Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I'm reminded of this song ... I can't remember if we learned it in school when we were really little, or if our Dad taught it to us (and by us, I'm referring to my siblings ... reading this over I realized that I didn't specify - seemed obvious to me because when I sing it in my head, I'm little and singing it with them) ...
"Witches, and goblins, and jack-o-lanterns bright ... creep through the town on a cold October night ... you hear the sound of marching feet but nothing can be seen, the strangest things can happen on a quiet Halloween."
Anyhow, I'm making a recovery from a whirlwind of a last few days.
I had the greatest weekend in
Monday morning I flew back early so that ... drum-roll please ... I could attend some of the OCI's (On Campus Interviews - remember me applying for them?).
When I had found out that I would be interviewing, I started my normal routine of interview prep. I realized, though, that I had no idea what these interviews would be like. From talking to classmates, I gathered that they were far less formal that what I was used to, and so I made an appointment with Terri Karpish to talk a few things over. This was really worthwhile, and I'll be going back to Terri again to talk about articling.
Good advice from Terri was:
- Dress conservatively. I know this SEEMS like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised what I can come up with when standing in front of my closet, EVEN when limited to suit-wear.
- When asked if you have questions for the firm, try and prepare some meaningful questions that aren't just things that you could look up on their website. Remember the purpose for the interview, that it's really about a best-fit for both you and the firm.
- Law interviews (in this context) really are informal, there aren't usually set questions, it's not a behavioral style interview ... but even so, think about your resume and cover letter, and think about the main things that you'd like for the firm to know about you - and prepare to work it into conversation.
After meeting with Terri, I felt much more comfortable, and focused on reading what I could about each of the firms that I interviewed with, and trying to wrap my head around what it even means to be part of a "big firm".
So ... on Monday morning I got fancied up in my professional duds and headed on over to the Delta Bessborough (which ... as I mentioned before ... I know isn't "on-campus", there is a potential strike happening at the U of S, so the OCI's were moved off campus ... so ... they were the off campus on campus interviews, or OCOCI's - HA!).
There was a seating area for students to wait, and each firm would come out to get you when they were ready for you. They'd bring you back to their table, where there would usually be two interviewers. Conversation would usually start from a comment about SOMETHING from your resume or cover letter, and then it would roll from there.
This process was actually a lot less nerve wracking than the job interviews that I've been on before, and I even ENJOYED the process (I know, it sounds a little crazy, but there it is).
After interviews on Monday, the Dean from our College held a wine and cheese where the wine flowed, and the cheese ... sat on a plate waiting to be eaten ... yeah, I guess I've tapped my creativity for the week. It was a nice opportunity to mingle with everyone, and a special highlight for me was to be able to chat with a few of the first years that were out for interviews ... I haven't had much of a chance to meet many since we've been all over campus ... can't wait for our new building to open.
After the Dean's wine and cheese we were bussed over to Louis' for a wine and cheese put on by the firm. There was a real smorg of yummies, including crab, hors'd'oeuvres, cheeses, fruit, and even strawberry banana flambé. We were entirely spoiled.
This is the part of the story where I tried to pace myself with water. It was a good intention ... for a little while.
After Louis' we were treated to some drinks at the Freehouse (um ... pomegranate martinis here were actually good ... I made them once and they were so bitter they were gross - it was a New Year's Eve, and I was so disappointed ... the pom martinis at Freehouse were so yummy, it was FAR too easy to down them in a hurry).
Needless to say, it was hard to get up in the morning for round two of interviews (especially when my first interview was at ). I wasn't too bad, I was so thankful for the attempt that I made at the water pacing, and I got through Tuesday.
So ... basically, here are the things that I learned, that I'd pass onto anyone looking at doing OCI's in the future:
- Do dress conservatively (again, I know mostly a no-brainer ... EVERYONE that I saw at the OCIs looked so amazing and professional, so obviously not something that's a contentious idea to get, but just thought I'd put it out there).
- Remember what an amazing opportunity the interview is for you, not only in possibly securing summer employment, but in having two lawyers from a firm at your disposal for an entire 20 - 30 minutes. If you're like me and you aren't sure about what it means to be at a big firm, use this time to ask some questions and absorb as much as you can ... this process will be invaluable when it comes time to think about where to apply for articling.
