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Bader Castle Program

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So I really wanted to complete the International Law Program at the Bader Castle next year; however, my very close cousin is getting married next year in the beginning of June. I cannot miss this wedding but I also really want to take part in the Bader program at the end of first year because in second year, I would want a summer job. For those who have done the Bader castle program before, would it be okay if I missed a few days of the program? I know it would put a bit of a dent in my wallet, but say I flew out for about 5 days to attend the program, would that be feasible? 

Also, for those who have attended the Castle program in general, what are your thoughts on it? Is it worth it, how did you like it, what financial help is available etc. 

 

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I did it years and years ago but it is an intensive program. Missing five days would be a lot. 

I suggest talking to the profs and arranging notes/ review with a trusted peer if you want to do both. 

It is an excellent program. 

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I also went years ago.  At that time, depending on which five days you missed, you could be missing half a course.  

I loved the program, I also loved the setting.  While I don't do international law (who does) it was a great opportunity to have deep conversations about law, make connections with fellow law students, and just be able to surround yourself with smart people at a castle with a built in pub.  It also helped to have a lighter course load in upper years, especially when I did my moot.  

 

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I went years ago as well and had a really excellent experience, but it's intensive for sure. Like has been noted above, missing five days would be pretty significant. That said, I had to miss about 5 days of class while I was there (though for health-related reasons, not a social occasion), and was able to work with my professors to come up with a way to accommodate it.

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Thank you for all the responses. I am hoping to minimize the amount of days I miss so maybe if I leave on Friday and come back by Tuesday (all the flights that leave on Monday arrive on Tuesday), I will have missed three days of school, which is still a lot since it is intensive but not as much. My concern is that the culture I belong to has wedding festivities that last a few days and I do feel my cousin expects me to go to those but I also don't want to fall behind in this program. Is it better just to not do the program at all? 

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Seeing as there are only a limited number of seats available, and also considering the fast pace and short length of the program, I would probably feel guilty going into it with the knowledge that I would being missing out on several days. It's different if you get sick or if something else comes up last-minute or partway through that can't be prevented. But personally, I would feel bad knowing in advance that I would be taking up a seat that would have really meant a lot to someone else who could have attended the entire duration of the program, especially since all Queens students are given priority over applicants from other universities.

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I really urge you not to allow the above kind of thinking to influence you overtly.

There is a certain courtesy in not shoving people out of the way to decide you don’t want the prize after all - agreed. But there’s nothing wrong with pursuing a goal even if you can’t give exactly the same to it as the next guy. 

Don’t get in your own way. If you want to do both, figure out how you can do your best at both. I was serious when I said talk to the profs and arrange notes from classmates. Ask former attendees to give you their outlines. Work at it. Don’t just give up on this opportunity because it might get hard. :) 

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2 hours ago, Hegdis said:

I really urge you not to allow the above kind of thinking to influence you overtly.

There is a certain courtesy in not shoving people out of the way to decide you don’t want the prize after all - agreed. But there’s nothing wrong with pursuing a goal even if you can’t give exactly the same to it as the next guy. 

Don’t get in your own way. If you want to do both, figure out how you can do your best at both. I was serious when I said talk to the profs and arrange notes from classmates. Ask former attendees to give you their outlines. Work at it. Don’t just give up on this opportunity because it might get hard. :) 

Going to hijack this thread on a related topic. I'm also considering participating in the Bader Castle program if I decide to attend Queen's. It looks like a tremendous opportunity and it's playing a large factor in my decision between Queen's and Western. However, I'm having trouble justifying the cost for it. The tuition for the program is $15k, and including other expenses (flight, some unpaid meals, personal trips, etc.), that can easily become $20k or even slightly larger. The program is less than two months yet will cost a year's worth of tuition (yes, I know they provide housing, awesome opportunities, etc. for that price and that I will also likely receive a bursary toward it, but you understand my point).

