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feraenaturae

Call to the bar - crying

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2 hours ago, feraenaturae said:

Just wondering, does anyone cry at their own call to the bar? Is that a thing that happens?

I heard a baby cried.

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The Call experience in Toronto is a lot like a university convocation. Some people might cry, sure, but it's a regimented celebration.

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I was a little bored and wanted it to be done. Not to mention the constant glorification of our accomplishments made me feel slightly conscientious and uncomfortable. Little do the benchers on the stage nor the families and friends in the audience realize what we were getting ourselves into by entering the legal profession at such a time. I've never seen so many new calls around me who were unemployed and worried about Associate job prospects. The government and legal aid hiring freezes did not help matters either. 

Do people cry? Sure, thinking about the many obstacles that still lay before them and the mountain of student debt collecting interest that they would need to start paying off. 

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I was not thinking about crying unless it was from laughing too hard. 

All  the prospective Calls were lined up together out of sight and only went down one by one, so we passed the time comparing what the crazy old bigoted tailor said to each of us when he was fitting us for our robes.

By the time we were properly assembled we were collectively squirming and snorting with all the grace of a busload of ten year olds holding a silent fart competition.

Some of us are named partners now. 

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2 hours ago, Deadpool said:

Little do the benchers on the stage nor the families and friends in the audience realize what we were getting ourselves into by entering the legal profession at such a time. I've never seen so many new calls around me who were unemployed and worried about Associate job prospects.

How many of your own call to the bar ceremonies have you gone to? 

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33 minutes ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

How many of your own call to the bar ceremonies have you gone to? 

Right - should have said "I've never heard of so many new calls.. I think this time around there were fewer hirebacks all around so many of my peers were distressed about it. We were sitting there for around 1-1.5 hours waiting for the ceremony to begin so naturally people talked about this. 

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I never liked formalities.  I didn't go to my undergrad or my law school graduation.   I had to go to my Bar call of course as I had to be sworn (Ont).  To my surprise,  I had a really great time.  It was a lot of fun.  People clapping and cheering, laughing, photos, smiling, it was really great!

I was called in another province a few years later (mobility agreement) and what a difference!  Small, quiet, solemn.....and dreary.  One judge had a mean scowl on her face as she surveyed the room.  I'm thinking WTF?   The room was full of hard working students who had invested an incredible amount of time, effort, and money into becoming a legal professional, and their proud families and friends, and this judge was looking at everyone like we were all there as accused  at the sentencing phase of a criminal trial.   Give me a break.

I'll take the Ontario experience any day!

Edited by Captain Courageous
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9 hours ago, Deadpool said:

Right - should have said "I've never heard of so many new calls.. I think this time around there were fewer hirebacks all around so many of my peers were distressed about it. We were sitting there for around 1-1.5 hours waiting for the ceremony to begin so naturally people talked about this. 

2019 call? It’s so interesting because I feel like callbacks were at a record high this year. I guess our perspectives are tainted by who we know 

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11 hours ago, Deadpool said:

Right - should have said "I've never heard of so many new calls.. I think this time around there were fewer hirebacks all around so many of my peers were distressed about it. We were sitting there for around 1-1.5 hours waiting for the ceremony to begin so naturally people talked about this. 

I thought a period of unemployment immediately after being called was common. 

I've seen it many many times. 

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22 minutes ago, QuincyWagstaff said:

I thought a period of unemployment immediately after being called was common. 

I've seen it many many times. 

Feels kind of pathetic for a profession where people at the top of their class work extremely long hours to get past some training hurdle, only to end up unemployed - with job postings thereafter asking for 1-x years of employment experience.

On a related note, I'd love to see what the statistics are in the US where there is no articling. Just to see if it really is the same, articling or not, in terms of having some general period of unemployment.

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12 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

Feels kind of pathetic for a profession where people at the top of their class work extremely long hours to get past some training hurdle, only to end up unemployed - with job postings thereafter asking for 1-x years of employment experience.

On a related note, I'd love to see what the statistics are in the US where there is no articling. Just to see if it really is the same, articling or not, in terms of having some general period of unemployment.

New calls should still apply to anything that requests 1 or 2 years experience. 

My call to bar was boring. Very self congratutory speeches mirroring deadpool's experience. Seriously, felt like a meeting that could have been completed by email.

I only chatted with my alphabetically assigned neighbour. His girlfriend just got a clinic articling position so we chatted about that (since i was with lao). 

That said, some people did cry. It is quite a big deal to become a lawyer. Many people in that room were first lawyers in the family, or even in their communities. Many people had to sacrifice a lot of time, relationships and experiences.

 

Edited by artsydork
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3 hours ago, healthlaw said:

2019 call? It’s so interesting because I feel like callbacks were at a record high this year. I guess our perspectives are tainted by who we know 

I'm fairly sure everyone or almost everyone who articled at a Biglaw firm were hired back, but at Oz this is less than 30% of our class. From speaking to people outside of Biglaw, hireback didn't seem to be that high - particularly for all the people who articled in government and legal aid. 

