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minifrenchie

Crazy to give up Osgoode for Queens?

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I've been lucky enough to have received offers from Osgoode, Queens, Ottawa and Dalhousie, but I am leaning towards Osgoode or Queens.

I was pretty set on Osgoode but since receiving an offer from Queens yesterday, I am having doubts.

The "prestige" factor is definitely drawing me to Osgoode, as well as the huge class selection. What is less appealing to me is North York, and the cost of housing. It may sound trivial to some but having a nice apartment/housing during law school is very important to me (hellooo mental health!). 

What appeals to me about Queen's is the campus itself, the housing prices, and the community. I especially love the idea of the 25-people cohort. I am a social person and I need a good social circle if I am going to make it through law school. 

Am I crazy to be thinking of going to Queens over Osgoode? Should I still be considering Ottawa and Dalhousie? 

A few things about me:

  • I'm from BC and would love to go back to BC at some point in my career
  • I am not necessarily interested in a Bay Street job 
  • I currently work in politics, therefore I'm leaning towards Public Law but I'd like to keep my options open
  • I am fully bilingual 
  • Smaller classes and a tight-knit community are appealing to me

 

 

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I am not getting where you think that Osgoode has a "prestige" position?  Maclean's magazine?  I wouldn't put much weight on this. or let this forum influence you....we are a bunch of young people who are trying to figure it out....  My parents are both lawyers with considerable years under their belt...one a grad from Queen's, the other a grad from Osgoode.  They have been very clear with me that the schools have their different strengths but that this idea that one school is better than the rest is a fallacy....I am headed to Queen's.  It is simply a better environment for me . It has a great reputation and has produced some great lawyers.  The bottom line is where do you want to spend you next few years?  What is it that makes a particular school attractive to you?

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It sounds like you already know where you want to go, and just want some confirmation from people here that you're making the right choice. 

I chose Osgoode over Queen's (already graduated), and am happy with my decision. But it's not the be all and end all. Do what you think is best for you. 

Osgoode has 4 sections in first year of around 75-80 students each, but you can choose to take smaller classes after first year. There are lots of opportunities to get involved and socialize there too, so don't think Queen's has some sort of premium culture on this. It's law school after all and you're not going to York for undergraduate studies. 

If by prestige, you're referring to reputation, then Osgoode and Queen's are both reputable/prestigious law schools to attend. Don't let anyone tell you that Osgoode doesn't have a historical prestige associated with it, because it does, and this may matter to some people (doesn't for most). I personally believe that the name alone opened lot of doors for me in the Toronto market, so you can PM me if you want more specific information on this. 

One thing to note is the amount of public law/constitutional course offerings at Osgoode and clinical intensive programs. 

https://www.osgoode.yorku.ca/programs/juris-doctor/jd-program/clinics-intensives/

https://www.osgoode.yorku.ca/courses-and-seminars/

I would seriously be considering Ottawa over Queen's if you're interested in government and public law. Most of these jobs are in Toronto and Ottawa, and Ottawa has a lot of connections there. Queen's really seems to be emphasizing business now, but in the past they were known for criminal, family, and labour and employment as well. It really doesn't matter which school you pick in terms of practice areas, but some have more opportunities than others in areas that may be of interest to you, and this is something you should factor into your decision. Prestige isn't going to get you the job that you want. That comes down to your grades, personality, experiences, and potentially your course selection (as it indicates interest). 

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Let me just assure you that you cannot make a “wrong” choice here. 

I am from BC and I went to Queens and I loved it there. But I also just interviewed a bunch of Ottawa grads and was very impressed. So it’s a draw. 

Go with your gut and once you have decided, don’t worry. Look forward. And congratulations!

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1 hour ago, minifrenchie said:

I've been lucky enough to have received offers from Osgoode, Queens, Ottawa and Dalhousie, but I am leaning towards Osgoode or Queens.

I was pretty set on Osgoode but since receiving an offer from Queens yesterday, I am having doubts.

The "prestige" factor is definitely drawing me to Osgoode, as well as the huge class selection. What is less appealing to me is North York, and the cost of housing. It may sound trivial to some but having a nice apartment/housing during law school is very important to me (hellooo mental health!). 

What appeals to me about Queen's is the campus itself, the housing prices, and the community. I especially love the idea of the 25-people cohort. I am a social person and I need a good social circle if I am going to make it through law school. 

Am I crazy to be thinking of going to Queens over Osgoode? Should I still be considering Ottawa and Dalhousie? 

A few things about me:

  • I'm from BC and would love to go back to BC at some point in my career
  • I am not necessarily interested in a Bay Street job 
  • I currently work in politics, therefore I'm leaning towards Public Law but I'd like to keep my options open
  • I am fully bilingual 
  • Smaller classes and a tight-knit community are appealing to me

 

 

Not sure how Osgoode is more "prestige" than Queens:

First Year Class GPA - Average Best 2 Years' Average:

Queens: around 3.7

Osgoode: around 3.7

First Year Class LSAT - Average LSAT Highest Score:

Queens: around 85%

Osgoode: around 78%

(Cannot compare CGPA because I cannot find the information for Queens)

Since you want to go back to BC you are better to go to schools in BC.

