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lavarius

Ask a 1L at DAL (2018)

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On 6/28/2019 at 6:03 AM, hkrgv said:

I’m big into travelling, so I’m considering booking a trip for either spring or fall reading week (leaning towards spring). Is this doable with the 1L workload. I would plan on being gone for 6-7 days, all falling within the reading week and the weekends at either end of it.

You will know better than anyone how much studying you need to do to be successful, but I would generally advise against "big" trips on either of the reading weeks in 1L.

The fall break is when a lot of 1L's seem to get their feet under them, and it is a good opportunity to get all of your notes in order and start studying for December exams. The December exam's are failsafes, so don't underestimate the importance of doing well on them; aside from giving you a cushion for April exams, you can also land a 1L job with them (as crazy as that sounds). 

Likewise, the break in February is when you are likely going to start thinking about final exams, which are the determining factor for 2L jobs. Taking an entire week off at this time is simply not a good idea. 

My advice is to plan some shorter weekend trips in NS / on the east coast in 1L. Not sure where you are from, hkrgv, but there are a lot of great places to check out. Save the big trips for 2L when you have hopefully secured a job, and/or do an exchange in 3L. 

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22 hours ago, Himalaya said:

You will know better than anyone how much studying you need to do to be successful, but I would generally advise against "big" trips on either of the reading weeks in 1L.

The fall break is when a lot of 1L's seem to get their feet under them, and it is a good opportunity to get all of your notes in order and start studying for December exams. The December exam's are failsafes, so don't underestimate the importance of doing well on them; aside from giving you a cushion for April exams, you can also land a 1L job with them (as crazy as that sounds). 

Likewise, the break in February is when you are likely going to start thinking about final exams, which are the determining factor for 2L jobs. Taking an entire week off at this time is simply not a good idea. 

My advice is to plan some shorter weekend trips in NS / on the east coast in 1L. Not sure where you are from, hkrgv, but there are a lot of great places to check out. Save the big trips for 2L when you have hopefully secured a job, and/or do an exchange in 3L. 

When you say 1L and 2L jobs, are you talking simply about summer jobs? And when you say "hopefully secured a job" in 2L, do you mean summer or a job after law school?

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49 minutes ago, KDB550 said:

When you say 1L and 2L jobs, are you talking simply about summer jobs? And when you say "hopefully secured a job" in 2L, do you mean summer or a job after law school?

Yes, I am talking about summer jobs. 1L/2L summer jobs, at least with larger firms and parts of the government, almost always lead to an articling position. Point being, hold off on the big trips until you've got some good grades and job security. 

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On 6/18/2019 at 11:00 AM, DalLaw2021 said:

@ebbfl  May be too late but in case it helps or is useful for others:

The JD program at Dal is well respected since it has been around for such a long time and due to its size. It's usually ranked somewhere around 6th in Canada. The legal market is by far the strongest in Atlantic Canada with 3 major firms with ~200 lawyers total (about half in the Halifax office). Since half the students are from outside Atlantic Canada, MANY go to Toronto and Vancouver. Our career development officer that deals with private firms regularly does trips to Toronto both with and without students to tour firms. They push Bay Street heavily and are well represented. It's not just our Ontario students that go there but their ties certainly help. The MBA doesn't require work experience so it's a younger crew, but due to its unique 8 month corporate residency it is respected by employers. Toronto corporate firms love combined JD/MBA students. Two I know got articles on Bay Street. Any further questions feel free to ask. 

Thanks so much for sharing this. I have 2 burning questions that I wanted to ask surrounding Dal’s reputation outside of Halifax so I’ll post it here in case my situation is relevant to anyone else’s:

1-Dal having strong ties to the Toronto legal market. 

I’ve always wondered how true this is because after checking the Ultravires statistics there doesn’t appear to be too many Dal grads on Bay Street. Could it be that maybe the vast majority of Dal students are not interested? If you had to guess how many Dal students are interested in working on Bay Street and how likely they are they to make it there with average to above average marks what would the numbers hypothetically look like? How much of disadvantage would going to Dal be for personal reasons as opposed to Queens/Western when it comes to a career on Bay Street?

I focus on Bay Street but the same question(s) apply when it comes to Vancouver’s Edmonton’s and Calgary’s legal market.

2-Dal’s national/international reputation 

Like I said, I personally have no real desire to practice law in market as far west as Vancouver, but how high in their class ranking at Dal would someone have to finish in order to have a realistic chance of practicing law there? Would go so far as to say that Dal and a school such as UVic are on equal footing when it comes to their reputation in BC? 

Btw I have also heard rumours that Dal Law is relatively well known in the states of NY and Massachusetts and around the northeastern US. Is there any truth to this? Do you know of anyone who was able to able to practice law south of the boarder with a Dal law degree and if so how often/likely does this occur?

