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10 reasons TO go to my law school

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2 hours ago, ArchivesandMuseums said:

Thank you for providing this information. I have no doubts that UNB Law is a great law school, but does UNB really inhibit "partisan groups from operating on campus"? Regardless of issues of political perspectives, I would be really shocked if UNB's ban on political activism is indeed real given the common degree of freedom of expression in Canadian universities.  

Thinking about it, "ban" is a misleading term - my apologies for that. What I mean is that UNB has a fairly restrictive policy as per expressly partisan clubs - "Revolutionary Student Movement," Young Conservatives, etc. Most clubs are labelled as "ratified," but partisan groups are merely "recognized," meaning that they are not entitled to the funding (and possibly some other perks) most other clubs receive. I do not know for sure what are the additional restrictions, and I do not know anyone who does. 

In short, partisan groups can exist (so far, only Greens and Conservatives made any appearance) - but they have a kind of second-class status, with the general student union management being particularly determined not to allow public funding for partisan causes. Be it because of this, or maybe also because of the laidback culture, this is the least partisan campus I know of. In all the time I spent here, I only once saw a Green Party club flyer posted lonelily in a corner, whereas at certain other places I have frequented almost every other week one of the Marxist groups (we had three, I think) would put promotional tables in the busiest parts of campus, with the Tories and the NDP making an occasional appearance. So, those who like me think that campuses should have more learning and less proselytizing will find UNB a refreshing change, this being my point. Again, my apologies for the misleading choice of words.

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18 minutes ago, MedievalMan said:

Thinking about it, "ban" is a misleading term - my apologies for that. What I mean is that UNB has a fairly restrictive policy as per expressly partisan clubs - "Revolutionary Student Movement," Young Conservatives, etc. Most clubs are labelled as "ratified," but partisan groups are merely "recognized," meaning that they are not entitled to the funding (and possibly some other perks) most other clubs receive. I do not know for sure what are the additional restrictions, and I do not know anyone who does. 

In short, partisan groups can exist (so far, only Greens and Conservatives made any appearance) - but they have a kind of second-class status, with the general student union management being particularly determined not to allow public funding for partisan causes. Be it because of this, or maybe also because of the laidback culture, this is the least partisan campus I know of. In all the time I spent here, I only once saw a Green Party club flyer posted lonelily in a corner, whereas at certain other places I have frequented almost every other week one of the Marxist groups (we had three, I think) would put promotional tables in the busiest parts of campus, with the Tories and the NDP making an occasional appearance. So, those who like me think that campuses should have more learning and less proselytizing will find UNB a refreshing change, this being my point. Again, my apologies for the misleading choice of words.

No need to apologize; thank you very much for your thorough clarification!

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6 hours ago, MedievalMan said:

The staff. Our dean is the cutie pie of law deans. Our associate dean is a gentleman with great concern for his students. A couple of awful exceptions notwithstanding, the professors are competent and – thanks to the school’s small size – very accessible.

I can attest to this. We literally had a 1L prof openly say that he didn't do the readings for the class and began to read, verbatim, out of the casebook until someone in the class suggested that we end class early and pick it back up next day.

The prof's are largely good, but there are a couple of awful, awful exceptions out there

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On 6/7/2019 at 8:06 PM, SneakySuspect said:

Anyone up for UBC or UOttawa? Deciding between these two schools. Deadline to respond fast approaching and I can't make up my mind! 

I can give Ottawa a shot. Just finished 1L there.

1) Amazing professors across virtually every area of law. I know this is said of uOttawa often, but the faculty has really strong players in just about any field you might be interested in. Public law, health, environmental, family, criminal, tech... you're really spoiled for choice. On top of the high-profile folk, uOttawa law professors across the board are generally brilliant, light-hearted, willing to help and actually care about their students' success. 

