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About benzxc

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  1. Any suggestions on good books or any other resources to improve legal writing? I've been suggested the book by Bryan Garner and the late Justice Scalia. I've always thought my writing was slightly above average, but not too strong. I didn't really have an issue with my writing during articling and drafted quite a bit of pleadings and facta during that time. I switched firms and practice area after articling and my writing has since been thoroughly criticized. Not even track-changed but simply "unacceptable, do not bill client for this" type of criticism.
  2. benzxc

    Litigation to Soliciting

    lol yes. i should've wrote solicitor.. to avoid misunderstandings! but thanks for your advice and yes I didn't misrepresent my experience, they knew i had zero experience in corporate work and told me there was going to be a steep learning curve. Still, I think you got it head on that not all lawyers appreciate the fact that I am completely inexperienced in this area and stare at me when I ask "what is a term sheet?" Sigh. Thanks for your advice... I need to get my act together rather quickly.
  3. Does anyone have any advice for this lost soul who just transitioned (quite dramatically) from practicing with a sole practitioner in family/child protection to a large corporate law firm overseas? And no, this is not a joke! My circumstances were quite unusual, but suffice it to say I was practicing in Canada before life called me elsewhere and I managed to land a position with a large international corporate law firm doing transactional stuff. Needless to say, I am adjusting quite poorly. Only one month in and every single thing is different now: different country, different area of law, different working environment, etc. I get work from different partners and associates, work that I have no idea how to do. Fear getting fired any time! Although I do have a better grasp at what some of the work entails, most of the time I feel like I'm in a daze, empty eyes looking at the partner who's explaining the work to me. Man, do I feel dumb! Anyways, just wondering if anyone has any advice for someone in my situation, or just some advice on how to survive the "big law" experience (I never thought I would be at "big law")
  4. Did you article in family law/child protection? If not, you will need to find a mentor to get enpaneled
  5. East Asian Canadian lawyer here, Can't say much about hiring process but in terms of being treated in court, I've never felt that I was any different from any other black or white lawyer in the court. Only thing was being my last name being horrendously mis-pronounced in court. But i've seen other lawyers getting their last names pronounced in dreadful ways as well.
  6. benzxc

    Legal Aid Lawyer - AMA

    What is the work schedule of duty counsel like?
  7. I agree with Diplock. To gauge whether being a lawyer is something you will be good at and enjoy, the best question to ask yourself is whether you will be able to handle the stress of knowing that you are responsible for your client's legal issues, which oftentimes are very serious and have very serious consequences (jail time, loss of child, etc). I would also add that another useful and related question to ask yourself is how well you can separate the client's life from your own. Some files can be very emotionally draining and involving, and that may add to the overall stress. Some react to this by taking the file more seriously and as a result doing a better job on it. Some find the stress and emotional involvement to actually impair the lawyer's handling of the file. Shadowing a lawyer and see what lawyers actually do on a day to day basis is a pretty good idea too.
  8. Go to school in the jurisdiction where you want to practice. The law and rules vary widely on the jurisdiction (and even within the same province - I practice in Ontario, the rules for Family Law is different in Toronto than it is in say, Oshawa or Brampton - I got burned by on a few occasions when I went outside of Toronto on procedural stuff). So a good idea is to go to school and article where you want to practice. And yeah, you indicated that you don't want to hear about this - but I work for a senior lawyer and I have his guidance and mentor ship - I still feel out of my depth like 93% of the time. Imagine going out on your own right out of articles.
  9. benzxc

    Dear Clinic Students...

    I think Hegdis got this spot on. I didn't put this in my previous post but a huge (or yuge?) problem is that many students go to LSLAP wanting to pad their resumes with no intention of doing real work. That is very problematic. IMO LSLAP should not be a free for all where any student can go in and start taking on files. There should be at least some minimal filtering process where students who are actually interested in the work be given the opportunity; and if the student is just there to try it out... iuno what to do about that but a lot of the students are there to pad their resumes. And they don't belong.
  10. benzxc

    Dear Clinic Students...

    I agree with you Diplock - the quality of service provided varies widely with the particular student on the file. And that is problematic. Many a times (I have seen this wayyyy too often when I was a student, and I was shocked - can you imagine the horror now I look back as a lawyer) students simply giving fucking legal advice - the problem is no effective oversight from lawyers. Although, apart from the two staff lawyers working for LSLAP, there are volunteer supervising lawyers at each clinic around town. If I recall correctly they are at the clinics but cannot provide legal advice directly to the clients - the students interviewing the clients have to pause the meeting and go out and consult with the volunteer lawyer. So really, I think it is about proper training for the students: what you can or cannot do, when to seek help, when you are giving borderline legal advice as opposed to legal information, etc.
  11. benzxc

    Dear Clinic Students...

    One of the supervising lawyers told me when I started "LSLAP is only as good as the effort you put into it" - you have to be proactive. I know a few friends who did really meaningful work and I know quite a bit who simply quit after the first semester. The staff lawyers are really good though, they are always available to give advice and guidance.
  12. No - terrible idea! If they are really wasting your time (your client's money) go to court and ask for costs. Not sure of your situation but just think about it - the opposing counsel receives this invoice, what is he/she going to do? Most likely ignore you - and worse, gossip with other lawyers (it is a small community the bar) and your reputation is going to suffer a little.
  13. benzxc

    Dear Clinic Students...

    When I did LSLAP in first year there was virtually no training - I remember being handed a few pages of do's and don'ts and that's about it.
  14. benzxc

    Dear Clinic Students...

    Not to hijack this thread intended for students but I want to emphasize this: I did some clinical work in law school - not too much but I had two crim files that I had to appear to court for - best advice for students: as Hedgis suggested, PLEASE take some time and sit in the body of the court and watch experienced (and inexperienced) counsel do their thang. You will learn as much from experienced lawyers as you will from inexperienced lawyers (if only to make a mental note not to be that guy when the lawyer gets a tongue lashing from the bench). As a newly called lawyer, I often sit in on motions, conferences and trials (when they are available) when I am at court waiting for other matters. Definitely worth your time.
  15. Jenn Lau is awesome - super knowledgeable and always happy to help. Can't get better than her in terms of CSO