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Law School Comparison (Windsor, Ottawa, Queen's, Osgoode, UBC, UAlberta, UManitoba, Dalhousie, McGill

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Hello!

I'm currently in my second year at UWindsor and looking into prospective law schools. Even though I'm in my second year and will have two years - three if I decide to do my master's in environmental studies - before I start applying, I would like to do the research now and gain some insights rather than doing all of this in my fourth year or during my master's.

The thing about law schools is that all of them are accredited by a law society, which means that in order for one to be accredited, they must teach the same courses (eg Constitutional, tort, contracts, etc). But the problem is that I'm stuck on which law school will help me thrive as a lawyer. Then I realized that I don't need a law degree from XYZ to be a bomb ass lawyer, I just need a law degree. So, this is where lawstudents.ca comes into play.

What are your personal experiences, findings, or opinions in regard to the following schools:

  1. Windsor Law
  2. Osgoode Law
  3. Peter Allard (UBC)
  4. Dalhousie Law
  5. UAlberta Law
  6. UManitoba Law
  7. Ottawa Law
  8. Queen's Law
  9. McGill Law
  10. University of Montreal
  11. University of Victoria

I'm possibly considering IP law, criminal, environmental, immigration, or bankruptcy/corporate law. I like the concept/idea of the Pro Bono Students of Canada and, to my unfortunate life, all of the above law schools are chapters of PBSC. I also like the Innocence Project, which I know most programs will have such projects. I'm also considering pursuing a French stream so that will narrow it down to McGill, Ottawa, and University of Montreal. I'm also interested in indigenous law which UVictoria is the only law program that offers indigenous law. And I'm also interested in, you guested it, social justice :) Oh, I'm also looking for a law program that will have a strong alumni connection whilst being somewhat affordable. So, I might cross out Osgoode lmao

I'm not here to ask you which law schools I should apply to but rather would like to gain insights on your personal experiences, opinions, or whatever that the admission's office won't tell me. But if you would like to suggest a law program, please explain why! Also, I'm only applying to four or five law programs because I'd rather spend that money for my law tuition #brokelife. 

Thank you in advance!

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You're asking for 'comparisons' of almost every common law school in Canada, plus McGill?

 

You'd be far better served in the subforums for specific schools, asking what you want to know about that school of the people who go/are applying there, as they're more likely to be able to help you from personal exerience, or to find where to do some reading. 

 

As an example of something you seem to have misunderstood, Victoria are certainly not 'the only school to offer Indigenous law'. UVic offers the JID degree (an extra year on top of the JD, with more indigenous course content), but every school will offer some courses related to indigeneity & the law, and every constitutional law class in Canada will cover the same basics.

 

You can even expand the list from your criterion, as Manitoba offer French language courses, which from next year will include a certificat en common law francais.

 

The starting point normally given is 'where do you want to practice?', as most schools across Canada will give a broadly comparable educational opportunity, and then feed into the local market. Comparisons tend to be most useful when the geography question is similar (eg schools in the same place like Osgoode/Toronto, an Albertan student choosing between Dalhousie or UNB, an Ontarian whose offers are limited to Dalhousie or UVic)

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Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, savethsao said:

Hello!

I'm currently in my second year at UWindsor and looking into prospective law schools. Even though I'm in my second year and will have two years - three if I decide to do my master's in environmental studies - before I start applying, I would like to do the research now and gain some insights rather than doing all of this in my fourth year or during my master's.

The thing about law schools is that all of them are accredited by a law society, which means that in order for one to be accredited, they must teach the same courses (eg Constitutional, tort, contracts, etc). But the problem is that I'm stuck on which law school will help me thrive as a lawyer. Then I realized that I don't need a law degree from XYZ to be a bomb ass lawyer, I just need a law degree. So, this is where lawstudents.ca comes into play.

