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redlead last won the day on March 5 2016

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  1. When I was on the admissions committee (at a Western Canadian school), graduate grades were an important consideration. Performance in graduate school, whether it was poor or excellent, was a big factor in moving a borderline candidate up into "admit" territory or down into the waitlist or rejection. That being said, it is my understanding that most Ontario schools are much more focused on undergraduate grades than graduate grades. If your undergraduate numbers and LSAT are great, then you should have no problem, so long as you don't completely tank in grad school.
  2. I think you may be right. This information (three references required) is still on their faq page today, but on their first-year applicants page it says that each application requires "Two letters of reference (at least one academic) forwarded directly by the referees to the TRU Law Admissions Office"
  3. I'm procrastinating at work today, so I made a new one of these! Questions for each school are provided in the following order: 1 - How do you treat multiple LSATs/Do you require the LSAT? 2 - How do you calculate my admissions GPA? 3 - Do you require letters of reference/How many letters of reference do you require? UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (PETER A. ALLARD SCHOOL OF LAW) 1. We take your best LSAT score. 2. All courses completed towards an undergraduate degree will be considered for admission. Courses in progress, during the final year of an undergraduate program, will not be used in the calculation of the admission GPA. For applicants with a four-year undergraduate degree, the lowest 12 credits (equivalent to four UBC term/semester courses or two year-long courses) will be eliminated from the calculation of the admission GPA. For applicants in the third year of an undergraduate degree program at the time of application, the lowest 6 credits (equivalent to two UBC term/semester courses or one year-long course) will be eliminated from the calculation of the admission GPA. 3. We do not require reference letters for applications in the Regular Category. Two reference letters are required in all other categories (Discretionary, Indigenous, as well as upper-year transfer or letter of permission applications). http://www.calendar.ubc.ca/vancouver/index.cfm?tree=12,207,358,326 http://allard.ubc.ca/lsat-frequently-asked-questions http://www.allard.ubc.ca/application-requirements-frequently-asked-questions UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA 1. We use the highest [LSAT] score in computing our admissions index number 2. The minimum academic requirement for admission to UVic Law is 45 UVic equivalents (90 credits) leading towards a bachelor's degree. We use the cumulative average of all of your undergraduate course work when calculating your GPA. Depending upon the number of units/credits completed, we will eliminate some of the worst grades from the GPA calculation, according to an established sliding scale. For example, if applicants have a four year degree (60 units/120 credits), we eliminate the 9 worst units (18 credits) from the GPA calculation. It does not matter when the worst grades were achieved. We do not consider performance based courses in your GPA calculation. 3. We do not consider letters of reference in our regular category. However, we do request that applicants provide us with the names and contact information for two verifiers on the application form, whom we can contact to verify the information provided on the application form and personal statement. We do require two letters of reference for our discretionary category, one of which must be an academic reference. The other letter should be a character or employment reference. … We also require two letters of reference for our Indigenous category, one of which must fully describe an applicant's connection(s) to the Indigenous community and the second must be an academic reference. http://www.uvic.ca/law/admissions/jdadmissionfaqs/index.php UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA 1. The LSAT score used is an average of all valid LSAT scores. LSAT scores are valid for 5 years. 2. The Admission GPA is calculated using the applicant's most recent 60 units/credits (equivalent to 2 years of full time study) in a recognized university degree (undergraduate or graduate), provided those units of course weight are completed by February 1st in the year in which admission is sought. This is the minimum number of units/credits or courses that will be used in the assessment of an applicant's GPA. 3. Résumés and reference letters are not accepted in support of Regular Applicants, but are required in the case of Aboriginal Applicants. The Faculty of Law does not have a specific reference letter form. https://www.ualberta.ca/law/admissions/juris-doctor/faq https://www.ualberta.ca/law/admissions/juris-doctor/admissions-process UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY 1. While the highest LSAT score is used for grouping files, the Admissions Committee will take into account all of the applicant's LSAT scores from the past 5 years, the average score, and will consider the number of times the test was written. 