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10 reasons TO go to my law school

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8 minutes ago, sportsball said:

No one’s done one for Windsor in a while, so I’ll do one. I’ll also do 10 reasons NOT to go at some point too. A lot of these entries may appear on both lists, as there are both pros and cons to many of them.

1.       Weather: Windsor is usually 2-4 degrees warmer than it is in Toronto, that might not sound like a lot, but it makes a difference. You end up with a lot less days above freezing, so there’s less snow on the ground.

2.       The New Building: This isn’t exactly a reason yet because the building isn’t finished, but the last Windsor post was 2016 or something, so maybe in 2026 people will still be reading this post. Regardless, the new building looks like it will be really nice when it’s finally finished. It’s going to be fully accessible, and it will actually have enough women’s washrooms.

3.       Professors: The professors are really excellent teachers, if not necessarily the most prestigious academics. You do get some top academic’s, such as David Tanovich who is also a great teacher. Lots of students don’t agree with his politics, but I don’t know anyone that didn’t say he did an excellent job teaching first year crim. I don’t know for sure why most of the profs are good at actually teaching but here’s my pet theory. Being a really good academic and a really good teacher are different skills. The top academics who are renowned for their academic work go to the more prestigious schools, so the professors who might not be as good of an academic but are better at actually teaching get “stuck” in Windsor.

4.       Social Justice: This one ties into some of the other reasons. Windsor does have a social justice orientation and for the most part they do a good job living up to it. The student body is very left-wing and they often get mad at the school for not being as left wing as them, but the school really does make an effort to live up to it’s mandate. If you’re more right wing I can imagine it would feel a little oppressive at times, but if you’re into social justice then you’ll like it.

5.       Clubs: This one’s tied into the Social Justice theme, but there are a lot of clubs in the law school with a Social Justice focus and they are very active. Regardless of what you’re interested in, there’s probably a club that will cater to it, and if there isn’t you can just start your own and you will definitely find someone who will want to help you take up your social cause.

6.       Clinics: Also ties into Social Justice, but because of the focus on Social Justice, the school/students do a lot of work in the community so there are lots of clinics/experiential learning opportunities.

7.       It’s Cheap: Windsor is just not very expensive. Everything is way cheaper than Toronto. Housing, food, drinks, gas. It’s a lot cheaper.

8.       Food: The food is actually really good in Windsor, especially the Italian food. There’s a significant Italian community in Windsor so there are lots of good Italian restaurants. You can usually get a high quality meal with a bottle of wine from an Italian restaurant in Windsor for around $5-10 cheaper that an equivalent meal in Toronto.

9.       Detroit: The city is actually pretty fun. It’s run-down in parts and you would probably feel a little unsafe walking around at night on your own, but it’s getting a lot better as it revitalizes. There’s good shopping, the art museum is really good, and you can go see sports games if you’re into that kind of thing.

10.   Law Community: This is the big one for me. The sense of community in the law school is amazing. You know all of your classmates and lots of the upper years. Everyone’s really nice to each other. There were a lot of good parties before the pandemic. When all the law students go out, they end up going out together and hanging out. Most of the people at Windsor aren’t there because it was their top choice, which I think helps the sense of community. You’re all stuck there together, trying to make the most of it, and you do.

What year are you in? 

What do you think the prospects are like for someone graduating from Windsor and looking to go into criminal law? Have students been generally successful with finding internships after 1L? 

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1 hour ago, Dreamchaser said:

What do you think the prospects are like for someone graduating from Windsor and looking to go into criminal law? Have students been generally successful with finding internships after 1L? 

Not so sure about criminal, I went the corporate route. From what I can tell though, you have good job prospects graduating from any law school, especially if you are ok working outside of Toronto. The Criminal Law Association at Windsor is pretty big and has a lot of really good resources and connections that will help you find a job in Criminal Law.  Windsor is definitely more focused on Criminal Law (Social Justice and all that) and I believe has a better reputation in that area relative to Bay Street type work. 

