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hellohi

U of A, U of C, UBC, UVic differences

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Hello all, I was just curious if anyone had any thoughts on the pros and cons of each of these four law schools? I have always had a general interest in law, but only recently did I make the decision to pursue it as one of my potential careers. As such, I don't have as much insight into the nuances of various legal subfields as most regular users on this site I would wager. That being said, I do have an interest in corporate law, and I would also want to settle in a bigger city for my career eventually. Would any of these schools be more conducive to these goals of mine? I do understand that going to the U of A would give me more connections to Edmonton, UBC to Vancouver, and so forth. However, I am also concerned with networking and summer placement opportunities beyond the city in which my law school is located. I have heard that UBC provides some amount of opportunity to land jobs out east- something I haven’t heard about with the other schools I am considering.

Any insights would be appreciated. Thanks everyone!

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generally you want to study where you'll practice, it's going to be a lot easier to make connection, set up and go to interviews if it's local. That being said things might be different now with work from home. I think the bottom is go where you want to go, the rest will figure itself out. It's not impossible to work out east if you go to UBC, or vice versa. It's all what you do with it.

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4 hours ago, legallybrunette3 said:

generally you want to study where you'll practice, it's going to be a lot easier to make connection, set up and go to interviews if it's local. That being said things might be different now with work from home. I think the bottom is go where you want to go, the rest will figure itself out. It's not impossible to work out east if you go to UBC, or vice versa. It's all what you do with it.

Would you say that one of the schools would offer an advantage for networking beyond local employers, such as out east? I am definitely concerned with picking the school that will offer the most in terms of connections and networking opportunities

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5 hours ago, hellohi said:

Would you say that one of the schools would offer an advantage for networking beyond local employers, such as out east? I am definitely concerned with picking the school that will offer the most in terms of connections and networking opportunities

That I can't speak to, but I'm sure they all offer opportunities to network. I do know that UVIC and UBC are more competitive schools, so they might look better on a resume.

May I ask why you are choosing schools in the west if you want to work in the east?

Edited by legallybrunette3

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On 11/2/2020 at 12:01 AM, legallybrunette3 said:

That I can't speak to, but I'm sure they all offer opportunities to network. I do know that UVIC and UBC are more competitive schools, so they might look better on a resume.

May I ask why you are choosing schools in the west if you want to work in the east?

Fair enough- would going to a better school "on a resume" make a big difference to employers ultimately? 

I don't neccesarily have a preference for either the east or the west- I just want to stay in a big city! That being said, I'm relatively new to applying to law, and I didn't have time to apply out east this cycle due to work commitements since the application was due earlier. I also would have had to have a ton of personal statements together which I just didn't have time for, as I'm also applying to some other professional programs.

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15 hours ago, hellohi said:

Fair enough- would going to a better school "on a resume" make a big difference to employers ultimately? 

I don't neccesarily have a preference for either the east or the west- I just want to stay in a big city! That being said, I'm relatively new to applying to law, and I didn't have time to apply out east this cycle due to work commitements since the application was due earlier. I also would have had to have a ton of personal statements together which I just didn't have time for, as I'm also applying to some other professional programs.

By "big city" do you mean Toronto? Is your goal to work in big law? Then yes it may make a difference, but I don't know how much. i'm not a lawyer, i'm just an applicant as well.

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I think you will have better luck comparing these schools just two at a time. It is sort of difficult to compare four different universities at once. As an extremely general observation, I would say that U of C and UBC are a little more corporate-focused than the other two, but I can't point to hard data on this. Some people dig up stats for how many grads from each school head east, but these numbers are always problematic because it's difficult to tell whether people wanted to go East, to begin with. I'm at U Vic and I haven't heard anyone so much as mention an interest in Toronto Big Law... perhaps they're just hiding their interest, though.

That said, you may want to drop UVic from your list based on your geographic criterion, as the Victoria area is not "a big city" by any stretch. There are only a handful of common law schools in Canada with a smaller metro population area (TRU, Lakehead and UNB). Halifax and S'toon are about the same size, and unlike UVic, those schools are at least downtown. The U Vic campus is lovely, but quite far from downtown Victoria which is, in any case, very small. (The actual city of Victoria has about the same population as Newmarket, for reference).

Most people really like this area (although I'm an exception), but not because of it's major urban chops!

-GM

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20 hours ago, legallybrunette3 said:

By "big city" do you mean Toronto? Is your goal to work in big law? Then yes it may make a difference, but I don't know how much. i'm not a lawyer, i'm just an applicant as well.

Toronto would be lovely, but it could also be Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary etc. I just can't see myself practicing/living in a small town. Working in big law is something I am definitely interested in, although I am open to other things as well. Going to a school that could potentially set me up for "big law" would definitely be important for me in picking a school.

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19 hours ago, GrumpyMountie said:

I think you will have better luck comparing these schools just two at a time. It is sort of difficult to compare four different universities at once. As an extremely general observation, I would say that U of C and UBC are a little more corporate-focused than the other two, but I can't point to hard data on this. Some people dig up stats for how many grads from each school head east, but these numbers are always problematic because it's difficult to tell whether people wanted to go East, to begin with. I'm at U Vic and I haven't heard anyone so much as mention an interest in Toronto Big Law... perhaps they're just hiding their interest, though.

That said, you may want to drop UVic from your list based on your geographic criterion, as the Victoria area is not "a big city" by any stretch. There are only a handful of common law schools in Canada with a smaller metro population area (TRU, Lakehead and UNB). Halifax and S'toon are about the same size, and unlike UVic, those schools are at least downtown. The U Vic campus is lovely, but quite far from downtown Victoria which is, in any case, very small. (The actual city of Victoria has about the same population as Newmarket, for reference).

Most people really like this area (although I'm an exception), but not because of it's major urban chops!

-GM

If U of C and UBC have a somewhat greater focus on corporate law, those schools would likely be more suited towards my career objectives (even though I'm sure graduates from all 4 schools are capable of doing just fine in any sector). I concur on your point about grads heading east. Those numbers don't carry much weight unless we know how many students from each school that attempted to move out east.

I have heard that Victoria is a beautiful city and a great place to live. I would have no problem whatsoever with attending school there for 3 years, but I would not want to reside there following the completion of my degree. My ability to network and land positions in other cities (e.g. Van, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto) from UVic would therefore be an important factor.

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