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nothingbutlawx

Help Me Decide My Undergraduate! (YorkU)

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9 minutes ago, ihatesuits777 said:

In reality I meant: easy classes > interesting classes with super tough graders, at least if you wanna get into a good law school

This is fairer.

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there is no easy degree. I took some stupid econ electives (they were especially easy) but I was not interested in them, it was hard to focus on it. do something you enjoy for 4 years. 

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19 hours ago, GoforGroia said:

I would think it is the most relevant to the field/most helpful to prepare you for law school. I would imagine this major would give you a taste of what a legal career entails and introduce you to a couple different possible areas of focus.

It's counter intuitive, but this isn't true at all. There is no undergraduate degree that will prepare you for law school more than any other. No undergrad program will even hint at what legal careers entail either. Law school doesn't even give you a taste of what a legal career entails. The only thing that will show you what it's like to be a lawyer is to work in a law firm.

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4 hours ago, ihatesuits777 said:

That isn't exactly what I did. Nothing fueled my intellectual curiosity like the years I had in university. I took many challenging courses in poli sci/econ/psyc. I even got over ambitious and tried to double major in econ and hurt what little GPA I had (I couldn't even do basic algebra when I started university). That being said, it was definitely worth challenging myself and I would do the same if I had to do it over again and I am happy to see that you are on board with personal growth.

I just wanted to warn him how much your professor matters in a subject like political science, especially if your aiming for a 3.7+ GPA, certain professors must be avoided. They are teaching interesting classes but the class average ends up being a 1.5 (literally the prof I was talking about) and your A+ effort nets you a B- at best.

edit: looking back at my initial post I see how I made it seem like I thought: easy classes > interesting classes

In reality I meant: easy classes > interesting classes with super tough graders, at least if you wanna get into a good law school

 

 

First I am a her lol but that out of the way, I completely agree with what you said about checking out the teacher's reputation and the way the grade. A professor can really make or brake your grade! I'm choosing the courses which interest me the most and then checking the way the professors operate in the classroom and how they grade. For example, let's say we have this super interesting course and there are two different professors teaching it. One prof. is completely superb and gives easy/lenient grades while the other is extremely "strict" and very nit-picky. Who wouldn't choose the easy prof? And if you are paying money (for education) might as well make the best of it and the professors that are available.

My entire high school education was filled with just completely awful teachers so I relied only on myself to teach myself the subjects but one day I got enrolled in a law class and had the most brilliant teacher and he completely changed the way I view academics and my grades skyrocketed. 

Overall, I agree with your original statement! (Also if it makes you feel any better, I can barely do basic algebra as well lol).

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2 hours ago, canuckfanatic said:

It's counter intuitive, but this isn't true at all. There is no undergraduate degree that will prepare you for law school more than any other. No undergrad program will even hint at what legal careers entail either. Law school doesn't even give you a taste of what a legal career entails. The only thing that will show you what it's like to be a lawyer is to work in a law firm.

I believe what the original comment was trying to say in terms of " would imagine this major would give you a taste of what a legal career entails and introduce you to a couple different possible areas of focus." is that the major could possibly introduce/expose me to various law fields of interest (family, criminal, business, environmental, etc.). I think it's fairly common sense at this point that no undergraduate degree will prepare you for law school, let alone a law career. 

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8 hours ago, TooYoung said:

It also might be worth mentioning that minors do exist for a reason. I majored in Crim and needed to take a summer course in my second year. Intro to Poli Sci worked best with my schedule (despite having no knowledge of the field).

I wound up loving it, pursuing it as a minor, and working in the field through various student jobs/during my year off after undergrad. That knowledge has helped me more than my major ever has. 

It's of course good to have goals for the future but don't pursue them so intently that you forget to live in the present. You just might find new passions that you never expected.

My point being: Do what interests you now and change course as appropriate. As long as you do it well, law school remains to be attainable. What becomes increasingly difficult to do if you don't do what interests you now is having other options for your future that might be more aligned with your interests. 

I think that there's a massive flaw in how high schools frame the job market to students. It isn't so rigid. There is so much more to the workforce than doctors, lawyers, engineers, [insert any other basic job title]. By studying an area that actually interests you, you may be surprised to find that there are jobs that exist that you will find endlessly more interesting than the law; jobs which you didn't even know existed prior to studying whatever field that interests you.

