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halloumi

10 reasons not to go to my school.

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Before I went to law school, I was bombarded with what was great about every school. Nobody ever offered me the real deal on the schools' flaws. Now that I'm at Queen's, I've seen the not-so-good, and the great. You deserve to know what's weak at Queen's before you decide to go there.

 

1. Career Services is incompetent. Our new career advisor is disorganized, clueless, and lazy. She doesn't know, she won't find out, and if she offers to get the info, she'll never get back to you. I know 8 students who have gone to her for help, and 8 who have left without an answer.

 

2. The 'community' the faculty espouses are the elected LSS. If you aren't in the LSS, they don't want to know you, and you are wasting their time.

 

3. A lot of students drop out or transfer - in the second year class, the gold, silver and bronze medallists all left. It may reflect the culture encouraged at the school - very white, very 'partying,' and few niches for those who don't fit into that culture (though I am fine with it, I know many who feel totally alienated).

 

4. The move to a J.D. degree appears to be a means to charge more tuition without actual improvement. The Dean sent around an email that basically said "J.D. designation is great because we can charge more." Sorry, Dean Flanagan, but just because the homeless guy across the street from me writes "Trump Towers" on his refrigerator box, that doesn't turn it into a condo.

 

5. There aren't enough spaces in the classes for the number of students they accept. Howver, if you're interested in classes like "law and sexuality" or similar, you'll be fine.

 

6. Technology that's just hitting 1997 - bad email addresses, wireless internet that works infrequently, and a listserv that sends shit

 

7. Noise. They're building a sports centre and parking garage. Believe me, you are NOT going to learn anything when the prof has to shout over the sounds of explosions and jackhammering.

 

8. Lack of clinical programs. You pay more tuition for Oz or U of T, but you get it back in fantastic clinical programs and other opportunities to actually work in law. Queen's has a great clinical correctional program, and Legal Aid/Law Journal, but very little else.

 

9. Professionalism of some staff. I have had the fortune to witness or hear from the source about faculty engaging in drinking and smoking with students; having affairs with students; asking students on dates; one administration member lying to students to avoid addressing a concern they had (This probably is a problem everywhere)

 

10. It's not in Toronto, and some of the Toronto firms that do OCI's won't go to your school to interview. Nobody told me that. It's not a huge issue, but if you're dead-set on corporate work, you should probably know that beforehand.

 

Don't get me wrong, there are awesome things about Queen's - friendly fellow students, lots of bursary money, and an awesome clinical correctional program. But you hear about those from everyone when the school is recruiting you. Nobody tells you about the crap.

 

Anyone feel like making a similar list for Western, Oz, UT, whatever?

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Before I went to law school, I was bombarded with what was great about every school. Nobody ever offered me the real deal on the schools' flaws. Now that I'm at Queen's, I've seen the not-so-good, and the great. You deserve to know what's weak at Queen's before you decide to go there.

 

1. Career Services is incompetent. Our new career advisor is disorganized, clueless, and lazy. She doesn't know, she won't find out, and if she offers to get the info, she'll never get back to you. I know 8 students who have gone to her for help, and 8 who have left without an answer.

 

2. The 'community' the faculty espouses are the elected LSS. If you aren't in the LSS, they don't want to know you, and you are wasting their time.

 

3. A lot of students drop out or transfer - in the second year class, the gold, silver and bronze medallists all left. It may reflect the culture encouraged at the school - very white, very 'partying,' and few niches for those who don't fit into that culture (though I am fine with it, I know many who feel totally alienated).

 

4. The move to a J.D. degree appears to be a means to charge more tuition without actual improvement. The Dean sent around an email that basically said "J.D. designation is great because we can charge more." Sorry, Dean Flanagan, but just because the homeless guy across the street from me writes "Trump Towers" on his refrigerator box, that doesn't turn it into a condo.

 

5. There aren't enough spaces in the classes for the number of students they accept. Howver, if you're interested in classes like "law and sexuality" or similar, you'll be fine.

