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Everything posted by jan

  1. I had similar (worse, even) stats with 0 meaningful ECs and got in everywhere I applied, including McGill and the University of Toronto.
  2. Mine goes to Accounts Receivable, meaning directly into my student fee account. If your scholarship grants more than tuition costs, you can have the difference sent to your bank account via direct deposit.
  3. To answer your logistical question, to my knowledge (as a 0L), yes, there are schools that allow students to study part-time while holding down a job. That said, there are no Canadian law schools that offer a program that is fully compatible with someone who works full-time during standard business hours. The vast majority of required classes at any law school are scheduled during the day, so you'd have to have a very flexible work schedule to attend class. I can't imagine that there's a way that you could pull this off without compromising your current career. Even if you somehow get a study arrangement that works for you, in order to practice law part-time (the viability of which I'm definitely not qualified to comment on), you'd have to initially practice full-time. Part-time articling positions, to my understanding, are exceedingly rare. Are you down to commit 6-8 years of your life outside of work to land a side gig that will probably never yield a ROI? If so, that's cool, and I wish you the best of luck. Being confident in that decision sincerely sounds like an awesome place to be in life.
  4. Your stats and experiences are comparable to mine (I had a negligibly higher GPA, but worse ECs) and I was accepted. I wrote the LSAT, though, and had an alright score. The admissions process is pretty nebulous to me, but I'd say that you have pretty good odds. Best of luck!
  5. The tuition thing? The deregulation was announced in May or so, and the Tribune and Daily both covered it. The Provost posted something a while ago that blatantly says that international student tuition will rise next year, albeit by an undetermined amount. I'm betting that it'll be a pretty significant increase, just based on my own familiarity with the institution, and how lots of other Canadian universities treat international students as cash cows. I'm actually not sure if the new regulations apply to law programs (because IIRC, only arts, science, and education programs had their limits capped by the province, hence why commerce and engineering are so relatively pricey), or if they were already free reign. I wouldn't be surprised if rates jumped up regardless, though. Anyways, I digress. Point is that tuition rates could offset the affordability of the city.
  6. First of all, posting your GPA and LSAT might be helpful, if you're comfortable with that. Canadian schools generally do not really have enormous scholarships. At most, you might get a fraction of your international tuition fee covered. I think the biggest non-renewable scholarship at my school is $10,500, whereas international student tuition is over $40,000 per year. Schools also aren't usually super transparent about their scholarship recipient selection process, though I would imagine that emailing schools you're interested in might be helpful. Off the top of my head, Montreal might be the most affordable major Canadian city to live in. That said, McGill is going to jack up international student tuition starting next year, since the province recently deregulated those fees.
  7. You're right, I should have specified that. Although I'm not sure how much that would impact my point that a very tiny minority of admits shared similar statistics. I haven't looked much into U of C, O of S, UVic, or Ottawa, but I imagine those schools would be reasonable targets. A 90th percentile or higher LSAT would definitely strengthen your application, yes. It's awesome that your practice tests are as high as they are, congratulations. That said, If I were in your position, I would probably focus way more on bringing up my GPA than putting much more effort into a high LSAT score, especially if you're practice testing above the median for many schools. If you can pull your last two years up to a 3.6 or 3.7, you'd definitely get into the schools you listed in this post, and maybe some of the ones in your original post, as well. If it's possible to exceed your credit limit and take an extra year, that is often an option presented on this forum for people in similar circumstances. I can't speak to the last two sentences of this paragraph, since I'm a 0L, but there are plenty of threads on the forum posing similar career questions! Sorry about that. Of 160 people who accepted offers at U of A for the 2017-18 entering class, only 5 had a GPA similar to yours. This is at the school with arguably the most lenient admissions requirements of the ones that you listed in your original post. I just wanted to bring some numbers into why I was making the claim that I was. As somebody else said, different schools have different access policies, so I would advise you to look into that if you are interested in that route. Maybe you do qualify at some schools. To my understanding, generally, access applicants are those who faced major systemic barriers (because of class, racial identity, disability, gender, sexual orientation, etc.) or, for some schools, difficult situations (extreme financial burden, family crises, major health issues, for example), that significantly limited their lifetime academic performance. In general, access categories cater to applicants who have faced extreme and unusual circumstances that proved to be a massive and insurmountable barrier to academic success. I'm not so sure if being an immigrant, working and supporting a family through university, or dealing with family crises while studying are necessarily extreme or unusual. Those are all pretty common circumstances for a lot of Canadian students (including myself for all three of them, actually) that do not necessarily limit academic performance potential. That said, I don't know your story, and I would never expect you to share something so deeply personal on a public forum. It is very possible that you do qualify, and if so, that's awesome! This forum is a good resource for deliberating that call, but I would recommend relying on actual admissions policies to guide the decision of which category to apply under.
