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Better to be the big fish or swim in the big pond?

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UBC is cheaper, and generally a stronger school. If you don't mind living in BC for 3 years (and possibly more since coming back isn't easy straight out of grad) then go to UBC.

 

That is if you get in. Curiously though, why are you assuming you wouldn't get into any Ontario school outside of Windsor but woukd UBC? UBC has higher admission requirements than most schools in Ontario (even Oz if my memory serves me right).

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On 12/15/2018 at 8:18 PM, Iyaiaey said:

I'm not sure if you understood my question or I am just missing an obvious answer.

What if someone only got into UBC and Windsor but wanted to practice in Toronto, would they still be better off going to Windsor even though UBC is better ranked.

Generally speaking, yes (although cost can be a factor, in particular for the very expensive Windsor Dual JD).

Law school is not its own separate thing - it's merely the first phase of your entire legal career.  It's the personal/professional connections you make going to law school that will count far more than the substance of what you are taught.  If you're in Toronto, you're going to run into far more Windsor alumni than you are UBC.

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34 minutes ago, Diplock said:

Imagining you'll stand out at any law school is arrogant beyond belief. You have no idea what you're facing in terms of competition. At the same time, you can't be afraid of competing with "the best" at U of T, UBC, or anywhere else. If you're afraid of the competition as students, what the heck are you going to do in legal practice? 

I couldn't agree with this more.  And it isn't just this thread.  There was  another thread about UofT grading and several others that raised the same themes.

More broadly...and I mean this in the absolute nicest way possible...people need to chill out.  Lately, we've heard from people trying to pick law schools based on what will give them the highest grade or what grading scheme will make them feel good about themselves.  People concerned with a single "bad" grade after they've been accepted to law school (and by bad, I don't even mean all that bad).  People thinking they need to start preparing for 1L 9 months before it even starts (I've seen these threads before, but not this early).  People thinking they will be so shackled to their desks that they can't pursue any hobbies at all.  Etc.      

I don't really mean to mock (most of) you who have posted these things.  But none of these are things that you should be worrying about.  You can't really predict what will happen in law school or beyond and you will later probably feel silly to have worried about some of these things.  All you can really do is try to be confident about your own abilities, not be too concerned with what other people are doing or their qualifications, and to try your best.  

Edited by ProfReader
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Oh boy, I can write about my thoughts on this topic forever because I just went through a roller-coaster of anxiety and self-doubt after being accepted to law school!

In short, I was afraid of being the small fish in a very big pond filled with amazing overachievers. I knew I was not in the right mindset when it got to the point where I *literally* shed a tear of sadness when I found out I received an A (instead of an A+ *GASP*) in one of my finals because I genuinely felt like that was the definitive proof that I would be sub-optimal compared to my future peers. When this happened, I realized I needed to get a grip. Seriously, Twenty, get a grip. 

I know it sounds lame, but I ended up writing a letter to myself in order to get my thoughts in order. I felt like I lost perspective and needed to regain some of that. Ultimately, I made peace with the idea that although there is something secure about being the "smartest" person in the room, I can grow so much more by striving to be the "dumbest" person in the room (not by "dumbing myself down", but by surrounding myself with people who challenge me). And ultimately, that's something I want - even though I may have forgotten about it for a bit. I want the big pond, not the small one. 

 

Edited by Twenty
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I think you will find that you will rarely be the smartest or dumbest in the room.

You will have a perspective and a knowledge set that is unique to you.  You will find certain things/topics/concepts come easier to you than to someone else.  Other things/concepts/topics will be harder for you to grasp than others.

If you surround yourself with a diverse group of people, with diverse skills, and unique perspectives and knowledge sets - sometimes you will be the one to take the lead and help others, other times they will help you

There  are smartypants (legal term) that excel at everything - they are rare.  Even McDavid needs a line-mate with some skill level though.

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1 hour ago, Rumpy said:

I think you will find that you will rarely be the smartest or dumbest in the room.

You will have a perspective and a knowledge set that is unique to you.  You will find certain things/topics/concepts come easier to you than to someone else.  Other things/concepts/topics will be harder for you to grasp than others.

If you surround yourself with a diverse group of people, with diverse skills, and unique perspectives and knowledge sets - sometimes you will be the one to take the lead and help others, other times they will help you

There  are smartypants (legal term) that excel at everything - they are rare.  Even McDavid needs a line-mate with some skill level though.

I just wanted to say that I appreciate any who makes a reference to Connor McDavid in a non-hockey thread. Only in Canada!

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1 hour ago, Twenty said:

Oh boy, I can write about my thoughts on this topic forever because I just went through a roller-coaster of anxiety and self-doubt after being accepted to law school!

