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Articling -sole practitioner - salary range

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7 minutes ago, richelieu said:

Who cares? The "raw numbers" population of Ontario has increased by 3 million since 1997. It's proportions and per capita rates that matter. To analyze the changes in a subset of the population, you have to analyze the changes in the set as a whole. This is high school level statistical analysis.

We've seen dramatic increases in tuition, and the representation of minority students in law school got worse. To be incredibly clear, the percentage of minority students increased, but at a much lower rate than the population - the general population increased more than 50% faster than the law school population. Given the respective growth rates, if the ratio of minority law students to minority people in Ontario was 1:10000 in 1996, it would be nearly 1:11000 in 2004.

And we still can't conclude the effects of tuition deregulation on this rate of change because there's no counterfactual. And the data is 14 years old!

You're just factually wrong, and the survey you so confidently claimed would clearly show you were right completely contradicts you.

You’re assuming that the representation of law students in Ontario should track with the representation in the general population. That’s a clearly faulty assumption for a whole whack of reasons. 

You're free to say that I'm factually wrong, but that's not true. I never claimed that the representation of minorities in law school kept up with the changing demographics of Ontario. That would be an idiotic claim, because nobody with an ounce of critical thinking skills would believe that to be true. Instead, I said this: 

Quote

That's not what the evidence shows. It shows an increase in the raw number of marginalized people attending law school and no downward pressure on the proportion of marginalized groups. 

 

Now if you're claiming that's wrong, you're welcome to prove it with data. But the report I cited clearly supports the idea that the raw number of marginalized people attending law school increased with no downward pressure on the proportion of marginalized groups. 

Point out the data is 14 years old all you want. I agree that's a problem, but I can't find better data and the fact that you haven't presented more recent data certainly suggests the data I've provided is the best out there. 

Edited by BlockedQuebecois
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1 minute ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

You’re assuming that the representation of law students in Ontario should track with the representation in the general population. That’s a clearly faulty assumption for a whole whack of reasons. 

You said:

"Increases in tuition have been shown to increase enrolment by marginalized communities as the sticker-price students subsidize financial aid for the marginalized groups"

I said:

"There is no evidence for this, because as tuition has increased, fewer minorities, proportionally speaking, attend law school."

That was the whole exchange. You made a claim, it's false. I substantiated why, you dodged it and responded with pithy one-liners.

I'm ducking out, because this is like talking to a brick wall.

 

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4 hours ago, conge said:

Do you know what associate starting salaries were in 1998?

I bet they were still pretty good. It seems crazy that students are paying like $20k now, and $4k in 1998...it's almost like the previous generation saw an opportunity to exploit future generations by jacking tuition, instead of fighting to keep tuition low so that future students could also benefit.

I'm not sure about 1998, but in the early 90's a salary of $35k coming out of a professional school or masters program was considered very good. 

As someone who falls somewhere between the boomers and millennials I can assure you that previous generations do not get together and decide to exploit future generations. 

In reality what has happened is that at some point around the late 1980's, early 1990's the citizens (voters) bought into this notion that all taxes are bad. Back when tuition was $3,808 it was heavily subsidized by tax dollars. Law schools (and universities in general) cost money to run. There are basically two sources of revenue for post secondary institutions, government funding and tuition. If we lower one, the other must be raised to compensate. 

 

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Posted (edited)

I had already posted to a Slaw piece about accessibility to the profession on August 8th, so for something different related to the topics of articling salaries and accessibility. Which has been discussed, but not in this thread.

Any unpaid or low-paid internship, educational requirement, articles, whatever, exert pressure on people coming from less-wealthy backgrounds (including, even if they have an identical LOC as someone else based on law school they went to, they will have had to use more of it and have less to tide them over while articling). So I agree that unpaid articles are a bad thing; I just don't agree that blaming those who offer unpaid articles is fair, because at least sometimes it will be that's all they can afford and they're doing so as a service.

