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goalie

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  1. That's how my parents ended up without a house! Those were rough times alright...
  2. Assuming a bank would give my wife and I a mortgage despite my student debt, there's no way we will be able to afford monthly payments on a $600k home, which is about the lower end of the average here. I estimate we are 5 years out from affording those payments, as a first year call now, though that is me being optimistic that my income will be high enough to bridge the gap between our very low rent now (living with family) and the $3000-$4000 potential mortgage payment. Also optimistic that housing prices do not begin to rise again. Also optimistic that we will be able to save up a downpayment in that time. So yeah, I'm of the opinion that family money is almost a necessity to be able to afford to buy a house (not just talking professionals here, but everyone!)
  3. If memory serves me correctly, there are 5 year long courses, each with a mid-term help/not hurt exam, but one of those courses will have a moot which messes up the help/not hurt for that course (Property, Contracts, Criminal, Constitution and Torts). Then there are 2 half year courses, one taken from Sept to Dec and one from Jan to Apr, each with a final exam (one on legislation/government in the first half and one on legal perspectives/theory in the second half). Then there is one other course; can't remember the details of it, but I don't believe there was a final exam for it; it ends in November for the first term and March in the second term. Then, of course, there is block week. In 2014 block week was only in January, so of course there seems to be some changes to the schedule. Of course, this could all have changed since then.
  4. I'm in BC so things work a little different. But looking forward to being called! It's been a long journey for us all. Congrats everyone!
  5. I just read King of Torts by Grisham, where the protagonist lawyer did some insider trading, and I thought to myself, "probably a good idea to avoid trading stocks."
  6. I would say a few things here which don't answer your questions I'm afraid. The first is this: law school exams vary from class to class, prof to prof and school to school. A property exam at U of T will look a lot different from a criminal exam at UBC. A perpetuities question on your first year property exam (do you have perpetuities in Ontario still??) will consist of a fact pattern with several questions, each modifying the facts slightly, each question requiring you to determine if the facts violate the rule (at least that's how it was on my first year exam). The criminal exam will have a huge fact pattern and you get to be the judge (again, that's how my first year exam was); are they guilty or not guilty, and if so, what is an appropriate sentence (and of course, always explain why)? But again, so too did that property exam have a fact pattern where you were the judge: is it a fixture or chattel (you all know wtf I'm talking about now ). It varies. Second, I would have to say that the amount of time you put in reading may not correlate to higher grades. It's not that the grader is simply coming up with their arbitrary number; it's that you have to have a certain way of thinking going into law school (hence the LSAT) and reading every case that deals with the Charter will not help you on the exam. It is important to know what you're reading, how to read it, and how to apply what you've read. In law school, I read more than most in my first year class, and had below average first year grades. Some of the best students were out partying practically every night (though the opposite was also true, with some of the best students reading more than I ever did or could) but it just goes to show that reading and time studying does not necessarily correlate to highest grades. Rest assured, however, the grading system is fair. Students are graded via number, not name, so profs have no idea whose exam they are marking (again, at my law school this is how it worked). Not to discourage you, but law school is tough, and it doesn't matter which exams you prefer; you will get a mix of all types. Multiple choice... not so much. But again, depends on the class, prof and school. I had probably a couple of multi-choice questions on 3 of my first year end of year exams; one exam had two massive fact patterns and 3 hours to answer the question. It's just a mixed bag. But, as someone else has mentioned, most profs had a rubric from which they based their marks. You needed to hit certain points, or provide a comprehensive answer, or provide good reasoning, or cite certain cases, etc etc. Some profs gave you their rubric (ones which contained no specifics) and some profs did not. Some profs had two rubrics, some had none. The first thing you learn in law school is that "it depends," and this is certainly true for how exams were structured. Sorry for the rant; hope that helps.
  7. I grew up poor. Before going to school, I worked semi-skilled labour out of high school and for many years. I then had 7 years of no/very little income while I did my undergrad and then law degree. As a first year call in a few weeks, I will be happy with my income. It's not as much as I had hoped for, granted, but it will be more money than I've ever earned in my life, and should be sufficient to keep the student creditors at bay. Going forward, I'm not sure what my earning potential is in my chosen area of law. However, I think I will earn enough that, by retirement, I will have a comfortable lifestyle. So yeah, I am happy with my income.
