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SciLaw

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. @harveyspecter993 I stand corrected, my apologies. Mixed up another 0L harveyspectre.
  6. If OPs stats didn't change, then absolutely--pure desire is not going to increase their chances of admission and it would likely become a fruitless exercise. But an L2 of ~3.5 and a higher LSAT (~158+), has been accepted at a number of schools (not uncommon on these threads). @Inconspicuous I may be wrong, but another 0L judging how successful another poster will be in law school? Did I miss something or have you seen their entire application? Do you know the poster personally? While a 3.5 L2 is not a stat to pretentiously brag about, and wont get you into U of T, it still works out to around 80% which isn't horrible. This seems like another instance of pretentiously high stat posters trying to tell people what they should do with their lives, which may or may not be helpful advice, under the guise of frankness. OP - like the other constructive posters are saying, you need a higher LSAT to give yourself a chance. Whether you want to keep pursing law school, and if you would be able to cope with the demands of law school is something you have to assess for yourself, from a realistic perspective. @harveyspecter993 Didn't you have an obsession which didn't get you in last year, but in this year after doing much better on the LSAT (I may be mixing this up). Now you're high and mighty? @providence I'll take your advice for face value because you're not a 0L, and you're not telling OP what to do except give realistic expectations, for which they should seriously take into account.
  7. OP - I don't see how the last two comments on here are constructive at all. If you want to go to law school, and are determined, then that's a choice you have to make for yourself (to keep at it), but you do have to seriously consider the possibility of not getting in. It may also take more than 1 shot with applications, and in your case even a 3rd LSAT write (I've seen >3 writes on here as well). Regardless, the posters (especially 2 OL's) are not in a position to tell you to reconsider what you want. Frankly, it is unlikely with those 2 LSAT scores, but if you really put the time and effort in and hit a ~158+, there is a chance at an L2 school. You would just have to look further into whether they average LSAT scores, or take the highest. Alberta is an L2 school, and they also take grad marks for face value, so that could potentially boost your GPA (if that's an option). @harveyspecter993 Honestly as a 0L I don't understand how you get off telling someone what law school is or is not, and whether someone should pursue a career in law. You haven't experienced it first-hand, nor job applications, interviews, or work as a lawyer (and neither have I, but I don't pretend to). You can advise that it may be an unsuccessful endeavour, but that's not what your post comes across as.
  8. SciLaw

    Rejected from Queen's 2018

    I'm with ya @SlickRick--just received it as well. L2/B2: 3.6, LSAT: 147, 153 Extensive EC's and 5 years of work exp in healthcare/health policy, 2 grad degrees w 4.0 GPAs, one from Queen's. If I don't get in elsewhere I'll be re-writing the LSAT, again.
  9. SciLaw

    Status

    @SlickRick You mind posting the outcome of the call? I'm in the same boat, Dec LSAT, last uozone update Nov 20.
  10. SciLaw

    HELP - GPA 3.0

    Good L2? Pair it with a decent LSAT for Queen's/Western, then maybe. You could do a grad degree and use the (potentially) better grades towards Alberta's L2 calculation (again, with a strong LSAT). With crazy EC's, LoRs, PS, and a good LSAT you could try Windsor, or other more holistic schools. It's not like it's never happened before, you're just going to have to either have a crazy LSAT, make yourself stand out, explain the rationale for the low GPA, and/or use L2 GPA schools to your advantage. There are ways, still no guarantee; you can always consider/try, but that should be a determination of your career aspirations, not just a simple consideration of an option (law). I also just noticed this was in the Civil Law forum--if those are the only programs you're considering, I don't really have any knowledge or advice on your chances.
  11. SciLaw

    Schools good for health law?

    It depends on what area of health law you want to focus on. Most will provide foundations for certain law, e.g., medical malpractice; however, if you want to focus on a niche area of health law then there are a few schools that seem to offer a greater course selection and have more Canada Research Chairs/scholars. For health IP, regulation, bioethics, public health law, or law related to healthcare delivery, it seems to be Alberta, uOttawa, Dal, and U of T... and to some extent, maybe Osgoode or even McGill.
  12. SciLaw

    Need Some Advice as I Reroute

    I don't see why you wouldn't be competitive at L2 schools, e.g., Queen's and Western; ~3.6 L2 is average for those schools and 167 LSAT is slightly above average for the two schools, I believe. Regardless, it doesn't hurt to apply. I think Alberta uses L2 (best 2 full years of credits) and even includes graduate marks. So a grad degree could definitely help for Alberta. Doing more undergrad courses (unless maybe a 5th year for B3 for U of T) doesn't make much sense--you're going to have to take a lot of courses to bump your cGPA. Let's say you did another 3 year general degree/undergrad, and all A-'s; 3 years of 3.7's wont even bring up your cumulative cGPA from both degrees to a 3.2. Grad degree overall may help a bit on the application, more undergrad not so much, but I still think your quickest shot is at an L2 school. Grad could make you slightly more distinct, and can be useful for law sometimes (if in STEM and want to work in a STEM field), but if you want to be a lawyer focus on the L2 (and maybe holistic) law applications, get great references, spend a lot of time on the PS, and build up the EC's.
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