Canadian Resident taking questions.

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
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Noval
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Re: Canadian Resident taking questions.

Postby Noval » Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:28 pm

lilliea wrote:
niederbomb wrote:
I am interested in doing this as well, and I do speak Chinese from living in China for a year.

I am applying to UofT and UBC, but maybe I should go to McGill instead? I thought UofT Faculty of Law was Canada's flagship school.

Only problem...McGill has a French requirement. So I'd have to delay a year, so I could take some French.

EDIT: I've googled for hours and cannot find a list of OCI firms for either UBC, UT, or McGill. Any idea where I could find this information?

Someone on the lawstudents.ca board said UBC was the best "Asian law" school, so I'd like to actually get some hard numbers.


+1 I missed out on the deadline for UofT, but I'm also interested in UBC as well. Any information you might have about it would be great.

Also, how heavy is French, honestly, in the McGill curriculum?

Niederbomb: Where did you spend your year in China, if you don't mind me asking? I got back from Chengdu in May.


Like the other guy said, you won't have to fully speak French, in fact, no one cares, but you will the basics in reading/writing, which is easy to do and you will be able to take your Civil Law exams in English (Ok, 2 or 3 may be in French only but they are fairly easy to understand.)

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Re: Canadian Resident taking questions.

Postby Noval » Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:30 pm

8idl wrote:Hi, I just received my LSAT score and I was wondering if you could evaluate my chances at UT law?

OLSAS cGPA: 3.87
1st year: 3.82
2nd year: 3.92

LSAT: 165/92nd

I'm currently on a full year exchange for my 3rd year so my OLSAS cGPA won't change between now and when I apply in Sep 2011.

Thanks so much!


Your chances are very good, all you need now is decent ECs and you will have a good shot for either UofT or McGill(You WILL need ECs there or you will be rejected, good grades or not).

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Re: Canadian Resident taking questions.

Postby Noval » Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:34 pm

firemedicprelaw wrote:
Noval wrote:I'm ready to answer your questions regarding Canadian Law Schools, job prospects, salaries,etc.

If you are interested in the Canadian Market, feel free to leave me your questions, i'll try my best to answer them.



I have already applied to UVic, UBC, U of A, U of C, Dal, Queens, Osgoode, and Windsor.

I have heard many times that an LLB/JD there is much more portable than it is here in the States... in the sense that one can move around within Canada relatively easily as a lawyer.

What is your opinion... true, not true?


For Portability, the LLB/JD will not really matter, unless you go to University of Montreal's Civil Law program and do one extra year in Osgoode (Deal between the schools) to get a JD related to Common Law.
If you really want a joint degree, go for the JD/MBA or the JD/International Law Master's, much more reliable if you want my opinion.

If i were you, i'd avoid UVic, UofC, Dal and Windsor at all costs, their placement rates are falling as UofT, UofA, Osgoode, McGill and University of Montreal are dominating the rankings.

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Re: Canadian Resident taking questions.

Postby niederbomb » Tue Nov 02, 2010 8:01 am

UofT is your best choice if you want a decent shot pretty much everywhere, but for the International scene, McGill is the only Canadian University viewed with esteem, the French requirement is "medium" as you will study in a transsystemic environment, you will have to understand both Civil and Common Law equally and be able to deal with every case related to them.That said, you will only need to learn how to read/write decent French to get accepted there.There are French courses in McGill and lots of Law aspirants go there before getting admitted.It takes a few months to be able to learn French and trust me, if you have the brain to enter either UofT or McGill, you're smart enough to learn French fast.


So the deadline to apply to McGill is November 30. Should I even bother this year, considering my lack of French, or take French and apply next year?
Last edited by niederbomb on Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:18 am, edited 3 times in total.

8idl
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Re: Canadian Resident taking questions.

Postby 8idl » Tue Nov 02, 2010 8:53 am

Noval wrote:
8idl wrote:Hi, I just received my LSAT score and I was wondering if you could evaluate my chances at UT law?

OLSAS cGPA: 3.87
1st year: 3.82
2nd year: 3.92

LSAT: 165/92nd

I'm currently on a full year exchange for my 3rd year so my OLSAS cGPA won't change between now and when I apply in Sep 2011.