 

6. Technology that's just hitting 1997 - bad email addresses, wireless internet that works infrequently, and a listserv that sends ****

 

7. Noise. They're building a sports centre and parking garage. Believe me, you are NOT going to learn anything when the prof has to shout over the sounds of explosions and jackhammering.

 

8. Lack of clinical programs. You pay more tuition for Oz or U of T, but you get it back in fantastic clinical programs and other opportunities to actually work in law. Queen's has a great clinical correctional program, and Legal Aid/Law Journal, but very little else.

 

9. Professionalism of some staff. I have had the fortune to witness or hear from the source about faculty engaging in drinking and smoking with students; having affairs with students; asking students on dates; one administration member lying to students to avoid addressing a concern they had (This probably is a problem everywhere)

 

10. It's not in Toronto, and some of the Toronto firms that do OCI's won't go to your school to interview. Nobody told me that. It's not a huge issue, but if you're dead-set on corporate work, you should probably know that beforehand.

 

Don't get me wrong, there are awesome things about Queen's - friendly fellow students, lots of bursary money, and an awesome clinical correctional program. But you hear about those from everyone when the school is recruiting you. Nobody tells you about the crap.

 

Anyone feel like making a similar list for Western, Oz, UT, whatever?

 

 

 

In regards to number 5:

 

That "trump towers" comment just made laugh like crazy, man....good stuff..... :D

 

I don't go to Queens, but I think chargin more for that name change is a bit odd.

 

as they say in Ohio, --"It's like puttin lipstick on a pig. You ain't foolin nobody. It's the same old ugly pig."

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This is very helpful!!!

Anyone here a student at U of T, Osgoode or Ottawa and woud like to share their expereinces?

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No offence, but I think to get to 10 points, you had to stretch it a bit.

 

I will completely agree with you on #1, I've heard nothing good in that regard.

 

#2 - I personally haven't had this experience, and the only problem I HAVE heard about regarding the LSS is about the kite flying club. I"m guessing there was some personal vendetta in that instance, but I'm also guessing those types of issues can come up with students in any school. I really do think Queen's has an awesome community feeling.

 

#3 - Being a first year I haven't personally seen this occur, but this doesn't mesh with what upper years have told me. Some leave, yeah, but I think it would be those who believe UofT is going to give them the best chance at Bay St.

 

I"ll agree with 4 and 5

 

#6 - I hardly think that the type of email address you receive from a school should sway your decision whether or not to attend. I've also never had any problems with the internet and the only problems I've had with the listserv is multitude of emails that get sent out by the students for the same event.

 

#7 I'm guessing the hoe-ramming will be done by September and the noises will then become ones of cement pouring and welding. Since the explosions ended, I really haven't been bothered by the noise.

 

#8 I'll partially agree with, although they are attempting to create more opportunities.

 

#9 and 10 - don't really have an opinion on.

 

 

The point that I will bring up as something that I didn't give enough consideration to when I was deciding, was the number of students interested in Bay St. and how that would affect the mind set of the class. Granted law school is going to be competitive wherever you go, but if you have no desire to work on Bay St, and have no specific desire to be in Ontario, I would suggest considering the other schools.

 

Also, I've heard, although I haven't seen the stats to prove it, that the average age of the first years this year was 23. That may explain the partying mindset.

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You know, I really want to support this topic, because I think it's an important perspective, but somehow I just can't work up the steam to critique U of T in the same way. It isn't that U of T lacks flaws, it's just that I came in with fairly modest expectations of law school generally, those expectations have at least been met and at times exceeded, and I'm more or less satisfied with the experience. I think you have to be a least fairly disappointed to write a top 10 list of the things that disappoint you.

 

But hey, good initiative. Hopefully you get at least one good reply from U of T. As general advice, I recommend that prospective students take the hype from everywhere with a big grain of salt. The surest way to be disappointed at law school (any law school) is to go in with the expectation that it's going to be some magical Candyland where all the problems and doubts that have plagued you in the past will disappear. Not saying that's the OP's problem, but the surest way I know to avoid disappointment is to manage expectations.

