I know there are already threads on this topic but I thought I would start a new one to get more recent feedback. I'm currently deciding between Ottawa U and Western law school.
Overall, I'm attracted to Ottawa because of the location and the opportunity to get government internships, the diversity of classes outside of big law and the focus on social justice (e.g. critical legal studies, legal theory, gender and the law, sexuality and the law etc.), the research/academic focus (I'm coming from a MA in Political Science at Queen's), the potential for RA positions, the potential for networking in the capital, and the student proposed internships. However, in turn, some of the drawbacks I've found with Ottawa are the overcrowded building, the larger class size overall (I'm worried that this will mean less RA, clinic, and legal journal opportunities), the seemingly unknown articling rate (I couldn't find stats anywhere), high rent, and Ottawa's apparently diminishing reputation (?).
I'm attracted to Western because of the proximity to family (I'm from London), its smaller class size (I would think that this would mean less competition for RA and law related jobs i.e. clinics, journals, etc.), its competitive articling rate (90%), the community, the building itself, the cheaper rent, and given my particular interests (e.g. social justice, labour, government,) perhaps more niche opportunities given Western's overall focus on corporate (?). The drawbacks to Western, for me at least, are its focus on big business/corporate law, the lack of class diversity (although there are some thematic upper year courses, it seems quite limited/focused on corporate), lack of diversity overall (having done my undergrad at Western, I know it has the reputation of being a more conservative and white school), and the city itself (having grown up here, I wouldn't mind moving away).
Making this decision, some lingering questions I have are: will going to Ottawa really open up more government opportunities or will I have the same opportunities going to Western, so long as I actively apply? Is there really a difference in reputation between the two schools? Does class diversity really matter or will I get the same education anywhere? Is Western a good school to go to for anything other than corporate law? Are there more law-related job opportunities at either school? etc.