I’ve received a lot of messages inquiring about Ryerson. I feel obligated to write here since I was an advocate for the school during the application process and subsequently when I accepted my offer.
I first want to make it clear that when applying to Ryerson, avoid the assumption that because they are “holistic” that you’re safe. We are not bottom of the barrel students. I know people with high stats who got rejected, as well as people with an abundance of experience but lower stats who were similarly rejected. It really comes down to if the elements of your application matched their expectations. We have a diverse class of students, who are incredibly talented and intellectual. The point is, a holistic school does not amount to inadequate students. A lot of us had other options but chose Ryerson for our own reasons. We all deserve to be law students, and from my experience, the potential of this class is incredible.
So far, my experience has been great despite that everything is online. The faculty has been helpful, interactive, and understanding as we are all adapting to these new circumstances.
Our first week of classes began with an intensive. It included topics such as professional development, networking, informative sessions with lawyers in Toronto, group assignments with peers, and educational sessions on applying to positions and how to target/build a strong professional resume. The sessions were led by the Director, Career Development & Professional Placement Coordinator at Ryerson, who actually established a portal where Ryerson Law students can seek job opportunities through. The school has done a great job in showing us how to access as well as create opportunities for ourselves. So far, the community response to Ryerson has been warm and welcoming. I guess the truth will be told once we graduate, but it’s looking promising!
In terms of classes, it’s not different than any other law school. We have core subjects like any other school across Ontario. However, in addition to our academic classes, we have 1 hour sessions with legal practitioners (so lawyers) who are teaching us practical knowledge (An outcome of the Integrated Practice Curriculum). As some of my other colleagues mentioned, we have already learned the basics of reviewing contracts, negotiating contracts, client interview simulations, writing up legal opinions - and more to come (factums, a mandatory moot, contract drafting skills etc.,). I can honestly say the work load is a lot because of these practitioner sessions, but it is truly rewarding. A lot of lawyers I have spoken to wish they would have received this extra knowledge when they were in law school.
Also thought it was worth mentioning that although “tech”is a feature of Ryerson Law, it is NOT our primary distinguishing feature. I feel there’s this impression that the program is going to make us masters in technology- this is not the case! Ryerson is simply incorporating technology in its program to promote such proficiency to strengthen our abilities to adapt to modern legal environments that require (‘ Smart’ lawyering, + promoting access to justice through tech solutions).
In terms of the CONS of choosing Ryerson, I would say my concerns are not related to the school personally, but rather the “newness” of the school. Specifically, clubs associations, and clinics are not yet established (although we are making huge progress and it has been so much fun!!).There are no upper years so we don’t have established case summaries/ notes. I will admit this aspect isn’t ideal, however, I knew this when I accepted my offer. We all have been working hard to establish these types of things and our Law Society has also been doing a great job;). We have also been provided mentors from other schools in Ontario, which I heard has been really helpful for students.
My advice is to ask yourself if you’re willing to accept the fact that the school is in the process of building its program and extracurriculars. Also, do your own research, attend information sessions, connect with the students on discord (posted in another thread), and reach out to lawyers to get their opinions. Don’t rely on this forum. If I took literally what others said here, I would have not chosen Ryerson. Depend on yourself!
I hope this helped, good luck to you all!