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Diplock last won the day on October 20

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  1. I take a different tack from Otter. It's not that you're so damn interesting. I don't know you and have no idea if you're interesting. It's that you are grossly exaggerating (a) the degree to which your competition is any more interesting than you are, and (b) the degree to which admissions cares. You aren't writing your profile for a dating website. This isn't a competition over personality. Your goal, really, is just to convince the admissions committee that you aren't crippled socially and that you are able to string together a few coherent paragraphs on a topic that you should be entirely comfortable on - which is yourself. Anything else is gravy. Look, I don't really know admissions. There's about one or two people here who does, and everyone else is faking it. But I've read and screened a lot of applications to things and I can tell you - apart from extreme outliers, it really comes down to the grades, the LSAT, the objective stuff. Some people damage themselves because they are simply can't write, or write about absurd things. Some (an even smaller group) have truly impressive backgrounds that leap out and add something extra to their application. Everyone else just blurs into the middle. The reason law student applicants get an exaggerated sense of how much this matters is because of the great sea of delusion that's out there, and all the applicants convincing themselves (and trying to convince others) that some magical personal statement is going to make up for their grades and LSAT. I don't want to encourage you towards genuinely excessive modesty, but the most interesting thing about you so far is that you're not one of these fools. I'm so tired of that kid who thinks being President of a university club makes him special. Don't look for an angle more creative than who you really are. Don't try to turn your life into some sweeping narrative that's leading to law school in the second act and world domination in the third. Just present yourself honestly, and simply, and state your motivations for attending law school and what you hope to accomplish afterwards in your career. If you can do that well, you'll stand out if only because it demonstrates that you get it. And frankly, I can't speak for the admissions committee (as I said before) but in any decision-making I've ever controlled, I'd rather give the job/award/position to someone who gets it rather than someone who thinks the job/award/position should accrue to them based on the inspiring story they've told about their parents' journey of immigration, or their experiences helping deaf dolphins lead healthy and fulfilling lives, or the heartfelt explanation that what they really want to do with their law degree is force airlines to provide compensation to anyone who has ever thrown up all over themselves at 5,000 feet. U of T (and other law schools in Canada) want good law students. And the delusion that you are more special than the student next to you, taken as a whole, isn't an asset. It's actually a personality defect. It doesn't contribute to success in school. So present who you are well, and leave it at that. You'll be fine. P.S. Not to take anything away from the above, but if you were really scoring much higher on practice LSATs and if you are determined to attend U of T as a first-choice option, you might want to consider rewriting in December. Right now you're a probably-okay applicant. A few points more would make it near-certain.
  2. Oh my God, I'm glad someone finally said it because I wasn't sure if I should share my own story. That woman from Admissions was Jiffan. I don't know if she's still there. I didn't know who she was when she called me but eventually I did figure it out while I was attending. She did the same damn thing to me - only moreso. It's like she was personally offended that I didn't run around screaming that I got in. This was one (among many) early signals that there might be a disconnect between my attitude towards law school and legal culture and U of T's view of itself. I wasn't wrong. I think I waited several days before even telling anyone else. It was a personal experience and not one I was eager to share. Also, just as Hoju said, the real weight was receiving my LSAT score. Not to be a jerk about it, but once I had my LSAT, combined with my GPA and other stuff, I pretty much knew I was attending any Canadian law school I wanted. Which is exactly why I gave Jiffan the whole "well, thanks for letting me know" routine. In hindsight, had I known more about her, I would have really screwed with her and told her I was considering an offer from Cooley or something.
  3. Diplock

    Legal Aid: Staff Lawyers vs Certificates

    I don't necessarily agree that a certificate model is cheaper, but it is far better. I could write for pages but my most forceful argument would come down to this. We're talking about a system where many people are, despite conservative claims to the contrary, convicted. But it isn't only outcomes that matter - the experience of being tried in the justice system is also a relevant consideration. An accused person deserves, at least, to feel they got a fair process. Sometimes that's impossible, no matter what. But at minimum, an accused person needs to be able to choose their own lawyer. Take that away, and you may be able to create a system that's (mostly) fair in fact. But it will never be fair in appearance. And in this area, appearances matter a great deal.
  4. Diplock

    Downsides to applying Access?

