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legallybrunette3

What's the deal with school rankings?

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So having read through this thread, it seems that a huge part of what would make a law school "best" for any given person, at least in part, has to do with what type of law they would be looking to practice and the relative strength of the school in that area. Makes sense to me.

That said, is there a sort of rough guide for which schools are good for particular areas of focus? There are school comparison threads galore on this forum, one compared against another, but there doesn't seem to be a broad guide which would likely be a useful starting point. 

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Most law students are obsessed with the idea of working for a large urban law firm that they have a hard time picturing someone not wanting to work for a large urban law firm. Most law students also are obsessed with making a large salary that they have a hard time imagining someone not wanting the largest possible salary in favour of other factors such as location of employment, field of law, work hours, family time or quality of life.

Therefor, most law students rank law schools in a certain way.

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9 minutes ago, TotallyBucked said:

So having read through this thread, it seems that a huge part of what would make a law school "best" for any given person, at least in part, has to do with what type of law they would be looking to practice and the relative strength of the school in that area. Makes sense to me.

That said, is there a sort of rough guide for which schools are good for particular areas of focus? There are school comparison threads galore on this forum, one compared against another, but there doesn't seem to be a broad guide which would likely be a useful starting point. 

If you're interested in a specific practice area, besides hiring numbers for formal recruit positions (if those don't give you much info pertaining to what you're specifically interested in), look at things like:

-Clinical opportunities

-Volunteer opportunities

-Course selection

-Tuition cost (very important if you are interested in practice areas that aren't particularly lucrative)

I generally disagree with assertions on this site about one school being broadly "better" for a specific practice area than others (the exception being that tuition cost should be your primary concern if you want to do poverty law). When it comes to specializing, what an individual makes of their law school experience in terms of the above will be far more relevant than what school they attended. But school will be relevant insofar as the relative volume of relevant opportunities they provide for you to craft that sort of narrative/build that sort of knowledge base personally.

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5 minutes ago, CleanHands said:

If you're interested in a specific practice area, besides hiring numbers for formal recruit positions (if those don't give you much info pertaining to what you're specifically interested in), look at things like:

-Clinical opportunities

-Volunteer opportunities

-Course selection

-Tuition cost (very important if you are interested in practice areas that aren't particularly lucrative)

Aside from tuition, I've struggled to find any comparative resources for clinical opportunities, volunteer opportunities, or even courses offered. Any chance you could point me in the right direction on this? 

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13 minutes ago, TotallyBucked said:

Aside from tuition, I've struggled to find any comparative resources for clinical opportunities, volunteer opportunities, or even courses offered. Any chance you could point me in the right direction on this? 

I mean, when I applied I looked those things up on the websites of the schools I was applying to. I don't know of any "comparative" threads or other resources for that. But it's really both a highly personalized thing and also will be regularly changing year-to-year in terms of what various schools offer, so I'm not really surprised that (to my and apparently your knowledge) nobody has tried to do something really broad and comprehensive.

People do regularly start threads here with specific practice areas and specific schools in mind though, and get feedback that way. You're more likely to get some useful info if you can narrow down what you're asking.

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On 2/25/2021 at 1:40 PM, blackwidow said:

I don’t think this is true. While UofT definitely has higher admission standards than the other schools in Ontario, I don’t think that directly translates into UofT student = smarter and brighter than all other law students. Even to go to/get into UofT requires a certain amount of privilege that not all law students will possess. And there are a number of reasons to choose one school over another. Also, one may be successful at the undergrad level and not as successful at law school, that’s just the nature of the curve. 

I think this is very true.  

If I could add my own 2 cents, admission to law school is obviously very GPA heavy, and I think this severely disadvantages applicants coming from certain undergraduate majors. Someone coming from hard sciences, like my friend at U of T Life Sciences is going to have a harder time getting into a top law school than someone who did a BA at Concordia and copped a 4.0.  

I know a few VERY smart people who had to settle for lesser law schools because their GPA was on the lower side on account of their rigorous undergraduate program. It’s honestly pretty shitty how program difficulty isn’t taken into account  

If I could go back in time, I’d major in something easy, grind a 3.9 and spend all my summers studying for the LSAT rather than interning. 

But it’s too late for that now. 

