# Western VS Queens (Grade Distribution)

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Hey guys,

Just wondering if anyone has any opinions on Western VS Queens for corporate law. I know theres other threads on here but I was hoping someone could speak about the grade distribution. I copied and pasted some info I found on their websites below but found it hard to compare bc 1. idk how many small section/seminar courses a Queen's student usually takes, 2. they reported the median for queens and mean for western (but it seems like a normal distribution maybe it is fair to compare??) 😭

From what I have heard that the curve is higher at Queen's -  can someone confirm/explain this. Also, is this something employers look at (is a B+ at Queen's considered less favourable than a B+ at Western). Ik grades are super important for Bay St placements so this is a big consideration for me.

Any other advice would also be appreciated! Thanks!

QUEENS

In lecture courses (i.e. courses other than seminars and small sections), B is the median grade, no more than 20% of students are awarded grades of A or A-, and no more than 20% of students are awarded grades of C+ or lower;

In first year small section courses and upper year seminar courses, B or B+ is the median grade, no more than 30% of students are awarded grades of A or A-, and no more than 20% of students are awarded grades of C+ or lower.

A = 4.0

A- = 3.7-3.9

B+ = 3.3-3.69

B = 3.0-3.29

B- = 2.7 - 2.9

WESTERN:

The class average in an upper-year course of 25 or fewer students must be between 74.0 – 79.0.  The class average in an upper-year course of more than 25 students and in all first-year courses must be between 74.0 – 76.0.  Grades in the “F” range will be excluded from the calculation of class averages. These grading rules do not apply to independent research projects, supplemental writing credits, courses in which students participate in external advocacy competitions, or to internships or externships with fewer than five enrolled students.

 A+ Excellent 90-100 A Excellent 85-89 A- Excellent 80-84 B+ Good 77-79 B Good 73-76 B- Good 70-72

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Gunners are nuts lol

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10 minutes ago, MountainMon said:

Gunners are nuts lol

LOOL smh I just have a lot of time on my hands these days 😭 😂   stay at home order is noot helping

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Bay street firms recruit the best candidates from any law school in Canada (and sometimes abroad).

In my experience there is virtually no difference in the quality of candidates at the top of their class across Canadian law schools and employers are very much aware of this. I make this claim having worked with / mooted against students from different law schools.

Further, Western and Queens have similar placements each year (about 30+/-%).

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28 minutes ago, evo2019 said:

Bay street firms recruit the best candidates from any law school in Canada (and sometimes abroad).

In my experience there is virtually no difference in the quality of candidates at the top of their class across Canadian law schools and employers are very much aware of this. I make this claim having worked with / mooted against students from different law schools.

Further, Western and Queens have similar placements each year (about 30+/-%).

That's good to know thank you!!

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You're competing for OCIs with students from your own school, and after the OCI stage there is no correlation between grades and getting an offer. So there's no point in comparing the grading schemes between two schools.

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3 hours ago, chaboywb said:

You're competing for OCIs with students from your own school, and after the OCI stage there is no correlation between grades and getting an offer. So there's no point in comparing the grading schemes between two schools.

Wow I didn't know they just compare you to those in your school I always thought they compared everyone who applied from all schools. If possible, could you provide more details about this? Is there a certain range of people they take from each school every year or something? Does this mean it's significantly more advantageous to go to a school where you are more likely to stand out rather than one where you would be average?

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8 minutes ago, futurelawyer9 said:

Wow I didn't know they just compare you to those in your school I always thought they compared everyone who applied from all schools. If possible, could you provide more details about this? Is there a certain range of people they take from each school every year or something? Does this mean it's significantly more advantageous to go to a school where you are more likely to stand out rather than one where you would be average?

I think at U of T and Osgoode there are 2 days of OCIs and the big firms interview 60-80 applicants. At Queens (I could be wrong but I assume similar at Western) there's 1 day of OCIs and the big firms interview 40~ applicants. I've heard in the past that the big firms extend OCI invites to 20 applicants per firm from Ottawa and Windsor, but both those schools did well in Toronto recruit this year so that information could be outdated.

