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putitthisway

Dalhousie Versus Windsor

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Hi all,
 

I've looked quite far back and there doesn't seem to be a similar post in recent years. 

 

So i'm from Vaughan, Ontario and must make a decision between the two schools in the next 2 weeks or so. 

 

Here's more context: 

- I want to return and work in Toronto (hopefully Bay street) 

- At the same time, I have an open mind and wouldn't mind working outside of Bay Street, i.e. I'm very interested in IP rights 

- My main concern is focusing on landing a full time job, the cost of tuition/living isn't a primary concern 

 

I'm wondering if anyone else has had to make the decision or is needing to, and wondering what they decided on and why. I haven't been to either Windsor or Halifax, but from the looks of it, it seems Halifax is the nicer city, with Dalhousie having a better reputation, though it's obvious disadvantage is distance. 

 

I know some will point me to look at hiring stats. i.e looking at 2016 Summer hiring stats, 11% of Dalhousie's class has landed a T.O job in comparison to 16% of Windsor. But it would be unwise to take this at face value since half of Dalhousie's comes from and assumedly wants to work in Halifax, with probably another 10-15% at least coming from provinces other than Ontario. Interested with hearing people's opinions on this. 

I'd love to hear about what people think I should do. Thank you! 

Edited by putitthisway
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Which program at Windsor?  The dual JD program has simply outrageous tuition, since you are paying tuition simultaneously at two different schools.

 

I would tend to recommend Windsor since your interest is in working in Toronto.  No, you're not foreclosed from that going to Dal, but the distance does matter.  However, if it's the dual JD program you've been accepted to I would recommend Dalhouse.

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Which program at Windsor?  The dual JD program has simply outrageous tuition, since you are paying tuition simultaneously at two different schools.

 

I would tend to recommend Windsor since your interest is in working in Toronto.  No, you're not foreclosed from that going to Dal, but the distance does matter.  However, if it's the dual JD program you've been accepted to I would recommend Dalhouse.

Good question - the single JD 

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I'm facing a similar issue of Dal vs an Ontario School. Even though Dal is farther, it doesn't mean that you won't get a job in Toronto. Job hiring rates are higher from Dal especially if you want to work in a medium-large firm. I know many people attending/have attended Windsor and haven't received a job in Ontario. Based on job prospects I would pick Dal! 

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If I was in your shoes and definitely wanted to work in Toronto, then I'd go to Windsor.

 

If you're looking for a job outside of the formal recruit, then the people you meet through clinical work, coffee, CBA events, class etc. are invaluable resources. Without lots of extra effort and air travel, those people will be wherever you went to school. So going to school in Halifax means that your network will be largely in Halifax (and wherever else it is that Dal students come from). You obviously can get a Toronto job from Halifax – lots of students do. But it's harder. 

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Dal does well in ontario for those who want it, but honestly going to Windsor is quite clearly the better option if you want access to the Ontario market. 

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Thanks to all for the responses. My worry in rejecting Dalhousie is the prospect of living in Windsor, which I hear isn't great. I lived there from the age of 0-4, so I don't quite remember it but don't hear too many good things about it. 

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Personally, I would pick Dal! I would rather spend 3 years living in Halifax and the reputation is better. It also gives you the option of working in other locations- maybe work in NS after you finish law school. If you're from GTA, you can always come back during the holidays/ breaks for networking. Windsor isn't close to Toronto either. So I don't always get the appeal. You can also fly via porter for networking events.

BUT if you're set on Toronto, go to Windsor. They seem to have better access to the Toronto ,market. 

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Don't think about where you're living for the next three years. Think about where you want to live after that. Halifax might be a more liveable city than Windor, but the access that you're going to have to the Toronto market is very limited. Networking over the phone or email is just no replacement for the networking opportunities you would be able to get in person. Dalhousie is a "National" school but the CDO is just not at the stage where it can provide you assistance in cracking the Toronto market. If you're gunning for Toronto, and want to stick with Dalhousie, recognize that you're going to be at a disadvantage unless you have exemplary grades to distinguish yourself to a firm, or plan to regularly be in Toronto to make those connections.

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Thanks to all for the responses. My worry in rejecting Dalhousie is the prospect of living in Windsor, which I hear isn't great. I lived there from the age of 0-4, so I don't quite remember it but don't hear too many good things about it. 

 

I've been at Windsor for 3 years, and honestly it's not that bad of a place to live. The majority of people who speak ill of Windsor are people who haven't lived here. If your primary consideration for turning down Windsor is living conditions, you shouldn't worry about it. 

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Don't think about where you're living for the next three years. Think about where you want to live after that. Halifax might be a more liveable city than Windor, but the access that you're going to have to the Toronto market is very limited. Networking over the phone or email is just no replacement for the networking opportunities you would be able to get in person. Dalhousie is a "National" school but the CDO is just not at the stage where it can provide you assistance in cracking the Toronto market. If you're gunning for Toronto, and want to stick with Dalhousie, recognize that you're going to be at a disadvantage unless you have exemplary grades to distinguish yourself to a firm, or plan to regularly be in Toronto to make those connections.

