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DerWizard

Going to law school JD program 2nd time.

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Dear moderators, would you be able to move this thread to another part of the forum? I am shocked that this thread already has over 1000 views and I admit it was not the right place for me to post, and the last thing I wanted to do is to discourage law students from law school or this profession.

Edited by DerWizard
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6 hours ago, DerWizard said:

Dear moderators, would you be able to move this thread to another part of the forum? I am shocked that this thread already has over 1000 views and I admit it was not the right place for me to post, and the last thing I wanted to do is to discourage law students from law school or this profession.

Personally, I think this is a good thread for students to read.

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20 hours ago, DerWizard said:

This phrase contains a lot of wisdom. I just caught myself thinking that the last year made me very desperate and ready to do crazy things just to get a second chance. But perhaps you are right. I hope you are right. I just don't know what to do, and I am thinking about all options, even considering going to other provinces hoping to get into articling there.

Ok, I'm not a lawyer. Not even a law student yet. Hopefully I will but I digress.

What I am, however, is old. Like, I could be the mom of a lot of posters on this forum. So while I can't talk about the path to becoming a corporate lawyer my years have taught me a few things about screwing things up and having to deal with it.

The world is round, and there is more than one way to accomplish something. When you're growing up you feel like you have to follow a linear path of high school - undergrad - grad - career. And anything less than that feels like a failure in a way. But it isn't. It's just a different path. Think of it as taking the backroads rather than the highway. Sure, going the 401 from Toronto to Kingston will get you there faster, but if you take highway 2 you get to see a lot of great things and have interesting experiences along the way if you're open to them. And chances are you'll be really happy you took that route once you arrive because it'll have taught you things along the way you'd never have learned about work, others and yourself if you'd spent that time flying up the highway

Edited by Veggie77
glaring typo that irritated me
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9 hours ago, DerWizard said:

Dear moderators, would you be able to move this thread to another part of the forum? I am shocked that this thread already has over 1000 views and I admit it was not the right place for me to post, and the last thing I wanted to do is to discourage law students from law school or this profession.

It does fit here. I wouldn’t worry about our readers. They have lots of different views available to them and it’s quite clear you are in a very specific circumstance. 

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I can tell you what confuses me the most in my current situation is that I do have plenty of interviews.  But what I find often is that most of the companies don't even read your CV or cover letter, at all. And then they keep telling me that they are looking for particular narrow experience in the area of law they practice (i.e. personal injury, real estate, immigration, etc.), not another type of law. I even had an interview recently where the guy seriously asked me if I have 3+ experience as an associate in particular field of law. And all I can answer is that my resume clearly says that I was called to the bar in 2020, and there is no way I could have had 3+ year as an associate :)).

The question that I always want to ask, is why do you even schedule an interview with candidates knowing that they don't have enough experience? If this happened once, or twice, I wouldn't care that much. But it happens in almost every interview that I am going through for the past half of the year.

Another thing that confuses me is that I personally don't value the internship experience very much. I have done internships in another non-law field before going to law school and it did not teach me anything at all. This is why I am being curious why do the law employers value it that much? I mean I don't need a formal internship (edit) legal experience to understand how criminal or civil litigation works (because I know it very well), etc., and even if I don't know something new, I can obviously learn it within days (if not 1 day). Why do they place so much emphasis on such things as particular experience in certain laws where it is obvious that I can learn it all very fast and be an asset in a long run?

 

Edited by DerWizard

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5 minutes ago, DerWizard said:

I can tell you what confuses me the most in my current situation is that I do have plenty of interviews.  But what I find often is that most of the companies don't even read your CV or cover letter, at all. And then they keep telling me that they are looking for particular narrow experience in the area of law they practice (i.e. personal injury, real estate, immigration, etc.), not another type of law. I even had an interview recently where the guy seriously asked me if I have 3+ experience as an associate in particular field of law. And all I can answer is that my resume clearly says that I was called to the bar in 2020, and there is no way I could have had 3+ year as an associate :)).

The question that I always want to ask, is why do you even schedule an interview with candidates knowing that they don't have enough experience? If this happened once, or twice, I wouldn't care that much. But it happens in almost every interview that I am going through for the past half of the year.

Another thing that irritates me is that I personally don't value the internship experience very much. I have done internships in another non-law field before going to law school and it did not teach me anything at all. This is why I am being curious why do the law employers value it that much? I mean I don't need a formal legal experience to understand how criminal or civil litigation works (because I know it very well), etc., and even if I don't know something new, I can obviously learn it within days (if not 1 day). Why do they place so much emphasis on such things as particular experience in certain laws where it is obvious that I can learn it all very fast and be an asset in a long run?

 

Maybe this attitude has something to do with why you are not very employable? Experience is everything. It can't be learned from an armchair. 

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10 minutes ago, DerWizard said:

Another thing that irritates me is that I personally don't value the internship experience very much. I have done internships in another non-law field before going to law school and it did not teach me anything at all. This is why I am being curious why do the law employers value it that much? I mean I don't need a formal legal experience to understand how criminal or civil litigation works (because I know it very well), etc., and even if I don't know something new, I can obviously learn it within days (if not 1 day). Why do they place so much emphasis on such things as particular experience in certain laws where it is obvious that I can learn it all very fast and be an asset in a long run?