Thanks so much!


Your chances are very good, all you need now is decent ECs and you will have a good shot for either UofT or McGill(You WILL need ECs there or you will be rejected, good grades or not).



I won't lie, my ECs are...shit at best.

I have some pretty good work experience (one overseas internship, worked at a insurance company and one of the big 5 banks) though and plenty of international (well, Hong Kong) experience...

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Re: Canadian Resident taking questions.

Postby Noval » Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:43 pm

niederbomb wrote:
UofT is your best choice if you want a decent shot pretty much everywhere, but for the International scene, McGill is the only Canadian University viewed with esteem, the French requirement is "medium" as you will study in a transsystemic environment, you will have to understand both Civil and Common Law equally and be able to deal with every case related to them.That said, you will only need to learn how to read/write decent French to get accepted there.There are French courses in McGill and lots of Law aspirants go there before getting admitted.It takes a few months to be able to learn French and trust me, if you have the brain to enter either UofT or McGill, you're smart enough to learn French fast.


So the deadline to apply to McGill is November 30. Should I even bother this year, considering my lack of French, or take French and apply next year?


Try this year and do your possible to learn the french basics, till August 2011.
You may end up doing a French test that is relatively easy, but long, many of my foreign colleagues entered the program while they learned French in the last minute.


Either way, acceptance or rejection, you still have plenty of time to learn it.

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Re: Canadian Resident taking questions.

Postby Noval » Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:45 pm

8idl wrote:
Noval wrote:
8idl wrote:Hi, I just received my LSAT score and I was wondering if you could evaluate my chances at UT law?

OLSAS cGPA: 3.87
1st year: 3.82
2nd year: 3.92

LSAT: 165/92nd

I'm currently on a full year exchange for my 3rd year so my OLSAS cGPA won't change between now and when I apply in Sep 2011.

Thanks so much!


Your chances are very good, all you need now is decent ECs and you will have a good shot for either UofT or McGill(You WILL need ECs there or you will be rejected, good grades or not).



I won't lie, my ECs are...shit at best.

I have some pretty good work experience (one overseas internship, worked at a insurance company and one of the big 5 banks) though and plenty of international (well, Hong Kong) experience...


These activities look good actually, but you need to be more precise on the jobs/internships you had in the insurance company and in one of the big 5 banks, if you were a coffee boy then it won't be relevant, but if it was pertinent experience then it will be considered.
Do some volountering and you will be fine to apply, i know some who entered with 50 hours tops...lol

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Re: Canadian Resident taking questions.

Postby lilliea » Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:36 am

Niederbomb:

How is Shenyang? I never made it there myself, Chengdu had enough going on for me. Aside from the constant haze, it was a great city with great food, people and sights. Of course, the food was literally tongue-numbing, but I kind of got used to that.

Thank you guys for your information. I'm definitely applying to McGill, as it sounds like a great school and somewhere I can see myself spending a few years.

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Re: Canadian Resident taking questions.

Postby Noval » Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:42 pm

lilliea wrote:Niederbomb:

How is Shenyang? I never made it there myself, Chengdu had enough going on for me. Aside from the constant haze, it was a great city with great food, people and sights. Of course, the food was literally tongue-numbing, but I kind of got used to that.

Thank you guys for your information. I'm definitely applying to McGill, as it sounds like a great school and somewhere I can see myself spending a few years.



No problem, good luck for the selection process.

If you get accepted, you'll love Montreal, awesome city to live in, so much activities in McGill and so much foreign students to party with there.
+ McGill Undergrad girls are extremely hot, especially those in Political/Economical Science programs where they all want to enter Law in McGill, they will love you mister ! ^^


Not to mention the amount of parties there are in MTL Downtown each year, Christmas parties are the shit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsVedvWF23c

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Re: Canadian Resident taking questions.

Postby niederbomb » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:00 am

I'm going to apply as well and download Rosetta Stone French in the meantime. Hopefully, I won't look like an idiot in the French interview. Until I make up for my October LSAT embarrassment, McGill is my best chance to go to an elite law school.

lilliea, Shenyang is very cold this time of year, and it wouldn't have been my first choice of cities. That said, the food is very decent, the people are friendly, and the art of separating foreigners from their money is still in its infancy here, unlike Dalian, for example. I chose it because of the job more than anything else.