2) A genuinely supportive Dean who wants to lift people up. Cheesy, sure, but Dodek is that guy. You can tell he's truly driven by seeing people at the law school succeed. I think in a lot of ways, his approach to learning and law sets the tone for the school - collegial, curious, modest and kind.

3) Large student body = more chance you'll find your 'people'. You'll have about 85 students in your large group in 1L. You're bound to find at least a few people you can laugh with, learn from, etc. I know it's much more common to boast about small class sizes, and I understand the draw of that, but I honestly loved the large class size at uOttawa for the sheer diversity of people in the classroom. This also makes class discussion more interesting.

4) Ottawa is a very easy city to live in as a backdrop to law school. You're going to be busy, overwhelmed and overstimulated enough as it is with your course work. I loved that Ottawa was an easy, calming backdrop that didn't have *too* many distractions or stressors to add to my daily life.

5) Legal research and writing. Despite students' (well-founded) fear of Professor Mallet, one of uOttawa's strengths is its capacity to cultivate excellent legal research and writing skills. Between the mandatory workshops that are integrated in 1L, the optional upper year programs like Dean's Research and Writing Fellows and the Legal Writing Academy, you will have plenty of opportunities to hone these essential skills. Not to sound like a Mom, but I promise this will make you very marketable!! 

6) TUITION PRICE! Not to be crude, but this one is huge. Maybe not compared to schools outside of Ontario, but Ottawa's annual tuition is roughly $19k to Osgoode's $27k and UT's $38k. Not interested in starting a dollar-for-prestige convo here, but I really do feel like I'm receiving an excellent education that will leave me with a well-respected credential for a (comparatively) reasonable price.

 

Overall, highly recommend :)

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Would anyone be willing to do one for Dal (whether for or against)?

Thanks!

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Posted (edited)
On 4/30/2019 at 12:16 PM, thelittlemermaid2015 said:

Anyone willing to do an updated UVIC one? :) 

1. Everyone is so weirdly nice. The professors, the staff and upper years. I found it to be a bit much in the beginning but, before I knew it, I had also turned into one of them. Everyone shares outlines and notes liberally. Speaking openly about grades and gloating is severely frowned upon. The competition is there but it is very much hidden. Honestly, it's a great atmosphere. People are very considerate.

2. The peer tutoring program. The faculty hires second and third year students to hold study seminars and tutor first year students. 1Ls get matched up with upper years according to the difficulty they're having with specific courses, whether the upper year had the same professor as them, the strengths and learning styles of the students etc. Students can choose to either be tutored individually or in study groups. In the first semester, individual tutoring sessions were limited but group study sessions were unlimited. By second semester, they announced that all tutoring was unlimited. They also have a separate law buddy program where first years are linked with an upper year who can provide them with support throughout the year.

3. The amicus support services. They have a counselor dedicated to law students, an indigenous support counselor and a disabilities support person. They make themselves available to you. Most people will suffer through at least some type of crisis while going through law school so its helpful to have people on your side.

4. The co-op program. This program is awesome for gaining experience while getting paid. A number of my friends have gone overseas or out of province for their positions and they love it. The co-op coordinator is great and most postings are interesting.

5. The emphasis on progressive ideologies. From the emphasis of sexual battery in first year torts to the creation of the JD/JID program, this school wants to use the law to dismantle oppressive power structures and I think it does a good job of walking the talk. The course offerings also reflect this. Next year, they're offering indigenous governance, race and ethnicity, animal law, water law, sexual orientation and the law etc. The professors are also great, Elizabeth Adjin-Tettey, Michelle Lawrence, and Kathy Chan are gems.

6. Legal process. The two week introductory course in September taught us basics such as how we should read a case while also providing context surrounding indigenous legal orders. The first year class was split into five (or six) groups and gave us room to get to know each other and the law a little bit before diving into courses. It was a lot of fun- we went on a city tour with different stations, hiked Mount Pkols, and engaged in an informal moot. Paired with the orientation week activities planned by the law students' society, the first month of law school was super memorable.

