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About Ghalm

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  1. IMO, it is not so much about how many hours you put into your study, its more how smart you study. The key to getting an H or HH is to know the material well enough to use the law to play around with the facts on a fact pattern exam. So that really is about being able to create a map that will account for all the important points of law, the nuances associated with those points, some potential arguments or key pieces of evidence that turned an argument in a case to keep in mind, and then with this knowledge you deal with the facts on a fact pattern to present an argument taking into account both sides. To be able to create such a map, over the semester: read as much as you can (don't be an unnecessary reader, not every paragraph of a case needs to be read IMO), access upper year summaries to compare, attend lecture to hear what points your prof emphasizes on so that you have all the information you need to create your own good map. And also do practice exams to test your application (and compare your answers to answers in the answer bank) to see if you can account for all the issues and nuances in a fact pattern.
  2. Yeah that was the typical first year schedule; in upper years classes can start as early as 830am (few, select courses lol), or start as late as 6pm and go until 8/9pm (again few select courses). So you might change your mind in upper years, but to be honest, unless its a class you are dying to take, the world won't end if you choose the 4-6pm class instead of the 6-8pm class and learn about bankruptcy instead of trial advocacy for e.g. See the following for this year's schedule with first year courses highlighted: https://www.law.utoronto.ca/academic-programs/academic-handbook/timetables-and-exam-schedules/timetable-first-term and https://www.law.utoronto.ca/academic-programs/academic-handbook/timetables-and-exam-schedules/timetable-second-term
  3. I commuted all 3 years (in my last year now) 1.5 hours each way to UT. Classes and marks did not suffer. I was able to do the extra-curriculars I wanted, however it was harder for me to stay out late to go to some social events. That did not impact me much since idc about drinking activities like going to the weekly bar event (i do not drink and do not like to be in an overly alcoholic environment); but if you care about social activities like that, they happen late. I would also add you might spend less time on campus generally, cuz you will study at home or the local library to avoid the commute on your days off, so maybe you will have less time to build friendships i guess? but that can easily be remedied if you do the extra commute on your days off to study on/be on campus. I have friends who commuted same distance but came to campus more, and they would stay late to go to call to the bar, and they have a great social circle on campus. Not to say I do not have friends lol! 1L classes can start as early as 930, and end as late as 630, though most end at 4pm, 4 days a week or sometimes 3 days a week; i never had an issue with attending my classes fully or doing the readings. I did many of my readings on the train + took notes too if the text was available pdf.
  4. I mean, I haven't attended one class at all this year, nor did the readings. Going to be relying on the notes the prof posts for the exam. Also, been very willing to skip another class, but not every single session like the other. There are strong arguments in favour of not skipping class any year including 3L. Sometimes we do not listen to the strong arguments cuz we choose to sleep in instead.
  5. True, though BJ's Toronto (where the population is 50/50) associates seem to be 14/89 (15%) POC based on a good faith but hasty effort to count diversity based on pictures: https://www.bennettjones.com/People_Search_Results?f=84,89, and their partners 5/79 (6%) based on that same effort: https://www.bennettjones.com/People_Search_Results?f=84,91 ... and my friend who worked at BJ just mentioned that 3/22 of their summer 2019 cohort were diverse people. Of course, lumping POC into one giant group has its own issues. Still happy to hear that the current articling class is quite diverse and i am glad this shows that BJ has the capacity to continue to promote diversity. People from lower socio-economic backgrounds definitely face similar if not the same issues, and it often times is the case that the diverse candidates who end up on bay st. are from a wealthier background, it also is the case that some are not from those backgrounds and have a double burden.
  6. Yes, and lets also note that i do not think we have anything as strong as AA (understood as deliberate affirmative efforts to hire POC/Indigenous folk cycle after cycle with specific streams or committees dedicated to ensuring repeated #s) at any firm... seems to me like we have general guidelines on diversity, a firm wide policy or unique recruitment policy, a workshop or two on anti-bias training, and some diverse lawyers who champion the cause and do what they can (hosting events, being involved in the process) to push for diverse candidates. Happy to be proven wrong on this point though and give credit to the firms that have stronger diversity approaches
  7. I don't know why people are saying it may pose as an advantage for you during the recruitment process. I am a poc law student, so take what I say with a grain of salt. The general consensus around diversity issues is that some big firms are working on their diversity competence (anti-bias training, inclusive events, name-blind hiring) precisely because they recognize POC and Indigenous folks are at a disadvantage. I really do not think that firms with these programs in place are wildly successful in hiring POC/Indigenous folks. I do not see many student classes robustly diverse, nor an associate cohort robustly diverse (or even kinda diverse), nor a partnership cohort robustly diverse (or even kinda diverse), at any firm based on the faces/names I see on websites. This article briefly looks at the subjective experience of an Indigenous person going through the OCI process, while critiquing the process as a whole: https://precedentjd.com/news/cover-story-the-ocis-are-broken/; an indigenous colleague at my law school has also said how they had to face the assumption they were interested in social justice issues (i.e. not interested in Bay st) because of their indigenous identity throughout the process. They noted that this was something that an upper-year indigenous person advised them to expect and she prepared for it. (More articles on diversity issues on bay st. in general: http://ultravires.ca/2014/11/diversity-on-bay-street-knocking-on-the-diversity-wall/; https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/hadiya-roderique-black-on-bay-street/article36823806/) Anyways! Not all doom and gloom. There are diverse candidates who got a bay st. job, and there are diverse lawyers with bay st. practices. My limited understanding (and from what I have heard from POC lawyers and students alike) is that the onus is on you, the diverse candidate, to be the best candidate you can be to overcome any potential implicit or explicit barrier that may be thrown your way trying to get on and thrive on bay st. I have heard that from students, associates, and partners on probably all the different occasions i spoke about diversity with someone, or heard a talk on the subject (all of these instances were re: bay st as that is/was my area of interest). It strikes me as a bit ridiculous to say you'd be at an advantage. Having a disadvantage is not the end of the world, but it is a reality you will likely have to navigate to a large or small extent throughout your student and practising career. I'd advise reaching out to your indigenous law students association at your school (or upper year indigenous students) to build that network and find out who are some indigenous bay st. lawyers (former or current) you can perhaps speak with to gain some perspectives about life on bay st. as an indigenous person.
