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Posts posted by realpseudonym

  1. 1 hour ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

    Also, can something be prestigious if nobody knows about it? Feels like a “if a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it...” situation. 

    We had a meeting and decided that because Dal is so well-known, it must remain a total secret. 

    • Haha 2

  2. On 5/18/2019 at 12:51 AM, Iyaiaey said:

    I think the fair summation of the thread would be that there is a stigma, it is disadvantageous to go to a foreign law school to practice in Canada, it is not fairly deserved and it is not very rational but the legal employers in Canada do not care.  They prefer Canadian grads heavily, so it is best to only go abroad if you really cannot get in anywhere in Canada or you intend to practice there.

    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. 

    • Like 2

  3. 14 hours ago, capitalttruth said:

    I have a keen interest in federalism, specifically comparative federalism - did my MA thesis on constitutional courts in the EU (EU law vs Member State law, specifically Germany and France) so I enjoyed reading about federalism during my research.

    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?

    • Like 1

  4. 3 hours ago, rayray said:

    I guess it depends where your foreign degree is from too. I just completed the NCA's and went to school in the UK, none of the subjects were really that dissimilar. 

    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. 

  5. 1 hour ago, Iyaiaey said:

    There are fluff courses, you are ducking all the questions on what a fluff major is, please do, tell me, if it isn't medieval history, or 13th century russian literature, or communications, tell me what they are. Because if no one can identify them, you should just come out and say you don't think there are any fluff courses.

    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. 

  6. 9 hours ago, Iyaiaey said:

    find a school that has a 65% cut off like Trent gender studies and you'll be set.

    41 minutes ago, Iyaiaey said:


    33 minutes ago, Iyaiaey said:

    a school like Trent

    My parents went to Trent and wanted me to go Trent. This is still the most anyone has ever talked about Trent. 

    • Haha 2

  7. 1 hour ago, Hegdis said:

    don’t judge or advise them

    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.

    • Like 5

  8. 5 hours ago, harveyspecter993 said:

    So why does everyone on here say that all schools are equal and you can get a great education at any one?

    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. 

  9. 2 hours ago, Ss13 said:

    I don’t agree with you. A 3.7 GPA from UBC or U of T says a lot more than a 3.7 GPA from a community college or a lower ranked school like Carleton. I think where you went to school and what grades you were able to get in that school speak a lot about what kind of student you are. 

    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. 

  10. 3 hours ago, harveyspecter993 said:

    As a law student, how should I address senior associates and partners at a law firm in an email? By first name or last? For context I'm not cold calling. We have had at least one meeting and I was asked to send an email on a given matter. I am not a summer student at the firm in question. Thank you.

    I usually start with Mr. _____ / Ms. _____. They often respond by signing-off with their first name. Then I use their first name. 

    • Like 4

  11. 2 hours ago, thegoodlaw said:

    I'm just repeating myself now, but you have now repeatedly failed to grasp the point I'm making so I'll make it one more time. The data within a cell phone is not a good in the ordinary sense that is capable of search and seizure in the ordinary sense.

    Unfortunately, the BCPC disagrees with you on this: 


    [201]     For the reasons stated above, I find that data is a “good” within the meaning of s. 99(1)(a) of the Customs Act.  I also find that s. 99(1)(a) of the Customs Act authorizes searches of data on electronic devices, and does not violate s. 8 of the Charter.

     R. v. Gibson, 2017 BCPC 237 (CanLII), para 201


    • Like 2

  12. Quote

    [96]        I also conclude that the data imported on an electronic device, according to the relevant provisions of the Customs Act legislation and the evidence I have heard, is restricted to data that is stored on the electronic device at the time it is being imported.  When the electronic device is being searched by the Customs officer, in order to comply with the Customs Act, it should be placed in a mode that does not permit it to access the internet.  For greater certainty, that means that data stored on the cloud, on remote networks, or remotely on other devices not in the possession of the traveller at the time they are crossing the border, and not stored on the device(s) in their possession at the time they cross the border, is not searchable at the instance by the BSO.  Data stored remotely is not a good being imported by the traveller at the time they present themselves to the BSO pursuant to s. 12(1) of the Act, nor is it a good that has been imported pursuant to s. 99(1)(a).  However, hard drives, USB sticks and other data storage devices in the actual possession of the traveller or in their possession in their accompanying baggage at the time they present themselves at the Customs office is a good, and subject to inspection.

