Jump to content
thedraper

Western vs Osgoode

Recommended Posts

I figured I may as well make this thread to get an idea of which I would accept if I am lucky enough to get an offer next year.

I guess a little about myself is necessary. I am currently going into my 4th year of undergrad, I want to practice some sort of Corporate law, and so Bay Street is the goal.

My stats, in case anyone is wondering (I am only an applicant for fall 2019, after all)...

CGPA 3.91

L2 3.90

B3 3.92

LSAT 157

I made a little pros and cons list that is specific to me, so maybe that will give some ideas of what to talk about/what I should prioritize:

Oz

Pros...

-better networking for Toronto

-great reputation

-better odds at Bay Street (I know this is controversial, but based on the 7 sister firms and their 'people' sections, I think it's relatively plausible)

-better living experience than London (?)

Cons...

-much more expensive (living + tuition)

-traveling to and from is not ideal (I live in Northern Ontario)

-Not a huge fan of North York

Western

Pros...

-Corporate law focus (from what I can tell and what I've heard from students)

-Cheaper (in relation to Oz)

-family in London (who I never get to see)

-short drive to and from, makes traveling home easier (via Michigan)

Cons...

-odds not as good for Bay Street (yes, I know, controversial again)

-networking for Toronto is difficult

-OCI's are more difficult (e.g. have to live in TO for summer)

 

I know it's not very detailed but that's about it. They are my two top choices, and I am slightly in favor Western. I really do know that the whole "better odds on Bay Street" thing is not necessarily true. I am simply going off of some of the firms' websites and seeing where the bulk of their lawyers are from.

Any discussion or first hand experience with either school would be great to hear! Thanks guys

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Osgoode > Western. 

Don’t get me wrong, Western Law is arguably one of the top 5 schools in Canada.... but, Osgoode is arguably one of the top 2/3. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Inconspicuous said:

You have better chances for bay at Oz 

Agreed. But how much better are the odds compared to Western is the real question I suppose.

 

34 minutes ago, LibertyAndJustice said:

Osgoode > Western. 

Don’t get me wrong, Western Law is arguably one of the top 5 schools in Canada.... but, Osgoode is arguably one of the top 2/3. 

Yea, I've come to realize that Oz is really up there. I never thought it would be cause it's really just York U, and I never thought highly of York (no offense intended). In terms of prestige, I don't care too too much. As long as it is somewhat reputable for Bay I can live with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I attended Oz and loved it, but as I stare my student debt in the face I'm not sure it's worth the premium. I've never attended Western (obviously) but I work with people who have and they have nothing but positive things to say. I wouldn't put too much weight on Western's "corporate law focus" though - I really do think this is purely a marketing thing since Western's corp focus doesn't seem to benefit students in terms of biglaw hiring. 

Oz also has a huge corporate law focus that includes multiple business-specific clinics and workshops taught by authorities in the field (I want to say that we had more than other law schools but don't quote me on this). Oz's proximity to downtown allowed the school to have numerous classes and clinics taught by Bay street associates/partners (some of the clinics and workshops are also taught right in the law firms if that's the short of thing that floats your boat. Though slepping downtown for a 6 pm class at Bennett Jones or Stikes can be a pain lol).

Both schools will serve you well in terms of hiring. You should look at where you want to live, where you think you would have the best time and what makes the most economic sense.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think both schools are great options. Just depends on your preferences. Do you wish to stay in the GTA ( no need to argue over if Osgoode is in Toronto or not if I phrase it this way:lol:) or do you wish to go to London for 3 years? Western law has a really close community from what I have gathered from current law students and alumni, more close than what is the perception at Osgoode. It probably has to do with the fact that Western has a smaller incoming class, and it is not a commuter school. 