Are there any particular advantages with regard to getting hired, and later in practice? I really want to do an international exchange during law school for the experience, but I'm having a difficult time justifying this program over an ordinary exchange offered by the school.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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It depends entirely on where your career arc takes you. 

I went fifteen-odd years ago. My experience there became relevant to me two years ago. So you never know. 

You will not get a guarantee. You won’t get certainty. Ever again. Play the odds and make the choice based on your goals and your finances and your gut. 

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On 2018-04-25 at 4:10 PM, Shmem said:

Seeing as there are only a limited number of seats available, and also considering the fast pace and short length of the program, I would probably feel guilty going into it with the knowledge that I would being missing out on several days. It's different if you get sick or if something else comes up last-minute or partway through that can't be prevented. But personally, I would feel bad knowing in advance that I would be taking up a seat that would have really meant a lot to someone else who could have attended the entire duration of the program, especially since all Queens students are given priority over applicants from other universities.

Yeah don't worry about this. There are plenty of seats, almost everyone who wants to go gets to go. And, a decent number of people will miss this amount of class anyway just because of travelling/being sick/whatever so if you want to go for it, go for it. 

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According to the data from last year, there are only 25 places available (see page 34): https://law.queensu.ca/sites/webpublish.queensu.ca.lawwww/files/files/JD Studies/BISC/International Law Programs Presentation 2017.pdf

So no, it's definitely not the case that almost everyone who wants to go gets to go. All Queens students who apply are offered their first choice, and the program is open to any Canadian law school. I would think that far more than 25 people nationwide want to participate in the program. So if someone from Western wanted to go, for example, they'd be up against all applicants from Queens who are guaranteed a spot. Theoretically, a Queens student could apply with the advance knowledge that they'd miss half the program and they'd get in over someone who could be there for the entire program. Obviously this is different than missing a few days but my point is that it's not exactly a fair system.

But I realize that not everyone in law school thinks the same way that I do, and that's fine. I'll just have to work on dulling down my empathy in favour of a cutthroat, self-serving attitude if I want to succeed in this industry and fit in with all the sociopaths that it attracts. Clearly I'm in the wrong here for caring about others, right? /s

Edited by Shmem

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Thank you everyone for the responses, I really appreciate it. I will definitely try my best to accommodate both, I really don’t want to miss out on the program as it is one of the reasons I decided on Queens. 

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2 hours ago, Shmem said:

According to the data from last year, there are only 25 places available (see page 34): https://law.queensu.ca/sites/webpublish.queensu.ca.lawwww/files/files/JD Studies/BISC/International Law Programs Presentation 2017.pdf

So no, it's definitely not the case that almost everyone who wants to go gets to go. All Queens students who apply are offered their first choice, and the program is open to any Canadian law school. I would think that far more than 25 people nationwide want to participate in the program. So if someone from Western wanted to go, for example, they'd be up against all applicants from Queens who are guaranteed a spot. Theoretically, a Queens student could apply with the advance knowledge that they'd miss half the program and they'd get in over someone who could be there for the entire program. Obviously this is different than missing a few days but my point is that it's not exactly a fair system.

But I realize that not everyone in law school thinks the same way that I do, and that's fine. I'll just have to work on dulling down my empathy in favour of a cutthroat, self-serving attitude if I want to succeed in this industry and fit in with all the sociopaths that it attracts. Clearly I'm in the wrong here for caring about others, right? /s

There are 25 places available for each program; so 25 for IBL and 25 for PIL. As for taking up a spot, I called Queen’s and asked them if I could attend this program even if I attended another university and they assured me that there are always spots available. However, the exchange advisor at Western told me the credits taken during this program would not count towards my Western law degree, so if I did choose to attend Western, I know I would not do this program. I would imagine many others would likely also not attend the program if the credits were not counted towards their degree as then the expense seems unjustified. While I only inquired about Western, I would imagine that other schools may also not accept these credits.  Moreover, while this program is definitely unique in Canada, I think most other Canadian law schools also offer really cool exchange and internship opportunities that their students would be interested in and choose to do instead. 

