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artsydork last won the day on June 5 2018

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  1. artsydork

    Burnout in the profession

    I wholeheartedly agree with @mountebank. Law school was terrible. Who wants to go back to all that worry of the future, job insecurity, financial insecurity, grade pressure and the like? Practice is waaaay better. And I say that as a family lawyer!
  2. artsydork

    McGill grading curve & future impact

    It's a B curve, not B-. All of my 1L classes had a b average. And it is pretty strict. McGill is a very old law school and we continue placing around the country/world despite the grades. FWIW, a colleague of mine ended up at the Supreme Court with like a 3.4-3.5. Clearly, the Supreme Court didn't mind that she did not have a 3.8.
  3. Thanks for the shoutout, @blockedquebecois I articled for Legal Aid Ontario, worked as staff duty counsel, and now employed as my firm's family practice lead/manager. 100% of my practice is devoted to family & child protection law. My practice remains largely legal aid based. Legal Aid differs from province to province. Ontario offers a few different options - Staff duty counsel, staff advice counsel, per diem duty counsel/advice, community legal clinic lawyers, and private lawyers accepting legal aid certificates. There is an abundance of different ways that you can still be working in a more "aid" based practice without formally being staff. Duty counsel/advice counsel require a wide variety of knowledge. I might have 8 people waiting to come speak to me to get some free legal advice. It's sort of a triage service so it's important that I have working knowledge of the Family Law Act, Family Law Rules, Children's Law Reform Act, Child, Family and Youth Services Act, and the Family Responsibility and Support Arrears Enforcement Act. I need to be able to screen for issues such as literacy, family violence and mental health. My interventions might include referrals for services. Duty counsel/advice counsel need to have strong knowledge of the various family law acts to best assess and act with little (or no) prep time. I've ran motions that I had 5 minutes to review the file. The judge obviously grants DC some leeway but I still need to cite case law or the appropriate rules. LAO did have a push of getting people in the door through articling. Many in my cohort have since left to private practice/government positions. My frustration was that I did notice that I was lacking knowledge in certain areas. DC doesn't do equalization or divorce. As such, they did this huge bid of hiring senior counsel to act as mentor for all the fresh faced DC. Many of the postings are also asking for 3-5 year experience so that practitioners can jump right on in with no training. As a private lawyer acting on legal aid certificates, I still maintain my mandate of assisting vulnerable populations. I also have 1 pro bono case on the go right now and several cash files with very modest retainers/hourly rate. OP, you can likely negotiate that aspect with your firm. Legal Aid offices will be suspect if you literally have no experience with marginalized populations. It truly is a different experience. My clients often lose their phones, move often, change numbers, have difficulty traveling, literacy issues, etc. 3 years working with only middle/upper middle class populations and you will take certain things for granted. tldr - Legal Aids want people with experience because you need to know the law with no prep. Marginalized populations have different needs so it's important to have experience working with them.
  4. artsydork

    Grades and being a Lawyer

    I can absolutely say with certainty that I was hired over people who were in the B+ to A- range because of my work ethic. I've also worked with people with high grades who had zero social skills. We see people on this forum every now and then who state they have difficulties finding jobs despite their top 30% range. In any case, that's not to say people with high grades lack work ethic - it's also folly to suggest that grades = better work ethic than someone with lower grades. Higher grades does mean demonstrates stronger knowledge of subject matter. Absolutely. Work ethic? That's not what a grade means.
  5. artsydork

    Grades and being a Lawyer

    Speaking as someone who easn't a top student, I had to hustle to overcome my grades. I worked hard during my summer position and got a strong reference for articles. Worked hard during articles. Grades weren't even a consideration when I was hired back because of my glowing references.The references I made during articles/post call helped me even when I moved jurisdiction. Grades don't necessarily translate into good work ethic.
  6. artsydork

    is registering for CAS really necessary?

    CAS is children's aid society. I was greatly concerned for a moment.
  7. artsydork

    Partner Compensation in Canada vs US?

    I can't hear the term "7 sisters" without thinking of Lisa Simpson (and a hotplate!)
  8. artsydork

    University of Alberta vs University of Victoria

    I'm not being facetious- both schools can produce human rights/civil lawyers. Go to the school that will mininize debt and maximize happiness. I don't know where the fixation with UVic is from. Neither school will give you an edge for the career path you want. Edmonton has waaaay more social organizations that you can involve yourself in. Get out of the university bubble if you're interested in civil/human rights. Volunteer at the various ngos or shelters.
  9. artsydork

    University of Alberta vs University of Victoria

    ..you can become a civil/human rights lawyer from any university. Go to the school that will minimize debt and keep you happiest.
  10. artsydork

    divorce and court

    Good thing no one is married anymore! Separations will be what keeps me in business! But yeah. Joint and or uncontested divorces are just essentially basket motions. Clerk checks registry, if nothing pops up, you file your affidavit. Then if the judge has no questions (child support is being paid, no outstanding property issues) your divorce gets rubber stamped. Now, add in figuring who has enough parenting time, who, if any, should make decisions. And yeah. I'm not too worried about my business. Let's just say my active case load is less like 3/100 and more towards the remainder.
  11. As a lawyer, I warn all of my clients to get things in writing and what not. DO AS WE SAY AND NOT AS WE DO THOUGH. I didn't get my articling contract until like I officially started articling. I spoke to my principal once before articling, namely to figure out where we would be meeting on my first day. HR was nice and responded to 1 email prior to me starting. This seems to be the norm for most people articling - get hired, radio silence, and panic.
  12. artsydork

    Transferring out of McGill law?

    My torts and contract were split into 2l with advanced obligations. Is that no a thing anymore?
  13. artsydork

    Transferring out of McGill law?

    You'll likely need to redo torts and contracts if you transfer out in second year. Oh, and maybe property.
  14. Law school is nothing like legal practice in general.
  15. artsydork

    Life After the SCC

    FWIW, I have a few colleagues that were SCC clerks. AFAIK, only 1 is a professor and the rest of them are practicing. One is a tax litigator. Another is a litigator and was part of one of the intervenors during the TWU, another is an ombudsman officer. Oh, 1 is a professor in Calgary. Dude was mega conservative yet got top grades at Mcgill and Harvard, so y'all can stop worrying about conservatives being mistreated by professors in law school.