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ethers1636

Access Category

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Hi everyone,

Just wondering if anyone has some insight to share into the access category for Queens law. Under the criteria, it states that unique life experiences can be considered for the access category. I am a healthcare professional with 3 years experience working in a critical care setting. I feel this is a unique background from typical applicant. Should I try for access? If I apply under access, am I still considered under the general category if the committee disagrees? Thanks!

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Access is more for people who have encountered barriers that a typical applicant would not to help them be competitive despite whatever caused them to be access. For example, someone with a documented learning disability that can still succeed and demonstrates as much to the adcom applies access for lowered admission requirements. As far as "unique life experiences" go, they are more so referencing traumatic life experiences, something outside the norm. Things like "my mom passed away right before exams", while tragic, would not qualify someone as an access applicant. It could be used as a means of explaining away lower grades/LSAT, but not for access. 

To answer your questions briefly - Unless there are certain barriers that you haven't listed, no you should not apply as access. Your experience would actually be considered a soft factor as a general applicant, and I encourage you to reference it. As for your second question, yes you are still considered under the general applicant metrics. 

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On 9/12/2018 at 10:21 PM, bhaywardio said:

Access is more for people who have encountered barriers that a typical applicant would not to help them be competitive despite whatever caused them to be access. For example, someone with a documented learning disability that can still succeed and demonstrates as much to the adcom applies access for lowered admission requirements. As far as "unique life experiences" go, they are more so referencing traumatic life experiences, something outside the norm. Things like "my mom passed away right before exams", while tragic, would not qualify someone as an access applicant. It could be used as a means of explaining away lower grades/LSAT, but not for access. 

To answer your questions briefly - Unless there are certain barriers that you haven't listed, no you should not apply as access. Your experience would actually be considered a soft factor as a general applicant, and I encourage you to reference it. As for your second question, yes you are still considered under the general applicant metrics. 

what about being a first generation immigrant from a low income household?

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22 hours ago, naynay123 said:

what about being a first generation immigrant from a low income household?

Depends on the school, I know for sure Osgoode considers first generation immigrants applicable for their "section b" or whatever it was called. Low income household is pretty standard fare for a lot of applicants, so I wouldn't bank on that

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On 9/8/2018 at 4:46 PM, ethers1636 said:

Hi everyone,

Just wondering if anyone has some insight to share into the access category for Queens law. Under the criteria, it states that unique life experiences can be considered for the access category. I am a healthcare professional with 3 years experience working in a critical care setting. I feel this is a unique background from typical applicant. Should I try for access? If I apply under access, am I still considered under the general category if the committee disagrees? Thanks!

what is your cGPA, L2, B2 , B3 and LSAT?

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Queen's access is specifically left vague so lots of people feel that they can use it. Your work experience definitely qualifies you for access, and yes, if the committee does not think you should be considered in access, you are moved to the general category with no detriment to your application. 

Coming from someone who is intimately familiar with this process at Queens, I would advise future applicants to disregard Bhaywardio's advice. It is entirely incorrect for Queens. 

Edited by CoffeeandLaw

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On 10/3/2018 at 12:11 PM, CoffeeandLaw said:

Queen's access is specifically left vague so lots of people feel that they can use it. Your work experience definitely qualifies you for access, and yes, if the committee does not think you should be considered in access, you are moved to the general category with no detriment to your application. 

Coming from someone who is intimately familiar with this process at Queens, I would advise future applicants to disregard Bhaywardio's advice. It is entirely incorrect for Queens. 

Straight from Queen's admissions

"Queen’s Faculty of Law is committed to enhancing diversity in legal education and the legal profession. To this end, the Faculty encourages applications from candidates whose backgrounds, qualities or experiences allow them to make unique contributions to the law school community, the legal profession and society in general.

The Admissions Committee will consider these factors:

  • disability
  • educational and financial disadvantage
  • membership in a historically disadvantaged group
  • age
  • life experience
  • any other factor relating either to educational barriers you faced, or to your ability to enrich the diversity of the law school community and the legal profession

You must demonstrate the following capabilities:

  • that you have strong potential to complete the JD program
  • that you have the ability to reason and analyze
  • that you can express yourself effectively orally and in writing, and
  • that you possess the skills and attributes necessary to cope with the demands of law school

Traditional measures of academic performance and LSAT scores may be given comparatively less weight in this category, while non-academic experience and personal factors confirming your special circumstances or unique qualities may be given comparatively more weight.

  • Competitive applicants should have at least a “B+” average (GPA 3.3) in their best two years of their undergraduate degree program at a full course load along with an LSAT score of at least 154. 
  • For a student who does not have two years at full course load (ie. at part-time load), more emphasis will be placed on their CGPA, as calculated by OLSAS, which should be at least a 3.0

I have bolded the relevant parts. I'm not sure how intimate you are with the process, but unless you're with adcom I have to disagree. It clearly states that it should be an educational barrier, not just a unique life experience. It does go on to say "any experience that would enrich the diversity of the law school", but that is largely dependant on what OP's experience is precisely. 

Granted, considering OP's experience they may be a mature applicant, which queen's does not account for as its own category. It could very well be possible that it is under the access category. 

Again, if you are with adcom I acquiesce to your experience. But from my experience in applying access in the last year, the prevailing theme was "this category is designed to help provide access to people who may not be as competitive for x reason"

Edited by bhaywardio
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On ‎10‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 12:11 PM, CoffeeandLaw said:

Queen's access is specifically left vague so lots of people feel that they can use it. Your work experience definitely qualifies you for access, and yes, if the committee does not think you should be considered in access, you are moved to the general category with no detriment to your application. 

Coming from someone who is intimately familiar with this process at Queens, I would advise future applicants to disregard Bhaywardio's advice. It is entirely incorrect for Queens. 

Having a similar degree of experience with the admissions process at Queen's, I would also disagree with Bhaywardio's advice as it pertains to Queen's. I think we all know that there is more nuance to the admissions process than that which is posted on the admission's website.

My advice would also be for applicants to take a expansive view of what can fall into the access category...as you can even see from the open-ended drafting helpfully highlighted by Bhaywardio, it was designed to be interpreted as such.

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Edit: deleted response because I did not initially realize how long ago this thread was posted and realize my response is most likely not needed by this time.

Edited by torontohermione

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