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mickeymouse

Thunder Bay/Bora Laskin Questions

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Hi friends,

Was hoping I could ask some questions to ease my anxieties about law school: 

1. I'm not super interested in aboriginal law. I feel sympathy for the plight of Canada's indigenous populations and communities but I certainly don't want that to be the focus of my law education. How much of the education is based around aboriginal law? Is it difficult if I have no background in the subject matter?

2. I'm from Toronto and did my undergrad in downtown Montreal. I'm concerned about rural living and the change of pace. How have people from similar backgrounds adjusted?

3. What is there to do in Thunder Bay? I know that there are a ton of winter activities but I'm interested to know about the restaurant/bar scene, social aspects of the law school, hobbies I could take up etc.

Thanks all,

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17 hours ago, mickeymouse said:

Hi friends,

Was hoping I could ask some questions to ease my anxieties about law school: 

1. I'm not super interested in aboriginal law. I feel sympathy for the plight of Canada's indigenous populations and communities but I certainly don't want that to be the focus of my law education. How much of the education is based around aboriginal law? Is it difficult if I have no background in the subject matter?

2. I'm from Toronto and did my undergrad in downtown Montreal. I'm concerned about rural living and the change of pace. How have people from similar backgrounds adjusted?

3. What is there to do in Thunder Bay? I know that there are a ton of winter activities but I'm interested to know about the restaurant/bar scene, social aspects of the law school, hobbies I could take up etc.

Thanks all,

http://www.thewaterfrontdistrict.ca

That's just a bit of an answer to #3

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17 hours ago, mickeymouse said:

1. I'm not super interested in aboriginal law. I feel sympathy for the plight of Canada's indigenous populations and communities but I certainly don't want that to be the focus of my law education. How much of the education is based around aboriginal law? Is it difficult if I have no background in the subject matter?

2. I'm from Toronto and did my undergrad in downtown Montreal. I'm concerned about rural living and the change of pace. How have people from similar backgrounds adjusted?

3. What is there to do in Thunder Bay? I know that there are a ton of winter activities but I'm interested to know about the restaurant/bar scene, social aspects of the law school, hobbies I could take up etc.

 

1. There are 3 mandated Aboriginal classes. One is a graduation prerequisite and requires you to do a number of outside hours of exposure to Aboriginal culture. There are lots of guest speakers, events put on by various student associations, etc. One is a half-year course in 1L, and 1 is a full-year course in 2L. You definitely do not need to know anything prior, they assume you don't have prior knowledge. I don't come from that background at all. I found them interesting. Even if you don't, they help with Constitutional law and application of case law. It's one less elective course, but you don't need to have a strong interest. 

2. I'm from the GTA. It's not as "small town" as you might think. There's one of everything you need. I didn't find it difficult to make friends and they made my experience great.  I mean, it will be an adjustment, but everywhere is. I find the local bar welcoming and receptive to students, which helps. Meeting the legal community isn't as "cold" as I have found it elsewhere. I think it's a good place to start.

3. Not a whole ton (although some people might disagree with me). Summers are beautiful, and there is a multitude of outdoor stuff. There is a bar scene. There are lots of clubs and ways to make friends at the law school. A word of caution, though: Once you're at law school, law is your hobby AND interest. Students typically go out on Friday nights, and that's about it, because you have so much work to do (remember you have 6 classes per semester, because of the IPC). That being said, there are many things to do outside the school- most of us just don't do them until the summer. 

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@laskin2018 how is the career center? Do they help with 1L and 2L summer student positions as well as articling positions (in case you decide to do it)?

Do you guys get job posting from firms in the other cities and provinces?

 

OP, sorry for hijacking the thread. :)

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23 minutes ago, KilltheLSAT said:

@laskin2018 how is the career center? Do they help with 1L and 2L summer student positions as well as articling positions (in case you decide to do it)?

Do you guys get job posting from firms in the other cities and provinces?

 

OP, sorry for hijacking the thread. :)

This is where the "new school" comes into play- the short answer is no. 

There is no formal career center yet. There are two designated members of student services, who will know you by name, and are very nice people. However, this is an area that the school is lacking in. They are aware of it, and working to fix it. It is only this past year that job postings started to get sent to students. But you do not get a lot (maybe any) of hand-holding from the school in terms of finding a job, and we do not do OCIs.

That being said:

-If you want a job in Thunder Bay, it isn't difficult. You meet the local bar from Day 1. You will know practitioners, they will teach you, they love the school and actively try to hire our students. 

-The IPC placement process makes you a guaranteed connection. Many people do closed, some do open. Regardless, many jobs come out of the process. My placement was in Southern Ontario. Those are solid connections that you wouldn't get elsewhere, and they really help to network. But you're building the connections yourself. I assume its a lot easier at other law schools with long-standing career departments. 

They generally do not help a ton with articling, besides sending around job postings and helping with resumes, etc. There is a presumption with administration that you will not article (although of course you can. Lots of students do). 

We do get job postings from other cities. A lot of those are in rural places (although we do get major city ones). Our students have a high success rate at getting those, at least in my year (this is my opinion, though, I don't have stats- a number of my friends have been successful). 

We rarely get job postings from other provinces. 

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34 minutes ago, KilltheLSAT said:

@laskin2018 how is the career center? Do they help with 1L and 2L summer student positions as well as articling positions (in case you decide to do it)?

Do you guys get job posting from firms in the other cities and provinces?

 

OP, sorry for hijacking the thread. :)

I feel like I should add that I'm from Southern ON, and I'm glad that I chose to come. I like my education. I think that I got a lot more practical experience than I would have elsewhere and I have found it has been an asset in my placement and in my 2L job. I did the Legal Clinic at the school and I HIGHLY recommend it. You get to do more than you would in Southern Ontario. I have represented clients in ways that the junior associates at my Southern ON placement firm have not, because you get to do more and get well-rounded experience in Thunder Bay. The challenge is being able to sell that in a cover letter, because we are such a new program, but I came to the school for the IPC program and I do not regret my decision. It's certainly less traditional in terms of finding jobs, but students are getting them. If you like the rest of the program, don't let it deter you- but we're carving a bit of a new path, and there are difficulties associated with that!

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