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verycuriousaboutlaw

Questions for those who have been through UofT's application process

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Hi,

I just have a couple of general questions, and I've been scouring different forums and calling in to admissions offices, but I'd just like to get some insight from students that have already been accepted. Any help would be extremely appreciated. 

1. I am aware that UofT uses your B3 in determining your GPA. Has anyone been accepted with mediocre first year marks, and good grades in their other three years? 

2. I'm a bit confused in terms of the timeline. If one was to finish their undergrad in April 2020, then they'd have to apply by November 1st of 2020 for admission in September 2020. How does this work though? Does the admission committee see your fourth year marks in time? Or do you apply in the November after you finish your undergrad? Also, if that's the case, what have you done during that year off?

3. Any study suggestions for the LSAT? I've done a couple months of self study by doing practice tests. 

4. Does UofT law have a preference for UofT undergrads (especially those graduating from Trinity college) or is this just a myth? I asked the lady in admissions today and she said no, and rattled off a bunch of statistics for me... however I've heard different from other classmates.

5. What have you seen the LSAT scores/GPA scores of your classmates to be? Is everyone at UofT law carrying along with them an exceptional profile (ex. 3.7+ all 4 years, 165+ LSAT score), or are they quite a few that don't necessarily fit that profile?

6. With a low first year GPA, but 3.7+ in the remaining 3 years, plus a 165 LSAT score competitive, or is that almost certainly being thrown into the reject pile?

7. Do you think getting into law school is getting less competitive? A saw an article where I read that there was a decline in law school applicants. 

 

I apologize in advance as I know there are countless amounts of "what are my chances" or similar questions asked before, but I'd really appreciate any current advice. Thank you!

 

Edited by verycuriousaboutlaw
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1. It’s possible, but they’re the exception, not the rule.

2. No, you’d apply by November 2019 for admission during September of 2020. The adcom doesn’t see your 4th year marks until after you resubmit your official transcript during/after winter break. You also submit a final transcript at the end of April. U of T gives offers out in 3 waves: December, mid-January and mid-March. They also continue to consider a small portion of applicants for waitlists thereafter.

3. My number one tip would be to do actual LSAT tests as much as you can under timed conditions.

4. It’s anyone’s guess as to what their bias could be. However, let’s face the facts. U of T is the toughest university in Ontario when it comes to grading and student caliber. The average student at U of T is better than the average at other universities. It is notorious for culling students and ruining hopes and dreams. I’ve yet to see a class average on my transcript above a B-. Just last week we had a midterm class average of 51% in a third year history course. That’s insane.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t great and exceptional students elsewhere; there are. All I’m saying is that a 3.7 cGPA at U of T is not the same as a 3.7 at Ryerson, York or Ottawa, assuming similar programs.

As such, I think U of T students get the benefit of the doubt and if they had to pick a student with a 3.8 from York or one from U of T, they’d pick the one from U of T, all else being equal.

5. I haven’t been fortunate enough to attend U of T law, but if you look at the accepted thread, it’s clear to me the calibre of admitted students is top-notch. Are there exceptions? Yes. But again, they’re exceptions.

6. You have a chance with those grades, but keep in mind that your 4th year marks won’t be available for viewing until much later in the application period, so it might bring your cGPA down.

7. I don’t think there’s substantial variation from year to year. The number of available spaces in Ontario seem to be outpacing population growth though, suggesting that either there is excess demand for law schools are using students as cash cows. There is also a notable shortage of articling positions available. I think that judgment call is up to you.

Edited by jokesonyou
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1 hour ago, verycuriousaboutlaw said:

Hi,

I just have a couple of general questions, and I've been scouring different forums and calling in to admissions offices, but I'd just like to get some insight from students that have already been accepted. Any help would be extremely appreciated. 

1. I am aware that UofT uses your B3 in determining your GPA. Has anyone been accepted with mediocre first year marks, and good grades in their other three years? yes :uriel:

2. I'm a bit confused in terms of the timeline. If one was to finish their undergrad in April 2020, then they'd have to apply by November 1st of 2020 for admission in September 2020. How does this work though? Does the admission committee see your fourth year marks in time? Or do you apply in the November after you finish your undergrad? Also, if that's the case, what have you done during that year off? Nothing I can add to above poster's comments. 

3. Any study suggestions for the LSAT? I've done a couple months of self study by doing practice tests.  What the above poster said; and there is an entire LSAT sub-forum on this site. Check it out. 

