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Law Students and Young Lawyers Uncategorized

My One and Only Karate Lesson

I know absolutely nothing at all about Karate. I am about to prove that.

I had only one Karate lesson in my life. Actually, it was my young son who had the Karate lesson. I was along as part of one of those “Dad and Son” programs.

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Law Students and Young Lawyers

Let’s Make New Law!

Back in the 1990’s, the Standard Chartered Bank out of the UK opened a subsidiary in Canada called the Standard Charted Bank of Canada and set about making commercial loans.

One of the Bank’s customers was a client of mine who I will call Sol. Sol had a line of credit for his business of about $3,000,000, back when $3,000,000 was a lot of money.

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Law Students and Young Lawyers

Happy Law, Sad Law

I often find myself speaking to law students and young lawyers who are having difficulty deciding what area of law they should practice. I also hear from older lawyers lamenting their original choice and thinking about making a change.

For a bunch of smart people, many of us lawyers choose how to spend most of our waking hours in some pretty dumb ways.

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Law Students and Young Lawyers

What’s Law School Have to Do With It

Few lawyers would disagree with the statement that “law school does not teach you what you have to know to be able to practice law.” I imagine that the general public would find that to be surprising. It is called “law school” after all.

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Law Students and Young Lawyers

Lawyer, Know Thyself

One of my favourite clients was an engineering firm. I once wrote a letter of intent for them concerning the purchase of a business. They only had one comment on my draft document. They asked me why I had only taken the numbers to two decimal places, which is not a surprising question coming from a group of engineers. However, I found the question to be quite amusing, since the numbers in question were dollars, where the use of two decimal places is quite an accepted custom. (Did you ever have a store clerk say, “that will be $5.0156?). But at least they read the document, which is more than I can say about many of my other clients.

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Law Students and Young Lawyers

Keeping Your Options Closed

I was born and raised in Montreal. I started my legal education at the Faculty of Law at McGill in 1975. My plan was to obtain my Bachelor of Civil Law and practice law in Quebec.

In 1976, the Parti Quebecois was elected in Quebec for the first time. As an Anglo in Quebec, I thought that it was a good idea to also obtain a common law degree so that I could get the hell out of Quebec should the need arise.

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Law Students and Young Lawyers

How To Raise a Baby Lawyer

Those who know me would not be surprised to learn that I think that I was a brilliant supervising lawyer and mentor. Not necessarily because I was, but because I had a fairly high opinion of my own skill set. Many of us lawyers do. Not all of us are right, although I am.

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Law Students and Young Lawyers

About Those Soul-Sucking Jobs

I once represented a doctor who wanted to stop being a doctor.  He absolutely hated it.   He was a nervous type, and he just could not cope with the responsibility of practicing medicine. The stress was killing him.   I helped him disentangle from another doctor with whom he had set up a clinic.  As far as I know, he never practiced medicine again.  I also know another fellow who became a doctor, hated it, and became a paramedic working on ambulances.   

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Law Students and Young Lawyers

Ten Things I Liked About Being a Lawyer

Since I retired, I have been writing articles about the legal profession “from the safety of retirement”.  It occurred to me recently that many of them may have been a bit negative in tone. Someone carefully studying my growing body of work (and I do realize that absolutely nobody is doing that) might conclude that I have a negative view of the profession in which I worked for 40 years. 

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Law Students and Young Lawyers

Finding Your Path (Or Stumbling Along in the Legal Profession)

There is a well-known quote which has been attributed to various people to the effect that “if you are not a socialist at age 20, you have no heart, but if you are still a socialist at age 30, you have no brain.”