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theycancallyouhoju last won the day on September 27

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  1. theycancallyouhoju

    What was it like getting in? How did you celebrate?

    She definitely seemed offended, and it definitely left a bad impression of the school. I wanted to ask her if she showed up to dates saying “you must be so excited to be with me”.
  2. theycancallyouhoju

    What was it like getting in? How did you celebrate?

    It was a very uncomfortable moment, actually. I was having lunch with a colleague who had also applied to law schools (and got in and went and is a lawyer now). I had 9 hours of work left after lunch and I think it was late in the week and I was tired. On top of all that, I was assuming I’d get in based on my LSAT and GPA. A woman from UT called and performed a long preamble before saying I was in. I said I appreciate the call and thanks for the good news. “You know, people are usually a lot more excited than that. You got into U of T law school!” I understand. I’m looking forward to it, thank you. Then she sort of hung up on me and I went back to work. The much happier feeling came with getting my LSAT score. It was an enormous weight off my shoulders. I bought a bag of cookies, smoked...tobacco...and stayed up till 3am watching old X-Files.
  3. theycancallyouhoju

    What are my chances? [153]

    I agree with this, except I think it’s helpful to ramp up your speed. Start by giving yourself 7 extra minutes per section, then remove 1 minute every 4 or so tests that you do. Work that down to 2 minutes under the actual allotted time. The biggest cause of people underperforming relative to their own capacities is being unfocused, thinking anxiously and refusing to be methodical.
  4. theycancallyouhoju

    Did You Ever Really "Enjoy" Articling?

    The good news is that the last of these is an easy one to answer: your end goal is to leave with good relationships and people viewing you as a competent professional. That’s valuable whether you stay in practice or not - you have no ability to predict when that network will matter at this point. Articling is not very long. You’ll finish it and then life will continue for another 40-50 years or whatever. I’m confident you can hack it and do your best at something you’re not committed to for, like, 8 more months or whatever. For what it’s worth, of my 3 closest friends who I started law with: 1 quit a gig at the end of articling, stayed in the same practice area and was happy within a year; 1 quit a gig at the end of articling, switched practice areas and now is happy; 1 is 3 years into associateship and about to quit and go to something that he finds happy.
  5. theycancallyouhoju

    Did You Ever Really "Enjoy" Articling?

    I enjoyed 40% of first year (no articles, NY). The rest was intimidating, boring, too long or all three of those. I knew a good number of my colleagues had a bad time, but most of them have since moved on to other firms with reputations for shorter hours or other types of employers, and report being happier. I don’t share this view. I actually don’t care too much how interesting the client is, and the complexity or novelty of the work is what keeps me awake. The worst days are long because they’re repetitive. Maybe a difference between a crim litigator and a corporate solicitor who both (more or less) like their jobs.
  6. theycancallyouhoju

    What are my chances? [153]

    No that’s incorrect. As someone who taught it, I would say that there is a floor level of practice people need to reach their rough potential, and then after that more hours do very little on average. There are always exceptions, always the odd duck that pulls up by 10 points after 7 months of practice instead of 5, but it was very rare. If you’re committed and really want to make sure you give this the fairest shot possible, by all means, go explore if you’re the odd duck - someone is, after all. And yes, drop Kaplan. I would suggest a private tutor and focusing on actual old exams. I haven’t taught the lsat in 7 or 8 years, but when I did, none of the private companies provided questions that were as clear and well structured as the actual LSAT, and that made them worse practice materials. If this is a life dream, then by all means take another shot. But it’s time to change your approach because this one isn’t working. Find a tutor you like who can help assess what the easiest avenues to improve are.
  7. theycancallyouhoju

    The TRUTH about law school

    I think the reasonable assumption is school matters. Employers (and specifically the better resourced ones) might try to ensure they figure out how deep to go in each school to mine the same quality of student, but it’s such a vague and unknowable thing at the point of contact - early 2L - that I think it’s irrational to assume there’s no cluttering noise. And I’ve met too many lawyers who think school says something important about a candidate to believe it doesn’t influence hiring. People give subconscious bumps to candidates that remind them of themselves and that creates a network effect. Finally, even if it’s true as a systemic point that academic quality will more or less be reflected in marks no matter where students as a whole go, for any given individual it’s a bit of a roll of the dice how 1L marks will turn out. On that basis, I’d rather my worst case scenario be that I roll my floor-score at UT than Windsor. Anyway. @LibDemo15 is demonstrably wrong. Lots of people get mediocre marks, have no connections and do just fine. The risks of the investment are real and should be taken into account before you drop the cash, but it’s an exaggeration and a half to say that you need to be a top class student or connected to do fine in law.
  8. theycancallyouhoju

    Law school chances in the future [2.67]