Western law will cost 6000 less a year, meaning around 20 000 less debt at the end of the degree. That is a significant amount. For some of us, we would pay that premium just to stay in the GTA. There could be a variety of reasons why we would do that, family needs, etc. Osgoode's course offerings being the most extensive in the nation is also not something to ignore. We are all paying to get an education, and the more options I have while receiving that education is something important. I also think as a side note it is appealing to go to a school that has the history of Osgoode Hall, Western Law is amazing but it cannot compare in that sense. I wouldn't make my decision based of the last fact though lol, but it is something that is nice when attending somewhere like U of T, Osgoode, or McGill. In terms of reputation, from what I have gathered it wont really matter in Canada. From what I have gathered from more experienced people on this board and from other discussions, the variance between the schools for how much any perceivable reputational difference will actually effect our career in law seems to be negligible. Negligible to the  point that it shouldn't be given much weight when considering where to attend, I wouldn't make it a prime factor in my decision making process. However, my gut tells me that this may not necessarily be true at all times , there could be biases that people have operating at a level that does not allow it to enter the realm of awareness.  In any case, the advise given here is  focus on where you wish to work. The networking possibilities due to close proximity could make a big difference. Lets say the opportunity quickly arises to have an unplanned coffee with a Crown from the North York office or a Bay St. Firm Associate and I am in the GTA, that makes it much easier. If I have to come from London, its still somewhat realistic and possible, but a lot more planning, schedule rearrangements,  and very valuable time  has to go into that endeavor due to the longer commute and commuting options. If you wish to work in Toronto, your most valuable networking opportunities will be in the city of Toronto, or at the very least within the GTA.

I can speculate that one potentially nice benefit of Osgoode taking in larger class sizes, is that we also have a massive alumni base. Now to what extent that will actually make any difference in the lives of students, who knows. However, it is always nice to have something to connect over when going any interaction with someone. I would also look into if Western can match Osgoode in its clinical opportunities. For example, I think Osgoode is one of the few places in Canada which has the innocent project ( As an incoming student I would pick a school based on all factors, not just off a perceived interest in corporate law). I don't think any school can make the argument they have a larger offering of clinical opportunities than Osgoode, nothing I have read yet. The bay st. percentages are similar for the 2L OCI recruits, but the raw numbers for osgoode are much higher. In Any case, it would be an awesome place to be in if you had either of these schools offering admissions, and even better to choose from both. Good Luck in the upcoming cycle!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

http://ultravires.ca/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/UV-February-2018-Recruitment-Special.pdf

http://ultravires.ca/wp/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Recruitment-Special.pdf

http://ultravires.ca/2015/11/2016-summer-student-hiring/

Keep in mind Osgoode's class size is 290-310 and Western's class size is 175. Western's focus is almost exclusively on business law, while students have a diverse range of interests at Osgoode and many are not interested in corporate law or Bay Street. 

Edited by Simbaa
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, healthlaw said:

I attended Oz and loved it, but as I stare my student debt in the face I'm not sure it's worth the premium. I've never attended Western (obviously) but I work with people who have and they have nothing but positive things to say. I wouldn't put too much weight on Western's "corporate law focus" though - I really do think this is purely a marketing thing since Western's corp focus doesn't seem to benefit students in terms of biglaw hiring. 

Oz also has a huge corporate law focus that includes multiple business-specific clinics and workshops taught by authorities in the field (I want to say that we had more than other law schools but don't quote me on this). Oz's proximity to downtown allowed the school to have numerous classes and clinics taught by Bay street associates/partners (some of the clinics and workshops are also taught right in the law firms if that's the short of thing that floats your boat. Though slepping downtown for a 6 pm class at Bennett Jones or Stikes can be a pain lol).

Both schools will serve you well in terms of hiring. You should look at where you want to live, where you think you would have the best time and what makes the most economic sense.

Thanks for the insights! Particularly, I'm intrigued by the classes at Bennet and/or Stikeman. Were these like special classes that happened once in a while or are they frequent? That's something I'll have to consider cause Stikeman Elliott has been a dream of mine forever, and any contact I can get with them I'm about. 

I figured Oz would have a corporate focus simply because of the amount of Bay lawyers from there, but they really don't seem to advertise it all that much.

Thanks!

 

28 minutes ago, Timmies123 said:

I think both schools are great options. Just depends on your preferences. Do you wish to stay in the GTA ( no need to argue over if Osgoode is in Toronto or not if I phrase it this way:lol:) or do you wish to go to London for 3 years? Western law has a really close community from what I have gathered from current law students and alumni, more close than what is the perception at Osgoode. It probably has to do with the fact that Western has a smaller incoming class, and it is not a commuter school. 

