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epeeist last won the day on November 13 2019

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  1. @Diplock makes some good points, but there's also, the fixed costs referred to are just that, fixed. Firing people and having empty offices doesn't reduce rent or salaries of other people who aren't being fired. It will eventually, when time to lease new space or renew, but in the short term it doesn't, only to some extent are office expenses reduced, and they're probably reduced anyway by people working more at home. So with those other costs being fixed, if a lawyer is covering their own salary plus more, unless they can be replaced quickly by someone who earns more, it may be rational to keep them despite the fixed expenses. In a normal situation, junior associates may be pretty fungible so you can replace someone with a keen hardworker who will bill a lot, the current situation is not normal and you can't bill for work if the clients don't have work as others have pointed out here. Also, too many people think of being fired as a judgment on one's character. Being fired is not necessarily saying someone is a bad person/worker/lawyer. If economically it makes sense to fire someone, they get fired. Now, there are countervailing pressures like demonstrating loyalty may benefit employee morale, management is composed of humans who do human things (promoting the less-qualified white guy, keeping an employee when not needed, whatever), but businesses tend to be functionally amoral and if it makes sense to fire someone who has been a good employee for years because economic conditions have changed, that's what will be done (subject to managers being human as noted, and the costs of termination including legal risk and costs of a replacement if one is needed).
  2. Hmm. NOT looking for a legal opinion, I have mine, if employer plan: 1. Pay cut, could be treated by employee to be termination, but not; 2. Later termination by employer, everything calculated on reduced pay. Being cynical, but unchanged target and reduced pay already crappy.
  3. I agree with your general point, though I'm not so sure it needs years to get a dose of reality. For some people even a crappy summer job is enough (I worked with some people who had never worked even a summer or part-time job until they articled, and as nice as they were, they could be pretty clueless about work and life). In terms of saving, with some exceptions presumably people going to law school expect their income after graduation to be substantially higher than their income before (the reasonableness of this expectation is another discussion!). For someone with this belief, incurring debt to go to law school instead of working and saving is a rational choice, since it will take less time to pay off the debt afterwards than to save beforehand (again, assuming their income expectations are rational, which is a huge assumption).
  4. I came at it differently - no undergrad sports - and my experience was years ago, so YMMV. It was definitely worth it for me on a personal level - somewhat better fitness (worked out and fenced several times each week). I didn't start fencing until 2nd year though (this would not be applicable to you), and only became a varsity fencer 3rd year (more details below for the 0.1% that might be interested). I fenced for years afterwards (including while articling and a few years in practice, recreationally at a club and going to a few tournaments in Ontario and QC each year, having lost weight dieting recently I'd like to resume when pandemic conditions allow!). I didn't make any connections in a work/networking sense. My purpose was personal, NOT resume-boosting. That said, I included being a varsity athlete under the law school education section of my resume, as well as the outside interests section. If I recall correctly (again, years ago) almost every articling interviewer asked me about fencing, though I think they were more curious about fencing per se than having been a varsity athlete, that's a reason to put (genuine) interests briefly in your resume, interviewers may be happy to speak about anything different and if it's something you like it will come across better. Background: when in law school 2nd year at Queen's I wanted to get some exercise and looking at instructional sports programs saw that a fencing class was offered on a convenient evening (I had no classes the next morning). I hadn't signed up for anything 1st year as I was uncertain what the demands on my time would be. I had long been intrigued by fencing, signed up for it and really liked it and so joined the fencing recreational club at Queen's, who were also invited to attend practices with the varsity team. At the time, joining the varsity team was semi-informal, there were many who went to tournaments in Ontario, but only a few who were "official" varsity athletes and got a letter etc. In 3rd year, I was fortunate to become an official varsity athlete and we even went to several European university tournaments (fortunately my law profs and the administration were very understanding, there was no problem being away several weeks, it was 3rd year!). My recollection is that when I graduated, the law school noted that there were about half a dozen varsity athletes in various sports (fencing for me, I think there was a rower, I don't recall the others sports).