    In general, the downside to any shaky access claim is that you end up coming off like a douche who's had such minimal exposure to the real world that you imagine every hardship in your life - trivial, or even imagined - entitles you to some special consideration. This idea is captured by my concept titled "fallacy of the perfect life" (tm). This fallacy, quickly stated, is that you imagine most people lead ideal lives devoid of any complication or hardship. This idea (which is ridiculous, btw) is the only way you, or anyone, could justify the idea that relatively ordinary, minor, or transitory difficulties would justify special consideration. And note, this fallacy only infects people who are extraordinarily privileged, because everyone else is immediately aware of how imperfect most lives really are. I'm not saying that's you, necessarily. I don't know everything about your life. But if you really intend to say "for a limited period of time my mom got sick, and I had to take care of her, which is why my LSAT is bad" I'd really urge you to consider how you'd respond to anyone else making the same claim. In all events, good luck.
  5. This could become the motto of the whole forum.
  6. Yes, and that's another very valid dimension to the discussion on privilege generally. But if anything, it points to a rational reason why you'd signal privilege on a job application but not an application to law school. Law school is concerned about your potential to succeed as a student, where all the connections in the world don't really help. Future employers are concerned about your potential as a lawyer, where they obviously do.
  7. Well, yes, in the sense that privilege which contributes to real academic achievement can still get you into law school. And that's an even wider debate. But yeah, the joke here is that between two ostensibly equal candidates (GPA, LSAT, etc) with the one very privileged and the otter not...it's the one who isn't privileged that's likely to perform far better in the future. Just like two runners clocking equal times, but one with professional coaching and the other running on a dirt track in old shoes. You know what's going to happen once the less privileged runner gets access to some of the same advantages that the other has always enjoyed. Edit - I think the answer to both Providence and hs993 is implied in my post, above, without elaborating further.
  8. Essentially, what you're asking about is privilege signaling. You can put it on resumes in the future if you like. Employers are shown (through extensive study) to favor such things. We can debate whether that's a good thing or not, but if you're just interested in doing what works, that's been shown to work. On an application to law school, by contrast, it just makes you look clueless. The message you want to send is NOT that you somehow believe that privilege is a relevant qualification for law school.
  9. Diplock

    Did You Ever Really "Enjoy" Articling?

    I maintain my view that looking at legal practice through the lens of the clients you serve is a very productive alternative to the idea that intellectual fascination in the area of law, itself, is the main source of satisfaction. I find it very odd, actually, when criminal defence types (among some others) disagree with this idea, because those same lawyers would often immediately reject working for the Crown. If fascination with the area of law is the main motivation, that opportunity should exist equally on both sides. Anyway, I'm not going to derail this discussion into a defence of this approach, but I do believe this idea has value. Main reply to the OP, based on recent posts. It may be that the job you have and the firm you're at aren't ideal for you. And it may even be the culture there isn't great. But beyond that, this is your problem. And the main issue you seem to have, right now, is that you don't want to admit your agency in this problem. You seem to still be in the mode of a student, where you expect to be given the answers, or at least expect to be presented with a range of options. And that's not going to happen. You'll be qualified to practice law soon. Where, how, or if you practice law - that's on you to decide. And right now, rather than asking relevant questions from people who could help you, you're still at the stage where you're seeking validation for your discontentment. I'm not trying to be harsh. Nothing that you've said really rubs me the wrong way. I'm just saying. Okay, you're at a job you don't love for another eight months or so. That's hardly the end of the world. If you want to see light at the end of the tunnel, it's on you to figure out what your goals are. In addition to the people around you, lawyers you know in real life (in and out of your work environment) you have a whole community here that can help answer your questions. But it's your job to start the conversation. So far, you've learned that it's okay and not uncommon to experience articling as something you just need to get through. What else do you want to know?
  10. Diplock

