superwoman1994

Dual at Ottawa?

5 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

I haven't seen really any posts of anyone being accepted to the dual progam at Ottawa.

I got accepted to both the dual and the single and I have a couple questions:

is it worth it?

online, it says tuition will  be charged the same as if you were doing a single JD (so no additional cost for american schools). is this true?

what are benefits of doing dual at Ottawa?

any disadvantages? 
 

 

Thanks, 

Edited by superwoman1994

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You can search "dual program" on these forums and find a ton of different perspectives and helpful information. But, whatever, I have some time so i'll go ahead and chime in/beat the dead horse.

1) Is it worth it? Realistically, this question is impossible to answer because it is contingent on your own personal context (what you want to do, where you want to be etc.) Everyone and their mothers has an opinion on this and it is relatively confined to 1) If you want to practice in Canada, the American degree is not relevant, 2) I did the dual program, had great experiences, and I thought it was worth it or 3) I did the dual program, hated it, it was not worth it. Now, is their any Canadian law that requires you to have an American law degree? No, the same goes vice versa. Are there legal fields in which it may be helpful to have knowledge of both Canadian/American law? Absolutely. Will the dual degree give you a ground-breaking advantage into those fields? Nah, probably not... you can write the NY bar from any Canadian law school. 

What I find interesting and cool about the dual program is the opportunities to venture into unique job placements, internships or volunteer that might take you places in law you never knew or gave thought to. For example, while at MSU you could participate in their Washington D.C. program, which I think would be a remarkable experience. Even working around Lansing I think would be valuable for growth and provide a broader network you could utilize (if you wanted). These opportunities are seemingly not available to those not in the dual. The article below shares some intriguing stories of those who completed dual programs (keep in mind these people would fall into the #2 'opinion' I mentioned above)
https://apps.americanbar.org/buslaw/blt/2009-01-02/blackstein.shtml

2) Tuition will be charged the same, is this true? Yes, if you start at Ottawa you pay their tuition all the way through. If you start at MSU you pay their tuition all the way through. 

3) What are the advantages? I already skimmed the surface of this in the first question. Again, there are opportunities to work in a wider range of areas (e.g. you can come out of your dual with experience working with Canadian and American lawyers, judges, advocates - you name it) Whether or not this will make a difference on your resume is up to the employer. Nobody can truly say for sure (some might have a small sample of experiences where it has or where it has not). However, I think it is logical to assume that it wouldn't just be 'useless' experience. Worst case Ontario, if you network well, you can have some more connections on LinkedIn ;) ... cause that counts for a lot. 

4) What are the disadvantages? I was considering the Ottawa/MSU program myself (still am to be honest) but the extra year of tuition is a financial burden for me and really hard to get over. With that said, how is your financial situation? Can you or your parents afford that extra year or at least minimize debt to a manageable amount? If not, that is a significant disadvantage in my opinion. I personally do not think the extra year is that big of a deal (school is fun, you hate it while you're in it, but I find after a summer of work I'm itching to get back). Plus, that year can be helpful for gaining more experience/continuing your personal growth. Lastly, some people think there may be a stigma attached to the dual program (at least for Windsor/Detroit Mercy). This is worth researching, however, if you have your reasons for why you chose the dual I think this is an incredibly minimal disadvantage. 

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Posted (edited)

6 hours ago, Lawgik16 said:

You can search "dual program" on these forums and find a ton of different perspectives and helpful information. But, whatever, I have some time so i'll go ahead and chime in/beat the dead horse.

1) Is it worth it? Realistically, this question is impossible to answer because it is contingent on your own personal context (what you want to do, where you want to be etc.) Everyone and their mothers has an opinion on this and it is relatively confined to 1) If you want to practice in Canada, the American degree is not relevant, 2) I did the dual program, had great experiences, and I thought it was worth it or 3) I did the dual program, hated it, it was not worth it. Now, is their any Canadian law that requires you to have an American law degree? No, the same goes vice versa. Are there legal fields in which it may be helpful to have knowledge of both Canadian/American law? Absolutely. Will the dual degree give you a ground-breaking advantage into those fields? Nah, probably not... you can write the NY bar from any Canadian law school. 

What I find interesting and cool about the dual program is the opportunities to venture into unique job placements, internships or volunteer that might take you places in law you never knew or gave thought to. For example, while at MSU you could participate in their Washington D.C. program, which I think would be a remarkable experience. Even working around Lansing I think would be valuable for growth and provide a broader network you could utilize (if you wanted). These opportunities are seemingly not available to those not in the dual. The article below shares some intriguing stories of those who completed dual programs (keep in mind these people would fall into the #2 'opinion' I mentioned above)
https://apps.americanbar.org/buslaw/blt/2009-01-02/blackstein.shtml

2) Tuition will be charged the same, is this true? Yes, if you start at Ottawa you pay their tuition all the way through. If you start at MSU you pay their tuition all the way through. 

3) What are the advantages? I already skimmed the surface of this in the first question. Again, there are opportunities to work in a wider range of areas (e.g. you can come out of your dual with experience working with Canadian and American lawyers, judges, advocates - you name it) Whether or not this will make a difference on your resume is up to the employer. Nobody can truly say for sure (some might have a small sample of experiences where it has or where it has not). However, I think it is logical to assume that it wouldn't just be 'useless' experience. Worst case Ontario, if you network well, you can have some more connections on LinkedIn  ... cause that counts for a lot. 

4) What are the disadvantages? I was considering the Ottawa/MSU program myself (still am to be honest) but the extra year of tuition is a financial burden for me and really hard to get over. With that said, how is your financial situation? Can you or your parents afford that extra year or at least minimize debt to a manageable amount? If not, that is a significant disadvantage in my opinion. I personally do not think the extra year is that big of a deal (school is fun, you hate it while you're in it, but I find after a summer of work I'm itching to get back). Plus, that year can be helpful for gaining more experience/continuing your personal growth. Lastly, some people think there may be a stigma attached to the dual program (at least for Windsor/Detroit Mercy). This is worth researching, however, if you have your reasons for why you chose the dual I think this is an incredibly minimal disadvantage. 

thank you so so much for this run down its incredibly helpful. I will most likely be doing single JD. I want to do family or disability law so I dont think there are any advantages to doing dual JD. I heard dual is only good if you want to go into business or internatiional law or obviously plan to practice in the states which I dont care to (atleast for now). So i guess it won't be really relevant to do that.


Also would the dual be more intense than the single JD? financially, my parents are middle class but in a lot of debt so I will be relying on loans, tbh. I honestly applied dual because I thought it may add to my resume but i am starting to realize that is not the case. 

Edited by superwoman1994

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59 minutes ago, superwoman1994 said:

thank you so so much for this run down its incredibly helpful. I will most likely be doing single JD. I want to do family or disability law so I dont think there are any advantages to doing dual JD. I heard dual is only good if you want to go into business or internatiional law or obviously plan to practice in the states which I dont care to (atleast for now). So i guess it won't be really relevant to do that.


Also would the dual be more intense than the single JD? financially, my parents are middle class but in a lot of debt so I will be relying on loans, tbh. I honestly applied dual because I thought it may add to my resume but i am starting to realize that is not the case. 

No worries!

And yeah, I think you're definitely making the right choice then. Although I can't speak for how intense the dual program is, I'd imagine it wouldn't be that bad given it is spread out over 4 years (you know, as oppose to crunching both Canadian/American material in 3 years like Windsor's program). Maybe someone currently in the dual can comment on that. 

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