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Everything posted by Deadpool

  1. Queen's in the past has been known for labour and employment, criminal, and family law, but has been shifting to a more business-focus in recent years. Maybe mention your interest in a particular area of law that is more broad, clinical programs they offer, or professors you would like to work with and learn from, but really the personal statement should focus on why you are the right candidate for their program. Your job is to sell yourself to them and not the other way around. The closest most lawyers get to practicing "constitutional law" is criminal law. I would not mention it in your personal statement unless you want to create a narrative around pursuing legal academia.
  2. Practicing family law with a foreign law degree shouldn't be an issue for you considering your network and ability to hustle. I know lots of successful, practicing lawyers who bombed the LSAT. It doesn't mean that you will suck at law school or being a lawyer. We see a fair number of people with dismal LSAT scores being admitted into schools like Ryerson, Windsor, Lakehead, TRU, UNB, Ottawa, etc. Involuntary dropout rates in law school is almost unheard of. I wouldn't let this setback hold you back from pursuing law at all. As mentioned, you could consider applying to more law schools across Canada, or re-writing the LSAT (though, I agree that after years of trying and multiple retakes this may not be the most viable option for you). Age is just a number. There is nothing wrong with being a junior lawyer in your mid-30s, 40s, or 50s. It's not a race. Enjoy the journey as much as the end result. If you just want someone to tell you that going to Bond or another foreign law school is a good alternative path for you (and you have the financial means to do so), then I will be that someone. Like I said, there are some exceptions to the rule that you should only attend a Canadian law school, T-6, or Oxbridge if you want to practice law in Canada. It possible to practice law in Canada with a foreign legal education and there are many lawyers who do so. It is a difficult path filled with barriers and stigma, but not an insurmountable one to overcome. Make sure you really have exhausted all your options in Canada first. You do not want to have any regrets later on. It will take a lot of hustle and hard work on your part, but if this is really want you want to do, and you have the support of your family and loved ones on pursuing this endeavour, then I wish you good luck.
  3. It sounds like you've wanted to do this for a long time, and been working at it for years. If you have exhausted all your options, and you still want to be a lawyer and practice law, then Bond is not a bad idea. This is contrary to advice I usually give on this topic, but in some cases, it does make sense to pursue a foreign law degree, and you appear to be one of these exceptions. However, I do have a few lingering questions: Have you considered pursuing another undergraduate degree? What are your career goals? Do you have any alternative career paths besides law you can/would pursue? Which schools did you apply to in the previous cycles? If you were to reapply, would your application be any different from the previous years?
  4. I had to provide a writing sample and 3 references for a clinic volunteering position in law school. They've become increasingly competitive now (not all, but some).
  5. Do you think many of these same people would be drawn to Biglaw in the first place if there wasn't such a push in that direction in law school by the CDO, their peers, and the event sponsors? This concept of OCIs, which is predominantly made up for corporate law employers, is shoved into students' faces throughout law school, and even prior to law school. It is the path of least resistance and naturally many students apply and end up working at one of these firms. While it is perfectly fine to not have clear idea of what practice area you want to go into, there is a pretty clear distinction between Biglaw, and other practice areas like criminal, labour, family, wills and estates, immigration, etc. Most law students by that point in time should know themselves well enough to: a) know what their values are, b) know their lifestyle choices and the environment they want to work in, and c) know the clientele they want to represent — government, lower income, HNWI, corporations, etc. I know a few people who transitioned out of Biglaw into other practice areas that have nothing to do with Biglaw, and almost all of them have told me that they came to law school to "do human rights work", "practice refugee law or criminal law", or "help ordinary people." People are not so unsure of themselves to flip-flop between very different practice areas within the span of a year or two. People's personalities do not change all that much during law school and in adulthood. The general point being made in this thread is that you should know your own values well enough to know where those values would be best represented. It doesn't really make sense that someone wants to do M&A or corporate securities work for large corporations for a year or two because they are unsure of practice areas, then make the jump into family, criminal, or refugee law. A lot of the work you do in these fields, the clients you represent, and the skills you need, are very different from Biglaw. Some practice areas are more closely intertwined than others. If more law students had the confidence to take a leap of faith and respect their own value systems like the OP, we would see this being less of a problem, and fewer unhappy law students and lawyers out there. In fact, the attrition rate in Biglaw would not even be as high as it is now, because the people who last long-term in that setting generally want to be there, and that is where their values, personalities, and interests are best represented.
