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About baskinpalsam

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  1. And not to derail this, but I don’t think Calgary articling salaries have moved in a decade. Around the $65k mark for big law.
  2. I echo your thoughts exactly. I absolutely love the work I do, but the culture right now is making many of us feel undervalued. I’m feeling very demoralized and exhausted.
  3. I work at a big firm downtown Calgary and live within walking distance - as do many students/juniors - and much of what I need to do is within walking distance from the firm. Any time that I have had to go outside of downtown (e.g., meet with a client for signing something), there’s been no issue with me charging a cab or Uber to the file. The understanding is that very few of us at this stage of our careers/working in this area drive to work. Obviously differs depending on firm and location, but my 0.02.
  4. Joke’s on you, I walk around my (home) office in a robe all the time.
  5. I would absolutely stay on and work for June and July. I worked nonstop through my undergrad and for 1.5 years before I started law school. I took the August completely off before I started and it was the perfect amount of time to relax and spend time traveling/visiting friends and family. With COVID right now, do you have stuff to do during June and July that would fill your time enough? I don't see things opening up enough to be worth it - I personally would go insane. If this wasn't COVID-era, I would say take the time and travel. But you really enjoy the firm, so I would say work, get that cash (which is always needed, particularly if you're going to law school in Ontario) and take August off.
  6. Bit of a different situation, but I moved in with my significant other for law school (lived separately until we moved to the city I was going to school in). It's really helpful to have perspective outside of the law school "bubble" and to have a life outside of law school with a different network of friends. At the same time, I would be hesitant to live with someone that has a completely different lifestyle - e.g. partying all the time, disruptive if you study at home a lot. I had one roommate experience in my undergrad and that was enough for me to be fine with paying more rent to have my own space. I'm more introverted, so I would really value having a long day at school/extra-curriculars/recruitment stuff and coming home to silence and having the space to decompress. Really depends on your personality and what helps you during incredibly stressful times. Not incredibly important for 1L, but I would also consider longer-term and if you might be moving somewhere for a summer job/exchange. Some of my friends had an easy time moving out when their lease was up, moving to the new place, and getting a new place when they came back. Others had to deal with putting their stuff in storage, figuring out a sublet, etc. This stuff can be challenging whether or not you have roommates, regardless of who they are, and can be dependent on where you move - but is something to think about.
  7. Just read something that you enjoy. Being able to read quickly and accurately will be the best thing that can help you and is transferable for when you actually have to study. Learn how to type quickly if you can't.
  8. You're more likely to hear something after the acceptance deadline for those offers that have currently been sent out. It's usually March 31, but I believe it was changed to sometime in April to account for the circumstances at this time.
  9. I've heard of a potential solution/mitigation to having pass/fail across the board without impacting current 1Ls too badly for 2L recruit: shift the recruit to January 2021. Would be nearly impossible to get that coordination across the board, but then again, who knows if a 2L recruit will even happen? I've also heard of students at U of C trying to get a pass/fail implemented. I don't think the administration at Calgary would go for it unless other law schools did the same. Again, a time for coordination that I think would be quite difficult to achieve given the time constraints.
  10. Demonstrated interest through ECs will go a lot further in applications/interviews than a grade, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. Something not entirely relevant but anecdotal: I had a class where my grade was lower than I anticipated, so I went to see the prof and review my exam. In reviewing it they found that they incorrectly marked a multiple choice question (for law...I know...) and with the correction it bumped me up a grade. Also in reviewing it, they found that my fact pattern/essay response was among the top of the class, but I just bombed the MC (which is why multiple choice should not be a thing in law school). They immediately corrected the grade/my transcript and offered to write me a reference letter explaining why my grade, though good, wasn't entirely representative of my knowledge in the course - just providing more context to the grade. Does your prof know about your interest/EC activity in family law? Do you have a rapport with them? You could always request a letter if you're worried about it. It wouldn't hurt to approach them and even say "I'm worried about this grade, I want to go into family law, I'm applying for articling positions - is there anything you can suggest I do going forward?" This could either open the door to a) a reference letter or b) their recommendations for courses, ECs, research help, a referral to someone that might be looking for a student.
  11. Put your energy into something that will better you as a human being (lol). Exercise, read a (non-law) book, take up that hobby you’ve always wanted to do. Look at it this way - if/when you get into law school, you might not have as much time to do those things.
  12. Make sure you have a story that will resonate with people. As a 1L, it will really be about the story of why you went to law school and why you want to practice law. Why you are doing recruit and want to practice big law/ X type of law. If you have previous career/volunteer experience, make sure that’s in the narrative of who you are and how that has formed your interests. Of course, you are expected to not know all the answers of how precisely you want your law career to turn out, but it really helps to draw things together so interviewers will leave feeling like they have a grasp on who you are. Be nice and outgoing to everyone you meet. And as hard as it is, try to not feel like an interview is merely a transaction - it should be a conversation so go with the natural flow as much as possible. Be relaxed, but also your best relaxed self.
  13. Great post - this really sums up what striking out in the 1L and 2L recruits taught me. Especially your point about accepting that the playing field isn’t level - it can be hard to know the line between the arbitrariness of recruits and putting your best self forward come interview time, as hard as it may be. For me, it just meant that I had two rounds of learning that line so I could be successful in the articling recruit and land the big firm of dreams. Funny enough, one I had completely written off before and didn’t apply to because I didn’t think I was good enough. Whatever happens, know that it serves a purpose and is there to better you, as hard and cheesy as that is. I know I wouldn’t be remotely near where I am today had I ended up with a 1L job.
  14. I did a 2L recruit last year and struck out, and didn't have a summer position lined up until February-March (I think). I ended up doing research and I'm very grateful for that, as it afforded me the flexibility to work on my application package for the articling recruit, which I was successful in and secured a biglaw articling position. It sounds like you're doing all the right things, so stay positive and keep going. There will be so much that comes out over the next few months as employers realize what their needs will be over the summer. Getting a summer position isn't THE end of the world, but articling is - so if you're going to be doing the articling recruit, try and keep a long term vision of what you want that to look like. Focus this semester on doing some soul searching and figuring out where you want to be, because employers for articling recruits will have a bit more of an expectation that you have an idea of what you want to do. Make sure your ECs and classes can speak to those interests. If you can find a summer position that also speaks to those interests, great. And absolutely keep your grades up - I had the best grades of my life in 2L because I knew I didn't have a choice, and my transcript was really important going into finding an articling position.
  15. I don't seem the harm in it if you're legitimately interested in working there. Do you have any similarities with them that you could reach out about? E.g. if they also went to your school, if you share similar volunteer history or if they practice in an area you're interested in. Write an email introducing yourself, explain how you came across them, etc. You can come at it from the angle that you want to learn more about practicing at a firm of that size in ___ area. I've never had an articling student/lawyer ever decline - obviously it depends where you are, but I've found the legal community extremely welcoming and willing to offer advice or help if you show genuine interest. So much of getting a job is who you know and building on those personal connections.
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