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Brookvale

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

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Hey group,

Let's assume you are a middle-of-the-road law student candidate--162, 3.75, or similar. Would you rather go to a bigger, more competitive school, where you are in the lower half of the class stats-wise? The small fish in a big pond. Or go to a smaller, less competitive regional school where you would rank in the upper half? The big fish in a small pond. Which would you prefer and why?

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Your entrance stats are not necessarily indicative of where you’ll place in law school. It depends on a lot of other factors such as your work ethic and how quickly you’re able to adjust to law school style exams. Go where you’ll be happiest and don’t try to ‘game’ for better marks or opportunities (unless I’m misinterpreting the purpose of this thread). 

I was fairly middle of the road in terms of stats. Great gpa but meh lsat. I ended up doing better than average. Some people who have great stats do below average. You can’t oredict it. So swim in which ever bond makes you happiest in terms of city, networking opportunities, clinics etc 

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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 

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13 minutes ago, Megbean123 said:

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%

This is a bad reason to pick a school. I advise you to reconsider your priorities.

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16 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

This is a bad reason to pick a school. I advise you to reconsider your priorities.

I’m honestly so torn, if I get into McGill gonna really weigh the merits/demerits of both. For now I can only really work with the schools I’m in at

 

edit: should have specified it is something I’m considering not the only reason for u t 

Edited by Megbean123

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Can I let the other fish stress about their size and just be happy to be part of the pond? 

 

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3 minutes ago, Megbean123 said:

I’m honestly so torn, if I get into McGill gonna really weigh the merits/demerits of both. For now I can only really work with the schools I’m in at

You missed the point of my post. I'm saying this should be such a small "merit/demerit" that it really really shouldn't factor into your decision making.

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If I were applying right now I would be looking at the price tag before pretty much anything else. A more expensive school would need to be clearly worth it, based on something more solid than just a vague sense of “reputation”.

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13 minutes ago, Hegdis said:

If I were applying right now I would be looking at the price tag before pretty much anything else. A more expensive school would need to be clearly worth it, based on something more solid than just a vague sense of “reputation”.

This.

I've said it many times on here before - the sticker price of my legal education is about 2/3s of colleagues who went to UofT (and that doesn't consider the difference in cost of living expenses which are outrageous in TO). Yet here we are - at the same firm, practicing the same law, earning the same money. 

Edited by TheScientist101
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1 hour ago, Brookvale said:

Hey group,

Let's assume you are a middle-of-the-road law student candidate--162, 3.75, or similar. Would you rather go to a bigger, more competitive school, where you are in the lower half of the class stats-wise? The small fish in a big pond. Or go to a smaller, less competitive regional school where you would rank in the upper half? The big fish in a small pond. Which would you prefer and why?

This wouldn't be any kind of factor for me whatsoever.

Go to law school in the city or region you want to practice law in.  Rule 1, no exceptions.

If you have multiple options that are in the town or city you want to live in, IMHO I would choose the cheaper school.  Others have a different point of view, and reasonable people can make up their own mind.

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1 hour ago, Megbean123 said:

I’m honestly so torn, if I get into McGill gonna really weigh the merits/demerits of both. For now I can only really work with the schools I’m in at

 

edit: should have specified it is something I’m considering not the only reason for u t 

Personally, I'd pick McGill. I would have loved to go there if I could speak French. I'd argue that McGill and U of T have very comparable reputations and McGill's tuition is 1/5 of the price....

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1 hour ago, Malicious Prosecutor said:

This wouldn't be any kind of factor for me whatsoever.

Go to law school in the city or region you want to practice law in.  Rule 1, no exceptions.

If you have multiple options that are in the town or city you want to live in, IMHO I would choose the cheaper school.  Others have a different point of view, and reasonable people can make up their own mind.

What if you want to practice in Toronto, but your choice is something like UBC vs Windsor or Uvic vs Ottawa?

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Keep to the province. Some of the law you learn - like all of the civil procedure - will change from province to province. 

Going to a different province is fine, but it is a little extra work to unlearn and relearn the applicable rules / law. 

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6 minutes ago, Iyaiaey said:

What if you want to practice in Toronto, but your choice is something like UBC vs Windsor or Uvic vs Ottawa?

Well for starters its between Windsor and Ottawa.  Lots of Ottawa and Windsor grads in Toronto, not so many from the other schools.  Plus of course you're learning Ontario law.

From there it's kind of a toss-up.  Neither choice is wrong.  What is tuition like at each school?  Do you have friends or family in either city?

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3 hours ago, Malicious Prosecutor said:

Well for starters its between Windsor and Ottawa.  Lots of Ottawa and Windsor grads in Toronto, not so many from the other schools.  Plus of course you're learning Ontario law.

From there it's kind of a toss-up.  Neither choice is wrong.  What is tuition like at each school?  Do you have friends or family in either city?

where did Western and Queens grads go? 

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On 12/14/2018 at 4:27 PM, Malicious Prosecutor said:

Well for starters its between Windsor and Ottawa.  Lots of Ottawa and Windsor grads in Toronto, not so many from the other schools.  Plus of course you're learning Ontario law.

From there it's kind of a toss-up.  Neither choice is wrong.  What is tuition like at each school?  Do you have friends or family in either city?

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.

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12 minutes ago, 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.

Windsor of course

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Just now, Luckycharm said:

Windsor of course

Really! Even though UBC is ranked a better school?  Just because Windsor is in Ontario?  I remember I had an LSAT instructor who did his degree at UBC because he said it was better than Windsor.  Was he just wrong?

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Your LSAT instructor can have his opinion.

Windsor is a very good Ontario school 

Come back when you get an offer from more than one school. 

 

 

Edited by Luckycharm
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