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Everything posted by Diplock

  1. Thank you for that introduction. This whole discussion is stupid. It's not even stupid in an interesting way, where one person is inviting correction so obviously that it's fun to slap them down. It's just low-grade stupidity that infuses everything said here, and indicts everyone participating in it. I feel stupider myself, as I type this. @OP - Calm the hell down. Seriously. Some anxiety is normal, but anxiety to the point that you're hanging on every ridiculous and unsupportable thing that anyone else has ever said to you about grades is just sad. Every practicing lawyer has had a client like you - someone who asks twelve other people about whatever thing is going on with their legal situation and then needs to have a conversation about whatever that person has just told them, whether it's ignorant, informed, sane, or complete nonsense. Anxiety that drives you to do this isn't healthy. Get basic information, apply common sense, and stop there. In this case, that would lead to the conclusion that no one can offer you any certainty regarding the outcome of job applications you haven't made yet, so just apply to jobs you want and hope for the best. What the hell else could there possibly be? @Everyone Else - Stupid 1Ls are gonna be stupid 1Ls. It's fine to have at least a bit of fun critiquing their anxiety, but there's no need to dig back into every life choice they've made to get to this point. At some point it's just done. @OP Again - Some of the superfluous observations here may be worth thinking about all the same. Your need to over-complicate decision-making isn't doing you any favors. Do as well as you can in your classes, seek the jobs you're interested in, etc. Do your best, see where that gets you, and reevaluate as needed. It isn't necessarily easy. You're in competition with some very talented people at this point. But it is uncomplicated. Stop looking for secrets, codes, and patterns that aren't there. Now everyone go to bed.
  2. I'm not sure exactly what "process" you're referring to, but I'm reasonably confident that my answer will address your misconception, no matter what it happens to be. The OCI hiring process is an entirely artificial, abnormal thing that occurs nowhere else in the working world and will never happen again in your career. From here on out, there is no "process" - there's just the employment marketplace. You do your best to find a job you're interested in, you apply to that job, you hope you get it. That's all. Your CDO will likely do their best to maintain some kind of list of articling jobs, which may or may not be curated reasonably well. I'm sure even if they make best efforts, they will miss a lot of things as they are depending on prospective employers (many of which are smaller and less organized) to either draw their attention to the posting or else to post publicly in a reasonable way so the CDO notices. That often doesn't happen. My point is simply this. If you haven't found a position through the incredibly strange and mediated OCI process, you need to get your head out of expecting anything similar to happen in the future. The jobs aren't going to come to you anymore. No one is going to line up all possible employers for you and help you figure out where, when, and how to apply. So the bad news is, you're on your own. The good news is, that's how the whole rest of the world works anyway, so it's not as scary as it seems and it can, in fact, be done. You just need to be more proactive. Hope that helps.
  3. We don't actually know what the heck is going on. Speaking as a criminal defence lawyer, when any prospective client confronts me with utterly inexplicable behavior on the part of the authorities (not necessarily illicit behavior - I mean behavior that doesn't make sense even if you assume ill intent) I immediately tend to assume there's more to the story than I'm being told. Maybe the person telling me the story is leaving out information so they sound better and get the answers they want to hear. Maybe they're leaving out information because they don't have it themselves. Either way, there's generally more to the story than "the powers that be suddenly decided to single out this one person for special, individual persecution for no discernible reason." All of that is to say, OP, get the full story from your school. Find out exactly what you are being accused of, and why, and then get professional legal help. Use your school clinic if you have one and they do this stuff, to start. And then if your entire academic year is in jeopardy, take it to a real lawyer if need be. Despite the fact that you are asking a question about how things work in law school(s), and that's on point for this forum, you are facing real legal difficulties here (fyi, decision-making and adjudication in schools is a species of admin law) and unless it goes away on its own, which is unlikely with accusations this serious, you need real legal help, not just answers that you've rigged your query to receive from strangers on the Internet. In all events, good luck.
  4. I think you've missed the point of the inquiry, considering that OP's best grades thus far have come from college. I agree with other replies, however. You should be concentrating on getting the best grades possible at university, now that you're there. Your grades from one year of college will not be particularly important no matter what. Ideally, you'll want to do better than that 77% average you're currently citing. Good luck.
  5. Take courses that interest you and that you believe you can do well in. And note, I'm of the school of thought that says being interested in the course is 90% of doing well in it, so those are largely the same thing. If in the course of doing that, you happen to pull together an additional minor, that's great. But doing it for its own sake is a bad idea. And no, it won't of itself improve your odds of admission in any way.