However getting a job is very hard after 1L. Those jobs are highly competitive. Most firms don't hire 1Ls anyways. Unless you are at or very near the top of the class it's hard to get a job with a firm. Again, I'm not as certain about what that looks like for Criminal law, but for Bay Street only 1 student from Windsor got a 1L job. That being said, some students that do LAW or CLA get jobs working there in the summer, although those jobs are located in Windsor. That's not a reason to not try, you should, at the very least for the practice. But do not worry at all about not getting a job after 1L. Most people don't and end up with good jobs, so don't get too worked up about it it you don't get one

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52 minutes ago, sportsball said:

Not so sure about criminal, I went the corporate route. From what I can tell though, you have good job prospects graduating from any law school, especially if you are ok working outside of Toronto. The Criminal Law Association at Windsor is pretty big and has a lot of really good resources and connections that will help you find a job in Criminal Law.  Windsor is definitely more focused on Criminal Law (Social Justice and all that) and I believe has a better reputation in that area relative to Bay Street type work. 

However getting a job is very hard after 1L. Those jobs are highly competitive. Most firms don't hire 1Ls anyways. Unless you are at or very near the top of the class it's hard to get a job with a firm. Again, I'm not as certain about what that looks like for Criminal law, but for Bay Street only 1 student from Windsor got a 1L job. That being said, some students that do LAW or CLA get jobs working there in the summer, although those jobs are located in Windsor. That's not a reason to not try, you should, at the very least for the practice. But do not worry at all about not getting a job after 1L. Most people don't and end up with good jobs, so don't get too worked up about it it you don't get one

I'm not a law student yet but my goal would be Criminal law if I get accepted so thank you, appreciate you answering my question :) 

Windsor doesn't seem so bad after all. 

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Can someone do an updated one for Dalhousie? I would love to know more about interesting programs/opportunities, any new developments, job outcomes etc. I'd also be interested to hear perspectives from those who seek to work in Ontario or have already done so. 

Other questions:

How's the social life? Are there a lot of events/gatherings? What kind?

Are there any misconceptions or improvements that have been made over time? e.g., Is Dal 'overrated'? 

Law specialization/stream 'strengths'? 

How's the campus/law building? Habitable? 

 

Please don't limit yourself to answering these questions. I'm interested to know whatever there is to know :) 

 

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On 3/4/2021 at 5:08 PM, samii said:

Can someone do an updated one for Dalhousie? I would love to know more about interesting programs/opportunities, any new developments, job outcomes etc. I'd also be interested to hear perspectives from those who seek to work in Ontario or have already done so. 

Other questions:

How's the social life? Are there a lot of events/gatherings? What kind?

Are there any misconceptions or improvements that have been made over time? e.g., Is Dal 'overrated'? 

Law specialization/stream 'strengths'? 

How's the campus/law building? Habitable? 

 

Please don't limit yourself to answering these questions. I'm interested to know whatever there is to know :) 

 

.... bump

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Can someone do a TRU one? I am accepted there and generally want to do family law. How is the weather? Student population? Faculty? Any other things I should know??

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On 6/25/2019 at 11:12 PM, lawyeredup said:

PROS:

1. The weather in Kamloops is great and the view of the mountains is unreal 

2. The campus itself is very beautiful

3. Collegial Environment - the amount of support we receive from one another is amazing. The upper years are willing to pass down their CANS and help with anything you need. Everyone ends up knowing one another and by the end of first semester, you're practically homies with the majority of students in the Faculty of Law. Its always nice to be in a positive environment where students are so uplifting - you never feel alone.

4. Variety of student clubs/sports on campus 

5. Amazing professors. Professors at TRU are extremely educated (some have degrees from Harvard, JD's and PhD's from UBC, Dalhousie, U of T etc ..) and are always available to help you during office hours. Profs at TRU genuinely want to see you succeed and will make time for you even when they don't have office hours on the day that you're available.

6. There is a Starbucks in the law building - when we have a 3 hour class and get a 15 minute break, it's always nice to refuel and grab some coffee in the same building and make it just in time for class to start again. 

7. Great small town vibe - Coming from a big city, I never thought I would have loved kamloops as much as i did. Although there is practically one of everything (one Walmart, one Superstore + the Independent etc ..), I found myself enjoying the vibe, and the community is just so wonderful - not just the TRU community, the Kamloops community in general is amazing. 

8. Hiking/Nature: If you like hiking, or nature in general, Kamloops is great for that. One of the many places I have hiked at during my time in Kamloops is Battle Bluffs, dewdrop trail, and myra canon.

