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Everything posted by OyVey

  1. Honestly, it isn't going to be worth the extra time and money. If you want to get into policy, you can get into that with a JD. There is a sticky somewhere on this forum about government jobs and policy with respect to information in BC, and I really want to correct some of the inaccurate information in it (I have worked in HR at the Province recruiting/screening for policy positions). When you are going through 50+ resumes, you need a foolproof way for someone to be able to check a box that you have the experience/skills specifically asked for in the posting. I will find the post and provide advice on that Your JD will get you into policy work - but the salary for policy analysts isn't worth it unless you didn't article and have no hope of ever becoming a practicing lawyer. In BC, a regular policy analyst with a legal background is surprisingly common. In the Province, there is Policy Counsel (which you seem to be familiar with). They are different. I do not quite understand how they end up in their positions as I recruited for regular policy analysts. They aren't the lawyers that do legislative review and review policy that policy analysts wrote - they do some type of legal policy work and there isn't that many of them. I think that a bunch may have been Crown. Who knows. Someone else will be able to speak to them much better than I can. I don't know a lot and only learned of their existence this year. For all of the jobs you have put forward, you will not benefit from an MPA in getting the job. Your JD is what will get you there. The MPA (dependent on the school) will give you very relevant skills that are applicable when you are in the workplace, but frankly, you will not use many of them if your lead into public sector work is legal work. Things like writing for public sector, strategic planning, financial management, etc. If there is any piece of advice that I can give to any person interested in the public sector and considering an MPA - I say consider an MBA. The MBA will get you into the same doors that the MPA would, and more. I have taken a lot of UVIC's MPA courses that had dual numbering (MPA + undergrad) and I will say that they were very good. Very relevant to the work that I was doing and far more useful than one of the degrees that I did (which is career based). But I did those before considering law school. If I was doing the JD, I would definitely not add an MPA onto it hoping it would help my career. Save yourself the money and headache - and don't do it. If you really want to, do a joint MBA instead. As you probably know, the competition to article in the federal and provincial public sector is tough. So if you can, use your energy stores to get the best grades possible. Many municipalities have small legal teams for their size, so I imagine that articling competition will be tough. Another avenue to consider is the various Crown agencies, corporations, and independent officers of the Legislature. Some are large (like CMHC), but some are smaller. With the smaller ones you will probably experience breadth in your job which could lead to unique senior level opportunities.
  2. Thank you for this. Would you consider re-posting the 2019 picture without the PDF tools covering the bottom. (also I wish this was available for every school. This is incredibly helpful)
  3. I have over 10 years experience in varied professional jobs in an array of different work areas and seniority levels. What I say is informed by those things. In my work environments, especially when it comes to education, I have seen so many go and get degrees which were not actually necessary thinking it would help them progress. I would never in my life pursue a JD if there was a different but easier path to getting where I want. There is a reason that I am pursuing this now in my 30s versus earlier. It has become very apparent in the past couple of years that this needs to be the path and I keep getting led back to the JD. My end goal for the types of positions I want are not specifically legal positions, but I will strongly benefit from having practiced law or at minimum got a law degree. Think human rights commissioners, ombudspersons, ethics commissioners, etc. There are some who have become these without a legal background, but it was a hard slog and often spending years working in the non-profit sector with wages that do not offer financial stability in my region. If admitted, I do plan on articling and practicing law. I have zero desire and need to go back to non-lawyer policy and advocacy positions (and the like) to get to where I need. and also to add some other perspective, I know my reasons for pursuing law are very different than many here. Many would ask why on earth I would leave my job to go pursue law. It isn't just a financial decision. It is based on what I want to do and what makes me happy. I used to work in a position in a non-law firm legal position. I reflect on that experience and doing that work made me happiest. I had a very frustrating experience last year where I knew someone was making a mistake and doing something illegal, and I escalated it. I was told, "I trust our lawyer" when that lawyer didn't even specialize in that area of law. It was that moment and others just like it, I realized that even though I have an exceptional amount of knowledge related to specific areas of law, my opinion will always be secondary to our staff lawyers. So become one of the lawyers. In general, when working with external clients, I see how they place a lawyer's opinion above mine when the lawyer's advice is so wrong. I do not think that the general public always understands that lawyers do not know every law (all of the work that I have done in my professional life intersects with some sort of legislation/regulation/bylaw/policy/guidelines so my knowledge in some areas has become very deep).
