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realpseudonym

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Everything posted by realpseudonym

  1. Yeah, I’m with Providence on this one. Your question is whether you have enough experience for your legal career. I think this is looking at your gap year the wrong way. If you get in, you’ll spend the next 5, 10, 40 years accumulating experience. Your question should be: what experiences do I want before I start my legal career? Take one year off. Take more. Do something you won’t be able to do once you accumulate debt, responsibility, children etc. I don’t regret going to law school at all, but I wish I’d done a little more before I did. I hope I’m no where near the middle of my life, but Jesus, sometimes I can already feel the midlife crisis coming.
  2. As far as I could tell, this was true for my graduating class at Dal. The top students were there everyday. They also seemed sufficiently well-prepared that they could follow along, and discuss, if needed (although not all of them frequently engaged in class discussion).
  3. Sure, I agree with this completely -- I think that most choices can be exercised in different ways. My point was mostly that for me, pursuit of my own choices does not equate to judgment of others' choices. I didn't mean to make blanket statements about other peoples' choices.
  4. From my standpoint, this is a little like being a (non-infuriating) vegetarian: I can believe in something without walking around condemning everyone else for not acting in accordance with my beliefs. I was a vegetarian, briefly. I ate meat for most of my life, stopped for about three years, and have since resumed eating (large quantities of) animal flesh. I stopped eating meat (partly) for ethical reasons. During that time, I’d like to think that I didn’t irritate other people with lectures or attempts to convert to them to a plant-based diet. I don’t really remember talking about it unless explicitly asked. If asked, “do you think eating meat is ethical,” I would probably phrase my answer the way Diplock did in this thread. Which is to say: no, there’s really very little that’s ethical about it – most people don’t eat meat because they think it’s morally right to do so, they do it because it’s delicious, convenient, nutritious (sort of), and they want to. I think pretty much the same way about my classmates going into corporate practice. From having spoken to them, they’re doing it to repay their debt faster, to increase their exit options, to maximize their earning potential, and because they want to/like drafting. And, I don’t judge any of them for doing so: just like I didn’t care when my family ate pork chops, while I feasted on lima beans and edamame, I really don’t think I judge anyone for going into corporate practice. In choosing my area of practice, I want to take my final marching orders from individual people, not corporations. There’s a lot of reasons for that, which really all boil down to: “well, this is what feels important to me, and I want to do the thing that feels important.” But again, that doesn’t mean that I’m judging other people for believing that different things are important. And, I do sometimes wish that I could articulate those principles without so many other classmates / lawyers getting defensive. Because people often ask, why do you want to practice X and not something, y’know, more lucrative. And then they proceed to respond to my answer with something implying that I dumped all over their career.
  5. @Uriel described the appeal of transactional/corporate work very coherently here, but he's so preternaturally persuasive that I'm pretty sure he could stocking shelves at Walmart sound meaningful (I have, in fact, received money to stock shelves at Walmart, although very briefly):
  6. In fairness, the Good Wife involved less shouting at witnesses, and more dramatic plot twists stemming from last minute discoveries by the investigator, which, for some reason, were allowed into evidence despite amounting to a persistent strategy of trial-by-ambush. (Edit: my-exes have told me that I'm a lot of fun to watch TV with /s)
  7. Suits isn't really about the practice of law. It's mostly just people in corporate offices exercising very odd ethical decisionmaking, and then occasionally yelling at witnesses without having anything probative to ask.
  8. I agree. If someone says that they don't want to do something, and they don't care about the thing they'd be giving up, then turning it down is not crazy. It's sane and rational. @pzabbythesecond, I think you know what's best for you, here. Do it.
