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BestCaseOntario

Am I the Only One Freaking Out About Starting 1L Online

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2 minutes ago, legallyillegal said:

Do you think this decision will be made prior to our acceptance becoming firm/deposits? I'd like to know about this before making my decision about which school to go to ūüėģ¬†(thank you so much for updating us :) )¬†

I'm not sure. I actually have no idea when acceptances become firm and deposits are due at any law school in Canada, including my own.

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1 hour ago, lindsn said:

I would imagine given the situation, all large institutions will continue to close.

Can confirm. Manitoba just sent an E-mail that they were prepping for in-person classes for 2020 Fall. But if things get worse, they will move online. 

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I have also heard about a situation where it could be mixed with most things online, and some things in person (probably just things that are essential). This is just at the U of A though, there was like a tweet with a linked article or something that I read through. They haven't officially said that on their website though so who knows. Praying for the best.

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I've talked to law school friends about the possibility of some in-person classes mixed with online, but that may mean students are relocating to a new city for law school just to go to one or two classes a week in person, and probably no big social events. Maybe some would view that as not a big deal, cause they would have moved anyway, but if you're paying rent in a high COL area....

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9 hours ago, anj said:

I have also heard about a situation where it could be mixed with most things online, and some things in person (probably just things that are essential). This is just at the U of A though, there was like a tweet with a linked article or something that I read through. They haven't officially said that on their website though so who knows. Praying for the best.

Yeah, I think I saw that and I didn't think it was at all indicative of what they were planning or even considering. To me, it was just a tweet.

Another thing that will add some time to law schools making their decisions is that they will have to get the sign off from the Federation of Law Societies of Canada who have rules against online law schooling. I'm confident they will amend their rules, given the pandemic, but I've heard that they haven't done that yet, which would presumably require collecting info from law schools, meeting, and voting, all of which could add a week onto any decisions law schools can make (likely once the university makes them).

 

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For those who are still waiting to be accepted, or who are starting to prepare to apply again (I may apply for a third time), this entire discussion seems crazy to me. You should be grateful and excited to have the opportunity to be a law student. Stressing about what form that may take in the first semester won't help. Also I'm sure law schools will design/plan the year to ensure you are not missing out on key opportunities, but this has to be within limits. This is a global pandemic and there are uncertainties that no one can control.

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On 4/10/2020 at 10:27 PM, LawSchoolJock said:

@albertabean you beat me to it but yeah I can't see how the law schools are going to let people defer. I would a significant proportion of incoming 1Ls (possibly even the majority) would opt to defer if given the choice. If that's the case I don't see how the universities are going to pay their teachers if the incoming class is only ~50% of what it's supposed to be.

I think the only way something like this would work for the schools financially is if they charge a huge fee for people wanting to sit out the year due to Covid-19. It would suck, but I wouldn't put it past them.

Ya I think they would probably make students pay a larger deposit to defer, which wouldn't be too bad considering the alternative. I would 100% pay whatever to defer

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Deferral policy also depends on the school. I think UBC only grants it if there is a very good reason. Otherwise, they just ask you to apply again.

As for part-time classes, UBC also only grants this if there is a good reason (with appropriate documentation and such). It's not simply an option people can take if they want to.

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2 hours ago, ProfReader said:

Yeah, I think I saw that and I didn't think it was at all indicative of what they were planning or even considering. To me, it was just a tweet.

Another thing that will add some time to law schools making their decisions is that they will have to get the sign off from the Federation of Law Societies of Canada who have rules against online law schooling. I'm confident they will amend their rules, given the pandemic, but I've heard that they haven't done that yet, which would presumably require collecting info from law schools, meeting, and voting, all of which could add a week onto any decisions law schools can make (likely once the university makes them).

 

Only they¬†know at this point ūü§∑ūüŹĽ‚Äć‚ôÄÔłŹ Hopefully the universities¬†and Federation of Law Societies of Canada come to their decisions soon so we don‚Äôt have to be so anxious haha. Thanks for the info on that!