So there are more OCI slots at some schools vs others and in theory that gives you a better chance at meeting more firms. That said, your second question about whether it's advantageous to go to a school where you are more likely to stand out than another is one where the answer would draw controversy. You could assume that it's harder to stand out at U of T on the basis of the student body having higher entry stats but entry stats don't always correlate with how well someone does in law school. That said even if it's harder to stand out at U of T, they have more OCI slots so an average student there has a better chance of getting more interviews than an average student at Queens or Western.

Your main question about where you should go between Queen's and Western for corporate law, it again depends on what you mean. If you just want to land at a full-service firm then I think your chances are pretty similar at Queen's and Western. If you specifically want to practice corporate law or some related field like securities, then I've heard Western has a larger course selection in these areas and you may have more opportunities to show an interest there. Queen's has a business law clinic and a lot of great business law profs but we also haven't had a full-time securities law professor the entire time I've been here.

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2 hours ago, QMT20 said:

I think at U of T and Osgoode there are 2 days of OCIs and the big firms interview 60-80 applicants. At Queens (I could be wrong but I assume similar at Western) there's 1 day of OCIs and the big firms interview 40~ applicants. I've heard in the past that the big firms extend OCI invites to 20 applicants per firm from Ottawa and Windsor, but both those schools did well in Toronto recruit this year so that information could be outdated.

So there are more OCI slots at some schools vs others and in theory that gives you a better chance at meeting more firms. That said, your second question about whether it's advantageous to go to a school where you are more likely to stand out than another is one where the answer would draw controversy. You could assume that it's harder to stand out at U of T on the basis of the student body having higher entry stats but entry stats don't always correlate with how well someone does in law school. That said even if it's harder to stand out at U of T, they have more OCI slots so an average student there has a better chance of getting more interviews than an average student at Queens or Western.

Your main question about where you should go between Queen's and Western for corporate law, it again depends on what you mean. If you just want to land at a full-service firm then I think your chances are pretty similar at Queen's and Western. If you specifically want to practice corporate law or some related field like securities, then I've heard Western has a larger course selection in these areas and you may have more opportunities to show an interest there. Queen's has a business law clinic and a lot of great business law profs but we also haven't had a full-time securities law professor the entire time I've been here.

This was super helpful, thank you so much!!

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I was debating Western v Queens for corporate law last year as well, so I could probably give you some insight.

In terms of grade distribution, the posts above are spot on. Don't worry about how the curve works at either school. Ideally, for the 2L Toronto recruit, you'll want to be in the top third of your class. Of course, the higher the grades, the better.

For the most part, if you're gunning for corporate law, you could easily decide Western v Queens with a coin flip. Someone in the 90th percentile at Queens is going to be perceived exactly the same as someone in the 90th percentile at Western, ceteris paribus.

One thing to note - Western brands itself as the "preeminent" business law school in Canada. I personally think that is over exaggerated. Osgoode and Queens do just as well, and U of T is the standout for Bay St placement.

However, I do think Western is trying to create a brand and differentiate itself on the basis of the Ivey connection (Ivey imo has the best business undergrad and MBA program in the country). Big law firms seem to love HBA and HBA/JD students. In any given year, Davies, which is probably the most selective firm, takes a bunch of them. Whether this branding/differentiation will yield favourable results in the future remains to be seen, but I doubt it.

I definitely got the impression that Western is more business law focused, but this doesn't translate into any significant benefits over Queens in terms of placement. I mostly chose Western because rent in London is cheaper, it's an hour closer to Toronto and I liked the law building/campus better.

If you're looking at corporate law, one thing I would consider in the Queens JD/MBA program with Smith. Western also has a JD/MBA program with Ivey, but it requires 2 years work experience. I believe Smith waives the 2 year work experience requirement for "exceptional candidates." The JD/MBA intake at both schools is considerably smaller than UofT/Rotman and Osgoode/Schulich. Western only took 2 JD/MBA students this year.

For what it''s worth, Smith has a pretty good MBA program - I'd rank it 4th in Canada after Ivey, Rotman and McGill - and their JD/MBA grads seem to do very well. Just something to consider.

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9 hours ago, HopefulLawyer97 said:

I was debating Western v Queens for corporate law last year as well, so I could probably give you some insight.

