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TheAEGIS last won the day on June 2

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  1. The truth is you have few other options. $75k debt is your cost of entry into the profession you want to be in. Mine was higher, but hey. It's ridiculous imo that so many new lawyers now start out so far behind the eight ball because of rising tuition costs, but the alternative is foregoing practicing law altogether, or spending years working to save and hoping tuition doesn't keep increasing. And that's assuming you have a job that pays you enough to make a dent in the total cost of schooling after a year or so. It's also true that so much debt brings your other life goals to a stand still. However, if you can minimize your costs while maximizing your income, (think living at home with parents rent free while working a Bay Street gig) you'll be able to make short work of that much debt in no time. Suffice to say, that isn't most of us. We don't all work on Bay Street, and most of us have to pay rent or have a mortgage and some of us have more obligations than that. Ultimately, I would say that $75k shouldn't stop you from going to law school if you can secure the funds to pay for it. For one thing, law students tend to be young and single - which translates into fewer financial obligations coming out of school. And even if this first part isn't true for you, the income potential over the course of the typical legal career tends to more than make up for the initial investment. It's not an absolute guarantee however, but it tends to work out more times than not. Now, if you wanted to go into teaching ...
  2. My $0.02. If you'd prefer to start law school sooner rather than later and don't mind the occasional random online poster calling your school "lower tier", then write the LSAT, target those schools and convince them that there's no place else you'd rather be. 😝 But if you have a strong preference for the level of "prestige" you'd prefer your institution to exude (most students do, nothing against that), then you've got to raise your B2/L2. I strongly considered this at one point, but based on a number of factors not the least of which were time and cost, I decided otherwise. For me, the math didn't make sense. I'd have needed to do a full year of courses maintaining 3.6 or higher to raise my L2 from a 3.2 to about a 3.4, which yes was an improvement but not enough to make me want to wait a full year. So part of this might also depend on how the numbers work for you. If your L2 was something like a 2.6 in 3rd and then a 3.5 in 4th, adding one year of courses while a stellar GPA will work wonders for your prospects in L2 schools. But if like me, you tended to follow up your A's with some C bombs or worse in the same year, then the bump from an extra year might not be that significant. Also consider the time you'd have to take off work to do the courses. If you're working full time, like I was at the time, you might be giving up a chunk of money to chase a higher GPA. That said, as someone who ended up going to law school later in life, I can tell you that the process is a marathon, not a sprint. So take your time and think through what you want and what makes sense for you to do. You're certainly not out of the running yet. It's just that from where you are, it'll be a bit of an uphill climb. But it's a very climbable hill. Good luck!
  3. except that OP has their sights set on UofT. It's largely academic to keep pushing at this point. OP is already above UofT's average admitted LSAT, and a look at the admitted thread will show plenty of students will similar stats getting in. I mean, I suppose you could keep pushing towards a 180 as a personal goal, but after admissions your LSAT score will likely never see the light of day again nor will it (or should it) be a topic for casual conversation. So short of deeply personal reasons for writing again, it doesn't matter for admissions.
  4. Hmm. Two issues for the OP to consider 1. If the first academic suspension was a year long, and you simply enrolled in a different school the following year instead of serving the suspension, an adcomm could probably figure that out by looking at your transcripts. 2. Some law schools (maybe all) require you to disclose whether you've been previously required to withdraw from university. I recall encountering this question at some point in the application process. Maybe it was an OLSAS thing. So you'd be hiding more than just transcripts from your new school. Btw, if you did 1. you might have more explaining to do to potential schools than simply disclosing your older transcript.
  5. To be fair, a lot of students find their calling using a combination of all four options, with number 4 looming large after the first 3 fail to pay dividends. @shockinator13 ... should you know what you favor before going to law school? Maybe, but you really don't have to. It may or may not be useful to be honest. It's also perfectly legitimate to go into law school without a set destination, but with an open mind, a fondness for new experiences and open to discovering your niche along the way. Some students get there by planning for it way ahead of time, I'd reckon most students end up taking whatever path opens up. There's a pragmatism to where we end up that I think is well served by keeping an open mind. I did not think I'd end up where I am right now when I started law school. In fact my current position reads like a delightful betrayal of everything I wrote about in my personal statement. This is more common than you think. "Human rights law" is a nebulous concept that turns up a lot in admission essays but means less than what it sounds like. And in time you'll see why. It's not like there are a bunch of firms advertising for human rights lawyers. A lot of it is really just charter litigation, which can come up in different fields. Also it's practically unheard of for a young lawyer to be able to specialize in charter litigation out the gate, and there are usually more pressing things like landing a job, and paying bills that take precedent over finding that dream gig. Anyway, I don't mean to be didactic or bleak. I guess I'm just saying, you're okay for now.
  6. Your CDO should have plenty of information on government recruiting. The cover letter doesn't make or break the application, the resume does. But gov't applications in general tend to require more formal and substantive information. So that trip to Vermont that ignited your love for litigation doesn't work well in a cover letter for a gov't position. Your skills and experiences do.
  7. I've never known "specializations" to be determinative of job prospects. But location, now that's something that can help or hinder a fair bit. Outside of the organized recruit, networking tends to be a local affair as a matter of practicality - it gets really expensive travelling back and forth to meet with potential employers/mentors etc. So if you're planning on practicing in Ontario, and you're more or less indifferent between Dal and Ottawa, go with Ottawa. Unless you have strong reasons for wanting to study in Halifax and those reasons are not related to the school's ability to land you a job in the GTA, you'd be choosing the more difficult path by going out of province. However, there are also perfectly logical reasons for choosing Dal over Ottawa. These include: needing to get away from family for a little bit, a deep, immeasurable admiration for members of Dal's faculty, accumulating air miles for reasons as yet undisclosed, a love of the sea and all things lobster-related. You see where I'm going with this...
