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Luckycharm

Post Articling job search in GTA area

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Not sure if I will be hire back or do I want to stay.

 

When should I start sending out resume and where should I look?

 

 

 

 

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It's probably a little too early to apply to formal job applications, but its a great time to network, since you have enough articling experience to talk about it. Meet up with people in the area you're interested to get insight into what kind of firm or practice they have, what they like or don't like about it, how they got there etc. Keep in contact with the people you meet up with and hopefully you can rely on that network when you are actively looking for a job, either by asking if they know anyone hiring or when a job is posted you can ask them if they have insight into that firm.   

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Definitely network. Unfortunately I know people (in my year of call and even later) who are still looking. The problem I see with their lack of success in landing is that they are relying almost entirely on official job postings (which are few). 

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Definitely network. Unfortunately I know people (in my year of call and even later) who are still looking. The problem I see with their lack of success in landing is that they are relying almost entirely on official job postings (which are few). 

 

Ontario is depressing. How can there ba only a few job postings in a city the size of Toronto. 

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It's a combination of (1) there not being much in the way of available jobs, and (2) there being even fewer postings than there are available jobs. I see a lot of managing partners reaching deep into their networks to recruit people they already know (and like), rather then spend the time and money either hiring a recruiter or making postings in the ORs. 

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Ontario is depressing. How can there ba only a few job postings in a city the size of Toronto. 

 

I was recently talking to a good friend of mine who is looking to hire an associate.  When talking about his search, he explicitly said "I really hope I find someone before I have to make a posting for it".  

 

Why?

 

He did not want to go through 200-300 applications.  It is a lot easier just to ask around to see if anyone decent is looking for work.  

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I was recently talking to a good friend of mine who is looking to hire an associate.  When talking about his search, he explicitly said "I really hope I find someone before I have to make a posting for it".  

 

Why?

 

He did not want to go through 200-300 applications.  It is a lot easier just to ask around to see if anyone decent is looking for work.  

 

Exactly. Although the Toronto market's not great right now, a number of new calls I know have managed to land associate positions after not being hired back from articling. I can't think of a single instance where the position was posted. Some of them found their position with the assistance of the lawyers at the firm where they articled. The others made a point of networking and getting involved with organizations like the OBA. For one of them the position was with a small firm. For a couple others it was on Bay Street.

 

In my opinion, the easier time to be out networking is while you're still articling. You can frame the conversations with lawyers as an opportunity to learn what your options are post-call and what the market is like. If you have specific areas of interest it's good to let them know so your name comes to top of mind if they know of any opportunities.

 

When my firm was looking for an associate they also just asked around to see if anyone decent was looking for work. The position was filled by referral without ever being posted. My feeling is that this approach is very common, particularly in small-medium sized firms who don't take on articling students.

Edited by kelk
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I found my first associate position through word of mouth. The person exiting the position knew I was looking and suggested to the firm that I might be a suitable candidate to replace them. Then I went through the usual interview process. That was about 3 months after call.

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I didn't send out any formal applications until I knew that I wasn't going to be hired back. I did do some informal networking when I had a feeling there wasn't any space for me at my firm i.e. reaching out to my old bosses, lawyers I knew who referred me to lawyers they knew, etc.

 

I didn't find my current position. Partners at my old firm found it and put in a good word for me. This of course depends on if you have lawyers in your corner who like you. If there is someone you trust in your firm, it's a good idea to speak to them about networking opportunities and the like. Odds are this person(s) will know someone and can set up meetings.

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How does one go about networking with senior lawyers as a new call? Still in 3L but preparing in case I am in this situation in the future. I don't know what I could really offer a senior lawyer and I feel networking is supposed to be both give and take. Not sure what I could give.

Edited by happydude

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How does one go about networking with senior lawyers as a new call? Still in 3L but preparing in case I am in this situation in the future. I don't know what I could really offer a senior lawyer and I feel networking is supposed to be both give and take. Not sure what I could give.

As far as what you have to offer, you'll find mixed reception when you're trying to make connections with senior people. Some people really enjoy networking/mentoring, so they'll be receptive. Other's see it as an investment into the future, maybe in 2 or 3 years, you'll have a practice that can refer them clients (I've met one lawyer who does  IP work for startups, he actively networks with new calls because they're the ones that get hired by startups and can farm out the IP work to him, on the flip side he has connections with startups that may be looking for new legal counsel, so it's a win win if that's the area you're looking for).

 

You have time, so you can always start by going to events where lawyers will be attending and use those opportunities to make the first connection. 

 

Other thoughts: 

 

1. Start early, it's easier to network when you don't need anything other than someone's insight and advice. 

"Hey, can you meet for coffee and tell me how awesome you are/ what your firm is like" gets better responses than "Hey, i'm looking for a job. I see you as someone who may be able to hire, can we meet for coffee ?" *

 

2. Don't let the connection die. Remind them you exist every so often, so if you do end up in a position to be putting the word out that you are on the market, you are doing so with an acquaintance and not some random they wont remember. 

 

3. Don't just limit yourself to senior lawyers. Yes senior lawyers are the ones who are most likely in a position to hire you, but juniors can also be valuable. You never know when those connections will be useful. One of my fellow 2014 candidates pre-screened applicants to her firm because it's a small office and she had capacity. Another got word a lawyer was looking to hire and told him our mutual friend was looking for a job.    

 

 

* i'm not saying you shouldn't network in that situation, you really should, but it's harder. And you should be more subtle about your i need a job. 

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Networking has a long tail. My most powerful connection is a partner at a sister who I randomly met at a rock concert and got piss drunk with. Just get out there and try to meet people. But please, don't treat these big shot lawyers as a means to an end, treat their acquaintance as an end in themselves.

Edited by UpAboveIt715
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Agreed with the advice already given. Now is the time to start networking, but I wouldn't send applications anywhere yet. It may convey that a) you hate your articles and want to jump ship ASAP b) you know you wont' get hired back already, and people will wonder why. Build your connections now, then within 1-3 months of your end of articles, start applying to places. At that point you can credibly say that the practice area you articled in/environment wasn't right for you. 

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Networking has a long tail. My most powerful connection is a partner at a sister who I randomly met at a rock concert and got piss drunk with. Just get out there and try to meet people. But please, don't treat these big shot lawyers as a means to an end, treat their acquaintance as an end in themselves.

Lol that's hilarious... facebook stalking partners and "accidentally" meeting up with them might be a legit strategy OP :P

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For previous and current first year call

 

Was your offer a straight salary or certain percentage split of the chargeable hours?

 

Do you have to do any administrative work?

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For previous and current first year call

 

Was your offer a straight salary or certain percentage split of the chargeable hours?

 

Do you have to do any administrative work?

Salary plus bonus at a certain number of billed hours. I do admin work when my assistant is overloaded or when it's just easier to do myself. I also did a lot of non-billable (but not admin) work for the firm. Edited by wakawaka
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Salary plus bonus at a certain number of billed hours. I do admin work when my assistant is overloaded or when it's just easier to do myself. I also did a lot of non-billable (but not admin) work for the firm.

 

Thanks Wakawaka

 

Is it alright to request working less hours than Articling? I averaged 60 hours per week now.

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