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  1. SciLaw

    10% tuition cut at Ontario law schools?

    I was under the impression that once established, graduate and professional programs are capped at a 5% increase per year (implemented by the previous Liberal government only over the last few years). As an applicant, I'm just hoping that this doesn't cause schools to create/increase any uncapped/additional fees to close the funding gap. It would also be extremely unfortunate if OSAP was revamped (again) to better correlate with the decrease in tuition, which would have a compounding negative impact on students in professional programs. Hard to say though without any real details having been released.
  2. SciLaw

    Paying for Law School

    0L applicant but I can shed some light on your situation based on my experience financing professional grad degrees. Ideally you want to max out the available OSAP before dipping into any personal line of credit through a bank (this way you leverage OSAP grant money that you don't have to pay back after, and in the case you don't land a job immediately after graduation/are under a certain income threshold, you don't have to make payments on the loan portion even after the 6 month grace period). So, as the other posters have mentioned, you can either: 1) Pay off your OSAP now and when you apply for your new OSAP you don't have to claim the $18,000 in assets resulting in a higher likelihood of reaching the funding maximum (of around just under $14,000 for 2 semesters 50% loan 50% grant, unless this has changed again or is different for law) and could potentially receive more in financial-need bursaries, or 2) Keep your money and use it to pay your upcoming tuition or living expenses, but you run the risk of getting less from OSAP and other financial-need bursaries (as bursary applications ask for savings amounts as well). You will also accumulate $600-$700 in interest over the next 8 months before the interests freezes again once you're in school. There are other obviously additional considerations involved in either scenario, but if you have any other specific questions related to OSAP or lines of credit there are a number of useful threads on here or you can PM me.
  3. SciLaw

    How to Become a Partner on Bay Street

    In no profession will you ever reach the top "while doing the least amount of work necessary". CEOs do not become CEOs by doing the bare minimum and just getting by. You can't minimize your input and expect to maximize the output. At any firm (law or finance), money is a reward for hard work (i.e., the value you bring)--it is literally the foundation of productivity in a capitalist society. You can continue to work your ass off and maybe make it to the top, or cheat the system and end up in jail (see Michael Cohen et al.) . To a previous point, sometimes putting your head down and working your ass off for less money per hour will have other benefits such as greater recognition and the availability of future (much higher pay) opportunities that you would have otherwise not had. Be careful of the detriments of the short game.
  4. Re: federal government Yes, external processes can be quite painful. The intent of a one-off competition is difficult to assess ahead of time as in some cases there truly is a need for qualified external candidates, and in other cases competitions are conducted with an external individual in mind--and as long as that individual makes it to the final stage of the process a hiring manager can make a best-fit decision. However, as long as you make it to the final stage you are entered into a qualified "pool", but therein lies the perpetual problem--you still need a hiring manager to pull you from that pool. Hands down the easiest way to enter government is by doing a co-op, fswep or some sort of internship while in school, and get bridged in (with pull from a hiring manager) once you're looking for full time employment (after making a strong impression/pending budgetary resources). You can also get your foot in the door by going through a staffing firm (although they take a cut of your pay). However, I should note a few additional things here. If it is truly your ambition to get a full time indeterminate government policy position: 1) Don't be afraid to do a short term contract through a temp agency (even though the pay isn't great)--it is temporary and provides a foot in the door to showcase your skills. 2) Don't be afraid of lower-level contract positions, or even lower-level term or indeterminate positions early on. I know JDs and PhDs who have entered as an EC-02/03 (50-60K range) and landed an EC-05/06 (80-90k range) within 2-3 years. 3) You could also cold call/e-mail a few hiring managers and express your interest in their area and simply ask to meet for coffee to (e-mail addresses are often posted publicly through an employee/department directory). Anyone higher than a manager likely won't respond (as they don't have an abundance of time), and there's also a high chance the manager won't respond. But if you e-mail 10 individuals and line up a coffee chat with one, the connection could be worth it. Although, it's still better to have an "e-introduction" or name drop a mutual connection. The odds are generally not favourable of getting to, and impressing a hiring manager at the interview stage of a long external process, but this still shouldn't stop you from trying. In my opinion, the best thing to do is try to leverage any and all connections or create connections because irrespective of the educational background one has, you still need a manager to pull you in (from a co-op, external/internal government process, or from a temp agency contract to an internal contract/term/indeterminate position). It's tough to break into without having done a government internship at some point during your degree, but once you're in you're in, and you have a lot of freedom to move around within government.
  5. SciLaw

