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Sharkdiver

UBC vs U of T (corporate law focus)

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On April 25, 2017 at 9:27 PM, Livinginamerica said:

I am sure you are aware that not everyone reads this forum, and moreover, much of U of T's marketing material is designed to create an impression which is not entirely true. Not to mention the fact that the information surrounding Canadian law schools is generally very limited. In such an environment, I am not surprised that many intelligent people fall into such a marketing trap. Although a lot of it stems from the mere assumption that higher admission standards must correlate to a better school. Perhaps it translates into a better student body, but it doesn't necessarily translate to better outcomes, and moreover, you are paying for the privilege of any advantage you get. U of T's marketing material is a lot more slick than other schools, so I don't necessarily blame some of the people that I know for falling prey to it.

I do - anyone who makes a $100k+ investment without even a modicum of due diligence loses the right to complain when the investment doesn't pay off. I wouldn't defend the schools' marketing practices or the absence of disclosure, but the risks associated with going to law school in the modern era are well known and much lamented, and have been for at least a decade.  

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1 hour ago, maximumbob said:

I do - anyone who makes a $100k+ investment without even a modicum of due diligence loses the right to complain when the investment doesn't pay off. I wouldn't defend the schools' marketing practices or the absence of disclosure, but the risks associated with going to law school in the modern era are well known and much lamented, and have been for at least a decade.  

And what exactly are they supposed to realise from this research? A lot of the people that I know went to U of T thinking it pretty much guaranteed a Bay Street job to anyone who wanted one, and that, in terms of Canada, it essentially had placement rates equivalent to HYS. A big part of the reason I went to HYS was when I realised U of T has significantly worse placement rates than those schools, and therefore HYS seemed like more of a sure thing. But it was not easy to come across such information. Is there enough information out there to refute such beliefs?

Edited by Livinginamerica
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12 minutes ago, Livinginamerica said:

And what exactly are they supposed to realise from this research? A lot of the people that I know went to U of T thinking it pretty much guaranteed a Bay Street job to anyone who wanted one, and that, in terms of Canada, it essentially had placement rates equivalent to HYS. A big part of the reason I went to HYS was when I realised U of T has significantly worse placement rates than those schools, and therefore HYS seemed like more of a sure thing. But it was not easy to come across such information. Is there enough information out there to refute such beliefs?

 

It wasn't easy to come across that information? Googling "Big law placement HYS" and "Bay street placement U of T" was a challenge? 

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Hmm, if only there were some technology which allowed you to search words like "UofT law school placement rate" and come up with handy information like this:  https://www.law.utoronto.ca/student-life/career-development-office/career-statistics

And wouldn't be great if there were resources like, I don't know, a website, where people could ask recent UofT grads if they thought it was worth the money.  

It's not like finding the Ark of the Covenant. 

 

 

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Just now, BlockedQuebecois said:

It wasn't easy to come across that information? Googling "Big law placement HYS" and "Bay street placement U of T" was a challenge? 

Fair enough, I'll accept both points to some extent, I think the issue is more that people I know didn't feel the need to do this. They assumed that top school in the country must guarantee something. But then again I think this is a broader problem with many law school applicants. Many of them don't know how to study for the LSAT properly, and many of them don't know to treat law school selection with an air of some suspicion. Perhaps I'm simply more forgiving of them than others, but these people are certainly relying more on word of mouth, and what past students are telling them (many U of T students talk up the school a LOT more than you guys do, and are shocked that someone would pick any other school) than doing their own research.

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If they think going to any school, anywhere guarantees them anything (other than a hefty student loan) then 16+ years of public education has failed them yugely.  So much more the much vaunted critical thinking our universities are supposed to be instilling - Christ, that's like thinking XYZ Brand car is better because it's more expensive. Sad thing is, you're probably right. 

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8 minutes ago, Livinginamerica said:

Fair enough, I'll accept both points to some extent, I think the issue is more that people I know didn't feel the need to do this. They assumed that top school in the country must guarantee something. But then again I think this is a broader problem with many law school applicants. Many of them don't know how to study for the LSAT properly, and many of them don't know to treat law school selection with an air of some suspicion. Perhaps I'm simply more forgiving of them than others, but these people are certainly relying more on word of mouth, and what past students are telling them (many U of T students talk up the school a LOT more than you guys do, and are shocked that someone would pick any other school) than doing their own research.

 
 

The top school in the country does guarantee you something – a near 100% chance of getting a job in law, if you want one. If the people you know are so entitled to feel that their undergraduate grades and LSAT should guarantee them a six figure starting salary out of law school I have no sympathy for them. 

