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DashRendar

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  1. Have you spoken with the LSBC or program coordinator for PLTC? If you haven't done so yet, this should be your first step rather than posting here. They'll have the correct and full answer. From the link Skweemish posted: "The Law Society may offer an early opportunity for students who have failed only one or two assessment or examinations, if waiting for the next session would greatly delay their license to practise law. This is not always possible." As a side note: although I have no direct experience with the process, I got the sense that they really wanted everyone to pass and that if you failed an assessment (which is not an examination, mind you), they seemed to be fairly flexible and proactive in helping students. edit: re-read the OP, saw you failed an exam too and are rescheduled for Nov; would still suggest you talk to LSBC/PLTC coordinator on your questions though.
  2. It's also important to talk with this lawyer about what your salary would be before you take over his practice while you're still an associate. If it's true that he is only paying himself $60k/year, I suspect your salary is going to be very meagre. Even if he's paying himself more, there isn't going to be a lot of extra cash floating around. Small town firms do not pay a whole lot as it is, but particularly with solos. He's not likely to have an abundance of work to offload onto you (which you may or may not be able to take a % of). It's also not likely that you (or he) is going to have the time to drum up business because there's a lot of knowledge/experience you'll want and need to get under your belt first, which he will need to mentor you through. You'll have to assess the risk/reward of your salary for yourself. What's your student loan/debt load like? Is it enough to pay your own bills? Are you willing to stick it out for a chance at taking over? Do you have a spouse? What will (s)he do for work? What if you hate it? Salary is something that will come up eventually, but it's probably worth having a discussion early. It's all well and good that you'll own the practice some day, but make sure you're able to put food in your own belly or are prepared to go without.
  3. I'm not sure when they start going out, but when I got mine (albeit several years ago) it was in the first/second week of June.
  4. Your best shot is going to be getting one when you actually get there. Someone WILL have access one from the previous session (I think February?), which is going to be the most current (and is way quicker to update as a result). I found the atmosphere at PLTC is very cooperative/we-are-all-in-this-together, so ask around and there will be at least one set that gets circulated. You can then work as a group to update them (or set up a little sub study group).
  5. Can't comment on the salaries, but the university is well located. There is lots of residential housing on campus (which personally isn't for me) and some nice residential areas surrounding campus. Transit is not bad as the university is a transit hub (at least I still think it is). In the winter it can get a little hairy if you live far away from campus you live, but is perfectly doable if you live in a closer area. That said, housing in Saskatoon is expensive, particularly renting. I can't really compare it to Winnipeg, but it aint cheap and you might end up paying a bit more to live close to campus.
  6. Sure thing. A lot of this information will apply to smaller, rural firms. There are some large firms (i.e. 10-25 lawyers) in Nanaimo/Courtenay/Comox/Campbell River that some of this might not be as applicable to being that they run a bit larger of operations. There are some summer positions, but they are fairly limited and you won't be paid nearly as much as your Vancouver/Calgary/Edmonton counterparts. While in school, one thing you will want to look into is the REAL program. It's coordinated with the law society, and is a placement program designed to get 2L summer students into rural communities. The funding is subsidized by the law society so its practical for rural firms to pay you a living wage through the summer. This would give you the opportunity to see what its like to work in this sort of setting (even if its not on the island). It's up to employers to submit the paperwork for funding/creating the position, but from what I understand you can also 'create' a position for yourself. Essentially you could speak with potential employers, tell them about the program, help them fill out the paperwork and get yourself hired. Its a bit of work, but show's initiative on your part. Other summer opportunities are out there, but you may have to do lots of cold-calling/work on seeing if firms are willing to take you on. Post-law school, there are articling opportunities on the island, but you will have to work hard to get your foot in the door (maybe with the exception of those 'larger' island firms, who regularly hire students). Lots of lawyers are worried that articling students will just do their one year and then try and head off for greener pastures. A lot of time and effort goes into training students, especially in smaller offices where there are fewer lawyers and resources, which means the student(s) are going to monopolize more of your time. It's part of the reason you won't necessarily see lots of job postings through the careers office - may lawyers won't bother because they don't want a whole swath of students applying when they know there's a good chance many are applying because articles are scarce and the retention rate could be low. This is just my experience in general. As I talked about above, mentoring an articling student or even young associate can take up a lot of time. These firms are running on thinner margins, and may not necessarily be able to/want to support a student or early call. Many hiring lawyers are looking for the 3-5 year calls who have their legs under them and know what they're doing, who won't be coming to you for instruction every 15 minutes. Ideally, these are lawyers that have fled the bigger markets after having decided it wasn't for them/want a slower pace of life but is anyone who has the skills to work independently. In the end, its about the bottom line and a persons effect on it (not only in terms of articling year, but over the long term). It is far from impossible, just difficult to do. You have to find an employer/mentor willing to invest time and money into you, knowing that it might be a bit of a drain on resources for the first little while. This can be a little risky for the employer, as he/she might invest all kinds of time on you and get burnt if you leave after articling. Showing your intent to stick around is important as a result. Fairly laid back, although I'm sure it depends where you work as well. My typical day starts at 8 and usually wraps up around 4:30, although I work through lunch and will occasionally (once a week) stay later and rarely (once a month) work for a bit on the weekend. The pay is significantly less than what some of my peers are making in Vancouver, but you aren't worked nearly as hard and have a lot of freedom in terms of hours and leisure time (which is why I'm here). There plenty of opportunity for career advancement (lots of old lawyers looking to groom someone to take their practice/'partnership' is easier and quicker to obtain), you just have to be willing to stick it out. I hope that's helpful. Feel free to PM me with any specific questions.
