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Conflicted

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  1. Thank you again for the responses. Eeee - Yes, I agree that I should get back into therapy. Diplock - I've been reluctant to divulge too much about myself for fear -- and it's admittedly an irrational fear -- that someone on this anonymous message board will be able to identify me (even though in the thinking part of my mind, I know that nobody gives enough of a shite to engage in that kind of internet sleuthing). You asked how I know that I would be any good at being a lawyer. The fact is that I don't. But I should add that I don't think my university grades are reflective of my aptitude. While in university, I was depressed and addicted to alcohol and alprazolam. I barely attended class, and I made no friends. Somehow, I managed to romanticize my addiction and mental illness -- I thought I was a reincarnation of Charles Bukowski. My program was co-op, meaning that I alternated between academic terms and work terms. During my second work term, I got into an argument with a permanent employee and threatened suicide. My co-op advisor, who already had some sense of what a walking disaster I was (not to mention the university's potential liability in the matter), immediately drove me to a psychiatrist's office. I began attending regular sessions with her, at which I would talk a lot about my feelings, and she would nod a lot and look concerned. (In hindsight, I don't think she was very good at her job, but I didn't want to stop seeing her because I thought it might hurt her feelings.) I ended up failing a core course in my last year. I returned home, took an equivalent course at the local university, and transferred the credit to complete my program. I received my degree in the mail. In the years since, I've quit alcohol and alprazolam and continued to see psychiatrists. I'm now on sertraline, meaning that I'm still a zombie, but a more pleasant, sociable version of a zombie. I also have my wits about me now. From your post: "But it isn't enough to say 'look at me, I'm non-traditional - wouldn't it be cool if someone like me became a lawyer!' Wendy Babcock wasn't just a sex trade worker. She was a lifelong advocate and crusader for the rights of sex trade workers. She was doing legal work long before she attended law school. She wasn't accepted to law school because they thought it would be cool to accept any random sex trade worker." You're putting words into my mouth. You're free to insult me all you like ("...it really does feel like a mid-life ego thing"), but to be clear, I said nothing disparaging about Wendy Babcock in my earlier post. I was being self-deprecating in referring to myself as a "cubicle monkey." Nothing I said was intended to minimize Wendy Babcock's accomplishments, nor should anyone have construed it as such. kiamia - Stimulation. I feel underemployed and cognitively understimulated. The favourite part of my current job is when I have the opportunity to research case law and write factums (facta if you prefer). Also, once in a while, my bosses allow me to attend at trials and sit at counsel table, usually because we're dealing with voluminous documentation, and I'm the one who knows where every document is located because I spent endless hours reading every document, writing the indexes, and binding and tabbing everything. However, I'm not allowed to speak, so I end up feeling like a ridiculous deaf-mute. In these situations, I often feel an irresistible urge to make oral submissions in support of our case, so I write something on a piece of paper and pass it to counsel, who often says what I wrote verbatim.
  2. Thanks for the additional responses, maximumbob, PerniciousLaw, providence, and akulamasusu. maximumbob -- I realize that my chance of getting into a Canadian school is slim, and that I'll only be taking a flyer by applying. I'm actually encouraged by stories like that of Wendy Babcock, who was previously homeless and a teen prostitute before applying to Osgoode later in life. She had at the time only a diploma from George Brown and no university transcript, but she was accepted by Osgoode on the basis of her strong LSAT score and the fact that she was a well-known activist for the protection of sex workers. (Tragically, Ms. Babcock committed suicide in her third year at Osgoode, but that's another story.) My own story is nowhere near as compelling as that of Ms. Babcock's, but maybe I can get some mileage out of my two decades working as a disgruntled cubicle monkey. akulamasusu -- you mentioned loan repayment. To clarify, in my OP, I was exaggerating when I said that I would be willing to go bankrupt. I've actually lived like a miser all my life, so even if I go the NCA route -- and I'm inclined to view those routes as much less attractive options now -- I don't think I'd go into debt. I think I have enough in savings to afford law school in either the UK or the States -- it's just that those savings would be nearly wiped out.