Similarly, if law school applicants fail to do their due diligence, or "don't know to treat law school selection with an air of some suspicion" I am wholly unsympathetic. It's not like U of T is running a racket, tricking 3.00 GPA and 147 LSAT individuals into attending their degree mill. U of T is the best law school in the country. It offers the highest employment rate, the best bay street placement, and some of the best faculty in the country. They publish their tuition rates, articling rates, and all types of other information on their website. I have no time nor sympathy for the highly intelligent U of T attendee that failed to do their own "research" (if we're generous enough to call googling "research"). 

Edited by BlockedQuebecois
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8 minutes ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

The top school in the country does guarantee you something – a near 100% chance of getting a job in law, if you want one. If the people you know are so entitled to feel that their undergraduate grades and LSAT should guarantee them a six figure starting salary out of law school I have no sympathy for them. 

Similarly, if law school applicants fail to do their due diligence, or "don't know to treat law school selection with an air of some suspicion" I am wholly unsympathetic. It's not like U of T is running a racket, tricking 3.00 GPA and 147 LSAT individuals into attending their degree mill. U of T is the best law school in the country. It offers the highest employment rate, the best bay street placement, and some of the best faculty in the country. They publish their tuition rates, articling rates, and all types of other information on their website. I have no time nor sympathy for the highly intelligent U of T attendee that failed to do their own "research" (if we're generous enough to call googling "research"). 

I'm pretty sure every school in Canada gives upwards of a 90% chance in law... getting into law school guarantees that in Canada, so I'm not sure why that's now a selling point for U of T. I think you also misunderstand the difference between a "trap" school and a "scam" school. A scam school does not guarantee you a job in law. A trap school holds out the tantalizingly few biglaw placements it has to lure people in to paying high tuition. To conflate the two is frankly strawmanning my argument. I never compared U of T to Cooley.

 

I was subject to U of T marketing for a number of months, and even had U of T try to pounce on the political situation in America to make a derisory attempt to persuade me, and other H students, to transfer back to their school to complete my education. I don't think there is any justification for U of T's marketing behavior, or to say it is not misleading, especially when we consider other Canadian schools don't feel the need to act like this and market in a much more reasonable fashion. Focus on what your school offers, sure, but don't start advertising to students what they might get when there is not a good chance of them getting said thing. U of T's marketing is aggressive and reaks of desperation, and I will continue to call it out.

Edited by Livinginamerica
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2 minutes ago, Livinginamerica said:

I'm pretty sure every school in Canada gives upwards of a 90% chance in law... getting into law school guarantees that in Canada, so I'm not sure why that's now a selling point for U of T. I think you also misunderstand the difference between a "trap" school and a "scam" school. A scam school does not guarantee you a job in law. A trap school holds out the tantalizingly few biglaw placements it has to lure people in to paying high tuition. To conflate the two is frankly strawmanning my argument. I never compared U of T to Cooley.

 

I was subject to U of T marketing for a number of months, and even had U of T try to pounce on the political situation in America to make a derisory attempt to persuade me, and other H students, to transfer back to their school to complete my education. I don't think there is any justification for U of T's marketing behavior, or to say it is not misleading, especially when we consider other Canadian schools don't feel the need to act like this and market in a much more reasonable fashion. Focus on what your school offers, sure, but don't start advertising to students what they might get when there is not a good chance of them getting said thing. U of T's marketing is aggressive and reaks of desperation, and I will continue to call it out.

 

Nearly half the people at U of T secure a 2L OCI position – double the average. I fail to see how this is a "trap", or how that's "tantalizingly few". I think you're letting your emotions get in the way of facts here. 

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1 hour ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

Nearly half the people at U of T secure a 2L OCI position – double the average. I fail to see how this is a "trap", or how that's "tantalizingly few". I think you're letting your emotions get in the way of facts here. 

I would argue that simply repeating that U of T is the best school in the country with the best placement rates, and then strawmanning my terms, seems more emotional than logical to me.

 

I think you are, deliberately or mistakenly (I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say the latter), misunderstanding my comparison here. If you want to make a logical argument to me, then break the comparison I have made to other trap schools in this thread. I have brought up two examples from the US which are generally considered trap schools, Georgetown, and Fordham. 

 

I don't care about best placement in Canada, what I am undertaking is a holistic comparison between the placement rates of U of T and schools in other countries to see where U of T would place. I am then proceeding to match the terminology used for schools in the US with similar placement rates to U of T, namely, Fordham and Georgetown. Either break that comparative link or logically explain to me why the comparison should not be made, and I'll concede the point.

