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epeeist last won the day on October 17 2018

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  1. [emphasis added] A few scattered thoughts and bearing in mind I went to law school years ago so YMMV. Not worried about your being an introvert, but worried about already planning to stay away from everyone else outside of class and study groups? I'm reminded of discussions about e.g. non-drinkers and events. Even if you hate all this stuff, isn't it a valuable skill to learn while in law school rather than trying to pick it up afterwards? Being at a social event involving drinking, and getting along well with others, even if you don't drink (at all or on that occasion) is a skill that will likely be useful in future. Not just big law, and not just for getting a job, but in relating to clients. Now, if one has strong moral objections even to being in the presence of alcohol (not just drinking) that's a different discussion. Also, if you're in a study group because you're brilliant and people want you in there, okay. But if you're average and strike people as being standoffish, why would they want you in their study group? Study group time is for study, not creating social relationships with fellow students. One professor invited all their students (small section class) to their home for a party during or shortly after frosh week. Another course had frequent guest lecturers who went out with the professor and class to a restaurant after class. You say you're not interested in big law but that may change, and having a chance to talk to some lawyers from firm X who sponsored a golf outing and played may be interesting. There were talks by SCC justices or former justices with a wine and cheese reception afterwards at which you could mingle and get a chance to speak with the justice one-on-one, if you attended the social event part. If you prefer to just keep your head down, you may miss out on learning opportunities, not just social activities. And having a prof who knows and likes you may help - one prof trusted me (rightly) not to talk to other students about an assignment given back with marks so they just gave me more time to do it (I was away for a sporting event) and another raised my course mark from a B+ to an A because I asked (I actually had a principled argument but they didn't need to hear it, it was a seminar course with assignments in which they told students what their mark would be ahead of submitting them to the law school). I also liked @providence post, I'd put it a bit differently (and more briefly, enough with these long posts... ): networking is making other people aware of what you do and that you're likable, so that if something comes up they'll think of you with a pleasant mental association.
  2. [emphasis added] Other aspects I respond below, but how are cut-rate fees not a benefit? I agree cut-rate services may not be a benefit, but cut-rate fees may be; and even some cut-rate services may be a benefit, e.g. limited scope retainer or summary advice may be better than nothing (that's not a dig at DCs or clinics, I mean, sometimes that's all someone can get and isn't it better than nothing?). We could quibble over definitions (not competent in the legal and ethical sense, or minimally competent, but not good?), but I'm sure there are incompetent lawyers - or competent lawyers who, for time/money/other pressures in a particular matter are not competent, even if they have the knowledge and skills that they could do competent work. If someone could be competent, they have the necessary intelligence, education, and skills, but aren't because they're desperate, well, that defect is not the fault of their law school education but due more to other pressures, economic and otherwise. And if one is encountering incompetent lawyers before Ryerson opens or produces graduates, well, whose fault is that? Also, as I've commented before, I think lawyers are overly protected against their own incompetence, because those who most see it and understand the ramifications are the lawyers on the other side, who have ethical restrictions that prevent them from saying e.g., dude, I'm the Crown, get yourself a better lawyer and you might stay out of prison... EDIT: posted before refreshing to see @erinl2 post above, and I think reasonably focused on Ryerson in that, if anyone is complaining about incompetent lawyers now, that has nothing to do with Ryerson and isn't a reason to rail against Ryerson. It might be a reason to criticize existing law schools (or NCA, but that's another discussion), but I think other pressures explain it well enough, that people who've learned enough, don't always spend the time, get the rest, etc. to be competent.
