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shawniebear

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  1. I'm a currently a student at Osgoode, and I also did my undergrad at York while living on campus. So the first point I'll address is the location of the campus. It sucks. There's no way around it. Although now that the subway is completed, you can just live downtown and take to subway to and from campus. With t hat being said, the safety concerns about York U and the surrounding area are vastly overblown. As someone who has lived in the area for almost 7 years now lets me declare for all of the world to know: Jane and Finch IS a safe place to live. When choosing a law school the general advice on this forum is to go to the law school that is closest to where you want to practice. If you want to be a lawyer in NYC, then you be better served by going to a law school in NYC, or at least somewhere else in the North East. Getting a good job in NYC is very difficult for Canadian law school grads. And it makes sense. If you want to be a lawyer in New York, you should probably study the law of New York and not the law of another country. My understanding is that the few Canadian in practice in NYC pretty much all come from U of T, Osgoode, and McGill. So going to one of those three schools would maximize your, already very slim, chances on getting a job in NYC with a Canadian law degree. I know that NYC firms come to U of T and Osgoode annually for OCI's, but not to Queens as far as I know. Judging by the sounds of it you have not decided what city, or country for that matter, you want to practice law in. So you should probably go to the law school that gives you the most mobility and will keep as many doors open for you as possible. I'm inclined to think that Osgoode is better in that respect, although that might just be me swallowing the "Osgoode = most prestigious law school in Canada" BS that they shove down our throats here to justify the $30k/year tuition.
  2. I am currently at Osgoode, however I finished my first year at UNB before transferring. Prior to transferring I was under the assumption that I would have to study harder and likely still see my grades drop because of the supposedly stronger class at Osgoode. However, from my personal experience thus far this has not been the case. Even though Osgoode is supposedly one of the best law schools in Canada with very competitive entrance statistic and UNB is, well...... not. I am studying less than I did in 1L and my grades have actually been higher, slightly. I have not noticed any difference in difficulty getting good grades in UNB vs Osgoode. I was expecting the competition amongst students to also be more cutthroat, with students ruthlessly competing against each other and looking for every possible advantage over their classmates. I have not noticed this either, and in fact I'm quite pleasantly surprised by how chill people at Osgoode are. Although I do sometimes wonder if my experience would have been different if I actually did 1L at Osgoode, as I often hear people talk about how people ease up after 1L.
  3. I refuse to believe that Major Bay street firms consider Windsor and Osgoode to be in the same echelon. All of the objective evidence I have seen seen suggests otherwise, for example the ultra vires annual report on articling placement. Although maybe just refuse to believe that I am paying $30k/year tuition for nothing.
  4. I always assumed it was actually the opposite, at least for lawyers. I always figured that the lawyers who go on Glassdoor or sites like that to report their salaries, they are people who are in the earlier years of the career and are insecure or uncertain about how much they should make. Whereas more senior lawyers who are well established and making $200k/year + are less likely to go on line and try and compare salaries because they are more likely to feel like they are properly compensated and that they understand pay structures in the profession. Although I admit that I have no evidence for this, other than the fact that there are alot of self reported salaries on Glassdoor from lawyers at major firms who are junior associates, but barley any from senior lawyers or partners.
  5. UNB is a good bet. Tuition is among the lowest and as someone who grew up in Toronto I found the cost of living to be outrageously low. When I tell my friends that you can rent a 2 bedroom apartment in Fredericton for $600 a month they are absolutely dumbfounded and cannot believe it.
  6. My understanding is that articling students costs for money than they bring in, at least for Bay street firms. The firms do it because they want to pick and choose their associates and future partners and groom them from the start. This is also why its more uncommon for small firms (like less than 5 lawyers) to hire articling students, because its more cost effective for them to pay an extra $20-30k a year and get an associate who is a 2nd or 3rd year call and actually knows what they are doing, and doesn't require constant supervision.
  7. Every apartment has 2-3 bedrooms with a shared living room, bathroom and kitchen. There is no guarantee that you will actually have roommates though, as I lived in a 3 bedroom suite by myself alone because there just wasn't high enough demand. Although I only moved in for the winter semester, and its likely that the building was full, or close it, for the first semester.
  8. As someone who lived in EPJ for my first year, I just want to say that you should not underestimate the importance of having a flat walk to Ludlow. The UNB campus is on top of a hill that is legendary for how steep it is, and the Law building is right at the top of the hill. EPJ is a very good place to live. As someone who has spent t he last 6 years of my life living in various student accommodations, this is about as good as it gets if you want to live on campus. My impression was that there were not as many law students in the building as some people here think there were, but there is still alot. And everyone living in the building is a grad student, so theres not alot of partying going on in the building. You can pay for a parking spot right next to EPJ, i use to do it. And dont listen to the people who say you don't need a car if you live on campus. You need a car in Fredericton. This town is simply not transit accessible. The law faculty is very tight night, something I felt at the time and I have come to appreciate ever more ever since I transfered to a Toronto Law school. General consensus is that Dal grads have better job opportunities outside of Atlantic canada because more firms actually interview from Dal and Dal has a better reputation as being a "national" law school.
  9. There would not be contingency fees like there are in Personal Injury. But it is fairly common to have a spouse who has no income, because they don't work, but there is 100's of thousands of dollars in equity tied up in their home that they are entitled to. Many family lawyer will carry their clients, either wholly or in part, until they can get their equalization entitlement from the matrimonial home, and then get paid out of that. You can also bring a motion for interim disbursement from the net proceeds of the matrimonial home held in trust to pay for legal fees. This is assuming that the matrimonial home is sold and you want to access some of the money to pay for legal fees without waiting for the case to be completed.
  10. Last year I transferred from one of the schools that you have listed as a conservative-leaning school, UNB, to Osgoode, which you have listed as a more liberal school. I personally have not noticed any difference. Both schools are, in my opinion, very left wing and you would be hard pressed to find a single prof who will openly espouse conservative opinions. Although granted, this might be a subjective assessment as I have to admit that I am generally on the more conservative side of the political spectrum.
  11. A lot of graduating law students who are obsessed with getting jobs at a major national firm don't realize that if you break down the financial structure of these firms and how they rely on younger lawyers to draw profits for the older partners at the firm, you realize that it is basically a pyramid scheme. Albeit, one that pays people at the bottom 6 figure salary's, but a pyramid scheme nonetheless.
  12. Ohh man, I wish every graduating law student understood this.
  13. After reading all these comments I am amazed at what you people consider privileged. I want to live a quality of life comparable to that of a unionized GM autoworker around 30-40 years ago. I want to be able to support a family on a single income. I want to own a home, be able to take vacations, have a cottage and a boat and maybe a ski doo. And I want to know that come retirement, I have nothing to worry about. None of this is the life of a millionaire. I know older people who had this type of life style with a middle class job. And this is part of the problem that OP is having. He sees older lawyers form a previous generation who have a quality of life that he thinks is unattainable, despite the fact that they are in the same profession. In this day and age, a $75k income is not enough to have that kind of comfortable quality of life, especially not in a place like Toronto. And thats how this whole conversation started. Some said that $75k is all you need to be happy. I disagree. You can't even have a lifestyle comparable to a middle class autoworker 30 years ago. And once again, I go back to the difference between living and surviving. Unfortunately, in this neoliberal era, most people are just surviving and are 3 missed paycheques away from homelessness. So don't tell me that I should be happy with $75k a year just because thats higher than the median. And ya, I understand why my brash tone might piss people off. But I don't mince words, I call it as i see it.
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