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drizzydrake24

Accepted Students, What was your major?

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19 hours ago, Abii said:

Ouch man. That's unfortunate. Have you calculated what the difference would be if you went to a "normal" school? One that follows a normal grading system? 

I have no idea why SFU does this! And Douglas follows that system because it caters to students wanting to transfer to SFU. I also don't understand the whole "let's build a frickin' university on top of a mountain" so you can't bike, walk or even bus to school anytime it snows. Watching buses slide down the hill during exam time is fucking sad haha. Every damn year too. 

My SFU gpa was 3.35 which would have been around 3.7 on a "normal" scale lol. Sad part is I started my undergrad at UBC and transferred to SFU after a year and a half because I decided I wanted to do Crim which UBC doesn't have. Terrible decision. 

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4 hours ago, BayStreetOrBust said:

This is true for the most part... I found that success in undergrad (apart from studying and working hard) was largely about "playing the game." I know some really intelligent people who consistently receive lower grades than me, and I believe a large part of that is because they refuse to play this game of catering to whoever is marking your work. It is honorable, but unfortunate. Unless your school/dept. utilizes an anonymous grading system, the last thing you want is your marker (prof or TA) to feel antagonistic or hostile feelings toward you. 

100%

Outside of the STEM fields, your intellect isn't usually (maybe it's better to say "not always") the deciding factor. Everything, for the most part, is subjective. Does the instructor agree with you? Yes? Good. They don't? Well, you're already starting off on the wrong foot (better have amazing graphs, charts and indisputable data to back up every single detail or a shit grade is inbound). And there's the issue you mentioned. Does the instructor even remember who you are in the first place come grading time? That's key. You want a good grade at the end, better drop-in during office hours (if that's your instructor's cup of tea), send emails, ask questions in class, be the teacher's pet etc... 

If the teacher remembers you for all the wrong reasons then the paper/exam is getting a shit grade more often than not.

4 hours ago, realpseudonym said:

I guess, but my interests changed throughout law school. 

Sounds like a pretty unpleasant education - I usually avoided profs that were like this. More power to you, though.

Unless you're in a STEM field, most things are subjective. And when things are subjective you can't avoid bias. Do you feed your own ego? Or the ego of the person holding the stick? Can you avoid it? Only if you can find an instructor that is on the same frequency as you. But that won't be easy. It's usually best to just feed the ego of the person holding the stick. Until you have enough power to hold your own of course (which, as an undergrad student, is still a decade or more away).

5 hours ago, providence said:

Taking exclusively "joke" courses may backfire on you when you get to law school and have to compete with people who actually took challenging courses.

I didn't take exclusively joke courses, I said every policy and strategy type course was a complete joke. Those were all required courses for my BBA degree. Even though I decided not to complete my accounting major, I did take 80-90% of the required CPA pathway courses and those are by far more difficult than anything that gets thrown at you in the humanities. 

I know what you're saying though. I did tell OP to take "joke" courses if he/she is absolutely certain of the law school path. And there's a lot of merit to your post. I guess you have to be smart as well. If your essay writing skills are lacking, choose a few humanities courses and run with them all the way to the upper levels, regardless of the requirements of your own easy degree. If you have a hard time with presentations, choose a ton of business courses etc... 

But you still have to strategize. There are people like my brother who can end up making money in their undergrad (scholarships), even though they're in engineering. But people like him are rare. Most of us plebs didn't sit on the garage floor in elementary school doing math homework because we couldn't wait to get to our rooms after school (like my crazy brother). 

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Lol, you described me - I loved doing math and playing with numbers as a child. Maybe I should have been an engineer. 

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44 minutes ago, Abii said:

Unless you're in a STEM field, most things are subjective. And when things are subjective you can't avoid bias. Do you feed your own ego? Or the ego of the person holding the stick? Can you avoid it? Only if you can find an instructor that is on the same frequency as you. But that won't be easy. It's usually best to just feed the ego of the person holding the stick. Until you have enough power to hold your own of course (which, as an undergrad student, is still a decade or more away).

Well maybe I'm naive. But I think I just tried to present arguments that deployed the available theoretical tools and empirical data in the most persuasive manner. I didn't necessarily know my professors' political leanings. Although in one course, the prof had argued in a book that game theory didn't effectively explain the formation of a multilateral international institution. I took the complete opposite position. I think that was the highest mark I ever got on a paper.

