Fighting the fight against a lack of information on Canadian Law Schools.
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Friday, May 30, 2003
Here Comes Articling Week
It looks like my final tally for interviews sits at 5. Not as many places as I had hoped would want to interview me, but hopefully enough to get a job out of it. Scheduling the interviews was kind of tough actually. The "recommended" time to allow for an interview is 2 hours. You would think then that there would be some kind of harmony in the timing of the interviews. You know, 9, 11, 1, 3. But no. Some places wanted 9:30, others 10:45. You get the picture. Basically I ended up with two interviews on one day and one on three other days, particularly because I am going to Edmonton for one, and that writes that day off nearly completely.
Don't look for too many updates until after the 11th. Since I will be at my parents house, computer access time is limited, not to mention my free time. The beauty, and the ugly, of living away from home is that every time I go home there are numerous social events that I have to catch up on to try and see all the family and friends that are hanging around. Makes for a busy time. Hopefully I won't be too stressed and grumpy from interviews. Good luck to anyone else who is going to be doing matching stuff this week, or shortly ahead in the future.
Thursday, May 22, 2003
The Waiting Game Begins Again
With all my applications for articling positions sent out, 9 in total, I am yet again in full fledged waiting mode. My fate rests once more in the hands of others. I have so far scheduled two interviews and I hope there is more to come. With my new grades faxed in to the firms still considering, there is nothing else I can really do but wait...
And then after the interviews are done I have to fill out my match form, and then I wait...
Have you all had your Alberta beef today?
Thursday, May 15, 2003
Do Good Things Come in Threes Too?
So grades go up this morning and being the diligent law student that I am I roll out of bed to check them. Although unlike first year where I got up at 7am exactly when they were posted, I waited until I actually wanted to get out of bed at 9 am. On goes the computer and whaddayaknow. I didn't totally blow it. In fact, this set of exams was my highest overall grades in law school. Wonders never cease. The grade break down for those keeping score was International 78, International Commercial Disputes 75, Federalism 84, Charter 76, International Tax 75, Coporate Transactions 79. That makes my average for the term 77.84, very nice.
I guess a little commentary, the grades were about what I expected with some small surprises. I didn't think that I would get an 84 in Federalism some of my answers were a little sketchy I thought but I guess she didn't. I also am somewhat suprised that I got a 79 in Corp Trans. When I wrote that exam there were some issues that I felt I didn't have a clue on. Here's something that most current law students will relate too and most budding ones will come to understand. When you write an exam you bring in a set of notes to help you out. At UBC we call them CANs (for Condensed Annotated Notes), at other schools they are called outlines or summaries. Some people find old ones and just use them, others make their own all from scratch. I usually find one old set to work with and make my own kind of as a way of studying, kind of to have them with me. When you write the exam you usually use you CAN to help you out alot because you can't remember everything. The problems come when you have to go back to your origninal class notes or deep inside the readings to find information. On the Corp Trans exam I had class notes, readings the whole shabam out. I don't exactly remember what the issue was but I couldn't find the law on it in my CAN, my borrowed CAN, anywhere. Just goes to show that even when you are struggling in an exam you never know what'll turn out.
The 78 in International is not too surprising, but it is a little higher than I maybe would have thought. The professor for this exam wrote up outlines for each topic in this exam. There were actually two outlines on state responsibility though because she made one at the beginning of the term and then one halfway through including some updated material. I brought all these outlines into the exam because they are really like long CANs and very helpful. Except I brought the old one instead of the new one on state responsibility. Sure enough, you can guess what the problem on the exam dealt with. I guess I must not have done too bad on the rest of the exam though to balance off, but how good would it have been if I had that other outline? Guess I'll never know. Kind of the same thing goes for Charter where the prof gave a real knucklebuster of an exam and I couldn't totally finish on time. I left the last part of my Oakes test out due to time. I'm guessing that would have been worth a point or two.
Given my lacksadaisacal preparation for these exams I consider myself lucky and happy. Hopefully my third piece of good news will come in the form of a job. Hope everyone else did well also.
Here's hoping the Good News is Only Starting Early
Returning home from work yesterday, there was a message from my old international law professor asking if I was still interested in joining her Jessup moot team. Since it was too late for reasonable people to be making phone calls, I waited on it for a day before calling and saying yes, I was definitely interested and I was very excited to get in on the moot team. I was also happy that another third year will be on my team who worked with me last year on a natural resources project. She's smart and hard working, so I'm really looking forward to working with her again. I am just pleased as punch with this really. One of the main reason's I wanted to come to UBC was that they have a strong moot program and traditionally a good Jessup team, so I'm hoping we'll be able to bring home more gold for the school. The only downside is that the Jessup moot is in Vancouver this year, so no travel. Maybe we'll have home ice advantage, metaphorically speaking.
With grades coming out tomorrow, and interviews coming up shortly (if I get any out of my so far 9 applications) I'm hoping this is just the beginning of a batch of good news. Usually the people who get on moots have good grades, so this may mean mine are ok. Moots are also somewhat valued by employers so it should be a nice little gem to drop in their laps at interviews to raise my stock a little. Tomorrow morning grades. You can bet I'll be posting again. Sweet dreams all.
Thursday, May 08, 2003
What Should I do with my life?
Inevitably, when you are applying for articling positions you will be asking yourself this question, and so am I at this very juncture. Writing cover letters trying to provide something unique to firms that are largely similar makes for an interesting examination of this issue. Why do I want to work for Firm X over Firm Y? Does one have a better reputation, nicer offices, better perks? Not really. Does one do more practice in one area than another? Not in a significant way. Once you eliminate certain options (criminal, environmental, employment maybe) in your job search you are generally confronted with a long list of giant organizations all who offer the same general experience. What is a student to do? I didn't come into law school thinking "I can't wait to restructure corporate finance deals!" yet I find myself writing this, in a more subtle and convincing way, over and over again? There are others who won't have this problem because they came to law school knowing exactly what they wanted to do when they got to law school. I just knew I wanted to be a lawyer. I even considered myself out ahead of the knowledge curve compared to others when I got to law school, but somewhere in the past two years I have fallen behind this curve.
Confronted with this I just finished reading a book by a gentleman named Po Bronson entitled the same as this post and exploring the same question. What should I do with my life? The book was ok, and I would recommend it to anyone who is really asking themselves the same question. It isn't all Chicken Soup for the Soul and jazz, it contains some really sad stuff and some hard lessons along with some inspiration. In relation to this blog, it brought me back to what I wanted to really do with a law degree. Mostly I came to law school because I wanted to be involved in the bigger picture, not the smaller one. What Canada should do to make the whole country better, not how an individual conflict should be resolved. Which led me to ask how I could do that with my law degree. Politics is too fickle really. So the answer I came up with was to apply to the Department of Justice office in Edmonton. They don't pay as much, and I don't know if I will even get the job or if I would take it over an offer from a bigger more prestigious firm, but it is one more option in the field that I hadn't really considered and will hopefully pan out.
Sorry if that's too much heavy though for a spring day.