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Livinginamerica

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  1. Of course, I never meant to suggest that one cannot get a Harvard level score while working, just that the working makes it less likely. I'm not really talking about Harvard in particular here anyway, just getting a good score on the LSAT on its own. And I think your final two points are certainly valid, for me, I had enough involvement in school and some unique things that probably meant I was ok not working for a summer (I did, however, work every other summer apart from the one in which I studied for the LSAT). No work experience at all will hurt, but someone with work experience who takes time off for the LSAT may overall be making a prudent choice.
  2. I'm going to dish out a harsh, maybe Diplock style truth here. The reality is, I was one of those spoiled brats who came from a wealthy enough background that I could study for the LSAT full time. It's not something I brag or am particularly proud of, but I have no doubt that my ability to study for the test full time is what allowed me to get a good enough score to get into Harvard (my natural aptitude for the LSAT, or generally, was not particularly great). At the end of the day, there is a reason why it is still disproportionately people from more well to do backgrounds who attend law schools, particularly the top law schools. There are so few people I know here at Harvard who have families, or who come from working class backgrounds, and there is a reason for that. The spoiled brats who have the time and the resources to study full time for the LSAT tend to outperform the working class people who have families, work, and other things they need to take care of before they turn to studying. It's not fair, and it's not right, and I sincerely hope spoiled brats like me do their best to try to rectify that injustice. I know I do what I can. But we cannot pretend it is not the world we live in. OP, if you have the resources to not work and study for the LSAT full time, do it, you will get a better score for it, and that's what counts in the law school admissions game. You have to live in a world that is not fair, and not just, and sometimes you have to take advantages that frankly would rightly outrage other people, because, in the end, you have to live in the world. One hopes that you would recognise that privilege in the end and try to change things, but that's on you.
  3. Current Canadian Law School Rankings??

    Although this is certainly a problem in America as well. Many Harvard grads struggle to get hired in smaller jurisdictions because they are perceived as out of touch and stuck up, and folks wanting to build a career in those jurisdictions are generally better off going to a local school (building a career in Oklahoma is far more likely from an Oklahoma school than from Harvard). I think there is just more resistance in Canada to using money or prestige as the measurement of life success, which is probably fine for some folks who want different things. I think many people do want money and prestige though, and should make decisions accordingly.
  4. Current Canadian Law School Rankings??

    Yeah, generally they don't matter and there are no Canada only law school rankings available. Most Canadian schools now seem to be relying on this: https://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/university-subject-rankings/2016/law-legal-studies. As in U of T was advertising their place every year in these rankings (as well they might, since these rankings claim they are the best Canadian school). Canadian law schools are much more regional though, and most of the legal work in Canada is very regionally based, and so there are no real "national" law schools as there are with the US T14s, although Mcgill and U of T would be the closest to that, as well as Osgoode to some extent.
  5. Generally speaking, admissions chances are slightly reduced the later on in the cycle you apply, and scholarship options are considerably reduced. Schools have a limited pool of money that often gets considerably allocated before the close of applications. If you are going to a school below HYS, you probably want significant scholarship money, particularly as a Canadian. Definitely do sign up for candidate referral, although you will get spammed by TTTs, T14 schools do send out fee waivers via the service which can help defray your application costs. A price worth paying generally. Certainly no harm in tossing out apps and seeing where you land, though, your stats are certainly competitive enough.
  6. I actually agree with this. From my experience, students with a 178-180 LSAT (on the first take, mind you) tend to do extremely well in law school. Such a super high score would certainly have given me more confidence to perhaps take a scholarship offer or something, with hopes of performing very well in law school. I should add that both my GPA and LSAT were lower (in the case of the LSAT, significantly lower) than the 3.9, 178-180 mark you mentioned, and that probably factored into my calculation to take the Harvard offer (especially considering my low 170s LSAT score was only grinded out after two takes). I think, for someone like me of more middling aptitude, Harvard was a great option (and allowed me to pursue very unique career interests in the international sphere). Perhaps people with better stats could take that as indication of higher aptitude and adopt a more flexible decision making process.
  7. Best law school to study criminal law

    Yeah, my understanding is its really not quite the same as other forms of criminal practice, especially in a big firm context. OP should really do his research on what the work entails.
  8. Best law school to study criminal law

    White collar work probably isn't very transferable in many criminal law contexts in Canada outside of the Bay Street firms, which I imagine also focus on white collar work in their criminal practices.
  9. Best law school to study criminal law

