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Posts posted by realpseudonym

  1. 13 minutes ago, Diplock said:

    Am I a dick for just really not caring if immensely privileged people have trouble dealing with the first real failure they've ever experienced? 

    No. You're not. On a scale of general suffering, coming up empty in the 2L recruit is a disappointment, not a catastrophe. Sure, where there's sadness, there should be empathy. But there's no need to lay it on too thick. They survived a slate of interviews and dinners, not Rwanda 1994.

    I guess this does come off as insensitive, but it's not meant to. I'm not saying that striking out wouldn't be difficult. I'm just saying that my empathy is proportional to the level of suffering that's objectively reasonable here, and so I can't care about this the same way I would about the truly traumatic things that happen to people out in the world. So yeah, you 2Ls should take care of yourselves out there. But try and keep things in context. There's no advantage to treating a set-back like a tragedy. 

  2. I know that this isn't on topic, except that it is. If you want to alleviate stress, have the provincial government cap tuition fees. The most stressful part of this profession so far has been debt. If I was a U of T student paying $38,000.00 per year in tuition, that's why I'm stressed about getting one of these jobs -- I actually need the money. Tinkering around with the timing of the hiring process might've made a marginal difference. Reducing the cost of education would've made a big difference to my wellbeing and my life. And I don't care how schools justify the cost of education. Law school is getting too expensive now. 

    • Like 3

  3. 2 hours ago, Uriel said:

    Why punt the bar to after articles? It's educational and provides a learning opportunity for upcoming articling or LPP students.

    To prevent students from having to prepare for final exams, OCIs and the Bar all at the same time.

    My problem with this is that it's going to delay people getting called. If someone has a bad test day now, they can rewrite during articles and then get called on schedule. There's no missed employment opportunities. And in all likelihood, no one even needs to know that they failed. But if the first write is after articling, a fail means waiting to rewrite, waiting for results, and waiting until the next call ceremony before they can practice. Without knowing when they'll be able to practice, they're stuck in limbo for that time period. That sucks, and it's also inconvenient. It means they're either going to need other employment, or will end up claiming EI (if they're even eligible). 

    • Like 1

  4. 1 hour ago, FineCanadianFXs said:

    The idea you have that it is "not relevant" that other people who struggle with interviews, and that this does not have an effect on how easy one process is versus another is, frankly, humourous. Think. If one finds it difficult and stressful to interview, surely that will have an effect if a particular process emphasizes interviews, and many of them, in a very brief period of time. Are you certain that those with interview-anxiety won't have it easier outside the OCI recruitment process?

    Bouncing off of this, I'll say a few things, which hopefully help a little? And I'll note that I'm not really talking about the process that people just went through. I didn't do OCIs. I don't know much about OCIs. I'm not commenting directly on OCIs. I'm talking about an informal articling search. 

    I suspect that some people are freaked about the process of finding an articling position outside the recruits. And to those people, I'd say relax. It's true that if you're narrowly focused on an area of law that only gets practiced by firms hiring through OCIs (although I question whether that's really ever the case outside of maybe class actions, and even then, you can transfer in later), not getting an offer now is a set-back. But, if, like most people, you end up needing to look for a job on your own, that's really not the end of the world. 

    Here's why the world won't end.

