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About OyVey

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  1. I am of the view that you should only do a piece of education if the education will lead to a professional career - but because money is an object to me and I never had the luxury of doing education for the sake of education. Law school or not, I wouldn't do the 1st piece of education because you haven't mentioned the goal of a PhD which would at least let you teach (if you can get a position in whatever it is). I know more than one lawyer with a masters. They had to go back to school and do law because their Masters got them nowhere. I also know more than one individual that has done a Masters, and it hasn't helped them advance in their career or enter the industry that it was focused on even though they were professional masters. The second option - well it depends. Like someone else said, if it can tie into law somehow, and actually be useful, then do it - but actually complete it - and work in that field for a while, knowing you will be around 30 by the time you actually start law school. Or don't bother. There is no point of dedicating two years to a Masters degree independent of law school (not a joint MBA/JD), if you don't plan on working in it. The education in itself will not be useful. What is useful is its real world application. If the Masters was an MSW (counselling) or other counselling type of Masters, it will hold no value in law other than making you perhaps a better family mediator. If it was a Masters in Planning, it could be very very handy, but only if you have worked as a professional planner for a few years and go back to law school. Even then, this is going to increase the number of years you are in school, your debt, the opportunity cost of getting real work experience, and delay your first dream of law school. Consider dedicating the next year to getting yourself into law school. If you don't get in next cycle, then consider the Masters. You can always ask for a deferral for some kind of personal reason. Maybe they will accept. I am much older than most on this board - and one thing I will always look back on is that I should have looked into law school sooner. I had in the back of my mind, but put it off as a pipe dream. Now I am going to be going, and I will be older than the majority of my fellow students and know I will face discrimination in hiring. These could have been overcome if I didn't put it off. If I was hiring, I don't think I would look too kindly on an application of a Bachelors, immediate Masters, and then immediate law school without any work experience in between there. There are things to be learned in the workplace that you will not get in school. Random things like understanding the external pressures that come in the workplace, navigating deadlines with sub-optimal access to resources whether they be staffing or technology, etc. I am a realist. In your position, ignoring what the circumstances that led this to be considered a reasonable idea, I would try to get into law school and not do the Masters but do apply for the Masters program in the same cycle as a solid backup plan. The two year Masters - not the one year. It is only one year out of your life to wait and see what happens.
  2. I wanted to mention that if anyone sees those Lenovo tablet/laptop things and thinks "great the best of both worlds" don't do it. It isn't worth it. 1. You can't have it on your lap like a regular laptop because of the stand. 2. The thing will not be powerful enough. I run teams at work and have to work off of multiple spreadsheets all backing up into one drive. The thing cannot perform and frequently freezes, crashes, etc. even though it is brand new. Forget about using it without being plugged in and needing to a dock to connect anything (eg. ethernet cable). It will also crash. Besides that laptop/tablet thing, I do like Lenovo. You can get a discount on Lenovo and some others through Perkopolis. If you don't have access to Perkopolis, people regularly post the link for the perkopolis Lenovo website and the up to date access code on RedFlagDeals.
  3. I am so glad that you brought this up and this is why I really appreciate hearing other's perspectives. This never crossed my mind and you are so right. Being able to access to non-medical mental health care is such a privilege that so many don't have access to. Even medical care is limited and access will be dependent on where you live and the actions of the referring doctor. I hope that the schools see this thread and see your comment (and others) and take these items into consideration. It also isn't enough to take them into consideration - they need to communicate what is accepted as evidence because hopeful students will feel pressured to get access to services that they can't afford or feel anxiety over the quality of their corroborating documents. There may be another person in an individual's life that can confirm their life experiences, and it doesn't need to be someone that they need to pay or invasive medical reports, police reports, etc. We are all going to law school. One would hope that we realize that lying in our law school applications isn't ethical and could impact our futures. I provided a substantial amount of information with my law school application. More than probably is necessary and as a result members of the admissions committee are going to know more about me and my history than 99% of those that I think that I have a close relationship with. It makes me uncomfortable, but unfortunately have resigned myself to it being the price of admission. It is probably more impactful to have evidence of everything - even if it makes me uncomfortable. Confidentiality is something I am concerned about and I hope that instructors or administrators don't spends an inordinate amount of time looking at me while certain conversations are happening, or regularly call on me in particular when items related to my history come up in class. What in the actual f*ck. Sometimes I think that our generation is on the cusp of change, and it we will be pushing against traditional values and approaches which will make our superiors uncomfortable, be detrimental to our careers, but be better for the next generation. The most senior leaders grew up in a time where patriarchy was rampant. Now here we are challenging all of this and asking everyone to question everything that they know. I think we will make those senior leaders uncomfortable - and sometimes it may make them so uncomfortable that they want to push us out - but the next generation will be better off because of our actions.
