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ProfReader last won the day on September 22 2016

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  1. Professors going MIA

    I agree with Erin if these are for next cycle. If this is the case, then random check-ins over the course of the year are annoying. Ask them at the end of your fall class with them, leave them alone until maybe the summer, when you should send an email asking if they are still willing, and then maybe send an email closer to the due date.
  2. Professors going MIA

    When are the letters due? Also, did you remind them about the letters in the new year/progress email? I'm not sure that I would necessarily reply to that email either.
  3. Sweaty Hands

    I was going to come and suggest the same thing about having a cold.
  4. Schools good for health law?

    I'm going to strongly disagree with UofT being on the list anymore. They really only have Trudo Lemmens. They used to have a full-fledged health law group with Rebecca Cook and Bernard Dickens, who have mostly retired, and Colleen Flood and Joanna Erdman, who went elsewhere. I also wouldn't really put Osgoode on the list. Joan Gilmour is fantastic, but I think she is close to retirement. They now have Steven Hoffman, but I think he's cross-appointed to another faculty and has significant course relief (i.e. might not be teaching at all right now) due to his other positions. They do have a professional LLM in health law, but it isn't generally taught by full time faculty members who also teach JD students. The only other person I can think of there is Roxanne...I don't know how to spell her last name but it starts with an M. But yes to Alberta, Ottawa, Dal, and McGill.
  5. Schools good for health law?

    Ottawa has the most courses/faculty in this area
  6. Current Canadian Law School Rankings??

    I suppose the professional LLMs can still be expensive, but even UofT (for the regular LLM), last I saw, was just over $10,000 and other schools are much, much cheaper. You can also whittle that down. When I did my LLM (not necessarily at UofT), I taught an undergrad class, which paid about $7,000. I also did probably $8,000 worth of research work with my thesis supervisor and another prof and did a $5000 contract for government that my thesis supervisor helped me get. That didn't seem to be out of line with what my colleagues were doing financially, although maybe a little bit on the high side. I had a generous scholarship specific to my subject area, but I would say that a good proportion of my fellow LLM students had scholarships that were around 1/3 of tuition. But I was straight out of articling. From what I gather, you have more mouths to feed than I did :).
  7. Current Canadian Law School Rankings??

    It doesn't matter all that much whether you do your JD at a particularly prestigious school, as you will have to do grad studies in law. Where you do those grad studies matters more. I didn't do my JD anywhere prestigious, but my LLM and doctorate are from prestgious schools. That being said, my JD school had a few famous people in the field that I wanted to go into, so I did have the advantage of having co-publications and research opportunities with leaders in the field. I'm not sure how much that affected my future career. It probably helped me apply for some funding early in my grad school career. Those contacts likely didn't make a difference as between me getting into a grad program or not, as I had really good JD grades and a supervisor at my prospective school who was willing to work with me. My JD connections also didn't likely help me get an academic job, as by that point, my references were from grad school. I'm going to disagree with the above point--that you should get used to getting good grades in a competitive environment. Grad grades are high and aren't curved (except maybe the mandatory theory seminars that many schools have, although that would still be something like an A- curve), so the potentially more competitive environment doesn't really matter. Also, writing is a pretty different skill set than exam writing. I would also disagree, to some extent, about grad school being expensive. LLM tuition is much cheaper than JD tuition and you can often receive generous scholarships. And you should never, ever pay to do a doctorate in law. You should receive a funding package that is sufficient to pay tuition and to live on (very modestly, but you can supplement it with teaching, contract work, etc.). So yes, there is foregone income, but I wouldn't characterize it as expensive.
  8. Current Canadian Law School Rankings??