    R. v. Gibson, 2017 BCPC 237 (CanLII) at para 96, 


  13. Ottawa tables legislation to create independent oversight for CBSA


    According to the government, the proposed law would create a framework for the handling of serious incidents involving CBSA personnel, including giving the commission the responsibility to track, and publicly report, on serious incidents, such as deaths, serious injury and crimes involving the CBSA.

    Currently public complaints about the conduct and service of CBSA officers are handled internally — without a mechanism to obtain independent review.

    The government says in a backgrounder to Bill C-98 that in receiving and investigating complaints from the public concerning the CBSA’s service and conduct, the commission would be empowered to refer complaints to the CBSA for initial investigation.

    “If an individual were not satisfied with the CBSA’s handling of a complaint, they could ask the PCRC to review it,” the government’s backgrounder says. “At the conclusion of a PCRC investigation, the review body would be able to report on its findings and make recommendations as it sees fit. The president of the CBSA would be required to respond, in writing, to the PCRC’s findings and recommendations.”


    • Thanks 1

  14. 17 minutes ago, epeeist said:

    To use a very rough analogy, I think Saudi Arabia's treatment of women, LGBT people, those of different religions, non-citizens, etc. is abominable. But if you travel there, don't have documents indicating your orientation or a Bible or other non-Muslim religious document on your phone or laptop, because if you do and they find it, you'll be in serious trouble. Either don't travel there, or if you must, take steps to protect yourself.

    I totally get the point you're making here. But analogizing CBSA's policy on phone searches to Saudi Arabia's treatment of everyone who isn't a Muslim, Saudi man somehow doesn't do it for me. 

  15. 32 minutes ago, Iyaiaey said:

    I never understood the general hostility to such questions on this board.

    Maybe it just means that I'm a generally hostile asshole, but I wouldn't characterize the responses here as generally hostile. I mean, I suppose at some points, friendlier adjectives could've been used. But fundamentally, I think that these supposedly hostile posts were pointing out a key flaw in the premise of the question: that compensation level strongly correlates to area of law, outside of corporate and tax law.

    Setting aside whether the question is flawed, I think that if posters sincerely believe that answering a question, as asked, would elicit misleading answers, then it's appropriate to point out the flaw in the question and to provide alternative answers. In fact, it's really the responsible way to give advice. I'll stop, because I know I'm just getting into critiques of critiques of the original question, but I don't share the belief that these responses were somehow inappropriately rude or argumentative.

  16. 1 hour ago, Stark said:

    I'm too lazy to look it up right now, but don't we have some high level decisions that state that the CBSA's powers in relation to this are constitutional?  I feel like this has come up before where people were outraged when they learned their phones could be searched and it was ruled okay because of the virtue of their job and the importance of protecting the borders.  Their Act truly gives them some amazing powers. 

    Fearon is still the leading case from the SCC on privacy and cell phones at the border. They found that search of the cell phone breached Fearon's section 8 rights, but upheld the trial judge's finding that the particular breach was not that grave, and that therefore the evidence should not be excluded under section 24 (2). 

    I personally think that the Nick Wright example above is distinguishable from Fearon. The disregard for the assertion of solicitor-client privilege, the arguable lack of reasonable and probable grounds, and society's interest in upholding SC privilege should all militate towards a more serious breach and towards a remedy under section 24(2). 

    • Like 1

  17. 3 hours ago, Hegdis said:


    Curious how our frequent border crossers deal with this. Do you just cross your fingers that it won’t happen to you?

    I've heard, anecdotally, of a lawyer who disconnects from his email and removes all client information from his devices, when he crosses the border. He takes the other files he needs on a portable drive (which I suppose they could search, but maybe don't think of?). 

    That sounds like an awful lot of work to do regularly. 

  18. 3 hours ago, Euroguy18 said:

    Perhaps this is a silly question, but what exactly do you mean by ‘cash clients’? I’ve never heard of that term before. 

    Could a transactional real estate practice fit the bill for an area that attracts such clients? What practice areas tend to attract cash clients more than others? 

