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providence last won the day on August 22

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  1. In what capacity? As an associate with an established crim firm? An associate with a smaller firm or sole? With Legal Aid? As a sole practitioner? Opening your own business is more financially risky but the other options aren't necessarily any worse than in a lot of fields.
  2. EGO

    I honestly can't think of any time when I have heard lawyers, law students or members of the public ridicule anyone for going to a school that is not UBC or U of T.
  3. Glad to hear it worked out! Good luck.
  4. 3 weeks at the beginning of 1L is critical. 3 weeks any time in 3L, who cares, go ahead, especially if you already have articles/a clerkship lined up.
  5. EGO

    Also, if it's all about ego, why stop at U of T? Why not Harvard or Yale?
  6. EGO

    How do you know you won't get in to U of T or UBC but will probably get into Windsor or another school? How close are you to being ready to apply or actually applying? What is it about a "higher-ranked" school that appeals to you specifically? What are your goals after law school? If it mattered that much to you, then I would have thought you would have the grades and scores to go to the high-ranked school. If you don't, then either it wasn't enough of a priority at the time to put in the effort to get them, in which case you get over it by telling yourself you reap what you sow, or you tried your best but couldn't get them, in which case you aren't a candidate for a higher-ranked school, and if you're struggling this much now, law school, especially at a higher-ranked school, is way tougher.
  7. I love your attitude and I wish you the best of luck.
  8. ^^^^^I'm sorry for your loss. That sounds very hard. Have you written the LSAT yet? If you score well and your GPA goes up a bit you may still be OK for some schools. I'm not trying to get you to provide lots of personal information here, but I think at a minimum you would need to show connections between the loss of your beloved uncle and the drop in GPA and the depression, with all the documentation. You should address how yours and your mother's lives changed financially, emotionally, socially etc. Also mention if your immigrant/visible minority background has caused you any adversity. I would focus on the LSAT and see if that makes you competitive, If not you have nothing to lose and you may as well go for the access category.
  9. In my view, special access is either for: -people who by virtue of one or more of class, race, gender identity, sexuality, economic circumstances, disability etc. etc. etc. have been disadvantaged and/or -people who have been through life-altering, extremely challenging situations, whether a serious health concern, addiction or injury that has placed significant, extended limitations on the person, or dire economic circumstances that for example had the person homeless or in otherwise extreme situations, or significant personal challenges such as fleeing a war-torn country, or losing parents and having to support yourself and siblings, or growing up in foster care, being a victim of a serious crime, becoming a single parent during undergrad and having to support kids and go to school, etc. This is only my opinion of course, I am not saying it is school policy. The justification for the first category is any or all of: -the person may have been adversely impacted by membership in that group/s that is not always easy to quantify or measure and that deserves consideration -the school wants to remedy historical injustices -the law school recognizes that it is important for the law school and the profession to have diversity The justification for the second category is any or all of: -the person has almost certainly been impacted by these circumstances and that deserves consideration -the person is an exceptionally resilient person to have achieved a degree etc. in the face of things that cause many others to crumble -the person will bring unique and important perspectives to class that will enrich everyone's education I can see how a family member dying right before an exam would be a good reason to defer that exam, or all the exams in the next week or two, and if you didn't get a deferral and had to write when you were not in the right frame of mind, you might have had a dip in your grades for that semester. But how does it impact your overall performance over 4 years? Did your grandma dying in first year still affect you in third year? Were you in counselling? Did you have other frailties so that that hit you extra-hard? I am sure most people lose an elderly relative during undergrad. But how does that either significantly impact your performance, or make you an exceptional/interesting person? I don't understand about the university giving you trouble, either. I'm not sure where you go but my understanding is that most universities would accept death of a close relative as a reason to defer exams in that cycle, with proper documentation. Will they let you do it next semester and the semester after? Probably not. Are you saying they didn't let you defer them at all so you wrote them when you weren't in the right frame of mind? I personally think that a lot of people use vague references to the normal vicissitudes of life to excuse poor performance in school and/or the LSAT hoping it gives them an excuse to allow them to get in. As Diplock said, that's not the purpose of the category, and I am sure law schools have read enough of this BS over the years to see through it. What does "death of a family member" mean? Which family member? Were they close to you, did they live with you, did they support you? Was this for more than one term? I can understand if your grandma or uncle died right before an exam and you didn't defer it, you may not have been very focussed on that one exam. Because a lot of law schools allow you to "drop" or give less weight to a bad year - if this death affected one semester of exams, we would expect to see better grades the rest of the time. Also, what is "falling very ill?" Is it getting flu right before exams, or is it a life-threatening /life-changing illness? I could see a law school being concerned if you are always having to defer a whole whack of exams for stuff that a lot of other people suck up, because it may mean you have problems with resiliency. Having