There are exceptions, of course, but without more I wouldn't ascribe poor motives. I think I'd posted a rough calculation that if every lawyer in Ontario paid $30 more per year, the LPP could be fully-funded for all Ontario graduates, and argued that that would be a fair bargain if the lawyers were given something in return, e.g. free online webinars from LPP instructors that met the annual CLE requirements or otherwise free resources. I mean, even getting a current copy of the bar ad materials for each year for $30 would be a good deal (I'm a volunteer tutor, and so get and review them for free, and it's a good refresher). EDIT: a post a couple of years ago elsewhere said I was off would be $81 per year, even if so, if got free CLE, would be worth it

An analogous US example to unpaid articles (again, discussed here but not this thread) are government positions like with US Attorney offices or some state courts (some others forbid unpaid I think?) where someone who's well-off can afford 6 months or a year unpaid to get a foot in the door to becoming a federal prosecutor - but if you're not, good luck. And that has additional consequences in terms of limiting the intake of new federal prosecutors to those who are inclined to see poor people as criminals waiting to happen (I'm obviously exaggerating and oversimplifying!). From a quick search here's a sample listing:

"...

Qualifications: 
Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction), and have at least 1 year post-J.D. experience.

Only applicants with outstanding academic records and superior legal research and writing skills will be considered. Any applicant invited for an interview will be required to submit a writing sample. Recent law school graduates should include a copy of their law school transcript with their application.

Applicants must be United States Citizens.

Note that employees of the Department of Justice, including uncompensated SAUSAs, may not engage in the compensated practice of law outside of the office.

Attorneys are not eligible to serve as SAUSAs if they have been deferred by a law firm and received a payment for the period of their deferral, or if they will receive any payment from a law firm during their unpaid employment with the Department of Justice

Attorneys are eligible if they have received severance or other one-time payment before becoming a SAUSA, or if they have an unpaid, future commitment to join a law firm.

Salary: 
This is a one-year appointment without compensation. Note that uncompensated SAUSAs, may not engage in the compensated practice of law outside of the office.
Travel: 
Travel, both within and outside the District, may be required depending on the needs of a particular case. On average, 1 to 5 days a month is typical...."

https://www.justice.gov/legal-careers/job/uncompensated-special-assistant-united-states-attorney-2

Even if the travel is subsidized, it's probably typical government pay first and get reimbursed months later with stuff not covered, and you're forbidden from getting payment as a lawyer for anything else while doing this, and it's for a year, and you need outstanding marks.

 

 

Edited by epeeist

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1 hour ago, bernard said:

The fact that you had to go back and count who else was posting kind of carries my point.

I find at least one of those "same 5 people" tend to align with my opinion and are able to articulate it far better than me. So I welcome it.

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10 minutes ago, richelieu said:

You said:

"Increases in tuition have been shown to increase enrolment by marginalized communities as the sticker-price students subsidize financial aid for the marginalized groups"

I said:

"There is no evidence for this, because as tuition has increased, fewer minorities, proportionally speaking, attend law school."

That was the whole exchange. You made a claim, it's false. I substantiated why, you dodged it and responded with pithy one-liners.

I'm ducking out, because this is like talking to a brick wall.

 

Went back and looked at the data. Where are you getting the 24% and 20% number? The full report (not the summary you linked to), showed that at the end of the study, 25.6% of law students were from non-white backgrounds. The comparison group they provide, graduates from 2000-2003, were 21% non-white. Looking at those numbers, we see a 21% increase over three years, which would easily outpace the 31% over 10 years in the general population. And that's before we account for literally any other variables. 

Maybe I'm reading this data wrong, though. Where did you see your 24 and 20% numbers? 

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I think the thing you're forgetting is the absolute glut of licensing applicants that come from schools that aren't in Ontario (or even Canada). Bond, Cooley, Leceister, City of London, etc. etc.

 

There's a massive number of schools out there that are advertising to Canadian law student hopefuls. Trouble getting in? We'll take you! 120 LSAT? Not a problem. No LSAT? Pffft, whatever. Lousy grades? If you've got the money, you're in!

 

In my office we had someone who was in for a few weeks to "try it out" to see if she'd like to do a career change (one of the lawyers was doing a favour for a client). She applied to a school in England and was accepted about a week later. No LSAT. No substantial grades. I guess that's how long it took them to process her application.

