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Boundless

MA, Dual or wait (any insight is helpful)

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Hello everyone, hope you are all staying safe during these turbulent times. I wanted to start a discussion that will hopefully have quite a few responses and varying points of view. 

I was very recently admitted to a great MA program, which was supposed to be my back-up plan in the event that i didnt hear from any law schools. Since then i have also been accepted to the Dual JD program at Windsor and UDM. In addition, i was placed on the waitlist for the Single JD at Windsor and have yet to hear back from all other law schools i have applied to (Queens, Western, Osgoode, Ottawa, Dal). 

My deadline to accept the Dual is April 22nd. I have already accepted my Masters (as i hadn't heard back from anywhere) but there is no penalty to decline at a later date. 

The way i see it i have three options:

1. accept the dual (provisionally);

2. accept my MA; and

3. wait for other law schools. 

I understand i ultimately have to come to the decision on my own, but this community has great contributors who have gone through cycle upon cycles so i thought it wouldnt hurt to get a sense of what others would do if placed in my shoes. 

Stats: 

cGPA: 3.04, L2: 3.71, LSAT: 164 (Jan). 

All comments and insight is greatly appriciated. 

Edited by Boundless
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16 minutes ago, Boundless said:

Hello everyone, hope you are all staying safe during these turbulent times. I wanted to start a discussion that will hopefully have quite a few responses and varying points of view. 

I was very recently admitted to a great MA program, which was supposed to be my back-up plan in the event that i didnt hear from any law schools. Since then i have also been accepted to the Dual JD program at Windsor and UDM. In addition, i was placed on the waitlist for the Single JD at Windsor and have yet to hear back from all other law schools i have applied to (Queens, Western, Osgoode, Ottawa, Dal). 

My deadline to accept the Dual is April 22nd. I have already accepted my Masters (as i hadn't heard back from anywhere) but there is no penalty to decline at a later date. 

The way i see it i have three options:

1. accept the dual (provisionally);

2. accept my MA; and

3. wait for other law schools. 

I understand i ultimately have to come to the decision on my own, but this community has great contributors who have gone through cycle upon cycles so i thought it wouldnt hurt to get a sense of what others would do if placed in my shoes. 

Stats: 

cGPA: 3.04, L2: 3.71, LSAT: 164 (Jan). 

All comments and insight is greatly appriciated. 

No offense to Windsor's dual JD students, but given your stats, I strongly advise you not to accept the dual offer. The dual JD is prohibitively expensive.

I believe that you will get in Queens, Western, or Dal eventually. As you took the January LSAT, you may need to wait for acceptances longer than other applicants do.

Best of luck with your applications!

Edited by ArchivesandMuseums
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22 minutes ago, Boundless said:

Hello everyone, hope you are all staying safe during these turbulent times. I wanted to start a discussion that will hopefully have quite a few responses and varying points of view. 

I was very recently admitted to a great MA program, which was supposed to be my back-up plan in the event that i didnt hear from any law schools. Since then i have also been accepted to the Dual JD program at Windsor and UDM. In addition, i was placed on the waitlist for the Single JD at Windsor and have yet to hear back from all other law schools i have applied to (Queens, Western, Osgoode, Ottawa, Dal). 

My deadline to accept the Dual is April 22nd. I have already accepted my Masters (as i hadn't heard back from anywhere) but there is no penalty to decline at a later date. 

The way i see it i have three options:

1. accept the dual (provisionally);

2. accept my MA; and

3. wait for other law schools. 

I understand i ultimately have to come to the decision on my own, but this community has great contributors who have gone through cycle upon cycles so i thought it wouldnt hurt to get a sense of what others would do if placed in my shoes. 

Stats: 

cGPA: 3.04, L2: 3.71, LSAT: 164 (Jan). 

All comments and insight is greatly appriciated. 

TL;DR - I graduated from the Dual Program a few years ago (keeping it vague for anonymity). Personally I'd go the MA route, then reapply next year for the single JD, due to the prohibited cost and limited benefit of having the two JDs. I can tell you from my experience that nobody at all in practice could care less what law school you go to. That's only on this thread or when you're in law school. So if your concern is UDM's poor rankings, don't be. 

In the real world your experience and reputation will be all people care about. Save your money, apply for the MA, hold out for other law schools (if you can) and if you get in great, if not, then wrap up your MA and move on. The other option is to get a 1 year internship in a legal adjacent field or get some work experience elsewhere which will greatly beef up your resume (more so than an MA in my opinion) and will also help you be a more competitive candidate come reapplication time and when you're applying for summer jobs and articling. 

----

The Dual program was an interesting experience particularly in 1L when you're basically doing almost twice  the course load at the same time, and what you're studying on one side of the border you are able to compare to the other side. Helps put things (somewhat) into perspective. That being the case you're not 100% getting the same mirrored education you are on both sides. For example, in 1L there's a heavy emphasis on Canadian fundamental courses, such as contracts, property, con law, as an example (the same as if you were in a single JD program at Windsor or any other Canadian program), but you're only taking US "modules" in which you still learn the US equivalent of those courses but not at the same emphasis, so your level of the Canadian content will be much more thorough then the US content. In 2L its inverse, we really focused on for example US Evidence Law, but barely scratched the surface with Canadian evidence law. 

