Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
ribelle

My articling-work environment is toxic

Recommended Posts

Just to throw another idea in the mix - I think that the assignment of articles form is most commonly used during secondments. So for example, at my firm, one of our students might "assign" their articles to the OSC or whatever for two months. In that case, there's no lag. So that might be the explanation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not in BC. I've been seconded for the last 9 weeks (had to get permission from the LSBC to increase that from the usual max of 8) and my principal never changed.

Secondment during the articling period

You may be permitted to attend in the office of another lawyer who is qualified to act as a principal, for a period or periods not exceeding in total eight weeks of your prescribed term of attendance, for the purpose of obtaining training in practice areas in which the principal is unable to instruct you.

The Law Society should be informed by letter of the period during which you will be attending another office. Permission may also be granted, with or without conditions, for an extension of the eight-week period of secondment.

 

https://www.lawsociety.bc.ca/page.cfm?cid=30

 

The LSUC don't seem to use the term secondment much, but the closest thing they seem to have is temporary assignment - not assignment:

 

http://www.lsuc.on.ca/TemporaryAssignmentofArticles/

 

You might also see it as a form of joint articling placement, although the suggested timetable here is for MWF at one principal and TTh at the other - not 8 weeks at one and then back to the other, which is what a secondment would look like in BC: http://www.lsuc.on.ca/licensingprocess.aspx?id=2147498211#Joint_Articling_Placement

Edited by kcraigsejong

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've already answered this multiple times. A student leaving for another position is only one reason the relationship might end. There are others, up to and including Heenin Blakie type scenarios. So while I'll concede the BC language, you are arguing in the face of other language on the LSUC site which clearly indicates that the relationship is an undertaking (which is never a lightly used or accidental word) and that no one should be seeking any other arrangement once it's entered into. I think you need to offer more than just your assumption that a rule for immediate transfer, which could easily be used to address completely different scenarios, implicitly means you can look for new articles while already committed to your current employer.

 

And you are assuming that the undertakings put upon law school and NCA students who accept articling offers continue when they assume the status of articled students when the LSUC recruitment guidelines are quite clear that they do not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, we can't have principals being absent from themselves without approval. Think of the chaos!

I'm not sure how I absent myself from myself, but I'm pretty sure I physically can't do it without my own approval.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LSUC has a practice management hotline that is very helpful. It's mostly there to ask advice about your ethical obligations in the profession, etc. You call, explain that you are a lawyer (or in your case, a licensee) in a voicemail - here, you say you have questions about your employment obligations as an articling student. They usually call back the same day. As much as I can say LSUC, well, sucks usually, they don't suck here. 

Also, there is a discrimination and harassment counsel that LSUC funds and is available to you. I cannot recall her name off the top of my head, but they run an ad in the ORs every couple of months at least. You can also hear about it in a CLE that LSUC did, I think it was May 6, 2015 (I remember the day because it's my birthday, same as Gordan Ghecko from Wall Street!). You can find the CLE on LSUC's website, it was about mental health for lawyers. I watched the webcast because I freaking live for free CLE as a sole practitioner, but I was surprised to hear about her role, and the support available to members in employment situations. That could also be a path to mediating the situation, whatever exactly is going on. 

Lastly, I agree with some of the sentiments above re just sticking it out, life is tough, being an employee is tough... BUT in my personal experience, I've had lots of jobs. Tough jobs that lots of others could not hack - they had to quit, get moved, fired, not hired back etc. because they couldn't hack it. When things got tough in some of those, I had my closest family/friends/boyfriends/etc. sometimes say "just quit" SOOOOO many times. I always said no. They did not understand, I stuck it out, and I am glad that I did. 

The couple of times in my life where I truly needed to leave/quit (including one law job for a real asshole) - guess what? No one said that. I had to give myself permission to leave, and it's pretty nuts to look back that this was the case, but not unusual I think. 

My point being, you need to research the drawbacks (and what LSUC will tolerate, and the risk to your future prospects), independently. Hopefully the two resources I point out above will help with that. Then, at the end of the day, you need to decide for yourself what is best. 

Never ever quit - unless you have to. The trouble though, is that you are the only person who truly knows whether you "have to" quit or not. 
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know that there is a general consensus among law students and lawyers that articling sucks and that it should suck because that's how you learn. I don't have issues with the workload, I am hard-working and I know that law is a demanding career. Mainly because I worked as a lawyer for two years before changing countries. But I have an issue with toxic environment that adds to the stress from the workload and makes me miserable. My principal is very disrespectful and the environment is toxic.    

 

So I have three questions and hoping you can share your experience. Maybe it will help me survive because  I feel so trapped. 

 

So my questions are:

 

1. How helpful LSUC can be if I call them?  Is there anything they can/will do? This is not a harassment/discrimination issue. 