Your stats (3.8 / 165) should be good for UBC and UVic.

 

Edited by NeverGiveUp

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20 minutes ago, NeverGiveUp said:

Not sure how Osgoode is more "prestige" than Queens:

First Year Class GPA - Average Best 2 Years' Average:

Queens: around 3.7

Osgoode: around 3.7

First Year Class LSAT - Average LSAT Highest Score:

Queens: around 85%

Osgoode: around 78%

(Cannot compare CGPA because I cannot find the information for Queens)

Since you want to go back to BC you are better to go to schools in BC.

Your stats (3.8 / 165) should be good for UBC and UVic.

 

Prestige is stupid generally, but I don't see how the stats of students are the only or even most important factor in determining prestige.

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22 minutes ago, NeverGiveUp said:

Not sure how Osgoode is more "prestige" than Queens:

First Year Class GPA - Average Best 2 Years' Average:

Queens: around 3.7

Osgoode: around 3.7

First Year Class LSAT - Average LSAT Highest Score:

Queens: around 85%

Osgoode: around 78%

(Cannot compare CGPA because I cannot find the information for Queens)

Since you want to go back to BC you are better to go to schools in BC.

Your stats (3.8 / 165) should be good for UBC and UVic.

 

https://www.osgoode.yorku.ca/programs/juris-doctor/jd-admissions/eligibility-requirements/

Where'd you get the average best 2 years and LSAT? Osgoode only calculates cGPA and median LSAT. I also don't believe it's determinate of prestige because your stats don't matter once you get in. To me, a reputable school is based on its opportunities, faculty, clerkships, clinical opportunities, and reputation in the region it is located.  

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7 minutes ago, Deadpool said:

https://www.osgoode.yorku.ca/programs/juris-doctor/jd-admissions/eligibility-requirements/

Where'd you get the average best 2 years and LSAT? Osgoode only calculates cGPA and median LSAT. I also don't believe it's determinate of prestige because your stats don't matter once you get in. To me, a reputable school is based on its opportunities, faculty, clerkships, clinical opportunities, and reputation in the region it is located.  

PMed you the source.

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If you want a nice apartment at Queen's, there's like three and the wait lists fill up pretty fast. Maybe start looking into it before April. 

Edited by Trew

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First of all -- congratulations on those acceptances!

While you're facing a dilemma here, recognize it's quite a great dilemma to be in. I know this sounds cheesy, but I think whatever you choose is a win.

I'm in a similar situation as you (albeit, mine is hypothetical because I haven't heard back from any schools). I feel that Oz is the best fit for me... money aside. But costs play a big role in this decision for me (I'm with you on wanting a decent apartment and its effect on MH), which makes Oz much less appealing. 

I'm trying to look at whatever I decide on as a win. Either I go to my top choice by going to Oz (should I get in) or I'm making the most financially responsible decision by going to the most affordable school that I get in (should I get in). Both are very much 'wins' and worth celebrating.

I read your post for a third time, and from the information you provide, I think Queen's is the right pick for you.

Why don't you have an interest in studying in BC if you want to practice there?

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I am thinking I would like to add something to my earlier comments....

My one parent went through school with the present Premier of Alberta, the other went through school with several individuals who are earning millions with multi international corporations.....if that in any way means success or happiness.....?  It doesn't to me but....would either of my parents claim they had a superior education to the other? not a chance.  Would either claim the "school" they went to was an advantage to them?  Nope other than that both feel they were taught the skills necessary and that both schools had the credibility needed to open doors for them.  Did either feel the school they went to gave them some strategic advantage over the past  years? nope.  Did colleagues from schools with potentially lesser reputations also succeed? Yep.  

Celebrate that you are lucky enough to have the opportunity to choose, and wherever you choose, I am sure you will be happy.  It is really exciting! Also, good luck to everyone who hopes to gain entry! Best of luck!

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2 hours ago, Littlelegal said:

I am thinking I would like to add something to my earlier comments....

My one parent went through school with the present Premier of Alberta, the other went through school with several individuals who are earning millions with multi international corporations.....if that in any way means success or happiness.....?  It doesn't to me but....would either of my parents claim they had a superior education to the other? not a chance.  Would either claim the "school" they went to was an advantage to them?  Nope other than that both feel they were taught the skills necessary and that both schools had the credibility needed to open doors for them.  Did either feel the school they went to gave them some strategic advantage over the past  years? nope.  Did colleagues from schools with potentially lesser reputations also succeed? Yep.  

Celebrate that you are lucky enough to have the opportunity to choose, and wherever you choose, I am sure you will be happy.  It is really exciting! Also, good luck to everyone who hopes to gain entry! Best of luck!

This is a nice anecdote and all, but I hope you realize that the schools and the experiences for students attending them have probably changed a little since your parents were there.

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From my research, kingston and toronto (outside od immediate dt) are very comparable in rent. I was shocked at the rent of a 1 bed in kingston.

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8 hours ago, jwms said:

This is a nice anecdote and all, but I hope you realize that the schools and the experiences for students attending them have probably changed a little since your parents were there.

