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Going Into 2L in September, Ask Me Anything

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This may be coming a bit late (and/or in the wrong thread), but I was wondering if anyone could share their experiences with extracurricular programs at uOttawa. I am already registered for the moot, and I am planning on submitting applications for the Ottawa Law Review, HRREC (new human rights clinic) and CIPPIC.

Does anyone know what the *actual* sort of commitment to these programs would involve? They all advertise a *firm* commitment of 3 or 3 - 5 hours/week (Ottawa Law Review seems ambiguous in this regard); is this time just spent clocked in? Or is this time you would, as a 1L, likely have to spend at an offsite location from uOttawa? Or is this the expectation of how long it should take you to accomplish a specific task? In my ADR class we were told that the case review and analysis would take only a couple hours, and I doubt ANYONE completed this assignment within the suggested time.

I was considering 3 - 4 ECs because I was told by an upper year working at the Law Review that you can usually complete your work in a location of your preference (i.e. at home with a cup of coffee on a Sunday morning), but I don't want to overextend. Can anyone elaborate?

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Just attended an Ottawa Law Review session hosted by some upper-year students and a CIPPIC session with Mr. David Fewer. Law Review is, from what I was able to translate, 20 hours a week for two weeks. Admission is very competitive this year, with only 2 editing cycles and 27 common law spots for English-speaking students. As for CIPPIC, I was totally impressed with Mr. Fewer's presentation and will be submitting an application right away. They have some fascinating projects on the go, and as a BC resident I am looking forward to learning more about the BCCA Google injunction.

 

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Any particular reason? I thought the big takeaway with OLR was a very strong EC for your first year.

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Any particular reason? I thought the big takeaway with OLR was a very strong EC for your first year.

 

What kind of job will you be looking for? There are no blanket "strong" ECs that apply to all possible employers or positions. If you're talking about Biglaw, focus on acing your December exams.

Edited by ericontario

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(Oops, I didn't mean to post the same question twice. Apologies!)

Edited by Bruce

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I have accepted and deferred 'til next year, and I'm curious if there is anything you'd recommend I do/read/research/follow in the interim to help prepare or possibly give me a leg up next fall. I anticipate being very busy, so if there is anything I can do ahead of time -- or become really familiar with -- I'd love to know. Thanks! 

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I have accepted and deferred 'til next year, and I'm curious if there is anything you'd recommend I do/read/research/follow in the interim to help prepare or possibly give me a leg up next fall. I anticipate being very busy, so if there is anything I can do ahead of time -- or become really familiar with -- I'd love to know. Thanks! 

 

Honestly... nothing. Unless you want to buy one of you textbooks and do all the readings in advance, there's really not much to prepare for ahead of time unless you somehow got yourself accepted to law school without basic word-processing skills. Just stay sharp, and keep up a habit of sitting down and reading a few times a week. You'll be fine :)

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This is probably a horridly embarrassing question, but I am genuinely curious. How did you (any 2Ls interested in answering) find the culture of the school in general? For lack of better terminology, did you make friends or did you find it so hyper-competitive that socializing was difficult? If I get into Ottawa I'll be moving to a new city, so although obviously grades are hugely important, I'm also curious about the social atmosphere of the school and how easy a transition it is, settling down in a new urban centre.

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Also what are exams like? Are they 100% for most of the 1L courses (like at UofT) or is there a semestered system in place?

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This is probably a horridly embarrassing question, but I am genuinely curious. How did you (any 2Ls interested in answering) find the culture of the school in general? For lack of better terminology, did you make friends or did you find it so hyper-competitive that socializing was difficult? If I get into Ottawa I'll be moving to a new city, so although obviously grades are hugely important, I'm also curious about the social atmosphere of the school and how easy a transition it is, settling down in a new urban centre.

 

1L here. As for the social atmosphere I would say it is very open and welcoming. Except for the cliquey-ness of the first couple weeks, for the most part all of my colleagues have been genuinely awesome people.

 

We're put in a small group for one of our classes (torts or crim) and those same classmates are in every other class as well. You will no doubt become close with at least one person there. I wouldn't worry about making friends - I find there is a good mix of out-of-towners as well as Ottawans . Unless you're a jerk and people normally don't like you I woudn't worry about it.

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UOttawa is super welcoming I find. Superb group of individuals. Feeling a part of something larger should be the last thing you worry about at UO; people are insanely kind. The worst "competitiveness" (I found) was during 1L when everything is new and you want to stand out, but it dies down after that and everyone does there own thing and helps others. Heck, I've even gotten unsolicited help from others, your classmates will want you to succeed. 