  3. First, while the authors of this article think there are too many lawyers, it's still interesting - I haven't had time to read it in full in the few minutes since my last post, but just skimming there's a lot there including problems with law schools and the academic-practitioner divide unlike medical schools with more balance: https://digitalcommons.osgoode.yorku.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=3184&context=ohlj Second, tuition and student debt is a far broader issue than law or law schools or Ryerson, so I don't want to go too far that way (I tend to be persuaded that the relationship between loans and tuition mean that tuition ramps ever higher far outpacing inflation and cost of living). As I've said before, if there are to be limits imposed re graduates it should be done by government, not law societies. So in that sense, agree or not, Ontario decision re OSAP with Ryerson law seems fair at first. But then, considering that someone studying naturopathy, acupuncture, or chiropractic in Ontario can get OSAP, that makes it seem less fair to me (maybe chiropractice since as long as not talking about vaccines or doing dangerous neck manipulations, there is evidence that what they do can help). Third, access to justice and legal advice, I think law societies and governments too much focus on, let's provide clinics or certificates for the worst off (and cut budgets, because general population thinks of lawyers in a not-so-pleasant, they make enough money, kind of way), and not on, how can we make it more practical and affordable for lawyers to provide paid legal services (limited scope retainers were a good improvement). If Ryerson helps train lawyers who are better with automation of tasks and doing work more efficiently with fewer or no staff, that helps with access to justice even in a small way.
  4. Yeah, I'm sympathetic to people suffering from group work, unfair downgrades, etc. But like you, I don't understand how a 1-2% drop in a single course matters so much nor why it would be worth complaining/whining about. It would I think either have to be drastically worse unfair change in marks, or based on much worse criteria (e.g. "in grading I have to make sure white males get the highest marks" or conversely "in grading I have to make sure that white males get lower marks than women or visible minorities" even if only 1-2%, would in my view be worth complaining about!).
  5. Perhaps, or have paid work placements or something, or as noted above different funding or income-contingent repayment loans or whatever. And making the practice of law more affordable (as I've commented on in other threads). But leaving that aside for a moment, the primary aspect, if someone says there are too many lawyers (or too many anything), I want to know, what's the basis for them saying that? And as I noted before, even if there are shortages of articling positions, that's not necessarily indicative of there being a shortage of lawyer positions past that bottleneck, and even if there's a shortage of lawyer positions, there may be a need for more lawyers (as solo or small practitioners).
  6. [emphasis added] We need more physicians in Labrador, Nunavut, the Yukon, and Northern Ontario. Does that mean that we should open up medical schools in remote locations? Maybe we should (though there are hospitals and training opportunities in larger cities, difficulty of attracting professors?), but I don't see a clear connection between educating someone in a remote location = they'll necessarily want to stay there when they graduate. Admitting people from remote locations may increase the chances of such, but who says you have to train where people will eventually work? I think I'd previously posted link to recent Slaw piece re PRISM estimates being too low, but even aside from that, what's your evidence that we don't need more lawyers in Toronto? I strongly disagree. I think we desperately need more affordable lawyers in Toronto. Not that opening Ryerson law school necessarily helps with that, but I tend to think that greater supply won't hurt the public, especially if the funding is non-governmental (no OSAP etc.). For that matter, should law schools that produce significant numbers of graduates that leave Canada at some point be penalized (in terms of government funding) as being a brain drain? Like, if someone goes to U of T law, clerks for the SCC, then goes to a NY firm, that's helped Canada and Ontario, how?
  7. [portion only quoted, emphasis added] The legal profession is always changing, so that's something that stays the same, right? LSBC publication from about 10 years ago albeit more re diversity "Like all professions, the face of the legal profession is changing...." https://www.lawsociety.bc.ca/Website/media/Shared/docs/becoming/career-in-law.pdf I actually found this bit more amusing/annoying given prior discussion and noting that even 10 years ago law school tuition was nothing to sneeze at: "...Or you might choose to use your legal education in a career outside of law, such as teaching, journalism or business...." [emphasis added] Again, this was the LSBC saying this. As they still do on their page directed to high school students, that exact same sentence: https://www.lawsociety.bc.ca/becoming-a-lawyer-in-bc/new-lawyers-and-students/high-school-students/
