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Legalhope

Opinion - Bond University remote

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Longtime lurker. I know how not great an option Bond is. 

My undergraduate grades are 7-10 years old. My cGPA was not stellar but I went to U of T. My grades show a substantial upward swing in year 3 and 4. I have 80s and 90s in 4th year. I have a fail and a DNC in first year which is killing the cGPA. When I remove those, my cGPA jumps from 2.48 to 3.3+  I screwed up first year and it continues to haunt me.

My LSAT hovers around 150 and has for years. I have written it 4 times. I have done self-study, I did the Oxford course and the free repeat session, and I hired a private tutor. My score truly does not move more than 5 points in either direction. 

I'm a mature student. I'm married. I own a home. I have 10+ years work experience as a law clerk. I have 10+ years of volunteer experience with disabled children. 

I have applied to Canadian schools since 2017. 5+ rejections, 1 waitlist (Ottawa, this year). Yes I geared towards holistic schools because my cGPA is my biggest concern. 

Bond has been my plan B since I started applying (well, plan D really). I consider it the "cleanest dirty shirt" when it comes to overseas schools because of the Canadian content they offer. 

Due to COVID, Bond has moved to remote for the next semester or two. They are also offering a reduction on tuition by 10%. 

If I can do remote, I can continue to work my current job and live at home with my husband. I'd save the cost of living for now. As is, I would have to go to Australia in May 2021 - unless NCA makes further changes to their in-class requirements. 

Would you pull the trigger and make the leap at this point? Or would you continue to wait, hope, and reapply again next year. 

Edited by Legalhope
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I'm an applicant, not a student/lawyer yet, but pretty much everyone is going to tell you to not do Bond. If you got 80s/90s in your last year, is there a particular reason you never considered doing another year of undergrad? I've heard Robson Hall will consider second degrees. (I'm not sure about elsewhere, but at UBC, if you already have an undergrad you can do a second in two years.) Maybe also look at Ryerson if you haven't already. Other than that... are there no options you're considering aside from law school?

Edited by lh22

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It sounds like you've wanted to do this for a long time, and been working at it for years. If you have exhausted all your options, and you still want to be a lawyer and practice law, then Bond is not a bad idea. This is contrary to advice I usually give on this topic, but in some cases, it does make sense to pursue a foreign law degree, and you appear to be one of these exceptions. 

However, I do have a few lingering questions:

Have you considered pursuing another undergraduate degree?

What are your career goals?

Do you have any alternative career paths besides law you can/would pursue?

Which schools did you apply to in the previous cycles? If you were to reapply, would your application be any different from the previous years?

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1 hour ago, Legalhope said:

Longtime lurker. I know how not great an option Bond is. 

My undergraduate grades are 7-10 years old. My cGPA was not stellar but I went to U of T. My grades show a substantial upward swing in year 3 and 4. I have 80s and 90s in 4th year. I have a fail and a DNC in first year which is killing the cGPA. When I remove those, my cGPA jumps from 2.48 to 3.3+  I screwed up first year and it continues to haunt me.

My LSAT hovers around 150 and has for years. I have written it 4 times. I have done self-study, I did the Oxford course and the free repeat session, and I hired a private tutor. My score truly does not move more than 5 points in either direction. 

I'm a mature student. I'm married. I own a home. I have 10+ years work experience as a law clerk. I have 10+ years of volunteer experience with disabled children. 

I have applied to Canadian schools since 2017. 5+ rejections, 1 waitlist (Ottawa, this year). Yes I geared towards holistic schools because my cGPA is my biggest concern. 

Bond has been my plan B since I started applying (well, plan D really). I consider it the "cleanest dirty shirt" when it comes to overseas schools because of the Canadian content they offer. 

Due to COVID, Bond has moved to remote for the next semester or two. They are also offering a reduction on tuition by 10%. 

If I can do remote, I can continue to work my current job and live at home with my husband. I'd save the cost of living for now. As is, I would have to go to Australia in May 2021 - unless NCA makes further changes to their in-class requirements. 

Would you pull the trigger and make the leap at this point? Or would you continue to wait, hope, and reapply again next year. 

You should have post here 3 years ago.

Some schools (not all) accept grades after you graduate. You should consider going back to university for one year to boost your L2/B2 and GPA.

Hire a private tutor for LSAT. 

Apply broadly to Canadian schools.

Foreign law school is not a good nor viable choice.

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30 minutes ago, Deadpool said:

It sounds like you've wanted to do this for a long time, and been working at it for years. If you have exhausted all your options, and you still want to be a lawyer and practice law, then Bond is not a bad idea. This is contrary to advice I usually give on this topic, but in some cases, it does make sense to pursue a foreign law degree, and you appear to be one of these exceptions. 