In terms of grade distribution, the posts above are spot on. Don't worry about how the curve works at either school. Ideally, for the 2L Toronto recruit, you'll want to be in the top third of your class. Of course, the higher the grades, the better.

For the most part, if you're gunning for corporate law, you could easily decide Western v Queens with a coin flip. Someone in the 90th percentile at Queens is going to be perceived exactly the same as someone in the 90th percentile at Western, ceteris paribus.

One thing to note - Western brands itself as the "preeminent" business law school in Canada. I personally think that is over exaggerated. Osgoode and Queens do just as well, and U of T is the standout for Bay St placement.

However, I do think Western is trying to create a brand and differentiate itself on the basis of the Ivey connection (Ivey imo has the best business undergrad and MBA program in the country). Big law firms seem to love HBA and HBA/JD students. In any given year, Davies, which is probably the most selective firm, takes a bunch of them. Whether this branding/differentiation will yield favourable results in the future remains to be seen, but I doubt it.

I definitely got the impression that Western is more business law focused, but this doesn't translate into any significant benefits over Queens in terms of placement. I mostly chose Western because rent in London is cheaper, it's an hour closer to Toronto and I liked the law building/campus better.

If you're looking at corporate law, one thing I would consider in the Queens JD/MBA program with Smith. Western also has a JD/MBA program with Ivey, but it requires 2 years work experience. I believe Smith waives the 2 year work experience requirement for "exceptional candidates." The JD/MBA intake at both schools is considerably smaller than UofT/Rotman and Osgoode/Schulich. Western only took 2 JD/MBA students this year.

For what it''s worth, Smith has a pretty good MBA program - I'd rank it 4th in Canada after Ivey, Rotman and McGill - and their JD/MBA grads seem to do very well. Just something to consider.

Thank you so much for the detailed reply!! So much helpful info here.

The JD/MBA is something I was considering. I wish Western didn't have that 2 year min work experience requirement. I know Osgoode doesn't. Also not sure I would be an "exceptional applicant" for Queens either but at least it somewhat keeps that door open.

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12 hours ago, HopefulLawyer97 said:

Western also has a JD/MBA program with Ivey, but it requires 2 years work experience. I believe Smith waives the 2 year work experience requirement for "exceptional candidates."

Are you certain of this? I know someone who goes to Western law who was basically told to apply after his first grades came out (he was near or at the top of his class). I'm pretty sure he didn't have work experience.

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2 hours ago, VitalGiraffe said:

Are you certain of this? I know someone who goes to Western law who was basically told to apply after his first grades came out (he was near or at the top of his class). I'm pretty sure he didn't have work experience.

I copied and pasted what i saw on their website below! Did ur friend go to Ivey for their undergrad? Someone told me if you are already an Ivey HBA student you may not need the 2 years of work experience(?) not 100% sure

I'll probably call to get clarification on the whole JD/MBA thing . I'll reply to this post if I find out!

Applicants should demonstrate:

• Leadership Potential: Demonstrated through professional, volunteer, or community initiatives and/or interests and passions

• Quality Work Experience: Minimum of two years of full-time experience (typical average is four years)

• Strong Academic Record: Demonstrated by a solid undergraduate average and GMAT of 600+ (Note: candidates with LSAT scores of 160+ may use their LSAT score in lieu of writing a GMAT)

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, VitalGiraffe said:

Are you certain of this? I know someone who goes to Western law who was basically told to apply after his first grades came out (he was near or at the top of his class). I'm pretty sure he didn't have work experience.

Yes. You also can’t get into the JD/MBA program through delayed entry. It’s a 3.5 year program the begins in March before 1L.

Believe me, I tried to get the work experience waived. Ivey MBA is fantastic. I wanted it so bad lol.

Edited by HopefulLawyer97

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Whether you go to Western or Queen's, try to get into one of their JD/MBA programs. I believe the annual intake at both schools is less than 5 students and these students do very well in Big law recruitment -- much better than Osgoode JD/MBA students simply because Osgoode JD/MBA has a much larger cohort and some of these students do strike out in the corporate recruitment process. Ivey and Queen's MBA programs are also better than the Schulich MBA.

