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minifrenchie

Crazy to give up Osgoode for Queens?

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On 1/10/2019 at 5:32 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

Did you not apply to UBC / UVic?  What about Alberta or Calgary?  All of those schools would make much more sense than going to Ontario for you.

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I didn’t apply to any BC schools. I did my undergrad at UVic and Vancouver is completely unaffordable now. 

+ I’m planning to work on the East coast after graduating, but eventually move back to BC. 

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2 hours ago, minifrenchie said:

I didn’t apply to any BC schools. I did my undergrad at UVic and Vancouver is completely unaffordable now. 

+ I’m planning to work on the East coast after graduating, but eventually move back to BC. 

Your career is not a vacation.

Working on the east coast after graduating... why on earth would any atlantic firm hire you?  It's a smallish bar.  I know way too many atlantic lawyers who came out west because they either couldn't find jobs, or the jobs they wound here were better paying.

I've posted about his numerous times... law school is not some one off experience - it is phase one of a life-time career.  Your classmates will become your life-long colleagues.  Your professors will be your references for your future jobs.  Your clinic work can become your opening to your entire career.

Go to school where you want to practice.  If you want to explore different parts of the country (a sentiment I whole-heartedly endorse)… take a vacation.  If you plan on winding up in BC in your career... start your career off in BC.  Anything else is just being self-defeating.

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12 hours ago, Malicious Prosecutor said:

Your career is not a vacation.

Working on the east coast after graduating... why on earth would any atlantic firm hire you?  It's a smallish bar.  I know way too many atlantic lawyers who came out west because they either couldn't find jobs, or the jobs they wound here were better paying.

I've posted about his numerous times... law school is not some one off experience - it is phase one of a life-time career.  Your classmates will become your life-long colleagues.  Your professors will be your references for your future jobs.  Your clinic work can become your opening to your entire career.

Go to school where you want to practice.  If you want to explore different parts of the country (a sentiment I whole-heartedly endorse)… take a vacation.  If you plan on winding up in BC in your career... start your career off in BC.  Anything else is just being self-defeating.

Somewhat disagree... I mean, yes, law school can be that experience... but there are plenty of people who move along using their existing and family connections, or professional connections made well after leaving school, and who don't have their 2L intro to XYZ Law prof writing them reference letters ten years later. Let's not panic the youngins who don't have a favourite prof on speed dial or their Christmas card list. Incidentally, I have a friend who also went to Ottawa, articled out west, and ended up working out on the east cost. Not at all usual, but who knows. Maybe this person has family on both sides of the country.

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1 hour ago, ericontario said:

Somewhat disagree... I mean, yes, law school can be that experience... but there are plenty of people who move along using their existing and family connections, or professional connections made well after leaving school, and who don't have their 2L intro to XYZ Law prof writing them reference letters ten years later. Let's not panic the youngins who don't have a favourite prof on speed dial or their Christmas card list. Incidentally, I have a friend who also went to Ottawa, articled out west, and ended up working out on the east cost. Not at all usual, but who knows. Maybe this person has family on both sides of the country.

I deliberately over-react somewhat on Ls.ca because I keep running into this attitude that law school should be some kind of 3 year vacation to explore a different part of the country.  Sure, there are defensible reasons why someone may go to school in a different part of the country than the one they intend on setting up their career in: maybe they have family, or a significant other, or tuition is cheaper, or it's the only school they could get into.  But too often the only reason seems to be "I'd like to see what living in Ontario/BC/east coast/Quebec is like for a little while".  Which is quite frankly a terrible reason to pick a law school.

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12 minutes ago, Malicious Prosecutor said:

I deliberately over-react somewhat on Ls.ca because I keep running into this attitude that law school should be some kind of 3 year vacation to explore a different part of the country.  Sure, there are defensible reasons why someone may go to school in a different part of the country than the one they intend on setting up their career in: maybe they have family, or a significant other, or tuition is cheaper, or it's the only school they could get into.  But too often the only reason seems to be "I'd like to see what living in Ontario/BC/east coast/Quebec is like for a little while".  Which is quite frankly a terrible reason to pick a law school.

Yep, can't disagree with you there.

