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GrumpyMountie

Pandemic 1L Ask Me Anything Thread

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Hello,

I know there are a lot of folks keen to come to UVic next year, and probably have questions.

I also assume that, correspondingly, I am not the only 1L who is looking for little tasks to distract them from preparing for mid-terms/finals. (So hopefully I will not be the only 1L who posts here, especially since I'm a mature student who may have different perspectives than most others).

As such, keeping in mind that this year is different than last year and sure to be different from next year as well, go ahead and ask whatever you want!

-GM, UVic 1L

 

 

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Thanks for starting this, @GrumpyMountie  

You said you are a mature student. Did you apply under the discretionary category by any chance? Do you know how many discretionary applicants apply and how many are accepted? 
How are you liking UVic? I hear great things! How do you find the online classes? I imagine it’s a bit of an adjustment. 

Thanks again!

Edited by ThunderStorm

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Hi @ThunderStorm,

1) Despite my advanced years, I applied under the regular category because UVic's GPA calculation was favourable to me (that is, I knew my numbers would be good enough after drops).

2) I don't know how many discretionary applications they might get, but the class profile this year says that 95 people were admitted to the JD via the regular category, and I believe there are about 110 people in the first year JD. 110-95 would suggest that there were 15 discretionary admits this year, though that is an indirect and imperfect calculation, as you can see.

3) In a way I am a weird person to start this thread because I am not a great 'fit' for U Vic, to be honest. But I am not very representative of the class as a whole, and I realize that, so... playing the odds... you will probably love it. ;)

4) Though it's the norm to complain, I have to admit that I am quietly loving online classes. Yes, it would be nice to really "see" my classmates, but I am fortunate to have a lovely workspace at home, and the ability to "go to school" without having to leave the house is really nice! This is perhaps amplified as a mature student. I think I might feel more out of place literally sitting in a big room full of 20-somethings; somehow it's less jarring when I'm the only one physically in the room!

-GM

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How do you find being an atypical UVic student effects you? 

I feel I'd also fall into a similar category and am curious how it could affect interactions with other students. 

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39 minutes ago, GrumpyMountie said:

In a way I am a weird person to start this thread because I am not a great 'fit' for U Vic, to be honest. But I am not very representative of the class as a whole, and I realize that, so... playing the odds... you will probably love it.

👀I am curious: (1) what made you choose UVic? and (2) what made you realize you are not a great "fit"? 

 

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Ahaha. All the questions are about fit, and that's the one that's hardest to talk about, and least generalizable. But if that's what folks want to know, I'll take a stab:

My experience is atypical because I didn't come here because I wanted to, per se. My partner was applying to programs in another field at the same time as me, so we were weighing options together. In addition, we have a little guy, and we wanted him to be somewhere "nice" where there would be lots to do, and where his grandparents would be inclined to visit. Victoria satisfies all those latter requirements, and more crucially, the program my partner got admitted to here was by far her #1. So, here we are. 

I have always thought of myself as a little bit progressive - just left of centre- but these terms are relative. In Alberta I would have been considered far-left, and I had people call me a communist for voting Liberal. Now that I'm here, without having changed, I'm suddenly, apparently, hard-right.  It's... awkward, because I don't see myself that way, but again, here we are. I feel really uncomfortable walking around in a city covered in anti-police and anti-Canadian-state graffiti. I think "unwelcome" is the best word. I'm not claiming to feel unsafe or anything, but yeah, unwelcome. That ethos is present in the class and, to a slightly more nuanced degree, the faculty. I'm not saying people aren't nice; they still are, for sure. But the progressive groupthink is, from my perspective, intense and impenetrable. I am a non-confrontational person who likes to get along with everyone. The only way I can do so is to hold my tongue, unfortunately. Again, not claiming that people have actually individually been disrespectful to me, it's more that the academic climate as a whole is just not very hospitable to anyone right-of-green-party.

The thing is, very little of the above would likely apply to anyone reading this thread, so I'm not trying to dissuade anyone from coming here. If you want to defund police, dismantle the Canadian state, and stop all resource extraction of any kind, then this is the law school for you. These themes are strongly embraced by the student body, and faculty will raise them in all courses. All I would say is: please remember that not all of your eventual clients are likely to feel that way, and it behooves you ethically - at least in my opinion - to treat with respect all those who may see the world differently than you do!

-GM

PS Hopefully another 1L (who is actually a better fit here) will post something positive about this from the other side!

Edited by GrumpyMountie
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2 hours ago, GrumpyMountie said:

If you want to defund police, dismantle the Canadian state, and stop all resource extraction of any kind, then this is the law school for you. These themes are strongly embraced by the student body, and faculty will raise them in all courses

And if we don't want these things are you saying we should go elsewhere? Vics still a good school and it seems to not be a bad thing to learn how leftists view the law, even if one is not a leftist (I can see how this would distract from learning more "useful" real world topics though)

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Hey GM, thanks for doing this thread. 

