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Starling last won the day on January 18 2017

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  1. I took a decent amount of time off school between my undergrad and law school - I am so glad I did. Having different non-law jobs made me realize what I wanted in a career, which was important to me. For me, when I was fresh out of undergrad, I wasn't sure if I wanted law school for myself or because it's what my parents wanted (they were typical immigrant parents who grew up poor and wanted their kid to be a doctor/lawyer etc.), so I was glad I took the time to realize law school is something I wanted for myself. I was able to save a lot of money for law school tuition/rent so that helped a lot too. I was also able to travel a lot. Obviously COVID makes this pretty impossible right now, but there's lots of really cheap ways to travel that are a lot more fun in your early 20s (e.g. working in hostels, sleeping on floors to save on accommodation), so I was very glad I had the opportunity to do that. There's not a lot of times in your life where you can travel care-free. I don't think there's anything wrong with K-JD, but I also think law school is such a commitment that it's fine to take some time to decide if it's what you really want.
  2. Such a good point. I think people struggle with that for crim especially - they want to defend the wrongfully accused innocent, but they don't want to defend the unrepentant misogynistic domestic abuser. Or deal with the scorn and judgement from lay people that's associated with "criminal lawyer".
  3. I would say for Vancouver, OCI/formal recruit employers expect a conservative suit for interviewing even if we dress down on a normal day! That's just for Big Law, government, boutiques that do formal recruit etc. I can't speak to smaller firms. Van is more casual over all though; there's only a couple firms that expect you to wear a suit daily. For OCIs we were all in navy/black/grey suits.
  4. Agreed. I would personally recommend a navy pantsuit for interviews - conservative but not as stuffy as a black skirt suit, so it's better for a range of employers.
  5. Which city are you in? It's not at all unusual! A lot of people don't get 2L summer jobs and it works out. Don't panic yet. There's still the articling recruit in 3L that some big firms also hire through, plus lots of jobs outside the formal recruit.
  6. Yes, I think that's a really good point. And the very few public interest articling positions they did have were very, very competitive. I did not mean my initial comment as a dig either. I do understand (and relate!) to people not wanting to hop straight to public interest as well and wanting to make a bit more money to pay off debts. I have friends with ~$100k in debt from undergrad and law school.
  7. Interesting, that makes sense! I've known people who also did those types of files and they also found them quite rewarding.
  8. Do you not think it's mostly pay? That seems to be why most lawyers don't do public interest. Not saying that's a good reason, but it does seem to be the primary one.
  9. I agree with the others. Ideally you'll be able to use them for a reference when you're applying for summer/articling jobs in the future, and they are going to be less inclined to speak kindly about if you are not candid with them. In my pre-law life, we would hire students for the summer just to help them get some experience, but we would want to know ahead of time that they weren't permanent employees so we could plan/train accordingly.
  10. They do that kind of work, I'm just saying they won't offer summer positions or do the formal articling recruit (at least in Vancouver) so you might need to do a lot of cold emailing. Which is certainly not a bad thing, just something to keep in mind. I personally think there's a difference between small firms (which tend to be more chill in terms of hours) and boutiques, which are smaller but are super specialized on one or two areas of law and tend to have similar hours to Big Firms. All these examples are in Vancouver but I'm thinking DuMoulin Black, Koffman Kalef, which are smaller but quite reputable and not chill. Honestly, I think you need to work for a few years or something and figure out what you actually want in a career. It seems like there's a lot of reasons you don't want to be a lawyer and not a lot of reasons you want to pursue law school other than people telling you that you would be good at it. Which is fine, but law school is a pretty big investment if you aren't sure, given how much tuition costs these days. I don't really see the point of going to law school if your main career goals are finding something 9-5 that isn't stressful. Why not just work for the government and not take on tens of thousands of dollars in debt? A lot of my undergrad profs told me to pursue grad school but there's no way I would have been happy if I had done so. You don't need to have your whole career mapped out, but you should have SOME reason for wanting to go to law school beyond other people telling you to.
  11. It's mostly the Big Law positions that have insane hours. I'm articling now and I'd say on average, I work 60 hours a week, but in really bad weeks, it's more like 70-80 per week (very rarely, more). My friends have had similar experiences at big firms. It is possible to be a parent and work in Big Law - I know people who have young kids, and they will usually try to be offline from 5:30-8:30/9 to spend time with their kids and spouse, then log back on after. But it sounds like Big Law definitely isn't a fit for you (which is fine). You can definitely find positions which have the kind of hours you want, but if you were in Vancouver, you would not be able to work those kinds of hours if you did the formal recruits (OCI or articling). I have lots of friends who do non-Big Law and got positions through the formal recruit, and they work as much as us. Most of the non-Big Law jobs that do the formal recruits are crim or prosecution or boutiques. I can't speak to Edmonton though. To get the kind of position you want out of law school, you're going to have to hustle and find a unicorn. It's doable, but it's worth noting that it is going to be a lot harder to find an articling position for you than it will be for your peers. The people I know who work the kind of hours you want generally didn't find positions until right before or after graduation. Nothing wrong with that but it's certainly anxiety inducing. Just something to think about.
  12. Yup, I was in the exact same boat. My OLAS GPA was quite a bit lower than my GPA or my GPA at non-Ontario schools due to the conversion. There just isn't a perfect way to do it. Even with drops, e.g. U of T looking at B3 is better for someone who bombed first year before getting it together, UBC is better for someone who had a few really bad grade sprinkled throughout their degree. Each system is going to disadvantage someone. And btw it works that way for any school that doesn't give percentage grades. It's not about "filtering out art students", so that argument isn't going to get you very far.
  13. Are you a graduate? Why not ask your CSO? They probably have samples and such on-hand.
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