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1 hour ago, Malicious Prosecutor said:

But too often the only reason seems to be "I'd like to see what living in Ontario/BC/east coast/Quebec is like for a little while".  Which is quite frankly a terrible reason to pick a law school.

Heh, and I could hardly disagree more. (Especially if you think it's possible that living in the new place could lead you to want to stay in the new place, thus increasing the size of your target job market.)

If I had one regret about going to Osgoode, it's that I lost the opportunity to see and live in a new part of Canada. I don't think that requires one to look at law school as a vacation. But living in a new place is itself a learning experience and one you will take with you for the rest of your life.  (This is particularly valuable if you have always lived in the same place before.) 

Plus, the career cost of getting that (real living) experience after law school is going to be a lot higher than the cost of getting it during law school.

ETA: I do want to note that for this purpose I would consider Kingston and Toronto to be "different parts of Canada", however absurd that may seem looking at a map.

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I went to Queen’s because I wanted to see what living in Ontario would be like. I was 21 and had very few attachments. It was a perfect time to explore. 

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Outside of Canada, Osgoode does have a much stronger reputation.  Or is it more accurate to say ‘name recognition’....

I was having a beer in Singapore with a few guys from a niche American firm a few weeks ago.  Three Americans, one is from NYU, one from Georgetown, one from Cornell; and a French guy from Sorbonne.  When I said I went to Osgoode, they immediately recognized it, and said it is “the best school in Canada”.  Then we talked a little bit more about Canada.  It is quite clear to me that they only know Osgoode, U of T, and McGill.  These are international people who travel and work around the globe.  They are all in their 40s and have been around for a while.  

I am not saying that Osgoode is better than Queens, not at all.  Just want to point out that, for what it’s worth, when it comes to international recognition, Osgoode wins.

Good luck.

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On 1/14/2019 at 8:51 PM, Malicious Prosecutor said:

Your career is not a vacation.

Working on the east coast after graduating... why on earth would any atlantic firm hire you?  It's a smallish bar.  I know way too many atlantic lawyers who came out west because they either couldn't find jobs, or the jobs they wound here were better paying.

I've posted about his numerous times... law school is not some one off experience - it is phase one of a life-time career.  Your classmates will become your life-long colleagues.  Your professors will be your references for your future jobs.  Your clinic work can become your opening to your entire career.

Go to school where you want to practice.  If you want to explore different parts of the country (a sentiment I whole-heartedly endorse)… take a vacation.  If you plan on winding up in BC in your career... start your career off in BC.  Anything else is just being self-defeating.

Sorry, bad BC habit... I definitely meant Ontario/Eastern Canada when I said East Coast, not Atlantic Canada.

Edited by minifrenchie

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For what it's worth, Queen's beat out Osgoode in hiring at some of the Bay Street firms this OCI cycle. I know of at least two people in my class who turned down Osgoode for Queen's.While you have stated you aren't interested in Bay Street, Queen's is a pretty good school. 

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions about Queen's. 

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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

 

 

100% go to Queens. It's more of a university town and it'll be a better overall social and living experience than Keele & Steeles. There's nothing nearby York except plazas and mechanic shops. Sure you can jump on the subway and get downtown but it's not quite the same vibe compared to lets say U of T which is in the heart of downtown. 

In terms of academics, listen there's only so many schools in Canada as is. Don't get caught up in the "hype" that is Oz/U of T. Queens is a very good school and certainly not Timbuktu. 

I'd also add that Kingston is a smaller town so that gives it a very different atmosphere and one in which you're looking for, but Ottawa/Montreal aren't too far away by train/car if you want to do a weekend trip. 

Also considering you want to work in BC, you'll stand out of the crowd somewhat more having gone to a different part of the country, having had to develop a life totally on your own, etc. That gives you a more interesting story to tell come interview/recruit time, which differentiates you from the standard jazz everyone else will be going on about. 

The only downside here though is that it may be more difficult to compete for positions in BC. Even if you don't want to compete for big firm positions, just the logistics of trying to get a hold of firms, that you can't meet in person, and so forth, it may be a stumbling block compared to someone from BC who wants to stay there. But certainly not a deal breaker. Good luck!

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it depends what you want to do after. I know someone who works for Miller Thompson in downtown Toronto and they said that almost everyone who works there (summer students) were from Osgoode or UofT. So stuff like this is also important to consider. 