  8. A few comments re some things raised in this discussion: 1. There's a little bit in the strategic mandate between Ontario and Ryerson re the law school that may be of interest: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2017-20-strategic-mandate-agreement-ryerson-university 2. Is # of articling students a bottleneck and more demand for lawyers? In any event, some criticism that models of demand for lawyers (lawyers, not articling students) in Ontario has been below actual demand (# of new positions) through years: http://www.slaw.ca/2019/03/22/wrong-again-the-prism-reports-prediction-of-too-many-practising-lawyers-again-collides-with-reality/ 3. Re marketing, not that I'm a fan of some of what Ryerson says, but is that unusual for law schools in Canada? To pick U of T, as I've commented before it promotes the usefulness of a U of T law degree for people who become MDs etc. (not MD to law, law to MD) to high school students which is worse than the FAQ (also quoted below) under FAQ I think this is objectionable so-called marketing. "Not sure you want to practice law? Fear not. The options are limitless Law school will provide you with an unparalleled education. Upon completion of your degree, you will be equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to commence your career as a lawyer, but also equipped with the intellectual strength and roster of skills necessary to succeed in virtually any profession or job, including in business, politics, journalism, and virtually any other profession that requires strong oral and written communication skills, an ability to approach tasks in a clear, reasoned and logical way, and an ability to think through and effectively solve problems. Lawyers become professors, politicians, CEOs, mediators, arbitrators, union leaders, agents, doctors, teachers, and so much more. Getting a law degree is one of the best educations you can get; the possibilities are endless!" [emphasis of header in original, other emphasis added] https://www.law.utoronto.ca/admissions/youth-outreach/so-you-want-become-lawyer For older prospective students what university students would look at, I mean really, "actor" promoted at least implicitly as the first alternative career that a U of T law degree is good preparation for?! "Will a J.D. degree be useful if I decide that the traditional practice of law is not for me? Absolutely. Graduates seek a variety of positions in practice as well as in non-traditional careers upon completion of their law degree or articles. For example, some students choose to clerk for judges at a Canadian court, or article with a policy division of the government, a public interest organization, a union, or corporation. You may choose to pursue a career in academics, the civil service, with an international human rights organization, or within business. We have graduates who are actors, labour relation consultants, career counsellors, human rights advocates, professors, university administrators, company presidents, investment bankers, stockbrokers, and small business owners - the list is endless. All these people, although pursuing non-traditional paths, have benefited from the acquisition of a law degree. But before you decide to pursue a non-traditional career, it may be useful to get an articling position that exposes you to several areas of law. This may help determine exactly which direction you should take. The Career Development Office can also assist in your search through panel discussions, resources, and individual career counselling." [emphasis added] https://www.law.utoronto.ca/student-life/career-development-office/cdo-frequently-asked-questions
  9. Our problems are solved, we have banana bread the LSO has expressed grave concerns and intends to ask the AG to reconsider. [EDIT: simplified version of Simpsons quote with crossout, because it is Lent, so one word in the original quote awaits use until after Easter... ] https://lso.ca/news-events/news/latest-news-2019/latest-news-2019-provincial-budget Wow, that sounds so incredibly effective (in fairness, what else can they do? Well, how about consider, in what ways within its powers can the LSO make things easier/less expensive for lawyers to provide legal advice, not just pro bono but to paying clients? As a non-criminal lawyer, I've opined that allowing not just limited scope but summary legal advice outside DC or clinic context might help, not just criminal but other areas, summary advice better than none? Maybe that wouldn't work at all, okay, but given all the things the LSO spends time and money on, including name change, advertising to the public its new name, diversity statement requirements, etc., could they look at how can we help people get legal services by making it easier and less expensive for lawyers and paralegals?
  10. I went years ago, so not recent impression, but think it a terrible idea, and I like train travel. There were people I knew who had spouses, even children, in Toronto, and they basically left Friday after their last class, went home, spent the whole weekend there, and returned Monday morning. But during the week they were in Kingston and even with focused study (so that weekends were more free) they still had time to socialize with and befriend fellow students, join study groups, etc. all the positives other posters have identified (both academically and in terms of little good quality time with your girlfriend) Let's put it this way. Will you have 9 AM classes? If yes, probably every or most days? The earliest train arrives in Kingston at 9:07, if it's on time. So you'd be looking at being at least half an hour late to your first class 5 days a week if you take a cab. If not, maybe you're late for or miss your second class also, and that's if the train is on time. Maybe you skip those classes, well, I think that's a terrible idea; and people who skip classes hopefully at least choose to do so after trying going to class, they don't default to that because they have to starting day 1. As for after class, let's say some study groups meet evenings and weekends, oops, wait, not you, you have to leave by 6:30? to get to the station by 7:30 to make the last train to Toronto. If the schedule were better with earlier and later trains, and you made couch surfing arrangements for when you needed to stay, well, I'd still think it was a terrible idea but at least it would be more feasible.