- I was really happy that I was always early. I liked to be in the student waiting area about 20 minutes prior to my interview time. I felt relaxed, I was able to chat with fellow students, and I think it really put me in the right frame of mind for the interviews.
- Do a better job than I did at pacing the drinks with water. I wasn't super-hung over in the morning, but I was definitely a little more flat for my Tuesday interviews than my Monday ones. It sucked to know it. Pace. With. Water.
- Include on your resume/cover letter something about yourself that will make you stand out from the crowd. All the firms told me that they know we're all intelligent, capable, WONDERFUL (ahem ... that one could have been my insertion) people. Interviews are to see where and how you'd fit into the firm. I've heard that people included everything from their community involvement, to belly dancing, to travels ... whatever. Remember that beyond being law students, everyone has some really interesting things to offer ... put them down on paper and brag a little!
- Have fun. The lawyers from the firms are pretty interesting people, and so are your classmates. Go to the wine and cheese functions, and make some acquaintances.
That's all I can think of right now, I'll add more if I think of them.
Anyhoo - I now just have to wait until January 21st (I think) to hear about potential jobs. Seems like a lifetime away, but at least, in the meantime, BATTLESTAR GALLACTICA will have started.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Hopefully, it doesn't come to this kind of scary-ness:
Are you as sick as I am after reading this? I'm nauseous.
I remember the panic and fervor over the open memo last year. This year, this assignment is something that I have to remind myself not to forget about!
Framing the issues was a lot easier. Also, organizing the material came to me much more quickly than last year. Instead of trying to whip all of the theory into submission, I've let the material dictate the organization, and let me tell you, it's an easier road traveled. I've forgotten, though, how the legal writing method is different. I keep referring back to my open memo to make sure I refer to cases properly, that I do my citations properly, basically ... for formatting. Also - thank goodness for that McGill guide!
The new season of Scrubs started last night ... exciting ... although the episode was a little disappointing. Maybe because it was a little less silly and a little more serious. I like Scrubs for silly, so .....
I think Battlestar Gallactica starts soon too .... SOOO excited about that one. Uh oh - just looked it up ... 2 hour premiere on Nov 24th ... cripes ... that's almost Christmas for goodness sakes. I don't think I'll be able to make it that long.
Jason and I are going to see Henry Rollins on Sunday, so I'm really looking forward to that. We've seen Rollins twice before, doing his spoken word, and it's always entertaining ... that man literally vibrates with energy and intensity.
On campus interviews (although that name now no longer seems appropriate ...) for Calgary are next week, so many students will be getting ready for those. Due to a pending strike at the U of S (I think both faculty and administration staff are on notice ... haven't gotten any announcements about it but ... I've heard a bit about it through the grapevine). The interviews have been moved to the Delta Bessborough hotel, which is on the posh side of ordinary. Exciting.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
This week is already turning out to be pretty awesome.
Yesterday at noon there was a lecture in the law library from visiting Acting Head of the University of Canterbury School of Law in New Zealand, Duncan Webb. He's an ethics guru, and his lecture was entitled "Bounded Paternalism and Bounded Autonomy (Why I am A Hired Gun)". It was about the role of lawyers in the justice system, and where moral or ethical lines enter into where lawyers see their roles, and where the general public sees their roles (it was more interesting than how I've just summarized it, but I'm limited on time here people). Definitely a good lecture, inspired some post-lecture discussion in the bar ... which is always a measure of how interesting something is. Especially interesting is the lecture subject in the context of access to justice.
Also, the CBA had a wine and cheese last night, which was well attended. Got to renew my CBA student membership, sign up for their mentoring program, sip some wine, see some people (including Duncan Webb, where I asked him if he thought that his view on the role of lawyers actually helped strengthen our legislation - since lawyers would be always working the law to their client's advantage, would it force legislature to close gaps that could be exploited - and he talked about how lawyers are ridiculously wordy, and that a cyclone of wordiness would possibly ensue, and that really, there is no clarity in the law - I think I kind of understand ... but ... maybe the fact that I'm fuzzy shows that I actually do understand), and I even won a door prize (a nifty little tote bag). Fun.
