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LawBlaw2019

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  1. While it is unfortunately very common for students to lose family members, depending on your situation applying Access may be applicable. I will not pry into what that situation is. Ask yourself whether you had unique extenuating circumstances which affected your grades (I'm assuming you are asking because of poor grades) for a reasonable amount of time after. If so and you are able to provide some documentation (preferably from a counselor, doctor, etc.) then this may be an appropriate claim. Please do not go this route unless your academics were genuinely impacted due to a profound loss. A sad few days and some missed classes for the funeral of a grandma you rarely saw are not circumstances which merit special consideration. Losing a parent unexpectedly is a different story.
  2. My understanding is that if you mark down in the appropriate spot that you will be writing a future LSAT they would only reject you ahead of receiving those results if there is truly no score that would salvage your application. e.g. if you have a 2.0 GPA and your reference letters say you lack judgement then even a 180 probably can't save you. A school may therefore not waste anyone's time seeing if you do, in fact, manage a 180. I am certainly not the authority on the matter but I BELIEVE this to be the general practice. Consider this: if there is an LSAT score you could theoretically achieve which would make a university want to admit you then it would be in their best interest to hold off.
  3. There's a learning curve that (presumably) every 1L goes through. It may not be the best advice, but because I'm not sure what is I'll just say this: many of my classmates and I did the same thing as conge (although on a computer), and wrote down every word we heard. Later in the semester when we started condensing our notes and preparing for exams we all laughed at how brutal our September notes were. While definitely follow better advice if someone else gives it, I don't think there's anything wrong with taking down extra information that you can delete later when you learn what's actually important. Maybe try looking up case briefs for each case you are assigned if you don't have access to upper year's summaries. I think a good starting point is noticing the organization of them as well as the information deemed relevant. Typically you want to focus on: the facts, the issues, the holding (the decision by the court), and the reasons for the decision. Try not to panic, these skills will come with time. It's not expected that you will understand how to take effective notes from day one.
  4. Hello hellohi (cute username), You have many questions, most of which I think have already been answered. There were a few things that stuck out to me so I’ll just focus on those. First, please don’t think that U of T and Osgoode are the be-all and end-all if you want “a viable shot at some of the most competitive careers”. There are students from every Canadian law school who have gone on to accomplish truly impressive things in their careers, earning top wages, and being seen as very competitive applicants. I believe the typical recommendation is to attend school in the PROVINCE that you want to practice in, but this only really applies when you’re deciding between options. If you want to practice in Toronto and you only get into a school outside of Ontario, I’d still take it. It’s not exactly unheard of for students to practice in a different province than they studied. Particularly with the current state of things, I wouldn’t be surprised if networking took more of an online form for the foreseeable future anyway. Second, you may very well have enough time to study for the January LSAT. I believe I started studying around the beginning of August, and wrote in both November and January. My LSAT score was higher than the entering average for most schools in the country. That said, it truly depends. Someone who has more time to dedicate to studying, has a natural knack for the kind of thinking the LSAT requires, and is an EFFECTIVE studier (e.g. actually pays attention to mistakes and notices trends, rather than merely drilling practice tests and thinking they’ll get better without focusing on their strengths and weaknesses) will do better, sooner, than someone who isn’t. Since you won’t know your score when applying, I’d recommend applying broadly. A tutor may prove to be a good investment, but I’d recommend either doing self-study or a course first. While I did not personally use a tutor, I imagine they’re most useful when you already have a basic understanding of the test and how you are scoring. Finally, on your point that you weren’t “gunning” for law, I don’t think that matters. I wouldn’t exactly highlight that in a personal statement but your grades are competitive, which is what's important. Good luck!
  5. Those nerves are very normal. Applying to a professional program is intimidating. But I promise that you know what you bring to the table better than any stranger you hire does, and the rest is just editing. Have a few friends and/or family members read over your personal statement. They don't have to be lawyers. All in all your personal statement should tie in why you're interested in law/what you wish to contribute to the legal community, and convince the admissions committee that you have the ability to succeed in law school (particularly if your stats suggest otherwise). You have a lot of time before applications are due to figure out how you'd like to do that. Feel free to message me privately for any specific questions.
