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Demander

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  1. In addition to ther above recommendations, take an Indigenous Law/ Indigenous People and the Law/ Aborginal and Indigeous law course. Some of the content will be property-related, but mostly, every law student should take a course in that area before graduating in order to get a better understanding of how our country/ justice system operates.
  2. I've found that 20 minutes is a very comfortable walking time for a commute. I've lived in Toronto my whole life and have done a walking commute for many years when I lived a 35-minute walk from school. It was A-ok in the wintertime with the right boots. I planned to do a walking commute for my articles as well, but we'll see if I ever get to do it. I summered at the firm and enjoyed walking both to and from work each day. It helped me wake up in the morning and unwind in the evening.
  3. You're right that they are obligated to follow the rules for articling principals. I wrote with careless haste and didn't put my thought down in the way I intended to. I was going for: There is a chance that, since these people are doing OP/ OP's family a favour and since they didn't initially have a need for an articling student, I think there's a good chance that they will not have much fruitful work for OP. OP might be stuck with minimal opportunity to build the skills that would set them up for a better job in the kind of law they want to do. While the principal will have to abide by their duties, they have the option of doing so in a bare-bones way that results in OP doing a lot of admin-type work or doing a lot of the same type of legal work, such that they don't get much out of it in terms of the skills they cultivate. In doing the LPP, presumably all the time dedicated to the LPP will be dedicated to learning how to do legal work. They're not doing OP's family a favour, and presumably the primary goal is to set OP up for practice. I realise that's not at all what I wrote in the post above and I apologize for that. I did not intend for it to be misleading in that way.
  4. TBH, I'd go for the LPP in your position. You may have the opportunity to meet more lawyers in your practice area, keep developing your skills, and have a proper reason for not making any money. If you take the unpaid nepotism job, you may end up finding that the learning environment is not great because: a) they're not obligated in the way the LPP is to actually teach you things and properly set you up for practice and b) it's possible that everyone will know that you're unpaid/ hired as a favour and that could create difficulties even if you do great work while you're there. By difficulties, I mean that there could be a perception that the lawyer who arranged all this unfairly favours you, or that, since you're working for free, there could be a perception that you're less competent/desperate (I don't know you, but I'll assume that this would be an incorrect and unfair perception). You might find that a better way to make no (or almost no) money while setting yourself up for better things lies with the LPP. I know one person who did the LPP, and that person has a good job in an area of law they love. This supports the idea that the LPP doesn't necessarily mean a black mark on your career. It certainly wouldn't be worse than free nepotism articles, and might do more to get you closer to your corporate solicitor work than I imagine PI litigation would get you.
  5. Schools do tend to have those kinds of reputations, though their reputation isn't necessarily what they're looking to see reflected in application materials. For instance, U of T has a reputation for being "corporate" but the school itself likes the idea that it is a pathway for people who want to further access to justice and lots of people emphasize their interest in the schools' legal clinic opportunities and reputable International Human Rights Program in their personal statements. It really depends on the story you're trying to tell about yourself. In my view, "tailoring" your personal statement just means connecting your past experiences together in a narrative, expressing your plan for the future, and making the school look like the next logical step in your path. There are probably a lot of other ways to think about the personal statement, but this was how I thought about mine when I wrote it (admittedly over three years ago). If you're looking to target your personal statements to the law schools you're applying to, I would suggest thinking about concrete and practical things that each school has to offer, and how those things relate to your reasons for wanting to be a lawyer. For instance, if you know that one school has a legal clinic which does bird law and you're interested in bird law, then you'd want to point out that clinic as part of why you're applying to the school/ why the school fits into the overall narrative you're trying to put forward in your personal statement. You can do the same sort of thing with profs (i.e., if school A has Canada's top 3 scholars in bird law, you can emphasize your interest in bird law and whatever bird law-specific courses School A offers in that area). You can get information about this from schools' websites and by asking current students about what they think of their schools' programs in your areas of interest. Hope this helps! To clarify, all the above are considerations on top of whatever requirement the school sets out for the personal statements' contents and structure. Also, if you're from out of province or from the other side of the province, you should give some location-related indication of why you want to go to a particular school. If you have one.
  6. I am also on team "enjoy yourself as much as possible," especially given the pandemic. Work on your hobbies. Paint a painting. Build a model airplane. Finish writing that compendium of 400 limericks about maple syrup you've been working on all year. That aside, if it's safe for you to do so, consider participating in some kind of volunteering or mutual aid. That might be both a good way to help people who need it right now and also a satisfying way to spend the time. If you want to think about it in terms of law school preparation, it might also give you something to talk about once you start interviewing for clinics and jobs (i.e., shows a drive to help others/ makes you look like you're keen on remaining productive at all times/might help you improve on a skill). Another thing might be to join any social media groups for your school/cohort and start connecting with your classmates. Might be nice to start to get to know people. You might also meet upper year students that way, who may offer advice and resources for you later in the semester. I just finished 3L at U of T and I'm studying for the bar exams, which means that I'm antsing for a welcome distraction - like the opportunity to sound knowledgeable by sharing school advice. I'm probably not the only one who feels this way. If it turns out I am, feel free to PM me here (or feel free anyways, I'm very open). I wouldn't recommend reading law. There's no shortage of opportunity to do so once the semester begins.
