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lawlskewl

Articling crisis / problems with entry in to the Canadian legal market [split]

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This is a horrible situation. OP you have my sympathy. Unfortunately, I can't help you.

 

I'm just waiting for a Canadian version of JD Underground to pop up, considering how many horror stories one reads on this site. Yet, some would like to pretend everything is fine and dandy. Some will even call you entitled because you expect a job after wasting 3 years of your life and thousands of dollars.

 

Mod edit: For context, this post was originally in this thread: http://lawstudents.ca/forums/topic/46026-6-months-since-graduating-and-still-no-articles/

Edited by Ryn
Split off from parent thread. Added context.

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This is a horrible situation. OP you have my sympathy. Unfortunately, I can't help you.

 

I'm just waiting for a Canadian version of JD Underground to pop up, considering how many horror stories one reads on this site. Yet, some would like to pretend everything is fine and dandy. Some will even call you entitled because you expect a job after wasting 3 years of your life and thousands of dollars.

Stop being dramatic. Most Canadian grads I know are still securing articles within 6 months of graduating.

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Stop being dramatic. Most Canadian grads I know are still securing articles within 6 months of graduating.

If you include unpaid and minimum wage articles, yes. I guess that's a great outcome eh?

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If you include unpaid and minimum wage articles, yes. I guess that's a great outcome eh?

I've never met anyone who articled for free, and those sorts of positions are almost unheard of outside of Ontario.

 

Are you implying that everyone that can scrap through a law degree at TRU or Windsor should be guaranteed 50K plus during articles?

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Why, Quincy, didn't you know that every Canadian is entitled to have the job they want in the field they want at a salary they consider to be reasonable regardless of actual demand for their services. I'm getting together my job application for the "towel attendent at supermodel nude pudding baths" position that I want. I'm going to be flexible on compensation.

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I've never met anyone who articled for free, and those sorts of positions are almost unheard of outside of Ontario.

 

Are you implying that everyone that can scrap through a law degree at TRU or Windsor should be guaranteed 50K plus during articles?

Then stop misleading prospective students by feeding them bs about how rankings don't matter in Canada. We have the same shit as the Americans now.

 

This is what we have right now in Canada:

 

Unpaid articles

Minimum wage articles

Schools that don't provide employment stats

Difficulty in finding any kind of articles

Low/stagnant salaries

Ballooning tuition

Tiered schools

 

Get real. A Canadian JD Underground forum is long overdue. 

Edited by lawlskewl

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Why, Quincy, didn't you know that every Canadian is entitled to have the job they want in the field they want at a salary they consider to be reasonable regardless of actual demand for their services. I'm getting together my job application for the "towel attendent at supermodel nude pudding baths" position that I want. I'm going to be flexible on compensation.

You're posting from your cushy Bay Street office aren't you?

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Then stop misleading prospective students by feeding them bs about how rankings don't matter in Canada. We have the same shit as the Americans now.

 

This is what we have right now in Canada:

 

Unpaid articles

Minimum wage articles

Schools that don't provide employment stats

Difficulty in finding any kind of articles

Low/stagnant salaries

Ballooning tuition

Tiered schools

 

Get real. A Canadian JD Underground forum is long overdue. 

Yeah, by the way, people have often had trouble finding articles in the past, even decades ago. Salaries were lower for articling than they are now. Tuition in most of the country is a small fraction of any US school. My school had plenty of employment stats.And so on.

 

Either you're trolling, or unbelievably naive.  

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Yeah, by the way, people have often had trouble finding articles in the past, even decades ago. Salaries were lower for articling than they are now. Tuition in most of the country is a small fraction of any US school. My school had plenty of employment stats.And so on.

 

Either you're trolling, or unbelievably naive.  

It's a matter of degree. The same kinds of problems have always existed but they're much worse now than they've ever been.

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This is a horrible situation. OP you have my sympathy. Unfortunately, I can't help you.

 

I'm just waiting for a Canadian version of JD Underground to pop up, considering how many horror stories one reads on this site. Yet, some would like to pretend everything is fine and dandy. Some will even call you entitled because you expect a job after wasting 3 years of your life and thousands of dollars.

You're correct that this is a failure of the Canadian lawyer licensing cartels rather than a failure of the OP or the other students who cannot find articles after graduation.

