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Ichigo

How's the Quality of Life at UVic and UBC?

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I'm based in BC, and due to personal and financial circumstances I can only really chose to attend either school. I enjoy both Vancouver and Victoria; however, I would like to know more about life at either school. I'm aware that there's a lot of studying, reading and a lot of the student body is stressed; however, outside of that how happy are the people? Does one school have a greater sense of community than another? 

Both schools are great, but if I'm accepted to both I'd like to attend the school that allows me to be the happiest. 

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I don't think you can wrong with either. I'm at UBC and it's superb. QoL was a big reason why I chose Allard, and I don't regret my decision at all. Obviously, most of us were stressed during 1L and truthfully 2L has not translated to the 2lol that most people make it out to be with grades still counting toward OCIs and all, but there is definitely a sense of collegiality in that we're all miserable together. My best friends today are the people I cried with in the library at midnight last year not understanding resulting vs constructive trusts, and I'm sure you'll find the same next year!

Both UVic and UBC are great schools. Everyone I've met from UVic Law through moots and extracurricular competitions have been very kind and sociable. I don't think you could make a wrong choice with regards to being happy: we've all got a leg up over our Ontario compatriots who are attending schools so far from the beautiful mountains and beaches that we spend our study breaks at! 

You can't make a wrong choice happiness-wise. It'd be more about you deciding which city you'd rather live in for three years, since both tend to do fairly well in placing in Vancouver biglaw and Victoria government jobs. 

Pick the city, not the school: you'll be as happy as you can be as a law student at either 🙃

 

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I made the choice with UVic and UBC a couple of years ago and went with the former. My decision rested on my area of interest and the experiences of alumni who work in that field.

I like the UVic Law community. We're a smaller school and, as such, everyone knows everyone. The law building is called "Fraser High" because it really is like a high school. We do have some fun traditions that some fear will be lost after a year of online learning, but I'm sure other schools are experiencing the same thing.

Fraser is a bit of a bubble. Because most of us aren't from Victoria, its a very tight-knit community and we're quite involved in each other's lives. I've heard from a friend that UBC is more of a commuter school, but I think this largely depends on the choices you make about where you're going to live and who you choose to hang out with. UVic also has a number of students who completely checked out after first year.

I like the city of Victoria but the ferries have been a serious pain. You should consider this if you have family in Vancouver or plan on visiting often. I'm looking forward to the day when I don't have to deal with them anymore. I've also noticed that Victoria has much better weather than Vancouver. I'm going to miss that aspect a lot. I also do think one of the things I appreciate the most is that I'm still going to have friends once I move back that since many people are going to Vancouver after they graduate.

I'm happy to chat more about this over DM if you like. As others have mentioned, I don't think you can go wrong with either school.

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On 9/20/2020 at 10:01 PM, Ichigo said:

I'm based in BC, and due to personal and financial circumstances I can only really chose to attend either school. I enjoy both Vancouver and Victoria; however, I would like to know more about life at either school. I'm aware that there's a lot of studying, reading and a lot of the student body is stressed; however, outside of that how happy are the people? Does one school have a greater sense of community than another? 

Both schools are great, but if I'm accepted to both I'd like to attend the school that allows me to be the happiest. 

All things considered, I don’t think UBC and UVic differ much. It depends on the person. I’m sure both schools have a mix of personality types. I know, anecdotally, that UVic is more “social justice oriented” than UBC but that speaks more about the collective culture of the school and not individual students. 

Most of the responses will be from people who’ve only gone to one of either UVic or UBC law (not both) and we will tell you that our respective school is “collegial.”

I went to UBC for undergrad and I’m currently here as a 3L. Beautiful campus and beautiful building. I made amazing friends, but the competitive air is very palpable - at least until I leave the building. Of course, things are different due to COVID and we don’t know how long the current situation will last. The advice above assume pre-COVID, which makes sense but may or may not be your reality if/when you start law school.

