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burr0wn

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  1. Any advice for someone studying (law) in Toronto looking to summer/article/practice out in Ottawa? I've heard it's hard to crack the Ottawa market without a connection to the city. There are various reasons for wanting to make the move, and fear of not landing a position in Toronto is NOT one of them. I'm enticed by the lower cost of living, lower population, and the fact that I have friends out there. Would it suffice to convey these reasons in cover letters?
  2. I agree with herpsderps. Apply everywhere and see where you land. It's better to have options. Also good advice on applying where you wish to practice.
  3. 7sage is not necessary, but I found it helpful. I believe all of the LG explanations are available on youtube for free, but I remember not understanding half of what was being explained because J.Y. uses a system and repeatedly refers to terms from previous lessons. I paid for the services and enjoyed it. I also found the fool-proof method helped out a lot (re-doing games over and over until you get them perfect and within the allotted time). I also had the Powerscore bibles but I found I learned LG best using visible and audible sources (hence why I liked 7sage) as opposed to reading from a book. But then again, if you're scoring -3, you probably just need to practice over and over.
  4. With PT's, I spent 3 hours blind reviewing each test, trying to see where I went wrong or why I chose the answer I did. For questions that I struggled with (for example, necessary assumption) I would do the Cambridge drilling packets for that specific question type. They offer levels in the packets (level 1-4). If you answer 8/10 correct you move up a level. When you fail to reach 8 you move back down. Then I drilled timed sections and blind reviewed those as well. I only wrote PT's once a week to gauge progress and to work on timing and skipping strategies.
  5. Did my first cold diagnostic and scored a 132. Did a course with Princeton review but didn't take it as seriously as I should have and couldn't crack 150. Took 7 sage and started taking the LSAT very seriously. Scored a 150 on my first attempt. Hired a private tutor and took the LSAT even more seriously and scored a 158 on my second attempt. Was going to write a third time but got accepted in the interim. By the end of my prep I'd done nearly every LG and RC section that existed and drilled hundreds of arguments. I also wrote every PT from 150+. The LSAT was a damn grind. It did not come naturally to me and I had to put in the time and money. But it all worked out in the end!
  6. No problem! I know that it's an intensive worth half your year's credit load, and IIRC, takes place over the course of one semester. I think there are weekly seminars once a week and you spend the other days shadowing either defence counsel, Crowns or judges.
  7. Oz also has a couple other clinical/intensive opportunities, including the Criminal Law Intensive, and the Community & Legal Aid Services Programme (specifically the Criminal Division, in which you pretty much get to run summary offence files, under the supervision of review counsel of course). Last year, among other criminal law courses, Oz offered a course on homicide and youth justice. In the past I know courses have been offered on sexual assault. This year they're offering courses on mental health issues, racial issues and a seminar on prison law. There are also mooting opportunities as well and courses on constitutional law and constitutional litigation. Take a look here: https://www.osgoode.yorku.ca/courses-and-seminars/ to see what has been offered in the past year (I don't think it's been updated to reflect this upcoming year's courses). Toronto is expensive, but I think the cost of living on campus is somewhat reasonable.
  8. Thank you so much for the thorough reply. Your experience sounds liberating and exciting. On the topic of educating oneself, were there any particular resources you would suggest that you consulted in the process?
  9. That's quite admirable. Thank you for sharing. How many years post-call were you when you decided to take the plunge? Now that you've done it and are well on your way, are you happy with your decision? Anything in particular you would have done differently?
  10. Hey all, thanks for this great thread! I was wondering if you solo solicitors could share some insight on your personal lives/living circumstances at the time you decided to go solo. Did you have families to support when you made the move to go out on your own? If so, how did this impact your decision to go solo? Was your family/spouse able to support you financially in the event deals didn't come in (at least as many deals as you would need to keep a roof over your head and food on the table)? Thanks!
  11. Just be presentable and look like you care about your appearance. The way I see it, no one is going to trust someone to take care of their problems (legal or not) if that person doesn't look like they can take care of themselves. I'm not sure what to say in terms of physical features. No employer (at least one worth working for) is going to give a shit about whether you have a double chin, a straight smile or green eyes. You could be the most handsome looking prince in the world, but if you can't hold a half decent conversation during an interview, I doubt your looks will matter very much at all. With that being said, don't show up looking like you just got off a 3 day bender because you think you're really good at interviewing.
  12. Resurrecting this because I'm curious about Crown stability vs defence. I'm considering criminal law out of law school specifically with the Crown but will be in a similar situation to OP with around $85-90k in debt. I live in the GTA and don't mind moving around, but I do hear that the Crown is extremely competitive and contract based for the first few years (sometimes meaning one-month contracts). Is this reality really more stable/supportive? I'm not trying to undermine your perspective, but I am rather genuinely curious and concerned about dealing with my debt load while pursuing a practice area of my interest. Thank you.
  13. What about working at my school's legal aid clinic in criminal law worth half a course load for 2L? Would this be considered "pigeonholing"? Reason I ask is because I want to learn more about the practice of criminal law, but I am not entirely sold on it as yet and am sometimes concerned I have maybe pigeon-holed myself for 2L OCIs. I plan on diversifying and taking some some courses in real estate, business associations, municipal land planning and commercial land development, etc. I worked in a real estate law firm for a few years prior to law school and it is an area I am still interested in pursuing. I just wanted to challenge myself to try something new and out of my comfort zone. Thanks for the insight.
  14. My first cold diagnostic was in the 130s. First time I actually wrote I scored a 150 and then on my second attempt I scored a 158. See if you can get some tutors who can work with you online. I did two courses (first Princeton Review then 7sage). I really enjoyed 7 sage but even after finishing both courses I still scored the 150 on my first attempt. After that I started seeing a private tutor and some of my lessons were done online. The biggest thing for me was drilling sections I had trouble with. The Cambridge drill packets are very useful for this. Let's say you're having trouble with Necessary Assumption questions - you would drill them, moving up in level of difficulty once you complete 8/10 correctly on a certain difficulty. If you score below 8 on said difficulty, you move back down a tier and start over. Honestly I drilled hundreds of arguments this way and it helped immensely. As for games I used 7sage's fool proof method and did every games set going back to the first LSATs released. I pretty much did the same thing with RC (which was my weakest section). Also, take as long as you need to blind review your tests (i.e. review your tests after you do them BEFORE you check the correct answers). This way, if you take 10 minutes to review a question and still get it wrong, you know you need to figure out where you went wrong. The LSAT is hard but its doable. Everyone learns at a different pace. When I first started out I never thought I could score well, but here I am in law school. You can do it too.
  15. Also try volunteering with some law firms to get some experience. Smaller shops will usually be receptive to it (cause who doesn't like an employee who works for free). I did a bit of volunteering at a firm and it turned into a job. Plus you'll be able to get some insight into how law firms run and what lawyers actually do.
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