What are your personal experiences, findings, or opinions in regard to the following schools:

  1. Windsor Law
  2. Osgoode Law
  3. Peter Allard (UBC)
  4. Dalhousie Law
  5. UAlberta Law
  6. UManitoba Law
  7. Ottawa Law
  8. Queen's Law
  9. McGill Law
  10. University of Montreal
  11. University of Victoria

I'm possibly considering IP law, criminal, environmental, immigration, or bankruptcy/corporate law. I like the concept/idea of the Pro Bono Students of Canada and, to my unfortunate life, all of the above law schools are chapters of PBSC. I also like the Innocence Project, which I know most programs will have such projects. I'm also considering pursuing a French stream so that will narrow it down to McGill, Ottawa, and University of Montreal. I'm also interested in indigenous law which UVictoria is the only law program that offers indigenous law. And I'm also interested in, you guested it, social justice :) Oh, I'm also looking for a law program that will have a strong alumni connection whilst being somewhat affordable. So, I might cross out Osgoode lmao

I'm not here to ask you which law schools I should apply to but rather would like to gain insights on your personal experiences, opinions, or whatever that the admission's office won't tell me. But if you would like to suggest a law program, please explain why! Also, I'm only applying to four or five law programs because I'd rather spend that money for my law tuition #brokelife. 

Thank you in advance!

Your question sounds like it's coming from a 0L who wants to do everything and learn everything. This is problematic given the fact that you're entering 2L/3L. By now you should have narrowed down your interests and career objectives. Many employers want to see demonstrated interest in their line of work, so applying with a resume that says you want to do everything and learn everything is problematic. 

Edit: Also, you need to check whether it is even possible to transfer into these programs after completing 2L. Most law schools only accept 1L transfers. 

Never mind, just saw that you're a second year undergrad student. In that case, apply to schools in the region you want to practice law in. Law is jurisdictional. 

Edited by Deadpool

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5 minutes ago, Deadpool said:

Your question sounds like it's coming from a 0L who wants to do everything and learn everything. This is problematic given the fact that you're entering 2L/3L. By now you should have narrowed down your interests and career objectives. Many employers want to see demonstrated interest in their line of work, so applying with a resume that says you want to do everything and learn everything is problematic. 

Edit: Also, you need to check whether it is even possible to transfer into these programs after completing 2L. Most law schools only accept 1L transfers. 

It looks like OP is entering their 2nd year of undergrad at Windsor, not 2L. 

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Posted (edited)

If you're living the #brokelife then that should narrow the list down quite a bit. We'd be more helpful if you provided more information about your situation (where you'd like to practice, your gpa/lsat, any resources to help with cost of attendance).

Edited by Aschenbach

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2 hours ago, lookingaround said:

You're asking for 'comparisons' of almost every common law school in Canada, plus McGill?

 

You'd be far better served in the subforums for specific schools, asking what you want to know about that school of the people who go/are applying there, as they're more likely to be able to help you from personal exerience, or to find where to do some reading. 

 

As an example of something you seem to have misunderstood, Victoria are certainly not 'the only school to offer Indigenous law'. UVic offers the JID degree (an extra year on top of the JD, with more indigenous course content), but every school will offer some courses related to indigeneity & the law, and every constitutional law class in Canada will cover the same basics.

 

You can even expand the list from your criterion, as Manitoba offer French language courses, which from next year will include a certificat en common law francais.

 

The starting point normally given is 'where do you want to practice?', as most schools across Canada will give a broadly comparable educational opportunity, and then feed into the local market. Comparisons tend to be most useful when the geography question is similar (eg schools in the same place like Osgoode/Toronto, an Albertan student choosing between Dalhousie or UNB, an Ontarian whose offers are limited to Dalhousie or UVic)

Hi! Thank you for your informative response! I noticed I made a mistake about the indigenous law after I posted it but couldn't seem to edit my post. When I said UVic is the only program that offers indigenous law, I was referring to the JID (should have made that more clear, my apologizes!). I did a little more digging and found that Peter Allard offers Indingenous Legal Studies, which I'm also interested in. Oh, I didn't know Manitoba will offer French courses! Thank you for that! 

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2 hours ago, Deadpool said:

Your question sounds like it's coming from a 0L who wants to do everything and learn everything. This is problematic given the fact that you're entering 2L/3L. By now you should have narrowed down your interests and career objectives. Many employers want to see demonstrated interest in their line of work, so applying with a resume that says you want to do everything and learn everything is problematic. 

Edit: Also, you need to check whether it is even possible to transfer into these programs after completing 2L. Most law schools only accept 1L transfers. 

Never mind, just saw that you're a second year undergrad student. In that case, apply to schools in the region you want to practice law in. Law is jurisdictional. 

Ha, thank you for your response! Yes, I'm in my second year of undergraduate studies. Thank you for that advice! That definitely narrowed it down by a lot!

