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Mwatso

Toxic Environment

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2 hours ago, Anotherdegree said:

Sorry to drop another post but I just wanted to make a quick point.Law school is 3 years and you get a license to operate shortly thereafter.  People are quick to call themselves lawyers even though they haven’t ‘paid their dues.’ A true lawyer in my view is someone with at least a few years of experience. You just got admitted to the bar, yes you might be legal entitled to call yourself a lawyer but there is much to be learned and honestly at that stage I would refrain from holding myself out as someone who can give career advice (or trying to be arrogant on an online forum). 

I am extremely wary of arrogant young lawyers (and folks who use the label ‘lawyer’ after just being called to the bar or less than 24 months experience). This is because once you start practicing you realize how difficult the profession is, and the hefty ‘dues’ you have to pay. To avoid paying your dues you decide, hey let me work with law students and let me show some attitude. Disgruntled lawyers a few years into their practice are another type of person to be wary of. 
 

p.s not pointing fingers just general observations about the profession

Why wouldn't you give or receive career advice from junior calls who have already gone through the recruitment processes themselves? Most questions we get here about careers is from law students and new calls/juniors. One doesn't need to have 3+ years of experience to respond to these questions, and in fact, many older lawyers are so far removed from the law school application and recruitment processes that their advice may not be current. Sure, you'd give deference to the opinions of more senior members if your questions had to do with how to become a Partner in Big law or lateral into another area of law after you've worked 3-5 years elsewhere, but the majority of career questions we get here can be perfectly answered by junior lawyers, and in many cases, even articling students. Remember, their advice on the recruitment processes in law school will be more current and accessible to you. 

When you are a client seeking legal representation, you may want a more senior lawyers to assist you with your case, over a new call or junior, but when it comes to being a non-law student, law student, or new call/junior seeking career advice, it is perfectly fine to receive advice from new calls and junior lawyers who may have current and relevant information that can help you out. 

 

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7 minutes ago, Hegdis said:

Odd to say as the poster has been a lawyer for five years. Not in Canada, but they are hardly a typical 0L.

Oops, just saw that they were in queue at Osgoode. My bad. Still think it’s a weird post providing weird advice to not trust junior lawyers since theyre not “real” lawyers yet, but to each their own.

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Posted (edited)

@Deadpool I agree that there are some good insights that you can come by with input from junior lawyers etc (for certain queries). All I am saying is that take things with a grain of salt if someone is fresh out of law school etc. The reason I say this is that I actually gave advice right out of law school (not in Canada) but I have observed my own perspective (and that of my colleagues) evolve over the years (I was far more useful a few years out than I was right out of law school, I might not be as smart as some folks). I used the word "wary" not the word "reject" so I hope this clarifies. 

 

Edited by Anotherdegree

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Anotherdegree said:

Sorry to drop another post but I just wanted to make a quick point.Law school is 3 years and you get a license to operate shortly thereafter.  People are quick to call themselves lawyers even though they haven’t ‘paid their dues.’ A true lawyer in my view is someone with at least a few years of experience. You just got admitted to the bar, yes you might be legal entitled to call yourself a lawyer but there is much to be learned and honestly at that stage I would refrain from holding myself out as someone who can give career advice (or trying to be arrogant on an online forum). 

I am extremely wary of arrogant young lawyers (and folks who use the label ‘lawyer’ after just being called to the bar or less than 24 months experience). This is because once you start practicing you realize how difficult the profession is, and the hefty ‘dues’ you have to pay. To avoid paying your dues you decide, hey let me work with law students and let me show some attitude. Disgruntled lawyers a few years into their practice are another type of person to be wary of. 
 

p.s not pointing fingers just general observations about the profession

" A true lawyer in my view is someone with at least a few years of experience."

I made a mistake then. Should I tell my boss to change my business card to

XXXX  CCCC, JD,

Not a true lawyer 

Edited by Luckycharm

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1 hour ago, Anotherdegree said:

@Luckycharm Nothing personal. I will withdraw that part so that folks like yourself do not get offended. 

 

I am having fun. Not offended at all.   

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1 hour ago, lawstudent20202020 said:

What the hell should I use to describe my job after I get called then? A legal problem solver? Advanced memo technician? Client situation unfucker?

Licensed Paper Pusher

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On 1/9/2021 at 11:02 AM, lawstudent20202020 said:

Client situation unfucker?

You have won the lawstudents.ca Phrase Of The Month. Please pick up your three-legged gerbil and iPhone 5 at the concierge desk.

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On 1/9/2021 at 12:22 PM, Hegdis said:

You have won the lawstudents.ca Phrase Of The Month. Please pick up your three-legged gerbil and iPhone 5 at the concierge desk.

