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Ghalm

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  1. Hey there, Never apologize for seeking advice! You are not complaining and you are not coming across as annoying. I am in 3L at a school in ON, and thought I could share some thoughts to assuage your 1L blues. With respect to the material clicking and the classes moving so fast, I do not think you are alone in experiencing this at all! I have always felt that my classes move super fast. The material seriously never clicks until I begin to start studying for exams (which starts usually a couple weeks before the beginning of the exam period)! This has been a consistent pattern for me. It is only when I start to consolidate my notes, marinate on the concepts and case law, and put together my own map and summary that I finally begin to make sense of it all. My advice to you is to just try to take the best notes that you can to be best prepared for when you start to consolidate and begin studying for exams . I know some of my peers who read over and consolidate their notes even earlier than near the exam period which helps them make sense of it all. Also, does your school have a map/summary bank? If you do not know, reach out to the student society to ask. Those maps can be a good starting place for getting your head wrapped around the material (and for consolidating your notes in the future by comparing your understanding with that of other students). I second what was shared above about joining groups and ECs to meet people. Good on you for trying new things like coming to class 5 minutes early. Heck why not come to class 15 minutes early and see who is sitting there and strike up a convo. I know my school can be group-y too, but there are always those few students who sit by themselves or with one other person that are an easy conversation to have. Maybe look past the "groups" to see who else in the lecture hall is sitting by themselves, or with one other person. I am sure if you keep at it you will meet some great people. Also clinics are a great way to get close to people as you grind away working on real life issues!
  2. Not all firms pay a tuition bonus, though they pay bar benefits. If those firms that do not pay a tuition bonus raise to 1800, it wouldn't it seem odd, for optics at least, for those firms that pay a tuition bonus to stay at 1700.
  3. Would Fasken's shift to 1800 cause the others settled at 1700 to move to 1800? Heard Fasken didnt cut bar benefits though they do not give tuition bonus i think
  4. Rumour has it that one large bay street firm has increased their articling salary from 1450 a week to 1700 a week. Also, Law and Style magazine reported a month ago that Bennett Jones and Davies raised their articling salaries to 1850 a week (https://lawandstyle.ca/law/on-the-record-why-did-bennett-jones-and-davies-reward-their-articling-students-with-a-raise/). So, what do we think? Is this an indication that the large firms on Bay street will increase their articling student salaries? What does it take for that to happen? Is one firm moving away from the norm enough?
  5. You have to show the fin. aid office that you applied for gov. aid (osap or your own province), been approved, and have a funding estimate. So, yeah they probably take it into account. Also, my experience for the past 2 years is that it has been generally accurate so long as you are accurate in the information you input in. It is sometimes a couple hundred dollars more or less than what was estimated based on my experience/what my friends tell me.
  6. To your first point regarding LPs and Fs. Yes they do exist. However, LPs are discretionary, up to 10%. In my first year, I had two Profs say they do not give LPs, another prof showed us his last 3 exams with answers and memos detailing how many students got which grade, and out of the past 3 years only one student got an LP in his class. There are some Profs that give out LPs, but my sense is that its not as widespread as 10% of every class receiving an LP. These 3 classes were all your standard black letter law classes. I do not think I said, nor did I imply, that people with many Ps are going to suddenly be competitive to top jobs in the profession. I was merely saying that based on my anecdotal experience as a current student at UT Law, people are not that anxious about their grades, because, in part, a P is interpreted as a B and the spectre of a B- C+ C C- does not exist. And, I would add, that the spectre of an LP is not as scary given the likelihood that they are not as widespread as 10% of each class.
  7. The rate that the CDO floats around is 40% to 35% who do not have a job after the recruit. This is probably because around 10-15% per cent end up taking jobs in NY.
  8. Also, most students come into UofT with Megbean's mindset. This is probably the case because they are generally the overachievers in their undergrad programs and are accustomed to getting the highest grades. People mellow out because they realize that the vast majority of students, including those in the top 10%, will get one or more P on their transcript and thats OK.
  9. Yes, it does help those at the bottom. But, I think it helps everyone really since the vast majority of students get a mix of grades, including students with overall grades in the top 10% (some of which I know had Ps on their transcript). That is, it helps all students view the lower grades on their transcript in a relatively more positive light than if there were B-, C+, C, C- grades on transcripts. I think the Assistant Dean Academics introduced the grading scheme to the first year class by essentially saying that the admin. eliminated grades below a B, and that helps those who land in the bottom 55% - 45% of a given class to look better.
  10. Well, I think from the perspective of a UofT student, when they look at a P, which as mentioned above is given to 55% to 45% of a class, on their transcript, they view it as an equivalent to a B. They probably do not view it as a B-, C+, C, or C-. I would expect that someone with a C+ or C on their transcript would feel more anxious about their grades going into a job recruit than someone with Ps on their transcript. I would also suspect that people would be more anxious about their grades if the spectre of a B-, C+, C, or C- is floating around as they study instead of the spectre of getting a P.
  11. Based on my experience and what I hear from my friends and aquaintences in my year and other years, the grading system does help reduce anxiety. It’s true that some students are desperate for the HH in every class, but a good many of us are happy with the mix of Hs and Ps that most people get. As mentioned above, a P can mean anything from B to C-, and everyone views them as a B. So, it’s not viewed as a bad grade. Also, people tend to mellow out after 1L first semester about grades. Of course, this is based on what people say out loud to each other and the general vibe one feels about grades from the 2L class.
  12. You rank the places you want to go. I am pretty sure its a lottery. If you do not get your ranked choices then you are usually offered some alternatives. You pay UofT tuition + living expenses for the relevant area.
  13. One thing you can do is look at the past few years worth of Ultra Vires Recruitment Specials that show the approximate placement rates of students from different schools at various firms. You can see how often various boutique bay firms hire UofT students vs. other schools.
  14. In terms of additional debt, its no secret UofT is more expensive. However, we have a relatively decent financial aid program that, at the very least, tends to bring UofT's annual tuition close to, if not the same as, Osgoode's annual tuition for those who are eligible. I am not sure Osgoode's fin. aid is as generous as UofT. A friend of mine who goes to Osgoode said that you have to demonstrate that you have maxed out your LOC and Gov. resources to obtain a bursary (not sure how true this is). That is not the case with UofT. Either way, my point is that the choice between UofT and Osgoode are not so so so stark debt wise, and thats one reason I chose UofT over Osgoode. Also, I wouldn't rule out bay street full service firms right away. I went into law school not being interested in bay street, but when i exposed myself to different events where lawyers came and spoke about their practice, i realized that the work seems a lot different, and a lot more interesting, than what it is assumed to be based on student preconceptions.
  15. Thank you for this insightful account, Providence!
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