Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


providence last won the day on September 14

providence had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

6660 Good People


About providence

  • Rank

Recent Profile Visitors

4849 profile views
  1. providence

    How to dress as a Court Spectator?

    Lol, wait till you’ve been a lawyer for years, are wearing a suit, and still get mistaken for an accused 😮
  2. providence

    How to dress as a Court Spectator?

    I am another vote for making a bit of an effort to look dressed for the occasion. That does NOT mean wearing a suit and in fact, that would look just as ridiculous as being under dressed. For women, I would say something like black dress pants, or non-faded or ripped not too tight black or dark jeans, a plain t-shirt and a cardigan, or a button-up shirt if you have one, would be fine. For men, chinos/khakis/non-ripped or faded black or dark jeans and a plain t-shirt or golf shirt or button-up shirt would be good also. For both, shoes that cover the feet (no sandals/open toes.) Besides the points made above that you will make a better impression on any professionals you have a chance to chat with, you will also feel more like you fit in with the professionals. Court is open to anyone and people do come in in ripped jeans, tight short shorts, inappropriate slogan tees, inappropriate tattoos showing and all the rest of it. But those people are generally accused or witnesses and their supporters. Do you want to be associated more with them, or more with the lawyers, law students, judges, clerks, etc? Especially if you are a person of colour and/or young, you may get mistaken for them even when you are dressed well, and while there is nothing wrong with that and it's not that accused or their family members are untouchables or anything like that, it can feel very alienating to work hard and overcome a lot to be in a position to be in a courtroom in a professional capacity and have people overlook that. So I always make a point of looking as sharp as I can to minimize that confusion. The more you look like you belong, the more you feel like you belong.
  3. providence

    DOJ Summer Student Interview tips/questions??

    I did this a long time ago, but DOJ interviews are way different from private firm interviews. The DOJ had a very scripted interview with structured questions - they wanted to know "what would you do if..." in a bunch of situations, to which you would respond with examples of similar situations you've been in and what you did. There were also questions about substantive law and if I recall, "what is the most interesting recent SCC case you have read?" They were writing down the answers I gave so there was not as much eye contact and it was a little harder to establish rapport (but can and should still be done.) They had time for me to ask questions at the end and that was a good time to build the personal connection that the structured questions made difficult. There was also a written assignment that I had to do.
  4. providence

    Good Problem to have... but looking for honest opinion

    I am more of an ambivert - I can be either introverted or extroverted, depending on the situation. For job interviews, I would generally be on the extroverted side of the spectrum. I also had the maximum number of interviews, and I was cautioned against it by people who thought it would be too much. This was some years ago, but from what I remember, it was unnecessary to do that many. It wasn't very exhausting for me, but I realize that the law school view of what is "hard" or "too much" or "tiring" is completely different from my experience. I had been through things in life much more intense and difficult than making small talk at a bunch of interviews and dinners, so it was fine. Some people found it hard to be "on" for so long, but that's where the extroverted tendencies help - that part was kind of fun when it wasn't terrifying or alienating. It does get complicated when you start getting into second and third interviews and dinners and so on because you can't do all of those and have to pick and choose. So my issue wasn't so much the pace of the interviews, but just that it became apparent that there were only a few firms I had an interest in and a bunch of them where I really could not see myself working at all, but then I felt committed to keep selling myself to them having gone that far in the process. And of course you get caught up in everyone else's anxiety, so while it wasn't too demanding physically, it was emotionally - the extroverted side of you likely has lots of friends from law school going through the process and lots of 3L friends rooting for you and so my phone was constantly going off with people wanting to know how it was going, offering advice, complaining about their situation, etc. As it turned out, I was able to predict which offers I would and wouldn't get and they lined up more or less with the firms where I had more of an interest, so there were a bunch of useless interviews where it was obvious I wasn't interested in them or them in me. I would think 10 or 12 interviews are plenty and you should be able to narrow them down, but 20 will not be impossible, it's just silly. I assume if you got 20, you have very good grades and an interesting resume, and if you're saying you're more of an extrovert, you're likely decent in interviews. I wouldn't think you have to worry about 20 interviews to maximize your chances of getting hired - that seems overly cautious to me.
  5. providence

    Extreme Frustration With Jr. Crowns

    I agree being over-zealous about a potential Charter breach and trying to find creative ways to help your clients is better than being a lazy dump truck. But it's easy to see the s.2 argument in the Doug Ford case, whether or not it was properly articulated, overcomes s.1 etc, and we'll see what is ultimately decided. That one is debatable but it's at least there. I struggle to see how the Charter is engaged at all when a Crown tells me "We don't have a deal - this has to go to trial" or "I think this is worth 30 days." No one is compelled to act on what the Crown says. The decision maker does not have to do what the Crown wants. There are already protections for abuse of process. There are appeals against unfit sentences as well as Charter protections from cruel and unusual punishment.
  6. providence

