Thursday, March 23, 2006

Law School: Queen's Law Life: Correlation between the average law tuition ($6,800) and the average law prof's salary ($136,634)?

There is an exellent article on Queen's Law Life looking at law tuition compared to law professor salaries. It is insightful commentary on the current state of law tuition. I found it very illuminating.

You may want to do some futher research into law school tuition at your school of choice. Is it comensurate with what you hope to get out of law school? Will it allow you to make the kind of money that you want to make?

One other comment that I would like to add to the matter is that law professors often begin their professorships with an LLM (Master of Laws). They do not require a PhD, although some do achieve this degree. It's true that you require two degrees before becoming an LLM candidate, and that many people consider the LL.B/JD equal to graduate school (i.e. a Masters level), but it is still worth considering that law professors do not require that PhD status. In fact, I had some professors who had been teaching for many years with only an LL.B. degree.

You can also find further discussion here and here (very interesting to me) on the LL.B / JD (Bachelor of Laws vs. Juris Doctorate of Laws) on Queen's Law Life.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Law Eh? Law School in Canada - Second Edition

I have now started work on the 2nd edition of So, You Want to be a Lawyer, Eh? The title will be changed to Law Eh? Law School in Canada. Why? Because of the way in which search engines and online bookstore searches work. Changing the name will make the book more accessible to prospective and current Canadian law students. The new edition will be available in July/August 2006. I will keep you posted.

I am looking for feedback. What would you like included in the 2nd edition? Please leave your comments in the comments section, or give me an email.

Things that I will be adding are:

1. Words of Wisdom from more current and graduated law students from eastern (i.e. Ontario, Maritimes) law schools.

2. More information on alternative legal careers.

3. A section on what it is like to be a lawyer - i.e. why would I want to go into law school?

4. More commentary on the effects of rising tuition for law school.

5. I am also considering including a new law school ranking. However, this may be more useful to you as a separate publication. Let me know what would be better for you.

6. More information on attending law school in other jurisdictions and information on practicing in non-Canadian jurisdictions with a Canadian law degree.

7. An update on the J.D. / LL.B. debate.

8. More expansive commentary on what to expect during your articling year.

9. A new section on passing bar requirements / preparing for bar requirements.

10. New commentary on law school attitudes - how to really achieve success.

11. Updated entrance statistics from each law school in Canada.

12. More reviews of online resources and books about success in law school.

13. A panel of students from across Canada telling you, in their opinion, "what it really takes to succeed in law school".

14. A new section on "if I knew then what I know now" - how to avoid various pitfalls in law school...and beyond.

15. More sample resumes, statements of interest, and cover letters.

16. More detailed information on salary ranges at law firms across the country.

17. Continued commentary on what articling students and first year associates are being paid compared to how much they are working.

18. More information on what the various areas of law are really like - i.e. what do you do as a corporate lawyer, a criminal lawyer, a real estate lawyer, a family lawyer...

19. New information on law school scholarships.

20. How to win the CPLED game (for Western provinces).

If you would like to see the Table of Contents for the current edition, click here. It's packed full of information already, and you might find it useful, especially if you just found out that you are accepted to law school (congrats, by the way!).

We are also thinking about making the book available in Palm and MS Lit formats. Is this something you would be interested in?

Lastly, we are looking for a few graduates to add their Pearls of Wisdom to the book. This is your chance to really let the world know what you would have done differently, what you did to rock the world in law school, etc. Give me an email if you are interested. The book is currently available in print and as an eBook in PDF format.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Law School: Canadian Law School Success

A few tidbits for today:

The Princton Review gives some good tips on how to attack law school classes. It's worth a quick read. Tips for Classroom Success.

You can find some more Law School Survival Tips at Reach Canada.

Waterloo gives some good tips on Applying for Law School.