Again thank you so much for doing this. I know that it may seem a bit unconventional for someone with Bay Street aspirations to prioritize Dal over some of the Ontario law schools, but I personal circumstances have effectively tied me to pursuing my legal education in and around the Maritimes.

Have a great weekend! 

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On 7/6/2019 at 2:03 AM, LawSchoolJock said:

Thanks so much for sharing this. I have 2 burning questions that I wanted to ask surrounding Dal’s reputation outside of Halifax so I’ll post it here in case my situation is relevant to anyone else’s:

1-Dal having strong ties to the Toronto legal market. 

I’ve always wondered how true this is because after checking the Ultravires statistics there doesn’t appear to be too many Dal grads on Bay Street. Could it be that maybe the vast majority of Dal students are not interested? If you had to guess how many Dal students are interested in working on Bay Street and how likely they are they to make it there with average to above average marks what would the numbers hypothetically look like? How much of disadvantage would going to Dal be for personal reasons as opposed to Queens/Western when it comes to a career on Bay Street?

I focus on Bay Street but the same question(s) apply when it comes to Vancouver’s Edmonton’s and Calgary’s legal market.

2-Dal’s national/international reputation 

Like I said, I personally have no real desire to practice law in market as far west as Vancouver, but how high in their class ranking at Dal would someone have to finish in order to have a realistic chance of practicing law there? Would go so far as to say that Dal and a school such as UVic are on equal footing when it comes to their reputation in BC? 

Btw I have also heard rumours that Dal Law is relatively well known in the states of NY and Massachusetts and around the northeastern US. Is there any truth to this? Do you know of anyone who was able to able to practice law south of the boarder with a Dal law degree and if so how often/likely does this occur?

Again thank you so much for doing this. I know that it may seem a bit unconventional for someone with Bay Street aspirations to prioritize Dal over some of the Ontario law schools, but I personal circumstances have effectively tied me to pursuing my legal education in and around the Maritimes.

Have a great weekend! 

General reply to both:

I don't know of many people who were really gunning for Bay Street jobs. I was in the camp of having no interest from the day I applied. I know plenty of others in the same boat and some who ultimately decided through speaking with lawyers/the law school experience that they didn't want it either. Generally, though, if your grades are on the upper end of the curve (mix of A's, high B's at least), you shouldn't have issues landing those types of jobs anywhere in the country. That said, employers care about more than just your grades and your ability to interview is important. 

There's really no formula to determine this kind of thing, but what I can tell you is that you're always at a disadvantage if you aren't studying in the region you want to be working in. That by no measure means it's closing any doors, but it does mean you'll have to be on top of things.

I'll also add that the Bay Street thing is heavily over-romanticized. It takes a very special type of person to tolerate that life. I know many lawyers who articled/punched a year or two and then got the hell out. Maybe you are that type of person, I don't know, but I wouldn't view law school as a Bay-Street-or-Bust endeavour. 

That said, feel free to shoot me a message if you've got broad questions about working at a large business law firm (be it corporate or litigation side). I'm working at one on the east coast for the summer (and for my articling year when that comes around).

EDIT: Also, I'd add that I know of at least a few people with outstanding grades (pretty well straight A's) who didn't even apply to Western markets. A lot of us out here don't want to be any further West, so that probably fudges the numbers (a little) to the low side.

Edited by lavarius

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Hi there,

I will be starting 1L in September and am interested in renting a 1B condo in the Vuze. The landlord informed me that it's currently under construction but that it's mainly on the ground level and on the upper units it isn't as loud. I'm not from Halifax so am unable to check it out in person - would anyone know anything about the noise level and cleanliness of the building? 

Thanks! 

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6 hours ago, Law909 said:

Hi there,

I will be starting 1L in September and am interested in renting a 1B condo in the Vuze. The landlord informed me that it's currently under construction but that it's mainly on the ground level and on the upper units it isn't as loud. I'm not from Halifax so am unable to check it out in person - would anyone know anything about the noise level and cleanliness of the building? 

Thanks! 

Isn't the Vuze the old Fenwick Tower? If it is, (and I'm pretty sure it is), it has been under construction for well over a year (since before September when I started 1L), and it doesn't look like that construction is nearing its end. 

For what it's worth,  I scoped out FT before I moved to Halifax and most reviews of it were not good.

Those reviews do not appear to have changed in the past year. See, for example: https://www.reddit.com/r/halifax/comments/b51oms/the_vuze_fenwick_tower/

And: https://www.reddit.com/r/halifax/comments/8ymvv8/the_vuze_formerly_fenwick_tower_is_it_as_nice_as/

 

That's a recent review of the place, plus the thread that threw me off last year. If I were you, I'd think twice about this place. 