  8. I would say that your cGPA unfortunately makes your chances extremely slim to none for all of those schools as a regular applicant. This is based entirely on what I know about Canadian law school admissions as a recent applicant, for the record. The U of A probably has the most generous admissions policy of any of the schools that you listed, and even there, only 5/160 regular category admits had an L2 comparable to yours. All of those applicants had an LSAT equal to or higher than your highest practice score. So, I guess you have a shot there if you can score 95th+ percentile on the LSAT. Based on the limited biographical information you've shared, I do not think your life experiences would warrant an access application or offset your GPA in a dramatic way.
  9. Disclaimer: This was my method, but it may not work for you. I have a weird brain and retain information best by dissecting and compartmentalizing it. I'm going into this comment under the assumption that you've learned some of the fundamental/conventional tactics for tackling RC and LR outlined in some of the more popular LSAT prep books and in courses. If you haven't, I recommend checking those out before taking my comment seriously. Something that helped me out with RC was thinking of it as a long-form LR organized around a particular theme. The point isn't really understanding the passage as a whole, but rather being able to filter it down to its key premises, and answer questions about those. My tactic for difficult passages was to isolate the main point of the article (what's up and why), and the conditional statements that inform that point (which I understood as basically analogous to LR prompts). The questions are primarily about those elements, and can be answered without really fully comprehending what the article is actually talking about. A synthetic understanding of the passage isn't completely necessary to score well, in my opinion. Questions will often pertain to only one or two sentences (often the topic sentence of a paragraph) that can be considered without any other context, just like an LR question. My tactic for difficult RC passages was as follows: Read the passage once without making any marks on the page. Read the passage again, highlighting the main point and any conditional statements. Read the questions and try to link each one to a highlighted statement. Answer the questions using the linked information. Learning to identify key words and phrasing that set up conditional statements was critical to this method. Some people recommend reading the questions first to make this process easier, but personally, that just tripped me up. Also, finding a good way to annotate consistently and efficiently helped a lot.
  10. I scored about 3 points higher than my average PT. It was sheer luck. I think preparing for a "worst case scenario" (specifically unconventional game types) helped a bit, though.
  11. First and foremost, no problem regarding the delay. This is a forum, after all, and a relatively niche one at that. I think you replied in a very timely manner, considering that context. Re: Stress I don't disagree with a word of this. I think we're on the same page, and that you're really offering up some kind words and good advice here. Stress management is undoubtedly a critical skill, especially in a rigorous discipline or profession. The intended thesis of my original comment was that the stress associated with waiting on an admission decision that could go either way, especially this late in the game, is unique and novel for a lot of prospective students. This unprecedented anxiety is something that many people can only learn to deal with retrospectively. Recognizing that something that you think is the end of the world isn't actually the end of the world in the moment is a feat that would require an extraordinary amount of self awareness. Most people don't discover that life is unpredictable and success is non-linear until their strict life itinerary doesn't go according to plan, and they only recognize in the aftermath that they emerged completely unscathed and can still continue on to their desired destination. Fortunately or unfortunately, as you suggest, similar uncertain, transitory circumstances will undoubtedly arise in the future, regardless of whether an applicant goes to law school or not. Rejection and failure are always possible, and panic is pretty much an unavoidable response to facing those possibilities. Sometimes the stress is impossible to neutralize. Hopefully, meditation upon this experience and the advice that kind strangers offered throughout it will allow applicants facing similar scenarios in the future to better control and reflect upon their panic in a productive way. But being unable to do that at this moment, especially if they've never faced rejection at such a (seemingly) significant scale before, is an unfortunate part of the stress management learning curve, in my opinion. Re: school acceptances I was lucky enough to score some acceptances from a few schools. McGill was the first offer that I received, and I ultimately decided to accept it. Thanks for offering your guidance. I sincerely appreciate your support. I imagine we'll eventually cross paths, although I'll probably be too embarrassed to out myself as the person who rambled a couple thousand words of nonsense about stress to you.