  6. Yes and no. 8:30 a.m. in Newfoundland is technically before 8:30 a.m. in BC. Even though they tell you not to discuss I bet it'd be possible, for instance, to find out online which section is experimental (for the regular in-person LSAT, where the experimental section exists) for those living in an Eastern province. But of course writing the same test on a different day is a whole different situation.
  7. TL;DR: Try to stay relaxed. That score is currently an anomaly. Try again and figure out what went wrong. When I was studying for the LSAT I also did better on older versus newer tests. My skills must have just lent better to the older style. But I'm talking doing a test from the 90s versus, say, 2017. Notwithstanding that the format has changed (e.g. administered online, LSAT flex changes), the questions themselves shouldn't be all that different in the 5-10 span that you jumped. It sounds like you've only done the one more recent test, or at least only had one outlier score. I'd recommend taking another recent test (maybe give yourself a day off first) and see how it goes. There are a hundred and one reasons why that score may have been low. As for your last question I doubt you'd be scoring 160-164 regularly if your basics weren't there. You're likely overthinking. But I absolutely think there's magic in trying to find a theme between questions you're getting wrong. It'll help you see question stems, etc. that you may have a weaker grasp on. That can help lead to a better/more consistent score.
  8. Strongly recommend pursuing whichever degree you feel you'll do best in/THAT WILL INTEREST YOU. Interest is key, both because you're more likely to get good grades when you find the material engaging, and because if you don't end up pursuing law, it's best to have a degree you actually want. Law schools themselves for the most part couldn't care less what your degree is in, so just enjoy this time. Best of luck.
  9. I hate blood and I hate driving. Wouldn't be simpler for me. I'm also not Paris Hilton and I don't want a Simple Life. I'll take my poor kid student debt and a career path that interests me
  10. Agreed. I also think there needed to be a sort of all (or most) or nothing approach. I imagine many would be displeased if they had to be in London for 8 months for only a couple of hours in person a week. But again there really is no perfect solution. No matter what some will be unhappy with the decision.
  11. I can't speak to whether the reasons stated were the real reasons or not, but I do personally think that the largest transition is from 0L to 1L. Unlike upper year students, incoming 1Ls currently have no formed relationships with other students, no understanding of the law, no experience with legal research, etc. Many have never done a moot or been in a law library. None have had the kind of legal education that only in person classes can bring (I'm thinking lots of questions/discussion). Many law schools are going fully online for all years. The way I see it they made a decision to try to keep some semblance of normalcy for the entering 1Ls, putting extra resources/effort into them, rather than taking from 2Ls and 3Ls. But I can absolutely appreciate the feeling that it is unfair. All students will likely pay the same tuition, and surely most students would prefer an in-person experience. I do hope that admin/the SLS hear you, and perhaps complaints from your fellow students, and are able to accomodate something that feels more fair to you. These are definitely shit times.
  12. The answer is yes. Any movement at any school can happen at any time. Students who have provisionally accepted Western may decline after getting into another school, or (surely far less common) students may decide they no longer want to attend law school in the fall at all. Congrats on getting into law school in general. Fingers crossed the waitlist budges soon and you get into your preferred choice.
  13. There's 403 people in the class of 2022 group. Really wouldn't put any weight on this.
  14. Strongly recommend getting connected with your school counsellor from the getgo. It's hard to work through things after shit's hit the fan. Having someone you regularly speak to not only helps you address things as they come up (i.e. not ignore your shit until it overwhelms you), but also helps you develop strategies that'll serve you going forward. It's also a lot easier to explain a certain situation, be it a breakup, loss of a loved one, anxiety, etc., when your counsellor already has a sense of your life. I wouldn't wait until I had a serious illness before seeking or having regular check-ups with a doctor for my physical health. Mental health is a similar beast. My guess is many if not all schools will offer telephone and video-counselling while physical distance measures remain in place.
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