  11. I'm reminded of criticisms of so-called voluntary compliance with a police officer's requests, where the judge explains how the person wasn't really detained, because under the law they were free to walk away despite the police officer stopping them, and of course they didn't feel that the police request to frisk them in any way implied that if they failed to consent, worse things might happen...I mean, really, when someone with a gun, knife and crack pipe "consents" to being frisked, however stupid they might be, who's really going to voluntarily consent in that situation if they think they have a right to refuse? Speaking of the US, on the topic of witnesses I thought this was a reasonable accommodation - witness had to uncover her face so the judge and jury could see her face while she testified, but the courtroom was cleared of the public during her testimony. http://religionclause.blogspot.com/2019/04/clearing-or-courtroom-okd-for-testimony.html Also, on the open courts principle, even if Crown and defence (or civilly, plaintiffs and defendants) all consent to excluding the public, doesn't mean the court should do so. Maybe they should, but there is an independent public interest in having the public, including students, be able to view proceedings.
  12. And @TheScientist101 I was curious and checked where she is now, but didn't dig too deeply (that's not a criticism of you for doing so!). I skimmed the pleadings, as well as what the firm wrote when they hired her (granting that law firm pieces when they hire someone aren't sworn under oath and new hire contributes to them), seems to contradict or at least makes me skeptical about some of what McCarthy's later pleaded about her and what they say as compared to what she said: https://web.archive.org/web/20040811112759/http://www.mccarthy.ca/en/mediaroom/mainstory_template.asp?headline_id=92 I'm also reminded, by analogy with real estate purchases (usual disclaimers plus no real estate practice endorsement so really don't rely!) and no reps and warranties clauses (essentially anything that you're told or promised, unless it's in the written agreement, means nothing unless it's so serious as to constitute fraud - if they promise they'll repaint, leave the appliances, whatever, unless it's in writing in the agreement tough shit for the purchaser, should've put it in writing). Something might not be legally enforceable, but I still sympathize with the person who's screwed out of what the other side was morally, even if not legally, obliged to deliver. EDIT: which is a specific example re pre-contractual representations, there are employment law examples also about someone leaving a job based on promises etc.
  13. I hadn't seen the article at the time, I assume the matter eventually settled with an NDA. Don't know about that, but I was intrigued enough to just find a years-ago blog post with copies of the pleadings etc. if anyone is interested (since as you say the story's making the rounds again): http://lawofwork.ca/?p=1278 Of course I don't know the merits or eventual result, but I'm disposed to sympathize with her because it sounds like she was treated unfairly entirely aside from gender discrimination allegations (usual disclaimers one side of the story etc.). It sounds like rainmaker schmoozers and litigators who liked being in court not the research etc., wanted to hire someone to actually do the work, actively recruited her to do so, made all sorts of promises, and then refused to compensate her for doing the work that made them look good to clients or to permit her to do the sort of regulatory work she wanted and which she'd been told she could. And from their behaviour with others (e.g. lateral hires directly to partner and cross-appointments) things they'd told her they couldn't do, they did anyway with others (who were male).
  14. Well, then, why not take an atypical vacation, not to Asia, not visiting family? Instead of seeing family do the touristy thing someplace else? Longer would be ideal, but I've fit in European vacations through multiple countries within 2.5 weeks, closer a specific city like NYC (or assuming you're on the west coast, some California tourism?) within a week seeing and doing tons of stuff.
  15. Speaking of mistrusting employees, that reminds me, whatever happened to McCague Borlack fingerprint scan tracking for staff (and only the staff, not lawyers) for everytime they left including going to the washroom. Did the bad PR discourage them, or did they not care and go ahead, if necessary hiring replacements who were silent? Because at least some legal commenters at the time (2012) thought that there were legal and human rights concerns (the latter due also to the staff mostly being female)? Not to mention, the effect on employee morale about so obviously being distrusted in comparison to the lawyers...
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