  6. Simply put, EU citizenship is not in any way an advantage to practicing law in Canada. It may be an advantage in relation to studying law in the EU. I don't claim to know anything about that. But studying law in the EU is also not an advantage in any way to practicing law in Canada (it's the opposite, actually, as you already know) and so that doesn't help you either. All the same advice to any other Canadian student looking to study overseas for lack of domestic options applies equally to you. I don't see how having EU citizenship changes anything. You don't want my reply on "international human rights." You've come across reasonably so far and you're just trying to figure things out, which is fine. But I'd urge you to stow away that phrase until you learn why 98% of the time it's used only to convey a nonsensical understanding of what law is and does.
  7. The fact that you were born and raised here isn't evidence that your English is good. It's evidence that you have even less excuse that your English is bad. Seriously. We're not kidding about this. It's a real problem you need to address.
  8. Leaving aside the other issues in this thread, which is a lot to leave aside, I'd like to point out that a 3.0 GPA and 155 lsat isn't as close to admissibility to Canadian schools as some here seem to want to believe and suggest. It isn't necessarily a case of "give up and go overseas if you're determined enough, because that's your only hope" either. But some of the optimism here has been, in my opinion, over-stated. OP is, if anything, more realistic than many people posting here, on that point.
  9. Talk about how you believe workplace policies have become unreasonably restrictive when it comes to relationships between lawyers and students.
  10. I'll put this as simply as I can. Your writing here, your overall approach to communication, the very logic that underpins the ideas you've expressed...all of it is very sloppy. At the best interpretation, it's sloppy because you can't be bothered making it not sloppy. At the worst interpretation, it's the best you can do. But taking the best interpretation, for a moment, what are you doing here? You're engaging with law students and lawyers who are actually giving you free and meaningful advice, but it isn't worth your time and bother to even try communicating properly. You tell yourself "I could do it right if I wanted to, but it isn't worth it." You tell yourself "I'll save my effort for when it really matters." You tell yourself that you'll be awesome at all this stuff when you start to really try. Okay. When will that be, exactly? You have a bad attitude, and I'm giving you advice in a moderately mean way. But it's still sincere advice based in extensive experience. If you are serious about pursuing a career in law, or really any sort of professional endeavor where you are implicitly in competition at all times with other capable, motivated people, you have to stop telling yourself that you'll try when it's worth it, and that when you finally bother you'll just be awesome because that's what you really are. That bad attitude is what's brought you to the situation you're already in - complaining about how the world won't give you the chances your natural abilities deserve, even though you've pissed away every opportunity to date to demonstrate the abilities you seem to believe you have. Yeah. You deserve the criticism you're receiving here. And you can benefit from it too, if you can only restrain your entirely unjustified ego long enough to realize that the world will never, ever treat you as talented and capable only because you feel that you are. You need to start doing things well - all the time, and simply because that's how you do things - in order to get to where you want to be. Seriously. It's the only way. I know it seems like we're picking on you. And I won't pretend I'm not enjoying kicking you a bit, with this advice. But it's serious advice. Lawyers are professional communicators. Language is our most fundamental tool. A professional athlete wouldn't do things wrong all the time, not caring at all about how they play the game they claim will be their livelihood, and say "I'll be great when it matters." You shouldn't be doing that either. And the fact that you think it's a big old joke that lawyers with lots of years under their belts are telling you this, but you know better...that's your problem, right there. Good luck.
  11. This is the problem with asking about how to set up your legal practice in the future before you even start law school. That's like me asking for someone to explain the day-to-day differences between practicing oncology and neurology in a way that's meaningful to me despite the fact that I know nothing at all about medicine. Past a certain point, it's just frustrating for all concerned and a complete waste of time. Go to law school. Learn some of the basics. At that point, you'll have more foundational knowledge to stick the rest of this stuff to. In the meanwhile, try to enjoy your summer.
  12. That's the right attitude. It's the system, man, that's keeping you down. If only they would stop judging you based on the fact that you haven't been very successful to this point in school, you'd just be so much more successful in the future. God damn elitists, letting in students based on their past performance, and not on how much they really really really really know they'd be great lawyers.
