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LostandUnsure

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  1. I've heard this regurgitated to me probably at least 75% of the time during my networking, "mobility goes up so much once you've been called!" Countless lawyers have preached to me about how articling is the big hurdle and once you get called it is much easier to find work. To an extent I understand it, my understanding is a laywer has to babysit an articling student, articling students aren't directly billed to clients, overall there's more investment from the firm into an articling student vs an associate. At least that's what's been conveyed to me from the conversations I've had. An associate can be billed out, there presumably should be less training involved, less hand holding, etc. At this point in my articling search, SPs, smaller/medium firms are the only ones who even entertain the idea of hiring but they claim they don't have the resources to bring on an articling student, not like the big firms. I've seen a couple smaller firms hiring associates who are unwilling to hire an articling student. I pitch myself as a cheaper alternative and they are still unwilling. I semi understand it since it's more work for them but it sucks...
  2. Thanks very much for posting each of these, a couple I saw but many of these are new to me. Sadly I lack the language skills many of them say would be an asset but it doesn't hurt to apply anyways. It's kind of shocking how many current advertisements there are in BC vs. Alberta. Alberta I've seen one semi articling advertisement (hiring a legal assistant with the possibility of moving into an articling position) over the last 2 months. Alberta seems to be absolutely in the gutter right now. I think part of my reluctance of taking a more serious non articling position during this phase (not that I think I would automatically even get one) is that I'd be "screwing over" the place if an articling opportunity arose. The other alternative would be to notify them beforehand that I intend to article but I don't think that's conducive to them wanting to bring me on in the first place then. I used to work in HR there's nothing more aggravating to companies, especially small ones, than hiring someone, investing in them, training them and then having them leave for greener pastures 3 or 4 months later. I'm approaching the point where I'm probably going to do something like that but it's not something that's appealing to me.
  3. Thank-you for the kind words, I appreciate it. Also thanks so much for those links, it's definitely something I will look into. In terms of moving to BC just to search for a position it's something I've considered but I'm not really in a financial position to do (moving anywhere really). I definitely would pursue concrete leads in other provinces (like the ones you provided) but I sadly can't afford to just go to another province to do the same thing I've been doing in Alberta. I.e. network with the hope that I can convince someone to bring me on with no certainty that it'll actually happen. In another province I would have to pay for a place to live, my own food, living expenses, travel costs, etc. with no certainty that I would actually have a job after all that capital outlay. My finances are already stretched in Alberta and I don't have to pay for food or rent while I'm with my parents. I know only looking in one province is not the best way to get a position but it's kind of a chicken and egg thing, I can't afford the expense of looking elsewhere but elsewhere is where there seems to be more positions. I have expanded my search to all of Alberta, for the first little while I was looking in just one city (it may or may not have been Calgary, I'm trying to preserve some anonymity given some of my previous comments) but sadly haven't had any luck anywhere in Alberta.
  4. I assume you haven't been through an unorganized recruit before? There's no formal "posting" it's not like going through viLaw and submitting your applications to the open positions. There's no advertisement, no one is actively looking to hire anyone. In this period I'm basically a salesman who is selling myself to someone who doesn't currently feel they need to hire anyone (if they felt they needed someone, they would have advertised an opening). 90% of my contact with firms/lawyers is me cold calling a partner at the firm and asking if I can take them out for coffee to learn about their practice. I always include in my introduction that I'm a law graduate who is currently seeking articles, but in that initial opening, I don't spring on them immediately that I'm looking for an articling position from them. The remaining 10% are me meeting lawyers through friends, through networking events like CBA meetings or through referrals from other lawyers. Once we're meeting for coffee (pretty much everyone is happy to meet for coffee) I sell them on myself while learning about their practice. I ask them if it's busy, if there's areas where they feel overwhelmed, what their volume of business is like, probing questions where I can insert myself as a viable candidate to help out. Everyone going into these meetings can read between the lines, they all pretty much know beforehand that I'm really after an articling job. Some point it out right away and say they don't have enough business to support a student. Some say they have no room in their office. Some say they already have an articling student(s). Every single person though tells me they know it's tough right now and gives me sympathy, they talk about how slow it is right now and they wish me good luck. At every meeting though I always inquire about an articling position and I always followup afterwards thanking them for meeting and asking if they'd like a copy of my resume/transcript for their reference. The majority tell me they don't need my documents at the moment but they have my contact information on hand if things change. So no, I haven't applied for anything because there are no applications to submit. No one posts a position to be filled, I have to create my own position. Am I not presenting myself well? Possibly, I can't say myself. I don't feel I'm doing poorly as I've done mock interviews without any glaring issues. Everyone seems positive when I talk to them and there's no awkward silences or awkward situations. However, what I won't accept is that somehow I've been lazy through this process or that the reason I haven't got a position is because I haven't done the work. That's bullshit. I've been out there pretty much non stop for the last year (not even the last 6 months, I looked throughout 3L) hitting the concrete looking for a job.
