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steversteves

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  1. I think banking is a very personal choice, as others have said here. It really depends on what you prefer. I think, when I looked at ratings, both Scotia and TD did poorly with consumer feedback, but Scotia ranked a little higher with satisfaction (By like half a star) than TD. TD has fantastic hours, so if you ever needed to actually go to a branch, it is more than likely you would be able to fit it in to your school schedule. But really, who actually goes to banks in the days of mobile smartphones and internet? haha The 24 months post-articling is really enticing because you generally will not make as much in articling as you will as a first year associate. And you can still put a dent in the debt while articiling without being obligated to make substantial payments sooner. But again, its a personal choice. For me, I chose to abandon banks all together and go with a credit union because they would be willing to roll over the SLOC to a Personal line of credit post graduation. And they would maintain the SLOC status if I decided to do my PhD afterwards; whereas the big banks require you to be in a professional program to keep the LOC you have. So that was the advantage for me. I would recommend just taking the option that will suit your lifestyle choices the best :). They both seem like solid options! Congrats and welcome to law school! Best of luck!
  2. Question that might seem irresponsible; Has anyone financed a new car while in law school? Does this affect your PSLOC? I am on the search for a car, and debating buying new and can afford monthly payments (working a bit during law school) and living expenses without using the PSLOC. The situation is this, I have money saved and am able to pay for both living expenses and tuition cash, without using a PSLOC. However, I am taking out a small PSLOC for emergencies. I can't get a new or used car without incurring some debt. I either used the money I have saved to buy a used car and then pull from credit to pay my tuition, or I pay my tutiion and pull from credit to buy a used car. Both seem not ideal, when I can just finance a new car with 0 down and make monthly payments (over 5 years, none of this 7 or 8 year BS). But what I want to know is, does this make sense? And will this affect my PSLOC? Or will my PSLOC affect car financing? Has anyone ever financed a new car during law school and can give feedback on this? Just trying to weigh my options. I like the idea of a new car more for warranty. I don't want any unexpected expenses that would perpetuate more debt during school. Thanks in advance!
  3. Depends on which premise you're basing that assumption on I guess.
  4. I don't see the need to cite any one person in particular, but I can assure you I have been told both in person, via law student discussions and with already practicing lawyers that you "can't" work during 1L. But I think its irrelevant either way. And I agree with you, as I stipulated in my previous comment. If working takes away from something, be it your grades or your ability to be involved in something relevant and important to you, then its best to pull back on the working part (if it is financially feasible for you to do). Like I said, law is super subjective and you need to make it what you want it. That's the beauty of law school, you can make it fit whatever your aspirations are in life. I'm very grateful for my law school experience thus far, and I am also grateful for the experiences I have had with the work I did during 1L. Its definitely been a very interesting first year and I hope that everyone going in also has an awesome experience :).
  5. Haha so true!!! But within limits. If its a friend, I tend to spare them ;).
  6. Lots of interesting feedback! To answer the second part of your question, the "real world" application of law, bearing in mind that i have only completed 1L thus far, I would say law has done the following: 1. Greatly improved my confidence! While I literally was shaking at my knees in my first mock courtroom submission in front of a pretend judge, after doing a couple of these things during my first year, I find that I am SUPER confident in practical situations. Very little intimidates me now and I have learned to realize the only thing that I found intimidating in the past, were people who would give me these false arguments that actually did not make logical sense! (I think the LSAT helped with this a lot too). 2. Issue spot. And no, I don't mean in legal cases, I mean issue spotting in day-to-day life. I never really realized how much BS people throw out at you in everyday life before going to law school. I find myself following the logical flow of people's arguments (whether the argument be what they had for dinner, or what their mother's best friend thinks about Celine Dion) and poking holes in it. Before, I would take a person's unsolicited advice and contemplate it, now I am able to poke holes in it and stop them in their tracks with the realization that their advice is completely illogical. 3. Embrace conflict. I am a natural introvert. I would flee at the first sight of conflict. Now, I take conflict head on. If someone wants to be adversarial with me, I use the facts I know about the situation, poke holes in their argument where it is weak and generally cause people to think twice about challenging me on things they have no real idea about. 4. Has reduced my threshold for mediocrity and ridiculousness. Over the summer, I am working in a leadership role. Part of my role includes managing people and disciplining when needed. When someone is clearly in the wrong and they try to back peddle with ridiculous arguments and justifications, while I used to be empathetic and understanding, I find now I have very little patience for it. I have been called Judge Judy by some (I am not sure if this is a compliment or offensive, still deciding haha) because I have been as crass as to tell people "tell it to your therapist, this is completely irrelevant to me". While this arguably is not a great trait, I never realized how much time I wasted in the past listening to people's nonsense. I find it actually exhilarating and refreshing that I have been able to filter the necessary interactions with people in a professional setting to things that are relevant and pertinent. Before, I was weighing myself down with other people's baggage, and in reality, this isn't fair. We all have our own problems and we all work through them. If I am your friend, I will listen, but as a professional, I don't care. 5. Has changed my world view. I definitely see things differently now that I have some legal experience. If someone threatens to sue me, I simply say "Whats your cause of action? Because I don't see any here". I also spot negligence, carelessness and understand the legalese of my phone contract. My world view has opened up and I feel like I have a better understanding of how things function in a legal context. I'm interested to hear how law has changed other people's personal lives, aside from the obvious how it has impacted their legal careers.