 

The lawyer licensing system is entirely antithetical to capitalism. First, you pay higher tuition because the cartels have placed an artificial roadblock in front of your career (attending a "licensed" law school). Then, you are artificially prevented from selling your services to clients after graduation because the law cartels adopted an absurd medieval system called "articling" where you have to beg an already licensed lawyer to allow you to work for him while your negotiating position is artificially reduced because you are prevented from competing with him or her directly.

 

To turn around and tell you than you're not entitled to a job at a decent wage while you article because that's just the market doing its good work is nonsense.

 

The best option would be do do away with articling altogether. Then people could rightly tell you than if you can't find clients who want your services then your failure is on you, as in any other market. But insofar as they have abandoned free market practices and persist in being a cartel, they obviously should be expected to run it morally and guarantee a market for your services which you are artificially restricted from marketing freely on your own.

 

Unfortunately that you are right to be annoyed doesn't solve the problem that people like the OP face.

 

OP I'm very sorry that you and others find yourselves in this spot and it takes a lot of character to fight though bumps like this. It sounds like you're working hard to solve your problem.

 

You should probably be following up with an email attaching your resume after any coffee, if only to say here's my resume, if you hear of anyone who's looking I would be very grateful if you'd pass it along. If you have a brutally honest friend who can give you a mock interview advice, that may also help. Finally, if you can spare some time to volunteer in a legal capacity somewhere -- a clinic? -- even for a few hours per week and if they're not acting as an articling principal and it's not counting officially toward the licensing process this will help to build both the experience and connections that could lead to real articling job.

 

Best of luck.

Edited by NYCLawyer
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You're posting from your cushy Bay Street office aren't you?

As a matter of fact...

 

It's a matter of degree. The same kinds of problems have always existed but they're much worse now than they've ever been.

They're much worse because the supply of students has expanded rapidly over the past decade while the market for lawyers has not (indeed, in some areas demand for young lawyers has shrunk). It's not an articling crisis, new calls face the same problem (and I know this because I've had mentees who have had a hell of a job finsing jobs). (And, not for nothing, the same phenomenon is happening in the States where vast numbers of newly called lawyers can't find legal work. Apparently, despite the absence of articling, when you sharply increase law school enrollment, you end up with lawyers without legal jobs. Who knew?).

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I split this from the other thread because it was way off topic from what OP was asking about.

 

Also I remind people not the be jerks to each other.

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Look. This is not, at all, directed at the OP of the original thread, for whom I have unlimited sympathy.

 

1. Attending law school in Canada is the closest thing you're going to find to a guaranteed investment. Almost everybody who graduates from a Canadian law school ends up with what any rational person could only consider excellent employment, relative to the alternatives. If you believe there is any kind of educational path that guarantees lucrative employment for 100% of those who want it, then you're simply too naive about the workings of the world to be worth arguing with.

2. I usually hate this "clean your plate, there are starving children in Africa" place, but okay, I'm going to go here. A person attends law school. They pass the bar. They come out with manageable debt and the confidence that they're a member of the country's professional elite now. They can't find a job in law - any job. They end up working at McDonald's. This person is doing drastically better than a whole hell of a lot of people. And I'm not even talking about the literal starving children in Africa. If you've got a 130 IQ, two university degrees, and the communications skills, analytical skills, and interpersonal skills that at least should come along with that level of privilege and achievement, and you're working at McDonald's, then guess what? You're doing better than the guy who doesn't have any of those things and is working at McDonald's. Yes. You're doing badly relative to the fantasy in your head of how you were going to be Suits. Fucking everybody is doing badly relative to the fantasy in their head. The other guy working at McDonald's, he wanted to be Picasso, and now he's working at a shitty job paying off his art school student debt---why are you, yes, entitled to your fantasy coming true while he's just a schlub who works at McDonald's?

