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About shawniebear

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  1. What you're experiencing is a textbook case of impostor syndrome, although it doesn't hit most people until they have at least started law school or entered practice. Don't worry, it's fairly normal to feel this way when entering a competitive law school (or profession) where you are surrounded by high-achievers. You have nothing to worry about. The law school admissions committees are very good at weeding out people that they think will not be successful in law school. They have it down to a science, just look at how low the drop out rate is for Canadian law schools. The fact that you have been admitted means that you are smart enough, now you just need to buckle down and put in the work, because there is no substitute for that, no matter how smart you are.
  2. If you think Jane and Finch is a ghetto, you don't know what a ghetto is. I (accidentally) rented an AirBnB in the legit Ghettos of Chicago, and within minutes of arriving I had one guy offer me crack and a little kid in a wife-beater come up to me and say "hey white boy, are you lost?". That's a ghetto. I lived at Jane and Finch for many years, it is not a ghetto.
  3. As someone who spent 7 years living in the area around York University I cannot emphasize how inaccurate this statement is. Rent around York U has never been reasonable and now that there is a subway on campus, its comparable with downtown rental rates. Like seriously, rents have gotten out of hand since the subway opened up. If you're going to Osgoode, assume you're paying full-rate Toronto (not necessarily downtown) rent.
  4. Would have turned into a homicide case if that had happened.
  5. I lived with a fellow 1L during my first year of law school, and we even co-owned a car together. By the end of the semester we were not on speaking terms with one another and I almost ended up suing him in small claims court because he tried to screw me over in relation to the car (title was in his name) in the midst of exam season. Honestly though, this could have happened with any roommate irrespective of whether they were a law student. To be fair, we are both very stubborn and difficult people to deal with, so we were not a good match as roommates. Interestingly enough we both ended up transferring out after 1L......to the same law school lol. It's funny how life works.
  6. If you look at the historical development of legal education in Ontario, the issue of whether law schools are even capable of training/educating lawyers is hardly a new one. For almost a century, the law society of upper Canada refused to accredit any of the law schools that were being administered by the Universities, such as U of T's LLB program which dates back to the 1889. Back then, you didn't study to become a lawyer, you trained to become one. You effectively apprenticed for a lawyer and watched them for years, and after a while, you were deemed to know what you were doing. It was similar to becoming a plumber or a carpenter. You don't study to become a plumber (not back in the day), you train to become a plumber by watching a plumber and apprenticing with them. The practice of law was similarly seen as a 'trade' that you could only learn through practice and observation, not by reading books and attending lectures. This is why the law society refused to accredit any law schools in Ontario for the longest time. Of course, the law society ran its own law school, the original Osgoode Hall Law School at queen and university avenue, but that was not like law school today. If you went to Osgoode prior to 1949, the way it worked was that you would take classes in the morning, which were usually taught by Judges, and in the afternoon you would walk on over to bay street and spend the rest of the day working at a bay street law firm. That was legal education prior in Ontario to 1949. Class in the morning taught by judges, and working at a bay street law firm in the afternoon. The law society refused to accredit law schools run by universities because the idea that you could 'teach' the law was almost laughable. Did this model of legal education provide for better trained graduates? I would strongly suspect that the answer is yes. If there was still a Law School in north America that offered such a model, I imagine it would be one of top law schools. But its hard to facilitate mass legal education using such a model, although I would love to see someone try. So to get back to your question, why don't law schools get called out for failing to properly train their graduates as lawyers? Well the short answer is that people criticized law schools ability to train lawyers before law schools even existed in their modern form. Some of those early criticism of the law schools shown to be true. The reality is that most recent calls are simply to competent enough to be able to carry files, in other words practice law, on their own. Although I do have to say, I think that the law schools have heeded the criticism and are trending in the right direction. I have noticed law schools such as Osgoode change their curriculums and degree requires to mandate/include more courses that have a practical focus rather than a theoretical one. The number of practicum and externships and clinic based courses currently offered at Osgoode is honestly amazing, and is only going to continue. I tried to take as many of these classes as possible rather than lecture based courses and I was not disappointed.
