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Twenty

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  1. I usually read fiction and decided to read Crime and Punishment just because it seemed fitting for a 0L. My takeaway: An existential crisis over what I thought "justice" meant and doubting if the justice system can ever atone for many crimes. I think anyone who is interested in criminal law should read it (whether it encourages or dissuades someone to continue to pursue criminal law is probably up to the reader).
  2. I don't think doing a fifth year by itself looks bad. Having really high grades in the latter half of your degree also isn't bad. In fact, that's sort of what you need to do. Yes, cGPA is based on all your years. So getting into a school like uOttawa (which focuses on cGPA) is going to be an uphill battle. If that's what you're worried about.
  3. I think you're more than fine. The only big downside I see is if you're applying to U of T during your fourth year, your calculated GPA will be lower due to the fact that they can't use your final fourth year marks. I would imagine that grades like yours are exactly the reason why schools look at B3 or B2. BTW, life-sciences does seem like a horrible, life-sucking degree. I have friends who felt pressured by their parents to go in - and stay in - the biological sciences. They all hate it, so I'm glad that you managed to make a move and do your own thing. All the best!
  4. Funny enough, I overheard a conversation the other day on campus where a poli-sci student with a similar GPA to yours was very confident on getting a 169 on the LSAT despite not yet writing a practice test. His friend thought he was being overly-confident, to which he replied that he was "not a business major" and has "taken a couple of philosophy courses" so he's set up to do well on the LSAT. I can only speak for myself, but I had to take the LSAT twice. It was a humbling experience. I wish I just got the LSAT right away, but I did not. And my major usually gets one of the highest, if not the highest, average LSAT score relative to other majors. I hope you kill the LSAT, but I would not take a high LSAT score for granted. Consider applying to internships and such so that if law school does not work out, you still have something to fall back on. All the best!
  5. I believe if you've received the Canada Student Grant bursary any time over the past five years and declared it in your application, U of T would reimburse your application fee.
  6. It's not about whether it's a recommendation or a letter of reference. I think they just wanted to clarify that U of T doesn't look at references/recommendations. It's an honest mistake though because most law schools do take references into account. I made the same assumption myself.
  7. @hemingway17, if it helps, one factor that swayed my decision to go to Ontario instead of BC is the fact that Ontario does not have a massive fault line running underneath it. It's irrational, but I totally think minimizing your chances of being in the middle of an earthquake or an earthquake induced tsunami should be a consideration (I'm just kidding...sort of).
  8. Will echo what was said here. I don't know what my situation would have been at Queen's, but I estimate that after financial aid, the tuition difference between U of T and Queen's becomes more reasonable. Though I do acknowledge that U of T would still be more expensive and what's "reasonable" is subjective.
  9. This is just my personal opinion so feel free to take whatever you want from this. Unless you have a notable reason as to why you were in open studies, it does not matter. Also, just because someone was in open studies and got into law school does not necessarily mean that they had some compelling reason for switching out of open studies which impressed U of C law. However, it does show that switching from open studies is not necessarily the end of your law school aspirations. By itself, your program is not going to do a lot for a personal statement. It's whether you were able to do something meaningful with the knowledge you gained which is important. Saying that you switched to program Y because you were resolved to get a bachelor's is not unique as finishing a bachelor's is basically a prerequisite. Also, your degree is just one aspect of yourself and I feel like you are overthinking this and putting too much stake into it. I guess it would be nice to elaborate why you chose the specific undergrad program you chose, but I wouldn't put such a huge focus on it as hopefully there are other things to write about. Lastly, I really don't think personal statements should be something people plan to cultivate or bank on. From my own experience, although my PS was probably a strong component of my applications, I just focused on making the most of my time at university (inside and outside the classroom) and I guess a compelling PS just naturally followed. With all this said, I also believe that a PS should be a genuine reflection of how someone perceives and presents themselves. If you genuinely feel like switching from open studies to communications says something meaningful about you, feel free to elaborate on your PS.
  10. I'm just a 0L so I don't know anything, but I am also interested in hearing if lawyers feel like "they are just an employee" or if they actually feel like they are "making an impact". I'm assuming that law is different from engineering with regards to pay potential and saturation of the field, but my guess would be that less tangible things such as feeling satisfied with the impact of one's work or the amount of autonomy one has is dependent on many other factors and is not exclusive to engineering or law. I would imagine there are people in biglaw who feel like they are just pushing paper as well as senior engineers with very independent, leadership roles.
  11. Right now, I would focus on what you would find more interesting rather than what you think will get you the best GPA. There are people that get into law school from an engineering background, so even if you do decide to major in engineering, it won't necessarily doom your law school chances. For reference, I am doing a "hard" STEM major in university and would not have done it any other way. Because of my coursework, I did a bunch of cool things and gained interesting work experience that would not have been available had I pursued a different degree. Law school was not a goal of mine when I started university and I don't think this was a disadvantage. In fact, not stressing about law school applications allowed me to pursue some of the quirky things that I mentioned and earnestly commit to them. Sure, law school became a goal later on and I'm glad that I had the GPA needed to get in (but in all honestly, law school or not, you should still try your best in your studies), but I still think you should not try to "optimize your law school chances" by shutting yourself off from other potentially cool opportunities out there. That would be a lame way to spend 4 years of undergrad. What do you find interesting? Do that. Also, some degrees are easier to find jobs with than others if law school doesn't work out. Might be something you want to consider. Edit: I remember being a high school senior and thinking that it was a good thing that I did not choose to major in engineering because it would be ridiculously hard and that I would spend too many late nights cramming for exams (I also hated physics but that's beside the point). Little did I know that regardless of my decision, I would still think that the material for many of my courses would be challenging and that the late nights would be happening anyways. So yeah, focus on other things. Edit #2: Also, there are several law schools which look at your last two years or drop your worst courses. I'm assuming you are interested in engineering (because you said you are good at math) but afraid that your GPA will take a hit. As such, it might help alleviate some stress knowing that you technically can major in engineering (to find out how it's like) during first year, get "bad" grades and/or find out it's not for you, transfer to a different program, and still be potentially competitive for law school given how several of them calculate admission GPA.
  12. Maybe it's that. But I would assume that an autoindex score would imply that the applicant would be automatically offered a spot. I can also speculate about how I think my wacky course load some semesters caused them to have a deeper look and what not, but I think there are more likely explanations. Maybe the auto index isn't 905 but something slightly higher? Maybe I calculated it wrong? I've always been better in stats than math. If that's the case, think of my index score as a confidence interval. It's 905 ± 100 (1% confidence). Edit: Kidding aside, I triple checked my calculations. Assuming I converted grades properly and dropped the right number of courses in the calculation, it should be correct.
  13. I know this is an old post but I'll answer for future reference. I think I was under the auto-admit since my application was forwarded to the committee but still ended up getting an offer. So far, I also don't think anyone has been waitlisted since a UVic waitlist thread has yet to be created.
  14. UCalgary also offers a certificate in common law in French. Might be something you want to look into. Based on what you wrote down and how these threads usually go, I thought it would have been unanimous that you go to Calgary. I think some of the support for McGill may be eastern Canadian bias (which I guess is a reflection of the school's prestige). But I also recognize that it's not impossible for you to move back to Calgary after law school.
  15. Under the auto index. For clarification, I applied via the regular category. I was under the impression that anyone whose application was under the auto index and was forwarded to "the committee", then they look at your PS + softs.
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