  3. Thanks for the responses and the encouragement. I agree with akulamasusu that option 2 is the worst because of the cost. I'll try the mature student route as per the advice of WindsorHopeful and Adrian. And yes, I'll bite the bullet and write the LSAT as per the recommendations of LegalArmada, conge, and Malicious Prosecutor. I appreciate all the advice -- and I don't mean to sound ungrateful -- but the poster I referred to earlier, kcraigsejong, was told very different things in his thread. He was met with a chorus telling him that he had zero chance of being admitted to a Canadian law school with his weak numbers. Diplock even berated some poor guy for "cheerleading" and giving kcraigsejong false hope. So it kind of surprises me that so many people here seem to think I have a chance with a Cdn law school. (Incidentally, kcraigsejong was, I believe, 34, when he started his law school journey, so he was a mature student as well.) Malicious Prosecutor and conge suggest, respectively, that I'm experiencing a mid-life crisis, or that I'm looking for a panacea. To that, I say...maybe. In my defence, I get physically ill when I consider the possibility that I'll be a law clerk for the next 20+ years.
  4. I'm reluctant to go back to school full-time at a bricks and mortar university because that would mean I would have to quit working. I suppose I could put more effort toward mastering the LSAT, but my GPA is so low that even if by some miracle I ace the LSAT, my overall stats are still going to be subpar. I'm actually thinking that my best option might be to go to the UK and do the NCAs. kcraigsejong has posted on this forum about how he was in roughly the same situation as me: abysmal GPA and unspectacular LSAT score. I think it took him about 5 years or so, but he managed to return to B.C. from the UK with a law degree and find an articling position. The law firm where I work now also has some lawyers who took or are taking unconventional routes to lawyer jobs in Ontario. One associate here graduated from Rutgers in New Jersey, and another attended Elon University in North Carolina. The weird thing is that I know what I want to do doesn't make any sense. Tuition in the UK would wipe out my nest egg, and I'll be about 50 years old if or when I finish my articles. I know that this is seriously a bad idea, but I'm counting on an inheritance from my parents for my retirement (I'm single with no kids, by the way). Despite all that, I think I'll regret it for the rest of my life if I don't take a stab at this.
  5. I have a lot of experience as an admin assistant, legal secretary, and law clerk, but I'm not sure how much weight would be given to those positions since it's all fairly low-level stuff. Also, throughout my career, I did zero volunteering, did no work with NGOs, etc. I was under the impression that you had to have a brilliant personal profile to be admitted as a mature student. But I see what you're saying -- applying as a mature student may be an option.
  6. Hi, I'm hoping that someone here can help me. Serious responses only please. I'm middle-aged, and I've been working as a legal secretary/law clerk for more than a decade. I'm been thinking for a very long time about applying to law school, but up until now, I've put it off. For better or for worse, my self-esteem is tied to my profession. A recent event made me realize that if I don't soon make an earnest, full-bore attempt to get into law school, I'll regret it for the rest of my life. I've decided that short of bankruptcy or death, I'm going to do everything I can to be called to the Ontario Bar. My B.A. (Hons.) is from a Canadian university, and I received it about 20 years ago (no joke). The problem is that during my university days, I was a very poor student. It took me five years to graduate because I failed some core courses, including in my final year. My transcript is littered with C's, D's, and F's. I've studied for the LSAT and done some practice tests. I'm convinced that any score I get on the LSAT will be underwhelming. As I see it, after I take the LSAT, I have three options to become a lawyer in Ontario (listed in order of preference): Become a student at Athabasca University, take lots of courses in my free time and try to improve my GPA, then apply to Canadian law schools; Apply to a lower-tier school in the U.S., then go through the NCA process; or Apply to a school in the U.K., then go through the NCAs. Is option 1 even feasible, or should I concentrate all my efforts on options 2 and 3? In other words, if I produce a transcript from my previous university that is terrible, but another transcript from Athabasca that is stellar, would I have a reasonable chance of being admitted to a Canadian law school? I'd welcome any other advice that you may have. Bear in mind, of course, that I'm looking for the most sensible, cost-efficient route to becoming licensed in Ontario. P. S.: I'm working full-time, and intend to continue doing so unless I get admitted somewhere. Also, I'm inclined to apply in the "general" category rather than the "mature student" category. Thanks in advance.
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