    Extreme Frustration With Jr. Crowns

    How on earth is it a s.7 breach? How is a Crown giving you their position state action that infringes life, liberty, or security of the person? Their position/opinion does not affect anyone else.
  7. providence

    Extreme Frustration With Jr. Crowns

    @Hegdis it wouldn’t be an abuse of process. The client was caught on video committing the offence. I would have asked for a discharge (assuming client agreed) if it were just the theft. With breaches also, I might try for a discharge but probation would not be a surprise. It’s arguable that defence running a 3 day trial to prove a point is abusing the system.
  8. providence

    Extreme Frustration With Jr. Crowns

    I think the problem is that we don’t have any examples provided of abuse of discretion. For actual abuse of process, there are Charter remedies. Nothing describes here rises to that level that I can see.
  9. providence

    Reference Letters

    OLSAS applies only to Ontario. It can handle all your letters for all Ontario schools you apply to, but not other provinces or the US.
  10. providence

    Extreme Frustration With Jr. Crowns

    Well, I'm not a Crowny Crown, and I mostly agree with MP. I think that the attitude and conduct of defence go a long way in encouraging reasonable resolution with the Crown, fair or not. I don't think being offered 30 days for two breaches and a theft under justifies making an ass of yourself tying up the court in a 3-day trial. I'm also not sure that I agree that avoiding trial is a GOAL. Avoiding trial is what happens a lot of the time because, recognizing that we can't run them all, the Crown generally does make a lot of reasonable offers and the clients take them. But I approach every file as if it is going to trial, and if we can resolve, great, but I never assume it. And many, many clients don't look at a prosecution hanging over them as a bad thing. Lots of them want to go to trial to fight over the $5 and I am the one trying to sell them on the conditional discharge. My goal is to get the best result for my client that I can that meets their needs, whether or not that is a plea. And if I can get the Crown onside to agree, that's great, but it's not a requirement, nor is it their obligation. My clients often act that way - as if the Crown is God and it is my job and obligation to badger and pressure and whine to the Crown until they do whatever it is the client thinks they should do. I as their lawyer disabuse them of this tactic, I don't practice it. edit: and that's how I know this practice (Crowns running trials where there is no RPC) must not be widespread and must be one or two unreasonable Crowns and/or they are only doing it for certain unreasonable defence): because if this were a serious systemic issue, it would be destroying the system and we would be hearing about it / seeing it.
  11. providence

    Extreme Frustration With Jr. Crowns

    I wouldn't do that if I have to look ridiculous too. The whole point of this is to show the judge and the profession as a whole that you are the more capable one, not to get dragged down to his level. Why would you make a mess of a trial and turn it in to a dog and pony show to make a point to a Crown? Why give the Crown that much power? They are one side of a dispute, you are the other, and it's the judge's opinion you have to care about. The judge is going to see both of you coming and get an ulcer. You want the judge thinking the Crown is a pain in the ass, but you are reasonable and a breath of fresh air. For someone with a record, 30 days for 3 breaches and a theft isn't crazy. And if there was reliable video of the theft, what is the point in contesting it? Why not just go to sentencing and ask for less? If the guy had no record, try to get a conditional discharge or probation or whatever.
  12. providence

    Low Undergrad Grades

    I often got comments on my grades in interviews, both undergrad and law school.
  13. providence

    What are my chances? [3.4]

    It's silly to give someone chances based on only their GPA because the schools heavily consider other things besides GPA, LSAT being a big one, and your grades aren't even final so you are describing a hypothetical GPA. Try to do as well as you can from here on in and try to do as well as you can on the LSAT and then come back. As well, different schools do different things as to whether they will drop courses, consider your best two years, last two years etc. so you should do some research on that.
  14. providence

    First trial tips?

    That is definitely what I do - draft my closing first, with all the law, and all the evidence I anticipate getting or that I have, and then craft my crosses and direct if applicable to adduce that evidence. I have never done small claims court, but even in a crazy provincial court trial, I will never ask an open-ended question where I am not confident what the response will be, or where I know it will not hurt me whatever it is. I think this is different for the Crown than for defence because yes, the Crown may have reluctant witnesses with no statement. Any witness I call, I have vetted, and when I am crossing Crown witnesses, even if there was no statement, I've had the benefit of their direct. And maybe I'm about to ambush the Crown with their texts or something. I would never be flying completely blind for a cross. The less I know, the tighter and more leading my questions are. I don't know how this translates to small claims. I will add that sometimes the best cross is no cross. If a reluctant witness completely hung themself on direct, a dramatic "I have no questions for this witness, Your Honour" is very effective. Don't give them a chance to rehabilitate themself because you feel you have to cross, or you want to make hay and indulge yourself over all the stupid things they said in direct. Likewise, if they start hanging themself on cross, you might not have to finish every single question on your sheet because you have enough, and knowing when to quit and sit down is an important skill that will impress the judge.
  15. providence

    Low Undergrad Grades

    I was asked for them by many firms and for clerkships, for what it's worth. I don't know how important they were or were not.