  8. As far as I know, the courses just have to be taken at a recognized university. Edit: There wouldn't really be a practical reason to mandate that these additional courses come from the same university as the applicant's undergrad. This quote is from Western's admissions page: What if I take a fifth year to complete my degree or I take additional undergraduate courses after I graduate? Will those courses count towards my “last two” years GPA? Yes they will.
  9. I've read through the responses and I'm glad to see so many experienced members sharing their perspective. It's given me a lot to think about. I know money isn't everything. I know many people have left money on the table to find a better fit. I know compensation isn't determinative of satisfaction, but I suppose I'm left wondering how big that gap is. Like, if people on here were making 30-40k less than they are now, would they still be as satisfied with their work, or would they be looking for more lucrative options. I've been thinking about this question obsessively for a while now. I'm returning to a firm I really like, with co-workers I admire and work hours that I think fits well with my personality and goals. The work itself can be very interesting if a little rote sometimes, and there's opportunity to do interesting things. I'm not always thrilled about the side I'm on though, and my work doesn't net me any bonus points with family and friends. I'm not a pariah or anything, but I think some might struggle to understand why I work for the side I do. It's made me question (though not seriously tbh) how long I could or should remain in this specific field. I can also predict fairly accurately my income 5 years out, and I'd be just north of six figures. This bothers me, given the financial pressures of OSAP debt repayment, a mortgage and other family responsibilities. Under different circumstances, I'd be happy to be patient and let the money come in time. It does ... eventually ... sort of. But given what others in the same year of call will be making, I can't help looking over the fence and wondering if chasing a 30-40k increase would help settle this slightly unsettled feeling I've been having.
  10. Soooo ... are the increases a thing or not?
  11. Hmm. Somehow this question feels like you're asking us to do your job for you. Maybe that's not fair to say, but this is a big question and you don't sound like you've done much more than the bare minimum of research and outreach. Apologies if I'm wrong. Look, for starters, I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "social justice" in the context of criminal defence work. If by social justice you mean representing marginalized individuals who can't afford to hire the Marie Heinen's of the world, then that's going to be most people. A lot of criminal defence firms accept legal aid certificates from clients can't afford to pay for a lawyer out of pocket. And a lot of people who end up in frequent contact with the justice system are poor or marginalized in some way. But social justice causes aren't necessarily aligned with defending people from criminal charges: https://lawandstyle.ca/law/best-practices-how-saron-gebresellassi-practises-law-and-activism-at-the-same-time/ . While some places are explicit about their activism: https://avantlaw.ca/seek-ottawa-social-justice-lawyers/. The best advice I can give is that you need to do some leg work; call around, talk to firms, talk to their people, ask about the work they do, see if anyone will meet you for coffee so you can pick their brain, put yourself out there and get information. People tend to know each other in the criminal defence bar, I think you'll be surprised at how much useful information you'll dig up.
  12. Umm ... What exactly are you reacting to here? The way you're coming at me, I thought I'd accidentally told the OP to discard all the advice of the BC Bar members and throw themselves at the mercy of their employer, instead of what I actually said, which is that contacting the LSBC is a valid option for the OP. For the record, @Hegdis said this: "I believe that both Rumpy and I have actually been principals to students in BC. While we aren’t the final word by any means, the law society and the benchers should be getting informed (if not involved) at this point if the OP is unable to communicate effectively with his or her principal (especially if the misunderstanding seems on the part of some stand-in for the principal)." I don't know if you think from my comment that I'm fundamentally disagreeing with this statement, but considering that this statement can be read as encouraging the OP to get in touch with the law society if things go south with their principal, I would argue that I'm not. And btw, my entire post was responding to the notion that it wasn't reasonable for the OP to contact the law society, and essentially arguing that it was! C'mon man. edit: crediting Hegdis for the quote
  13. I think the best version of what you've been saying is that there might be more to this story than the OP has disclosed. And that those missing details may negate the need to involve the law society. But that's the best version of your response. At face value, this is an employer pressuring an employee to quit over something that was never part of the employment agreement. Lawyers are people too. And unfortunately that means that we can be everything from reasonable to certifiable. Remember those a*****s you met in law school. They graduated and became lawyers too. There isn't an epiphany that happens when you get called that suddenly makes you a much better person than you were. And I've heard more far too many horror stories from students about the lawyers they've worked for to think that lawyers are incapable of just being straight d***s. Not saying this is the case here, but if this lawyer actually wrote the msg about quitting articles to the OP, I'm not inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt that it's just a misunderstanding. He clearly has an idea about how this relationship is supposed to work, and barring that his preference is to relieve the OP of their employment without verifying the LSBC rules or the employment agreement. This play sounds all too familiar to me. And when an employer - who typically holds a lot more cards in the working relationship - moves on a comparatively weaker employee, yes, an appeal to the LSBC should absolutely be a card the OP should keep in their back pocket, in case things really start to go south. Besides, an email explaining that the OP has "clarified" with the law society that their articles cannot be terminated this way might be all that's needed to settle this "misunderstanding".
  14. Could you? sure Will you? maybe. maybe not. Honestly, it'll depends on all the other stuff about your profile you haven't shared with us. There are probably certain schools you can definitely rule - out cough UofT cough - but there are others that a stellar LSAT and a smartly worded personal statement will give you a puncher's chance at, and still others that said stellar score and said immaculately tailored PS would make you reasonably competitive at.
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