9. Downtown parking is inexpensive in comparison to other cities. 

10. Cafes - If you're someone who likes to study at cafes, Kamloops has great ones, such as The Art We Are. 

11. Everything is close in proximity. Superstore, Starbucks, Tim Hortons, Movie Theatre, Walmart, TRU, Staples, Aberdeen Mall, gyms/fitness facilities are so close to one another that I only needed to fill my gas tank once every month

There are many pros to studying in Kamloops at TRU. Moving from a large city to Kamloops (in my personal experience) wasn't a hard transition. You meet many students on orientation day, and throughout the semester, and we have fun together, and struggle together. We have "help not hurt" midterms where they will be worth 0% if you get higher on your final exam than your midterm. Overall, there are many pros of attending TRU and i'm glad I made the decision. Although the 3rd floor printers can get jammed up from time to time and you occasionally hear students screaming while playing foosball and pingpong in the students lounge ... It's one of the things that makes TRU so great!

CONS:

1. Tuition is around $20k (costly in comparison to other law schools)

2. It's hard to find a nice place to live close to school that won't break the bank 

3. PARKING IS A NIGHTMARE (unless you have a premium pass that costs $275 ish per semester, but in high demand)

4. Not many restaurants (and the nightlife scene isn't great compared to Vancouver, Calgary etc ..)

5. The malls in Kamloops have limited options for those who like to shop and go to rather popular stores you would find in places like Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Halifax, Saskatchewan etc ... 

6. It's hard to find cabs (and cabs are also expensive to take if your destination is 15 minutes away etc ..)

7. Your luck at the airport is a hit or miss. Flights leaving Kamloops, at least in my experience, get delayed or cancelled frequently due to there being a problem with the aircraft and not having another airplane to use while the other is getting fixed. This happened to me and my partner at least 3 times. 

8. Did i mention parking is a nightmare? Might as well mention it again :) 

 

This is what I found

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13 hours ago, trashpanda said:

Can someone do a TRU one? I am accepted there and generally want to do family law. How is the weather? Student population? Faculty? Any other things I should know??

 

On 6/25/2019 at 11:12 PM, lawyeredup said:

.

 

On 3/14/2018 at 11:12 PM, novemberkiloalpha said:

Hey everyone,

I wanted to share some positive experiences here at TRU and in Kamloops. I know many of you will be deciding now what school to go to. I was accepted at a few schools across Canada, but chose TRU. Why?

1) Its in the province I want to practice

-- It's near the city I want to practice in; so I get to meet these local lawyers and visit to their firms etc (eg Vancouver, Kamloops, Kelowna etc). Whereas if I wanted to practice in Toronto I'd miss out on those opportunities to network (whereas the TO students would have been networking all along).

-- You're learning BC law; If you study in other provinces, you'll learn those laws. This isn't necessarily a career-ending move, its just that it makes it so much easier on you.

-- Its near my family, about a 2-3 hour drive. 

That was pretty much my only factor. . .

 

But now that I've been here nearly a year.. let me tell you about so many more ...

 

> Collegiality 

- is that a word? idk. But the students here are really friendly and helpful to each other, at least in my year.

- there are other schools where students care ONLY about their OWN mark and worry that other ppl getting good grades mean they have a lower chance of getting a good grade (bc of the curve)

- luckily most of us believe that if you're THAT worried about getting a bad grade, you probably deserve one. Very few people are like this, but they're pretty easy to identify after 3 or 4 weeks. Beware..

- we are helpful with sending notes, trading CANS (don't you worry, you'll find out what CANS are soon enough little ones)

- there will always come a day that you'll miss a class and need notes. If you dont send yours when others need it, no one will send your theirs. So everyone is really helpful in this way. 

- the Prof's also help foster this sense of community because they all want the best for us (because they want the school to succeed, as its the newest in Canada , I'm sure you've heard)

 

> The building (http://www.marceldion.ca/vii/

- if you wrote your LSAT in Kamloops you'd have seen the building. Its purdy.

- We study in a building called "Old Main" - its the oldest building on Campus but they reno'd the 3+4 floor - which is entirely law! Most (if not all.. pretty sure all) your classes will be here.

- This is a lovely building. There is a 24h library (accessible by fob) and a 24h reading room (a big quiet room with just desks and couches everywhere, accessible by fob).

- There is a lounge provided by the Society of Law Students (SLS, like the Law student union sort of), with a sink, kettle, keurig, 2 microwaves, toaster, and fridge (don't count on using the fridge... other students leave it in a constant state of f'd up.. ). It also has couches, pingpong table, and foosball. Its a small room but works out well. 

