2009 CLawBies Nominations
My nominations for the 2009 CLawBies Awards.
Firms focus relentlessly on the students with the highest grades… even though these students can be one-dimensional performers with an affinity for the academic environment and no competing pressures outside the classroom. Contrast that with an older student, perhaps with a couple of kids and a part-time job, with or without a partner at home, who took an unorthodox route to law school and perhaps struggles to compete with the younger students — but who is still bright, hard-working, experienced and capable of being a standout lawyer. The firms never even look at graduates like that, and an opportunity is missed on both sides.
Then there’s always stories like this one which make the choices in a legal career really easy to make,
Nearly half of aboriginal and visible minority lawyers are associates, compared with one-third of white lawyers. And the minority groups are more likely to work as in-house lawyers, in government, in business or as sole practitioners.
As for pay, minority lawyers earned $40,000 less on average than did white lawyers… “This suggests the systemic exclusion of aboriginal and members of visible minorities from the most lucrative jobs.”
Instead, we make our own opportunities like getting involved in social media, becoming what Lawrence Gridin jokes as, “the most famous law student in Canada.” The upside of my approach is that I get people like Dan Michaluk calling me “a fascinating guy.”
That’s not the reason why I’m nominating his site, All About Information, as one of my three, but it sure doesn’t hurt. Instead, it stems out of my increasing interest in Internet and privacy law, despite never taking a single related course at law school, and my focus during articles in litigation.
Which leads me to my second nomination, also mentioned by Dan: Antonin Pribetic of The Trial Warrior. Blogging really is my legal education outside of the classroom, and veterans like Pribetic are a gold mine of information. You can get a better idea of his legal philosophy from a paper that explains the origin of the name of his blog.
Given the issues raised above, I would have to pick Donna Seale‘s Human Rights in the Workplace as my final pick. In fact, Donna caught the above story about discrimination in her last episode of Twitter Talk. Maybe we’ll get change in the Canadian workplace down the road. Maybe we’ll even get change in the Canadian legal workplace too, eventually. I’ll keep ClawBie’ing away along until it does.