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OrangeSyringe

Osgoode vs. Toronto

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The building is scheduled to be done this coming September, which means it will probably be done in time for OP's second year.

 

Current goal is September 2016 which would be OPs 1L year?

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I start to understand rankings of Canadian law schools are not so important. Firms hire people instead of school.

 

The reason why UofT has better placement in elite firms is that its overall student body is stronger (correct me if i am wrong)

 

In other words, if you excel in your class, you can go wherever you want.

 

So, I would look at course offering, clinical programs, and exchange opportunities.

Edited by caterpillar

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This year UT law's class size was around 210, and Osgoode has 290. There really isn't a huge difference in class size between the Ontario law schools anymore. Only Western and Lakehead continue to have small enrollment size.

 

Also, Osgoode sent out bursary money this past week and they were VERY generous. I know tons of people who got between 10-20k in financial aid. The clinical programs are extraordinary as well. No other school has Osgoode beat in clinical programs and diversity of course selection. If you care about this it can make or break your decision. Location is subjective, because I do know a lot of students who prefer the suburbs and are able to commute to Osgoode from outside the city.

 

https://www.osgoode.yorku.ca/programs/jd-program/clinics-intensives/

 

Take a look at the clinical programs.

Take a look at the course selection.

Take a look at financial aid and how much money you would save (if you care about this)

Take a look at location of preference, commute time, living expenses, etc.

 

This should help with your decision.

 

Edit: There is also a distinct difference with the student body between the two schools. Osgoode is more diverse than UT with people from all sorts of different backgrounds and experiences, and many looking to go into public-interest legal fields. If you care about being in a more diverse student body, and not at a school where elitism is rampant, then this could also make or break your decision. (Note - this is not a myth. I've been to many social events and there is definitely a difference between U of T law students and Osgoode law students).

Edited by Simbaa
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This year UT law's class size was around 210, and Osgoode has 290. There really isn't a huge difference in class size between the Ontario law schools anymore. Only Western and Lakehead continue to have small enrollment size.

 

Also, Osgoode sent out bursary money this past week and they were VERY generous. I know tons of people who got between 10-20k in financial aid. The clinical programs are extraordinary as well. No other school has Osgoode beat in clinical programs and diversity of course selection. If you care about this it can make or break your decision. Location is subjective, because I do know a lot of students who prefer the suburbs and are able to commute to Osgoode from outside the city.

 

https://www.osgoode.yorku.ca/programs/jd-program/clinics-intensives/

 

Take a look at the clinical programs.

Take a look at the course selection.

Take a look at financial aid and how much money you would save (if you care about this)

Take a look at location of preference, commute time, living expenses, etc.

 

This should help with your decision.

 

Edit: There is also a distinct difference with the student body between the two schools. Osgoode is more diverse than UT with people from all sorts of different backgrounds and experiences, and many looking to go into public-interest legal fields. If you care about being in a more diverse student body, and not at a school where elitism is rampant, then this could also make or break your decision. (Note - this is not a myth. I've been to many social events and there is definitely a difference between U of T law students and Osgoode law students).

 

Using your numbers, Osgoode's class is 40% larger. This is significant. You're fooling yourself if you think otherwise.

 

Here, I'll use a simple example. Firms do OCIs on campus. At both U of T and Osgoode, you will have two days of on-campus interviews. Each OCI lasts 17 minutes with 3 minutes of break time. OCIS go between 8 am and 5 p.m., if I recall correctly, for eight potential hours (with an hour break for lunch for the interviewers if they want), with three interviews per hour. This means they can do 24 in a day and 48 in two days. If the firm sends two teams of interviewers, it means they can interview 96 students over the two days. The big firms will do this, the little ones will not.

 

At U of T, the big firms will interview 45.7% of the class (again using your numbers) compared to 33.1% of the class at Osgoode (again your numbers). The smaller firms will interview 22.8% and 16.6%. These are significant differences. Other schools are even more prejudiced, since they might only get one day of OCIs.

 

Class size influences other things... clinic opportunities... course selection.... moot courts... Having less students is not just about the collegiality, but the availability of opportunities.

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I think it's also worth noting that a lot of the class at Oz isn't necessarily interested in business law, while it's my understanding that a large portion of the class at U of T is. Maybe in terms of total numbers it's similar, but I doubt it comes close in terms of percent. I'd be curious to see how many people actually interview at each school versus get hired. Is that available anywhere?