That very fact almost had me forego law school altogether. 

I definitely will look into various minors! Even though I think your advice was extremely lovely and accurate for others out there, I'm pretty set on my goals and my future. I have been thoroughly investigating the job market and learning about various different jobs since I was 12, my job choice of becoming a lawyer never swayed, if anything it became more rigid and set in stone. I truly am very passionate about the law and justice and no other career peaks my interest as much as becoming a lawyer. 

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29 minutes ago, nothingbutlawx said:

I believe what the original comment was trying to say in terms of " would imagine this major would give you a taste of what a legal career entails and introduce you to a couple different possible areas of focus." is that the major could possibly introduce/expose me to various law fields of interest (family, criminal, business, environmental, etc.). I think it's fairly common sense at this point that no undergraduate degree will prepare you for law school, let alone a law career. 

Might not teach you legal skills but the right major just might increase your curiosity and lead you to doing your own research

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It's great to set goals, and carefully consider decisions that might help you achieve them. Going to law school can be a great goal.

But I think that one problem with concerning yourself with taking the easiest major is not just that you can't guarantee what the easiest major will be for you. You can't. But I think even trying is focusing on the wrong goal. Maybe it's the best way to be accepted to law school, but is that *really* your goal? Getting into law school, or even graduating law school are some pretty shallow external measures for goals. What does anyone get out of that except that some people find it impressive?

I assume your real goal is a career you find satisfying, lucrative, challenging, interesting, impressive (lol), or whatever. Taking the easiest major and trying to take easy classes is probably the worst preparation for that goal. 

Once you get into law school, you have to actually do law school, and compete against students, most of whom did at least as well as you did in undergrad, and many (if not most, I don't know!) of whom didn't choose their major by what was easiest. 

If your goal is to do well in law school, and become a good lawyer, choose a degree and classes that will challenge you and force you to think in new ways. 

Most (if not all?) law schools drop some classes in their GPA calculations, and there's something to be said for getting some bad grades and learning to overcome them by learning from your mistakes. 

 

 

Edited by feraenaturae
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On 4/10/2020 at 11:46 PM, nothingbutlawx said:

not the greatest at math

You’ll fit right in with like 99% of the students in 1L torts when the prof asks to calculate damages. 
 

On a more serious note, select the degree you will be most passionate in and that fits you interests. I say this for a few reasons. First, you’ll likely find more success when you study something you enjoy. Second, your passion can lead to other opportunities that can assist in a law school application, such as TA positions, volunteer work etc. Finally, should law school not pan out, you’ll have set yourself up to enter into a career you enjoy and could work in. 

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Honestly if I could go back to my first year of university I’d make sure I got all my required courses out of the way so I could study abroad for a semester or two. I found personally that there was little difference between options 2, 3 and 4.

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If you're leaning towards an area/major because it's interesting, I'd say pursue it-- at least take some courses. Generally speaking, if you like it, you'll genuinely enjoy learning, apply yourself more, and do better in courses. 

Also, you may not want to make these decisions too soon since you don't seem to have your heart set on a major. You might be interested in an area, see what it's like in a course, and then find out that you actually hate studying it. I'm not sure how York's undergrad is structured, but my alma mater doesn't allow students declare a major until after second year so I'm guessing that York at least allows you some time to decide or switch.

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I'm going to say this bluntly because I speak from experience. Others on this board will probably disagree but this is my 2 cents. 

I graduated high school with a top 6 of about 96% including 2 maths. I ended up doing a really challenging business/finance program knowing that getting high grades would be difficult (the school graded all of us on a really really tight curve). The second I accepted my undergrad offer for this program, my chances of getting into a top 3 law school in Canada dwindled. The program required that all classes be belled to a B average, which is a 3.0 on the OLSAS scale. Only about 15% of every class would get As as per the curve. Seldom any A+s would be given out. So as you can imagine, this program had 400 kids with 90%+ high school averages fighting like rats to get into the top 15% (A). I killed myself in undergrad to get to a 3.65 cGPA. Not only was the quality of the work particularly difficult, but outcompeting the rest of the class for an A was rough. Having done electives outside of my program, I never got anything lower than an A (I took history, political science, economics electives). Had I done an easier program, I feel like I could've had a much better chance at one of the top Canadian law schools, and even some second-tier US schools. The most frustrating part is that law schools in Canada don't really care about how difficult your undergrad program was. They say they do but I really don't think it's the case. If a person from a humanities major with a 3.8 and a 165 and a person from a STEM major with a 3.5 and 165 (3.5 in science, tech, math, etc is really fantastic) are competing for the last spot at a school, all else being equal (ECs, statements, etc), they'll take the person from the easier major all day long because their GPA is significantly higher. 

