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Everything posted by setto

  1. Definitely not. Lawyers do very well. Maybe we don't all have the same idea of what "very well" is, but we're not living hand to mouth. Some lawyers have small family firms with low overhead that have clients lining up. In my jurisdiction (not GTA), some criminal defence lawyers that are the same vintage as me (junior) are pulling in much more money than the associates at national branches. Similarly, lawyers at small shops that would be years from partnership in Big Law are starting to get their hands on some equity. The thing about Big Law is that, generally, you don't need to be particularly entrepreneurial to make a comfortable base salary as an associate. You do what you're told. Whereas if you put someone with a strong business sense and willingness to grind out hours into a smaller firm environment, they'll be very financially successful. Now, with respect to "net" income - if you're in Ontario, you would need about $120k of income to "net" $7,000/month. Chances are you won't be making that kind of money for the first couple years of practice outside of Big Law, but it's definitely not an out of reach figure for the rest of the profession.
  2. wrt the bolded potion: You are. I see that you've been accepted to law school so If you're interested in the cross section of crypto and the law, I suggest that you look into securities (and crypto offerings), agreements regarding ACH bank transfers, financial innovation in capital markets, taxation of crypto as a commodity, fintech, and some of the tangentially related subjects like anti money laundering laws and funding terrorism. That's just to name a few and then there's the spin-off businesses based around cryptocurrency that lawyers advise.
  3. I'm posting this to provide a little insight into people's reactions to your post and to help people browsing this forum for help - Mods, please let me know if this is considered legal advice. A professional corporation does not offer the same shelter to liability that you would find from other corporations formed under the CBCA or provincial corporations acts. That's why lawyers/doctors/ etc. who have PCs will still require liability insurance. And why I wrote the following in my post above: (my emphasis added) The reason for having a PC is not to shelter you from liability. As I insisted before, look into why professionals have PCs and maybe start with looking into what a "personal services business" is.
  4. Probably wouldn't help. Look up a fintech agreement that some service providers post online. Generally, the privacy clauses will refer to industry standards and policies rather than listing out specific criteria or security methods. You don't really need to know the nitty gritty. Now, if you plan on practicing on the other sides of these agreements (once something goes wrong, or theres a data breach) it may be helpful to have an understanding of privacy and what the "industry standards" actually entail, but unless you're an absolute authority on the subject, I don't see it helping. It's like @Rashabon said, you just need a JD. If certain non-legal expertise is needed while practicing law, then you should be paying for an expert. Otherwise, use appropriate drafting language. Having said all that, I suggest you go to the large full service firm websites and look at the profiles of their tech and privacy lawyers and see if any of them advertise having taken the program.
  5. You need to setup a professional corporation. The first step is to determine what your jurisdiction's law society requires (forms, endorsements, etc.) and the order they require it in. Normally this will be some permutation of: Performing a NUANS to secure a name Incorporating a corporation with said name Submitting the incorporating documents with the necessary schedules outlined by your law society Paying for a permit/registration fee There are a lot of caveats to this and I don't want to give out legal advice, but I suggest that you research the pros and cons of practicing as a sole individual vs as a PC. Be sure to look into liability and the taxation of PCs - there's a reason why a lot of juniors don't necessarily need or use one.
  6. This doesn't factor in cash reserves, cost of hiring and training new associates if your laid-off associates find other opportunities, other practice areas generating significantly more revenue during a recession (Bankruptcy and insolvency, commercial litigation, science and tech) that are keeping the firm afloat, forecasts of the economy and the effect on slower practice groups, etc. I've seen a solid amount of firms approach this problem holistically rather than just looking at the financial statements. There are plenty of firms with associates billing less than 75% of what they used to that have yet to cut salaries or lay people off. Just maybe not on Bay Street... Having said that, I agree with this excerpt. Many of the larger firms don't have their junior (or even mid level) associates carrying their own files or generating business. It's a feeder system wherein the partnership will drum up business and distribute it down to the associates. If there are not transactions happening up top, there isn't any work to roll down through the ranks. This could mean that associates' billable hours have drastically dropped and it's no fault of their own. They can put as many hours as a human possibly can into their work, but if there's nothing to do, then there's nothing to do. At this point, the partnership will have to make some sort of decision (factoring in the factors I described above) as to whether or not they can weather the storm and keep a lagging associate on until the economy bounces back.
  7. What? I think I'm misunderstanding this post... You need outside work to generate billable hours to generate revenue. If there's no work, there's no billables and no revenue. It's not like a billable hour are a resource/commodity in and of itself. If there was enough work, you wouldn't need to reduce salaries and/or targets. My hours have dropped significantly because there isn't much work on my plate and clients in my practice area are waiting for the economy to stabilize a little. I can't just create hours out of nowhere.
  8. Write a blog post or a commentary on a recent decision or area of practice you're interested in. Drafting posts for Covid-19 resource databases can keep a student pretty busy.
  9. It really all depends - practice area, efficiency, etc. Before the market really slowed down, I would have timers going from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. I would eat lunch at my desk while billing and reduced breaks, etc. to make sure my time in the office was efficient and I was getting through my to-do list. After 5:30, I'd go home and that's it for me (unless some emergency email comes in). Conversely, I know of some lawyers who are putting in 12 hours a day but futz around for a lot of it. And things change when I have a closing. I'd be working from home until 10 or 11 p.m. every day of the week and weekends. It really all depends on the type of work you're doing and how focused/efficient you are while doing it. Pinning down a lawyer's hours is akin to trying to determine a lawyer's salary - it all really depends.
