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About lalaland554

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  1. I just graduated in May and began directly into practice. I felt as ready as I could, though I don't think any new lawyer feels ready to practice (just from speaking to other new lawyers in my local bar). At lakehead, we spend anywhere from 4-8 months with our practice placement (many gave us summer jobs the summer before starting placement). We also do a lot of practical oral and written assisgnments beforehand (statements of claim, defence, moots etc) I felt like I spent a lot of time in interviews explaining the school and program to southern law firms, once I did, most firms were open to the idea. I will note that if your goal is going to a downtown large firm or government, they will likely still make you article, its hard to change their views on that... but its nice to have the option, it allowed almost everyone from my class to find a job as they could fall back on articling if necessary
  2. the poster above set out 1L pretty well. 2L and 3L are similar, but you get electives. the electives at Lakehead are not as plentiful as other schools due to its size, but i got to take everything I wanted and was forced to take some other stuff that I didn't think I'd like, but ended up loving. the main difference is obviously practice placement in your 3rd year for one semester, so if you don't enjoy traditional classes, lakehead is great in that way as you get one semester of credits by working full time.l
  3. Recent graduate here: most firms in town participate in the placement experience, but the availability of jobs after really depends on their own situation at the time. The firms range pretty much every type of law, some are niche boutique firms such as criminal, family, labour, but there are some "larger" firms that practice almost every type of law, so those would be good for trying everything and seeing what you like. The firms here are not like Toronto where they are always hiring new associates. It really can vary year to year. that said, most of my classmates who wanted to stay in Thunder Bay were able to after and landed an associate position, just not all were at the same place they did their placement at. Your best bet to ensure you get a job after is to try to land summer jobs at firms throughout, networking is vitally important for small town practice, so try to get your name out there if possible. In terms of the school, I cannot speak highly enough of it. I graduated and found an associate position back in my home town, and I felt like learning the practical side of law has definitely given me a leg up on competition for job. The school atmosphere was probably the most fun I have ever had in school and the class size being so small really makes you very close (sometimes it can be a bit highschool vibes though). The upside of the school is there are very little commuters, which means everyone (mostly) is new to the city and looking for friends, so thats helpful. In terms of was it tough... I mean yes and no. First semester first year is going to be awful, its a whole new way of approaching school. 2L can be very stressful due to mock trials that all 2L's do, but by 3rd year you're just waiting to be done. I can tell you that at no point did I ever do schoolwork past 5pm at night and only usually put in 3-5 hours on weekends. I had a very full and active social life, and found it not too challenging to keep up with everything. I also did decently well in school. The professors are very approachable, and willing to help however they can. they will also all know you by name since the school is so small, so you won't be able to hide from them (as i did in my large undergrad lecture halls in a bigger city) The nightlife is pretty good as well, and the summer's are truly the best in Thunder Bay and something I miss dearly. it stays light out till almost 11pm, and the weather is warm without the humidity. the hiking is unlike anywhere else in Ontario. if you do choose Lakehead, know you have a whole support system of current students and alumni who are always willing to help should you need it! I doubt you will regret your decision.
  4. Lakehead law instituted an average that every class has to be at - between a 70-75. It was instituted this past academic year.
  5. Lakehead has a fulll gym, it’s pretty old and on main campus. So if you wanted to go you’d have to buy a parking pass for during the week. It will cost you more to get a parking pass than it would for a year at fit4less. Most students at the law school have a car, and there are a couple gyms that are popular. Fit4less is okay, but the one In Thunder Bay is absolutely packed a lot of the time. Otherwise, if you don’t mind investing money in your gym membership the best gym is movati (about a 15 minute drive) or push (in PA)
  6. Hey! I'm a recent grad of lakehead (this year) and from the GTA. I would like many, suggest you study where you want to work. I successfully got a job in the GTA, and most of my classmates who wanted to be in Toronto are there. we have alumni in big law as well. our alumni pool is small - but I could comfortably reach out to ANY alumni and they'd do what they can to help, so in that way our smaller pool of alumni creates a close bond between us. I did not have trouble finding a job in the GTA and actually lined it up quite far in advance. Also, our placement program has many opportunities to be back in the GTA, so you could get yourself back there in third year through that route. As for what Thunder Bay is like, the above poster is not wrong... moving from the city to Thunder Bay was a shock. It is VERY cold in the winter here - but oddly you get used to it. the city is small, but it has everything you need, and since the law school is downtown, you live right in the middle of the city - tons of restaurants, bars and things to do. the summer here is unlike anything else, its PERFECT weather, not too hot or humid, but usually very sunny. the outdoors here really really makes it worth it if you get into hiking and all that! its really fun, and I have really really enjoyed it. Honestly, Thunder Bay being isolated creates its own atmosphere and culture here. I have really enjoyed spending 3 years here. there are downsides though: it is not the safest city, and id caution against walking home at night from the bar or whatever if you're a student. plus, you'll have to suffer through explaining your program to a lot of people (including other law school students) who don't understand it. given the option though, id choose to come here again.