  9. Then I wouldn't take a corporate law articling position.
  10. OP: I don't know whether what you've posted here is representative of how you actually approach job applications. But your approach, as stated, to applying is pretty different than mine. For example, your most recent post states that you didn't accomplish anything in your moot. That's true. But I think it misses the point a little, because your resume should not be limited to "accomplishments." Your resume is supposed to demonstrate your experience. Sure that can include accomplishments. But experience refers to a broader concept than a list of your successes. I've never hired an articling student or new associate and am not yet a lawyer. But if I were hiring, I would be looking at the following: the skills that the candidate person has (i.e., what do they already know how to do), their interests (i.e., what do they want to do, and what will they do well), and whether I will like them (which is related to the first to questions). In this thread, you seem like you're trying to address these questions with your EC choices. But in somehow the wrong way. Like, you're going: if I just pick activity A, will that open up career path B and C? Or, if I show that I'm a winner, will people hire me because they want winners? I don't know how to characterize it exactly, but it's an almost weirdly literal approach to your career. I don't really like the phrase "transferrable skills" because it's overused and I have a bit of inner hipster quality. But I think it applies here. When you're participating in clinics and your first few years of practice, you're picking up skills and knowledge that will help in multiple areas of practice. So when you're determining whether to put your moot on your resume, you should ask yourself: did I learn anything from this? Will I have anything interesting or relevant to say about it, if asked? Do I have other, stronger activities, that would better use the couple of pages I have to showcase myself as a potential hire? I'm saying this, because based upon your posts, I'm wondering whether you're going to bother persuading interviewers of this. If you answer a question with "oh, I did spend X time at a mediation clinic, but I see that pure mediation isn't listed as a practice area here, so nevermind," then you're going to have a way worse time than if you tell them about the interesting things you learned as it relates to their practice areas. I don't know if I'm just pointing out the obvious, but I hope that helps.
  11. It’s true. If only the finalists went into litigation, we’d only have a couple of dozen new litigators in Canada every year. Given the number of fitted navy suits being worn around King/Adelaide/Bay/University, I can confirm that’s not the case. I wouldn’t write-off litigation based solely on a couple of moots. If you’re curious about litigation, I agree, try a clinic where you’ll get on your feet.
  12. I agree with both the previous posts about keeping your options open, or at least waiting until you’ve actually started the clinic before shaping your career around it. Also, in terms of what areas of practice mediation applies to, I think really all litigation. Mediation is a specific form of ADR, but counsel negotiate informal resolutions for accused persons, parties in custody/access cases, commercial litigants, etc. I don’t see why the knowledge and skills you glean from your clinical experience would apply only to a very niche area like international arbitration.
  13. This is a very good post. And, as indicated by profreader's capitalization, point 4 is particularly important to academic success in law school. Your lectures and readings give you some tools to do well on the exam. But just reading and going to class won't necessarily teach you how to write the thing. Putting together the information into a good exam is a very specific skill, and not everyone (myself especially) knows what to do with the tools they've been acquiring all semester, until they've tried them out. Practice as much as you possibly can. Point 2 is essential for your mental health. Here is another post that I thought was so good, that I dug around to re-post it here:
  14. I'm sorry, but if you're going to keep that picture and name, you're going to need to start more sentences with "folks" or "my friends." It's right there in the rules: https://lawstudents.ca/forums/topic/33871-lawstudentsca-posting-rules/.* *(it's not.)
  15. In determining whether UNB and Dal should lower their entrance requirements for Atlantic Canadians, the relevant question is whether (i) the region is actually underserved and (ii) whether that admissions policy will put more lawyers in the underserved regions. On point (i) yeah, many parts of Canada are underserved. Maybe not Halifax overall, but lots of different places are starving for either general counsel or certain types of lawyers. As I understand it, the problem is attracting and retaining lawyers in rural areas and, to some extent, retaining lawyers in the cities. The theory is basically that local candidates, are more likely to stay and work in the region. They have personal connections, emotional attachments, and for many, it is their home. Outside candidates may decide to stay, but rural practitioners I’ve talked to all seem to have a story of a student or new associate who claimed to want to settle down in Wherever Bay or Somewhere Brook and then, boom, when they got to their second year of practice and were profitable, they moved back to the city. First of all, whether a region is underserved can’t be measured by the number of articling positions available or by quoting a couple of interviews with graduates and lawyers in Canada. Is the lower admissions thing perfect? No. As you point out, there’s still a problem with getting some of those candidates licensed – those rural, small firms and solo practitioners in underserved areas often don’t have the budgetary flexibility to train new lawyers. Would that be solved by just making less Atlantic Canadian lawyers? Also, no. I think the admissions policy probably helps on balance, and that other incentives and funding would be needed to ensure that new calls and articling students end up in the underserved areas being targeted. The posts here are obviously self-serving. And that’s fine, everyone serves themselves. But I’m not going to pretend they’re good policy, just because you’d like a better shot at more schools. Atlantic schools and Halifax firms shouldn’t be a farm league to train future Toronto and Vancouver lawyers. We’re talking about schools supported by public funds in have-not provinces. Lets not pretend that this is some equality issue, where you’re being horribly discriminated against by UNB and Dal -- being from Ontario or somewhere is not really a ground for discrimination. But they’ve chosen to make their local legal markets a priority, and I really see nothing wrong with that.