I'll need to update my firm bio to include this prestigious award

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On 1/5/2021 at 4:55 PM, Mwatso said:

Hi everyone. 

I am writing this because currently, the world sucks and it is a time we should all be pumping each other up. Some people, due to losing their jobs or needing a change, have decided to apply this year. Other people may be just browsing in anticipation of one day applying. Others, like me, have been browsing this forum for YEARS waiting for hopefully the day I will be able to post that I have been accepted. The point is, I really love the idea of this forum as an educational and social tool to explore and learn about a law degree in Canada. However, I have noticed that over the years this group has become EXTREMELY TOXIC. Some individuals just rip through discussions, tearing people down for absolutely no reason. No, I am not talking about those who are harsh about one's chances (although there definitely could be a little more encouragement). I swear some people spend hours on here waiting for someone new to confront with their keyboard.

 

Just freaking be nice. A lot of people are going through A LOT of crap right now and the last thing they need is to be treating in any way other than positive on this forum. 

 

 Well said. I'm pretty new myself but I was a bit taken aback by some of the rudeness I have seen in some threads. Totally uncalled for.

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On 1/9/2021 at 5:02 PM, lawstudent20202020 said:

I'll need to update my firm bio to include this prestigious award

I have an idea

Client situation unxxxxer 

Using that word on your bio is not professional. 

 

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On 1/5/2021 at 7:55 PM, Mwatso said:

Hi everyone. 

I am writing this because currently, the world sucks and it is a time we should all be pumping each other up. Some people, due to losing their jobs or needing a change, have decided to apply this year. Other people may be just browsing in anticipation of one day applying. Others, like me, have been browsing this forum for YEARS waiting for hopefully the day I will be able to post that I have been accepted. The point is, I really love the idea of this forum as an educational and social tool to explore and learn about a law degree in Canada. However, I have noticed that over the years this group has become EXTREMELY TOXIC. Some individuals just rip through discussions, tearing people down for absolutely no reason. No, I am not talking about those who are harsh about one's chances (although there definitely could be a little more encouragement). I swear some people spend hours on here waiting for someone new to confront with their keyboard.

 

Just freaking be nice. A lot of people are going through A LOT of crap right now and the last thing they need is to be treating in any way other than positive on this forum. 

 

OP is right. Some of you are unnecessarily savage. These forums can get pretty toxic and it's kind of sad. It has definitely prevented some people from posting. 

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As always, if you find a post directed at you that is "savage" or "toxic", please report the post so that the mod team can review it.  

It's a good skill to be able to determine if advice is actually savage, or if it's just advice that you don't want to hear. I'm speaking generally here.

 

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I understand that advice could be good advice and yet be savage because there may be no way to deliver honest advice without being harsh. I take no issue with that.

I take issue with individuals on this forum who are unnecessarily harsh, a key word being “unnecessarily.” If your co-worker comes in wearing turquoise pants and a red dress shirt, you can either tell her that the colours of her outfit clash or that she looks like a “fucking clown.” (I will not explain why one might refrain from calling one’s co-worker a clown even if she, in fact, resembles a clown. It is my hope that this is obvious.) 

Too many folks here do the latter and seem to get some strange kick out of it. This, I should add, is a tad fucked up and signals the existence of untreated deep-seated issues. It’s a safe bet that these same individuals would fare poorly in an in-person confrontation and would not nearly be as aggressive in-person as they are online. 

You all know who you are. You need to chill. It’ll make you a bit happier.

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25 minutes ago, Cookies20000 said:

I understand that advice could be good advice and yet be savage because there may be no way to deliver honest advice without being harsh. I take no issue with that.

I take issue with individuals on this forum who are unnecessarily harsh, a key word being “unnecessarily.” If your co-worker comes in wearing turquoise pants and a red dress shirt, you can either tell her that the colours of her outfit clash or that she looks like a “fucking clown.” (I will not explain why one might refrain from calling one’s co-worker a clown even if she, in fact, resembles a clown. It is my hope that this is obvious.) 

Too many folks here do the latter and seem to get some strange kick out of it. This, I should add, is a tad fucked up and signals the existence of untreated deep-seated issues. It’s a safe bet that these same individuals would fare poorly in an in-person confrontation and would not nearly be as aggressive in-person as they are online. 

You all know who you are. You need to chill. It’ll make you a bit happier.

I actually don't know who these people are - nobody is coming to mind. At least nobody who contributes on a semi-regular basis. 

Some people have harsher styles than others but honestly who is being inappropriately harsh? 

I would assume that the people you are thinking of in fact do not know who they are. 

