammar to convey an idea effectively, then that is perfectly acceptable. Do it.
  3. Maybe "out of status" is a better word. . . . Edit: I jest.
  4. I think you need to dial it down. You're at an 11 right now and it's not healthy. For your own sanity, I think you should block this website until Thursday. If you don't get a call, or an interview, or a dinner invite, it's not the end of the world. I went through this fucked up process a few years ago, did the rounds, and came up with nothing. It was one of the best things that happened to me because, with hindsight, I would not have been happy in a biglaw environment. I call this a fucked up process because it makes you think that your worth and career prospects are predicated on getting an invite for dinner/lunch or on how your 10 minute conversation with Partner X went. I know it is difficult to appreciate that at this particular moment. The vast majority of students going through this process know absolutely nothing about the profession, other than what they have been told at school or through the OCI process. The first firms you learn about are the biglaw firms and you're given this false impression that you must get hired at one of these firms to have any chance of constructing a rewarding career. You end up believing this because you don't know of any other firms that you could possibly turn to if this process went south. Do not get sucked into it. There are lawyers at medium sized firms, small firms, and solos who are very happy with what they do. If it's just about the money, then you should know that the majority of the legal profession is hardly in perpetual poverty. If you need some convincing, maybe grab a coffee with a lawyer working at a smaller firm downtown. Leave the bubble for a bit and learn a bit more about the wider profession while you're in town.
  5. I think the problem lies with the almost limitless motions a party can bring to clog up the litigation, where a final determination of the core issues on the merits may take years. This is a problem attributable to civil litigation in general. I practice criminal defence, and while there are motions, it doesn't completely paralyse the litigation process. There is a period of negotiation with the Crown and if you don't agree to a resolution then you set it down for trial. That's it. Now maybe it is easier to streamline that process in criminal because it's very much a zero sum game - either you're pleading guilty or you're not. Also the Crown has a very different role than your traditional adversarial litigation process. At the same time, I do believe that if you get a matter to a judge and time limit the litigation process, things happen and the matter moves along. Get rid of most motions. Have a mandatory mediation stage and then a time limited period to set the matter down for trial.
  6. I've never been to the National Criminal Law Program but have heard great things about it. A senior partner at my firm goes every year and always commends it to me. I, for the sake of convenience alone, usually end up going to the Criminal Lawyers' Association conferences in Toronto. It covers the CPD requirements.
  7. I was in a somewhat similar situation when I started, in that I was the first hire for the firm in a long time and so there was a huge gap in experience between me and the next closest lawyer. Working in a small firm with busy lawyers, you have to get used to the idea of working independently and having way more responsibility compared to some of your colleagues at a big firm. The reality is that there aren't several tiers of junior associates, senior associates, and partners separating you from the client or going over your work as it meanders its way up the chain. You need to be comfortable with that idea and confident enough to take a shot at whatever drops on your desk. You will have firm precedents for guidance, but that's as good as its going to get most of the time. Sure, mistakes will be made, but you will learn quickly from your mistakes and (if you are diligent about it) never make them again.
  8. When you step through the curtains and sit in that chair, you'll be surprised by the conversational nature of the interview and how fast it goes. When people say that you should try to be human, they really mean it. The interviewers are just trying to establish that they're not bringing in Patrick Bateman to the firm. Behaviour that you're exhibiting right now may give that impression. I have interacted with students who think the way you are thinking right now (not in an OCI context); every question I ask is micro-analysed and a pre-set answer is regurgitated based on the pick-up of certain key words. It's exhausting and frustrating. They end up sounding like Siri. I hate Siri. Don't be Siri.
  9. I practice criminal defence and find myself writing submissions on a regular basis. Some facta engage fascinating areas of the law and, if endorsed, can be genuinely precedent-setting. Others are more perfunctory, generally for common motions like a Stinchcombe or O'Connor. Having said that, the joy of writing a "solid factum" for me has less to do with frequency and more to do with quality. I have found the greatest joy in writing facta for incredibly complex cases where the goal is to distill a sea of evidence and law into several clear streams of argument that inexorably flow to your preferred conclusion. Those facta require time and considerable effort; they're not something you can churn out every other week. If I could write one or two of those a year, I would be pretty happy.
  10. To be fair to OP, they didn't say how they want to be working with people. Insurance defence requires that you work with real people -- but not necessarily to their benefit.
  11. As a general rule, don't make your career choices based on what strangers think about it. You can find a subset of people who think that insurance defence, insurance plaintiff, Crown work, criminal defence, and corporate are grimy; jointly and severally. I know a fair number of people in insurance defence and they are perfectly fine people who find satisfaction in their work (especially when a claim is bullshit).
  12. That's ridiculous. I've never spent $100 on a tie. I haven't even spent $50. And I say that as someone who loves ties and is routinely complimented for my ties.
  13. You're not mourning the loss of going to school, you're mourning the loss of a particular stage of your life -- going from a student within a sheltered environment to being an adult in the big bad world. It's fine to be sad about it. But what is more important is to not let nostalgia get in the way of your future. You still have more tomorrows than yesterdays. Be thankful for that and excited for what lies ahead.
  14. When you're the only junior in the office (I am too), then it becomes a little more tricky to plan that far in advance, in large part because your schedule is inextricably tied to the schedules of more senior lawyers and you have nobody to delegate down, or sideways, to. I can look at my calendar and my files and guestimate where I may have an opening maybe 2-3 months down the line, but that's as far as I can go. By "opening" I mean that I expect major files to be relatively quiet, other lawyers are not on vacation (and so I don't have to babysit their files while they're away), it's not too close to a court date, and I expect people to be in the office and available to babysit my own files. Of course, it's very much dependent on the firm culture. Now you may be saying to yourself: 'that doesn't leave much room for a vacation', and you're right. I was able to squeeze in 5 days last year, but that was it.
  15. Queen's requires a median B grade, but not a B average. That allows for a range of grade distributions. I came across profs who gave no Cs and profs who liberally handed them out.
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