  16. It wouldn’t look like anything — I wouldn’t bother placing schools into tiers for Bay Street hiring. Tiers are bad, especially for admissions candidates for these reasons. Most large Toronto firms hire from most Canadian law schools. Check their websites: all of them have alumni from schools across Canada, including Windsor, Ottawa, Dalhousie, Osgoode, U of C. To the extent that some schools are better represented on Bay St, that is a function of several factors , of which school tier (I.e., largely prestige or reputation) is only one. Geographical advantage plays a big role — networking, interviewing, doing clinics, being present at the local bar (I mean the legal bar, not the pub, although those two are kinda interchangeable), all help with hiring, and are all easier if you’re at Toronto, Osgoode, Queens, Western, etc. That’s a big reason people tell you on this forum to study where you want to practice. When I left Dal for Toronto, I left the fledgling reputation that I’d built up with local lawyers behind and that is a setback for both hiring and practice. Another factor is candidate quality. Ultimately, the firms are hiring people, not schools. Sure, U of T candidates do the best. But that’s partly because U of T has some of the toughest entrance requirements. The presumption is therefore that those students have high aptitude — that if they did well at U of T, they would’ve done well at other schools too (maybe better, since elsewhere, they would be placed on a weaker curve). The fact that some schools are doing better in Bay Street hiring isn’t necessarily caused by attendance at those schools. Rather, it results in part from a perception that the candidates are stronger, and that perception results only partially from your alma mater. It also comes from grades and other metrics. Third is self-selection. Sure, UNB, Lakehead, U of A etc place pretty poorly at large Toronto firms. But that has a lot to do with the fact that people applying and accepting at those schools aren’t planning to practice in downtown Toronto. They’re planning to practice in Edmonston, Lethbridge, St. John’s, Sault St Marie. If you go to a school without much of a formal recruit from downtown Toronto firms, the ultra numbers aren’t necessarily reflective of firms’ unwillingness to hire you. They reflect the fact that you chose to go a school where these firms don’t have a presence or history. The same goes with a school like Dal. Do we have good representation on Bay? Sure. But that’s because a reasonable number of people attend Dal, knowing they might want to work there, not because all partners think that Dal is amazing and U of A produces borderline illiterate malpractice machines. Basically, I think that you should all choose schools that make sense for you, taking into account cost, location, personal preference, etc. If your goal is to work as close to the TD Towers as humanly possible and buy lunch salads in the PATH, your choice should include an assessment of how to best get there. But hiring is more complicated than one school is in this tier and other schools are another tier.
  17. I say this with all possible respect to his partnership status and the majorness of his firm: those tiers are stupid and he sounds like a doof. So there. Take that, partner at a major firm and give it “a sniff.”
