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FineCanadianFXs last won the day on August 29 2016

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  1. FineCanadianFXs

    So Um...What Now?

    1. Don't panic, it both won't resolve anything and is also unwarranted; 2. I've been there. Lots of people I know have been there. You're like "how can I have invested this much time and energy yet continually come up short". That is a totally normal response that I and many others have also had. 3. You're getting stronger with every application, interview, and networking session You may not realize it, but if you're doing the right things--and it sounds like you are, because you are getting interviews (which means you're a desirable candidate on paper) and are implementing feedback you get along the way--you're becoming a more capable interviewee and applicant. Fabulous! You're completely on the right track. 4. There's no perfect normal timing to law students finding their dream articling jobs. Loads of law students go through formal recruits and/or accepted the first job that fell in their lap and became miserable as a result. Others held their breath and found something just right for them at the last moment. Don't fall into the trap of thinking "X didn't happen before Y time, and that reflects negatively on me". Not just because the logic is faulty, but also because it harms your confidence. It sounds like your grades are excellent, you're enthusiastic about a particular area of law, and are creating a fine professional network for yourself. There are lots of law students nowhere near that level. You're gonna be fine.
  2. FineCanadianFXs

    The Sartorial Canon

    I've never had any issue with black and blue. I wear it all the time. A nice pair of black oxfords or chelseas with a navy suit is a fantastic and classic look: https://smhttp-ssl-33667.nexcesscdn.net/manual/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/suit-chelsea-boots-style-mens.jpg https://i.pinimg.com/originals/9d/cb/1f/9dcb1f2b01fcc02452f0837eb10ab92f.jpg (Note: I have no idea what is going on in the second pic with the gloves or checked jacket with unchecked pants. It's probably lifted from some designer's lookbook. I'm just using it to show the chelseas against the navy pant.) I have a feeling that blue and black also depends a bit on complexion and hair colour. Black shoes with black hair makes for a great bookend as above. But I don't like the below use of blue and black at all, and it probably has to do a bit with the suit pattern but also with the hair colour. https://cdn.lookastic.com/looks/navy-suit-grey-crew-neck-t-shirt-black-chelsea-boots-large-13752.jpg Brunettes might look better wearing chestnut, oxblood, or burgundy. Just a hypothesis, not an assertion.
  3. FineCanadianFXs

    The Sartorial Canon

    Counterpoint - you can wear suede shoes with a suit. Just not with a business suit: https://sartorialnotes.com/2013/04/01/suede-shoes-and-suits/ I don't particularly like any of the above combinations, albeit I do wear blue suede shoes with my most casual suit sometimes. That suit is cropped, and I typically go sockless. I think the reason it works is that there's a break between suit fabric and shoe fabric. Which is why it also works in @providence's examples. I think it's when the fabric of each connect--where the pant meets the shoe--that causes the clash. I think you'll often see men who try to pull off the look wearing suede loafers, which I think succeeds for the same reason. I personally wouldn't wear it for work, however, I reserve my suede+suit outfit for social settings.
  4. FineCanadianFXs

    Just Started; Wise Advice Appreciated

    Absolutely get used to ubiquitously googling on a regular basis [1] things you think are stupid things to google and [2] things that you think you're stupid for not having known by now. You'll still be doing it in practice. That is normal. And it is equally as normal to feel confused. The best way to manage and stay ahead is to not wallow in your confusion. The sooner you clear up your confusion when you notice it, the better. Don't ever fall into the trap of thinking "well I should just know this, shame on me" while doing absolutely nothing about it.
  5. FineCanadianFXs

