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SeasHell

UBC vs UofT (for the thousandth time)

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I know, I know, these 2 schools have been compared many times. That being said everyone's situation is different and I'd appreciate any advice!

I'm having such a hard time deciding mainly because I'm not sure exactly what I want to do. I come from a science background and would definitely be interested in the fields of environmental and health law (very broad I know). Also I could see IP being interesting if it was related to biotech or pharma. I'm also trying to keep an open mind and am really looking forward to trying some business law classes to see if I like them! 

As for costs of the school I would prefer to minimize my debt coming out of law school (obviously). I'd say I'm in an average position financially where I can afford both schools but would definitely be in debt after UofT and could maybe squeak by without any if I go to UBC.

So I know those 2^ considerations are wishy washy and either school could serve me well regarding them. These next 2 are ones I'm 100% decided on but am trying to decide what implications they have on my choice.

For location Vancouver is definitely the place I'd rather live. Been in Ontario my while life and could live / be happy if I went to Toronto but the natural beauty around Vancouver is unbeatable IMO.

I really like the idea of going to UofT and surrounding myself with the "best and brightest". I know it's a generalization and that smart people go to both schools but UofT definitely is the more competitive school to get into. I feel like putting myself in an environment that asks the most of me is how I am able to learn the most. I also really like how distinguished the faculty at UofT is and would love to learn from some of the best lawyers in the country.

 

If you made it this far, thanks for reading and would appreciate any advice!

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I'm not at UofT or UBC so I can't advise you on one program versus the other, but I'd absolutely advise you to think about where you want to practice. If you want to practice in Ontario, go to UofT. If you want to practice in BC, go to UBC. The best thing, more often than not, is to study where you want to practice.

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50 minutes ago, SeasHell said:

I really like the idea of going to UofT and surrounding myself with the "best and brightest". I know it's a generalization and that smart people go to both schools but UofT definitely is the more competitive school to get into. I feel like putting myself in an environment that asks the most of me is how I am able to learn the most. 

Many of my colleagues were accepted to UofT, but chose to attend UBC to save a boatload of money. 

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If you know you want to live in Vancouver, and you would like to minimize your debt, I think you should definitely go to UBC. Plenty of incredibly smart people no matter where you go. And also I didn't apply there so I'm not too sure, but isn't UBC just as competitive as UofT?

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Not to pile on (okay, what the hell, I admit that I am piling on), but this thread is indeed ridiculous.

You want to minimize debt and live and work in Vancouver. This should make your decision obvious.

If your concern is that at UBC you'll be surrounded by idiots like me and @Tagger instead of the brilliant scholars gracing the halls of UofT, well, that just means you'll do better on the curve against us simpletons, right hotshot?

I'm sorry that the JD gold medalist, SCC clerk, Harvard/Yale/Stanford/Oxbridge grad profs filling the faculty slots at UBC aren't good enough for you to learn anything from though.

Edited by CleanHands
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10 minutes ago, CleanHands said:

Not to pile on (okay, what the hell, I admit that I am piling on), but this thread is indeed ridiculous.

You want to minimize debt and live and work in Vancouver. This should make your decision obvious.

If your concern is that at UBC you'll be surrounded by idiots like me and @Tagger instead of the brilliant scholars gracing the halls of UofT, well, that just means you'll do better on the curve against us simpletons, right hotshot?

I'm sorry that the JD gold medalist, SCC clerk, Harvard/Yale/Stanford/Oxbridge grad profs filling the faculty slots at UBC aren't good enough for you to learn anything from though.

I don't think this type of passive aggressive rudeness is warranted. The OP is simply trying to weigh the options available to them.

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5 minutes ago, IvanSinclair said:

I don't think this type of passive aggressive rudeness is warranted. The OP is simply trying to weigh the options available to them.

I normally feel that way about comparisons between the two schools and I certainly believe that for some people UofT is the better choice. But this guy literally said he wanted to minimize debt and live in Vancouver, yet he was attracted to UofT because the students are smarter and faculty are better.

I absolutely believe that my response was warranted in this specific instance.

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Congrats on getting into both schools, that's a massive accomplishment. If I was in your shoes, I'd likely be leaning towards UBC. The tuition being cheaper is a huge plus, and Vancouvers a fantastic city like you mentioned, definitely can't go wrong. In terms of the prestige, I think it's a fantastic school that'll provide you with just as many opportunities as U of T, if not more. I have a friend who goes there and he's really enjoying it.

Good luck with your decision though, you have a lot of great places to choose from

Edited by Leafs2021

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5 hours ago, SeasHell said:

I know, I know, these 2 schools have been compared many times. That being said everyone's situation is different and I'd appreciate any advice!

I'm having such a hard time deciding mainly because I'm not sure exactly what I want to do. I come from a science background and would definitely be interested in the fields of environmental and health law (very broad I know). Also I could see IP being interesting if it was related to biotech or pharma. I'm also trying to keep an open mind and am really looking forward to trying some business law classes to see if I like them! 