    Decision pending

    Two individuals in 4th year (one referred to "last year of studies") posted their stats on the accepted thread today. I think that settles the currently still in school aspect of the debate.
  6. I'm an applicant as well so my opinion may not be worth much, but I think you have a shot. Your LSAT is within range, and your cGPA is .2 below others who have already started receiving offers. There were some 3.3s-3.5s accepted last year mid-cycle; I think you should hear back by the end of the cycle. But at the end of the day, it's still a "holistic" admissions decision so there's no certainty--did you spend time on your PS and tailor it to uOttawa, and have an increasing cGPA trend (or at least stable)? They seem to be increasing their focus on health law, so I think this might help you--the MSc/work experience will be a soft factor, but a seemingly positive soft factor in your case nonetheless. Both of my stats are lower than yours so I'm hoping they take my similar work experience and grad studies into account. But only time will tell. I'm anticipating a long wait either way.
  7. SciLaw

    Decision pending

    I don't recall a section on the application for future test dates. It sounds like as long as you have written at least once before November 2018 and you're not in school then you could receive an offer before Feb 1st. I would assume that if you did write in November or January, your file will be updated and you would be re-ranked after Feb 1st with a new index score.
  8. SciLaw


    Does the school post your L2 on Bear Tracks, or do you have to call in to confirm it?
  9. SciLaw

    Mature Applicant Overview - Please Assist

    You will have to look into each school's mature criteria further. Some schools consider applicants mature based on a mix of work experience, age, and other non-academic factors; whereas others like uOttawa require 5 or more years of work experience since completing any full time studies. For cGPA schools, you could try special circumstance categories if you have a strong rationale for external events that impacted your grades (although generally, immaturity does not appear to qualify). But based on your L2 and LSAT (if you do hit >158ish) you could have a shot at L2 schools such as Queen's, Western and Alberta. Alberta (and there may be others out there) is an index L2 school, so a certain L2 and LSAT score will gain you admission; comparatively, I'm not sure how Queen's and Western and other L2 schools would view significant dips in grades. In addition, I believe some schools require a minimum course load in order for a credit to be included in an L2 or cGPA calculation (again, varies from school to school, so you'll have to do some research). It never hurts to apply, if you want to go for it go for it. I'd also recommend to talking to some lawyers to gain a sense of how realistic your law career expectations are. You mentioned multiple promotions in your current area--will the juice be worth the squeeze to jump over? Maybe.
  10. SciLaw

    Using LOC to pay off OSAP??