a part-time job, not having a lot of money and having to eat ramen noodles, going through a bad break-up etc. are not really exceptional - that's part of being an undergrad. So if you are going to go that route, I think you're going to need to be very specific and explain away the potential concerns some may have. My perspective may be skewed. I had factors from both categories I listed, but I did not apply in the special access category because I didn't need to - I had good grades and a good LSAT. In my personal statements, I specifically did not want to use those factors to try to get sympathy or make excuses for myself or try to show I was amazing or anything like that. I left some of them out altogether and only used a couple of things to show who I was as a person and why I wanted to be a lawyer. And then I got to law school and once they knew a tiny bit about me, people asked me anyway, "Did you get in in the special access category?" Grrrrrr. (Not to say there is anything wrong at all with that category. But the way they asked made it clear they thought it was a lesser accomplishment and that I could not have achieved the greater accomplishment of high grades and LSAT.)
  10. Applying to law school is the first step to becoming a lawyer. If you get into law school, and finish, and article, and pass the bar exam, and get admitted to the bar, they will assess your character and fitness to be a lawyer. One important element of that is being forthcoming about yourself. Sometimes people will disclose bad stuff, even a past criminal record, and still be admitted because it is your present character that is important, and if that is something you did a long time ago and have learned from it, you can still be of good character. It is failing to disclose it that is seen as causing you to still be of bad character. And if in doubt that you need to disclose, it probably means you do need to, or at least you need to seek advice as to what you should disclose. That's why people are coming down so hard on you for this. In and of itself, dropping out of school after two weeks probably isn't a big deal, but they want to know because there could still be character and fitness issues raised even without any marks. They are not just interested in your grades, they are interested in you as a whole person and your suitability to go to law school, which later will become your suitability to be called to the bar. And if they find out at the call stage that you didn't disclose something to your law school, you could have problems getting Called, after all that investment in law school and articling.
  11. I agree with this. In every interview I did, they asked lots of questions about my personal interests. I also sat in on articling student interviews at my firm and everyone was concerned about wanting an interesting person to have around. I went to the SCC with my principal during articles. We took the train there and back, had dinner at our hotel etc and definitely being able to have light distracting conversations not about the case or work was really important.
  12. Why would you apply with an LSAT in the 140s? Why not see if you can get a better score first? If you got in the 140s how do you know you can do substantially better? Even the 150s would be a huge improvement and that might not even be enough? What's the reason you scored so low and what's your plan to do better? Why waste your money on the application fees until you figure this out?
  13. Do JAG and be a military lawyer if you like that life - I would imagine you can move to different cities with the military.
  14. I preferred law school grad to my call. At grad, I felt a strong sense of accomplishment and sacrifices bearing fruit but at Call, I was just glad to be done. In terms of what to call the degree, I'm glad to have a JD as I'm from the US and if I ever decide to go back at least I have the right degree.
  15. Missing the first three weeks of 1L is critical. I would imagine that it would set you drastically behind. The first few classes, the profs are teaching you how to read and analyze case law and how to think like a lawyer. You are also learning the approach of several different profs, and you will need to know their expectations for exams. Reading on your own won't help you much without this context. Plus there are the intangibles of making friends, forming study groups, joining extra-curricular activities, orientation events etc. all of which you will miss out on at the beginning. I took a long weekend maybe my second week of law school to go to the US and see my then-partner, and I regretted it when I came back because I felt that I had missed a lot in those two days of classes. I never did that again. The odd time I had to miss class due to being too sick to go or having sick kids and nowhere to put them, it stressed me out and I would rather drag myself there sick and at least try to absorb something and get better notes from someone later than not go at all. I know some people were more blase about missing a day or two - everyone is different - but three weeks at the beginning is beyond anything I would consider reasonable. If you are so financially burdened that buying new textbooks is too expensive, then shouldn't doing whatever you're doing to pay for three weeks of classes to not attend school be even more of a concern? This may sound cold, but having committed to attend law school and make the financial sacrifice, you have to make the personal sacrifices too, or what is the point? Are you sure that taking care of this elderly person for three weeks won't result in your family making more and more demands on your time, maybe during exams and other critical times? In my opinion, you need to explain to your family that you can't do this because you have law school and they will have to find someone else to do it. Let them know the ground rules now. I too come from a close-knit family and a collectivist culture and from the time I wanted to finish high school, I had to make it clear to them that school was my priority and I would not be going along with whatever demands they had. They didn't like it and they gave me a hard time and I felt guilty about it, but I stuck to my guns, and now they still think I'm stuck up but they don't complain about the money I make and spend on them. You can tell your family that you won't be able to help them later if you don't do well in school.