  7. Fair enough, I guess... though "hardware" is still mysterious. Don't profs own laptops? As for savings, I agree that the slightly lower utilities bill wouldn't make much of a difference. However, what about things like savings on catering and events?
  8. What are the increased costs of remote learning? Is that just a Zoom premium package? But in all seriousness, I'm genuinely unclear as to what additional new costs a university might have related to online learning...
  9. Hi everyone! I've heard that some important factors in hireback at the end of articling may be related to the extent to which people 1) know who are, 2) like the work you've done, 3) think you'd be easy to work with, and 4) seem more like an asset than a liability. Does anyone have any perspective on how the absence of hallway conversation, social events, in-person meetings, etc. may affect 1, 3, and 4, above? I am aware that Zoom and MS Teams exist, but I'd be interested to hear from others on this forum about what kinds of consequences they anticipate, given how this will change the nature of how people will interact in the workplace. If that sounds vague, a few specific points of change might be that: 1) Students may no longer be getting interesting surprise assignments because they bumped into the right associate at the right moment and spontaneously expressed an interest in whatever they were doing. I personally love surprise assignments, but maybe this would be a relief to most people. 2) most casual banter will probably be via text, since I'm assuming people are unlikely to set up a Zoom meeting for a lunch break (but tell me if I'm wrong). So there will be a written record. Could mean less personal sharing/ less rapport-building. 3) If firm socials take place via Zoom, that would mean that only one person can speak at a time. This could mean less opportunity for certain people to speak at all during social events and thereby make themselves known as a relatable/ normal/ "fun" co-worker. On the flipside, awkward/sociopathic students can lurk in the shadows undetected! I'm just throwing these out there as unbaked thoughts. What do you think about this? For perspective, I'll be starting virtual articles soon at a mid-sized firm in Toronto. I summered at this firm in 2L, and found my co-workers and fellow students to be all-around a great bunch. I hope they felt the same way about me!
  10. Wow! I hope no one ever has to work for you. Sarcasm aside, a law firm is not a beehive. Juniors become seniors, seniors become partners, and the people who work for you become your colleagues. And presumably remember a time when you gave no shits about the working relationship and treated them like tools to be discarded on disrepair. That cannot be a good way to retain talent or preserve harmony in the workplace.
  11. Find a clinic or moot in the area and do that, if you can! That could give you a concrete way to show interest, as well as the opportunity to do something positive that you can show off as an accomplishment in that area.
  12. Here's my shortlist: Location - you will be closer to Toronto firms, which is helpful if you want to arrange career/informational coffee chats with lawyers, and will be useful for mooting as well. You'll also be close to the rest of U of T campus, which has many nice study spots. Not to mention downtown Toronto, which is just a nice place to be (I say, Torontontianly). Good clinic opportunities - Osgoode has lots of clinics as well, but I've found that U of T's clinic opportunities were a nice blend of "not very competitive to get into," "looks good on resume," "useful practical skills learned," and "lawyers at places I'd want to work are alumni of such clinics and look favorably on them." Great classmates - I've liked (and at worst, tolerated) everyone I've met at the law school so far. There's also a great peer mentorship program, and everyone I've found is quite eager to help each other out. Not sure that this one is "better than Osgoode" - but, anecdotally, I have heard fewer Osgoode students celebrate their good relationships with their classmates than U of T students. Of course all of the above come with downsides: Cost of living - rent is eyewatering and if you want an affordable place, you'll have to have at least one human roommate (and if you're unlucky, a number of rodent or insect roommates, too). Or you'll have to commute for an hour. Or live in a car in the U of T law parking lot. Tuition debt can make it hard to choose less lucrative summer/articling options - and while a lot of clinics will let you stick your finger in some really cool constitutional challenge/ human rights problems, it might become economically infeasible to take a job at an organization that focuses on those things/ doesn't guarantee articles when you have a large debt to repay. One person's "great classmates" are another's "nightmare douchebags" - and of course there's no way to know who might happen to be in your cohort.
  13. It heavily depends on the class and your learning style. I would attend all 1L first semester classes just to cover all your bases. In 2L, when you start to take electives and you know whether you find the lectures useful or not, you may find it worthwhile to skip some classes and save your energy to study the material at home instead of commuting. Note that many upper year essay-based classes will have a large mandatory participation grade, so you'll want to attend those, probably.
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