 

Almost all Canadian law school graduates are going to come out with brighter economic futures than almost all Canadians who don't attend law school. That's a pretty good deal. The handful of Canadian law school graduates who don't come out with brighter economic futures than 90% of their non-lawyer peers are going to come out with brighter economic futures than, say, 60% of their non-lawyer peers. That's a pretty good fucking deal too. Arguing that law school should be a guarantee of ending up at the top of the heap is absolutely no less stupid than arguing that buying a lottery ticket should be a guarantee of winning the million-dollar prize. Do you understand how many real people there are in the world who work at blue-collar jobs and for whom the idea of sitting in a classroom for seven years after high school is just completely foreign (and economically unfeasible)? Do you understand that you choosing Path A while somebody else chooses Path B isn't a reflection of merit on your part? Do you understand how deeply wrong it is that, give or take a Mike Holmes, everybody who chooses Path A is already doing leaps and bounds better than everybody who chooses Path B, and how asinine it is to look at the real world as it exists and say, "Only 99.99999% of the people who already have everything are making the most of what they have---STAND UP FOR THE LITTLE GUY who only has more than most people, instead of more than everyone"? I mean, on the one hand, I don't want to swear, because kcraigsejong is here and he hates that, but on the other hand, man, fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.

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This is a horrible situation. OP you have my sympathy. Unfortunately, I can't help you.

 

I'm just waiting for a Canadian version of JD Underground to pop up, considering how many horror stories one reads on this site. Yet, some would like to pretend everything is fine and dandy. Some will even call you entitled because you expect a job after wasting 3 years of your life and thousands of dollars.

 

Mod edit: For context, this post was originally in this thread: http://lawstudents.ca/forums/topic/46026-6-months-since-graduating-and-still-no-articles/

 

In the span of about two weeks you've gone from knowing nothing about the Canadian legal market to being so firm in your opinions that you're ready to hold forth in a discussion with lawyers who have been working in this marketplace for years. Let's be clear. As I say this, I'm not even declaring you're necessarily right or wrong at any particular point in time. I'm just saying that if you're right, it's a fluke, and if you're wrong, it's equally a fluke. You might as well be throwing darts with your eyes closed.

 

Seriously. Two weeks ago, you were expressing surprise that anyone, anywhere, was having trouble finding articles. Now you have all the answers? How about you spend some time listening and learning and reserve judgment until you know something.

 

P.S. I see YB beat me here by a few hours. I'll leave my post all the same.

Edited by Diplock
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Now you have all the answers?

 

Technically, this person started by having all the answers (back when U of T's employment stats were underwhelming), then briefly listened for a little while, and now has all the answers again.

 

You know, I was just PMing with someone the other day about this---the first semester of grad school was really daunting for me, in countless ways, for countless reasons. If there'd been a gradstudents.ca, I'd have probably taken my aggression out there, because I was miserable and scared that I didn't measure up. But eventually, I got it together and stopped attributing my fears and frustrations to "did you guys know this industry isn't perfect?!" and started attributing them to me being in a new place doing a new thing. Once I did that, I was able to stop being (as flagrant of) a jerk in class, and once I was treating people better, I felt better.

 

I get frustrated with lawlskewl, and you only have to read the threads he posts in to see that I'm far from the only one. But if I recall the timeline correctly, he's five weeks into 1L. Maybe he's experiencing the same frustrations that I did in grad school---that a lot of people do. If so, the people here would probably be able to provide more help in response to posts that go like, "I feel inadequate and scared and I have a chip on my shoulder," rather than in response to posts like, "LAW SCHOOL OBJECTIVELY SUCKS AND THE PRACTICE OF LAW IS A MUG'S GAME AND EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE AND I KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT EVERYTHING AND I DO CERTAINLY NOT FEEL INADEQUATE OR SCARED OR HAVE A CHIP ON MY SHOULDER." Some sheltered kid who doesn't know anything about the legal market or the economy can't be expected to learn about those things overnight, but he could at least try to learn about himself, and would probably get more help from doing so.

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Technically, this person started by having all the answers (back when U of T's employment stats were underwhelming), then briefly listened for a little while, and now has all the answers again.

 

You know, I was just PMing with someone the other day about this---the first semester of grad school was really daunting for me, in countless ways, for countless reasons. If there'd been a gradstudents.ca, I'd have probably taken my aggression out there, because I was miserable and scared that I didn't measure up. But eventually, I got it together and stopped attributing my fears and frustrations to "did you guys know this industry isn't perfect?!" and started attributing them to me being in a new place doing a new thing. Once I did that, I was able to stop being (as flagrant of) a jerk in class, and once I was treating people better, I felt better.