    Advice About My Beard

    1. Lawyers can and do have beards. 2. I don't think the length of your beard makes any difference to your candidacy. 3. To the extent that your beard would affect your candidacy is more a matter of whether your beard is either (a) styled and trimmed or (b) unkempt. (a) If your beard is styled and trimmed nicely, your interviewers will probably not notice it no matter how long (maybe ZZ Top length is a bit hard to miss). Or, maybe it's so majestic that they can't miss it, in which case it will either be distracting, or a notable talking point ("wow, what a beard"). I doubt the former, unless you have one of those award winning beards shaped like a cuckoo clock. (b) If your beard is unkempt, it'll probably give your interviewers the impression that you're disorganized and sloppy, neither of which are positive lawyerly characteristics. 4. Beyond length, style matters. You could have a neat, short, and styled chinstrap, but the fact that you're sporting a chinstrap at all speaks to your judgment. Same goes inter alia for a soul patch, Guy Fieri goatee, or a Rollie Fingers twirl-stache. Deal with your beard accordingly.
  6. FineCanadianFXs

    New Call & Self-Doubts

    I'll try to help as much as I can as someone with extensive and recent experience job-hunting for an associate position in my area of interest. Sorry in advance for the novella. 1. Apply broadly enough to capture positions with tangential experience. As detailed in other threads, the market is not great for new calls. You are at the bottom of the rung. That doesn't mean you're not marketable at all, but it does mean your marketability is suspect since you have zilch experience. Applying broadly enough will help you get some marketable experience. As @epeeist seems to allude to, some litigation work will bolster your profile as opposed to no litigation work. If you can't get a family law job now, you can at least help yourself by getting a job that will in turn help you get a family law job later. And as @vanillacupcake adds, doc review is a good temp source of income and experience if you're struggling. Meanwhile, yes, marketing yourself to areas outside your interest is hard. It is hard to convey in an application that, despite very little demonstrated interest and experience doing X that you really want to work for law firm that does exclusively X. This is a skill you're going to have to develop as a lawyer anyway: convincing people of stuff--without lying or being deliberately misleading--despite some other stuff elsewhere saying otherwise. I recommend you find ways of saying "yes my whole resume screams family lawyer, but I think insurance defence is the perfect area for me because X, Y, and Z." You'll need to develop answers to professional questions for every job to which you apply, so just because applying broadly means those answers might not be at your fingertips doesn't change you having to answer them for every job you ever apply for the rest of your life. 2. Depends on your marketability as an applicant. If you're the bee's knees and you know it--e.g. dean's list, great and relevant experience, awards, solid references--you absolutely can and probably should take reputation into account. You're as junior as it gets and I can think of no good reason not to start your career junioring for lawyers who you are confident can teach you great lawyering and who will provide excellent mentorship. If you're struggling to find work, however, and your application is the reason--e.g. weak transcripts, weak or irrelevant experience, no references, nothing that screams "hire me"--then I think it's a simple truth that you you can't afford to be as discerning. That said, you needn't worry about reputation until after you've applied and are in the running. As @epeeist noted, if their reputation is so bad you know you don't want to work there, don't apply. And it's okay to have standards below which you wouldn't tread. I certainly do. Note re online reviews: forget them. They're typically filled by clients, and as with Yelp restaurant reviews filled by customers: customers typically either gives 5 stars to everything or are disgruntled for unreasonable reasons and are unreliable. As an applicant they're entirely unhelpful. If you were a prospective client, that's another thing. Note re other reputation sources: I agree with @Hegdis, young lawyers are more likely to provide mere gossip than real insight (unless, of course, you're talking to an associate who worked for them; this too comes with a grain of salt, but is a step above the rumor-mill). Elsewise, you're allowed to do some research, so long as it doesn't extend to clients for the above noted reasons. If I applied and had an interview somewhere that I was completely in the dark about, I'd try and find anyone who worked previously at the firm or for the lawyer to which I applied to get an impartial take on what it was like working for/with them (if they're still working there, it'll probably be a favourable review). 3. No need to panic. Two months is nothing, but there's a significant difference between getting zero job offers and zero interview offers. For one, in the latter case you should be getting a second or third opinion on your applications from colleagues, friends, whoever, to ensure you aren't doing something fatal to your candidacy. For two, the longer you go without an interview, the more broadly you should start applying and you should have some spectrum along which you are somewhat comfortable doing work other than Family and Criminal Defence. It's one thing to go a long time without succeeding at the final stage of your ideal thing; that is totally normal. It is another thing to be getting zero positive feedback from anywhere along the way and for an extended period. If a comedian books a comedy show, and at that show a few jokes don't hit and the venue doesn't hire her back or give her a showcase because they have high standards, that's normal and fine and not cause for concern. She can try to do better next time. Conversely, if that comedian takes the stage at the same venue a number of weeks in a row and no jokes hit at any of those shows, then it might be time to reassess [1] the repertoire; and [2] the venue. The fact that nothing was sticking against the wall could be that the jokes aren't good enough, or it could be that the comedian is aiming at the wrong demographic. But certainly if you aren't landing any zingers after a while, it's time to review your package and the scope of your applications. To be clear, you absolutely don't need to panic if that's the case. But you still need to be honest with yourself and about your application at some point. You need to assess how discerning you should be too. For example, in my search, I began honed-in on a bulls-eye that was my specific and very niche area of interest. After awhile without success, I gradually started working my way outside that bulls-eye. Sometimes, I threw my darts off the board just to see what would stick. Eventually, I wound up somewhere that I'm very happy. You will too so long as, in addition to patience, you also exercise a bit of honest assessment about your marketability. 4. See advice from @Hegdis and @epeeist. I'd add that there's nothing stopping you during this time from writing legal stuff and trying to publish said legal stuff. Try to hit a journal, make your own blog, or find an existing one that's seeking contributions. Online visibility and an entrepreneurial spirit are both excellent ways to continue upgrading your application package. It's free, costs you nothing but your own time, and allows you to pursue your personal academic interests while keeping up to date on the law. 5. Sure, you could probably apply to more positions and job search harder; you should be working hard to find a job, because everyone else is. But also--even though I think you know this already--you're better off spending that time networking instead. There's so much opportunity that goes unposted. By bypassing networking, you miss 100% of those opportunities. Meanwhile, the jobs you're applying to are the most visible and therefore the most competitive. Every other new call interested in family law who isn't networking is applying to that job and so are those who are networking. If you decide that's the direction you want to go, this board is also excellent at providing networking advice.
  7. FineCanadianFXs

