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LadyOfLaw

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  1. Some places to check out could be Simons and the Bay. For men specifically, Moores could be a good bet too. Nordstrom has a lot of decently-priced suits. They don't have a store in Edmonton (Calgary is the closest). It could be worth a day trip though. Also, there are a couple great consignment stores in Calgary for men and women that sell suits - Vespucci for women, and Man of Distinction for men. Another good idea for this year could be to rent a suit as needed. I can't imagine there will be that many in-person events this year, so renting from a place like Derks (for men) could work.
  2. Just an FYI -- The Environmental Law Students Association at the U of A always holds a used book sale at the start of each semester, so thats a great way to get cheap used books. I'm not sure what they'll do this year, but I imagine they'll try to do something.... Also, remember that at the U of A, real classes don't start until mid-September, because the first couple weeks are the block "Foundations" class. So basically, even if you start looking on the first day of classes, you don't need any books for a couple more weeks!
  3. I think LawCS sums up the social/vibe pretty well, so I'll add my thoughts in terms of articling/careers: Calgary -- The city is home to many corporate head offices, especially in the Oil and Gas sector. This means you have a lot of big, national, corporate firms based out east with, but with smaller offices in Calgary. For example, you have Blake's, BLG, McCarthy Tetrault, Osler, NRF, Stikeman Elliott, etc. There are a good number of smaller firms, especially more "boutique" style firms. However, I'd say the general vibe of Calgary is very much a "mini Toronto," where many firms are smaller offices of big-name Toronto firms. Calgary's economy is also very volatile, and firms aren't immune to this, so that's something to keep in mind. Edmonton -- Edmonton has far fewer big national firms. It has some, like Dentons, Miller Thomson, and Bennett Jones, but not nearly as many as Calgary. Instead, Edmonton has a lot of local, medium-sized firms - Witten, RMRF, Duncan Craig, McCuaig Desrochers, Bryan and Co, Bishop McKenzie, etc. This gives Edmonton's legal market a much more local flair. In terms of where you'd want to work, I'd say there are lots of opportunities in both cities. It comes down to the firm itself, and each has a different vibe. My advice -- be open to both, go to the recruitment events, meet people, and apply in both. Firms are very similar on paper, but once you meet their HR people and some lawyers (and even better, go to their office), you'll get a much better sense of what appeals to you. In terms of earning potential, just remember -- if you're good at what you do, you'll do well at any firm. If you're not, no firm will keep you around for long.
  4. In Law itself, there are very few spring/summer courses, and they're usually "special" courses (eg. Water Law, which includes a trip to BC). Otherwise, Summer is free. As far as internships - from my experience, they're not really a "thing" for law students. The main aim is always for 1L summer jobs! In terms of firms/government, that all depends on where you look. For example, a lot of Edmonton firms hire 1L summer students, but very few Calgary and Toronto firms do the same (they focus on 2L). So, if you're dead-set on Toronto, for example, there are basically 0 summer jobs for 1Ls, so not a problem for you. Assuming you want to be in a market where they do hire 1Ls (eg. Edmonton), then it depends on the firm - some have their students start in mid-May, some end in mid-August - it all depends. I can't speak for Government start/end dates, but all 1L firm/Government recruiting is in February, so you won't know until then if you get one of those jobs. As for other jobs (eg. Research Assistant, in-house summer jobs, etc.) it totally depends on where you work. From what I've seen/heard, most places are very understanding of students who want to take a vacation/relax for a week or two sometime over the summer. That said, you won't know when a "good" time to go will be until you get the job (and even then, if the first thing you ask is when you can take vacation, it won't make you look good). Also, most summer jobs get posted after January 1. My advice - don't book anything until you have a summer job lined up, or get to a certain date without securing something, at which point you basically stop trying (eg. say April 15). Securing a good 1L summer job is tough at the best of times, and I imagine next year will be especially difficult. A pre-booked trip won't make things any easier, and will likely make them more difficult. I know it sounds rough, and it is. There are a lot of unknowns, and it makes planning great trips hard. That's part of the reason so many students go on amazing trips after 3L and before articling, because you usually get a few months off, and have a job lined up! Let me know if you have other questions, I'm happy to help!
  5. I haven't heard this. The law library is always closed over the Spring/Summer, but re-opens for fall classes. If you need a book from there though, you can always order it online and have it delivered to one of the other libraries on campus. Over the last few years, they've removed some of the physical books and added more study spaces to the law library in their place. Over 3 years as a student (and Research Assistant), I only used physical books a handful of times, as virtually everything you need is online.
