Yes, in my opinion, employers will almost certainly draw an adverse inference if someone takes a pass in an optional pass/fail system. I was speaking with a colleague today and firms are apparently already strongly recommending to students that they opt to receive their grades.
I am 24 years old. I worked for 2 years after undergrad. I had very strong extracurriculars. I also had unique life circumstances, allowing me to apply through the discretionary category. I applied through the regular category the first time I applied to law school right after undergrad, and I was waitlisted at TRU, but ultimately did not make the cut. I was rejected from uofa, uofc, usask, ottawa, and osgoode. My cGPA is 3.23 and my last 60 credits is 3.5. I had an LSAT score of 151 in Dec 2017, and 148 in January 2020. I took the LSAT 4 times from Sept 2017 to Jan 2020.
I think you have a strong chance at a school like uVic. I think the experience that you have already makes you a strong applicant, even with a low LSAT mark like mine. Obviously, shoot for the moon and try to score as high as possible. During this cycle, I got into Ryerson and uVic, with uVic being my first choice. I withdrew my other applications, but in addition to these schools, I think Dal, Windsor, Calgary, TRU, and MAYBE Ottawa are your best bet. I only mention Calgary here because *I heard* they have a thing for mature students.
I accepted my offer to Uvic for the upcoming fall semester, and I even received an entrance scholarship of at least $2000.00. On that note, out of all the applications I did, uVic was the most intense. I invested so much time in my personal statement, JID statement, and the discretionary form. In addition to the reference letters, I had to secure other documents to back-up everything I was saying. Uvic's application process was very comforting in that they appreciate/encourage providing this kind of information. I did my best to show how all of these "softs" speak to my ability to succeed in law school and how it will add to the faculty and legal profession. So be sure to milk the shit out of your softs and use it to your advantage. This worked in my favour, because it gave me a chance to build a solid case for myself. I would take advantage of the "additional documents" section of any application to give the admission's committee as much context as possible. Best of luck in your journey, you got this!
Yea, but who would look that deeply into it. I bet most employers just look at the overall GPA value on applications. Plus, almost half the schools in the country are mandatory pass/fail, so if they did look deeply at transcripts, there would be lots of candidates with a missing semester of grades.