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silvercat

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  1. Hi all, I will simplify my question in terms of the two options I have available going forward. I recently received my Certificate of Qualification from the NCA. As such, I am actively seeking an articling position in civil litigation, or possibly family law. I am registered for the Barrister exam in June, and the Solicitor one in November. I know when I choose to start articling (whenever that may be - a few weeks from now to a few months from now, depending on how fruitful my search is) will affect when I able to be called to the bar. Assuming that isn't a huge concern at the minute, could you kindly help me with the pros / cons of my two options? Decision A: Find an articling position at an indefinite time, but keep my Bar exam write dates as it stands today. Decision B: Find and start articling in say, July; focus on writing both the Barrister and the Solicitor in the June session, this way I'm more employable since I have completed the 'studying' portion of the profession and would be ready to laser in on articling. Naturally, I understand that it comes down to what works better for me personally. However, my focus is on just finding a good principal lawyer, and if that opportunity comes along sooner rather than later, of course I won't hesitate to accept. The uncertainty is what is anxiety-provoking. Any help would be appreciated!
  2. Hello, just replying to you and setto both: the reason I specified mid-size is because from what I've researched, large firms generally aren't interested in NCA students at all. Of course, there are exceptions, but even on the firms' sites that have the articling students for the next incoming cycle, there are only ever Canadian universities mentioned. That is to say, I am not necessarily deterred and applied to lots of large firms on the VIPortal this past summer. I was unsuccessful at getting an interview for any of them, despite having gone for coffees with a few lawyers. Mid-size is ideal for me because I want to gain experience working alongside a small team, and while I was hung up on doing so in Toronto downtown itself, I've also come to terms with realising how bloody competitive it all is. However, there is plenty of good work around the GTA, and I think I would be very much open to joining a firm in Mississauga, Vaughan, Richmond Hill, to name a few places. Culture is also a thing - I think I'd learn a lot more and want to be more open if it's a smaller firm, with better mentorship and so on. On an unrelated note, yes, I will bear in mind not pigeon-holing myself into sub-areas of solicitor work that I am not familiar with. Could I ask you generally which areas of law you both would consider to be more solicitor *generally,* which don't require a ton of court time and are generally not frowned upon? Much appreciated!
  3. Hi, I posted something something similar some time ago, and got great responses. I want to ask a more focused question now with regards to application tips. I am waiting for my NCA certificate and therefore am actively seeking articling positions. I am quite sure I do not want to go into criminal or family law, because they are too emotionally-taxing for me, and require a lot of court time. I am also ruling out personal injury for those reasons. Given my personality, I would enjoy more solicitor work - at the same time, I want to be sensitive to where the majority of work in Ontario is. I am interested in employment / labour law, possibly corporate law, commercial real estate, and fields similar to this (if I can draw a loose line of comparison at all). I am also interested in a mid-size firm in Toronto or the GTA broadly. How should I go about this? Considering I am not following a recruitment cycle / participating in the OCI's by virtue of being a foreign graduate, do I just contact lawyers and see if there are any positions? Do I just surf Indeed? And slightly unrelated, I have a contact who knows a lot of lawyers that I can be connected with, but I would have to first tell him what areas I am keenly interested in. Suggesting 4-5 varying areas makes it seem like I am unsure about what decision to make (which may very well be true) - but I am also just not trying to confine myself to one practice area because I am overconfident that this is what I want to do. After all, beggars can't be choosers. Please advise, thanks in advance.
  4. I wanted to reach out to you for a follow-up question, if that's alright. From all the things I preemptively find myself worrying about that could go wrong the day I find an articling position, which in itself is a nuisance, the biggest one that sticks out to me (and I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way) is the overwhelming feeling of the imposter syndrome. I simply don't feel cut for being a junior lawyer, because despite being a good student and having performed well in non-legal jobs, I just haven't been able to envision myself as someone so knowledgeable in providing legal counsel, that I'm very scared of the day my opinion will impact someone's life in such a drastic way. The fear has no logical basis. I am aware. But what can you advise me with this complex I've developed purely out of some distant fear? Maybe I just need to go and meditate more.
  5. Great dose of reality that I needed - thank you!
  6. Thank you for your response - I should have been more specific in that I enjoy the transactional, solicitor side of things, so I'm very much for employment law, corporate, commercial real estate, or immigration. I've completely ruled out criminal and civil litigation, only because I don't think my personality is equipped for the skills needed in those. As such, I am applying to the areas aforementioned and will concentrate my efforts in that direction going forward!
  7. Given that it's mental health awareness week, I thought I'd voice out the issues I've been dealing with on this hunt. Being a foreign law grad, and finally being done with my NCA exams, all I can say is that this has been a very taxing period, and perhaps what I'm looking for is some advice to get through these turbulent times. First of all, the lack of career support was something I failed to comprehend before I arrived back in Canada. I understand maybe it's not all that different going to a Canadian law school, but still, there must be some tangible differences. I'm heavily reliant on Indeed at the moment. On top of that, the isolation with which I spent the last year studying for the NCA's was gruelling. I went out for coffees and cold-called lawyers, and they gave me solid application tips and an insight of their journey. Of course, I couldn't start working until I get my Certificate of Qualification so I'm waiting on that now. But sometimes it felt like a chore hoisting myself to the library to study, with lots of question marks looming over my head: which practice area will I end up? how much will the pay be? will I be liked, and can I cope with my preexisting anxiety? Those questions still haunt me, but I am making an effort to be easy on myself and figure out what's in my control (refining my cover letters, making sure I'm applying to those firms where I truly want to work at), and disregarding the rest (externals like what my principal's perception of me will be like despite my preparation for an interview / how clueless I'll feel once I have to represent a client in a courtroom). It seems so basic that I shouldn't have to spell it out - and yet, having to deal with your very real emotions clouding your judgment has proven to be a daily hurdle. I feel very helpless sometimes, as I want to start earning for my family as well, and I will be writing the Bar exams soon, but the idea of being called and still not having a job sounds like the worse thing in the world, even if I sound like I'm exaggerating. Appreciate your help, and I am very sincere about this post.
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