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thered97

Commuting to Law School?

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Hi all, 

I’ve been accepted to UofT law, and as an undergrad at UofT commuted ~45 minutes by car 4 days a week. Is this something I could sustain/is common at Law School, or is it necessary to move closer to campus? My main concern is the significant additional rental cost I’d be paying if I did move. 
 

I am just trying to decide between attending UofT and the golden circle UK schools (Oxford, UCL, LSE)—I’m English and would practice in London if I leave—and would like to realistically to weigh costs of living etc. in either case. 
 

Any advice would be appreciated!! 

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If I were you, I'd live close to the law school (walking distance to whatever school you attend), and then decide whether you'd be willing to do the commute. Rent will be higher but I think it's worth it.

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Is it feasible to use public transit? Would save you cost of parking and gas, and you could always use the commute to study.

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4 hours ago, conge said:

If I were you, I'd live close to the law school (walking distance to whatever school you attend), and then decide whether you'd be willing to do the commute. Rent will be higher but I think it's worth it.

Yes, maybe not the best idea to experiment with the commute in year 1... Thank you! 

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4 hours ago, Astrowelkyn said:

Is it feasible to use public transit? Would save you cost of parking and gas, and you could always use the commute to study.

I could use public transit, but it increases my commute time to between an hour and an hour and 20 minutes each way, though I guess that could be study time. Do you know if it's common for people to commute that amount of time?  

No worries if you don't, I appreciate the advice anyway!

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1 minute ago, RedMen1997 said:

I could use public transit, but it increases my commute time to between an hour and an hour and 20 minutes each way, though I guess that could be study time. Do you know if it's common for people to commute that amount of time?  

No worries if you don't, I appreciate the advice anyway!

Well, I live in Winnipeg (which has very inefficient public transit) and my current commute is around 35min in summer and 1-1.5hr in winter from one end of the city to downtown. My schedule right now allows for that, but I mostly just listen to podcasts or read a novel during my trips. But I do see people studying.

When I start 1L at UBC next fall, I plan to live on campus to save the hassle during my first year, but I still intend to bike/bus from anywhere I live after.

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33 minutes ago, Astrowelkyn said:

Well, I live in Winnipeg (which has very inefficient public transit) and my current commute is around 35min in summer and 1-1.5hr in winter from one end of the city to downtown. My schedule right now allows for that, but I mostly just listen to podcasts or read a novel during my trips. But I do see people studying.

When I start 1L at UBC next fall, I plan to live on campus to save the hassle during my first year, but I still intend to bike/bus from anywhere I live after.

Right, this makes sense; I think I'm leaning towards the same. 

Thanks very much, and good luck at UBC! 

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definitely doable. downside of first year is that you'll have classes three or four days a week. in the upper years you can set your own schedule to have only, say, one day of class per week. 

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45 minutes is a reasonable commute, and car time sounds like a great opportunity to listen to music/ podcasts and unwind after classes. Plus the lockers at the school are tiny, and a car is free storage. Good luck!

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On 2/4/2020 at 11:51 PM, katurian said:

definitely doable. downside of first year is that you'll have classes three or four days a week. in the upper years you can set your own schedule to have only, say, one day of class per week. 

I had no idea the schedule was this reasonable, definitely an option for at least upper years then. Thank you! 

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20 hours ago, Demander said:

45 minutes is a reasonable commute, and car time sounds like a great opportunity to listen to music/ podcasts and unwind after classes. Plus the lockers at the school are tiny, and a car is free storage. Good luck!

Yeah that's exactly how I manage now! The issue is it's quite knackering for whatever reason to drive in and back, maybe psychological but from third year undergrad I started skipping a ton of classes because of this. I don't mean to sound whiny and lazy, but this is just what's happened so far and I'm not sure if skipping classes flies in Law. Can definitely suck it up if need be.

 

Thanks very much!  