A lot of this is essentially miscommunication. Example: the responder says something strongly worded which they think is blunt but fair and the recipient interprets it as an abhorrent verbal assault. That actually happens quite often on this message board.

Edited by BringBackCrunchBerries
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What I am finding interesting is also the fact that most of the people arguing about the toxic environment of this forum are law students and those not in law school, while most of the lawyers and articling students are arguing the opposite. There may be a power imbalance here, but also just the fact that law students/those not in law school often just don't like hearing harsh truths from lawyers. 

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48 minutes ago, Cookies20000 said:

Too many folks here do the latter and seem to get some strange kick out of it. This, I should add, is a tad fucked up and signals the existence of untreated deep-seated issues. It’s a safe bet that these same individuals would fare poorly in an in-person confrontation and would not nearly be as aggressive in-person as they are online.

I don't actually disagree with anything you've written. But I'd like to point out that in the process of making reasonably valid points about tone and approach, rather than call a certain kind of approach wrong and move on, you've described it as "fucked up," linked it to the alleged emotional instability of the people you are critiquing, and implied generalized social dysfunction. In other words, rather than adopt the very form of criticism you are advocating, your criticism of the people who are failing to post they way you want them to post fell into the very patterns you believe are wrong.

I'm not saying that proves your points are invalid, and I don't believe that pointing out hypocrisy is somehow the highest form of pwnage. That's bullshit Internet logic. But I do think the standards some are advocating for are unreasonably high and unrealistic.

13 minutes ago, Deadpool said:

What I am finding interesting is also the fact that most of the people arguing about the toxic environment of this forum are law students and those not in law school, while most of the lawyers and articling students are arguing the opposite. There may be a power imbalance here, but also just the fact that law students/those not in law school often just don't like hearing harsh truths from lawyers. 

I've been thinking the same thing, and one of the reasons I didn't say it is there are competing explanations that would prove or disprove the theory, and probably it's a combination of several factors.

A valid take on why long-term posters (now more advanced in the profession) could adopt a more caustic tone, and defend it, is that it's simply the community we've built. Someone who comes along with a different tone might simply select out of it, rather than stick around for years. Now I do not at all believe that's the whole story or even most of it, but I don't think it proves anything to say that long-standing participants are fine with it while only recent arrivals have a problem, which proves the problem isn't real.

I do think another part of the problem is that we are all part of a profession where authority and seniority do have meaning. That isn't to say a lawyer is always right and a student is always wrong, any more than a judge is always right and a lawyer before them is always wrong. But we at least respect authority, hierarchy, etc. And too damn many students show up here feeling like it's the Internet, after all, and anyone capable of mashing a keyboard has an opinion that's equally valid to all other opinions. The response to that kind of attitude - whether expressed subtly or overtly - almost always veers into what some would call "toxic." I don't happen to agree it's toxic and I'd call it a necessary correction to dumb-fuckery as probably most other participants here would agree. But it can certainly feel toxic and sometimes I even think it goes overboard. Like honestly, "how do I know you're really a lawyer" is a valid question to ask, most anonymous places on the Internet. Not everyone who lands here for the first time necessarily appreciates this place is different.

Anyway, there's definitely a snowflake aspect to the differing expectations of what's toxic and what isn't. But it isn't all that. Students are very often ignorant of basic realities of the legal profession, far too full of themselves, convinced of their own specialness, etc. And if I'm going to hang around here, taking that down a peg or two doesn't only come inevitably with the territory, it's something I feel I'm perfectly entitled to enjoy. Where I think it goes too far is when more experienced posters approach that correction not just harshly but from an attitude of superiority. As if we ourselves were any fucking better when we were at that stage. I know for damn sure I wasn't. And I'm glad for the people who helped beat that out of me. Because holy fuck I was insufferable.

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10 hours ago, BringBackCrunchBerries said:

I would assume that the people you are thinking of in fact do not know who they are. 

No, I actually know for certain that some of the whinging in this thread is directed at me specifically. I know this because certain users posted said whinging in this thread shortly after attempting to "call me out" in others. But when this is the kind of post they are referring to, I don't really give a shit about their sensibilities and I'm not going to cater to them. If I go over the line I'm fine being banned (mods' forum, mods' rules) and seeking out a forum that is culturally more in line with my style (although there are some users here I'd miss chatting with). But I've spent some time here figuring out what the line is, and although I'm not a mod and far be it from me to gatekeep, I don't take kindly to people signing up to a forum I've taken the time to do that on, then within hours decrying the culture of the board and wanting everyone else to adjust and accommodate them because it's not the hugbox they personally want. Screw those people, honestly--I'm happy for them to just self-select out and stop posting here.

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