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lawchanel

Pros and Cons of Studying Law at U of Ottawa?

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Negropontiff I feel like there is a couple of things I need to state about your previous posts:

 

1.  You are making a large sweeping generalization about the city of Ottawa based on your own personal experiences.  I am sorry that you have been subjected to racism within your time there, but do realize that there are racist idiots in every city.  I myself am a visible minority and I have lived in two large Canadian cities: Vancouver and Calgary.  Want to know which city I have been subjected to more incidents of racism?  Vancouver ironically...this despite the perceived notion of Vancouver being a progressive, multi-cultural city than Calgary, which is largely perceived to be a largely conservative white majority (I also believe the notions of Calgary being a conservative city is largely exaggerated).  Do I believe that either city is inherently racist?  Not at all...the actions from a few individuals should not be the basis for classifying the rest of the population. 

 

2.  I also need to point out that by classifying the city of Ottawa as "incredibly racist" and a " cesspool of over-educated middle-class people of European descent who give ethnic minorities dirty looks and cough in their direction" you should not be surprised that you are generating a lot of flak from the other users of this forum.  You have probably offended them in doing so and ironically you yourself are racially profiling the white population of Ottawa.  I am a bit surprised that as a 2L you are making statements like this.      

 

3.  This topic was about listing the pros and cons of studying within the University of Ottawa.  Yet the sense I am getting from your posts is to serve as an outlet for your incidents of racism within the city.  Perhaps you should indicate some pros of your time at the law school to better balance the content of your posts.

 

4.  There are probably better ways to combat racism then to post anonymously on an Internet forum.  Use that law education of yours and go out to truly make a difference I say.

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^ I agree with this sentiment, I have visited Ottawa on many occasions, and found it to be extremely friendly towards minorities, as I am of Asian descent. This is one of the reasons that Ottawa is one of my first choices of law school this September.

 

I will not believe any claims made by the Sun and Huffington Post Canada, though the US version is much more reliable. 

 

I am inclined to believe that Negropontiff suffers from a persecution complex and is hellbent on claiming racism at every turn.

 

You were able to form such a strong conclusion about someone based on a few posts? While I agree that that NP's posts were inflammatory, I don't think it's fair for others to simply discredit his experiences. Is fair to generalize the ENTIRE city of Ottawa as racist? No. As other posters have pointed out, there is racism everywhere including Toronto (look at the Toronto hate crimes that happened after the attacks in Paris). 

 

Finally, I don't think any of this is helping OP's decision on whether or not to attend UofOttawa. OP was probably hoping to hear about the nightlife, cost of living, transit system... everything else related to being a student in Ottawa.

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Ottawa is amazing, great place to live, really cool people, very friendly, these allegations of racism have no substance and are idiosyncratic to the persons making them.

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I had a few questions about UOttawa and would love to hear some feedback from some current students or alumna of the Common Law program at UOttawa

 

Do the larger class sizes at UOttawa put law students at a disadvantage?

Are the professors helpful?

Are there a lot of out-of-province students? Are there any disadvantages to being an out-of-province student when it comes to securing articling positions?

Is the winter weather as bad as it is portrayed? (I am not at all used to snow)

 

Lastly, I would love to hear some recent pros/cons for UOttawa!

 

Thank you in advance!!

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I had a few questions about UOttawa and would love to hear some feedback from some current students or alumna of the Common Law program at UOttawa

 

Do the larger class sizes at UOttawa put law students at a disadvantage?

Are the professors helpful?

Are there a lot of out-of-province students? Are there any disadvantages to being an out-of-province student when it comes to securing articling positions?

Is the winter weather as bad as it is portrayed? (I am not at all used to snow)

 

Lastly, I would love to hear some recent pros/cons for UOttawa!

 

Thank you in advance!!

Large class sizes: this is overblown. Yes, in first year property, you're going to have 75-100 students in that class, but by the time you get the second year you can choose classes with more "normal" class sizes of 30 and fewer students. I felt my profs knew me pretty darn well in any case. In reality, this is soooooo not a problem

 

The profs: holy cow are they helpful. I can name at least two instances where they went out of their way to help me when I was too embarrassed to ask. They will remember you, they will do what's needed, and they'll follow up. Can't give them enough praise.

 

Out of province students: plenty, mostly from BC for some reason? and a few from Quebec but I don't count them because it's like next door.

