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xdarkwhite last won the day on March 21 2018

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About xdarkwhite

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  1. xdarkwhite

    U of T grading

    It's all on a curve relative to your classmates. HH (High Honours) = top 15% of the class. H (Honours) = the next 30% of the class (the bracket between the top 45% and 15%) P (Pass with Merit) = the remaining 55% of the class LP (Low Pass) = Profs can give up to a maximum of 10% LPs to the bottom of the class. Some profs (apparently) swear by the LP, some profs never give out LPs, it's all discretionary. F (fail) = Don't think these really exist unless you royally screw up. There's no (+) or (-) grades. Employers know that HHs are better than Hs, which are better than Ps but you're right in that there's less of a distinction between the brackets. If you get a P, there's no way of telling whether you're closer to the 55% mark or the 0% mark. Students seem to measure how well they did by how many H's they got (i.e. HH = two H's, H = one). UofT adopted the system from some of the T14 in the US to reduce anxiety for grades.
  2. xdarkwhite


    If this helps: The OLSAS GPA calculation appears under Supporting Documents --> Transcripts (exact wording might be a little off but it'll be shown on the transcripts part of your sent supporting documents section) The OLSAS GPA calculation can be came out mid-afternoon on Dec 8th last year (yes, I was neurotic about checking OLSAS), which is after Osgoode and UofT sent their first acceptances, so it seems that the schools get the GPA calculation before it appears on your personal OLSAS profile. But like @erinl2 said, don't get yourself too worried over these things! Make sure you're on top of the to-do's and it will all play out with or without the additional stress (even though I totally understand where you're coming from and did not practice what I preach). Good luck!
  3. xdarkwhite

    Trinity Western drops mandatory covenant

    No - but if the Islamic law school required all of its students, faulty, and staff to sign a covenant holding it to "Core Values of Islam" that meant excluding LGBTQ+ people or people who have sex lives before marriage from attending, then I really doubt the left would be in support of that... Though I can't speak for all left-leaning people, I think the argument from the general left is that all religion should be separate from the secular law, regardless of which religion OR that if religion must be included in education, then all religions should have that right. The left isn't vehemently opposed to all things Christian and support all non-Christian religions. I think it's more that as it currently stands, Christianity in general is the most privileged religion in Canadian society so when the left pushes to have the other religions "catch-up" or have Christianity's privilege "downgraded" (I'm wary of the wording, but bear with me) to "equalize" it with the other religions, it appears that they favour other religions at the expense of Christianity. For example, if the government decided to push a bill that removed public funding of Catholic schools, there'd be outrage against the left saying that the Ontario government is discriminating against Christians (or Catholics at least) even though no other religion currently has the same public funding. Similarly, if the government decided to start publicly funding Islamic/Hindu/Buddhist schools, there'll be outrage against the left on grounds of wasting taxpayer money for the other religions to keep it politically correct or whatever, even though Catholics enjoy that benefit now. I'm doubtful that the left would support cutting all Catholic school public funding in conjunction with introducing Islamic school public funding. The argument from the right is not that religion should be allowed, but that a specific religion (namely Christianity) should be allowed whereas other religions should be excluded from starting a law school. Please correct me if I'm misrepresenting the argument, but if a private Islamic university started a law school and wanted it to be accredited by the law societies, I really doubt most right-leaning Canadians would come out in favour of religious rights. In a way, this makes sense because majority of Canadians, particularly right-leaning ones, are Christians and it's a traditional Christian view that any non-believer of the Christian God/non-receiver of Christ as their Savior will be cast into darkness. Thus, a law school that pushes non-Christian beliefs would by definition be going against their societal values (noting that secularism does not equate to atheism). And yes, Christianity is by far the most privileged religion in Canadian society. We praise the Christian God in our National Anthem. The Christian God is mentioned in the Preamble to our constitution. We celebrate the Christian holy days as national statutory holidays. We live in 2018, year of our Christian Lord. And don't say Canadian society discriminates Christians more than the other religions either, because they really don't (especially considering that nearly 70% of Canadian society is Christian...). Not at all to say that all these things are inherently or inexplicably wrong - this country was largely built by Christians and is still largely inhabited by Christians. But to make the argument on the basis of the right of religion means it's a right that shouldn't be treated differently depending on how many people believe in it nor who created the right in the first place.
  4. xdarkwhite