  8. You've asked a number of questions; I will try to help you as best as I can. What do you do first: breathe. You need to relax; it sounds like you've already received sound advice on where to start. Get the Powerscore books and start reading: it's that simple. The books guide you through the types of questions to help you answer them. There are other books available so if you feel the need, obtain those books as well (sorry, can't remember the brand). Asking what other people did is a good way to get ideas, but the best person to tell you what you should do is you. Everyone's experience was different, and everyone studied for a different amount of time using different techniques at different times in their lives. Basically, the answers to your questions range from no studying to years of studying; taking months off to study vs studying while balancing a full courseload and young family and job; what other people have done is not going to help you a whole lot, until, I think, you know where to start. Diagnostics: LSAT measures your logical faculties in a word, so regardless if you don't know the type of questions, you should be able to at least work your way through the answers of a practice exam without cracking a book. You will get facts and be asked a series of questions based on those facts; i.e., if A = B and B = C, is it true that C = A... that sort of nonsense. Google LSAT practice exams and you will get the one that the regulating body puts out for practice (LSUC I think it is?). You can run this diagnostic with or without first reading your Powerscore books; it is nice to write the practice exam without having read the Powerscore books so that it gives you a measure of how far you've come, because honestly sometimes it feels like you're making no progress. If you get a 180 on your diagnostic, you could probably through your books in the garbage; if you get a 120, you might want to crack those books sooner than later. And then there's everything in between. For balancing workload and studying for the LSAT, again, it really depends on you. If you feel like you have extra time in a day, sit down and crack those Powerscore books. If you feel like you don't have a titch of time in a day, maybe hit the books hard over the holidays and then incorporate LSAT studying into your routine as you begin your next semester in January. But again, you know you and you know what you can and can't do. Honestly though, you've already received the standard advice: get the books, run a diagnostic LSAT to gauge how far you need to go, then start studying and practice-writing. Hope that helps.
  9. Congratulations on securing a position! I submitted my documentation in September and it wasn't until 3 days before the deadline (30 days before I started articling... think December) that I managed to get everything correct. Had this thought in my mind that my principal was pre-disappointed in me because we had to sign a couple of things twice. Yikes. Anyways, it's not a straightforward application, as QuincyWagstaff mentioned, and it could take some time for the Law Society to approve, so don't expect that, 30 days from submitting, you will be an articled student. You need to receive their confirmation before you are an articled student. Not sure about the "unofficial articled student" question... if you are working, but not an articled student, you wouldn't have any special title that I can think of. You wouldn't be an articled student, wouldn't be a summer student, wouldn't be a co-op student, wouldn't even technically be a student at all I suppose. You might want to discuss that with your principal or law firm, or short of that the Law Society. Assistant to the Regional Manager maybe?
  10. hmm, maybe I should understand Ontario before I open my big mouth. In BC, we do a 2 month course with the bar exam at the end (Course is called PLTC). Articling is 10 months; you can choose to do PLTC at the beginning, middle or end of your articling period (they offer the course 3 times/year). You have to have an articling position secured before you can sit for PLTC and thus the bar exams. Many firms pay your salary during PLTC, while others do not, but you know this going into PLTC. Apologies for the confusion; it must be different in Ontario.
  11. If most firms are advertising 75k yearly salary, they probably pay you throughout your bar-time-off; if a firm is advertising 1450/week, they most likely will not pay you during your bar-time-off, but don't want to reveal the lower yearly salary; in other words, they want to appear competitive without actually being competitive, and hope that you take the job either without thinking about this or by being so impressed during the interview that you will ignore the lower salary.
  12. Sole practitioners will often take on articling students, though they don't advertise. If you can connect with a sole practitioner, they might take you on.
  13. Now that I think about it, this is what I was told as well. "Within one year." They slipped it in so I never really thought about it but totally remember hearing this now. You forgot Co-op! People have told me that Co-op looks really good on the resume as well. I think it served me well both in terms of landing a job and knowing somewhat how to begin working on a file. If not for the practical experience, Co-op was at least good for wrapping my head around actually finding a job and presenting myself in a way that is favourable to a law office.
  14. They told me 90-95% of students get articles, and you can assume that at least 5-10% of students are not seeking articles (I definitely met a lot of people who were not interested in actually practicing law) so I'm sure almost everyone seeking articles does get a position. With that being said, I think many folks either returned to their city of origin (lots of Winnipeg folks) and many went over to Vancouver, which creates an interesting scenario. While there are not that many jobs for articled students in Victoria, everyone who wants to stay in Victoria can usually find a place. I know of only one person who was not able to find a job immediately after graduation, but after working for a year he landed a position. So, if you want to stay here, you shouldn't have a problem. But if your goal is to simply land any articling job in any market, there really shouldn't be a problem doing that either.
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