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1 hour ago, Aschenbach said:

If you're living the #brokelife then that should narrow the list down quite a bit. We'd be more helpful if you provided more information about your situation (where you'd like to practice, your gpa/lsat, any resources to help with cost of attendance).

Hi there! Thank you for your response! The schools that I've listed above, I have family/family friends living near by the school, so that would cut down living expenses by a huge amount. I have an RRSP that I plan on withdrawing funds from for when I attend law school. One of the replies by Deadpool mentioned that I should study law where I intend to practice, which I didn't think of before! That solid advice narrowed down the list by a lot.

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2 hours ago, Tagger said:

It looks like OP is entering their 2nd year of undergrad at Windsor, not 2L. 

Ah, yes! Thank you for clarifying that on my behalf!

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Luckycharm said:

What is your GPA so far?

That's a good question! I haven't looked at my GPA yet.

Edited by savethsao

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Hello All!

Just wanted to give the reader an update:

Since I want to practice law in Ontario, I've narrowed down my choices in order of preference (1 being the first) followed by my reason:

  1. Windsor (estimated tuition from LSAC: 20,445)
    1. Social justice-oriented, Judicial internship, environmental law clinic, IP clinic, community legal aid, NWT clerkship program, I like the campus, and I have an apartment here (aka I don't have to move all of my stuff across the province)
  2. Bora Laskin (estimated tuition from LSAC: 18,590)
    1. Focus on environmental law and indigenous law, IPC
  3. uOttawa (estimated tuition from LSAC: 19,354)
    1. French stream, Options in Aboriginal law, technology law, social justice, and environmental law
  4. Queen's U (estimated tuition from LSAC: 19,246)
    1. Prison law clinic, federal government internships, public interests internship

 

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Sounds to me like you should stay in Windsor, unless you have a compelling reason to leave. You won't find a single school that offers you every opportunity you want, but you'll find that every school offers you at least some of them. Not having to move would be convenient and Windsor tuition is relatively affordable, plus low cost of living.

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6 hours ago, savethsao said:

Hello All!

Just wanted to give the reader an update:

Since I want to practice law in Ontario, I've narrowed down my choices in order of preference (1 being the first) followed by my reason:

  1. Windsor (estimated tuition from LSAC: 20,445)
    1. Social justice-oriented, Judicial internship, environmental law clinic, IP clinic, community legal aid, NWT clerkship program, I like the campus, and I have an apartment here (aka I don't have to move all of my stuff across the province)
  2. Bora Laskin (estimated tuition from LSAC: 18,590)
    1. Focus on environmental law and indigenous law, IPC
  3. uOttawa (estimated tuition from LSAC: 19,354)
    1. French stream, Options in Aboriginal law, technology law, social justice, and environmental law
  4. Queen's U (estimated tuition from LSAC: 19,246)
    1. Prison law clinic, federal government internships, public interests internship

 

Salut!

Je commence ma première année à la Section de Common Law (J.D. offert en Français) à l’Université d’Ottawa en septembre et j’ai fait un peu de la même recherche que toi avant de poser ma candidature. J’ai un peu d’info pour 2 de tes 4 choix.

2.      Bora Laskin : Pense bel et bien fort de ce choix. J’ai vie toute ma vie au Nord de l’Ontario et c'est un style de vie différent... Il fait froid. Il neige beaucoup. C’est l’hiver pour un bon 6 mois de l’année. Es-tu prêt(e) à faire le déménagement de 18h vers le Nord? J’imagine que les hivers à Windsor sont un peu plus doux qu’à Thunder Bay. Ceci, comme point isolé, ne devrait pas faire ta décision pour toi, mais c’est certainement quelque chose à considérer si tu penses être misérable pendant la moitié de l’année.

De plus, c’est une ville pas mal « rough around the edges ». Il y a beaucoup de discrimination envers les gens de Premières Nations et il y a beaucoup de crime. Il n’y a aussi pas beaucoup de chose à faire là. Mais! Si tu es quelqu’un qui aime passer du temps dehors, faire du hiking, de la pêche, du camping, de la bicyclette, le Nord est une excellente place pour toi. Aussi, j’ai entendu que les petites classes sont un vrai avantage – elles forment vraiment une belle petite communauté au sein de la Faculté de Droit.

