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MansfieldCJ

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  1. I am very sorry to OP that this thread derailed, but I couldn't resist @katurian's post. Anyway @katurian, on your own terms, if we can assume that lawyers and judges as a group are disproportionately white, then aren't originalism and textualism pro-social justice because as doctrines they take power away from lawyers and judges to make up the law and they put that power into the hands of the legislature.
  2. Our Sovereign Lady, Her Majesty the Queen of Canada, of course. I suppose referring to the British Crown was inaccurate. I was referring to the coat of arms, my oath as a barrister and solicitor, and the courts which are still styled Court of Queen's Bench. Things like that.
  3. OP, I will try to answer, but my understanding of the US market is based off of second-hand information and a few direct interactions with US big law interviewers/lawyers. I am also going to make the following assumption: you are interested in working a large law firm with corporate and institutional clients. My hot take is that the differences between the markets are the logical consequence of the US being the center for global capitalism. Q - Apart from the large paychecks that many U.S. firms offer, what are the differences between the experience of being a lawyer in those two countries? A – One major distinction is that the world’s leading international law firms (many of which are headquartered in the US or UK) have not seriously penetrated the Canadian legal market. The Canadian legal market is dominated by Canadian (i.e. national) law firms, regional law firms, and boutique/niche law firms. The other difference is scale. The NYC big law firm machine employs, generally an order of magnitude more people, and works on files that are typically an order of magnitude (or more) larger than what you might find in Toronto or wherever. In general, the larger the organization and its files, the less individual responsibility you will get as a young associate. So, some of your skill development will be delayed in NYC as compared to a smaller operation in Toronto or Vancouver or Calgary or wherever. The same phenomenon exists within markets as between large law firms and boutique law firms. The flip side is that in NYC you work on files that are rarely if ever seen in smaller markets. Q - Are some law fields more popular in one country than the other? Is one more modern and tech-oriented than the other? (and more stuff like that) A – The US legal market features some practice areas which are not as strong in Canada. For example, in the US, the big law firms have serious white collar crime practices. DC also hosts the international center for the settlement of investment disputes, which makes DC offices a location for serious international investment arbitration practices. In Canada, investment arbitration claims are few and far between. On legal tech, many of the leading Canadian firms appear to be making investments and adopting technology to improve their service delivery, but I can’t really comment comparatively. Q - What are some unique things about being a lawyer in Canada that aren't a part of the American legal experience (or vice versa)? A – Canadian legal culture remains heavily influenced by its contact with the English common law tradition. We retain references to the British Crown in the courtroom, we swear oaths of loyalty to the British Crown, we wear Barrister gowns in court, some jurisdictions retain traditions like designating senior lawyers as “Queen’s Counsel”, etc… The Americans have a mostly common law system too, and I understand they remain interested in English law in some respects, but I get the sense its to a far lesser degree. Q - Also, would American podcasts (like the Lawyerist podcast) and blogs that give general advice on the experience of being a lawyer translate well to Canada? A – I’m sure the podcasts are helpful. You can find Canadian lawyer podcasts as well.
  4. If you already know how to apply legal principles to a fact pattern, your law degree will serve you very well.
  5. I don't see how OP is in any different position from someone who did a history or political science degree abroad. I wouldn't say those people have ruined their careers. Quite the contrary. OP if you want the top Canadian legal opportunities open to you, do a JD.
  6. If you want to clerk, do a JD. There is a bit of a prestige factor in hiring for those jobs. And you really need to know Canadian law. I'm also just assuming your LLB was not from Oxbridge. If it is from Oxbridge, the LLB + LLM could be enough.
  7. RESEARCH. You can do contract work for small firms/sole's who need research. There are services that already exist to bring this work in and just require you to fulfill the contract. There is a market for this in family law and other forms of small/sole litigation. You basically do the legal research and prepare a memo for the client. All the work is done remotely.
  8. There is a theory that the culture issues being raised in this thread are a generational phenomenon. It started on undergrad campuses around 2014 when Gen Z began graduating high school and attending uni. Right around 2018/2019 and onwards is when that generation would enter law school.
  9. Someone reading your CV will probably assume you were laid off because of Covid 19 and is unlikely to think twice about it or look down on you for it.
  10. Did you just get the FCA clerkship in this round of hiring? It is more and more uncommon, though not unheard of, to interview for the SCC as your first clerkship opportunity. Either way, don't feel discouraged for not getting an interview with the SCC on the first attempt. There truly are more excellent candidates than there are interview spots. With the FCA on your CV and strong reference letters, you'll be a very competitive candidate for an interview. Some candidates apply during their first clerkship or afterwards and use their judge as a reference. This can be an effective strategy depending on the judge and the quality of their reference.
  11. I don't practice in this field, but from what I can tell I see at least four different roles for lawyers in competition law: (1) a transactional/corporate-commercial practice where you advise clients on how to avoid running afoul of the Competition Act in the course of running their business; (2) a class action litigation practice where you defend clients from allegations that they engaged in anti-competitive behaviour under the legislation (the flip side is a plaintiff-side class action practice where you pursue these claims against companies); (3) government litigation practice where you work for the feds and pursue companies charged with offences under the Act (I don't know enough to know if this would be handled by PPSC or DOJ litigators); and (4) government solicitor practice advising the competition bureaucracy on competition law and policy decisions. I also see from a quick google search that there is some kind of Competition Tribunal, which means there are lawyers practicing administrative law involved as well. That could go to roles 1, 3, and 4 identified above or it could be a whole different 5th aspect of competition practice. I don't know enough to know. Roles 3 and 4 involve being a lawyer for the government, perhaps relocating to Ottawa, generally having a nice worklife balance, and kayaking on the Rideau Canal on nice summer days.
  12. That's totally fair. To be clear, the "ditching" I envisioned was starting a clerkship when the other articling students would start at the firm. I agree that you would generally be expected to return to the firm to finish your articles.
  13. I never believed the last part until I actually went through 3L and realized how true it really is.
  14. Its hard to have thoughts about your grades, or what you should do about them, without any context for what you are hoping to get from the discussion or what kind of summer/articling gig you are looking for.
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