The more things change the more they stay the same. 

Law students 30 years ago were having the same conversations, anxieties and concerns then as they are now. Which school is better to go to? How am I going to find an articling position ? 

And 30 years from now the conversations will be the same. And the students having them will think they are unique and they are the first to have them, that all previous generations of law students had it much better and easier than they do. 

 

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9 hours ago, jwms said:

This is a nice anecdote and all, but I hope you realize that the schools and the experiences for students attending them have probably changed a little since your parents were there.

Very true, but given both continue to actively practice in environments where they work with young lawyers, I have faith in their assessment.

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On 1/10/2019 at 7:32 PM, minifrenchie said:

I've been lucky enough to have received offers from Osgoode, Queens, Ottawa and Dalhousie, but I am leaning towards Osgoode or Queens.

I was pretty set on Osgoode but since receiving an offer from Queens yesterday, I am having doubts.

The "prestige" factor is definitely drawing me to Osgoode, as well as the huge class selection. What is less appealing to me is North York, and the cost of housing. It may sound trivial to some but having a nice apartment/housing during law school is very important to me (hellooo mental health!). 

What appeals to me about Queen's is the campus itself, the housing prices, and the community. I especially love the idea of the 25-people cohort. I am a social person and I need a good social circle if I am going to make it through law school. 

Am I crazy to be thinking of going to Queens over Osgoode? Should I still be considering Ottawa and Dalhousie? 

A few things about me:

  • I'm from BC and would love to go back to BC at some point in my career
  • I am not necessarily interested in a Bay Street job 
  • I currently work in politics, therefore I'm leaning towards Public Law but I'd like to keep my options open
  • I am fully bilingual 
  • Smaller classes and a tight-knit community are appealing to me

 

 

Hi minifrenchie. 

I am a 1l at Queens. I turned down Osgoode in favour of queens for many of the reasons you have mentioned. After visiting both schools and surrounding areas, I decided Kingston was much better suited to my life than North York. You are right, rent near Osgoode can be wild, and you will most likely need to drive to school if you’re living somewhere where rent isn’t insane. 

Taking your mental health into consideration is super important and I’m glad to hear that you are. 1l can be tough and you want to put yourself in the best position to enjoy your time and do well. I don’t feel in any way limited by choosing Queens over Osgoode, short of letting go of my undergraduate dream of attending such a “prestigious” school. I will echo what everyone else has, prestige of school seems not to influence success in the field. 

I am also not planning on taking the corporate route as my interests are elsewhere. Queens offers a pretty good range of upper year classes that I couldn’t find after my first search. If you want, pm me and I can send you the document with all upper year classes. 

Ive really enjoyed my time at queens and the 25 person small section is awesome. It’s been easy to socialize and has really helped with creating a network of friends in which everyone can lean on each other when needed. I can’t speak for Osgoode, and several friends there are absolutely loving it. But I can say that I am very happy about my decision to attend Queens. 

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Prestige won't be factor except to lay people that aren't in the law - they are more likely to have "heard" of Osgoode. Other than that, I can guarantee no one practicing law will view you any differently. Queens is a respected school. 

Kingston is a lovely town and has a tight-knit campus with good school spirit. Since you are fully bilingual, you'll have a number of opportunities to recruit for the Ottawa/Toronto/Montreal markets as well, of which Queens is well-situated for geographically.

If housing is indeed a big factor for you, I think I should point out that most students at Osgoode do not live on-campus or even necessarily in North York. Since "York University" is now on the subway line, you'll have several excellent and exciting living options within 30-40 mins on the subway. A lot of students live in the St.Clair West neighbourhood for example. You can Google a bit and see if there are rentals there that you are comfortable with and within your price range. Several are reasonable options, especially if you have 1-2 roommates. 

Congratulations on your options!

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I was deciding between Osgoode and Queens and ultimately went with Osgoode because I didn't want to live in a smaller city and wanted to remain close to my friends and family. I loved my time at Osgoode and I think you would too, but I also don't think one school is superior to the other. It sounds like you really want to attend Queens and just want reassurance. I say go for it. The campus is much more beautiful than York's (not even debatable lol) and rent may be more affordable (not sure) but the tuition is certainly lower. I know and work with many Queens grads and none of them have had anything but positive things to say about their experiences. 

Also, if you get into a BC school take that ticket to lower tuition and RUN WITH IT. LOL. I would never dream of paying Ontario's ridiculous tuition if I was from BC and got into a BC school. 

Edited by healthlaw
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I'm a 3L at Queen's and chose it over Osgoode. Without going into any discussion on the potential differences in "prestige" or "reputation", my biggest reason for choosing Queen's was cost. Queen's tuition for 3 years (~$20,500/year) + $700/month in rent = total of $86,700. Compared to Osgoode at $29,000/year + assuming $1,000/month in rent = $123,000. While your financial situation may be different, for me I couldn't justify paying 30-40% more to attend Osgoode. If cost was not an issue, I likely would have chosen Oz given its proximity to the Toronto firms I was interested in. If you want to work in BC, however, this may not be a huge factor for you. Happy to discuss more if you have any other questions about Queen's. 

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