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theycancallyouhoju last won the day on August 30

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  1. Yup. PM me if you want to know the specific placement, but I’d say it was worth it. No way to know if it factored into my hiring. Was a lot of fun, though.
  2. Going for a long walk is literally the best anecdote to existential dread. Spend a week in the mountains and tell me you’re still staring into the abyss. Sit by a pond, contemplate the fish, eat good fruit, stare at the sky. It’s so cliche that it’s hard to take seriously, but we’re supposed to realize that joy comes from small things because it’s true, not because it’s the consolation prize to no longer being a teenager. As we age and lose the time to smell the roses, we simultaneously grow more capable of holding onto that feeling without constant exposure. Young children need to be fulfilling their exact desires a great percentage of their time to maintain happiness during the down hours - maturity is leaving that neediness behind. And control was always an illusion. People die young. Parents die young. Every polisci student I ever met thought they’d work at the UN. People get pregnant at 19 and everything changes. Etc etc. Another part of maturing is acknowledging it was an illusion, that you control only your own actions and that this fact is actually reassuring - it means you can do quite a bit, and what you can’t do generally shouldn’t be cause for distress. I couldn’t disagree more - childhood is a skin happily shed. Being taken care of because it’s necessary lest you totally fail is much less satisfying than taking care of yourself. If you want to get hokey about it, being taken care of by someone you take care of, entirely voluntarily, is an even higher satisfaction. Building a shelf is more fun than being given one. Building a life is more fun than being handed one. It won’t ever be like it was. Amen.
  3. I get that. Who wouldn’t rather nap sometimes? But that doesn’t make me miss school, it just makes me want to build a life where I can do that. Forward, not backward, and always twirling toward freedom and such. School would just feel like stagnation.
  4. No. Building a life was always the only point of being in school for me. It was a stepping stone and nothing else. I can now work toward the foundations of my own autonomous being - a much more satisfying project than just the next semesters grades. But my first year of practice was so overwhelming that I didn’t feel I had energy to keep learning and growing in any other way than work. That has now subsided and I’m back to feeling like I can juggle growth outside work. School isn’t for learning. It’s an accreditation. Learning goes on.
  5. @Ryn I’m not sure I really disagree that it’s the smart advice, though I find it depressing. It just makes me less impressed by someone rather than more, and there may be a few others like me even if we’re in the minority. So find other ways to still seem like an individual with a unique way of being, just to check that box too.
  6. Sometimes you need someone with nothing to contribute. But not past first year.
  7. I’d just like to say this is the thing I enjoyed least about the Toronto culture. Life is for the living. When I talk to a potential candidate, I want to see a whole living, breathing, autonomous human in front of me. If they’re following me, they have nothing to contribute by definition. Taking all of my cues doesn’t tell me a candidate is safe - it tells me they’re scared to be themselves, which means their self is something to hide. If I say I don’t want a drink, it doesn’t mean you can’t drink. It means I don’t want one and I still expect you to be a separate human being from me. So I don’t know how to advise on that. Maybe enough lawyers are lame that the advice is safe and correct more often than not. But what a world. And the takeaway is I still think you need to be mindful that even if this advice is right, you should be conscious not to come off as someone who simply follows - be a human.
  8. Drinking is a sort of skill. There’s nothing wrong with respecting an ability to hold one’s liquor. Sometimes it feels like Canadians took too much of the Anglo and not enough of the Saxon. I wouldn’t order the most expensive thing on the menu. That’s not because it’s déclassé but because there are lawyers who suck so hard as people that they would consider it déclassé. Better safe than sorry. But no one thinks you need to order the baked chicken with no sauce - honestly I’m inclined toward the kind of person who orders the sweetbreads and eats the shrimp head. Live a little, it’s a big planet. I want to work with the student who orders fun food. Either you’re going to have a personality and charm people on it, or have none and hope wallflower is the way to go. Assess which one you’re better at and whether the partners at the table like furniture that can do due diligence or human beings.