  6. Applications for 1L summer jobs in Alberta are due in January/February the same year, with interviews over reading week (late February). So for 2021, 1L applications won't be due until January 2021.
  7. First off, Foundations is a 2 week full-time block course in September. This is one big group, all 1Ls together, all day. After foundations is over (mid-September), you move into regular classes. 1L timetables are assigned (no choice) and they usually have 3 cohorts, and you move with your cohort to each class. Usually, the timetables are designed to be as "fair" as possible (ie. if you're in the 8am crim class, you'll likely be done classes earlier in the day too). Classes are usually 1 hour each in the Fall semester (twice per week), and increase to 1.5 hours each in the Winter semester. This helps ease you into the material and keep the fall semester manageable. Fridays are unique. The only 1L classes on Fridays are the 8am criminal law section (this is usually taught by a practitioner, hence the time), and Legal Research and Writing (LRW). LRW is in 2 sections - an AM section and a PM section, so your cohorts go out the window here. This means that unless something is cancelled, you'll have class every weekday. I think it would be tough to go home and visit every month. The reality is that you'll generally have class every day. More importantly, law school is daunting and a lot of work. I just finished law school at the U of A and always spent a lot of my weekends on schoolwork. You worked so hard to get here, so my advice would be to keep your eye on the prize, and use your holidays (thanksgiving, christmas, reading week) to visit home.
  8. No need to do any prep. I can't speak for the U of C, but the U of A does a very comprehensive 2 week block "foundations to law" course for all 1Ls in September. The course is meant to get everyone to the same "starting point," and assumes you have zero background in anything remotely law-related. For example, you learn how to read a case, how the different levels of courts operate, and that kind of stuff. That way, when you start "real" classes in mid-September, you're all on the same page. I can't speak to transfers - I just don't know - but I do know that the U of A is very well connected to the Calgary legal community. Virtually all of the large and mid-sized Calgary firms participate in the U of A's on campus recruitment events and have at least a few U of A alumni working at them. I think that as far as schools go, no employer in Calgary will really care if you study in Edmonton or Calgary. What they will care about, however, is whether or not you have a connection to Calgary (ie. will you stay long-term). If you're from Calgary originally, have family there, and explain that it's where you'd like to establish yourself, that'll probably mean a lot more to a firm than where you went to school. Feel free to message me if you have any other questions!
  9. Agree with RGoodfellow. U of A Law has a great foundations program for new students in September. They take the approach that you come in with zero background in anything related to law, and spend 2 weeks getting everyone to the same "starting point" before classes actually begin. My advice - enjoy the summer, make some money if you can, and get ready for the crazy year ahead!
  10. +1 for live downtown near an LRT station. Newton Place is nothing special. There's also not much else nearby. Also, even though it's close to the law centre, you'll still end up walking for a few minutes outside. In the dead of winter (or a day like today), the LRT might be nicer, as the station is attached via pedways to the law centre.
  11. Personally, I'd say you can do both. Some schools, like the U of A, offer a joint MBA/JD program, which could be perfect for you. Also, you can always do one, and then the other... There are a lot of non-content related factors you should consider though. For example, MBA programs tend to have a higher average age of student vs Law School, and offer a lot more flexibility in terms of program structure and courses, whereas law school is pretty rigid (at least my school is). I know a few lawyers who did MBAs part time after law school, so that's definitely an option, but leaving a job to go to law school probably isn't very realistic.
  12. Agree with previous posts - wait until you start classes to buy the books. Sometimes the prof will tell you the book is available online, the old edition is fine, it's just recommended, etc. I've had a couple of those profs and think they're fantastic. Best advice for all profs though - do your readings before class so you're not lost, especially in Property! I like to use class to "fill in the blanks," and find that works a lot better than trying to absorb all the information during class.
  13. +1. When the waitlists open up, there is a ton of movement.
  14. Two in one day sucks. It's tiring and hard to give it 100% when you have 6 or 7 hours of exams back to back!
  15. U of A is known for having a really collegial atmosphere, and upper years are generally quite happy to share CANs. Make sure you sign up for an upper year mentor with the LSA (Law Students Association) in the fall, and your mentor can hook you up! And for those of you who got 8am crim -- It's worth it. Great class!
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