    The rankings that you likely found were from Macleans. The magazine hired an American academic to do those rankings and he applied a methodology that made much more sense in the US context than in Canada. Here are some concerns with the methodology: http://ablawg.ca/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/blog_aw_law_school_rankings_september2008.pdf. The many criticisms of this methodology are perhaps, in part, why they haven't updated their rankings.
  9. Graduate level grades and law school

    Grad school grades are way higher than undergrad grades, so yes, it would be unfair to other applicants. It is a pretty strong soft factor though.
  10. I'm going to strongly disagree that this is "often" the case, especially on an exam (as opposed to an assignment that focuses on writing, like an essay). There are generally missed issues or at least missed nuance to the issues being discussed.
  11. I would endorse this strategy.
  12. No need at all to apologize! Obviously different professors feel differently--you had one who deducted for irrelevant material and I know of one other--so you never quite know what they are looking for without asking. I might have a well-informed opinion, but it is just one person's opinion. So yes, I agree, that it is important to either ask directly about these things or, at the very least, pay close attention on the last day of class when the exam is being discussed and attend any review classes.
  13. I don't think that what I said was at all inconsistent with what you said. Yes, of course, if you've talked to them or they told you, you should just do that. I was addressing what you should do if you you don't know. Even in your examples, you would be better off doing what I said and discussing more issues. With the first one you would lose marks only if you discussed irrelevant issues, which I never encouraged (I've also only ever heard of one professor who does this). With the second example, you would definitely be better off considering more issues, probably even if you had to sacrifice some depth. And with the third example, which is actually what the original point that I was responding to was about, I never encouraged people to discuss irrelevant issues but rather said that in my opinion, you are better off not skipping an entire issue in favour of discussing another in a bit more depth.
  14. York or Ryerson for Undergrad?

    I still don't think it happens more in the A-range than other ranges. I don't give in to the kind of lobbying for grades that you describe, but when I taught undergrads, most of the lobbiers were not people within a grade range (i.e. A to A+) but B+ to A- and, to a lesser extent C+ to B-. I also saw the word "somewhat" but it doesn't change things for me. Yes, of course, if students are lobbying for additional marks and getting them, that shouldn't be happening (although I still wouldn't use the word arbitrary as there is a clear reason for it and systematic basis on which it is happening). I didn't think that is what you were referring to. When you said "convince a professor their answer is reasonable", I thought you meant on the exam itself and not though arguing after the exam . Yes, there are a few of professors within any school that will do this and I think it is unfair. As for your broader point in the third paragraph, I certainly agree.
  15. York or Ryerson for Undergrad?

    One of my pet peeves is when students say that grades are "arbitrary". This simply isn't true. Arbitrary assignment of grades would occur if I drew names out of a hat. Yes, as you suggest, enjoying someone's writing style more (if it isn't more or less technically correct) and that influencing a grade is certainly open to criticism. You could certainly argue that isn't a fair basis upon which to evaluate essays or whatever. But it isn't arbitrary. I have no idea if you are a law student or an undergrad. I agree with your statements to a greater extent for law students. The curve is often very tight. There isn't a huge difference between an A- and an A or an A and an A+. However, I wouldn't say that there is more or less of a difference in the B range. I would say a B+ to an A- is just as close. I don't agree with your statement as much for undergrads. I taught undergrad courses for a long time and the curve is not all that tight. There are people who don't have a fucking clue and people who are extremely smart (who will probably go on to professional or graduate programs) and everything in between. I might agree with your statement for students who are on the cusp between grades. If we say that a B+ is up to 89 and then an A- is a 90, and a student gets an 89, then yes, there is a very tiny margin there. However, that is the same for all grades and not just in the A range. However, for either group, I strongly disagree with the argument that the difference between an A and an A+ doesn't hinge on whether someone know the material better or communicates better. I agree that things like a professor enjoying one student's writing style more shouldn't affect the grade and can, although I would say that is much, much more true of assignments like essays than with exams where there is a more detailed rubric being used. But I don't think that is any more apparent as between and A and an A+ than with other grades (i.e. a B+ and an A-). However, I don't agree that one student's ability to convince a professor shouldn't affect the grade--it should. One seems to be coming up with better arguments and/or communicating them more persuasively.