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Deferring call to the bar?

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I'm finishing up my articles in Ontario and  will be clerking next year.

Because i don't need to be called to the bar to clerk, I'm considering deferring my call to the bar in order to:

- save paper call fee and professional fees (while I'm unemployed in between roles) 

- avoid LSO paper call and hopefully get a call to the bar ceremony 

Thoughts? Any downfalls to deferring? One of my concerns is pushing back my call date if employers conflate call date + yrs of experience. 

Anything else I should keep in mind? 

 

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10 minutes ago, baf said:

I'm finishing up my articles in Ontario and  will be clerking next year.

Because i don't need to be called to the bar to clerk, I'm considering deferring my call to the bar in order to:

- save paper call fee and professional fees (while I'm unemployed in between roles) 

- avoid LSO paper call and hopefully get a call to the bar ceremony 

Thoughts? Any downfalls to deferring? One of my concerns is pushing back my call date if employers conflate call date + yrs of experience. 

Anything else I should keep in mind? 

 

I think there's a salary bump for clerks who are called vs clerks who aren't. I might be wrong but worth looking into.

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Posted (edited)

Your contract as a clerk is probably as counsel, meaning you have to be a lawyer. Also, many firms pay based on year of call, so you would potentially be setting yourself back a year.

Edited by CoffeeandLaw
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, baf said:

I'm finishing up my articles in Ontario and  will be clerking next year.

Because i don't need to be called to the bar to clerk, I'm considering deferring my call to the bar in order to:

- save paper call fee and professional fees (while I'm unemployed in between roles) 

- avoid LSO paper call and hopefully get a call to the bar ceremony 

Thoughts? Any downfalls to deferring? One of my concerns is pushing back my call date if employers conflate call date + yrs of experience. 

Anything else I should keep in mind? 

 

In my opinion, it is unwise to delay your bar call by a year. A lot of employers screen out candidates by call date and/or number of years of post call experience. Considering how dismal the job market for junior lawyers is going to be in the next couple of years, why would you want to make a decision that decreases your competitiveness? I hear your disappointment about not getting a bar call ceremony. Last year, I had an individualized bar call ceremony. I practice law in probably one of the few jurisdictions in the country that still does individualized bar calls. I really enjoyed my bar call. But in the last 6 months, in the last stage of recruitment, one law firm and one in house organization, picked a 2018 call over me (a 2019 call).   My point being, given the unprecedented times, you may have to adjust your expectations and do everything in your control to make yourself more competitive. Also, there is no guarantee that there will be a group bar call ceremony in Ontario next year. Any large group gathering will be considered a public health risk for the foreseeable future. No one knows how long the pandemic is going to last, when there will be a vaccine and how the post pandemic world will look like. Maybe the paper call procedure will become the norm in Ontario in future.  

Edited by newlawcraze
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Oh, isn't there a "non practising" version that reduces your fees? Assuming your job would be okay with that of course. 

Then your year of call isn't affected.

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I'm almost certain that the ONCA or SCC won't allow you to complete your clerkship under a supervision agreement. Just get called.

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I get the pride families feel watching their loved one go through the call to bar ceremony. Mine was so painfully boring though. Just get called - being a lawyer is waaaay more fun than the ceremony.

Wear a black cape, sit at your kitchen table and watch an episode of Judge Judy if you're wanting the experience.

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It baffles me to see how much my peers in my cohort (class of 2019) worry so much about the ceremony. If it means so much, just go to your backyard, wrap yourself in a suffocating blanket, and read a phonebook aloud for 3 hours. 

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I'm less concerned about the ceremony than the cost of being a lawyer. If I can put off almost $1800 in fees (call to the bar + professional dues) while I'm unemployed over the summer and it makes no professional difference, I don't see why not. Unless, of course, it impacts my career prospects down the road. 

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1 hour ago, baf said:

I'm less concerned about the ceremony than the cost of being a lawyer. If I can put off almost $1800 in fees (call to the bar + professional dues) while I'm unemployed over the summer and it makes no professional difference, I don't see why not. Unless, of course, it impacts my career prospects down the road. 

Again, are you sure that you don't need to be called to clerk? Do we know when the next call to bar will take place? Being a 2020 call vs a 2021 call will impact your salary by 1 year.

 

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1 hour ago, baf said:

I'm less concerned about the ceremony than the cost of being a lawyer. If I can put off almost $1800 in fees (call to the bar + professional dues) while I'm unemployed over the summer and it makes no professional difference, I don't see why not. Unless, of course, it impacts my career prospects down the road. 

Is your court not covering professional dues?

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I believe the federal justice system takes the position that clerking is not considered practicing law. For this reason, courts in the federal system (TCC, FC, FCA, SCC) do not pay for clerks' law society fees and classify clerks as Economics and Social Science Services employees, rather than as members of the federal Law Practitioner group.

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48 minutes ago, joeyman365 said:

I believe the federal justice system takes the position that clerking is not considered practicing law. For this reason, courts in the federal system (TCC, FC, FCA, SCC) do not pay for clerks' law society fees and classify clerks as Economics and Social Science Services employees, rather than as members of the federal Law Practitioner group.

How economically convenient for them to do that.

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