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I believe they're still telling us February. Unless that has changed quite recently

 

http://www.law.utoronto.ca/about-law-school/building-construction-timeline

 

Nope its September. There was a UV article earlier this year where the faculty basically admitted that classes wouldn't move to the new building until September. I believe I also read that they might open certain rooms in the new building earlier, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

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Nope its September. There was a UV article earlier this year where the faculty basically admitted that classes wouldn't move to the new building until September. I believe I also read that they might open certain rooms in the new building earlier, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

 

Yes, that's a clearer statement of what is my understanding as well. We're not going to switch classrooms mid-semester (or libraries, I assume) but the building is supposed to be open in some limited capacity. 

 

At any rate, OP, here is a bit of UoT's latest admission data. It's mixed news, I think. By its own numbers, UoT claims that three students opted for Osgoode instead this past year. Take those with whatever grain of salt you like.

 

http://ultravires.ca/2015/10/faculty-affairs-admissions-report-and-dean-iacobuccis-four-priorities/

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Yes, that's a clearer statement of what is my understanding as well. We're not going to switch classrooms mid-semester (or libraries, I assume) but the building is supposed to be open in some limited capacity. 

 

At any rate, OP, here is a bit of UoT's latest admission data. It's mixed news, I think. By its own numbers, UoT claims that three students opted for Osgoode instead this past year. Take those with whatever grain of salt you like.

 

http://ultravires.ca/2015/10/faculty-affairs-admissions-report-and-dean-iacobuccis-four-priorities/

 

To be fair, they also say that that number is lower than it has been in the past, so it seems that fewer students are choosing Osgoode over UofT than before. 

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To be fair, they also say that that number is lower than it has been in the past, so it seems that fewer students are choosing Osgoode over UofT than before.

Also could be some students are self selecting out by not applying to UT

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If Osgoode was located in the former Osgoode Hall building (current court of appeals)... maybe this would be a more difficult decision.. But as it stands, we're located on the York campus, which is in close proximity to.........

 

I love my school but just go to UofT

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I'm with FineCanadianFXs who I think caught the balance best, thus far. Questions about quality of facilities, faculty, etc. are speculative at best. Osgoode has some great academics doing very interesting work. I dare anyone to base an assessment that U of T is better in this regard on anything more than faith alone. So really, it comes down to location and strength of the class. Leaving aside money (as the OP originally indicated) I find very little reason to be so far outside the core and the only way to spin the relative strengths of the classes in Osgoode's favor is if you argue (as some have in the past) that it might somehow be an advantage to compete with slightly less accomplished peers. And I think that's silly. Then again, I also think it's silly to imagine that attending U of T conveys a competitive advantage only because of the name.

 

I have always been, and probably always will be, of the opinion that overall the competitiveness factor evens out. That is, the market tries to account as best it can for the difference between an average student at U of T vs. a top 1/4 student at U of Ottawa vs. a silver medalist at Lakehead. And note I am absolutely NOT suggesting those are where the equivalencies line up and that the same hypothetical student would be located that way in each class. What the hell do I really know? The comparison is incredibly speculative. But as much as possible the market tries to account for these differences. For every employer who over-estimates in favor of U of T there's probably one who over-estimates in favor of Osgoode. So what's a student to do? Assume the market knows, even if the market's knowledge is erratic, and decide on other factors.

 

The one way the more competitive market in U of T helps, I think, is that it gives you a more challenging peer group that's likely to go on to higher profile careers. Let me be clear - Osgoode will do the same. But sure, slight edge to U of T, there. Just not a big one.

 

It's hard to say any of this without sounding arrogant. Yes, I'm a U of T alum also. But I know and respect colleagues today who come from all over. I think it's great that our market is far more open than the U.S. and I'd never want to see clear tiering in schools. I also don't think we need to pretend, as logical adults, that with a slightly less competitive class the outcome difference between U of T vs. Osgoode is selection bias. There's more than that going on. But exaggerating it also isn't fair.

 

You can't go far wrong either way. Other factors could tip the scales. If this were two years ago, I'd genuinely be musing whether it's worth it to attend a law school (U of T) that's going to be under construction for most of your time there. But as of right now, money aside, I can't think of any general reasons that someone would choose Osgoode over U of T.

 

Hope that helps.

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Money aside, there is basically no reason to go to Oz overU of T. That's why 3 kids made that decisions last year – and I presume they took large merit scholarships. 

U of T has dominated the fall recruitment in the past. The ultravires data is not online yet, but U of T again had more than 50% of the class get a job. That doesn't include the dozen or so in NY and the 8 in Van. Osgoode was around the 20% mark, just above Queens and Western. 