  5. Being deliberately non-specific, I was speaking with one lawyer at a midsize firm who said that as of next week the firm expected lawyers to work at home most of the time - the lawyer was concerned for the assistants, however, who were still expected to come in to work... I'm curious for others posting here about work at home law firms, is that a general trend, lawyers stay home but the non-lawyer staff are still expected to take public transit and show up to work?
  6. I'm sure there are tradespeople like plumbers and electricians who offer discounted rates to some clients. Some physicians and surgeons volunteer their time or work with MSF or whatever. Many dentists and periodontists offer discounted treatment to those who can't afford their regular fees. These are all nice, good things, and praiseworthy actions by those individuals. But it's not expected of them. It's certainly not reasonable to expect that e.g. all dentists should offer 50 hours per years of free dental services (picking that number because of NY re new lawyer calls). Aside from other reasons, there are overhead costs - equipment, insurance, etc. Employees need to be paid. It may be outside the area of expertise. A surgeon might need an operating theatre and team and supplies even if they want to volunteer their time. And so forth. Also, as I've noted/complained/whined about before, there are so many obstacles to doing pro bono or reduced fee services (e.g. no summary advice unless duty counsel or as part of a pro bono organization if I recall correctly).
  7. Agreeing and you expressed it well, briefly - which isn't always my thing - but I think some people who don't seem to get it might be helped by more words... (caveat none of this is legal advice, and also I haven't been FT lawyer for years, maybe I'm out of touch and lawyers now are all non-competitive paragons who are happy to hire employees who plan to leave and become lawyers) Unless something is a net benefit to the prospective employer, or is something you're obliged (legally, ethically, or morally) to disclose, keep it to yourself. I say "net benefit" because assuming for the sake of argument that being interested in law might make one a more attentive admin assistant, avoiding arrogance (and alliteration?), the fact that you were planning to leave would outweigh that minor advantage. If your goal is to win the lottery, do well enough at online poker or daytrading to quit and do that fulltime, join the military, move to another country, get pregnant and take mat leave then quit, go to med school, become a priest, rabbi, minister or imam, whatever, NONE of that is any of your prospective employer's business. The same with wanting to go to law school - if you succeed, you will quit and they lose the employee they spent time training and have to go through the whole hiring process again. That you are interested in law school rather than med/dental/vet/grad/whatever school is a coincidence, you're still going to leave and your leaving to go to law school is of no benefit to the employer.
  8. I don't know about BC and my experience in Ontario isn't recent, but even if he can't be a principal, does he know anyone, even if not will he give you a glowing reference about how great you are? Or - not trying to be negative or nasty but wondering - is it possible, even unconsciously, that he doesn't want to lose you as an assistant (he has a legal assistant with a law degree!) and so isn't exactly anxious for you to leave? I'm also wondering, I've heard in the past from some people who used to be admin staff in law firms before going to law school, that they faced discrimination when looking for positions as an articling student (not just with the firm they'd been at refusing to consider them, but elsewhere). That's anecdotal from only a few samples and in a different province, so don't read too much into it.