Sorry to be "toxic" but now you sound quite arrogant and I can understand why you aren't getting hired after these interviews. 

You had 6 months of articling. You don't know anything about practicing law "very well". 

I would never hire a junior lawyer who is so overconfident that they think they can learn complex stuff in a day. 

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29 minutes ago, QuincyWagstaff said:

Maybe this attitude has something to do with why you are not very employable? Experience is everything. It can't be learned from an armchair. 

While there is a grain of truth to the OPs opining about certain experience requirements, the phrasing really irked me as well. To say that one can learn something new in a few days or less...I mean sure, if we are talking about the appropriate ways to flip a burger yeah I can see that. But complicated legal concepts that have centuries of history and nuance behind them? Just nonsense.

As a parallel to my own life, can you imagine someone interviewing at an engineering design office and saying "I have no experience in structural steel design connections but give me a day and I'll be up to speed"?

EDIT - To learn from the Toxic thread, perhaps we shouldn't be so quick to jump on this. It could be the case that the OP just messed up the phrasing, and intended something like the following: they have generally found that they possess an aptitude for learning new things and have often found experience requirements to be unnecessarily restrictive / perhaps even detrimental to hiring process. If this is the case, the OP should clarify.

Edited by AllanRC
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42 minutes ago, QuincyWagstaff said:

Maybe this attitude has something to do with why you are not very employable? Experience is everything. It can't be learned from an armchair. 

I am sorry if I wasn't understood properly (or just misunderstood). Of course, experience is everything. I was referring to an internship experience, not legal experience in general, or associate experience. 

My concern is that the internship experience is a key factor in determining whether a junior lawyer is hired or not, because it is very unlikely you are being taught very complex legal stuff as an intern.

Edited by DerWizard

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11 minutes ago, BringBackCrunchBerries said:

Sorry to be "toxic" but now you sound quite arrogant and I can understand why you aren't getting hired after these interviews. 

You had 6 months of articling. You don't know anything about practicing law "very well". 

I would never hire a junior lawyer who is so overconfident that they think they can learn complex stuff in a day. 

Please read above, I never said about learning complex legal stuff in a day. That's an absurd. I was referring to an internship experience only )).

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9 minutes ago, DerWizard said:

Please read above, I never said about learning complex legal stuff in a day. That's an absurd. I was referring to an internship experience only )).

Thanks for clarifying. So you intended to restrict the comment about learning to the theoretical limit of what one could learn from an internship experience (or perhaps what the average internship graduate learns during this time)? This would encompass your comment about knowing civil/criminal litigation well? Meaning, you know it well relative to the standard of someone fresh from an internship experience and to the extent that you did not, it would be relatively easy to learn? Not that you know it well relative to the average practicing member of the bar?

That is much more palatable. Though, I have to ask what you mean by internship experience? Are you referring to articling or once you've been called? My apologies if it was stated earlier and I missed it.

Edited by AllanRC

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3 minutes ago, DerWizard said:

I am sorry if I wasn't understood properly (or just misunderstood). Of course, experience is everything. I was referring to an internship experience, not legal experience in general, or associate experience. Let's be realistic, it is very unlikely you are being taught very complex legal stuff as an intern.

What kind of internship experience have you had and why do you feel you didn't learn anything? Were you just shadowing or were you involved in the work? Was your internship even legal in nature? There is always something to learn from hands-on experience. This can come by way of handling difficult clients, communicating with opposing counsel, drafting documents, going before a judge, and so on. Even from file to file you're learning something new.

Myself and most of my colleagues will attest to the fact that legal work is nothing like law classes. It's such a truism that people don't bother pointing it out anymore. Sure, law students start off doing simple stuff, but they are skill-building in their own right and transferable to legal practice.

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14 minutes ago, DerWizard said:

I am sorry if I wasn't understood properly (or just misunderstood). Of course, experience is everything. I was referring to an internship experience, not legal experience in general, or associate experience. Let's be realistic, it is very unlikely you are being taught very complex legal stuff as an intern.

My concern is that the internship requirement is used as a justification for whether one person is hired for a junior lawyer position or not, which I personally don't understand, because the stuff that the interns do can be learned in days, if not 1 day.

With respect, what in the hell are you talking about? 

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Your problems have nothing to do with law. 

I get it, I struggled with depression and struck out at loads of interviews despite great grades and good experience. But no one wants to hire someone desperate, without direction and a warped view of things. Backtracking a stupid comment is one thing, but that is hardly the first gigantic red flag you showed.

It is not some accident you are struggling. You should get some interview preparation help and learn to be humble. 

 

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I was wondering if you could calarify re "internship". I am not familiar with that term as far as the practise of law goes. I do understand articling, contracted work, and shadowing senior counsel (usually free and part of an established mentor relationship). But for me - a criminal lawyer in BC - the word "internship" is confusing.