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29 minutes ago, anj said:

Only they¬†know at this point ūü§∑ūüŹĽ‚Äć‚ôÄÔłŹ Hopefully the universities¬†and Federation of Law Societies of Canada come to their decisions soon so we don‚Äôt have to be so anxious haha. Thanks for the info on that!

Without saying whether I personally work at the UofA or merely have close friends who do, I am confident that this was a mere tweet. The Federation won't hold things up, in my opinion, but every additional step in the process adds time. As I said previously, I'm thinking that we're about a month out from most schools making decisions. 

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, SadNWO said:

I don't quite understand this attitude. People work very hard to get into law school and then pay tens of thousands of dollars to attend them. The school's aren't doing them some favour by letting them attend, they earned it and will be paying for it. The idea that revrent gratitude is owed to the institution seems odd to me. People have every right to be disappointed and frustrated, pandemic or not. 

Couldn't have said it better myself. Just cause there are people who don't know where there next meal will come from doesn't mean I can't be pissed I paid $50 for a burnt steak and they won't remake it.

Edited by BestCaseOntario
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1 hour ago, SadNWO said:

I don't quite understand this attitude. People work very hard to get into law school and then pay tens of thousands of dollars to attend them. The school's aren't doing them some favour by letting them attend, they earned it and will be paying for it. The idea that revrent gratitude is owed to the institution seems odd to me. People have every right to be disappointed and frustrated, pandemic or not. 

Thank you! I’m a fourth time re-applicant, and I finally got my acceptance this year. I can tell you that although I am incredibly grateful for the admission, I’m disappointed by what’s happening. It’s an opportunity to attend law school, whether online or not, I looked forward to the social experience it came with. 
 

It’s okay to feel upset about something so out of control. But that doesn’t make people who feel this way, by any means, ungrateful. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, BestCaseOntario said:

Couldn't have said it better myself. Just cause there are people who don't know where there next meal will come from doesn't mean I can't be pissed I paid $50 for a burnt steak and they won't remake it.

I don't think sticking up for students collective interests is comparable to complaining about a bad steak dinner... The whole point is that Uni cannot be reduced to a fancy commodity. In any case, most students who've been accepted don't realistically have the luxury to sit out a year in a nonexistent labour market.

Edited by Owen
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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Husns said:

For those who are still waiting to be accepted, or who are starting to prepare to apply again (I may apply for a third time), this entire discussion seems crazy to me. You should be grateful and excited to have the opportunity to be a law student. Stressing about what form that may take in the first semester won't help. Also I'm sure law schools will design/plan the year to ensure you are not missing out on key opportunities, but this has to be within limits. This is a global pandemic and there are uncertainties that no one can control.

Just a really out of tune sentiment. Some have covered this already, but first of all, those with acceptances have worked hard for them and we don’t owe law schools our souls and eternal gratitude just for accepting us. I’m excited yes, but it’s not my only opportunity in life. 

Second of all there’s the large consideration of ever-ballooning tuition for what is going to be a shell of the usual 1L experience.

And last of all, some of us are planning cross-country moves to law school which is logistically very difficult with the uncertainty about September. 

Edited by albertabean
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Okay, folks,  let's get back to the topic of this thread and stop the back and forth about whose worries/feelings are more important. Thanks.

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My apologies @erinl2 if this isn't bringing us back close enough to the original topic, but I had already started tying it when you posted to move things away from the suffering competition, and I think it might provide useful information.

One comment that I've seen a few times, both in this and other threads, is a complaint about tuition remaining the same (or even planned increases due to government cuts going ahead in Alberta). The complaint in and of itself makes sense. But sometimes it is accompanied by bitter remarks suggesting that universities have an obligation to lower tuition if classes are done online.