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I was wondering if anyone has any experience with being a TA while also attending Law School? I am looking into the possibility of doing such, with around 10-12 hours a week of commitments. If anyone has any idea from experience if this is reasonable, or if maybe I would be biting off more than I could chew, it would be appreciated!

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9 hours ago, Law909 said:

Hi there,

I will be starting 1L in September and am interested in renting a 1B condo in the Vuze. The landlord informed me that it's currently under construction but that it's mainly on the ground level and on the upper units it isn't as loud. I'm not from Halifax so am unable to check it out in person - would anyone know anything about the noise level and cleanliness of the building? 

Thanks! 

100% dont live there

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3 hours ago, KDB550 said:

I was wondering if anyone has any experience with being a TA while also attending Law School? I am looking into the possibility of doing such, with around 10-12 hours a week of commitments. If anyone has any idea from experience if this is reasonable, or if maybe I would be biting off more than I could chew, it would be appreciated!

There is an undergraduate course called "Introduction to Law" that requires TAs and the professors hire law students. I believe the job gets posted on MySchulichLaw in mid to late September, so if you're interested, watch out for it there. Upper years will get priority over first years, although they have hired first years in the past. TAs are responsible for marking 15-20 case comments and exams within a ~2 week turnaround period and for meeting with students who have questions about their grade. Feel free to message me if you have other questions :)

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4 hours ago, LegalArmada said:

Isn't the Vuze the old Fenwick Tower? If it is, (and I'm pretty sure it is), it has been under construction for well over a year (since before September when I started 1L), and it doesn't look like that construction is nearing its end. 

For what it's worth,  I scoped out FT before I moved to Halifax and most reviews of it were not good.

Those reviews do not appear to have changed in the past year. See, for example: https://www.reddit.com/r/halifax/comments/b51oms/the_vuze_fenwick_tower/

And: https://www.reddit.com/r/halifax/comments/8ymvv8/the_vuze_formerly_fenwick_tower_is_it_as_nice_as/

 

That's a recent review of the place, plus the thread that threw me off last year. If I were you, I'd think twice about this place. 

It's been a while for me now, but Fenwick Tower had a pretty bad reputation while I was in Halifax. Lots of infestation issues. And, contrary to the NS RTA, they had a habit of taking three months worth of security deposit, typically from foreign students who didn't speak much, if any, English.

They were doing extensive renovations when I left. I heard that the renovated units were relatively nice. But, at least when I lived in Halifax, I heard that the renovations were structural, and that there was significant noise and debris. I don't know if that's still the case. 

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11 hours ago, Law909 said:

Hi there,

I will be starting 1L in September and am interested in renting a 1B condo in the Vuze. The landlord informed me that it's currently under construction but that it's mainly on the ground level and on the upper units it isn't as loud. I'm not from Halifax so am unable to check it out in person - would anyone know anything about the noise level and cleanliness of the building? 

Thanks! 

A couple of my friends lived there and would not recommend it; the Fenwick reputation has been hard to shake. Also, as far as I know, construction of a couple of smaller apartment/condo buildings on the same site will be happening in the next couple of years, so noise will likely be an issue. Finally, from what I remember seeing last year, the rents they are charging for the re-done units is on par with much newer buildings such as the Mary-Anne, Vertu, SoHo, Southport etc. 

Unrelated, but the story is that there is a pool on the roof of Fenwick Tower / Vuze that has never been filled because the architects and engineers failed to account for the weight of the water. 

Edited by Himalaya

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@LawSchoolJock

I'm going into 2L and I know of at least two students who got 1L summer jobs on Bay Street. I believe both are at Osler. There are a much larger proportion of 2Ls who summer on Bay Street since most jobs are only open to 2L summer students. I know the Career Development Office does targeted tours of Bay Street firms with students so I would contact Kelly Tracey there if you're looking for concrete stats. I think her email is just [email protected] but you can find this on the website. I know we definitely have a legitimate presence there but can't speak to objective stats. I'm staying at a firm in Halifax so these are not numbers I've sought out myself.

You'll learn marks matter, but they are not the be all end all students think they are going in (I was one of them). Yes if you have straight A's you will get interviews since this is insanely good but firms are most concerned about fit. They want someone who can be a human being and not an academic robot. Lots of students I talked to at major firms had straight B's. Some firms say they look for a B+ average meaning you're on the upper end of the curve but it is only one measure. On the flip side, if you have an average below the curve you may have a tough time but keep in mind As doesn't automatically lead to a job and a B average doesn't mean you have no chance. 

If you look across Canada, most people working at firms come from the law schools in that region. That seems to be very common so you probably realize Bay Street takes more students from Ontario law schools (especially Osgoode and UofT) than any other. So of course if you go to Dal over an Ontario school your chances would probably be lower of getting on Bay Street, but as mentioned, we do have a presence there and the fact that you're from there is huge. 

Hope this helps.

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