  12. Oh yeah, I'm not at all trying to imply that getting into law school is some sort of gateway into a stable and fulfilling life, or even career. I don't believe whatsoever that getting into law school eliminates or even mitigates any kind of uncertainty about the future. I'm sorry if I came off as naive or arrogant in that regard. That wasn't my intention at all. At the risk of getting overly personal, I honestly have zero concrete academic or professional ambitions or expectations right now. I know that it's very probable that law school isn't right for me. I kind of applied and got in as a fluke. I definitely recognize that uncertainty is a constant in life. Posts in the articling students' subforum here demonstrate that the ride never ends. I would wager that anticipation and uncertainty aren't the most common stressors that people face directly because of law school and as lawyers, though. Maybe law students and lawyers face those sources of anxiety more than other professionals do, but who knows. I was just trying to express how an all-or-nothing attitude might convince someone that getting into law school is the be-all and end-all of their entire life. Of course, that mindset is not realistic; that's what is unhealthy about it and the anxiety that it generates. I do believe that the only way that many people, particularly high-achieving, goal-oriented people, can overcome that way of thinking is by learning the hard way that accomplishing a goal as complex as landing a specific job is not a predictable or linear journey where good intentions and outputs are always rewarded. The application cycle represents one such critical moment where somebody might have to come face-to-face with that reality, possibly for the first time.
  13. Thankfully, I've somehow managed to already receive an offer. Regardless, this is generally good advice. Obsessing over a decision that's entirely in somebody else's hands is definitely neither emotionally sustainable nor productive. That said, I would imagine that the stress of law school is very different from the existential dread of indefinitely suspending future plans (as well as, for many candidates, their entire self-worth) while waiting on an incalculably probable outcome of what is often perceived as the culmination of a lifetime of dreaming and hard work. I'd assume that the vast majority of people who are academically and/or professionally successful enough to consider applying to law school have successfully found a way to navigate constant pressure to perform. It's the anxiety over not having that performance rewarded (in a specific, life-changing way) that drives people to freak out over law school admissions. The fact that hard work isn't guaranteed to pay off is a reality that all high-achievers must eventually crash face-first into. That's the looming risk of investing your entire life and identity into stacks of paper, as many law school applicants do. It's scary to recognize that handing off a meticulously curated CV or transcript isn't a transaction (as precedent outcomes would generally suggest), it's a gamble. That's why I find the numbers unsettling.
  14. This really puts it all in perspective. It's kind of scary that the acceptance rate is less than 10%. Other law schools are probably hitting a similar ratio, too. It also seems to get more and more competitive each year.
  15. You might want to thoroughly research the unique structure and pedagogical approach of McGill's law program, and compare it to UVic's. That knowledge is fundamentally necessary to make an informed decision between the two schools. I'm a 0L, so I can't offer much more substantial advice than that.
  16. Hey folks, just popping in to inform you that the glitch preventing many new McGill students from joining the Facebook group has reportedly been resolved.
  17. I've only been to La Cité a couple of times. The apartments aren't really as nice as advertised, and the place seems overrun with wealthy students who never really outgrew wanting the "dorm experience" of partying all the time and leaving common spaces in total disarray. Since you're married, I assume that you're probably much older than the building's targeted demographic, and that might prove annoying after a little while. I think buildings west of campus (and north of Sherbrooke, probably) would get you better bang for your buck in terms of space, maintenance, chillness of neighbours, and access to amenities. You'd be closer to the law buildings, as well. If my housing situation wasn't already sorted out, I'd seek out an apartment somewhere between Guy and Peel. The good news is if you settle on La Cité and ultimately hate it, it shouldn't be too difficult to land a sublet or lease transfer. Exchange students seem to enjoy staying there.
  18. I'd have to agree with @analyst regarding this. The article is about non-Law undergrad admissions, to my understanding. Admission to BSc, BA, BEng etc. programs is pretty much exclusively grade-based at McGill. It's a running joke among American McGill students in particular that they ended up going to the school that they put the least amount of effort into applying to. I'm not denying that McGill Law admissions seem to be pretty dependent upon grades, though, especially considering that they are one of very few schools in Canada that consider cGPA. I'm not sure if it's even possible to enroll in CEGEP if you've already done some university. My guess is that the admissions committee would probably look at all of your grades if you were to get another bachelor's, but that's entirely speculation based on the school's cGPA policy and explicit emphasis on undergraduate marks over grades from subsequent degrees. I personally would be reluctant to pursue another degree for the sole purpose of strengthening my McGill law school application. It definitely is an extreme option.