  7. for whats its worth, I am graduating from Lakehead. I successfully got a job in the GTA, and most of my classmates who wanted to be in Toronto are there. we have alumni in big law as well. our alumni pool is small - but I could comfortably reach out to ANY alumni and they'd do what they can to help, so in that way our smaller pool of alumni creates a close bond between us. In my experience, and from what my friends went through, a large majority were able to get associate positions over articling. my employer, once hearing about the schools program actually said he would rather an associate than articling student, so win win! Also, as per the articling thing, we do not have to article. I am leaving law school with a first year associate position, earning me about double what i was quoted if i wanted to article (yes, we can still choose to article if we want). the IPC program is instituted at every year of law school, with the major component - a semester of placement, occurring in our third year. placement students and articling students have the same abilities within and outside of court (in terms of what theyre allowed and not allowed to do). For me, I was at my placement 8 months because they offered me a summer job, so I really don't feel like I lost anything by doing this over articling. this is true of a lot of firms - they will try to hire you on for the summer before your placement if they can. Now, our placements are ALL OVER Ontario. pretty much in every city you can imagine. off the top of my head: TBay (obv), Timmins, even farther north than Tbay like Kenora, Toronto, All over the GTA, Ottawa, London, Kitchener, Oakville etc. So, if your goal is going back to Toronto, I'd simply advise getting a placement there in your third year. there are both public and private placements, crown, ministries, law offices, federal government etc, in almost every field you can imagine, some being more competitive than others. so there really is something in every field. every student is guaranteed a placement and you go through interviews and the student and employer rank and they place you based on that. its kind of complicated but thats the gist of it. After we finish, we have the option of writing the bar in June, and being called in September. which is actually cheaper by a couple thousand dollars than articling. but, we can opt at whatever point to defer our call and article should you want to (which many people do to get crown positions - as the gov't is not always willing to defer the articling requirement). we can also (if we pass the bar) opt out of articling at any time and get called.
  8. BI have graduated from the lakehead program, so take that for what you will. I have a job in the GTA (I just simply didn’t want to be in toronto), and most people I know who wanted to be in Toronto got jobs there, and even on Bay Street In the big firms. Obviously; our networking is more geared to northern Ontario, but lakehead offers MANY placements in southern Ontario, including for big firms, small firms, and the government and non profit environmental firms in Toronto. Also, there’s a job set up with BMO and BLG specifically for Bora Laskin students after 1L for the summer. Also, our tuition is fairly cheap comparatively, rent is MUCH cheaper in Thunder Bay than many places, there are many summer job oppourtunities here and the placement process exempts us from articling (which many of us have taken advantage of to get a leg up on traditional graduates)
  9. You can do both. There’s open placement where all students are sent a list of places that have signed up for the process and you apply to 4 of them and do interviews and rank which ones you liked the most. Then there are closed placements where you can go out and find your own - this can be anywhere in Ontario with any type of firm you want
  10. So are you trying to hire graduates of the law program, or get involved in the placement process? The placement process is done during 3rd year for 4 months. Kf if you want to get involved in the placement process, emailing lakehead law is your best bet (or calling). If you mean grads, no we don’t have a board, but if you want to hire a grad, again Id email the school with a job posting as our student services director sends out job ads every Friday
  11. Hey guys, I applied for a few crown positions in Ontario (deadline was May 4) anyone have an idea on when interview offers will be sent out and the other deadlines associated with crown articling positions?
  12. Yeah, as the poster above said... you could go back every 2-3 weeks, I don’t personally know of anyone who has done that, it’s a far trip to take, and the work can really pile up. Id also like to mention that lakehead is a great school to make friends at, the small class sizes ensure a close environment. By the first couple weeks you’ll have a great group of friends to hangout with outside of school (especially since the large majority will be in a new place alone as well). You won’t be feeling too lonely or going insane or whatever with everyone around to chat, hangout with or study with. Your experience will probably be great, but the move can definitely be scary.
  13. To add onto the other information, most students tend to not go home very often. About half or less go home at reading week, most wait till Christmas. It’s expensive and super time consuming to do that long travel for such a short period of time (not to mention all the work that you need to do). Flights round trip to Toronto are usually around$250 but if you book last minute they can be incredibly expensive. And a car is a good idea! Transit can be spotty here.
  14. This is a misconception of lakehead. One of the mandates is small town practice, but this just menas you’d have an opportunity to learn more about opening your own firm. In in terms of Bay Street, we have multiple grads working there, we also have students that do summer jobs on Bay st. Obviously, we’re the smallest law school in Ontario so our reach isn’t as far, but lakehead prepares you for all types and sizes of law firms. With the added bonus of placement instead of (or in addition to) articling, and a greater emphasis on honing practical legal skills rather than pure theory.
  15. Lakehead does what’s called the IPC curriculum, so we do a 4 month placement instead of articling. That said, there are plenty of those available in southern Ontario from Ottawa to Toronto to Oakville to London to Barrie etc. Also, many of our grads come to lakehead to go back to southern Ontario and it has not been difficult for us to find jobs, we have marketable skills that other law schools don’t provide. That said, up to you whether the small town vibe of Thunder Bay is something you’d like. But I’d say I’ve had a positive experience mostly at lakehead
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