  8. Yeah honestly this needed to be said. Isn't it pretty obvious that you wouldn't want to work with lawyers who consciously or subconsciously take issue with your choice of drink at a fancy restaurant. I asked for coke zero (and settled with coke), and mentioned that I did not drink alcohol when asked, at every dinner/lunch I attended during this process. If the lawyers you meet expect you to act like the french aristocracy, then why would you ever want to work for them? And if you cannot be your normal decent self, enjoying a refreshing coke zero with your steak or fancy fish dish, then that is a good sign that the firm probably isn't a good fit.
  9. Hey there, Never apologize for seeking advice! You are not complaining and you are not coming across as annoying. I am in 3L at a school in ON, and thought I could share some thoughts to assuage your 1L blues. With respect to the material clicking and the classes moving so fast, I do not think you are alone in experiencing this at all! I have always felt that my classes move super fast. The material seriously never clicks until I begin to start studying for exams (which starts usually a couple weeks before the beginning of the exam period)! This has been a consistent pattern for me. It is only when I start to consolidate my notes, marinate on the concepts and case law, and put together my own map and summary that I finally begin to make sense of it all. My advice to you is to just try to take the best notes that you can to be best prepared for when you start to consolidate and begin studying for exams . I know some of my peers who read over and consolidate their notes even earlier than near the exam period which helps them make sense of it all. Also, does your school have a map/summary bank? If you do not know, reach out to the student society to ask. Those maps can be a good starting place for getting your head wrapped around the material (and for consolidating your notes in the future by comparing your understanding with that of other students). I second what was shared above about joining groups and ECs to meet people. Good on you for trying new things like coming to class 5 minutes early. Heck why not come to class 15 minutes early and see who is sitting there and strike up a convo. I know my school can be group-y too, but there are always those few students who sit by themselves or with one other person that are an easy conversation to have. Maybe look past the "groups" to see who else in the lecture hall is sitting by themselves, or with one other person. I am sure if you keep at it you will meet some great people. Also clinics are a great way to get close to people as you grind away working on real life issues!
  10. Not all firms pay a tuition bonus, though they pay bar benefits. If those firms that do not pay a tuition bonus raise to 1800, it wouldn't it seem odd, for optics at least, for those firms that pay a tuition bonus to stay at 1700.
  11. Would Fasken's shift to 1800 cause the others settled at 1700 to move to 1800? Heard Fasken didnt cut bar benefits though they do not give tuition bonus i think
  12. Rumour has it that one large bay street firm has increased their articling salary from 1450 a week to 1700 a week. Also, Law and Style magazine reported a month ago that Bennett Jones and Davies raised their articling salaries to 1850 a week (https://lawandstyle.ca/law/on-the-record-why-did-bennett-jones-and-davies-reward-their-articling-students-with-a-raise/). So, what do we think? Is this an indication that the large firms on Bay street will increase their articling student salaries? What does it take for that to happen? Is one firm moving away from the norm enough?
  13. You have to show the fin. aid office that you applied for gov. aid (osap or your own province), been approved, and have a funding estimate. So, yeah they probably take it into account. Also, my experience for the past 2 years is that it has been generally accurate so long as you are accurate in the information you input in. It is sometimes a couple hundred dollars more or less than what was estimated based on my experience/what my friends tell me.
  14. To your first point regarding LPs and Fs. Yes they do exist. However, LPs are discretionary, up to 10%. In my first year, I had two Profs say they do not give LPs, another prof showed us his last 3 exams with answers and memos detailing how many students got which grade, and out of the past 3 years only one student got an LP in his class. There are some Profs that give out LPs, but my sense is that its not as widespread as 10% of every class receiving an LP. These 3 classes were all your standard black letter law classes. I do not think I said, nor did I imply, that people with many Ps are going to suddenly be competitive to top jobs in the profession. I was merely saying that based on my anecdotal experience as a current student at UT Law, people are not that anxious about their grades, because, in part, a P is interpreted as a B and the spectre of a B- C+ C C- does not exist. And, I would add, that the spectre of an LP is not as scary given the likelihood that they are not as widespread as 10% of each class.
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