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35 minutes ago, AllanRC said:

That is much more palatable. Though, I have to ask what you mean by internship experience? Are you referring to articling or once you've been called? My apologies if it was stated earlier and I missed it.

By internship I mean any legal experience prior to graduation (i.e. prior to articling). I do consider articling a valuable experience, no doubt, though in my case I had personal circumstances which didn't allow me to do it for 10 months.

33 minutes ago, Psychometronic said:

[...] Sure, law students start off doing simple stuff, but they are skill-building in their own right and transferable to legal practice.

This is exactly what I was talking about earlier.

32 minutes ago, QuincyWagstaff said:

With respect, what in the hell are you talking about? 

I am sorry, I am using my phone and my auto-correction is such a mess today. I changed my answer above.

30 minutes ago, Mal said:

It is not some accident you are struggling. You should get some interview preparation help and learn to be humble. 

 I know I made mistakes in the past, and the main reason I am here is that I am looking for ways to rectify my mistakes now.

Edited by DerWizard

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OP, they know you don't have 3 years experience. I assure you a human being reads every resume before extending an interview. I used to work in HR and that was one of my roles ;)

I don't entirely agree that experience is everything. It's 100% important, but I submit that actually attitude is everything. And in a lot of cases a really good attitude can make up for a lack of experience. There is something about your resume and profile that speak to them. They're not ignorant to the fact that you don't have a particular thing, but quite often a job posting is a "wish list" more than an absolute set of requirements.

When an interviewer asks if you have 3 years experience they usually already know you don't, assuming they read the resumes that HR sends them. You know what? Maybe no applicants for the position do. So what? What they're looking for is how you react to it and turn a perceived deficit into an asset. "No, I don't have 3 years, but here's all the positives I do have, the strengths I bring to the position and the plan I have to make up what I lack"

I have a 14 year gap in my resume. (I was a SAHM for a long time. I told you I'm old). Rather than ignoring the giant elephant in the room I addressed it in each interview and expressed why that gap as an asset, not a liability. Study the job postings. Figure out how to turn a "lack" into an asset. Show them how you're being proactive to gain the skills you don't have so they're confident that you are a go getter who is going to get things done. Showing a good attitude, a drive to learn and an unwillingness to be defeated will go a long way.

Edited by Veggie77
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54 minutes ago, DerWizard said:

Another thing that confuses me is that I personally don't value the internship experience very much. I have done internships in another non-law field before going to law school and it did not teach me anything at all. This is why I am being curious why do the law employers value it that much? I mean I don't need a formal internship (edit) legal experience to understand how criminal or civil litigation works (because I know it very well), etc., and even if I don't know something new, I can obviously learn it within days (if not 1 day). Why do they place so much emphasis on such things as particular experience in certain laws where it is obvious that I can learn it all very fast and be an asset in a long run?

31 minutes ago, DerWizard said:

I am sorry if I wasn't understood properly (or just misunderstood). Of course, experience is everything. I was referring to an internship experience, not legal experience in general, or associate experience. Let's be realistic, it is very unlikely you are being taught very complex legal stuff as an intern.

My concern is that the internship requirement is used as a justification for whether one person is hired for a junior lawyer position or not, which I personally don't understand, because the stuff that the interns do can be learned in days, if not 1 day.

Employers look at practical experience to gauge demonstrated interest and to look for transferrable skills, among other things. When you're asked questions about your experience, your lack of experience, your internship, or your interests, you should look at the question as an opportunity to demonstrate what you bring to the table. And you must bring something to the table, by virtue of having been in a legal setting. Unless you spent your six months of articling in a sensory deprivation chamber, you either worked on things or watched others work on things. You therefore must know something about file management, client management, etc. You must have enjoyed something, either in law school or post-law school. The employer is interested in hearing about those things. Otherwise, they presumably would not have offered you the interview. 

Honestly, you do sound depressed. That's okay. I get depressed too. But you need to deal with that, because I think it's colouring your outlook. You're coming up with fanciful ideas of starting over. You're posting that your past experience is meaningless, you make it sound like you have nothing to offer, and you're speculating about employers' motives in refusing you as a candidate. It's understandable how you got there, and I assure you, I know it's tough to get out once you start feeling that way. But if your state of mind is overwhelmingly negative, that's going to impact your motivation, your confidence, and your decision-making. That's not going to help you find employment. 

For me, when I feel the way you do, it's about healthy routine. Exercise, eat well, and give myself structure. And then, if that doesn't work, it's time to seek professional help. If you want any more of my input on this, you're welcome to PM. 

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7 minutes ago, Veggie77 said:

OP, they know you don't have 3 years experience. I assure you a human being reads every resume before extending an interview. I used to work in HR and that was one of my roles ;)

Thanks for your feedback, although I personally believe that Small firms don't do this. However, I don't blame anyone. I understand they are busy and most likely don't have time to go through each individual CV or cover letter, and I am not in a position to criticize anyone.

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6 minutes ago, realpseudonym said:

Honestly, you do sound depressed. That's okay. I get depressed too. But you need to deal with that, because I think it's colouring your outlook.

100 % )).

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