  4. Calling out UVIC again - didn't notice this one earlier. Discretionary application also says: "Provide information about any other circumstances which are not directly addressed above, but which you believe are relevant to the Discretionary criteria of academic disadvantage (e.g., physical or sexual abuse, or discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation or religious affiliation). Provide corroborating documentation." (Bolded by me for emphasis). Yeah no thanks. I don't think that anyone should be providing corroborating documentation about physical or sexual abuse to a school's administrative staff as they are not trained to deal with that information and may experience vicarious trauma. Other schools often say that in their discretionary application that you can have a counsellor or someone else write a letter confirming what happened to you, and I am surprised that they haven't done that.
  5. Exactly. Something that I would like them to address - but their issues around language are more then just this one-off situation. There are other instances (including the law school application process) that has other problematic language. For such a stereotypically social justice leaning and *woke* school, they aren't as woke as one would think. They may get it right in some areas, but across the board, I think that they have some work to do. I can't speak to what it is actually like at UVIC and if in practice racism and discrimination play out, but they definitely need to update their documents.
  6. I believe that you are thinking of American law schools (and American choice schools that factor race in as part of a holistic review of all applicants. Not about Canada as I don't think that the same research to the level of depth has been done here. As others lambast @SNAILS, here is an article that summarizes a lot of the research that has been done in the USA on this topic. The model minority stereotype isn't as strong in Canada because we have protectionist systems that prevented that (eg. medical professionals from other jurisdictions have a difficult time being able to practice in Canada so highly educated immigrants didn't always choose Canada as their first choice. These populations place a high value on education and quite often are privileged where they come from. Many are hardcore tiger parents. Whereas all of the first generation immigrant parents that were around when I was growing up had come from very humble beginnings. This an oversimplified analysis). Canadian stereotypes about model minorities have mostly (but not all) been created out of our immigrant populations quite literally making something out of nothing - quite often working in low wage jobs with the hope that their children will be the ones that lift the family out of poverty through higher education. The model minority stereotype both privileges' and disadvantages of those minority groups that don't meet the stereotype. They benefit because on first look, many hold members of these groups with high regard. But they people assume information about their background, which may not be true which impacts access to all kinds of programs, supports, etc. Anyways - this topic is about how law schools embrace diversity. I am not a law student yet so I don't know how to comment on that. I think that the answers today will look different in 5 years from now. Overall I can't say how I want them to - but I can say that I would like them to start looking at the language that they use. Case in point - UVIC's discretionary application states the following: "Describe the manner in which your ethnic background or culture has adversely affected your academic achievements or LSAT score." Reading that I think that someone that is not from a visible minority and/or Indigenous group wrote that. I get what they are trying to ask, but their language is so off. It isn't your ethnic background or culture has adversely affected your academic achievements or LSAT score, it is the racism, bigotry, systemic bias, patriarchy amongst 10,000 other things that have impacted your LSAT score. No one should feel that it is a bad thing being born into a certain background. We should be angered at the things in society that negatively impact people born into certain backgrounds.
  7. I don't think that there should be a diversity bias, but I do think that there should be an equity bias. Equity would recognize that not everyone has access to the same level of supports, relationships, health, etc. which all may factor into their performance. A perfect example is the LSAT. There are excellent resources out there to study for the LSAT, but they don't come cheap. Someone who is on a limited income and is choosing between basic survival or taking a leap of faith by paying for books instead of food isn't going to do as great as someone with adequate financial supports unless they are exceptionally gifted. Persons of all ethnic backgrounds are impacted by this issue and there are some that this impacts disproportionately more. Someone may have had a medical issue that was diagnosed or undiagnosed during their undergrad which impacted their performance. Sure they didn't have the greatest stats then due to their health concerns, but it doesn't mean that their stats will reflect their performance going forward. Diversity isn't just checking off boxes about race. There is also diversity in experiences. I really think that equity should play a greater role - but it is more complex to assess. It would reduce the bias. Even in saying this, I recognize that privilege in one area doesn't mean that you are privileged in others. Someone who is a well paid lawyer may go into a courthouse and continue to experience racism. I have said this before on this forum, but a person who has higher stats has no more of a right to go to law school than the person with lower stats. Higher stats just make it easier to get in. I don't think that it is a disservice to the profession to admit people into law school that have lower stats. Once people get their lives together and work through those things that influenced lower stats (or get accommodations), it could be the great equalizer.