  19. Or perhaps those universities are more expensive to attend because they have extraordinarily high tuition fees and/or are located in the most expensive parts of the country to inhabit, and thus warrant a higher maximum.
  20. I had to memorize the appearances, artists, titles, dates, and relevant facts of 144 works of art for a midterm in undergrad once. I think the final required around 120 artworks. Fight me, STEM students.
  21. This post sincerely ruined my afternoon yesterday. You have been a strong contributor to this subforum throughout the past few months, and your conduct within this community has been extraordinarily supportive and kind. I wish you the best in your future endeavours. (Sorry to derail the thread a bit!)
  22. Thank you for this, conge. I value your perspective a lot, and this is seriously drawing me back to the "don't go" camp. It would be unwise to go to law school with the vision of landing one of the incredibly niche positions that could accommodate my issues. People are warned all of the time on forums like this to not go to law school because they ultimately hope to become a judge or politician or some other extraordinarily exclusive position. How are my circumstances any different from that? I'm not going into this for prestige, but I might as well be. I'm not entitled to accommodation, and I'm not sure if it's reasonable to expect that it is something that I can earn by playing to my other strengths. I feel a bit uncomfortable addressing this question (and I apologize for avoiding it earlier), but basically, because I want to be a lawyer. One of my relatives is a lawyer, and I was always fascinated by their practice and followed their career very closely while growing up. I was fortunate enough in my undergrad to stumble into a job where my role was to help others navigate systems of rules and policies that were acting against them. Through this experience, I discovered a passion for advising and advocating for people at risk of losing something that they had an enormous stake in due to what often amounted to administrative technicalities. Although I didn't particularly enjoy library time in school, I found that I really enjoyed researching rules, regulations, and past decisions in a context where I could use that information to directly help somebody out. I also found that I was strong at keeping cool and focusing on the facts, even though the people I was working with were highly distressed most of the time. It would obviously be naive to consider what I accomplished in this position analogous to the practice of law. However, I saw a lot of parallels between my work and what I perceived my relative was doing a lot of the time, which in essence was methodically helping people get the most out of a complex system. The job definitely solidified my interest in law, and gave me confidence that I at least have some of the requisite skills to be successful as a lawyer. Obviously, since I'm a 0L with no actual legal experience under my belt, I could totally be wrong about the relevance of my work, and my motivation could be completely misguided.
  23. Hello everyone. I apologize for the delayed response. I decided to dedicate this long weekend to further researching and deliberating on this matter, and all of your thoughtful responses have provided a great deal of guidance. A brief aside before I respond to individual posters: Thanks to everyone who has complimented my writing style. My opening post and response were very anxiety-driven and off the cuff, so it was a pleasant surprise that some people enjoyed their composition. I am very ambivalent about being open about my disorder for this very reason. A disclosure that I am autistic is usually met with remarks about how nobody could have ever guessed, followed by a barrage of patronizing comments and unsolicited advice. I know that my peers all mean well and may not even be consciously aware that they are treating me differently after I inform them of my diagnosis, but I nevertheless have realized that unconscious biases make openness a dangerous strategy to toy with. I fear being perceived as less intelligent (or "conventionally" intelligent) or credible by people who are aware of my disorder. Thank you for this response, maximumbob. Funnily enough, I am fairly interested in tax law (a relative is a tax lawyer, and following their career was what initially drew me to law). Your anecdote about your colleague is very reassuring, in a strange way. I'm becoming more confident that my condition may not prevent me from becoming a lawyer altogether. With regard to whether I "display traits that are immensely valuable in the practice of law," I'm not sure if I am self-aware enough to answer that. That said, I know for certain that I am not exceptionally analytical, technically adept, or the type of person who enjoys delving into the seemingly inconsequential, minute details of things. I would say that I am pretty average beyond my social ineptitude; I don't think that I exhibit any of the more "positive" traits associated with my disorder, at least not to any meaningful degree. Thank you for your input, epeeist. I definitely need to further invest myself into devising sustainable coping strategies for coming to terms with my diagnosis. Your assumption is essentially correct, although I am a bit anxious about how much more social law school seems to be in comparison to my undergraduate environment. In undergrad, I could always hide behind my grades when seeking jobs, references, etc. to distract from the fact that I