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savysworld23

Why Study at Windsor law?

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Posted (edited)

Some do not have the luxury to say "why".

Edited by Luckycharm
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Posted (edited)

Last resort?

Family?

 Established life in Windsor?

Edited by AJD19

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On 10/7/2019 at 3:37 PM, savysworld23 said:

Why Study at Windsor law?

I am not a Windsor Law student, but there are lots of reasons for studying at Windsor Law. (I am only referring to Windsor's Single JD.). I just think that the law school's emphasis on social justice seems to be genuine compared with Ryerson Law's claim on promoting social justice.

Furthermore, I really doubt that Windsor Law is currently a last resort among Canadian law schools as there are certainly less established law schools in Canada.   

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4 hours ago, ArchivesandMuseums said:

I am not a Windsor Law student, but there are lots of reasons for studying at Windsor Law. (I am only referring to Windsor's Single JD.). I just think that the law school's emphasis on social justice seems to be genuine compared with Ryerson Law's claim on promoting social justice.

Furthermore, I really doubt that Windsor Law is currently a last resort among Canadian law schools as there are certainly less established law schools in Canada.   

People generally refer to Windsor as a last resort in Ontario. It is a controversial opinion to express on this forum, but many established lawyers I meet who are Windsor alumni openly tell me that it was the only school in Ontario they got into. My personal opinion is that although they brand themselves as a social justice school, as someone who currently works in a public interest position, there are more opportunities in social justice/public interest at other Canadian law schools - including at schools like U of T.

For example, I know quite a few U of T students interning at the UN, while I know no one from Windsor. There is far too much emphasis placed on the corporate opportunities available to students through the formal OCI recruitment process at schools like U of T, UBC, Osgoode, McGill, etc., but there are also an equal number of social justice and public interest opportunities for students to explore at these schools. From what I have observed in law school and in my current workplace, Windsor law does not stick out to me as being the only school with social justice and public interest opportunities. In truth, public sector employers generally hire fewer Windsor students than they do students from the other schools. There are fewer social justice and public interest opportunities available to students and new calls. Thus, they can afford to be selective and pick the best candidates. These candidates can very well come from Windsor, but generally speaking, the student body there is not as strong as it is at other schools like Osgoode, for example. My class did very well during the articling recruit for government jobs - probably more than any other Ontario law school. Take from that what you will. 

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2 hours ago, Deadpool said:

People generally refer to Windsor as a last resort in Ontario. It is a controversial opinion to express on this forum, but many established lawyers I meet who are Windsor alumni openly tell me that it was the only school in Ontario they got into. My personal opinion is that although they brand themselves as a social justice school, as someone who currently works in a public interest position, there are more opportunities in social justice/public interest at other Canadian law schools - including at schools like U of T.

For example, I know quite a few U of T students interning at the UN, while I know no one from Windsor. There is far too much emphasis placed on the corporate opportunities available to students through the formal OCI recruitment process at schools like U of T, UBC, Osgoode, McGill, etc., but there are also an equal number of social justice and public interest opportunities for students to explore at these schools. From what I have observed in law school and in my current workplace, Windsor law does not stick out to me as being the only school with social justice and public interest opportunities. In truth, public sector employers generally hire fewer Windsor students than they do students from the other schools. There are fewer social justice and public interest opportunities available to students and new calls. Thus, they can afford to be selective and pick the best candidates. These candidates can very well come from Windsor, but generally speaking, the student body there is not as strong as it is at other schools like Osgoode, for example. My class did very well during the articling recruit for government jobs - probably more than any other Ontario law school. Take from that what you will. 

Thank you very much for your comments. I just expressed my personal fondness for Windsor law because I got in the law school although I chose Ottawa over Windsor. (I deferred my entry into Ottawa law by one year, September 2020, to finish my graduate degrees in archival and museum studies.) As a person who has a great interest in Indigenous law and public law, I appreciate your input.

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On 10/8/2019 at 9:32 PM, Deadpool said:

People generally refer to Windsor as a last resort in Ontario. It is a controversial opinion to express on this forum, but many established lawyers I meet who are Windsor alumni openly tell me that it was the only school in Ontario they got into.

While I haven't ever really discussed with any colleagues why they chose the law school the did, I think this is generally true. To the extent a large proportion of law students seem to be from the GTA and want to work in the GTA, I can't see the justification for going to Windsor when almost every other law school in Ontario is closer to Toronto and has been around longer, and probably has substantially similar course/clinic offerings. Though, in that regard I imagine Lakehead would have now taken up the honours as the last resort for anyone not from Northern Ontario. Ryerson, of course gets to skip the line due to its location at the centre of the universe. 

