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Everything posted by BlockedQuebecois

  1. I’ll just add that I never saw any postings for Milan firms at Osgoode’s CDO, so I expect those postings are largely restricted to McGill. To the extent any Canadian legal degree will be useful in Italy, I imagine McGill is pretty much the only one.
  2. You can call me arrogant all you want. That doesn’t change the truth of my comment. Like it or not, it’s a very real concern and honestly one of the biggest problems with our legal system.
  3. I’ve never applied to work at a family law firm, so this should be taken with a grain of salt, but writing about the law in your cover letter strikes me as odd
  4. I think you’re erroneously making this a dichotomy when it really isn’t one. Grades are the most important thing for big law hiring, without a doubt. But most people who get hired by big law firms manage to both get the requisite grades and engage in some extra curricular activities. The same is true for people who work in other fields, but grades are much less important for smaller firms. They’re looking for demonstrated interest in their field, and they’re ideally looking for some relevant experience as well. Painting this as a choice between getting good grades or getting practical experience is odd. You seem to believe that you’re only capable of doing one of those things, and I’m not sure why. To be honest, I’m largely of the opinion that law school grades are relatively immutable, in that I doubt harder work leads to better grades with any regularity. With that philosophical viewpoint out of the way, here’s my advice: Since you’re interested in more than Bay Street positions, I think you should really try to get some practical experience. If your grades don’t turn out or you strike out in OCIs notwithstanding strong grades, you’ll be in a much better spot than if you don’t. If you were truly Bay Street or bust, I might suggest you just buckle down and try to get the best possible grades because the importance of this semester is so high. But that strategy is unnecessarily risky for someone who is open to other career paths, and as I said I’m not even convinced it would work.
  5. What do you want to do? That will shape the advice you get Considering you have no grades and no ECs to speak of, I think it’s fair to say you’re not in the best position going forwards. Assuming you’re not interested in big law, I would spend this year trying to get relevant practical experience while taking courses in your field(s) of interest. If you’re interested in big law, you’re going to want to focus on getting the best grades possible in first semester this year.
  6. I don’t think you really got the point of that post or even the point of the overarching discussion going on here.
  7. Sigh, I never said you did. My post was disagreeing with your assertion that they lean into the maxim about starting at large firms, and saying that the only people I do see promoting that idea are CDOs. There’s a certain irony in telling me to be generous in my reading of posts while building a strawman out of my post. But that’s fine, Diplock. Batter down your strawman and have a good day.
  8. I’m more inclined to believe this version of events, rather than CleanHands argument that it’s conspiratorial (and I think you’re wrong about what he means, since the term deliberate ploy makes it pretty clear). But to be honest, I don’t even really buy this version of events. I don’t think big firms are leaning into that maxim in any meaningful sense. I never saw that being promoted by big firms at any event during law school. It’s certainly not a part of their advertising. It’s mainly the type of advice that gets echoed about by law students. The only people in power I do see promoting that maxim are the law school’s CDO. And the explanation for why they do that is pretty clear and doesn’t involve any deliberate ploys by big firms. They do it because their jobs are to get students employed in a manner that reflects well on the school. And what reflects well on schools, at least in Ontario? High OCI hiring, so that when Ultra Vires puts out its study everyone knows how good a job they did. So the CDO pumps the tires of OCI employers, promoting them and advising students to go work for them and that they can always move to a smaller firm in the future. Maybe other people’s experiences are different and they actually saw the big firms promoting these ideas, but I’ve never seen it. And while I’ve experienced some pretty... sharp recruiting from large Toronto firms, I’ve never felt like any mislead me about what my exit options would be.
  9. The DOJ does handle national security advice outside the military context, but CSIS and other federal agencies seeking national security advice do so using a dedicated department within the DOJ: the National Security Litigation and Advisory Group (NSLAG). My understanding is that lawyers within that group are walled off from the rest of DOJ and exclusively handle national security matters.
  10. It's worth noting that several reserve units have legal officer positions, although I think hiring for them is also quite competitive (and it looks like none are hiring right now). I know one person who ran a practice and worked as a legal officer with their local naval reserve, and it seemed to be a pretty sweet gig. Although Captain/Lt(N) is the direct commission rank, the walking around rank is Major/LtCmdr, and reserve force pay at that rank is quite good. The officer I knew worked his one day a week and often provided advice via telephone on off days as necessary.
  11. The lady doth protest too much, methinks. Good chat, have a good night
  12. I've never once seen big firms suggest, explicitly or implicitly, that working for them allows associates to do whatever they want. Students in Ontario seem to pretty clearly understand that if you want to work in X area, it's vastly preferable to article in X area. In my experience, the few students who do think that articling at a big firm then going to practice criminal law is a viable career path do so in spite of evidence to the contrary because they want to believe it's true (since they'd like to do it). Not because of some "deliberate ploy" by big firms. Perhaps they're doing things differently out west, but to be honest this comes across as far too conspiratorial for me to actually give it much credence.
  13. I disagree with @Psychometronic, in that I don’t think this is a tough position to be in. You don’t like your current firm. You want to work in a different area of law. Unlike some fields, most of the positions in your area of interest will come up over the next year. As far as I’m concerned, you should turn down your offer and look for a criminal law articling position. Life is too short to spend it saying you’ll pursue what you’re interested in at some indeterminate point in the future.
  14. It probably is good career advice for OP to hang their own shingle, since OP pretty clearly can’t convince anyone (worthwhile) to hire them as an employee. But I can’t help but cringe at the idea of someone with essentially no experience going out into the real world and fucking up people’s lives by messing up their criminal defence, divorce, immigration application, or will.
  15. Actually, I guess the uniform answer would be to write optional essays if you have something worth saying and want to say it. But if you don’t, be prepared to second guess that decision if you don’t get in
  16. That’s new since I applied. Is it the only one? You’re not going to get a uniform opinion because it depends on what the specific instructions are. In U of Ts case, I would think twice before not doing something they “strongly suggest” unless I was well above median for LSAT and GPA. If there’s a school that just says “do this if you want to” then I wouldn’t do it unless I wanted to
  17. Which Canadian law schools have optional essays outside of those for people that have additional considerations they wish to draw attention to?
  18. I don’t think it’s fair to say OPs experience is a normal job search experience, at least out of Osgoode. Retail jobs for 1.5 years, articles that sound like they barely actually satisfied the requirements for articles, one interview for a legal position in the two years post-call and zero in person interviews for non-legal positions are some seriously dire stats. It’s one thing to say job applications are a numbers game, quite another to suggest OPs experience is normal. I don’t really have any advice for OP, though. It sounds like quite a difficult situation
  19. I always forget how mountainous Calgary is:
  20. 300 hours of studying for the LSAT strikes me as excessive. I think that advice tends to be for American schools, where you actually need a strong LSAT to get into a good school, not Canadian schools where mediocre scores are the norm Really, OP needs to write a diagnostic. Any advice regarding timing is useless until then. They could get a 165 and easily be ready in a month, or they could get a 130 and need to plan to study extensively.
  21. That’s a bad take. 5 As in second year will generate plenty of interest from Crim defence firms, even if there were 3 Cs in first year. People with 3 Cs in 1L get jobs all the time, even without extenuating circumstances.
  22. It’s true in every other profession I’m familiar with – medicine, accounting, engineering, optometry. If anything, it’s more formalized in other professions because they have real licensing procedures as opposed to law, which clearly doesn’t.
  23. You guys are making me want to go try 88 and see how I fare.
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