Exams: 1L is mostly 100% (might go as low as 70% or so if there are other assignments). After that it can be a mix, but if you prefer 100% exams you can go through law school with courses almost exclusively set up like that or vice versa. You will have to write one major paper and do an oral advocacy requirement, those are obviously not 100% exams.

UOttawa is semestered (except for a few 1L courses where the final exam in April can be 100% of your mark starting from September). We also have a "January Semester" which is one course intensive for the month of January. You do ADR for that in 1L, and then in 2L and 3L you can choose to do the January course pass/fail which might encourage you to take courses you aren't sure you'll do well in (eg. I did my second ever law course in French during 2L).

Edited by jmcazabon
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This is probably a horridly embarrassing question, but I am genuinely curious. How did you (any 2Ls interested in answering) find the culture of the school in general? For lack of better terminology, did you make friends or did you find it so hyper-competitive that socializing was difficult? If I get into Ottawa I'll be moving to a new city, so although obviously grades are hugely important, I'm also curious about the social atmosphere of the school and how easy a transition it is, settling down in a new urban centre.

 

It's a big enough school that you'll find a lot of people you get along with. There's also a lot of douches.. but one can easily avoid them.

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1L here. As for the social atmosphere I would say it is very open and welcoming. Except for the cliquey-ness of the first couple weeks, for the most part all of my colleagues have been genuinely awesome people.

 

We're put in a small group for one of our classes (torts or crim) and those same classmates are in every other class as well. You will no doubt become close with at least one person there. I wouldn't worry about making friends - I find there is a good mix of out-of-towners as well as Ottawans . Unless you're a jerk and people normally don't like you I woudn't worry about it.

 

ditto! as a 1L i've found it exceptionally friendly compared to my friends both in civil programs in quebec and in other english common law programs elsewhere [can't speak to french common law but they seem nice]. it's true i haven't made a lot of "deep" friendships yet, but i think it just takes time. law students seem to be a bunch of social butterflies in general.

 

the school is also unbelievably socially progressive, both in student population and in teaching content, which i really value. we get feminist, aboriginal and critical theory seamlessly incorporated into almost every class. i've only met 1-2 people who seemed dedicated on corporate law; the rest of the students seem to have social justice and human rights law in mind [i say this with a grain of salt because at this point it's probably too soon to tell where we'll end up]. i think makes for an excellent legal education for the people you'll likely be serving, i.e., the wild and wonderful general public.

 

there's a lot of people though. i know there's an entire group of people with whom i share no classes, which makes it really weird when you're hanging out somewhere and ask a stranger where they go to school... and they're 1L english common law at uottawa. 

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Also what are exams like? Are they 100% for most of the 1L courses (like at UofT) or is there a semestered system in place?

 

i think they've given us a lot more opportunities to get ready for exams this year. some classes have fail-safe mid-terms, where if you do poorly you can replace the mark with your final exam or winter exam [depending if it's a full-year course or not]. there have been some midterms, mostly multiple-choice, and quite a number of writing assignments, like case summaries, case brief memos and legal research memos. i think this is a reflection of the industry asking for more job-ready lawyers, but as someone who likes writing papers way more than writing exams, i welcome it.

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Are there any dates or information about bursaries and scholarships you could provide? (perhaps a helpful link). I didn't easily find info on this and my package (we're talking entrance fall 2015) didn't have info about this.(other than the instant $2000). A little paranoid I will get too consumed with the current university year and miss a deadline or never find the ones I should be applying to.

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Are there any dates or information about bursaries and scholarships you could provide? (perhaps a helpful link). I didn't easily find info on this and my package (we're talking entrance fall 2015) didn't have info about this.(other than the instant $2000). A little paranoid I will get too consumed with the current university year and miss a deadline or never find the ones I should be applying to.

 

For scholarships, the best place to start is UOZone. If you have access to it, go under the financial tab and start applying for everything you can. My process has been to throw things at the wall and see what sticks. Sometimes my account gets credited.

 

No access to UOZone yet? Well, you can't apply at all then because the financial aid office does everything online.

 

Specific deadlines: Generally most scholarships seem to have a deadline of end of Oct with a few others dispersed throughout the year. Though, it may be different since you're just starting law school. If I remember right, when I started UO in 2012 the scholarship applications were due like May/June-ish?

 

Bottom Line: just write a note to yourself to check UOZone like once a month starting in February or March. That should cover everything and then some.

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Thanks so much. I'm choosing U of Ottawa but got info from Queen's as well and they had really early deadlines which threw me off. Really appreciate the input.

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Is there anything for people interested in animal rights? I noticed there is no animals and the law course or animal law clubs like some other schools.

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