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FineCanadianFXs

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FineCanadianFXs last won the day on August 29 2016

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  1. Fair. It is totally fine to put your head down and study independently. I did a lot of that! I didn't do study groups, left many social events early or skipped them altogether. So long as you understand that, career-wise, a modicum of social ability and networking can yield positive results, and you are entering a competitive environment and job market where many other students put in more than a modicum. There is little downside in putting some effort in improving in those areas if you can. I certainly recommend any incoming law student keep a very open mind about that side of law school, and that they get to know their professors, administration, career office, and certainly start early on figuring out what it is they want to do with their law career. It is one thing to eschew the social community in pursuit of academic study. It's another thing to adopt the same approach to employment, and expect similar job prospects.
  2. Well the short answer is no, but that's to the first question alone, without qualification, because introversion isn't necessarily a bar to networking, social events, making friends, or succeeding in law school at all. I knew plenty of introverts in school, and often describe myself as partly introverted. Many of them were present at networking events, social events, and had no issues getting jobs in biglaw, government, or otherwise. The concern with resting on that answer is the rest of your post. If you're unwilling to interact at all with other students, your professors, or attend anything remotely social for three years, then what you're describing may not be introversion.
  3. I felt the same way. I found 1L extremely invigoration and fascinating. It was a year of pure academia. And while I put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed, I was also really enthusiastic about learning a brand new thing. It did not hurt to be in an environment where (1) my professors were all (mostly) enthusiastic and passionate about their subject, and (2) my colleagues were (mostly) more drawn toward friendly teamwork than lord-of-the-flies chaos. To that point, I think the law school environment can have a tremendous effect on how much an individual enjoys 1L. I have no doubt that professors incapable of breathing life into those 7-point, microfiched, shadowy cases do a disservice to a student's potential for legal passion. And, if your classmates are all jerks, then you'll probably have a rough go (I am skeptical it is ever the case that all one's classmates are jerks. As the adage goes, if you think everyone's an asshole, you're probably the asshole). But there are still things a student can do, personally, to mitigate the effects of those issues. For one, you can suffer through four or five Lord Whistlebottom bores while still making efforts to discover your own legal passions. For another, you can put in some effort to band your classmates together as opposed to letting your circumstances wash over you. In other words, any student can exercise some degree of control over their environment to derive the most out of 1L and law school generally. Personally, once the job recruit and articling search and other responsibilities kicked in, Law School became more of a drag. It was a lot to balance all the different stressors that multiplied as graduation and then the bar approached. All I had to do in 1L was show up and vacuum a bunch of knowledge, make friends, show up to exams with a working laptop, and try my best to get above a B grade (with a relative likelihood that was going to get a B anyway). It was killer.
  4. Though I'll agree with @utmguy that reading Justice Watt's writing is always a pleasure, he can write the way he does because he knows all the rules--both written and unwritten--of good writing (and good legal writing) and grammar. He is also a tremendously respected judge and author. He is well-poised to take risks and break rules in a way that is likely to succeed. I'd be careful about adopting his style without understanding good writing. Justice Watt can rattle off several two- or three-word sentences with confidence. Not everyone can. It takes work. You're 100% right on this. There are great books out there about both legal writing and writing generally. I like Bryan Garner's books ("Legal Writing in Plain English" is excellent, and you can work through it in a weekend). But you should investigate yourself and find a good source for improving your writing that excites you enough so that you'll stick to a program of following it and practicing. Other than that, as @Demander suggests, practice writing whenever you have the chance. It doesn't really matter what it is. You will not get better at writing by only writing things that you're obligated to through school or work. That will also have the effect of making writing always feel like a chore.