  9. Not a parent, but I see it as analogous to medical treatment. I want a good public system. And if there were a treatment available only outside Canada that OHIP refused to fund, I'd fight for it to be funded. But in any event, if I had or could raise the money for something outside the publicly-funded system that had a markedly better prospective outcome (chance x outcome), I'd pay for it, not sacrifice my child (Isaac?) on the altar of equality for all in the public healthcare system. One of the paralyzed Humboldt crash victims underwent experimental surgery in Thailand last year, and from what I last read has since been able to have some movement in his legs. Whether or not it was too experimental for OHIP to pay for or not, it was entirely reasonable and understandable that he and his family would pay/fundraise for the prospect of being cured of paraplegia even to a limited extent. In a similar but less immediately dramatic way, I agree one should fight for better public schools, parent or not. But if a parent can afford a private option (or Catholic public school if notwithstanding their possible views, is markedly better?) and they think it will be much better for their child, in terms of education, socialization, safety, etc., then why shouldn't they send them there? As opposed to, if they send them there not out of a genuine belief it's significantly better for their child but more a status symbol or keeping them isolated from people in different socioeconomic situations, I agree that would be a terrible reason (wrong) to send the child to private school. If this tangent is going to go further, I'd suggest this thread:
  10. Not only has it been discussed in multiple threads, there's a thread devoted specifically to it. Here's the last post by @Ryn (Ryn, shout-out to you in case you want to merge this with that thread - I had originally declined to respond to this post because in the wrong section, but since others have already...note the use of an ellipsis...make that ellipses...). Furthermore, why post about the SOP in a section on this board for law students? It might make sense to do so, if one gave context to law students about why they should care - regardless of one's position - but the original post here assumes the reader is already familiar with the SOP. Which is at least Ontario-centric, even if one expected Ontario law students to be aware of it.
  11. @WellThisSucks I can't speak as to current or recent hiring trends, but I noticed in passing, I hope you don't omit or bury the fact that you're trilingual. Even if the languages aren't directly of interest to employers (i.e. based on some of their clientele), isn't being fluent in multiple languages impressive anyway? Maybe someone with more recent experience can comment on that point. Unless, of course, you've decided that revealing that information would tell a potential employer sight unseen that you're a visible minority in a way that your name (whatever it is) wouldn't?
  12. Male no kids here, but just thinking about it from the client's point of view (or generally, while only PT solo I've dealt with other parties changing law firms or even lawyers within the same firm, and it's sometimes a headache anytime there's a change). If someone leaves for 6-12 months they need another lawyer running with the file. And if they are happy with the new lawyer and don't want to switch back, is that because they don't want to see billing items like "review file and consult with X", i.e. they shouldn't have to pay for time spent transferring file between lawyers at the same firm? Or is it because they are never asked or informed that the lawyer has returned and is available? Or are they just happier with the new lawyer (for reasons having nothing to do with maternity or sexism)? Because the first two items are more the firm's fault in how they deal with leave for any reason, the last is genuine client preference. Also, more a question, is it encouraged/possible that lawyers on leave, if they want to, can keep up with what's happening with ongoing files including perhaps participating in some client calls? Because it's not that someone on leave should have to do that, but if they want to, can they?
  13. In fairness to @thegreatgatsby2 they wrote the requirements confusingly. There's a place for plain English, and this is it. They should have clearly said what @Mal said.
  14. You're wrong. Please, please understand this. And as Mal said above. You need two years in-class, plus whatever core courses weren't in those 2 years you need to take exams in. But you always need 2 years in-class. " NCA assignments for distance education If you got your law degree online through distance education, the NCA will assign you two full years of in-class study. ... If you don’t complete all eight NCA core subject assignments in class at an approved law school, you will need to meet these requirements by writing the appropriate NCA exams."
  15. I agree with you, but just wanted to clarify, what the first, much earlier article said seems to have been transformed by quick misreading by later article writers as in the second: "As they filled the front of the synagogue, their en-banc presence announced, as it had on so many occasions in the past, ‘A partner has died; the firm lives.’" That is, by their presence that message is announced, as implicitly interpreted by the first writer, they don't actually say that (and from a quick search ATL disambiguated this, they don't say that). Now, I still think showing up en masse like that at a funeral is problematic. Showing up at a colleague's funeral, nice. Making a display of showing up at a colleague's funeral by everyone showing up and walking in simultaneously, is making it about you rather than the deceased or supporting their family and friends. It's not like a military, police or firefighter funeral in which conspicuously being present e.g. in uniform may be appropriate because of the public service of the deceased.
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