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About 3rdGenLawStudent

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  1. Getting involved in queen’s clinics in 1L

    There is a club day! It happens after the journal, clinic, and PBSC recruits so you know how many other things you have going on. There are so many good ones, just show up and see what seems good
  2. Getting involved in queen’s clinics in 1L

    I’m a current Queens 1L, welcome and congratulations! There are some limited spots for clinics in 1L, volunteering with QLA. I applied but didn’t get in, it was quite competitive. I’m now approved to work in a for crédit upper year clinic though, and I don’t think I’ve lost too much. It’s a cool experience, but there are plenty of clubs to get involved in. PBSC is a great one if you’re passionate about access to justice. Queen’s Law Journal is great for developing research skills, and there are dozens of clubs on top of that to help you balance your school work with social elements. Advice I was given, and I think it was good, was choose no more than 2-3 things (3 if you’re in a low-effort club). 1L is intense, you want to do some other things but don’t overcommit and become stressed trying to manage things. Also, even if you don’t volunteer in the clinic in 1L, you can apply to work in most clinics for a summer job. So not volunteering doesn’t close that door.
  3. Open House

    As a current student, I'll suggest that I think you guys had some events in the basement classrooms, where no cell carriers get great service. Concrete, windowless rooms don't do wonders for cell service. Don't worry though, there are many above-ground classrooms
  4. Ask a 1L!

    TLDR: Yes, they're moving away from 100% final, but it is still the most heavily weighted assessment. More below. If you're coming to Queen's, you've probably heard about the small sections, but I'll bring it up here because grading policies for small sections and other courses varries slightly. You take 7 courses in 1L. 5 are full year (8-month), with a midterm in December and the final in April. Public is taken in fall, and Constitutional is in winter. You take 1 8-month course with just your small section, so just ~26 students in the class. All other classes are taken with 2 sections (so about ~50 students), except for ILS, which I'll explain below. Small sections: Per the 2017-18 academic calendar, the official policy is that there must be some non-final exam assignment(s) offered to students, worth at least 25% of the grade. Examples from classes this year include research papers, fact pattern responses, case briefs, case notes, etc. A prof might assign one large assignment, a few smaller ones (normally 2-3). Some make it optional (i.e. if you don't had something in, your exam is worth 100%), some make it mandatory, some make it failsafe. Really depends on the prof. Other classes: There courses require some non-final exam assignment(s) offered to students, worth at least 15% of the grade. We've had things like court journals, essays, etc. Again, real variability depending on prof. ILS: (Intro to Legal Skills) is meant to develop your legal skills, so the course has no examinations, it's all assignment based. Basically its designed to give you exposure to basic legal writing and tasks, so you do a case brief, memo, factum, and moot, alongside some participation and tutorial grades. The lectures are taken with all 8 sections, but tutorials are just your small section. Also, for 8-month courses, your December 'exams' are midterms. Profs can weight them up to 30%, and they can be failsafe (thought some profs just have them count).This year, I think exams for different profs were weighted anywhere from 10-30%, and different sections had anywhere from 2-5 exams count towards their final mark. There is some push this year, I think, to create more consistency in December exam weighing. No idea if it'll go anywhere.
  5. Housing

    I'm in a one bedroom, which I can tell you nice 1 bedrooms run upwards of 900 dollars, often without all utilities included. The numbers I have for 2-3 bedrooms are based on limited data of what my friends are paying, but I'd say for a 2 bedroom place, you're looking at 750-850. Actual prices will vary based on what utilities, if any, are included. For a 3-bedroom, 600-750 is probably accurate. A note on utilities: one of the defining features of the 'student ghetto' in Kingston is poor insulation and heating. many places may seem like s steal, but if they have no utilities, it may end up being quite expensive. Many older houses in disrepair still ave baseboard heating, so if you're gonna pay for electric or heating in the winter, you're in for a hefty bill. So I would pay attention to the kind of heating. Another thing is that you'll be hard pressed to find a non-12 month lease, which means you'll hold the place through the summer. A word of caution if you're going to live in a house with a basement, or a basement apartment. Old houses in Kingston have some issues with mold, because you're right on the water and when it gets hot and humid, a basement without air flow is prime mold-growing environment. Per Kington tenancy by-laws, that kind of thing is the tenants responsibility, so if you come back to a place and find mold, it'll be your fault for not ensuring air circulation. So best case scenario, get a pace above ground, and leave a fan plugged in and going if you're going to leave your place unoccupied for any amount of time in the summer.
  6. Residence

    There's no law residence. Most people either live alone or with roommates they meet through the Facebook group
  7. Housing