Western law will cost 6000 less a year, meaning around 20 000 less debt at the end of the degree. That is a significant amount. For some of us, we would pay that premium just to stay in the GTA. There could be a variety of reasons why we would do that, family needs, etc. Osgoode's course offerings being the most extensive in the nation is also not something to ignore. We are all paying to get an education, and the more options I have while receiving that education is something important. I also think as a side note it is appealing to go to a school that has the history of Osgoode Hall, Western Law is amazing but it cannot compare in that sense. I wouldn't make my decision based of the last fact though lol, but it is something that is nice when attending somewhere like U of T, Osgoode, or McGill. In terms of reputation, from what I have gathered it wont really matter in Canada. From what I have gathered from more experienced people on this board and from other discussions, the variance between the schools for how much any perceivable reputational difference will actually effect our career in law seems to be negligible. Negligible to the  point that it shouldn't be given much weight when considering where to attend, I wouldn't make it a prime factor in my decision making process. However, my gut tells me that this may not necessarily be true at all times , there could be biases that people have operating at a level that does not allow it to enter the realm of awareness.  In any case, the advise given here is  focus on where you wish to work. The networking possibilities due to close proximity could make a big difference. Lets say the opportunity quickly arises to have an unplanned coffee with a Crown from the North York office or a Bay St. Firm Associate and I am in the GTA, that makes it much easier. If I have to come from London, its still somewhat realistic and possible, but a lot more planning, schedule rearrangements,  and very valuable time  has to go into that endeavor due to the longer commute and commuting options. If you wish to work in Toronto, your most valuable networking opportunities will be in the city of Toronto, or at the very least within the GTA.

I can speculate that one potentially nice benefit of Osgoode taking in larger class sizes, is that we also have a massive alumni base. Now to what extent that will actually make any difference in the lives of students, who knows. However, it is always nice to have something to connect over when going any interaction with someone. I would also look into if Western can match Osgoode in its clinical opportunities. For example, I think Osgoode is one of the few places in Canada which has the innocent project ( As an incoming student I would pick a school based on all factors, not just off a perceived interest in corporate law). I don't think any school can make the argument they have a larger offering of clinical opportunities than Osgoode, nothing I have read yet. The bay st. percentages are similar for the 2L OCI recruits, but the raw numbers for osgoode are much higher. In Any case, it would be an awesome place to be in if you had either of these schools offering admissions, and even better to choose from both. Good Luck in the upcoming cycle!

I'm not from the GTA (far from it actually), so I have don't have a need to 'stay' there. I do want to work in Toronto eventually though.

I guess I wouldnt be paying the 6k premium for the pleasure of staying in the GTA, rather, it would be for getting the upper hand on Bay hiring and also networking in TO.

The clinics are definitely something I need to look into. Right now at my internship I provide financing for small and startup businesses, and I absolutely love it. Being able to work on this via the law side is defntely something I want to do while in school.

Thanks for taking the time to respond!

 

EDIT: Oh! And I think Oz is in TO :)

Edited by thedraper
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, thedraper said:

Agreed. But how much better are the odds compared to Western is the real question I suppose.

 

Yea, I've come to realize that Oz is really up there. I never thought it would be cause it's really just York U, and I never thought highly of York (no offense intended). In terms of prestige, I don't care too too much. As long as it is somewhat reputable for Bay I can live with it.

Yeah, the Osgoode - York thing throws a lot of people off. The way to think about it though is that they are essentially independent of one another. Osgoode was forced by the provincial government to align themselves with York in the late 60’s, but to this day Osgoode essentially acts as its own school, and many students and faculty refuse to acknowledge they are at York and prefer to just say they are at Osgoode Hall. 

Edited by LibertyAndJustice
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, Simbaa said:

http://ultravires.ca/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/UV-February-2018-Recruitment-Special.pdf

http://ultravires.ca/wp/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Recruitment-Special.pdf

http://ultravires.ca/2015/11/2016-summer-student-hiring/

Keep in mind Osgoode's class size is 290-310 and Western's class size is 175. Western's focus is almost exclusively on business law, while students have a diverse range of interests at Osgoode and many are not interested in corporate law or Bay Street. 

Thanks! I've always meant to look through that stuff. Now that I have I only feel more nervous lol

I know I can probably find this info elsewhere but I figure why not ask since you're here. Do you know how much these 2L Bay summer jobs pay? Assuming I'm in London with a 12 month lease, I am going to have to pay for an apartment in TO in addition to paying for my London apartment. Is the pay enough to manage this?

 

EDIT: ooops just found it in a quick search. Looks like most firms do $1,400 ish a week? Not sure if that is right

Edited by thedraper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Between Osgoode and Western, it doesn't matter where you go. Really. Really really

The discussion boils down to this: Osgoode's class size is 2x the size of Western's.  Neither is better than the other for "Bay Street hiring". Osgoode has more of a social justice focus than Western.  Western has (slightly) cheaper tuition than Osgoode. Western is farther away from Toronto than Osgoode. The notion that you will spend your time in law school ~networking~ on the street with lawyers, and that being in Toronto and closer to these people will therefore yield you a benefit for hiring, is a false one. 

