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sunnyskies1992

Boss Placed Me On Probation

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3 minutes ago, Luckycharm said:

wrongful dismissal?

Wrongful dismissal? What's wrongful about it, the employer has concerns with their work performance. The let them go, give them whatever severance they're entitled to (which isn't likely to be much) and that's the end of it. 

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If this is a person you trust and believe has your best interests in mind, I would take this as an opportunity to do what you can. It's unfortunate this comes from a place where you feel your job is at risk, but the truth is it was already at risk and you're being given another shot. Another boss could/would have just ended things there.

Maybe you won't end up meeting her needs but if you do that's amazing and if you get halfway there THAT'S ALSO AMAZING.

Of course, if you think she's wrong in her assessment of you, there's no point in sticking around. But if you think she's more right than wrong, and she wants to coach you up a bit rather than just send you on your way, it's worth taking advantage of that.

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9 hours ago, Diplock said:

You know, I'm about to contradict my earlier advice about how some of these problems may suggest you don't belong in legal practice at all. Which, I should stress, wasn't to say get out of legal practice, but rather consider if you want to change in necessary ways to stay in it or not. But leaving that point aside for a moment, I want to talk about family law as a practice area.

I don't really know family law. But I'm around it enough to have an idea of what it's like. And I'm not joking when I say I could never do it. People say that to me as a criminal defence lawyer, and I reply that criminal defence isn't hard. Family law is hard. Here's just a quick run down on why.

1. Every one of your clients, pretty much, is going through one of the worst experiences in their lives.

2. Everyone on the other side is going through one of the worst experiences in their lives, too.

3. Your clients often have grossly unrealistic expectations tied directly to their self-esteem. They expect you to convince a court that whatever fucked up thing is happening in their lives is someone else's fault, and not only is this very important to their goals but it's important to their self-image. They don't deal well when you fail at that.

4. Any time you deal with opposing counsel, not only do you have your own unrealistic client climbing up your ass but you're dealing with someone else who has an unrealistic client climbing up their ass.

5. Family law isn't quite the wild west of legal practice the way criminal law is, sometimes, but it's closer to the frontier than most. This means that many of the lawyers you'll deal with are individualistic and difficult people. Even when things don't need to be miserable otherwise, opposing counsel may make your life suck anyway, for no good reason.

I could go on. But I think that's enough for now. Family law is a tough area of legal practice. And yet you seem to be saying that if you don't stay where you are you'll just go do it elsewhere, which suggests a very serious commitment to it.

I know it seems like I'm changing gears a lot on your question, and if you aren't interested in answering feel free not to. But what is it, about family law, that attracts you to the practice area? Is it what you believed it would be, when you started? And if not, have you considered some other practice area? Because yes, despite my earlier comments, law is always adversarial and always entrepreneurial. But there are degrees. And you really aren't making it easy on yourself.

I've always really liked family law. I've had a chance to try out a number of different areas of law through my articles at a full-service firm, LSLAP, and Access Pro Bono, and it's far and away the area of law I love most. I like that it's an area where emotions matter, and that it's people-based as opposed to numbers-based or data-based. I loved working as a family law assistant/paralegal, just not as a lawyer.

I guess I've had a lot of doubts about whether now would be a good time to drop out of law. I've been miserable all the way through law school, through my articles, and as a full lawyer. Maybe I would do better in a field where I wasn't so borderline, and where my weaknesses would be strengths. 

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1 hour ago, maximumbob said:

If it was a "just leave, please" scenario, why even go through the bother - the op is a junior lawyer at a firm, I expect any severance would be modest, the boss could just fire them.  

I think because the lawyer's heart is in the right place, it's a last ditch effort at helping OP, but it's also completely unreasonable - in reality, it's a plea for them to quit, I think. I think it's 3 months in which to find another job.

Done to avoid constructive dismissal? I could be wrong, but I'm not sure that list accomplishes any sort of risk mitigation...unless of course OP just quits...

Edited by conge
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4 minutes ago, conge said:

I think because the lawyer's heart is in the right place, it's a last ditch effort at helping OP, but it's also completely unreasonable - in reality, it's a plea for them to quit, I think. I think it's 3 months in which to find another job.

Done to avoid constructive dismissal? I could be wrong, but I'm not sure that list accomplishes any sort of risk mitigation...unless of course OP just quits...

I mean, given that the OP has only worked there 3 months, dismissal with notice would be fairly cheap (probably a lot cheaper than keeping them employed for three months). 

