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  1. I believe there is also a wide spectrum of interpretation of the term "JD with a pulse." My use of the term was in the context of the OP, who was a U of T student with "mostly B and B-" with one C and D. From a small firm's perspective, I think OP is outside (on the better side) even a broad "JD with a pulse" interpretation.
  2. Dude I don't know what you are talking about. Its not only in this forum, its very much there in the real world. My local Craigslist has at least one position from small-time lawyers at any time. Edit: Make that three...I just looked up CL for Metro Van...its mid-January and it is SO not hiring season, and there are three articling positions up for grabs. Just to give you an idea of what kind of practices these are, two out of three don't even have a website. Believe me, these practices are not looking for the cream of the crop as far as law students go.
  3. I speak as an articling student myself, but one with several years of experience outside the legal industry, who has been in a position of hiring in-house lawyers and retaining outside counsel. I also speak from the perspective of someone who, when I started looking for articling, expected firms to value my work experience (and I also had decent grades), but then discovered that was SO not the case. I got a distinct "used goods" reaction from firms that you are experiencing. The fact that I have a few grey hair as a prize for my experience worked against, not for, me. With all that background, I would say you should take the first "JD and a pulse" position you can find. Your waiting longer is making your prospects weaker, not stronger. With that said, I have 2 caveats. First you mention that the fields you are interested in are only practiced by biggish law firms. I patently disagree. Go to Google Maps in your locality and search for wills lawyer, tax lawyer, etc. and see how many mom-n-pop shops show up. I think the experience you would get as some such firm may not look glossy on your resume but would put you in a rather good position for your solo practice. Second, if you have any hopes of having a "pedigree" articling experience, you should drop those hopes. I did at one point dream of articling at a nice downtown Vancouver law firm but it quickly became clear that pedigree articling positions are reserved for bright-eyed and bushy-tailed 25-year olds, or some exceptionally talented elders (and I am not one). Your background is not unlike mine. I was wise to take the first articling offer...it was far from my dream offer but it is not shitty either...and I think you should do the same.
  4. I took the NCA in 2018 after graduating law school in the US. I too had to take the mandatory 5 exams, which I did in a single week. Further, I too had a full-time job as a business manager (not in the legal industry). So I think our circumstances are somewhat similar. I will try to answer all the questions you asked, but feel free to add more questions. "I am curious as to the level of study required" If you have recently completed law school and were an average or better student, then I think the level of study required for each subject would be slightly less than what you would put in for a subject for your law school year-end exam. I studied for the 5 exams over a 2-3 month period, but not on a hardcore basis. I would study most workdays between 7 pm to 9 pm in my local library, and one day a weekend for 5-6 hours at the UBC library (yes anyone can use the library even without signing up but I recommend getting a community card so you can borrow books). "...difficulty of these examinations." Not any more difficult than a typical law school exam. Remember these are open book, which is unlike the majority of the law school exams I took. I truly don't see how anyone who went to a UK or US law school can have a lot of trouble with the NCA. Of course, I repeat my caveat above that my assumption is based on someone who is an average or above-average student. "I have seen on forums and elsewhere that if you have 'good access to notes' many people claim to not have bought the reading material books required and others claim that if you found law school examinations straight forward or scored highly then it shouldn't be an issue." I did not buy or borrow any notes at all. I simply referred to the books recommended by NCA. Because I did not want to invest a shit ton of money buying the books, I took out a community membership to UBC and borrowed the books to study and take to the examination. In some cases, the 2018 edition was reference-only in which case I borrowed and read from older editions. Shit, this is law not technology, nothing changes except on a decadal time scale (unless its a case like Dunsmuir/Vavilov). As to the examination itself, I don't remember having ANY TIME at all to look at my notes. The exam is really more about application and less about knowing the exact letter of the law. "...how onerous sitting the exams would be while working a full time job (and of course trying to have a life)" Wasn't onerous for me with a full time job, a partner, a kid, and a house move during the study period. For context, I am not a badass student at all, but my grades were always slightly above average (B or higher) in law school. "and if I could sit all 5 in one sitting." I did it and many, many students do it. I also know that many, many students are extremely intimidated and I even know someone who took 2 exams per year and spread out NCA over 3 years. Don't let anyone tell you what's right for you...you have to decide which club you are fit to join. "Any insight into the most efficient way to revise" Don't waste a ton of time trying to remember all the rules. DO take the time to look up any sample questions that NCA provides or you may find elsewhere. The key is to really to be able to apply the the rules to the facts in a short amount of time. Don't waste a ton of time preparing extensive notes. I didn't find myself having the time to refer to notes. It is a fast paced exam and all your time should be spent on clever application of the rules to the facts. "and any other useful tips would be greatly appreciated." All my law school exams were administered on laptops. I hadn't written so much since a long, long time. Get some hand-writing practice.
  5. I was a trained and licensed as an engineer when I started law school. My experience is that the 1L year is a great leveler because 1L coursework is designed to bring everyone who has a reasonable amount of general intelligence to a common baseline. Among my classroom peers who I benchmarked myself against were a musician, a law clerk, and theologist, and a former military officer. Regardless of our backgrounds, I found that we were all level by the time we finished 1L. By the end of lawschool, the abovementioned peers had either performed equally to me or outperformed me. To your question about deficiencies and challenges, I would say don't worry about. In every single course, in every single assignment, a law student has parts they do better because of their background, and parts they have to work harder on because of their background. Just tackle each class and each reading assignment sincerely and passionately, and at the end of 1L you will find you have achieved what law school designed you to achieve.
  6. I posted this question a few days back in a different part of this forum. Check out the answers:
  7. I had my daughter in the summer after 1L. Here are a few tips I can share: 1) Be honest and realistic about time: Don't fool yourself or your spouse, law school will consume you. Your spouse will have to be as committed to your law school as you, if that makes any sense. 2) Get help: If you have family close-by, make fixed assignments when they can take care of the baby. If no family, hire some help. Our parents helped with the baby after she was 6 mo. Before then, we hired a house-cleaner and gardener to free up some of our time. We had to stretch financially to make it happen, but I am glad we did. 3) Have fixed days/times to do things or things will fall apart: The baby will have unpredictable timing, so make sure EVERYTHING else is predictable. My partner and I had fixed days and hours of the week for cooking, laundry, grocery-shopping, and even small/quick things like loading the dishwasher and taking out the trash. Of course, the biggest chunk of time on the calendar was classes and study time. My partner and I discovered pretty quickly that things fall apart if we don't follow the schedule. Good luck.
  8. No, but I got a call from a firm that did not send me an ITC hah!
  9. Got ITCs from 2 regional firms (don't feel comfortable naming them), regret emails from EcoJustice and Alexander Holburn. All of these came yesterday (Day 1 of ITC)...crickets since then.
  10. Hi all! I just received ITCs (Intention to Call) emails from a couple of firms that I had applied for articling, and will be interviewing with them in August. I was curious, how many candidates will a firm interview to fill a single position? Of course I know there is no exact answer but a ballpark will do ...it will help me psychologically to know if I am competing against 5 or 15 or 50 other students for a given position. For context, the firms I am interviewing with are medium sized (20-30 lawyers) regional firms in Vancouver. Thanks much!
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