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About MinesAndMinerals

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  1. Top ten students in each year of the program. So top ~8%.
  2. 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.
  3. 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”.
  4. 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.
  5. I don’t know much about criminal law but that smells like fraud...
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. I don’t know about Trent specifically but re the liberal arts college model more generally: smaller class sizes, no grad students = no TAs so your going to be taught and graded by your professors at all times, profs who have more of a focus on teaching, get to know your profs on a more personal level, less silo-ing of different faculties, more collegial etc. It’s not a particularly great model for research-intensive science majors, but otherwise is excellent. Massive research institutions view undergrads mainly as a revenue stream so their researchers can research, whereas liberal arts colleges’ explicit mission is centred around the undergrad experience.
  10. Well put. But yeah, go to your 1L classes. I don’t think law is conceptually more difficult than most undergrad majors, but learning legal reasoning and how to read case law does have a steep learning curve.
  11. Ok I really wanted to avoid humble bragging but I was dean’s list all three years and definitely did not attend class regularly. I would say I attended under 50% of all classes throughout law school. Mastery of the material is essential, but it’s highly possible to master the material without much guidance if you have prior years’ exams, frameworks etc.
  12. Counterpoint: I found law school much less conceptually challenging than undergrad. I also finished with a GPA 0.2 points higher in law school. I understand that this isn’t a typical result. OP: go to class, at least at the start. I went to some classes literally twice and others to every single one. Highly dependent on complexity and volume of the subject matter, as well as the teaching style of the professor. But you won’t know how to parse these factors initially. I figured out by second semester 1L for a few classes that the profs went in to way too much detail and attending class actually made the material more confusing than just reading the cases and extracting the relevant portions myself. Other classes like tax were incredibly straight forward and, if you did the readings, going to class was a verbatim rendition of what you already knew. On the other hand, some syllabi have so much assigned reading that it’s humanly impossible to read it all so going to class is essential for figuring out what material the prof deems relevant so you can regurgitate it on an exam.
  13. Not mind-boggling at all. Salaries aren’t determined based on relative levels of knowledge. They’re based on a variety of market forces so you can’t just ignore the cost of living. Biglaw associates start at $240k CAD in New York, which I also don’t find mind-boggling when you compare that legal market to any Canadian one.
  14. How do you know you slightly prefer law if you’ve never worked as a lawyer? I’d stick with the policy job. The grass isn’t always greener.
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