 

Couple things that are very plainly wrong here.

 

Plenty of ontario kids in my year, including myself, "cracked the Toronto market", with or without assistance from the CDO. It's certainly possible for those who want it. 

 

Also, you don't need "exemplary grades" to crack Toronto from Dalhousie. I know several B+ averages from Dal who landed Bay Street gigs for this summer.  A B+ average is hardly exemplary. Where are you getting this crap from dude?

 

Now having said all that, yes, if you want to end up in Ontario, Windsor is probably the best bet, due to networking opportunities. So I'd likely pick Windsor, although you're most certainly not shooting yourself in the foot by coming to Dal. At the firm I got hired at, I beat out many Ontario kids from every school in the province. 

Edited by JohnsonWest
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Couple things that are very plainly wrong here.

 

Plenty of ontario kids in my year, including myself, "cracked the Toronto market", with or without assistance from the CDO. It's certainly possible for those who want it. 

 

Also, you don't need "exemplary grades" to crack Toronto from Dalhousie. I know several B+ averages from Dal who landed Bay Street gigs for this summer.  A B+ average is hardly exemplary. Where are you getting this crap from dude?

Now having said all that, yes, if you want to end up in Ontario, Windsor is probably the best bet, due to networking opportunities. So I'd likely pick Windsor, although you're most certainly not shooting yourself in the foot by coming to Dal. At the firm I got hired at, I beat out many Ontario kids from every school in the province.

 

I didn't say you need exemplary grades to crack Toronto. I'm saying that coming from Dalhousie will put you at a disadvantage compared to students with better access to the market, unless you had really good grades to negate that disadvantage. I don't doubt that students with B+ averages could get into the Ontario market, but I do think those B+ students have a harder time doing it.

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I didn't say you need exemplary grades to crack Toronto. I'm saying that coming from Dalhousie will put you at a disadvantage compared to students with better access to the market, unless you had really good grades to negate that disadvantage. I don't doubt that students with B+ averages could get into the Ontario market, but I do think those B+ students have a harder time doing it.

 

From what I've seen, they/we didn't have a harder time at all. We had ~20+ bay street firms come to Dal for OCI's this year. We OCI'd, got invited for in firms, and got the jobs. Same process as everyone else. If there are other things throughout this process that ontario kids get that we don't, then perhaps I'm wrong. 

 

IMO the only thing we may have missed out on were wine and cheese events, and receptions that are put on throughout the school year. In that regard, sure, we're at a disadvantage, though I feel that those events are hardly anything to write home about. 

Edited by JohnsonWest
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From what I've seen, they/we didn't have a harder time at all. We had ~20+ bay street firms come to Dal for OCI's this year. We OCI'd, got invited for in firms, and got the jobs. Same process as everyone else. If there are other things throughout this process that ontario kids get that we don't, then perhaps I'm wrong.

 

IMO the only thing we may have missed out on were wine and cheese events, and receptions that are put on throughout the school year. In that regard, sure, we're at a disadvantage, though I feel that those events are hardly anything to write home about.

For those of average grades, networking will be important. Which is difficult from Halifax. An important consideration. Statistically speaking not everyone will be a b+ average. And those with rhe lower averages need to chat people up. Or meet with smaller firms. Certainly easier to take the train to toronto from windsor than it is to fly from hali, even with porter.

 

Re: reputation. No one fucking cares. Seriously. Please 0ls and law students advising on where to go and citing reputation. No. One. Fucking. Cares.

Edited by artsydork
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For those of average grades, networking will be important. Which is difficult from Halifax. An important consideration. Statistically speaking not everyone will be a b+ average. And those with rhe lower averages need to chat people up. Or meet with smaller firms. Certainly easier to take the train to toronto from windsor than it is to fly from hali, even with porter.

 

Re: reputation. No one fucking cares. Seriously. Please 0ls and law students advising on where to go and citing reputation. No. One. Fucking. Cares.

 

In fairness, 0Ls care. And maybe they're partly right. School reputation feels nice (when you get acceptance letters, anyway). But, in no particular order, school reputation seems less important than: 

  • Grades;
  • Volunteer experience;
  • Work experience;
  • Quality of cover letters;
  • Height;
  • Level of interest demonstrated in practice area;
  • Pitch and timbre of voice;
  • Number of lawyers who like you;
  • Ability to project the appearance of confidence and competence;
  • Capacity for actual competence in clinical and volunteer work;
  • Ability to tell funny stories about quasi-sports (e.g., inner-tube water polo);
  • Deodorant brand;
  • Number of drunk pics on social media (this factor could go either way);
  • Knowledge of gas station food in Gravenhurst, Ontario;
  • Preference for cats or dogs (always dogs, because cats are litter dispersing psychopaths); and,
  • Annoyingness of your various tics and personal habits.
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In fairness, 0Ls care. And maybe they're partly right. School reputation feels nice (when you get acceptance letters, anyway). But, in no particular order, school reputation seems less important than: 

  • Height;

 

 

My height is only average. Am I fucked? Please advise. :)

 

In general though, sounds like getting a job as a lawyer is like getting a job. Only they do care about your grades more than most jobs, haha. 

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