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Uriel

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Uriel last won the day on August 7

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  1. I'd echo that. Everyone is right. These are serious ethical concerns but we don't have the details to know whether you're talking about endemic, chronic lapses of professional conduct or if your experience clerking for the best and brightest the profession has to offer -- now removed from the grind of daily practice -- has set your standards unreasonably high. If you once saw one of your partners miss a filing deadline because she failed to diarize the e-mailed timetable dates between counsel, and that's what you mean when you say "missing filing deadlines", that's one thing. People make mistakes, especially in the midst of the absolute chaos that is COVID-19. I've had opposing counsel on one file blow the same deadline twice and I'd still say he seems like a good lawyer and his small firm is one I might recommend. On the other hand, there have been documented cases where lawyers routinely miss filing deadlines and use opposing counsel's notices of motion and/or court status notices in lieu of a tickler system. That, I think, is what most people imagined from the words you used -- and yes, if that's the case, those are not lawyers that take their jobs seriously and you are only doing yourself harm and putting yourself at significant risk continuing to work there. Not communicating with clients and acting without instructions -- again, that's along a spectrum. My clients couldn't do their jobs, and neither could I, if I sought their instructions on every communication I sent or page of material I filed. In many cases, you get the client's position in as detailed a way as you possibly can, get their broad instructions (bring this motion, settle for no more than this, etc.) and then you're free to do your best work following those instructions. On the other hand, if people are taking meaningful legal positions, committing their clients to waivers or withdrawing motions, etc. without direct instructions, then yeah, again we're talking about the end of the spectrum where it makes no sense to stay there. You won't learn anything helpful if the basic principles aren't being observed. Someone who doesn't care what her client thinks certainly won't care what opposing counsel or the court thinks, and they're not going to be able to show you what it actually means to be a barrister. Dips' advice is good. Reach out to someone a little more senior, not necessarily a Bencher (especially if you're in Ontario), so that you can spill specific details as to what's going on. If you are in Ontario practicing civil litigation and you don't have anyone to ask, I can be that person. But even better would be someone with a couple of decades under their belt.
  2. Ain't necro'ing nothing. In the Province of Ontario, it's March until September.
  3. Zero times. Coffee or lunch with an LS.ca poster? Maybe 40? The most fun is when I just drop it on a fresh articling class. I don't think people realize what a not-big-deal it is to have just continued to exist here for a long time, but it'll seem a lot less fancy in, like, five years when 30 of us are partners in various practices across Canada. Just diving in here a few months late -- I'm super easy to find, on account of you can just DM me and then I buy you coffee. At least, I did prior to the apocalypse.
  4. I'm flattered. It would be wise for someone in my position to advise LS.ca a few months early or a year late to keep everyone on their toes. As Erin says, I've probably met a few dozen LS.ca posters in my time for mentoring. It's definitely not a secret where I work, and the firm knows who I am over here in turn. There are, however, some visitors to this site from time to time -- not law students -- that would take pleasure in doxing any prominent member of the site, so we try to make them work for it. Generally speaking, when someone needs some advice in person I'll ask them to reach out with a verified law school e-mail and introduce myself from my work address. And then I just try to read over everything I post to make sure I'd stand by it if my name was associated with it in real life.
  5. I just sent an e-mail to someone asking specifically what skills they should master in articling if they want to get into civil litigation. Figured I might as well share with the group:
  6. Didn't know that. I could go for a daily rate of three stripes' walkin'-around money.
  7. It's a direct-hire commission, but you have to have at least a couple of years of practice under your belt before going to Basic Training. It's not like the US military, where they have a seemingly inexhaustible fount of resources upon which to hire whomever they like into whatever trade they prefer. More like any government agency, Legal Officers will be recruited if there's a need and room in the budget. So you can't just walk in and sign up; you'd have to speak with a recruiter to see what options are available. Importantly, every soldier is a soldier first. When the FOB you're investigating comes under attack, you're reaching for a sidearm like the rest of the troops. You'll do PT. You'll obey orders. You'll have to get used to the smell of wet felt. My recommendation is always to try the reserves out first if you're on the fence. See if army/navy/air force life is for you before assuming significant responsibility -- every Legal Officer is just that: an officer, responsible for commanding troops and representing Her Majesty. I would also tend to think a recruiter would take an applicant more seriously if she knew what she was getting into as an infanteer looking to skill up into a more senior role, as opposed to a civilian off the street looking for a direct commission to Captain/LT(N) without any concept of what the CAF is or whether that lifestyle suits her.