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1 minute ago, conge said:

I think because the lawyer's heart is in the right place, it's a last ditch effort at helping OP, but it's also completely unreasonable - in reality, it's a plea for them to quit, I think. I think it's 3 months in which to find another job.

Done to avoid constructive dismissal? I could be wrong, but I'm not sure that list accomplishes any sort of risk mitigation...unless of course OP just quits...

It's not completely unreasonable - I look at that list of things they've asked the associate to do, many of them are smart reasonable suggestions.  And reading between the lines, the suggestion seems to be that if the op makes progress over the next 3 months, the boss would could giving him/her more time. 

What constructive dismissal, the boss could just fire the op, say, apparently truthfully, that s/he hasn't performed up to snuff during her probationary, period.  That's the end of the story.  That the op's been given more time is testament to a thoughtful caring boss. 

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36 minutes ago, sunnyskies1992 said:

I've always really liked family law. I've had a chance to try out a number of different areas of law through my articles at a full-service firm, LSLAP, and Access Pro Bono, and it's far and away the area of law I love most. I like that it's an area where emotions matter, and that it's people-based as opposed to numbers-based or data-based. I loved working as a family law assistant/paralegal, just not as a lawyer.

I guess I've had a lot of doubts about whether now would be a good time to drop out of law. I've been miserable all the way through law school, through my articles, and as a full lawyer. Maybe I would do better in a field where I wasn't so borderline, and where my weaknesses would be strengths. 

You have a boss who, however it's been phrased, seems to want to help you, and is encouraging you to not only get help, but to take a vacation. You are understandably unhappy with what you've been told, but at the same time, there are lawyers who would kill to get such support.

I think that whatever you decide to do, 90% of what your boss has been pushing you to do (counselling/advice/etc.) is what I assume/presume you would want to do anyway? Despite the question mark, please don't feel compelled to respond! I'm simply encouraging you, as little as I know about you, to take the 3 months to try and help yourself in terms of mental health and professional development, so that whatever you end up doing later you're hopefully in a better place. EDIT: better place metaphorically, that wasn't encouragement to necessarily go elsewhere!

Edited by epeeist
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13 hours ago, Diplock said:

You know, I'm about to contradict my earlier advice about how some of these problems may suggest you don't belong in legal practice at all. Which, I should stress, wasn't to say get out of legal practice, but rather consider if you want to change in necessary ways to stay in it or not. But leaving that point aside for a moment, I want to talk about family law as a practice area.

I don't really know family law. But I'm around it enough to have an idea of what it's like. And I'm not joking when I say I could never do it. People say that to me as a criminal defence lawyer, and I reply that criminal defence isn't hard. Family law is hard. Here's just a quick run down on why.

1. Every one of your clients, pretty much, is going through one of the worst experiences in their lives.

2. Everyone on the other side is going through one of the worst experiences in their lives, too.

3. Your clients often have grossly unrealistic expectations tied directly to their self-esteem. They expect you to convince a court that whatever fucked up thing is happening in their lives is someone else's fault, and not only is this very important to their goals but it's important to their self-image. They don't deal well when you fail at that.

4. Any time you deal with opposing counsel, not only do you have your own unrealistic client climbing up your ass but you're dealing with someone else who has an unrealistic client climbing up their ass.

5. Family law isn't quite the wild west of legal practice the way criminal law is, sometimes, but it's closer to the frontier than most. This means that many of the lawyers you'll deal with are individualistic and difficult people. Even when things don't need to be miserable otherwise, opposing counsel may make your life suck anyway, for no good reason.

I could go on. But I think that's enough for now. Family law is a tough area of legal practice. And yet you seem to be saying that if you don't stay where you are you'll just go do it elsewhere, which suggests a very serious commitment to it.

I know it seems like I'm changing gears a lot on your question, and if you aren't interested in answering feel free not to. But what is it, about family law, that attracts you to the practice area? Is it what you believed it would be, when you started? And if not, have you considered some other practice area? Because yes, despite my earlier comments, law is always adversarial and always entrepreneurial. But there are degrees. And you really aren't making it easy on yourself.

Family lawyer here. And one who enjoys it!

Family law does not necessarily have to be adversarial. There are collaborative-based lawyers. Lots of feelings, signing of mutual respect and the like. Interesting approach that requires committed parties. It seems like OP sees that and is excited about that prospect. It also allows lawyers to get to know their clients, write their words, etc.