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18 minutes ago, Livinginamerica said:

I don't care about best placement in Canada, what I am undertaking is a holistic comparison between the placement rates of U of T and schools in other countries to see where U of T would place. I am then proceeding to match the terminology used for schools in the US with similar placement rates to U of T, namely, Fordham and Georgetown. Either break that comparative link or logically explain to me why the comparison should not be made, and I'll concede the point.

The comparison shouldn't be made because the Canadian legal education market is vastly different from the US. Canada lacks law school tiering in the way the US schools have stratified themselves. You're categorizing a Canadian school with a phenomenon that doesn't apply to Canada. It's pointless.

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What are you going on about? Nowhere have you an I compared placement rates with US schools, nor have you mentioned any comparison during our conversation except for saying you didn't compare U of T to Cooley. My objection was first with your assertion that googling is too difficult an activity for a law school applicant to do. Then I simply said I was unsympathetic to the people that attend U of T without doing research, and that their feelings of entitlement do little to make me more sympathetic. I'm not making a comparison to American schools – I'm judging the entitlement of your peers. 

There is an easy argument to be made that the Canadian legal education market is not the same as the American legal market, and that therefore comparison between big law US placement rates and Bay Street placement rates is absurd, but it's not one I'm interested in having. In fact, you'll find that I didn't even mention American schools except to question your claim that googling "big law placement HYS" was too onerous a burden to place on perspective students. The only thing I wanted to say, and the only thing I did say, is that the entitlement of your peers and their own stupidity does nothing to make me sympathetic to the fact that their unresearched assumptions were not borne out. 

Edited by BlockedQuebecois

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24 minutes ago, bernard said:

The comparison shouldn't be made because the Canadian legal education market is vastly different from the US. Canada lacks law school tiering in the way the US schools have stratified themselves. You're categorizing a Canadian school with a phenomenon that doesn't apply to Canada. It's pointless.

 

23 minutes ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

What are you going on about? Nowhere have you an I compared placement rates with US schools, nor have you mentioned any comparison during our conversation except for saying you didn't compare U of T to Cooley. My objection was first with your assertion that googling is too difficult an activity for a law school applicant to do. Then I simply said I was unsympathetic to the people that attend U of T without doing research, and that their feelings of entitlement do little to make me more sympathetic. I'm not making a comparison to American schools – I'm judging the entitlement of your peers. 

There is an easy argument to be made that the Canadian legal education market is not the same as the American legal market, and that therefore comparison between big law US placement rates and Bay Street placement rates is absurd, but it's not one I'm interested in having. In fact, you'll find that I didn't even mention American schools except to question your claim that googling "big law placement HYS" was too onerous a burden to place on perspective students. The only thing I wanted to say, and the only thing I did say, is that the entitlement of your peers and their own stupidity does nothing to make me sympathetic to the fact that their unresearched assumptions were not borne out. 

Fair enough, my perception was that my terminology was being challenged, and hence ought to be defended. I think folks need to realise that many students are debating between U of T and American schools, and for these students, the trap school term and other holistic comparisons to American schools is important and useful information to be able to make an appropriate comparison, particularly if their goal is to have the best chance at a high paying job (again, a higher percentage of students than you might think).

 

Regardless, I can't refute a general ill-feeling towards people who feel like they were duped by U of T on a logical basis, so I won't try to. I would emphasise, certainly, that I do think that students ought to do their research on law schools, I am merely trying to emphasise and note that there are a lot of deluded people out there (maybe not on this forum), and such delusions are driven by an, at times, less than savoury marketing strategy. 

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5 hours ago, Livinginamerica said:

And what exactly are they supposed to realise from this research? A lot of the people that I know went to U of T thinking it pretty much guaranteed a Bay Street job to anyone who wanted one, and that, in terms of Canada, it essentially had placement rates equivalent to HYS. A big part of the reason I went to HYS was when I realised U of T has significantly worse placement rates than those schools, and therefore HYS seemed like more of a sure thing. But it was not easy to come across such information. Is there enough information out there to refute such beliefs?

I have no idea who you know at U of T, or who led you to think what you assume they believe. What I can tell you is that I went to U of T knowing that roughly 50% of the U of T class lands on Bay Street, compared to 30ish percent of Osgoode and 25% of queens and western. In my experience that is what U of T students tend to base their decision on. The disappointment members of our group feel when not landing on Bay Street is not that they thought "everyone at U of T gets a Bay Street job" like some idiot who owns neither a computer or an internet connection and is wholly unfamiliar with the ins and outs of a google search, rather it is that they assumed they would be in that 50%. I mean, they've always been at the top of the class, why would law school be any different? 

