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kiamia last won the day on June 28 2017

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  1. This. You'll realize in a couple of years having a "top choice" is basically meaningless at this stage. You know very little about the culture, the firms, the people, the lifestyles, etc. compared to what you will know at the end of the interview stage, and that's not very much compared to what you will learn from actually working at a firm. Your "top choice" looked at your materials, and decided that you would not be someone who they could see working long-term at the firm. They don't know you, so they may be wrong. But they also know their firm, and have seen thousands of applications, so they may also be right. Many people eventually realize that not getting their "top choice" was probably the best thing that ever happened to them (and I mean in a genuine, not salty grudge-holding, way). So don't just focus on your second choice either. Learn as much as you can about all of your options. By the end of the process, you may realize that your favourite one was the one you applied to without any particular intention of actually working there.
  2. I think this depends on the wording of the instructions. If it says "up to" or "maximum" 2 letters etc. then obviously don't go over it. If it's in a list of application requirements, but it's ambiguous as to whether more would be okay, I don't think it would tank your application if you sent three.
  3. There's always going to be a middle class in the sense that there's a class in the middle. I guess when I use the phrase "middle class", I also include the trimmings that went with the term in its heyday. Eg. A household making the 90-200K range that also comes with a secure, well-paying job(s) with benefits/pension, ability to purchase a house, maybe put your kids through college, save for retirement, have a general sense that things are going to improve for you, for your kids, etc. Whether or not that group is actively shrinking (though I would be highly skeptical that it's somehow increasing), my point is that a lot of people in that group are being paid by the government, or government run services, or some sort of private sector union job.
  4. Yes, because healthcare and education funding are both notably increasing at the same time. Hey, let's check in with children in Ontario on the spectrum abut that. I don't even think we have much of a middle class anymore; they tend to be public sector workers for the most part, and they're taking a cut as well. If anything, Ford only cares about the top 10% or so, with a steady decline of caring as incomes decrease, down to outright contempt for the people at the very bottom (refugees, people who need social support funding, etc.)
  5. Well I used that as examples of things you can do. The OP is asking questions in the sense of how does one perform better in order to get that job. That's not unimportant. But my point is that generally, since most lawyers appreciate some evidence-based assertions, doing something is better than simply saying it. You get to the Bay Street recruit and everyone's going "oh I would love to work at your firm, I really admire what you do" etc. etc. Then you have students who put in the legwork to really understand what it's like to work at that firm, what the firm is about, have spoken to students and partners there, and they're probably going to come out on top. Because in the 2L recruit, many of them do seem to care that you're really interested in working there. And it's always better to be making that pitch with some evidence you can point to ie. something you've done.
  6. Part of it is just relaxing and being able to show who you really are (as a person). Believe it or not, you are improving with each interview. My first interviews were train wrecks compared to the more recent ones. Employers want to see genuine enthusiasm for their firm. They want to see genuine enthusiasm for their work. Go the extra mile. Look up the cases their lawyers have recently argued (if you're going into litigation). Look up how their business model works - this is important; firms are all businesses and you should know how you're going to get paid and build a practice. Look at emerging issues or areas of law they're probably looking at as well. Go network, for a really good way to get answers to some of these questions, and to demonstrate that you really want to work somewhere or in a particular area of law. Don't just do a cursory Google search prior to an interview. Pick out some things that really fascinate you from the above - be able to speak and ask questions about it. Do some practice interviews if your school offers them; another student or career advisor might be able to tell you if you're talking too fast, interrupting, doing something annoying, verbal tics, etc. This is hard work. And you're going to get out of it what you put in. Don't expect it to just fall into your lap. Until you've done all of these things, and maybe done a couple dozen more interviews, maybe you will begin to have a leg to stand on complaining about how nobody will hire you and it's the end of the world.
  7. I don't know how the general clinics work, but from the student clinic perspective, we take on clients that rake in too much dough to meet the certificate thresholds e.g. single people upwards of $22K/year. We also take in clients for things that LAO doesn't provide certificates for - certain types of criminal charges, LTB, small claims etc. As I said before, when you're making brutal cuts, you obviously keep what you absolutely have to, and see what you can do with the rest. Are the clinics 100% necessary? Maybe not, in the sense the we're not talking about life/death issues. But it is another swath of people/strata of society who will likely not be able to access their legal rights.
  8. We could easily work out a compromise here. We don't want the provinces coming up w/ the rules while using only federal gov't money. But they could, say, split the cost of legal aid certificates in agreed upon areas of law. That way the provinces would still be incentivized to make the most efficient rules. Then you just have to come up with a way (easier said than done) that makes sure the provinces put the "windfall" they get from being able to spend less on certificates into the rest of the court/justice system. The problem with the current situation is a) they moved money out even before securing any money from the feds, and b) the money is probably going to go towards something stupid, like beer.