7. The Law Centre. You get to spend an entire semester working to help the underprivileged and you're graded on a pass/fail basis. It's a great way to spend part of 3LOL.

8. The bursary program is generous to say the least. I've heard that UVic doesn't give out as many scholarships and, instead, concentrates on distributing needs-based bursaries. Coupling this with the fact that the tuition is the cheapest in the country (outside of Quebec), many UVic grads will have a manageable time paying off their student loans.

9. The law building itself is outdated but the very large library is new and it is a beaut. Additionally, they'll start construction on the JD/JID expansion soon which should brighten up the place a bit.

10. The city of Victoria is adorable. Great hikes, cute boutiques and restaurants and lovely people. It offers a small town vibe but you won't miss the necessities. I'm a city girl through and through but I love Victoria. My social cup overflows due to being in law school and my study schedule keeps me from going out that much anyway.

Edited by CatticusFinch
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On 7/2/2019 at 10:29 PM, CatticusFinch said:

1. Everyone is so weirdly nice. The professors, the staff and upper years. I found it to be a bit much in the beginning but, before I knew it, I had also turned into one of them. Everyone shares outlines and notes liberally. Speaking openly about grades and gloating is severely frowned upon. The competition is there but it is very much hidden. Honestly, it's a great atmosphere. People are very considerate.

2. The peer tutoring program. The faculty hires second and third year students to hold study seminars and tutor first year students. 1Ls get matched up with upper years according to the difficulty they're having with specific courses, whether the upper year had the same professor as them, the strengths and learning styles of the students etc. Students can choose to either be tutored individually or in study groups. In the first semester, individual tutoring sessions were limited but group study sessions were unlimited. By second semester, they announced that all tutoring was unlimited. They also have a separate law buddy program where first years are linked with an upper year who can provide them with support throughout the year.

3. The amicus support services. They have a counselor dedicated to law students, an indigenous support counselor and a disabilities support person. They make themselves available to you. Most people will suffer through at least some type of crisis while going through law school so its helpful to have people on your side.

4. The co-op program. This program is awesome for gaining experience while getting paid. A number of my friends have gone overseas or out of province for their positions and they love it. The co-op coordinator is great and most postings are interesting.

5. The emphasis on progressive ideologies. From the emphasis of sexual battery in first year torts to the creation of the JD/JID program, this school wants to use the law to dismantle oppressive power structures and I think it does a good job of walking the talk. The course offerings also reflect this. Next year, they're offering indigenous governance, race and ethnicity, animal law, water law, sexual orientation and the law etc. The professors are also great, Elizabeth Adjin-Tettey, Michelle Lawrence, and Kathy Chan are gems.

6. Legal process. The two week introductory course in September taught us basics such as how we should read a case while also providing context surrounding indigenous legal orders. The first year class was split into five (or six) groups and gave us room to get to know each other and the law a little bit before diving into courses. It was a lot of fun- we went on a city tour with different stations, hiked Mount Pkols, and engaged in an informal moot. Paired with the orientation week activities planned by the law students' society, the first month of law school was super memorable.

7. The Law Centre. You get to spend an entire semester working to help the underprivileged and you're graded on a pass/fail basis. It's a great way to spend part of 3LOL.

8. The bursary program is generous to say the least. I've heard that UVic doesn't give out as many scholarships and, instead, concentrates on distributing needs-based bursaries. Coupling this with the fact that the tuition is the cheapest in the country (outside of Quebec), many UVic grads will have a manageable time paying off their student loans.

9. The law building itself is outdated but the very large library is new and it is a beaut. Additionally, they'll start construction on the JD/JID expansion soon which should brighten up the place a bit.

10. The city of Victoria is adorable. Great hikes, cute boutiques and restaurants and lovely people. It offers a small town vibe but you won't miss the necessities. I'm a city girl through and through but I love Victoria. My social cup overflows due to being in law school and my study schedule keeps me from going out that much anyway.

