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train1122

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  1. Huge thanks, Kurrika and Lcrowne! I greatly appreciate your thoughts. Kurrika, do you have any thoughts on what a career as a policy analyst is like? For example, what the career trajectory looks like, what the responsibilities and tasks include at various levels, what the pay grade is like, and what level of education is requisite for most jobs of this sort provincially? I've gone through a number of policy papers when looking for legal opinions and often find them fascinating reads. Also, the passive aspect of ensuring the government is on track with particular initiatives is very appealing and something I'm interested in for sure. I have a friend who worked with the government for a summer (DOJ) and her work sounded fascinating. Unfortunately, it wasn't for her as she wanted something that dealt more with interpersonal matters (e.g.: family law), but everything she said about DOJ sounded extremely interesting and for the most part rewarding. Also living in Victoria wouldn't be a big problem. I don't want to have to have a long distance relationship with my wife at this stage, but Victoria would be manageable if the opportunity arises. She likes Vic a lot and can likely move her career there with some preparation and legwork, and frankly, with the price of housing in Vancouver now, I'd be very pleased to move over to the island in the near future. Lcrowne, I've gathered exactly that about municipal in BC, that it's dominated by a few boutiques, some big firms, and then by large civic governments. I'm currently putting together a list of the firms and lawyers practicing in the city and planning to get in touch with them individually next week, if only to arrange coffee or to speak on the phone about what I need to enter their field. I figure this is a good place to start and to show them I'm driven towards a career in their field.
  2. Many, many thanks for the replies, everyone. I greatly appreciate it, and it's given me a lot of encouragement. For clarification about what I want to do: ultimately, I want to work for government. Very specifically and aspirationally, I one day want to be senior counsel for the province, a municipality, or even the federal government where I draft legislation, oversee major transactions, and provide legal opinions to ministers or, municipally, to civic counsellors. I want to be an expert in my field, someone who will be instantly thought of in the legal community when a question or issue in that field arises. As for what that field might be, I have a variety of interests, among them municipal, constitutional (jurisdiction and natural resources especially), and Aboriginal law. I gather from a few practitioners in the field I've spoken to that Aboriginal is very hard to break into (especially as a non-Aboriginal), and constitutional is largely restricted to government work and Charter challenges, the latter not being of personal interest. As such I'm very keen to pursue municipal, as I find civic issues fascinating, especially how things as simple as bylaws and zoning can radically change how people live and how our cities are organized. I've thought about getting involved with some municipal advocacy groups if only to get a closer look at how a municipality functions and to substantiate my interest when putting in applications. It's perhaps worth mentioning that I love the law, especially on a theoretical level, hence being drawn towards areas like drafting and legal opinions. With the support of a former prof, I've been working to get a paper on a constitutional issue published right now, and frankly I'd love to one day do an LLM if only to study something in depth. I was surprised to discover two of the associates at the firm I articled with told me outright they didn't find the law especially interesting but simply wanted middle class jobs. I asked why they didn't do something else instead, and both shrugged and said they'd have to go back to square one to do that and they weren't willing to take the pay cut. As for the litigation aspect... I'm not especially interested in court room work. However, I've been told that experience in the court room often translates to excellent experience for a solicitor, as spending a few years arguing over contractual clauses and statutory interpretation teaches one what to avoid when drafting later on. Also, I gather a lot of firms are looking for litigators and being open to that field of work increases my chances of obtaining work. As a final point, I'm currently tied to the Vancouver area as my wife has an amazing contract in her own field and won't be able to leave until 2017. I'd generally be open to moving rural to obtain the experience needed to achieve my goals, but unfortunately that's not realistic.