2. Can I look for another articling position while articling (sounds unethical I know) ?

3. Any tips on how to survive something temporary but soul-sucking nevertheless?

 

Thanks.

 

Dont forget to let the internet know about this principal so others are warned! Post from an internet cafe or library to stay "anonymous" as much as possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dont forget to let the internet know about this principal so others are warned! Post from an internet cafe or library to stay "anonymous" as much as possible.

 

"I wonder which of my one articling students posted this shit about me on the internet. I wonder if it was ribelle, or if it was ribelle. I have no way of knowing, because they posted from a library and stayed 'anonymous'. Curse you, libraries!"

  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

YB just demonstrated the LS.CA first law of conservation of stupidity. For every bad idea posted here there is an equal and opposite post (often from the likes of YB or Diplock) which undoes the effect of the initial post, ensuring that the net level of stupidity is unchanged

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

YB just demonstrated the LS.CA first law of conservation of stupidity. For every bad idea posted here there is an equal and opposite post (often from the likes of YB or Diplock) which undoes the effect of the initial post, ensuring that the net level of stupidity is unchanged

 

I've never put it quite that way, and if I'm one of the principal breaks against stupidity that's kinda terrifying, but I do believe that crowd-sourcing information can work so long as there are enough well informed people to correct the stupid when it appears. Bad advice doesn't last long, here, contradicted. And that's one of the things I do like about this place.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

YB just demonstrated ... stupidity. ... bad idea posted ... YB... stupidity is unchanged

 

This post really hurt my feelings when I just skimmed it. Then I went back and read all the words in the middle and felt better with a quickness.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is something I would love to hold forth about, but I'm cognizant of not knowing anything, so I'm going to invite the lawyers to hold forth.

Am I correct in assuming that:
1. If an articling student publicly airs grievances with their principal in the way that Permuser recommends, the likely professional damage to the principal would be virtually nil, while the likely professional damage to the student could be career-ending;
2. The legal community is small enough that ribelle would be very easily identified (certainly, if anyone who knows her or knows her principal read this thread, she would be, and that risk would go up exponentially if she identified her principal, as Permuser recommends);
3. The legal community is small enough that anyone who could benefit from the information that such-and-such lawyer is a big meanie probably has better ways to get that information than via ribelle posting a bad review of her principal on Yelp?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You guys,I am moving to Vancouver! And there are hundreds of mean principals which we can't do anything about and I think most of them are well aware of it. Anyway,  I decided to quit law and pursue something else but law-related. Good luck to everyone! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You guys,I am moving to Vancouver! And there are hundreds of mean principals which we can't do anything about and I think most of them are well aware of it. Anyway,  I decided to quit law and pursue something else but law-related. Good luck to everyone! 

 

Well. That'll teach him. One day your mean principal will realize that he drove you out of the profession and he'll be sorry. The importance of this day will haunt him.

 

I guess if you don't really want to practice law, you should do what makes you happiest. I'd never dispute that. But I hope to God that was a realization you came around to independently, and it isn't about the fact that you had a mean boss. I won't claim to have sampled every profession out there, but I'm pretty sure they all feature a fair percentage of mean bosses. Law is at least entrepreneurial and you have the option of working for yourself. Personally, I love that. But in all events, do what you've got to.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I wonder which of my one articling students posted this shit about me on the internet. I wonder if it was ribelle, or if it was ribelle. I have no way of knowing, because they posted from a library and stayed 'anonymous'. Curse you, libraries!"

OMG I've never laughed so hard!!!! Not. OP, obviously, once articling is complete, even months or a year later, you post something about the principal online for the benefit of future students. I'm sure as a law student you can figure out the specifics of avoiding detection of the obvious, without me having to explain it (YB not so much).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OMG I've never laughed so hard!!!! Not. OP, obviously, once articling is complete, even months or a year later, you post something about the principal online for the benefit of future students. I'm sure as a law student you can figure out the specifics of avoiding detection of the obvious, without me having to explain it (YB not so much).

I can promise you that any post on this forum that warns students off of a named or identifiable employer is very likely to be removed immediately. Could not care less if the actual poster bothers to out themselves or not.

 

I'm sure you can figure out the specifics of why that would be without me having to explain the obvious. :)

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OMG I've never laughed so hard!!!! Not. OP, obviously, once articling is complete, even months or a year later, you post something about the principal online for the benefit of future students. I'm sure as a law student you can figure out the specifics of avoiding detection of the obvious, without me having to explain it (YB not so much).

Okay. Honestly trying to be helpful here, not trying to be an asshole. As WJ said, my intention was good-natured ribbing (with a kernel of sincerity), not rudeness, and that remains the case.