  6. Did you access your network? Maybe your peers from law school and the contacts you've made over the years can help? There is no shame in reaching out to people. There are also many firms in the GTA (presuming that is where you are located), that do personal injury law and residential real estate. Many of these firms have low barriers to entry and are filled with foreign trained lawyers. With a law degree from Osgoode, you can sell yourself at these places quite easily. I was approached by some while even in law school. If you speak another language, you can also target ethnic firms, where the lawyers and clientele are predominantly from a specific community. You can set up your own shop. Criminal, family, immigration, employment, and wills and estates are most conductive for this. As mentioned above, you need to embrace the fact that a lot of lawyering is really learning as you go. There are lots of resources offered by the CBA and OBA to help get you started. I recommend going to events and sessions and improving on your knowledge in one or two areas of law. Networking and specialization is key. This really should be more emphasized in law school, but you should have ideally decided on a practice area when you got out of law school. Employers now want specialized knowledge and skills, and since you have stretched yourself thin doing a variety of different jobs, it is harder for you to demonstrate this. But it is not too late. Focus on learning an area of law ― such as family, wills and estates, employment, immigration, criminal, etc., and build your profile around this. If you worked in retail, you probably have some pretty decent business skills. Use them. Law is an entrepreneurial field. You don't need to work for someone else. You have a license to make money. Get out there and get some clients. Have some confidence in yourself. Yes, you will make mistakes, as everyone does, but you don't grow by not trying.
  7. And a no go to sexual relations with a client.
  8. I would then also focus on clinical and pro bono experiences. https://www.osgoode.yorku.ca/programs/juris-doctor/jd-program/clinics-intensives/ For example, Osgoode in your areas of interest has the Community & Legal Aid Services Program, Innocence Project, Intensive Program in Indigenous Lands, Resources & Governments, Intensive Program in Poverty Law at Parkdale Community Legal Services, and Intensive Program in Criminal Law. While not a prerequisite to landing a position, these experiences can help enrich your law school experience, and market you to prospective employers. When researching law schools, I would look into what each law school has to offer in this department. https://www.lakeheadu.ca/programs/departments/law/curriculum/aboriginal-law#:~:text=Lakehead%20University's%20Bora%20Laskin%20Faculty,legal%20issues%20in%20its%20curriculum.&text=Therefore%2C%20Aboriginal%20law%20is%20a%20cornerstone%20of%20our%20curriculum. Lakehead is definitely a school you should be looking into as well.
  9. Before this thread veers off track, it would be helpful if the OP could clarify their interests and whether they see themselves applying to the OCI employers in Toronto. The Ultra Vires stats are online so you can even go through the list of employers and read up on the work they do. If you think you may be interested in these employers and working in Toronto, then this should factor into your decision on where you go to law school. Some people really are not interested in these positions; a few of the SCC clerks in my year (three to be exact) did not apply and pursued criminal, labour, immigration, and indigenous law positions instead. But we do not know if this will be you. I think you have a shot at Lakehead and Windsor so maybe you don't need to go out of province. If you can pull a 160+, Western, Queen's, and possibly Osgoode are in the cards. There are cheaper schools out of province but if you get into an Ontario law school and want to practice in Toronto, it may be worth just staying here. Unless you can get into UBC... I came out of law school with six figure debt and am employed with the government. Having that much debt does limit many of your life choices so you should take this into consideration, especially if your career goals do not involve Biglaw.
  10. One thing that needs to be clarified in this discussion is, are we only referring to Biglaw and Bay Street as "Toronto firms?" Law firms in Toronto outside of Biglaw are a lot more diverse and racialized. Many racialized law students and lawyers are also working in legal clinics, government, and public interest positions. If we look at the entire legal market in Toronto, and not just Bay Street, there are a lot of racialized lawyers now. I know of many firms in the GTA and Peel regions that are entirely made up of racialized lawyers as well. Yes, Bay Street is less diverse than the rest of the legal marketplace, but these jobs make up only a very small slice of the pie.
