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Rusty164

Please convince me why Ryerson is a good idea

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I absolutely despise the notion of Ryerson Law and everything that I have learned about it to the extent that it's affecting my interest in this profession entirely. However, I would like to understand why the LSO accredited this institution and why it's a good idea, because it's eating me up inside and I want to be optimistic. Also, if you are a current Ryerson student (or faculty or staff), please don't take this personally, but please don't reply, because that's too obviously biased. For the record I am a law student of another Ontario school, but I also find the trend of increasing class sizes and tuition very concerning, although I've personally accepted the debt load and the fact that law is not a "golden ticket" a long time ago.

Specifically I'm wondering:

Is Ryerson Law good for the profession and the "legal market"?

Is Ryerson Law good for the public and "access to justice"?

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Rusty164 said:

I absolutely despise the notion of Ryerson Law and everything that I have learned about it to the extent that it's affecting my interest in this profession entirely.

 

7 minutes ago, Rusty164 said:

Also, if you are a current Ryerson student (or faculty or staff), please don't take this personally, but please don't reply, because that's too obviously biased.

You're not exactly inviting a civil and balanced discussion by starting from an extreme position and pre-emptively shutting down participation from the group of people who arguably know the most about the Ryerson program.

EDIT: If you're in 2L/3L, I'd recommend putting Ryerson out of your mind entirely if it bothers you that much. You're not even competing with Ryerson students for jobs unless you're in 1L. 

Edited by canuckfanatic
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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, canuckfanatic said:

 

You're not exactly inviting a civil and balanced discussion by starting from an extreme position and pre-emptively shutting down participation from the group of people who arguably know the most about the Ryerson program.

I really just want to see what everyone else says about it. Hopefully we can keep it civil. I'm just being brutally honest about what might be an erroneous impression, and I'm hoping to change my mind.

Edited by Rusty164

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If you’re actually interested in civil discussion, it would likely be a good idea to explain why you feel Ryerson is a bad idea and how the problems you identify are unique to Ryerson rather than generally applicable to all Ontario law schools. 

In my experience, most of the people who dislike Ryerson are simply protectionists who are afraid to compete against more people, which I find rather unsympathetic. But if there are other, specific problems you think Ryerson causes, I’m sure people would be happy to hear about them. 

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5 minutes ago, Rusty164 said:

I really just want to see what everyone else says about it. Hopefully we can keep it civil. I'm just being brutally honest about what might be an erroneous impression, and I'm hoping to change my mind.

I suggest you chill out a bit, to be honest. This outrage cropped up for both TRU and Lakehead and is (thankfully) now largely forgotten. No need to work yourself up over it.

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You are a current law student at a different school, but want others to help you change your mind about how you view Ryerson's program? Is there some reason why? You wrote:

20 minutes ago, Rusty164 said:

I would like to understand why the LSO accredited this institution and why it's a good idea, because it's eating me up inside and I want to be optimistic.

I think you need look no further than some pretty simple Google searches. Here is one example: https://www.ryerson.ca/news-events/news/2019/04/transforming-legal-education/

 

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1 minute ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

In my experience, most of the people who dislike Ryerson are simply protectionists who are afraid to compete against more people, which I find rather unsympathetic. But if there are other, specific problems you think Ryerson causes, I’m sure people would be happy to hear about them. 

 I'm not afraid to compete, and protectionism is petty; but is it not a valid concern to look at whether adding another program is good for the labour market (in any profession)? 

1. Another Ontario, let alone Toronto, law school seems to be totally unnecessary for a balanced legal labour market in the area;

  • This might be completely wrong, if there is a huge untapped market somehow.

2. The idea that an "Integrated Practice Curriculum" is going to solve the articling crisis;

3. Promoting itself as somehow more tech savvy and practice-ready than other law schools

4. Starting at $20K tuition. 

These are all problematic, I think, though the last one is fair criticism for other law schools, too; but at least they can claim some kind of brand value. Not sure how else to justify it.