    I’m not dismissing the health issue. Doctors are in a good position to assess that and I’m not. Not sure why you think I was saying otherwise. You literally described your mental health issues in conjunction with your poor performance, but if they aren’t related, then they bear no relation to your law school application or explaining why bad performance should be overlooked. My point about anxiety is that you (and not you specifically, but anyone) should prioritize becoming stable, comfortable, happy first - not because you don’t deserve to go to law school, but because you’ll do better as a student and a lawyer if you’ve found that healthy psychological well-being first. It’s not a judgment, as you seem to have taken it, but frank advice - I’ve seen more than a few people who came to law without having resolved their issues they struggle with only to have it turn out very poorly. You literally describe still working on your mental health, so that’s clearly what I was responding to. Given, as I said, that there’s no drawback to going to law school later on, take the time if it helps. Your post sounds very much like someone in a rush, like you decided this is your path and now you’ll sprint to it, and that’s the wrong approach. It’s acutally a cliche in our industry - this gig is a marathon, pace yourself. I am in a good position to assess the other elements, like whether working full time - which I also did - is a cause of underperformance, what constitutes a notable EC for a law student, and how to do very well on the LSAT. I’m glad you enjoy your ECs. They will not stand out among law applicants. Other folks will be former entrepreneurs, have had exceptional work achievements, been in the military, been elite athletes, been world or national champions at things, etc. I know both because I was among (the least impressive of) those and because a bunch of my classmates were. School government and clubs are the most common ECs people apply with. So by all means, if the ECs energize you and keep you happy, rock on. I’m just trying to give you an honest account of how they compare against other applicants because you specifically framed them as part of your attempt to strengthen your resume.* I know you don’t see how it could hurt to start LSATing now. I’m speaking from experience teaching it. The students I taught who did worst had the longest runways, uniformly. And, to be frank, 154 is a fairly bad first diagnostic,** so I wouldn’t be tossing aside experienced advice in your shoes. For one, it can be extremely mentally taxing on people who aren’t gifted in it. If your goal is 168 or whatever and you practice for three...four...months and top out at 160, you will become worried or anxious. I saw it a lot. Two, there are a limited number of old tests and you should save them for the approach before you actually write. Three, there aren’t many skills to learn - it’s maybe 4 weeks of learning and then two months of intensity practice of learned skills - so learning those skills and then lightly practicing is highly inefficient. You’ll get best at the lsat when you do a full test every day for three-four weeks (a day off a week is fine) and not during occasional practice. Fourth, since you aren’t fully confident you can get straight As, and since the lsat prep this far in advance isn’t helpful while As are extremely helpful, it would be an exercise in bad judgment to divert your energy to the lsat. The good news is that it isn’t an incredibly hard exam. It’s actually a very easy one that people do poorly (relative to their own potential) on because they struggle to think clearly, concisely, quickly, calmly and methodically. The students I taught who showed the greatest improvement had learned to calm and simplify their thought process. The questions are easy, the mental habits needed to do it well can be hard to acquire if they aren’t already present. That being said, it seems like you’re not looking for or receptive to advice that contradicts your assumptions, but simply affirmation. So consider this post more for the sake of the other future applicants reading, and I wish you good luck. *Tons of law school applicants also have no particularly cool or impressive EC! So no worries to anyone reading this that isn’t the Elon Usain Bolt Musk of their school - the point here isn’t that you need to have remarkable ECs, but that common ECs like school paper/government/moot are not what will get you into law school. **Most weak students I tutored came to me after only reliably improving 4-5 points on their cold diagnostic somewhere near 149-155. Most successful students I worked with maxed out at around 10-14 points above their diagnostic, which would place you at 164-168 - a fine mark, but since your goal is around a 165, that would mean you’d need to have a good day on the day of the test to hit your mark. The biggest improvements from the diagnostic came from students who were able to learn the rudimentary logic of the test easily and needed to work on calming and focusing their thinking and learning to process the information much more efficiently while cutting away the fat, so to speak. That’s where 170+ comes in.
  9. theycancallyouhoju

    Law school chances in the future [2.67]

    Yes you do, but it won’t be helped by two years of practice. About six months is the max, in my experience. When you do start practicing, give every section six minutes longer than reality for a week, then five, then four mins... until you give yourself a minute or two under. Slowly tighten the screws, in other words. Edit: to be clearer, my advice is to practice no more than three-four months, but people with anxiety may need a bit more just to not feel rushed. That much time does not help you actually understand the way to answer questions better, though, and six months also runs the real risk of mental and emotional fatigue.
  10. theycancallyouhoju

    Law school chances in the future [2.67]