  8. After reading a comment from @FutLawyer about changes to UofT's med school admissions under the Black Students Admissions Program where there was at least one person of African-descent ancestry reviewing applications and @BlockedQuebecois pointing out how it is also being applied to law, I am now curious about diversity within admissions committee members across the country. For those of you that know something, how are schools ensuring that there is diversity within the admissions review committee (at the least for holistic/discretionary applications where the focus isn't so much on straight stats)? Feel free to chime in about other items related to DEI and adcomms. I think it is a timely and interesting conversation to have. Probably too late to catch the attention of schools this round, but something for them to contemplate for next year.
  9. I REALLY appreciated @BlockedQuebecois's response. I think they get it right in their response. The only place that I differ is that I think that you should use the statement. In quotes or italics. Dancing around the words will take up more space and doesn't carry the same punch. Use the word, but don't make it your whole story. You are more than what has happened to you. I actively referred to @ShirleyBeans post here for the discretionary category, and applied using their approach to my personal statement. I messaged @ShirleyBeans saying that if I get in, it is going to be because of their post and advice. I should message them to say thanks because I was successful. Using of foul words will depend on the circumstance of your life. Do what feels right to you. If you feel like you are not yourself by taking it out and dancing around the topic, then keep it. For reference, I had highly unusual and informal personal statements for my discretionary apps. For the school I have been accepted to, I would have thought "did they seriously just say that?" if I was reviewing it. For the school I want to get into and am still waiting for, I am 100% sure that the content is going to make a particular senior administrator (and likely adcomms member) raise their eyebrows. I would love to be in the room to hear the conversation that happens about my statement. If a miracle happens and I am successful there too, then I can 100% with confidence say that the only reason I got in was because of my personal statement because there is no good reason why I should have got in anywhere this year (I am not just saying this - both my GPA and LSAT are embarrassingly low - lower than those talking about their acceptances). I would find it refreshing to read something different. A few weeks ago at work I was reviewing a large amount of submissions for something. There were so many of the "same but different" applications. So many knew to say the right things, but didn't really sound special. The atypical stood out - even though they didn't use the key words one would think that we were expecting. I imagine adcomms goes through the same thing. Hundreds of applications. You get application fatigue. Also, not every lawyer (and I would argue most aren't) stuck up people who expect formal statement. After reviewing a series of well manicured applications all day, maybe it would be good to read something different. Something with personality and character. I know I would want to.
  10. Don't ever think that you don't have experience in advocacy to make effect change. We all have the ability to advocate in our own ways which cumulatively contribute to improvements for those that come after us. I am not great either. I am a very candid person and it definitely gets me in trouble. On one hand some people appreciate my advocacy, on the other hand it is detrimental to me. What you are bringing up is a real issue that does affect people. I personally don't care about it because I am a discretionary candidate. There is nothing that you can do to make my grades look more attractive, and they will be assessed with consideration given to other factors anyways. The issue you are talking about does affect so many. I think the reason why there hasn't been a formal system in place for this yet is because when people transfer schools, usually the transfer credits just count for credits and the grades don't get applied to the graduation GPA (dependent on the school). So they only bothered creating a transfer system in BC for credits and no consideration given to grading. There is advocacy to be done - so I encourage you to follow up on this if you have the capacity. Other students will probably be very grateful.
  11. Live your life and enjoy your free time now. You will not get it again in the future - and life is not all about work. If you want, casually do it (maybe once a week) during breaks so you keep the foundational knowledge and as you notice yourself getting higher scores, then take it seriously and get it over with. There is someone here or somewhere else that did it their first year and scored in the mid 170s. If I recall correctly, they did it because they were unexpectedly scoring that high and of course it made sense for them to get over it and not have to worry about it for the next few years. If you are not that person, then wait. As you may be noticing, entrance expectations seem to be changing. It seems like more than just high scores matter. If you have free time, consider working on something that you are passionate about whether it be volunteer, professional, or a hobby. It may help you on your application in the future. If you notice that you are not getting top marks in your classes, consider spending the time you have now to learn effective study skills, and become familiar with concepts that will be the foundation of your future courses. Or instead, take a full semester of summer courses so you can be done school early. Also keep in mind that there is LSAT test limits. Only start taking it when you have mastered it if you are going to start studying now. Take the time to understand why you got the wrong instead of just moving onto the next practice test. The trainer gives you a good foundation so it as a good choice.
  12. This is the advice that matters. What do you want to do post law school? Which way does the think tank lean? Working for a partisan think tank doesn't always look the greatest even if applying to public sector jobs because you are supposed to be neutral. I would choose the government one personally. It will allow you to buy back your pension if you enter the public service after graduating - and you can network internally for advice on making your application more attractive for articling.