The ~*prestige*~ associated with Osgoode stems from a time when it was the only law school in Canada and held classes at the actual Osgoode Hall. Even Osgoode alumni will tell you there is absolutely no comparison between the Osgoode of 1960 and the Osgoode of 2018.  The only people who aren't aware of this are people who aren't in law school yet, and also maybe the current Osgoode students who have convinced themselves otherwise.

Advice: Go to law school in Ontario. Wherever you want. Become a lawyer. Look back on this thread in four years and laugh. 

Edited by beyondsection17
  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, beyondsection17 said:

Between Osgoode and Western, it doesn't matter where you go. Really. Really really

The discussion boils down to this: Osgoode's class size is 2x the size of Western's.  Neither is better than the other for "Bay Street hiring". Osgoode has more of a social justice focus than Western.  Western has (slightly) cheaper tuition than Osgoode. Western is farther away from Toronto than Osgoode. The notion that you will spend your time in law school ~networking~ on the street with lawyers, and that being in Toronto and closer to these people will therefore yield you a benefit for hiring, is a false one. 

The ~*prestige*~ associated with Osgoode stems from a time when it was the only law school in Canada and held classes at the actual Osgoode Hall. Even Osgoode alumni will tell you there is absolutely no comparison between the Osgoode of 1960 and the Osgoode of 2018.  The only people who aren't aware of this are people who aren't in law school yet, and also maybe the current Osgoode students who have convinced themselves otherwise.

Advice: Go to law school in Ontario. Wherever you want. Become a lawyer. Look back on this thread in four years and laugh. 

Nobody said you'd be networking with random lawyers on the street while in law school. Many firm tours, legal events, and OBA networking events take place during the weekdays WHILE in law school. I'd just finish classes, put on a suit, then take a quick bus or drive downtown to attend these events and network with articling students and lawyers. You can't attend events in Toronto during the weekdays if you're in London, Ontario (and almost none of these events are held on a weekend), but you can do so if you attend a Toronto law school. Osgoode's clinical programs also have many connections with the Toronto courts, so by participating in these programs you can very well form relationships with counsel at these courts as a law student. 

Edited by Simbaa
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, beyondsection17 said:

Between Osgoode and Western, it doesn't matter where you go. Really. Really really

The discussion boils down to this: Osgoode's class size is 2x the size of Western's.  Neither is better than the other for "Bay Street hiring". Osgoode has more of a social justice focus than Western.  Western has (slightly) cheaper tuition than Osgoode. Western is farther away from Toronto than Osgoode. The notion that you will spend your time in law school ~networking~ on the street with lawyers, and that being in Toronto and closer to these people will therefore yield you a benefit for hiring, is a false one. 

The ~*prestige*~ associated with Osgoode stems from a time when it was the only law school in Canada and held classes at the actual Osgoode Hall. Even Osgoode alumni will tell you there is absolutely no comparison between the Osgoode of 1960 and the Osgoode of 2018.  The only people who aren't aware of this are people who aren't in law school yet, and also maybe the current Osgoode students who have convinced themselves otherwise.

Advice: Go to law school in Ontario. Wherever you want. Become a lawyer. Look back on this thread in four years and laugh. 

While I agree that I definitely overthink school comparisons, I think you're understating the importance of some factors (such as networking). You're definitely right about looking back at this post and laughing when it's all said and done. Hell, I laugh at stuff I wrote last week.

In the end we'll never know the difference, right? If I go to Oz and end up on Bay, or if I go to Western and end up on Bay, who knows what difference either path could have made. Either way, it's futile to think about.

Thanks for the insights!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, Simbaa said:

Many firm tours, legal events, and OBA networking events take place during the weekdays WHILE in law school. I'd just finish classes, put on a suit, then take a quick bus or drive downtown to attend these events and network with articling students and lawyers. You can't attend events in Toronto during the weekdays if you're in London, Ontario (and almost none of these events are held on a weekend), but you can do so if you attend a Toronto law school. Osgoode's clinical programs also have many connections with the Toronto courts, so by participating in these programs you can very well form relationships with counsel at these courts as a law student. 

I would consider this point to be included in "Western is farther away from Toronto than Osgoode". 

Look, my post was not to suggest that you, yourself, went to the wrong law school. It was to provide my perspective, as a lawyer, for the OP.  I went to Western, and work in Toronto. I did not find that the location of my law school mattered at all for hiring purposes.  I work with some lawyers who went to Western, and others who went to Osgoode, and a number who went to other law schools in Ontario and across the country,  and I am friends with a wide variety of lawyers across different practice areas who all graduated from different schools, and unsurprisingly, the law schools we all went to is a topic that rarely seems to come up.

