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MinesAndMinerals

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  1. It’s counterintuitive, but I found that the less I cared, the better I did. I actually did worst in the classes I thought I was interested in. I did best in classes that required any sort of writing and classes that it was easy to discern what would be examinable (eg for admin, I knew I would need to know Baker and Dunsmuir cold since there was very likely going to be a question on procedural fairness and a question on standard of review. Similarly, it was obvious from the business associations syllabus that there would be a question on director/officer duties. I also made sure re such questions to always take the leading SCC case and know that cold. I would skim the historical development of the doctrine but definitely wasn’t taking notes on any case that wasn’t good law.) I think stressing over trying to do every last reading and attending every single class is more detrimental than not doing every last reading or attending every single class. Find the balance that works for you and work smart. Realistically, law school mainly tests your ability to write law school exams, so focus on what’s examinable. Figure out what area of law you want to practice in and find a way to demonstrate your interest in that area. Your grades aren’t that bad and you have two more years to improve.
  2. I did quite well in university multivariable calculus and got a C in my high school pottery course. Respectfully, this question is dumb and schools for the most part don’t parse your GPA. I think (could be wrong) U of T is the only school that explicitly considers your particular undergrad program. Anecdotally I know of many very high-achieving law students who came from programs/schools that, judging from the tone of your post, you would denigrate.
  3. You may think that. But you’re wrong.
  4. Your monthly payments will be lower but your total interest costs will be much higher over 25 years.
  5. That doesn’t specify whether those are legal jobs or not. I wouldn’t put much stock in that number considering that the unemployment rate in Canada in general is like 6%. I’m not saying that Windsor has poor job outcomes. Just pointing out that the cited figure tells you very little. A more useful statistic would indicate how many students secure articles within 18 months (perhaps excluding US students and those who opt out of the legal market and secure non-law jobs).
  6. Top ten students in each year of the program. So top ~8%.
  7. If you have government student loan debt over a certain threshold (not sure what it is anymore), you get a differential tuition bursary of ~$5K. I just checked and there’s 13 major 1L awards (some in excess of tuition). That’s about 10% of the class. And there’s other (likely more need-based) scholarships/bursaries as well. I think I got the 5k differential and then others totalling another 5k. For 2/3L, I think I paid a grand total of $700. I had good grades, but I think need may play a factor as I had significant debt and zero assets. I personally think U of C has one of the more generous financial aid programs. My theory is that they attract per more donations per student since there’s only 350-400 students total in the second largest legal market. But I have literally nothing to support that other than my own musings. Even so, the sticker price for the entire degree is only ~$40k.
  8. Similarly I’ve always found it strange that law-and-order types tend to simultaneously fetishize solving conflicts with violence in the name of “being a man/not being a pussy”.
  9. Very important. A lot of students are young enough that they take the post-‘08 low interest environment for granted. I found it useful to stress-test myself and always assumed an interest rate of 5-7% when planning my repayment strategy.
  10. I don’t know much about criminal law but that smells like fraud...
  11. Exactly. I don’t think there will be any shortage of demand. I wouldn’t be surprised if it draws heavily from the Queens/Western admitted students pool rather than those going the foreign route. Whether the TO articling market can bear the increased supply of grads is an entirely different conversation.
  12. DONT PAY ATTENTION TO THE NUMBERS since they’re old and American, but this graph illustrates the weird bimodal of distribution of lawyer salaries also found in Canada. Many lawyers can reasonably expect to make six figures within 5-10 years, while it will take many others a very long time (if ever) to make what freshly called big law associates start at.
  13. I think an adaption of an old adage works: before LS you’re likely to have time but no money, and when once you start practicing you’re more likely to have money than time. The implication being that, while you have time and to the extent you have resources, its a more logical time to “make expensive choices purely for personal enrichment and indulgence.” Once you start practicing, a whole other host of time-related issues pop up that make taking a year or so off very complicated. Do you have clients with ongoing matters that you can’t leave in the lurch? Will any personal goodwill or referral network evaporate if you take off? If you work in a firm, will you be able to land a job in a similar environment if you’re perceived as a flight risk? This all comes back to your question re “why not prioritize [doing something else] over maximum advancement of that career later?” It comes down to costs. And not in a financial sense. All things equal, the costs of doing something else once practicing are likely to be significantly higher. Before law school, the costs are much more likely to be of a financial nature, which I think is what you’re getting at. But, if possible, I still think it’s good advice to take advantage of your relative wealth in terms of time to do other things. Obviously, one has to pay the rent and I also worked low paying jobs during the time between undergrad and law school. But I also had the freedom to quit that job and take off for three months with only financial consequences. I had saved a bit of money every cheque and went about 3k into debt, but I reasoned that I had an entire career to earn that money back while I wouldn’t necessarily have the freedom later to take three months off without more significant non-financial costs. I did the same after 2L and before articling.
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