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Everything posted by realpseudonym

  1. I blame Ford. I blame her. I blame chief of staff, Michael Wilson. I blame Joseph Hillier. I blame everyone who works at the AGO, who, rather than trying to modernize the administration of justice in Ontario, managed to erode justice for the most vulnerable, while realizing an absolutely minuscule amount of savings.
  2. I use coffees mostly as informational interviews. I ask lawyers for coffee when I'm interested in their practice, and want to ask them questions about it. If they agree, then yes, sometimes in the course of conversation, we develop a rapport. That might lead us to keep in touch. And who knows. Maybe that will provide me with some nebulous benefit down the line. However, that's a side benefit of the main purpose -- learning about their practice. I agree that a face-to-face meeting can create a positive impression. I just don't expect a lawyer (partner or associate) to fall in love and tie the knot after our first date -- merely allowing someone to buy me coffee will likely not accord me preferential treatment in a future hiring process. Maybe it does for other people. But if you're going into those meetings with the expectation that it's going to directly get you a job, you're probably going to be disappointed.
  3. If you can convince someone to become your powerful advocate on the inside by chatting over a cup of coffee, then I must insist you share your secrets.
  4. The rumblings are that even after today's announcement, it should still be around next winter. Where and in what form? I have no idea. Hopefully Osgoode will pitch in more than they've offered so far. Sign the student petition / alumni, if you haven't already.
  5. So was my cousin’s first partner. Funny how beliefs change when it’s time to divide the matrimonial assets.
  6. I eagerly await the day that a poster named @NeverGiveUp informs someone that it is impossible, and urges them to give up.
  7. Yeah, my experience was that small firms and soles were hiring in March 2018, not June 2017, for a June 2018 start date. It's not a bad idea to start reaching out. But you'll probably be doing informational interviews, rather than job interviews right now. The reality is that these practices can't project across an entire fiscal year.
  8. I work in Ontario and attended Dal. No Ontario lawyer asked why I went to Dal over an Ontario law school.
  9. And if an employer did, then the candidate from Western dodged a bullet.
  10. The registrar at Dalhousie and Assistant Dean at Dal both told me it's an undergrad degree. I don't know about ways and shapes, but it is formally an undergrad. The fact that it has pre-requisites, has relatively high admissions standards, and allows us to practice law does not make it the equivalent of a PhD (the equivalent to a PhD in law is a PhD in law). Honest to god, who cares what we call it. A JD fulfills the educational requirement of your licensing application, teaches you legal reasoning, and teaches you some substantive law. Isn't that enough? Schools haven't revised the academic calendar just to help law students stroke their egos to completion.
  11. We had a meeting and decided that because Dal is so well-known, it must remain a total secret.
  12. I try not to think of the employment market in terms of what is "fairly deserved." The hiring process is not a valuation of each candidate's subjective worth. Except where a specific constitutional, legislative, or equitable duty arises (for example, the human rights code), prospective employers don't need to look beyond each candidate's credentials. They aren't obliged to consider whether perceived weaknesses arose from special circumstances, rather than the candidate's ability. Also, it isn't on the employer to prove that the candidate is unqualified -- it's on the candidate to prove that they are qualified. Remember how people called Brett Kavanaugh entitled when he railed about how democrats were trying to take away a Supreme Court seat from him? Well, that's how jobseekers sound when they talk about what they deserve. You don't get the job you deserve. You get a job by showing employers that you're the kind of person that they want to hire.* Here's the reason this matters. You need to article to get called. That means you need to convince someone to spend time and money training you. Lawyers will generally only do so, if they think you have the basic skills and knowledge to make the articling relationship somewhat worthwhile. Could foreign grads be just as good as their Canadian counterparts? Sure. But where uncertainty exists, so does risk. And as @barelylegalpoints out, unfamiliarity with UK schools creates uncertainty. It's therefore risky. You've written that you find accounting for the risk to be unfair. Maybe so. But the fact is, the candidate doesn't put their money and licence at risk, by assuming the supervisory obligations of an articling principal. The employer does. That entitles them to set relevant hiring criteria. The resulting standards may not seem fair. But questioning the criteria won't get you the jobs you want. Convincing employers that you meet their criteria will. Going to a Canadian school isn't the only way to do so. But it's a big one. One last thing. Lest anyone think I'm calloused to the plight of the uncompetitive candidate, my law school grades were pretty bad. By third year, I'd done enough clinical work to know that I could meet the standard for competency. I've also done pretty well in articling. So I'm pretty sure I'll be a decent lawyer. But in getting there, I'm not going to bemoan employers' focus on good grades. Complaining that Henein-Hutchison or Greenspan Humphrey Weinstein won't hire me is unproductive and takes away from where my focus should be: getting good at the practice of law. *This does not excuse employers from abiding by their human rights obligations. I'm also not saying that systemic factors, like race aren't real barriers to employment.