    As a current 1L, I can say I live alone and am in the minority among my classmates. Many people live with roommates, mostly people they met through the Facebook group. So, you'll have no issue finding roommates. Things to keep in mind is to make sure to ask questions. I know people who have had amazing roommate experiences, and conversely people who hate their lives because their roommates are loud, sloppy, or just have a very different lifestyle. So don't jump on the first grouping, take time to figure out if you'll fit together. I'll say I lived with roommates in undergrad and loved it, but since I didn't know anyone coming to Queens, I thought living alone was a safer bet. This turned out to be a good thing for me - 1L tends to be a pretty stressful year, and especially around the time of exams and big assignments, I like being able to go to a space that's 100% my own, without having to see/ talk about the law if I don't want to. But it is much more expensive. And the "university district" (aka student ghetto) can get be pricy, for some pretty dismal conditions. My advice would be it's really convenient to situate yourself closer to the Hub than school - you're still looking at max 20 minutes walk, with a much easier commute to bars/ groceries. I actually live west of campus, however, and found this to be an awesome option. It's much quieter (again, priority for me), and if you're willing to take a 15 min bus ride to campus, you can get a MUCH nicer place for comparable prices. Also as a follow up, I didn't officially accept Queens until June, so I was a 'late' looker and I still had a good selection of places to look at. You won't get Brock Towers, but lots of independent landlords will post on Kijiji.
  8. How are admission file orders determined

    As people have mentioned, there’s no way to tell with holistic schools, so until someone in this forum becomes adcom at Windsor or Osgoode, we’ll never know. For schools like Western or Queens, OLSAS sends applications to the office of admissions, who orders them by GPA and LSAT (differs based on what schools value cGPA, L2, etc.) once ordered, they are distributed to the adcom. Two people will read your file. They will say yah, nay, or full committee review. The implications of this process is that, if someone with your same stats is in, they might have better sorts, but they also may have been assigned to different committee members who’ve read their file already. I believe they save files that require full committee review for later in the process. I don’t know how mature works into the indexing. Sorry this isn’t more helpful.
  9. OLSAS GPA & excluded credits

    I was never in this situation, so my advice is just from my own understanding of how OLSAS treats grades. The short answer is yes, I believe your grades from the first year will be included. Your transcript GPA is calculated for the benefit of your school, so they can determine if you qualify to remain in a program, win an award or grant, etc. Schools may exclude grades from transfers, exchanges or the like because they were not classes taken at the institution, so they count as credits but are not included in the GPA. OLSAS is calculating your GPA for an application. They will include all undergraduate grades from all institutions, because law schools want to see how you did throughout university, not just how you did at your most recent institution. However, I wouldn’t despair if I were you. Many law school applicants have poorer grades in their first year. It’s why many schools also look at B2/L2. They want high performers, but they also look for improvement. If these first year marks drag your overall down, but you performed well in later years, the. You’re in the same boat as many of us who apply and get in to law school. You’ll be fine
  10. Unique Course Load

    As a rule of thumb law schools prefer full course loads, as an indicator you will be able to keep up with the demands of law school. But they wouldn’t discard a file because a student didn’t take a full load, especially in your case, where you’ve worked ahead, graduated early, and done exchanges and certificates et cetera. I don’t think you need to worry about that aspect of your application
  11. Personal statement

    Yes characters are different from words- it counts letters, spaces, and punctuation. Having done mine last year, I can say 2000 characters was about 1 1/4 page single space, and 5000 characters was about 3 pages. Keep it brief- they want to see good, concise writing skills.
  12. Same personal essay for all schools?

    Some schools have different questions, and all have different character limits. I would be shocked if they run them through plagiarism software. I have heard that if a school thinks something is fishy on your PS, they compare your writing style to your LSAT written section to see if it sounds like the same person. When I applied I ordered my statements from shortest to longest, wrote the shorter ones first, and then flushed out certain points/ sections in longer statements. You probably can't write the same for each, but that doesn't mean you can't use the sam skeleton/ model.
  13. They only average your score when they rank the files for review. When they receive applications at the end of November they rank them by GPA and average LSAT, and read them in that order. But once they get to you, they take the highest score
  14. Confused by the OLSAS cGPA conversion chart...

    OLSAS does not convert your average to a GPA. If you have the OLSAS chart, you have to convert each mark you have, for each class, and then average those for your overall GPA. Remember to weight them accordingly. So, for example, let's say one term you take 5 full courses, plus a lab, which counts for half. The calculation would be as follows: Class 1: A- : 3.7 Class 2: B+ : 3.3, Lab: B: 3.0 Class 3: A : 3.9 Class 4: B- : 2.7 Cass 5: B : 3.0 Now, the lab is a half credit, so it's only worth 1.5 points adjusted. Add it all up (18.1) and divide it by 5.5 (total credits taken), and you have an overall GPA of 3.29 for this term. Your letter average would be about a B+, but you don't convert that to 3.3, you have to do all the individual grade/ average calculations. So, while your A average looks like it gives you a 3.7, it's not that simple. This can be frustrating, I sympathize. If my average could have been converted to GPA, I would have had a 3.9. Because of how the 'bucketing' of grades is distributed- and, as you noted, big jumps like the one between 3.7 and 3.3- it worked out to 3.66, 3.7 after 4th year grades. Such is the nature of the beast.
  15. CHANCES? cGPA 3.76, L2 3.95, 164

    Your softs sound fine. I didn't have that many leadership/ mentorship roles, but I worked 3 jobs to support myself through my undergrad and save for law school. Working and maintaining the GPA you have is impressive in its own right