    • Looking for a job informally isn't really all consuming. I'd spend a few hours a week writing applications for things posted online. Then I'd spend some time cold calling and meeting with lawyers. If you're devoting every waking second to it, that's probably an anxiety thing, not a necessity thing and there's treatment for that. So to the extent that people are worried that it will ruin the rest of law school, my answer is that's only true if you let it be true. 
    • Not having a job in 2L and 3L isn't that embarrassing. A lot of you will feel shame, because you walked into a competition and didn't emerge victorious. That's normal. You've wrapped yourself up in your professional success and you didn't get a badge marking you as professionally successful. This is the part where I'll risk sounding insensitive (and I'm not saying that it isn't shitty to get rejected from six firms or whatever all at once). But you'd all do well to get over this. I mean, I get it. I've been there. But unless you went into every interview, declined all questions, and read Mein Kampf aloud for an hour, there's nothing to be ashamed of here. You're not a bad person. You're not a bad lawyer. You just didn't get picked. Wallow for the time you need. But success doesn't come from dwelling on your failures indefinitely. So at some point, dust yourself off. And FWIW, I found that once I wasn't embarrassed, other people weren't embarrassed for me and it was fine.
    • I agree with FineCanadiansFXs above, about once the hiring forum changes a little, some of you will probably have a chance to showcase yourself in a way that might work better for you.
    • Also, for me, the job hunt got easier later in law school. That was mainly because lawyers hiring near or after graduation are going to be looking for demonstrated interest and some tangible skills. And by mid to end of 3L, I had those. That meant that cover letters and interviews were focused on my clinical experience etc, and how I thought I could be of service. Fit is still important. But there's a lot less emphasis on relatively artificial social norms, because by then, I had more relevant experience to talk about than any 2L could be expected to have. Which de-emphasizes questions over "first choice," dinner norms, or whatever. There's a practical lesson here too. Specifically, you should start thinking about the kind of work you want to do for the first couple of years (don't think about it as your whole career, because that's not true -- lawyers change practice areas), and then try to get some hands on experience in it.

    Anyway, those are some thoughts. 

    • Like 3
    • Thanks 1

  5. 12 minutes ago, besmackin said:

    Can we please not normalize the idea that having a family or 3 or 4 living in a 600 sq ft condo would be a desirable or even adequate solution to housing problems in Toronto/Vancouver

    Almost everyone on my floor has two or three mattresses in their living room. I think I'm the only one living in a one bedroom by myself.

    I don't know about normalizing, but it's already pretty normal. 

  6. 4 hours ago, Diplock said:

    Maybe part of the secret to my happiness and my perspective in this conversation is that I hang around with so many people who have less than I do. Although that doesn't explain my sharp divergence from KingLouis...

    Yeah, most of the people I've met since moving to Toronto are fighting tooth and nail just to stay in the rental market. The affordability of home ownership is a debate that's so far removed from my day-to-day work that, from my standpoint, we might as be lamenting the scarcity of arable, middle class farmland on Neptune. And for me, that means to the extent that any of this is housing policy-oriented, I'd much rather see government devote resources to increasing supply of space for (hopefully) affordable tenancies, and not towards supporting buyers in the residential real estate market.

    But it's not just clientele. I know lawyers who serve the same population as me. And they're still pissed that they can't buy into the housing market. For me, it's not just about your line of work. It's also an attitude thing -- I suppose I could be bitter about losing ground to my parents in terms of opportunity for real estate investment. But really, even if it was true that we're at a massive generational disadvantage, what am I supposed to do about it?

    Now, if there's one inter-generational beef I have, it's the failure to take meaningful action on climate change for the past several decades. 

    • Like 2

  7. I’ve given up on using the word. Mostly out of laziness — people get defensive, and I can’t be bothered to debate whether achievements are earned vs the product of circumstance every time I want to discuss an inequity.

    Word choice aside, to me, the “hey! we  work hard to get where we are” response is largely beside the point. Many people face barriers to realizing their personal, financial, and professional goals. They just do.

    A just, compassionate, and productive political discourse requires some acknowledgement of those barriers, so that we can determine how to properly implement legislation and resources to ensure that marginalized groups (indigenous kids are still getting sick from dirty water ffs) can fully participate in society.

    Its frustrating to listen to collective ego get in the way of meaningful conversations over and over. So if dropping the P word helps, sure I drop it. But the underlying point remains that some people face disproportionate barriers to self-actualization. And when we can’t even get past that, then we’re truly nowhere. 