However, I do have a few lingering questions:

Have you considered pursuing another undergraduate degree?

What are your career goals?

Do you have any alternative career paths besides law you can/would pursue?

Which schools did you apply to in the previous cycles? If you were to reapply, would your application be any different from the previous years?

Thanks Deadpool, I was hoping you would chime in.

I have considered another undergraduate degree. Ultimately it comes down to sinking more time and money into a "what if" - if I boost my GPA with a second degree, my LSAT is still a significant limiting factor. 

I've spent 10 years in family law so my career goals are along the lines of mediator, OCL, or general family law counsel.

I have had jobs "on Bay Street" with ultra high income clients in downtown Toronto. That stress level wasn't for me and I want no part of it in my next stage of my career. I'm not looking to be in big law ever again.

Alternative career paths - not really, no. I've been working in law firms since I was 18. It's something I've always wanted. I like my current job, but I want more. I know I am capable of more. I've personally worked with UK / foreign grads in various firms and the fact that I often know more - specifically about procedure-  or correct their drafting as a senior clerk keeps encouraging me to proceed to law school. 

I have no interest in being a paralegal. Quite frankly they often make less than I do now and there's no space for them in family law currently.

I bombed first year university over a decade ago and I continue to struggle with the LSAT (the move from paper to digital format did me no favours either). I feel I am "aging out" as I'm turning 30 in the near future and I am concerned that I would be 33-35 as a first year junior at this point given my current acceptance struggle. 

As someone who is already working full time towards the higher end of my prospective earning capacity as a law clerk, I also need to factor in the cost of law school + my loss of current income during the years I'm in school. It makes returning to school even more expensive, which is why I decided against returning for further undergraduate programs. 

Again, I'm married and have a mortgage. I'm not 22 and fresh out of school. I have commitments and responsibilities. The simple fact that I can do it remotely, still live with my husband and continue to work is very, very tempting. 

I applied to Western, Windsor, Winnipeg, Ryerson, Ottawa, and Osgoode (for giggles). I also applied to Albany NY, Michigan State, and Bond. 

Albany and Michigan waitlisted me this year as well. But ultimately I was not called. 

Unless I scored 15+ points higher on my LSAT (hahahaha) my application would not be dramatically different next year. 

Edited by Legalhope
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My profile is chock full of my thoughts on Bond, as a Bond graduate. 

Feel free to PM me if you want to discuss with someone that has lived the NCA experience from a Bond perspective. 

My question: with your experience as a law clerk, do you have connections in the industry that will allow you to network a job? 

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19 minutes ago, Luckycharm said:

Hire a private tutor for LSAT. 

She already did that.

20 minutes ago, Luckycharm said:

Apply broadly to Canadian schools.

I agree that 5+ rejections indicates that OP probably hasn't applied broadly enough. Many people receive more rejections in a single application cycle. 

Off the top of my head I would apply to TRU, Calgary, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Dalhousie, Queen's, Western, Lakehead, Ryerson, UNB, Osgoode, Windsor, Ottawa. However, that's hundreds of dollars spent in applications so I understand why someone would hesitate to send that many out. That said, if you've already spent this much time and effort on trying to get into law school then you might as well.

1 hour ago, Legalhope said:

I have a fail and a DNC in first year which is killing the cGPA. When I remove those, my cGPA jumps from 2.48 to 3.3+  I screwed up first year and it continues to haunt me.

I failed a course in my 1st year of undergrad, had numerous grades in the 50-60% range, had a cGPA of ~2.95 (L2 of 3.4) and got into a Canadian school on my first application cycle. That was K-JD with no extensive work experience (albeit a good LSAT at 164).

Many schools drop some or all of your 1st year marks when calculating your GPA. 

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38 minutes ago, Luckycharm said:

You should have post here 3 years ago.

I can't get over how snarky and unhelpful this is

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14 minutes ago, driedupwaterparks said:

My profile is chock full of my thoughts on Bond, as a Bond graduate. 

Feel free to PM me if you want to discuss with someone that has lived the NCA experience from a Bond perspective. 

My question: with your experience as a law clerk, do you have connections in the industry that will allow you to network a job? 

Likely yes. At each firm I was at, the lawyer I was supporting has written me a letter of recommendation for law school.

I have a "standing invitation" to article with 3 of the counsel I worked for as well. Who knows - when push comes to shove and in the post covid economy - what that really amounts to.

Edited by Legalhope

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11 minutes ago, Tagger said:

How have you studied for the LSAT so far? 

Please see my original post. 

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Just now, Legalhope said:

Please see my original post. 