  8. For the students, sure. The associates are more concerning: a desperation play to raise funds by bringing in associates with even a marginal book of business? Or something as benign as just refusing to overlook a good buying opportunity in favour of restoring salaries when there's no apparent rush to do so?
  9. RIP my inbox. I guess some more historical context might be useful to those of you who don't remember what it was like in 2008 because you were literally children.* When Goodman & Carr folded, and Heenan Blaikie after it (I guess in context those were kind of comparable to... McMillan and Norton Rose today? Ish?), a lot of their talent was poached by other law firms and basically all of their articling students were taken on by other Bay Street firms. Kind of an unspoken obligation. Again, far from saying that anything like that is going to happen -- it almost certainly won't, probably not even close -- but because we have some catastrophic thinkers out there, just remember that your absolute, meteor-strike worst-case scenario might be that if the firm folds you'll end up at Torys. Ugh. (Kidding, I'm kidding. Don't @ me.) * I don't know if I shared this here, but we were at a firm event just before Covid and there was a trivia question about '90s music. They played Bittersweet Symphony and the question was, "which band played that song?" We answered, The Verve. The new associates were like, "we didn't know that". And the olds were like, "no worries, you were probably thinking The Verve Pipe, but that's a different band. In any event, one-hit wonder, can't blame you if you don't remember." And they were like, "No, we've never heard that song."
  10. Even though well-placed, they're still just rumours; I don't want to be out here getting on the wrong side of some good old-fashioned trade libel. Since a lot of you weren't here 12 years ago, just a quick reminder that just because a firm is having a hard time doesn't mean the students are in trouble. In the last couple of recessions, we saw some emergency mergers that actually caused students to be "upgraded" into better firms... international buyouts that catapulted some "mid-tier" and regional firms into international juggernaut status... we saw some lower-billing senior associates and overpaid senior partners move from firm to firm... and generally when financial difficulties hit law firms the result was lower hiring at the OCI stage and not necessarily lower hireback. For many firms, mine included, cutting on hireback or new hires is more of a last resort. If you've just got a job at a Bay Street law firm, you should be the opposite of panicking, even if your firm happens to be one of (what are hopefully a very few) that are going to have to make some changes. As I say, I'm worried about my friends on the brink of partnership; you jerks are probably going to be fine.
  11. I really don't know! If a couple of firms are cutting hiring, are some of the next-tier firms ready to eat their lunch and scale up? I'm hearing as well that some smaller and specialized firms are among those bootin' butts and taking names at the moment. It's a good thing at least in being able to distinguish between practices. Normally it would be tough to decide between essentially identical firms; but come 2022 it could well be that my firm will let you live in a mansion in Nova Scotia and commute in one week a month, whereas Morgans will still require you to be in the office every day, night and twice on Sundays. That could be a real differentiator for those that either really want that freedom or really wouldn't perform well with it.
  12. Very concerning rumours flying around from well-connected sources about a few Bay Street firms in serious difficulty. Worried about some good friends across the street that have been killing themselves to get ahead in places with an uncertain future. You think all these firms are generally the same, and then something like this happens and there's a huge spectrum from the sky falling to firms doing so well they want to incorporate work-from-home on a permanent basis. Bay Street is going to look very different on the other side of this. The same kind of tiers might still be there, but all you applicants are going to have much more variety in your choices. Some firms are going to come out stodgy and unfazed; others are going to completely roll over into coffee-shop drop-in bistros; some might be slashed to near-irrelevance or merge (I can think of two clear candidates)... what a time to be alive.
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