    • Like 6

  8. 1 hour ago, Newfoundland said:

     At OCI everyone who OCIed with Osler got a stress ball . Like it was a bit weird to reject it I guess. Lenczner Slaght I remember when passing the name cards they had it attached on a firm marketing material and you can't just reject it sometimes without being rude when they hand it to you.   I am not saying on Day 2 I would go to a firm and say here look at the stress ball...Of course, it does not mean going out of my way saying Hey that's a nice pen can I have one.   

    If anyone offers you a stress ball again, hold on to that thing tight. 


  9. 47 minutes ago, ZappBranniganAgain said:

    No, I do not. What you are born into is meaningless. It is a way to excuse yourself for what you do. Everyone has choices in life, and those choices are determined by your circumstances, but the choices you make are up to you.

    Success and intelligence are synonymous. Even people who are in high positions that we think of as "dumb" are actually very intelligent if they have attained that position and held on to it. People who inherit something, but are dumb, will lose it. Always. But as I said, time and chance happen to all so there's nothing stopping anybody from getting hit by a bus.

    And once you said "white male" I determined I needed to sign off. All I'll say is that life is a lot more complicated than the academic, neo-marxist, ultra-liberal mentality. It feels nice to rest in the bubble, but it's a comfortable illusion. You may or may not come to this conclusion eventually.

    Have a good day.

    If you gave someone a 15 m headstart in a 100 m dash, they would obviously have an advantage. It's not the only thing -- conditioning, ability, and performance are all still factors. But denying that being born with a headstart gets you farther ahead is not a very compelling argument. And denying that people have headstarts would also be pretty stupid.  

    • Like 1

  10. On 10/29/2019 at 1:10 AM, ForensicAnthropology said:

    Yea everything's a competition now a days, basically a contest between lawyers now in court. 

    Not really, no.

    The criminal justice system involves a lot of different people. Participants include the accused, victims, family members, lay witnesses, experts, law enforcement, social workers, physicians, correctional officers,  and judges. That's just some of them. Anyone of those people could have a significant impact on the accused's circumstances or the evidence, and determine whether a case goes to diversion, results in a plea, heads to trial, etc. 

    I had a case where the arresting officer was super helpful to my client, worked to see that my client got reasonable conditions around his release, and even went so far as to both help him find space in a shelter and set him up with an addictions worker. That case resolved nicely. And then you have cases where a bunch of officers beat the crap out of a black kid in a cellblock in Scarborough, obviously resulting in the case getting tossed. There are cases where the accused's mental health, or housing, or family circumstances bear on the result. There are any  other number of factors that help determine how the case proceeds through the system. 

    Are these examples of being just basically a contest between lawyers now in court? No. They aren't, and neither are most other cases, because summarizing the entire criminal justice system as "a competition now a days" is reductive and inaccurate. And competent counsel should and do take into account a lot more than their win-loss record when advising or assessing RPC. 

    • Like 2

  11. 2 hours ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

    Failing that, at least try to keep it in your pants long enough to finish your first interview with the firm.

    Agreed. If checking your watch during an interview is an automatic disqualification, I can't imagine what happens if you take it out of your pants and finish during the interview. 

    • Haha 2

  12. 16 minutes ago, Uriel said:

    For context, those of you not yet practicing: that's what I have to do with my smaller files, too, but my caseload is probably only a third of theirs and I have the luxury of almost never being on the spot with opposing counsel in court.

    Yeah, I wasn’t casting judgment either :)

    When our receptionist tells me that so-and-so is on the phone, half the time I say “who?” because it’s someone I talked to for twenty minutes eight months ago and we didn’t get retained. Our receptionist probably thinks I’m an idiot, but luckily only she knows that I need to look up almost every name in our filing system before I can say anything useful. 

    • Like 1

  13. 5 hours ago, CrownyCrown37 said:

    This is my dream job, or so I thought. It is a job that I take a lot of pride in, and maybe I'm burning myself out trying to be too perfect. I take the responsibility that this job brings very seriously. I am wondering if anyone else felt like this when they started.