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14 minutes ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

 simply protectionists

Or, lets be honest, elitists who care about the professions image for selfish reasons.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Rusty164 said:

is it not a valid concern to look at whether adding another program is good for the labour market (in any profession)?

My god, why didn't the LSO or Federation think of that?!

Edited by canuckfanatic
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18 minutes ago, Rusty164 said:

 I'm not afraid to compete, and protectionism is petty; but is it not a valid concern to look at whether adding another program is good for the labour market (in any profession)? 

1. Another Ontario, let alone Toronto, law school seems to be totally unnecessary for a balanced legal labour market in the area;

  • This might be completely wrong, if there is a huge untapped market somehow.

2. The idea that an "Integrated Practice Curriculum" is going to solve the articling crisis;

3. Promoting itself as somehow more tech savvy and practice-ready than other law schools

4. Starting at $20K tuition. 

These are all problematic, I think, though the last one is fair criticism for other law schools, too; but at least they can claim some kind of brand value. Not sure how else to justify it.

For what its worth I completely agree with you. 

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Why is your beef only with Ryerson though and not with Queen's recently increased class size and Ottawa's increased class size a while back? I've connected with many of the current 1L students at Ryerson and am excited to see what they bring to the legal profession. They came across as passionate individuals wanting to pursue access to justice, public interest, legal technology, and help society in general. A lot of the students accepted at Ryerson are mature students and BIPOC who also bring good perspectives and life experience to the legal profession. Many of these students would have been completely shut out of pursuing a legal career or have gone abroad if Ryerson did not accept them. As a law student, I can see why this is giving you anxiety if you are worried about job competition, but you need to face saturation and competition in literally every other field, including healthcare and business professions. If you were an employed lawyer, I think you'd be more balanced in your perspective and see the value in having different voices, perspectives, and experiences represented in the legal profession. 

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As the biggest Ryerson skeptic on this website, I’m not going to once again rehash my opinion as to why Ryerson is poor choice. But I will say this. 
 

As it stands, if you’re interested in being a sole practitioner, working in a remote area or working in a small firm, attending Ryerson might be a sensible course of action, but only if you haven’t gotten into any objectively better schools with historically high placement rates and strong alumni networks.

If you’re dead set on being a lawyer and Ryerson is the only offer you’ve received, it’s a far better option than going to a UK law school or a school like Bond in Australia. I will concede that. Whether it is worth the $20k per year price tag is an entirely different question.

How Ryerson will perform in terms of placement remains to be seen. Apparently some students have been hired in the 1L recruit. That is a promising sign, although not enough to overcome my scepticism. As the legal market in Canada grows (expected to be roughly in line with GDP growth) I do think that in the future, Ryerson could see its day, contingent on the fact that the number of law grads remains somewhat consistent with market equilibrium. 

In my humble opinion, opening a law school when there is an obvious overage of law grads in Ontario was not a good thing, even with the implementation of LLP. A shortage of articling jobs translates directly into a shortage of associate positions. By its very nature, I think LLP is a poor alternative to articling, since 30% of positions in the 4 months work term are unpaid, and the digital learning in the other 4 months is no substitute for real life experience. I expect a large number of Ryerson grads to rely on LPP. 

All things considered, if you are a current non-Ryerson student at any Canadian law school right now, you have a serious interest in seeing that the number of law grads in Ontario remains consistent with what the market demands. An overage of grads is not a good thing for the profession. It will only increase competitiveness while driving down average salaries in the field. More of anything makes it less valuable. If you are a student at Windsor or Ottawa in particular, you have an especially strong interest in seeing that the number of freshly minted grads remains consistent with what the market demands, since some students at these schools already have problems in finding well-paid articling positions. 

The bottom line is that if you’re a Canadian law student right now, especially in Ontario, it would be in your interest to hope that additional law schools don’t spring up, saturating the market with grads. 