3.      uOttawa : Pour le programme J.D. offert en français, tu n’as pas besoin d’écrire le LSAT. Comme tu as indiqué que tu vie bien la « #brokelife » (comme plusieurs étudiants), tu pourrais économiser des centaines de dollars en évitant d’écrire le LSAT et acheter tous les matériaux nécessaires associés. Mais, si tu penses étudier à n’importe quelle école anglaise, il va falloir que tu absorbes ces coûts.

De plus, l’école est associée à la clinique juridique de l’environnement EcoJustice. Ceci est une incroyable opportunité si tu t’intéresses au droit de l’environnement. (Moi je planifie poursuivre cette option et le lien à EcoJustice est ce qui m’a attiré dès le début.)

Aussi, comme tu as indiqué pour Queens U, uOttawa va pouvoir t’ouvrir des portes au gouvernement fédéral puisque tu serais à Ottawa (et au Cour Suprême du Canada).

Finalement, le côté français du programme compte seulement environ 80 étudiants en première année versus le côté anglais qui en accepte plus de 300. Les petites classes ici sont certainement un avantage pour plusieurs raisons.

À ne pas se tromper avec l’option en français du programme de Droit Civil ***

Ceux-ci sont juste quelques-unes de mes propres opinions et connaissances sur ces 2 choix. Bonne chance avec le reste de ton cheminement scolaire!

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Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, z0000 said:

Salut!

Je commence ma première année à la Section de Common Law (J.D. offert en Français) à l’Université d’Ottawa en septembre et j’ai fait un peu de la même recherche que toi avant de poser ma candidature. J’ai un peu d’info pour 2 de tes 4 choix.

2.      Bora Laskin : Pense bel et bien fort de ce choix. J’ai vie toute ma vie au Nord de l’Ontario et c'est un style de vie différent... Il fait froid. Il neige beaucoup. C’est l’hiver pour un bon 6 mois de l’année. Es-tu prêt(e) à faire le déménagement de 18h vers le Nord? J’imagine que les hivers à Windsor sont un peu plus doux qu’à Thunder Bay. Ceci, comme point isolé, ne devrait pas faire ta décision pour toi, mais c’est certainement quelque chose à considérer si tu penses être misérable pendant la moitié de l’année.

De plus, c’est une ville pas mal « rough around the edges ». Il y a beaucoup de discrimination envers les gens de Premières Nations et il y a beaucoup de crime. Il n’y a aussi pas beaucoup de chose à faire là. Mais! Si tu es quelqu’un qui aime passer du temps dehors, faire du hiking, de la pêche, du camping, de la bicyclette, le Nord est une excellente place pour toi. Aussi, j’ai entendu que les petites classes sont un vrai avantage – elles forment vraiment une belle petite communauté au sein de la Faculté de Droit.

3.      uOttawa : Pour le programme J.D. offert en français, tu n’as pas besoin d’écrire le LSAT. Comme tu as indiqué que tu vie bien la « #brokelife » (comme plusieurs étudiants), tu pourrais économiser des centaines de dollars en évitant d’écrire le LSAT et acheter tous les matériaux nécessaires associés. Mais, si tu penses étudier à n’importe quelle école anglaise, il va falloir que tu absorbes ces coûts.

De plus, l’école est associée à la clinique juridique de l’environnement EcoJustice. Ceci est une incroyable opportunité si tu t’intéresses au droit de l’environnement. (Moi je planifie poursuivre cette option et le lien à EcoJustice est ce qui m’a attiré dès le début.)

Aussi, comme tu as indiqué pour Queens U, uOttawa va pouvoir t’ouvrir des portes au gouvernement fédéral puisque tu serais à Ottawa (et au Cour Suprême du Canada).

Finalement, le côté français du programme compte seulement environ 80 étudiants en première année versus le côté anglais qui en accepte plus de 300. Les petites classes ici sont certainement un avantage pour plusieurs raisons.

À ne pas se tromper avec l’option en français du programme de Droit Civil ***

Ceux-ci sont juste quelques-unes de mes propres opinions et connaissances sur ces 2 choix. Bonne chance avec le reste de ton cheminement scolaire!

Bonjour ! Merci pour votre réponse bien écrite et bien informée, je l'ai vraiment appréciée !

