I'm an asian student looking to transfer from a law school outside canada to a canadian law school as i want to work in canada. Ideally, I would prefer to go to a law schools in ontario.
I applied to both toronto schools this year and was rejected by one and waitlisted by the other because my stats are very uncompetitive for both. I want to ask if anyone knows about how different the criteria is for regular applicants and transfer applicants. Let's say if I want to transfer to U of T/Western/Windsor/anywhere else, do I have to have around the same GPA and LSAT as someone applying to 1L or can I have an uncompetitive GPA by the school's regular applicant standards but do really well in 1L at my law school and still get in?
My background: I did my undergrad in asia at a top asian university and my university didn't give a GPA out of 4. I didn't do very well in my first two years except for a semester where I did well, was above average in my third year and got almost a perfect average in my last year. I ended up with an upper second class degree. My university is also notorious for extreme grade deflation and almost nobody can get the kind of grades (equivalent of 3.7+/4 that most canadian law schools require) but this is a separate point from my bad results in the first 2 years which were only due to my bad personal circumstances. The world education services computed my gpa to be 3.4.
I gave the lsat twice, both times without having much time to prepare (only a week the first time and 1 day the second time) because of awful personal circumstances again. I only got 160 and 161. The first time I guessed all of logic games because I was in a horrible stress and panicked state of mind because apart from my personal issues I also had exams at school and the GRE around the same time and I have never learnt how to do them properly anyway. The second time I was too "relaxed" because I had no time to prepare and stress myself out about how badly I was doing in any particular section beforehand so I miraculously managed to solve about half the logic games but because of the lack of practice I had no time left for 1.5 of the verbal passages so I had to guess those. I am very sure that I can do much better on the LSAT because I have a very strong foundation in logical reasoning and philosophy (that is not what I studied at university) so I am very comfortable with the logical reasoning and verbal parts of the exam. My goal right now is simply to study for the LSAT properly and get a 170+ score if that is possible and if I can learn how to do logic games.
Not every law school accepts transfers from outside Canada so the other option I have is to apply as a regular applicant to 1L. Apart from improving my LSAT, if I don't attend my foreign law school I can get a graduate degree from the same place I did my undergrad and get a very high GPA on that (I think this is very doable for me after carefully looking at the courses and course materials and past exam papers etc) but I have no idea how much this would help since grad degrees are not used for GPA computation. Some schools did tell me that they do factor grad performance into admissions decisions but I am still confused if they will matter enough. I do not have any option to go back and do more undergrad courses as that is unheard of in my country and my university does not allow anything like that.
Can anyone who knows about transfers tell me which option will be better for me- to transfer from overseas with high 1L grades and a 170+ LSAT or to apply again with a grad degree in which I did really well and a 170+ LSAT?
Thanks and sorry for the long winded post