It sounds like we had different experiences. 

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9 minutes ago, realpseudonym said:

Well maybe I'm naive. But I think I just tried to present arguments that deployed the available theoretical tools and empirical data in the most persuasive manner. I didn't necessarily know my professors' political leanings. Although in one course, the prof had argued in a book that game theory didn't effectively explain the formation of a multilateral international institution. I took the complete opposite position. I think that was the highest mark I ever got on a paper.

It sounds like we had different experiences. 

Nah you ain't naive, just trusted in yourself and your abilities and were able to back it up.

I'm a very glass half empty type of person, so I always try to figure out people's motives, thoughts and biases and mount my arguments that way. In my mind "standing up to the man" is foolish until you have equal footing with "the man." In my defense, I think Sun Tzu makes a similar argument in The Art of War. I think he mentions that it's foolish to fight if you're not certain of victory, something like that (Bitcoin millionaires will argue otherwise).

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The suggestion to get to know your profs well should come with a warning, don’t be overtly a teachers pet. You don’t want to brown nose to the point where everyone else in your class/program uses that as your defining trait. If you miss a class and need notes, or need help with an assignment, not everyone will be quite as willing to help. 

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My undergrad is BA Honours Psychology (not the Ontario kind of honours where you take four years instead of three, but the kind of honours where you have to take a certain number of higher level courses, conduct research, and write a thesis—all majors are 4 year degrees here) and I’ve gotten into 6 schools so far out of the 7 I’ve applied to. 

I took psychology because I find it very interesting and it’s something I was actually excited to study, which helped me maintain a pretty good GPA. I was back and forth about law school vs grad school before eventually settling on law school, but if I’d done the Master’s/PhD route I would have continued in psych so it made sense to do that for my undergrad. 

In the end they’re not lying when they say people get into law school from lots of different kinds of backgrounds, so my suggestion would be to study what actually interests you the most. Don’t forget you have four (three in Ontario?) whole years in undergrad so might as well try to enjoy it. 

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2 hours ago, illyria281 said:

My undergrad is BA Honours Psychology (not the Ontario kind of honours where you take four years instead of three, but the kind of honours where you have to take a certain number of higher level courses, conduct research, and write a thesis—all majors are 4 year degrees here) and I’ve gotten into 6 schools so far out of the 7 I’ve applied to. 

So the exact same type of honours then? I’m not sure you understand how honours in Ontario work.... just because people have the option of a 3 year degree doesn’t mean doing an honours degree doesn’t require additional high level courses, research projects, thesis, etc.

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,Abii, you definitely had a different experience than I did. I was never so cynical about my profs' ability to grade fairly, and I respected them to do so. 

Taking 'joke courses' (and what exactly are they?), even if you were able to find enough of them to fill four years of course selection, and that would satisfy a major, would be foolish. You are going to university for an education, not to find the easiest way out.  I don't know any lawyer, and I know hundreds, who decided at 18 that they were going to law school and then eventually did. Choose a major that interests you. Work hard, get involved in your school, make lots of new friends, develop good work habits, party, fall in love, get your heart broken, fall in love again, enjoy the experience of being a young adult with little responsibilities. If you are still interested in law school in a couple of years, start your research, do a diagnostic LSAT and proceed from there. Most 18 year olds who think that they want to go to law school either change their minds or end up not doing well enough to be able to apply successfully. At 18, you don't know whether you'll fall into that group or no. Have your eye on a goal, but don't let it affect everything related to your undergrad.

I had a double major and two minors - English Lit., Women's Studies, Philosophy and Spanish. You will find virtually every conceivable undergrad major in law students. There's no magic formula. Choose what you think will interest you. 

p.s. The vast majority of Ontario grads have a four year degree. I don't know where this idea comes from that lots have a three year general BA. They are a rarity at probably every Ontario university, especially amongst successful law school applicants. Also, I know many U of T grads with a four year honours degree who wrote a thesis and also had a requirement for several high level courses. Probably most U of T grads, I know. 

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Also pick a major, which may open alternative career paths. The amount of people in first year who say they are going to law school is far greater than the amount who actually end up going. Many of my peers (who initially had their heart set on Law) are now in graduate school or careers within the field and are very satisfied with their decision to so. Some of them, unfortunately, realized they hated school and/or couldn't crack the LSAT... A backup plan is never a bad idea!