  7. Haha, nah. I don't actually really believe it. I was just trying to spark some debate . Like I said in my post, I really think it depends on the school. I think if you attend a school life U of T, chances are working during your first year may prove more difficult! But I don't know, because I never went to U of T. The comment comes from a personal vendetta I have against people who tell me "you absolutely CAN'T work during 1L". I really hate when people give this advice to someone they don't even know. Its terrible advice and makes people who may have to work during their 1L panic. For me, going into my 1L, I read a lot of this "you absolutely CAN'T WORK" and it made me panic and caused a lot of anxiety. When I arrived in 1L I realized it really wasn't so hard and I had no problem balancing the 2. I also was in a position where I HAD to work my 1L. Aside from the fact that I avoided a huge amount of debt by working, because I already belong to a professional college and have a license that I have to keep current, if I would have halted all work in my previous discipline, I would have run the risk of having to undergo auditing and other dramas with my current discipline that I wanted to avoid. So, to keep everyone happy, I continued to practice and avoided any unsolicited auditing and quality assurance review stuff with my current regulatory body. Additionally, I don't plan on working as a lawyer. Law school is a strategic plan for me to fast track to a position, within my current discipline, that I have my eyes on. As a result, it would be career suicide to just abandon my previous discipline and focus solely on law when law isn't my end game. Like I said, as is law itself, law school is highly subjective. You should do with it whatever it is you hope to do with it in the future. For me, that involved being involved and current in my previous career and being involved in some relevant law school initiatives. As a side note, I did interview for a summer paid legal internship and they were really impressed and intrigued by my working during 1L and still being able to maintain competitive grades. It actually was a huge sell point for the employer I interviewed with and they made statements like "you must have excellent time management skills" and "it is very impressive how you handled that workload". They ultiamtely offered me the position but I refused (pay was too little and would interfere with my primary, bred winning job). But i think if you can pull off working during 1L and still maintain good grades, you absolutely will have an edge over other students. If your grades suffer as a result of working during 1L, I think its in your best interest to pull back on the work and focus solely on school. But that is my 2 cents. Take care!
  8. Cool article! Thanks for sharing! That's really awesome to hear how influential Canada is! Shout out to Canada!! I agree, we do great things with our constitutional law. And I am so grateful to be a Canadian because of it! All I am saying is we have no decided one landmark, constitutional case WITHOUT looking to the USA first. The last case law example I will give and that I know you would be familiar with if you have taken any criminal law whatsoever, is R v Oakes. We looked to the US constitution there as well as the other cases I cited, supra and a multitude of other constitutional cases I have yet to cite. But yes, I agree, we do great things and we do our own thing. We simply like to refer to the USA to see what they are doing in the world of constitutional interpretation during our SCC judgments.