2. The applicant's most recently completed 20 undergraduate half courses are used for grouping purposes; courses must be completed by December 31st of the year in which the application is submitted to be considered. If needed by the Admissions Committee, a grade point average (GPA) may be calculated using the applicant's most recently completed 20 undergraduate half courses. An average GPA of successful applicants for each admission cycle will be calculated for statistical purposes. GPAs are converted into a 4.0 scale. 3. Beginning with the Fall 2016 admissions cycle, referees will now provide their references by filling out the new online reference form, which they will access through the unique link that is emailed to them after the applicant submits the online application. All references must be provided through the online reference form no later than 11:59 p.m. MST on March 1 Late references and references that are mailed, emailed, or delivered in-person by the referee or applicant will not be added to the application file. http://law.ucalgary.ca/jdadmissions UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN 1. The Admissions Committee considers your highest LSAT score over the past five years. 2. The Admissions Committee looks at your best two (2) full years undergraduate GPA. The best two years do not have to be consecutive, but you do need at least 24 credits in each of these years during the Fall and Winter sessions. They do not look at Spring or Summer classes in calculating your best two-year GPA. Your best two-year GPA and the LSAT score are considered in assessing your application. 3. Reference letters for regular applicants are not required and will not be looked at if submitted. http://law.usask.ca/students/becoming-a-law-student/applying-to-law.php UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA (ROBSON HALL) 1. NOTES: Regarding the LSAT If multiple scores exist, the highest will be used for admission purposes. A LSAT score expires after 5 years. 2. The AGPA is calculated using graded credit hours, whether completed on a full or part time basis, in undergraduate or graduate programs, or in Regular, Evening or Summer Sessions. Courses completed outside of a degree will also be included, providing they are from an accredited institution, and at university degree level. Applicants whom have completed 60-89 credit hours will have their AGPA calculated on all graded credit hours completed. Applicants with more than 90 credit hours completed will have their AGPA adjusted according to the following thresholds: Credit Hours Completed Credit Hours Dropped 90 to 101 18 102 to 113 24 114+ 30 3. Recommendation Letters: Three letters of reference are required for all applicants in the Individual Consideration and Canadian Indigenous Categories. The Transfer Category requires two (2) recommendation letters. http://umanitoba.ca/student/admissions/media/law_bulletin.pdf UNIVERSITY OF WINDSOR Note: “We emphasize that no one single factor is solely determinative of admission to the law school.” 1. All applicants must write the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). … LSAT test scores written in December following the November application deadline will be considered. LSAT scores written more than five years prior to the academic year of application will not be considered. 2. This category [university Program] comprises undergraduate average and academic performance trends in light of relevant considerations; awards and prizes; the nature and content of the program taken; the level of any degree(s) or diplomas obtained. 3. Each applicant is required to submit two letters of reference. Those applicants who have attended a post secondary institution during the three years prior to the application are required to submit at least one academic reference. Reference forms are provided and, when completed, should be forwarded directly to the OLSAS by the referee. http://www.uwindsor.ca/law/343/our-admissions-criteria http://www.uwindsor.ca/law/328/how-apply-jd UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN ONTARIO 1. We review all scores, but will use the highest score for admission purposes. Generally, high scores on the first writing – or consistently high scores over multiple writings – are given greater weight than inconsistent scores over multiple writings. For this reason, applicants are encouraged to plan to do well the first time they write the LSAT. 2. We consider all years of study, but place greater weight on the last two years of full-time (or equivalent) undergraduate study. If you are taking longer to complete your degree than the standard four years, we will count among those last two years a fifth or post-graduate year of full-time (or equivalent) undergraduate study. 3. We require two reference letters, one of which must be academic (from a university professor). The second letter may also be academic or it may be non-academic, e.g., from an employer, coach, or someone else who knows you well who can provide an objective assessment. You should avoid letters from family members or close family friends as they may be perceived to be not as objective as other references. Mature candidates may submit two non-academic references if they cannot obtain an academic reference. https://law.uwo.ca/future_students/jd_admissions/admissions_FAQ/law_school_admission_test.html https://law.uwo.ca/future_students/jd_admissions/admissions_FAQ/grades_and_courses.html https://law.uwo.ca/future_students/jd_admissions/admissions_FAQ/reference_letters.html UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA 1. Only the highest LSAT score is considered by the Admissions Committee. 