8 minutes ago, thedraper said:

While I agree that I definitely overthink school comparisons, I think you're understating the importance of some factors (such as networking). You're definitely right about looking back at this post and laughing when it's all said and done. Hell, I laugh at stuff I wrote last week.

In the end we'll never know the difference, right? If I go to Oz and end up on Bay, or if I go to Western and end up on Bay, who knows what difference either path could have made. Either way, it's futile to think about.

Thanks for the insights!

My whole point was that you'll be fine wherever you go. You'll also be fine even if you don't end up working on Bay St. Just follow your gut.

Edited by beyondsection17
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, beyondsection17 said:

Even Osgoode alumni will tell you there is absolutely no comparison between the Osgoode of 1960 and the Osgoode of 2018.  

Could you elaborate on this slightly, what has changed?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd disagree that Oz gives any sort of advantage for Bay compared to Western. 

I also think it's weird to have a discussion thread for two great schools when you haven't gotten into either of them and you're applying with a 157. If anything, this thread should be about retaking the LSAT in September to boost your chances ... 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, LibertyAndJustice said:

 Prestige wise, not much. OP may be misinformed. 

I've been thinking the whole prestige thing is really variable, it really depends who we talk to. People who have no idea about law school in my experience so far tend to actually see it poorly due to its association with York Uni ( although of course this is a foolish way of looking at it), law students and prospective applicants  generally tend to see it pretty favorably ( although even this varies greatly), and practicing lawyers tend to hold the view it matters on the student and not the school ( which makes a lot of sense to me). Although I do firmly believe schools can have differences in what they offer students, aside from prestige or reputation. The latter is something somewhat  nice I suppose, but concretely having things such as extensive course offerings, clinical opportunities, and being able to live within the GTA are the most important factors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, bernard said:

I'd disagree that Oz gives any sort of advantage for Bay compared to Western. 

I also think it's weird to have a discussion thread for two great schools when you haven't gotten into either of them and you're applying with a 157. If anything, this thread should be about retaking the LSAT in September to boost your chances ... 

Look at the ultra vires numbers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Simbaa said:

 Osgoode's clinical programs also have many connections with the Toronto courts, so by participating in these programs you can very well form relationships with counsel at these courts as a law student. 

1

Being a law student in the courts does not yield particularly fruitful relationships (I am a 2L student traversing the courts right now, and most counsel pay no heed to the law students other to ensure that they don't go before them in 5 court). 

What matters more is the network from working within the clinics. I am a current supervisor at Western's Community Legal Services. We have a network of alumni who worked in the clinic who our director does not hesitate to contact for students during TO articling recruit. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



  • Recent Posts

    • Hey there, tagging along on this post.. does anyone know how they consider exchange grades? I did a semester abroad in third year, second semester and had a pretty decent GPA there and OLSAS has received/ reviewed that transcript... but not sure what schools do re: L2... any thoughts? Thanks!
    • https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/csj-sjc/rfc-dlc/ccrf-ccdl/check/art15.html
    • Hi, I was curious what statute and exactly where does it state that everyone is equal in law?
    • Background: My cold diagnostic score was about 135 (43% correct on 101 question test) two months ago. Have been studying casually since then, perhaps <10 hours in total because of school. Studying mainly with Mcgraw Hill prep's online course that accompanies the book. I did an online practice test this morning and scored about 138 (45% correct on 101 question test). Scenario: - Goal score is 165. - Registered for January 26th LSAT (about 6 weeks time). - Will have time to study full time 40hrs or more a week. - Current resources: The LSAT Trainer, Mcgraw Hill prep book (2017), Baron's Logic Games prep book, Baron's General prep book, Kaplan's LSAT Premier (2016-2017) prep book, and Princeton Review LSAT Decoded Prep Tests 72-76.  - PT1 Results: Arguments 1 = 68% correct, Arguments 2 = 44% correct, Reading Comprehension = 28% correct, Logic Games = 38% correct Questions: 1. What should I focus on with my current resources of books? 2. Should I buy the 7Sage online course to prep? 3. If you were in my shoes, how would you schedule your time? 4. Any other advice?
    • Two individuals in 4th year (one referred to "last year of studies") posted their stats on the accepted thread today. I think that settles the currently still in school aspect of the debate. 
×