  9. I disagree with you, too! Just look at the case of R v Tessling 2004. We looked to American constitutional law. We went the opposite way of the USA but we still considered their constitutional law when developing our own law. The case of R v Plant we looked to the US constitution as well as R v Wong and many MANY others. I agree we tend to go the opposite way of the USA, where i don't agree is that we don't look to the USA for guidance. We do quite a lot. By the way @Rashabon, respect! Having a legal debate at 0130 AM on a Friday night. We gotta be the coolest people on Lawstudents.ca hahaha
  10. Re: Constitutional law Yes, they are very different. I think I may have worded this a bit awkwardly. What I mean, is we frequently look to what the US does for guidance, but we don't generally follow the same rules as the US imposes. We have our "living tree" and they have their "What the founding fathers intended". I just meant that we look to how they deal with constitutional issues, we adapt some things to our Canadian style and avoid others. But we do look to them quite frequently for guidance on constitutional issues. Re: States not accepting Canadian degree. Yes, as I said, there are some. But, the trick around it is to go to a state that will accept it, pass the bar there and register in that state, then transfer your registration to another state. That is what a friend of mine did in Cali! Hope this clarifies! P.S. The U.S.s conservative approach to constitutional interpretation does not make it any less valuable than Canada's liberal approach to constitutional interpretation. Just because someone has a conservative ideology does not mean their opinion and approach is any less valuable and should be immediately discredited. I won't engage in a left vs right debate, I just want to emphasis that it is important not to disregard the opinions and views of conservatives in favour of liberals just because popular belief tends to the left.
  11. Hi there, Your questions are very person specific. The opinions expressed by the responders are based on their own life experience and law school experience. I will try to offer an objective insight, but my opinions too are biased by my situation. 1. How much can one work during law school without it affecting grades? This depends on the person and the school. Many people, as they have already done in this post, say "you absolutely CAN'T WORK during 1L and if you MUST, limit it to 10 hours a week". Sure. This may be the only feasible thing for some. But you know what? I personally worked during 1L and you know somethin' else? I worked sometimes 20 hours a week! I think the whole "if you work during 1L you can only work 10 hours" comes from an antiquated and no longer established rule by the law society in the USA that a student of law can only work up to 10 hours a week during their 1L or they can be removed form the program. I don't believe this rule exists anymore in the USA and it definitely doesn't exist in Canada. It would be unconstitutional anyway. In terms of the person, there are a lot of people that have terrible study habits, terrible time management practices and have no real life experience. These are the people that think that it is the end of the world to work at all during 1L. If you can't handle any work during 1L, I am not sure how you would manage any amount of stress and multiple demands during your actual law career. In terms of the school, some schools are more demanding of their students. If you go to a more prestigious and academically inclined school, you may be demanded more and find it more difficult to balance work and school. IT just depends. In general though, I recommend in your 1L year not working for at least 1.5 months. In those 1.5 months you will experience culture shock. Potentially new place, new program, new style of learning and teaching and many different welcome events happening. Take this time to acclimate to the new surroundings and new style of learning, then you can get your toes wet in the labour market. Start small and work your way up to an amount that you find manageable. 2. What types of jobs should one aim for in the summers between school? This also depends. Many students aim for internships with law firms and other legal areas. Others will return to their previous jobs or the job that pays the most. It just depends on the person. For me, I already held a professional degree in a job that pays greater than anything law intern (or even a first year associate for that matter) would make. So, I chose to return to this profession; however, I chose to take a position in this profession that allowed me to also leverage my law skills. I also had a supportive employer that allowed me to incorporate my law skills into my job. So it was a win win. But I know many people that just took a complete break from law, and I know many people that continued with law. I think, personally, after 1L I really needed a break from law. It was a lot to take in and I really needed to give myself a mental break after the experiences I just had. But again, this depends on the person. 3. What options does one have to finance a law degree (Provincial loans, federal loans, bank loans etc? I have never borrowed money before so all of this is new to me). You have all of those options you just mentioned. Provincial loans, federal loans and bank loans. In addition you have mommy and daddy, friends, other family, etc. Take your pick or dip into all of them. But in reality, my recommendation is don't take any of them (unless its the Bank of Mom and Dad)! You are clearly a saver if you have 30k saved while you are still in undergrad. Leverage that ability that less than 1% of the Canadian population has and pay cash. This is what I did and its the best feeling ever to know I am not accumulating insurmountable amounts of debt. The only degree that I think it is okay to accumulate debt with, would be a degree in nursing or medicine. Those are the only 2 professions you can be sure you will have stable and uninterrupted income to pay back your debt. Law is still very sketchy in terms of the labour market and most first year practicing lawyers are, realistically, going to be making at best 60k a year. 4. From personal experience what is the best way to pay for law school? I paid for my 1L cash and will be paying for my 2L with cash. I actually paid my tuition with my credit card and then immediately paid it off before interest accrued (I did this because I got SOOOO MANY POINTS!!! Free vacay HOLLA!). But whatever you do, I would recommend NOT going into debt for it. If you absolutely need to take out a loan, try to pay as much as you can and finance the rest. Then try to offset your living expenses so they don't force you to incur more debt. 5. What is a manageable amount of debt to graduate with? (I plan on going the corporate law route). For me, the "manageable amount of debt" I calculated for myself was $72,000. This was the result of a calculation I did which I will share with you: Excess monthly income (after expenses) from my current job x 24 months - Current debt = Amount of debt you can take on I did this because I would be okay with taking up to 2 years to pay back my debt and, if something happens and I did not finish law school or could not secure a job after law school, i can rely on my previous job to pay it back. You can adjust this formula to suit your own needs. If you want to be able to pay back your debt in 1 year, just substitute 24 months by 12 months. Hope this gives you some insights!
