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BlockedQuebecois

Ask a 1L — 2018 Edition

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Hey all, 

ZineZ made one of these last year, and Ryn made one two years ago, so I figured as this year's active Osgoode 1L I'd offer to answer any questions you may have. Someone else tried to start one a few weeks ago, but since they weren't a 1L and were simply requesting one it didn't garner much attention :rolleyes:

I'm happy to answer any questions you have about Osgoode generally, how I study specifically, living on campus, or anything else. As a student from out-of-province, I also have a bit of a unique perspective in terms of moving across the country for law school, so I'm happy to speak to those as well! Please don't ask me about tuition, it will make me sad (but you can ask me about bursaries, etc). 

Just a disclaimer: we've got 1L job and 2L clinical applications due on Wednesday to go along with a 50% paper due on Monday, so I may take a while to respond until then. I'll try to read through and respond at least once a day though (and the benefit of me starting the thread instead of responding in the request thread is I'll get notifications instead of having to read this forum, which I rarely do :P). 

If you have any questions you feel are too personal, feel free to PM me. If you PM me a question and I think the information would be of general use, I'll strip my response of any identifying information and post it here. 

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7 minutes ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

Hey all, 

ZineZ made one of these last year, and Ryn made one two years ago, so I figured as this year's active Osgoode 1L I'd offer to answer any questions you may have. Someone else tried to start one a few weeks ago, but since they weren't a 1L and were simply requesting one it didn't garner much attention 

I'm happy to answer any questions you have about Osgoode generally, how I study specifically, living on campus, or anything else. As a student from out-of-province, I also have a bit of a unique perspective in terms of moving across the country for law school, so I'm happy to speak to those as well! Please don't ask me about tuition, it will make me sad (but you can ask me about bursaries, etc). 

Just a disclaimer: we've got 1L job and 2L clinical applications due on Wednesday to go along with a 50% paper due on Monday, so I may take a while to respond until then. I'll try to read through and respond at least once a day though (and the benefit of me starting the thread instead of responding in the request thread is I'll get notifications instead of having to read this forum, which I rarely do ). 

If you have any questions you feel are too personal, feel free to PM me. If you PM me a question and I think the information would be of general use, I'll strip my response of any identifying information and post it here. 

Thanks for doing this!

1) you live on campus... Oz chambers I assume? How is it?

2) what's your course schedule like?

3) I've heard semestered courses feel rushed and cramped vs schools like western who have year long courses. What are your thoughts on that?

4) how well did your undergrad study methods transfer to 1L?

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31 minutes ago, Nabbo said:

Thanks for doing this!

1) you live on campus... Oz chambers I assume? How is it?

2) what's your course schedule like?

3) I've heard semestered courses feel rushed and cramped vs schools like western who have year long courses. What are your thoughts on that?

4) how well did your undergrad study methods transfer to 1L?

1) No, I don't, but most of my friends do and I spend a lot of time there. The apartments that open to the outside are serviceable — they're nice a big, you get a fair bit of light, and it feels like you live in a townhouse. The ones that open to the inside I find depressing. The hallways are bleak, the carpet is worn, you can hear everyone talking through their paper-thin doors, and it smells awful. They also tend to be significantly smaller (and all the outside apartments have an area when you first step with a second closet to hang your coat and put your muddy shoes. 

The equipment inside each is the same, with your standard dorm-level furnishings. The desks have built-in fluorescent lighting, which I like when I'm studying at someone's place. I've heard the beds are uncomfortable, and that you should budget for a mattress topper if you choose to live there. Oh, and the walls are thin! 

2) You can see all the first year course schedules online! Go to myosgoode.yorku.ca and click schedules and timetables (no login required). You'll be able to see both the fall and winter schedules for each section :) In general, I was in class from 10:30 to 4:30 most days in the fall, while some of my peers were in class from 8:30 to 2:30. There was usually at least an hour break in between classes. This winter I'm usually out earlier, 12:30 some days, 2:30 others. 

3) I had a discussion with someone about this today actually! I vastly prefer the semestered course system. Things are definitely tight and your profs will likely pick up the pace come November, but overall I think the benefit of not having to juggle 8 classes worth of readings for an entire year is worth the tradeoff of reading one topic more quickly 

4) My undergraduate was in biochemistry, which meant I was used to memorizing significant amounts of information and thinking through problems logically. Those techniques translated quite well to 1L. What I struggled with was reading. My undergraduate was very hands-on, and I rarely had to read more than 10 pages per class (for most of my undergrad I never read, period). Shifting from that to reading 30-40 pages per class was a big adjustment. It took until November for me to really get a grip on how I wanted to brief cases, how deeply I had to read, and what parts of cases I could scan over. 