- there are plugs in all the classrooms right on the desk where you sit. 

- there are projectors, mics, and 2 projector screens in every classroom - you can rent it out to watch a movie, and even sign in on netflix.. or i guess if you like learning you can listen to a guest lecturer who is across the country via video-conference! Pretty cool.

- not to denigrate another school ... but in my decision I did factor this in - I looked at other school's classrooms online (this took a fair bit of web sleuthing, eg at 'events' photo galleries and so on) and there were 1 or 2 schools that looked awful.. akin to my undergrad classrooms built in the 70s with no windows, outlets, decent chairs, etc.. It isn't necessarily a deal breaker but I personally would have felt just a little worse coming into school every day... at TRU you know you have the BEST.

 

> The classes

- TRU has the most class hours of any law school in canada during 1L. Prepare to be spun on your head. Good luck with it.

- but in reality the teachers are all pretty great in 1L - if you went to a massive undergrad school like I did, it'll be weird when your teachers know your name. Its awesome though.

- There are not many assignments, so its easier to just keep trucking on and not have an entire week f'd up because you spent 4 days doing nothing but one assignment. (Except in Early March - that will happen one week..)

- Exams are basically 100% finals - there is a christmas exam but it doesn't really count (help not hurt).

- there will be about 100 people accepted to your year; this is split into 2 "sections"; you'll have all your classes for 1L with your section. the same 50ish students. So you'll get to know them pretty well. Its nice. Sort of like a fun version of high school. You know everyone. Everyone is nice. Everyone is respectful. Well ... generally... 

 

> The integration with the Truth and Reconciliation Committee's Calls to Action

- it could be better.. But TRU is doing a pretty good job of integrating concepts of Indigenous law into our classes. We definitely talk about indigenous rights pretty much every week. 

- you'll have a number of local indigenous leaders (eg scholars, elders) come speak to the classes. Its a pretty great learning experience.

- If you're indigenous yourself, I think you'll find that most students are genuinely interested in your story. It may be uncomfortable to share and there certainly is no pressure. But I find in our classes we often get wonderful input on how old / new laws have impacted reserves / land title claims / hunting rights, etc. It adds a wonderful richness. 

- you'll visit the Kamloops Indian Residential School in 1L.. Its pretty cray.  A very unique experience. An honour to be given a tour by past students who were forced to go there (and starved, beaten etc while there).. Instead of abandoning / burning it down they bring students in to show us how our laws really trampled their rights and culture back in the day (oh.. today too...)

- there are also field trips for this purpose in both the 2L and 3L but I'm living under a textbook and don't know what they are

 

> Outdoorsy stuff

- TBH i don't really care about all the wonderful winter activities, but rest assured if you're not a lazy bum like me, you'll love being 20 minutes from an awesome ski hill (SunPeaks), lots of xcountry trails, loads of walking/hiking trails (like right on campus pretty much)

- The scenery is gorgeous here. From any north facing window in the law school you can see the gorgeous mountains that surround us.

 

> Clubs

- there are lots of clubs at the uni but more specifically in the law school; cribbage club, digital media club, south asian law students, indigenous law students,  animal law club, Oral advocacy club (PRO TIP - JOIN ORAL ADVOCACY. It will seriously help you prepare for your 1L moot). 

- the list goes on. Its all really accessible and friendly.

- they're always putting on social events - they're first semester heavy but its great to go to all of them if you can.

 

> Moots

- there are 5 or 6 upper year moots that count as class credits, so you can practice your skills IRL

- the school sends you to these moots (travel, accomodation etc), which all occur in different cities across canada

- most law schools do this, its just the particular competitions that vary.. dont go to a school if they dont have moots!

 

Other positives:

- Kamloops rent / gas / groceries etc is reasonably priced

- traffic here is practically non-existent. it might add 3 minutes to your commute. no more. if you're used to a big city (ie traffic adds 1-2 hours) it's cute here 

 

 

Some less great stuff...

- international partners - only 4 schools for exchange; they're apparently adding schools in Aus and NZ; but international exchanges in law school are much more inconvenient than exchanges in undergrad; most people have no desire to do one anyway, regardless of what schools are involved.

- tuition - sooo high. Tru gets no govt assistance unlike the other BC schools. So we pay a lot.