And before anyone comes at me with the argument that “all undergrad programs are equally difficult...”

Stop. 

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11 minutes ago, HopefulLawyer97 said:

I think this severely disadvantages applicants coming from certain undergraduate majors. Someone coming from hard sciences, like my friend at U of T Life Sciences is going to have a harder time getting into a top law school than someone who did a BA at Concordia and copped a 4.0.  

It's for this reason that I tell every teenager in my life who wants to be a lawyer/doctor/dentist/vet/etc. that they should go to smaller local schools for undergrad.

Getting a 4.0 in the business program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University is better than a 3.8 from UBC Sauder School of Business.

Edited by canuckfanatic
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13 hours ago, PlayALawyerOnTV said:

Which Canadian law school has the best bathrooms? Inquiring minds want to know!

Visited UofA and legit struggled to find the bathrooms.

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14 hours ago, HopefulLawyer97 said:

I think this is very true.  

If I could add my own 2 cents, admission to law school is obviously very GPA heavy, and I think this severely disadvantages applicants coming from certain undergraduate majors. Someone coming from hard sciences, like my friend at U of T Life Sciences is going to have a harder time getting into a top law school than someone who did a BA at Concordia and copped a 4.0.  

I know a few VERY smart people who had to settle for lesser law schools because their GPA was on the lower side on account of their rigorous undergraduate program. It’s honestly pretty shitty how program difficulty isn’t taken into account  

If I could go back in time, I’d major in something easy, grind a 3.9 and spend all my summers studying for the LSAT rather than interning. 

But it’s too late for that now. 

And before anyone comes at me with the argument that “all undergrad programs are equally difficult...”

Stop. 

This also heavily compounds the privilege point made above about UofT, but which in my opinion applies across the board. I know many individuals for whom not "interning" was not an option given their financial background, if only to ensure they didn't finish undergrad in an abyss of debt. This necessarily meant taking more "rigorous" programs which they were banking on for internships and employment after undergrad if all else didn't workout. Many of these individuals tended to view the "BA 4.0 to law school" route as a class signal and a point of privilege - some days I am inclined to agree.

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14 hours ago, canuckfanatic said:

It's for this reason that I tell every teenager in my life who wants to be a lawyer/doctor/dentist/vet/etc. that they should go to smaller local schools for undergrad.

Getting a 4.0 in the business program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University is better than a 3.8 from UBC Sauder School of Business.

Except of course if they end up not going to law school. 
 

Which is probably more often the case. I know a lot of lawyers. Very few of them had their sights set on a career in law when they were 17 years old. 
 

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@HopefulLawyer97 spend “all your summers studying for the LSAT”? 😂 

You are simply much less intelligent than you think you are. I don’t say that to be cruel. I say it because the sooner you accept that everyone with a better LSAT didn’t necessarily study longer than you did, and everyone with a better GPA wasn’t necessarily in an easier program, the sooner you’ll grow the fuck up. 

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8 minutes ago, QuincyWagstaff said:

@HopefulLawyer97 spend “all your summers studying for the LSAT”? 😂 

You are simply much less intelligent than you think you are. I don’t say that to be cruel. I say it because the sooner you accept that everyone with a better LSAT didn’t necessarily study longer than you did, and everyone with a better GPA wasn’t necessarily in an easier program, the sooner you’ll grow the fuck up. 

Okay, seriously buddy, what the fuck? He was talking about the ideal strategy to get into law school. How in God’s name does that reflect on his intelligence? Unless they’re capable of scoring 180 without any studying (and I honestly doubt if there’s anyone who can), people of all intelligence levels can benefit from studying for the LSAT. And if you’re gunning for the highest score possible, a good strategy would be to start studying as early and as often as possible. That’s being smart, not dumb.

Edited by Chazz
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2 minutes ago, Chazz said:

Okay, seriously buddy, what the fuck? He was talking about the ideal strategy to get into law school. How in God’s name does that reflect on his intelligence? Unless they’re capable of scoring 180 without any studying (and I honestly doubt if there’s anyone who can), people of all intelligence levels can benefit from studying for the LSAT. And if you’re gunning for the highest score possible, a good strategy would be to start studying as early and as often as possible. That’s being smart, not dumb.

