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RickyBubbles01

USask now or apply broadly next year? [3.85, 167]

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Not sure if this is where I should post this but whatever. I'm an undergrad student who will be completed 2.5 years of school at the end of this semester. This year, I applied to McGill and to USask law and was accepted at Usask but rejected at McGill. I've got a 167 LSAT and a 3.85ish GPA. I've got enough money saved up that, if I chose to go to USask next year, almost all of my legal education would be paid for. I'd also be able to work as a lawyer earlier than if I chose to wait a year or finish my degree before attending law school. However, I know that I'd likely be able to get into a lot of other schools with my stats. I don't have anything against living and working in Saskatchewan but also I don't want to limit my options just because I'm eager to go to law school early. Right now, I'm leaning towards attending the U of S just because it would be a blessing to have law school paid for. Thoughts? 

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You stand a good shot at literally all law schools in Canada. I recommend you finish your Bac. I regret not doing a masters, let alone not finishing a Bac. Work this summer so the financial difference isn't significant.

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42 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

You stand a good shot at literally all law schools in Canada. I recommend you finish your Bac. I regret not doing a masters, let alone not finishing a Bac. Work this summer so the financial difference isn't significant.

Thanks for the advice. I'm thinking of taking a full load of courses this semester so that I can graduate next year but I'm probably going to work part time to keep expenses down. 

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You could have your pick of schools across the country next year, don't limit yourself to one school right now.  

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I recall your last post (and I recall commenting) and it sounds like you'd really like to branch away from UofS which is totally fair! As others have echoed, I'd finish my BA - I'm so so happy I did, this is my last sem and I've been longing for Law for about a year now and I know that it's 200% what I want to do. Your stats are really good and you definitely seem like you can keep them up, and like others have said, with some stats like yours and a completed BA you'll be good to have your pick of schools. Also too (I feel like I said this on your last post, but) being young isn't necessarily an advantage I've learned. I was very keen to go into Law after my 2nd year but frankly I was unprepared for the LSAT at that time, so my decision was kinda made for me, but after spending some more time in undergrad and doing law related EC's I learned how being young may not truly be an advantage. Yes, it is less time in school, and yes it seems like a feat to do the same thing before everyone else, but when it comes to getting a job and going into OCI's or looking for articles, you'll be substantially younger then your peers and what that can reflect may not actually be strengths. Not sure if you'll be apart of this group, but there is some stigma hovering over K-JD's (I'll be one as well, but what can ya do) and whether they have enough diverse and mature lived experiences yet, as well as younger graduates are less likely to have families, mortgages, or other responsibilities anchoring them to a certain place ensuring employers that their new hire or articling student is here to stay. So the extra year or two of undergrad to give you a couple letters to strengthen your application, and bolster you as an adult may put you in a way better position to a) pick whatever school you want, and b) land wherever you want a more mature rounded applicant.

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100% finish off your undergrad and walk away with a degree and another year of life experience. There is absolutely no rush to go to law school and become a lawyer. 

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Two more reasons to finish your BA would be:

(a) You're likely to benefit from getting more life-experience through holding off (assuming you went straight into undergrad from high school or shortly after). Nothing wrong with being a young law student but law school is, I found, a qualitatively different experience than my undergrad. Now I am only one person with one person's experience but I wouldn't trade anything for the experiences I had during my BA; especially just the chance to have started law school earlier. Also, you would likely be the only law student with no BA. 

(b) Having a BA gives you some credentials to put alongside your JD and will also give you some expertise in a subject matter. Not just that, its expertise you can claim with some authority. Sure, it's not a MA but you can still say you're qualified to some degree to speak on the subject matter. Do lawyers use their expertise from their BA in their career ever? I doubt it (not a lawyer - warning) but I wouldn't discount the credentials and expertise anyways.

So finish your BA - just my two additional cents.

Edited by ImposterSyndrome

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Stay in school as long as you can real life sucks :) you should wait the year and take some fun courses you’ll never have the option to take again. Law school is so subject specific with few fun electives (unless you pick up a minor at McGill and commit to an extra year), so enjoy for now! I miss undergrad and I’ve only been out for 4 months! 

Idk if you’re a QC resident but if you are you’ll graduate McGill debt free 

Edited by Megbean123
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8 hours ago, ImposterSyndrome said:

Two more reasons to finish your BA would be:

(a) You're likely to benefit from getting more life-experience through holding off (assuming you went straight into undergrad from high school or shortly after). Nothing wrong with being a young law student but law school is, I found, a qualitatively different experience than my undergrad. Now I am only one person with one person's experience but I wouldn't trade anything for the experiences I had during my BA; especially just the chance to have started law school earlier. Also, you would likely be the only law student with no BA. 