- parking at school - sucks. But that's pretty much the story at any uninversity

- kamloops nightlife is poop on a paddle. Your best options are Shark Club (where you'll be lucky if the worse thing you see is some guy licking coke of his hands); Commodore (where the crowd really ranges in age and I feel like i'll be pickpocketed at any moment); Earls / Browns (you'll never get in .. even on Friday at 10am their tables are full). I mean honestly you'll be busy with other stuff so its not a deal breaker. Chances are good you're not a huge party animal if you've got the grades to get into law school.

- similarly, if you love shopping you'll have to make friends with online shopping. There is nothing here. apparenly a sephora is opening.. I'd be surprised if that happens. There's a lulu. A "Bay". A sport chek. Thats it. LOL.

- if you're planning on driving to Van on the weekends all winter long, think again - the highway is a death trap. Multiple ppl die each week driving on it. You probably know this already if you live in Van but its surprising how many students dont realize how bad it is.

- acessibility might bit tough - in Old Main the parkinglot is not cleared / salted very well. So if you use a mobility aid, you might have to Impark (who runs the lits) to pay special attention and ensure its ploughed / salted. Once you're in the building it is much better.

 

Really the only negative that could be a dealbreaker for some is the tuition cost. But if you're getting loans etc, don't let that stop you if you can. I really love TRU and am proud to go here. It was my first choice school. 

 

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15 hours ago, trashpanda said:

Can someone do a TRU one? I am accepted there and generally want to do family law. How is the weather? Student population? Faculty? Any other things I should know??

There's not much to add to the stuff @mikes77 shared. I attended TRU the same years those lists were made so I have pretty similar opinions.

Here are some things that weren't mentioned:

There is a culinary school on campus and they run a cafe (Scratch Cafe) that's open for breakfast and lunch most days. The menu regularly changes. It's delicious. They also run a butcher shop in the spring, if you're into high quality, inexpensive, locally raised meat.

The Tournament Capital Center is a rec center on campus and it's one of the best facilities I've ever used. It's got pools, a sauna, indoor and outdoor track, multiple sports fields, indoor basketball courts, a yoga/dance studio, and a large conventional gym (cardio equipment, racks, free weights, cable machines). It's $30/month for students.

The TRU Student Union is well funded and is ALWAYS under budget. This means it's easy to secure funding for your school-related initiative. If you're in a club and want to organize an event or a conference, you can get funding. If, as an individual, you want to attend a specific law conference somewhere (even if it's on the other side of North America), you can get funding. Law students applied for more TRUSU funding than any other faculty.

Relationships with profs are largely pretty casual. I've lost count of the number of times I've had a beer with a prof. For a handful of profs it was a weekly tradition to get some tables at the campus pub on a Friday afternoon and invite students to come hang out. Every student seems to inevitably become good friends with at least one prof.

The holistic admissions process results in classes filled with people who have amazing life experiences and backgrounds. People who played pro basketball in Europe, who hold MDs, who had entire careers as ship builders, artists, etc. The value of these diverse experiences is really on display during classroom discussions.

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9 hours ago, canuckfanatic said:

There's not much to add to the stuff @mikes77 shared. I attended TRU the same years those lists were made so I have pretty similar opinions.

Here are some things that weren't mentioned:

There is a culinary school on campus and they run a cafe (Scratch Cafe) that's open for breakfast and lunch most days. The menu regularly changes. It's delicious. They also run a butcher shop in the spring, if you're into high quality, inexpensive, locally raised meat.

The Tournament Capital Center is a rec center on campus and it's one of the best facilities I've ever used. It's got pools, a sauna, indoor and outdoor track, multiple sports fields, indoor basketball courts, a yoga/dance studio, and a large conventional gym (cardio equipment, racks, free weights, cable machines). It's $30/month for students.

The TRU Student Union is well funded and is ALWAYS under budget. This means it's easy to secure funding for your school-related initiative. If you're in a club and want to organize an event or a conference, you can get funding. If, as an individual, you want to attend a specific law conference somewhere (even if it's on the other side of North America), you can get funding. Law students applied for more TRUSU funding than any other faculty.

Relationships with profs are largely pretty casual. I've lost count of the number of times I've had a beer with a prof. For a handful of profs it was a weekly tradition to get some tables at the campus pub on a Friday afternoon and invite students to come hang out. Every student seems to inevitably become good friends with at least one prof.

