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pyrrah

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  1. I'd say it's a...different degree of difficulty because it's real life. Whereas law school's mostly theoretical learning, articling feels more 'assignment' heavy, and you learn on the go. The work itself is not necessarily hard, like drafting/research/etc (although it can be). The difficult part is that you're juggling multiple files with multiple deadlines, while learning how to prioritize files and trying to manage not only the expectations of your principal and the firm's associates, but also client expectations. Clients can be demanding all the time sometimes. And if you screw up...not to fear-monger, but it could actually impact someone's life. I think that raises the stakes compared to being a law student, where it's mostly just your grades on the line.
  2. To strike fear of the possibility into the hearts of upcoming PLTC students? It wasn't even because we lost a month due to the pandemic; all the other classes in our session got out early. Cue existential crisis in the FB group chat.
  3. I'm going to chime in here and say that while it seems the majority of instructors let you out around 12:30 pm, I had the luck of having not just one, but two instructors, that both consistently kept us until 3:30-4pm every day. And we needed to have our webcams on the entire time. It was rough, and it made getting readings/assignments done tougher because you had less time in the day after class. Just something to keep in mind.
  4. I selected that option too...it didn't really seem to matter unfortunately. First year I got unlucky and was on a 'party floor' where a bunch of undergrads liked to throw weekday bashes. I ended up having to complain to staff, and they were good about breaking it up once it got past 1am. My last two years were better, although third year I was right next to the stairwell so I heard a lot of the foot traffic from that. There were a few minor incidents where some youths triggered the fire alarm in the middle of the night. I guess it just depends on a combination of luck and how willing you are to tolerate some noise. A good pair of noise-cancelling headphones will go a long way if you can listen to music while you study. Overall, I didn't think it was too bad, though I admit I utilized the reading room a lot and only really stayed home to study when the weather was particularly cold and during exam season so I could avoid second-hand stress. Since you're more of a home-studier, you might want to consider trying to find something off-campus.
  5. I lived at the North Tower Residence while I was at TRU. If you end up living there, you should bring an induction cooktop, coffee maker (if you like coffee, and if you don't yet, you will once you start studying), kettle, and a toaster oven. There's a microwave/sink/(small) pantry/countertop, but no stove/oven in the rooms, and as someone mentioned all of their kitchens are communal and can get pretty gross sometimes. I avoided the communal kitchens in my 2nd and 3rd year altogether. The rooms come with a desk/closet (that is, a small rod to hang some clothes and one top shelf)/nightstand/clothing drawers/table/bedframe. Wifi is inclusive (it runs off the campus wifi). Random things I'd suggest that I found helpful were an extra clothing rack if you have quite a few clothes to bring up + a portable drying rack for laundry. Laundry is also communal, and it's paid, but at least it's inside the building. From what I understand of McGill, it's in a separate building, so you're carrying it outside (which sounds very cold in the winter). I agree about the 2nd computer screen. If you aren't feeling particularly picky, the res rooms have a tv that you can easily hook up to your computer with an HDMI cord. As for roommates, you'll probably end up living with one if you do stay at the North Tower, but they give you the option to reach out to people through their online system to try and find a roommate, so there's a chance you might be able to room with another law student or post-grad. If you don't do that, you'll get a randomly assigned roommate and there's no guarantee it won't be an undergrad. It's about a 5 minute walk from the campus Tims, which was always dangerous for me, and a 10 minute walk to the law building.
  6. News update for incoming students as I didn't see it posted elsewhere: it appears that Fall 2021 will be in person and on campus, according to this news release by TRU's President: https://www.tru.ca/covid-19/updates.html I'm sure more updates will follow, but I wanted to bring your attention to it as it was posted to the TRU Faculty of Law FB page.
  7. I'm articling at a smaller firm that's mostly family law oriented (although we do other areas as well). I usually work 9-5 but stay later or WFM as needed/requested/in order to maintain my sanity and keep on top of the workload. I'm usually working weekends. A typical work week is maybe something like this: - 15% replying to emails that only appear when I walk away from my desk and then dealing with clients who call me to ask about the email I just sent them - 45% drafting various pleadings, letters, memos, lists, indexes, submissions, etc - 25% researching very niche areas of law with increasingly desperate and specific keywords - 10% putting together binders of documents and hoping everything is in the right order - 5% tracking down lawyers to sign off on docs or check work over - 5% tracking down agents to file said docs because the electronic filing system is ridiculously backlogged - 100% crying internally when a client calls for the 5th time that week I tend to do both the admin work and the billable work on any files that come across my desk and the only time I go to the legal assistants (besides the usual chitchat) is to make sure I'm doing the process right. I think since it's a smaller firm I've been juggling a lot more files than I anticipated to receive as an articling student. Not that I'm complaining, it was just unexpected and I'm learning file management very quickly. That being said, I'm also not sure what a "normal" amount is and, of course, nobody could predict COVID and the resulting boom in divorce rates I suppose.