(b) Having a BA gives you some credentials to put alongside your JD and will also give you some expertise in a subject matter. Not just that, its expertise you can claim with some authority. Sure, it's not a MA but you can still say you're qualified to some degree to speak on the subject matter. Do lawyers use their expertise from their BA in their career ever? I doubt it (not a lawyer - warning) but I wouldn't discount the credentials and expertise anyways.

So finish your BA - just my two additional cents.

I think point (a) is compelling. Point (b) is not. Nobody cares what your undergrad is in and nobody will ever treat that as an authority for anything. Bachelor's degrees are incredibly general and by the time you finish law school and articling (assuming you go straight to law school after undergrad), you're 4 years removed from having done any courses in that area.

To OP - another reason to complete undergrad is to make you more desirable for employment. Being too young with no experience can work against you.

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2 hours ago, Rashabon said:

I think point (a) is compelling. Point (b) is not. Nobody cares what your undergrad is in and nobody will ever treat that as an authority for anything. Bachelor's degrees are incredibly general and by the time you finish law school and articling (assuming you go straight to law school after undergrad), you're 4 years removed from having done any courses in that area.

To OP - another reason to complete undergrad is to make you more desirable for employment. Being too young with no experience can work against you.

I don't know where you're coming from but people don't disregard my BA and major as quickly as you suggest. Maybe it depends on what your major was but my experience is that people will still take you seriously about what you studied in undergrad. After all, it was 4 years of your life. For example, in the recruit I participated in, being asked about my BA was not uncommon.

Now I have no doubt that a BA will be given less weight and be less prevalent in life than one's JD. But I posit that your BA isn't just wasted and that you shouldn't discount it.

That being said, maybe this is just a matter of opinion.

Edited by ImposterSyndrome

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Of course people are going to ask you about it in a recruit - they are looking for things to talk about and it was a big chunk of your life and academics that appear on your resume. That's different from people taking it seriously when you're working and doesn't support the claim that people will give it "weight" or view you as having "expertise" going forward, and having a BA in History or English or Economics or whatever will be meaningless for 99% of legal jobs. As a 3rd year lawyer, nobody is going to approach you and say "Hey wait, you have a BA in English right? That will surely come in handy on [Legal Matter X]".

I honestly couldn't tell you what the undergrad degree of almost any of my colleagues is. Nobody posts it on their profile and it rarely comes up in conversation. Clients care even less. You're their lawyer, not their advisor on Chaucer or the Bay of Pigs or what have you.

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2 hours ago, Rashabon said:

Of course people are going to ask you about it in a recruit - they are looking for things to talk about and it was a big chunk of your life and academics that appear on your resume. That's different from people taking it seriously when you're working and doesn't support the claim that people will give it "weight" or view you as having "expertise" going forward, and having a BA in History or English or Economics or whatever will be meaningless for 99% of legal jobs. As a 3rd year lawyer, nobody is going to approach you and say "Hey wait, you have a BA in English right? That will surely come in handy on [Legal Matter X]".

I honestly couldn't tell you what the undergrad degree of almost any of my colleagues is. Nobody posts it on their profile and it rarely comes up in conversation. Clients care even less. You're their lawyer, not their advisor on Chaucer or the Bay of Pigs or what have you.

I am going to quote myself here:

"Do lawyers use their expertise from their BA in their career ever? I doubt it" and "I have no doubt that a BA will be given less weight and be less prevalent in life than one's JD."

I don't want to derail this thread anymore and will leave my portion of the argument here but I think I made it clear that, regarding your career as a lawyer, your BA is not going to be worthwhile much and that, overall, your BA will be in the shadow of your JD. 

But don't discredit having a BA outside of your career as a talking point and its value informally. Furthermore, as far as careers go, there are many lawyers that pivot from their legal career and work in other fields where they may very well combine their knowledge and expertise from their BA with that of their JD. There are also examples of lawyers who work in a field where, because of their BA, they have an advantage. Do you think a lawyer who works with Indigenous clients or parties doesn't benefit from a background in Indigenous studies? I would say so and I would bet that lawyer had an easier time getting her or his position because of their BA.

So there are circumstantial reasons why a BA has value. both in terms of expertise and the credentials to back it up and whether in your career or informally.

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In terms of jobs, your bachelor degree is useful as a means of showing interest. Interest matters less and more depending on the employer, but matters regardless. My Bcomm helped me get interviews and job offers I likely wouldn't have otherwise because my profile was far too "human rights/public law" otherwise.