This is so informative - thank you!!!

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Posted (edited)
On 7/3/2019 at 12:04 AM, MB350 said:

Would anyone be willing to do one for Dal (whether for or against)?

Thanks!

I ranted about Dal but it merits some praise:

1. The collegiality. Everyone at Dal throws this word around freely but it's true. Honestly, everyone you reach out to is more than happy to talk and help you out. 

2. Halifax is a good city if you want to live in a city with small town vibes. The restaurant scene is great (which was essential for me coming from Vancouver), so is the nightlife if that's your cup of tea. 

3. Scholarships/bursaries program  is very generous, thanks to Mr. Schulich. The funding also goes to a DIY internship of sorts during 1L summer (you propose an internship to an employer and Dal pays for it!). 

4. The Dal brand. I don't know if it's because the school is old, but the Dal brand is strong among lawyers. You bring up you go to school at Dal, and lawyers will see you positively (see Reason #1).

5. Law and Technology. I wanted to go to Dal for this, and they're really building this area up with a new law and tech clinic. Plus, the head of the program is one of my absolute favourite professors.

6. Speaking of professors, Dal has many good ones, especially ones that are actually good at teaching. I think I was blessed during 1L because I loved all my professors.

7. The Dalplex. It is so shiny and spacious and new and offers free/super affordable classes. Anytime I wanted a break from studying, the Dalplex made it easy for me to love going to the gym. 

8. The Law Dogs every Friday gave me a lot of joy. 

9. National reach. It's great being in class with people from everywhere in the country.

10.  Student life. There's likely a club/activity/event that caters to your interests and passions.

 

Edited by Pascale
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On 7/2/2019 at 10:32 PM, melatoninuser said:

I can give Ottawa a shot. Just finished 1L there.

1) Amazing professors across virtually every area of law. I know this is said of uOttawa often, but the faculty has really strong players in just about any field you might be interested in. Public law, health, environmental, family, criminal, tech... you're really spoiled for choice. On top of the high-profile folk, uOttawa law professors across the board are generally brilliant, light-hearted, willing to help and actually care about their students' success. 

2) A genuinely supportive Dean who wants to lift people up. Cheesy, sure, but Dodek is that guy. You can tell he's truly driven by seeing people at the law school succeed. I think in a lot of ways, his approach to learning and law sets the tone for the school - collegial, curious, modest and kind.

6) TUITION PRICE! Not to be crude, but this one is huge. Maybe not compared to schools outside of Ontario, but Ottawa's annual tuition is roughly $19k to Osgoode's $27k and UT's $38k. Not interested in starting a dollar-for-prestige convo here, but I really do feel like I'm receiving an excellent education that will leave me with a well-respected credential for a (comparatively) reasonable price.

 

Overall, highly recommend :)

uO 3L here.

We do have some pretty bad-ass professors who are leaders in their field outside of being profs. I have had my share of duds across all my semesters, however. And of course, there is nothing you can really do about that same as any other school.

Don't be fooled by Dodek's inspiring rhetoric. He has his own agenda and only institutes barely minor changes when pushed to the absolute brink. Even something as simple as swapping a convocation ceremony date took involving the media and absolutely slamming him at a town hall assembly. He consistently ignores major issues that students try to address in favour of his own plans, such as putting up new artwork in our otherwise aging building instead of spending some money on desperately-needed mental health counseling or overhauling the course registration system. You will generally find that it is the profs who are left to care for their students and fight against the administration for a variety of things, which is very common. 

With regards to tuition, you said it yourself, you are comparing to other schools in Ontario, specifically the most expensive in the whole country. $20k is still extremely high, especially for what we get in return at uOttawa.

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Here is one for Queen's

1. Professors. While I previously criticized Queen's for some of their professors, others are simply incredible. While I won't post names, I had a professor in 1L, who I never took a class with again, but would always reach out to me and to others and ensure that we are doing okay both in law school and with our professional goals. 