Quant à Bora Laskin, merci pour votre contribution ! Je ferai d'autres recherches sur tel programme. Et je suis d'accord, il y a beaucoup d'avantages à un petit programme comme le mien à l'Université de Windsor. J'ai eu des conversations avec mes professeurs à la cafétéria et ils connaissent le nom de la plupart des étudiants, surtout ceux qui ne se présentent pas en classe. Étudier dans une petite communauté soudée aura ses hauts et ses bas, sans aucun doute.


Vraiment? Je ne savais pas que les étudiants qui suivent l'option française n'ont pas à passer le LSAT. Je sais de source sûre que pour le programme de médecine de l'Université d'Ottawa, les étudiants sont dispensés de passer le MCAT. C'est bon à savoir, vu que, comme vous l'avez mentionné, je vais économiser beaucoup d'argent ! Avec les quelques centaines de dollars que j'ai économisés, je vais certainement vous emmener manger des sushis ou autre chose haha ! Et c'est exactement pour cette raison que j'ai voulu poursuivre la filière française à l'Université d'Ottawa en raison de la petite taille et de la diversité du groupe. Et étant donné que je pourrais vouloir travailler pour le gouvernement du Canada, je pense que le fait d'avoir un JD français sera un avantage par rapport aux autres candidats vacants !


De plus, je suis également passionnée par l'environnement, d'où mon diplôme de premier cycle en études environnementales. C'est donc un énorme avantage de savoir que l'Université d'Ottawa offre un stage clinique en droit de l'environnement.


Merci encore pour votre réponse ! Et de même ! Bonne chance dans vos études de droit et dans votre carrière !

Edited by savethsao

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On 8/12/2019 at 12:05 AM, Deadpool said:

Your question sounds like it's coming from a 0L who wants to do everything and learn everything. This is problematic given the fact that you're entering 2L/3L. By now you should have narrowed down your interests and career objectives. Many employers want to see demonstrated interest in their line of work, so applying with a resume that says you want to do everything and learn everything is problematic. 

Edit: Also, you need to check whether it is even possible to transfer into these programs after completing 2L. Most law schools only accept 1L transfers. 

Never mind, just saw that you're a second year undergrad student. In that case, apply to schools in the region you want to practice law in. Law is jurisdictional. 

Hey quick question cause I’m new to this website what does 2L 3L mean?

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3 hours ago, Npotter1 said:

Hey quick question cause I’m new to this website what does 2L 3L mean?

2nd year law/3rd year law 

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Whatever you're reading about social justice orientation, and frankly even environmental law streams at law schools, they're largely non-existent. Every law school is social justice oriented, whatever that means. Regarding environmental law, this field is relatively niche and it's likely not what you think it is anyways even if you choose a school that offers classes on the subject. I've been told you'll be on the side of those trying to shift around environmental regulations instead of fighting for the trees on this green earth as most assume environmental law is.

Decide your law school based upon where you want to practice and where you'll even get in.

Edited by FingersCr0ssed
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On 8/18/2019 at 2:00 PM, FingersCr0ssed said:

Whatever you're reading about social justice orientation, and frankly even environmental law streams at law schools, they're largely non-existent. Every law school is social justice oriented, whatever that means. Regarding environmental law, this field is relatively niche and it's likely not what you think it is anyways even if you choose a school that offers classes on the subject. I've been told you'll be on the side of those trying to shift around environmental regulations instead of fighting for the trees on this green earth as most assume environmental law is.

Decide your law school based upon where you want to practice and where you'll even get in.

Hello! Thank you for your post and advice! However, I do have to disagree with whomever told you that. Environmental law entails A. fighting for the trees (e.g. when a party illegally dumps chemicals into the natural environment, an environmental lawyer working for the Crown will advocate on behalf of the natural environment), B. Consult with businesses to provide advice on environmental laws, C. as you've mentioned, draft, propose and/or revise environmental regulations, and so on.

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8 hours ago, savethsao said:

Hello! Thank you for your post and advice! However, I do have to disagree with whomever told you that. Environmental law entails A. fighting for the trees (e.g. when a party illegally dumps chemicals into the natural environment, an environmental lawyer working for the Crown will advocate on behalf of the natural environment), B. Consult with businesses to provide advice on environmental laws, C. as you've mentioned, draft, propose and/or revise environmental regulations, and so on.

Yes I'm aware of what it entails. I'm warning you that planning your career based on interest in niche fields of work is a poor choice. Just because you discuss something in a classroom doesn't make it an active area of the law to practice.

Edited by FingersCr0ssed
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