  9. Your threads are getting shut down pretty quickly, so this appears to be my last shot. I’m writing this because prospective students and other people heading into OCIs read the forum and they should have a reasonable response to the anxiety in your threads in order for them to build their own healthy relationship to law school. I think everyone has confirmed for you that you do not need an HH to get an OCI position. That’s statistically demonstrated in the UV surveys and every graduate of UT law will (and has) told you that we knew people with no HHs who got the same jobs as people with HHs. It’s been a few years since I dug into the stats, but while only 40-something percent get an OCI gig, something like 70+% of the people who toss in their name get interviews. That’s an extraordinarily high number - there is no other job I have known of other than medicine where such a huge number of graduates get a shot at top paying jobs. It may well depress you to know that buying the UT admission didn’t buy you a job, but relative to the world of options any of us could have faced, we all came out of law school with pretty remarkable employability, especially considering law school teaches so few skills. It’s late August. If your year is anything like my year, you will find the halls of UT largely insufferable until call back day. Students will grow increasingly nervous. They will share greater and greater numbers of supposed ‘insider’ wisdom and little tricks like ‘Blakes likes people who wear straight colored ties; no design’ - that’s one a human being, a real live breathing human being who considers themselves smarter than your average anti-vaxxer, actually said to me. They actually thought a serious law firm had a secret tie color policy, like a caricature of skull & bones. The real truth is, as it almost always is, far more boring and straightforward: law firms may have grade floors, they may have flexible floors that can be impacted by your resume/life experience, but once OCIs start it’s just a question of whether you interview well and leave a good impression on people, as in literally every other job on the face of planet earth. Get this deep into your heads - law student job apps are not unique, they are just job interviews like any other, and the more you buy into the skull & bones image of Toronto law, the sillier you sound. This is all a function of immaturity, crippling inability to deal with uncertainty (itself a function of inexperience in life), and, bizarrely, success. At law schools with very low biglaw rates, students do not experience the same kind of stress about grades or OCIs. It sounds weird to say that the higher your chances at something, the higher your anxiety, but with students it’s often true. The reason is that you’re not merely hoping to get a job or pay a bill, but actually trying to affirm your sense of self. We talk about law students as ‘type A’, but it’s far more accurate to say they’re just highly insecure and lack the life experience to contextualize unfamiliar developments. You walk out of undergrad seeing yourself as one of the smart kids, one of the success stories - then law school comes and there’s a meaningful risk you’ll have to reframe yourself as someone who isn’t always awarded the highest honors by whatever authority is standing nearby - scary! And what’s worse, half of your friends get to keep that identity as you watch it sail away. That’s far harder to swallow than if one out of twenty friends retains that identity. So how to stay sane, happy, un-anxious and productive? You need to recognize that the set of fears you’re treading in is quick sand. There is no set of secret buttons you can push to get As or get the job you want. There is no checklist. There is no secret another classmate knows that you don’t know, and the student who tells you they know the secret is masking their insecurity by feigning knowledge. There is no magic, no incantation, no study approach, no flash card trick, no reading selection method, nothing at all that will give you certainty. All you can do is your best, and the good news is that’s very often enough. A prof is mean or another classmate cold? Son. You’re out here talking about your dream of being a bigshot corporate lawyer. Someone was mean to you? Boo hoo. Aren’t you trying to become the guy who fields furious calls from private equity clients at 11pm? None of us enjoys assholes, and I’m the first guy to tell you all of that shit should end, but you can’t really cry to me that you’re struggling in life over a prof being mean to you but also you deserve to represent some of the most notably asshole-ish clients on earth. If you can’t stay happy through a mean prof, why should I recommend hiring and putting you in front of a mean client? Sounds like a terrible idea. And this applies far wider than corporate law - you want to be a criminal defence lawyer? Want to handle divorces? Employment disputes? We have a job to do here, some people are going to be assholes and you need to be able to just set that aside and not take it personally in order to do your duty effectively. School is hard? You don’t know if you’ll get an A? Son. You’re asking for a seat at the table of stress. You think school is hard, wait till you’re the only person really in charge of making sure $800,000,000 is transferred properly and correctly. Wait till someone’s liberty is on your shoulders. A child’s life. I’ve written this spiel a bunch of times, but you need to reframe all of this in your head as something motivational. You want to be great at something? Good. It’s hard work and there’s stiff competition. Do you think Sidney Crosby was sad the first time he found a league he couldn’t score 280 points in? Or do you think he woke up and thought ‘great, I’m where I belong and I’m being challenged’? Take a look at yourself. Do you want to be the person who can only feel happy when they’re in a room they can dominate? Or are you the person who wants to grow, challenge and find their ceiling - actually flex the muscles of their ambition and capacity with real peers? Be the second guy. Not because it gets you riches, but because it’s more fun for you and everyone else in the room. Do the right things. Exercise, take long breaks, smoke