    Okay, a few things. 1. It’s too early to start studying for the LSAT. It’s not a knowledge exam, as you know. All you have to do is learn the basic skills and then ramp up your comfortable speed right before the exam. As someone who did pretty well on the test and tutored it, I would advise you to start about six months before you write, and you should delay writing while you need to focus on getting good grades. 2. As people said, there are schools that look at best two or last two or whathaveyou. So you’re fine. Get As from here on out. 3. Don’t think of things like working to support yourself as a reason to underperform. Lots of us did that and still got As. 4. For the moment, other than As, just focus on becoming a healthy, happy and productive person. If you want to go to law school, it’s to become a lawyer (probably). Most people find law school much more stressful than undergrad, and legal practice far more stressful than law school. It is very common for people to leave the profession in their first few years and often the/a reason is they don’t like the stress. Given undergrad has presented you with these challenges, and that you still report your mental health is not where you’d like it to be to cope with undergrad, you should be working to find much firmer footing before you move to law. There is no reason you need to go straight from undergrad to law school - in my experience, people who work in between handle it better, go in with a better idea of why they’re there, and perform better. I know I benefitted enormously from my experiences before law. 5. Going on the school radio and writing in the school paper etc are not going to be ECs that stand apart from other applicants. As someone else said, focus on GPA/LSAT. I would encourage you not to spend time on those ECs to the extent it hinders your focus on grades - if instead they are outlets that help you stay energized and motivated, then do them just for that reason.
  11. theycancallyouhoju

    What type of Law is each school known for?

    By way of example, I disagree with this quite a bit. First, I don’t really believe anyone can be the A student and I definitely don’t agree that work ethic is the determining factor. I’ve long been told my experience with how much work law school requires (less than undergrad) is wildly inaccurate, and I certainly knew people who hung out at the library till late all 1L or described huge work loads and got Bs. I wouldn’t say I worked especially hard on the schoolwork, neither did my few close friends, and we all were in that top cohort. Some people just do school well and I believe whatever goes into that is most often already set by your early- to mid- 20s. (Whether that means they do anything else well is an entirely separate question.) Second, as mentioned above, I don’t buy that there’s no noise in your resume by way of your school. Part of the reason is that I now help with hiring. A bigger part is that I believe from experience there are enough lawyers who think a B from a highly competitive school means more than a B from a less competitive one. On that point, I don’t just mean large firms - I include smaller practitioners I’m friends with. Third, I don’t think name-dropping has much to do with anything. But if you don’t come from a family or prior professional context that gives you experience with how a class of lawyers you want to join socializes, thinks and represents themselves, exposure is helpful. People often frame this as acting like a straight white man with a cottage to get a corporate law job, but you just as well need to know how to get along with the criminal bar if that’s where you want to succeed, or the equivalent anywhere else - in any profession, at any income level, your ability to have fun and comfortable times with peers matters. I don’t mean to pick on @TdK. The points they advocate are all common positions. I just disagree and took this as the best post to frame the rebuttal.
  12. theycancallyouhoju

    What type of Law is each school known for?