 

Winter: the winter isn't that bad, it's how long it is that's the problem and in any case it has its own beauty to it. Current roommate is from Van (thus, inherently hates winter) and they loved it to the point that I think they want to move here permanently from Van.

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Large class sizes: this is overblown. Yes, in first year property, you're going to have 75-100 students in that class, but by the time you get the second year you can choose classes with more "normal" class sizes of 30 and fewer students. I felt my profs knew me pretty darn well in any case. In reality, this is soooooo not a problem

 

The profs: holy cow are they helpful. I can name at least two instances where they went out of their way to help me when I was too embarrassed to ask. They will remember you, they will do what's needed, and they'll follow up. Can't give them enough praise.

 

Out of province students: plenty, mostly from BC for some reason? and a few from Quebec but I don't count them because it's like next door.

 

Winter: the winter isn't that bad, it's how long it is that's the problem and in any case it has its own beauty to it. Current roommate is from Van (thus, inherently hates winter) and they loved it to the point that I think they want to move here permanently from Van.

 

To add to this, smaller law schools like Queens or U of T also have first-year mandatory classes with 75-100 students. They just have fewer sections of them. uOttawa has a large class size in terms of total number of students, but the literal size of the actual classrooms is comparable to any other school. 

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Pros:

1) Close to Supreme Court and Gov't Ministries. SCC Justices visit the school every year. Justice Russell Brown gave a talk  on tort law this year.

2) If you want to work in Ottawa, the school is well connected to the Ottawa job market.

3) Big social justice reputation

4) Profs are very helpful

5) Strong tech law & health law programs

6) Lots of apartments within walking distance of the school

7) Some great profs -Ian Kerr, Adam Dodek, Craig Forcese, Michael Geist, Bruce Feldthusen (he's a bit odd, but he literally wrote the book on tort law).
8) Under-rated (this could be pro or con). McLean's rated law schools for a few years & Ottawa ranked around 10th nationally. I think U.Ottawa is better than Western, Queen's, & Dalhousie. Ottawa doubled the size of its incoming class a few years ago & it's been battling a bad rep ever since.
9) Joint JD/MBA program but several schools offer this.

Cons

1) Not a business law school

2) Poor choice if you want to work in Toronto

3) Ottawa is cold 

4) Ottawa is boring, no nightlife, city closes at 6pm. Ottawa is populated with Gov't workers during the day who live in the suburbs. When they go home at 5pm, Ottawa is a ghost town.

5) Little traffic for a city of Ottawa's size.

6) The law school is overcrowded. 

7) Because the school is so large, people tend to be cliquish.

8) Lack of food choices on campus & in the surrounding area

9) Although the school has some great profs, there are many mediocre ones
10) Ottawa also has a Civil Law program (Quebec Law is different) that is housed in the same building. No undergraduate degree is required to enter the Civil Law program, so some of the students are as young as 17. They have a tendency to talk incessantly in French in the library.
 

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Pros:

8) Under-rated (this could be pro or con). McLean's rated law schools for a few years & Ottawa ranked around 10th nationally. I think U.Ottawa is better than Western, Queen's, & Dalhousie. Ottawa doubled the size of its incoming class a few years ago & it's been battling a bad rep ever since.

Cons

7) Because the school is so large, people tend to be cliquish.

 

 

 

In regards to "8", any particular reason why you would say this? I'm off the mind a legal education in Canada is a good education so when it comes to comparisons the metrics are almost always subjective. I would like to hear your thoughts on it though.

 

For the seventh 'con, I've never really understood the idea of 'cliques'. I mean is the goal to know everyone well in law school? Isn't it natural for people to split off in to different communities within the school regardless of size? Outside of Lakehead, the smallest class size in Ontario is Windsor with around 160, which is still quite large. I might be misunderstanding this sentiment though. When you say it's 'cliquish' does that mean that people are actively excluded from some groups? Like the ultra right wing kid who wanted to go to Ottawa finds himself without friends just by virtue of his politics? Maybe I just don't quite understand what one would be looking for from a school with a smaller class size that Ottawa doesn't offer because of how many people it admits.

 

Anyways, thanks for your input. I like reading about the school I'm going to in the fall.