  13. Look, I'm going to try laying this out for you, but your question is both (a) important, obviously, and also (b) a learning opportunity regarding how the law works and how you need to think about it. There are TWO independent legal...things...going on here. One is your employment relationship with your employer. This is governed by ordinary employment law. Though be alert for special rules regarding your situation, depending on province. The other is your relationship as an articling student to your principal. And again, this depends on your province. These are only some of the reasons why people are unable to give you safely accurate off-the-cuff answers. The specific questions you are asking absolutely cannot, cannot, cannot be answered with someone kind of "has this ever happened to someone else" query. No two situations are exactly the same. Asking about how and why someone else got fired from a job doesn't tell you what your situation is really all about. Neither does someone else's relationship with their principal. Obviously I don't know what the hell is going on at your job, and I strongly discourage you from sharing much more information than you already have. So it's grossly unfair of me to assume anything about who is "right" and who is "wrong." Realistically, when a relationship sours it's usually for reasons on both sides. But I do know this. If your idea of "training" is to have your hand held through even the most basic steps of research and analysis, and if you aren't even willing to think through a problem to a great enough degree to appreciate the basic stuff I've laid out above, then your approach is absolutely at least part of the problem. Anyone who has graduated from law school should be able to engage in the level of analysis I've offered you. Anyone who has applied to law school successfully should be able to do it. I don't know what else might be wrong at your present job. But one hell of a lot of legal work consists of figuring stuff out as you need to figure it out. Lawyers aren't walking around with all the answers in our heads all the time. A lot of the time, we encounter problems to which we don't know the answers and so we research and figure it out. Get used to doing as much for yourself as you possibly can. Then when you hit a wall, asking for help is a perfectly reasonable thing to do, at which point you should get help from your principal. What to do about it if that relationship becomes utterly broken ... for that you deal with your Law Society. Which is exactly the research you need to do on your own. Good luck.
  14. Frankly, I think that's a bullshit criticism. I believe there is a problem if people are working in an area of law, or aspiring to work in an area of law, for which they have no genuine interest and for reasons unrelated to wanting to do that kind of law. Yes, that's a problem that deserves to be discussed - where it occurs, and if it's a real problem in the situation at hand. But you've turned that idea on its head by saying "if we make your job pay badly enough, you wouldn't do it anymore, which means you don't really care about what you're doing." I do work for legal aid rates a lot of the time, and I'm not immune to that criticism either. Does that mean I don't care about my work either? If you cut my pay enough (and the government did just cut my pay - this isn't a theoretical topic to me) I'll eventually have to look somewhere else. Because I have a family to support, and I'm not going to fail in my responsibility to my own family simply because I want to keep working for nothing. Of course if you box me into that choice, I eventually make the hard decision. Are you really saying that implies something about my own priorities that I need to apologize for? I have some issues with Big Law, at times, but I don't believe we need to turn our colleagues who happen to practice M&A into caricatures of money-grubbing pig capitalists straight out of Animal Farm. It really isn't true. Does money inform some aspect of their career decision-making? Of course it probably does. No one pursues their interests in a total vacuum of other decision-making factors. But again, the same is true of everyone and all of us. Anyone standing outside the legal professional entirely could say "you call claim to love law, but isn't some aspect of that simply that you like working indoors, with your hands clean, and without fear of any physical injury, unlike the large percentage of the world who work are dirtier, more physical, hands-on jobs?" And the fact that any one of us should honestly say "yes, that's part of it" - does that undermine the claim that we also enjoy legal work? You're being unfair. And maybe it takes someone on your own side of the argument to see how badly you've twisted what starts out as a legitimate point.
  15. I notice you've left criminal off your list. Say what you want about my practice area, but everyone finds it interesting. Of course, that's a doubled-edged sword a lot of the time. Still, your basic point holds. Whatever my issues with "big law" may be at times, I have no trouble at all believing that a fair number of lawyers who are doing this stuff are genuinely interested in it. Not all, mind you. Big law does have a problem where it sucks in even people who aren't interested in what they're doing, for what I'll suggest are objectively "the wrong" reasons. But that said, there are criminal lawyers too, who are really just doing crim for the lack of any other options. So it's not like any area of law is immune to people doing it for "the wrong" reasons. It shouldn't become a blanket criticism.