The holistic admissions process results in classes filled with people who have amazing life experiences and backgrounds. People who played pro basketball in Europe, who hold MDs, who had entire careers as ship builders, artists, etc. The value of these diverse experiences is really on display during classroom discussions.

This place sounds very similar to my undergrad !! I am excited

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Anyone willing to do an updated one for Osgoode? I recently got accepted and I'm trying to decide if its the right fit for me. Do York strikes have an impact on Osgoode students? I understand they may be under separate administration but nevertheless, it's the same campus. Thanks!

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8 hours ago, Dreamchaser said:

Anyone willing to do an updated one for Osgoode?

I graduated last year, so I'm probably in the best position I ever will be to do one of these. As a preliminary disclaimer, my experience with the zoom aspect was in the back half of my last semester, so I just didn't care about it at all. 

I'm also going to focus on things that, I think, set Osgoode apart from many other schools, particularly in Ontario. Every school has a "collegial environment" and fun clubs. I can't tell you if Osgoode's environment is more or less collegial than Queens, because I didn't do 1L at both schools. So me saying it does doesn't help you. 

  1. Clinics – This was ultimately why I attended Osgoode, and I think it is Osgoode's one real defining characteristic compared to other schools. Osgoode offers a ton of clinics. Some of them are better than others—looking at you, Osgoode Business Clinic—but the overall quality is quite high and the number/diversity is unmatched by any Canadian law school. 
  2. Career Prospects – Osgoode is one of a handful of schools in Canada that offers its graduates the ability to work anywhere in (English-speaking) Canada in more or less any setting. This isn't so much about Osgoode opening doors to you (I don't think any schools except perhaps McGill and U of T truly "open" doors that would otherwise be closed). Rather, it's about not closing doors before you've had the chance to prove you deserve to be considered. When it comes to hiring out of law school, either for summers or articling, there are firms that will just never consider applicants from certain schools. 
  3. Bay Street Hiring – If you're dead set on working on Bay Street, don't speak French, and don't get into U of T, you should attend Osgoode. It routinely beats out the other non-U of T schools for placement rate in both the 1L and 2L recruits. 
  4. (Appellate) Clerkships –This builds off the point about not closing doors, but Osgoode places a relatively large number of students at the ONSC, ONCA and SCC each year. It also does well with placing students in the Alberta and BC clerkship programs, although the raw numbers are lower due to a lack of interest in clerking out-of-province. You're still going to need very strong grades to get an appellate clerkship, and above average grades for a trial level clerkship, but all else being equal, your odds of getting a clerkship are better at Osgoode than a lot of other schools. 
  5. Adjunct Professors – Osgoode benefits from a strong alumni network that includes a lot of alumni who serve as adjunct professors at the school. Osgoode is also purportedly located in Toronto. What that means for you is that you're going to have access to a lot of high end, practicing lawyers to learn from. Almost more importantly, it means you're going to be networking with high end, practicing lawyers regularly, many of whom can either give you a job or help you get one. I know people who articled at top litigation boutiques, top criminal law firms, and top family law firms who ended up there because one of the partners at the firm happened to serve as adjunct profs for trial advocacy or some similar course. 
  6. Joint Programs – Osgoode offers four joint programs, including a joint program with U de M that lets you get a civil law degree with one additional year of study. I didn't do a joint program, but I heard nothing but good things from those who did. I also know several people who spun the JD/MES degree into articling positions at top firms practicing environmental law, which is otherwise quite difficult to break into. I imagine the JD/MES was instrumental in them receiving those jobs. 
  7. Financial Aid (Your Mileage May Vary) – Osgoode has an overall pretty generous financial aid program, and a decent selection of upper year scholarships. I received an average of $13,000 or so per year from Osgoode, factoring in bursaries, scholarships, and course prizes. How much you get will vary depending on your financial need and academic performance, but it brings the price down to be relatively comparable to the other Ontario schools. Or at least, it did for me. 
  8. Course Selection – Osgoode has what I understand to be the widest selection of courses available in any school across Canada. That means you can really customize your experience and tailor your course selection to your career. I considered applying for a letter of permission to UBC or UVic during 3L, and unfortunately found those schools didn't have the diversity of course offerings I had come to expect from my school (not to knock those schools; I'd take fewer courses in exchange for a 14k tuition cut). I took a lot of general courses, but people I know (particularly those who were passionate about family or crim) essentially only took courses in their area of interests in 2 and 3L. 
  9. Diversity – Osgoode's class is one of the more diverse classes in Canada. There is still room for a lot of improvement, particularly when it comes to socioeconomic diversity, but the school is trying and it's reflected in the student body. As an example, Osgoode is the only university in Ontario that admitted more black students than their proportion of the populating in Ontario during the last two years. If you're a member of a minority group, Osgoode has very well funded clubs that can provide some really wonderful mentorship and networking opportunities (this also applies to women – OWN has a lot of good events). 
  10. The JCR – I know what you're thinking: "BQ, did you run out of things to say and so you're resorting to mentioning the Wednesday night pop-up pub located in the law school where you routinely got drunk before going to class?" Yes. Yes I did. But, it's a fun and relatively unique part of Osgoode culture. You go, you buy a shot, you buy a beer, you sneak it out of the JCR and into your Securities Litigation class. Suddenly, being at school until 8:00 pm learning about National Instrument 51-102 is palatable. And it's the day before Thursday pub nights, so if you're doing it right you can just think of it as a pre-game for that!* 

