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msk2012

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  1. Comparative in which sense? I can see grading being comparative in the sense that if you've graded enough papers over the course of your career, you've developed the ability to identify which papers ought to receive which grades. If you mean a comparison vis a vis the same batch of papers, that strikes me as odd given that not all batches are equal.
  2. I don't support graduate schools giving everyone As on the basis that the students had been earning As as undergraduates. I'm just saying that there are programs out there (though perhaps not many) in which the caliber of students is such that the average student does perform to the standard of an A. I suppose you could choose to grade those students across the spectrum to help folks distinguish between cohorts. That's certainly an important function. However, if a paper is worthy of an A and it's given a B because there are others that are more worthy of an A, I feel that would make the grades less representative of a student's level of achievement. From my perspective, the distinction between the latter years of an undergraduate program and graduate school isn't very obvious. Often times, you'll have undergraduates and graduate students in the same class. If a student goes from a B average to an A- just because they're now a graduate student, I'd attribute that to grade inflation. However, if the student has an A average as an undergraduate and maintains something in that ballpark in graduate school, I'm inclined to assume that the student is either very capable or that the student's program is too easy. It's very hard to know which it is.
  3. I mean, there are certainly graduate programs out there that only admit "A" students. Generally, these students keep their "As" but I can imagine folks slipping down to an "A-" or maybe "B+" if they're at the bottom of the class. Where grades become meaningless is when graduate programs admit students from across the grade spectrum and smush them all into the "A" to "A-" range.
  4. Graduate programs are notorious for grade inflation. Most if not everyone who has spent time a bit of time in higher education knows this so it only makes sense that it is reflected in admissions policies.
  5. Foreign degrees aren't necessarily impediments to clerking (assuming the foreign degree is from well regarded school and they you've done well (which would be a requirement in any case)). Bilingualism helps but doesn't mean much if your grades aren't all that exciting. Not sure if the LLM will help but maybe someone else can speak to that. Regarding articling vs LPP, it depends on a variety of factors. Do you have a sense of how receptive lawyers would be to you if you were to try and find a position (meaning is your sole handicap your foreign degree or do you also have difficulty in interviews/networking?)?
  6. http://www.uviclss.ca/blog/student-resources/download-outlines http://www.pubdocs.ca/index.php http://lawstudentsassociation.ca/cans/ Google for more if interested.
  7. Following up to add that law school is generally quite distinct from legal practice. I think there are other schools where professors have spent more time practicing law but at McGill it seems as if a very large chunk of them graduated from law school, went on to clerk, got an LL.M. / doctorate, and then started teaching.
  8. Consider taking your courses in French at first. You'll be exposed to readings, plenaries, and lectures in English even if you've opted to take your courses in French. At first you'll be adjusting to law school. Once you're comfortable with that and have had some exposure to university-level English, you can opt to take courses in English or continue to take courses in French after first year. If you take English courses and don't understand everything, you can find notes on Pubdocs (Google "McGill Pubdocs") and supplementary material in the library. If you aren't comfortable writing exams/papers in English, feel free to write them in French.
  9. I don't practice in Quebec so the value of my response is probably limited. Having said that, I'd assume that folks who trained / practiced in civil law environments are maybe a little better. You can figure this out by looking at the professor's profiles online. As a bit of an aside, I'm not sure if there's a particular pedagogical style that is better suited for common law or civil law. I suppose there's a greater emphasis on the Code and statutory interpretation on the civil law side but those the underlying skills are also useful for folks that intend to practice in a common law jurisdiction.
  10. Is the green space were talking about U of T / Queen's Park? I quite like that area (even if there's nothing for me to do there anymore). Also, if you can get a place that looks onto the U of T campus, it's very picturesque.
  11. If I had to say, I'd probably say constitutional would be the least daunting course to take in French. For constitutional law, you'll have access to good English language texts to supplement whichever French language textbook the class will be using. Likewise, all or virtually all the cases you'll be reading will be available in both English and French. Similarly, constitutional law isn't really a transsystemic course. In practical terms, transsystemic courses are tougher because there aren't always high quality supplementary texts available and you are generally dependent on the coursepacks that professors cobble together from various sources.
  12. Contracts: GĂ©linas if you're comfortable in French. Otherwise the two others should be decent. Torts: Khoury is great if you speak French (had her for medical liability). I had Van Praagh for torts and would genuinely advise avoiding her if at all possible (in my year, she had us write children's stories for our final exam). I had public international law with Ellis and would say she's competent but maybe a bit disengaged. Constitutional: Avoid Narain. Foundations: I had Weinstock. Great professor but his section is more philosophical than the other profs' sections. I had Anker for common law property and she's also very good. If you have an interest in Aboriginal stuff, Anker's section may suit you better as that is her wheelhouse. ILT: The only name I recognize here is Anker. If your French is good, I think she'd be great. Frankly I'm a bit surprised to see that she's teaching in French because I assumed (without evidence) that her French wasn't great.
  13. I don't mean the following in a disparaging way, especially as I'm perfectly aware of how difficult it can be to master a foreign language to a professional level. Having said that, I suspect that you'll struggle to find legal work in either job market if you don't improve your language abilities first. Yes, you can technically do it during your LL.M. but you might not have the time to spare on a day to day basis as well as not enough time overall (depending on how long the program is). In terms of which degree is better for your job prospects, I suspect neither will help a whole lot. That's generally true for the Canadian legal market but I don't know enough about the UK to say if it's true there as well. However, from what I've seen, foreign LL.M. students sometimes see a bit of a career boost if they return to practice in their home countries (contingent on a variety of factors). If you're looking to study abroad as a means of immigrating to another country, you should also look at hurdles such as acquiring status and clearing licensing requirements.
  14. It's not that your GPA and LSAT score are all that matters, just that they matter most. Extracurricular and vocational achievements matter to a lesser degree (the exact degree varies from school to school) if there is something interesting or noteworthy about them. That's to say you won't be impressing anybody by being associated with your school's "pre-law" association. While it signals you have an interest in law, admissions committees already operate on the assumption that folks who are applying to attend law school are are interested in law.
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