  13. I think that those (including myself) that would say that we have excellent ECs is because we inherently know that we have excellent ECs. They are the type of things that make people genuinely stand out from other applicants and we know that we already stand out from the crowd in general society. Typically those ECs aren't things that are done for the sake of having ECs but rather because whatever it is, is important to us. It is more than just a club in college/university, but something outside of it - or if that thing was in University, it was substantial. It could also be work experience with substantial professional accomplishments (but no one would expect you to have that if you are KJD). All of that said, don't take it to heart when someone says that they have excellent ECs. Some on this forum have posted about their ECs, and they are genuinely stand-outs, but then others post saying that they have excellent ECs, and I read what they have written and I think - your ECs sound like every other overachieving hopeful law student. Some of the stand out ECs probably don't even take as much time compared to the things that people do hoping it will help their law/med and other professional degree apps. What is different is that there is a long lasting connection, a genuine interest in whatever it is for some reason, and other items that indicate it is done for altruistic reasons rather than looking better on law school apps. Now this is a general statement - I have no clue how on earth the UofA looks at personal statements because they don't assess the personal statement until later rounds, and even then, don't ask for any evidence.
  14. Honestly, I would say go for it - but only if you can take those courses in the summer. You could do a full course load. A piece of information that you might not be familiar with is that you can be registered at more than one institution at the same time. Contact the admissions, registrar's, and financial aid office to inquire about this. You will need them fill out something if you have student loans - and you have to declare to them when you are registered elsewhere. If you can get one of your courses at one school, and another elsewhere, etc. etc., contact someone who is responsible for your program at your current school that you hope to graduate from, and get permission for those courses to count towards your degrees' requirements. Even if the school has a transfer agreement for those courses, still do your due diligence because some schools require that you complete a certain number of credits or something to graduate with a degree from there. In my first piece of education (I went straight from high school), there were a lot of international students with miscellaneous previous degrees. They presented course outlines, etc. and had the department head approve courses from their previous education to count towards our program. The grades might not transfer, but that doesn't matter because when you apply for law school, grades will be picked up when they school or OLSAS does the calculation. In my second and third pieces of education, I had the school grant credit for courses outside of the program and were similar to what was done in our department, and from another university towards the Degrees' requirements. I had to present the course outline, and some reason to justify it. If it is only a summer that you are losing, the cost and time is worth it to have the extra letters on your resume. If it can only be done during the regular school year, it isn't worth sacrificing your law school grades. In that case, if you want to do it after law school, and you somehow have time, do it for fun on the side. Also, you can do more than 5 courses per semester. Some schools have students doing more than 5 courses. It is rough, but could also allow you to do courses that aren't available in the summer now. If you need to register at other schools, you need to start doing your research early. Find out from your program head if this is an acceptable option, and let them know what you are trying to do. There are schools across Canada you may be able to access. Eg. Thompson Rivers University has online courses. I always advise against a full courseload of self-paced courses. Most people I know who did self-paced did poorly - but there are online courses that are not self-paced. It is a complicated process overall - and I fumbled my way through it but I made it happen.
  15. The challenge that you will have in moving forward your argument is in the absence of a system that all schools across the country use to translate grades, it is too arduous to do fairly. There is so many schools across the country. Universities, colleges, etc. Not failing to mention international schools and the schools that changed their grading schemes at some point. To have a system that converts all of it would be do-able but an insane amount of work (I can picture the excel spreadsheet in my head right now). It is much easier to create a spreadsheet that just converts to UBC's grades (I hope that they at least have a spreadsheet because it would reduce conversion error if the formulas and inputs are correct). It seems like you want something like the BC Transfer guide but for grades. If this holds value for other programs as well, you could consider advocating to your student unions to ask that the provincial government create something of the sort (but again - the BC Transfer guide is only for BC and won't be applicable to other Provinces). And if you feel like it is unfair, the University Ombudsperson's job is to assess for fairness. Ask them what they think. They may have already looked into it and determined that it wasn't. Or maybe they are wanting something to be done about it - who knows. Another piece of information - while common advice generally states to try to address your issues with the group or persons you have the issue with first, these types of situations I would actually caution against (but it is too late in your situation). Because you haven't been admitted yet, I would have gone to the Ombudsperson's office first (but you might not even know that they existed) to gather information. I say this because I am always worried about how my advocacy efforts will impact my situation. I will say that there was something I have been working to address, and it is being addressed, but I reached out to the oversight body and they have been dealing with it. I am glad because my name stays out of it (I asked that the oversight body give generic information so I wouldn't be identifiable and this is an issue that affects hundreds). If it related to law school, I wouldn't want an annoyed Adcoms member, influential admin, or anyone of the sort to pass on my application because of my speaking up. I do not think that this would impact someone who has an otherwise compelling application, but there is always a risk taking on advocacy.
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