4. Does UofT law have a preference for UofT undergrads (especially those graduating from Trinity college) or is this just a myth? I asked the lady in admissions today and she said no, and rattled off a bunch of statistics for me... however I've heard different from other classmates. Not to my knowledge. There are a few people from Trinity College in the class this year, I believe, but this is not something you should worry about. I disagree with what the above poster said here - I've seen plenty of midterms/finals with averages in that range where I completed my undergrad. And all of the courses in my program were curved to a B-... 

5. What have you seen the LSAT scores/GPA scores of your classmates to be? Is everyone at UofT law carrying along with them an exceptional profile (ex. 3.7+ all 4 years, 165+ LSAT score), or are they quite a few that don't necessarily fit that profile? Nope! There are quite a few that don't necessarily fit that profile (myself included). Go through a few years of accepted threads and you'll see this for yourself. 

6. With a low first year GPA, but 3.7+ in the remaining 3 years, plus a 165 LSAT score competitive, or is that almost certainly being thrown into the reject pile?  3.7+ is kind of broad. 3.7ish all three remaining years with that LSAT score, not super competitive (won't comment on ECs here). 3.9ish all remaining years with that LSAT score, definitely competitive. 

7. Do you think getting into law school is getting less competitive? A saw an article where I read that there was a decline in law school applicants. I don't know; I think you're probably going to get pretty biased answers here. There were about 2200 applications to UofT this year. UofT accepted about 10% of those. And a lot of those applicants, not just those accepted, have competitive stats and backgrounds. People may say that the B3 average went down this year, so it is less competitive. But this was because they adjusted their algorithm to account for program difficulty, meaning a lower GPA from a more competitive program was given more weight by their algorithm etc. (end result = lower B3 average). 

 

I apologize in advance as I know there are countless amounts of "what are my chances" or similar questions asked before, but I'd really appreciate any current advice. Thank you! You're welcome. :)

 

 

Edited by ToLawAndLetLaw
grammar.
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@jokesonyou and @hopefulcanadianlawyr have already given good advice, so I won't go question by question. I'll answer 3, 6, and 7. I was admitted to U of T Law in January of this year. 

3. I wrote the LSAT 3 times, going from 155 to 161 to 170 in the end. I know this test, trust me. What I would recommend is to buy the PowerScore Bibles, read them all thoroughly (maybe take some notes), and then read the Logic Games and Logical Reasoning Bibles over again. Then, do nothing but practice tests over and over and over. You can find them in bundles of 10 on Amazon, they're not that expensive. Doing practice tests over and over is the only way to do well on the LSAT in my opinion. Be honest in timing yourself (35 mins per section) and in grading yourself (no "oh that was dumb of me, I'll just give myself the point"). I don't know what you're starting from but I did around 30 practice tests in total to reach my 170. 

Also, I would highly recommend using 7sage's YouTube channel, where they have comprehensive walkthroughs of every single logic game from every LSAT, which is very, very helpful in terms of understanding how to set up and execute game strategies, and be quick about it. 

I would also use the 7sage "Blind Review" process, which essentially involves first running through the entire PT as if it were an actual, timed test. As I go, if I am uncertain about particular questions I circle the number in the test booklet (but answer the questions to the best of my ability anyway). Then when I finish the PT I go back through the entire thing, untimed, and I make sure that, for each and every question, I am satisfied with my answer. For the ones that I was confused on and circled, I spend extra time going through the prompt or the stimulus, focusing on every word, and doing everything I can to think about the question thoroughly in a comfortably untimed space. Then once that's done for the entire PT I finally check the answers and compare my real PT score to the Blind Review score. This is a really great method because, without knowing the right answers, you can review all of your answer selections and really think the questions through, and catch yourself on mistakes you've made without cheating and looking at the right answer first, which defeats the purpose of fixing your errors. 

If you just check the right answer and then go back to the question, you'll go "oh, duhh" and move on. I did that for a long time but I think the real difference between my 161 and 170 was the Blind Review method, it's really helpful for understanding and adjusting your own thought process. 

 

6. Depends how low your first year is. If we're talking a 3.2 or something you're probably fine. If it's in the 2's well...I don't know about that. It's not like U of T completely ignores your worst year, they will still see it. Who knows though, maybe you can play it off as a strength that you managed to improve your GPA so markedly. 