There are many family law practitioners that run solicitor practices. I get some of their business when things go south and it heads to court. It takes a bit of time to establish yourself as a solicitor-based lawyer, but many people want to stay out of court. Especially once they realize Applications are public. Solicitor-work involves opinion letters on foreign divorce, all forms of contracts (cohabitation and separation agreements come to mind).

I find most of the lawyers are somewhat collaborative. I mean, our clients can be jerks. But many of my colleagues actively work hard to ensure that disclosure obligations are met, solutions are found, etc. I know that I have fairly casual email exchanges with opposing counsel on many files.  I do say the larger city lawyers are kind of jerks. As are the old guys.

Family law requires a personality when dealing with clients. My clients make unreasonable requests all the time. I've made many of my clients cry. I've been threatened to be fired because I wouldn't run a no-access motion. Part of my role as counsel is to keep my client's delusions in check. Costs are a very real issue and that can dissuade a client. Ultimately, I do represent my client and will advance claims that I believe to be against my legal advice but will get written instructions in those circumstances.

A family lawyer cannot just give in. If I just agreed with opposing counsel, my client would owe $250k on one file. Another would never have access again. 

While I also agree that the lawyer crossed a boundary, I do believe that some issues need to be addressed. It is important for OP to get their mental health in check. Counselling is a great start. I had wonderful results via mindfulness and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). I do agree that OP likely needs to "get out there" and get more life experiences. Especially if they still live at home. Travel could be one way of doing it. I fail to see how 1 week of travel will make you worldly though. You'll also likely be disappointed if you set out to travel and experience some life altering event and realize that European hostels are terrible, terrible places if you're not 19.

I am more concerned that you're not working on your own files though. Offer to handle a legal aid case, from start to finish. Generally the financial aspects are simpler to deal with. And you'll learn invaluable client management.

Improv or toastmasters would be great. But so would a bookclub if that is more up your alley. Essentially, your boss is advising you to find your voice. You were hired because you have the technical knowledge - you just need to find your style. Some people will forever be more of an introvert. That's life. And you can find a firm that is more up your alley. I would strongly suggest staying away from entering the paralegal world - you'll be restricted to simply drafting affidavits and doing financial statements. If that is what is of interest though, you may wish to explore the solicitor side of things. And branch into wills and real estate. Tears, sweat and grit went into your law degree. You have more autonomy as a lawyer than as a paralegal.

It's certainly not an easy time. It seems like you do have some motivation. Keep working at it, put yourself out there, keep attending counselling, and take it one step at a time.

 

Just out of curiosity, how many of the people arguing "OMG SO MEAN" are law students/non-lawyers vs the lawyers responding? Also, to all those wondering, Adrian is a labour consultant following a legal career in labour law. Just as consideration when he gives a bit of his opinion regarding these issues. Flavour and all. I mean, I would take his opinion on unions with a grain of salt (pfft, management. :P) but he's generally fairly informed on these issues.

 

Edited by artsydork
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  1. Travel. Take an unpaid leave of 1-2 weeks to travel sometime in January or February to gain life experience.
  2. Continue attending the Lawyer's Assistance Program (counselling), and follow advice given there. Work on boundary setting, saying no, and incorporating physical activity into daily life. Do identity exercises (who am I, what are my core values, what is my ideal life).
  3. Attend psychiatrist’s appointment booked for late December, and follow recommendations given regarding depression issues. Ask for recommendations regarding registered psychologist at appointment.
  4. Identity building. Personal goal to try at least one new thing each week to expand my horizons.
  5. Try to talk more in the office. Go out and approach people, as opposed to waiting for people to come to me.
  6. Don’t “lurk”. Either participate in conversations or return to work.
  7. Work on posture. Actively practice standing up straight, and walking with confidence.
  8. Watch body language. Body language should project confidence. Practice “open” as opposed to “closed” body language.
  9. Move out from home.
  10. Take movement/theatre classes suggested by the senior associate.
  11. When asking for advice, present my own idea instead of just asking. Able to have a more meaningful two-way dialogue if I come with my own ideas.
  12. Do Toastmasters to improve public speaking and presentation skills.
  13. Sign up for improv theatre classes. This will help with me learning to think on my feet.
  14. Practice authenticity, and saying what I truly think. I don’t have to agree with people all the time.

I've done executive leadership training / leadership presence training / mindfulness training courses offered by and taught by government.

 All of the red coloured numbers are pieces of advice that you could expect to receive on one of these courses.  I got told I should do toastmasters or improv for example.  They video tape you speaking so they can critique your posture / confidence / body language / and word choices. 

