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This may come off as offensive, but it is not meant to. I have a serious question about the workload in UK law schools. I go to law school in Canada but some people I know through friends have gone to law schools in the UK. While social media isn't always reflective of reality, it just appears that the workload in UK law schools is visibly different. It seems like there is more "free time" than school here. These peers seem to travel a lot while away, go to clubs on week nights, have movie nights with friends. etc. I am not saying I could not do this in my own spare time, but the amount of off-time I realistically have would not allow for the same activities (my friends at other Canadian law schools would agree).

My perception could very well be wrong and maybe it is the structure of UK schools that creates a different workload than that in Canada.

I am looking for some light to be shed on this topic and how students who were in the UK system found their transition back to Canada (material/work load wise). Is my perception wrong?

Edited by SaskMike

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2 minutes ago, SaskMike said:

This may come off as offensive, but it is not meant to. I have a serious question about the workload in UK law schools. I go to law school in Canada but some people I know through friends have gone to law schools in the UK. While social media isn't always reflective of reality, it just appears that the workload in UK law schools is visibly different. It seems like there is more "free time" than school here. These peers seem to travel a lot while away, go to clubs on week nights, have movie nights with friends. etc. I am not saying I could not do this in my own spare time, but the amount of off-time I realistically have would not allow for the same activities (my friends at other Canadian law schools would agree).

My perception could very well be wrong and maybe it is the structure of UK schools that creates a different workload than that in Canada.

I am looking for some light to be shed on this topic and how students who were in the UK system found their transition back to Canada (material/work load wise). Is my perception wrong?

I have a good friend that went to Kent, who told me that she got multiple weeks off in a school year. Definitely a more "chilled-out" lifestyle and workload. I heard the same about Leicester as well. 

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42 minutes ago, SaskMike said:

This may come off as offensive, but it is not meant to. I have a serious question about the workload in UK law schools. I go to law school in Canada but some people I know through friends have gone to law schools in the UK. While social media isn't always reflective of reality, it just appears that the workload in UK law schools is visibly different. It seems like there is more "free time" than school here. These peers seem to travel a lot while away, go to clubs on week nights, have movie nights with friends. etc. I am not saying I could not do this in my own spare time, but the amount of off-time I realistically have would not allow for the same activities (my friends at other Canadian law schools would agree).

My perception could very well be wrong and maybe it is the structure of UK schools that creates a different workload than that in Canada.

I am looking for some light to be shed on this topic and how students who were in the UK system found their transition back to Canada (material/work load wise). Is my perception wrong?

Could just be their study habits. I had a LOT of free time during law school. Throughout the semester I would read 2-3 hours per week and never on weekend. During exams I would never study past 8pm (I did this to force myself to maximize the quality of studying rather than the quantity). I survived on the outlines/CANs I found online and just paying attention in class.

Friend of mine were the complete opposite and seemed to be constantly studying.

Some people just have different learning styles.

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53 minutes ago, SaskMike said:

This may come off as offensive, but it is not meant to. I have a serious question about the workload in UK law schools. I go to law school in Canada but some people I know through friends have gone to law schools in the UK. While social media isn't always reflective of reality, it just appears that the workload in UK law schools is visibly different. It seems like there is more "free time" than school here. These peers seem to travel a lot while away, go to clubs on week nights, have movie nights with friends. etc. I am not saying I could not do this in my own spare time, but the amount of off-time I realistically have would not allow for the same activities (my friends at other Canadian law schools would agree).

My perception could very well be wrong and maybe it is the structure of UK schools that creates a different workload than that in Canada.

I am looking for some light to be shed on this topic and how students who were in the UK system found their transition back to Canada (material/work load wise). Is my perception wrong?

I don't really understand what you're trying to get at.....   but you're comparing apples and oranges. 

Rightly or Wrongly.... there is a reason why Canadians with UK law educations are stigmatized. I wouldn't concern myself with "how much free time" they have... those people are investing in an education and they'll get what they pay for, just like you will. 

That being said be thankful you were able to get into a Canadian Law School. 

Edited by Dreamer89

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This may come off as offensive, but it is not meant to. Maybe you don't have enough time to do some of the things you mentioned because you spend too much time on social media following the life of others??? Maybe you are spending your life watching others live, instead of living your own life? 

Nevertheless, don't get too caught up in depictions people portray of themselves on social media. Often times their life is not glamours as it appears... so don't compare and despair. Also, you may find that those students you follow in the UK are the ones just getting by and not putting effort into their studies and they wouldn't do so regardless of where they were. 