1 hour ago, QuincyWagstaff said:

I thought a period of unemployment immediately after being called was common. 

I've seen it many many times. 

That could very well be the case. I don't have a comparison here to see how it measures to other years. 

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4 hours ago, pzabbythesecond said:

Feels kind of pathetic for a profession where people at the top of their class work extremely long hours to get past some training hurdle, only to end up unemployed - with job postings thereafter asking for 1-x years of employment experience.

On a related note, I'd love to see what the statistics are in the US where there is no articling. Just to see if it really is the same, articling or not, in terms of having some general period of unemployment.

Only ~65% of US law school graduates are employed as lawyers full time, and 11% are unemployed immediately post-grad. 

I don’t think the Canadian outcomes are pathetic at all. Professions don’t, and shouldn’t, equal guaranteed employment. The only reason law students seem to think that is and should be true is because they constantly compare themselves to Med students (despite the radical differences in difficulty, career path, and employers between the two fields). The day law students figure out that the proper comparator group is closer to people with bachelors degrees than medical degrees, they’ll be a lot happier with their lot in life. 

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14 minutes ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

Only ~65% of US law school graduates are employed as lawyers full time, and 11% are unemployed immediately post-grad. 

I don’t think the Canadian outcomes are pathetic at all. Professions don’t, and shouldn’t, equal guaranteed employment. The only reason law students seem to think that is and should be true is because they constantly compare themselves to Med students (despite the radical differences in difficulty, career path, and employers between the two fields). The day law students figure out that the proper comparator group is closer to people with bachelors degrees than medical degrees, they’ll be a lot happier with their lot in life. 

You know we generally agree on the point you're making (though to say it's closer to an undergraduate (first entry) bachelor degree than a medical degree is a bit disingenuous.) Just by the fact that it's a second entry program makes it more akin to a medical degree (though the comparison really stops there).

My post was moreso focusing on whether or not articling is an unnecessary, medieval, and inefficiency causing mechanism at this point. If there's more full time employment and/or less movement of workers between employers without articling, and the public safety isn't compromised any more so without it, then it's time to revisit the issue.

Of course, benchers aren't economists and don't see the profession as - a profession. I'm not hopeful.

Edited by pzabbythesecond

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3 hours ago, Deadpool said:

I'm fairly sure everyone or almost everyone who articled at a Biglaw firm were hired back, but at Oz this is less than 30% of our class. From speaking to people outside of Biglaw, hireback didn't seem to be that high - particularly for all the people who articled in government and legal aid. 

My peers outside of big law also did well. It was only my public sector friends who made out poorly. But I acknowledge that my sample size is small. Sorry to hear that many in our class are having a harder time 

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17 hours ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

Only ~65% of US law school graduates are employed as lawyers full time, and 11% are unemployed immediately post-grad. 

I don’t think the Canadian outcomes are pathetic at all. Professions don’t, and shouldn’t, equal guaranteed employment. The only reason law students seem to think that is and should be true is because they constantly compare themselves to Med students (despite the radical differences in difficulty, career path, and employers between the two fields). The day law students figure out that the proper comparator group is closer to people with bachelors degrees than medical degrees, they’ll be a lot happier with their lot in life. 

A better comparator would be dental, veterinary or optometry students, not medical school students. Definitely not bachelor degrees (considering the cost and variation). I've thought about this a lot, and dental students really are in the same boat as lawyers (although there are far fewer, I guess).

The options for a dental student are to either to land a great residency position to further your career into surgical dentistry, implants, orthodontics etc (very difficult and happens to the top of the class), find an stable associates position, or start your own private practice (and potentially fail if you are a terrible business person).

I wouldn't compare a law student's situation to that of a nursing student. The latter have less debt and will likely have an easier time finding work.

I agree with your sentiments though. I think that business development needs to be something emphasized in law school. It is nothing like the medical field where you are (in most cases) handed work because of how scarce you are.

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OP, which Province?  Alberta is one of the last provinces (the last?) to have individual bar call ceremonies.  I could see these individual bar call ceremonies having the potential to be more emotional for someone being called to the bar.  Yes, I have seen someone almost cry at his individual bar call ceremony in Alberta while he was swearing the oath of a barrister and solicitor.  

In Alberta, the practice has been that you pick the Judge you want to preside at your own bar call ceremony.  Typically, you will meet the Judge in person beforehand, as he or she will want to get to know you a bit.  And you will provide a list of acknowledgements for the Judge to read out to your family, colleagues, mentors and friends at your ceremony.  

(As a footnote, this year has been the first in Alberta where someone can elect to have either an individual bar call ceremony or a more anonymous group ceremony like the above posters assumed in their comments.) 

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I got a massive round of laughter at my ceremony; even the judge! We were asked to provide answers to questions for a brief intro. One of the questions was along the lines "what are your dreams" or "what do you hope to accomplish in your future" and it was a non-career-related question. My response: "to someday own a home." Unfortunately, it wasn't a joke but I always appreciate it when I can get a laugh, even if at my own bleak future.

But no, I didn't see anyone crying nor did I cry (at least, on the outside).

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