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ZineZ
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Dood
  • Articling Student
1 hour ago, Hegdis said:

I checked - looks like your last three posts were essentially asking for legal advice ie for some one to give you a definitive statement re how the law applies in a given scenario. 

Can’t help you out with that stuff, sorry!

Thanks - ZineZ sent me a DM essentially saying the same.

My intention with my first post was to ask if anyone practiced municipal land use and zoning law, and that I’m finding it to be similar to US law. I was just trying to commiserate essentially - even with my hypothetical on land use litigation. I was more curious what folks’ practice experiences were and was trying to drive conversation by comparison to my experiences in the US (by using the Alberta example). I don’t have an actual substantive question that I’m trying to nail down here. If there’s interest down the line on muni law, I’ll probably just start a separate thread and be more general in how I word posts. Cheers.

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  • 2 months later...
Lulu_spector
  • Law School Admit

I would love insight from any lawyers who have worked in government.

What was/is your position and what is your day to day? What kind of experience got you the job? Do you see many women in similar positions?

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ZineZ
  • Lawyer
10 hours ago, Lulu_spector said:

I would love insight from any lawyers who have worked in government.

What was/is your position and what is your day to day? What kind of experience got you the job? Do you see many women in similar positions?

Merging this here. 

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Judgelight
  • Lawyer
On 3/28/2022 at 12:03 AM, Lulu_spector said:

I would love insight from any lawyers who have worked in government.

What was/is your position and what is your day to day? What kind of experience got you the job? Do you see many women in similar positions?

My office is about 75-80% female lawyers. Lack of diversity isn't really a thing with MAG, other than a lack of racialized lawyers imo.

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ZineZ
  • Lawyer
On 4/2/2022 at 6:49 PM, Judgelight said:

My office is about 75-80% female lawyers. Lack of diversity isn't really a thing with MAG, other than a lack of racialized lawyers imo.

I've had similar experiences. A lot of legal directors are also women. 

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Demander
  • Lawyer

Hello! Would anyone be willing to share their thoughts on working at the Ombudsman's office (Toronto or Ontario)? Either as an ERO, investigator, or counsel?

 

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  • 1 month later...
TheAEGIS
  • Lawyer

Maybe this is a silly question and excuse the presumption if it is incorrect for the majority of government lawyers but ...

Is the pension worth it?

I know government lawyers take a haircut in terms of salary and earning potential (vis-a-vis private practice) in most areas. But I've been told one of the most attractive things about government (aside from comparatively humane hours) is the pension.  I understand defined pension plans are about as common these days as [insert something clever and on point].

 What I'm having difficulty with is how to valuate that against the many dollars I'm clearly losing out on today...

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Judgelight
  • Lawyer

I'd say no - I'm making 60k less than a friend of mine who works honestly comparable hours doing solicitor work. 

Next year, I'll make an extra 5k (Maybe?) whereas he'll make significantly more. Its almost like a compounding effect.

Not to mention it seems like the private sector has better vacation time (who doesn't get 15 days, now-a-days?), better benefits (I don't have any benefits, for example), tons of events for free food and activities, bonus $$$, and arrangements for you to make extra money if you bring business in. 

Unless you are going to be on mat leave, or you are doing a niche you can't do anywhere else (i.e. crown work) I'd stay away from MAG at least.

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ZineZ
  • Lawyer
On 5/13/2022 at 5:36 PM, TheAEGIS said:

Maybe this is a silly question and excuse the presumption if it is incorrect for the majority of government lawyers but ...

Is the pension worth it?

I know government lawyers take a haircut in terms of salary and earning potential (vis-a-vis private practice) in most areas. But I've been told one of the most attractive things about government (aside from comparatively humane hours) is the pension.  I understand defined pension plans are about as common these days as [insert something clever and on point].

 What I'm having difficulty with is how to valuate that against the many dollars I'm clearly losing out on today...

Tbh, for me the pension was a big incentive. But I generally agree with @Judgelightthat things in Ontario are *dire* when you start off. Until you roll-over at 3 years in, you benefits are a bit of a mess. You get minimal vacation time, have to pay in to benefits and depending on your office - your hours won't be 9-5. But something fun to note - if you're the type to hop positions, you have the option to cash out your pension if you leave the public service. It's a nice little nest egg.  

But keep in mind, of course, every jurisdiction is different. MAG is different than the territories, which is different from BC or the feds. IMHO it depends on your goals and aims.

I'm a solicitor right now and I'm quite happy with what my position offers me. I work in a niche area and it's interesting, fun work. Looking across the window at most of my private practice friends, I still wouldn't change my choices. 

 

 

 

 

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Kibitzer
  • Lawyer
On 5/13/2022 at 5:36 PM, TheAEGIS said:

Maybe this is a silly question and excuse the presumption if it is incorrect for the majority of government lawyers but ...

Is the pension worth it?

I know government lawyers take a haircut in terms of salary and earning potential (vis-a-vis private practice) in most areas. But I've been told one of the most attractive things about government (aside from comparatively humane hours) is the pension.  I understand defined pension plans are about as common these days as [insert something clever and on point].

 What I'm having difficulty with is how to valuate that against the many dollars I'm clearly losing out on today...

If your question is purely on a compensation comparison and you're comparing to Bay street, then no I don't think it is worth it. It certainly helps bridge the gap between private sector and government but it will never make up for it. But as @ZineZ indicates, there are other factors that could be make it worth it. I think particularly as of late, the math is making less sense, depending on the hours in your office. The gap between Bay Street compensation and Government (at least MAG) has grown substantially over the past year. 