2. Campus location. It is all close to the downtown core, so unless you want to live far from campus, you can live reasonably close to campus. 

3. Clinics. Queen's has several clinics where you can get some incredible experiences. 

4. Collegiality. Weekly smokers (which has kinda been going down) and other events that allow law students to unwind together. 

5. Decent array of courses in various areas, many of which are taught by adjuncts, who are experts in their field. Though the school is reducing them (IMO is a huge mistake). 

6. Career centre. From my experience, they really try to help students get jobs and do well professionally. Some students didn't like it, but I think the vast majority would agree that they were good. 

7. They have doing better every year in terms of jobs, including 1Ls getting some very highly sought after positions. 

8. Quite a few guest speakers, which usually translates to lots of free food. 

9. Reasonably close to Toronto. Without traffic, you can be there in just over two hours. 

10. If you need to push off writing an exam, it's really easy. I heard that if you tell the admin that you are "stressed out", they will let you write it a few weeks later. (This might also be a bad thing, depending on how you look at it. See Bruce Pardy's articles and the various rebuttal articles written on this issue)

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Posted (edited)
On 7/8/2019 at 11:00 AM, HopefulLawStudent1 said:

Would anyone who recently graduated or is still attending Osgoode be willing to do one?

Recent Osgoode grad here, these are the first ten I could think of (in no particular order):

  1. Reputation - Osgoode continues to have one of the best reputations in Canada, both with lawyers and non-lawyers. Going to Osgoode will not hold you back from getting a job pretty much anywhere in Canada. For what it's worth, most non-lawyers I talk to are impressed because they still assume Osgoode is located downtown and/or affiliated with U of T.
  2. Bay Street Placement Rates - Oz consistently places about the same number of students on Bay Street as U of T based on the numbers published by Ultra Vires. While they obviously have a greater class size, I never felt that going to Osgoode over U of T was a material disadvantage to getting hired on Bay Street. Oz also places very well in the 1L recruit.
  3. Access to NY Recruit - Oz is also one of the only schools (other than U of T and maybe McGill? to my knowledge) that actually holds OCIs for NY big law firms. From what I've heard, Osgoode has placed pretty well in NY in recent years as well. 
  4. Toronto - While the location of the school is obviously not ideal, it's still technically in Toronto, which was a major factor for me. Being in Toronto makes it much easier to network and allows the school to offer a number of unique opportunities (see next). The new subway extension also makes it much easier to commute to and from downtown. 
  5. Clinics/Intensives - While most/all schools claim to be able to provide amazing opportunities to obtain practical experience while still in school, Osgoode does truly seem to have a number of very impressive and unique clinical/intensive programs in place. A few that come to mind are Parkdale, the ABLW program with Davies, the Venture Capital Clinic with Wildeboer, and CLASP.
  6. Student Body - I think Osgoode takes pride in assembling a diverse class of interesting people and I really found this to be true when I was there. I really enjoyed my time at the school and made some lifelong friends.
  7. Joint Programs - The JD/MBA with Schulich is very popular and much less expensive than the JD/MBA at U of T. Students graduating from the program seem to place very well on Bay and have access to a number of unique opportunities. The JD/MES program also seems to be becoming more popular.
  8. Exchange Opportunities - I don't think this is exclusive to Oz, but Osgoode has some great exchange partnerships in place and you can have an incredible experience for a semester in third year. 
  9. OHLJ - The Osgoode Hall Law Journal is one of the more respected Canadian law journals and can be a great experience if you're thinking about entering academia or aiming for the NY recruit.
  10. Social Events - Oz truly puts together some great events, (Mock Trial, Wendy Babcock Drag Show, Ski Trip, JCR Wednesdays, Thursday Pub Nights, etc.)
Edited by ShooterMcGavin
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