You should also know that studying in the UK makes it possible to spend a weekend in France, Spain or Italy. Any of those destinations can be reached within just a few hours and very inexpensively. 

In the UK law school goes from Sept to June. There is roughly 3 or 4 weeks off around Christmas and again around April. This allows for plenty of time to travel.

 

Edited by Intro
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5 hours ago, Intro said:

This may come off as offensive, but it is not meant to. Maybe you don't have enough time to do some of the things you mentioned because you spend too much time on social media following the life of others??? Maybe you are spending your life watching others live, instead of living your own life? 

Nevertheless, don't get too caught up in depictions people portray of themselves on social media. Often times their life is not glamours as it appears... so don't compare and despair. Also, you may find that those students you follow in the UK are the ones just getting by and not putting effort into their studies and they wouldn't do so regardless of where they were. 

You should also know that studying in the UK makes it possible to spend a weekend in France, Spain or Italy. Any of those destinations can be reached within just a few hours and very inexpensively. 

In the UK law school goes from Sept to June. There is roughly 3 or 4 weeks off around Christmas and again around April. This allows for plenty of time to travel.

 

Maybe I have somehow offended someone. I am not saying free time is bad. I, too, get out often regardless of the fact that I have 50-100 pages per week, per my 5 classes (not that they always get read). I am honestly genuinely curious about how law school is structured in the UK because I am genuinely uninformed. 

Your comment about the length of a school term and off-time is helpful. May I inquire also how exams function in the UK? 

Edited by SaskMike

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Whatever else you can say for or against law programs in the UK and Australia, they are still first-entry undergraduate programs. What do you really expect?

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23 hours ago, SaskMike said:

This may come off as offensive, but it is not meant to. I have a serious question about the workload in UK law schools. I go to law school in Canada but some people I know through friends have gone to law schools in the UK. While social media isn't always reflective of reality, it just appears that the workload in UK law schools is visibly different. It seems like there is more "free time" than school here. These peers seem to travel a lot while away, go to clubs on week nights, have movie nights with friends. etc. I am not saying I could not do this in my own spare time, but the amount of off-time I realistically have would not allow for the same activities (my friends at other Canadian law schools would agree).

My perception could very well be wrong and maybe it is the structure of UK schools that creates a different workload than that in Canada.

I am looking for some light to be shed on this topic and how students who were in the UK system found their transition back to Canada (material/work load wise). Is my perception wrong?

It really depends on the group of friends that you know. I do know many people that are hardworking, as they spent most of their time studying at the library. There are also a number of people that I know that slacked off on their studies and go out to party almost every night.

Generally, there are readings that you have to do and questions that you need to prepare for tutorials, which are done in groups once a week. It is different to how classes are taught in Canadian law schools, but it doesn't make it any less of a workload. I do think that the difference lies where you are not marked for participation in classes at UK law schools, which may make it less of an incentive for students to prepare for these readings. This is probably why it might be perceived to be a lesser workload.

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16 hours ago, SaskMike said:

Maybe I have somehow offended someone. I am not saying free time is bad. I, too, get out often regardless of the fact that I have 50-100 pages per week, per my 5 classes (not that they always get read). I am honestly genuinely curious about how law school is structured in the UK because I am genuinely uninformed. 

Your comment about the length of a school term and off-time is helpful. May I inquire also how exams function in the UK? 

The exams are mostly 3 hours in length with issue spotting questions. You typically answer 3 or 4 of these questions per exam. The exams are closed book and represent 100% of your final grade. 

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15 hours ago, Diplock said:

Whatever else you can say for or against law programs in the UK and Australia, they are still first-entry undergraduate programs. What do you really expect?

Medicine and Dentistry are also undergraduate programs in the UK. The fact they are undergraduate programs does not necessarily mean they are less difficult when compared to Canadian programs 

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23 hours ago, Intro said:

Medicine and Dentistry are also undergraduate programs in the UK. The fact they are undergraduate programs does not necessarily mean they are less difficult when compared to Canadian programs 

He said first entry undergraduate programs. Can you go to medical school right out of high school and do whatever the UK equivalent of residency is afterward?

Because that’s how law school is in the UK: you just start as an 18 year old. 

In North America, you need to have an undergrad already, or be close to getting one, to get into law school. 