  5. I had some negative things to say about my career office in my original post so to preserve some anonymity I'd rather not be specific. Sufficed to say I went to school in BC but did not attend TRU and for family reasons I had to return to Alberta. In terms of marks I was average, I got a few OCIs but nothing beyond the initial interview. That being said I haven't shown anyone my transcript or resume in months, no one asks for it when you're cold calling. Most conversations I've had have been a "get to know you" type coffee meeting where grades don't even come up. Once in a while people ask me about my work experience or whether I did any moots, clinics, etc. but beyond that none of that stuff even comes up.
  6. This is an update from my original post back in June. Well, 3 months have passed and I still don't have an articling job. I really appreciated a lot of the input I got from posters in my first thread just to help calm my anxiety. I've managed to get my finances relatively under control, while my student loans are still a pretty huge burden I managed to get my interest temporarily waived so I only have to worry about paying down the principle right now. I picked up a part time job in retail. It feels like shit being one of the oldest staff members working along high schoolers but it provides some income. Sadly on the articling front the news is not good. It feels like I've exhausted the list of SPs, and small/medium firms in Alberta and have nothing to show for it. I honestly have no idea where to go from here. Everyone gives me sympathy about what a tough situation I'm in but then no one is willing to go beyond that. To be honest I'm tired of getting well wishes and sympathy as it doesn't help me. I'm tired of networking, putting on a face that I'm still optimistic and outgoing when frankly I'm burned out. Things feel totally hopeless. With my finances more manageable I went back through contacts I had met with before and put out offers of articling for free. I've offered probably around 15-20 firms my services for free and each of them declined. I felt pretty much at rock bottom at that point, I can't even give myself away for free. At this point it pretty much feels like a certainty that I'm going to miss this call cycle. If I don't have a position by mid November I'll miss the absolute latest I can get into CPLED and right not it feels like I have a better chance of winning the lottery than finding an articling gig by then. Before anyone suggests the LPP, for those who don't know this year was the last year of the LPPs pilot program. Right now it sounds like the program will not be renewed. I don't know why since it sounds like attendance is huge but the general consensus seems to be strongly in favour of discontinuing the program. So it's not an option. To be honest I'm not really sure why I made this post now that I'm at the end... It was more for me to just vent I suppose. Right now it feels like my dreams and goals and completely out of reach, like I'm spinning my wheels working a job I could have done straight out of high school. It's just at what point do I give up and officially throw in the towel. I'll end on a bit of a bitter note, because I'm in a bitter spot. 5, 10 years from now, when most of you are fully into your legal careers, please, please, please consider giving your time to bringing on an articling student. If someone offers to article for free, at the very least consider it, don't just immediately reject because it's too much work.
  7. At the start of my search I explored more outlying communities/rural markets and it was a real challenge. 1) I couldn't honestly convey that I was truly interested in practicing out there and to be honest, I probably would book it at the first opportunity because I'm a city person. That's not to say I wouldn't take a position out there if one was available but I think it was pretty clear to the people I was talking to that I was insincere in my interest. 2) I hate to bring up the minority card (I am one) but I got the distinct impression from several of the rural communities I visited that I was an outsider. Heck I feel it sometimes when visiting firms in the city, the effect was magnified in these smaller regions. 3) I had to give up my vehicle because I couldn't afford it. Not having a vehicle has really hampered my search. It's sadly kind of a chicken and the egg thing. I can't afford my car because I don't have a job, but not having a car makes it that much more difficult to search for a position.