 

So! Seven billion people in the world. Maybe a year ago, a guy started popping up in my Facebook People You May Know, and I thought, "Holy shit, that's Uriel from Lawstudents," based on absolutely no clues but the Urielesque gleam in his eye. After being fairly certain that it was him, just from his face, I clicked through to the profile and a lot of the biographical details match, and so I'm virtually sure it's him. A few months later, someone started a thread here in the off-topic areas wherein we could all take wild guesses about what we imagined each other looked like. Uriel guessed that I look like some celebrity, and, you know what? Except for the guy being drastically better-looking than me, he was spooky right.

 

Seven billion people in the world, and I was able to recognize a guy I've interacted with intermittently on a message board. That same guy either a., had the same experience and saw some guy in his People You May Know and said "Holy shit, that's the Yogurt Baron," and then had a leg up when it came time to guess what I look like or b., just intuited what I look like from how I write. Either way, based on nothing but vague vibes based on our writing styles, we were able to "recognize" each other. I know Diplock has a similar story of a friend's dad just randomly blurting out, "Hey, you're Diplock!", based on virtually nothing. It's a whole lot easier for people who have interacted to crack the anonymity code than you seem to be accounting for.

 

The vibe I get from ribelle's post is that she was working for a sole or in a small firm with someone who's not used to being an articling principal. "Where does it say that?" Well, it doesn't say that - that's the feeling that I get from certain extratextual cues. So let's say we're looking at a situation where this principal has had one (1) articling student in his life, of whom one (1) was unhappy. Then somebody "anonymously" says she was his articling student and this, this, this, and that happened when she was articling for him. He will know who wrote that.

 

But let's say I'm wrong. Let's say this principal has had ten thousand articling students and that nine thousand of them have been unhappy, and then somebody "anonymously" says she was his articling student and this, this, this, and that happened when she was articling for him. Presumably, he will not have done all of those things to all nine thousand of those students. And like everyone else in the world, ribelle has her own unique style of writing. I've had a hundred employees; if one of them wrote anonymous shit about me on the internet, I'd be able to narrow it down to a few by what they wrote, and then narrow it down to one by how they wrote. Easily. By virtue of remembering my own life and being observant of how people communicate, I'd know who it was in about five seconds. So would virtually any non-moron in that situation.

 

Unless you're suggesting that ribelle remove all identifying information (i.e., that she not talk about her personal experience with this person at all) and just write "JOHN A. LAWYERSON, WHO I KNOW FROM SOMEWHERE WHICH I AM NOT GOING TO SAY WHERE, IS A BIG POOPYHEAD AND I AM NOT GOING TO SAY WHY." Which would be helpful to literally no one in any way, and which the articling principal would still probably have no trouble tracing back to her, presuming he remembers his own life and is not a moron.

 

So, I mean, if you think going to the library somehow magically erases your unique writing style, your unique message, and the fact that a very limited pool of people are holding a grudge against any particular person at any particular time, good luck with that. But anonymity is much, much, much more elusive in this life than you seem to believe it to be. And I don't want to see that bite you, or ribelle, or anyone, in the ass. Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OMG I've never laughed so hard!!!! Not. OP, obviously, once articling is complete, even months or a year later, you post something about the principal online for the benefit of future students. I'm sure as a law student you can figure out the specifics of avoiding detection of the obvious, without me having to explain it (YB not so much).

 

 

Ah the "not" joke. It's been a while. I remember sitting around with my friends in the early nineties holding our sides in mild discomfort because of the side splitting laughter that you gave us. I've missed you dearly. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the punctuation is wrong. It should be:

 

OMG I've never laughed so hard!!!! .... NOT!  :rolling:

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



  • Recent Posts

    • You just completed your articles in insurance defense and yet claim to have vast knowledge in the field of medical and health law. You've also got an  LLM that focused on 11 different topics unrelated to insurance or civil lit.  But the type of law you are really interested in is IP law.   And you intend to tell employers about your poly marriage?  During interviews I assume?  Only way it could be a red flag is if you told someone unless your last name is Blackmore.  
    • The reason many 1Ls get crushed after grades come out is because they mistakenly carried the "hard work means good grades" mentality into law school. The bolded part of your post is me pointing out that you're making the same mistake. What I think you really need to do is change how you prepare for exams. My advice to you FOLLOW AT YOUR OWN RISK I'm a fellow slow worker. When I prepared for midterms like everyone else, I got the same marks as everyone else. When I prepared for final exams like a slow worker, I beat the curve in 6/7 courses. The only course where I didn't beat the curve was also the only class I made the mistake of not doing the aforementioned. Understand that you can't do all of the assigned work. It may take other people 1 hour to do a 30 page reading while it takes you 4 hours (I personally need to read every word on the page). Doing all of the assigned work is just not feasible for you because its not an efficient use of time. There is absolutely no shame in admitting this or accepting this. Doing all of the assigned work is just one of many different ways to prepare for the exam. You should let my exam grade determine whether your unique method of preparation is right or wrong. Understand that doing all of the assigned work doesn't mean you shouldn't be doing any work or even less work, it just means you should be doing the work that helps you best prepare for the exam. Doing the readings - Your main focus should be to make the most efficient use of your time (i.e. doing the type of work that helps you, as an individual, best prepare for the exam) First, check the syllabus to understand the place of this reading in the class (you'd be surprised how many people overlook the value of the course syllabus). The question here is: what am I reading? What topic is this reading on? How many days will you be dealing with this topic? How many pages is it? Is the topic a standalone topic or one piece of a bigger topic? This will give you a rough idea of how much time and concern you should give to this topic and also generally primes you for the work you need to do. Second, very briefly skim the reading while paying attention to the structure of the reading. Read the headings, intros, conclusions, etc. This will help you understand the skeleton of the reading.  Third, once you understand what you're reading (i.e. after completing the first two steps) your next question is: why am I reading this? Why has the professor assigned this reading? In other words, what does your professor want you, as a student, to get out of this reading for the purposes of their class? To answer these questions, look to course summaries/CANs from upper years who have taken the same course with the same professor.  Fourth, now you know what you're reading and why you're reading it. The question now here is: what does this reading say about that? If you're a person who's comfortable relying on a summary/CAN, then rely on your summaries/CANs to provide answer the answer to this question. If you're a person who's more comfortable doing the reading, then let the summaries/CANs create the signposts of what's important in the reading so you can focus on that and allocate your time effectively.  For example, if you're dealing with the topic of sexual assault in 1L criminal law, then you're probably going to want to read all of Ewanchuk and only focus on the bare essentials in every other case (e.g. R v Chase - only matters because it tells us how to interpret the sexual nature element of the AR; R v Cuerrier - only matters because it tells us when fraud vitiates consent and what L'Heureux Dube and McLachlin say in their respective dissents, respectfully, doesn't matter for the strict purpose of your exam unless your professor cares about policy; R v Mabior - only matters because it tells us when non-disclosure of HIV status vitiates consent/constitutes fraud; R v JA - only matters because it tells us to how interpret consent and, respectfully, Fish's dissent doesn't matter unless your professor cares about policy; etc)  Lectures - The purpose of lectures isn't for the professor to spoon-feed you the material, for you to practice your skills as a typist and copy the lecture verbatim or for you to get your online Christmas shopping done. The purpose of the lecture is for the professor to: Confirm to you that you're on the right track (i.e. you've done the aforementioned Reading stage correctly and understand what the topic is, why you're doing the reading, and that you know what you need to know) Clarify anything in the readings and/or correct any mistakes/things missing from your understanding/notes or the summaries/CANs you've relied on Provide you with their unique perspective/opinion/approach to the topic at hand. You're going to keep this in mind when writing your exam in order to cater to their beliefs, prejudices. For example, if you have a feminist professor, don't argue that sex work should be criminalized on an exam. Present both sides to the argument, and in one sentence say that you support it even if you don't. As a future lawyer, you're going to be arguing a lot of things you don't agree with or believe in for your own personal gain. Might as well start early   Give you any hints about the exam. Professors notice if/when the herd thins out during the school year and some times will be inclined to reward students for attending. There have been multiple times that I've gotten useful hints about exams from a professor simply for being present during a boring lecture in the middle of October Exams - Exam-writing is a skill. Learn it. Read books on how to develop the skill. My recommendation is "Law School Exams: A Guide to Better Grades" by Alex Schimel. Create your own outline. In your 5 to 15 page outline, you should have every piece of the "what you need to know" part of each of your readings. There should be absolutely no superfluous bullshit, fluff or fat on your outline. You've literally condensed the entire course into those 5 to 15 pages. Your casebook, other peoples outlines/CANs, etc were all just tools for you to arrive at your own outline.  Learn your outline cold. I mean cold. This doesn't only mean just memorizing it. You should be able to open up ExamSoft and type out the blackletter law part of your future exam answer on demand and at near-lightning speed. The only class that I actually did this properly for was the one I finished at the top (and despite missing a major issue on the exam) and the other class that I did this, but sort of half-assed, I got an A- despite writing one paragraph for a question worth 33% question because I blanked out. Once you've learned the outline cold, take a few old exam questions and do timed exams on ExamSoft. Your focus is to type out the blackletter law as you've been doing and then actually apply it to the facts. Review your answer by yourself, then with a professor (if you can reach them/they'll allow this) and finally compare against old exam answers. Many people will disagree with this but once you do a few of these timed exams, you'll start to notice repeating patterns in terms of the issues tested, answer structures, etc (there can only be so many and also many professors are creatures of habit). 
    • Had a similar thing happen: What can you tell me about person X? Should I know person X? They mentioned you in their interview... I have no idea who this person is...
×
×
  • Create New...