  9. Well the CBC article is saying that the province is asking for the federal gov't to make up the shortfall in refugee aid of $45 million. But they're still looking to cut ~$130 and then ~160 million. [As a rough estimate, about 12% of the certificates LAO has recently issued is for immigration/refugee matters https://www.legalaid.on.ca/en/publications/quarterly-report-2017-18-q4.asp and the federal gov't already puts in some funding - $16M this year for refugee stuff https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/ontario-legal-aid-funding-cut-1.5095058] Legal Aid is already underfunded, and has been for a number of years. You've had people scouring for efficiencies and ways to save money long before this. They would've shaken all the trees and gotten a lot of the low-hanging fruit. The question is how much more you can squeeze out of the system, and it can't possibly be as much as Ford thinks. Assuming the federal gov't steps up, you're still talking about a ~25% budget cut. Which is massive, for budgets that are already stretched. And for the record, it's not clear that Ford has found any real "efficiencies" yet with anything - so far he's just cutting everything, and it looks like it's just going to be a reduction in services. Edit: I'll add that I think the only strategy you have for these types of budget cuts is to completely cut the less essential programs and take a slice from all the essential ones and hope everything holds together (think a very advanced Jenga game, where each piece you take out is going to be a group of people losing some access to justice).
  10. The problem is that disenfranchising the poor and marginalized is a feature of these changes, not a bug. That's the whole point. If it was simply mean as a consequence, like the child autism funding mess, then I would say that pressure and advocacy might be able to do something. And if we weren't talking about disabled children, which tends to rile the public up, they wouldn't have (sort of) relented. But let's face it, legal services for people earning <$15K on the public's dime isn't going to be a political pressure point. Not to this government. And they don't care about making sure the system runs smoothly. I'm normally all about advocacy, but in this instance I don't see any way to stop it.
  11. Western has a ton of moots during the year, and I think first years can do all but a couple of them. I had friends doing at least 6+ in their first year (maybe even as many as 8-10). But I don't know if that's necessarily the problem. Certainly firms like ECs, but I had plenty of friends with good grades get jobs without them. I think firms like hearing you talk about something relevant to their practice with knowledge and enthusiasm. So if you can't draw on clinic experience or moots, some in-depth research in an area of law that a firm practices, and the firm itself, should be able to get you there. Lawyers are evidence-based creatures, and everything you say/claim in an interview should be supported by something you've done. As everyone has said, by the final stages, firms would be happy with most of the students on their list, and have to differentiate you in some way. I've found that "fit" means mostly how much someone wants to work with you (or, in the student context, how much someone wants to have you work for them). Enthusiasm for both the work and the firm goes a long way there, and I'd almost say that it was necessary to get a job. Because if you don't show it, someone else will.
  12. You're going to have to be more specific. Nobody is going to go through the school and make a photo tour for you. There are probably pictures already online we can point you to as well (although probably not of some places eg. the bathrooms). If you can tell us what you want, you'll have a greater chance of getting it. If anything, it might be worse that you're not actually using any of this to make a decision. You've already decided to go to Western, and you're just complaining because you don't think you're getting your money's worth. Nobody is holding a gun to anybody's head forcing them to go to any particular school. It's all a cost-benefit analysis. If you don't think it's worth it, for whatever reason, don't do it. And my problem isn't so much that you're complaining about the building. If you don't like it, that's your prerogative. I don't like that you are implying that the decision-makers at the law school don't care about the students, or saying outright that they don't value the faculty. Law school is going to be challenging, and the job search is probably going to be worse. Now I'm confident that if I go to the school and told anyone I needed help, that person will be at least willing to listen to my problems and offer advice (up to and including the Dean). And they're going to try to help me as much as they can. So I couldn't care less that the classrooms aren't all perfectly climate-controlled. I'm sorry to say that we do, almost consistently, have toilet paper.
  13. Even if we accept the premise that Western has access to more cash flows than other schools (which is based on fairly minimal data as profreader pointed out), I would argue that spending it on large unnecessary capital projects to keep the building "on par" would be one of the dumber ways to use the money. Most law schools are trying to improve their reputation with the public, their standing in the legal community, quality of students and graduates, etc. Other than students at any particular school, most other people won't see the law building or, if they do, will be around for brief visits and won't care. There is no "Law Building Quarterly", showcasing the niceness of the buildings to the rest of the world. The only thing it might do, although I still doubt it, is impact a few application decisions in a small way. Is that worth tens of millions of dollars? If you really think it's important, nobody is forcing you to attend. But I think it's a strange thing to be complaining about. As a student, I can assure you that the niceness of the building, on its own or compared to other law schools, has never been a concern.
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