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About Horace

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  1. Horace

    Attire for 'coffee chat' style meetings

    More than one of my coffee chats expressed relief that I hadn't worn a suit and tie. A collared shirt and trousers will work well--if you're into sport jackets (which you should be, they're super useful) or ties (knit, linen, anything other than heavy silk or wool), those are fine to add too. Don't wear a blazer with brass buttons on a summer day just to check the 'jacket' box. Shoes that you can polish or suede. When I did these chats I tried to communicate professionalism while also acknowledging the reality that I wasn't a lawyer and didn't just come from an office. It takes a bit of work to find what works for you, but you'll get the hang of it! Most people won't want you stressing about it in any case.
  2. Horace

    Suits For Men

    Heads up for anyone still thinking of shoes: Allen Edmonds are on sale at Nordstrom right now at about $350 a pair before tax, which is about $200 off the usual price.
  3. Horace

    Suits For Men

    Definitely not taboo! If you like the style at Browns, rock it. But when it comes to shoemaking, there's a whole world out there beyond the facades of Canadian malls. I tend to think that world is pretty severely underrepresented, too--probably to do with our salty winter sidewalks. So I like to geek out a bit when people ask.
  4. Horace

    Suits For Men

    Gonna second the caution on Frye. J&M can make a decent shoe if you're picky. You need to get into the shop and handle the leather in person, because the quality varies wildly and the photos online don't reflect that. If you get a J&M shoe with a Goodyear welt and decent leather, the shoe can be resoled and will last a long time. LodinG is great; I own a pair of their shoes. I've only heard good things about Meermin. You might also check Nordstrom for anything by Jack Erwin, which is a reputable budget brand out of NY. In a pinch, Suitsupply makes a fine shoe--like J&M, the leather is hit-and-miss, but the styling tends to be better. If you're in Toronto and looking for a cap toe, Ivor Woolridge in the PATH stocks stuff by Loake. He keeps the basic model below $500 because it's popular. This would be more expensive than these other suggestions, but Loake is a good brand. Their shoes will last as long as you want them to. Ivor is also a gem with a wealth of knowledge, and it feels good to support local businesses--especially when they sell quality and not the designer crap you find in most Toronto shoe stores.
  5. Isn't it the case that if you don't take the JD, you can't work in common law jurisdictions at all? Any possible stigma (which I don't believe you'll face) or opportunity cost should weigh favourably against that disability.
  6. Horace

    Suits For Men

    Not quite, "no brown in town" stops at the shoes. So it's black oxfords in town--no wingtips or derbys either--but a navy or grey suit. I seem to recall hearing that some London tailors would actually refuse to make black suits for their clients. Probably something to do with the prevalence of morning and evening dress, each of which had a specific formal purpose and used black.
  7. Horace

    Where to go from here? Troubled 1L.

    Those are rough marks. This is what I (class of 2018) would do if I were in your shoes. Don't self-select out of OCIs, because you never know--but try to be realistic. Don't spend weeks perfecting 30+ applications. Abandon the "I'm interested in big law and a big salary" line because without more that won't fly given your marks. Figure out what firms interest you for reasons that you can articulate persuasively and apply to those shops. Sounds like you got a solid 1L summer job, so trade on that. Ask your judge for mentoring. If your judge has expertise in a particular field, learn more about it. Get to know the local bar. Study harder and write smarter in the first term of 2L. Take essay courses if exams are a weakness. There will be many job postings after OCIs using those grades and if you can move your average up a letter (B- through B+) you should be able to contend. Apply to work in places whose names don't begin and end with "TO". To answer your specific questions: specialized boutiques are more competitive, not less, and there's no need to plan on leaving the profession just yet. You're saying you messed up and can think of ways to improve. Make that effort and see where it gets you.
  8. Horace

    Suits For Men

    Don't spend money on fashion. You wouldn't want to be looking "very 2018" in your 2019 summer, would you? Conservative picks will keep the boss happy and more importantly have a much longer useful lifespan, especially if you buy the good stuff.
  9. Horace

    Articling Advice

    I told my 2L firm I didn't wasn't going to article there when they asked. I had another job lined up. It's early in your 2L summer and you shouldn't expect an articling offer yet, or even the "so what are your plans" conversation. You should think carefully before leaving because the plan you've outlined is naive. You can't credibly maintain that you'd be happy to article for your current firm but also want to actively try not to article for them. Your current firm will start looking for a replacement if you tell them you're looking for a new job. Do you think they want to be a fallback in a buyer's market? If you leave outright--and preferably for a non-competitor--they'll be professional and probably write a reference, but don't expect them to be interested in helping you hedge your bets. The risk isn't staying where you are, it's getting nothing. If you want my general advice, the shot at a handful of Bay spots isn't worth it. Stick with this firm and work with people you like. Ask to try working for the solicitors in your office. See where articles take you.
  10. Horace

    Suits For Men

    100% this for building a quick foundation. I own a few of their ties--no frills, but they hold up fine, aren't polyester, and the price can't be beat.
  11. Horace

    Suits For Men

    Since you don't mind nitpicky, can you describe the pattern more specifically please? If we're talking herringbone, houndstooth, or a small check in the same colour, you're probably fine.
  12. Horace

    Suits For Men

    Depends. Most offices will be heavily air conditioned. A solid shirt rotation should keep you plenty fresh. A student in court every day might find the air conditioning less effective there. I'm thinking of the Toronto provincial courts in particular. If someone sweats a bit more heavily, another suit would be good. But ceteris paribus I think two should be fine.
  13. Horace

    Suits For Men

    Buy that grey suit, don't wear the black one unless you're at a funeral, and rock two suits this summer.
  14. Horace

    Suits For Men

    Glad to hear it! Off the rack probably is the best place to start--my first custom order had one shirt that fit and one that...well, really didn't. The staff were quite good about it though.
  15. Horace

    Suits For Men

    Spier and Mackay has a custom shirt program that I've been really happy with. They have a location in downtown Toronto now and--last I checked--a discount for orders of 3+.