I just want to provide a bit of an explanation for why that isn't happening. First, I think that we can all expect government cuts to be forthcoming (Alberta, for one, had already announced cuts before COVID) and so leaving tuition at current levels helps to build a bit of a cushion to absorb those. More importantly, it isn't actually that much cheaper to run law classes online. A lot of the extras like receptions, seminars, orientation week excursions, etc. were never paid for by the schools, but were firm sponsored. A decent chunk of the moot program is also firm sponsored at many, if not most, schools. Clinics and other experiential activities are very often funded from outside the law school. 

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I don't see what purpose keeping classes virtual in the Fall would serve. For context, I've studied immunology and spoken to PIs who work with infectious diseases. The reality is that this virus is not going to simply disappear, no matter how much social distancing takes place. It's too easily transmissible. The current lockdown only makes sense because it gives governments and hospitals the chance to stock up on PPE, ventilators, testing, etc without overwhelming our current capacity. Our leaders should be spending the next 4 months increasing the capacity of our health care system so that some aspects of our society can start up again by September. 

On top of this, students are generally not in the at-risk age group. The hospitalization and fatality rates for those under 50, while already low, are likely even lower considering studies showing people have contracted the disease without showing symptoms. If we ever want to build herd immunity, the least afflicted members of society (university students included) should be the ones getting exposed to the virus. I know this might sound scary, but waiting over a year for a vaccine is futile. Building immunity through vaccination is particularly challenging with coronaviruses. 

Schools could easily give the option for those students and professors who have co-morbidities to teach/attend class virtually. If the schools wants to be even more safe, they can think of ways to reduce individual class sizes, mandate the use of masks, etc. In-person classes in the Fall don't have to look exactly the same as in-person classes pre-COVID. That's my $0.02.

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, Applicant2019 said:

I don't see what purpose keeping classes virtual in the Fall would serve. For context, I've studied immunology and spoken to PIs who work with infectious diseases. The reality is that this virus is not going to simply disappear, no matter how much social distancing takes place. It's too easily transmissible. The current lockdown only makes sense because it gives governments and hospitals the chance to stock up on PPE, ventilators, testing, etc without overwhelming our current capacity. Our leaders should be spending the next 4 months increasing the capacity of our health care system so that some aspects of our society can start up again by September. 

On top of this, students are generally not in the at-risk age group. The hospitalization and fatality rates for those under 50, while already low, are likely even lower considering studies showing people have contracted the disease without showing symptoms. If we ever want to build herd immunity, the least afflicted members of society (university students included) should be the ones getting exposed to the virus. I know this might sound scary, but waiting over a year for a vaccine is futile. Building immunity through vaccination is particularly challenging with coronaviruses. 

Schools could easily give the option for those students and professors who have co-morbidities to teach/attend class virtually. If the schools wants to be even more safe, they can think of ways to reduce individual class sizes, mandate the use of masks, etc. In-person classes in the Fall don't have to look exactly the same as in-person classes pre-COVID. That's my $0.02.

Policy-makers are looking at re-opening certain parts of society (see Saskatchewan's plan, for example). But the focus is generally on starting with the lower risk actitities (in terms of transmissibility) and more essential services (for example, health care services that are currently closed but are still important like dentists). Most university classes don't meet either of those criteria. There is no essential reason why most classes can't be online, so there's no real reason to push ahead with having them in person. And while you are right about students being at low risk for hospitalization and fatality, they are not at low risk for transmission. Taking hundreds of people from all over the country and putting them into closely confined classroom spaces does not create a low risk of transmission. Especially given that students are probably quite likely to use public transit, eat in crowded school cafeterias, and socialize in close quarters (tiny apartments, etc.).

Edit: some interviews with experts (I'm sure there are actual journal articles, but I'm busy) on why herd immunity may not be as practical as you suggest

https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/herd-immunity-why-this-risky-goal-isn-t-practical-for-covid-19-1.4911422

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/herd-immunity-should-not-be-supported-tam-says-1.5545332

 

Edited by ProfReader
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