I get it, you don't like U of T, you feel like they are presenting themselves like they're Harvard and Harvard is better (we agree there, I got into several t14 schools, and if I got into Harvard, which I didn't, I was going to go, Harvard law is undoubtedly better than U of T). And as a Harvard student this grates on you for some reason that makes absolutely no sense to me. What I don't fully understand is why you're still on this and you're basing your position on assumptions and conjecture. You're at Harvard law, you have a job that is going to pay you obscene amounts of money for a 20 something with little or no work experience, what does it matter that a bunch of people at U of T law who didn't do as well as they'd hoped are now scrambling to figure out how to start their career now that the path of least resistance didn't pan out? 

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13 hours ago, Livinginamerica said:

I would argue that simply repeating that U of T is the best school in the country with the best placement rates, and then strawmanning my terms, seems more emotional than logical to me.

 

I think you are, deliberately or mistakenly (I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say the latter), misunderstanding my comparison here. If you want to make a logical argument to me, then break the comparison I have made to other trap schools in this thread. I have brought up two examples from the US which are generally considered trap schools, Georgetown, and Fordham. 

 

I don't care about best placement in Canada, what I am undertaking is a holistic comparison between the placement rates of U of T and schools in other countries to see where U of T would place. I am then proceeding to match the terminology used for schools in the US with similar placement rates to U of T, namely, Fordham and Georgetown. Either break that comparative link or logically explain to me why the comparison should not be made, and I'll concede the point.

That's a pretty silly comparison, since the schools, markets, expectations and legal communities/cultures are totally different.  That's like looking at people's times in the 100M freestyle to see where they would rank in the 100M dash (or vice versa). 

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12 hours ago, Livinginamerica said:

 

Fair enough, my perception was that my terminology was being challenged, and hence ought to be defended. I think folks need to realise that many students are debating between U of T and American schools, and for these students, the trap school term and other holistic comparisons to American schools is important and useful information to be able to make an appropriate comparison, particularly if their goal is to have the best chance at a high paying job (again, a higher percentage of students than you might think).

 

Regardless, I can't refute a general ill-feeling towards people who feel like they were duped by U of T on a logical basis, so I won't try to. I would emphasise, certainly, that I do think that students ought to do their research on law schools, I am merely trying to emphasise and note that there are a lot of deluded people out there (maybe not on this forum), and such delusions are driven by an, at times, less than savoury marketing strategy. 

Let's just say if there are people who are choosing between Harvard and UofT and they can be "duped" by UofT's marketing, then Harvard (and UofT) need to reconsider their admissions standards.  

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On ‎24‎/‎04‎/‎2017 at 3:22 PM, Sharkdiver said:

 First, and foremost, is the financial cost--U of T with an expected $35,000+ a year tuition/fees comes with a hefty price tag when compared with the 11/12k tuition at UBC.
 

I was originally going to say you should go to UofT since it has such high placement rates on Bay Street and you seem set on doing commercial litigation, but then I read the quoted line, and I really don't think UofT is worth the extra cost. Despite what others say, unless you come from a wealthy family where debt isn't an issue, do not under estimate the difference that another $60K+ in debt will have on you.

If you do well at UBC, Bay Street will be open to you. Not sure about NY, I believe NY firms only recruit from UofT and McGill (maybe Osgoode as well?), but the chances of getting an NY position from any Canadian law school are so slim that I wouldn't factor that into your calculation (I think you have to basically be top of your class, which is impossible to predict.)

All things considered, I think UBC is the best choice here...  

Edited by conge
Grammar
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7 hours ago, maximumbob said:

Let's just say if there are people who are choosing between Harvard and UofT and they can be "duped" by UofT's marketing, then Harvard (and UofT) need to reconsider their admissions standards.  

There's really a lack of good information regarding such a cross border choice that's out there (as opposed to choices within Canada), and again, it's a more common choice than you may think. Hence why I make such comparisons for the record, and hence why some people may end up making poor choices. I know, because I went through the process of trying to find such information, and found fairly little. In particular, there was a perception that the more risk averse option was U of T in the U of T vs Harvard debate, which in many respects is not true when one considers placement rates. Like I said, to you and Dennings, the choice may be so obvious in this and other cases that it is almost vexatious to raise the matter, but to many people it isn't so obvious. 

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So let's deal first with the risk aversion point. People do see UofT as a less "risky" choice, but not because they are (or should be) under any illusion that they would do better in terms of placement at UofT then at Harvard (assuming they could get in, I'll come back to this point, because it's an important one that you're missing.  It's a less risky choice if you don't know where you want to live or work in the US (or elsewhere) or Canada in the future. It is a pain in the ass to go abroad and get called in Canada, it's not so hard to go the other way. Similarly, if you don't know what you want to practice down the road, it's tricky. Harvard is undeniably a better school at a high level than UofT, but you're not got to get a better education in Canadian constitutional law or criminal procedure at Harvard than you will at UofT. If you're a biglaw or bust kinda guy, that may not matter, if you're not certain, UofT might be the better choice.  