3.7 with a 165 is below both medians (3.8/167). I got in with a 3.7 B3 and a 170. You wouldn't be outright rejected though, and depending on your circumstances and extracurriculars you might still have a good chance. Look at the accepted thread for this year, a few people got in with scores approximating a 3.7/165. But I wouldn't be confident on my admission with scores like that. The calculator (http://lsutil.azurewebsites.net/Prediction2016) is giving you a ~25% chance of admission to U of T with those stats. If I plug in a 167 your chances jump to 65%. If I pump it to 170 it's a 90-100% chance. But, it is very hard to get a 170. 165 is very doable. 

 

7. No, I don't think this is the case. If anything at U of T it has become more difficult, since the Trump administration may have forced students formerly desiring to study in the US back home to Canada, specifically to U of T. This was certainly a consideration for me. And Toronto is one of the most selective law schools in the world. It has a very low acceptance rate (~12%) and a very high yield (~70%), both more competitive than H and S. If it has gotten any easier, it probably hasn't gotten easier by much. 

The article you read may have been from the USA. After the financial crash in 2008 no one had any money to fork out $70k US a year for law school, so applications dropped massively. It became much easier over the 2010s to get in to law schools in the US. This is not the case for Canada. 

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The tl;dr version of this thread might as well be "I'm in the middle of my first year and my grades are weak. Also, I'm not confident I can get strong grades and a good LSAT in the future. But I'm in Trinity College. Can I still get into U of T law?"

Without being a dick (any further) here's what you need to do. Look at your classmates in whatever undergrad program you're in. Ignore the weakest 3/4 of the class. They are not your competition. Every day, in every class, you are competing to out-perform and to do well relative to the top 1/4 of your peers. If you can do that, you'll be realistic to attend a Canadian law school and maybe even U of T. If you can't, or won't, perform at that level, then hoping some faint glow of prestige from what you did in high school (because that's all Trinity represents) will carry you for the rest of your life is just ridiculous.

Good luck.

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I don't mean to hijack your post, but my case is very relevant to question #1 here, and I would like to get some input from everyone as I've been debating whether I should apply to UoT law. 

So here's my situation. 

My first year GPA is beyond redemption. It's in the 1.X region. Yes, I was placed on Academic Probation for the entire year. So I quit school, worked at different places, and returned to school 5 years later. I literally started from the scratch because most of my first year grades were Fs. I worked my ass off and now I'm expected to graduate this April with a CGPA of 3.93 (excluding my first year grades). My Upper Division GPA (I've taken over 60 credits in Upper Division courses) is above 4.0. However, because I had such a terrible first year, my CGPA including my first year grades would be 3.4. However, my B3 would be well above 3.9. 

In this case, do you think I'd still have a shot at UoT Law given my terrible first year? It is definitely one of my top choices and I've been consistently scoring 168-170 on my practice exams. 

 

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6 minutes ago, GreatPark said:

I don't mean to hijack your post, but my case is very relevant to question #1 here, and I would like to get some input from everyone as I've been debating whether I should apply to UoT law. 

So here's my situation. 

My first year GPA is beyond redemption. It's in the 1.X region. Yes, I was placed on Academic Probation for the entire year. So I quit school, worked at different places, and returned to school 5 years later. I literally started from the scratch because most of my first year grades were Fs. I worked my ass off and now I'm expected to graduate this April with a CGPA of 3.93 (excluding my first year grades). My Upper Division GPA (I've taken over 60 credits in Upper Division courses) is above 4.0. However, because I had such a terrible first year, my CGPA including my first year grades would be 3.4. However, my B3 would be well above 3.9. 

In this case, do you think I'd still have a shot at UoT Law given my terrible first year? It is definitely one of my top choices and I've been consistently scoring 168-170 on my practice exams. 

 

Absolutely. Nail the LSAT and write a killer personal statement and you've got a good shot. 

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5 hours ago, verycuriousaboutlaw said:

Hi,

I just have a couple of general questions, and I've been scouring different forums and calling in to admissions offices, but I'd just like to get some insight from students that have already been accepted. Any help would be extremely appreciated. 

1. I am aware that UofT uses your B3 in determining your GPA. Has anyone been accepted with mediocre first year marks, and good grades in their other three years? 