 

Numbers are not always easy to come by, but it looks like the NCA students now make up between 25% and 30% of those who take part in the licensing process. Ontario students are now around 60%, with the rest being from elsewhere in Canada (https://lsodialogue.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/DoL_Topic3_Reference_Materials_EN.pdf ) ( http://www.slaw.ca/2017/03/17/the-lawyer-licensing-system-in-ontario/ ). And I promise you, the NCA situation is only getting worse. 

 

Between 2007 to 2012 (which I'd say was the period with the largest increases at Ontario law schools), the number of graduates coming out in Ontario increased by 60%. By contrast, the number of applications to the NCA has increased by 250% in the last 10 years ( https://www.canadianlawyermag.com/legalfeeds/author/aidan-macnab/law-society-of-ontario-report-contemplates-alternatives-to-articling-15761/ ). People are either finding it more affordable to go to school abroad or else are more prepared to pay the price to do so.

 

Reigning in the law schools is not going to make the dent you think it will.

 

Meanwhile, you've got all these people coming in who are desperate to article, but nowhere is prepared to take them (language skills are more of a barrier than you'd think, according to friends of my who did the LPP instead of articling).

 

If places are prepared to stop taking students because you want to set proper wages then you need to be prepared for the obvious result from that (a further squeeze on articling positions).

 

The sad thing is that I think we're going to reach a point where articling has to be done away with (which is ridiculous because of how insanely valuable it is). In its place we'll have to have a tougher licensing exam that weeds out students who are simply unfit to practice.

The U.S. approach is to allow tons of law schools to take in whomever, but then harder Bar exams to keep the unfit ones from practicing. By contrast, the Canadian approach had to do with making it hard to get into law school and weeding out the unfit individuals that way, then having an easier bar exam with an accompanying course to help people really learn something. Plus articling to make sure an experienced lawyer thought they were okay to practice. The filter was at the start with a final quality control check at the end. Due to the increase in NCA applicants who got around the filter, the quality control check saw the bar exam prep course being discontinued and the new bar exam course basically because a language proficiency exam. The crunch on articling spots serves to help keep out the bottom percentage of law students who can't get hired even for free, in theory. Doesn't really work because some bad students are prepared to work for free while some great students aren't and so they get left out. A law professor of mine told me that for bad students she just passes through she relies on them failing the Bar exams and being unable to get an articling job (she said if she fails a student they auto appeal it and the process is so stacked in their favour they wind up with a B-. Better to give them C's and D's).

 

I think what we're going to see is a more U.S. approach. The front end filter doesn't work when you can bypass it. After that, I think we'll see the introduction of tiered licensing. Your initial license will just let you work as a lawyer but not open your own shop. You have to do something like articling or associate work for a while to go alone. That would have really shot me in the foot since I had a rough articling period that did allow me to teach myself a lot of relevant practices that made me confident I could run my own shop (it was an abusive environment and I was paid less than minimum wage, but at least I got to try stuff).

 

I don't think there's any other choice unless they make the NCA exams a lot harder (currently they're basically a pass/fail set of first year level exams on the topics they have to cover. Not much of a challenge). Even then, you've still got a big increase.

 

It's a crap situation and the law society doesn't want to do anything about it. They just want to duck their responsibilities, as per usual.

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47 minutes ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

Went back and looked at the data. Where are you getting the 24% and 20% number? The full report (not the summary you linked to), showed that at the end of the study, 25.6% of law students were from non-white backgrounds. The comparison group they provide, graduates from 2000-2003, were 21% non-white. Looking at those numbers, we see a 21% increase over three years, which would easily outpace the 31% over 10 years in the general population. And that's before we account for literally any other variables. 

Maybe I'm reading this data wrong, though. Where did you see your 24 and 20% numbers? 

I think the problem here is that non-white doesn't necessarily mean disadvantaged or marginalized. There seems to be an increase in Asian students. They are 25% or so of U of T's faculty of law. There are still very few students who are indigenous, or black, or from other groups. We don't know if those Asian students are poor or have educated parents or are "crazy rich Asians." My suspicion is that the vast majority of them are not from poor families and do have educated parents, with some being middle class and some being wealthy. 