  8. Yes sharing is permitted and I've broached the idea of partials to everyone I've talked to and even that hasn't gone anywhere. In fact this year they made the articling requirements extremely lax to the point where you can completely article in house with no client interaction whatsoever and no exposure to most practice areas. Sadly hasn't helped me as from my conversations, in house lawyers have been even less receptive to articling students than firms. Sadly Alberta seems to be one of the worst places to be at the moment due to the oil crash. Ironic considering Alberta was the hot ticket when I started school...
  9. Thank-you for the kind words. My monthly payments are right around the same range but it's incredibly daunting when I only have a couple months payments left available in my account. I'm sure my parents would be fine with me living with them but I feel terrible about it. I don't think they expected to have to take care of me. I'm trying to be as conservative as possible but now all of a sudden they're having to have to spend significantly more on food and utilities now that I'm around. Hence my suspicion my dad is taking additional shifts. It doesn't help I come from a culture where it is largely taboo to discuss financial troubles. I have looked at the LPP but I'm not from Ontario so it is not really an option. As soon as I saw how expensive it was combined with having to have to live out there for extended periods of time and it immediately became a non starter. I can't even afford the LPP fee let alone the associated living expenses.
  10. Hey all, long time lurker but first time poster here. I'm not really sure why I'm making this post but it's probably because I'm looking for advice. As you can guess from the topic title I'm still without articles and I'm completely unsure what to do or where to go from here. I graduated this past April, since January up until now I've been networking as much as possible to try and find an articling job. I've attended as many CBA meetings as I could, I've had tons of coffee meetings with lawyers and absolutely nothing has come of it. Every single person gives me sympathy but they say they're not able to hire an articling student right now. Some of them are nice enough to take my resume but most just suggest a few other firms or names and then we part ways. It's reached the point where I'm starting to hear the same firms and names being mentioned over and over even though I've already talked to those people. I've followed up with several of the people I've already talked to, re-expressed my interest and they say nothing has changed for them but they'll let me know if anything does. I'm just totally unsure where to go from here. I've exhausted the list of firms in my area for multiple different practice areas and have nothing to show for it. My career office has been next to useless offering nothing more than moral support and resume editing services. In fact I'm pretty pissed off about them because I just got notice that they're shutting the office down for the summer and only re-opening before the next school year. It feels like I've been abandoned, the only students who are important are those in the big firm recruit and now that that's over everyone else can be ignored. Not that they were helping in the first place. I'm reaching the point where my finances can no longer support me being unemployed and I'm thinking I have to just start searching for a non-law job. I'm currently living off my parents dime and I'm grateful but feel incredibly guilty about it. My parents are low income, working class immigrants. My dad hasn't said anything but I've noticed him getting home later and later and I suspect he is taking additional shifts to help cover the increased expenses (I went to school in a different city so I was living on my own dime in student housing during school). Most of my savings from summer work has gone to paying living expenses/tuition and the rest has gone off to paying off my student line of credit. I still have a little bit of savings left but it's being drained very quickly as I make my monthly payments on my debt. Some of my classmates have asked me if I'm willing to article for free but that's just not a financial option for me. Nor is it an option for me to go to other cities to explore job possibilities there. I don't have relatives in other cities and I don't have the finances to go out there just to network without the definitive certainty of coming out the other side with a job. I don't think my classmates understand how it is to come from a low income household. I've already had to give up my car as the expenses were just too much without having a source of income to offset it. Socially this has also taken a toll, I don't have the money or transportation to go out with friends. Other than when I take the bus for networking meetings I hardly leave the house and even those meetings have largely dried up at this point. I'm just not sure what to do now, while I still have some finances available, I'm debating if I should pivot my efforts into looking for a non law job. I feel horrendous about this though... it was always my goal to become a lawyer and it feels so hopeless now. However, I can't keep doing what I'm doing now. All I've done so far is burn through money and time with nothing to show for it.
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