  16. No one can give you a legitimate appraisal of your chances right now. But you probably need to hear and understand that a 2.8 GPA makes acceptance to law school extremely unlikely under any circumstances, absent a magical LSAT, and not terribly likely even with a magical LSAT. Don't count on ECs or letters of reference to make up the difference. Honestly, everyone has those, and nothing you've suggested is even unusually strong. My point is, control what you can still control. Get A's in your final year, and you at least have a reasonable case to make that this better reflects your true ability. Turn in another year with a high C, low B average, and quite honestly, your chances are almost non-existent. Control what you can still control.
  17. Look, I'm a criminal lawyer. But what follows is not legal advice, it's personal advice. And it's the only thing you should repeat from what you read here, to your friend, or whatever. Get a lawyer. If you can't afford a lawyer, you may qualify for Legal Aid. If you don't qualify, rely on duty counsel to help you. It's not ideal, but it's a hell of a lot better than asking strangers on the Internet. That's it. Nothing else on this site applies to you, or will help you in any way.
  18. Asking about chances without an LSAT and only a ballpark for grades is very limited, but in broad terms I'd say with a strong LSAT you could get into law school, yes. Should you make a big deal about this car accident? Opinions will differ, but unless you were hospitalized for an extended period or something, trying to emphasize this will most likely sound ridiculous, in my view. So really, it's up to you. But the people reading your law school applications aren't stupid. It's either a real thing or it isn't. And if your grades were bad for a couple of years, trying to say that an isolated accident in that period of time somehow explains it all ... well, you figure it out. The real reason I replied is to address this question of "worth it." Until you establish a comparison, that's a nonsense question. So ask yourself, or tell us, what you're comparing the practice of law to as a compariter group. Or to put it another way, you seem dismayed that a career in law requires that you either work hard to earn a high income, or perhaps that you "settle" for only an "above average" income with a less stressful lifestyle. Even if I accept this rather simplistic set of options, what other sorts of jobs are you looking at which don't require you to be particularly accomplished, don't require that you work very hard, and yet deliver the high income you seem to crave? There's nothing wrong with your questions. Everyone starts somewhere. But realistically speaking, in order to succeed in a legal career you have to at least generally want a legal career. It isn't enough to just want to make money and not have any better ideas about how to make it quickly and easily.
  19. I haven't tried to parse the usage in every post in this discussion, but there's a subtle and very important difference between being "good" or "very good" at something (in this discussion, law) and being "the best." The drive to be good or very good is a positive instinct. The drive to be "the best" is stupid and self-defeating. As an abstract and theoretical goal, maybe. But by that standard, even professional athletes paid millions of dollars a year should be dissatisfied with their professional accomplishments. In fact, in every sport, all but one player at a time should be dissatisfied (if there's consensus around who's "best") and again, that's stupid. The drive to be better than you are at present is positive. The need to compare yourself against the best around is not. Some of the strategies discussed here are positive. I've used some of them myself, without really thinking about it. There's a narrow area of law within which I'm considered an authority at present. That feels good. It feels better than showing up to court as just another guy in the hallway, certainly. But I've also reached the point where I'm fine with not being "the best." There are more than enough bad lawyers in criminal law (much as I hate to admit it) that I know my clients are very well off with me. Every once in a while the thought that they might do better with particular other lawyers (and note, I'm not thinking of famous, $1,000/hour lawyers - I'm just thinking of people who do this job very well, even for legal aid clients) keeps me extra motivated. It's what pushes me to not be lazy or rest too easily on the assumption that I do a good job even without trying very hard. But I'm not bothered by the existence of other good lawyers - even ones who are better at X or Y than I am. I don't think there's a single perfect answer here or strategy that's going to solve what we're talking about. Some of it's just checking your ego. Some of it's maturing into true adulthood. But one thing I've considered in the past (and I don't think anyone else has mentioned it) is the importance of distributing your self-esteem over more than one aspect of your life. In other words, you're a good lawyer, but that's not all you are. Hopefully you are also a good parent (if you are one), a good member of your community, maybe you participate in local politics and do good things there, etc. That's what keeps you grounded when you take a hit somewhere. You have a bad day at X but even though you feel crappy about that, you still have Y and Z. And that's true across all areas of life. People who put everything into family and have no self-esteem based in their own identity and/or professional lives ... that's just as unhealthy. So, one more thing to think about. Hope it helps.
