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GreyDude

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  1. I understand that this might not go to the central debate here (depending on what we think that is), but I recently read through McGill’s clinical options for this year and to my untrained eye some of them look like great opportunities. Can you explain briefly why they’re terrible? Sincere question. I guess what I’m wondering is what the standard is (standards are) for judging the value of the various clinical options.
  2. Yeah, I saw that in another thread. Hopefully it's being dealt with?
  3. About a year after graduating from my first university, I dropped in on my favourite prof in his office -- someone I had taken 3 or 4 classes with and from whom I had always received A grades. He didn't recognize me. So the fear of profs not remembering you is not grounded in nothing. That said, I think it's fair to say that after only a couple of years, many or most profs will remember good students, particularly if they spoke up in class or went to office hours, and as long as the class wasn't one of those 100-person lecture-hall deals where most of the actual student interaction is with Teaching Assistants. OP, I think @Turtles has basically given you good advice. I would add: when writing, don't beat around the bush and don't waste their time: keep it short, get right to the point, and don't overwhelm them with stuff. You might add a (sincere!) word of appreciation for the class you took. However, rather than sending a copy of something you did, you could remind the prof of a particularly strong assignment and how they helped you to succeed on it. Your CV and (I suggest) your Personal Statement if possible will help the prof to remember you, see your motivation for studying Law, and get behind the idea. Include any links they would need as well as any required form. Be sure to have already put your personal information (name, etc) onto the form so that (a) the prof doesn't have to look stuff up and (b) the prof doesn't have a chance to spell your name wrong. Not all of them will go for it. That's not a reflection on you. Just move on to the next person and the next until you have two profs agreeing to give you what will hopefully be strong references.
  4. Actually, now that I’ve understood that the rules can differ markedly from province to province, I don’t think I’m revealing too much by saying that this was in BC. I have been trying to look online to figure out whether (and how) the provincial rules in that province differ from what has been said here, but so far I haven’t had much luck.
  5. I’m fascinated by the permutations you have all pointed to here. Among the things that attract me to law is the possibility of working in a context where I might be able to represent people or organisations who otherwise might not be able to be represented. So it’s great to learn about some of the ways it can be done aside from legal aid clinics & co. Maybe the lawyers in question are in a situation like those in large labour centrals in Quebec. IIRC CSN’s service juridique offers legal services on behalf of CSN member federations and (through them) to local unions and members. The federations are billed. Services to unions and members are paid from dues, so they are not billed directly at least most of the time (I believe it’s more complicated than this so ymmv) There is also a system of syndical counsellors, some (but not all) of whom are lawyers. These counsellors are just part of the service offered to local unions and (through them) members, and they don’t bill anyone for services. So... maybe the legal services my friend was drawing in are organised in some similar institutional way, the details of which I’m just not aware of. Still, she used the expression “legal coop,” so I’m going to have to ask her for more details if she has any. Hmmm...
  6. I have no doubt this is true statistically. However, I have long been aware when grading student work that handwriting — particularly its legibility — can create a possibility of bias in my grading. Obviously any professor would try to avoid any such bias, but if it is possible to eliminate the chance that the person grading the exam has to put effort into considering the form as well as the content of a response, I would personally take steps to keep the form as transparent as possible. I never want a prof to have to pause to figure out what word I wrote. So learning to type, if necessary, or improving ones typing, isn’t a bad thing. I would also recommend becoming a power user of Microsoft Office. You’ll be amazed how much time and effort you can save in formatting, etc., when writing on a computer if you aren’t always using hard tabs and carriage returns (for example).
  7. A close friend, who works in harm reduction alongside homeless and drug-addicted persons in a large Canadian City, told me yesterday about her law firm (the one she uses - she is not a lawyer). This firm operates on a not-for-profit basis, on behalf of organisations such as hers, representing individuals or the organisation as required. I find the idea of one day doing that kind of law to be very enticing. Does anyone have experience with firms like this? How are they funded, what is it like to work for them, how common are they, etc? Thanks!
  8. The previous two responses are great. Mine is maybe not quite as rigorous as you have in mind, but if you're currently not in a French-speaking environment, I have found that simply listening to media in the language I'm trying to improve helps a lot, as long as I do it frequently. I did this before knowing a single word of French, and I credit it in part for the speed with which I picked up the language when I finally put my mind to it. Obviously, you're further along. In particular, listening without video is what I recommend (it works the brain in a different way when you can't see the face -- like the first time you talk on the phone in a second language). So if you're a radio and podcast aficionado like me, you might find it useful to just make Radio-Canada one of your main (or your main) sources of "background sound" (I often turn it or CBC on when just hanging out in the house, going for walks with headphones, or whatever). The idea I have is that when dealing with French in a 'normal' environment, it helps to have been casually listening for a while - being used to it, you might not have to concentrate quite as much on the words, and can instead think about the ideas behind them. With that in mind, I'm pretty sure this is the link for live radio at Radio-Canada (you have to pick the region) : https://ici.radio-canada.ca/premiere/ . Also, you likely already know that the McGill Law Journal podcast functions biligually - https://lawjournal.mcgill.ca/podcasts/. And there is also a podcast by the Association du Barreau canadien called "Juriste Branché" that I have listened to a couple of times and liked. https://juristebranche.simplecast.com/. These are also available at the apple podcast store and elsewhere.
  9. Huh. I guess I was lucky. Since I only made that request once, and only at the one university, my experience is obviously not evidence of a widespread practice. And I just checked the form I was referencing — it definitely refers to the law on access to information. Even though I have gone through the process of using the law to access documents in other contexts, I never connected the dots here — I suppose due to my experience — so I feel like something significant has been cleared up (and I feel a little dumb). Not that I’ll be changing my personal policy, but cool.
  10. Yes, though some institutions give access to your file on demand, including such letters. I made a request several years ago to see my student file (for a different reason) at a university in the same province. I was escorted with no trouble into an office where I was shown my file and everything in it. I was not required to make an access to information request.
  11. I often show them to students, and if they asked I certainly would. I don’t think anyone has ever asked. Also, as I recall, at least one Law school’s reference form includes a warning to referees that students may have the right to see it according to provincial law. Haha! The message apparently being a very definitive “maybe, but probably not.” And actually I think @ProfReaderhas given a more realistic appraisal. You should expect not to see your letters of reference.
  12. I often show them to students, and if they asked I certainly would. I don’t think anyone has ever asked. Also, as I recall, at least one Law school’s reference form includes a warning to referees that students may have the right to see it according to provincial law. So if you want to see it, I’d say you likely can.
  13. A good point nonetheless, which I’ll keep in mind in future.
  14. Even when I am very familiar with the application form in question (or can access it easily), I have them send it to me with their information already filled out along with submission info (where, how etc). I ask for their CV and personal statement and all the relevant information about the program if I need it. I don’t get them to visit my office etc because of the level I’m teaching at — I have already worked with them closely if I taught them. So I’d say your referees were following best — or at least good — practices because, don’cha know, I do it all perfectly. 🤪
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