  11. Look at it this way. When you're in your 40s and 50s, you'll look 20 years younger.
  12. I'm thinking it has to do with maintaining appearances. PrecedentJD, Ultra Vires, and Canadian Lawyer Magazine keep track of Associate hires and student hireback rates at the large firms. The law schools also probably keep track of where their students are articling. By showing that the firms are still hiring during the pandemic, it maintains the facade that they are doing well and have come out of this unscathed. Hireback rates for articling students has been good this year as reported by PrecedentJD. In light of all these anecdotes and rumours, I don't think things are as rosy as they seem to appear.
  13. Are you at liberty to share firm names, or is this perhaps something you can divulge in the future when more information is received? I'm sure this would be immensely helpful to students and Associates pursuing these firms.
  14. Unfortunately, almost no one in the States has actually heard of Queen's University in Canada, especially in the legal field. It is more well known in the business field for the commerce program, which has sent quite a few grads to Wall Street, but even then, many people there think Queen's is a UK or Australian school. Even when my friends from Queen's commerce did their MBAs at top-tier U.S. schools, employers, and their peers did not know much about Queen's. The only Canadian schools known around the globe are U of T, McGill, and UBC; Waterloo is also known in certain places for its engineering and computer science programs. Canada is just too small a nation on the global scale for people to be informed of all the great schools we have here. This does not mean that Queen's is not a good school and that its law school is "low-tier." Most Canadian schools are unrecognized in the States. FWIW, you can go on the law firm websites, and search up firm representation by schools attended. I would rely more on this than any emails you may be receiving from the firms themselves. A firm can say that they interview and hire from your school, when in reality, they may have just hired one student from your school in the last 10 years. I wasn't aware that Queen's was well known in Asia because of Elon Musk. Elon Musk never graduated from Queen's. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania/Wharton, and his PhD at Stanford University. I'm not sure if it means much that he attended Queen's while waiting for his U.S. visa application to process, and to avoid mandatory military service in South Africa. If you want U.S. Biglaw, you are better off going to U of T (JD/MBA specifically to increase your chances), or do your JD in the U.S. altogether. Almost no one in Canada cares how our neighbours down South, in another country, views our degrees and schools unless they plan on relocating there. If this is your intention, you should just study there. Just as almost no Canadians can name all the ivy league schools by heart (did you know that Stanford, MIT, and Duke are not ivy league schools), our counterparts in the States can't name our schools either.
  15. https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/toronto-man-files-charter-challenge-against-police-policy-of-carding-after-being-stopped-at-least-30-times Toronto man files charter challenge against police policy of 'carding' after being stopped at least 30 times Knia Singh, a law student at Osgoode Hall Law School, filed a challenge on carding based on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms Wednesday. (He is a criminal lawyer now) https://www.yorkregion.com/news-story/10035609--it-s-not-about-being-black-gangster-turned-lawyer-discusses-gun-violence-crime-and-punishment/ ‘It’s not about being Black’: Gangster turned lawyer discusses gun violence, crime and punishment https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2020/02/10/he-was-in-a-us-jail-10-years-ago-he-starts-law-school-in-toronto-this-fall.html https://torontolife.com/memoir/the-inside-of-an-ice-detention-centre-is-as-horrific-as-you-think-i-know-because-i-spent-45-days-in-one/?utm_source=Ryerson+Today+Contacts&utm_campaign=974871ed96-20200506&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_4843a7a799-974871ed96-89353651 He was in a U.S. jail 10 years ago. He starts law school in Toronto this fall This fall, the 35-year-old will be starting law school at Ryerson University. His experience within the criminal justice system, including the time he spent in jail in the United States, is the reason he wants to become a criminal defence lawyer. https://windsorstar.com/news/kidnappers-and-con-artists-lawyers-with-criminal-records A man who spent more than three years in prison for cocaine trafficking, a woman with at least 38 fraud convictions and a teacher who lost his licence after pleading guilty to criminal harassment involving a 15-year-old student - they're all lawyers in Ontario. https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2019/feb/4/former-prisoners-become-attorneys-breaking-law-practicing-law/ Former Prisoners Become Attorneys: From Breaking the Law to Practicing Law https://torontosun.com/entertainment/television/for-life-mans-journey-from-inmate-to-lawyer-recounted-in-50-cents-new-show For Life: Man's journey from inmate to lawyer recounted in 50 Cent's new show
  16. I like cats too but isn't this a bit...excessive? The factors you should be focusing on are ― minimizing debt, location, school spirit, social scene and community, course selection, and clinical programs. Attend law school where you want to work as that gives you an opportunity to network and connect with the local community. I'm sure you can find pet friendly rentals anywhere if you start looking early enough.