    Trinity Western drops mandatory covenant

    I date all my cheques with "Year of the Dog."
  5. 3.71 cGPA on OLSAS, which is also exactly the cGPA on my transcript so it translated without surprise. I went to a school where A = 4.0 was the highest grade you could achieve. This is 35 classes because I did a study abroad which OLSAS did not include in the calculations. A: 18 A-: 8 B+: 6 B: 1 B-: 2 Hope that helps (or at least scratches that curiosity itch)!
  6. 180. That'll increase your chances pretty significantly. Like... shouldn't you be aiming for as high as you can? The higher you score, the better your chances anywhere. Would a "162+" increase your chances? Yes, in comparison to a 161. And a 161 will increase your chances in comparison to a 160. And so on. Now if you were asking about specific schools and wanted to see your chances given your GPA and a certain LSAT score, then sure ask away. But I would also implore you to check out the accepted threads to see successful applicants and their stats, look for people with a similar cGPA and see what LSAT score they had to get in.
  7. xdarkwhite

    Question regarding references for 1L and 2L summer positions

    Sorry - it's not entirely clear if people are talking about putting contact info down as references or full-on reference letters here. Should I ask my boss to write me a reference letter to keep on file or is just asking him to be a future reference enough? We're on very good terms but it's one of the busiest months in the office.
  8. xdarkwhite

    Volunteer Work: How important is it?

    My stats (cGPA 3.71, B3 3.82, LSAT 165) were lower than the ones you posted and lower than some of the waitlisted/rejected applicants but I was admitted first round to UofT. I had pretty extensive extracurriculars but I don't think they're anything spectacular to the point where it made me stand out above the rest. I think the point is how you shape those extracurriculars in your personal statement. Contrary to some of the advice from this forum, I wrote a narrative personal statement (similar to the ones that US adcoms like) and it seemed to have worked for all the Canadian schools I applied to. The first three-quarters of the personal statement didn't mention law at all but I tied it together with why law and why UofT in the last quarter. I didn't list out my achievements or write out my entire life story - just something very personal and genuine that revealed some of my motivations, ambitions, and growth. I wrote it like a story and made it as engaging as I could. Heck, I even wrote my optional essay in a similar narrative fashion on what I hoped to achieve with my JD and how that motivation came to be. I think one of my favourite personal statement examples is this one, from top-law-schools (the one by GoIggles at the bottom of the page): http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=4353&sid=adce2f068b57e670507e4c8c435989df&start=675 Yeah, it seems sappy and if you don't know how to write well then it could sink your ship pretty badly but when I had lunch with Jerome (admissions officer at UofT) during the welcome day, he saw my name tag and mentioned what I wrote in my personal statement. Call me a sucker for a good story but how many personal statements do you think adcoms go through that they don't remember at all? Don't just list out what you've done, don't write about how much you know about the law because you probably don't, and don't just write a sob story. Make your personal statement engaging, memorable, and, most importantly, truthful. And as per @ProfReader, if you're volunteering for a cause for the sake of law school admissions and not because you are genuinely passionate about it such that you could go on for hours talking about, it'll be a bit obvious when you put it in your application. Best of luck!
  9. xdarkwhite

    Why is osgoode & UofT so expensive?

    Yeah, my go-to is the location justification. Non-law people don't really care, it's a minority of fellow law students/admits who do. As a very, very off-shoot side question - I notice you and a few other more established users put two spaces after the end of your sentences. Is this a law thing or...? (Sorry to derail!)
  10. xdarkwhite

    Why is osgoode & UofT so expensive?

