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Commuting from Ottawa to Kingston during 2L/3L

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Oh, and only a non-married person with no kids would ask this question (or an unhappily married person I suppose).


I appreciate your selective quoting (not to mention AH), entirely missing the central theme in the opening sentences:


"...Either it's worth it to you and your wife for you to finish law school, with the monetary and time and relationship difficulties, or it's not. If you have a good job you like and it will put stress on your marriage to return to law school maybe you shouldn't.

..." [emphasis, bold and underlining, in original]


ATL within the last few months had a link to a "Dear Prudence" item in which a wife was writing in about how her husband's dream of going to law school, giving up a good job and interfering with their plans to have kids, was both a huge relationship problem and economically unwise. I have no idea whether this describes the OP's situation or not, of course.


The people who I knew who were married at the time they were in law school generally (exceptions had issues unrelated to law school) had spouses who supported their going to law school, with the sacrifices that entailed and understood the time commitment, that is the whole family made the choice that it was worth it even though only seeing each other on the weekends (hence "what's wrong with that"). If OP hasn't looked into going to Ottawa as a transfer not LOP, and/or if returning to Queen's discussed with his wife the possibility that e.g. if 2nd year is difficult especially returning after time off, he may have to give up on the commute and live in Kingston at least during the week, that's unfair to her.

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Anecdotally, there is a 2L at UVIC who lives in Vancouver and ONLY comes to Victoria for exams and to hand in papers.

Edited by VicGal
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There has been a development in my situation; I've been accepted to UOttawa as a transfer student, to begin studies this January.  So that solves the issue of commuting to Queen's.


However, I still have two concerns:


1.  UOttawa law school is bigger, more anonymous and has lower placement rates than Queen's (from what I've read).  So, will I be placing myself at a disadvantage 

      to leave Queen's for UOttawa?


2. Will starting my second year in January put me at a disadvantage, since my progression through law school will be offbeat?  I'll be finishing each year a semester

     behind everyone else (or ahead, depending on how one looks at it) and graduating in December 2014.   Wouldn't it be more 'clean' to wait until next September to

     begin my second year?


I'm just worried that a long leave of absence, combined with two sets of transcripts and an offbeat graduation is going to look very messy - and therefore unattractive - to potential employers.

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1) uOttawa's placement rates are not that bad when viewed in context.  Firstly, we are the largest school in Canada by far so it is inevitable that we are going to have a larger amount of unplaced students.  We have 280-300 English Common Law, 50-70 French Common Law and 50-70 National Program students.  Secondly, students from the English and French programs generally place quite well.  The large amount of unplaced students come from the National program (and with good reason).  


I am not saying that these students are not bright or that they are not better than some of the english and french common law students.  However, the National program is designed for students who already completed a three year civil law degree.  They come to uOttawa for 1 year and are now eligible to write the Ontario bar.  In other words, these are students who will not have a full year of common law courses under their belt until they have completed the program.  It is hard for an employer to judge their competencies in the common law until this happens. 


So yeah, our placement rates are not the best.  However, they are not near as bad as they seem when viewed in context. 


2) I don't think it will.  I don't feel like doing a long analysis right now, but I honestly think that this could actually help you out in the long run.   


In short, this means that when you apply to article you are going to have an extra semester on your transcript that you would not otherwise.  You will still be entering the same articling cycle that you would otherwise, but you'd have more marks for them to look at.  You'll finish law school and then you will have a good 5-6 month break before the real fun begins. 


It is a personal decision but I think that you should just go. 

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My concerns would be twofold.


1. How is entering in January going to affect course availability? Current 2Ls would have chosen their courses for the year months ago. What about Ottawa's January term? Another consideration.


2. The unusual timeline will mean that you will finish law school months and months before your articling position will begin. Not having a job for seven or eight months can certainly impact one's financial position, and even securing a position then, with the intention of leaving shortly thereafter is also an issue.


Why not wait until September, which is the usual entry/starting point for transfers as well as 1Ls? I wasn't even aware that schools allowed for a January entry. Ottawa is a good school. If you do well, it's unlikely that your future options will be any different than if you were at Queen's, particularly with your personal reasons and the fact that you want to live and work in Ottawa.

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