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About Icharus

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  1. Icharus

    Specialized practice outside of the city?

    I'm curious if it happens generally, so I didn't specify. My personal experience has been criminal. That's been my question too - how can they keep up on the different law that they deal with? If you go as far as to say it should not be done, though, what do you do with, say, small towns 3+ hrs out of the city who just need their wills done and houses sold, but can't support too many lawyers? That was certainly part of my question, yeah. That's why I was suggesting a different model, where your clientele is not local, but you still somehow manage to maintain a practice in a specialized area (say criminal defence appeals) without being based in the city. I have heard of criminal defence appellate lawyers who advertise Skype meetings and home based practice, thus contributing to their lower overhead and (here's the point of advertising this) lower rates. They weren't necessarily rural or anything though, so I was just curious what you guys thought or had heard of.
  2. The general impression I get is that 99% of specialized, "successful" lawyers live and work in or near urban centres. It makes a lot of sense, we all understand why. Sometimes when I'm driving up north or in more rural areas I see small-town shops offering a range of services that rural folks regularly take advantage of... criminal defence, wills, real estate, family law, some mix of those. Also makes perfect sense. I'm curious - do you know of lawyers who remain specialized, maintain good access to their desired market, and yet live and work thoroughly outside urban centres? Such that the majority of their communication is over the internet and phone, and they just need to head to the city infrequently enough that the increased commute is worth the time saved? There's so much I love about living and playing in the country - trail running, less commuting, mental health benefits from time spent nature, space for big dogs, etc. I also am on a career path that looks nothing like that, and currently love what I'm doing. I'm not sure I would enjoy a general practice, though I know almost nothing about it and would interested to hear what it's like. I'm just curious if people manage to combine both worlds - generally living rurally, mostly working from home, and keeping up an advanced and specialized practice. Maybe it just doesn't happen - I have no idea. Maybe pay would be less, but that's not a big deal to me.
  3. Yeah I have Facebook completely blocked on my laptop. I told myself I could just mosey on over to the library computers if it was actually necessary. I have never found it necessary. Timing is also a great idea - I keep a journal of daily activities, and I find 5-6 hrs of real law work usually enough to do well throughout the semester, with an increase during exam times. 8 hrs of sleep = 16 hrs a day awake; even if you spent 8 full focused hours on school, which I wager most people who think they work all day don't, you have 8 hours of your life to do with as you please. I remember I used to think "that was a super busy day, I worked all morning, afternoon, and evening". Once I started keeping a log of activities, realistically that day would have been 2 hrs of study in the morning interspersed with facebook, news, getting coffee, talking to a friend, doing random other errands, grocery shopping, wasting time, etc... same with the afternoon and evening, for maybe 5.5 hours of focused work.
  4. I can only speak for my own experience, but I took every Sunday and many Saturdays off in 1L & 2L, had substantially family commitments in 2L (my wife had a baby), stayed involved in extracurricular student clubs, picked up a triathlon hobby, and got somewhere around top 20% grades. 100% you do not need to be spending all your time doing law-school related stuff to succeed - I'd venture it won't be good for your mental health if you do. I summered and will article at my dream job and wouldn't have done anything different (except deleted Facebook a long time ago). Also I would have tried harder to get 8 hours of sleep every night instead of 6-7 - every day is brighter after a good sleep. Keep up that drawing!
  5. 2L here. If you know now that you don't enjoy your finance job, say goodbye. Life is too short to do things you don't enjoy unless you absolutely have to. If you're competent enough to work in finance, you're competent enough to find something you enjoy. Whether that is law school is a different question altogether. Also, I wouldn't stress about the subjectivity of exam answers. I really think (perhaps some would disagree) that professors are fairly objective in the way they rank arguments. It's not precise, but it is objective to a degree - they want depth of analysis, correct use of available tools, and theoretical understanding of how it all hangs together. Building relationships with professors can help orient yourself toward their expectations. 1. Do you think you were able to accurately assess whether you'd excel or struggle in law school and, if so, how did you know? I rationally believed then and now that my best would be enough to get my foot into a career, somewhere and somehow. I instinctively thought I'd be able to excel, for no good reason beyond the fact that I was very drawn to law and, probably, because hubris. 2. Do you feel like you have a good understanding of how you're doing in a class before and after you write the exam? In first semester, I had no clue. Now, I think I can accurately guess within a grade category. (HH or H, H or P) 3. Is there anything I can look at now to get a sense of how I'll stack up against the rest of the 1L class? Not sure how to help you, other than I think that anyone who is willing to be reflexive in their learning style, ready to deeply commit to learning law, and approaches the process with humility and curiosity will do well enough to go where they really want to. 4. If you went through the OCI process, did the result line up with your expectation going in? Yes, I enjoyed it and got a job at my top choice.
  6. Icharus

    Taking notes by hand

    One thing I tried this semester (2L) that I wish I had done earlier was take handwritten notes while doing the readings before class, and leave space in the margins, between lines, and at the bottom of the page. Then in class, with my laptop stowed away, use a different coloured pen to add, edit, or clarify my original notes with the lecture content. The benefit, I think, being that you are forced to pay close attention to what the prof is saying to see how it lines up with your earlier interpretation, but you aren't necessarily under pressure to write super fast, and you don't have the distraction of having your reading notes on your laptop. Then, when you are typing up your outlines and summaries at the end of the semester, you only have one document to reference. that said, whatever works for you is what works for you.
  7. Icharus

    Law school and exercise

    I started running the dead of winter in Ottawa, (-25 at 6 am) in my regular runners and an extra layer under my sweater and joggers. Still going at it three years later (and a couple triathlons, though not in winter). If you want to stay frugal and fit, you can do it. I don't know if anything short of frostbite is really too cold.
  8. In 1L, I used reading break to finish the course readings for whichever course had the highest reading workload. 1st semester was Contracts, 2nd was Criminal. I then used the extra time I had after reading break to do course summaries. I aced them both. Might work for you! I do agree that summaries later on in the semester is helpful for refreshing your memory.
  9. Icharus

    What area of law should I pursue

    Not to put down an interest in business law, but keep an open mind in 1L. You have no idea what will strike your fancy. It's a good thing your courses are picked for you.
  10. Icharus


    Are the recipients listed on the website, or is it kept generally private?
  11. Icharus


    Still curious about this... any news?
  12. Icharus

    Current 3L, AMA

    U of T incoming 2L - tinman is right on in so many ways. Already referring incoming 0Ls who aren't even on this forum to this post. Echoing previous posts - I can't emphasize enough the stress echo chamber. I only had a study group for one course, and though I aced it, I absorbed so much stress that I didn't have before I joined the study group that I don't think I could have handled doing that in more than 1 or 2 courses. Just focus, and try to tune the crowd out.