    Working in US criminal law, as Providence said, is highly variable. As a Canadian, though, the only kind of criminal law you are going to get hired for is White Collar Defense at a US biglaw firm. No small criminal practice in America is going to want to go through a visa process for a foreign student, nor, for that, would a public defender's office. So criminal defense for indigent, or even middle class clients is off the table. Prosecution is a government matter in the US, much as in Canada, and the US government requires you to be a citizen to work in it. So criminal prosecution is completely off the table for you in the US. Really, again, the only type of criminal law you could do is white collar defense, which would pay the standard $195k US salary (180k base salary + 15k bonus). Honestly, if you want the widest range of criminal law options though, or if you have any feeling you might not like white collar law, and indeed, are opposed to doing any kind of civil litigation alongside white collar criminal work, I would advise staying in Canada. If you want to go the US white collar route, T13 is mandatory, HYS is preferable. PM if you'd like more in depth info.
  10. Next steps after a successful December LSAT (175)

    I'll agree partially with this, in that, in certain subsectors outside of corporate law, going to HYS may not be as wise an option as staying in your local community and going to school where you want to work. But frankly, I highly doubt U of T is a particularly good option if you want to do family law or criminal defence type work either, considering its own corporate focus. I think the big thing is that, if you are someone who wants biglaw, by staying at a Canadian school as opposed to going to the US, you have to accept a much greater risk that you will not be able to land at a big law firm, and will instead have to work at a smaller shop. At HYS, there is virtually no risk of one missing out on biglaw if one genuinely wants it. There is a major risk of doing so at U of T. One has to decide if staying close to home is worth the risk of the smaller paycheque and missing out on biglaw. For some, it is, but I would honestly say its a smaller portion of people than one might think. I will say this as well, Canadian law firms respect HYS degrees, and H and Y have the added advantage of a low income loan forgiveness program, meaning that you can get assistance paying back your debt should you come back to Canada and work at the Canadian payscale at any point. I don't believe any Canadian schools offer that kind of protection. I really haven't seen any issue with people moving back to Canada from American biglaw after a few years, and many HYS grads are able to find Canadian government jobs. Searching around for people on linkedin is often a good research tool to see what options there are.
  11. Next steps after a successful December LSAT (175)

    There really is no harm in applying to HYS immediately, even if you might be a little on the later side this cycle. You have an extremely competitive numerical profile and should have a good shot at all these schools. Certainly, applying to HYS now would in no way prejudice your application should you decide to apply next year. So there really is no harm in getting your stuff together now and applying. Congrats on an amazing LSAT score and GPA, you should be very proud! Im a current student at Harvard Law from Canada, so feel free to PM if you want more details about Harvard or American schools in general, and some of the opportunities available.
  12. Working hours and lifestyle

    Honestly, as someone coming from an American school, it genuinely surprises me, in a good way, how grateful people are for their position in life on this thread. Too often down here, people are cynical and negative about their prospects and income despite being in the top 1% of income for people in their late 20s (if entering biglaw). Since it is the Christmas season, I think we all do well to count our blessings a little more (whilst still, of course, recognising that folks in this profession can have real problems). Certainly, one thing that I have really noticed here is that the negativity surrounding the legal profession in America spans the whole gamut of schools and career paths, something which, for whatever reason, I haven't noticed in Canada.
  13. UofT Vs McGill Vs UBC

    I would clarify this is more in an academic/law school context than in a law firm context, where, yes, it is true, U of T gets more jobs than Mcgill. On my part however, it just seems that the LLMs at HLS, and other international students, had a lot of good things to say about Mcgill, but few had heard of U of T. I don't know how much of a tangible advantage this is, but it did surprise me a little upon coming here.
  14. UofT Vs McGill Vs UBC

    I would definitely have taken Mcgill over U of T, and from what I have seen, public sector and fedgov jobs tend to prefer Mcgill over U of T as well. The main advantage to Mcgill is the cost though, not to mention Mcgill is much more well respected internationally than U of T (speaking as a student at a top American school, people here, to the extent they know about Canada, seem to view Mcgill as a uniquely Canadian degree that comes with a unique skillset, whereas U of T is much less well known). If you aim to do public sector work, you really don't want heavy debt loads of the kind U of T saddles you with. I think anyone with the privilege of this choice should definitely go for Mcgill. Congrats on an amazing cycle though! You'll do well wherever you go.
  15. Lower grades at a more competitive school?

    Honestly though, in Canada, what incentive would there be to attend a more competitive law school if you want Bay Street? If we are to trust the data, shouldn't a person with good stats be picking a less competitive school to maximise their chances of getting the grades needed for Bay Street? It doesn't seem outlandish.

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