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Ariana

Law School Dilemma: University preferred over college degrees?

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Hi there, 

 

I'm a second year student doing my undergrad commerce degree at Seneca College and I'm thinking about going to law school. I'm concerned that my chances of being accepted will be lower even I have a high GPA and LSAT score since I'll have a college degree instead of a university degree. 

 

Do law schools pick university degree applicants over college degree applicants?  Does anyone know anyone who did their undergrad at a college and then went to law school? 

 

Please advise. 

 

 

 

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http://www.osgoode.yorku.ca/prospective-students/jd-program/applying/first-year-program

 

"...at a recognized university"

 

http://www.law.utoronto.ca/admissions/jd-admissions/admissions-policies

 

"... at a recognized university"

 

http://www.commonlaw.uottawa.ca/en/admissions/full-page-content-admissions/admissions-criteria.html

 

"...while attending university"

 

http://law.uwo.ca/admissions/first_year_applications.html

 

"...undergraduate university study (or equivalent)"

 

There is a pretty clear expectation that the progression is undergraduate university --> law school. That said I'd imagine if you're actually being offered a Bachelor's degree that might approximate an "equivalent" for the schools willing to accept them. I don't really know Seneca all that well. I'd probably talk to your program coordinator or supervisor or whatever and see what s/he has to say about it.

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I would email and ask. I attended a college before institution became a University. However I transferred after my second year to a University. If they do require you to attend a 'University' you still have time to transfer after you complete your second year.

 

Good luck!

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Does anyone know any law school students who went to college for their undergrad? This question is absurd but perhaps there are a few super rare cases? 

 

I don't want to transfer to a uni since I already wasted a year at U of T. I didn't like it there so I transferred to Seneca...

My program adviser said there are students who go earn an MBA after undergrad at Seneca. Of course, an MBA is different from a JD but they both involve admissions to graduate programs. This gave hope that a college degree could get me into law school. Please correct me if I'm wrong. 

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It is my understanding the Law Schools expect a "Bachelor" degree (usually 4 years) and not a diploma or "applied" degree.

 

But you know what? Do yourself a favor and just call or shoot an email. Seriously pick your top choices and email/call them. 

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It is my understanding the Law Schools expect a "Bachelor" degree (usually 4 years) and not a diploma or "applied" degree.

 

But you know what? Do yourself a favor and just call or shoot an email. Seriously pick your top choices and email/call them. 

Thanks, I will 

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I don't want to transfer to a uni since I already wasted a year at U of T. I didn't like it there so I transferred to Seneca...

 

Are you sure you want to go to law school? It's three more years at a University.

 

I'd take a look at what you didn't like about U of T and figure out if anything will have changed for law school.

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Is it a Bachelor of Commerce degree? The full 120-credit program? That is a Bachelors degree, regardless of where it is coming from. It is a university degree, just offered at a college.

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Are you sure you want to go to law school? It's three more years at a University.

 

I'd take a look at what you didn't like about U of T and figure out if anything will have changed for law school.

 

Particularly if what offended you most was the:

 

A) Workload

or

B) Culture of competitive behaviour UoT has a reputation for

 

as you are likely to encounter similar scenarios at most law schools. (Some more than others on that second point)

 

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I know that Humber offers degrees (as in, 4-year university degrees) in commerce because they're partnered with Guelph.  Seneca probably has the something similar? 

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From Seneca's site:

 

4 year Bachelor of Commerce

"Seneca has been granted a consent by the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities to offer this degree for a 7-year term starting August 26, 2005. In conformity with the Minister’s criteria and requirements, Seneca will submit an application for the renewal of the consent for this program 12 months prior to the expiration of the consent. Seneca shall ensure that all students admitted to the above-named program during the period of consent will have the opportunity to complete the program within a reasonable time frame."

 

So based on that, I'd say it's a university degree offered through a College.  Obviously, I totally agree with the other posters that you should check with the law schools and make sure they feel that way.

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Are you sure you want to go to law school? It's three more years at a University.

 

I'd take a look at what you didn't like about U of T and figure out if anything will have changed for law school.

I definitely want to go to university after earning my Bachelor of Commerce degree. The reason why I don't want to transfer to a university now is because I've already transferred from U of T to Seneca. I can't just transfer back to university after a year at Seneca. There may be questions from future employers. And there's opportunity cost to think about.

 

Thanks for the tip though :) I should find out if I really want to go to law school.... 

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From Seneca's site:

 

4 year Bachelor of Commerce

"Seneca has been granted a consent by the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities to offer this degree for a 7-year term starting August 26, 2005. In conformity with the Minister’s criteria and requirements, Seneca will submit an application for the renewal of the consent for this program 12 months prior to the expiration of the consent. Seneca shall ensure that all students admitted to the above-named program during the period of consent will have the opportunity to complete the program within a reasonable time frame."

 

So based on that, I'd say it's a university degree offered through a College.  Obviously, I totally agree with the other posters that you should check with the law schools and make sure they feel that way.

