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realpseudonym last won the day on April 5

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  1. IMO, good lecture questions are genuine questions. As in, queries for additional information to resolve a misunderstanding or clarify confusion. Most other "questions" should be saved for small groups/seminars, office hours, or out-of-class discussion with peers.* *I will note that I did not adhere to this rule during law school. But do as I say, not as I do
  2. I don't think there's a quick fix. Reading case law requires a new set of skills, and it takes time and practice to learn those skills. You're learning legal reasoning, which is a very plodding, deliberate mode of analysis that normal people don't do. So you're retraining your brain, and that takes time. You're learning new doctrines. Every decision is built upon a mountain of precedent -- on decades (or centuries) of rules and norms, many of which conflict, and most of which you're unfamiliar with. Familiarizing yourself is gonna take time. I guess there are some tricks to briefing cases that can be taught in some sort of tutorial. But really, the valuable part of law school (and really most education) is learning through doing, because that's how you accumulate skills and knowledge. In first semester of first year, that means pushing through your readings (and then doing practice exams before you write midterms/failsafes/whatever you have in December at your school). You're gonna feel stupid for a while. Which is fine. If you aren't feeling stupid, that's probably worse. In that case, you're probably just oblivious to how much you don't know. I'd urge 1Ls to do as many readings as you can during 1L. At some point, lots of you will want to stop doing the readings and just rely on CANs / classnotes. And there's nothing wrong with using CANs as study aids. But I think doing a lot of the readings in your first year will build up your legal analytical abilities in a way that'll benefit you beyond exams and law school. That's what I've found, anyway. I also think that it's important, as future lawyers, to start getting yourselves in the mindset of doing what's hard. Especially when you start practice (which is still more-or-less where I'm at), there are times when you'll be tempted to shy away from issues or evidence, because something seems new, and you're tired, and you don't want to seem like an idiot, and it's overwhelming, and hey, you're good on your feet, you'll figure it out if it comes up. But being a fearless advocate for your client means doing the hard work -- tackling the bad facts or tough issues head on, even when you haven't gotten a substantive introduction into how to do something. To do that, you've gotta engage in a process of continuous learning. You've gotta push past the comfortable into new areas of law, scientific evidence, or whatever else you need to represent your client. 1L, where no one's going to jail or paying costs awards, is a great time to start getting into that mindset. Anyway, those are some ramblings. For whatever they're worth.
  3. Lol. The logic games are a little irritating. But insofar as they’re kinda like making a seating chart for a formal dinner, I’d say they’re closer to event planning than cultural genocide.
  4. This is pure conjectural nonsense. If you talk to the kinds of people who would know this stuff, incompetence of counsel tends to arise most frequently, where practitioners have very high caseloads or where established practitioners dabble outside their area of focus. In the first instance, errors tend to arise from lawyers spending inadequate amounts of time on each individual file due to their overall volume. In the second, errors do arise from inexperience from a lack of knowledge around the nuances of the relevant procedure and subject matter. But that doesn't necessarily track with the lawyers being too junior. Those are often lawyers who are spread too thin in other areas, who are reckless with regards to their own shortcomings, and who shouldn't branching out until they can spend the time learning the law and finding appropriate mentorship. I thought your original comment was helpful, insofar as it outlined the stakes and potential perils of starting a solo practice. I think that this quoted post has no place on a forum where facts and truth are at all important in the provision of advice. Basically, it seems like you were motivated to post this comment as part of defence on your own posting history, and in doing so, you made what I believe to inaccurate and misleading commentary about the state of the legal profession, which was also degrading to the many recent calls striving to provide responsible and high-quality legal services in practice areas where small and solo practices are the norm.
  5. Like when I tell myself that my robes don't need dry-cleaning -- that what I'm smelling is the stench of Court experience, and is a warning to opposing counsel that I am not to be trifled with.