  4. I don't make the rules. I was reading the Student Aid BC handbook today and for my unique situation and what I am looking at, it indicates that grants can exceed unmet need. I just need to qualify for $1 in loans to get the grant. I have a higher income now but I also have significant debt from the years of school I have done without any support. Partially my fault because I did not think of applying for bursaries when I was younger. I will happily take advantage of the grants so I can minimize my student debt. Unfortunately for me, gross income is what is used to calculate. As a public servant, my take home pay is comparable to someone who makes at least $20,000 less than I do because I have pension payments (grateful but costly), union dues, taxes on benefits, mandatory life insurance payments, and other random things that come out. If I get in for September, my student loan would be calculated with consideration to my 2020 income (and other things), and my loan for the following year with my 2021 income when I will have spent 12 months in school not earning much. So I know I will be needing to appeal.
  5. That reason is why I want to go into law school. My dreams to one day become an ethics commissioner will only happen if I go to law school. Will probably have to work for the law society first (my friends tell me that lawyers will hate me but I am a necessary service). Where I used to work, there was an excessive amount of people that have JDs and didn't article. Some articled, and left practice. In some public service work, the law degree makes it easier to get in. Especially on policy teams. There is only so many lawyers and legislative writers. Having a policy analyst that can interpret things correctly can be helpful (sometimes). I wanted to agree that going and getting a law degree to enter a career that does not require would be ridiculous, but then I reflect on my path. I have only done what I have done due to my unique experience, and I have noticed that the first job title on your resume will influence your path. It often isn't about your knowledge, it is other's assumptions. Almost all of the admin staff around where I was had Bachelors degrees (and not history but business and other useful things), some had masters, and one had a PhD. The problem was that because they started off in those admin roles, they were typecast as only being able to do that. It really limited their progression. For these people to escape this, they would be the type that would need to do a JD. An MPP/MPA will get you in to the feds on co-op. Less so in the Province (BC). Experience is king here. For those looking for atypical careers that have a legal background, consider finding people who are already in those jobs on linkedin and ask how they got there. There might be another path that is less arduous.
  6. The challenge that you are going through right now is one that I am mentally trying to prepare myself for in the event that I am admitted for September. One thing to note is that some of it is OSAP. It is a loan. Money that you have from a loan should not be considered savings. In BC, StudentAid BC publishes its policy manual online. I intend to familiarize myself with it. If Ontario does, go find it or file an FOI request to get it. You will want to understand the appeal procedure in and out because you may have to use it. I am taking the approach to pay off every last bit of debt I can (if possible) from now until September. I know I will likely have to go through an appeals process because my income is going to screw me for the first two years of law school in getting government student loans. It is my priority to get government loans because I can get thousands of non-repayable grants. You could start putting some in a fireproof safe. Honestly, it wouldn't be the worst idea. Putting extra onto credit cards, etc. All of this information is only for student loans. Bursaries need to be for those that truly do need it, and you need to be prepared that some bursary applications will require that you submit copies of bank statements.
