I was admitted to numerous schools when I applied and went through a similar question. I’ll echo what Diplock said and add a little to it.
Cost is a major factor when deciding a school. While in law school and upon graduation, money will be a compelling factor for many decisions you will be able to make. Whether you can afford to start your own practice, where you will work, what area of law you will work in, whether you’ll get married, buy a house or make any other number of decisions will greatly depend upon your financial status. Being a student at a school which charges some of the highest tuition fees in the country, I can attest first hand to the decisions students make, such as where to work and what area of law to practice in, being governed by debt considerations. My advice is to minimize your debt load and ideally eliminate it if possible. This will enable you to do much more with your time and life.
That being said, some schools do historically place more students in “big law” than others, of which the earning potentials are high (and so too are the burn out rates). However, I’m not so convinced that the institution itself is the reason for this. I think there may be a tad bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy with these institutions and that students likely to be attracted to big law may be attracted to the branding of Toronto schools.
On the balance though, consider the cost of law school. Budget it out and compare the value of a degree from one institution to that of another.
Every law school in Canada has something valuable to offer. Each school is fantastic and will give you the same degree. While I’m not naive enough to suggest Lakehead graduates are equally as better of as an Osgoode graduate within some markets, I am cautioning against over-weighing just how much the school you attend matters. On a similar note, my advise is that you also ignore the notions of prestige, top ranking, and “the best” law school. These categories are meaningless in every sense of the word. This is not to say the institution you attend does not matter, as some schools offer far more opportunities in various areas of law than others do, but I say this to caution against making a decision based on what people think the ranking of your law school may be or whatever prestige one might think exists. Whatever prestige is garnished from a particular institution won’t matter if you can barely make ends meet while trying to pay down a mountain of debt.
A further factor to consider is whether you’ll enjoy being in a particular institution. This is hard to determine for some but really try to consider whether a particular school is what will make you happy. For some, moving to Toronto is the most exciting thing in the world. For others, the thought of doing so it frightening. Think carefully about what environment you want to be in while you study, think about what you want from the school you attend and go with the one that best matches it. Perhaps you’re a family person and moving across the province is not something you’d like. Consider these factors when making your decision.
I’ll end with my own considerations. I had a decision I narrowed myself down to between accepting an offer from Osgoode with a scholarship and accepting an offer from Western with an even better scholarship. I visited both schools. I calculated the approximate costs of all three years, considered the lifestyle I would have and asked myself where I would be happiest and whether the other aspects of my life that are important, such as family, would be sufficiently provided for. In the end, I found Western and Osgoode financially would be the same over three years. I then found Osgoode would best meet my other considerations I had, was closer to home for me to visit my family and was ultimately the school I had always dreamed of going to. I elected to go to Osgoode after this assessment.
Consider what you want out of law school. Don’t buy into the marketing ploys but look at the data, consider your own personal preferences and go to what school will best satisfy all the complex factors you might have. Then, once you’ve made a decision, seal the deal and never doubt that you made the right decision! Good luck! Feel free to PM if you’d like!