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About Livinginamerica

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  1. Livinginamerica

    law students, “prestige” and perspective (spliced)

    U of T certainly wouldn't be the same in America, but in Canada, certainly, I have met a number of people who seem impressed by U of T and Mcgill Law. Again, I think most lawyers just aren't interested in shooting the shit with taxi drivers and security guards, but that doesn't mean they aren't interested in the profession or don't think it has status. It's quite possible your just not really engaging these people in conversation. And I think that's coming back to my earlier point re: perspective. If the only people you talk to as a lawyer are doctors and bankers, then yeah, being a lawyer isn't much to those people. But if you actually are open to talking to blue collar folks, you'll discover a whole different world of perceptions of these professions (providence is generally correct, though, in that lawyer and doctor tend to get lumped together by your average joe, but both are seen as prestigious and impressive). I really don't think this is a factor that should encourage people to make any major decisions, but I do think it is a real thing nonetheless.
  2. Livinginamerica

    law students, “prestige” and perspective (spliced)

    I dunno, I think it depends a lot on age, because people in their early-mid 20s still seem really impressed by shit like school name and professional prestige. Not that I think it should matter, but I think these preoccupations with professional prestige and school prestige go down naturally with age as people become more preoccupied with personal and family life (people around 35 and up don't seem to give a shit about where I come from, more about what I can do). Different kinds of people exist as well, meaning both experiences narrated here could be equally true. But to answer your questions, yes, I've had lengthy conversations with bartenders, taxi drivers, etc. about my work in its broad generalities. I generally am pretty open to having such conversations though, and the practice area I am getting into is also pretty far from corporate solicitor work, meaning it might be of more interest to folks.
  3. Livinginamerica

    law students, “prestige” and perspective (spliced)

    Oh trust me, you'd be amazed at some of the privilege which law students, and lawyers generally, have. It's one of the shittiest things about our profession, but it seems as if people will always find something to moan about. Once they hit those big firms, they still don't stop moaning about hours and pay. A lot of it has to do with your perspective on life. If people can complain about the opportunities they have at Harvard (and believe me, they do), people will complain about anything. I think a lot of times people come from wealthy backgrounds and lack perspective as to how poorer people are forced to live, and the struggles that they face on a day to day basis. I honestly do think that every lawyer could often do with a bit more gratefulness for their station in life.
  4. Livinginamerica

    UBC vs. Queen's

    I think the main thing I would add here is that Harvard offers something called the Low Income Protection Plan (LIPP) which would mean that you would never pay full American debt if you took a job in Canada, either in the public interest or the private sector, because those jobs would invariably fall well below the standard American biglaw salary, and therefore be eligible for Harvard's program of loan forgiveness. Harvard (and Yale) are unique in North America in essentially offering programs to guarantee you against bankruptcy, regardless of what job you take on. This was a big part of the reason I went to Harvard, and something that I would highlight for those making the decision. I am generally a very risk averse person, but for me, Harvard was actually the LESS risky option than a Canadian, because I had the downside protection of loan forgiveness if I got a low paying job. Canadian schools did not offer that same guarantee, meaning that I would still be on the hook for the full amount if something went wrong in the job search. As for the benefits of Harvard for working in Vancouver, I can;t really say apart from that I doubt that a Vancouver firm isn;t going to at least give a Harvard kid a look, as long as that kid showed sincere interest in working for the firm and had a justifiable reason to be in Vancouver (their main concern would likely be that said student would be a flight risk). I have known Harvard alumni who have landed across Canada in various firms, though I would note that most had ties to the city they eventually worked in beforehand.
  5. Livinginamerica

    Apply to mid sized NY firms

    Are you a US citizen? This is going to be much easier to do if you are. Otherwise, the main challenge is going to be having these firms successfully complete a work visa application for you. It's likely they don't tend to hire international students often, and therefore may not be as comfortable with immigration hurdles as larger firms, which do hire such students more regularly.
  6. Livinginamerica

    Job Satisfaction: Love and/or Money [spliced]

    I agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment, and this is why I turned down the easy road of solicitor work out of my law school to push for a more niche field that I know I truly love. That being said, by pushing for this field, I had a much tougher time than my peers who pushed for solicitor work, since there is just much more work from that field, at least out of my school in the US. Then again, I'm not the having family/kids sort of person, but nonetheless, I am someone who cannot function without loving and being passionate about my work every day. For something that's worthwhile, I am, of course, willing to work more. Even a 40 hour work week of dreariness would be too much for me. I can certainly respect someone who genuinely enjoys solicitor work, and I know a few, but there are definitely too many people who go in with an apathetic, work a day mentality. It's an even more sad commentary on our generation and society than anything else. I feel passion counted for more back in the day. Now our generation is, as you say, way too indebted that we have been infused with an apathetic, cynical, and mercenary mentality. Plus, if you wanted a 40 hour week, with decent income, in a job that you don't care about, why not just become an accountant or something? It's sad because these are the types of people who always complain about their job sucking.
  7. Livinginamerica

    windsor us/can jd VS mcgill ?

