Author Archives: Noah L

My Top Ten OCI Tips

1)    Be yourself. Your grades, cover letter, and resume got you the OCI. Now it’s time to be yourself and show the interviewers who you really are.

2)    Smile. Take a deep breath, relax, and smile. Despite how nervous you might be, don’t forget to smile!

3)    Maintain eye contact. Maintaining eye contact with your interviewers shows that you are listening and engaged. It also displays self-confidence (refer to tip #4).

4)    Be confident. Confidence is contagious. If you are confident in yourself, your interviewers will be confident in you!

5)   Give a firm handshake. Shake your interviewers hand firmly while maintaining eye contact. Refer to point 3 and 4 for why.

6)    Dress the part. I wish I could tell you that what you wear does not matter. But I can’t. You do not have to go out and buy a $1000 Gucci suit but you should also avoid old white sneakers and baggy hand-me-down suits with tweed elbow patches.

7)    Ask for a business card. You should follow-up with an email to every lawyer you meet during OCI’s. Taking their business card is a good way to stay organized.

8)    Wear a watch. You will be pressed for time (especially during in-firms) and you do not want to have to pull out your phone to check the time.

9)    Do your research. You will find out which lawyers are interviewing you beforehand and you should research them to learn about their practice areas. Prepare some questions for the lawyers that show that you did your homework.

10)   Ask thoughtful questions. Every interview will end with the opportunity to ask the interviewers questions. Have a list prepared for every OCI so that you are not caught off guard.

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Early Summer OCI Tips

Now, I know what you’re thinking already. Its mid-July, you’re sitting by the pool sipping some sangria or K-Juice (ask Kwaku for a recipe) and you are saying: why would I ever start worrying about OCI’s right now?!

The scary truth is that Toronto OCI applications are due in around 6 weeks, and it is never too early to start prepping. In fact, I would highly advise not leaving these applications until the last minute. The good news is that there is some very easy and helpful prep work you can start doing right now. Here are a few tips for getting started on the application process:

1) Contact people you know at the firms you are applying to. Reaching out to students and lawyers at these firms is a great way of demonstrating your interest to the firm and learning more about the firm culture.  And most importantly, you will have a name to reference in your cover letter. Every little trick you can use to help distinguish yourself from the pack is highly recommended. Also, if you don’t know anyone personally at the firm you are applying to, don’t be afraid to contact an alumni from your law school who works there. We have all been in your shoes and we are all happy to help.

2) ORDER YOUR TRANSCRIPTS. NOW. I won’t name names (NOAH LESZCZ) but some students forget to order their official transcripts from both their undergrad universities and their law school. You don’t want to be compiling your applications and suddenly realize that the transcript you thought you had from undergrad was in fact incomplete, and missing your entire fourth year. Needless to say, it’s not a fun feeling. (I ended up realizing my mistake with a week to go and rush ordered the transcript from McGill for a hefty price. No harm, no foul.) On this same note, contact the people (if any) who are writing your reference letters to give them as much time as possible.

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Chan and Chad’s Tip: “Don’t wear the exact same suit, shirt, and tie combo as your good friends. One of you is inevitably going to look better.”

3) Clean up your resume. Start editing and re-writing your resume to make it as professional looking as possible. I highly recommend contacting a friend in upper year at law school and asking for a copy of their resume. Law firms want to see a specific format from your resume and double checking with an upper year buddy is a good way to make sure you are on track.

4) Go on firm tours. Firm tours are a great way to meet lawyers at the firms and give yourself a leg up before OCI’s. Most importantly, you will start to figure what people mean when they say “firm culture”. Finding a firm that you like, is just as important as finding a firm that likes you.

5) Find an “upper year OCI buddy”. Yes, I made up that term. And yes, I had an upper year OCI buddy. The next few months are going to be a whirlwind of applications, cover letters, interviews, dinners, and phone calls. Having someone that you can call at any time to bounce questions off of is crucial. There is a tremendous amount of strategy that goes into the whole OCI process and having a wise sage (AKA upper year OCI buddy) in your back-pocket will prove to be extremely helpful.