    Advice [3.3/150]

    Well, just two pieces of advice here, which are intended to be helpful. I'm not an expert on access applications (at all!) but the primary mistake students make with these claims is that they turn them into pleas for sympathy. They treat law school admissions like it's some kind of award, and they try to make their plea for special consideration into an "I'm worthy too!" argument. What law schools want is the most qualified class of students they can get. Law schools are willing to consider that good students sometimes come odd-shaped, and they can find a good candidate who looks less than good but once you see past X or Y factor it turns out they are actually a good fit. Imagine it like bargain shopping. You expand your ideas of what works, and suddenly you find a great deal. This is good for law school admissions because they are competing with each other too. A law school that identifies a good access applicant is thinking "hey, we see how this student has the tools to succeed, but probably the next school hasn't spotted it - so we win!" All that said, remember to phrase your claims in this way: 1. How did this claim you are making actually limit and damage your performance at grades, LSAT, etc. Because if it didn't, you aren't suggesting you'll be a better candidate in the future. You're just making a plea for sympathy. 2. How can you reasonably suggest this factor has ended already, or at least been addressed meaningfully? Again, because otherwise, there's no chance you'll be better in the future. It's just an argument for sympathy. In your case, consider. If your injury happened in 4th year but your last two years are good and it's only your GPA that's weak, exactly how are you relating this injury to your poor performance in earlier years? Further, how does it relate to your LSAT if your grades were otherwise strong at that time? Not saying you can't apply in this way if you like. Just saying - make your application rational. Good luck!
  11. Diplock

    First year associate salary dilemma

    Everyone is ducking around the real question - primarily because it's so hard to answer. OP's "they can afford it" rationale may or may not stand up to examination. The question is, in the time he's been articling, has he got a real handle on the economics of the firm and the practice area? So few students do have this figured out that some skepticism here is warranted. The issue isn't really want the employer can or should pay - or what the student/associate is "worth" in some abstract sense. The issue is that you don't want to be the guy (or girl) who shows you just don't get the practice area. Because understanding the relative economics really is part of getting it. The takeaway is this. If you want to try for more money, go ahead and do so. But do so for logical reasons, based in the reality of this practice. Otherwise, you stand no chance of getting what you want, and you'll look dumb in the process.
  12. Diplock

    Did You Ever Really "Enjoy" Articling?

    I wish I had more time to flesh out this thought, but when students express aimlessness in law I usually reply with this angle. To me, the idea that motivation in law can be found in the technical work of this area vs. that area seems very suspect. I'm not motivated by interest in the deep complexities of criminal law. I'm motivated by the people that I help and interact with. Even when I've done other things, I'm still working with real, individual people who are in trouble. That's motivating and interesting to me. I'd urge you to consider, if the areas of law that you thought would interest you aren't interesting you, and especially if you're an extrovert, as you say, are you perhaps not getting what you wanted in terms of the clients you are serving and interacting with? You put "meaningful" in quotations. To me, meaningful work isn't about how complex the work becomes. It's in the consequence to the client. Maybe that's what you're missing.
  13. Diplock