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thanks OP for the topic...i think its very helpful to get a balanced perspective...it would be interesting to see what current students think about other schools as i'm sure there are things that can be improved at every school....And this will make it easier to compare whether or not the OP's points are that significant of a problem

 

Having attended Rotman, UofT's MBA, there were a lot of things i learned that i wished someone told me before hand....Rotman is arguably one of the top mba programs in Canada and there are tons of things that we've complained about....which is why i appreciate this thread that much more...but that's not to say any other school would have done it better.

 

I'm considering going to Queens and would be interested in hearing more about their career centre and some insight from students at other schools about theirs.

 

 

and about managing your expectations, i think discussions like this help do that.

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Having attended Rotman, UofT's MBA, there were a lot of things i learned that i wished someone told me before hand....Rotman is arguably one of the top mba programs in Canada and there are tons of things that we've complained about....which is why i appreciate this thread that much more...but that's not to say any other school would have done it better.

 

Britney, I would appreciate if you tell us some of the negative aspects of Rotman that you encountered, either in this thread or somewhere else.

 

Thanks

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well i will tell you one - U of T's financial aid is not as good as they make it out to be. you get your need assessed and they promise they'll cover it all, but that coverage can come in the form of loans. i don't know how poor you have to be to get the full $19,000 covered, but i can't believe that i didn't get it. i don't really want to post all the details here, but if you PM me i will.

 

i know a lot of students there who got tons of cash in 1L and it dropped dramatically in 2L and 3L. I also know a student who has taken out the maximum amount of U of T lines of credit and has exhausted all her other credit sources but still can't cover her third year's tuition fees. They haven't kicked her out because of how embarassing it would be to the school, but se owes them in the tens of thousands.

 

that being said, i don't go there so i don't have anything to add about the learning experience. i'm mostly happy with mcgill but there are some drawbacks here too. career office is not that great. everyone comes wanting to work for the UN or some NGO...very few get the stuff they need. library is very nice, but classrooms are falling apart a bit.

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well i will tell you one - U of T's financial aid is not as good as they make it out to be.

 

i know a lot of students there who got tons of cash in 1L and it dropped dramatically in 2L and 3L.

 

 

That's common at many schools. They pretend they have all this bursary money and then they only give it out to the first years. Once you're in 2L and 3L they know you're stuck there, so they cut you off and feed you BS. It's completely political and dishonest.

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Having attended Rotman, UofT's MBA, there were a lot of things i learned that i wished someone told me before hand....Rotman is arguably one of the top mba programs in Canada and there are tons of things that we've complained about....which is why i appreciate this thread that much more...but that's not to say any other school would have done it better.

 

Britney, I would appreciate if you tell us some of the negative aspects of Rotman that you encountered, either in this thread or somewhere else.

 

Thanks

 

i dont want to hijack this thread, but basically there were a few complaints among the students. Im sure these are the same complaints at every mba school, i guess its all relative. Which makes this topic a good one, it would be nice if everyone spoke out certain things they wish they knew going in.

 

As for Rotman:

- career centre doesn't really do much for the students. companies would come to recruit regardless if one existed.

- a huge part of your grade is participation, which is fine except the marks are distributed randomly.

- group marks constitute a large % as well, these groups are assigned to you for the semester and you could get an amazing group or a terrible one. since marks are belled, this affects your grades as well.

- and there are others i won't get into

 

 

and although i have these complaints, in the end Rotman is a great school and i'm sure the problems they face aren't as bad as other schools. However, those are still things i wish people had told me going in

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I can make one for U of T. It has some stuff in common with the Queen's list actually, so this may be a function of law school in general rather than any one law school.

 

1. Career Development Office - their focus is mainly on corporate jobs. If you want to work on Bay Street, NY or in a fairly large government office they'll be able to give you lots of help. If you're looking for a more outside of the box position after law school, you'll have to do a lot of the leg work yourself.