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5 minutes ago, Ryn said:

He said first entry undergraduate programs. Can you go to medical school right out of high school and do whatever the UK equivalent of residency is afterward?

Because that’s how law school is in the UK: you just start as an 18 year old. 

In North America, you need to have an undergrad already, or be close to getting one, to get into law school. 

Critically, you need to have done well in a university program, as opposed to just doing well in a highschool degree in the UK.

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15 minutes ago, Ryn said:

He said first entry undergraduate programs. Can you go to medical school right out of high school and do whatever the UK equivalent of residency is afterward?

Because that’s how law school is in the UK: you just start as an 18 year old. 

In North America, you need to have an undergrad already, or be close to getting one, to get into law school. 

Yes - you can go to medical school, dental school or law school directly out of high school in the UK. The post secondary education system is structured differently. 

This doesn't appear to have a bearing on the quality or difficulty of the education being provided. For instance, doctors in England are not less competent than their Canadian counterparts.  

Perhaps it is the Canadian system that is deserving of criticism for requiring an undergrad (or part thereof) for admission into law or medicine. What relevance will the completion of a degree in Cinema Studies,  Medieval Studies, Finnish Studies, Music or some other unrelated area of study have on your future competence and success as a lawyer or doctor? Likely, none. As such,  why not save student the great expense of an undergrad and allow students to pursue these degrees earlier on instead of having them delay enrolment by 4+ years. 

 

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1 hour ago, Ryn said:

He said first entry undergraduate programs. Can you go to medical school right out of high school and do whatever the UK equivalent of residency is afterward?

Because that’s how law school is in the UK: you just start as an 18 year old. 

In North America, you need to have an undergrad already, or be close to getting one, to get into law school. 

Yes. Same in Oz. Basically it's a 6 year program for those out of high school and 4 years for those with an undergrad. It's basically what McGill does with premed.

It should be noted that a lot of students get filtered out throughout the 6 years which isn't the case in North America (or McGill).

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Intro said:

What relevance will the completion of a degree in Cinema Studies,  Medieval Studies, Finnish Studies, Music or some other unrelated area of study have on your future competence and success as a lawyer or doctor? Likely, none

Now hang on. The point of university isn’t to be a trade school. There’s a ton of value to doing academic research and engaging in the kind of critical thought that generally comes with an undergraduate degree. It’s hard to do that if your law degree is four years and you also are expected to practice in four years. A lot of those skills you’d learn in unrelated programs aren’t something you have time to cultivate. 

The difficulty that comes from practicing law in the UK comes in the training after law school. Law school itself is about as difficult as a general undergrad, maybe a bit more challenging (I’m speaking generally, not of the “elite” UK schools). In contrast, in Canada, law school itself is materially more difficult than undergrad, because it implicitly leverages the skills you picked up in your first degree and challenges you at a post-grad level, despite the fact that it’s an undergraduate program.

The same is true for med or dentistry, where an MD candidate will have completed a four year bio degree or equivalent science, whereas their UK counterpart will just be starting their study.   

I think a fully-trained, licensed lawyer in the UK versus a fully-trained licensed lawyer in Canada are probably equals (as are their med counterparts). But a law grad from the UK versus a law grad from Canada? No. The Canadian one will likely be more accomplished academically, generally, as well as in the study of law, than the UK grad. 

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47 minutes ago, Ryn said:

The difficulty that comes from practicing law in the UK comes in the training after law school. Law school itself is about as difficult as a general undergrad, maybe a bit more challenging (I’m speaking generally, not of the “elite” UK schools). In contrast, in Canada, law school itself is materially more difficult than undergrad, because it implicitly leverages the skills you picked up in your first degree and challenges you at a post-grad level, despite the fact that it’s an undergraduate program.

In terms of study after law school graduation, a UK law school graduate only requires the completion of an LPC, which can be done in 6 months of study. A Canadian law school graduate must complete the Bar Exam. 

56 minutes ago, Ryn said:

The same is true for med or dentistry, where an MD candidate will have completed a four year bio degree or equivalent science, whereas their UK counterpart will just be starting their study.   

There are now med schools in Canada with pilot projects admitting students directly out of high school (following models like the one in the UK). I know Queens University does this. This indicates that strong students are capable of completing med school without first completing an entire undergrad. This is the case in the UK as it is in Canada 

 

 

One other thing worth mentioning with relation to the question posed by the OP the difficulty, in my opinion, can't vary that greatly. Some indications of this are that UK law school students are now able to take a year of law school in Canadian law schools as part of completing their UK law degree. Similarly, there are programs allowing Canadian law school students to complete part of their degree in UK law schools. 
 