2. Undergraduate academic performance is a significant numerical factor in the evaluation process. Most successful applicants have at least an A- average overall (CGPA). 3. At least two reference forms, of which one must be academic. These reference letters should speak to your personal qualities, academic achievements and/or performance as a volunteer or employee. http://commonlaw.uottawa.ca/en/students/admissions/admissions-criteria/first-year-applicants/general-applicants http://commonlaw.uottawa.ca/en/students/admissions/admissions-criteria QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY 1. All applicants are required to take the LSAT. LSAT scores for the past five years may be used. The February test score is the latest score accepted for admission in the current admission cycle. The Admissions Committee will rely on the highest score achieved at the time of the admission decision. 2. Competitive applicants should have at least an “A-” average (GPA 3.7) in their best two years of their undergraduate degree program at a full course load along with an LSAT score of at least 157. 3. Please provide one academic reference. No more than three letters of reference may be filed to support an application. All letters of reference are confidential and must be submitted by the referee directly to OLSAS. http://law.queensu.ca/jd-admissions/admission-information/first-year OSGOODE HALL, YORK UNIVERSITY 1. All applicants to the first-year program are required to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Osgoode considers your highest result as reported by the Law School Admission Council and will accept LSAT scores for the past five years. You must complete the LSAT no later than February of the year you intend to start. 2. Our approach to reading close to 3,000 applications begins with the applicant’s cumulative GPA and LSAT score. Files are also reviewed for equity and diversity considerations cited by the applicant. Applicants are then grouped and files are read accordingly. Once the order for review has been determined, files are read in their entirety. An applicant’s academic performance (including all studies, programs and the LSAT), non-academic experience (including work, life, volunteer, extra-curricular, interests), and submissions (including the personal statement, considerations cited in personal statement, letters of reference, corroborative documentation) are all carefully considered. No formula or weighting is applied in reaching a decision. 3. At least two letters of reference are required and we strongly recommend that at least one be an academic reference. Letters of reference are confidential and must be submitted by the referee directly to OLSAS. You should select referees who have extensive personal knowledge of you and can make statements concerning your: •Character •Personal qualities •Academic capabilities •Performance in an employment and/or volunteer capacity •Special circumstances, if applicable http://www.osgoode.yorku.ca/prospective-students/jd-program/jd-admissions/application-components/ http://www.osgoode.yorku.ca/prospective-students/jd-program/jd-admissions/review-process/ UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO 1. An LSAT score is valid for five years. If more than one LSAT score is reported, all LSAT scores within the past five years will be seen and considered by the Admissions Committee. Generally, we place emphasis on the highest LSAT score reported. 2. Our review of an applicant's undergraduate record is sensitive to context. It is based on the principle that undergraduate records should be compared as fairly as possible across applicants. For this reason, we examine the pattern of the intensity of the course work taken across an applicant's undergraduate career (light versus heavy, full-time versus part-time, co-op versus regular, introductory versus upper-year courses, courses on exchange, courses during the summer term). We also examine the patterns of results the applicant achieved in that coursework (increasing trends, sustained periods of strong performance, short-term deviations, cumulative results, etc). Moreover, we take into account the nature of the program and the undergraduate institution (or institutions) at which an applicant has studied. Specifically, programs and institutions have varying grading practices, which we take into account in our assessment. In general, the Admissions Committee examines each applicant's academic record with a view to meaningful and fair comparisons of undergraduate performance. Our GPA is calculated on undergraduate courses only, using the best three academic years (traditionally the fall and winter sessions) of full-time study. We use the results of these calculations merely as a starting point for our context-sensitive analysis. 