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noredeisgnr

Fate of my volunteering career

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Good afternoon to you all, 

I am seeking advice by expressing my concerns. 

I am a 3rd year undergraduate student at a Canadian University. I managed to land a volunteering position at a Personal Injury Firm, this firm has been great to me in the sense that my duties and task go beyond what would normally be admitted to a volunteer, more specifically an undergraduate volunteer; I request records, contact clients about upcoming assessments, request OCF's, LAT applications, etc... 

I pushed for the privilege to undertake these tasks as my daily routine, and I have reached the point in my volunteering venture in which to further past my current plateau I will be investing hours to learn and understand the field of PI as any other paralegal or lawyer might. I have the opportunity to teach myself PI and perhaps begin to work with cases in depth. There's no doubt in my mind if I pursue this strategy I will be able to achieve a higher level of involvement and responsibility as a volunteer. The increasing involvement and responsibility would presumably help me stand out as a favourable law school applicant in the near future.

 

However, I do not know if I want to pursue this. I do not have a passion for personal injury. Due to the nature of PI itself, I am not exposed to much of what goes on inside the courts. To keep things short, at this point I do not hold any preference for PI, nor do I see myself being a PI lawyer in the future. But the position I am in is extraordinarily prosperous. 

 

The question now is; If I leave my current position, what lies in store for me ? 

 

I do not believe I got lucky, I believe wherever I go I can push past boundaries of just being an undergraduate volunteer and limited to trivial tasks. 

I am looking at criminal law at the moment, exploring possible volunteer ventures in its sphere. 

 

I could use some external advice, tell me something I don't know that may help me make a decision. 

 

Edited by noredeisgnr
Improved diction
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You should focus on getting good grades and a good LSAT score so you can get into a law school. 

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If you're basically an employee, you should try to get paid.

Quote

Such involvement and responsibility would provide exemplary accreditation when becoming a law school applicant in the near future. 

Absolutely not. Also your diction is very weird.

Edited by Eeee
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Just now, Eeee said:

If you're basically an employee, you should try to get paid.

This was going to be part of my strategy, become useful enough so I can demand a minimum wage pay.

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7 minutes ago, easttowest said:

You should focus on getting good grades and a good LSAT score so you can get into a law school. 

This is right. If your grades are great already, and you're set for the LSAT, feel free to continue musing about whether you want a career in personal injury or some other kind of law. If you don't have the grades and LSAT, no volunteer gig is going to make the difference, and you'll end up having no kind of career in law at all. 

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1 minute ago, Diplock said:

This is right. If your grades are great already, and you're set for the LSAT, feel free to continue musing about whether you want a career in personal injury or some other kind of law. If you don't have the grades and LSAT, no volunteer gig is going to make the difference, and you'll end up having no kind of career in law at all. 

Acknowledged

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1 minute ago, noredeisgnr said:

This was going to be part of my strategy, become useful enough so I can demand a minimum wage pay.

There is a lot of demand for AB clerks. I'm sure you could find a position paying more than minimum wage.

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9 minutes ago, Eeee said:

There is a lot of demand for AB clerks. I'm sure you could find a position paying more than minimum wage.

Was not aware, I will look into that. However, I do not exactly need the money, the only reason I would seek a wage and official employment is to solidify the achievement. 

Edited by noredeisgnr

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Is OP @noredeisgnr doing this volunteer work as part of an academic program at their university, if so okay I agree with what others have said (I've previously expressed concern about unpaid work even for academic credit but that's another discussion). Or is OP just doing what would normally be paid work, at a for a for-profit law firm, unconnected with any academic program or co-op or whatever? That OP is looking to convert to paid work suggests a lack of connection, which if so concerns me (not commenting on what the law is, especially in another province, and outside my field!).

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6 minutes ago, epeeist said:

Is OP @noredeisgnr doing this volunteer work as part of an academic program at their university, if so okay I agree with what others have said (I've previously expressed concern about unpaid work even for academic credit but that's another discussion). Or is OP just doing what would normally be paid work, at a for a for-profit law firm, unconnected with any academic program or co-op or whatever? That OP is looking to convert to paid work suggests a lack of connection, which if so concerns me (not commenting on what the law is, especially in another province, and outside my field!).

The latter. 

To clarify, I do not believe I yet am undertaking the full scope of "paid work" as it pertains to my position. However, I intend to push to that level very soon - whether I am actually paid or not, is not a driving factor, it is just in the case I achieve the level of work that is usually accompanied by some kind of pay, actually being paid would be a symbol achievement. 

Simply, I like to work.