  3. I finished my Articles in December and have been looking for work ever since. I've found the process frustrating and thought I'd see what some others think of my circumstances. First, I struggled to find Articles. I'm in Vancouver but studied out of province and found networking difficult until home. In law school my grades were good (a few As, high B average, lots of great extra-curriculars) but I didn't know what I wanted to do ultimately. I managed to secure Articles at a small suburban firm that took interest in my corporate-commercial summer experience. I accepted the position. The firm seemed outdated and in bad need of renos, but the people who interviewed me were pleasant enough, and I was desperate at that point. After accepting, I was told I would have a litigator as my principal. I raised an eyebrow to this because it was agreed in my initial discussion that I'd be working with the fellow who interviewed me, but the papers were signed and the person I was assigned seemed pleasant. I quickly discovered, however, that his "commercial" practice was tiny and that his bread and butter was family law, a field I have 0 interest in. What's more, I found him to be, quite frankly, a terrible lawyer. He often let clients get away without paying yet continued to work for them, had a painfully poor grasp of the law, was late with everything, and never, ever proceeded to trial, always settling. I cannot tell you the number of times I knocked on his door asking to get into court, only to have him say the Application had been adjourned, or that he'd settled the Small Claims matter. Over time I grew dismayed. Office morale was terrible as well, and I found his secretary very difficult to deal with professionally. Further, the firm's emphasis was on "work life balance" above and beyond all else, with heavy emphasis on "life." It was to the point the lawyers were taking in the minimum needed to live and would generally push off around 3pm on Fridays to go to the bar. I greatly appreciate having free time, but at this stage in my career I am extremely eager to get my hands on some files to run with. I spent an embarrassing amount of my Articles sitting on the internet with nothing to do, save for proof reading or assembling lists of documents. Thankfully, I got a decent amount of experience in solicitor work, which I frankly would like to ultimately pursue. It wasn't a great amount in corporate, but I at least showed myself to be fully capable of performing the tasks given to me and of dealing effectively and cordially with clients. Needless to say, I didn't get along well in the environment and had a hard time concealing my resentment. I wasn't invited back, and have now found myself looking for an associateship after a terribly disappointing Articling period. What's more, I got into court a total of three times during my entire Articles, which I feel has rendered me terribly lacking when applying for litigation positions. Ironically I've always been a strong public speaker and have performed exceptionally during PLTC/in the few circumstances I have had in front of a Judge or Master, but that's that's not the same as real experience. Currently, I don't know what to do. My dream now is to work in government/municipal law, which I've developed a strong fascination with in recent months. Unfortunately, municipalities generally draw their people from larger firms, and I worry I'll struggle simply to get a mediocre position in the suburbs, let alone a placement somewhere in the city itself. I've considered going back for a Master's in Public Policy or an LLM, but am uncertain whether I should instead work on building up legal experience first. Any advice you can provide will be greatly appreciated. I'm extremely hungry to get working and to have a fulfilling and enjoyable career, but feel that the last year has dealt me a considerably difficult blow to deal with.
  4. I've recently finished my articles and am looking for work. Most of my experience is in the corporate-commerical arena, but my passion is for government/administrative/policy work that I'd one day like to do. My dream job is working for the government or a municipality, but I realize those jobs are hard to come by and I'm currently looking to build up as much experience as I can for something of that nature. As far as private practice goes, I find corporate commercial the most interesting so far... I love the constructive aspect of helping people with their businesses, as well as the abstract nature of the work generally. I felt like I was solving puzzles each day at work, and I absolutely love drafting and writing. Anyway, I have some time free while looking for work and have been considering taking the Canadian Securities Course. I am not especially interested in finance, nor am I driven primarily by money (beyond the necessary). However, I can imagine this course providing a few benefits: complimenting my corporate experience by making me more familiar with how finance works generally putting an additional "tool" into my tool box that can also be helpful for government work (there's always the possibility of getting hired to do something in the financial regulatory industry with the government and then to side-step to another area of practice) it's good to know about securities, stocks, etc generally, as it can be beneficial for one's financial portfolio I'm curious what others think of this? Again, I have the time while looking for work. Advice greatly appreciated.
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