The End Is the Beginning Is the End

August is a time of change at a law firm. Summer students are finishing thier work and heading back to school while articling students are just beginning their sojourn towards being called to the bar. There are goodbyes and wringing of hands over the school year ahead. Some dread returning to law school and wish they could continue on with the firm. Others look forward to how their sharpened legal skills will serve them well when they tackle casebooks in September.

How will we adjust to the return to the ol’ law mines at our respective universities? A look at what I expect to be the same, better, worse, or just plain different starting this fall for my final year, 3L:

1. “Casual Fridays” will be replaced with  “casual every day.” In a reversal, suits will still be worn on Fridays so I don’t get rusty.

2. Bizarrely, I will start drinking coffee again, having  made it this far with only a single latte at work blemishing my bean juice-free summer.

3. Running expensive Quicklaw and Westlaw searches on my student account, for the hell of it.

4. Feeling bolder about challenging professors in class.

5. Starting class at 1:00 pm, but waking up at 7:00 of of sheer habit and getting suit halfway on before realizing what I’m doing.

6. Wondering how I can bill the school for the time I spend in the library.

7. Giving advice to 1L and 2L’s now that I am a learned gentleman WHO KNOWS EVERYTHING ABOUT THE LAW AND IT UTTERLY UNASSAILABLE!!!

8. Conversely to #5: running away like a frightened rabbit when someone asks me a question I don’t know.

9. No more free lunch? Wrong. Show enough aggression and determination in the student lounge and you’ll find any lunch can be had for free.

10. Writing a screenplay about a hard-working law student who somehow secures an articling position at a big city firm. Said city is then attacked by aliens. Box office gold.

Summer Students at Leisure

As the summer winds down, the buzz amongst the summer students is where everyone will spend their hard earned, precious weeks of idleness before school starts. Below is a list of everyone’s current plans:

Jess: Going to California: vineyards, surfing, and spending that hard earned cash. Through shopping, hopes to single-handedly solve California’s debt crisis.

Steve: Going to vegas, to roll the blackjack tables. Table name: Rooster DeVille.

Pat: Will act as a modern Henry David Thoreau, camping by himself in the Californian wilderness. He also hopes to find a taco truck.

Victoria: A stay-cation in Ajax, Ontario. Or in her own words, she’s going to “relax in the ‘Jax”.

Chris: Going back to the land in Newcastle, Ontario. Powering up for the next year of school. 

Carly: Heading to Barcelona for Spanish classes before her exchange semester starts.

Joel: At the moment, has grand plans to visit a friend in Sierra Leone for a couple weeks. Barring that: Lindsay, Ontario.

Carla: Currently in Thunder Bay getting her Chartered Accountant designation, adding yet more letters to her name.

Anita: Indulging in a foodie’s retreat to Chicago. Plans to observe the CBB tradition of Hot Dog Fridays at Wrigley Field.

Ardy: Already in Signapore for exchange – may choose never to return.

Jared: Working until the Friday before school starts. In the intervening weekend, he hopes to catch up on a summer’s worth of Jersey Shore.  

Azim: To Amsterdam, for an exchange semester.

Alec: Diving the deeps in Belize with law school friends.

Caitlin: Observing her FWOs (family wedding obligations) in King City. 

Monique: Going to Johannesburg, South Africa to eat some chow bunnies.

Laura: Touring Ireland with friends.

Stephanie: A family vacation in Miami, to observe the holy trinity of relaxing: tanning, beaches, Pina Coladas.

Tuez with Voudz–Episode 10

Hi friends!!!

It’s time for VOUDDDZZZZSTTEERRIIIAAAAA!!!!!

Why, you ask? Well, there are three reasons:

  1. Because I said so
  2. Because today marks the second last Tuez with Voudz: a moment of silence. JUST KIDDING, I don’t even know what silence means.
  3. Because today is our tenth episode! HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO US! (Oh champagne, how lovely, 19th floor please).

Continue reading “Tuez with Voudz–Episode 10” »

OCI Applications: Tips and Tricks

I’ve avoided it for some time: writing a post that offers advice on the OCI application process for incoming second-year students. That topic seems to be the dominant theme of our blog (and, if you look at our stats, the dominant draw for readership), so in the interest of relevance I thought I would offer you some tips and tricks on the OCI application process.

Be sure to emphasize experiences that are relevant. Take a look at your resume. Sure it’s impressive that you completed a weekend course in self-portrait crochet back in 1998; but is it impressive to people who matter? Your resume and cover letter are one of the only chances you get to secure an OCI. Cram them with relevance, and discard anything that has nothing to do with your suitability for work at a law firm.

Have informed expectations about the summer experience. A certain friend of mine, let’s call him Mr. Orange, thought it was a good idea to emphasize in his cover letter that he really looked forward to client contact as a summer student. He was surprised when not a single firm discussed his interest during interviews.

The truth is, summer students will not have a great deal of client contact (although it does happen), so expressing a heady interest in that aspect of work was not the best use of Mr. Orange’s cover letter and resume. Make sure you fully understand the job of the summer student before trying to talk about how much you’d like to have one; that way you’ll be able to maximize the relevance and impact of your cover letter and resume.   

Don’t discriminate. Apply to a large number of firms and worry about paring them down later. There’s no sense in limiting yourself this early in the game. Unless, of course, you know you only want to work at CBB.

Double-check your references. If you’re going to mention someone on your cover letter, ensure well in advance that they are comfortable with it. Instead of adding punch to your application, an inappropriate or unacknowledged name-drop on your cover letter can really harm your chances. A surprising amount of applicants make this error.

Proofread. Their’s nothing wrong with pour grammer and spelling, butt it distracts from the massage.  

Hopefully these tips help you along the way. Don’t forget that there are loads of other resources available, and that almost all of the third year students at your law school have gone through the same experience. Good luck!