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Posted (edited)

Whether you go to Western or Queen's, try to get into one of their JD/MBA programs. I believe the annual intake at both schools is less than 5 students and these students do very well in Big law recruitment -- much better than Osgoode JD/MBA students simply because Osgoode JD/MBA has a much larger cohort and some of these students do strike out in the corporate recruitment process. Ivey and Queen's MBA programs are also better than the Schulich MBA.

I was def interested in the JD/MBA but wasn't 100% sold when I applied since I have an undergraduate commerce degree from Rotman. I wasn't sure how beneficial it would be for me to go straight into an MBA without any full time-work experience. Do you think it's still worth it? And if I am able to get into the JD/MBA at Queens but not Western, would you recommend picking Queens?

Edited by futurelawyer9

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11 minutes ago, futurelawyer9 said:

I was def interested in the JD/MBA but wasn't 100% sold when I applied since I have an undergraduate commerce degree from Rotman. I wasn't sure how beneficial it would be for me to go straight into an MBA without any full time-work experience. Do you think it's still worth it? And if I am able to get into the JD/MBA at Queens but not Western, would you recommend picking Queens?

I know a couple Queen's JD/MBAs that were hired at Stikeman Elliott. I recommend it.

I normally would not recommend pursuing an MBA without work experience, but the case is different for dual JD/MBA students looking to pursue a career in Big law. The JD/MBA offers you a failsafe to fall back on in case your grades in law school are not competitive for Big law, as firms would be willing to lower their bar just because you are a JD/MBA. A business undergraduate degree is also dime a dozen now in Canadian law schools, and while it may help you in the formal recruit, I would not depend upon it either.

How badly do you want Big law? Because if the answer is "Big law or bust" and you're going to law school to only pursue a Big law career, then I think the JD/MBA investment at Queen's or Western is definitely worth it. That being said, if you are in the top of your class in the JD portion, you don't need the MBA (you can perhaps see what your grades are like in 1L and decide whether you still want to go ahead with the MBA). If you are just an average or below average law student, then the JD/MBA will help you stand out.

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^ spot on.

@futurelawyer9 I did a biz undergrad in the same tier as Rotman Commerce and I get the impression that most recruiters find someone with a top 4 JD/MBA more impressive than someone with just a JD and a Rotman/Schulich/Laurier undergrad.

I’m not exactly sure why, since tier 1 and 2 biz undergrads are substantively more difficult than an MBA. I think it partially has to do with the fact that JD/MBAs on average might have some more experience, or the misconception that MBAs are more substantive than BComs, BBAs in terms of matierial, because it’s a “masters” program. Really, an MBA is just a 2-year watered down BBA/BCom with older people and larger focus on networking.

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22 hours ago, futurelawyer9 said:

Did ur friend go to Ivey for their undergrad? Someone told me if you are already an Ivey HBA student you may not need the 2 years of work experience(?) not 100% sure

He wasn't my friend, he was a friend of a friend I only met once or twice. I don't remember any details except what I said in the previous comment. So don't take my word on any of this, I could definitely be wrong.

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On 4/11/2021 at 4:49 PM, Deadpool said:

I know a couple Queen's JD/MBAs that were hired at Stikeman Elliott. I recommend it.

I normally would not recommend pursuing an MBA without work experience, but the case is different for dual JD/MBA students looking to pursue a career in Big law. The JD/MBA offers you a failsafe to fall back on in case your grades in law school are not competitive for Big law, as firms would be willing to lower their bar just because you are a JD/MBA. A business undergraduate degree is also dime a dozen now in Canadian law schools, and while it may help you in the formal recruit, I would not depend upon it either.

How badly do you want Big law? Because if the answer is "Big law or bust" and you're going to law school to only pursue a Big law career, then I think the JD/MBA investment at Queen's or Western is definitely worth it. That being said, if you are in the top of your class in the JD portion, you don't need the MBA (you can perhaps see what your grades are like in 1L and decide whether you still want to go ahead with the MBA). If you are just an average or below average law student, then the JD/MBA will help you stand out.

Thanks so much for the valuable advice! I am pretty set on big law and I think you're right, the dual would be a good option.

I called Western today and they said they do require 2 years (or close to 2 years) of work experience and I would have to defer my admission by a year since the MBA program starts in March.. so I guess that isn't an option anymore  Still waiting for Queens to get back to me tho.

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