 

2. Community - I found it very clique-y in first year and it is only now in third year that I feel like I'm actually getting to know lots of my classmates. I think there is a contingent of people who love everything about law school - they run for the SLS, hold executive positions on big clubs/clinics, etc. If you're not friends with these people it's easy to feel like they're the "popular" ones and you're not - like you're in high school again. There is a significant chunk of students who do not buy into the whole popularity thing in law school and seem to feel general discontent with the law school community experience.

 

3. Competition - Students don't do really base or mean things like rip pages out of books or refuse to share notes. However, everyone at U of T has been very successful academically their whole life, so everyone wants this to continue in law school. This can lead to an atmosphere where everyone has high expectations but everyone knows the odds are their expectations and results won't match. It can be mentally hard to deal with at times.

 

4. Class space - As mentioned in the Queen's post - some very basic classes are very oversubscribed and you'll have to fight to get into them. Other very specialized courses have lots of room.

 

5. Technology/Facilities - The wireless network has gotten noticably worse while I've been at law school. It has always not worked in one of the main classrooms, but now it seems to work only sporadically in 2 of the others. Also the facilities (especially the washrooms) are generally in need of repair. Although the law school is going to undergo extensive renovations soon, so that won't be as big an issue in a while.

 

6. Renovations - The school is aiming for the renos on the new facility to start around 2010 or 2011. There is talk that the whole school will move to a different building during this time. This process will be extremely disruptive for the people who happen to be in school during this time.

 

7. Professionalism of faculty - I've heard similar stories at U of T as mentioned above about Queens. At the other extreme there are also professors who don't give a crap about students and resent having to teach. Many professors are excellent, but the others can really ruin a class for you.

 

8. Lack of financial aid/high tuition - discussed above

 

I can't think of two other points. The above should give you some food for thought. I think many of the issues are probably not specific to U of T but exist everywhere. I also could easily make a list of great things about U fo T, but this thread asked for the other side.

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This is an excellent resource, and should be expanded to other schools too, perhaps in the individual sections of those schools.

 

Anyone say anything about Osgoode?

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This is an excellent resource, and should be expanded to other schools too, perhaps in the individual sections of those schools.

 

Anyone say anything about Osgoode?

 

 

I second that...

 

Any info on Osgoode would be appreciated as I'm 99% sure I will be accepting their offer!

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The surest way to be disappointed at law school (any law school) is to go in with the expectation that it's going to be some magical Candyland where all the problems and doubts that have plagued you in the past will disappear.

 

:(

 

lol... thanks though, I need this reminder.

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I suspect the problems (I'm at UofT) are similar everywhere. It simply isn't going to be like the brochures, not at law school, nor at Shiny Happy Firm LLP.

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yes it's true these, along with mind numbing assignments, exams that are worth too much and annoying people are prevalent at every law school...

 

looking out the window at all this effin' snow, i wonder if i should have gone to UBC or UVic just for the weather! i could be rollerblading right now!

 

think about the city you want to live in for three years kids!

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Can't speak to the Osgoode experience directly, but I've spent four years at York so I believe I have a bit of an understanding.

 

Here are some problems you may encounter:

 

1. York students. Although I suspect you'll mostly stick to the Osgoode building, you're still going to be surrounded by about 40,000 of them. On the whole I've found them to be fairly annoying compared to the students at other schools.

 

2. Crime. The outlying area is, as a general rule, not too safe. By proxy this effects York. There are semi-frequent muggings and rapes on campus. I've never had a problem but others have (my roommate was held up at knifepoint in broad daylight for example.)

 

3. Commute. Since the area around York is somewhat miserable, there's a good chance you'll want to live in a better area (which probably means at St. Clair West or lower on the subway line.) If this is the case you can expect a 45+ minute trip.

 

4. Housing costs. There are exceptional finds but if you're splitting a 2 bedroom place with someone you can expect to each pay about $500+ a month. For a nice place maybe $750+. In addition a metropass is about $110/month.[/b]

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5. Campus. I suppose the inside of the Osgoode building isn't terrible (although I have no idea what's up with that cafeteria) but the York campus is really depressing. It's made worse by the fact that you're only a subway trip away from UofT which looks like a palace by comparison.

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