    I’d like to offer the contrarian position. The only sense in which your school matters is in providing a platform for you to obtain a job along the way to a career.* Law schools do not make lawyers, they make stem cells that can become lawyers, while providing some minor skills development in some cases (principally, litigators tell me that moots really are helpful in developing your rudimentary advocacy skills). I don’t think my corporate law prof at UT was a good teacher in any respect - I would have learned more if they’d cut out class time and increased required readings - but it has not even slightly impacted my ability to learn how to practice corporate law. I don’t even practice Canadian law, and I wouldn’t say my colleagues who attended US schools, learning US law had anything resembling a meaningful advantage over me when we started. If I was simply too blind to notice the advantage that existed, it has long since evaporated. Law school does not make you a lawyer, lawyering does. Asking which faculty teaches such-and-such best reflects a primarily academic approach to picking a school. If you’re not interested in being a legal academic, I would dismiss the question entirely. So what does that leave? Hiring. Reasonable people disagree on whether the school you go to really does impact your hirability - some think certain schools place better with given classes of employers because of institutional reasons (eg UT has the highest admissions standards, so all UT students are seen as coming from a more competitive context; McGill has a strong history placing on the SC, creating network effects, and is reliably bilingual) and some think a given student could obtain the same outcome no matter where they go. I think the latter is a poor argument - it assumes network effects are non-existent and that the ‘noise’ that gets read into your resume is zero, both of which are implausible. Others will just say it’s not ‘impossible’ to obtain any outcome from any school (except going to a firm in NY or HK or London, etc), which carries a degree of truth but ignores the reality that greater precision is possible. Now let me back track a minute. You listed areas of law, not jobs. I may be wrong, but that reads to me like a standard applicant - you likely have not taken any serious look into the careers of lawyers. The way you break up categories suggests you’re basically as unfamiliar with lawyering as a career as I am with civil engineering - bridges are involved? Law school will cost you three years of life and somewhere between $30k and $150k in costs, broadly speaking. Plus the opportunity cost. Plus, in my experience, a general sense of sunk costs - people will pursue lawyering even as they hate it to avoid the sense they made the wrong choice. And let me be clear, a number of my classmates are in careers they strongly dislike, or already left practice altogether. That’s a big investment just for things to not work out. I’m not saying it’s the most likely outcome, but I would strongly, strongly suggest that you spend time - a year even - really learning what lawyers do and deciding there is a real lawyer job (or two or three) you actually want before making this mortgage-sized investment. I think going to law school without that research is equivalent to buying a home without viewing it. Most lawyers you speak to won’t agree, because most of them went to law school with only vague ideas, like you have. But that’s a form of confirmation bias - you’re not going to get the views of people who left law or hate their careers because they don’t seek out opportunities to mentor and don’t come on law forums. And most importantly, there is no significant downside to delaying the choice to go to law school for a year. That rant being done, here’s my advice: - Research careers. Law school is short, a career is long, it’s self-evident which one matters more. - If you identify lawyering jobs that are attractive to you, identify the locations you’d like to work in. If you want to keep corporate law open, do you want the option of NY? London? It’s my experience that people who say they’re interested in international law often mean a career with international elements and travel. Do you want to work in a specific Canadian city? Rural? Urban? This will effect your cost benefit analysis. - Build an understanding of the real costs of each school, including living expenses. Price the three years because they vary wildly between schools. - Make easy eliminations based on jurisdiction/price. If you want to be a rural crim lawyer in Alberta, UT is stupidly expensive and wasteful. If you want to go to NY, UA is a very poor choice. - If you have a narrow range of job options you like, choose the school in the acceptable price/jurisdiction range that places best in those jobs. If not, go to the school with the broadest hiring reach, assessed in conjunction with price risk. *As you can see, some people think it’s important to pick a city you like for the three years. As long as you prioritize the long term career over the short term of law school, consider any factors that materially impact your happiness. Likely those two will overlap - If you need to be near family to sustain your emotional wellbeing, there’s a good chance that will also mean you want to work near family. But don’t pick UT because it’s be fun to be in Toronto for three years even if you want to work in rural BC - the cost difference is simply too silly. Obviously, if you’re spending your parents’ money instead of your own and don’t feel a need to do so efficiently, then go nuts. Tl:dr is that if you ignore everything else in here, at the very least, the decision to go to law school ought to be based on a desire for researched careers and that means you need to spend preliminary time figuring out which careers you might enjoy, rather than which bodies of law, speaking abstractly, sound cool. The opposite approach works out fine for lots of people, but it also works out shitty for lots of people, so just put in a reasonable amount of research. Good luck.
  13. theycancallyouhoju

    GPA and PhD Questions, References

    I think if you top 180 in the lsat they just send you straight to the Galactic Supreme Court. Defer to people who may have similar circumstances, to the extent there are any, but I strongly, strongly suspect recent professional rec letters are far better than out of date academic ones. I would briefly mention why you left the PhD, but there has been so much life since then that it should not be the focus. You're telling a story of how you came to law, not why you left something else. Graduate marks are looked at but not in the GPA for calculation purposes. Though defer to people with school specific knowledge.
  14. theycancallyouhoju

    Ask a 3L!

    Actually, I found at UT it was publicly more unacceptable to say you were doing fine and things didn’t seem that bad at all. There was a very vocal group that thought it was wrong and dangerous to suggest law school was just like other school and not a horrifying dystopian cruelty machine designed by indifferent overlords to produce mental health issues and steal your money. If you talk about how horrible it is, you’ll be very well received. But underlying that is the fact the most vocal are just louder, not more numerous. I think if you’d asked most of my colleagues, they’d also have said things were fine, it was just normal school, and some people were being a bit dramatic. Someone recently reminded me undergrad wasn’t so different - there was always a vocal group that felt that getting B+s in a humanities program also required titanic amounts of mental stress and risked “literally” killing students. I checked the McGill Daily and yup, seems there’s still that cohort. The only difference is that undergrad was so enormous you could avoid any clique, no matter how vocal.
  15. theycancallyouhoju

    Just Started; Wise Advice Appreciated

    Actually there’s one other thing I want to add. You’re also going to keep being in rooms with people smarter, more ambitious, more capable and more plugged in than you. Either that’s inspiring or it’s deflating. My experience is that people who feel invigorated by environments full of those more capable than themselves do better professionally and psychologically. Some people need to be the best player on the team to feel like it’s fun, but all that really leads to is playing below your actual level. Confusion is good. It means you’re doing something hard enough that it will take work, which means you’ll grow, which means you’re playing at the right level. Don’t fear confusion, embrace it.