    I see your point and I respect your perspective of having gone through the process of law school. Perhaps the difference is that I'm placing much more uncertainty on how I'm going to fare in law school and if we were to extend the range to something more conservative like, "I think I'll end up somewhere in the top 75% at any given law school," I'd choose the one where the hiring outcomes for my goals go deeper into the class. Maybe that's the fault in my assumptions. Also, it appears UofT's grading system is a bit more forgiving than other schools as well. I also would caveat that this heavily depends on career goals too and maybe UofT vs. Ottawa isn't the best example; more Bay Street focused student bodies might be more appropriate. In conjunction with your point regarding UofT having a stronger student body beyond academics (grad work, work experience, ECs, etc.), won't this also play a big role beyond academics? Getting insight into the finance world from people who have been through banking interviews/are working as analysts, building on ideas that others have expertise on from grad work, and forming networks with people who know people even if not necessarily law related? If the breadth and depth of knowledge and experience from the student body is to a higher extent at UofT, isn't there some higher value in that which can be attributed to "school quality" or "quality of education" or however one wants to word it? Like you mentioned, this is a comparison of populations here and not necessarily individuals. I concede these New York points, though personally it was part of my decision-making process in choosing a school. I know I want to live and practice in Canada in the long-run but I wanted to keep that option open. I have close family members working in New York and while I got into some T14's, no scholarships for me and they're damn stingy with their need-based financial aid (maybe because I'm not American) - dropping $350K on an education isn't possible. "If you want to work in NY, go to Harvard, or Yale, or Stanford, or..." Damn, it's that easy? Why didn't I just think of that?
  11. xdarkwhite

    Why is osgoode & UofT so expensive?

    ***Sorry double posted.***
  12. xdarkwhite

    Why is osgoode & UofT so expensive?

    I'm not one to continue the Canadian law school rankings/better/worse debate, but I've seen you post this point a few times and I'm genuinely curious to hear your take on it. First - on one hand, the forum veterans often post that law school is a very different ballgame than undergrad and we incoming 1Ls can't really prepare for it. It's not uncommon for someone who has done brilliantly in their undergrad to do poorly in law school and vice versa. While LSAT scores and undergrad GPA show some correlation according to some studies, it's definitely not certain that the 178 student is going to succeed more at law school (and law practice) than the 165 student. I take the point that higher GPA and LSAT students might have developed better work ethic or discovered their most efficient way of studying which would translate into law school success, but can we bank on a successful pre-law school career to mean success in law school? When choosing law schools, can we say with confidence that we'd be top 15% at uOttawa (sorry Ottawa students, but this was the example here!) but only median at UofT? And if the case is that there's significant uncertainty, would it not be better to bank on the school where law firms, or whatever else your goals might be, reaches deeper into the class or at least secures the most OCI spots as a % of the student body? Second - If your point stands that these schools are taking in a different caliber of student (and I say this acknowledging that the gap in Canada is not that big) I don't agree with your point that school quality isn't partially measured by how good the students are, even if it's only at the "input" side. A huge part of my learning from my undergraduate degree came from my classmates when we tackled assignments together, discussed controversial issues, listened to their perspectives on different topics, and adopted some of their studying methodologies. Going through recruiting, yes we'd be competing with students better at the hiring process but if those are also your friends/classmates, doesn't that mean you can learn from their successes and share strategies (huge appeal of attending top business schools and joining their prestigious investment clubs is this very point). "If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room," and all that, right? Last - the consensus is that if you want to keep the door open (albeit however low that might be) of landing a gig in New York, UofT is the best bet in Canada, followed by McGill and Osgoode, right? Most NY OCIs in Canada are at UofT, stronger alumni network, and looking at some of the V20 firms webpages, UofT is the only non-US school mentioned (e.g. S&C's list of schools here: https://careers.sullcrom.com/toronto, Paul Weiss only has McGill and UofT on their recruitment schedule here: https://www.paulweiss.com/careers/lawyers/summers/recruiting-schedule). So there's this consideration for those who want to keep their American doors open too. I feel like this forum and people who know about Canadian law schools has this love-hate thing with UofT and Oz. I had a friend tell me it was ridiculous that I chose UofT to get the same degree he was getting at a different school even though he applied too and wasn't accepted. "They're good schools but not worth the money! People only go to these schools for prestige! Why go to these schools when you can land Bay Street from other schools too!" Maybe some of it stems from genuine concern and I definitely appreciate the discussion of cost-benefits here on this forum, but it gets a bit tiring having to justify why I'm going where I'm going all the time in real life.
  13. xdarkwhite

    Sticky but optimistically unique situation.