I would expect that some variation of the blue coloured advice would be given to an employee suffering from stress (go on stress leave for a few weeks) or depression (take advantage of the services offered, go to a psychiatrist).  These kinds of things are included in the monthly emails we get about health / well being etc...

 

Even if you don't end up sticking with this employer, these ideas aren't shitty ones.

 

And move out from home is just good advice. Spread your wings.

Edited by kurrika
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I suppose your employer could have just canned you at the probationary stage.  Depending where you are located - almost no risk in that.

My guess is that they must see something in you or they would not have taken the effort.

 

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Yeah, the practice of taping you speaking, while mortifying, does wonders to improve your public speaking. I was amazed at the horrible practices I had. 

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I don't have time to weigh into this right now but I'm on the side that the comments tend to be over the line, and that there is likely not a future fit between sunnyskies and the current employer. I also am reasonably confident that there's a significant misunderstanding about what probation periods are, what they get you, and what employment law is... though none of that really matters in the OPs circumstances (except the human rights issues), it's kind of sticking out like a sore thumb on a law student/lawyers forum.

Beyond that, I completely disagree with pretty much everything Diplock said in his first post; which was enough to prompt me to jump in with an abbreviated post.

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28 minutes ago, Pyke said:

I don't have time to weigh into this right now but I'm on the side that the comments tend to be over the line, and that there is likely not a future fit between sunnyskies and the current employer. I also am reasonably confident that there's a significant misunderstanding about what probation periods are, what they get you, and what employment law is... though none of that really matters in the OPs circumstances (except the human rights issues), it's kind of sticking out like a sore thumb on a law student/lawyers forum.

Beyond that, I completely disagree with pretty much everything Diplock said in his first post; which was enough to prompt me to jump in with an abbreviated post.

Since you were commenting on probation periods specifically, I found this legal blog post linked to from Slaw interesting. It was about being fired after being hired but before the job began, and the employer couldn't rely upon the probationary period in the contract, because a probationary period means you're assessing the employee, and if you fire them before you do so it wasn't a probationary period.

http://www.ottawaemploymentlaw.com/2017/12/mooch-ado-about-nothing.html

"...

[19] Second, I reject the defendant’s argument that had the probation clause applied, it gave the defendant an unfettered right to terminate the plaintiff without notice or cause. The purpose of a probationary period is to permit the employer to engage in a good faith assessment of the employee’s suitability for the position in issue.

[20] This point was recently confirmed by Madam Justice Morellato in Ly v. British Columbia (Interior Health Authority), 2017 BCSC 42 …

[21] Here, there was no good faith assessment by the defendant of the plaintiff’s suitability for the job for which he was hired. Suitability was not a factor at all; rather, the defendant changed its mind about its business and staffing needs. This is apparent from Mr. Nabavi’s October 29, 2016 letter to the plaintiff where he said:..."

This is NOT about this situation, nor to be relied upon anywhere by anyone, one should consult one's own lawyer to obtain advice. 

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Probationary periods in the non-union context are kinda illusory.  Essentially, it just makes dismissal cheaper. 

 

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7 minutes ago, epeeist said:

Since you were commenting on probation periods specifically, I found this legal blog post linked to from Slaw interesting. It was about being fired after being hired but before the job began, and the employer couldn't rely upon the probationary period in the contract, because a probationary period means you're assessing the employee, and if you fire them before you do so it wasn't a probationary period.

http://www.ottawaemploymentlaw.com/2017/12/mooch-ado-about-nothing.html

"...

[19] Second, I reject the defendant’s argument that had the probation clause applied, it gave the defendant an unfettered right to terminate the plaintiff without notice or cause. The purpose of a probationary period is to permit the employer to engage in a good faith assessment of the employee’s suitability for the position in issue.

[20] This point was recently confirmed by Madam Justice Morellato in Ly v. British Columbia (Interior Health Authority), 2017 BCSC 42 …

[21] Here, there was no good faith assessment by the defendant of the plaintiff’s suitability for the job for which he was hired. Suitability was not a factor at all; rather, the defendant changed its mind about its business and staffing needs. This is apparent from Mr. Nabavi’s October 29, 2016 letter to the plaintiff where he said:..."

This is NOT about this situation, nor to be relied upon anywhere by anyone, one should consult one's own lawyer to obtain advice. 

That case really has no application to the current discussion as you note (though I agree it is interesting).

People assume probation periods are automatic, they're not. There's also different laws in different jurisdictions with respect to statutory notice/severance, some of which may provide for a probation period and others may not. There's common law considerations too.