  6. Just in terms of your search. I kinda had six things I was looking for when I was trying to find articles. Namely: Something in criminal law; Mentorship -- someone who would have time to explain things to me, who I'd learn by watching, and who I felt comfortable with; Carriage of some files under my principal's supervision; Something that's helping people in vulnerable populations enough that it satisfied my neurotic left-wing values; A salary that was high enough that I wouldn't need to take on more debt during articling; and, A position where I'd get the chance to get on my feet regularly before courts or tribunals. I ultimately couldn't find all of them. I got 5/6 and had a great articling experience. But it wasn't criminal. That was the compromise I made. About mentorship, I think Mal is right. It's important. It's also hard to tell ahead of time whether someone will be a good mentor. I guess you could go by reputation -- ask around and see if other people have had good experiences with a particular lawyer. For me, it's more about feel. If I talk to them and feel comfortable, like them, align on certain values, that's usually my best guess about whether someone will be a good mentor. IDK if that helps, but there it is anyway.
  7. I think unless you're planning on having a white collar regulatory practice, most litigation where you're working at a retail-level, with individual clients would be more helpful for crim than biglaw. The day-to-day of criminal is so vastly different than commercial litigation or whatever else large full-service firms do. If you're looking to do something else first and then break into crim, I'd take the client and practice management skills that you'd get in family or employment litigation over biglaw experience.
  8. I mean, welcome to the club. I just googled "where are the maldives" during a client call that was pretty Maldives-oriented. Also sounds like there could be an expectations management issue. Not a lot of clinic work needs to be done on the spot, it just feels that way sometimes. I mean, some clinics like NLS sound like a bit of a zoo. But really, most client issues can either wait until you have a chance to look something up or ask a colleague, or it's so late that you can't do much anyway (I have a hearing this afternoon that I've known about for five months and really need representation!). So if you need time to look into something, say that you'll look into it and get back to them. And then look into it and get back to them in a reasonable time. Other than that, I don't know. I mean, you have to specialize more. Unless you're going to hang a shingle in Parry Sound or something, you're probably not going to have a general practice. Start picking a specific area of law. Read the law in that area. Keep up with it, if new cases are coming out. Reach out to other lawyers in that area. Express interest. If there are associations/list-servs, join those.
  9. Take a look! https://dalonline.dal.ca/PROD/fysktime.P_DisplaySchedule?s_term=202030&s_subj=LAWS&s_district=All
  10. I found practice exams helpful. Not because they were like the actual exam questions. They weren't. But doing the questions gave me practice flipping through the materials and finding things, which helped me with timing and understanding the structure of the materials. It's hard to say for sure, but I'm not sure I would've passed both exams on my first try if I hadn't had some practice questions. To each their own, but I wouldn't endorse this advice for everyone.
  11. In other articles, the references to arrests rather than charges were attributed to Duraiappah as a direct quote, rather than the reporter's synopsis. E.g.: So it sounds like Darnell Reid was arrested and then released without charge on four separate occasions. Which matters. Absent other information, I'd assume that in a case like this, an arrest without charge probably means that the key witness (the complainant) didn't cooperate with police in providing evidence against Reid. So all they have is the fact of the arrests. And as Diplock says, an arrest without charge means that the police have fuck all. And if there wasn't admissible evidence that the accused was breaching terms of his release by contacting the victim, the JP or judge probably didn't have much basis to find that he was a danger to Ms. Henderson-Bellman. In which case, the decision to release him with electronic monitoring and other conditions wasn't unreasonable. In my mind, Duraiappah's characterization of this murder as an "unacceptable failure" of the justice system is inaccurate. It wasn't a failure -- absent proof that the judicial officer ignored or misconstrued evidence, no one failed to accomplish their prescribed roles. Rather, they acted within the limits of their legal authority. The judicial officer in question was limited by constitutional constraints, like the presumption of innocence, proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and the right to reasonable bail, which acted together to prevent the detention of Reid on suspicions that he was dangerous to the victim, without corroborating evidence. It's sad that more wasn't done to protect the victim here. But really, what were the alternatives? Forcing her to provide evidence so that he could be charged and detained? Detaining him without evidence of risk in contravention his Charter rights? Detaining everyone accused of a serious violent crime until trial? The Peel Police position, as reported, isn't a coherent or charter-compliant argument for bail reform. It's just outrage, and it's annoying to read outrage reported as if it were expert opinion or fact in so many media stories.
  12. I agree that asking for reference letters is kind of annoying at the application stage. I think references should be requested at the interview, when the potential employer is more seriously considering each candidate.
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