*Don't do that. Drinking for more than 24 hours straight is generally inadvisable. 

As for the strikes, they're really what you make of them. I had a strike in my 1L year. All the profs went to online teaching, although you could still attend in class for most of them, if you wanted. You could also pass/fail your courses for that semester if you wanted. For some students it added a lot of stress, but I found it to be relatively chill. 

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11 hours ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

I graduated last year, so I'm probably in the best position I ever will be to do one of these. As a preliminary disclaimer, my experience with the zoom aspect was in the back half of my last semester, so I just didn't care about it at all. 

I'm also going to focus on things that, I think, set Osgoode apart from many other schools, particularly in Ontario. Every school has a "collegial environment" and fun clubs. I can't tell you if Osgoode's environment is more or less collegial than Queens, because I didn't do 1L at both schools. So me saying it does doesn't help you. 

  1. Clinics – This was ultimately why I attended Osgoode, and I think it is Osgoode's one real defining characteristic compared to other schools. Osgoode offers a ton of clinics. Some of them are better than others—looking at you, Osgoode Business Clinic—but the overall quality is quite high and the number/diversity is unmatched by any Canadian law school. 
  2. Career Prospects – Osgoode is one of a handful of schools in Canada that offers its graduates the ability to work anywhere in (English-speaking) Canada in more or less any setting. This isn't so much about Osgoode opening doors to you (I don't think any schools except perhaps McGill and U of T truly "open" doors that would otherwise be closed). Rather, it's about not closing doors before you've had the chance to prove you deserve to be considered. When it comes to hiring out of law school, either for summers or articling, there are firms that will just never consider applicants from certain schools. 
  3. Bay Street Hiring – If you're dead set on working on Bay Street, don't speak French, and don't get into U of T, you should attend Osgoode. It routinely beats out the other non-U of T schools for placement rate in both the 1L and 2L recruits. 
  4. (Appellate) Clerkships –This builds off the point about not closing doors, but Osgoode places a relatively large number of students at the ONSC, ONCA and SCC each year. It also does well with placing students in the Alberta and BC clerkship programs, although the raw numbers are lower due to a lack of interest in clerking out-of-province. You're still going to need very strong grades to get an appellate clerkship, and above average grades for a trial level clerkship, but all else being equal, your odds of getting a clerkship are better at Osgoode than a lot of other schools. 
  5. Adjunct Professors – Osgoode benefits from a strong alumni network that includes a lot of alumni who serve as adjunct professors at the school. Osgoode is also purportedly located in Toronto. What that means for you is that you're going to have access to a lot of high end, practicing lawyers to learn from. Almost more importantly, it means you're going to be networking with high end, practicing lawyers regularly, many of whom can either give you a job or help you get one. I know people who articled at top litigation boutiques, top criminal law firms, and top family law firms who ended up there because one of the partners at the firm happened to serve as adjunct profs for trial advocacy or some similar course. 
  6. Joint Programs – Osgoode offers four joint programs, including a joint program with U de M that lets you get a civil law degree with one additional year of study. I didn't do a joint program, but I heard nothing but good things from those who did. I also know several people who spun the JD/MES degree into articling positions at top firms practicing environmental law, which is otherwise quite difficult to break into. I imagine the JD/MES was instrumental in them receiving those jobs. 
  7. Financial Aid (Your Mileage May Vary) – Osgoode has an overall pretty generous financial aid program, and a decent selection of upper year scholarships. I received an average of $13,000 or so per year from Osgoode, factoring in bursaries, scholarships, and course prizes. How much you get will vary depending on your financial need and academic performance, but it brings the price down to be relatively comparable to the other Ontario schools. Or at least, it did for me. 
  8. Course Selection – Osgoode has what I understand to be the widest selection of courses available in any school across Canada. That means you can really customize your experience and tailor your course selection to your career. I considered applying for a letter of permission to UBC or UVic during 3L, and unfortunately found those schools didn't have the diversity of course offerings I had come to expect from my school (not to knock those schools; I'd take fewer courses in exchange for a 14k tuition cut). I took a lot of general courses, but people I know (particularly those who were passionate about family or crim) essentially only took courses in their area of interests in 2 and 3L. 
  9. Diversity – Osgoode's class is one of the more diverse classes in Canada. There is still room for a lot of improvement, particularly when it comes to socioeconomic diversity, but the school is trying and it's reflected in the student body. As an example, Osgoode is the only university in Ontario that admitted more black students than their proportion of the populating in Ontario during the last two years. If you're a member of a minority group, Osgoode has very well funded clubs that can provide some really wonderful mentorship and networking opportunities (this also applies to women – OWN has a lot of good events). 
  10. The JCR – I know what you're thinking: "BQ, did you run out of things to say and so you're resorting to mentioning the Wednesday night pop-up pub located in the law school where you routinely got drunk before going to class?" Yes. Yes I did. But, it's a fun and relatively unique part of Osgoode culture. You go, you buy a shot, you buy a beer, you sneak it out of the JCR and into your Securities Litigation class. Suddenly, being at school until 8:00 pm learning about National Instrument 51-102 is palatable. And it's the day before Thursday pub nights, so if you're doing it right you can just think of it as a pre-game for that!* 

