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Welcome to Osgoode Chambers + JD/MBA Questions? Direct them here.

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Hello prospective Osgoode 1Ls. For those of you who have been accepted, a hearty congratulations. I'm taking a break from writing my tax essay to address queries, and share my experience regarding the above.

 

1) Living in Osgoode Chambers: Osgoode Chambers, or "the OC" as I call it, is comprised of the three western buildings of the Passy Graduate Residence Complex. These buildings are dedicated to law students. You can find pictures and video tours on the York Apartment website. I've lived here for two years now, and have very much enjoyed my experience.

 

I'll be one of the Residence Fellows welcoming those into the Residence next year. We have a variety of activites planned, and look forward to meeting you in September.

 

A few points:

 

The OC is nothing like your undergraduate dorm! The apartments are self-contained and furnished. There are 1 bedroom and bachelor units available. Most apartments are accessible from the street, except those on the third floor. The courtyards are well kept and quite pretty in the non-winter months. The "Owl's Nest" is a communal space for gatherings. Availability for first years is guaranteed.

 

The convenience factor is unparalleled: the OC is right across the street from Osgoode! I frequently wake up 15 minutes before class, and avoid the time and expense of commuting. First year classes at Osgoode are (unfortunately for some) held every day, which is why many students chose to live here for first year.

 

The York apartments staff is generally great, and the maintenance team often fixes problems on the same day.

 

Perhaps the greatest advantage is living with fellow law students. I believe Osgoode is one of the only schools in Canada that offers a law-only residence. You will make life-long friendships with people that will one day be your colleagues. Your two Residence Fellows will aim to make your experience as enjoyable and comfortable as possible.

 

I'll end with the often-made criticisms of living on campus. As others have rightly pointed out, it's a bit hard to get around without a car. Yes, York is located close to the Jane and Finch intersection: an impoverished area of the city, and prospective students often voice concerns of safety. I've personally never felt unsafe on campus, and I'm one of the few who actually feels comfortable going to the No Frills at Jane and Finch to get groceries.

 

However, I would venture to disagree with some other students in terms of access to services. The York gym costs $15 per year, and is about a 10 minute walk across campus. York Lanes, the commercial hub of campus, offers a plethora of fast food options, two banks, a walk-in medical clinic and a pharmacy. For groceries and furniture (remember, the OC is furnished--but you might want to buy an additional lamp, chair etc), there is a No Frills, Superstore, Ikea, Home Depot, and many other big box retailers within a 5 minute drive of campus. Now, if you don't have a car, there are convenient Zipcars located right across Sentinel Road from the OC. We'll be organizing grocery runs periodically (Superstore offers a 10% discount to students on Tuesdays). Personally, I like doing big grocery runs once a month, rather than going every week. I lived at U of T one summer: though it's obviously more centrally located, I found carrying groceries back by hand or on the TTC to be a HUGE pain.

 

The rental costs can be found on the York Apartments website, and will likely rise next year. I pay $1007 for a large one-bedroom. I agree that this is expensive, especially for the area. The rent is a bit less than you'd pay at St Clair West Subway station (where many upper-year Ozzies live) and quite a bit less than what you'd pay downtown, without the commuting costs. Some students chose to live in the Assiniboine towers  right next door, which are a bit cheaper, or share an apartment with other students in the "York Village," which are brand new townhouses located just south of campus.

 

A night out on the down can be tricky. If you stay out past 1am, the subways close. The bus route back to York is admittedly terrible. I was lucky in that my partner lived downtown this year. Many OCers will share a cab back up to York: it can be quite expensive (40-50$).

In essence, I found living at Osgoode to offer the best of both worlds: proximity to downtown Toronto for career events, job interviews, and the odd night out, but far enough away from the city to avoid distraction and be able to hunker down and study in relative peace and quiet. Whether you will enjoy it here depends on your personality. If you prefer the hustle and bustle of city living, as many do, you might find the OC to be a bit unexciting. But after all, this is 1L: there's really not that much time for bar-hopping and exploring the city! I, like many others, live downtown in the summertime.

 

If you decide on the OC, join our Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/174598122692846/

 

2) The JD/MBA Program: My experience and a few tips.

 

I've enjoyed the program thus far. A three-year option is available, for which you'd start Schulich classes in the summer prior to law school. If you opt for the four-year program, you can elect to start at either Osgoode or Schulich. I began at Schulich, because I wanted to graduate with my 1L class. However, most students do it the other way around. One little known advantage of starting at Osgoode is that Torys, a law firm that consistently hires JD/MBAs, will only hire students that have started at Osgoode for 1L positions (they want a full first year law transcript). On the other hand, your chances of securing banking/consulting jobs are much higher if you commence with the MBA.