Let's assume though that all of these issues are addressed, the fact scenario described is about extending the probation period by three months, or in other words, granting the employer additional contractual benefits. I'm not seeing any consideration (except continued employment, which is not valid consideration) for this change. Moreover, to the extent that the change is intended to provide the employer with the ability to terminate without cause and without notice, the amendment is likely in contravention of the relevant employment legislation. 

People in situations like that described would be wise to seek appropriate legal advice.

Note: The above is intended as a discussion of general employment law principles. It is not legal advice and should not be applied to any specific facts. It should not be relied upon by any individual. If you need legal advice, please consult a lawyer in your jurisdiction.

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8 minutes ago, Pyke said:

That case really has no application to the current discussion as you note (though I agree it is interesting).

People assume probation periods are automatic, they're not. There's also different laws in different jurisdictions with respect to statutory notice/severance, some of which may provide for a probation period and others may not. There's common law considerations too.

Let's assume though that all of these issues are addressed, the fact scenario described is about extending the probation period by three months, or in other words, granting the employer additional contractual benefits. I'm not seeing any consideration (except continued employment, which is not valid consideration) for this change. Moreover, to the extent that the change is intended to provide the employer with the ability to terminate without cause and without notice, the amendment is likely in contravention of the relevant employment legislation. 

People in situations like that described would be wise to seek appropriate legal advice.

Note: The above is intended as a discussion of general employment law principles. It is not legal advice and should not be applied to any specific facts. It should not be relied upon by any individual. If you need legal advice, please consult a lawyer in your jurisdiction.

OP is a lawyer, not sure why you think it's necessary to include a bolded disclaimer in your post... :twisted:

But seriously, and this is again NOT necessarily about this situation and is not to be taken as advice but rather generalized discussion (:roll:), sometimes strict assertion of and reliance upon one's legal rights is not in one's best interests on a practical level. Like, getting a reputation in the legal community. Or say in an interview someone asks you a forbidden question about religion or where you're from (if one is a visible minority) or something, and from the context and tone it doesn't seem to have been intended offensively. Or someone comments on your engagement or wedding ring in a questioning way. Someone might choose not only not to get offended, but might choose to answer the question. Now, this is obviously not legal advice, it's the opposite of legal advice, and I'm not suggesting this to anyone. I will say that I have sometimes been asked wrongful questions, or on the other side had another interviewer (not me!) ask a wrongful question, even in a legal environment, and 99% of the time I thought it was because the interviewer got so comfortable in the interview that they relaxed too much and treated it like a normal conversation outside a potential employment context. One is not obligated to always assert one's rights or take offence especially if one doesn't think offence was intended.

Obviously for something more serious like harassment or assault it's different (though even there the response can often be inadequate by the employer/would-be employer).

Now, taking it back to OP, whatever she does or doesn't do, I agree she should get advice (like, not this board, but competent advice from professionals and friends or family if the latter are helpful), but she still has to make the decision about what to do that is in her own personal (including health) and professional interest.

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Just now, epeeist said:

OP is a lawyer, not sure why you think it's necessary to include a bolded disclaimer in your post... :twisted:

But seriously, and this is again NOT necessarily about this situation and is not to be taken as advice but rather generalized discussion (:roll:), sometimes strict assertion of and reliance upon one's legal rights is not in one's best interests on a practical level. Like, getting a reputation in the legal community. Or say in an interview someone asks you a forbidden question about religion or where you're from (if one is a visible minority) or something, and from the context and tone it doesn't seem to have been intended offensively. Or someone comments on your engagement or wedding ring in a questioning way. Someone might choose not only not to get offended, but might choose to answer the question. Now, this is obviously not legal advice, it's the opposite of legal advice, and I'm not suggesting this to anyone. I will say that I have sometimes been asked wrongful questions, or on the other side had another interviewer (not me!) ask a wrongful question, even in a legal environment, and 99% of the time I thought it was because the interviewer got so comfortable in the interview that they relaxed too much and treated it like a normal conversation outside a potential employment context. One is not obligated to always assert one's rights or take offence especially if one doesn't think offence was intended.

Obviously for something more serious like harassment or assault it's different (though even there the response can often be inadequate by the employer/would-be employer).

Now, taking it back to OP, whatever she does or doesn't do, I agree she should get advice (like, not this board, but competent advice from professionals and friends or family if the latter are helpful), but she still has to make the decision about what to do that is in her own personal (including health) and professional interest.