2. I'm a bit confused in terms of the timeline. If one was to finish their undergrad in April 2020, then they'd have to apply by November 1st of 2020 for admission in September 2020. How does this work though? Does the admission committee see your fourth year marks in time? Or do you apply in the November after you finish your undergrad? Also, if that's the case, what have you done during that year off?

3. Any study suggestions for the LSAT? I've done a couple months of self study by doing practice tests. 

4. Does UofT law have a preference for UofT undergrads (especially those graduating from Trinity college) or is this just a myth? I asked the lady in admissions today and she said no, and rattled off a bunch of statistics for me... however I've heard different from other classmates.

5. What have you seen the LSAT scores/GPA scores of your classmates to be? Is everyone at UofT law carrying along with them an exceptional profile (ex. 3.7+ all 4 years, 165+ LSAT score), or are they quite a few that don't necessarily fit that profile?

6. With a low first year GPA, but 3.7+ in the remaining 3 years, plus a 165 LSAT score competitive, or is that almost certainly being thrown into the reject pile?

7. Do you think getting into law school is getting less competitive? A saw an article where I read that there was a decline in law school applicants. 

 

I apologize in advance as I know there are countless amounts of "what are my chances" or similar questions asked before, but I'd really appreciate any current advice. Thank you!

 

1. I know people who bombed first year of undergrad (like sub 1.7 bombed) who then got over a 3.9 the last 3 years who got in. So yes, it’s possible.

2. Most people apply during their last year of undergrad, admissions won’t see the full 4 years of marks when most people apply, and the student with a 1.5, 3.95, 3.95 and a 170 on the LSAT may still very well get in. 

4. No, but most of the class at U of T comes from U of T, McGill, UBC, Western and Queens. Probably because smart high school students in Canada tend to go to those schools for undergrad, not because of preference. 

5. Most (as in 70% or so based on my own assumptions of going to U of T law and talking to classmates) people are in the 3.7+ all 4 years, 164+ category, but plenty aren’t. Then again many of those who don’t fall into that category have something else going for them, and I don’t mean sat on student government. They overcame extreme hardships, worked for NGOs or in government, played collegiate/professional/Olympic sports, that kind of thing. 

6. Yeah, plus a good PS that person would still be competitive. 

7. No I think it’s still hard, and then getting through is hard, and getting a good job is hard, and sticking around at that job is hard, it’s all hard. 

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12 minutes ago, DenningsSkiTrip said:

7. No I think it’s still hard, and then getting through is hard, and getting a good job is hard, and sticking around at that job is hard, it’s all hard. 

Life is hard and then you die. 

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5 hours ago, Constant said:

Absolutely. Nail the LSAT and write a killer personal statement and you've got a good shot. 

Thanks for the assurance! 

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17 hours ago, GreatPark said:

I don't mean to hijack your post, but my case is very relevant to question #1 here, and I would like to get some input from everyone as I've been debating whether I should apply to UoT law. 

So here's my situation. 

My first year GPA is beyond redemption. It's in the 1.X region. Yes, I was placed on Academic Probation for the entire year. So I quit school, worked at different places, and returned to school 5 years later. I literally started from the scratch because most of my first year grades were Fs. I worked my ass off and now I'm expected to graduate this April with a CGPA of 3.93 (excluding my first year grades). My Upper Division GPA (I've taken over 60 credits in Upper Division courses) is above 4.0. However, because I had such a terrible first year, my CGPA including my first year grades would be 3.4. However, my B3 would be well above 3.9. 

In this case, do you think I'd still have a shot at UoT Law given my terrible first year? It is definitely one of my top choices and I've been consistently scoring 168-170 on my practice exams. 

 

I think you’d be a very strong candidate if you can get a 168-170 on the real test. UofT as I’m sure you are aware is a B3 school, so they will barely even count your first year.

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23 hours ago, jokesonyou said:

4. It’s anyone’s guess as to what their bias could be. However, let’s face the facts. U of T is the toughest university in Ontario when it comes to grading and student caliber. The average student at U of T is better than the average at other universities. It is notorious for culling students and ruining hopes and dreams. I’ve yet to see a class average on my transcript above a B-. Just last week we had a midterm class average of 51% in a third year history course. That’s insane.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t great and exceptional students elsewhere; there are. All I’m saying is that a 3.7 cGPA at U of T is not the same as a 3.7 at Ryerson, York or Ottawa, assuming similar programs.