 

Edited by BlockedQuebecois
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28 minutes ago, Rk123 said:

@BlockedQuebecois 

What are your favorite and least favorite things about Osgoode?

My favorite thing about Osgoode thus far has been the people. I've found my peers to be incredibly supportive and the upper years go above and beyond to make sure we're getting along well. Similarly, professors are supportive and astonishingly supportive, and I've found most of them to be lovely people as well. Something you may not be used to if you're a K-JD without any work experience with academics is how they really start to treat you like an actual human being. There's still a clear power dynamic, but they'll tell you about their day, ask you about yours, and mention if there are any cool bands coming to town this weekend. 

The worst thing about Osgoode is the location. North York sucks. Nearly every major off-campus event will take place downtown, which up until now with the subway involved a bus ride and subway downtown, plus possibly an additional bus ride once down there. With the subway opening up the commute to and from Osgoode will be nicer, but you're still looking at a good 40 minutes to an hour if you want to go to school here and live somewhere livable. 

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I posted this in the 2017 version but since it's locked now I thought I'd copy it here. I don't necessarily expect the op to know the answers so if anyone could answer them in general that would be great.

1. What's the deadline of sort that I can request a type of room at chambers and get my choice? Like if I would firm my acceptance first or second week of March and apply for a one bedroom would I for sure get it? 

2. The acceptance deposit letter says that if I am not going to send the $450 deposit right now to contact osgoode, but looking at past years it seems a lot of people  just sent it in whenever they firm accepted. So if I got the acceptance first week of January and provisional accepted but plan on firm accepted later (want to see responses from other schools since I paid for them anyways), should I tell them or just send it in when I firm? 

 

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3 hours ago, samuellevin said:

I posted this in the 2017 version but since it's locked now I thought I'd copy it here. I don't necessarily expect the op to know the answers so if anyone could answer them in general that would be great.

1. What's the deadline of sort that I can request a type of room at chambers and get my choice? Like if I would firm my acceptance first or second week of March and apply for a one bedroom would I for sure get it? 

2. The acceptance deposit letter says that if I am not going to send the $450 deposit right now to contact osgoode, but looking at past years it seems a lot of people  just sent it in whenever they firm accepted. So if I got the acceptance first week of January and provisional accepted but plan on firm accepted later (want to see responses from other schools since I paid for them anyways), should I tell them or just send it in when I firm? 

 

1) A lot of people I know didn’t get the type of room they wanted. There’s no set deadline, but since they’re given our first come, first served I’d expect it to be best to apply ASAP. This is particularly true if you want a 1Bdr, which are very limited and seem to be taken by a lot of upper years. I’m pretty sure @ZineZ lived in chambers last year, so maybe they have a better answer? 

2) Is there no option on your form to indicate you’ll send it later? There was in mine. If there isn’t I would shoot them an email about it, just to be on the safe side. 

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1. What happens at that pre-1L dinner in Vancouver? I recall you saying you attended last year. How should I prepare? Is there a lot of business talk?

2.  How and when does one apply to be a first year volunteer with the business clinic?

Thanks.

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Thank you for taking your time and setting this up, it speaks to the cordiality of law school students. 

1. How and when do we find out information about first year classes (i.e., the schedule, room locations, syllabus etc). Is there anything I need to do in order to be registered for courses in first year? 

2. At my undergraduate institute there was a "worksheet" of requirements to graduate (it specified which course were mandatory and how many courses were needed to graduate), is there something comparable to this as Osgoode? 

3. Are law students guaranteed independent living on campus? I'm not too particular about what the layout is, I just really don't want to be in a dorm with someone if I can help it. 

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13 hours ago, harveyspecter993 said:

1. What happens at that pre-1L dinner in Vancouver? I recall you saying you attended last year. How should I prepare? Is there a lot of business talk?

2.  How and when does one apply to be a first year volunteer with the business clinic?

Thanks.

1) Last year it was a fairly typical cocktail and dinner event. There was probably about an hour of pre-meal cocktails and chatting with faculty from the law school (Dean Sossin and Assistant Dean Rimon were both there). You kind of get funnelled towards the two fairly early and they'll give you a little pitch, ask about you, and probably ask about where else you're considering (you can be honest in response to that question, they understand its a process, and you hold all the power since you've been admitted). As you're arriving there will be more practicing lawyers arriving and you'll start chatting with them. There was no seating plan last year, so you just sat with whoever you were with when they announced it was dinner time. Then there are about two hours of dinner in which you're talking with your table. The formal part closes with a distinguished alum and Sossin making a speech, then dessert and coffee/tea. At that point, it got more casual and people started moving around again. 