  12. While I don't know of any Americans attending law school in Canada, I do know the reverse (Canadians attending law school in the US, because they weren't accepted to a school in Canada). There is no issue with this, either way. Both countries employ the common law and both countries recognize each other's degrees (at least, state depending, but in general, you can register in a state that recognizes the Canadian degree and then transfer it into another state that may not recognize it off the bat). Attending law school in Canada will permit you to work in Canada or back home in the US. Depending on where you go, it may also be cheaper for you, especially with the feasibleness of the Canadian dollar. As an interesting tidbit that has absolutely NOTHING to do with your post, Canadian law copies American law quite extensively, especially in the area of constitutional law. Canadians generally look to the US for guidance in the areas of constitutional interpretation, as the American constitution is much older than the Canadian and Americans take their constitution quite literally.
  13. They definitely don't. I started a degree in Biotechnology, switched to and finished a degree in nursing, then started a masters in neuroscience and then switched to and finished a masters of nursing. I then applied and got accepted into law school (which I am in the process of doing now). They don't care. The only people who really ever cared were my employers and career interviewers who would and still continue to constantly ask me "So, what do you want to be when you grow up?"
  14. Your question is somewhat complex. You said a "professional mature applicant". There are 2 things you are asking, a "professional" applicant and a "mature applicant". Generally, when you start speaking "professional", you assume that someone has been professionally trained or holds a professional designation achieved through academics. Statistically speaking (while some students may disagree with this), the more prestigious schools tend to accept individuals from more professional backgrounds. For example, last year, of U of T's graduates (one of the most prestigious schools) 21.88% of their graduates already held a professional degree (i.e. MBA, Medical Doctor, Registered Nurse, Social Worker, etc.) vs 22.5% that had a general undergrad. That's a pretty high representation of "professionally prepared" students. While the general belief is that law schools don't give priority based on your background, to me, this suggests that holding a professional designation does in fact give you an edge.(You can review this full report here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/tld-documents.llnassets.com/0010000/10102/law students' society of ontario - just or bust report.pdf). Alternatively, it could just mean that professionals tend to get sick of their first profession more frequently and seek change, which I think is party true, too. In terms of the mature aspect of your question, as psychometronic pointed out, holistic schools would generally favor you more than purely academic driven institutions (such as Os and UofT) in terms of work experience. But this also depends based on how you frame your experience (in your case, being in the military) in your personal statement. For example, saying "Being an officer in the military taught me .. (insert generic statement here)". Being in the military is generally not considered a professional designation. You would not be categorized in the professional stream of the above mentioned statistic. Instead, you would simply be viewed as a "mature" applicant and would be judged as such. Unless, however, you were a professional engineer or something in the military and held a degree or masters in said profession. But simply being in the military would not put you in the "professional" category that law schools consider. My advice though would be to do it if it makes you happy! It definitely is not going to hurt your application and if it makes you happy while doing it, who really cares? Plus the military offers enticing education tuition assistance if you stay with them.
  15. That. Is. AWESOME! That is great! I would like to continue working for the organization I am currently working for, just within the capacity of a counsel instead of the current role I hold. I know we accept articulating students, so I am sure if I identify some key people I can perhaps get placement here as a student! Thanks so much! That just made me really happy and even more enthused about choosing Lakehead!!
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