  7. I definitely don't pick up on tone and sarcasm (no sarcasm in my response)
  8. This is not why I am applying to law school, but this is why I appreciate diversity in law schools. I wouldn't have been frustrated in that job if those individuals had been exposed to the implications of their decisions or had formed alternative ways of thinking things. I do want to retain some sort of pseudo-anonymity so I do not want to disclose the context, but it is one that has a profound impact on people's lives and I am confident that some of you will practice law in this area. The Federal government brought in training called GBA+. You can take a short course for free and I think that every student everywhere needs to take it - before they enter the working world: https://cfc-swc.gc.ca/gba-acs/course-cours-en.html It is quite good and encourages people to think about things that they otherwise didn't think of. I learned a lot, and am hopeful that organizations everywhere implement it. Your comment wants me to share the story of a more experience with an LSLAP (UBC) student, but I will save that entertainment for another day when enough time has passed and students won't be able to identify this person. Many people hold lawyers in very high regard. They take their lawyers word for it. They assume that their lawyer is acting in their best interests. They assume that their lawyer is giving them the best advice that exists. Especially when young, I think that lawyers only stand to benefit from exposure to different people, experiences, workplace environments, etc. Whether you end up working in family law or on mergers. I think it adds to your toolbox of extra things to consider when drafting up something, what body language might mean, what issues might come up, etc. I want to be around the uber-privileged and the not-so-privileged. I want to be around the young and old. The straight A students that scored in high 170s, and the one that got in by a hair. I have something to learn from all of them. I seek diversity, not homogeneity.
  9. I actually said none of that. It is the comment of "best and brightest" in general that I take issue with. To be frank, I have not taken a look at admission standards for any law school in Canada other than UBC and UVIC. I also think schools should be a mix. Those that have excellent grades (not even considering what else they bring to the table), average grades and significant accomplishments, and a bunch of others that fall in between. I think that bringing a variety of people together opens up opportunity for significant learning beyond academia. It also makes for a more enriching academic environment. I point out HLS because you often have to have excellent marks and something else. Others that are getting in are also getting amazing marks, so how else do you stand out. Community service, unique life experiences, work, etc. It goes beyond you get a certain stat (UBC/UVIC) and you are considered "auto-admit." In a statement of "best and brightest" I think that there needs to be more consideration to things other than grades.
  10. I really wanted to address this comment. The way I interpreted your statement is that the best and brightest often seen as those with the highest grades/LSAT as UofT has a lot of competition and that will matter. Something I have learned over the years is that "best" and "brightest" isn't necessarily based on academia. Someone may be smart, but socially inept. Someone may be able to score well on exams that require memorization, but isn't good with flexibility and creative solutions in the real world. Someone who may be the brightest in normal circumstances may not be able to be at their best because they are caring for a parent with alzheimers or are a single parent. I may be different, but for me a school that has the best and brightest is those that bring together those that are those super high scorers, those average scorers, etc. Those with varied life experiences to create an environment that people learn not only academics but also social skills and things to consider as they move forward in their careers. Now HLS is a school that brings together the best and brightest because their students are those high performers and often have had varying life experiences. Some challenging, some not. I do not know what school in Canada fills what I would see as best and brightest. While not in law, I got tired of working in an environment where bright eyed bushy tailed early 20 something year olds went and got a masters straight out of their Bachelors and ended up in jobs that have significant impact on colleague's work and the stakeholder's lives. They had no real life experience and when their decisions were implemented, always had huge gaps. I really value learning both knowledge but from other people. I learn how people think, what motivates them, etc. I read a comment on this forum somewhere (probably UBC), where they stated that some firms were frustrated that they were given students that weren't great at interacting with others. I can understand why, but I also do think that these firms will need to adapt at some point. I am from a generation that was pre-cell phones everywhere, pre-social media, etc. Now we have people who have grown up around these things all of their lives so social interaction is different - which may make the older generations a bit uncomfortable. Anyways, going way off my original comment. I didn't take offense to the comment of "best and brightest." I just wish that was interpreted as being more broad than excellent grades.
  11. I didn't. You will see my reply above this. There have been changes to the student loan programs as a result of changes in government (NDP in BC), and as a response to the pandemic (Federal changes to student loan interest).
  12. Because the BC Government removed student loan interest (https://studentaidbc.ca/news/general/eliminating-interest-bc-student-loans) and so are the feds (https://www.ubyssey.ca/news/feds-eliminate-student-loan-interest-2021-22/). I do not have the capacity right now to go through the Federal budget and find the line item. It seems to me that none of you that have drawn attention to my comments did look into why I said what I said. I cannot speak for other provinces - but if you have a BC student loan, the BC portion of your student loan is interest free. Even if you are done school. For the 2021/2022 year, the Federal portion is also going to be interest free.