3. Letters of recommendation are not required and, if submitted, will not form part of the applicant's file. http://www.law.utoronto.ca/admissions/jd-admissions/admissions-frequently-asked-questions http://www.law.utoronto.ca/admissions/jd-admissions/application-procedure MCGILL UNIVERSITY 1. Applicants are not required to take the LSAT; however, if a candidate has taken or will be taking the LSAT, the score will be considered. While the LSAT is not required, the LSAT result provides the Admissions Committee with an additional and useful piece of information regarding the strength of your candidacy and suitability for law studies. The relative strength or weakness of an LSAT result is evaluated in light of the entire application. 2. GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated on all academic years, even if you have done three or four years and if you have done the same course more than once. While the emphasis is on the applicant's undergraduate marks, any graduate work will also be considered. 3. Two (2) letters of reference are required. The Admissions Committee does not accept additional letters of reference. Applicants who are students, or who have recently completed programs of study, are expected to provide academic references from current or recent professors or teachers who are familiar with their work. Applicants in the CEGEP and Quebec French Baccalaureate (Collèges international Marie de France and Stanislas) category are expected to submit two letters of reference from CEGEP or college professors. Applicants who are unable to obtain academic references because they are no longer students should submit letters from individuals who are well placed to evaluate the applicant's academic abilities such as critical reading, research, and writing; these may be professional references, but ought to be from a person who is in a supervisory position vis-à-vis the applicant. http://www.mcgill.ca/law-admissions/undergraduates/admissions/faq http://www.mcgill.ca/law-admissions/undergraduates/admissions/documents UNIVERSITE DE MONCTON 1. Comme toutes les autres facultés enseignant le droit en français au Canada, la faculté n’exige pas que les candidats et les candidates fassent le Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). 2. S’il ne vous reste qu’une année d’étude avant l’obtention de votre baccalauréat et que vous avez une moyenne exceptionnelle de 3,5 sur 4,3, vous pouvez faire une demande d’admission. Nous avons également une catégorie adulte pour les personnes ayant au moins cinq années d’expérience professionnelle. Ces personnes peuvent être admises si elles démontrent au comité qu’elles possèdent les aptitudes intellectuelles qui leur permettront de réussir. L’évaluation tient compte de leur expérience dans un domaine connexe au droit et de leur excellence dans leur profession. 3. Pour faire une demande d'admission vous devez… prendre les dispositions pour nous faire parvenir deux lettres de recommandation confidentielles de professeures ou de professeurs. http://www.umoncton.ca/umcm-droit/node/17 http://www.umoncton.ca/umcm-droit/node/15 UNIVERSITY OF NEW BRUNSWICK (FREDERICTON) 1. The LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) is required for all admission categories. Although there is no minimum LSAT score required, students with an LSAT score below 150 are unlikely to be admitted. 2. If the applicant has completed three years (or equivalent), the lowest 15% of the grades are excluded from the calculation of the applicant’s GPA; if the applicant has completed four or more years (or equivalent), the lowest 25% are excluded; if an applicant is currently in their final year of a four year degree program, the lowest 25% will be excluded. 3. Letters of reference, while not required for applicants in the Regular category, are useful when conducting supplementary review and determining eligibility for general scholarships. At least two letters of recommendation are required in the Discretionary and Aboriginal categories. http://www.unb.ca/fredericton/law/admissions/first-year/admissions-requirements.html SCHULICH SCHOOL OF LAW, DALHOUSIE UNIVERSITY 1. If you have written the LSAT multiple times, we will use your highest score. 2. When we assess your transcripts, we take into consideration either your overall GPA or your last two years (10 credits), whichever is better. 3. Two letters of reference (Appendix A) – If you are currently attending university or have been out of school for three years or less, you must provide academic references, otherwise you can submit either personal or employment letters of reference. https://cdn.dal.ca/content/dam/dalhousie/pdf/law/Admissions/law_admissions_infosheets_FAQ_0916.pdf THOMPSON RIVERS UNIVERSITY 1. Your highest LSAT score will be reported and considered when your application is reviewed. However, all scores are included in the application file for the admission committee member to view. A significant increase in score will be noted. 