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Law Students and Young Lawyers

A Feminist Perspective on Carbon Taxes

With this post I venture onto dangerous ground, but what the hell.

Some years ago I came across a Canadian law school which was offering a course on “A Feminist Perspective on Corporate Tax.” More recently, I came across a law school course on “A Feminist Perspective on Carbon Taxes.” It all struck me as kind of stupid.

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Law Students and Young Lawyers

Lies We Tell Our Associates

My wife says that I am pathologically honest. I even have trouble bringing myself to tell little white lies (except when writing on LinkedIn where I may fib about the identity of some of the characters, and that one time I forgot to mention to my ex-wife that I had fallen in love with my Associate.)

Being too honest can be a real problem sometimes, especially when you are running a law firm.

At my law firm, we were scrupulously honest. But my friend Martin tells me that at his firm it was sometimes necessary to lie to the Associates.

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Law Students and Young Lawyers

Goldilocks and the Real Mentors of Beverly Hills

New lawyers need real mentors. Not the type of mentors who are assigned by the firm to be sure that you know what is expected of you in terms of docketed hours and evening and weekend work, but the type of mentors who care about your success and your progression in the profession.

Here are ten things that real mentors do:

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Law Students and Young Lawyers

The Tip of the Articling Iceberg

There is a fair amount of talk right now about whether law firms should be required to pay articling students a minimum wage.

But isn’t this so-called ‘debate’ about whether the Law Society should legislate a minimum wage for articling students just the tip of the iceberg? What about the institutionalized discrimination created by the Employment Standards Act (Ontario) against lawyers and articling students (together with architects, accountants, engineers, teachers, surveyors, and others)?

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Law Students and Young Lawyers

The View From The End of the Road: Part Two – The Later, Still Ignorant Days

In Part One of The View From The End of The Road, Old Murray (“OM”) went back in time to speak to Young Murray (“YM”) about the beginning of his journey in the legal profession and concluded that Young Murray just did not get it.  

Now, Old Murray is going to check in to see whether everything got better when Young Murray became a partner.  To read part Two, click here:

https://bit.ly/3VvZhX0

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Law Students and Young Lawyers

The View From The End of the Road: Part One – The Early, Ignorant Days

The thing about starting a new career is that we often do it when we are young and have little experience in life or in business. So, we look to those who came before us to show us the path to success. We assume that the older and wiser folks know what they are doing. That is our first mistake. 

Read about it here.

https://bit.ly/3HXqoHt

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Law Students and Young Lawyers

The View From the Bottom of the Pyramid

Throughout my years as a partner, managing partner, practice group leader and supervising lawyer, I used to speak to young lawyers who told me what they thought that I wanted to hear. Things like how much they loved their jobs, how supportive the firm was, and how they loved working evenings and weekends. They were quite right. That is exactly what I wanted to hear.

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Law Students and Young Lawyers

Tell Me Another Story from the Old Days, Grandpa

As a recession may be looming and Banks may be enforcing their mortgages, I thought that I would share this story from the recession in the early 1990’s.

There was a law firm that did volume mortgage remedy work for a Canadian Bank. A somewhat junior real estate lawyer who I will call Barbara managed the files. The work was somewhat routine but required precision and organizational skills, and Barbara did it well and earned a reasonable salary.

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Law Students and Young Lawyers

Be Sure You See the Candy First!

From time to time I hear stories about Big Law offering Big Money to attract first year lawyers to sign away their souls in Toronto, or U.S. firms opening the vaults and waving around signing bonuses to lure Canadian legal newbies south of the border.

While throwing money at junior folks can be a good thing, I think that a warning is in order. Since no one else appears to be issuing one, yet again it falls to me to cut through the bullshit, state the obvious, and protect the new generation of lawyers.

I will draw my inspiration from the love of my life, who, nurturing parent that she is, used to warn her young children about “Stranger Danger.”  More specifically, she would say: “Don’t be stupid about it. Be sure that you see the candy BEFORE you get in the van.”

I will leave it to you intelligent young folks to search for meaning in my warning and being lawyers, Govern Yourselves Accordingly.

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Law Students and Young Lawyers

Resigning as a Shareholder

I had only been a lawyer for a few months when I had my first shareholders dispute to deal with.

My boss told me to take the position with opposing counsel that his client’s resignation from “all positions with the corporation” included his resignation as a minority shareholder.  I told him that his argument was ridiculous. One cannot resign as a shareholder.