My worry is that since the LSO has endorsed Ryerson Law, more universities in Canada will see a financial opportunity to open up their own programs despite the obvious shortage in articling positions. Filling up seats in these programs will not be a challenge given the number of applicants every year that don’t secure a seat. In 10 years from now, is it possible that we will see a Laurentian Law? 

My other concern, (while less pressing), is that as it stands, the limited number of law school seats acts as a natural gatekeeper, ensuring that only the best and brightest make it into the profession. I think this is a good thing for the profession in general.

I disagree with the idea that so long as there is a demand for law schools seats, we should continue to pump out more and more grads. In fact, I think certain schools should decrease enrolment.

Here’s an article on the subject that echoes a lot of what I said: 

https://www.canadianlawyermag.com/news/general/lso-endorses-proposed-ryerson-law-school/274947

 

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Increasing the supply of lawyers in Ontario - although potentially resulting in a reduction in the cost of litigation for claims due to the increased competition in the market, might now incentivize more people to file legal cases in the first place. With this in mind, there could be a return to the original level of market demand seen prior to the increased number of lawyers in the job market. Just some food for thought. :)

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It's better than people going abroad for law degrees.

The bigger barrier to the legal profession is getting good experience the first few years of practice, not going to law school, so it doesn't really affect the profession all that much. Nor does it really affect access to justice or the public interest, for the same reason coupled with the high costs. It affects students, but not really that much, other than offering a better option than going abroad. 

Is it a good thing that schools keep opening into a market that has struggled to produce enough articling positions to meet the demand? Not really. But it is a pretty low priority for the legal profession. There are tons of issues that I care about more, chronic underfunding of courts, slow adaption of technology (seriously I had to physically bring a 1200 page affidavit from Vancouver to Edmonton for a case instead of electronic), chronic underfunding of legal aid, a culture of overworking/stress, etc.

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7 minutes ago, HopefulLawyer97 said:

My other concern, (while less pressing), is that as it stands, the limited number of law school seats acts as a natural gatekeeper, ensuring that only the best and brightest make it into the profession. I think this is a good thing for the profession in general.

I see your point in a more abstract sense but Ryerson isn't just accepting applicants arbitrarily. I know some very bright minds who are currently attending Ryerson Law. Conversely, I think we have all known some less bright people at other law schools. Plus, firms can (and will) still hire the "best and brightest" so to speak. Some of those individuals will be from Ryerson. The added competition is hardly a threat to the caliber of the legal profession.

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They're putting a lot of effort into bringing opportunities to their students including research funding and work-force oriented class choices that no other school coasting on reputation is working to offer. If you're looking to be a big fish in a small pond surrounded with all the benefits of being in canada's economic center... Ryerson is the place to be. 

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, HopefulLawyer97 said:

I expect a large number of Ryerson grads to rely on LPP.

Your credibility in the Western v Ryerson thread was seriously harmed by your lack of knowledge on this topic, such as when you seemed to suggest Ryerson invented the LPP, rather than simply winning the contract to implement it. Your misapprehension of key facts is coming out again here. 

Why on earth do you think a “large number of Ryerson grads” will rely on the LPP when they don’t need to article*?

I really think you should consider refraining from commenting on these topics until you have a better grasp of the issues at play. Your comments in other areas are often quite useful, but you don’t seem to understand pretty basic things about Ryerson’s law school. 

*ETA: or complete the LPP. They just need to pass the bar exams. 

Edited by BlockedQuebecois
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14 minutes ago, HopefulLawyer97 said:

In 10 years from now, is it possible that we will see a Laurentian Law? 

Oof, given this week's news regarding Laurentian, this was not the best example to pull out of the hat today 😂 

https://www.narcity.com/en-ca/news/ottawa/laurentian-university-is-reportedly-shedding-programs-to-cut-costs

https://www.parrysound.com/news-story/10371996-laurentian-university-cuts-over-60-programs/

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