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xdarkwhite last won the day on March 1

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About xdarkwhite

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  1. Just wanted to spread some love and support for everyone going through this grueling process. It’s hectic, stressful, and tiring as hell. You’re going to be meeting a bunch of people over the next few days in an attempt to persuade them your worth while navigating through things like “what type of law interests you” and “where you see yourself in five years” and “firm culture.” All this while doing it in front of a screen for hours. Remember to breathe, relax, and do whatever rituals you need to release the tension. Stay hydrated. Reach out to upper years, friends, and family who can support you and lend you an ear to rant to. You’ll be at home, so make sure you’re in a comfortable set up. Do a quick workout. Listen to your favourite music. Treat yourself with your favourite foods. Avoid this forum if it’s giving you anxiety. Give yourself some slack. Some of you will get your top choices, others “meh” choices, and some of you might strike out. For those who get what they’re looking for – congratulations! It’s a big first step into your future career, but remember that it’s only a first step. For those who don’t – take your time to recover, keep your chin up, and then keep at it. This process does not define who you are nor does it determine where you take your career. Though the path to where you want to get might not look quite as straight anymore, there are many roads that will bring you there. And who knows, maybe along the way you stumble upon an opportunity much better than what you initially wanted. Be sure of yourselves and that confidence will come through in your interviews. You have been preparing for this for the past while. You’re ready. Good luck – I'm rooting for you.
  2. My experience as a summer student at a big full-service law firm: Luck: 10% Skill: 20% Concentrated power of will: 15% Pleasure: 5% Pain: 50% Partner won't remember your name: 100%
  3. I don't mean to come off too much as "hoorah UofT" but I think your example with the Davies Corporate/Securities Moot might actually go the other way – UofT has won the Davies Moot every year since 2011 except for 2014 when they placed second and 2020 when you caught 'em slipping (though UofT got second place oralist!). I guess even Lebron James misses the playoffs once in his career!
  4. I know people love shitting on UofT's absurd tuition, and I do it too because it is quite absurd, but to @Snowflakes's point, UofT actually has quite a comprehensive financial aid program that I'm honestly grateful to have benefited from. This probably sounds like a sales pitch from UofT's admissions team, but I just wanted to throw my two cents on what the cost of UofT looked like for me. As always, caveat to take all of this with a grain of salt because different circumstances will have different outcomes. With the assumption that you're renting and not living at home, if your parents make the Canadian median household income of $89k and you're a K-JD (therefore assuming that you don't own a substantial amount of assets), UofT's bursaries would give you $18k, which makes the effective tuition $16k. Even if you make a Bay Street summer salary of ~$20k, the calculator shows you'd still be getting $15k in bursaries. After your OSAP bursaries (ignoring loans), that puts effective tuition at around $12k-$14k per year. In fact, according to the calculator, even if your parents make $200k, you're still getting $7,300 in financial aid from the school. If your parents make $200k AND you make a Bay Street summer salary, you're still getting $3k from the school. If you qualify for financial aid in any capacity, the school covers your interest on the unmet need amount you borrow from your PSLOC. From my experience, the financial aid calculator was pretty spot on to what I actually got. The other schools don't seem to publish their financial aid stats, but, yes – if you have the stats to get into UofT and were to compare it to the bursaries and scholarships you might get at, say, UOttawa, then UOttawa's effective tuition might drop from $19k to somewhere around $6k to $10k after OSAP, scholarships, and bursaries. But then that still means the financial considerations for choosing one program over the other might be less impactful. Finally, there's the UofT Post-Grad Debt Repayment Assistance Program. The formula is a little more complicated than I'm willing to explain, but basically, if you finish law school and make an annual income under $62,111, UofT covers all your payments for that year on the debt that you incurred as a result of the unmet need from law school. Above $62k income, it expects you to cover the loan payments with 30% of the excess income. There's upward adjustments for that baseline to account for pre-law school debt repayments and dependents. If you're still making below $62k (or whatever the number is at that point) 10 years after graduating, then the program would have covered all of your law school debt. "But what about the students whose parents make $400k or the students who own full equity in a condo in Toronto worth $800k at the age of 23?" Yeah, those are the ones who are paying sticker, and to be frank, I'm ok with a little bit of redistribution of wealth here – they can afford it.
  5. Just a note - if you're currently in your 4th year of your undergraduate degree, UofT assesses your B3 from your first 3 years of your undergrad, making your B3 actually 3.64, not 3.82. You're treating your 1st semester of your 4th year as an entire year to calculate 3.82 - it actually isn't considered in the B3 calculation at all. Similarly, for Western and Queens, you can't just treat your first semester grades from your 4th year as an entire year to calculate your L2/B2. I'm less familiar with whether they average your 2nd and 3rd year or your last X number of credits for the calculation, so I'll defer to other people on that.
