Law School Discussion

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Matthew_24_24

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Re: New here, and have a few questions...
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2004, 09:58:13 AM »
No, they won't care. 

Matt

ArK@mtl

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Re: New here, and have a few questions...
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2004, 11:15:38 AM »
your probably better off being a big fish is a small sea since admissions seems to be largely a numbers game. If the choice is between two universities that are likely to be unknown to the schools you want to attend (say harvard), than a degree at Bishops won't be any different than one from Concordia (though one from Mcgill proably would make a difference, but its alot harder to get a high GPA at Mcgill).
Further, i would just focus on numbers and involvement/leadership in school, since that seems to be what admissions care about. Go for the 4.0 and try to be involved in school, talk to your profs on a regular basis and develop a good relationship with them that is genuine from a common interest in the subject studied, volunteer. Then at the beggining of your 3rd or 4th year take the LSAT study for and take the LSAT and pray no one has cell phones going off for 5 mins of the test.

Matthew_24_24

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Re: New here, and have a few questions...
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2004, 11:24:02 AM »
Why do people think its harder to get a good GPA at places like Mcgill or U of Toronto?  Numbers show that its completely the opposite.

Matt

timma21

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Re: New here, and have a few questions...
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2004, 12:37:15 PM »
Why do people think its harder to get a good GPA at places like Mcgill or U of Toronto?  Numbers show that its completely the opposite.

Matt

Average grades are pretty similar across the board at Canadian schools. Mcgill has the highest caliber of students. There is a huge gap in average entering grades from high school between Mcgill and Trent.
? / 163/ Canada

Matthew_24_24

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Re: New here, and have a few questions...
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2004, 06:02:13 PM »
High school is a joke, and a function of how much time you put into stupid assignments, not brains.

Ive never seen any statistic that shows that high school grades correlate to university grades. Ever.

Matt

Cheeks

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Re: New here, and have a few questions...
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2004, 06:51:38 PM »
After going through the american application process, I can tell you with certainty that coming from a school like UCal probably will hurt you.  It's not a knock against the school, its just that american schools won't have heard of it, and you'll be at a disadvantaged compared to someone from UT of Mcgill.

For example, this year Yale interviewed at only two Canadian schools, and UofC wasn't one of them.

I spent a year at the University of Windsor and was contemplating on returning for my final year (and earning a degree from UofW).  The reason I didn't is because I wanted to go to an american law school.

Matthew_24_24

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Re: New here, and have a few questions...
« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2004, 08:53:08 PM »
Cheeks is wrong there. 

American schools are aware that the larger Canadian public universities all have strict standards of academics and that graduates from here are "quality candidates" provided their GPA's are up to snuff.

What cheeks is confusing is "hurting" your chances with "not helping" your chances.  Canadian universities get treated like the majority of state schools; they are considered good pools for possible students.  They are unlike ivy league schools, which help your chances. But they certainly are not like private colleges in the u.s., which can often hurt your chances. 

Matt

Cheeks

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Re: New here, and have a few questions...
« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2004, 10:07:28 PM »
good point with the hurting vs. not helping thing ... i should have worded what i said like this ...

RoseRed

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Re: New here, and have a few questions...
« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2004, 10:54:19 AM »
Perhaps this will be redundant, but I thought I would give my two-cents.

In the majority of cases laws schools only look at your GPA and your LSAT. So choose an undergraduate that you would enjoy and succeed in. I personally found after first year I did very well in philosophy. And as a bonus I learned philosophy students on average score the highest on the LSAT.

In concern to the LSAT, I would suggest you wait until the year before you are applying and write it in June. Why June? Well you have time off from school to study for it. As well, it is the only LSAT that is written in the afternoon instead of the morning. Perhaps you are a morning person, but I certainly am not. Even if you do poorly on it you can also then rewrite it in October or December.

Try to pick out approxiametly 3-4 professors that you could ask for a reference. I know you generally only need two reference letters, but in my final year I discovered that my two favourite professors where moving. I still used one, but the other moved to Texas which was too far for mailing back and forth information. Of your 3-4 professors try to ensure you have at least two classes with them during your undergraduate. Perferably one of which is in the year before you apply. As well, try to save great essays from the class to include in your reference request package. Of course, it is uncertain if the law schools will ever read their reference letter, but it is good to have outstanding ones.

At the end of day, law schools may not look at anything beyond numbers. But if you get put into a "maybe pile" at a holistic school it can be very helpful to have something that makes you distinct as a candidate. For instance, a friend of mine was a McGill Poli-Sci student who had a 75% average and a 80th percentile on the LSAT. By June he was rejected from every school he had applied to except Queens. U of O informed him that their reason for rejecting him was that his reference letters were not outstanding. Nevertheless, in late July Queens called him and told him that they would take him if he decided right away. When he asked them why he had gotten in, they said it was because he was on the McGill student council for a year.

It is hard to say if you will ever need anything beyond good numbers. It is hard to say what law school you will end up wanting to go to. Or what kind of law you will want to practice. So the best advice I can give you, is take a shot-gun approach. Make sure all your bases are covered. Do well in school, on your LSAT, become involved, know your professors and have fun doing it.