a joint and play video games...whatever is pleasurable. Be happy because life is happy - the sky is beautiful and rain feels nice and dogs are entertaining and strawberries are delicious. If you literally have zero friends, go make friends. Honestly, take a week to go camping and clear your head if you get too deep into the muck. Law will be here when you return. Stop listening to the rumor mill. Stop paying attention to everyone else’s anxiety. Stop using the hallways as an echo chamber of fear and intrigue and judgment. For the love of sweet baby Jesus, stop believing that 2Ls have secret insider information on law firms - they barely know how to get to the buildings and much of the ‘knowledge’ they pass along sounds hilarious to practicing lawyers. But most important of all, stop letting your sense of self and identity get tied up with being a law student. You are not a law student, you are a human who happens to sometimes go to a law school. I am not a lawyer, I am Hoju and I spend too much of my time at a law firm. One day I will be Hoju-who-doesn’t-spend-too-much-time-at-a-law-firm. One day I will be Hoju-who-doesn’t-practice-law. One day after that I will be Hoju-who-is-dying. The only consistency is Hoju, everything else is just sauce. You are your interests, your loves, your creation, your intent, your actions and your thoughts, and only some of those do or should relate to being a student. Here’s the good news: being stable in your identity, having a healthy response to school, and managing challenges with motivation rather than anxiety are all things that will help you to succeed in our field much, much, much, so much more than one extra HH. I can’t tell you how much more. This is where you come back and say “that’s all well and good but I have a practical problem in front of me where I need to get a job and the odds are uncertain”. Indeed they are and always will be - it’s entirely possible that OCIs is the time in your life when the odds you get some job you want are highest, but sure, I agree they are uncertain. That is precisely the reason your rock in the storm is your actual identity - you, a human, who among other things, happens to go to law school. Now that we’re back to square one, I’ll ask it again: Are you the human who wants to coast, or are you the human who wants to be challenged and to grow? You’re the latter. So enjoy it - you’ve finally found the right room.
  10. It’s a better job than all the other jobs I’ve had and that’s why I’m still doing it. Almost everyone works for the money. You think teachers - who complain literally endlessly, perhaps more than lawyers - wake up at 7:00am and get coloring pencils ready because that’s the way they want to spend their day? You think if they didn’t need money, they’d do that? You think the world would be full of business development managers and marketing interns if people worked for the joy of passion? That’s objectively stupid. But there are people in my office - right now, at this moment - who enjoy this job as much as any colleague I’ve had in any job.
  11. Also no one writing on this forum is the best lawyer in the world, whatever that could mean. Whether there’s any kind of clarity at the top of the ladder, or just a rung with lots of people, or if the physics of better-ment stop working altogether up there, ...completely irrelevant. I don’t think anyone is pretending this conversation is about who is literally the best at something - the question is what happens when ambition meets its ceiling, or at least its rival.
  12. Not really relevant to my point, if it was addressed to that. All I’m saying is that being around people more talented or harder working than yourself is a positive if you’re at all competitive, type A or ambitious. The English word for being most comfortable when no one in the room can rival you is complacency. I just think we’re mixing up those concepts. The point applies regardless of whether ‘best’ is even a coherent concept, since ‘better’ definitely is.
  13. By this same token, never understood why law students think of themselves as Type A. My memory of law students is that we were highly worried, stressed and uncomfortable. We frequently complained about and lobbied for lower expectations so we could chill more. We celebrated how easy 3L was and whined about how competitive 1L/OCIs felt. We were so terrified of being forced to admit we aren’t divinely anointed that it was taboo to even mention our grades - a high offense in law school. That’s not type A behavior. That’s thoroughly type B. Spend a couple weeks around some genuinely elite performers in any field and you’ll realize type A means embracing - feeding off of - what law students call stress. Type A isn’t scared of hearing that the other girl in class got an HH. Type A says come at me bro, I’m still going to beat you. I think people confuse competitiveness/Type A with the pleasure of having an easy time getting As in undergrad. Those aren’t related.
  14. Being the biggest fish in the pond just means you need a new pond. When you play the first level of a video game and destroy it, do you walk away? Or do you hope a game gets hard enough that it’s actually a challenge and you have a reasonable chance at losing? When you were a kid, did you want to keep playing tee ball or move up? I’m sure there were 10 year olds who wanted to dominate tee ball; but we wouldn’t say they’re competitive, we’d say they’re scared of challenging themselves. I don’t understand how anyone could be happy about being the smartest person in the room unless it’s the last room on earth. And even then. Alexander wept because there were no worlds left to conquer. Fisher quit after he dismantled Spassky. Jordan got so bored he played baseball. A competitive person doesn’t want to win - they want to win against a legitimate challenge. In all seriousness, the desire to stop moving up and instead stay in a room where you’re the most talented, capable and revered is called complacency. And that’s fine. Most of us are complacent. But if what you really want is to find a room where you’re the unquestioned champion, then you need to stop thinking of yourself as competitive. What am I missing?
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