  6. I summered at a NY firm in 2020 and I'm in a group chat with all the other Canadian law students who did the same. It was originally to figure out the impact of COVID-19 on the NY summer programs, now we're all trying to figure out how to get through the NY bar and licensing process during COVID-19.
  7. If you want specific numbers for the students who recruited into NY for summer 2020, here's some inside info: UofT: 36 total = 32 (6 of which are JD/MBAs) + 3 NY/Toronto offices (1 of which is a JD/MBA) + 1 student in 1L McGill: 9 Osgoode: 4 UBC: 2 The firms that hired the most Canadian law students are Paul, Weiss; Shearman & Sterling; Sullivan & Cromwell; and White & Case.
  8. I was absolutely howling while reading through Jarvis v Swan Tours Ltd., an English contracts case about damages. Poor Mr. Jarvis. He has only a fortnight's holiday in the year. He books it far ahead, and looks forward to it all that time. But his holiday had been a grave disappointment.
  9. I can't speak to UBC, but I can help address some of the UofT questions: At UofT, rather than having these as separate courses, they're embedded into the bigger 1L courses that we take. "Intro to Public Law and the Charter" and "Aboriginal and Treaty Rights" are covered as two of the three main sections in first-year Constitutional Law (the other section being Federalism). As you've seen, there's an International/Comparative/Transnational law requirement in the upper year curriculum and you can choose amongst a selection of courses that could fulfill this requirement. I don't believe there's anything in the first year curriculum that would be directly comparable to Indigenous Settler Legal Relations, but my property class had a considerable amount of discussion about topics relating to this. Yes, so at the beginning of the Winter semester every year, there's these week-long courses taught by Distinguished Visiting Faculty from institutions around the world. It's 1 credit and you're evaluated on a medium-length paper. UofT made it a requirement to take one of these courses. Some of the courses this year include International Criminal Law and Genocide, Chinese Law and Society, Pandemics and the Law, Good Judgement: The Role of an Appellate Judge (with Justice Sharpe of ONCA). Yes, the oral advocacy requirement is the only experiential requirement (either doing the Upper Year Moot or a competitive moot), but from my own experience and the people I know, there's no real issue with getting clinics or externships. I know people who have done three clinics over their two upper years. I know people who have done two competitive moots and two clinics. You might not get the exact clinic you want, but if you apply for them as an upper year credit, you'll probably end up with at least your second or third choice. I enjoyed the way UofT set up our first year classes. I got to meet a ton of people from the entire class because we were not limited to taking the same classes with the same people. My closest friends are not the ones in my small group, but I still had a pretty tight knit group. Plus, the professors in your small group have a budget and typically invite you to their house or to some sort of social outing with the small group, so you get to know your professor pretty well that way too. There's no specialization at UofT other than the JD/Certificate in Aboriginal Legal Studies specialization. There are plenty of courses for those topics that you mention so you can take them as you want, but just not an official specialization marked on your degree. If you apply for the clinic positions in your upper year (and even the extracurricular positions in 1L), you will likely get one. For the IHRP, there are a number of working group projects and in first year I worked on research briefs. IHRP also has a significant number of UN/international organization internships for the 1L summer. For the Asper Centre, there's a bunch of working groups as well, and from what I've heard, students got to do research memos and help draft amicus briefs at the SCC (and I heard this was also the case with the Criminal Appellate Externship). Some of my close friends did the Innocence Canada externship and that involved reviewing a lot of police interview transcripts and admitted evidence to summarize them and identify any irregularities. I think one thing that might be worth doing with your specific questions is to look up some UofT students who worked at these clinics on Linkedin and reach out - from my experience, people are always happy to chat about their experiences (but maybe outside of exam times). Honestly, I think the mantra that you should attend the school where you want to practice and that you think you'd be happiest at is still the biggest relevant factor. Both these schools are amazing, have great curriculums, amazing smart people, and will open many doors for you. The curriculum between the schools won't substantially differ that much, and a lot of law school is what you make out of it. A big factor for me choosing UofT was the career opportunities that the school provided, but for me that was the result of my interest in working at a full-service firm in Toronto/NY and a lack of interest to work in BC post-graduation. In terms of career opportunities, both these schools will provide you with what you want and get you to where you want to go.
  10. But in all seriousness, as a current 3L, I completely agree with your post. Law school is enough of a pressure cooker of stress and anxiety. Recruiting adds flames to that pressure cooker. If you can, take a step back. Breathe and relax. Think of all the hoops you've already jumped over. High school, undergrad, extracurriculars, LSAT, work, wherever else your life has led you, and now law school applications. Life is about solving your old problems and getting yourself better problems. Regardless of where you think you stand, you should all be proud of how far you've come. If you can, take a break from this website and OLSAS. If you need, talk to someone, be it family, friends, or a professional. You've done all you can do for the time being. Let it play out. Good luck! Rooting for all of ya.