But setting that aside, using placement rate as your proxy for risk is rather misleading precisely because the Canadian market is so small. In the US, there are roughly 40k law school graduates every year, say, 600 of them come from Harvard - call it 1.5% of the class. There are 2500 odd Canadian common law graduates every year - 200 of them come from UofT, call it 8% of the class.   You should see the point I'm getting at.

Simply by sheer size relative to the pool from which it draws (and, recall, far more so than UofT Harvard draws from the world), UofT is less selective than Harvard. It has to be - if it applied the same admission standards as Harvard it would be, what, one tenth the size?  If UofT only accepted its top 50 students each year, think it's placement rate would go up? What about if Harvard produced 3200 grads each year, think it's placement rate might go down?  

But what does that mean for the elite student facing the choice between Harvard and UofT? Would we expect the placement rate for a population drawn from the top 1-2% of law student applicants to be the same as one drawn from the top 8%? (Note, for simplicity I'm implicitly assuming that all the best students in each country go to UofT or Harvard, that is clearly not true, but given the lack of tiers in Canada, the falsity of my assumption only reinforces my point. In practice UofT probably goes much deeper into its pool since lots of top students go to places like McGill, Osgoode, UBC, etc. Then does Harvard).   Of course not.

But the placement rate for the UofT population as a whole - most of whom couldn't get into Harvard - shouldn't be relevant to the career prospects of a student who CAN get into Harvard.  After all, he or she isn't drawn from the top 8% (or top 10% or top 25%) of all possible candidates, he or she is drawn from the top 1-2% (or 5%). You would kind of expect his or her chances to be better than the average UofT student, even if they went to UofT.  

To believe that "placement rate" is a meaningful proxy for school quality, you have to believe i) that the quality (amongst other things including interests) of the student body of the schools being compared is more or less the same, and/or (ii) student ability is wholly irrelevant to whether or not they are hired. Maybe you believe that the UofT student body is indistinguishable in terms of ability from that at Harvard, but you'd be the only one (and they probably differ markedly in terms of interests too).  And, I gotta say, if ability were irrelevant to big law hiring, they wouldn't spent nearly as much time and money on it as they do.

And lest I be accused of pimping for UofT, note I have made precisely this argument for years on why the placement rate at UofT relative to Osgoode, say, isn't really a good argument for chosing UofT over Osgoode (there are good reasons for making that choice, but big law placement rate ain't one). It doesn't really reflect an advantage to going to UofT, so much as an advantage to being smart - the placement rate for smart people is probably the same at every school, but by virtue of higher admission standards there are more of them at UofT.  

 

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On 5/2/2017 at 6:42 PM, Livinginamerica said:

I would argue that simply repeating that U of T is the best school in the country with the best placement rates, and then strawmanning my terms, seems more emotional than logical to me.

 

I think you are, deliberately or mistakenly (I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say the latter), misunderstanding my comparison here. If you want to make a logical argument to me, then break the comparison I have made to other trap schools in this thread. I have brought up two examples from the US which are generally considered trap schools, Georgetown, and Fordham. 

 

I don't care about best placement in Canada, what I am undertaking is a holistic comparison between the placement rates of U of T and schools in other countries to see where U of T would place. I am then proceeding to match the terminology used for schools in the US with similar placement rates to U of T, namely, Fordham and Georgetown. Either break that comparative link or logically explain to me why the comparison should not be made, and I'll concede the point.

So I remember this student writing a really angry article on the UofT newsletter when the admissions committee offered them a spot back after Trump got elected. The whole article was pretty much "I went to Harvard so OBVIOUSLY I could come back if I wanted to because I went to HARVARD, how dare you corrupt corporate stooges try to trick me into coming back". And I all I could remember thinking is 1) this person really wants everyone to know they went to Harvard 2) this person really needs to grow up and not take things so personally. Yes it was not a genuine move but its something all Canadian schools were doing after the Trump election in order to retain high level academic talent. 

 

In short, I would take anything this poster says about UofT with a grain of salt. You went to Harvard, that is great and I admire your achievement, but any Harvard student who is writing angry articles on UofT's newletter because they received a letter reminding them that Canadian schools will always accept applications from top U.S grads is probably not going to give you an unbiased opinion on this school. All in all, it seems they just have a bone to pick with UofT. 

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