2. Please be sure to send your final grades earned up until December 31st of the year you apply in order for us to calculate your GPA. 3. Yes. You will need three letters of reference. Reference letters should be one to two pages in length. … Applicants are urged to provide two academic references with the third reference from a non-academic referee. If you are unable to provide two academic references, a brief note should be included in the application to explain why. Non-academic references should be written by someone who has had interactions with you in a professional capacity. Examples of non-academic references include a current employer, a former employer or an individual from an organization that you have volunteered with. Applicants are encouraged to avoid non-academic references from family members. http://www.tru.ca/law/admissions/faqs.html LAKEHEAD UNIVERSITY (BORA LASKIN FACULTY OF LAW) 1. If applicants complete the LSAT more than once, the highest test result reported by the Law School Admission Service in the year of application is used for admission. LSAT scores within the past five (5) years may be used (back to 2012). 2. The Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at Lakehead University is part of the Ontario Law School Application Service (OLSAS) and all applications are processed through their office. OLSAS calculates the applicant GPA on our behalf - they take into account all undergraduate grades (including summer courses) and provide us with a yearly breakdown, a per-university breakdown if applicable, as well as an overall cumulative GPA. Competitive applicants have an overall B+/A- average and the admissions committee looks at both the yearly breakdowns and the transcripts themselves and may identify where averages may have been pulled down. Applicants without the indicated average may be competitive through their LSAT score, by showing a steady increase in grades overall, or other aspects of their whole file. We do not drop lowest grades, nor do we look only at the best two years, but we certainly take into consideration where applicants have lower GPAs due to difficult starts to university, including starting in a different program. Master program grades are not included in GPA calculations, nor are any college grades. However, applicants must still provide those official transcripts to OLSAS, as they help build the whole picture of an applicant’s post-secondary education. 3. All applicants must provide at least two (2) letters of reference: one academic and one may be non-academic; however, two academic references are preferred. Applicants should carefully consider the selection of their referees. Referees should have extensive personal knowledge of the applicant in order to make statements concerning the applicant’s character, personal qualities, academic competencies, employment performance, volunteer contributions and other areas that may be of interest to the Admissions Committee. https://www.lakeheadu.ca/academics/departments/law/admissions https://www.lakeheadu.ca/academics/departments/law/admissions/law-admission-questions
  4. It depends. If you have a separate section to explain why you fit into the access category, and you are also able to use that section to expand on points (1) and/or (2) (e.g., how you can contribute to the law school and/or why your numbers don't reflect your potential), then don't repeat yourself in the main personal statement. However, if the section is limited to the question of why you qualify for the access category, and is solely restricted to a statement such as "I am a person with X disability", then you will want to address points (1) and/or (2) in your main personal statement.
  5. Interesting question, and admittedly something I did not come across during my brief stint as an admissions committee member. I see a couple of issues for you here. First, how is it that universities can see your charges when you apply? Is it on your transcript? If so, then yes, a law school admissions committee will see it and will be curious. All things being equal, I think it's fair to say that most law schools would be more likely to admit a candidate without such a notation on their transcript than an equally competitive candidate with such a notation on their transcript. One of the concerns that I would have had as an admissions committee member (floating around in the back of my mind), would be whether or not you would ultimately be admitted to the practice of law. You didn't say whether or not you were convicted, or what your offence was, and you needn't explain here. However, it could have an impact on your ability to be admitted to a law society, and thus to be able to become a lawyer.
  6. Everyone is going to tell you the same thing: write your LSAT and then ask the question. This isn't just the members of this forum trying to put you off, it's just that unless your grades are either extraordinary or poor, with a 120, you wouldn't have a chance anywhere, and with a 180, you would probably have a chance at any school.
  7. Hi 3rdGenLawStudent, I'm not sure how the schools treat final transcripts. Because I was only a student member of the committee, I ended my term before final transcripts would have been released. By that time, at my school, we had finished extending almost all offers and were moving on to developing the waitlist. So I suppose it would depend on the school. If your final semester is really strong, and there's a particular school you are very interested in, you may wish to let the admissions team know that you're expecting a solid final transcript, if they have not already made a decision on your file.
