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AlwaysDulyNoted

Advice on References for Waitlist-type Profile

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Hi everyone!

I searched for a similar question on here and couldn't find one, forgive me if this is repetitive. Mature applicant here. I'll be applying to Osgoode this year and have a not-horrible-not-amazing academic profile (LSAT 159, cGPA in undergrad 3.5) but great extracurriculars in undergrad, Master's degree with a cool internship, and great professional experience. I have applied to Osgoode (4 years ago, without as much professional experience) and was waitlisted. I'm really hoping to make my personal statement and references pop, to highlight my professional experiences and skills.

To that end, I'm stuck on what to do regarding my references. Osgoode strongly recommends one academic reference. I've got one excellent academic reference down as my #1 reference in OLSAS, and am now choosing who my second "ranked" reference should be. My question is: given my profile - for which I think it makes sense to stress my professional skills/experiences since I left undergrad - would you recommend I choose an excellent community engagement reference (I have volunteered in the Violence Against Women sector for two years, and am planning on referencing the feminist advocacy clinical program on VAW in my personal statement), or would you choose a second academic reference? I plan on including all three in my OLSAS application (2 academic, 1 community) but am unsure how to rank the community engagement reference versus the second academic one. I am leaning towards the community engagement person being my #2, but I worry that I am overstating how much Osgoode will value this experience, and that a second academic reference would be preferable. I'd really appreciate any advice you might have. Thank you!

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I had a similar profile to yours, and I ultimately opted for 2 academic references. My rationale was that weaker academic portions need further support, so my professors attesting to my academic ability was better in indicating to recruitment that I can succeed in law school. However, given the holistic nature of assessment, I don't think there's too much riding on this, so you can't really go wrong. 

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You may be overthink it. 

Waitlist is a reflection of the applicant pool, not of you. You met Osgoode's requirements, they just didn't have room for you.

I highly doubt what order you put the three references in will matter at all. 

My suggestion is get your application in and maybe think about applying somewhere else as well. 

Good luck. 

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