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SlightlyObsessed

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  1. It should be noted that this is not the standard in Ontario. In Ontario, you are a "first year" for you entire stub year AND your first full year.
  2. A good tailor can make anything, out of anything. I suggest that you search out some highly rated tailors and explain your needs. I'll bet that they can come up with something that looks professional. My husband works with a tailor for all of his suits and they have a dizzying array of shirts and suits. I think that looking professional has radically evolved over the past 10-20 years. Even on Bay street, more and more male lawyers are eschewing suits and ties. They still dress professionally (usually dark colours, collars, fitted but not too tight, etc), but the head of my Department is known to wear a tshirt and jeans. Now, you aren't senior yet, I assume, but I think that you can make a case for this accommodation and still dress very professionally.
  3. Look out kids! A straw man is on the loose! Run for cover! Seriously though. Unless I'm seriously misreading Komodos point, she isn't saying anything remotely similar to enforced identical outcomes. I read it as: 1. We acknowledge that societal (not biological, yo) duties impose a heavier burden on female parents than on male parents. 2. We posit that it is a moral, social and economic good to subject men and women to equal treatment within our profession, thereby encouraging the smartest and/or most hustliest (its a word (it COULD BE a word (Shakespeare made up words, why can't I?))) to stay and excel in the highly lucrative and influential field of private practice. 3. There's anecdotal and statistical evidence supporting the fact that private practice loses women due to a culture that favours men, and one of the primary ways this occurs is through unequal treatment of parental leave and the conscious and unconscious biases that result from that. 4. This is a problem. We can discuss and argue about solutions, but step one is acknowledging that this is a problem caused by industry and societal culture. I'm also just going to lay this out there : is your argument above actually based on the idea that "science says" men and women want different things for reasons other than (1) societal expectations/conditioning and (2) lived experience with discrimination? I'm not trying to strawman you, just trying to make sure I understand.
  4. It's different in each group. Many lawyers go by the 2/3 rule - that 2/3 of your time in the office will be billed. But your mileage will vary. Are you a securities associate working at Blakes? You might turn on your clock when you get in and turn it off when you leave. Are you working in a niche litigation group? You might find that writing papers and blog articles takes up more time than you expected. Some groups also require you to take additional classes, like IP or tax, which would further increase your nonbillables. The 2/3 is a good rule. I find that most people use it as their guiding star. But like billable targets, that can mean something you aim to and are happy about hitting, or something you aim to exceed and would be worried about missing.
  5. I'm saying that at the associate level, I see male and female associates leaving in roughly equal numbers for in house positions. And the male laterals are often coming from lower tier firms - from off Bay or smaller firms - as they try to "trade up". I think much of our imbalance comes from firms taking chances with male associates who don't necessarily have the best credentials, and that this doesn't happen with women. Fair points. A law firm can work to change its own culture, and (to a lesser degree) law firm culture, by taking your steps. I just think that Canadian culture places a large barrier to that by our cultural expectations, but you are right, since that doesn't give us the option to abdicate responsibility to lead change in our firms and profession.
  6. I've had very frank conversations with associates at firms about our broken system for advancing women. I came into law thinking "hey, law schools are 50/50, so presumably law firms will be 50/50(ish) within 20 years." But no - law schools have been 50/50 for over 20 years, and law firm partners are still overwhelmingly white men. I think it goes beyond childrearing expectations. Consider this : My firm hires 50%+ female articling students every year. Attrition is as bad here as it is anywhere, but female associates are still heavily outnumbered, especially in the business law group. Why? Well, it turns out that while articling and hireback numbers are very equal, lateral hiring - at both the associate and partner level - is nearly exclusively white men. Accordingly, the firm gets maler as you get more senior because of hiring practices. This is not a cultural issue - this is well within the firms control. The issue of maternity leave has been discussed at length, so I won't rehash old ground. Women losing relative experience due to maternity leave is a cultural issue that law firms can do little about. What they can do is reintegrate women who leave on maternity leave. The issue isn't so much that these women lose a year of experience, but they even once they return, they lose the momentum in their path to partnership. Client and partner relationships have changed in that period, and firms offer little assistance for restoring them. This is also within the firms control - a true reintegration plan could restore women's path to partnership and keep them longer. Of course, we could legislate a country where men take more time off with their children. That would be nice, and probably not even that disruptive, but that's outside of our control. Hiring and reintegration - that is something that firms can do.
  7. NY BigLaw, and Bay street to a lesser degree, favours UofT way more heavily than anywhere else (except maybe McGill). To be honest, the quality of your legal education is what you make of it. At any school, you can be the student who focuses and aces on their corporate/family/criminal/etc classes and clubs and clinics. Unless you are looking at the stats of hiring in BigLaw, the differences in what you get are fairly minor, subject to the actions you take within each school.