  18. I won’t get into the more theoretical questions around race, admissions, and affirmative action, as many, many others already have strong opinions on this (Source: Internet, All-the-time). The only real practical issue I see arising is, if you are a minority, whether disclosing your race will help or hurt your application (I guess if you're considering some sort of Michael Jackson-esque treatment or defrauding the adcom, that would give rise to the question too, albeit with different answers). I think that it's more likely to help. As stated by others, members of historically disadvantaged populations presumably faced barriers. The committee may view those barriers as mitigating on other deficiencies in the application, benefiting that application vis-a-vis an application with comparable stats, but without some sort of historical disadvantage. I suspect that committees may also consider whether indicated race is underrepresented, and perhaps prioritize that application on the basis that the profession and society-at-large benefits from having marginalized groups included in its ranks. Now, disclosure of the information may not help that much -- i.e., while the committee may accept that a barrier was a factor in a lower GPA or something, they may not accord it sufficient weight to overcome an otherwise weak application. As others have pointed out, race might be less of a factor for certain groups, perhaps based upon whether they are actually underrepresented in the legal profession. In any case, the fact that an applicant might not benefit from disclosure should not necessarily be a disincentive from disclosing. And to OP: I have written a long response on the assumption that you are asking a question in good faith. If you are instead a racist troll, I would invite you to PVFO (to borrow a term from the OCI threads, with an additional "v" that stands for vigorously).
  19. Can a 0L be competent? I dunno. But given OP's description of the lawyer, it doesn't sound like he/she is assuming complete professional responsibility for OP's practice of law or directly supervising OP in a meaningful way (note: this was not intended to be legal advice to OP, and should not be relied upon as legal advice). I agree. How is this an incredible opportunity? You're learning from a lawyer who, rather than finding a law student, articling student, or paralegal, is relying upon you to do his/her scut work. If you go to law school and end up wanting to do criminal defence, you'll have the opportunity to do set-date court and adjournments again before you graduate. And you can probably do it for someone who isn't "mean, disorganized, terrible at communicating, and tyrannical."
  20. I don't say this to impugn criminal defence lawyers, but it's definitely false to say that students working for solo criminal defence lawyers aren't subject to abusive environments or expected to work long hours. Obviously, experiences vary. Like all fields, there are good and bad principals in criminal defence. But to suggest that lawyers, working with little or no supervision, aren't sometimes misusing and mistreating their students is wrong. Edit: also, your focus is on the long hours that students work at large and profitable firms. I have friends who went to work at those places, and it's not like they were bamboozled. They expected to work between 50 and 80 hours a week and they do. They also make about double what I do, and are under thirty years old. Without sounding victim-blamey or something, I'm a little less sympathetic to those people. I am sympathetic to articling students who didn't choose their experience, and are having a terrible ten months. I have other friends who are working big firm hours, but without most of the compensation and without really being taught anything. That sucks. And more importantly, the focus of the Star article was about discrimination and harassment, which is different than expecting to work long hours. Behaviour that falls under those categories is very different, is unacceptable, and wouldn't be solved by hiring more bodies.
  21. "Sure our articling students are basically repositories of caffeine and organic cold-pressed sadness, but instead of leaving open an eventual partnership track for them, we've decided to admit non-lawyers into our new share-owning management structure! Problem solved!"
  22. I basically agree with everyone else so far. This sounds like a bad position: even paid employers don't ask you to audition. Also, the licensing procedures state: 9. Students who accept an offer shall immediately notify firms from whom they have an outstanding offer or with whom they have scheduled interviews. Students who have already accepted an offer shall not thereafter participate in interviews with other firms or accept offers subsequently received (https://lso.ca/becoming-licensed/lawyer-licensing-process/articling-candidates/finding-a-placement/2020-2021-articling-recruitment-procedures) I'm not sure if that specific provision is just for the formal recruit, but my understanding was that even outside the recruitment window, you are obligated to stop seeking articles, once you have accepted an offer (standard disclaimer: not a lawyer, this isn't legal advice just information, and possibly erroneous information at that, do your own due diligence, blah blah blah). I'm not sure what impact, if any, accepting this trial will have on your obligations regarding other applications. In any case, I wouldn't agree to such a conditional, ambiguous offer, when there will be other positions available until August (or whenever it is you need to start articling, without delaying your call to the Bar -- are you in Ontario?) and beyond.
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