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realpseudonym last won the day on December 23 2019

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  1. This is, IDK, a bit of a weird way to think about it. Labour and employment both deal with a contractual relationship, insofar as the relationship is governed by the collective bargaining agreement and the employment contract (either written or not), respectively. Practicing L&E law means that you're constantly dealing with those contracts, and you're gonna have to be able to draft them, understand them, advise on them, and litigate on the contractual language if necessary. But like, you can't really just understand contracts in general. They're the basic material you're working with. It would be like asking, do criminal defence lawyers need to be able to use disclosure? Well, yeah. That's the evidence you're dealing with a lot of the time, but you're not either good at disclosure or bad with disclosure. You learn the law and then work on the specific facts arising in each situation from that point on. That's what you'll be doing with contracts.
  2. For labour law, firms usually split between union and management. Union-side wouldn't quite be big law -- they tend to be structured as somewhat specialized boutiques. There's a bigger emphasis on fit and demonstrated interest in union-side firms than for big law in general. But the compensation and workplace environment is pretty similar. Management firms can be labour boutiques or might be part of a general, full service firm. I guess in-house is a thing for both, too. For employment (i.e., employment standards, wrongful dismissal, etc), there's a lot of variety. As in, everything from legal clinics, to sole practitioners, to massive firms.
  3. As per Diplock's post above, your original post wasn't that people should apply to both posted positions and also cold call lawyers. It was "applying to publicly advertized jobs with below average grades is not a viable strategy imo because one would struggle to look good on paper compared to the other applicants." Giving bad advice and then moving the goalposts saps your credibility with people reading what you write. It's a bad look. Look, I don't want to beat a dead horse, but I'm not really responding to harveyspecter993. I'm talking to 3Ls and graduates without articling positions. Don't stop applying to posted positions. Those are more competitive, sure. But those are also the people that are hiring, which means that there is the possibility they will hire you. Most lawyers you are cold emailing and calling are not hiring right now. I didn't keep stats. But I contacted a bunch of lawyers when I was looking for an articling position, and the positive response rate is really low. Like much lower than for posted positions. That's not to say you shouldn't be reaching out. You should, because it's not that time-consuming and something might come of it (directly or indirectly -- I had lawyers pass on my information to others who were hiring). And if it works out, great. But you should keep applying to the people who you know are hiring, too.
  4. I agree with Deadpool -- a scattershot approach isn't effective at this point. Limiting your applications probably feels counterintuitive now. But it's what you should do. Specialize. In crafting cold emails and cover letters, be smart. Look at your experience. Look at your prospective employers. What do you have to offer them? Have you interviewed clients? All lawyers do that. Having an articling student who can get basic information out of clients without infringing on the human rights code is good. Have you done research? Articling students must research. Highlight what you've done there. Did you do any drafting? Did you provide legal information? As others have said, demonstrable interest is important now. You'll be hard-pressed to convince employers that they should hire you for your talent alone (not that you aren't talented, but without good grades or remarkable extracurricular achievements, you can't really show that off in an application). Commitment and passion has value. Your interest suggests that you'll engage seriously with your work -- that you care, and will be motivated as a result. Do some soul searching here. You need a concise, clearly articulated reason here. Disingenuous or generic reasons (e.g., I just love social justice and can't get enough of it, hire me now!) will probably ring false to someone actually practicing in that area all day, everyday. Don't be that person. Think about what you might enjoy doing based upon what you've done. Do you want to go to Court / were there oral advocacy experiences you enjoyed? Do you want to serve specific types of clients? Do you like advising, dealing with complexity [insert examples of positives about solicitor work -- I can't think of them because I'm not interested in this stuff]. What cases/legal issues are you interested in? Show that you (a) have some experience, which will allow you to do some basic things without extensive training and (b) like what they do and want to do it. Good luck.
  5. I got a publicly posted articling position with below average grades. And I had other offers, also from publicly posted positions.
