Law school can be quite stressful, for most people anyway. But there are few things about the experience that can make your heart palpitate and your palms sweat like the on-campus interview process. It all starts off with the whole ordeal of applying for and waiting to hear if you’ve even managed to get interviews with any of the firms that will be on campus to interview potential summer students. Once that hurdle has been completed, there’s the actual interviews to wrap your head around, and then the quick-and-dirty interviews with their short window of opportunity to make your mark once you’re in front of a recruiter. Whew!
Never fear, Canadian Lawyer 4Students is here to help with our OCI survival guide on page 9. Getting that first summer job is more than just looking good on paper, and recruiters from some of the largest law firms offer tips on how to make a good impression. Some additional advice: always brush your hair and teeth, tuck your shirt in, and make sure you’re smelling sweet. With that, you’re halfway there — the rest is up to you!
4Students’ survey of what students did last summer might also help guide your decision on where to go once you’ve wowed the hiring team and the offers start flowing in. The survey, found on page 35, shows most students have a good summering experience, with the opportunity to do lots of research and even in some places to carry their own files. Of course, you’ll also want to know which firms have tasty vittles and where going to the washroom can be a regal experience. We’ve got that info too; just flip the page, Young Skywalker.
The search for summer law jobs is just the first legal job hunt you’ll have in your career, but before you even get to that point, decisions have to be made. As always, our pros and cons article (see page 44) offers up the good and bad from practitioners in different areas of practice and cities across the country.
There are a growing number of young Canadian lawyers, however, who are looking to practise beyond our borders, and that has led to a heated debate about the Canadian law degree. Just what does the LLB mean? Not enough to some. As a result, law schools, led by the University of Toronto, have been changing their degrees to the U.S. JD, juris doctorate, which proponents say shows that a Canadian law degree requires previous post-secondary education and is not a simple out-of-high-school course like the LLBs offered in the U.K., Australia, and other common law countries. Most universities adopting the new designation are also giving past graduates the opportunity to change their degrees from LLBs to JDs. Is it really worth it? I do think it’s quite a personal choice and our cover story looks into both sides of the argument.
There’s much more to read inside this issue and for the first time a full digital edition of the magazine is available on our website, www.canadianlawyermag.com/4students, so go check it out. We’re also always happy to hear from readers. If you’ve any thoughts on our current articles, comments, ideas for future stories, or any other queries, please contact me at [email protected].