As for costs of the school I would prefer to minimize my debt coming out of law school (obviously). I'd say I'm in an average position financially where I can afford both schools but would definitely be in debt after UofT and could maybe squeak by without any if I go to UBC.

So I know those 2^ considerations are wishy washy and either school could serve me well regarding them. These next 2 are ones I'm 100% decided on but am trying to decide what implications they have on my choice.

For location Vancouver is definitely the place I'd rather live. Been in Ontario my while life and could live / be happy if I went to Toronto but the natural beauty around Vancouver is unbeatable IMO.

I really like the idea of going to UofT and surrounding myself with the "best and brightest". I know it's a generalization and that smart people go to both schools but UofT definitely is the more competitive school to get into. I feel like putting myself in an environment that asks the most of me is how I am able to learn the most. I also really like how distinguished the faculty at UofT is and would love to learn from some of the best lawyers in the country.

 

If you made it this far, thanks for reading and would appreciate any advice!

Best lawyers or best legal academics? Many profs never practice law or only do so for a short time before pursuing academia. You may want to look at which adjunct faculty members teach at both schools as they tend to be full-time lawyers first, then part-time academics.

Moreover, isn't it more beneficial for you to connect with lawyers in Vancouver if you want to work in Vancouver? You're completing discounting the benefits of networking and making connections with peers, academics, and lawyers in the location you actually want to work in. Most U of T graduates end up working in Ontario.

Which lawyers/profs are you hoping to learn from at U of T that you cannot get at UBC?  Are profs at UBC any less distinguished than those teaching at U of T (a skim through the faculty listings don't show me much of a difference)? 

UBC has an average cumulative GPA of 3.8 and 166 LSAT. How is this any less competitive than U of T which looks at Best 3 years, has a similar GPA range, and 166 LSAT median?

https://allard.ubc.ca/programs/juris-doctor-jd-program/frequently-asked-questions#:~:text=The Peter A.,to fill the 200 positions.

https://www.law.utoronto.ca/about/jd-first-year-class-profile

It seems to me that being an Ontario resident, you've been drinking too much of the U of T kool-aid. UBC is a reputable school filled with highly academic students and distinguished faculty. Many of them will be working in Vancouver and will form your network. UBC also costs a fraction of what U of T costs. Seeing as how you want to live and work in Vancouver with certainty, I fail to see what advantages you can get from U of T that UBC cannot provide you - especially ones that justify the U of T tuition costs.

Edited by Deadpool
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I don't even get where the UofT > UBC notion comes from. When I was running my GPA calculations for various schools I would have, stats-wise, stood a better chance at getting into UofT than UBC had I applied to either.  

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4 minutes ago, MountainMon said:

I don't even get where the UofT > UBC notion comes from. When I was running my GPA calculations for various schools I would have, stats-wise, stood a better chance at getting into UofT than UBC had I applied to either.  

Ontario chauvinism. I've seen people on this forum rank Osgoode, Western and/or Queen's above UBC (as supposedly national/"objective" rankings rather than talking specifically about getting jobs in Ontario). lol

And UVic is basically on the same level as UofT, UBC and McGill in terms of admissions competitiveness and even moreso never gets credit for that in discussions outside of those focusing on BC specifically.

Edited by CleanHands
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On 1/10/2021 at 3:22 PM, SeasHell said:

...would definitely be in debt after UofT and could maybe squeak by without any if I go to UBC...

For location Vancouver is definitely the place I'd rather live...

 

Normally, my advice is to just to go UofT. 

However:

If you can get out of law school with no debt by going to UBC, go to UBC. 

If you'd rather live in in BC, got to UBC. 

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On 1/10/2021 at 11:22 AM, SeasHell said:

I really like the idea of going to UofT and surrounding myself with the "best and brightest".

I really wanted to address this comment. The way I interpreted your statement is that the best and brightest often seen as those with the highest grades/LSAT as UofT has a lot of competition and that will matter. 


Something I have learned over the years is that "best" and "brightest" isn't necessarily based on academia. Someone may be smart, but socially inept. Someone may be able to score well on exams that require memorization, but isn't good with flexibility and creative solutions in the real world. Someone who may be the brightest in normal circumstances may not be able to be at their best because they are caring for a parent with alzheimers or are a single parent. 

 

I may be different, but for me a school that has the best and brightest is those that bring together those that are those super high scorers, those average scorers, etc. Those with varied life experiences to create an environment that people learn not only academics but also social skills and things to consider as they move forward in their careers. 

Now HLS is a school that brings together the best and brightest because their students are those high performers and often have had varying life experiences. Some challenging, some not. 

I do not know what school in Canada fills what I would see as best and brightest. 