I'm not saying that people from Queen's don't get jobs, don't get me wrong. Just relaying what iv'e heard. 

Edited by Maradona
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@Maradona. Your friend is mistaken. Check the UV numbers. To say that almost everyone who is hired there for 2L summer is from Osgoode or U of T isn't accurate. Plenty of Queen's students get jobs in Toronto. Let's try not to exaggerate here. 

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27 minutes ago, erinl2 said:

@Maradona. Your friend is mistaken. Check the UV numbers. To say that almost everyone who is hired there for 2L summer is from Osgoode or U of T isn't accurate. Plenty of Queen's students get jobs in Toronto. Let's try not to exaggerate here. 

perhaps, or just maybe in their sector. 

Just Ctrl-Ving what I explicitly heard. 

But thanks for the info!!

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On 1/17/2019 at 11:14 PM, Maradona said:

it depends what you want to do after. I know someone who works for Miller Thompson in downtown Toronto and they said that almost everyone who works there (summer students) were from Osgoode or UofT. So stuff like this is also important to consider. 

I'm not saying that people from Queen's don't get jobs, don't get me wrong. Just relaying what iv'e heard. 

http://ultravires.ca/2018/11/toronto-2l-hiring-numbers/

This year's UV says Miller Thompson hired 13 students, including 1 from UofT, 3 from Osgoode, 2 from Queen's and 4 from Western.

This year's UV also says that both Queen's and Western placed approximately the same percentage of their class on Bay St as Osgoode (32% vs 31% and 30%).

So don't put much weight in these anecdotal accounts.

 

 

 

Edited by joeyman365

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Prestige isn't that much of a thing for Ontario; biglaw firms do not see a B from osgoode as equivalent to an A or anything at Queens. Osgoode is certainly the oldest but not necessarily a tier above any other ones. 

With that said; I'm not Kingston's biggest fan and turned down Queens last year. They are fantastic for corporate though but don't have a roster depth in other areas of law. Osgoode from what I understand has a thriving social justice scene nowadays. 

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On 1/14/2019 at 11:51 PM, Malicious Prosecutor said:

Your career is not a vacation.

Working on the east coast after graduating... why on earth would any atlantic firm hire you?  It's a smallish bar.  I know way too many atlantic lawyers who came out west because they either couldn't find jobs, or the jobs they wound here were better paying.

I've posted about his numerous times... law school is not some one off experience - it is phase one of a life-time career.  Your classmates will become your life-long colleagues.  Your professors will be your references for your future jobs.  Your clinic work can become your opening to your entire career.

Go to school where you want to practice.  If you want to explore different parts of the country (a sentiment I whole-heartedly endorse)… take a vacation.  If you plan on winding up in BC in your career... start your career off in BC.  Anything else is just being self-defeating.

Thanks for the insight.  I''m a born and raised Toronto resident and have been accepted to Queens.  My other top two are Oz and Ottawa.  I'm actually quite interested in practice/living in Ottawa as Toronto has become very expensive.  Let's say I get accepted to Ottawa as well.  Would it make more sense to take Ottawa over Queens in order to build connections with the city from the get-go?  I know I could land job a job in Ottawa if I go to Queens, but I'm wondering if Ottawa over Queens would make more sense in this regard.  

Thanks!

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, burr0wn said:

Would it make more sense to take Ottawa over Queens in order to build connections with the city from the get-go?

Let me start by saying I'm an applicant, so take my take on this with a grain of salt.

I think the "study where you want to practice" mantra is a bit overemphasized on here. Sure, I see the benefits, especially regarding networking. But it's not the only thing to consider. I think there's more to gain from going somewhere with classes, profs, clinics, etc that interest you over a school in the city you want to practice in. 

Getting good grades and maintaining mental health throughout this demanding program are my top priorities. I want to practice in city X, so school A seems like the right place to go, but I just don't feel "connected" to that school's environment from what I've seen, so I might go to schools B or C despite being hours away from X. At the end of the day, grades seems to play a pretty big role in landing the job you want, and I'm sure mental health has a big effect on grades.

That said, I suggest going where you want to go. Sure, I'm considering proximity to the city I want to practice in while making my decision, but it's one consideration among many.

Edited by SneakySuspect

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