EDIT: I have a social science major

Edited by lawplicant
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My undergrad was in B. Management with a Major in Finance (Great Honours and Honours Thesis Designation). Absolutely loved the program, but It is not, by any means, the best route to get a stellar GPA. However, I have not seen many other Management/Commerce undergrads around? Yet, I agree with the majority here and would argue that planning your entire undergrad with the goal of Law would be the wrong approach. Diversity is valued and passion in your own area of interest is great .... so do what you are interested in. Yet, find synergies with your undergrad and law, find where your previous education is applicable. Obviously, it is best if your undergraduate education is useful and applies to your future, but I guess it doesn't madder that much!

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21 hours ago, erinl2 said:

p.s. The vast majority of Ontario grads have a four year degree. I don't know where this idea comes from that lots have a three year general BA. They are a rarity at probably every Ontario university, especially amongst successful law school applicants. Also, I know many U of T grads with a four year honours degree who wrote a thesis and also had a requirement for several high level courses. Probably most U of T grads, I know. 

 

21 hours ago, Draken said:

So the exact same type of honours then? I’m not sure you understand how honours in Ontario work.... just because people have the option of a 3 year degree doesn’t mean doing an honours degree doesn’t require additional high level courses, research projects, thesis, etc.

The idea comes from the academic requirements at the schools themselves. For example, in this document from York (first school I thought of, but I've looked at others before that said similar) states the following: 

Psychology (BA Program): 90 Credits

Residency requirement: a minimum of 30 course credits and at least half (50 per cent) of the course credits required in each undergraduate degree program major/minor must be taken at York University.

Graduation requirement: all graduates must complete a total of at least 90 credits with a minimum overall cumulative grade point average of 4.00 (C).

Psychology (Honours BA Program): 120 Credits

Residency requirement: a minimum of 30 course credits and at least half (50 per cent) of the course credits required in each undergraduate degree program major/minor must be taken at York University.

Graduation requirement: all graduates must complete a total of at least 120 credits with a minimum overall cumulative grade point average of 5.00 (C+).

Psychology (Specialized Honours BA Program): 120 Credits

Admission: Admission to this program is by permission of the department. To apply, students must be currently enrolled in an Honours program in Psychology, with a minimum overall cumulative grade point average of 7.00 (B+), and must have completed HH/PSYC 1010 6.00 (with a minimum grade of C), HH/PSYC 2010 3.00, HH/PSYC 2020 6.00 and HH/PSYC 2030 3.00 or equivalent. The application process, and all necessary forms, are available online at http://psyc.info.yorku.ca/, or through the Department of Psychology Undergraduate Office.

Continuing: to continue in the Specialized Honours program, students must maintain an overall cumulative grade point average of at least 7.00 (B+).

Residency requirement: a minimum of 30 course credits and at least half (50 per cent) of the course credits required in each undergraduate degree program major/minor must be taken at York University.

Graduation requirement: all graduates must complete a total of at least 120 credits with a minimum overall cumulative grade point average of 7.00 (B+).

 

Perhaps I am misunderstanding what's written there, but 120 credit hours would be the amount required for any degree with a declared major at my school and from what I can tell based on the above information you could get a degree with a declared major in psychology for 90 hours at York. It seems like an honours degree at my school is comparable to the "specialized honours program" at York (minimum admission requirements, certain courses and maintaining a certain average) whereas an "honours" consists of 30 more credit hours than a major. That's where I got the idea that major = three years, honours = four years. 

I could be totally wrong, but from what I read when I was looking at Ontario schools it seemed like the standard requirement for an undergraduate degree with a declared major was three years, and any four year program was considered an Honours degree.

I'm not saying it makes it worth less I just thought they were two different types of programs. I apologize if my ignorance offended anyone, and if someone wants to explain how I'm wrong I'm happy to hear it.  

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On 1/6/2018 at 1:32 PM, RNGesus said:

One thing that never seems to get mentioned enough is if you know what field of law you want to go into. If you know you want to go into corporate law, it would stand to reason that having a business undergrad would be a huge upside when looking for corporate jobs. By the same logic, polisci if you want to go into politics, economics if you wanted to work for the Competition Bureau or some other policy positions et cetera.

Do challenge yourself though, if for nothing else that you lessen the chances of becoming some people I know where they treat everything like high school and act entitled when they're cruising with a mid-80s average in a piss-easy program, then acting smug about it.

No.