I don't think you need to prepare much. I read the globe and mail for a few weeks before just to be on top of things, but the Vancouver practice areas are so broad — media, entertainment, maritime — that it wasn't all that helpful. I have the same advice for this and all other networking events: get the lawyer talking about themselves, chime in with relevant, interesting stories or observations when appropriate, and avoid the forbidden topics of politics, religion, and money.*

2) All the applications for clinics available to 1Ls are done at the beginning of September. There will be a large clinic fair during your second week at which each of the big extracurriculars will have a table and make their pitches. The OBC application is quite simple for junior caseworkers — you'll need a resume, a cover letter, and you'll need to fill out a one-page form. Senior caseworker applications, as well as applications for all of the upper year clinics, are due in January (January 24th, in this case). Before the deadline you'll have two opportunities to explore the clinical offerings at a career fair event, one in November and another in January. 

*Donald Trump has degraded the general consensus around not talking about politics, so it may come up. Feel free to talk about it if is brought up by someone else (unless you're a communist or a libertarian), but I wouldn't bring it up. 

Edited by BlockedQuebecois
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5 hours ago, LeoandCharlie said:

Thank you for taking your time and setting this up, it speaks to the cordiality of law school students. 

1. How and when do we find out information about first year classes (i.e., the schedule, room locations, syllabus etc). Is there anything I need to do in order to be registered for courses in first year? 

2. At my undergraduate institute there was a "worksheet" of requirements to graduate (it specified which course were mandatory and how many courses were needed to graduate), is there something comparable to this as Osgoode? 

3. Are law students guaranteed independent living on campus? I'm not too particular about what the layout is, I just really don't want to be in a dorm with someone if I can help it. 

1) You'll get your timetables and room locations sometime in July. Syllabi will come out closer to the class start date, probably no more than a week in advance and likely only a day or two prior. Your book list will be printed and displayed in the Osgoode MDC (materials distribution centre), which is on the bottom floor of Osgoode. You don't need to do anything in order to be registered for first-year courses, except your perspective option. Registration for the perspective options will come out in November. 

2) You don't need to worry about this at all in first year, since everyone has the same schedule (except the perspective, which is basically just an elective). Once you're all registered and everything you'll have access to "MyJD" in MyOsgoode, which will list requirements and how far along you are for each. Law school course requirements aren't nearly as structured as undergraduate degrees though, so once you're in upper years you've got a lot of free reign. 

3) Consult your letter from Osgoode regarding Osgoode Chambers for an official answer, but in my year the answer was yes, so long as you applied by some random time. 

Edited by BlockedQuebecois
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On 1/18/2018 at 8:12 PM, samuellevin said:

I posted this in the 2017 version but since it's locked now I thought I'd copy it here. I don't necessarily expect the op to know the answers so if anyone could answer them in general that would be great.

1. What's the deadline of sort that I can request a type of room at chambers and get my choice? Like if I would firm my acceptance first or second week of March and apply for a one bedroom would I for sure get it? 

2. The acceptance deposit letter says that if I am not going to send the $450 deposit right now to contact osgoode, but looking at past years it seems a lot of people  just sent it in whenever they firm accepted. So if I got the acceptance first week of January and provisional accepted but plan on firm accepted later (want to see responses from other schools since I paid for them anyways), should I tell them or just send it in when I firm? 

 

I'd honestly say to get that application in asap. I know a fair amount of people who applied and didn't get their first choice. You should be okay in March, though.

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On 1/19/2018 at 11:13 AM, BlockedQuebecois said:

1) Last year it was a fairly typical cocktail and dinner event. There was probably about an hour of pre-meal cocktails and chatting with faculty from the law school (Dean Sossin and Assistant Dean Rimon were both there). You kind of get funnelled towards the two fairly early and they'll give you a little pitch, ask about you, and probably ask about where else you're considering (you can be honest in response to that question, they understand its a process, and you hold all the power since you've been admitted). As you're arriving there will be more practicing lawyers arriving and you'll start chatting with them. There was no seating plan last year, so you just sat with whoever you were with when they announced it was dinner time. Then there are about two hours of dinner in which you're talking with your table. The formal part closes with a distinguished alum and Sossin making a speech, then dessert and coffee/tea. At that point, it got more casual and people started moving around again. 