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2 hours ago, Intro said:

In terms of study after law school graduation, a UK law school graduate only requires the completion of an LPC, which can be done in 6 months of study. A Canadian law school graduate must complete the Bar Exam.

My understanding is that there’s quite a substantial amount of time after receiving an LLB that one must spend working under a lawyer. I use the term colloquially since in the UK you are either a solicitor or a barrister. Solicitors, I think, require 2 or 3 additional years in training and working under a qualified solicitor. Barristers I think only need 2 years. Anyway I’m not completely familiar with the process but it sounds absolutely absurd that you can just go through 4 years of university after high school and become a licensed lawyer. I mean that’s obviously not the case, as the training I mentioned is required. 

And for Canada, you’ve left out 10 months of articling (or the LPP). So in average about 8 years of training to be a lawyer in Canada versus 6-7 in the UK depending on your specialization. 

2 hours ago, Intro said:

 

There are now med schools in Canada with pilot projects admitting students directly out of high school (following models like the one in the UK). I know Queens University does this. This indicates that strong students are capable of completing med school without first completing an entire undergrad. This is the case in the UK as it is in Canada 
 

I’m not convinced it’s a good idea. But I also don’t know anything about the pilots. 

3 hours ago, Intro said:

One other thing worth mentioning with relation to the question posed by the OP the difficulty, in my opinion, can't vary that greatly. Some indications of this are that UK law school students are now able to take a year of law school in Canadian law schools as part of completing their UK law degree. Similarly, there are programs allowing Canadian law school students to complete part of their degree in UK law schools. 
 

I believe they take first year classes and are generally offered a P/F instead of a real grade. At least that was the rule at Oz. 

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You know, I really was prepared to get into it with Intro, who appears to have come here only to defend the quality of law school in the UK. And that's really what this board needs, right? Another law student from the UK on a crusade to convince us that foreign legal education is as good (or better) than Canadian legal education. And, as a necessary extension of this fact, obviously the extreme difficulties that foreign law graduates face in the Canadian marketplace are purely the result of ignorance and bias. I was prepared to get into the whole thing. But the truth is, SaskMike laid a baited trap. And Intro isn't really at fault for taking the bait any more than the guy who started it.

So, let's be clear. People who make a blood sport out of looking down on foreign law students are just as ridiculous as foreign law students on a mission to exorcise their inferiority complex. I really don't have time for either. There is a rational discussion to be had, on the topic of foreign law schools, foreign legal education, and the students they attract. But that conversation doesn't tend to work due to the extreme views of too many participants.

My summery view is simply this. When foreign law students want to defend themselves with reference to the quality of their programs they are missing the point entirely. It may be that legal education in the UK is as good (or better) on the whole than Canadian legal education. But there's no escaping the fact that the Canadian students feeding into those programs have been, historically, mediocre students at best. You take the same students and feed them into U of T law school and they wouldn't emerge as strong graduates. The quality of the raw material is a big part of the outcome. I know it's unkind to say it, but it's the simple truth.

On the other hand, the point above applies to broad trends. Most students who haven't done well in the past continue to under-perform in the future. But there are always exceptions. Going after foreign legal education generally, as a way to stigmatize anyone and everyone who went that route, misses the point. At every stage in your career, you will need to prove yourself anew. Obviously doing well in the past creates opportunities for the future. But you can squander those opportunities and end up falling behind the curve, or you can correct past mistakes and do what it takes to get ahead. It isn't easy. It's not remotely easy. But in my experience, the people most eager to rest on their past laurels and look down on the people they out-performed in the past are the ones who are struggling most in the present. Because let's face it. The difference between a student in the UK and one in a Canadian law school really comes down to how well they did on the LSAT and in undergrad. That does matter a lot, but it isn't everything. Anyone still hoping that their performance on the LSAT or in undergrad will carry them for the rest of their career is going to be pretty damn disappointed come OCIs and beyond.

That's it. You can go back to your sniping and defensiveness now. But both of you are missing the major points.

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Re: the med school first entry. Back in the '70s, when my parents were in uni, this was the norm in Canada. Med was a six year program that you entered straight from high school. Several of my parents' friends who are doctors went through in this way. I don't know when it changed.

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