My tax litigation friend majored in poli sci, my corporate immigration friend english lit, the insolvency lawyer has a theatre degree, the ADR corporate lawyer (with a health side practice) has a religion degree, the criminal defence an opera degree, etc.

The only undergrad that perhaps steers a legal career are hard sciences for IP law. Even then, a friend with a CEGEP degree in multimedia arts, and a friend with a business degree, are both IP lawyers in Montreal.

To the OP: All degrees lead to law school. The whole gamut, including majors you'll never have heard of, will be represented at law school (though perhaps less of the hard sciences since science is scary to lawyers).

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I did a B. Comm (honours) majoring in Finance and International Business. I did a year in engineering before realizing that science labs weren't for me, then I declared as an Arts student with the thought of perhaps becoming a journalist, and it wasn't until my 3rd year that I started in Commerce. It was actually one of the mandatory classes I had to take for my degree that reignited my interest in law school. While I figured out if I really wanted to go to law school, I graduated and got a job in finance. I've been out of school for 2 years now and will be attending UBC in the fall. So, moral of this long-winded story is, choose your undergrad based on what interests you and what you could legitimately see yourself utilizing in a profession if law doesn't pan out (or, you know, whatever will get you the highest GPA ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ).

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A quick additional suggestion, unless you're in a philosophy major, I would pick up a philosophy class(es) at some point that teaches propositional logic, how to deconstruct arguments, formal arguments, etc. My university had this course titled as 'Reasoning and Argument' if my memory serves me. All of the above served me in both the logical and analytical reasoning sections of the LSAT surprisingly well. Especially propositional logic which is essentailly the logic games you will do on the LSAT.

May as well take an "LSAT prep course" and get credit for it right?

Good luck!

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I am pursuing my undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto (Trinity College). I did a Specialist in Public Accounting (CPA Accredited) and a Major in Economics.

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I am completing a major in biology at UBCV. I have taken organic chemistry at the highest levels (graduate level) but am not interested in IP law.

I am currently considering health / health-care law.

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I got accepted majoring in Philosophy and Psychology. But honestly, I'm with almost everyone else here- do what you think you can get high marks in and have fun. I will say though, philosophy helped me A LOT with my LSAT. I didn't really study/prep for the LSAT (I only had a week, and realistically spent maybe 3 days out of the 7), but still managed a 163. If you end up in Philosophy, take logic and epistemology courses, they go a long way in helping with logic games. Plus writing in philosophy helps with the analytical reasoning section.

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On 1/5/2018 at 4:01 AM, Abii said:

Study whatever you think you'll do well in, if law is your only aim. HOWEVER, and trust me when I say this, the chances of you changing your mind in the next 4.5-5 years (most people don't finish their undergrad in 4 years) are high. I changed my mind a million times, my brother changed his mind and I've seen a thousand other people change their minds. That means you should study something you can both do well in and that you can utilize after graduation. 

A humanities major won't necessarily get you a job, but it will teach you how to write a good essay (you decide if that's worth it). General sciences are only slightly better, but again, they don't really lead to anything concrete. Engineering will of course be very useful, but you will walk out with a shit GPA (unless you're a genius like my brother with a strong science and math background). Accounting is useful, but it's not necessarily easy. Accounting is the most difficult business major there is and most of the upper year courses are on par with engineering courses (intermediate accounting still gives me diarrhea whenever I think about it). 

Take a look at the list of top scorers on the LSAT. I'm too lazy to find it right now, but I remember most of the top scorers being math and philosophy students (easy to see why). 

If you want the absolute easiest major in the world, and you're SURE that you're only going to pursue law after undergrad, then go for marketing. In fact, if you go for a BBA degree without declaring a major, you can pick some of the easiest courses known to man. Just avoid finance and accounting and you'll be fine. As long as you have a half working brain and semi-beating heart, you can get an A in most BBA courses. Just try to figure out what the instructors want, give them exactly that and make sure you find the easiest electives (you'll be required to take breadth electives) and you'll be walking out with a 4/4 GPA. 

Oh and if you're in Vancouver, avoid SFU and Douglas AT ALL COSTS. They start their A+ at 95% and their A's at 90. An 85 is only an A-. Basically you'll be starting a marathon with a broken leg. Fuck that. If you're in one of those two schools, abandon ship right now. Swim to Capilano or UBC.

Good luck.

Did you grad with a BBA?

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