I would like to visit Chengdu over spring festival.

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Re: Canadian Resident taking questions.

Postby lilliea » Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:25 am

niederbomb wrote:I'm going to apply as well and download Rosetta Stone French in the meantime. Hopefully, I won't look like an idiot in the French interview. Until I make up for my October LSAT embarrassment, McGill is my best chance to go to an elite law school.

lilliea, Shenyang is very cold this time of year, and it wouldn't have been my first choice of cities. That said, the food is very decent, the people are friendly, and the art of separating foreigners from their money is still in its infancy here, unlike Dalian, for example. I chose it because of the job more than anything else.

I would like to visit Chengdu over spring festival.


Chengdu never got that cold, except when it got chilly, it felt awful because there was absolutely no real heat in the buildings simply because it never got that cold. Of course, the buildings weren't exactly the best at insulating things, either.

You should definitely visit Chengdu and Sichuan if you have the time. The school I was at was right in the Tibetan district, which was really interesting. Also, there are some beautiful places not too far away, such as Emei Shan and the giant Buddha at Leshan. Although if you're not a big fan of tofu, I'd recommend not eating in Leshan as tofu is their specialty and, to be honest, it was rather bland. Also, if you head south, let me know. The 四川话 is pretty atrocious and if you don't have any heads up, it can be pretty brutal.

Good luck on your McGill application, and on your French learning. Hopefully, I'll fall back into French without too much problem, although it has been five years since I lived in France...

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Re: Canadian Resident taking questions.

Postby Noval » Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:42 am

niederbomb wrote:I'm going to apply as well and download Rosetta Stone French in the meantime. Hopefully, I won't look like an idiot in the French interview. Until I make up for my October LSAT embarrassment, McGill is my best chance to go to an elite law school.



Don't worry, there's no Interviews for University applicants ( There are exceptions ), the Interviews are for the 18-19 years old QC Cegep applicants who compete for the 10-15 places available...

It may sound mediocre judging the fact that there are no Interviews, but selection is rough, there's no pity on grades and Extra-curriculars, so play your cards right.
Concerning French, as long as you can read it and write without too much friction, you'll be fine, oral is not needed unless you plan on practicing in Quebec.
Just in case you're wondering, McGill, like most other top law schools in Canada does not favor it's students for admission, this is why you see so many variety in classes, from Australia to Russia, people come from everywhere in the world to learn here.

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Re: Canadian Resident taking questions.

Postby lilliea » Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:53 am

Noval wrote:

It may sound mediocre judging the fact that there are no Interviews, but selection is rough, there's no pity on grades and Extra-curriculars, so play your cards right.
Concerning French, as long as you can read it and write without too much friction, you'll be fine, oral is not needed unless you plan on practicing in Quebec.

Just in case you're wondering, McGill, like most other top law schools in Canada does not favor it's students for admission, this is why you see so many variety in classes, from Australia to Russia, people come from everywhere in the world to learn here.



Since you're at McGill and all, anything you wish you would have known before starting there, good or bad? Anything you wish you could change about the school?

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Re: Canadian Resident taking questions.

Postby niederbomb » Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:53 pm

It may sound mediocre judging the fact that there are no Interviews, but selection is rough, there's no pity on grades and Extra-curriculars, so play your cards right.


I work now for an NGO in China...I did some EC's in college, volunteering, two DC internships. I did two years in the military. Some leadership experience here.

I haven't really accomplished anything that impressive. I can get good LOR's from everywhere, but I don't particularly stand out in anything. I have the distinction of being a finalist, but not a winner, for both the Truman and the Marshall Scholarships. Otherwise, I'm an ordinary guy with good grades.

GPA: 3.92. LSAT: 162. Retaking in December for UofT or a U.S. T-6.

If you really think I can apply with no knowledge of French whatsoever and start learning Rosetta Stone in December, I'll go for it. Only concern is that all "supporting documents" have to be mailed in via snail mail...from China.