  13. The only situation where I think that this may make sense is if someone made a lot of money in their professional career in the year that they start law school and they put it into an RRSP to reduce their tax obligation with a plan to withdraw it in the future for education or even the home buyers plan. The amount of money you would get back on taxes may outweigh the interest paid. That said, I think that this only applies to a handful of people who are leaving substantial careers and going into law school. Those that probably will not get full student loans due to their income. This is a rarity. This probably only applies to 1% of law students. So don't do it. Even if you are on the lower end of the income scale. Don't do it. There is no benefit to you on the lower end of the income scale and you use up RRSP room instead of a higher income earning year.
  14. I hope it is not too late, but I want to almost point out how misguided your decision to pay off your government student loan is with a line of credit is. I do not know which Province you are from, but I know that your government student loan will include a portion that is federal. You can call the student loan service centre or submit a call back request to find out how much is federal and how much is provincial. For 2021/22 fiscal year, federal student loan interest has been eliminated. If your student loan is from BC, the Provincial portion is also interest free. I cannot speak to other provinces. Why you would decide to pay interest on a government student loan by paying it off with a line of credit is beyond me. A few years ago it would have made sense - but even then, I had a friend who took a bank loan at lower interest to get rid of her student loan and actually ended up regretting it due to all of the changes that happened and benefits. The interest you pay on your government student loans is tax deductible. I want to encourage all of you here to stop doing what you "hear of others" doing. Do your own research. This is your money, and could potentially be significant money. You should know enough that when you do get to the point that you need to hire a financial advisor, you can identify if you are being taken advantage of and what is actually in your best interests. r/personalfinancecanada on Reddit is an excellent resource. Use the search function there before asking your questions. Note that if it has any relationship with anything government related, things change so an answer within the past 12 months will be best. But honestly... still shaking my head at the thought that paying off an interest free loan with a line of credit is a good idea.
  15. I wanted to share this debt calculator because you are asking the question that you are: https://www.vertex42.com/Calculators/debt-reduction-calculator.html The website looks pretty janky, but it is a company that makes a lot of the Microsoft office templates. I use the Avalanche approach. If you asked this question, use any extra money to pay off higher interest debt. If there is no other debt, put money into the TFSA and into something like VGRO/XGRO. If you are needing to purchase a property, pull that money out and pay off the student loan. 0% interest is essentially free money and you can earn interest on your extra money elsewhere which will help you pay off that student loan.
  16. I did a diploma program with a very close knit group over two years. At the end of that two years, the program head said to us that he was shocked that no one asked for feedback on their assignments before the due date. He would have given us feedback and we could have improved our marks. Should I be admitted into law school, I am going to test this out. See if they are willing to show me what an "A" assignment looks like, and review things before the deadline.
  17. I will message you and am interested dependent on the price and factoring in shipping. If it ends up being more than $40, it will be cheaper for me to get it from the USA. There is someone here that offered it to me for $5 less than what Amazon is selling it - which doesn't make sense given that you can get amazon gift cards with 10% extra back right now with Ugo. Pointing this out if there are others that are going to message me with a negligible discount - my time is worth more than $5 (plus bus fare) navigating the City to arrange pickup vs having amazon prime deliver it to me by tomorrow.
  18. Hi, If any of you have Loophole for sale, I would be interested. I am in Vancouver, but dependent on the price with shipping, I would be open to other areas.