I'm asking how you approached studying for the LSAT, not which courses and instructors you used. Oxford Prep is a relatively unconventional choice as far as LSAT prep materials are concerned. 

You may have taken the LSAT several times, but it's possible that you studied incorrectly and still have room to improve. If you do, it's likely still the path of least resistance to starting a legal career in Canada. 

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42 minutes ago, Legalhope said:

I have a "standing invitation" to article with 3 of the counsel I worked for as well. Who knows - when push comes to shove and in the post covid economy - what that really amounts to.

Presuming these lawyers work in family law, I think there's a way forward here.

Step one is to approach the lawyer you'd most want to article for, and tell them that (1) you've been accepted to Bond, (2) you'd like to accept and you think this is the best way to get into the field, and (3) you would be attending on the presumption that their offer was serious, and that you can count on them for an articling position when you get back.

See how they respond. If they're tentative - or discourage you from attending on that presumption - then  go to the next of the three, and so on. If none of the three are willing to give you a confident commitment, knowing your situation, then hit the brakes.

IF you really don't think you can get your LSAT appreciably higher, IF you have a fairly reliable articling position lined up, and IF that position is in the field that you ultimately want to practice, and IF you would be content going into that field as a sole practitioner and making your own way, and IF you've weighed the financial risk/reward -- then I think this is not inherently a mistake.

Edited by whereverjustice
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10 minutes ago, Tagger said:

I'm asking how you approached studying for the LSAT, not which courses and instructors you used. Oxford Prep is a relatively unconventional choice as far as LSAT prep materials are concerned. 

You may have taken the LSAT several times, but it's possible that you studied incorrectly and still have room to improve. If you do, it's likely still the path of least resistance to starting a legal career in Canada. 

Fair point. 

7sage method was the foundation. I also used LSAC superprep and past tests. 

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12 minutes ago, Legalhope said:

Fair point. 

7sage method was the foundation. I also used LSAC superprep and past tests. 

Then as difficult as it must be for you to hear, I'd recommend revisiting the LSAT. This is a telltale sign that you meshed a variety of different prep materials together instead of gradually building your fundamental skills. If you were scoring in the 145-155 range, you weren't ready to work with full tests, let alone take the real thing. 

Edited by Tagger

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1 hour ago, Legalhope said:

I feel I am "aging out" as I'm turning 30 in the near future and I am concerned that I would be 33-35 as a first year junior at this point given my current acceptance struggle. 

I just want to chime and say that you are NOT aging out of law school! Personally, I took time off between undergrad and law school and was in my 30s by the time I was called. There were people who took more time off as well and were starting law school in their 30s. Some schools have mature applicant categories. 

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1 hour ago, canuckfanatic said:

I can't get over how snarky and unhelpful this is

First day on this board? Haha. 

Edited by driedupwaterparks
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4 minutes ago, driedupwaterparks said:

First day on this board? Haha. 

Sometimes I think people are on here to talk to users the way they wish they could talk to clients

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38 minutes ago, azure said:

I just want to chime and say that you are NOT aging out of law school! Personally, I took time off between undergrad and law school and was in my 30s by the time I was called. There were people who took more time off as well and were starting law school in their 30s. Some schools have mature applicant categories. 

I know it's a bit irrational :)

30 is the new 20! 

I just don't want to be so far behind the pack out of the gate, so to speak.

I did apply to mature applicant categories at various schools. From 2017 to present. No luck. 

Edited by Legalhope
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43 minutes ago, Tagger said:

Then as difficult as it must be for you to hear, I'd recommend revisiting the LSAT. This is a telltale sign that you meshed a variety of different prep materials together instead of gradually building your fundamental skills. If you were scoring in the 145-155 range, you weren't ready to work with full tests, let alone take the real thing. 

Wait, what? Four retakes, courses, tutoring, and you still think the OP wasn't sufficiently prepared? 

My interpretation of this situation, being stable with a decent career and home/family would be that you should focus on other things. It is not worth upending your life for years accruing large costs to hopefully become a lawyer. 

I'm a bit of a curmudgeon, but I genuinely feel this is important, an LSAT score hovering around 150 after so much effort would seriously concern me. Once you factor in answers where you simply guessed correctly, you are missing half of the questions including a lot of the easy ones. Verbal reasoning and reading comprehension are the most important skills to me as a lawyer. 

I can't help but recall a colleague in my cohort of law school, who was also a mature student with a successful career who made it into law school in spite of a poor LSAT. I remember her going to office hours, being in the library late and working really hard. Unfortunately, I also remember her frequently being upset because she couldn't understand some case and feeling bad for her then and worse when I found out that she failed out. 

 

 

 

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