As such, I think U of T students get the benefit of the doubt and if they had to pick a student with a 3.8 from York or one from U of T, they’d pick the one from U of T, all else being equal.

 

Always good to know that my undergrad is apparently somehow worth less because I went to Guelph. 

 

Undergrad institution means nothing so long as you're going to a reputable (read: accredited) school. People who say otherwise are wrong.

 

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28 minutes ago, Otter248 said:

As such, I think U of T students get the benefit of the doubt and if they had to pick a student with a 3.8 from York or one from U of T, they’d pick the one from U of T, all else being equal.

Idle speculation...no evidence of this. 

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On 02/03/2018 at 6:28 PM, DenningsSkiTrip said:

4. No, but most of the class at U of T comes from U of T, McGill, UBC, Western and Queens. Probably because smart high school students in Canada tend to go to those schools for undergrad, not because of preference. 

Nothing against western and queens, or any uni for that matter (unlike clearly you), but since when are Western and Queens a "draw for smart highschool students"? I thought it was a draw for people looking to get white girl wasted on daddy's dime? (I'm using the phrase to refer to both sexes here, and I'm being glib; I HAVE NOTHING AGAINST QUEENS OR WESTERN)

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1 hour ago, pzabbythesecond said:

Nothing against western and queens, or any uni for that matter (unlike clearly you), but since when are Western and Queens a "draw for smart highschool students"? I thought it was a draw for people looking to get white girl wasted on daddy's dime? (I'm using the phrase to refer to both sexes here, and I'm being glib; I HAVE NOTHING AGAINST QUEENS OR WESTERN)

Yeah, the argument that any of these schools are a draw for smart high school students significantly more than any others is obtuse. Even the entry requirements at UT, generally speaking, aren’t much higher or higher at all than many other universities in Ontario. 

Edited by ToLawAndLetLaw

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2 hours ago, pzabbythesecond said:

Nothing against western and queens, or any uni for that matter (unlike clearly you), but since when are Western and Queens a "draw for smart highschool students"? I thought it was a draw for people looking to get white girl wasted on daddy's dime? (I'm using the phrase to refer to both sexes here, and I'm being glib; I HAVE NOTHING AGAINST QUEENS OR WESTERN)

Entry requirements are one thing, but you can meet the requirements and still not get into a school. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm fairly sure the entrance average for Queen's and Western out of highschool is 90%. Which is higher than most other schools. Even if they are competitive simply because everyone wants to go get drunk at Western/Queens, the bar is raised for admissions.

I'm not saying that a degree from Guelph is worth less than a degree from Western, I'm sure you get a great education at either school. However, I think that the same person would come out of Guelph with a higher grade than what they would've got from Western because they are competing in a less competitive arena (assuming that highschool grades are a reasonable indicator of ability). If grade distributions are relatively the same across schools, yet the smartest high school students are concentrated at certain ones - I don't see how it can be equally hard to get an A at each school. 

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7 minutes ago, cheesecurd said:

 

I'm not saying that a degree from Guelph is worth less than a degree from Western, I'm sure you get a great education at either school. However, I think that the same person would come out of Guelph with a higher grade than what they would've got from Western because they are competing in a less competitive arena (assuming that highschool grades are a reasonable indicator of ability). If grade distributions are relatively the same across schools, yet the smartest high school students are concentrated at certain ones - I don't see how it can be equally hard to get an A at each school. 

Oh, so its that people who went to Guelph look like they're better than they actually are- thanks for clearing that up.

 

How were you saying that a degree from Guelph was worth no less than Western then?

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This is turning into an absolute shit show. I go to none of those schools, for business, and it's ~89% out of high school.

Also, since when did Western become a sick school? Who told you all the smart kids go there? News to me, and to a lot of people probably. The quality of their undergrad isn't renowned in any way at all lol (minus Ivey). 

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I'm only stating fact - the entrance averages are considerably different at different schools. Every school has a high entrance average for specialized programs like business and engineering. But the average of the incoming class of the entire student body at Queen's/Western is approximately 90%. Not every program at every school is the same level of difficulty. That's why U of T considers it and uses stats to determine how successful you are likely to be if you come from a certain school/program. I'm not saying that ALL the smart kids go to western, but a lot of them do. That's simply true - look at their entrance averages. Idk how you guys are disputing this? 

Do you honestly think that an A at Nipissing is equivalent to an A at Western/Queen's? Based on what? 

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