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Hello incoming JDs,

I am in the process of finishing 1L and as the year is now winding down, I figured that I could create a post where incoming students can ask any questions that they may have coming into 1L at the College of Law (as was done in previous years). Whether it is about the social life, the 1L Summer Job Recruit process, or the first year moot, memo, etc. I am happy to provide an answer for anything from my experiences! Feel free to ask in this post or through DMs :)

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How was the social life?? Is the class as a whole pretty close? Or is their some social divisions?

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1 hour ago, nickrk20 said:

How was the social life?? Is the class as a whole pretty close? Or is their some social divisions?

The social life is great!

Essentially they split the class into two sections, and naturally people are closer to those in their section as you see them everyday in class/tutorials.That being said, I would say that the people in my year are still very close as a whole and it's easy to meet people in other sections and upper years. You wont have any trouble making friends and having fun, so long as you put yourself out there. 

The LSA also put on a lot of events, especially at the start of the year, which were a ton of fun and made it easy to get to know your peers and upper years.

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Have you heard what will happen with the incoming class if there is still a lockdown in place?

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2 hours ago, daissy said:

Have you heard what will happen with the incoming class if there is still a lockdown in place?

Unfortunately not. I presume that they are waiting to see how things develop before creating any concrete plans for next year. 

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On 4/8/2020 at 2:16 PM, Staygold said:

Hello incoming JDs,

I am in the process of finishing 1L and as the year is now winding down, I figured that I could create a post where incoming students can ask any questions that they may have coming into 1L at the College of Law (as was done in previous years). Whether it is about the social life, the 1L Summer Job Recruit process, or the first year moot, memo, etc. I am happy to provide an answer for anything from my experiences! Feel free to ask in this post or through DMs :)

Hey there,

 

I have heard that first year is "horrible". Did you find this to be the case? Is the workload as bad as it is made out to be? Also, what did the typical day look like for you?

 

 

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13 hours ago, legaleagle225 said:

Hey there,

 

I have heard that first year is "horrible". Did you find this to be the case? Is the workload as bad as it is made out to be? Also, what did the typical day look like for you?

 

 

This was something that I was curious about as well before the year started. In short I would say that the answer is no, first year is not horrible and the workload is not as bad as it is made out to be. That being said, it is busy. Essentially, the majority of your workload will be readings for each of your classes and taking notes on those readings. If you didn't make a habit of doing your readings in undergrad (like me) then there is a bit of an adjustment to get into a rhythm with the work but if you are organized and studious it shouldn't be an issue to stay on top of things. On top of the readings, there are periods throughout the year where there are some big assignments that will take up lots of time, these include (among other things) the memo, moot, Kway ledger drawing. These all add more stress, but from my experience it wasn't too onerous and was comparable to stressful times in undergrad where the workload ramped up. TLDR: It's not horrible, but it's busy - make adjustments to stay on top of things as you go.

A typical day for me was pretty standard. Classes start around 8:30 and run until the afternoon, I try to read in between classes but typically would just visit with other students. After class, head to the gym, prep dinner, eat/leisure break and then in the evening do readings and notes for my classes the next day. For me, getting through the assigned readings and taking notes on the cases could typically take about 2-5 hours per day depending on the classes and topics. Bear in mind this varies depending on the person and how they choose to study/ what works for them.

Hope this helps

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Thank you so much that makes me feel considerably less nervous. I appreciate you taking the time to respond :)

 

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On 4/8/2020 at 2:16 PM, Staygold said:

Hello incoming JDs,

I am in the process of finishing 1L and as the year is now winding down, I figured that I could create a post where incoming students can ask any questions that they may have coming into 1L at the College of Law (as was done in previous years). Whether it is about the social life, the 1L Summer Job Recruit process, or the first year moot, memo, etc. I am happy to provide an answer for anything from my experiences! Feel free to ask in this post or through DMs :)

Hey! Thanks so much for doing this. I am definitely curious about the Summer Job Recruit process. How did that work for you? When did you start the process? Are there lots of options or did you find it difficult? 

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Posted (edited)
On 4/21/2020 at 10:01 AM, Trish77 said:

Hey! Thanks so much for doing this. I am definitely curious about the Summer Job Recruit process. How did that work for you? When did you start the process? Are there lots of options or did you find it difficult? 

Hi Trish!