Edited by Psychometronic
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On 9/20/2020 at 11:17 PM, Nerfing said:

I don't think you can wrong with either. I'm at UBC and it's superb. QoL was a big reason why I chose Allard, and I don't regret my decision at all. Obviously, most of us were stressed during 1L and truthfully 2L has not translated to the 2lol that most people make it out to be with grades still counting toward OCIs and all, but there is definitely a sense of collegiality in that we're all miserable together. My best friends today are the people I cried with in the library at midnight last year not understanding resulting vs constructive trusts, and I'm sure you'll find the same next year!

Both UVic and UBC are great schools. Everyone I've met from UVic Law through moots and extracurricular competitions have been very kind and sociable. I don't think you could make a wrong choice with regards to being happy: we've all got a leg up over our Ontario compatriots who are attending schools so far from the beautiful mountains and beaches that we spend our study breaks at! 

You can't make a wrong choice happiness-wise. It'd be more about you deciding which city you'd rather live in for three years, since both tend to do fairly well in placing in Vancouver biglaw and Victoria government jobs. 

Pick the city, not the school: you'll be as happy as you can be as a law student at either 🙃

 

Thanks for your comment. The mountains really are a huge benefit and something that I'm really thankful for. 

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On 9/23/2020 at 10:26 PM, Psychometronic said:

I made amazing friends, but the competitive air is very palpable - at least until I leave the building. Of course, things are different due to COVID and we don’t know how long the current situation will last. The advice above assume pre-COVID, which makes sense but may or may not be your reality if/when you start law school.

I know this may derail the discussion but this topic interests me. UVic students say that UBC is more competitive but we don't know that for sure. I've been told it has improved over the past decade. We had a student who did a visiting semester at UBC and she said it was extremely competitive, but I wonder whether this differs depending on the courses and across different cohorts of students.

We also say that UVic Law doesn't have much of a competitive vibe (of course this may vary among groups of friends) but, for instance, no one knows who won the course prizes unless they've been told (I don't personally share information about my awards or scholarships) or who won the gold medal in the last few years. It's a bit taboo to speak about one's grades. We don't get a chart of grade distributions so no one knows how well they're actually doing academically until they start applying for jobs and clerkships.

But most of these measures are deliberately put in place by the faculty. I think its interesting how that can set the tone for the student body. Maybe more schools should start doing things like this - it is definitely less stressful this way.

 

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33 minutes ago, LeninaCrowne said:

I know this may derail the discussion but this topic interests me. UVic students say that UBC is more competitive but we don't know that for sure. I've been told it has improved over the past decade. We had a student who did a visiting semester at UBC and she said it was extremely competitive, but I wonder whether this differs depending on the courses and across different cohorts of students.

We also say that UVic Law doesn't have much of a competitive vibe (of course this may vary among groups of friends) but, for instance, no one knows who won the course prizes unless they've been told (I don't personally share information about my awards or scholarships) or who won the gold medal in the last few years. It's a bit taboo to speak about one's grades. We don't get a chart of grade distributions so no one knows how well they're actually doing academically until they start applying for jobs and clerkships.

But most of these measures are deliberately put in place by the faculty. I think its interesting how that can set the tone for the student body. Maybe more schools should start doing things like this - it is definitely less stressful this way.

 

I think Allard students are competitive overall. It is very obvious. I can't say I know what the culture at UVic is like, but I'd be surprised if there isn't at least some sense of competition at any law school.

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I didn't get much of a competitiveness vibe when I went to UBC.  It certainly wasn't encouraged or instilled by faculty.   People didn't talk about their marks much, they aren't posted, and course prizes aren't announced.

 

Of course the student body changes year to year, so your mileage may vary.

Edited by kurrika

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2 hours ago, kurrika said:

I didn't get much of a competitiveness vibe when I went to UBC.  It certainly wasn't encouraged or instilled by faculty.   People didn't talk about their marks much, they aren't posted, and course prizes aren't announced.

Of course the student body changes year to year, so your mileage may vary.

Having attended a few law schools, I found the UBC student body to be comparably extremely polished and qualified. But they were also disproportionately type-A personalities, with the normal asocial vibes typical of Vancouver. 

I would term the atmosphere at Allard to be more anxious than competitive. To be fair, I actually felt at home at UBC (Oscar the Grouch is my spirit animal). 

My best friend went to UVic and comparably the atmosphere seemed more relaxed.

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