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tanx

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  1. I started writing a different story then realized I had a better one. I was waiting at the border to travel into Buffalo, when I decided to check my email. We had a customer threaten to sue because he complained that our product caused him to have erectile dysfunction. But, the opposite way. In that, it wouldn't come down. He claimed he had gone to the hospital because his erection had lasted 12+ hours and had to have his blood drained from his, um, appendage.
  2. 1) Yes and no. Your experience isn't unusual for in-house. Often you are asked to work in areas of law you know nothing about. But that doesn't mean you can't learn it, so perhaps you're not quite "qualified" for it in the sense that you don't know much about the area, but you are qualified in the sense that you have the capacity/capability to learn it. 2) Probably. What I found in house is your clients don't care how many years of experience you have when they come to you. From their perspective, a lawyer is a lawyer. 3) That might be the case. It's not the end of the world at all though. It's just that now it's incumbent on you to find mentorship and ways to get around the fact that you don't have the law firm resource of other associates and partners to show you the ropes. What I did, was I would study the areas of law that I wasn't that familiar with in my free time. This means in the evenings or when there was a lull in my day. Then, when a task or file came up related to that area, try to do as much of it as you can, and then run your work by external counsel to get their take on it, and learn learn learn. The other thing you can do is if you are unable to do any of it at all, ask external counsel but be in communication with them as to how to do the work. The next time something similar comes up, you have more of a running start.
  3. I agree with the above advice, what about going to a regulator? In addition to the ones mentioned above, IIROC, MFDA or IMET? Money laundering specifically in the real estate industry and the casino industry seems to be big and have a lot of opportunities. Combined with your advocacy training it might be a good fit. I think the key here is to network. Even cold-call people working in those bodies and ask for an informational interview? Also, I wouldn't sweat the 3-5 year thing. When I was in your shoes, I had maybe 6 months post call under my belt and I applied, and interviewed for jobs that were 3-5 years post call. You never know.
  4. Name dropping is fine to me as long as there's something of substance attached to it and there's a point to bringing them up, rather than just for the sake of it. For example, if you've interacted with them such that they will at least remember who you are, or like the example above, where you cite their work but don't know them, to show you've done your research. But make sure they actually exist. At one company I worked at, we had a student who when networking with the lawyers in my department name drop a lawyer that supposedly worked in the department and went on and on about him, but that person didn't exist at our company. It was extremely bizarre and made the student look crazy.
  5. I wouldn't think you'd have an especially difficult time compared to your peers. I think part of the stigma of having a foreign law degree is when Canadians obtain one, because it implies you couldn't get into a Canadian law school. If you are foreign and have a degree from your home jurisdiction, that thinking goes away. From the information given, I don't think you're wasting your time at all.
  6. I went from undergrad straight to law school. I remember when I was 26 and practicing law, I let slip to some clients (in house) my age. Some of them actually got angry--because they had been working for a number of years in their field, yet by company policy they had to run their contracts by me. Someone said, "what?! you're 26?! and I have to listen to you?" From that experience I never tell people my age. I'm quite a bit older now, but I still don't really let people know how old I am, just in case
  7. 100%. I struggled with answering this question because it could vary so greatly. I’m not as familiar with large institutions like banks, I’m mostly familiar with smaller in house departments, of no more than 30 or so lawyers. The corresponding level (EVP, SVP etc) for the title (GC, ACG) depends on so many things, including the hierarchy within the company generally, the status and entrenchment of the legal function, the nature of the company’s industry, and so forth. I agree at that level, most are recruited from outside.
  8. It would be the same as any other corporate job outside of law, every few years? Often legal departments are very flat, but typically the progression would be something like legal counsel > senior legal counsel > agc > gc. The GC could be at a VP level, director level or even SVP level depending on the organization. I think more often, people change companies and get their promotion that way, whether that's in title, pay or both.
  9. Look into this software that used to be called Serengeti. It’s called something else now, and after it was acquired by SAP. It is a legal billing software but you can also use it to track matters, time spent, etc. I’m not sure if it has a document repository though.