  8. That's a real case by case issue. If the degrees were in relatively similar fields, and your performance did not improve (or worse still, declined) in the second degree program, the committee would be concerned that you had not been able to learn from the experience of Degree 1 and apply that towards growth in Degree 2. If your degrees were in the same field or highly similar fields, the committee might question why you had not gotten a masters degree or advanced degree instead of simply doing another undergraduate degree. In other cases it would be seen as a strength. One of my classmates had two degrees in very different subjects because he had added an extra year to his undergraduate program and taken a heavy course load throughout, and chose to do so because he was very interested in both topics. Some mature students have two degrees from very different stages in their lives, and have much stronger grades in the second program. That would also be seen as an asset, and as evidence that the student would be more likely to succeed at law school.
  9. My partner is in the RCMP and I'm a lawyer. Our jobs/lives could not be more different. First of all, you're right that it takes a while to get into Depot. Secondly, if you don't want to work nights, get dirty, and deal with the worst side of humanity, then policing is not for you. If you're looking for a practical, hands on job where you'll be expected to come up with solutions on the spot, and have to be prepared to "get physical" with people, then the RCMP could be for you. Overall, I would say that I work longer hours than my partner, but I do get paid a lot more. He works shorter hours, and gets paid overtime, but has very little control over his schedule and has to work nights. While I really only leave my office to go to court or meet with clients, he spends most of his time on the road, dealing with people. As a general duty officer, sometimes he gets jobs that I would consider incredibly boring (like keeping an eye on someone who has been apprehended under the mental health act). I also sometimes have to do things that he would consider very boring, like researching minor points of law and writing memoranda. You do what works for you. It's worth noting however that a career in law can mean a lot of different things. I'm one kind of lawyer and he's one kind of cop, but it can be different depending on the type of law you practice and where you are posted as a cop.
  10. I've never been involved in graduate admissions, so unfortunately I can't speak to it. I imagine that some of the same general principles would apply. Good luck with your applications to both - I also have a grad degree and although I sometimes make self-deprecating jokes about "wasting two years on a masters", I think it has been really helpful.
  11. Anything two full grade points (e.g., As and then C drops or 80s and 60 drops) would probably catch my attention. When I saw that type of thing it wasn't a disqualifier by any means, but I would look to see what the course was (was it in the student's major or were they just trying something different/out of their comfort zone and it didn't work out?) and whether there was an explanation in the personal statement. If there wasn't an obvious reason, and didn't appear to be a trend, it usually would not hurt your application much if at all.
  12. They might be curious about it but it's unlikely to have much of a negative impact on you. Big changes in numbers tend to catch the committee's attention, but an upward trend is not nearly as alarming as a big move downwards. Showing an ability to improve is often seen as a strength.
  13. I do recall a few occasions where course load was a factor for students who were on the borderline between admission and waitlisting. If a student had excellent grades despite a heavy course load, or conversely, could only get good grades when they had a light course load, it made a difference. Law school requires a lot of stamina, and the workload is heavy. Students with a proven ability to excel under a heavy course load have an advantage.
  14. I'm probably way too late to get back to this, but what I mean by that is not "don't mention the school you're applying to", but rather, "don't spend a lot of time in your statement on why you think X law school is great". If there's a reason why you think you would have a lot to add to a particular school, for example "My connections with First Nations communities leaves me well-placed to participate in your Indigenous Law Clinic", that's great. If there's something special about the school that you like for a specific reason, such as the examples I gave above, that also could potentially be useful. Admissions committees do like to see that you are interested in their school specifically, and they want to know what you would have to offer to the school. However, bald statements of enthusiasm for the school without any tie-in to you, e.g., "I'd like to attend your school because of its world-renowned faculty", aren't that useful and should be cut. Creating a one size fits all personal statement is fine for most schools, but some schools ask for you to address specific things in your personal statement. It should go without saying, but addressing those specific things can only increase your chances at that school.
  15. Usually dropped courses don't show up on a transcript unless they are dropped past the add/drop date. I can't recall us dealing with an applicant where the number of dropped courses was a cause for concern, but I'm sure if you have a ton of them, the admissions committee might be concerned. I just don't remember it being an issue with the candidates I saw.
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