 

I get frustrated with lawlskewl, and you only have to read the threads he posts in to see that I'm far from the only one. But if I recall the timeline correctly, he's five weeks into 1L. Maybe he's experiencing the same frustrations that I did in grad school---that a lot of people do. If so, the people here would probably be able to provide more help in response to posts that go like, "I feel inadequate and scared and I have a chip on my shoulder," rather than in response to posts like, "LAW SCHOOL OBJECTIVELY SUCKS AND THE PRACTICE OF LAW IS A MUG'S GAME AND EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE AND I KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT EVERYTHING AND I DO CERTAINLY NOT FEEL INADEQUATE OR SCARED OR HAVE A CHIP ON MY SHOULDER." Some sheltered kid who doesn't know anything about the legal market or the economy can't be expected to learn about those things overnight, but he could at least try to learn about himself, and would probably get more help from doing so.

Nice psychoanalysis but explain how I am being aggressive. It's an interesting observation because I am quite a calm person really. Maybe it's my writing style? 

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In the span of about two weeks you've gone from knowing nothing about the Canadian legal market to being so firm in your opinions that you're ready to hold forth in a discussion with lawyers who have been working in this marketplace for years. Let's be clear. As I say this, I'm not even declaring you're necessarily right or wrong at any particular point in time. I'm just saying that if you're right, it's a fluke, and if you're wrong, it's equally a fluke. You might as well be throwing darts with your eyes closed.

 

Seriously. Two weeks ago, you were expressing surprise that anyone, anywhere, was having trouble finding articles. Now you have all the answers? How about you spend some time listening and learning and reserve judgment until you know something.

 

P.S. I see YB beat me here by a few hours. I'll leave my post all the same.

Well I've read a lot in the interim and that's the picture that's been painted. And it makes a good deal of sense. Things seem worse now than they've ever been. More competition, more people, more schools, worse economy, more university graduates, fewer jobs, more immigrants, etc. It's not a total shot in the dark but the skies are rather cloudy I suppose. 

 

I just noticed that I write very to the point, economical sentences. It's mostly due to laziness. I can kinda see where YB is coming from.

Edited by lawlskewl

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Well I've read a lot in the interim and that's the picture that's been painted. And it makes a good deal of sense. Things seem worse now than they've ever been. More competition, more people, more schools, worse economy, more university graduates, fewer jobs, more immigrants, etc. It's not a total shot in the dark but the skies are rather cloudy I suppose. 

 

I just noticed that I write very to the point, economical sentences. It's mostly due to laziness. I can kinda see where YB is coming from.

 

Look. I'll try to say this without creating a further argument, but on several occasions you've called for the creation of a "Canadian JD Underground" and if you're learning about the legal market there you need serious help. Quite apart from the fact that this is an anonymous site run by anonymous people and so there's absolutely nothing stopping anyone from making one save, perhaps, the fact that there are simply less angry people in Canada (which is, by itself, information) that site isn't even pretending to offer anything like objective analysis. I honestly don't mean to be excessively smug here, but any time I hear someone lament that Canada needs a version of this or that (angry, bitter, uninformed online community of law students or would-be law students) which exists in the U.S., I always wonder ... where's the American LS.ca? I mean, sure, there's a place for TLS.com. I don't mind that it exists. But in terms of a community that's actually run by practicing lawyers (of increasing seniority - we have 5-10+ calls hanging out here now) and which attracts lawyers who just hang around and give advice and information ... where else are you going to find that?!? Hell, I'm amazed it exists at all.

 

So, bottom line. If you're looking for The TRUTH and if you don't want to believe your school's own offices (which are, admittedly, biased) and if you don't have access to lawyers in your own circles who can tell you stuff you didn't previously know (I'm assuming not, since you showed up here - no offence - pretty ignorant) then where exactly are you getting your information? Again, I don't want to be too smug or absolutist about this. But right here, on this site - I genuinely believe we're just about the best there is. And so instead of listening to people here and learning a few things, you've ... what, descended into the depths of JD-Underground and presumed to bring information back here like you've returned to educated us? I'm sorry, but it's a little like Moses decided not to climb a mountain because it was too much bother, and instead asked the shady guy on the nearest street corner what rules he thought the Tribe of Israel should live by. I mean, everyone's got an opinion. That doesn't mean they're all created equal.

 

So, yeah. And you seem angry not because you yell and swear and write economic sentences. You seem angry because you keep assuming extreme opinions based on almost any pretext and on very little real information. When you so obviously want to believe that things are terrible, and you so obviously need an explanation that makes you a victim of, well, something ... yeah, you seem like an angry dude. No matter the language that you use.

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