    Cash clients are those that provide payment for their lawyer's services. Conversely, legal aid clients are those that qualify for legal aid certificates, in which case legal aid pays the lawyer directly, rather than the clients. 

    In Ontario, LAO certificates cover some criminal cases and family files. Up until very recently, LAO also issued certificates for certain immigration and refugee cases, but has now limited that to a very small number of refugee matters (the preparation of the basis of claim form).

    Other than pro bono work, I would consider everything that's not legal aid to be a cash client (I suppose you could distinguish contingency fee agreements, proceeds from the sale of the matrimonial home, etc., but I still think of them as a private or cash client). 

    • Like 2

  19. All of these threads provide a very similar answers to what posters are saying here.

    There are a lot of variables that impact a lawyer's takehome pay, and area of practice isn't a determinative factor.  Other factors, like experience, location, reputation, competence, client income, billing arrangements, hourly rate, fixed costs, and efficiency all influence lawyers' level of compensation. Some areas of law have more of these line up, like corporate or tax. But is it really the area of law that determines the level of compensation?

    You could also ask which kind of restaurant makes the most money: Italian, Japanese, French, or Mexican? Bob Chinn's Crab House in Wheeling, Illinois supposedly made $24 million in 2012, but I don't think that's because seafood is inherently lucrative. It probably had to do with a bunch of other things. The same is true here. 

    • Like 1

  20. 51 minutes ago, RollMaster said:

    I didn’t say join the club and be a 1L rep because employers will like it. I said being that rep is better than not being involved whatsoever, because at least it’s something to put on the CV and it shows interest in that practice area. I also said join clubs based on interest in my very first response to the OP. I never suggested to join solely to impress employers. 

    Yeah, but I'm guessing that Diplock was referring to this paragraph, or something like it: 

    21 hours ago, RollMaster said:

    I get your point. I just fundamentally disagree. I think something is better than nothing. No matter how small that advantage is, an advantage is an advantage. As it is, the labour market for lawyers and law students is tight as shit, so I personally think that if something gives you even the slightest of edges, you should do it. 

    I'll add the same caveat: you're free to do as you like. And maybe you were just making a point to harveyspecter993, rather than describing your actual philosophy. But I'll say this. The bolded text represents an unhealthy attitude towards choosing extracurriculars and the job market. It represents the tendency of law students to work themselves into a frenzy over every decision, to live and die with every OCI, and to talk in hysterical, hushed tones before and after every exam.

    I have peers like this. I'm not exaggerating when I say that they look they're aging in dog years. They've gained weight because they've stopped eating properly and exercising. They're working too much. They've taken jobs that seem to have little interest in. And it seems like they do a lot of these things, because they keep telling each other horror stories about the labour market, about not getting a 2L summer job, and so on. 

    Sure, by its nature, this is kind of a stressful profession. And granted, I don't know very much about it, because I've barely started. But I swear to god, there are healthier ways to do it, and none of those ways start with the mindset, "if something gives you even the slightest of edges, you should do it." It starts with Diplock's advice. Try new things, until you find stuff you actually like. When you find things you like, do those things more and do them well. For me, at least, those have been the things that have given me actual advantages so far. 

    • Like 4
    • Thanks 1

  21. 9 hours ago, Aschenbach said:

    Unless they paying your bills, pay them bitches no mind.

    [20]      For the foregoing reasons, the Respondent submits that the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.

    Order Sought

    [21]      The Respondent requests that the application of them bitches be dismissed, and that this honourable Court pay them no mind. 

    All of which is respectfully submitted. 

    Taylor P. Swift
    Swift Fake Legal Strategies LLP
    181 University Ave, Suite 12000
    Toronto, ON  M5H 3M7
    Solicitor for the Respondent

    • Like 3
    • Haha 5

  22. I did both in law school. I preferred taking handwritten notes.

    Taking notes by computer usually meant that I had a lot more information in my notes. It also meant that I had a lot of information I didn't need. 

    I'm disorganized. So I found that the main disadvantage of handwritten notes was that I needed to work at keeping my notes together and in order.

    Otherwise, I found that I was less distracted and more engaged with the material when I was writing, rather than typing. 

    I think that the exam software at Dal was available for ipad. I seem to remember most people using laptops, but admittedly, I wasn't really paying attention right before an exam. 

    • Like 1
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