Oh, I don't disagree with you that strict assertion of and reliance upon one's legal rights is not always in one's best interest on a practical level. 

That's part of why I included the disclaimer. My commentary was not intended to be a direction to Sunnyskies or anyone else; it was merely about the fact that, I found it interesting that there was no discussion of that aspect of the legal issues surrounding the situation. There are other legal issues here too, some of which are being discussed, but I found that omission rather glaring.

I would direct you to my initial response:

1 hour ago, Pyke said:

I don't have time to weigh into this right now but I'm on the side that the comments tend to be over the line, and that there is likely not a future fit between sunnyskies and the current employer. I also am reasonably confident that there's a significant misunderstanding about what probation periods are, what they get you, and what employment law is... though none of that really matters in the OPs circumstances (except the human rights issues), it's kind of sticking out like a sore thumb on a law student/lawyers forum.

Beyond that, I completely disagree with pretty much everything Diplock said in his first post; which was enough to prompt me to jump in with an abbreviated post.

 

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OP, It's really tough and I don't purport to know what your life is like or what you value, but if you feel like this kind of practice isn't satisfying or even worse, having adverse effects on your life, maybe you're right in the thought that this isn't the field for you. Keep in mind that you may also just be going through a rough time and that may impact how you view your life. 

I don't know if I've officially ever been depressed enough to be diagnosed, but there have been times through my undergrad and even now where I feel absolutely no motivation to not only do things that I need to do in order to be a responsible human being, but also no drive to do the things I really love doing in life. There's no magic cure for that, but consider that maybe raising your self-esteem could really boost your motivation and help you think more clearly. 

Again, I don't pretend to know you, but based on what you've posted and the advice you were given, it sounds like it would apply to me as well, so I assume we have very similar personalities. 

 

 

 

 

3 hours ago, maximumbob said:

Yeah, the practice of taping you speaking, while mortifying, does wonders to improve your public speaking. I was amazed at the horrible practices I had. 

Totally agree. 

 

Which is why I'm going to have a nervous breakdown when they tape our moots and play them back to us. 

Edited by AccidentallyInLaw
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34 minutes ago, AccidentallyInLaw said:

...

Which is why I'm going to have a nervous breakdown when they tape our moots and play them back to us. 

[portion only quoted]

Let me be typical male and offer an unsolicited suggestion you've probably already thought of and done already...:twisted:  I'm one of those (annoying?) people who's pretty comfortable speaking in public 99% of the time, and still practice civil litigation part-time despite having full-time work in another field because I like being in court (so I'm happy even to do small claims work), but I'll try not to be overly pompous and arrogant...

Don't have moots or moot preparation be the first time you do this. Even if your phone or laptop or other camera isn't great at video, have a friend or family member (if they can be appropriately critical, good and bad) give you some feedback, recording video occasionally at your best/worst points. So that even if you don't change a thing, at least you're prepared for how you look/sound on video.

Back to OP, if you end up leaving law, temporarily or indefinitely, please try to make sure that you choose to leave (or if you are fired it's for low billings not breakdown) and leave things in decent shape (could resume practice as a solo if you wished, NOT that I'm advising that!), not have to leave. But again, I know little of your situation, whoever gives you advice, you have to figure out what you think is best for you.

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23 minutes ago, epeeist said:

[portion only quoted]

Let me be typical male and offer an unsolicited suggestion you've probably already thought of and done already...  I'm one of those (annoying?) people who's pretty comfortable speaking in public 99% of the time, and still practice civil litigation part-time despite having full-time work in another field because I like being in court (so I'm happy even to do small claims work), but I'll try not to be overly pompous and arrogant...

Don't have moots or moot preparation be the first time you do this. Even if your phone or laptop or other camera isn't great at video, have a friend or family member (if they can be appropriately critical, good and bad) give you some feedback, recording video occasionally at your best/worst points. So that even if you don't change a thing, at least you're prepared for how you look/sound on video.

 

Thanks.

I don't want to turn this discussion into one about me, but I'm not one of those people who is going to pass out doing public speaking or anything, I'm generally not scared of doing it. My biggest fear is just not having anything to say. I'm not very good at thinking on my feet and a result, I'm not very good at giving long speeches or improvising. I'm pretty good at talking about things I know really well and also just bouncing off of people in conversation, but speech-making is not my strength and I fear that being in court is not going to work well for me. I hope it's a skill I can practice enough to achieve competence, but it could just be the way my brain works. 

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