I don't think you need to prepare much. I read the globe and mail for a few weeks before just to be on top of things, but the Vancouver practice areas are so broad — media, entertainment, maritime — that it wasn't all that helpful. I have the same advice for this and all other networking events: get the lawyer talking about themselves, chime in with relevant, interesting stories or observations when appropriate, and avoid the forbidden topics of politics, religion, and money.*

2) All the applications for clinics available to 1Ls are done at the beginning of September. There will be a large clinic fair during your second week at which each of the big extracurriculars will have a table and make their pitches. The OBC application is quite simple for junior caseworkers — you'll need a resume, a cover letter, and you'll need to fill out a one-page form. Senior caseworker applications, as well as applications for all of the upper year clinics, are due in January (January 24th, in this case). Before the deadline you'll have two opportunities to explore the clinical offerings at a career fair event, one in November and another in January. 

*Donald Trump has degraded the general consensus around not talking about politics, so it may come up. Feel free to talk about it if is brought up by someone else (unless you're a communist or a libertarian), but I wouldn't bring it up. 

Thank you, that was very informative. By the way, did you go to UBC for undergrad?

Edited by harveyspecter993

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Hi!

I was hoping you could speak to the student culture at Osgoode. I’ve heard stories of ultra-competitive, vile students and an overall harsh environment. Does it depend year to year or is that more of the culture at Osgoode? 

In terms of student life, do students spend most of their time on campus or simply go to class and leave? Do you get a sort of “community” feeling or not at all? I’ve heard York is a very disconnected, commuter school and I guess I’m wondering if Osgoode is like that too in your experience. 

 

Thanks for your help ! 

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On 1/21/2018 at 11:39 PM, ProdXO said:

Hi!

I was hoping you could speak to the student culture at Osgoode. I’ve heard stories of ultra-competitive, vile students and an overall harsh environment. Does it depend year to year or is that more of the culture at Osgoode? 

In terms of student life, do students spend most of their time on campus or simply go to class and leave? Do you get a sort of “community” feeling or not at all? I’ve heard York is a very disconnected, commuter school and I guess I’m wondering if Osgoode is like that too in your experience. 

 

Thanks for your help ! 

Sorry Prod, 1L job applications were due today so it's been very hectic for the past few days! 

I've found the student culture at Osgoode to be amazing. Most people are competitive, but you'll find that at every law school (and in every profession) in the country. You don't make it to law school by being okay with being average. I similarly haven't met anyone I would consider "vile" either — there are people I dislike, but it's not like they're bad people. 

In first year you'll find a lot of students spend most of their time on campus. 1Ls are generally a ball of anxiety and handle that by locking themselves in the library for astonishing periods of time. In upper years you'll find more students live off campus and spend their time off campus, but people are still very tight with their social groups. It helps that everyone tends to live on the subway, so you're only a few stops from most of your friends. There is definitely an overarching Osgoode community, which you'll experience at pub nights, mock trial, etc, but I've found people tend to form groups of ~5 students that they're close with in first year. Those social groups tend to stay together, as far as I can tell. 

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3L here.

My feeling is that most students are not (outwardly) competitive, but those who are, really are. Nearly everyone is hardworking though, but I think that is different from being competitive. The sooner you realize being a good lawyer is not about where you rank on the pecking order, the better.

Re: community, I think two things are important: (1) try to connect with a group of people in your section and (2) join clubs, organizations etc. That is how I made most of my friends in 1L. 

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1. If you're moving from another province, should you switch to a Toronto area code or keep your old number?

2. How do most law students dress? Are they mostly preppy? 

3. This last one might sound ridiculous but is there any judgement based on the brands you wear? I'd rather not splurge on Canada Goose if I don't have to, for instance.

Edited by harveyspecter993

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29 minutes ago, harveyspecter993 said:

1. If you're moving from another province, should you switch to a Toronto area code or keep your old number?

2. How do most law students dress? Are they mostly preppy? 

3. This last one might sound ridiculous but is there any judgement based on the brands you wear? I'd rather not splurge on Canada Goose if I don't have to, for instance.

No one should feel forced to buy Canada Goose against their will.

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38 minutes ago, harveyspecter993 said:

1. If you're moving from another province, should you switch to a Toronto area code or keep your old number?

In this day and age of CanWide calling, I don't think anyone gives a toss about your area code. As far as I'm concerned, everyone becomes a contact instead of a number anyways.

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