 

The competition, workload, and general difficulty in the MBA is significantly less than in law school, especially in first year. I found some MBA courses to be rather "fluffy" and unstimulating intellectually. Upper-year courses will be more arduous, especially in an area like finance (my specialization). Your Osgoode marks will invariably be lower than your Schulich marks.

 

JD/MBA students pay Osgoode tuition, except during first year MBA. Since Osgoode's tuition is about $8k lower, this is a significant advantage. Our JD/MBA program is much cheaper than alternatives at Western and U of T (even factoring in the $30k scholarship that U of T offers).

 

Don't quote me on this, but I believe our JD/MBA is the largest in the country. I also remember hearing that it was the first of its kind in Canada.

 

JD/MBA students can apply to bursaries and scholarships at both schools in their upper years. Osgoode is notoriously stingy, while Schulich is much more generous. In my case, I received $14k from Schulich in my first year of MBA, and a mere $1k from Osgoode. If you've worked for a few years, and have savings, it's likely that Osgoode will give you little, if anything, in terms of bursaries. Most MBAers have work experience under their belt, and so it's much easier to secure funding (international students are exempted).

 

The program is relatively well administered, while the occasional hiccup (trusts and corporate finance exams scheduled at the same time, for example) is bound to occur.

 

As the JD/MBA becomes more widely offered, employers are becoming more aware of its existence. While employers will inevitably ask you questions about it, most will be impressed. The problem with the four year program is that it's a bit tough in the first two summers to secure internships. Most employers hire interns with the hope of bringing them back full time upon graduation. Having years of study left to complete is a hindrance. Also, law firms may question your commitment to law, as loyalty is quite prized in the field. Frankly, I find this perspective irritating. The MBA enables us to understand clients' business needs, in addition to their legal problems. JD/MBAs have options, and a common career path is to article and work in a law firm for a few years, and then transition to in-house council for a corporation, or an executive position. However, in my opinion, JD students have equal opportunity to "jump ship" to another firm, or to another area of law. In sum, the consensus is that JD/MBA students have an edge on straight-JD students for Bay Street law jobs, but the degree won't make up for a terrible OCI interview or dismal law grades. They say that conservative individuals go to law school, while aggressive students go to business school. In my opinion, the JD/MBA is the most conservative degree of all: you are basically doubling your chances of getting a job...somewhere. :wink:
 

The program has a very active students’ association, which hosts lunch events with prominent figures in Canadian business/law, in addition to an annual conference.


The buildings are both newly renovated and aesthetically appealing. Both have good career development services.


Well, I think that’s it for now. Hopefully I’ve given you all some food for thought. I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.

 


 

Edited by creditdefaultswap
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I actually spent the better half of yesterday morning looking through the archives of LS.ca for information on the jdmba.

 

And how long did u study for the GMAT? More specifically, how long did u have to study until you could get an acceptable score.. And is that threshold any lower if u are already in Oz?

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hi

 

Is the Chamber on 8 month lease ? Sept to April?

 

I know 1L will get a spot for sure if they apply. What are the chances for  2L transfer

student getting a spot?

 

Thanks

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Can you apply for the MBA when you are in your first year at Osgoode? What are the requirements in terms of grades and work experience? Are you required to write the GMAT?

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And how long did u study for the GMAT? More specifically, how long did u have to study until you could get an acceptable score.. And is that threshold any lower if u are already in Oz?

 

I studied for about two weeks to write the GMAT vs. studying for months for the LSAT. The written and reading sections are much easier than those on the LSAT, so I focused my energy on the Math section. I still scored low on the Math, but the other sections brought me up to a 660. The JD/MBA program website states that you should aim for a 90th percentile on both, but my understanding is that it's not a hard or fast rule. I don't think Schulich lowers the threshold: they make it quite clear that you have to get into both schools on your own merits (with the exception of the 2 year work experience waiver).

 

Is the Chamber on 8 month lease ? Sept to April?

I know 1L will get a spot for sure if they apply. What are the chances for  2L transfer

student getting a spot?

 

It's not a lease, it's month-to-month, so long as you give 2 months notice. Thus, you could move in on Sept 1st, and leave in December if you want to. My understanding is that most Osgoode 2Ls who want an apartment get one. Otherwise, you could be placed elsewhere in Passy, or in Assiniboine. I've never heard of anyone not getting an apartment; there's usually availability.

 

Can you apply for the MBA when you are in your first year at Osgoode? What are the requirements in terms of grades and work experience? Are you required to write the GMAT?