  5. I'm not a huge fan of it stylistically, but it definitely isn't "too much for a law firm".
  6. First, I wouldn't do unpaid articles unless I was desperate and relatively certain my prospects were grim, for example, due to weak grades; or, if it was my dream articling gig. Second, I don't understand this week-long trial at all. I've never heard of it and it does not seem standard by any stretch. I agree with @thegoodlaw that its a bit fishy and also a bad approach for them. Is this "trial" to occur the first week of articling? Or is it set to occur sooner? Why on earth would either you or they wait until the last possible moment to determine if there's a match? It seems ludicrous. And then what happens if you fail? They go back to interviewing more candidates? To whom they also give trial periods? Or they just don't hire an articling student. Do they even need one? If they don't, what kind of experience might you have there? I also agree with @Malicious Prosecutor that it also seems ridiculous in the context of articling. I have no idea what their expectations would be, but making it one week--the first week, where you are likely to know absolutely nothing about anything--it does not seem like they put a lot of thought into this. I can't advise as I don't know how desperate you may be. But if I were in your shoes--and so desperate or in love with the position that I'd do unpaid articles--I'd negotiate that trial period right out. I'd say something like (but not exactly): "Look. I appreciate the offer. And I'm confident that you'll have no issues keeping me on after the trial period. I'm pretty great for these reasons [name some reasons]. But I cannot agree now to your offer. It pulls me off the market entirely. This benefits you, but it leaves me both uncertain whether I have an articling position come August (or whenever) and it blocks me from exploring other opportunities in case you indeed decide we aren't a match. This, all in the context of an unpaid position. If you're willing to commit now and forego the trial, I would be happy to consider that. Please let me know if you're willing, too. Alternatively, I'd be delighted to reconnect if I'm still looking [at the time this trial period was set to begin]. Thanks."
  7. Relax. I don't know how recently OCIs occurred, but take some time after to enjoy yourself. Don't beat yourself up. I remember the feeling of striking out at OCIs. It is a bad feeling. Don't put a lot of stake in this unnecessarily harsh feedback: I don't know anyone who struck out at OCIs and easily dusted themselves off and went "Whelp, not a big deal, guess I'll move on". It hurts to invest a lot of time an effort into something you have a strong desire for and come up empty. That hurt--and recognizing and acknowledging it--has little to do with a low emotional intelligence. That said, it is also an unfortunate truth that you have to pick yourself off and get right back into the job hunt. So after you've taken some time for yourself since you probably worked very hard through applications, OCIs, and in-firms (while also keeping aware of any application deadlines for other opportunities like clerkships and summer positions) you need to assess what's out there and you need to develop a strategy. But you'll be fine. Meanwhile, you also should take the advice above about getting involved. Finding extra-curriculars to "buff your resume" is a terrible approach. Figure out your genuine interests and pursue them. I'm highly skeptical, however, about someone who states they "love health law, but also into IP, employment law, immigration , civil lit" yet has absolutely nothing to reflect it. I had a specific legal interest in law school. I edited the journal on that legal area, wrote a blog about it, was a member and executive of the relevant clubs, and I mooted several times on it. If you can't find extra-curriculars that reflect your genuine interests, I don't believe that you've genuinely tried. Or else, these legal areas might not be your genuine interests. Consider that, too. I never called any of my above involvement "resume buffers". I just did them because I wanted to.
  8. SuitSupply is fine. I always recommend going with what you know. But you should also explore before you go dropping Robert Bordens somewhere new. And this is actually hugely important because everyone has a different body and suits look good or bad depending on body type. That's even before your personal style comes into play. Get out there and try stuff on. You'll get generic recommendations here and online, because there's no specific information about you to go on. If you're in Toronto, go to the Bay. Go to Harry Rosen. Go to Sydney's. Go to Gotstyle. Go to Tiger of Sweden. Go to Banana Republic, H&M, and J Crew. Heck, even Uniqlo and Muji have suits now. Try them on, see what happens. As you go, note price tags and fabrics used. Keep a list, and once you've found somewhere you really like that sells suits in a style you like and which make you feel confident about yourself and your appearance--at a price point that doesn't make you frown--you'll have found your place. Buy your suits there. Even better if you find more than one. Note that menswear stores can be pushy or presumptive. If you walk in and say "I need a new suit", then salespeople will sure as heck try to get you out of there in a new suit. To avoid this, when I'm out and just wanna try stuff on, I tell the salesperson something like "I'm just exploring new suit options and I'd love to see what your stuff looks and feels like. Can you help me?" That way, they know you're not likely to whip out your wallet and you don't waste their time. If its a good menswear store, they'll still work hard to sell you on their clothes without being pushy. This is how I discover brands that look and feel good on me off the rack, and also discover places I want to spend my money. Also be very wary if you're shopping and the salesperson says that everything looks great on you. Always a great idea to bring your SO or a stylish friend for support. Make sure it's someone you trust to say "that's not very flattering on you".