Yesterday the 1Ls handed in their open memos, and I had a little reminiscing session with some fellow 2Ls. Fun. It feels so far away, but just like yesterday too. I know.
AND ... saw this guy on the City TV's Calgary Breakfast Show ...
Hilarious, non? Don't lie ... you want him at your next party!
Last, but not least:
Friday, October 19, 2007
Mom and Dad are coming to visit today (woo hoo) ... so that is super exciting.
I think the Precedent Effect (as I've dubbed it) is more widespread that they (or anyone) originally thought. From what I can see, there's now a race to "reach out" to young lawyers in a hip, modern way. From calls for young bloggers from the CBA, to the effects that are documented on the Precedent blog ... could this be the first step in addressing what I've been reading about all summer (namely the archaic firm model that most law firms are still using for operation)? There was a lot of material over the summer about retaining women and people with families by restructuring the way that law firms work. Interesting ...
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
There's going to have to be some radical changes pretty soon, or consumers will choose saving $$$$ over patriotism.
Even without the over-inflated car prices issue (which is the subject of a class action lawsuit), I did these random checks myself:
Weezer Blue Album = $9.97 with free shipping on orders over $25.00 @ Amazon.com (American)
Weezer Blue Album = $10.99 with free shipping on orders over $39.00 @ Amazon.ca (Canadian)
I'd love to look up more examples right now, but I'm not in the mood to surf.
It becomes especially hard when my PAWS announcement bulletins are peppered over the last few weeks with safety advisories like this one:
October 15, 2007 Safety Advisory
Please print and post for those without access to email.
On Oct. 15 at approximately 8:00 a.m., Campus Safety was informed a letter of a threatening nature was found posted on the East exterior door of the Physics Building. Saskatoon Police Service was immediately informed and initiated an investigation.
The safety of students, faculty and staff is our foremost concern. It does not appear that there is any cause for alarm. The University is working closely with Saskatoon City Police and will keep the campus community updated if there are any further developments. Updates will be posted to the Announcement channel on PAWS.
We will continue to inform the campus community of all immediate safety concerns through campus email.
If you have any information regarding this incident, please contact the Saskatoon Police Service at 975-8300. Campus Safety reminds the University community to report any suspicious activity to 966-5555.
Posted to Faculty, Staff and Students
By University Communications / ECO
A couple of weeks ago there was an announcement about the Thorvaldson building being vandalized with hateful propaganda.
Is it just me? Or ... are these announcements a little scary.
The communication from the U of S always seems to downplay it a little (or is it just me) ... which I find even scarier. I know that if the police are investigating, they can't release a lot of detail, but I kind of feel in the dark about it all.
I study in the Physics building all the time ... makes me paranoid, which sucks. I don't like being paranoid.
Unofficial results as reported on the City of Calgary Website
Unofficial Results as reported by the Calgary Sun
Monday, October 15, 2007
Generally, my alarm goes off at 6:20 AM (so that I can hear the 6:21 weather update on the radio) ... I haul myself out of bed sometime before 6:30, then I shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush my teeth, and run out the door to catch the 7:20 bus.
Sounds simple, right?
The last few days I've been scrambling to find various things ... school stuff, keys, etc. I guess it's my fault for not having everything packed and ready to go the night before, but I blame that mysterious force that moves things on you. You all know what I'm talking about. It's sick, the pleasure that this mysterious force gets out of moving our stuff around just to make us crazy.
Also, this morning, I decided to make coffee to bring to school. When I opened the coffee tin, ground went everywhere. Great.
So ... hopefully I won't have to sprint across a parking lot in front of a bus full of people today ... that was kind of embarrassing last week, since I sat heaving on the bus, trying to catch my breath for a good 5 minutes afterwards.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
We were fortunate to attend a dinner invitation on Saturday night, which was so nice. Having a social encounter in Saskatoon put us both in a good mood. The food was excellent, the wine flowed freely, and the conversation was so enjoyable.