  8. Every workplace is a mixed bag with horrible and amazing bosses/workflow/colleagues. But private practise, especially Bay street, amplifies this hugely. Let's not beat around the bush - when your health is suffering and you actively hate your job, you are in a very dangerous situation. This is not dramatic, this is not lazy, this is really important. It seems that you have a generally manageable unhappiness with the position, but a specific and acute problem with your manager. Your medium term goal should be to exit the firm for a better place, but your short term goal should be to get away from the partner. If you feel that you cannot leave the firm# I recommend that you still try to get away from the toxic partner. Many firms are desperate to keep talent and will try to keep you around if possible, especially if the partner is notorious. As a lateral, you may find that you have few people at work who you can trust. If you can develop relationships with some possible mentors - not necessarily file relationships, but just getting coffee with a senior associate or partner can give you an important ally. Junior associates you strive to have multiple mentors, including some with whom they do no work. If you've been able to see the ground with the idea that you want to do a different type of work, you might be able to save yourself from you current boss without the upheaval of leaving a firm. This doesn't fix the fact that you want to go elsewhere, which you should still strive for, but it can help you protect yourself in the near term. Please take care of yourself. Protecting yourself is hard, but really important.
  9. Many firms pay 10% if you hit target, but more and more forms are discretionary, so it is not as set in stone. A general guideline would be an additional 5% for every 100 hours above target, but that can be wildly different in different practise groups. Some firms are known to pay better bonuses - Stikes and Cassels come to mind.
  10. It depends on your billables, how well the firm is doing. Many firms give 10% of salary if you hit target, increasing if you exceed target substantially. Stikeman is known to pay more like 30%.
  11. No: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/about-your-tax-return/tax-return/completing-a-tax-return/deductions-credits-expenses/line-319-interest-paid-on-your-student-loans.html Yes. The interest you pay on osap becomes a 15% tax credit, effectively reducing your net interest payment by 15%. Unless your OSAP is less than 15% more than your LOC, your LOC is better. So if LOC is 3%, OSAP must be less than 3.45%.
  12. The information above re Toronto is out of date. Bay street (in general) pays 110/130/150 for first, second and third years, respectively. So in your scenario, the 2017 call would make 130k as of January, if working at most Bay street firms. Other cities and firms off Bay street have very different compensation models. With the exception of Davies (BJs doesn't exceed market anymore), the differentiating factor is bonus. Stikemans and Cassels are known to pay large bonuses.
  13. The same thing happens at my firm - only summer starts are eligible, while September starts do not get a bonus. The truth is that your first year-ish you are working hard on the basis of fear, not reward.
  14. I have no idea. Debt, family, lottery winnings? I'm not sure. In any case, apply for EI ASAP, since it takes a while before they pay you. There is no single way to network. However, the primary ways would be as follows : - a connection through an external event (we met in university, our spin class, volunteering); - a connection at an event for networking (OBA, LSUC, Advocates society); - a warm-call (your friend, teacher, parent, client, former boss says "I will connect you with someone"); and - a cold-call (the terrifying process of calling someone you've never met and who has no time and asking to meet them for coffee to "learn about their practice"). I put those in order of ease. It is most natural when you meet through your outside activities, and least natural when you call them up. However, the list is also in order of luck-dependence. You might run into the perfect contact at your weekly running group, but you have minimal control over that. You have total control over whether you can cold call people. Personally, I would start by asking my network to help me reach out to people, then make a list and start calling. As for telling people... Sure. It sucks. But you need to take over this story, because you can't escape it. Hiding it won't change that, and no, you weren't fired. You got fantastic experience on your contract student position, but they didn't have capacity for another full time associate, so you're out looking with a smile on your face! You had such a great time, learned so much, and are passionate about JUSTICE/ADVOCACY/HUMAN RIGHTS/THE CONSTITUTION/MINING TRANSACTIONS!! You can talk the talk, walk the walk, and have rehearsed stories about your transferable skills!
  15. Yes, and ask them to call their friends. Yes. Yes. Yes. Sometimes their websites, sometimes through recruiters. Sometimes through their websites, sometimes through public websites, sometimes through recruiters. Yes. Same way that non-law people and the people who didn't get a job through the recruits - calling, asking, applying, repeat. At any time, but spring and fall are generally good times. That depends on you - how much you network, how picky you are, and how good your application is (I saw people take 4 weeks, and others take 18 months. Most found one before the end of the year). The market is never kind to new calls - there are many of you, and your experience is limited - but the market is pretty hot right now, and people are hiring at all levels. Try hard - do the cold calling, tell your friends, colleagues, peers, teachers, school administration and total strangers that you're looking so that they can think of opportunities too. Lots of people don't get hired back, and the majority of those people get law jobs before the end of the year. Do the legwork, and keep an open mind.
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