My first question is about making friends and the like. Have you found it to be difficult to make meaningful connections with fellow students? I suppose it would be a little bit more difficult for you since as you said you're a centrist in a center-left school, and you're older than many of your peers. I really hope your peers don't see you as the next Donaldino Pumperino. 

My second question is about the value of UVic. Do you believe that you will be able to find work immediately after school? 

Finally, since everything is online, is there an issue with cheating at the moment? 

Edited by Ichigo

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49 minutes ago, thelawfulmuskrat said:

And if we don't want these things are you saying we should go elsewhere?

I think your question was rhetorical, but I'll answer it just in case I misunderstood your tone! I think that's really an individual decision. Of course you're right that it's a good school, and if someone centrist or right-of-centre specifically wants to be exposed to new views, then absolutely - dive in and come to grips with some opposing perspectives.

In my case I'm already familiar with these perspectives, and don't necessarily enjoy being constantly reminded that my own worldview is inherently offensive to the school's values. The mileage of others is sure to vary!

37 minutes ago, Ichigo said:

Have you found it to be difficult to make meaningful connections with fellow students?

Despite everything I've said above, I want to emphatically state that people have been lovely and I do have some valuable friendships already - more than I would have thought. Essentially, the individual trees are lovely; the collective character of the forest as a whole is somehow different. Again - broken record here - a lot of this is down to me as an individual.

39 minutes ago, Ichigo said:

My second question is about the value of UVic. Do you believe that you will be able to find work immediately after school? 

This is hard to answer as I'm still a 1L and not planning on participating in the 1L recruit. For the moment, I am just taking everyone at their word that UVic grads do perfectly well and, at least in the BC market, are roughly as successful as UBC, or nearly so. 

That said, this is a good time to mention that the co-op system seems really cool. I've signed up for it, and hopefully it's a decent way to get some experiences that will help in the eventual search for a "real" job!

42 minutes ago, Ichigo said:

Finally, since everything is online, is there an issue with cheating at the moment? 

Essentially, when you make everything completely open-book/open-internet, everyone is on a level playing field. Permission to consult resources essentially makes it impossible to cheat. Unless someone actually had someone else write their exam for them. That would be horrible, but... I guess I am still naive enough to believe that no one in my class would do that. ;)

-GM

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4 hours ago, GrumpyMountie said:

If you want to defund police, dismantle the Canadian state, and stop all resource extraction of any kind, then this is the law school for you. These themes are strongly embraced by the student body, and faculty will raise them in all courses.

This is true to some extent at UBC as well, more so within the student body, but the faculty also raises these issues not infrequently. Maybe it's a west coast thing?

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8 minutes ago, Aschenbach said:

This is true to some extent at UBC as well, more so within the student body, but the faculty also raises these issues not infrequently. Maybe it's a west coast thing?

Hearing this said by you and others is part of why I thought UBC had a lot catered towards social justice. But apparently UBC is way more corporate than UVic? 

If that attitude is a west coast thang then that makes sense!

Edited by Firecracker

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8 minutes ago, Firecracker said:

Hearing this said by you and others is part of why I thought UBC had a lot catered towards social justice. But apparently UBC is a lot more corporate than UVic? 

If that attitude is a west-coast thang then that makes sense!

I'd say UBC is probably more corporate than UVic (from what I've heard about UVic), but if you are interested in social justice issues, there are more than enough courses and activities to fill your time.

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What has been your favourite and least favourite class so far 🙂 And why?

Material-wise, are there any classes that you think have suffered by being in an online format?

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5 hours ago, GrumpyMountie said:

I have always thought of myself as a little bit progressive - just left of centre- but these terms are relative. In Alberta I would have been considered far-left, and I had people call me a communist for voting Liberal. Now that I'm here, without having changed, I'm suddenly, apparently, hard-right.  It's... awkward, because I don't see myself that way, but again, here we are. I feel really uncomfortable walking around in a city covered in anti-police and anti-Canadian-state graffiti. I think "unwelcome" is the best word. I'm not claiming to feel unsafe or anything, but yeah, unwelcome. That ethos is present in the class and, to a slightly more nuanced degree, the faculty. I'm not saying people aren't nice; they still are, for sure. But the progressive groupthink is, from my perspective, intense and impenetrable. I am a non-confrontational person who likes to get along with everyone. The only way I can do so is to hold my tongue, unfortunately. Again, not claiming that people have actually individually been disrespectful to me, it's more that the academic climate as a whole is just not very hospitable to anyone right-of-green-party.

