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SamSam1995

Online 1L vs In-person (OCI questions)

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Posted (edited)

Hi all,

I was accepted to Queen's Law and they have mentioned that 1L will include in-person and online components, but students have the option of moving to Kingston or doing remote learning.

 

I'm leaning on remote learning for the following reasons:

- I live in Toronto so not moving to Kingston will save me thousands in rent and food

- there will only be around 1-2 hours of in person stuff going on per week

- 1L is mostly a deep studying period anyways, not the time to really socialize and go out 

- Inevitable 2nd wave of COVID19 coming in September

 

However, some reasons I'm thinking of going to Kingston:

- Social factors (meeting the community)

- Missing out on legal clubs and extracurriculars

 

So far, it seems the former outweighs the latter for me. 

But, I'm concerned if I don't have much legal experience (ProBono work or Legal Aid from fall term) by year 2, this can affect my fortitude for OCI interviews in 2L.

Do OCIs care much about extracurriculars or is it mostly 1L grades based? (If grades based then Im going remote)

Edited by SamSam1995

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Posted (edited)

I am in a similar situation as you, but another Ontario school. I want to participate in ECs (clinics, moots) but want to stay at home with my family too. it's a tough situation, but I am leaning towards moving and sacrificing my quality of life to have a successful 1L. I'm guessing there would be upper years to help us understand law school too if you move, so there is that I cannot imagine trying to do law school the first semester alone. if I was in second or 3 year, I would definitely do it online 

Edited by jatthopefullawyer
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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, SamSam1995 said:

Do OCIs care much about extracurriculars or is it mostly 1L grades based? (If grades based then Im going remote)

Extracurriculars like clinics are nice especially if you want to show an interest in something such as advocacy for litigation boutiques. However, it's mostly gonna be your grades that get you OCIs. This is especially true if you're going for big law where it isn't as important to show an interest in something specific. You can do all the extracurriculars in 1L that you want but if you have a straight B average (at Queen's) you'll probably only get like 5 OCIs out of 40+ apps. Conversely, if you finish in the top 10% of your class you'll probably get an OCI from almost all the firms you apply to regardless of your extracurriculars. 

33 minutes ago, jatthopefullawyer said:

I am in a similar situation as you, but another Ontario school. I want to participate in ECs (clinics, moots) but want to stay at home with my family too. it's a tough situation, but I am leaning towards moving and sacrificing my quality of life to have a successful 1L. I'm guessing there would be upper years to help us understand law school too if you move, so there is that I cannot imagine trying to do law school the first semester alone. if I was in second or 3 year, I would definitely do it online 

Not sure about the specific opportunities at your school but at Queen's you can get an upper year tutor from the school who finished in the top 20% or so of their year to help with school as well as provide general advice. The upper-year tutors can probably be moved to zoom without losing much of the benefit though. 

I personally also found clinic work in 1L to just be a line on my resume but maybe that was specific to my experience. Upper-year clinic work is much more intensive. If you think you might be interested in advocacy, mooting is definitely a great experience but the extent to which 1Ls have opportunities to moot varies from school to school. Queen's pretty much only has 1 competitive 1L moot (inter-school) which is the Hicks Moot and then there's a Litigation Society Moot that's purely internal to 1L Queen's students.

Whether you decide to move to your law school or not is going to depend on your own circumstances. I'm personally going to be returning to Queen's in the fall even if my classes are remote. If I were a 1L, I wouldn't be the type who wanted to take any risks with my grades especially because we're not sure if hiring will take a dip for the next couple years as a result of the economic backlash from COVID. I find in-person learning to be a benefit, especially discussions with the prof after class/at office hours. Conversely, finances aren't too much of a concern for me personally. You're right that 1L is a deep studying period though and nobody can do the readings for you. If you don't feel like you'll take too much of a hit from remote learning, you don't want to take the financial hit, and you'll find it to be too much of a disruption if a second-wave of COVID forces you to move home mid-semester then you're different from me and staying home might be the best option. 

Edited by QMT20
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