    Upper Year Courses for the Bar

    No, taking these courses will help you not one lick. At best, you'll be familiar with terms used in Estate law, for example (testatrix, anyone?). Maybe it'll help you read faster. Rest assured, the minimal benefit isn't worth a full term's worth of work. I barely touched any Solicitor-based topics in law school and I found it the easier of the two exams. Don't waste your time in law school taking something you don't want to. Chill, enjoy your time in law school, and worry about the bar materials the day you get them and no sooner.
  8. FineCanadianFXs

    Clerking for FCA- are certain courses required?

    Do you already have the clerkship? If you were already hired, then no, they won't require anything from you in your last year of law school, but it also won't hurt you to learn one or all of those areas anyway. Depends on your judge. Frankly, admin will likely be the greatest help to you. The other areas you can learn. If you're planning to apply and haven't been hired yet, then yes, you will have difficulty selling yourself to a judge looking for someone with specific expertise in aboriginal law or IP because they do it frequently. Not every judge is looking for a specific expertise, but its a simple reality that you'll be less marketable lacking any knowledge in areas frequently litigated or appealed.
  9. FineCanadianFXs

    The Sartorial Canon

    Another of my favourite rules, courtesy of Coco Chanel: “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off" https://cache.mrporter.com/images/journal/3d3f6050-58c5-42e6-9df4-edad47b4015c/w500_q65.jpg As I mentioned in the Coffee Chat thread somewhere, a good suit doesn't need a belt. The above outfit (courtesy of Mr Porter) is a perfect example of an extraordinarily simple and subtle outfit that makes a prominent positive statement. There's three cool items here: the green polka dot tie, the navy corduroy suit, and the oxblood derbies. Each on their own is noticeable; the colours may be muted, but because of the fabric, pattern, or style they're all loud elements. To get them harmonious, the outfit is minimally accessorized. No belt. No hat, bright socks, or visible wristwatch either. Non-patterned dress shirt. Your eyes are drawn to the tie or the shoes, but neither is so egregiously bright to overpower the other. The overall effect is a neat minimalist toned-down RGB pattern.
  10. FineCanadianFXs