I am glad most law students do not think like you, I found the other responses far more compassionate and empathetic than your own. In an ideal world, I would be able to attend the program without having to worry about the wedding and vice versa but I don’t think trying to do both (while minimizing the amount of days missed) makes me an uncaring and self-serving person, especially when certain factors, such as when the wedding is set, are completely out of my control. 

Edited by GoLeafsGo
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I think it can be hard to balance priorities and there are times when you have to make choices. I think you might have to decide which is ultimately more important - the wedding or the study program. My bias will show here - I'm not a fan of huge weddings and especially not when people expect everyone else to accommodate their huge wedding. I know it's cultural - my culture does this. I had a tiny wedding with like 20 people and we plan to do something a little bigger for all the family later,  but we do not expect everyone to give up days of their life for us. So if I were you, I would incur the wrath of my family and either skip the wedding and celebrate with the couple before and after, or maybe go for a shorter time - 2 or 3 days of the program if that is enough time to get home and back. Definitely not 5 days based on everyone else saying that that is a lot of time. Especially nowadays, it is so easy to live stream weddings (which we did) and/or record them, and participate in various ways through technology (you can send a video message, etc.) There will be so many other people there I don't know if your presence is absolutely essential or you would be missed. 

That being said, I get the impression that you don't want to piss off your family (I have a long history of doing that, so I may care less.) And that you actually do want to go to the wedding and are even saying it may be more than 5 days and you might feel guilty about missing those other days. So I would say you may have to choose which you would regret missing more and go from there. I can't see a family wedding being much fun when you're flying in from a distance maybe with your mind on other things missing the festivities and then having to rush back and catch up on schoolwork. I also can't see the program being fun when you miss a big chunk of it and then have to catch up on that. You're shortchanging both important things and spreading yourself too thin. Something to think about! 

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On 2018-04-26 at 5:10 PM, Shmem said:

According to the data from last year, there are only 25 places available (see page 34): https://law.queensu.ca/sites/webpublish.queensu.ca.lawwww/files/files/JD Studies/BISC/International Law Programs Presentation 2017.pdf

So no, it's definitely not the case that almost everyone who wants to go gets to go. All Queens students who apply are offered their first choice, and the program is open to any Canadian law school. I would think that far more than 25 people nationwide want to participate in the program. So if someone from Western wanted to go, for example, they'd be up against all applicants from Queens who are guaranteed a spot. Theoretically, a Queens student could apply with the advance knowledge that they'd miss half the program and they'd get in over someone who could be there for the entire program. Obviously this is different than missing a few days but my point is that it's not exactly a fair system.

But I realize that not everyone in law school thinks the same way that I do, and that's fine. I'll just have to work on dulling down my empathy in favour of a cutthroat, self-serving attitude if I want to succeed in this industry and fit in with all the sociopaths that it attracts. Clearly I'm in the wrong here for caring about others, right? /s

Okay. You're not in the situation. They issue calls for applications far after the initial application deadline - there is not actually enough demand for the number of spaces available, and there are usually not that many people who apply and attend from other schools (I assume because of how expensive it is - and this is only in the last few years, which also makes sense if you look at the job market for young lawyers now vs a few years ago). 

It's also not empathy to tell someone else to miss out on an opportunity entirely because they're going to miss a few days of it. If you're going to start getting worked up about every law student who takes a spot in a law school class and then skips class, for example, you're going to have an extremely long three years. Relax. 

The only question for OP though is if there's mandatory attendance - because of how intensive classes at the Castle are, there might be, in which case you might not be able to attend. But it's also very far in advance - you can plan on going to the Castle but who knows, maybe you'll get a 1L job or change your mind or whatever - don't limit yourself at this point because of something that may or may not be an issue. 

Edited by twinsfindme

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