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18 hours ago, RedMen1997 said:

Yeah that's exactly how I manage now! The issue is it's quite knackering for whatever reason to drive in and back, maybe psychological but from third year undergrad I started skipping a ton of classes because of this. I don't mean to sound whiny and lazy, but this is just what's happened so far and I'm not sure if skipping classes flies in Law. Can definitely suck it up if need be.

 

Thanks very much!  

Do not skip class in law school, unless it's unavoidable (eg. sickness). 

Commuting is definitely sustainable. Many of my friends live pretty far away from campus and they are doing very well at law school. 

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On 2/11/2020 at 8:23 PM, RedMen1997 said:

not sure if skipping classes flies in Law

It heavily depends on the class and your learning style. I would attend all 1L first semester classes just to cover all your bases. In 2L, when you start to take electives and you know whether you find the lectures useful or not, you may find it worthwhile to skip some classes and save your energy to study the material at home instead of commuting. Note that many upper year essay-based classes will have a large mandatory participation grade, so you'll want to attend those, probably.

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On 2/4/2020 at 11:51 PM, katurian said:

definitely doable. downside of first year is that you'll have classes three or four days a week. in the upper years you can set your own schedule to have only, say, one day of class per week. 

How would it be possible to schedule all of your classes on one day? 

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On 2/4/2020 at 11:51 PM, katurian said:

definitely doable. downside of first year is that you'll have classes three or four days a week. in the upper years you can set your own schedule to have only, say, one day of class per week. 

How is that possible?

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6 hours ago, erinl2 said:

How would it be possible to schedule all of your classes on one day? 

I think it’s possible with a 4-credit externship and three 3-credit classes that meet on the same day. Or some combination of 3-credit classes and workshops or a moot. 
2 days/week is not that unusual but one day is almost impossible unless you don’t care about the classes you’re taking.

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2 hours ago, andi28 said:

I think it’s possible with a 4-credit externship and three 3-credit classes that meet on the same day. Or some combination of 3-credit classes and workshops or a moot. 
2 days/week is not that unusual but one day is almost impossible unless you don’t care about the classes you’re taking.

That would be virtually impossible if you cared at all about what classes you were taking, which all law students should.  I don't understand why anyone would want to do that, even if it were possible. What about ECs? Spending only one day a week on campus, only attending classes that fit into such a schedule, sounds ridiculous to me.

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1 hour ago, erinl2 said:

That would be virtually impossible if you cared at all about what classes you were taking, which all law students should.  I don't understand why anyone would want to do that, even if it were possible. What about ECs? Spending only one day a week on campus, only attending classes that fit into such a schedule, sounds ridiculous to me.

I completely agree with this. It would be nearly impossible to attend all your classes, be caught up with all your readings, do well in your classes, participate in extracurriculars AND still have time for yourself. You may think commuting will only take 45 minutes out of your day, but you're not factoring in the time it will take you to get ready before you leave the house, and even traffic if you're travelling by car. Plus, if you're driving yourself, you can't even catch up on readings on your commute so that is about 1.5 hours total out of your day wasted. If you want to get the best experience possible out of your law school experience I would recommend staying close to campus with a friend or two to split rent with. 

Edited by lawgal17

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2 hours ago, erinl2 said:

That would be virtually impossible if you cared at all about what classes you were taking, which all law students should.  I don't understand why anyone would want to do that, even if it were possible. What about ECs? Spending only one day a week on campus, only attending classes that fit into such a schedule, sounds ridiculous to me.

Oh yeah, I completely agree with you. It sounds ridiculous to me too; I was just trying to hypothesize how someone could only have one day of class. 

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3L at UofT -- I commute longer than 45 min each way and have since 1L. It hasn't stopped me from going to all my classes (3-4 days/week of class) or getting involved on and off campus. There are times when it's tougher to handle everything but there are other pros for me too (financially but also in other ways). The nice thing about UofT is that a lot of events happen during the lunch period when you're already on campus. There are some social events in the evenings but not nearly as many as I remember there being in undergrad. If you have a few friends who live downtown that you can crash with when need be, I think it's definitely manageable. That said, I have plenty of friends who would never voluntarily commute, so I think it really depends on how you work best.

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