  13. Not at all a subject expert, but maritime law involves some constitutional issues. Navigation and shipping raises section 91(10) questions and there could be interesting questions over marine pollution post-Zellerbach (especially if the government ever succeeds getting Alberta oil onto BC tankers). I think that there's also some constitutional cases under the various licensing regimes (e.g., R v Fitzpatrick isn't maritime law, but it involved boats, so close enough for me). There are also conflict of laws and jurisdictional issues that you might be interested in, based upon your quoted post. Dal had some of these courses, but I don't know whether they'd be available at Ontario schools?
  14. I don't see how this could be true. Britain doesn't have a codified constitution, doesn't have a charter of rights and freedoms, and has common law offences. I take NYC's point about learning in practice rather than law school. And I assume that you learn similar statutory interpretation techniques and other stuff that transfers easily to our common law system. But I gotta say. Some subjects do seem pretty dissimilar.
  15. Difficulty isn’t necessarily the result of subject matter alone. Even if thirteenth century Russian literature is objectively easy to understand (and I don’t think that’s true), then grading standards, course requirements, evaluation design, the strength of your classmates, and the curve all still influence the likelihood of achieving a high grade. Courses can be difficult, even in a relatively straightforward field. In fact, I think law would arguably be a fluff degree, if you were just looking at the subject matter. Compared to a field like foreign policy, where outcomes result from a complex interplay between historical trajectories, national identity, macroeconomic conditions, domestic politics, individual leadership, etc, analyzing legislation and jurisprudence is relatively simple. Law school isn’t actually easy (although it’s certainly not the most difficult discipline) because you’re competing against relatively capable and motivated peers, in tightly controlled testing conditions. Which is largely why most law schools don’t weigh stats against degree difficulty — measuring degree difficulty isn’t nearly as straightforward as you suggest. You would need to make a lot of assumptions that aren’t born out by empirical data available to adcoms (like that the students at Trent underperform their competition at other schools, that the marking is lax, that the subject matter isn’t complex, etc). Anyway, I don’t know why were arguing about relative degree difficulty again, but those are my two cents.
  16. My parents went to Trent and wanted me to go Trent. This is still the most anyone has ever talked about Trent.
  17. I know OP has said he or she is leaving the site, but yes please. I get that family and friends are well-meaning, but I do not want to hear every cousin-in-law's suggestions for where I should be applying. I do not want to be talked into working at a wills and estates practice in Mississauga. And if someone asks me what area of law I'm interested in, I guess that person is entitled to opine that Marie Henein is a monster for representing Jian Ghomeshi, but I'll probably be moving to another sofa shortly thereafter. I would've thought that these things seem obvious. By contrast, I can't imagine weighing in on whether a medical resident should specialize in nephrology or internal medicine, because I don't know anything about the job market, the job requirements, or the jobs themselves. Other people seem to feel no such reservations when it comes to my legal career.
  18. Two things are true: (1) not all schools are equal and (2) there's no established tier system, like there is in the US. A lot of the pushback I've read (and written, probably) pertains to the latter. By that, I mean that Canadian schools are relatively similar in quality, insofar as attending the University of Ottawa does not materially, adversely, and permanently effect the career prospects of its graduates. Going to Dal, rather than Osgoode or U of T didn't shut any doors for me. Had I been near the top of my class, I could've still competed for the most coveted articling positions and clerkships. The same can't be said for third-tier US law schools. Graduates of Cooley, vs those of the University of Michigan Ann Arbor Law School, have significantly worse chances of passing the bar and obtaining gainful employment. So for my part, I've never meant to convey that all Canadian schools are exactly the same and that there's no advantage to going to U of T, Osgoode, UBC, Mcgill, etc. I've meant to say that they are similar, not that they're the same -- that they're relatively close in quality and reputation, not that they're equal.
  19. Some of my smartest classmates in law school did their undergraduate degrees at schools I had never heard of. In any case, the applicant’s subjective opinion doesn’t really matter. What you’re being told is that adcoms typically don’t account for the institution name when weighing the strength of individual applicants. Maybe that’s not true at TRU (ha), but either way, personal disagreement with a policy doesn’t change that policy. Regarding your overall chances, I agree that you need an LSAT score first. Chances based on projections are guesses based upon guesses, which are fundamentally meaningless.
  20. I usually start with Mr. _____ / Ms. _____. They often respond by signing-off with their first name. Then I use their first name.
  21. I agree. Edit: although, somewhat worryingly, it was cited with approval by the SKCA.
  22. Unfortunately, the BCPC disagrees with you on this:
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