 

You can say the market corrects for class quality, and so you would do roughly the same at either school job wise (because you would od better at Oz class ranking wise). But to some extent, I wonder if U of T students get some boost from having gotten into U of T. Maybe they do with some employers and not others... who knows. Conversely, students at Oz are, almost by definition, students who did not get into U of T (I'm sure there are a few who self selected out of applying and the 3 mentioned above, but that's a rarety and employers know it). I wonder if that carries a stigma? Who knows. But why risk it? 

Edited by Ambit

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Money aside, there is basically no reason to go to Oz overU of T. That's why 3 kids made that decisions last year – and I presume they took large merit scholarships. 

 

U of T has dominated the fall recruitment in the past. The ultravires data is not online yet, but U of T again had more than 50% of the class get a job. That doesn't include the dozen or so in NY and the 8 in Van. 

 

You can say the market corrects for class quality, and so you would do roughly the same at either school job wise (because you would od better at Oz class ranking wise). But to some extent, I wonder if U of T students get some boost from having gotten into U of T. Maybe they do with some employers and not others... who knows. Conversely, students at Oz are, almost by definition, students who did not get into U of T (I'm sure there are a few who self selected out of applying and the 3 mentioned above, but that's a rarety and employers know it). I wonder if that carries a stigma? Who knows. But why risk it? 

Correct me i'm wrong but I think it was about 18 that went to NY this year. 

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Correct me i'm wrong but I think it was about 18 that went to NY this year. 

Was it? I know of 12 but maybe there are more. 

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The consensus here seems to be UofT > Osgoode, financial considerations aside.

 

How would this change if money WAS an issue and Osgoode was offering one of their renewable $10 000 scholarships? Does it change further if someone wants to keep their options open (I.e. if they're not set on practicing in one specific area of law)?

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The consensus here seems to be UofT > Osgoode, financial considerations aside.

 

How would this change if money WAS an issue and Osgoode was offering one of their renewable $10 000 scholarships? Does it change further if someone wants to keep their options open (I.e. if they're not set on practicing in one specific area of law)?

My decision would depend on u of t's financial aid package...

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I think the decision to pick one school over the other here should be based on three main factors: Location, tuition, and, most importantly, employment prospects. I think quality of education, courses, law school building, and professors are equal, for the most part. Personally, I think it would be insane to base a decision of where to go to law school on how nice the building is. In that case, I've heard that Thomas Cooley Law School has gorgeous facilities.   

 

The OP stated that tuition wasn't an issue, so I won't entertain this factor very much. Must be nice to come from money (just kidding). But I will say that ~$30,000 (UofT) vs. ~$24,000 (Osgoode) is a significant difference for many--$6,000 per year and $18,000 after the degree. For some students already $100,000+ in debt, that extra $18,000 becomes significant. 

 

With respect to location, yes, UofT's location is far superior. When I say "superior" I mean that University and Bloor is much nicer than Finch and Keele. However, this didn't matter much to me since at the time I was in law school. I lived in North York, so Osgoode was much more convenient for me. Convenience was much more important to me than attractiveness of location. Personally, I don't care that UofT has nicer restaurants/bars in the area. I just took my car and drove where I wanted to go. But everyone's circumstances are different as not everyone has a car, which you often need in North York. I never truly understood the whole "vicinity to Bay St." argument. The only time I had to be on Bay St. was when I had to work during the summer or after law school was done. In November of 1st year, for example, it doesn't really matter that Bay St. is across the city. You're in class, the library, studying, etc. Who cares about Bay St.? You go there when you have to go. UofT is not so close to Bay St. that law firm partners will stop in and have lunch in the UofT cafeteria. 

 

Employment prospects, especially with the current market for lawyers, should be one of the most important factors in this decision. This is purely a numbers game. It's clear that UofT places more students on Bay St. I don't think anyone can really argue this because there are raw numbers to back this up. I think it's 50% vs. 30% placement rate. So, if you want to play the numbers game and give yourself the best possible chance to land a Bay St. job, UofT might be your best bet. The only problem is, if you're among the 50% that don't land an OCI position, I think the benefit of going to UofT decreases significantly (not sure how UofT does in the articling recruit though). It would suck to pay more tuition and be stuck without an articling position after graduation with the only benefit having been that you happen to go to classes in a nicer location. However, since money isn't a factor, perhaps playing the numbers game might be the best option since it's less risky. 

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