The 1L recruit process was definitely an intense part to the start of the year. Essentially during late September and early October, the major Saskatchewan law firms put on their recruitment process for first year summer students. This year there were 5 firms that were a part of the formal 1L recruit. As part of the application you submit your resume, cover letter, and undergrad transcripts. No first year law grades are taken into account in the hiring process. The Deadline for applications was around Oct 10. In mid October you receive calls from the firms inviting you to interview for positions. The interviews are all conducted during the same week and are  scheduled into 15-20 minute slots, although one interview I had was scheduled for 30-45 minutes.  On Monday the following week, the firms send out hiring calls at 11:00am sharp to offer positions.

From my experience I think that if you submit a good resume and you are from Saskatchewan, there is a good chance you will get one or more interviews. An observation of mine was that out of province students had less luck with getting invited to interviews (if they applied in the first place). I was lucky enough to be invited to interview for multiple firms and many of my peers receive a similar amount of invitations. Generally each firm hired 1-2 students from first year. I guess you could try to assess your chances accordingly.

If you are interested in working in SK and do not get a position from the formal 1L recruit, there are still plenty of other opportunities that come up during the year. Just off the top of my head, I think that there were 1-2 more firms that put on mixers and interviews, a couple of in-house positions available with larger corporations, and public positions with the Ministry of Justice and Department of Justice which hired around 7-8 students.

Additionally, in January/February the Calgary/Edmonton 1L recruit happens as well. I did not participate in this process because I got a position in the formal 1L recruit for SK, but you will receive lots of information about it during the year. Essentially for Calgary positions you will submit applications after you receive your midterm grades (so law school grades are relevant for these positions) and then you will be invited to interview in Calgary/Edmonton over the week long February break. This processes consists of potentially multiple interviews and dinners with firms, unfortunately I cant speak to any specifics beyond that. During the AB recruit there were lots of people from first year that applied who were invited to interview with at least one firm. Off the top of my head there were about 2-3 positions offered to USask students.

If you are interested in participating in the formal 1L SK recruit, one word of advice that I would give is to try your best to prep your resume and get a template for a cover letter written over the summer since the recruit starts within the first few weeks of school. Then when the year starts you can tailor everything as you learn more in your professional development sessions. Also, when the year starts, try to get a meeting with the law career advisor ASAP to get input about your resume and cover letters because her schedule fills up quick. The career advisor is great and she was a difference maker for me personally in getting interviews and a position. These are the guides that were given to us for drafting our Resumes and CLs https://students.usask.ca/jobs/resumes.php.

 I think that if you have a good application, UG transcripts, and are reasonably personable, you will have a pretty good shot at getting a position. A final  reminder caveat is that all of the points expressed above are from my personal experience so take them with a grain of salt, things may vary year to year and I have no idea how/if the COVID situation will affect anything related to 1L hiring. I tried to be as comprehensive as possible, please feel free to reply or DM me with any follow ups if you are looking for more clarification on certain points. Hope this helps!!! :)

Edited by Staygold
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On 4/21/2020 at 11:01 AM, Trish77 said:

Hey! Thanks so much for doing this. I am definitely curious about the Summer Job Recruit process. How did that work for you? When did you start the process? Are there lots of options or did you find it difficult? 

The two big USask 1L recruits are Saskatoon/Regina (obv) in September, and Calgary, which is late January - early Feb. As @Staygold has given you some info on the Sask recruit, feel free to PM me or tag me in a post if you have any questions about the Calgary recruit specifically. 

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Hi there, I've just received my offer of admission, but I haven't heard if USask is going online or not in the fall. Have you heard any official word from the College of Law? Thanks!

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1 hour ago, khumphri said:

Hi there, I've just received my offer of admission, but I haven't heard if USask is going online or not in the fall. Have you heard any official word from the College of Law? Thanks!

USask will be online in the fall. 

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I am very much a person who is skilled at writing essays but not necessarily at writing exams. I just got accepted into the class of 2023 and I was wondering how difficult the exams are and if you have any tips for doing really well? 

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Posted (edited)
On 6/9/2020 at 10:51 AM, legaleagle225 said:

I am very much a person who is skilled at writing essays but not necessarily at writing exams. I just got accepted into the class of 2023 and I was wondering how difficult the exams are and if you have any tips for doing really well? 

Congratulations on your acceptance @legaleagle123!

Law school exams are interesting, lol. I'm sure everyone will have different takes on their difficulty, and ideally you'd want to be skilled at writing essays AND exams to do really well. 