From my understanding, Windsor Law usually consists of a handful of students from the local area that maybe could have went elsewhere but chose not to either because of affordability or because their goal was to practice law locally.  After that it seemed to be everyone from the rest of Ontario who didn't get in U of T, Osgoode, Western or Queens.  Windsor Law itself certainly hasn't done much to discourage this view. Their pivot a while back to a more "holistic" admissions process would suggest they were aware of their generally less "competitive" class based on  LSAT scores and GPAs and so dealt with that by not making it their focus. I'm not sure if anything's changed but during my admission cycle 6+ years ago, Windsor did not even offer merit based entrance scholarships to try and entice more competitive students to attend.

The best reason to study at Windsor Law would be if you want to practice in the Windsor area after graduation.  However, despite all the wonderful things about living in Windsor-Essex County,  I imagine very few people from outside the area have that goal.

This post is in no way intended to disparage the city of Windsor (I think it is a great city, but that's very subjective) or the law school. You'd get a fine education just as you would at any other school in Ontario and I've dealt with lots of great lawyers locally who graduated from Windsor. Obviously many other Windsor graduates also went on to great success in Toronto and other legal markets, both Public and Private sector, but I don't think Windsor provides any special advantage in that regard over any other law school in Ontario.

 

 

 

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I’ll try to write this from (1) mobile and, (2) my perspective after just over a month at the school. 
 

To start, as I have predicted early on, the only people who truly care about the prestige of a school are applicants and those not in law school. At the end of the day it comes down to what skills you present and what you have to offer an employer. I still don’t understand why we rank schools based on OCI placements when there are SO many other areas of law that you can enter - which are outside of the formal recruit. But that’s besides the point. 
 

Returning to your question, what I love the most about this school is definitely the community. It’s a smaller school so you will be seeing the same faces around a lot. Regardless, people are friendly and genuinely want to see each other thrive. I can’t speak for other schools so I don’t know if this is the norm in law schools or not. Also the administration is SO approachable. They make an effort to know the names and faces of each and every student. They will actively walk around and strike up conversations and just make your time here a good one. 
 

There are plenty of opportunities to get involved and make your name known. We have a strong PBSC chapter, two legal aid clinics, an externship program, and plenty of volunteer opportunities. There are always talks/lectures/recruiters around the school so you it would be almost impossible to NOT make those crucial connections. The administration does a great job of bringing alumni and notable people to the school so I don’t think we are necessary missing out on anything. 
 

Honestly, there is only so much that people on the internet can tell you. If you’re interested in a school, make time to go visit and check out the building and possibly meet with faculty. I fell in love with the school the moment I stepped in. You should try it and see what happens. 

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Windsor's strength is certainly its community, to echo what @LuckyCommander has put really well. Being an "underdog" school, I find that people are kinder to each other. The stories you hear about the competitive nature of other J.D. programs - where students are trying to fuck others over for better grades - didn't occur in any of my years at Windsor. People here acknowledge that were all here for a variety of reasons, and that makes the student body interesting and it functions really well IMO. If you have the opportunity to study at a law school that places better in OCIs, and you're certain you want to pursue that path, then choosing Windsor to study at wouldn't make sense. I am a big proponent of my school but obviously - choose somewhere else in that case. But for those who aren't sure what they want to practice, or are geared towards public interest types of careers, the school and the administration excels (IMO again) at getting the message across and resources out that you don't need to fall into the trap of going through OCI's, just because its the thing to do. And that is also not to say that you're not going to be able to get a top job through OCIs at Windsor. The students who excelled in school in each of their years did. See: http://ultravires.ca/2018/11/toronto-2l-hiring-numbers/

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On 10/10/2019 at 6:27 AM, ristiisa said:

Windsor's strength is certainly its community, to echo what @LuckyCommander has put really well. Being an "underdog" school, I find that people are kinder to each other. The stories you hear about the competitive nature of other J.D. programs - where students are trying to fuck others over for better grades - didn't occur in any of my years at Windsor.

This doesn't happen at UBC either, or any other Canadian law school to my knowledge.

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10 minutes ago, Psychometronic said:

This doesn't happen at UBC either, or any other Canadian law school to my knowledge.

Agreed.  I've been around a lot of law schools and these are just stories.