 

Yes, you can apply in your 1L. And yes, the GMAT is required (some students write it over the Winter break). If you chose to persue this route, I assume Schulich would consider your 1L grades (which will likely be lower than your undergraduate grades!) Schulich waives the work experience requirement for JD/MBAs. Getting entry to Osgoode is the hard part: assuming a decent GMAT score your chances are quite good of securing entry to Schulich.

Edited by creditdefaultswap

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Also, the GMAT is MUCH more flexible in terms of when you can write it: there's an office at Younge and St Clair, and you simply make an appointment. You also get your provisional results right away. None of this 4 times per year routine, followed by a month of agonizing over when results will come out..

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Have you found that employers treat you better at events when they hear you are a JD/MBA? Do you know what the articling stats (or summer hiring stats) are for JD/MBA vs JD?

 

Thanks!

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Sorry, I don't have those stats. For JD students, U of T publishes their annual report of OCI placements by school in their school paper, Ultra Vires, but they don't get into specifics for JD/MBAs. All I can offer is anecdotal evidence, which suggests that we have a slight edge.

 

Law firms will be a bit more familiar with the JD/MBA than the banks/consulting firms. Since we are relatively few in number, we tend to have a pretty tight network, so if you're lucky that might give you an "in" at a particular firm if there's an alumnus doing the recruiting. As I said, firms like Torys seem to show a preference for joint students. Do they treat us better at events? It's hard to say, because usually they don't know right away. We do host our own events, such as the conference, and law firms will offer JD/MBA-only events. There is a definite respect for the degree, but invariably, the first question we always seem to be answering is "why the dual degree?"

I have more experience in recruiting on the business side. I've been through it twice now: recruiting season starts early in January, and the top Capital Markets jobs go quickly, followed by consulting. 1L jobs come later in the month. I got an offer with CIBC so I didn't subject myself to the horrors of 1L recruitment--the competition is incredible for just a handful of jobs. In a way, the degree allows you to be a chameleon. Remember, it is not a single degree: it is two degrees for which you must complete most of the prerequisites for both scools (with some exceptions), and for which you are awarded two diplomas.I have two very distinct resumes, one for business and one for law. In business interviews, I stress my finance work experience, my MBA grades, and other business-related extra-ciriculars, and frame the JD as an "add-on" that would offer the possibility of working in-house for that particular bank one day. For law jobs, do the opposite. If you're not sure where you want to end up, especially for summers, apply on both sides of the aisle and hope for a multitude of offers.



 

Edited by creditdefaultswap

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Mmm... Interesting thread- I was planning on something like this. I won't have much financial support outside of bank loans/ osap. How affordable is the joint program and can it be done given my financial constraints?

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There is a definite respect for the degree, but invariably, the first question we always seem to be answering is "why the dual degree?

This is really my question. Given what you've seen/heard/experienced so far, and after speaking to other students/grads, do you think the benefits outweigh the costs? Would you sign up for it again if you could? I'm looking at it from the perspective of a student with a business undergrad given that I want to work as a lawyer, not a business-person. Would certain courses/experience in a law firm/school be able to replace the MBA? When considering degrees, I always thought the greatest benefit to dong an MBA is networking - aside from the potential of bringing clients into your company (old classmates) or better understanding the business concerns of clients (how important is this?), and the possibility of obtaining an in-house position, would an MBA, from your POV, be useful for a lawyer?

 

There's alot of threads discussing the cost-benefit analysis of JD/MBA (including opportunity costs and so forth), but it's always interesting to hear the perspectives of someone going through the program now.

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This is really my question. Given what you've seen/heard/experienced so far, and after speaking to other students/grads, do you think the benefits outweigh the costs? Would you sign up for it again if you could? I'm looking at it from the perspective of a student with a business undergrad given that I want to work as a lawyer, not a business-person. Would certain courses/experience in a law firm/school be able to replace the MBA? When considering degrees, I always thought the greatest benefit to dong an MBA is networking - aside from the potential of bringing clients into your company (old classmates) or better understanding the business concerns of clients (how important is this?), and the possibility of obtaining an in-house position, would an MBA, from your POV, be useful for a lawyer?

 

There's alot of threads discussing the cost-benefit analysis of JD/MBA (including opportunity costs and so forth), but it's always interesting to hear the perspectives of someone going through the program now.

I can't answer all of your questions but from what I hear, if you have a Business degree,  an MBA is completely redundant.

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Mmm... Interesting thread- I was planning on something like this. I won't have much financial support outside of bank loans/ osap. How affordable is the joint program and can it be done given my financial constraints?

 

Osgoode tuition is nearing 21k, while Schulich is getting pretty close to 30k, plus living expenses. Tuition alone will be over 100k.

