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Course distribution

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3 replies to this topic

#1 3wick

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 02:25 PM

So I'm currently in fourth year and my course distribution looks like this:


- 4 2000 level courses

- 4 4000 level courses

- 2 3000 level courses


Western's website says "While taking first year or second year courses is not prohibited, greater weight is given to upper-year courses." and when I called they said it might be better to swap a second year course for a fourth year course, but if I don't it shouldn't be detrimental to my application. 3/4 of the second year courses are known for being easier but I've completed my degree requirements and just have electives left which is why I'm taking so many second year courses. 


Basically I'm trying to decide if it would be better to just stick with the four 2nd year courses (which is potentially frowned upon?) and likely get a higher GPA or switch one for a 4th year course at the risk of doing not as well in case the adcom actually cares about the courses I took. 


Any advice is appreciated :) 

#2 pinkroses

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 11:59 AM

i feel like if i were you i would switch some of the 2nd year courses to 3rd year courses. i don't think admissions makes as much of a distinction between 3rd and 4th year courses as they do between lower level and upper level courses.


overall i don't think it makes a huge difference, but it's just one of the many factors they take into consideration, so if you think your grades will be just as good then i definitely think it'll help you to have those grades in upper year courses. if you think your grades will be much lower then i feel like you're better off staying in the 2nd year courses cause at the end of the day it's GPA/LSAT that are the 2 most important factors.


tl;dr i would switch at least one to a third year course

#3 Rearden

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 02:23 PM

With respect, it sounds to me like you're trying to game the system by taking as many low difficulty courses as possible in order to get better grades.  Regardless of whether that strategy could work, if you can't do well in 3rd and 4th year courses during undergrad, then law school will probably be a struggle.

#4 3wick

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 12:07 PM

The add/drop deadline has passed so I can't change anything now. For what it's worth I did take a couple fourth year courses in third year, and I've done well in all my third and fourth year courses. Second year was actually by far my worst year. 


I ended up calling a bunch of different schools to get their opinion. The only ones that seemed to care about course levels in upper years were Western and U of T. However Western said it shouldn't be detrimental to your application. Queens, Osgoode, and Ottawa said it doesn't matter. I guess I'll find out when I apply. 


As pinkroses said GPA and LSAT are clearly the most important factors. Course levels might be a soft factor that they'll consider if they're looking at two applicants with similar stats and have limited spots left. Maybe I'm just trying to reassure myself but this is what I've concluded from the advice I've been given and from going through the forums.