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AlyssiaFlorick

Are any of the schools harder- easier?

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Hello,

I've been accepted to UBC, UVic, Queens and Windsor. UBC has some upper year courses that really interest me, but I feel intimidated by some of the schools and the really strong students who were accepted (170 LSAT, 3.9 gpa!). I work very hard and had extraordinary ECs, but I'm not at the top of my class.  I'm feeling stressed that I'm not actually good enough to attend a top school and that maybe I should look for a less challenging environment. Are the top schools like UBC significantly harder than a school like Windsor? Are there "hard" schools and "easier" schools? 

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You're graded as a function of your peers strength. So at a stronger school, you likely end up doing less well than at a weaker school.

However, employers understand this phenomenon. So they dip down further into the classes of stronger schools vs weaker schools. So this shouldn't worry you.

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Lol that makes the two of us! I also have this fear but you know what? You got in because the admissions team obviously thought you were academically strong enough for that school. People's backgrounds are so varied that you don't really know for certain that because you have a lower GPA and lower LSAT that you would necessarily do worse than your peers.

I also believe that you can grow and push yourself further in a room of people smarter than you. While getting good grades is nice, education should also be about pushing yourself, cultivating the mind and growing as an individual. My undergrad was a transformative experience and I expect law school to be the same. Are you up for the challenge?

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I am currently at Osgoode, however I finished my first year at UNB before transferring. Prior to transferring I was under the assumption that I would have to study harder and likely still see my grades drop because of the supposedly stronger class at Osgoode. However, from my personal experience thus far this has not been the case. Even though Osgoode is supposedly one of the best law schools in Canada with very competitive entrance statistic and UNB is, well...... not.

I am studying less than I did in 1L and my grades have actually been higher, slightly. I have not noticed any difference in difficulty getting good grades in UNB vs Osgoode. I was expecting the competition amongst students to also be more cutthroat, with students ruthlessly competing against each other and looking for every possible advantage over their classmates. I have not noticed this either, and in fact I'm quite pleasantly surprised by how chill people at Osgoode are.

Although I do sometimes wonder if my experience would have been different if I actually did 1L at Osgoode, as I often hear people talk about how people ease up after 1L.

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You'd be surprised - there are people who excel in law school because they find it's their "thing". They really enjoy the law and study hard. Don't let the supposed difficulty of the school deter you.

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On 3/17/2019 at 9:36 AM, shawniebear said:

I am studying less than I did in 1L and my grades have actually been higher, slightly. I have not noticed any difference in difficulty getting good grades in UNB vs Osgoode. I was expecting the competition amongst students to also be more cutthroat, with students ruthlessly competing against each other and looking for every possible advantage over their classmates. I have not noticed this either, and in fact I'm quite pleasantly surprised by how chill people at Osgoode are.

Although I do sometimes wonder if my experience would have been different if I actually did 1L at Osgoode, as I often hear people talk about how people ease up after 1L.

People do ease up (at least a bit) after 1L so that might be what you're experiencing... but at no point is anyone ever "ruthlessly competing". People are competitive in that they want to do well but they don't go around undermining each other. Even if they wanted to there isnt much opportunity to sabotage your peers when law school is 90% self-studying 

All of this to say that you would have likely found it more stressful as a 1L, but you were very unlikely to have experienced a "cut throat" environment. 

To OP:  I wouldn't try to game the system and I also wouldn't let the strength of UBC's class intimidate you either. You were admitted because the admissions committee felt that you could keep up with your peers so keep this in mind. You are capable.

I empathize. I felt intimidated heading into 1L because my LSAT wasn't as high as I wanted it to be. I ended up doing very well. If anything I think my lack of confidence helped me because I was terrified of falling below the curve so it made me work my butt off. No one really ever knows how they'll do entering law school - regardless of stats

Edited by healthlaw

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I went to a farm school. It was intimidating, in the first day of legal methods at U of T, to go around the room and hear that everyone went to McGill, Yale, U of T undergrad, etc. How could I, a graduate of a dustbag university, hope to compete with those who finished in the top of their classes at some of the best schools in North America? Especially considering that I was only accepted in the last round of admissions at Toronto...

You realize relatively quickly that that means jack shit when you're in it.  Wherever you have been accepted, you have earned your spot. You will not be punching out of your weight class. You have just as much of a chance as anyone else. Do not be intimated because other people did well at "top schools". You ended up in the same place.

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On 3/17/2019 at 9:36 AM, shawniebear said:

I was expecting the competition amongst students to also be more cutthroat, with students ruthlessly competing against each other and looking for every possible advantage over their classmates.

Don't be silly – Osgoode students prefer to whine about their own lack of success and begrudge the successes of their peers. It's so much easier than trying to be better. 

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