In short, I was afraid of being the small fish in a very big pond filled with amazing overachievers. I knew I was not in the right mindset when it got to the point where I *literally* shed a tear of sadness when I found out I received an A (instead of an A+ *GASP*) in one of my finals because I genuinely felt like that was the definitive proof that I would be sub-optimal compared to my future peers. When this happened, I realized I needed to get a grip. Seriously, Twenty, get a grip.  

I know it sounds lame, but I ended up writing a letter to myself in order to get my thoughts in order. I felt like I lost perspective and needed to regain some of that. Ultimately, I made peace with the idea that although there is something secure about being the "smartest" person in the room, I can grow so much more by striving to be the "dumbest" person in the room (not by "dumbing myself down", but by surrounding myself with people who challenge me). And ultimately, that's something I want - even though I may have forgotten about it for a bit. I want the big pond, not the small one.  

 

Dude forget law school, be a speaker.

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21 hours ago, Twenty said:

I know it sounds lame, but I ended up writing a letter to myself in order to get my thoughts in order. I felt like I lost perspective and needed to regain some of that. Ultimately, I made peace with the idea that although there is something secure about being the "smartest" person in the room, I can grow so much more by striving to be the "dumbest" person in the room (not by "dumbing myself down", but by surrounding myself with people who challenge me). And ultimately, that's something I want - even though I may have forgotten about it for a bit. I want the big pond, not the small one. 

 

This. Swords sharpen swords.

If you want to be the best, surround yourself with people who can help make you the best.

Many times in law school (and in practice) I have surrounded myself with colleagues who constantly strive to make me better. 99% of the time that means I "feel" like an idiot: go rewrite this, go moot this part out again, say it this way not that way etc. 

I can tell you that since practicing law I don't think I have ever, EVER have I gotten "right" the first time - but that means the final product is way better than it would have been if I was with people who weren't the best. 

 

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On 12/17/2018 at 6:30 PM, ProfReader said:

You can't really predict what will happen in law school or beyond and you will later probably feel silly to have worried about some of these things.  All you can really do is try to be confident about your own abilities, not be too concerned with what other people are doing or their qualifications, and to try your best.  

I'm a walking example of this, and of the other posters who have said to assume nothing. I got into law school with a 3.1 CGPA. I had maybe 4 A-'s on my entire transcript, and a smattering of other grades from c-'s upward to B+'s. 

Through two years of law school I have 3 A's, 3 A-'s and nothing below a B. Assume nothing and generally, don't even talk about your entrance stats when it comes up in 1L. The slate is wiped clean at the point, and it doesn't matter. You frankly have no clue what kind of fish you're going to be, or what your pond will look like. 

Edited by whoknows

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On 12/14/2018 at 11:01 AM, Megbean123 said:

I was the big fish at my undergrad and often I felt unstimulated and frustrated that my classmates didn’t get things or if profs would “baby” us. While I don’t think that happens in law schools even if I’m at the bottom of the class, I think firms can distinguish between a student at a “hard” school vs one at an “easy” based on their personal experiences with students from each school. 

That said the field I want to go into grades don’t matter as much from what I’ve heard. I think I will still pick u of t where because of their grading system it isn’t so easy to distinguish the good students from the bad in case I fall in the bottom 50%. But, I also can’t really afford it so that’s factoring into my decision too  

don’t think there are straight A students in law school and by definition most people are already top of their class or near it. Don’t know if you can even tell at which schools you would definitively have the big fish/big pond scenario as I don’t think people know their strengths and weaknesses until they actually enter law school. It’s possible your GPA is a 3.75 not because you’re a mediocre student but because you did a really hard program that focuses on different skills. You might excel at the skills required for law school classes 

you're too humble for these boards.

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On 12/18/2018 at 8:29 AM, Twenty said:

Oh boy, I can write about my thoughts on this topic forever because I just went through a roller-coaster of anxiety and self-doubt after being accepted to law school!

In short, I was afraid of being the small fish in a very big pond filled with amazing overachievers. I knew I was not in the right mindset when it got to the point where I *literally* shed a tear of sadness when I found out I received an A (instead of an A+ *GASP*) in one of my finals because I genuinely felt like that was the definitive proof that I would be sub-optimal compared to my future peers. When this happened, I realized I needed to get a grip. Seriously, Twenty, get a grip. 

I know it sounds lame, but I ended up writing a letter to myself in order to get my thoughts in order. I felt like I lost perspective and needed to regain some of that. Ultimately, I made peace with the idea that although there is something secure about being the "smartest" person in the room, I can grow so much more by striving to be the "dumbest" person in the room (not by "dumbing myself down", but by surrounding myself with people who challenge me). And ultimately, that's something I want - even though I may have forgotten about it for a bit. I want the big pond, not the small one. 

 

I don't want to live on this planet anymore. 

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