Could you elaborate on, 

Quote

That OP is looking to convert to paid work suggests a lack of connection, which if so concerns me (not commenting on what the law is, especially in another province, and outside my field!).

 

Edited by noredeisgnr

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34 minutes ago, Eeee said:

 

Absolutely not. Also your diction is very weird.

Ouch, but I did ask for you to tell me something I don't know, so thanks.

Edited by noredeisgnr

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54 minutes ago, noredeisgnr said:

 I managed to land a volunteering position at a Personal Injury Firm, this firm has been great to me in the sense that my duties and task go beyond what would normally be admitted to a volunteer, more specifically an undergraduate volunteer; I request records, contact clients about upcoming assessments, request OCF's, LAT applications, etc... 

What gives you the impression that these tasks "go beyond what would normally be admitted to [an undergraduate volunteer]"? These tasks sound very administrative and non-legal to me.

 

55 minutes ago, noredeisgnr said:

I pushed for the privilege to undertake these tasks as my daily routine, and I have reached the point in my volunteering venture in which to further past my current plateau I will be investing hours to learn and understand the field of PI as any other paralegal or lawyer might. I have the opportunity to teach myself PI and perhaps begin to work with cases in depth. 

This is giving me second-hand embarrassment. You can't "teach yourself PI" and "begin to work with cases in depth" "as a lawyer might" unless you want to be called before the LSO tribunal for unauthorized "practice". 

 

...like the other posters have been saying, get into law school and then decide where your legal interests lie.

 

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If you don't need the money, then you should signal that by volunteering at a prestigious place with other rich kids. The only people I know who work for free are NCA applicants in professional purgatory.

 

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11 minutes ago, Disputes said:

What gives you the impression that these tasks "go beyond what would normally be admitted to [an undergraduate volunteer]"? These tasks sound very administrative and non-legal to me.

 

This is giving me second-hand embarrassment. You can't "teach yourself PI" and "begin to work with cases in depth" "as a lawyer might" unless you want to be called before the LSO tribunal for unauthorized "practice". 

 

...like the other posters have been saying, get into law school and then decide where your legal interests lie.

 

They are administrative and non legal. Perhaps you're right, I've just never really heard of undergraduate students doing so, most of the tales revolve around being nothing but a 'filing or water boy'. 

 

And teaching myself PI, working more in depth - I did not think I'd have to mention it, but obviously whilst taking into account the constraints of not being a lawyer, this does not mean I can not work in depth. There's no need to be second hand embarrassed, working in-depth does not mean I'm going to be drafting motions.

 

 

Edited by noredeisgnr

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6 minutes ago, noredeisgnr said:

And teaching myself PI, working more in depth - I did not think I'd have to mention it, but obviously whilst taking into account the constraints of not being a lawyer, this does not mean I can not work in depth. There's no need to be second hand embarrassed, working in-depth does not mean I'm going to be drafting motions.

What is a water boy. And what would you classify as "working in depth on PI cases" without being a lawyer or paralegal 

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6 minutes ago, Eeee said:

If you don't need the money, then you should signal that by volunteering at a prestigious place with other rich kids. The only people I know who work for free are NCA applicants in professional purgatory.

 

I don't understand. Do you believe my volunteering arrangements are counter intuitive ? 

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39 minutes ago, noredeisgnr said:

The latter. 

To clarify, I do not believe I yet am undertaking the full scope of "paid work" as it pertains to my position. However, I intend to push to that level very soon - whether I am actually paid or not, is not a driving factor, it is just in the case I achieve the level of work that is usually accompanied by some kind of pay, actually being paid would be a symbol achievement. 

Simply, I like to work.

Could you elaborate on, 

 

2nd point, I'm not going to advise about what the law is, especially in another province, and outside my field and what the meaning of a minimum wage is...

1st point, from your description - contacting clients, filling out forms, etc. - why in the world do you not think that's real work? People get paid to do that stuff all the time. People volunteering at a nonprofit might do that stuff without pay, but if not required for academic reasons, why do it? Why not volunteer at a nonprofit instead?

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1 minute ago, noredeisgnr said:

I don't understand. Do you believe my volunteering arrangements are counter intuitive ? 

It's all relative. If by "are my volunteer efforts counter-intuitive" you really mean "do you believe that my volunteering arrangements won't let me  teach myself personal injury law and work in depth on personal injury files" then yes . You can only learn that stuff properly by going to law school and then articling and then being a lawyer. 

If by "are my volunteer efforts counter-intuitive" you mean "do you believe that my volunteering arrangements won't support an already strong or borderline law school application" then no, I do not believe that they are counter-intuitive. Of course volunteering experience helps.

 

Back to my questions tho

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