I know that's true for more and less technical bachelors as well. It depends on the employer, and what kind of clients they have (most importantly, what those clients like to see). 

But in terms of actual reliance on you for your expertise? Outside of highly technical degrees like engineering, a bachelor on it's own won't give you points because of your additional "expertise" over the next candidate, in that field. In fact, it would be downright negligent to rely on you as an expert over an actual expert with an advanced degree.

Edited by pzabbythesecond
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On 4/13/2019 at 3:49 PM, thesizzlingwok said:

I recall your last post (and I recall commenting) and it sounds like you'd really like to branch away from UofS which is totally fair! As others have echoed, I'd finish my BA - I'm so so happy I did, this is my last sem and I've been longing for Law for about a year now and I know that it's 200% what I want to do. Your stats are really good and you definitely seem like you can keep them up, and like others have said, with some stats like yours and a completed BA you'll be good to have your pick of schools. Also too (I feel like I said this on your last post, but) being young isn't necessarily an advantage I've learned. I was very keen to go into Law after my 2nd year but frankly I was unprepared for the LSAT at that time, so my decision was kinda made for me, but after spending some more time in undergrad and doing law related EC's I learned how being young may not truly be an advantage. Yes, it is less time in school, and yes it seems like a feat to do the same thing before everyone else, but when it comes to getting a job and going into OCI's or looking for articles, you'll be substantially younger then your peers and what that can reflect may not actually be strengths. Not sure if you'll be apart of this group, but there is some stigma hovering over K-JD's (I'll be one as well, but what can ya do) and whether they have enough diverse and mature lived experiences yet, as well as younger graduates are less likely to have families, mortgages, or other responsibilities anchoring them to a certain place ensuring employers that their new hire or articling student is here to stay. So the extra year or two of undergrad to give you a couple letters to strengthen your application, and bolster you as an adult may put you in a way better position to a) pick whatever school you want, and b) land wherever you want a more mature rounded applicant.

Thanks for responding again. I really appreciated your post last time as well. I think I already knew that I probably shouldn't go next year but just needed some reassurance. 

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2 hours ago, ImposterSyndrome said:

I am going to quote myself here:

"Do lawyers use their expertise from their BA in their career ever? I doubt it" and "I have no doubt that a BA will be given less weight and be less prevalent in life than one's JD."

I don't want to derail this thread anymore and will leave my portion of the argument here but I think I made it clear that, regarding your career as a lawyer, your BA is not going to be worthwhile much and that, overall, your BA will be in the shadow of your JD. 

But don't discredit having a BA outside of your career as a talking point and its value informally. Furthermore, as far as careers go, there are many lawyers that pivot from their legal career and work in other fields where they may very well combine their knowledge and expertise from their BA with that of their JD. There are also examples of lawyers who work in a field where, because of their BA, they have an advantage. Do you think a lawyer who works with Indigenous clients or parties doesn't benefit from a background in Indigenous studies? I would say so and I would bet that lawyer had an easier time getting her or his position because of their BA.

So there are circumstantial reasons why a BA has value. both in terms of expertise and the credentials to back it up and whether in your career or informally.

Thank you for this! I definitely don't want to restrict my career options. 

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22 hours ago, Rashabon said:

Of course people are going to ask you about it in a recruit - they are looking for things to talk about and it was a big chunk of your life and academics that appear on your resume. That's different from people taking it seriously when you're working and doesn't support the claim that people will give it "weight" or view you as having "expertise" going forward, and having a BA in History or English or Economics or whatever will be meaningless for 99% of legal jobs. As a 3rd year lawyer, nobody is going to approach you and say "Hey wait, you have a BA in English right? That will surely come in handy on [Legal Matter X]".

I honestly couldn't tell you what the undergrad degree of almost any of my colleagues is. Nobody posts it on their profile and it rarely comes up in conversation. Clients care even less. You're their lawyer, not their advisor on Chaucer or the Bay of Pigs or what have you.

This may be a "biglaw" perspective because in my world, while I wouldn't say that anyone looks at people as having expertise in an area based on their Bachelors' degree or that they are decisive in hiring decisions, their degrees certainly can be highly relevant and valued. Colleagues with social work degrees are looked at at having an edge in dealing with difficult people, colleagues with English degrees are sought after to write or edit facta, colleagues with French degrees are seen as useful to speak to francophone clients, and the like. I actually do know what a lot of peoples' degrees are in, and they do post them on their profiles. 

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