I don't see a lot of UofC Associates or Articling Students in Toronto at all, but there's certainly Windsor grads at every large firm. I also wouldn't place my hopes on getting into Big Law in Calgary and then lateraling over either - that's a lot of steps that have to go correctly. Getting Calgary BigLaw isn't a lay-up in and of itself. I would say go to Windsor and network, get good summaries and work your butt off in 1L and try to get grades in the top quarter of your class.
Bit of an odd-duck here.
LSAT: 157 (one write)
Sask Connection: Step-father is ex-law lecturer at UofS and Queen’s Bench and I served as president of the University of Regina Student’ Union for two elected terms.
Will these connection items help??
hey thanks! this is a good perspective. yeah I am open to biglaw in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto, but ideally would like to end up in Toronto. I know about Windsor having low placement rates, so I guess my question is whether to risk the low placement rate but be in Ontario, or risk being out of province but have the Calgary market open to me. I don't really want to stay in Calgary longer than I have to.
The categorization of those firms was in response to the list in the original post, and not intended to identify tiers of law firms. BLG, Dentons, and probably McCarthy's should be in the larger firm bracket for the Calgary market.
Family law practitioner here, here are my 2 cents.
First, losing a case does not make someone a terrible lawyer, having a terrible grade in a course does not make you an incompetent law student. We all have off days - I call it "didn't think the right thoughts in the right moment."
Second, what you learn in law school barely scratches the surface of what you will do in practice. Family law in particular is very "experience-centered" and requires you to be in the middle of the action.
Third, in practice, rarely are you forced under pressure of time to write out a coherent contract. The affidavits, pleadings, and contracts I draft sometimes have 12-15 revisions. You will likely need to draft a Minutes of Settlement in court under time constraints and that gets better with practice.
When I am invited to sit with my manager to screen potential candidates, we look for:
grit (having thick skin and tenacity to manage demanding family law clients), general passion for the area, past experience in the field, reasons why he or she chose family law, ability to communicate ideas and experience clearly, personality, awareness of professional pitfalls and liability issues, and general mannerism.
If you are asked a pointed question about a particular grade, just admit that you did not do well on the 100 percent exam. I prefer honesty.