I know Ultra Vires publishes a piece on the U of T recruit + grades every year (I’ve actually helped work on it in the past), but it’s always acknowledged that the survey can be quite biased/not totally representative for many reasons, plus it’s just a bunch of anonymous numbers without personal context. As such, if anyone has any anecdotal experience with grades/OCIs from U of T, insight would be appreciated!
Personally, my 1L grades were probably pretty below average (fingers crossed for better success this term!), although it’s tough to determine what “average” means at U of T and how employers look at our grades. On the other hand, I’d like to think I have a pretty extensive amount of relevant work/volunteer/extracurricular experience, so I’m truly not sure how I’ll fare.
Ah, I was under the assumption that this was a one-off or maybe a two-off.
On the one hand, what's another W if you already have a lot?
On the other hand, not having any more W's supports your upward trend.
On the third hand, if you take your licks and accept the poor midterm mark, you can still technically have an upward trend. Upward trends involve minor fluctuations, getting one bad mark doesn't undo the entire trend.
If you're not applying in the general category (as opposed to access), then I would keep the grade to demonstrate that you've overcome the things that made you withdraw from courses earlier in your degree. If you're applying access, take the W if you can explain the aspects of your life that necessitated withdrawing.
FWIW, I had poor marks in 1st/2nd year but my grades trended upwards as I continued. I still had some awful marks in my last 2 years, but they didn't undo the fact that overall I was clearly a better student than I used to be.
Your record is littered with Ws? That probably does influence the decision but I don't think anyone here can actually give you good advice about what to do.
I don't think law schools will care about the bare fact that you took an extra credit in second semester this year. If you think you can get a good grade in that extra course and it might ever so slightly increase your bad GPA then sure, do it, but from what you have already said about a job ruining your study habits common sense should be telling you not to overload unless you are required to by some technical definition within eligibility requirements. There is a risk that you end up with too much on your plate and multiple grades are depressed.