    I mean, not maybe. Definitely. Look, I'm glad to hear that prosecutors are taking their job seriously. It's a serious job, and the public, victims of crime, and accused persons all deserve Crowns who approach their work with a sense of purpose and integrity. So kudos to you on that. 

    But like, holy shit. Uncontrollable weeping? Constant dread? 18 hours a day at the Crown's office? That's no way to live. 

    I'll defer to MP, krazykanuck etc, too. And, of course, also to everyone far more senior than me. Which is absolutely everyone. But, as someone learning to manage expectations (both my own and those of others), I'm finding that I do need to make my own wellbeing a priority. I'm pretty new at my stuff too. And sometimes that means feeling like I'm staring down a bottomless well of ignorance on every file, which can only be filled with long hours of independent research and familiarizing myself with every case. 

    The reality is that I'm learning that it's okay to be disappointing sometimes. And that's fine. It doesn't mean being incompetent. It just means setting expectations, including for me. Like, when there isn't a deadline, I'll tell the client I don't have time, and I'll put off writing and filing an application for a couple of days. Sure, the client is stressed and wants it done ASAP, but sometimes I want go home at 8:30 pm instead of 10:00 pm, so that I have time to make a healthy dinner.

    Or I'll rely on someone else's memo for a certain point of law, rather than doing all my own research. The latter would probably make me more comfortable in my understanding, but in the end, the memo gives me the leading cases and that's all I end up really needing. That's worth it to me, if I get time to exercise. 

    And like others are saying, honestly, no one is perfect. And specific to Crowns, none of them are being held to a standard of perfection. Especially in the early stages of a proceeding, when I approached Crowns to ask about resolution or disclosure etc before some routine appearance, I'd say my client's name and be met with a completely blank look. I'd summarize the charges, and the Crown would rummage through a large stack of folders, find my client's, and read it (obviously, for the first time, given the facial expressions) before they could tell me anything. And even though they obviously weren't perfectly prepared, things turned out fine for them once they were on their feet before the judge. No one has time to do everything. 

    Seriously, set boundaries. Do things for yourself. Exercise. See a doctor. Eat lunch, even if you're a little less ready for the afternoon. Go home earlier. Because, while maybe you're managing to hold it together now, God help both of us if I end up doing a case in your jurisdiction three years from now and I have to deal with some dead-eyed husk of a lawyer. You won't be helping anyone at that point. 

    • Like 5

  14. 36 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

    Careful now, before you inadvertently get hit with a hefty discrimination (against disabilities) suit.

    Anyone who dares soil the great name of Pseudonym and Hat LLP with their shitty HRTO diaper claim will find themselves in deep shit. I mean, shit will hit the fan. They'll be up shit creek without a paddle. Or a job. I guess what I'm trying to say, is that they won't see jack shit from me. Because, I mean, I know that shit happens, but I was just shooting the shit over here. 

    Also, English. A breathtakingly beautiful language. 


    • Haha 1

  15. 2 hours ago, Newfoundland said:

    Do you have any ideas why within the same firm some people got more behaviour/substantive questions whereas others got more conversational (same interviewers, similar personal backgrounds for the student etc). Or did you also mean that coherency to conversation is also fine?  Thank you! 

    Some people say that an owl shape in the bottom of teacup portends sickness, while a triangle means that you should somehow expect unexpected good luck. And while trying to extract meaning from compost is good fun up to a point, I'd be a little bit concerned if I knew my future lawyer was spending too much time on the matter.

    I feel the same way about your question. You're trying to read the tea leaves. You're free to do so. But it's a waste of time. 

    • Haha 1

  16. 3 hours ago, Diplock said:

    What the hell does this even mean? It like something Donald Trump would tweet from the toilet, absent the spelling mistakes.

    People are saying that the very bad and morally corrupt firms on bay “street” are refusing to understand non disclosure agreements. So pathetic to expect the elite Toronto lawyers to play by the rules. Total scam! Make agreements non-disclosed again!

    • Like 2
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