Stay tuned for more blog posts with tips for OCI’s in the upcoming weeks!

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The Summer Students Go Outside

  A special guest blog post by Robyn Blumberg

On a typical day, the average Canadian employee spends more time with his or her co-workers than with family or friends. That may be a scary reality for some, but not for the students at CBB who decided to spend their Sunday together enjoying the sun in Trinity Bellwoods Park.

We traded in our suits and ties for shorts and tanks, our computers and McGill Guides for frisbees and soccer balls, and the Cassels lunches for Freezies and Rice Krispies. After scouting out the ideal sun/shade location, the crew showed up over the next few hours excited to see what each student would contribute to our potluck.

Xi provided the blanket, Kwaku brought a soccer ball, while Lauren and Amanda bought a range of chips and dips. Steph offered an evening appetizer with her ‘make-your-own’ wrap station. I have become accustomed to the famous Cassels fruit platter, recognizing that the picnic would not be complete without the Loblaws version. Ben brought frozen tubes of childhood nostalgia to the picnic, surprising us with Freezies. Andrew, Jacquie, and James supplied…their good looks and strong conversation skills (thanks guys)!

Spending time together on such a gorgeous day was a much needed opportunity to continue to get to know each other better, without talk of work or the office. The afternoon reminded us that on occasion, it is important to leave the confines of the Breakfast Club (sorry Kelman), our BBM chat group, and the lawyer’s lunchroom behind…

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I was thankful that Lauren and Xi arrived on time to keep me company!

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To quote Michael M, “what a bunch of good looking people”.

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Ben realized that his freezies made him the hero of the picnic.

Stay tuned for the summer students go outside Part II – our next escape may take us as far as the Toronto Island!

 

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Tips and Tricks

Each week, the Cassels student team meets over lunch to discuss the current projects we are working on. The meetings are a great opportunity to share with each other some of the work you have completed, and to pick up a few “tips and tricks” from your colleagues moving forward. The students are divided amongst 4 floors, and as the weeks get busier, they seem to fly by that much faster. Tips and tricks is a great opportunity to catch up with your fellow students, and to learn more about the firm’s practice areas to help you branch out and find new projects. Here are some examples of responses we heard in this week’s session:

David: David has been drafting an endorsement agreement for a sporting equipment company that is trying to sponsor a professional athlete. David created the first draft of the agreement for his supervising lawyer. Note: David attempted to draft an additional endorsement agreement for himself, but the company felt that his “playing days were numbered and was not a commercially viable sponsor”. Nice try Dave.

Mike M: Mike drafted a memo to help determine which cause of action to employ for potential litigation in the area of municipal law. Mike researched all of the relevant case law to demonstrate past precedence for these causes of action.

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Here is Kwaku hard at work on a “classified” file.

Alex: Alex has been working closely with lawyers assisting in the discovery of documents for a class action lawsuit. The discovery involved going to the company that is being sued to collect the documents and analysing the documents to help establish our arguments for the trial.

Matthew: Matthew has been working with a lawyer to assist in drafting the contract for the filming of a music video for a popular Canadian band. The contract was an agreement between the band and the production company.

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Work hard, play hard.

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We have arrived!

Fresh Faces

It’s hard to believe that our week of orientation is already over! The crew of 22 fresh faced summer students have arrived to CBB and we are off to a great start already.

We have toured the building, met the staff, and had countless info sessions. It is safe to say that we are all very eager to start on our various summer projects this week. Stay tuned throughout the summer as our staff of bloggers will keep you up to date on all the latest happenings with the 2014 summer student crew!

LSUC Pic

Last Tuesday we walked over to Osgoode Hall and toured the building.

Library Pic

We also checked out The Great Library.

Selfie Pic

But first, let me take a selfie. Arend and Mike are pretending to not notice, while Alex and Britt cannot contain their excitement! Special guest appearance by James and Matt.

Mildreds

Finally, we finished off the hard week of orientation with a celebratory lunch at Mildred’s Temple Kitchen.

 

 

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