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SS624

Queen's vs. Dalhousie

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Hello everyone,

 

I was hoping people could enlighten me as to the benefits and cons of going to either Queen's or Dalhousie. I have been accepted to both, and am utterly failing in making a decision! My ultimate career goal is criminal, family, or civil law,  and I am originally from Alberta and will probably be returning there after graduation. Both schools seem excellent, so I was hoping some actual students could share their brains with me!

 

Thanks so much :)

Edited by SS624

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If you're serious about Criminal Law, then Queen's would be the better choice. 

 

Halifax is going to be more expensive than Kingston, and I believe Dal's tuition hike puts it a fair bit above Queen's. In short, Dal will cost you a lot more.

 

Both schools have great national reputations within Canada, so neither should be more of a hindrance than the other to your chances of returning to Western Canada for work. 

 

Question: If you're planning on returning to Alberta... why not go to a law school in Alberta? It would be cheaper, and a lot easier to interview for articles. 

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Hello everyone,

 

I was hoping people could enlighten me as to the benefits and cons of going to either Queen's or Dalhousie. I have been accepted to both, and am utterly failing in making a decision! My ultimate career goal is criminal, family, or civil law,  and I am originally from Alberta and will probably be returning there after graduation. Both schools seem excellent, so I was hoping some actual students could share their brains with me!

 

Thanks so much :)

 

Dalhousie Pros:

• it's in a vibrant, interesting city and the campus is 300m from the sea

• great dean and generally friendly faculty

• "national school": there are quite a few Alberta students who come here and Dalhousie has a pretty good connection with the Alberta market 

• very collegial atmosphere

 

Dalhousie Cons:

• internet connection is a pain, especially if you have a Mac

• bad law library hours

• tuition is becoming obscenely expensive

• generally expensive COL in Halifax

• expensive to fly to and from Alberta

 

Edit: I am pretty sceptical about the value in choosing a school based on strengths in criminal, family or civil law.

 

My Oxford Seminars LSAT instructor in AB was a Dal alumnus who is a Crown Prosecutor. He did a joint MBA/JD at Dal and articled for Blakes in Calgary. He had just recently done a 180 out of corporate law and decided he wanted to work for the Crown. He only did one criminal law class. Maybe specialization in law school is more important for doing Criminal defence. At any rate, Criminal, Family and Civil are such core areas of law that I'm sure you will get a solid enough foundation at any school. 

Edited by Ptolemy

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Thanks you two! Yeah cost is definitely an issue... but something I'm willing to absorb. I would love to live in Halifax, but I feel like Queen's has better programs. Arg.

 

Phoenix-Wright: I deliberately didn't apply to any schools in Alberta, actually. I wanted an adventure and wanted to explore the rest of Canada!

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Dalhousie Pros:

• it's in a vibrant city, interesting city and the campus is 300m from the sea

• great dean and generally friendly faculty

• "national school": there are quite a few Alberta students who come here and Dalhousie has a pretty good connection with the Alberta market 

• very collegial atmosphere

 

Dalhousie Cons:

• internet connection is a pain, especially if you have a Mac

• tuition is becoming obscenely expensive

• expensive to fly to and from Alberta

 

Also Ptolemy, how is the cost of living in Halifax?

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Also Ptolemy, how is the cost of living in Halifax?

 

About the same for rent as in Edmonton, but there is PST here. I very much resent having to pay PST.   :mad2:

Edited by Ptolemy
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Thanks you two! Yeah cost is definitely an issue... but something I'm willing to absorb. I would love to live in Halifax, but I feel like Queen's has better programs. Arg.

 

Phoenix-Wright: I deliberately didn't apply to any schools in Alberta, actually. I wanted an adventure and wanted to explore the rest of Canada!

Halifax is not for everyone. I wish I'd come out before choosing Dal. The campus is run down and grimy. And while it is on the coast access to the ocean is very difficult. Most of the shoreline (95%) is industrial or military.

 

Edit: 95% may be a bit harsh. What I'm trying to say is there is really only one place where you can enjoy being on the coast and most people will be too far away to get there more than once or twice a month.

 

Just don't expect an east coast version of Vancouver. Halifax is small, it's hard to get around without a car (basically no bus service after 11:30) and, in my opinion, there's not much to do after you've explored the limited bar scene. But it is expensive like Vancouver.

Edited by DuraAce

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 I would love to live in Halifax, but I feel like Queen's has better programs.

 

Both schools will serve you well as far as OCI's are concerned. Dalhousie tends to have good representation at Albertan firms. I can't comment as to the programs at Queen's, but the consensus around here is that there isn't any substantial difference in the quality of learning at most Canadian law schools.