  9. Seconding @FoG and @Rearden above--while acknowledging the possibility that your body type absolutely demands a bespoke or M2M suit. If it doesn't, however, there's really no need to splurge at the outset of your legal career. If you look fine with off-the-rack/lightly tailored suits, you can get several of those for $1,500, plus a nice mix of shoes, dress shirts, and ties et cetera. Most importantly, you don't want to have one single be-all-end-all suit. I have a lot, and I wear my best quality ones rarely. That keeps them in great condition. I also keep a few of my older questionable quality suits around--what you might call "rags"--for days when I have to travel around in crummy weather. Meanwhile, I don't own any bespoke or M2M suits, and yet I am complimented on my style (and specifically my suits) with some frequency. I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with getting custom suits, and if it would complete you and bring intense joy and happiness, go for it. But it is certainly possible to impress people with your dress without spending $1500.
  10. Probably not. But your outfit always depends on what you want to accomplish. I partially agree with @wakawaka that a student at a networking event shouldn't be dressing in a way that draws too much attention. That said, I'm not of the view that a tan suit on its own will draw gasps and clutched pearls. Nor am I aware of any rule that says students must wear navy or charcoal at social events until they earn the right to branch out (caveat that if you were asking about wearing suits to work, the advice would be different). Keep the rest of your ensemble conservative and neutral and you'll be fine. On the other hand, your outfit also always depends on your environment and context. Your wouldn't wear the same suit to a formal outdoor summer garden party that you would to a privacy law conference. You have to make a judgment call based on the types of people you expect to interact with and based on the weather, location, and subject matter of the event. I have no idea what kind of networking event you're attending, but I wouldn't wear tan in winter. Just seems more summery to me. But I think I'd have to see the suit. If its a darker tan, it might be fine.
  11. I'd do the appeal court work. My view is that the experience working for a court (and for judges or crown counsel, I presume?) will lead to more interesting job options. You'll have lots of opportunities to get experience with firms, and if you were in 2L, I might have different advice. But the research job seems like a particularly unique and a rare opportunity for a 1L. I never summered or articled at a firm and mostly took on interesting research positions, internships, and clerkships throughout law school and articling. Now I litigate. I didn't find it too hard to sell my unique experience to law firms of varying types. I also haven't closed the door to other interesting roles. Had I instead simply done 1L through articling at the same firm, that probably would have narrowed my options somewhat. If you know exactly what you want to do, however, as @providence advised above, then you should just get on whatever track gets you there more directly.
  12. I lived downtown, I never felt like I missed very much save for drama and gossip. There are plenty of students who live downtown (if not a greater component than those living on campus) and lots of social events that take place downtown. Now there's a subway, and if that's not good enough, you can easily make friends with someone that has a car and is willing to carpool or driveshare. I would not advise living on campus just for the social experiences. You can have those for free simply by not leaving campus as soon as class ends.
  13. Seconding @kurrika that you should ignore this. I applied to any and every application that was for an associate 3 yrs or under. Over 3 yrs, however, and I think you're barking up a tree that'll never reply. Additionally though, you should try and combine your applications with actual networking where possible. I always reached out to a firm I was applying to to see if a lawyer wanted to get a coffee. I'm sure there's other threads on here about how to succeed at translating email requests for coffees into interviews. Obviously it is best if you can find a connection or some other "in" that justifies reaching out to a particular lawyer. But even if you don't, being honest about your intentions, coming off affable, and showing genuine interest in the firm and its practice will go a long way. In your resume and for interviews, you need to develop an elevator pitch for why your narrow experience translates broadly. Everyone who went to law school should be able to learn any law at this point. But the people hiring are going to be more interested if you can do the actual job expected of you. You shouldn't have much explaining transferable skills between tax litigation and any other litigation. But if you're going out for something you have absolutely no experience in (like Real Estate) you'll have to figure out what skills you learned from Tax Litigation that will allow you to say "here's why my tax litigation experience makes me an ideal Real Estate lawyer...".
  14. In my view/experience, it is far easier to go from public articling to private associate than the inverse. Everyone I know who articled or clerked and wanted to go private--including me--had very little difficulty getting interviews and finding positions in private practice. Conversely, I personally found getting crown interviews (let alone getting a position), even having the benefit of being in the hiring pool, extremely difficult. Many of my colleagues had a similar experience.
  15. Very true, the Bay can be terrific for deals. Still, one has to be careful there. The Bay also sells a few brands at that price point which look like shiny garbage or your make you look like you're wearing your dad's suit. Let me be clearer though since everyone including me seems to have a "but I've got a wicked cheap suit" story: I'd be surprised if a suit that cost between $100-150, at its full or less than 50% sale price, didn't look like hot garbage.
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