  11. Seriously? I won't go down this road other than the response: Privilege, or lack thereof, doesn't come from whether or not you secured a 1L summer job. Experiencing racism is not cancelled out by having a return offer.
  12. I think the issue here is you are inappropriately trying to have the upsides without taking any of the associated risks (i.e., trying to have your cake and eat it too). Correct me if I'm wrong, but from my understanding of your post, you have accepted your offer and your plan is to go through OCIs while holding this accepted offer, such that if you are not successful in the 2L recruit, you still have this position to fall back on. This sounds unethical to me. This is not about "owing" the firm anything, it's not even really about harm to the employer, because I think this applies whether you were at a $500 million revenue law firm vs. a small sole practitioner. It's about the principle of skirting norms and rules of recruiting for your own gain. If you are in Ontario, you might want to review Rule B(9) and Rule C(11) of the LSO Summer Student Recruitment Procedures (https://lso.ca/becoming-licensed/lawyer-licensing-process/articling-candidates/finding-a-placement/2021-toronto-summer-student-recruitment-procedures). The alternative is what Mal is saying - you should withdraw your acceptance now and take the risk to go through OCIs, fully acknowledging that you might not come out with anything (and that your current firm might not take you back). While it's still a bit shady to have accepted an offer and then renege, it's a more sympathetic position to be in. Just a note on being BIPOC — I hear you and I understand where you are coming from. I have experienced racism, subtle and overt, both in and out of the workplace. It sucks and it's tiring. I also don't agree with the other posters who are questioning and attacking your experiences — back off. Sometimes, people take jobs and opportunities that are upsetting and degrading because of their lack of privilege, lack of resources, and whatever other reasons. And even if it's not enough to have you outright reject the offer, it doesn't make it any less real. That being said, I have also been in a spot where I had an offer and either take the safe route of accepting what I had, versus taking a risk of going through more recruiting with nothing in hand hoping for something better. I weighed the costs/benefits then, made a decision, and then made good with that decision. As have many others. You had the opportunity to weigh your options then — and you made a choice.
  13. You can ask but in my experience it’s a waste of everybody’s time. They will all give you the same cookie cutter answers - “it was especially competitive this year”, or, “you didn’t do anything wrong, it’s just that it’s 30 candidates for 5 spots”. YMMV though. Very, very anecdotal, so take this with a grain of salt, but – A good friend of mine struck out during the in-firm week but made some really good connections at some of the firms they were interviewing at. They asked for feedback from a partner that they interviewed with who was apparently really rooting for them at the student hiring committee stage. The partner said that it was really close, gave them some genuine feedback, and then connected them with friends at two other firms who were participating in the post-in-firm week recruitment. My friend quickly got pushed through to first round interviews with those two firms and ended up getting a summer position with one of them. I guess that's just to say, yes, YMMV, but I would not say that it's a complete waste of everyone's time, especially if you've done a round of interviews with them that you felt went really well. It's still an opportunity to continue any connections that you built over the course of the initial interviews, show that you're actually invested in improving yourself, and perhaps get some good feedback. At the very least, even if it is a "waste of time," you've at most wasted 10 minutes of your own time drafting an email and 5 minutes of the interviewer's time copy-pasting a cookie cutter answer, or none at all if they completely ignore you. You're already out of the running if they've sent you a rejection, so it can't hurt you. Though, I will advise, maybe wait until you're sure you've been rejected before asking for feedback and don't be surprised or upset if the response is cookie-cutter or non-existent. "Hi [X], I hope you had a great weekend! I really appreciate you taking time to interview with me last week and enjoyed our conversation about [Y]. Unfortunately, I was not selected to move forward with the recruitment process. As I continue to recruit for articling, I would appreciate any feedback or advice you might have regarding my application and interview. This process has been a fantastic learning opportunity. Thank you for your time and consideration." Or something along those lines. Good luck!
  14. I got both the Infinite Passport and the Amex Gold card. The Amex card has much better reward points (for restaurants, groceries, gas, and public transportation), and so I always pay with that unless the store does not take it, which then I use the Visa. You also might be surprised with the number of places that actually do take Amex - I'd say 85% of the restaurants and shops I've been to in Toronto do. I also got the 50,000 bonus points for joining the two cards. Also, not many people seem to be aware of this, but Amex does a small business rewards program every year. This year, the deal is you get $5 back for spending over $10 at small businesses, up to a maximum of 10 times (so $50 total) https://www.americanexpress.com/ca/en/merchant/shop-small.html. Great incentive to check out some smaller local shops or restaurants that you would not have otherwise, especially during times of COVID-19, and the extra $50 is nice too!
  15. Reminder that, for those who qualify, the CESB application is now open!
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