Friday, December 19, 2008

Getting that first law job

I was pleased to hire a couple of students recently to assist me with some projects. One is a first year student, the other a second year student. I really wished for a practical opportunity in my first year(s) of law school, and would have probably done it for free at the time (not that I condone free labour). I really appreciated the resumes that were submitted by various students. It was really neat to see the variety of backgrounds of the law students, and also to see where their interests were developing in law school.

I have said in the past that law school grades are not important, in my mind, but on the other hand, seeing transcripts certainly allows for a peak into what actually interests a potential candidate. A high grade in a particular subject could perhaps indicate that the student is more keen in that area. On the flip side, it could simply reflect that they liked the professor, that the examination style suited their learning style, etc.

On this note, I recently applied for an exemption to the Law Society to reduce the 4-year requirement before I can hire an articling student. Their response was interesting - they can't provide a decision until I actually apply, or the student applies for an article with our firm. Then, they use their discretion, and we would have to show extenuating circumstances. I would argue that if a student wanted to come practice in Southern Alberta, and they wanted to start their practice at our firm, or if they wanted to focus on an area of law that our firm practices, that this would meet the extenuating circumstances test. So, if you are interested, let me know, and we'll test the waters. :).

If it doesn't work out, I'll just have to wait out the 4 years (another 1.5 years), and do it the old fashioned way.

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