  17. Welcome to the forum! I am a lawyer and I have looked at students' personal statements for the cost of $0, both on this forum and offline - as have many other law students and lawyers here. We'd be more than happy to help you navigate this process. However, you should start by looking at the admissions requirements for the schools you are interested in applying to. No application advisor can help you fix your GPA or LSAT score. No advisor is going to know who you really are, to help you write a coherent narrative about your life. These are all things only you can do.
  18. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=1110023901&pickMembers[0]=1.8&pickMembers[1]=2.3&pickMembers[2]=3.1&pickMembers[3]=4.1&cubeTimeFrame.startYear=2018&cubeTimeFrame.endYear=2018&referencePeriods=20180101%2C20180101 While there is an upward trend in salary in other fields, isn't there also a lower ceiling? In 2018, the median income in Ontario for individuals aged 45-54 was $48,600. Even the average income of $66,800 at that age range does not seem particularly high. https://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/economy/demographics/census/cenhi16-7.html The Ontario median household income in 2015 was 74k. Almost everyone I know with a Bachelor's degree is making between 40-60k, barring a few select professions that pay higher (finance, investment banking, software development, etc.), and the numbers from Stats Canada seems to reflect this as well. If you are graduating with an arts degree, I am not sure if there are many careers out there where you can pass six figures, other than law - which is why many arts graduates try to go to law school. At the time I entered law school, my friends who graduated with general arts and science degrees started working entry-level jobs making 30-50k and they have not moved up much since then. I don't know if most people have the ability to cross six figures in many other fields out there, particularly with just an undergraduate degree. Even the engineers I know are in the 60-70k range. Many engineers then go on to get expensive MBAs (which can cost as much as a JD) to help them make lateral movements into business and managerial positions. In law, there is the potential to make a lot more money, in general. I'm not sure if there are many lawyers with 10 years of call experience that are making below six figures. Perhaps someone who has been working in the field longer than I can comment on this, but even if you start out as a new call making 40-50k, after 10 years, surely you would have passed 100k? Law is a field that has no ceiling like most other professions out there. As it is an entrepreneurial profession, the amount of money you make depends on the amount of business you bring in, and as a 10 year call, presumably you are at the Senior Associate, Partner, General Counsel, etc. level already. By then, it is expected that you would have learned the tools of the trade and are relatively good at your craft. I would be surprised to see very many lawyers with 10+ years of experience making below six figures. I don't know. I'm a junior in a government position, which pays less than private practice, and I make more money than most people. There are people who've worked 10+ years in their careers that makes less money than me. Most Canadian law students seem to land on their feet within the first two years out of law school, and after that, it comes down to your own hustle and mindset. There is money to be made in law, more than most other professions out there.
  19. Did you apply to the articling recruit? Showing a demonstrated interest in the work the employer does is vitally important at this stage. Your application materials need to be specifically tailored to that employer and your course selection should indicate that as well. How are your extracurriculars and clinical experience? Do you have any networks/connections in the field? What courses did you take in 2L? Articling positions in 3L will be limited. Give the pandemic, I am assuming there will be a lot of students applying for positions. The Ryerson LPP is also an option. I know people that did the program and almost all are practicing law now. Your goal at the end of the day is to get called to the bar. The good news is that your grades will not follow you forever. After articling, I have not been asked to submit transcripts by a single employer. I understand that after a few years into practice, it is something that most employers do not ask for. Right now, you just need to get your foot in the door. If your interest is in family law, how have you demonstrated this interest? Are you networking with the family bar and family lawyers; sending cold calls and emails to the firms; connecting with family lawyers on LinkedIn? No employer wants to hire a student that will do anything and is applying to everything. They want to invest in someone who actually cares about the work they do. I know you are in a tough situation right now and will actually do anything but the way to sell yourself to an employer is to tailor your interests and show a commitment to something. This will matter even after you get called to the bar and start looking for Associate positions.
