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buoy

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  1. Hey, I’m hoping you guys can help me decide whether or not to defer my admission for a year in order to beef up my French. I’ve spent the last few years at an English-speaking job in a francophone country, so my French is already decent, but not what I’d consider fluent. I got the DALF C1 last year, which basically means I can go on a Tinder date and only moderately embarrass myself over the course of an evening, but shouldn’t be trusted with any high-stakes communications. My plan at the beginning of last year was to quit my job, take a year-long intensive French program, get my French to a level of fluency I’m happy with, and start law school this August. Instead, there was a global pandemic, I got laid off, the program I was set to do got canceled, I lost my health coverage, and I ended up back in my parents’ basement in Canada for a big chunk of the year ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ So now I’m trying to decide whether it would be worth it to defer my admission to U of T for a year to improve my French. I’ve been offered a summer job in the service industry, where I’d be speaking French all day every day. But the contract runs until the end of September, so I couldn’t do that and start law school this year. If I deferred, I’d work for the summer, then spend the academic year doing the French program I originally intended to do this year. I guess I’m just wondering if there’s any value to speaking French fluently in Ontario law. I’m most interested in criminal law (either defence or Crown) but I’m not shutting any doors, so if there are advantages in other areas I’d love to hear those too. From what I’ve been able to gather so far, it seems like it would probably be helpful if I ended up applying to clerkships, and could have some marginal benefit in MAG applications? What about on the defence side, is there some niche market or something out there for defence lawyers who can speak French? Any other benefits of speaking French in criminal or non-criminal law that I’m missing? Thanks in advance!
  2. Hey, never fault yourself for looking "too hard" for happiness. It's probably the most important thing you can think of at this point of your life, and it's definitely good to consider whether you can be happy in a career before diving into three years of school and a bucket of debt. But if your happiness is going to be dependent on a 40ish hour work week and a certain type of work-life balance (and that's totally reasonable!), then law might not be for you, and that's okay!
  3. I feel like the biggest determinant of whether or not law school will be in person this fall will be how well the vaccines stifle the variants. Most of the research suggests that the current vaccines are somewhat less effective against the Brazil variant and significantly less effective against the South Africa variant. Even if everyone is completely vaccinated by the fall, I won't be surprised if there's a (hopefully relatively small) variant wave come September that lasts until they're able to come out with booster shots
  4. Just got a call, unexpected because I'm not in Canada. Pulled out my phone and almost dropped it when I saw the Ontario number; proceeded to make a complete idiot of myself on the call LSAT 177 CGPA 3.91. Wrote the optional essay and will be accepting. I'm still all jittery, need to crack open a bottle of wine!
  5. I didn't get my UK transcript converted, but my school had percentage grades. In the end, I felt that my performance was better represented by my percentage grades and the accompanying threshold explanations in the transcript than it would be by WES' GPA conversion. But if they were converting letter grades to letter grades and I came out better with the WES conversion, I probably would have gone for it (although the cost would definitely have given me second thoughts as I hovered over the pay button)!
  6. I've never been on an admissions committee for anything so I don't know what I'm talking about. But I'm guessing ECs and LoRs are more useful to admissions committees as red flags than game-changers. I assume that the vast majority of candidates have glowing letters of reference, since we can hand-pick the professors most likely to write amazing letters. But if a candidate has a mediocre letter of reference despite their being able to choose their referee, it's probably a red flag. Same with ECs: most candidates were probably very involved during undergrad, so there probably isn't much that would make someone stand out from the crowd on that front. But a candidate with no ECs with no explanation for why would be a red flag. Also, a while back I was doing some admin work for a grad program at my university and ended up talking to some of the admissions committee members. This was a public policy program, but they told me they gave no weight whatsoever to the position of referees, so long as they fulfilled the positional requirements (e.g. a professor, or a supervisor for mature applicants). They gave the applicant a certain number of points based completely on the content of the reference letter, and combined that score with points from GPA, standardized testing, other softs, etc. Everyone above a certain threshold got in (unless they had significant red flags), everyone below a certain threshold was rejected (unless they had some amazing game-changer), and everyone on the bubble was put through a second round and discussed in committee. No idea how other places do it, or even if any law schools do anything remotely like this. But I doubt it matters if the letter of reference is from someone in a position of major influence or not
  7. I did two years of grad school and three years of work, and am applying to law schools this year!
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