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4) Ottawa is boring, no nightlife, city closes at 6pm. Ottawa is populated with Gov't workers during the day who live in the suburbs. When they go home at 5pm, Ottawa is a ghost town.

 

 

 

BS.

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Cons

1) Not a business law school

2) Poor choice if you want to work in Toronto

4) Ottawa is boring, no nightlife, city closes at 6pm. Ottawa is populated with Gov't workers during the day who live in the suburbs. When they go home at 5pm, Ottawa is a ghost town.

5) Little traffic for a city of Ottawa's size.

9) Although the school has some great profs, there are many mediocre ones

10) Ottawa also has a Civil Law program (Quebec Law is different) that is housed in the same building. No undergraduate degree is required to enter the Civil Law program, so some of the students are as young as 17. They have a tendency to talk incessantly in French in the library.

 

 

Just wanted to give my opinion on a few of these:

 

1) While this is in a way true, it doesn't down play the amount of business law classes available. You can really specialize in anything at Ottawa given that being a larger law school does come with the benefit of a wide range of course options + there's a business law clinic. 

2) Not necessarily. Ottawa will give you the best shot at the Ottawa market, while still allowing you to apply for jobs in Toronto. I think law school performance will be more relevant to Toronto employers than which Ontario law school you attend, so it really comes down to how much a person cares about increasing their chances for Ottawa employment.

4) The city vibe has been improving steadily on a yearly basis, and like someone on here once said, Ottawa is starting to have almost everything available in Toronto and Montreal, but just one of each for the time being. So there's plenty to do nowadays, and there's currently a lot being invested into improving the city. 

5) This is bad? 

9) True, but probably true of most, if not every school

10) Part of this just isn't true. While the civil law students are definitely younger on average, there isn't anyone who's 17.. You need a minimum of one year of prior university studies in order to apply to civil law, so given that most people aren't even done high school at 17, I wouldn't worry about running into any 17 year olds.

Edited by Karadayi
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In regards to "8", any particular reason why you would say this? I'm off the mind a legal education in Canada is a good education so when it comes to comparisons the metrics are almost always subjective. I would like to hear your thoughts on it though.

 

For the seventh 'con, I've never really understood the idea of 'cliques'. I mean is the goal to know everyone well in law school? Isn't it natural for people to split off in to different communities within the school regardless of size? Outside of Lakehead, the smallest class size in Ontario is Windsor with around 160, which is still quite large. I might be misunderstanding this sentiment though. When you say it's 'cliquish' does that mean that people are actively excluded from some groups? Like the ultra right wing kid who wanted to go to Ottawa finds himself without friends just by virtue of his politics? Maybe I just don't quite understand what one would be looking for from a school with a smaller class size that Ottawa doesn't offer because of how many people it admits.

 

Anyways, thanks for your input. I like reading about the school I'm going to in the fall.

I worked in finance for a law firm in Toronto before I came to law school. There was a growing feeling among the lawyers I worked with that Western was over-rated and that it had gained a reputation it didn't deserved. Western Law has been called the country club. Conversely, Queens has retained a rep for being a top notch law school, but many top notch profs there have retired. As such, the education there may not be as good as it once was.

 

Cliquey was a nice way of putting it. I find that many of the students at U.Ottawa Law are spoilt little brats. Perhaps this is common among law schools. I did my MBA and I found a vast difference between law students and MBA students. Perhaps it is because you're required to have work experience before you start the MBA program. A number of the students here seem to emulate Regina George in Mean Girls.

Edited by JohnP

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BS.

I suppose this subjective but after having lived in Toronto, New York, and London, Ottawa puts me to sleep.

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I suppose this subjective but after having lived in Toronto, New York, and London, Ottawa puts me to sleep.

Good for you. I'm super impressed.

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I should add that any law school in Canada will give you an excellent education. Unlike America, we don't have great diversity in the quality of our law schools. All of our schools tend to be very good, so wherever you go you will get an excellent education. I think it is always wise to go to school where you want to practice because most schools have strong connections to the legal community in their city and thus you'll have an advantage in the local market.

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There are also numerous internship opportunities after 1L for law students to get accustomed to working in a particular field of law, and these internships count toward course credits. In addition to faculty-run internships, students can choose the lawyer/firm/organization that they want to intern with, subject to certain guidelines. I don't know of any other law school that provides similar internship opportunities.

Edited by DDarko
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