  20. I don't think the Osgoode gold medalist I know who went straight into investment banking after graduation would refer to themselves as a failure; nor would the UN lawyer I wrote the bar exams with, who decided to only get her license to practice law many years later. When people leave law, they're not flipping burgers at McDonald's. Many lawyers leave law to go into business - consulting, advisory, and human resources recruitment being the most common. Biglaw lawyers after a few years of experience can also break into finance, M&A, and private equity. There is no rule that you need to practice law with a law degree, just as there is no rule that you need to practice medicine after medical school, or work as an engineer after getting an engineering degree. Other common pathways include: • mediation and dispute resolution • labour relations • teaching • policy • document review • therapy and career advice (usually have psychology background as well) • investigators for the human rights commission, ombudsman's office, police misconduct investigators, workplace harassment, etc. • claims professional • freelance writer and author
  21. It is a widely known fact that all Canadian law schools have an over 90% articling rate. If you attend a Canadian law school, why should being a minority prevent you from getting a job in the legal field? A lot of minority students now attend Canadian law schools (it is 50% at some schools). Just look up the class profiles online. https://www.law.utoronto.ca/about/jd-first-year-class-profile - even U of T's class is nearly 50% made up of minorities. There is a lot of discussion around the disadvantages minority groups face in Biglaw hiring, but the legal profession is not just made up Biglaw jobs. There are a lot of diversity and equity organizations that you can reach out to for support as well: Arab Canadian Lawyers' Association Association of Chinese Canadian Lawyers of Ontario Canadian Association of Black Lawyers Canadian Association of Muslim Women in Law Canadian Association of Somali Lawyers Canadian Association of South Asian Lawyers Canadian Hispanic Bar Association Canadian Italian Advocates Organization Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers Hellenic Canadian Lawyers Association Indigenous Bar Association Iranian Canadian Legal Professionals Korean Canadian Lawyers Association Macedonian Canadian Lawyers Association OBA Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law Section OBA Equality Committee South Asian Bar Association Toronto Lawyers Association Women’s Law Association of Ontario https://on.facl.ca/about/board-of-directors/ - almost all the Board Members of FACL work on Bay Street or as Crown lawyers. https://www.lawsociety.bc.ca/our-initiatives/equity-and-diversity-centre/demographics-of-the-legal-profession/ https://lso.ca/about-lso/initiatives/edi/resources https://lso.ca/lawyers/practice-supports-and-resources/equity-supports-resources https://www.cba.org/Publications-Resources/Practice-Tools/Measuring-Diversity-(1)/Resources/Resources/Measuring-Diversity-Additional-Resources
  22. I am going to be blunt here. Law schools are not charities. You say your dream is to be a lawyer, yet that is not evidenced by anything I have seen here. You have a dismal GPA and subpar LSAT score. Contrary to all the advice you have received here, you do not want to a) attempt to raise your LSAT score, b) attempt to raise your GPA, or c) apply later on once you've gained some experience. You say you do not want to waste your 20s way, but what else do you have going for you; what are your alternative plans? Why are you this quick to give up on your "dream?" Maybe law school isn't for you. You can look into policing but there is also law clerk, paralegal, and legal assistant programs. Moving forward, my only advice is to put in some more effort to reach your goals, whatever they may be. Failing to reach your goals, then putting the blame on all these external factors is not the way to go about impressing people (including law school admissions). How have you overcome these struggles and adversity to prove yourself? Why do you deserve a seat in a law school? Your "only" con for Windsor is not just your GPA. What are your extracurriculars and community involvement like? Do you have any special accomplishments; artistic and athletic accomplishments; additional languages you speak, etc.? Do you have a public interest or social justice background? Essentially, if your stats are on the low-end, what have you done to prove to them that you deserve a seat in their law school? If you're saying you should be looked at as a charity case because you suffered from illnesses, took care of an ailing parent, lived in poverty, and worked full-time during your summers offer (and part-time during the school year), this is really not going to go down well with anybody.
  23. The real question is, who is this poster that had to make a new account just to make this comment? Diplock at least has the balls to voice his opinions without having to jump on secondary accounts.
  24. 100% this. This forum has a rule where putting schools into tiers, and talking about law school outcomes in Canada, causes huge controversy and backlash. But not everyone is going to be an A or B+ student even in law school. I've noticed in the past that everyone who has commented about their successful legal careers, after having attained below average marks in law school, attended some pretty good schools like U of T, Osgoode, McGill, UBC, etc. In fact, if I recall correctly, one of our own moderators attested to this as well. I'd like to see more data and perspectives on career outcomes for average/below average students as well, as that is a very relevant factor when choosing a law school.
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