Spending all your summers studying for the LSAT is incredibly stupid. It implies that with unlimited time your score will 
continue to improve. It won’t. You will hit a ceiling due to your innate ability with respect to the skills the lsat tests. Further, people that dedicate all their time to LSAT study to the exclusion of everything else do not do well in general, with respect to their mental health and happiness. This, in turn, effects their performance. I’ve seen it happen many times.
 

Gaining some work experience is a much better use of that time. 

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4 minutes ago, Chazz said:

Okay, seriously buddy, what the fuck? He was talking about the ideal strategy to get into law school. How in God’s name does that reflect on his intelligence? Unless they’re capable of scoring 180 without any studying (and I honestly doubt if there’s anyone who can), people of all intelligence levels can benefit from studying for the LSAT. And if you’re gunning for the highest score possible, a good strategy would be to start studying as early and as often as possible. That’s being smart, not dumb.

The reality is that people eventually top out on the benefit they get from studying for the LSAT. Another reality is that some people write a 165+ without studying at all. Some people no matter how much work they put in will never crack a 175/170/165/1whatever. Almost everyone probably reaches that point well before they've spent three summers worth of time studying the LSAT full time.

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1 hour ago, erinl2 said:

It's somewhat comforting to see that law students, and applicants, continue the discussions/arguments/rants about rankings and about whose undergrad is more difficult, every damn year. You guys never disappoint! 

I really don't know what magical answer I was looking for, I've been posting/lurking here long enough that I know how all of the arguments are going to go about rankings, lsat performance, better undergrad. I have officially learned my lesson on this, and I apologize. 

Edit: maybe the magical answer I was looking for:

On 2/23/2021 at 6:10 PM, Hegdis said:

Rankings might make you feel better but in my respectful view, they’re ultimately useless. 

 

Edited by legallybrunette3

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Not interested in arguing with you but your comments are manifestly wrong and misleading. My friends and I went from 160 to 172/173 on the LSAT after studying longer and harder for the exam. You won't hit a ceiling due to your innate ability...and those who dedicate more time to studying for the LSAT don't necessarily have to preclude themselves from other activities. I worked full time while studying for my exams. There's absolutely no need for you to use words like "stupid" on a forum that seeks to support prospective applicants and fellow law students.

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1 minute ago, chicolate said:

Not interested in arguing with you but your comments are manifestly wrong and misleading. My friends and I went from 160 to 172/173 on the LSAT after studying longer and harder for the exam. You won't hit a ceiling due to your innate ability...and those who dedicate more time to studying for the LSAT don't necessarily have to preclude themselves from other activities. I worked full time while studying for my exams. There's absolutely no need for you to use words like "stupid" on a forum that seeks to support prospective applicants and fellow law students.

You cannot honestly believe that's true. 

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I’ve hid a couple of posts.
 

Let’s try to stay on this well-worn, tedious path. It’s the Grouse Grind of ls.ca

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1 hour ago, lugubriousgame said:

This also heavily compounds the privilege point made above about UofT, but which in my opinion applies across the board. I know many individuals for whom not "interning" was not an option given their financial background, if only to ensure they didn't finish undergrad in an abyss of debt. This necessarily meant taking more "rigorous" programs which they were banking on for internships and employment after undergrad if all else didn't workout. Many of these individuals tended to view the "BA 4.0 to law school" route as a class signal and a point of privilege - some days I am inclined to agree.

This is a weird assumption to make and honestly comes across as salty. Most people I know who are high achievers actually engage in a lot of extracurriculars and internships. I don’t get why there’s this assumption that majority of UofT admits are all people who didn’t do anything but study all summer and chose easy programs, that’s honestly ridiculous. In fact, If you check the 2020 class profile, the majority of those attending are from an engineering/math/science background. 
https://www.law.utoronto.ca/about/jd-first-year-class-profile 

(Edit: Majority in a given cluster*, not majority of all students. Ex 21% vs 18%, etc)

 

Also choosing an undergrad based on how easy it is so that you could get into law school is a bad decision. At that stage you are likely not even sure if you want to go to law school. The smart decision is to pick an undergrad that you actually enjoy so that you have a solid backup plan in case you realize that you do not want to be a lawyer. 

 

 

Edited by Re7o
Mistake
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