OCIs: An Environment of Heightened Anxiety

In-Firm interviews can be an ordeal, overshadowed by the daunting prospect of trying to convince the country’s elite law firms that they should give you one of a vanishingly small number of summer jobs. I have several friends for whom this was a harrowing process. From the beginning, my experience was different. I had more in-Firm invitations than my schedule could accommodate. My experience was a privileged one. But an abundance of choice is both a blessing and a curse.

I was assured by everyone I spoke to that, once I got to Toronto, both the firms and I would get an intuitive sense of whether or not we “fit” with each other and that this would help me make my decision. I was skeptical, but it was comforting to think that there might be something subjective to fall back on. Because, by this point, all of the firms I was interviewing with were objectively desirable.

Read more

Law school is an emotional boot camp

Ontario Lawyer, Class of 2010

Law school for me felt like a mental and emotional boot camp. During the first year, law school served to break down everything I had previously believed about myself: who I was, what I was good at, my self-esteem and place in the world. Overnight  I went from being at the top of my class and being generally successful at whatever I tried, to being completely average and struggling to maintain a place at the middle-to-bottom end of my class. I went from loving school and enjoying my colleagues, to having almost nothing in common with my classmates and hating the subject matter of my classes. In my first week of law school I felt that everyone I met was better than me at everything: everyone appeared to he fit, happy, healthy, they owned business, sat on multiple boards, ran charities, had kids at home, had 5 years more experience than me, had PHDs… and not to mention pretty much everybody seemed to be related to a lawyer in some way. They all seemed to know the system and had some idea of what to expect from law school. I did not come from an upper class background. I had never even met a lawyer.  I had no idea what to expect. And frankly, I hated it. I felt so out of my league.

Read more