    I had a high level of debt after a professional graduate degree; most LOCs then (at prime or prime + 0.5) were roughly 3% less than OSAP (closer to 6% at the time). It was cheaper to pay it off with the LOC even after accounting for the 15% tax credit you receive only on the interest portion of your OSAP payments. The most financially savvy thing to do was to pay it off as aggressively as possible (caveat - less money in the short-term to do fun stuff, more financial freedom in the long-term), or at least aggressively enough to get it down to a manageable level where most of each payment goes towards the principal rather than the interest, and the interest is no longer becomes detrimental to your finances. Things I would also note - unless it has changed, I believe the Federal (or Provincial, but not both) portion begins accumulating interest even during the 6 month grace period. In addition, the only exception to paying it off as quickly as possible would be if you have plans resume full time studies anytime in the near future, as the interest would freeze again. One other important thing to factor in - in case of death or permanent disability your OSAP debt is written off or, in the case of job loss it freezes again if you are under a certain income level (you may also still be able to apply for repayment assistance in a low-medium income bracket that exceeds the non-payment threshold). LOCs do not freeze for job loss--you always have to maintain payments and the interest will continually accumulate. And, in the case of death or disability the debt would go to your co-signer or a bank may try to go after a common law partner or family member etc. (I'm not entirely sure on this aspect, this is a LOC legal question which I'm not going to venture into on here). That is, unless you have insurance on the LOC debt to cover job loss, death and disability, which would be another cost to take into account when determining which is truly the best/cheapest/less risky option.
  11. For full disclosure I'm an applicant, not a law student; however, I do have a Master's in public policy, work for the government, and can relay some information that I've been given by lawyers I work with and other graduates on this forum. The most critical piece of advice I've been given is--do law if you want to be a lawyer, aka, you intend to practice law. As a lawyer in the public sector you could advise various program areas/review drafting instructions, be a legislative drafter, and I'm sure a variety of other positions wherein you advise internal (government) clients. If you want to be in government doing policy work (i.e., designing policy recommendations to send up to senior/elected officials, or designing/implementing the policy coming top-down from elected officials), then an MPP or MPA would suffice to get your foot in the door. In these positions you could also be updating guidance, and developing regulatory/legislative proposals--you necessarily don't need a JD. It could benefit you from a knowledge perspective, but the ability to climb the public sector latter is largely based on your abilities and what you have done (work-wise), not necessarily education. Once you figure out exactly what you would like to do (or think you would like to do), you then have to consider the financials of it all. A JD will take 3 years, plus 1 (articling) before you can practice. So 3 years of tuition, and 1 year of a mediocre salary articling in government (I could be wrong but if it's not less than 50k, it's not much higher). An MPP at U of T is only 2 years, and an MPA at Queen's is 1 year (arguable 8 months). Both of these programs cost less than most law schools, require less time, you wouldn't be paying off debt for the few years after law school, and have really good job placements rates in the Ontario Public Service or Federal Public Service. You may start at 50k-60k, but if you're good at what you do, you can jump to 70k (in some cases even 80k/90k) in 2-3 years. You have an amazing pension, job stability (hard to get fired), and automatic yearly incremental increases in salary. One thing to consider though, is new hires, job promotions, and increased salaries (through contract negotiations), are generally more plentiful under a non-conservative government. So for instance it may be harder to get in, and/or move up in Ontario for the next 4 years, mind you--this would be the same whether you had a JD or MPP/A. I'm not sure what placement rates are like after JD programs into non-practicing policy positions, and I also can't speak to JD placements into the public service for practicing positions. Anecdotally, it still seems that permanent policy positions (usually stemming from masters program internships), are more readily available, as the JD job market seems to be quite saturated (JD grads > jobs available). That being said, I know this seems a little skewed towards the MPP MPA route, but keep in mind that while I love what I do, I'm still applying to law because I want to practice in government, and I'm willing to take the financial risk/debt to do so. I had considered the dual in the past, but my masters got me in the door, got me a great salary and stability, now I can take some education leave/consider some part-time JD studies if I get in. The alternative would have been 3.5 years for a dual, plus articling, then paying off the debt after, instead of paying for some school in advance. Either way, I know JD grads who left practicing and transitioned into policy, and I know some JD grads who worked in a policy capacity before practicing. Roads can lead to the same place, some roads may make the path easier, or open up other opportunities, but at the end of the day a lot of it will come down to the choices you make when a door opens, and your ability to seize new opportunities as they come (i.e., interview skills/references (overall work-related abilities), based on your network/networking skills). Feel free to message me if you have any other questions.
  12. SciLaw

    Rejected at Ottawa 2018

    No go from Queen's--Alberta will be in my sights next year + applying more broadly (hopefully with a better LSAT as well). 3.6 (3.4 and 3.8) +/- 0.05 based on OLSAS conversions.
  13. SciLaw

    Rejected at Ottawa 2018

    Refused today--disappointed, but it's nice to have some certainty with respect to my job/career progression over the next year or so. Somewhat expected based on my 3.01 cGPA and 153 LSAT; a little surprised I wasn't at least waitlisted based on my graduate degrees (4.0 GPAs), strong L2, ref letters, and (imo) pretty unreal work experience and ECs. It seems even a somewhat holistic approach wasn't enough to overcome my cGPA. Will try again next year, good luck to all those waiting.
  14. SciLaw

    No Status Change

    Are you making an assumption or have you been told this? If Ottawa reviews applications, scores them, and then either waitlists, rejects, or accepts an applicant, then why would adding to the waitlist be ruled out for those candidates who haven't had their applications reviewed yet? Whose scores could technically put them at the top or bottom of the waitlist (some degree of uncertainty based on uOttawa criteria). I understand waitlisted applicants were provided a deadline to maintain their position on the waitlist; however, I would think any candidate waitlisted in the future would be provided a short turn around time to reply as well, i.e., I didn't interpret the deadline to reply to maintain a position on the waitlist as a deadline where the school finalizes a "full" waitlist. This makes little sense to me, from an admissions perspective.
  15. @harveyspecter993 I stand corrected, my apologies. Mixed up another 0L harveyspectre.