  7. Are you looking at Victoria particularly or elsewhere on the Island too? It's short, but Jabberwocky nails the Victoria market on the head. Generally, Victoria is a very tough market to break into but I don't have a ton of experience with it (as I didn't really want to live there) so maybe someone else can chime in. As for other areas, I wanted to stay on Vancouver Island (but not in Vic) so I can give you quite a bit of insight there. In general, the market outside of Victoria is similarly tight, but for slightly different reasons. There's a few reasons for this: worry that students will leave after articles, local economies are relatively slower, smaller population, etc. It can require a lot of patience and perseverance to track a position down, but it's not impossible. It does get easier once you're past your articles/a few years into practice. I can't give you specifics on Victoria, but I can expand more on Vancouver Island in general if you like.
  8. This is such an overlooked skill. As soon as i started to manage my time better after 1L, my marks improved significantly across the board. There is a lot of truth in that it's better to get something down for each answer (even if its incomplete) rather than fully answering some and missing out on others altogether.
  9. As someone who did PLTC in Victoria last year, a couple of thoughts. As serdog has let on, the course is definitely not Mon-Fri 9-5. There will be plenty of days off, half days, quarter days..etc. The schedule is fairly erratic so the days don't have any regularity (but you do get a schedule with each week. Some weeks you will have 3 or 4 full days, while other weeks there might only be half days. I didn't find the course incredibly difficult (tbh, there were many readings that I missed/lightly skimmed...and I did just fine. Indexes are your friend.). I can't speak to any experience of PLTC in Vancouver, but as someone who commuted to Vic from about 1 hour away (by car and transit), the scheduling was frustrating. I found it a waste of my time to spend 2 hours driving to go for only one or two hours of class. I'm not sure where you're coming from (or what your tolerance is for spending time commuting) but this started to wear on me after a week or two. Public transit sounds like an O.K. option (cheaper, you can work/read while you commute, etc), but at the same time you might get fed up with it like I did and sometimes you just want to get home. I have no idea where you are, but would Victoria or Kamloops be an option?
  10. I did this, actually. After 1L I transferred to UVic out of a prairie law school. I was born and raised on the prairies, and went to law school there as well. Wanted to live in BC in the future, so I submitted for a transfer to UVic after 1L as it seemed like a good time to move. I did have some extended family in Vic, but otherwise had little/no connection to the city whatsoever. Additionally, my marks were not great. I can't remember off the top of my head, but I would have only been in the top 50% of my class (i.e. very middle of the pack, not a standout). It seems that they also strongly consider your reasons for transferring/your personal statement, as I'm not really sure how else I got in. Honestly, I was surprised that I received a transfer offer. It wasn't entirely a throwaway attempt, but I definitely figured it was a long shot. I have no idea how many transfer applicants they received (i.e. what my odds were), so I can't say how I stood among the other candidates. However, there were several people accepted from across the country (Dal, Manitoba, Sask, McGill). Many were moving back home, so that should definitely help for anyone who actually has a connection to Victoria. I realize this isn't terribly helpful (I was accepted with mediocre grades and little connection to Victoria) but if you have any specific questions I could try to answer.
  11. Hi allonthelast, At the moment, its still ongoing. We briefly discussed about a month ago in not-so-specific terms. He wanted some time to ask around a bit and canvass some opinion about salaries/fee arrangements so we agreed to revisit it again soon (but still haven't). When we talked, however, he seemed to prefer just a straight salary (for appox 6-8 months) and then revisit, likely moving to a % of collected system minus overhead. That seems like a fairly quick transition, but ideally I'd like to get there sooner as opposed to later (so long as I'm prepared/that makes financial sense). I realize it will take me several months to 'ramp up' my billings so to speak, so the initial salary will be nice to rely on. In the meantime, basically what I've been doing is reaching out to young associates in areas a bit further away and picked their brains on both salaries/fee splits. For now, I've established an acceptable salary range for the area so that when my principal comes back with some firmer numbers, I'll (hopefully) have a sense of where his offer lies on the spectrum and how much push I have. I'll let you know when that happens.
  12. Not trying to hijack the thread, but I transferred from a prairie law school to a BC school after 1L (trying to keep this somewhat ambiguous). It's not Ontario, but maybe I could offer some insight on this topic too. As for Diplock's question - sort of. In 2L I found it not bad, as there were actually a few students in 3L I befriended that went to my 1L school. This made the initial transition a lot easier (combined with the fact that I had some extended family living near by). Unfortunately for me, I didn’t attend a lot of the (somewhat limited) social functions put on for transfer students. I feel like this was detrimental for me, especially by the time I got to 3L. My year had kind of bonded without me. I had acquaintances but I didn’t necessarily ‘know’ anyone (if that makes sense). In retrospect, I am fine with the fact that I didn't make any close friends in law school. I live with my partner and work in a smaller community, so I wouldn't necessarily be relying on those connections anyways. To askme: 1) When did you transfer? 2) How did your classes transfer? Did you have to take any extra credits at the new school? 3) How did this impact your obtaining a job/articles? Again, sorry for hijacking the thread. Just thought I would add to the conversation.
  13. Thanks widget and Rumpy. There's little information out there re associate pay at smaller firms, so this is really helpful. I'll be sure to report back and let everyone know how this all pans out.
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