While not in law, I got tired of working in an environment where bright eyed bushy tailed early 20 something year olds went and got a masters straight out of their Bachelors and ended up in jobs that have significant impact on colleague's work and the stakeholder's lives. They had no real life experience and when their decisions were implemented, always had huge gaps. I really value learning both knowledge but from other people. I learn how people think, what motivates them, etc. 

I read a comment on this forum somewhere (probably UBC), where they stated that some firms were frustrated that they were given students that weren't great at interacting with others. I can understand why, but I also do think that these firms will need to adapt at some point. I am from a generation that was pre-cell phones everywhere, pre-social media, etc. Now we have people who have grown up around these things all of their lives so social interaction is different - which may make the older generations a bit uncomfortable. 

Anyways, going way off my original comment. I didn't take offense to the comment of "best and brightest." I just wish that was interpreted as being more broad than excellent grades. 

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32 minutes ago, OyVey said:
Quote

While not in law, I got tired of working in an environment where bright eyed bushy tailed early 20 something year olds went and got a masters straight out of their Bachelors and ended up in jobs that have significant impact on colleague's work and the stakeholder's lives. They had no real life experience and when their decisions were implemented, always had huge gaps. I really value learning both knowledge but from other people. I learn how people think, what motivates them, etc. 

I agree, and I think this is why law schools (to varying degrees) are moving more towards a holistic evaluation. To my knowledge, UofC law and Windsor are the most holistic schools.

 

 

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1 hour ago, OyVey said:

For me a school that has the best and brightest is those that bring together those that are those super high scorers, those average scorers, etc. Those with varied life experiences to create an environment that people learn not only academics but also social skills and things to consider as they move forward in their careers. 

Now HLS is a school that brings together the best and brightest because their students are those high performers and often have had varying life experiences. Some challenging, some not. 

I do not know what school in Canada fills what I would see as best and brightest. 

I'm sympathetic to you taking some issue with "the best and brightest" thing. I also don't really like that kind of thinking. But I have to say it's kind of weird that you assume everyone at UofT is an academically-gifted, socially-inept nerd with no life experience (and for some reason, you think Harvard, which has much higher admission standards than UofT, would be less like that which doesn't make any sense to me. Seems like you were saying that the higher the admissions standards, the more that intelligence is wrongly measured by grades rather than varied life experiences, but anyways). Plenty of my classmates have been out of their undergrads for years, have kids, worked a different career prior to law school, some have PhDs. I agree that varied life experiences are to be valued, but I don't really think UofT has more of a problem in that department than any other school (or in the "social skills" department, however you want to measure that lol).

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5 minutes ago, masterofnut said:

-Snip-

That guy's comment really didn't make sense in the context of this thread in any event, since the difference in admissions standards between UofT and UBC is marginal (which is the real reason the OP warrants eye-rolling).

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5 hours ago, masterofnut said:

But I have to say it's kind of weird that you assume everyone at UofT is an academically-gifted, socially-inept nerd with no life experience (and for some reason, you think Harvard, which has much higher admission standards than UofT, would be less like that which doesn't make any sense to me. Seems like you were saying that the higher the admissions standards, the more that intelligence is wrongly measured by grades rather than varied life experiences, but anyways). 

I actually said none of that. It is the comment of "best and brightest" in general that I take issue with. To be frank, I have not taken a look at admission standards for any law school in Canada other than UBC and UVIC. 

I also think schools should be a mix. Those that have excellent grades (not even considering what else they bring to the table), average grades and significant accomplishments, and a bunch of others that fall in between. I think that bringing a variety of people together opens up opportunity for significant learning beyond academia. It also makes for a more enriching academic environment. 

I point out HLS because you often have to have excellent marks and something else. Others that are getting in are also getting amazing marks, so how else do you stand out. Community service, unique life experiences, work, etc. It goes beyond you get a certain stat (UBC/UVIC) and you are considered "auto-admit." 

In a statement of "best and brightest" I think that there needs to be more consideration to things other than grades. 

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Thanks to everyone for their advice! (So far)

As to the whole other discussion my post got tangled up with, I feel like I stumbled into a seperate debate by accident. I want to say I didn't mean to offend anyone with the "best and brightest" comment. The quotes are there for a reason, meant to show that it was intended sarcastically. I know both schools are amazing and are full of people accomplished both in academia and other areas in life. I fully expect to be blown out of the water by my peers in either school I go to. It was just my impression from this forum and other sources that UofT is slightly more competitive to get into and has a slightly more distinguished faculty. Thought it was a factor worth considering in my choice, that is all.

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10 minutes ago, SeasHell said:

It was just my impression from this forum and other sources that UofT is slightly more competitive to get into and has a slightly more distinguished faculty. Thought it was a factor worth considering in my choice, that is all.

Assuming that premise is true (which is debatable), does that seem worth spending an extra $65k on tuition and reducing networking opportunities in your preferred city to you? How is this even a question?

I'm not "offended" and I doubt anyone else is, because that would require actually taking the implications of what you're asking seriously, and they don't deserve that.

Edited by CleanHands

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