  10. Don't sweat too hard about this. Seriously, I make about 4x my articling salary now (although I do think I am a bit lucky). You will find as you progress in a corporation, if you are strategic about it, the only real way to obtain serious pay bumps is to either get a promotion or to move companies. You don't have to progress at COL increases only. Last year or so, a recruiter approached me about potentially going into a big law firm. Based on the potential salary vs. the hours, it wouldn't have been worth it for me to go into a firm at this point. Also, it's helpful not to compare to what your peers are making. Yes your big law peers will be making more money, but don't forget you chose to go in-house for a reason. Try to remember that when you have a bit of angst. Sorry just had to offer a bit of advice...back to the main topic!
  11. So why are you even thinking of doing an MBA if you know half of what you’d be learning you aren’t good at, and won’t enjoy? What about being interested in law because you want to practice law? Going into it for financial gain or bc of some notion of prestige is a ticket for disappointment and unhappiness. Maybe you also need to re-evaluate your way of thinking. You’ve only been working for 2 years, and it seems as if you’re trying to find guarantees or a formula for success.
  12. Well I’m not going to tell you exactly where to preserve my anonymity, but I work at a senior counsel level for a company in an established industry. I’m pretty sure my salary is on par with similar roles.
  13. I'm 9 years out, 8 years post-call including a mat leave. Yes, I'm very satisfied with my life, both career-wise and life-wise, although I presume you're mostly asking about career-wise, or life-wise in relation to career. I'm in house, income is $190k+, with a bonus of up to $35k, plus benefits (no stock options). Work life balance has always been great. I got a significant promotion recently, and I would say I work longer hours now, but not anywhere near private practice hours. I can't complain. Similar to another poster, if time were rewinded, would I go back and be a lawyer? Yes. I had a few challenges and roadblocks during my career, most significantly getting that first articling position. But I love the work, the diversity of legal issues I face, my colleagues, my industry. I never had a career prior to law, and I do believe that had I not gotten a law degree, my income and prospects would not be as high now, or it would take a lot longer to catch up. Now if you're asking if I had a second life, would I choose law again? No. If one can dream, I'd be a resort developer or something like that.
  14. I'm in house, so my experience is pretty similar to what you would get in the standard corporate work world. I'm not sure if I qualify as having kids "early", I think I was practicing for 7 years by the time I had a baby, but not by choice--we took awhile to conceive. 1) My hours were not particularly long when I got pregnant. I worked 8:30-5:30 and through lunch, type thing. I was fortunate that I had absolutely no external signs of pregnancy, no morning sickness, felt great, maybe a bit more tired than usual in the evening. I didn't miss a beat.I was pretty much checked out the last couple weeks of work--pretty much worked till my due date--and by then was very uncomfortable, in pain, etc. but I didn't shorten my hours or anything. In hindsight, I would have taken more time off prior to my due date. 2) I just had a conversation with my boss, when I was 16 weeks pregnant. He took it well. I actually asked him not to tell anyone else, only because we had one person who was a nosy f*ck and I pretty much only wanted her to find out as late as possible, once I was showing. I can't remember how everyone else found out. 3) I returned to work early into a different job. I felt certain things happened while I was away that were unfair to me, and part of it I felt had to do with my absence. Mat leave would have affected my progress had I stayed at my previous employer, but I was able to find another job at significantly higher seniority and pay. My new employer did not care that I was coming off a mat leave. That said, it took us awhile to get pregnant, (which is difficult as a type A who has everything carefully planned!) and during that time, plus the year that I was pregnant, I felt I wasn't able to entertain possible career advancement opportunities when recruiters contacted me for other roles; and I had to hand over an interesting high profile project for someone else to take over for me while I was gone. Other than taking mat leave a bit early, I wouldn't change a thing. My advice would be to make a conscious decision about what you want out of life/career before you come back from mat leave, perhaps as soon as you find out you're pregnant, so you can plan for that while you're away (having said that, during the mat leave, try not to worry about your career and enjoy the time you have with the baby. It really goes by so quickly!) But also know that life happens and how you feel now may be different than how you feel when you are holding your baby.
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