Thanks, I'll find out soon

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Particularly if what offended you most was the:

 

A) Workload

or

B) Culture of competitive behaviour UoT has a reputation for

 

as you are likely to encounter similar scenarios at most law schools. (Some more than others on that second point)

 

I know for sure I want to go to university after doing my undergrad at Seneca. I don't know if law school is the right path for me. I just want to find out if I am qualified to apply to law school even though I have a Bachelor of Commerce degree from a college.

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Does anyone know any law school students who went to college for their undergrad? This question is absurd but perhaps there are a few super rare cases? 

 

I don't want to transfer to a uni since I already wasted a year at U of T. I didn't like it there so I transferred to Seneca...

My program adviser said there are students who go earn an MBA after undergrad at Seneca. Of course, an MBA is different from a JD but they both involve admissions to graduate programs. This gave hope that a college degree could get me into law school. Please correct me if I'm wrong. 

 

I know Seneca has some joint program with York that allow you to transfer some credits towards your BA later. 

 

http://www.senecac.on.ca/degreetransfer/guide/york-university.html

 

Look into it if you can.

 

Also MBA is completely different than JD. Law schools look at you GPA and LSAT for the majoirty of your profile (almost exclusivly at some schools) while MBA needs at least 2-3 years of work experience in a relevant field (such as management jobs, etc). As far as I know, no universities, at least in Ontario, accept college level degrees.

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I know Seneca has some joint program with York that allow you to transfer some credits towards your BA later. 

 

http://www.senecac.on.ca/degreetransfer/guide/york-university.html

 

Look into it if you can.

 

Also MBA is completely different than JD. Law schools look at you GPA and LSAT for the majoirty of your profile (almost exclusivly at some schools) while MBA needs at least 2-3 years of work experience in a relevant field (such as management jobs, etc). As far as I know, no universities, at least in Ontario, accept college level degrees.

I checked out the site and the programs listed for Seneca are diploma/certificate programs. My program isn't listed there since it's a 4-year Bachelor of Commerce. I plan to email a few law/business schools and find out if I'm qualified.

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Here's my update. I emailed several law schools to ask whether a bachelor degree from college would qualify as a prerequisite for law school. Windsor & Queens said yes it was okay, Lakehead said no, U of Ottawa said maybe and Western sent me an automated reply but never really answered my question.  

 

When I asked my program coordinator at Seneca, he said there was a girl who was accepted into law school but chose to work instead. She was in the HR program and I wanted to meet her at an alumni meeting but her program coordinator said she wasn't going. I do have her phone number but it's impolite to just call and ask her about law school. Would it be better through an email? I really want to know which law school she was accepted to...

 

Even if I can go to law school with a bachelor degree from college, I'm afraid of employment prospects (being asked of why I didn't go to university for undergrad).

It's just unconventional; the law world has law students/lawyers who did their undergrad in university. Is there a lawyer out there with a bachelor degree from college? It's unheard of. 

 

Transferring to a university isn't an option for me anymore; I transferred from U of T to Seneca already and I feel that any more transfers will affect my employment prospects (and waste time & money). Maybe I should just get an MBA... but I also really want to contact the Seneca grad who got accepted into law school and ask her which school she got accepted into. 

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Here's my update. I emailed several law schools to ask whether a bachelor degree from college would qualify as a prerequisite for law school. Windsor & Queens said yes it was okay, Lakehead said no, U of Ottawa said maybe and Western sent me an automated reply but never really answered my question.  

 

When I asked my program coordinator at Seneca, he said there was a girl who was accepted into law school but chose to work instead. She was in the HR program and I wanted to meet her at an alumni meeting but her program coordinator said she wasn't going. I do have her phone number but it's impolite to just call and ask her about law school. Would it be better through an email? I really want to know which law school she was accepted to...

 

Even if I can go to law school with a bachelor degree from college, I'm afraid of employment prospects (being asked of why I didn't go to university for undergrad).

It's just unconventional; the law world has law students/lawyers who did their undergrad in university. Is there a lawyer out there with a bachelor degree from college? It's unheard of. 

 

Transferring to a university isn't an option for me anymore; I transferred from U of T to Seneca already and I feel that any more transfers will affect my employment prospects (and waste time & money). Maybe I should just get an MBA... but I also really want to contact the Seneca grad who got accepted into law school and ask her which school she got accepted into. 

I would think it's doable. Definitely email her and ask her for her experiences.

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Even if I can go to law school with a bachelor degree from college, I'm afraid of employment prospects (being asked of why I didn't go to university for undergrad).

It's just unconventional; the law world has law students/lawyers who did their undergrad in university. Is there a lawyer out there with a bachelor degree from college? It's unheard of. 

 

Unless things have significantly changed in the last 5 years (which I don't think they have) law firms typically don't give a huge amount of thought to undergrad programs once you have law marks available. I know of a few peers who do not have undergrad degrees, as they chose to attend law prior to the completion of their degree. It's absolutely not the norm, but these are people in biglaw so take that as you will. They all had exceptional law marks though.

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Unless things have significantly changed in the last 5 years (which I don't think they have) law firms typically don't give a huge amount of thought to undergrad programs once you have law marks available. I know of a few peers who do not have undergrad degrees, as they chose to attend law prior to the completion of their degree. It's absolutely not the norm, but these are people in biglaw so take that as you will. They all had exceptional law marks though.

Did these people go to law school in the U.K.? 

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