  19. Commenting on this. Building up cash reserves isn't always beneficial. It will impact your access to student loans and bursaries. Student loans are also interest free while in school and you do not have to use them. It is free money sitting in your bank account. The other item with waiting is what is your earning potential before law school. Is it a minimum wage job or are you leaving a $100,000 year job to enter law school. Big difference. In the $100,000 job it makes more sense to build up those cash reserves, but for lower paying jobs, your earning potential is quite likely greater than $60,000 a year so the juice is not worth the squeeze delaying school. There are situations that this may not apply. If you are jointly filing taxes and have a spouse that earns a substantial amount of income. It would impact your access to bursaries and scholarships. In that case, spend the years saving up. Also - there may be life things to consider. Does someone want to have children, and what is their age deadline for that? Are they willing to have children and be in law school at the same time? If they will have kids, what is the age that they are able to manage while in school. Are their parents aging and they are family that takes on caretaking responsibilities for their elders? How does that factor in. I am saying all of this as an older law hopeful. I am in my 30s. People have told me to do the cost-benefit analysis of going to law school and have asked if it is really worth it. I think it is, even at my age, and I cannot put it off any longer. That said, I might have to put it off if TRU tuition fees will end up being my only option.
  20. I am posting here instead of the school specific sub-forums as I imagine I will get the widest reach. I will be applying through the discretionary category, and for the schools that I will be applying to, I am required to submit two references. The first reference is someone who knows me well and everything about me. She has been my boss, mentor, and like a mom. She can speak to my professional accomplishments and personal challenges. My challenge is in choosing my second reference. I have a few options, and do not know which one it should be. It could be someone that knows me, but not with the depth of the other options, but is high profile and is widely recognized for her professional accomplishments, or others that also really know me and have played the role of sometimes boss, sometimes mentor and sometimes mom. I imagine that each of them would say similar things about me but from their own perspective. The high profile one wouldn't have the depth that the others could have because she has not worked directly with me but has played a different role. For those that have gone through the discretionary route, who would you choose? And why? My choice school is UBC. It really is the only one I want to go to for a number of reasons, so if you are a former/current UBC discretionary student or have familiarity with the process, please chime in. I am not going to be a borderline candidate. My GPA is low, and my only LSAT will be this January. My first PT was 160, and I am confident I can bring it up but I am not sure by how much. So I am really relying on the totality of my application including references to help support my application. My reasons for discretionary and professional accomplishments are solid. I have no concerns there. It is the references that I am unsure about. (my second reference won't be an academic reference. I am long out of school and am confident that I am older than 95% of you applying for fall entry. Who would have been my academic reference is now very old and said that his memory is going and cannot remember me. I didn't keep in touch with professors this many years later). Edit: To clarify, the person who is the high profile individual does know me. She knows my professional accomplishments, personal history and has acted as a significant mentor. I think that the average person would use her, but the others know me at a far more significant depth than she does. As an example, she knows about my challenges, but didn't work with me when they were happening. She knows about my advocacy but hasn't witnessed me in action. And that said, the first few comments have shown that I should go with the other options instead of the high profile. I am concerned that two references will likely be so similar in their perspective, and was thinking that it might be good to have someone that is a bit different - but perhaps not. Now I have two choose between two people to be my 2nd reference. I wish I could just ask them to write it together and have them submit one as it would make it so much easier (one reported up to the other but both were senior staff at my old organization and remain very close friends).
  21. I haven't looked into this person's history, but there is someone that I know that has done only 3 years, older, and their goal has been law school as long as I have known them. I think that they will be applying this cycle. Ever since I have known them, their plan was to try to get in after 3rd year. Life got in the way, and law school has been on the backburner. They will most likely apply through discretionary and come with a fascinating story and excellent references. Though I do not know what their grades are like for their first 3 years. Not everyone that will be applying after 3rd is a young spring chicken.
  22. That makes no sense to me because this table also shows minus letter grades. The schools I went to also have minus letter grades and I used the lower percentage assigned to them.
  23. I saw this: https://students.ubc.ca/enrolment/courses/grades I was putting together a spreadsheet of the courses I took today and took my letter grades and used the lower end percentage that corresponds with the grade.
  24. @Ryn do you have a google doc or excel spreadsheet of your calculator you can share. I want to save it so I can finish it over time instead of keeping the web app open.
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