*Don't do that. Drinking for more than 24 hours straight is generally inadvisable. 

As for the strikes, they're really what you make of them. I had a strike in my 1L year. All the profs went to online teaching, although you could still attend in class for most of them, if you wanted. You could also pass/fail your courses for that semester if you wanted. For some students it added a lot of stress, but I found it to be relatively chill. 

Great! Thanks. :) Sounds like I can't go wrong with Osgoode. 

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On 2/13/2021 at 3:41 PM, Dreamchaser said:

I'm not a law student yet but my goal would be Criminal law if I get accepted so thank you, appreciate you answering my question :) 

Windsor doesn't seem so bad after all. 

I just finished 1L at Windsor and wanted to say that this year, i think around 4-5 1Ls got bay st positions (not myself lol)....which is honestly awesome. Yes, im sure other schools placed more BUT 4-5 is a big step up from 1. Additionally, this isnt even counting those that got intern positions or jobs outside the formal 1L recruit. I think Windsor sometimes gets dumped on but the student body is really strong imo...and trust me im not afraid to comment on the not so great parts of windsor, but the student body isnt one. 

If your interest is Criminal law, Tanovich still teaches 1L crim and he rocks. Unreal teacher (and i agree with sportsball on the teaching v academia point) and one of the most revered criminal law academics in the country. Some great opportunities in criminal law anywhere, Windsor included! 

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1 hour ago, Boundless said:

I just finished 1L at Windsor and wanted to say that this year, i think around 4-5 1Ls got bay st positions (not myself lol)....which is honestly awesome. Yes, im sure other schools placed more BUT 4-5 is a big step up from 1. Additionally, this isnt even counting those that got intern positions or jobs outside the formal 1L recruit. I think Windsor sometimes gets dumped on but the student body is really strong imo...and trust me im not afraid to comment on the not so great parts of windsor, but the student body isnt one. 

If your interest is Criminal law, Tanovich still teaches 1L crim and he rocks. Unreal teacher (and i agree with sportsball on the teaching v academia point) and one of the most revered criminal law academics in the country. Some great opportunities in criminal law anywhere, Windsor included! 

...except Windsor waitlisted me so I might never get the chance to experience life at Windsor lol.

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2 hours ago, Dreamchaser said:

...except Windsor waitlisted me so I might never get the chance to experience life at Windsor lol.

Right right...well i see you got into Osgoode. Huge congrats...wishing you all the best. 

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