    The TRUTH about law school

    Man, I made a crack about this post in the morning, and by the time I could return and outline what I was really thinking, it's already on page three. So here's my deconstruction. It isn't that I radically disagree with everything the OP wrote, it's just there's such a mix of topics and points in such a short declaration. And while I don't think the OP was being intentionally manipulative, this is a popular technique. Muddy up several topics together, and suddenly it's hard to know what people are arguing with. Straw man arguments proliferate, and in the end everyone is just angry. Here are the broad topics I see in OP's post: 1. Law school is too expensive relative to the employment marketplace. 2. Prestige (or the illusion of it) didn't get me what I expected. 3. The only good jobs are on Bay Street, and nothing else is worth talking about. 4. If you don't have an articling job in September of 3L, you know you're already one of the losers of the profession. 5. Someone lied to me about any or all of the above. And here are my replies: 1. I think most people would agree with this. If it isn't terminal yet, it's heading in the wrong direction. If you confined your points to this concern, I think you'd find a lot of agreement here. 2. I don't know why anyone would say they go to a "Toronto school." We know you mean Osgoode, okay? In a context where you are citing prestige, if you went to U of T you'd say U of T. I don't know where you got the idea that going to a fairly good law school in Ontario, with a grossly inflated cohort, would by itself get you something. But that's a strange idea. Of course there are students from other schools doing well. And see point above. If your argument is that you're better off minimizing debt, I'd readily agree. If your argument is that it's strange anyone from Windsor has a job while Osgoode grads are still unemployed ... umm, what? 3. You're obviously only talking about Bay Street and big law OCI jobs right now because those are the only employers who have even hired so far. Confining your description of the legal marketplace to only these jobs is simply ignorant. In some ways you actually bolster your arguments by including other jobs. The worst result of ballooning tuition isn't how hard it is to pay off your debt articling on Bay. The big problem is that students may not even be able to afford to article for $30k in Family Law, or accept an associate position at $50k, even when that's what they really want to do. But right now, you're talking about big law. And that's only a slice of what's happening out there. Anyone who's view is so narrow is automatically suspect. 4. There's plenty of time yet. Seriously. Of all the aspiring professionals I know, law students are easily among the most ridiculous when they start complaining that the sky is falling because no one has yet promised them a job one full year in advance of when they even need one. Most of your classmates, who you cite as unemployed, will be fine. Many will not have exactly the jobs they aspired to. But that's not the measure of success here. If you really think that unemployed in September means your career is over before it even starts, you really need a better sense of proportion. Which brings me to... 5. The real problem with coming here with "The TRUTH" is simply this. Who are you claiming lied to you? And about what, exactly? Did law school end up costing more than you expected, or the profession not pay as well? What were you expecting and why? Did someone convince you that all Osgoode grads are treated like royalty? Did you expect that rolling with the bad boys on Bay would somehow solve all of these issues? What expectations did you go in with, exactly, and how were those expectations created? FINAL point. Where are a lot of reasons to be concerned about the legal profession in Canada, and issues that we need to resolve. But entitled students making self-important declarations is not the contribution that's going to lead to any real discussion about it. In reply to OZ - buddy, I STILL don't know who you are, where you come from, or what role you claim to have in the profession. But just so we're clear, I have no obligation to "promote freedom of speech" because I'm not a government entity. If I were a government entity, my obligation would be to not interfere with freedom of speech, rather than to promote it. And in all events, responding to a ridiculous pronouncement by pointing out that it's a ridiculous pronouncement is not in any way limiting (or failing to promote) freedom of speech. It's me voicing my opinion in reply to someone else's opinion. It would make as much sense to accuse you of interfering with my speech, at this point. There is no freedom of speech I'm aware of, anywhere in human history, that suggests anyone has a right to be taken seriously. You're free to sound like an idiot, and I'm free to call you an idiot. Just as I'm doing now.
  14. Diplock

    high school transcripts?

    If you want to demonstrate your ability to excel academically, you realistically must demonstrate at least SOME performance doing just that at the post-secondary level. Combined with some good reason why your overall performance isn't as good - that might convince them to give you some benefit of the doubt. Absent that, you've got poor grades and a sympathetic story. But not everyone who did well in high school excels in university in a normal case scenario. In fact, most do not. Expecting anyone to just assume that absent X reason you'd have been a great university student - that's likely unrealistic.
  15. Diplock

    The TRUTH about law school

    Thank God someone finally showed up and told us the TRUTH. Seven years into practice, I've finally found the guru who'll educate me.