A typical law school exam will give you fact patterns with questions that have you apply the law as you have learned over the year to the specific facts of the scenario. The tests are open book and you bring in your case outlines or CANs (condensed annotated notes) which will have all of your legal tests/case summaries compiled from over the year.

The most difficult part of the exams (in my opinion) is the time pressure. Similar to the LSAT, time is the major difference maker between great exams and okay exams (see Malcolm Gladwell's Revisionist History episode titled: The Tortoise and the Hare). You have to be able to issue spot (identify the relevant legal issue/question), apply the relevant law, support your answers with examples, and do that all quickly and coherently within the allowed time. The key to doing really well is being able to do all the above extremely efficiently and accurately.  Learn your tests, have good notes, flow charts etc. and go from there.

I didn't do really well but I did to well on my exams. I thought it was fairly easy to finish above the average with normal studying and good notes. But you have to be pretty remarkable  and/or have a great work ethic and drive to finish at the top. Don't forget that in the end you're effectively  competing against the best of the best with the curve!

Also, midterms are fail safe so they're a great opportunity to learn your strengths and weaknesses as they relate to LS exams.

PM me if you have any additional Qs!

Edited by Staygold
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On ‎4‎/‎25‎/‎2020 at 11:38 PM, Staygold said:

Hi Trish!

The 1L recruit process was definitely an intense part to the start of the year. Essentially during late September and early October, the major Saskatchewan law firms put on their recruitment process for first year summer students. This year there were 5 firms that were a part of the formal 1L recruit. As part of the application you submit your resume, cover letter, and undergrad transcripts. No first year law grades are taken into account in the hiring process. The Deadline for applications was around Oct 10. In mid October you receive calls from the firms inviting you to interview for positions. The interviews are all conducted during the same week and are  scheduled into 15-20 minute slots, although one interview I had was scheduled for 30-45 minutes.  On Monday the following week, the firms send out hiring calls at 11:00am sharp to offer positions.

From my experience I think that if you submit a good resume and you are from Saskatchewan, there is a good chance you will get one or more interviews. An observation of mine was that out of province students had less luck with getting invited to interviews (if they applied in the first place). I was lucky enough to be invited to interview for multiple firms and many of my peers receive a similar amount of invitations. Generally each firm hired 1-2 students from first year. I guess you could try to assess your chances accordingly.

If you are interested in working in SK and do not get a position from the formal 1L recruit, there are still plenty of other opportunities that come up during the year. Just off the top of my head, I think that there were 1-2 more firms that put on mixers and interviews, a couple of in-house positions available with larger corporations, and public positions with the Ministry of Justice and Department of Justice which hired around 7-8 students.

Additionally, in January/February the Calgary/Edmonton 1L recruit happens as well. I did not participate in this process because I got a position in the formal 1L recruit for SK, but you will receive lots of information about it during the year. Essentially for Calgary positions you will submit applications after you receive your midterm grades (so law school grades are relevant for these positions) and then you will be invited to interview in Calgary/Edmonton over the week long February break. This processes consists of potentially multiple interviews and dinners with firms, unfortunately I cant speak to any specifics beyond that. During the AB recruit there were lots of people from first year that applied who were invited to interview with at least one firm. Off the top of my head there were about 2-3 positions offered to USask students.

If you are interested in participating in the formal 1L SK recruit, one word of advice that I would give is to try your best to prep your resume and get a template for a cover letter written over the summer since the recruit starts within the first few weeks of school. Then when the year starts you can tailor everything as you learn more in your professional development sessions. Also, when the year starts, try to get a meeting with the law career advisor ASAP to get input about your resume and cover letters because her schedule fills up quick. The career advisor is great and she was a difference maker for me personally in getting interviews and a position. These are the guides that were given to us for drafting our Resumes and CLs https://students.usask.ca/jobs/resumes.php.

 I think that if you have a good application, UG transcripts, and are reasonably personable, you will have a pretty good shot at getting a position. A final  reminder caveat is that all of the points expressed above are from my personal experience so take them with a grain of salt, things may vary year to year and I have no idea how/if the COVID situation will affect anything related to 1L hiring. I tried to be as comprehensive as possible, please feel free to reply or DM me with any follow ups if you are looking for more clarification on certain points. Hope this helps!!! :)

Sorry, I asked a question and then forgot this site existed for like two months! Thank you so much for this detailed reply - this is so helpful! I appreciate it.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/11/2020 at 11:15 AM, Staygold said:

CANs (condensed annotated notes)

Oh, that's what CANs are. 😁

Edited by robobrain
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