  7. I also know a foreign law school grad (University of Vermont I think) who articled with legal aid Ontario in Hamilton. He still works with legal aid as a staff lawyer 5 years later, although not in the Hamilton office anymore. I was shocked when he told me that legal aid hired him as an articling student with a foreign law degree, but based on what you're I guess its not that unusual. I can confirm that I know a couple lawyers in Toronto who perfectly fit this description. One of them conveniently omits the fact that he went to Bond on his law firms page, but mentions that he ATTENDED a reputable Canadian Law School. But if you look up his LinkedIn page, you can still see that he got his JD from bond and his LLM from the Canadian Law school. For what its worth, he's about as incompetent a lawyer I have come across in Family Court.
  8. According to a Toronto Star article I read years ago, yes that does appear to be the case.
  9. Also might have something to do with the fact that he inherited a fully functional and highly profitable law firm from his Father, although you do have to give the guy credit for taking the firm to the next level.
  10. You're telling me no one went there fore the beautiful beaches and the shortened (2 year rather than 3 year) degree? *shocked Pikachu face* edit: in all seriousness, the only law school that I think has a worse reputation in Canada than Bond is probably Cooley Law in Michigan, and lets just say that's not good company.
  11. The only people who can give you any meaningful answers to this question are transfer students who have actually attended more than one law school, and therefore have experience with the grading of different schools. I did my first year at UNB law (which is considered one of the 'easier' schools to get into) and then I transferred to Osgoode, which is considered one of the better law schools. Some would tell you, and others would instinctively assume, that's its easier to get an A at a place like UNB than it is at a place like Osgoode. That was not my experience. If anything, the grading at UNB was harsher than Osgoode, although that may have just been a reflection of the stricter grading curve for 1L. I had an easier time getting good grades (B+ and up) at Osgoode than I did at UNB, and I was working part time for 2L and 3L, so if anything my grades should have gone down. But once again, I don't think this is because the grading at Osgoode was easier, I think it has more to do with the fact that its easier to get good grades in upper law courses. So based on my experience, its not easier to get an A in one law school vis-à-vis the next.
  12. For what its worth, you're not the first person that I have heard say this. From my experience part of the problem is that even if the lawyer convinces his client to comply with their obligations, that doesn't mean the other side will agree. I can't tell you how many times I have seen people bring motions because they want to impute $100k of annual income (or some other ridiculous amount) to their spouse, because they "know how much he/she makes". It takes two sides being reasonable and cooperative to avoid excessive litigation.
  13. I don't know dude. At the Toronto family law office that I worked at, that mostly did high net-worth divorces for suburban families, that was definitely the case. Even when there is Counsel, that doesn't mean people are going to act reasonable, although it should. I can't think of many files that I worked on where there was not at-least one motion for child/spousal support and/or disclosure. But I know you have more experience in Family Law than me, so who knows.
  14. As someone who spent many years working at a family law firm, I can tell you that family lawyers spend a lot of time in Court. Not only do you have the mandatory procedural attendances like first appearances, case conferences, settlement conferences, trial scheduling conferences etc., but on most files you will have at-least one motion for spousal/child support and/or disclosure. And then there is also trials. I know trials are becoming more and more of a rarity in civil litigation, but in contract many more family law cases go to trial. So ya, as a family lawyer you will spend a tonne of time actually in Court arguing. Although you might not experience this in your first couple years of practice as the firm may stick you in an office drafting pleadings and affidavits until you actually know what your doing. Another thing is that family law litigation never ends. You may think that just because you went to trial and got a final order in relation to custody, access, child support and that its now over. But no it isn't. Wait until your ex-husband sees you drunk at BBQ in 2 years and brings a motion to change seeking custody because you're apparently an alcoholic now. (This actually happened)
  15. There are very few classes that do take home exams. I know that at Osgoode there was only one prof that did them and it was for a seminar with less than 30 people. The problem with take home exams is that you cannot avoid the possibility that people will write collaborative exams. Its less of a problem in smaller class sizes because the prof can more easily detect similarities in two peoples exams. For a lecture with 100 people it might be more challenging. What I was saying was in relation to lecture based courses with 100% final exams. I cannot think of any good reason why grading for essay based courses should be P/F.
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