 

My total budget was around 35k for the two semesters of 1L this year (as I mentionned, Osgoode didn't give me anything in terms of bursaries). If you have greater financial need, you're likely to get something...5k seems to be around average, which is still a drop in the bucket based on your budget. If you manage to find well-paid summer jobs, the program is manageable with loans and osap. It's the most affordable JD/MBA of the big 4 Toronto-focused schools (actually, I'm not sure about Queens). Because Schulich is more generous with funding, the extra cost and year of opportunity might be worth it: remember, you can apply to both schools for funding in upper years.

 

This is really my question. Given what you've seen/heard/experienced so far, and after speaking to other students/grads, do you think the benefits outweigh the costs? Would you sign up for it again if you could? I'm looking at it from the perspective of a student with a business undergrad given that I want to work as a lawyer, not a business-person. Would certain courses/experience in a law firm/school be able to replace the MBA? When considering degrees, I always thought the greatest benefit to dong an MBA is networking - aside from the potential of bringing clients into your company (old classmates) or better understanding the business concerns of clients (how important is this?), and the possibility of obtaining an in-house position, would an MBA, from your POV, be useful for a lawyer?

 

Yes, I would sign up for it again if I could. I would probably do the three year program over the four year, and waive more of the intro-level MBA courses. If you have a business undergraduate degree, Schulich offers an accelerated 8 month MBA program. In this scenario, you're not really saving any time by doing the joint degree (both degrees separately would take 5 years of study otherwise). If you're doing the MBA primarily for the networking, I'd say it's not worth it. The friends I met during 1 MBA are interested in vastly different fields than I am. Perhaps this will change as I take more specialized upper year courses. As a business undergrad, you will already understand the business concerns of your clients. Yes-I think it's important, but most articling students/first year associates are pretty bright and catch on quickly. I know quite a few business undergrads at Osgoode who chose not to do the joint degree. In essence, an MBA does wield more clout than a BBA with both clients and employers, and as a BBA, you'd get most 1MBA courses waived so that you can focus more on your area of interest. In sum, if you know 100% that you want to be a lawyer, the MBA might not be worth it.

 

I can't answer all of your questions but from what I hear, if you have a Business degree,  an MBA is completely redundant.

I wouldn't say it's redundant, but the joint program does offer better opportunities for people like myself, who don't have a business undergrad. If you're still on the fence, or if you're in it for the long haul, with an eye on executive/board positions, the degree may be worth it. Look at it as a long term bet, that provides options in the short term.

Edited by creditdefaultswap

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Would you say that the MBA is worthwhile for people like myself that have no work experience beyond minimum wage service industry type stuff?

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I recently applied for a place in Osgoode Chambers and I just just wondering when I would find out about whether I get a place or not? Do they send out emails in June or July, or is it earlier?

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Would you say that the MBA is worthwhile for people like myself that have no work experience beyond minimum wage service industry type stuff?

It really depends if you want to open doors to get into the business world. Do you have a passion for it? If not, just go to law school. The JD/MBA is a great way to bypass the 2 year professional work experience that Schulich requires of straight MBA students.

I recently applied for a place in Osgoode Chambers and I just just wondering when I would find out about whether I get a place or not? Do they send out emails in June or July, or is it earlier?

Last year assignments were in late June.

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Hey CDS, thanks for taking the time to do this. 

I am very interested in Osgoode Chambers, I completed my UG at York, so I don't have particularly high expectations of the surrounding area, but I believe they are adequate - can't beat the convenience!  I was wondering if you knew anything about their policy regarding furniture, specifically, is it possible to bring in some of my own?  I can deal with everything but the bed, I'd really want to bring mine because the mattress they provide does not look very comfortable. 

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Can anyone comment on their experience with the bed/sofa provided in the bachelor apartments within the OC?  I am a relatively tall individual, and the size/shape of this bed definitely concerns me.

 

Here's a photo for reference:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/8164293034/

 

Based on that, I was thinking that I would be well served to apply for the one-bedroom apartment (with its slightly larger bed), but the online application seems to suggest that a single occupant wouldn't be eligible.  Does anyone have any experience in this respect?

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Can anyone comment on their experience with the bed/sofa provided in the bachelor apartments within the OC?  I am a relatively tall individual, and the size/shape of this bed definitely concerns me.

 

Here's a photo for reference:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/8164293034/

 

Based on that, I was thinking that I would be well served to apply for the one-bedroom apartment (with its slightly larger bed), but the online application seems to suggest that a single occupant wouldn't be eligible.  Does anyone have any experience in this respect?

 

Ditto, by the way, I've heard the mattresses are brutal - get a pillow top.  Good to hear you'll be living in the OC next year, I'll probably be there as well.  Let me know if you secure the 1 bedroom, I'm looking at going that route myself. 

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