Dishes - we've been hand washing. We haven't picked up a dishwasher yet and I'd forgotten what it is like to live without a dishwasher. I lived in a place for one year that didn't have one, and now I'm getting flashbacks. My tactic is to do most of the dishes in the sink before I leave the kitchen ... for example, if I'm cooking dinner, before I sit down to eat it I'll wash all the dishes I used to make it. It really makes it manageable ... because if we leave dishes for even a day, it becomes a daunting task that nobody wants to take on. So ... yeah ... I thought laundry was bad for consuming your life ... nope ... dishes are worse.
Last, but not least, I curled. Yup ... I'm so excited. It was one of my goals that if I was going to live in Saskatchewan while attending school, the experience wouldn't be complete without doing some curling. So ... I joined a law extra-curricular team as a stand-in, and my services were called upon tonight. It was the first time I've EVER curled, and it was so fun ... I landed on my ass quite a bit (uh ... yeah, not always while I was wearing a slide), and could barely get the rock all the way to the opposite hog line ... but I came, I saw, and I whipped it good. The best part is that the parking meters are free at the time that we play ... woo hoo!
I wrapped up my Health assignment that's due tomorrow, so I'm going to bed without having read BusOrg yet (yikes). It's two articles, and I have them printed and ready to go, so hopefully my three hour break tomorrow will be sufficient time to tackle them to the extent that I won't embarrass myself in class tomorrow.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Privacy by Design at the Privacy Commissioner's Blog
Jane magazine is no longer being published.
WHAT THE FRICK?!?!??! This magazine was one of the only ones that I loved ... content was liberally minded, INTELLIGENT, ambitious ... and always cognizant of the GLOBAL COMMUNITY ... it wasn't content that was limited to the issues on our continent. AURGH AURGH AURGH!!!!
I looked forward to every issue ... I read it from cover to cover ... I re-read it again and again ... and now they want me to read GLAMOUR!?!?!?
Looks like I'm not the only objector/mourner:
AND ... I want to add this to my MUST READ list:
I've read a bit about Nancy Grace before, since I saw her on Jeopardy and couldn't get over her performance. Her past debacles are worth a read, if you're ever bored and in search of entertainment ... but I warn ... they did cause an elevation in my blood pressure at times.
How exciting to read about this, then, in the Star Phoenix:
Space weather focus of U of S project
By Wendy Gillis
I love being reminded of how big the universe is, and how even our biggest problems can be put in perspective.
Power of attorney protection breaks down across borders
By Judy Van Rhijn
A scary prospect, since I've seen many elderly relocations (from one Province to another) due NOT to the "fight over the body before it's dead" that Ian Hull, of Hull and Hull LLP in Toronto is quoted as saying in the article, but due to the fact that relatives are in another province, and relocation is necessary as the requirement for care escalates; I think this is a key issue for so many people ... even if they're not fighting over this ... but just in trying to take care of affairs.
Nice to see that SK is taking a leadership role on this issue, though! Props to SK for being the only province to ratify the Hague Convention 35 so far!!
I decided to start with the articles, which in hindsight I think was a smart idea.
I got through basically 1 article in about 3 hours.
It took me FOREVER! It was academic writing, which I'm not used to. I've learned to read cases and textbooks a little bit faster and more effectively, but academic writing is a new thing for me (remember, I hail from computer science, technical writing is more familiar to this girl).
I had to stop and look up words in the dictionary, and re-read sentences that were conveying fairly complex ideas in a succinct way.
All in all, I think the one article I got through sums up an ENTIRE concept (i.e. what fiduciary obligations really are), which is pretty huge ... so that's kind of exciting.
But - holy smokes, it took me forever.
I made notes while I went along, which I think helped solidify things in my head. I'm usually a highlight and make notations in the margins kind of girl. That worked for me all of last year ... but this stuff about corporations is a little too abstract for me to pull those moves off. I think I'm going to have to adopt this formalistic approach, and REALLY make myself good notes while I read.
I always try and leave myself more time to finish this BusOrg reading, and each time, it seems like I get less done. Aurgh. I guess I'll have to try and tackle most of the reading more seriously on the weekends. I really like to try and leave my weekends school free, so that I can spend time with the Hubster, but looks like I may have to sacrifice a bit until December rolls around.
ANTM is on tonight. Exciting.
I can't believe that I haven't seen any of new episodes of The Office. Double Aurgh.
