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GreyDude

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  1. I'm quite sure you're right. Like you, I really do have trouble imagining a school of McGill's caliber having any admissions practices that would either disadvantage applicants or potentially diminish the quality of the class. Thanks! It's going to take some planning, but next fall I'm hoping all my ducks will be in a row so that I can make my applications. (And I'm sure the expression "ducks in a row" will help solidify my geezer status!) Cheers!
  2. I will be applying to law school next year, in the mature category. Hence the moniker. I was poking fun at myself.
  3. You have more experience on which to judge this, of course, and if true, it could be important information for some candidates. But I'll bet McGill would reply that the order files are read is not based on category (with the exception of cégep applications, which arrive in March), and that the timing of offers is done case-by-case, more or less as files are read. That said, there is a strong intuitive case for what you suggest, since the website tells us that many mature candidates are interviewed, and interviews take place between March and May (resulting, I suppose, in April-June offers of admission). At the same time, though, the site doesn't seem to be saying that all eligible mature candidates must be interviewed, and it also says that university applicants may also be interviewed. So there seems to be some wiggle room there. McGill requires you to apply as a mature student if you are "an individual who has interrupted his or her formal education for a minimum of five years," and they give you the same deadlines as everyone else, save for cégep applicants. Basically, if you are in the mature category, you're likely older than average and have been doing something different than most over the last few years. Now, one might argue that it would be unjust to put off consideration of an entire category of applications based primarily on their age and experience, while forcing them to disclose those same things in order to apply. I'm having trouble imagining a law school engaging in that kind of practice. I'm exploring that argument, by the way, not making it, and maybe I'm missing some important details. Or maybe the fact that I'm making a normative case is already missing the point. Since mature candidates are those who been out of school for at least five years, I would agree that caution is warranted overall when the geezers start thinking of returning to school in so demanding a program as Law. But let's also imagine someone, required to apply as mature but who would have been a university applicant six months earlier, who has a stellar file from the admissions committee point of view. Why put off reading that file and making an offer until April/May, when you would have done so in January/February for someone a year younger? What am I missing here?
  4. I can't speak specifically to how law schools might react to your situation, not being a law school (), but I'll apply my first comment to a supposition about them in a moment. However, from the point of view of a college-level teacher with a few years of experience under my belt, I'll say this: I have had students who have done very poorly at first, including some who failed my classes, who have subsequently picked themselves up and exhibited real excellence. Some of these students have stayed in touch over the years, and have gone on to very successful careers in their chosen fields. In order to do so, most have had to work exceptionally hard to overcome their earlier difficulties, but my message to you is that it can be done — and based on your self-described situation, I suspect that you can do it too. It depends to some extent on the specifics of your life, though, so YMMV. As for what law schools will say... well, I can't tell you, but I'll speculate and others with more experience can either correct me or back me up. I believe from reading the forums that many law schools take a hard look at your progress and not just your starting point. So my opinion is that if you stay focused and achieve excellent results from now on (which it sounds like you have started to do), it is at least possible that many law schools will take your application seriously, especially if you do well on the LSAT. I would counsel guarded optimism. Go for plan A. Have a plan B. For now, you have a couple of years to go before finishing your undergrad, and you never know where life will lead you. If you stay focussed and positive, setting goals and working towards them, staying open to the good and putting the bad behind you, you'll succeed even if you don't end up in law school. I wish you well!
  5. This is exactly right. I am even tempted to claim that this is the best way (at least that I know of) to really come to a full understanding of any concept: get yourself to the point where you can explain it to others so that they can (also) understand it. That's one reason I wouldn't worry at all about whether helping others to understand something could be to your disadvantage. Another is that this kind of generosity is (as others have pointed out) likely to be reciprocated. Cooperation works better for learning than competition.
  6. I'm a teacher currently (seriously thinking of applying to law next year, so following discussions here). There is some compelling research, for what it's worth, that tends to show that handwritten notes are best for understanding and retention of class material. While I have not yet experienced the rigours of 1L, it seems to me that from that point of view the idea of taking notes by hand during class and they summarizing them later, using a computer, would be a very effective learning strategy for many people. Just my two cents. Here is a link to the key article on the subject. I don't know how long it will stay active. I found it compelling reading, but the abstract is clear enough on its own.
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