 

On 5/17/2022 at 1:15 AM, ZineZ said:

But something fun to note - if you're the type to hop positions, you have the option to cash out your pension if you leave the public service. It's a nice little nest egg.  

This is true, although I believe there can be tax consequences when this done and you have also lost out on the ability to invest that money had it been in your pocket all along. 

 

Overall, I think Government is still a good deal for other reasons but it is not as good as it used to be. 

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arguably
  • Lawyer

Hello!

I have searched high and low and can't find the current collective agreement for Crowns in Ontario. The one I see on the OCAA website ends in 2017, but this thread references a 2019 agreement? If someone can send me an updated link or copy, I'd really appreciate it.

I work in another province and want to compare wages and benefits.

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  • 1 month later...
PzabbytheLawyer
  • Lawyer

If you're someone who struggles to save money, having a pension is helpful in that you don't have to think about retirement. Just whatever they take off your paycheque to contribute to it (I think it was 3 percent? But don't quote me).

If you're someone who can save, and has a high threshold for dealing with the stress of market booms and busts, and you're someone who's accomplished and smart enough to get into MAG, you'll likely come out pretty ahead in private. You'll work more, but not substantially more, depending on which mag office vs which firm.

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  • 4 months later...
spinningcompass
  • Law Student

How difficult is it to get in with MAG post-articling? My sense is that lots of students who summer and article remain with their offices long-term, meaning there's not many openings.

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Kibitzer
  • Lawyer
14 minutes ago, spinningcompass said:

How difficult is it to get in with MAG post-articling? My sense is that lots of students who summer and article remain with their offices long-term, meaning there's not many openings.

Do you mean if you did not article with MAG?

if so, you are correct it is difficult (at least as a junior). Generally speaking, under the collective agreement, any job posting must be posted internally first. Current lawyers, lawyers who have worked (I think) in the past 6 months, and any articling students from the past 2 years are eligible to apply for internal postings. This means there is a large pool of qualified candidates who can apply. From what I gather, this usually means it is harder to get in (without articling) as a junior lawyer because if an office does not need someone with specific experience, there are plenty of candidates. I think it becomes easier for mid-senior lawyers to join because they have expertise that internal candidates may not have. 

I may be wrong, but I think one exception to this is crown attorney offices in more rural areas. 

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  • 2 months later...
Modikray
  • Lawyer

Query for anyone who works within one of the Ontario LSB divisions -- for someone interviewing at a mid/senior counsel level position, would the same prescriptive interview format apply that seems to be the case for more junior positions? I have a panel interview coming up and I was curious what the process would be. I am currently working in the broader public sector (but not ALOC/OCAA).Thanks!

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whereverjustice
  • Lawyer
1 hour ago, Modikray said:

for someone interviewing at a mid/senior counsel level position, would the same prescriptive interview format apply that seems to be the case for more junior positions?

Yes. (Maybe not if you're applying for a Director or Deputy Director position - I'm not familiar with that process.)

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Kibitzer
  • Lawyer
3 hours ago, Modikray said:

Query for anyone who works within one of the Ontario LSB divisions -- for someone interviewing at a mid/senior counsel level position, would the same prescriptive interview format apply that seems to be the case for more junior positions? I have a panel interview coming up and I was curious what the process would be. I am currently working in the broader public sector (but not ALOC/OCAA).Thanks!

I believe so. I’ve only ever competed in Step 1 competitions (internal candidates only) however the completions include counsel of all seniority and everyone gets the same questions/format. 

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Modikray
  • Lawyer
6 hours ago, whereverjustice said:

Yes. (Maybe not if you're applying for a Director or Deputy Director position - I'm not familiar with that process.)

Appreciate the response! And if you are familiar the process - in my case, the panel interview being set up (by division staff) was the first contact I had - presumably any dealings with HR would be subsequent to this. Is this the typical process?

In my own experience (crown corp), including being involved in hiring jr counsel, after candidate selection, HR usually does the first cut to eliminate candidates whose salary expectations etc. do not align - saves wasted interview time. Does that process not occur?

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whereverjustice
  • Lawyer
On 1/5/2023 at 11:05 PM, Modikray said:

And if you are familiar the process - in my case, the panel interview being set up (by division staff) was the first contact I had - presumably any dealings with HR would be subsequent to this. Is this the typical process?

In my own experience (crown corp), including being involved in hiring jr counsel, after candidate selection, HR usually does the first cut to eliminate candidates whose salary expectations etc. do not align - saves wasted interview time. Does that process not occur?

I don't have detailed insight into this, because I've only participated in counsel hiring as an applicant, but I would say that hiring decisions for counsel positions are very much driven by the hiring manager rather than by HR. If you've gotten an interview, you're a credible candidate!

Issues like mismatched salary expectations should be lessened by the fact that this stuff (salary, benefits, pensions, etc) is standardized under collective agreements. If you have questions about those things then you can just ask HR for info now and decide whether you still want to proceed. For instance the top of the salary band for experienced (10+ year call) counsel is about $225K, minus the employee share of pension contributions - so if that's not going to cut it for you, then no need to waste your time.

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  • 3 weeks later...
TommyBratton
  • Law Student

I'll be starting my articling with MAG this August (Ontario) at a Legal Services Branch. I'm doing some budgeting for the next year and know that I won't have benefits, but intend to opt-in so I can have my prescription medication and dentist appointments covered. Can anyone answer how much opting into the benefits package is? 

Secondly, I know after articling I'll be on contract for a few years. How does the process work for "rolling over" into a permanent position? When exactly does that happen, is it during my third or fourth year of call?

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