generally avoided non-academic extracurriculars or virtually anything involving networking. My impression is that will be less feasible in law school (especially since I am planning on attending a school with a strict curve). This conversation was fascinating to follow, and I want to thank both of you. Malicious Prosecutor, your input about how litigation relies more on substance than delivery is very useful. In my anxiety over this issue, I totally overlooked considering the costs and benefits of attending law school, if even only for a year or two. I am lucky enough to have most of my tuition and living expenses covered for first year (which I would lose if I deferred or dropped out and eventually re-applied), so maybe I should give it a go. All I would lose is eight months of time, and at this point in my life, that is not something that I value a whole lot... Thanks for bringing that logical dimension to the table, folks. Thank you for these tips and your realistic advice, Trew. A lot of these tips remind me of active listening, which is something that I am fortunate enough to be trained in and employ in a professional context on a daily basis (believe it or not). Maybe internalizing those practices in casual interactions would be useful to work through with a therapist. First and foremost, I really appreciate your empathy. It means a lot. Faking seems to only go so far, in my experience. In my mind, I compare my personal struggle with autism to (the potentially problematic comparison of) being raised by immigrants and eventually visiting their home country (something that I also have experience with). I know the language and most of society's customs, and can even emulate the ones that I am not particularly familiar with or do not make sense to me. Most of the time, I fit in, and some people might even be convinced that I belong there. However, pretending, especially for extended lengths of time, feels viscerally uncomfortable. Eventually, after enough interaction, I inevitably slip up and forget to do something, or do something wrong, or do something that I was raised to believe is totally normal but actually isn't. That's when the façade slips, and I'm eventually (at least to my perception) ostracized accordingly. I can't help but wonder whether this more or less inescapable feeling of slight foreignness will intensify during law school and in the legal profession. My instinct is that it will. My biggest takeaway from this thread is that finding a way to become more comfortable with that sensation and navigating the circumstances that cause it will be critical to my personal and professional success.
  24. I'm not an admissions officer, but I personally can't think of anything else that you could do in two years for free that would better develop and exemplify your intellectual aptitudes and commitment to the rigorous pursuit of knowledge. This might not be the wisest outlook, but if I were in your position, whether my fully funded MA in a discipline that I'm passionate about would positively affect my law school application wouldn't really be a serious consideration in deciding whether to pursue the degree.
  25. Thank you to all who made this point. I was definitely most interested in practicing some kind of civil litigation. This has been a good wake-up call that I should probably set that option aside and see if there are any other practice areas that I'd actually logically fit into. If not, I probably shouldn't gamble three years and several thousand dollars on professional school for a profession that I'm inherently ill-suited for. I'm not as detail-oriented or analytical as stereotypes about my disorder might suggest, so maybe this line of work doesn't match my strengths as well as I've convinced myself. I really appreciate all of this advice, providence. Beyond the good grades and practicing at interpersonal skills part, these are all strategies that I had never thought of, and probably would never have come up with on my own. Regardless of what I end up doing, I'll be taking these suggestions to heart. Thank you for this. I'm trying to set up some stuff at the end of summer. I've been recommended DBT, but CBT is also on the table. Thank you very much for your in-depth and straightforward response, Diplock. I really appreciate it. I apologize for cropping out the rest of your insight and only quoting this bit completely out of context, but I found that this excerpt captures the essence of my dilemma in a way that I have not been able to articulate. My awkwardness is definitely tempered a bit when there is some kind of a structured relationship or power inequality at play, and in my limited understanding, I think that the lawyer-client dynamic might fit that bill pretty well. I mostly flounder around people in roughly the same social position as me, like colleagues. I suppose I'm most nervous about whether I'll be able to function around other lawyers. I can fake my way through interviews, but once I'm in a workplace, things usually fall apart as I gradually out myself as a weird jerk. Thank you so much for sharing your own experience and offering such insightful advice. You didn't explicitly suggest or even imply this, but I've realized that I'm deluding myself in thinking that this is a question of comfort rather than capability, when the two are actually very intertwined. I think it's best that I work on myself and secure some strategies to socialize more comfortably before I even consider committing to a career path of any kind.
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