    The Sartorial Canon

    Great idea. Posting here so I get updates. And throwing down a tip. No time to scour for pic examples, but I'll share one of my favourite most essential fashion rules for both men and women--the "Connect-Two" rule: Your outfit should at most have two items of matching colour--identical or near identical shade (for clarity, your suit counts as one item, which allows a three-piece to work within the rule`s scope. For more clarity, black is an exception. But you certainly can't go overboard with it anyway, lest you start resembling Robert Smith or Siouxsie Sioux or some other goth hero.) For example, let's say you have a crimson red tie and a crimson watchband. Cool! Great way to tie (punintended) your outfit together. Adding crimson shoelaces? Bad idea. Tan shoes and Tan belt? Great, of course those should match. Add a Tan tie? No. Don't do that. Matching emerald tie and pocket square? Not a great idea, but you can pull it off if they're at least different patterns and/or materials, and certainly if you don't add one more thing to your outfit that matches their tone. The reason for this rule is first and foremost that you want to avoid looking like your parents dressed you. You also want to avoid being the "Green Guy" or the "Orange Woman". On the latter point, I'd emphasize that you're allowed to adopt a monochromatic style any given day. Minimalism is a current fashion trend, and monochromaticism is a part of that trend. For example, I go blue a lot, because it's my favourite colour and easy to keep it a conservative look using a navy suit and light blue shirt. Heck, I see lots of men in monochromatic blue probably by accident (or maybe I'm underestimating them). But one difference between someone who looks like they put no thought into how they dressed and someone who did, is Connect-Two.
  11. FineCanadianFXs

    Attire for 'coffee chat' style meetings

    Oof no. Hard pass. I'm with the GOAT. For some reason, I'm just way cooler in shorts. My body temperature is almost entirely reliant on my legs' access to breeze.
  12. FineCanadianFXs

    Attire for 'coffee chat' style meetings

    Please let shorted suits become a thing. Neon, not so much. But I am 100% on board with making summers more bearable.
  13. FineCanadianFXs

    Attire for 'coffee chat' style meetings

    I tend to agree - I don't think adding more fabric would have a slimming effect (though maybe the dark tone of the vest would, as opposed to a white dress shirt?). I'd also worry, were I huskier, that more fabric would leave me more likely to sweat. I'm sweaty enough wearing two pieces in the summer and I'm reasonably svelte.
  14. FineCanadianFXs

    Suits For Men

    I have a pinstripe and @TdK is right. Mine is very subtle like this or this and clearly fine and conservative. I don't think that's what you're looking for though. Likely, you're thinking about something like this or this. Personally, I don't see any large issues with it, provided it isn't your go-to primary lawyer suit. You probably won't be wearing loud pinstripes to court, anyway, so the question is really whether it's office appropriate or not and that probably depends on your office. That Boss suit linked above is probably onside. On the other hand, if you showed up to work in one of these (which certainly approaches Yankee-jersey level) you might have to field some comments and sideways glances. I'd say you can do it, but just be cautious about how loud the stripes are.
  15. FineCanadianFXs

    Attire for 'coffee chat' style meetings

    As explained above, you can dress less conservatively when you're a marketable commodity. It isn't about reputation or "earning" a right to dress a certain way at interviews or when networking. It's about how much the person or organization wants to hire you, specifically, balanced with how much you'd like to work there. Most law students and junior associates are interchangeable commodities. In those cases, it is probably a bad idea to potentially rule yourself out with a vest or novelty socks. But when you reach the point where you're confident that you have the specific experience, transcripts, references, business book, friends in high places, whathaveyou, that your prospective employer is salivating over, you don't need to stress so much about whether or not your shoes have garish broguing.