    Are you a US citizen firstly? If not, US DA is out of the question. To answer your question, Mcgill hands down. Detroit Mercy is a TTTT in America and not well regarded, with nearly 50% straight up unemployment last time I checked. For American prestige, Mcgill is the hands down choice.
  8. Livinginamerica

    What are examples of "strong" ECs?

    I'm somewhere in between both of you, as I think it did help me to aim to do things that improved my resume in undergrad, whereas other people just partied and slacked around. That being said, the best ECs that I ended up doing were the ones that were spontaneous and unplanned. I kind of agree with what you say, plan to do something interesting in your undergrad, but also have a degree of spontaneity about it.
  9. Livinginamerica

    Waitlisted at U of T 2018

    I will say this. I am someone who is really close with my parents, and I certainly discussed law school applications with them, but at this age, ie, your early to mid 20s, your parents should not be running your law school application process, you should. My parents were not telling me where to apply, or posting on forums for me, and frankly that is inappropriate at this age or stage of your life. Really think about what some of the life skills competencies of a 22 year old person ought to be. At the end of the day, this is your (or your child's) decision, and you (or they) need to be in control. It is much healthier for them in the long run.
  10. Livinginamerica

    1L Grades for NY jobs

    This is good advice. The range of firms Canadians are applying to is very limited, and these firms are often the most grade selective. Canadian students determined to be in NYC should seek out firms with practice areas where they have relevant experience, less selective firms with demand, etc.
  11. Livinginamerica

    1L Grades for NY jobs

    Much as it surprises me that people turn down HYS for U of T, it also surprises me that people would turn down Mcgill for U of T (barring the usual caveats of personal reasons and whatnot). Nonetheless, I know multiple people who have done either (and even both).
  12. Livinginamerica

    1L Grades for NY jobs

    I actually think this is a very valuable discussion for Canadian students interested in hitting NYC from a Canadian school. The traditional wisdom has always been that U of T is the best bet for those students, but I actually think there is a decent argument that Mcgill may be the better option for such folks. Mcgill has traditional relationships with the Ivy League in America, a large US undergrad population, and significant US law school population, brings a unique skillset to the law firms (in that it provides a bilingual and bijuridical expertise), and is a known quantity in America. I certainly get the feeling that there are many NY firms that would dig deep into the Mcgill class for the right candidate, I honestly feel the question is more of interest than it is of U of T being better than Mcgill for this purpose.
  13. Livinginamerica

    1L Grades for NY jobs

    I should also note that I am going into a practice area where the bilingual and bijuridical nature of the Mcgill degree may be viewed as particularly valuable, so this would also skew my impression a little.
  14. Livinginamerica

    1L Grades for NY jobs

    Fair enough, I'm basing most of what I am saying on various chatter that I have picked up on during the process. It does seem that some NY firms would hire more Mcgill grads if given the opportunity, but it's often difficult to tell how much this kind of chatter and discussion actually translates into the process itself. I would also note that I have noticed that a lot of Mcgill grads have had a great deal of success in NY recruiting post clerkship, usually after a COA or SCC clerkship, which can be valued by the firms down here.
  15. Livinginamerica

    1L Grades for NY jobs

    It actually wouldn't surprise me if the inverse was true, though. Mcgill is very highly regarded down here, and their grads are viewed as often bringing unique skillsets. I feel the main reason why more U of T grads are hired in NY than Mcgill grads is a question of interest, as most Mcgill grads are more interested in staying in Canada than going to NY, whereas the inverse is often true at U of T. I have always felt Mcgill is the better regarded school here though, it's viewed as very much akin to the T14 schools (due to traditional relations with the Ivy League), whereas U of T is viewed as slightly outside that bracket. Overall, the idea of NY firms digging deeper into Mcgill wouldn't surprise me, Americans just have more experience with Mcgill generally.