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8 minutes ago, providence said:

I think the problem here is that non-white doesn't necessarily mean disadvantaged or marginalized. There seems to be an increase in Asian students. They are 25% or so of U of T's faculty of law. There are still very few students who are indigenous, or black, or from other groups. We don't know if those Asian students are poor or have educated parents or are "crazy rich Asians." My suspicion is that the vast majority of them are not from poor families and do have educated parents, with some being middle class and some being wealthy. 

Sure, but then what does marginalized mean? Is a white person from a poor family marginalized? What about a black person from a middle-income household? Indigenous person who's the son of a chief and pretty well off? Asians are subject to a ton of racism, including harsher admissions standards to many American universities. Are they disadvantaged?

If you want to slice the data that finely, you're going to run into trouble 100% of the time. All we can really do is look at populations and try to infer what's going on. The data tells us that, under a tuition deregulation system, the number of visible minorities attending law school increased drastically, there was no downward pressure on families from the bottom quintile, and the number of students with disabilities increased. Maybe all that can be explained away, maybe it's all a matter of correlation, but the fact of the matter is that the data does not seem to suggest that tuition deregulation harmed marginalized people. Every metric for marginalization I can think of either stayed steady or increased. 

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15 minutes ago, providence said:

I think the problem here is that non-white doesn't necessarily mean disadvantaged or marginalized. There seems to be an increase in Asian students. They are 25% or so of U of T's faculty of law. There are still very few students who are indigenous, or black, or from other groups. We don't know if those Asian students are poor or have educated parents or are "crazy rich Asians." My suspicion is that the vast majority of them are not from poor families and do have educated parents, with some being middle class and some being wealthy. 

Nor does  indigenous, or black, or from other groups.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

Sure, but then what does marginalized mean? Is a white person from a poor family marginalized? What about a black person from a middle-income household? Indigenous person who's the son of a chief and pretty well off? Asians are subject to a ton of racism, including harsher admissions standards to many American universities. Are they disadvantaged?

If you want to slice the data that finely, you're going to run into trouble 100% of the time. All we can really do is look at populations and try to infer what's going on. The data tells us that, under a tuition deregulation system, the number of visible minorities attending law school increased drastically, there was no downward pressure on families from the bottom quintile, and the number of students with disabilities increased. Maybe all that can be explained away, maybe it's all a matter of correlation, but the fact of the matter is that the data does not seem to suggest that tuition deregulation harmed marginalized people. Every metric for marginalization I can think of either stayed steady or increased. 

 

8 minutes ago, setto said:

Nor does  indigenous, or black, or from other groups.

True. My point is that there isn't an even representation of a variety of visible minority groups - there is over representation of one group and under representation of the others (and I know "Asian" is a pretty broad and meaningless label also.) Skin colour/ethnicity alone does not indicate disadvantage, but there are certain groups that are disadvantaged as a whole, such as indigenous and black people, such that increased representation for those groups, even if not from the poorest of the poor, is beneficial.

However, the larger point is that the U of T statistics show that, at least at that school, students with markers of disadvantage such as parents not having a college or high school education, coming from a single parent household, being a single parent etc are a very small minority of the student body. These markers in conjunction or not with membership in other groups are a better way to track representation of "marginalized" people. 

And because certain groups are so under represented, the data is not going to tell us anything: they were historically excluded, and continue to be. Tuition is not the only reason and I never said it was. But it doesn't help and in conjunction with those other factors, continues to exclude people, which I do consider to be harming them and their communities.

edit: yes, a white person from a poor family is marginalized. And yes, Asians, wealthy or otherwise, can be marginalized too. That isn't what I was saying.

Edited by providence
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18 hours ago, OWH said:

As someone who falls somewhere between the boomers and millennials I can assure you that previous generations do not get together and decide to exploit future generations. 

In reality what has happened is that at some point around the late 1980's, early 1990's the citizens (voters) bought into this notion that all taxes are bad.

It sounds like that's exactly what they did; another way of putting it is that "the then current generation of voting age adults didn't want to pay for future generations to received a benefit that the current generation  already received, so they cut taxes and saddled future generations with the debt instead."

 

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