Want to read about what some Windsor LLB grads have done with their lives? Read on.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Law School: Kawaskimhon National Aboriginal Rights Moot

The Law Times recently posted a short article on the Kawaskimhon National Aboriginal Rights Moot, a moot that I participated in during my second year of law school. It was a fantastic experience! If you are interested in this moot, give me an email and I can give you more information on what it was like, what was required, etc.

Starting a law firm

So, on Friday I was offered a position at my law firm for next year. I will complete my articles on May 31, 2006. I was flattered, and happy to receive an offer. However, I turned it down. Why? Because, I have decided, along with a former classmate, to start my own law firm. We will hang our shingle on July 1, 2005. Think I am nuts?

Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.
--Leon J. Suenes

Friday, March 10, 2006

Success Stories: Metamorphosis turns law student into actor

I read an interesting article in The Star about a fellow who found out very early on that law school wasn't for him. Instead, it was the stage. It is refreshing to hear about law students who are honest with themselves, and who don't drag themselves through the experience of law school, knowing that it will not lead them to happiness. Too often students force themselves through law school knowing in their heart that they will never love the law. I am not saying that you have to absolutely love the law. But, you certainly should not revile it either, as some of my classmates apparently did. I wonder how many unhappy lawyers would have had amazing careers if they had been more honest with themselves early on during law school. I have an uncle who worked in a rather large law firm for nearly 20 years, apparently hating it! He then finally made a rash decision and went to work somewhere else as an environmental lawyer. His schedule changed as well, and allowed him to explore his true love - acting. There is one truth out of all of this - be true to yourself - at every mile and at every intersection in life. Law school is not for everyone.

Law School: Don't share your law school grades

With the exception of your Mom, Dad, husband or wife and maybe your best friend (that isn’t in law school), do not share your grades with anyone. It does not help anybody, including you. It leads to negative emotions, either on your part, or on the part of your confidant. It leads to unnecessary gossip, unnecessary stress and ultimately does more harm than good most of the time. Assume that everyone else is getting great grades, and work hard to keep up with the rest of the class. Remember, everything is graded on a curve (the most common grade is a B), and that your goal is to stay on the right side of that curve. Also, remember that it is more important to show improvement, dedication and perseverance when it comes to recruiters. True, some recruiters will have a bias towards those who receive top marks. However, do not count yourself out if you have received some low marks in your first year. Recruiters look at a lot more things than grades, contrary to popular opinion.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Law School: New CANS, Outlines, Summaries for Law School

Cecilia Perdigao / Jenny Hopkins kindly sent me some first year law school outlines / summaries today. I will post them at Constitutional Law and Contracts Law. Enjoy! There will soon be a number of CANS from my law school experience there as well, along with links to outlines from other Canadian law schools.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Law School Admissions: Mastering the LSAT - How to Score 160 or More

It's been some time since I gave a lot of thought to the LSAT (Law School Admission Test). More than four years, in fact. I came across a thread at, which I thought was quite ingeneous and useful.

The original post said:

I'm writing to inquire of the methods/techniques ppl who scored 160+ [on the LSAT] used to get the score they did.

1) What score did you get?

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc)

3) What prep courses did you take (if any)? Full length, weekend?

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc)

5) How many preptests did you do?

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

8 ) What undergrad degree did you do? (or are doing)

I was intrigued to read the answers given by a variety of posters. You may find this information very useful if you hope to score well on the LSAT. There's even one fellow who scored 171 (98th percentile). I get the feeling that most of these posters took the LSAT very seriously!

I myself did 2 or 3 practice exams, used some prep book that I got out of a bargain bin at Chapters, which included a CD-ROM with lots of practice questions on it. I had a real adventure the first time around (read my book to find out the story), and managed to do quite well the second time around, once I got my bearings and my attitude right.

The LSAT is not a small-potatoes test for most people. There are those out there who can ace it without ever studying, but most of us mere mortals probably need at least some preparation to help guide us. The one sense I have gotten over the years is that prep courses are often a waste of time. You need to find your own tricks, and just practice, practice practice.