    Get ready for some tough love and hard truths from this forum. You're a C+ student - 2.3 is a C+ on most GPA scales, including the OLSAS one. High school and undergrad, and eventually law school, are completely different ballgames and you have been striking out the past two innings. It's a fallacious to think that because you were a good high school student that somehow your next three years will be really really good. When a school says it's a cGPA school, they'll look at your cGPA. If it's a Best 3, or a Last 2, it's quite literally exactly what it means. If your B3 or L2 is competitive, then it's competitive and your cGPA won't matter at all for those schools. For those applications, a bad cGPA won't disqualify you at all if the GPA years they look at are good enough. I'm truly sorry that you had to go through that as a child and I'm sympathetic to you fighting through the lasting consequences of it. That being said, while I won't pretend to know the whole story, many people have experienced the harsh realities of life, been dealt a shitty hand, or made terrible past decisions. Many fall and fail because of it. Many of those same people also end up with brilliant grades, incredible achievements, and a crazy good LSAT score. You need to find yourself in that latter camp. To be completely honest, your extracurriculars are above average for the normal undergraduate but I'd say about normal for a law school applicant. Nothing that necessarily stands out and certainly nothing for adcomms that would put your 2.37 above even someone with a 2.5 (who also probably wouldn't be getting into law school in Canada). However, what's important is how you shape these extracurriculars in your personal statements to carve out your story of why you want to study and practice law. Here's the truth - your prospects right now are slim to none and you are currently not on the track to law school. You say you're going to somehow completely change your academics and get super high grades the next three years? You think you'd be able to score a 95th+ percentile LSAT? Do it then. Come back in three years when you have solid numbers and then this forum can more accurately chance you. Otherwise, everything you've said is based on pure speculation that you have shown no indication of being able to achieve. Here's the good news - you still have time. If you get that GPA high enough, your first two years would barely matter to any school that doesn't look at cGPA. Combine that with a 160+ LSAT score (if not higher?) - you're golden. In regards to US schools - all the ones worth going to look at your cGPA but they do consider increasing trends. They typically weigh LSAT higher than Canadian schools. Don't go to any school outside of the top 30 or else it's likely just going to be a huge money sink with no-so-good legal career prospects. You'll need to think about where you want to practice (and live for the next years of your life). You'll need to do a cost-benefit of whether it's worth (or even possible) to drop $300k on an education unless you bring your GPA and LSAT high enough that they give you significant scholarship money. When you've thought through all that, then you can start comparing the Yales to Columbias to Georgetowns. Good luck!
  14. xdarkwhite

    Laptop recommendations for law school?

    Not sure how much of a techie you are, but none of the MacBooks currently have the latest 8th-gen Intel cores, which are 30+% faster than the previous generation with more power savings (which means longer battery life). The new 8th-gen core i5s are faster than the previous 7th-gen core i7s. I've always been a PC user, and I think the two best laptops on the market are the Dell XPS 13 and the Lenovo X1 Carbon. Both are super light, slim, and have a ~8-12 hour battery life. XPS screen is 13.3 inches, X1C is 14.0 inches. I've heard that Dell has a bunch of QA issues with the XPS line, so you have a chance (albeit a low one) to get a model that has coil whine or some other issues but it looks absolutely stunning with some of the best benchmarks in the laptop market, and prices at around $1,400 for i5, 8gb RAM, 256gb SSD - it'll probably go down if you wait for a Back-to-School sale. The X1 Carbon base model (i5, 8gb RAM, 256gb SSD) is usually $2,000 but their father's day sale puts it down to $1,450, and if you search the internet up for the corporate deal code you can bring it down another $150-200. All the C-suite and MDs at my work uses the X1 and everyone in business use Thinkpads in general. It's a productivity workhorse, military-grade build, can take hits like nothing, and will last you a very long time. Also probably the best laptop keyboard out there, I'm not a fan of the new MacBook no-travel-distance keyboards. Look up a few online reviews and see if you like the designs. The XPS is more modern and sleek, the X1 Carbon is more conservative and corporate. Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored comment, I'm just a big fan of tech and laptops.
  15. xdarkwhite

    Suits For Men

    Yeah, but the Lincoln Lawyer is also Matthew freakin' McConaughey... "The law says you cannot touch... but I think I see a lot of lawbreakers up in this house tonight."