  8. In prior years, entrance scholarships were not given out upon admission, but rather a few months later, after the start of the school year (I think I didn't hear from them until around October or November actually, and it was a very happy surprise email with no prior warning). You don't need to apply for them, you're automatically considered and the faculty makes their recommendations.
  9. Make sure each cover letter is drafted for that specific firm. Touch on the areas of law you're interested in that they also practice, and mention what about that particular firm makes you interested in it. It's up to you, but rather than an all-encompassing approach to your experiences, you may get more interest if you tailor your experiences in so far as how they relate to the firm and its practice areas (ie. if you're applying to a family law firm, you'd want to mention if you took a family law course or a clinic in that area, or if you had volunteer experience involving family law, etc). If you look at it from a law firm's perspective, they also want to know what skills you're bringing to the table that will help them out at the firm, so make it clear if you have drafting/research/interviewing/mooting experience. Cover letters don't need to be super long, either. It depends on a person's style, of course, but my cover letter that ended in an articling offer was one page and only 4 paragraphs which were styled (roughly) as follows: Para 1: Name, where I went to school, what year I was in, where I'm from, regional area I hoped to practice in after graduation, expressed interest in their firm. Para 2: Why I was interested in the firm, what courses I was taking relating to their practice area, reiterated wanting the opportunity to gain practical experience Para 3: Discussed my volunteer/job/"practical" experience and how it has helped me to improve skills that would be useful at a firm Para 4: Expressed that I was a suitable candidate for the position based on skills and experience, thanked them for their consideration
  10. I always found Bird v Holbrook to be an amusing torts case. Holbrook owned a tulip farm and people kept stealing his tulips, so he decided to set up a spring gun in his garden to protect the tulips from intruders. One day, Bird was chasing down his would-be girlfriend's peacock and he hopped over Holbrook's garden wall and took a spring gun to the knee. Court concluded that if no notice was given that there was a gun trap set up, then the person who set it up would be liable for any injuries incurred.
  11. TRU has a requirement that students either complete an international course or take a study period abroad. Given COVID I'd hazard to guess they are not currently offering this, but I know that many students in my class went abroad for a semester before COVID hit. https://www.tru.ca/law/jd-program/student-learning-opportunities/international-connections.html From what I've gathered, TRU students' success at obtaining OCIs is on par with UBC and UVIC's students, and this has only increased over the years as TRU's reputation has increased. It may be hard to find places to rent right now since TRU's gone remote and many students aren't on campus. I lived on campus, but I've heard that the renting market is pretty expensive, especially if you want a place close to the campus (ie. the Landmark buildings, or the new apartment buildings they've built right next to the law building). If you want to bring your pets, I think that's about your only option, since rez doesn't allow pets. Check out the TRU Law Black Market Facebook page for rentals from previous law students. Living at rez isn't for everyone, especially if you aren't interested in having roommates who may or may not be fellow law students. I got lucky and managed to snag a single room for my 2L and 3L years, which made life more bearable, but also took a lot of effort to convince rez staff. The rooms weren't the nicest thing ever, but rent was roughly $1000/mth, and it came fully furnished and included internet/electricity/etc, and it was about a ten minute walk from class which worked well, especially for studying at school.
  12. Do the readings. While you'll likely need to refer to your indices from your class session during the exam, you'll also need to know where things are in the materials, as well as rely on what you've retained from reading. Some of the questions are highly specific to the materials and those answers probably won't be found in a CAN.
  13. Check the CSO (Career Services Office) Portal online (it's on the platform where some of your classes are probably hosted on, the name of it's gone out of my head for some reason but it's the one that's Not Moodle). I know Christi has a ton of resume tips in there, dos and donts for summer jobs, and I believe there are also examples of resumes and cover letters, and possibly templates.
  14. The volume of readings is always a lot, but in 1L when you're still learning how to read cases (ie. sifting through the fluff to find the actual important parts of a case), I found it was helpful and good practice. Once you become more comfortable in your upper years, you might be able to get away with CANs/summaries. However, a cautionary note - sometimes, you'll have a class where there are no CANs, and that skillset will come in real handy when you have to build your own from scratch. Of course, everyone has their own style of studying - this is just based on my experience. Also, I've found that during articling, you're probably going to be asked to do caselaw research memos on a short timeframe. This is when being able to skim-read cases, evaluate if they're useful, summarize them, and then show how they're relevant to the case at hand will really come into play. As it happens, this is also something I'm doing at the moment and should probably get back to it Good luck with 1L!
  15. Oof. What a terrible executive decision, may the curve be with you.
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