The thing is, very little of the above would likely apply to anyone reading this thread, so I'm not trying to dissuade anyone from coming here. If you want to defund police, dismantle the Canadian state, and stop all resource extraction of any kind, then this is the law school for you. These themes are strongly embraced by the student body, and faculty will raise them in all courses. All I would say is: please remember that not all of your eventual clients are likely to feel that way, and it behooves you ethically - at least in my opinion - to treat with respect all those who may see the world differently than you do!

As a fellow Albertan who shares similar views and disposition (ANDP member and federal Liberal voter) this was rather enlightening. I was really hoping law school would trend away from the overwhelming progressive groupthink - I was exposed to that enough in my social science / humanities undergrad. Sad to hear that isn't the case at uVic. I can totally relate to getting along with people and thinking they're 'nice' while at the same time recognizing that if I was to argue against them on the slightest bit of policy I would be framed as a fascist or whatever the latest trendy '-ist' is. 

Edited by MountainMon
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10 minutes ago, Aschenbach said:

I'd say UBC is probably more corporate than UVic (from what I've heard about UVic), but if you are interested in social justice issues, there are more than enough courses and activities to fill your time.

I have no special insight on this issue, but I think it just stands to reason, by the politics of the region, that both schools would be attractive to those concerned with social and environmental justice issues. The difference is that Vancouver, by virtue of having such a large corporate law market, is also going attract some people more focussed on business law. The Victoria area really doesn't have much opportunity for large/corporate firms (I think the biggest law firm in town has maybe 25 lawyers, though I'm not 100% on that), so we're likely to have fewer students who are gung-ho for that stuff. Of course, it's not as though going to school here means you can't work in Vancouver, so the actual effect of this factor is difficult to ascertain!

11 minutes ago, GoblinKing said:

What made you decide to go to law school at your "advanced age?"

Another choice that was mostly made for me. ;) I've long been moderately interested in law, but did not feel enough of a pull to leave what I was already doing, which I found difficult but meaningful. But life sort of kicked me into making a change when my partner's work opportunities stopped meshing well with mine. Come the moment when she had to pick a spot for her next five-year commitment, I had no options left with Her Majesty that would allow our family to stay together... so I took the plunge and applied to law school in all the cities she wanted to come to most.

I will definitely be making less money in law. I remain optimistic that I can find something fulfilling, though, that will allow for some quality of life and perhaps a longer career. As I've mentioned in some other mature-student threads, everyone has to approach this calculation carefully, keeping in mind that they are going to be a little bit different than everyone else whose story they read.

The more I type, the more I realize that my own experiences are so idiosyncratic that they are really of no use to the rest of you. Hopefully another 1L will chime in here soon. ;)

12 minutes ago, Firecracker said:

What has been your favourite and least favourite class so far 🙂 And why?

Favourites: Contracts, because I thought I wouldn't understand it (I have NO interest in business), but it's been so well-taught that I'm enjoying expanding my horizons and seeing how everything comes together. Legal Research and Writing is shockingly a close second. It sounds so dry, and sometimes it, but I am very grateful that we have a practically-focused course that teaches us how to actually *do* stuff.

Least: I am having a really hard time getting into property. Unlike with contracts, the cases in property, at least up until now, seem to have very little applicability or connection to "real life". I am hoping this will change in the second half of the year, because this is an area of law that I wanted to like.

16 minutes ago, Firecracker said:

Material-wise, are there any classes that you think have suffered by being in an online format?

Without naming any names ( ;) ), I will just say that the struggle with format seems to have a lot more to do with the faculty member than it does with the material!

-GM

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53 minutes ago, Aschenbach said:

This is true to some extent at UBC as well, more so within the student body, but the faculty also raises these issues not infrequently. Maybe it's a west coast thing?

 

46 minutes ago, Firecracker said:

Hearing this said by you and others is part of why I thought UBC had a lot catered towards social justice. But apparently UBC is way more corporate than UVic? 

If that attitude is a west coast thang then that makes sense!

 

32 minutes ago, Aschenbach said:

I'd say UBC is probably more corporate than UVic (from what I've heard about UVic), but if you are interested in social justice issues, there are more than enough courses and activities to fill your time.

UBC is extremely corporate-focused in terms of the CSO, career/networking events, etc, but in terms of the political atmosphere there it's pretty much indistinguishable from what @GrumpyMountiedescribed at UVic (google the current controversy involving the acting Dean to get a sense of it). With all that said, although I have no interest in corporate law nor am I a radical far-left activist, I am of the opinion that UBC has good offerings for whatever kind of law you want to practice. I am biased and don't have experience with any other school to compare though.

(Not to highjack; just chiming in since the comparison came up.)

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Echoing the above that UBC is basically like this as well. I assume most law schools aren't much different.

Also, GM, I've met at least 3 "mature students" (at UBC) who were previously in law enforcement of some sort (including civilian) and they've all been really cool people. They're all, as you seem to be, really easy to talk to.

Edited by Psychometronic
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