So bottom line, you're technically studying twice the material and doing twice the work, but you're not actually getting 2 identical degrees. Its more so a regular Canadian JD, with a bunch of US added courses which technically gives you a US designation, but your level of US education isn't the same as your Canadian education. 

The plus side is there's tons of hands on experience in the US to really learn the law. Unfortunately law school does not do an adequate job preparing you for the actual legal world. Sure you'll learn all sorts of fundamental cases and develop your writing and research skills, but you won't be prepared for the actual practice of law at all. That's not a criticism of Windsor or the Dual Program, more so just law school in general. However, UDM has tons of potential practical and hands on experiences such as clinic, externships, and so forth which lets you start to develop some of your skills. 

All that being said, would I do it again? No. You're going to take on an extreme amount of debt, and the vast majority of your classmates will only be practising in on jurisdiction or another. I have some classmates from my graduating class who wrote the bar in Ontario and one or two US states, but they're either practising in one jurisdiction or the other. If you think about it logically it makes sense, if you have a heart problem you're going to go to someone who specializes in cardiology. You don't want the doctor who moonlights with chiropractic issues and all sorts of other tangents. Same thing with law. It's difficult enough mastering the complexities and nuances of being a lawyer in one jurisdiction and learning the law in one particular specialty to master it. To do so on the other side of the border as well at the same time is very difficult, and I'm not sure why you'd want to.

Technically speaking, I suppose if you're working at a big firm and you're working on some sort of corporate commercial matter with a US component, sure its nice to have some of that knowledge, but the US entity will obviously have their own US specialized lawyers. There's no real value to having both - learn, specialize, and become a master at your craft in one jurisdiction and that will speak volumes. Technically speaking if you want to eventually move to the US numerous states recognize Canadian JD designations and will enable you to write the Bar. There's no real benefit in my opinion of going for both degrees. One is enough. 

 

Best of luck. 

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I'd wait as long as possible before making a decision. I agree with ArchivesandMuseums that you should have a shot at some of the other schools you applied to. If by April 22nd you haven't heard from anyone else, reevaluate then. If it's really important to you that you go to law school now, maybe the dual is what you want. However it is very expensive and I think HelloSir80 gives some good insight on what that path would entail. To me it sounds like you're genuinely interested in the MA program you got into. It might be a good option if by April 22nd you haven't heard from other law schools.

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Nobody should do the Windsor Dual unless they're choosing between that and going overseas. With your L2 and LSAT, you should be able to get in somewhere else. 

Given that it's still unclear how badly the shutdown is going to harm the legal industry, giving yourself another year for the market to recover before you graduate and enter may not be the worst idea. 

I would be inclined to let the provisional date pass and take my chances on the other schools. If it doesn't work out you'll get to do a masters that you want to do and you can try again next cycle. If that happens, you should seek feedback from all of the schools that reject you to improve your application package for next time.

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This forum hates the idea of Canadian tiers. No one has ever argued against the proposition that the American law schools vary widely enough to makes the concept of tiers legitimate. 

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If I were you, I'd accept the MA. If you get into those better law schools, then great. You can go to one of them. If you don't, you get a solid MA and you can still apply to law schools in the future if it's still important to you.

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5 hours ago, Boundless said:

Hello everyone, hope you are all staying safe during these turbulent times. I wanted to start a discussion that will hopefully have quite a few responses and varying points of view. 

I was very recently admitted to a great MA program, which was supposed to be my back-up plan in the event that i didnt hear from any law schools. Since then i have also been accepted to the Dual JD program at Windsor and UDM. In addition, i was placed on the waitlist for the Single JD at Windsor and have yet to hear back from all other law schools i have applied to (Queens, Western, Osgoode, Ottawa, Dal). 

My deadline to accept the Dual is April 22nd. I have already accepted my Masters (as i hadn't heard back from anywhere) but there is no penalty to decline at a later date. 

The way i see it i have three options:

1. accept the dual (provisionally);

2. accept my MA; and

3. wait for other law schools. 

I understand i ultimately have to come to the decision on my own, but this community has great contributors who have gone through cycle upon cycles so i thought it wouldnt hurt to get a sense of what others would do if placed in my shoes. 

Stats: 

cGPA: 3.04, L2: 3.71, LSAT: 164 (Jan). 

All comments and insight is greatly appriciated. 

I am in the exact same boat as you, been accepted to the Dual program as well with a 3.1cGPA, L2: 3.7, LSAT 160. I have yet to hear back from any other Ontario schools either. With that said, you’ll notice that if you look at past acceptance threads there are A LOT of acceptances still to be given out from all schools. You’ll notice that on average each school hands out between 20 to 40 acceptances (sometimes even more) from April to June and some in the following months after that. While we are both wondering what will happen, there is still hope and yes it is still early in the cycle. PM me  if you’re interested in talking about our options! 

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