  6. Where I'm at, salaried criminal defence positions are the exception, not the norm. And I can't say there's a lot of publicly available data on the economic realities of being a relatively new call making a run at it in criminal defence. I'm hoping that this thread is doing some of the work of illuminating that for people. Maybe someone who's trying to choose between, say, uvic and Osgoode will read this thread and strongly weigh the consequences of a high debt load against their future earnings in making their decision. And for my part, yeah, I borrowed too much for law school. But hindsight is 20/20 on that. I went in thinking I wanted some fancy civil litigation or labour law job. I didn't know that once I started doing clinical work and other volunteering activities, I'd want to do some of the lowest paying work in the legal profession.
  7. Staaaaahp. This argument has been had way too many times.
  8. But on the plus side, by that time the de-aging technology will be ready, and the four hour adaptation of the book, I Heard You Put Liens on Houses by hellosir80, will properly depict how DiCaprio and Hardy's characters sacrificed the love and trust of Anna Paquin so that they could kill it and impress their superiors.
  9. Life isn't an award show. When you're 83, hemorrhaging internally, and about to kick the bucket, they don't add up a scorecard at the hospital, and declare you the dual winner of Smartest Graduate of Biology 104 and Mommy's Bestest Kid. Your problem isn't that you won't be sufficiently successful as a lawyer. Your problem is that you're seeking a standard of external validation that can't be met, and even if it were, won't bring you happiness and fulfillment. If you want to waste the few decades you have on this planet, trying to fill up a mantle with enough awards to fill a nagging need for approval, that's your choice. But why? Pick something you think seems interesting. Work hard at it. Find an aspect that does fulfill you and be motivated by the work, not by some quest for approbation. In any case, good luck.
  10. It's a regulated market. As mentioned above, you would be bound by the governing legislation and the law society's regulations/rules of professional conduct. Licensees can be disciplined by the law society for non-compliance with the rules. Among others, the rules state that a lawyer shall not withdraw from representation of a client except for good cause and on reasonable notice to the client. There are specific provisions, but one you're retained, withdrawing for inconvenience and being needed on short notice are not likely to satisfy the good cause or reasonable notice requirements.* Your image of legal practice doesn't accord with my still limited experience. Managing client expectations and dealing with unreasonable demands are just part of private practice. *Epeeist-style disclaimer: none of this should be construed as legal advice, etc, etc.
  11. I'm not sure that this forum can completely answer this question for you, but if you look around, there are already many similar discussions. E.g.,:
  12. This isn't true, though. Lots of people have meaningful careers without law degrees or HBAs. I really urge people to think about taking some time off after undergrad. Work some entry level jobs. Maybe save and travel. Get some experience and approach what you're going with an open mind. Professional schools will still be there to take your money. But there's lots of interesting work out there. I have friends who are happily working away at things I'd never heard of before, many of which don't require post-graduate education. I don't know if you have to be passionate about law before you go to law school (it's hard to be passionate about something you've never done before). But, I wouldn't go just because you can't think of anything else. Especially if you haven't really tried much else, yet.
  13. Everyone should consider the financial impact of law school. Everyone. Repaying U of T or Osgoode tuition can be doable with a good paying job. But, OP should be absolutely certain that they want one of those good paying jobs before they drop $35,000.00+ per year on tuition. Because if someone discovers that they have a passion for criminal defence, immigration, family, human rights, or other retail practices during law school, barring a parental bailout, that debt is going to be a real barrier to doing the work they want to do. And yeah, maybe U of T makes you more employable across the Board. But it doesn't necessarily raise the payscale for its graduates taking jobs outside a narrow set of sophisticated, mostly institutional law firms. Debt can impact your happiness, your mental health, and your personal life. Think carefully about how much of it you want, and the tradeoffs involved in making monthly payments after you graduate.
  14. Only name your dogs after precedent-setting English Lords. When using public transit, place a casebook on top of your leather messenger bag, so the common folk know how important you are. Have your intimate partners refer to you as "counsel," or, if you're (i) in a jurisdiction that recognizes the designation and (ii) of the appropriate sexual orientation, "queen's counsel." Whisper "I rest my case" whenever you climax.
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