  20. Yeah, I was doing that too, and then thought better of it. @OP - look, you can tie yourself up in knots over this, but what do you actually expect to hear? You applied last year, you have the results of that experience (which aren't what you wanted, obviously) and so far you're still in the same situation. You're writing in the hopes of improving your LSAT. That's good - you should do that. Come back with a very significantly improved LSAT and maybe someone can give you meaningful advice and/or the encouragement you hope for. But if your grades are genuinely poor from your last years of school, it's going to be hard to offer you significant hope at this time. That said, I do think you're doing something wrong with the math also, so maybe it's not as bad as you seem to think.
  21. I'm going to try to say this in a way that doesn't sound snide, but I guess since I've been asked by name I'll give the only answer I know how to give. You've asked so many different questions about so many different kinds of practice and the only thing they have even remotely in common is money. Elsewhere you were asking about major firms. Here you're asking about sole practice. Everywhere you're asking about what's most lucrative, and ping-ponging around incredibly different areas of practice. And I've gotta tell you - I really think you're doing this wrong. Now, I offer this criticism when you've actually finally said something about the sort of law you believe you'd find interesting - and that's great. Because that's what you need to focus on. Figure out the work you want to do. If you can't imagine what the law would be like, right now, think about the kind of clients you want to serve. Start there and then figure out how to be successful within and around your interests. Do not try to shoehorn your interests into wherever you imagine the money to be. It won't work. And it's not that I'm against making money. It's simply that there are capable and ambitious people working in every area of law and this is a competitive profession. If you don't like what you do, and the only thing that drives and motivates you at the end of the day is the love of money, you won't be good at what you do. Which means you won't be terribly successful at it either. Perhaps I'll offer a useful distinction which you seem to not be focusing on. There's what some call "retail" legal work and there is what you might call "institutional" legal work. Retail clients are normal people - people buying houses, with family or criminal problems, civil cases, etc. These are all the areas of law you'd be looking at if you want to start your own practice because individual, retail-type clients can and will hire the lawyer who's just on their own as a lawyer. Institutional clients, meanwhile, are corporations, other entities, high net-worth individuals (I know, not really institutional, but work with me here) who hire firms rather than individual lawyers. These clients and the work they need done are not generally compatible with sole practice. Now exceptions may occur - experienced lawyers may leave a big firm environment and start some kind of boutique that's reputable enough to attract some institutional clients. I don't claim to know this area of law well enough to comment further. But my basic point is this. The areas of practice you'd be looking at doing if you work for a large firm are completely opposite what you'd be doing if you wanted to start your own practice as a recent call. So yeah, I don't know if your various questions are meant to be taken separately. But at least get this idea straight. If you want to be out on your own very soon after being called, you aren't looking to start at a large firm at all. Because they don't do what you'd end up doing on your own. Large firms aren't training lawyers to do retail residential real estate. If they have real estate as a practice area, they are doing large commercial stuff - exactly what you wouldn't do on your own. They generally don't do criminal or family at all, save perhaps as a niche for existing clients. Immigration ... maybe high flying economic immigrants, but not the kind of work you'd do sole. I hope you're getting the idea. If you want to open a small real estate practice (as one example) you want to learn at a small real estate practice. Not to say it needs to be one lawyer in a back room somewhere. But you sure won't be learning this stuff at the firms that you're asking about elsewhere. Anyway, back to the basic point. You're running around in mental circles trying to figure out where the money's at. Stop it. Think about what you want to do first, figure out how you get started at doing that, and then figure out how to do it well and successfully. Hope that helps.
  22. Managing people and relationships is a big part of what we do as lawyers. There's "managing up" and there's "managing down." There's also managing clients, which can differ a lot depending on what kinds of clients you have. But if this is what your principal is like, he isn't likely to change. So this is early practice in the "managing up" you'll probably need to do your entire term articling. The fact is, some otherwise very capable and highly paid people are bad at managing the details, and so it can be a very valuable skill if you're able to manage them in such a way that they keep working efficiently. Don't think of it as some stupid, silly thing you shouldn't have to do. Think of it as a valuable and important job you're doing - because it is.
  23. If you're trying to make sense of things, keep this basic idea in mind. The Law Society cares about when recruiting starts. That's because they don't want the big, competitive firms pushing the recruiting cycle earlier and earlier, trying to get the best candidates before anyone else. The do not care when the recruiting cycle ends, or really what happens past the starting point. It's really just a job market, like any other. Why in the world would any authority say "in order to hire someone, you must post the job here?" It simply doesn't work like that. Articling jobs will be posted and found like any others - formally, informally, not at all, through friends and contacts, etc. That's just what the market is.
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