 

Also, once you begin practice, your school becomes a much less important factor in your life. Bottom line, both Dal and Queens will get you plenty of opportunities at Big Law jobs.

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Thanks you two! Yeah cost is definitely an issue... but something I'm willing to absorb. I would love to live in Halifax, but I feel like Queen's has better programs. Arg.

 

Phoenix-Wright: I deliberately didn't apply to any schools in Alberta, actually. I wanted an adventure and wanted to explore the rest of Canada!

 

 

I'm also scratching my head at the better programs part. This may be true, but I don't know on what your perception is based. Dal's health law and environmental law programs are among the finest in the country. And like Roy Batty said, the core programs will be virtually indistinguishable in quality. 

 

Even Queens' so-called castle program abroad in the Spring--you can do that as a Dal student too. It's not exclusive for Queens students. 

Edited by Ptolemy

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Halifax is not for everyone. I wish I'd come out before choosing Dal. The campus is run down and grimy. And while it is on the coast access to the ocean is very difficult. Most of the shoreline (95%) is industrial or military.

 

Edit: 95% may be a bit harsh. What I'm trying to say is there is really only one place where you can enjoy being on the coast and most people will be too far away to get there more than once or twice a month.

 

Just don't expect an east coast version of Vancouver. Halifax is small, it's hard to get around without a car (basically no bus service after 11:30) and, in my opinion, there's not much to do after you've explored the limited bar scene. But it is expensive like Vancouver.

 

I agree that is hard to spend time on the coast, but to me it hasn't been an issue of accessibility. I live right by campus and the northwest arm (which is entirely for recreational use) is right there, and point pleasant park is within comfortable walking distance. If you live by the harbour, yeah I see what you mean about the commercial and military use of the coast.

 

As for the campus being grimy and rundown, I don't really agree. I think the campus is nice enough. My main issues with the campus are lack of resources: like 24 hr study or hangout areas, not enough equipment at the Dalplex, lack of variety for on campus eating, etc.

Edited by Ptolemy

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Hey, those were also my final two and I am also Albertan. I finally chose Queens, but it was close because they are very similar, classes sizes, school feeling, access to the castle. My choice was eventually because I felt a more supportive admin at queens, and also because of career support. My theory was that because there is a focus on Atlantic region jobs, which I have no focus or interest in, there may be split purposes for career services.

Also, queens has scholarships for the castle program and when I talked to Rose at Dal about it, it seemed as if she forgot they even offered the option.

Good luck, both good schools, there is not really a 'wrong' option I think.

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My theory was that because there is a focus on Atlantic region jobs, which I have no focus or interest in, there may be split purposes for career services.

 

Also, queens has scholarships for the castle program and when I talked to Rose at Dal about it, it seemed as if she forgot they even offered the option.

 

Good luck, both good schools, there is not really a 'wrong' option I think.

 

I think there's truth in this statement; the CDO at Dal needs some work.  I don't know if it's because they are overworked, understaffed, or what, but the career services at Dal are lacking compared to what I hear from ppl at other schools.  Recruiters have also mentioned to me that Dal students are less "polished" than students from some ON schools in terms of OCI preparation.

 

Yes, ultimately, you're responsible for your own job, and Dal has no obligation to help you find a position, but that's something to consider.

Edited by conge

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Phoenix-Wright: I deliberately didn't apply to any schools in Alberta, actually. I wanted an adventure and wanted to explore the rest of Canada!

 

While I liked the Dal MPA/JD program - this was pretty much why I chose to go to Dal over some place like Queens, UofA, etc.  I had grown up in Alberta, gone to undergrad here, and wanted to see a bit more of the country. The quality of your education is going to be pretty much the same no matter where you go, and distance to Alberta isn't as big of a deal as some would make it out to be. It just comes down to where do you want to live for the next 3 or so years? I don't know why Dal students would be less "polished" but that may be due to the fact that Dal is one of the first schools interviewed on the OCI circuit, so students may not have put their mind towards jobs yet - do some work on your own, contact the CDO, do research, and you'll be find.

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Even Queens' so-called castle program abroad in the Spring--you can do that as a Dal student too. It's not exclusive for Queens students. 

 

Oh man, so many Queens students were pissed about that.  The waiting list at the school when I went there was like 20 people long, and they were not happy when 8 Dal students were given spots.

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Oh man, so many Queens students were pissed about that.  The waiting list at the school when I went there was like 20 people long, and they were not happy when 8 Dal students were given spots.

 

Haha!  :-D

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