  10. The real trick is to work for a large law firm in a smaller market - You get reasonable(ish) work-life balance, work on some complex files, have support from the network of offices for niche practice areas, and get paid top of market.
  11. I think storing old files offsite is pretty standard for most of the shops around my jurisdiction - So I don't see that being an issue with legitimacy. But having a bunch of minute books in a garage, or wills in a home-safe would raise a few eyebrows.
  12. what about storing minute books and acting as RO? (Although I believe that some BCAs allow for digital minute books/records so long as they can be printed on demand) I was talking to a partner at my firm the other day about us eventually returning to the office and I don’t really see why. If anything, working from home has discouraged those “shooting the shit” brainstorming meetings that clients hate being billed for. All interactions with other lawyers that I’ve had in a WFH setup have been direct and to the point. Having said that, legitimacy is a big concern among the old guard. But why not just get a bunch of awesome board rooms with a great view?
  13. A few that come up on a weekly basis: How to navigate the PPSA and apply it to real world priority issues; ITA residency analysis; Application of limitations periods for contract drafting; Basic contract interpretation I could go on...
  14. So you're asking if somebody can post literally everything about the legal data analytics field? I'm not sure I've ever even heard of a legal data analyst.
  15. First of all, being a lobbyist sounds awesome. Though it's my understanding that lobbyists play a smaller roll in Canada than they do down south - is this true? Second, because a lot of your experience isn't really law-related, you'll likely have to start at the bottom. That's not a problem because you can learn a lot of the fundamentals of what it means to practice law. It can be a fascinating and rewarding journey. However, at least in my jurisdiction, the law firms that practice in the fields you described (aviation, space, international etc.) tend to be the larger shops and these shops tend to avoid the "broad roles" approach and look more towards specialization. Maybe consider articling in-house for a business that is involved in one of those specialties. I would assume a large airliner would often deal with aviation law as well as international business? And you would likely be taking on a broad role as in-house counsel - triaging issues, reviewing a variety of matters, etc. Third, you say you love lobbying, why not keep at it? Do you know how many lawyers (or any professionals, really) actually love their job? Finally, there's some middle ground! Some firms have lawyers who work in lobbying! For example, Norton Rose: https://www.nortonrosefulbright.com/en-ca/services/9a5f2c97/lobbying Though, to circle back to my first point, I'm not sure how much activity there is in the Canadian market. Good luck!
  16. Agreed. I did the math and it makes sense for me based on how conservative my investing profile is, my expected income growth from last year to this year, and having been hit with an Alternative Minimum Tax.
  17. I know you can carry forward the RRSP deduction blah blah blah, but my strategy is as follows: - 3 month emergency fund (bumped up to 8 months during the pandemic...); then - max out TFSA; then -non-registered investment account; then -RRSP when I reach a certain tax bracket (not there yet) having said that, if your employer matches RRSP make that a priority. Free money > all other money.
  18. Mine are taking a hit because of the drastic slowdown in work. I've gone from 7-8 a day to maybe 4-5.
  19. Location/Pay/etc. may be useful.
  20. I'm with a larger shop and we seem to be doing Ok in terms of layoffs and pay cuts - But who knows how long that will last for? So much is unknown and I can't imagine we're not hurting.
  21. Please note: I'm a lawyer and not an economist or a quant trading oil futures. and I'm shooting the shit on a message board. I'm basing a lot of what I say on discussions with other lawyers (who know just as little as I do) and by looking at market forecasts. I could be wrong and Alberta will experience a pivot and find some new backbone to the economy, but we are pushing oil like crazy and for some reason doubling-down on it. Unless we come up with some sort of Nnorth American protectionist agreement, we're in trouble! It's gotta be that other provinces' economies will fare better because they at least have a modicum of diversity...
  22. Alberta is in a world of hurt. I really don't see our economy rebounding at the same rate as the rest of Canada once the restrictions are lifted. I expect we'll see a lot of migration to other jurisdictions. Edmonton is expecting 50% of small businesses to permanently close because of the quarantine (note: this was from a survey, so it's likely lower). These businesses are the foundation for most small and mid-size firms, so it will be difficult to get things back to "normal" here. And even the large businesses (...oil) are hurting. Crude Oil WTI is trading at $18 this morning! Western Canadian Select up, but still has ways to go before it's really profitable to take it out of the ground. I expect most Albertans would gladly take a pay cut vs a layoff.
  23. Add bars to that. After work cocktails really add up. I’m saving crazy amounts of money during this quarantine by not going out for drinks or to restaurants - all of which has been dumped into my emergency fund. My emergency fund normally sits around 3 months of expenses, but given this weird economic climate, I’ve upped it to 6 months with an aim of putting 1 year aside.
  24. FYI this has lead to layoffs in mid sized and small firms.
  25. Ok, that pains a better picture. I don't work on bay street, but, generally speaking, associates have more control over their schedule. I used to put in a lot of time physically in the office because surprise files would come out of nowhere and I didn't want to shuffle back into the office to get cracking on them. Once you're an associate (depending on the practice area, of course) you have a much clearer picture of your workload and deadlines/meetings. As such, you have a better idea of when you need to be in the office. Don't get me wrong, I'm still in the office about 10-11 hours a day and a bit on weekends, but I more or less know when I'll be getting into the office and when I'll be leaving.
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