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9 hours ago, ProfReader said:

Agreed.  I've been around a lot of law schools and these are just stories.

 

9 hours ago, Psychometronic said:

This doesn't happen at UBC either, or any other Canadian law school to my knowledge.

I have heard stories from peers at a few schools. I doubt it's a normalized part of their respective student cultures, but there is a different sense of competitiveness between students at Windsor.

Edited by ristiisa

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4 minutes ago, ristiisa said:

 

I have heard stories from peers at a few schools. I doubt it's a normalized part of their respective student cultures, but there is a different sense of competitiveness between students at Windsor.

There are a couple of dicks at every school.  That doesn't mean that those schools are overall more competitive than Windsor.  They aren't.  If anything, given the employment rates coming out of somewhere like UofT, they would have much less reason to be competitive.  Also, some small competitive incident is the exact kind of thing that gets blown out of proportion when it is retold to others.

Edited by ProfReader
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2 hours ago, ProfReader said:

There are a couple of dicks at every school.  That doesn't mean that those schools are overall more competitive than Windsor.  They aren't.  If anything, given the employment rates coming out of somewhere like UofT, they would have much less reason to be competitive.  Also, some small competitive incident is the exact kind of thing that gets blown out of proportion when it is retold to others.

Yeah, I don't disagree with your last point. That's how rumours are spread and grow. Maybe someone can chime in to comment on the competitiveness of student bodies at Windsor versus another school if they've transferred - I am still convinced there is a difference, though I acknowledge this is completely my opinion based on my own experience there and discussing with others about their schools.

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I go to Windsor Law. I had a choice between Windsor and UOttawa. Anecdotally, many people in my class were in same boat as me and also chose Windsor Law.  There is someone in my class that made the comment how annoyed he was with everyone because so many people in my class chose Windsor over Ottawa, when he would have chosen in Ottawa in a heartbeat LOL (he loves the city).

There were couple factors that led me to choose Windsor, including the fact that I do want to practice in Toronto after university (which is why I stuck with Ontario schools for applying in general). COSTS was a MAJOR FACTOR. Before school I was living in Downtown Toronto for a couple years, but I am originally from Windsor and grew up here, so obviously I am comfortable with the city as its home for me. I'm living with my mom rent-free, and Windsor's tuition is cheaper so I am saving A LOT of money. I applied to UofT and got waitlisted,  but if I had gone there it would have been $40,000 a year, and I don't know if I would be able to justify that. 

Pace of the city was also a factor. Windsor isn't new to me so I do have an advantage there. But Windsor is a good place to be a student in. It's not as hectic as Toronto for example, and law school can obviously be stressful, so it's a good environment for me to study. I did go to school in Toronto after doing my undergrad here at Windsor to complete a certificate programme and I found it to be tough to be a student. I had to work in Toronto while going to school just because it was SO EXPENSIVE, and really struggled. 

Windsor is smaller and a more collegial feel, and the environment is not as competitive as other law schools, or so the rumours go. I am an ambitious person, but I wouldn't consider myself competitive with other people, and hate the idea of people trying to one-up each other. Of course you have those people here at Windsor, but I feel it is much less of an issue than other law schools. 

Also, as you can tell by user name, I am not interested in corporate law, or the typical Bay-street BigLaw firms at all. My background is in social work so definitely more leaning towards public interest (though i am keeping an open mind). Windsor is known for being the "social justice" school, and though you will of course have social justice and public interest opportunities at most schools, I really value the faculty wide commitment to it. The faculty are AMAZING, and so helpful and approachable. It's really easy to get to know profs, and they will do everything they can for you to succeed. I have had many opportunities here so far that I would be able to get at other school. So many alumnis I spoke to the summer before going to Windsor have all told me the same thing, that Windsor was by far not their first choice, but they loved their experience and were so happy they went there. 

I feel that Windsor Law only gets the reputation it does just because of the City of Windsor itself, not the law school.(As someone from Windsor, this city has many many issues, god lol)  If it were in Toronto, or Vancouver or Montreal it would be more attractive. It's why people expect that Ryerson (which as a whole is "on-par"with Windsor ) is going to become one of the "top schools" just because of the Toronto factor. 

Edited by socialjusticewarrior
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FWIW, while living in London, ON, I met a bunch of Windsor grads despite having Western in the city. Many people wanted to be close to home but not in a large city like Toronto, others wanted to be with more "like minded" people (Windsor is holistic), others didn't get into Western, and others did their undergrad at Western and wanted a change-of-pace.

 

 

 

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