Remember, to be competitive for top Canadian schools, you'll need mostly As (3.8 on OLSAS). At U of T in particular, the median in 2019 was 3.87, so you'd need a mix of both As and A+s on average. B+s KILL you on the OLSAS scale because a B+ is a 3.3... 3.3 doesn't get you anywhere NEAR the median for top Canadian schools. You can always counterbalance it with a high LSAT, but that's easier said than done. If you look at the class profiles for top schools, you'll see that humanities and social sciences make up the majority. You'll see very few STEM majors, etc. Is this because students taking humanities and social sciences are more predisposed to going into law or is it because these degrees invariably allow them to have higher GPAs? I think it's a bit of both. I know a few people from STEM programs who were interested in law school but were discouraged from applying because of their GPA. 

So, my advice is take something that you're interested in, but also take something that you know will increase your chances of getting a competitive GPA. A lot of people will say this is the wrong advice but getting into law school is a rat race. By doing a difficult program, you're shooting yourself in the foot even before the race starts. 

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Like half of the UofT class is STEM and finance and they do adjust based on your undergraduate program. 

OP, think beyond law school. If you change your mind about law school and you graduate with a criminology degree, good luck finding work without a PhD. 

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15 minutes ago, JK56711 said:

I've heard that "Pre-law" degrees like Crim and Law and Society are among the worst possible choices for an undergrad degree.

If you mean in relation to their LSAT score, it's more of a selection bias because there are hordes of idiots who think "pre-law degree"=automatically high LSAT score, so they don't study properly. This occurs with the MCAT as well — on average, non-specialized biology students get a lower MCAT score than every other applicant with a STEM degree.

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Hey! I go to York, but graduated from the Professional Writing & English program.

I have a ton of friends who did all of those majors, and Law & Society definitely will have the biggest relation to law. Many of the courses offer you the chance to do mock trials, critique major SCC decisions, and discuss jurisprudence in general. If you're genuinely interested in the law it would be a great segway. Not sure which would be the 'easiest' though; I think that largely depends on what you genuinely enjoy learning about. Here are some insider tips about the programs from a York student:

York's psych program is absolutely massive, so make sure you are okay sitting in 500-700 people lectures and having large tutorial classes. Lots of people talk. It's kind of a grind. The BA is easier than the Bsc I've heard.

I don't know much about our crim program, so can't comment on that.

Poli Sci at York is great. Also very large, but not as big as psych. Some of the courses will also let you research legal topics, but it will also allow you to explore political science in general, giving you a nice combination of info related and unrelated to your future legal studies. 

Hope this helps :) If you have any questions about York please feel free to ask! Did my BA there and am also finishing my MA there. 

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1 hour ago, JK56711 said:

Consider taking Philosophy, It would be a tremendous help for the LSAT. I've heard that "Pre-law" degrees like Crim and Law and Society are among the worst possible choices for an undergrad degree. 

 

http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/arts/departments/philosophy/media/Average_LSAT_Scores_by_Major.pdf

Studying philosophy (while completely worthwhile in itself, according to my completely unbiased opinion) is worth it for the LSAT alone. Seriously, logic 101 and the exegetical training you'll receive is pretty much all you need for the LSAT. Maybe some practice with logic games, but it's the same principle.

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2 hours ago, lolnope said:

Like half of the UofT class is STEM and finance and they do adjust based on your undergraduate program. 

OP, think beyond law school. If you change your mind about law school and you graduate with a criminology degree, good luck finding work without a PhD. 

https://issuu.com/facultyoflawnexusmagazine/docs/jd_guide_2019_-_2020
 

That’s not what it says here 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, HopefulLawyer97 said:

That’s not what it says here

20% business kids, 17% STEM, 6% "interdisciplinary" which is where all the Health Sci, iSci, and ArtSci kids fall under. Fuck it 40% is close enough to 50%.

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