I have an extra long Evidence class on Friday (make-up class), as well as our regular class ... so about 4 hours of Evidence on Friday. I still have to do the reading for that, so looks like The Office might be out this week too. Triple Aurgh. Luckily on the NBC website they post full episodes. Good ol' NBC, keeping up with the times.
Well - gotta go brush the chompers!
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
We had a sensational weekend. Hit up Jason's hometown first, where we got to spend some QT with his parents. Watched a couple of movies, took care of some business, enjoyed the crispness of fall with an amazing turkey dinner ... was very nice. I got to bask in the glory of the smell of pumpkin pie baking ... a wish come true.
We also hit up Calgary, and got to spend a Thanksgiving dinner with a great gathering of family and friends ... there were 14 of us in total, and it was great to see everyone at once.
Now, I'm back to business. Had class this morning, and I'm currently trying to get through my BusOrg reading. EGADS, it's so much. There's a ton to get through, so I'm hoping to put a major dent in it before I go to bed tonight.
I hooked up a printer that Jason's parents gave to us, and I'm SOOOO happy that I'm able to print in the comfort of my own home. So thrilling.
The first year formal seems to have gone well for those that attended last Thursday, I've had the chance to peruse some pics, and it's amazing how dashing the fellow classmates look all dolled up.
Our house is finally starting to feel like a home - my handy Hubby installed blinds on all of the windows that had been either bare, or covered with a sheet and clothespins. Makes me very happy.
Now ... back to work. BusOrg, I'll conquer you yet.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
What I didn't know, and what I found out by surfing the Freakonomics blog, is that Radiohead is pulling some pretty gutsy moves with this album.
Looks like Radiohead will be releasing their album sans record label ... they're going to be selling their tunes through inrainbows.com, and some sources say it'll be a pay what you will kind of deal.
Check out these articles:
Here's the site:
Check it out, buy it, support the innovation!
Here's the article from The Province:
Not sure that I have a claim to fame ... so I'm jealous on that front ... but not that it's this particular claim to fame. I'd like something a little more .... artsy or something, as mine.
Monday, October 01, 2007
I've always been jealous of the fact that people with shorter legs look better when they sit cross-legged on the floor.
My legs are on the longish end of the spectrum, and while I'd never complain about it (especially now that most jean labels are carrying 34 lengths as a rule), when I sit cross-legged on the floor, I look like an awkward gangly flamingo ... all lengths and corners and gangly awkwardness. I don't look like a concise, symmetrical package.
I've always been jealous.
I warned you. Random.
This weekend was a flurry of activity. My In-Laws came, and helped us crank through an inordinate amount of housework. My Father-in-Law even risked his neck by getting up on our roof and cleaning out our eaves troughs (it had been awhile - I'm thinking YEARS, it was a pretty dramatic undertaking).
Suffice it to say, that I'm physically and mentally drained, and today is one of my longest school days. I'm done. Like dinner ... although, not MY dinner specifically ... speaking of which ... thank GOD for left-overs. Re-heating is SOOO on the agenda ... the thought of actually starting fresh to COOK is making me want to heave. Hopefully, nobody is reading this while they're eating ... hee hee.
I submitted a bunch of applications today (yup ... the deadline day) for the Calgary law firms that are holding OCI's (On Campus Interviews). I'm in the usual flurry of insecure anticipation right now, which probably won't end until I hear about the outcome.
Cross your fingers for me people!
OK. No more thinking about things that aren't in my control.
Classes were pretty good today. Wills was neat - we're talking about incorporation and conditional wills. Debtor-Creditor was a review of execution against personal property. Evidence was an overview of criminal and civil procedure as it pertains to evidence. Bus Org was all about corporate structure as it pertains to law; addressing the mischief that can occur when ownership and control are separated.
And now ... I look forward to vegging, watching a movie with the Hubster, and perhaps even allowing myself to bask in the warm glow of Thanksgiving anticipation. So far, I'm not doing TOO badly with creating a reserve in the paunch for the feasting to come ... but I could probably do a little better. Darn those Dibs and their delicious little bundles of tastiness. Darn them all!!!
PS. How awesome is the Saskatoon Landfill? They have a stellar set-up. Just saying!!