What do you think about including one academic LOR and one current employer LOR? I'm afraid I might not be able to get more than one academic LOR because the university I went to was on the conservative/patriotic "Canada is socialist" side of things.

I also wasn't sure at first which program to apply for since one of the graduate law programs has the word "doctorate" in it....lol.

I think it's the 3.5-year LL.b program with both common law and civil law, right?

I think after a little research McGill is closer to what I want than either UofT or the U.S. schools I was looking at (the ones that don't average multiple LSAT scores). So my strategy is "apply now" and research more later when I'm less busy with the LSAT.

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Re: Canadian Resident taking questions.

Postby Noval » Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:16 pm

lilliea wrote:
Noval wrote:

It may sound mediocre judging the fact that there are no Interviews, but selection is rough, there's no pity on grades and Extra-curriculars, so play your cards right.
Concerning French, as long as you can read it and write without too much friction, you'll be fine, oral is not needed unless you plan on practicing in Quebec.

Just in case you're wondering, McGill, like most other top law schools in Canada does not favor it's students for admission, this is why you see so many variety in classes, from Australia to Russia, people come from everywhere in the world to learn here.



Since you're at McGill and all, anything you wish you would have known before starting there, good or bad? Anything you wish you could change about the school?


They should close the door to Cegep applicants, i'm tired to see 18 years olds crowding the back of the class and always asking for help because they are not prepared for Law studies, especially with 2 branches such as Common Law and Civil Law integrated together.
Forcing these kids to go Undergrad first would probably raise the number of places for University applicants, which makes it easier to break in.

Something i was i had known before classes started ? Do not start doing your lectures before the end of orientation/initiations, it's useless as you don't know what to learn for the exams yet.
When classes officially start, DO NOT GET behind in your reading, because if you do, have fun burning your next week end through reading 200 pages.

One more thing, sleep is important, i don't care if your exam is tomorow and you need to be sure you're ready, get a full night of sleep or your grades will go down the drain, even though you studied like a mindless zombie for the past 3 weeks. :mrgreen:

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Re: Canadian Resident taking questions.

Postby Noval » Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:29 pm

niederbomb wrote:
It may sound mediocre judging the fact that there are no Interviews, but selection is rough, there's no pity on grades and Extra-curriculars, so play your cards right.


I work now for an NGO in China...I did some EC's in college, volunteering, two DC internships. I did two years in the military. Some leadership experience here.

I haven't really accomplished anything that impressive. I can get good LOR's from everywhere, but I don't particularly stand out in anything. I have the distinction of being a finalist, but not a winner, for both the Truman and the Marshall Scholarships. Otherwise, I'm an ordinary guy with good grades.

GPA: 3.92. LSAT: 162. Retaking in December for UofT or a U.S. T-6.

If you really think I can apply with no knowledge of French whatsoever and start learning Rosetta Stone in December, I'll go for it. Only concern is that all "supporting documents" have to be mailed in via snail mail...from China.

What do you think about including one academic LOR and one current employer LOR? I'm afraid I might not be able to get more than one academic LOR because the university I went to was on the conservative/patriotic "Canada is socialist" side of things.

I also wasn't sure at first which program to apply for since one of the graduate law programs has the word "doctorate" in it....lol.

I think it's the 3.5-year LL.b program with both common law and civil law, right?

I think after a little research McGill is closer to what I want than either UofT or the U.S. schools I was looking at (the ones that don't average multiple LSAT scores). So my strategy is "apply now" and research more later when I'm less busy with the LSAT.


Your ECs seem above average to me, Military experience ? Great, that makes you stand out of the crowd already.
Your GPA is great and for the LSAT, they will not really consider it as French students go there too, but if you did it, you must report it, 162 is good, no need to re-take if you want a shot in McGill.
For the LORs, as long as it comes from someone influent like your NGO's Vice President, School Dean or professor, or even CEO, they obviously won't care where you're from, there are people from hot spots like Palestine who come here for studies.
Being a Finalist is good, no matter what.

Like you said, it's 3.5 years for the LL.B./B.C.L., a bit more for the LL.B./B.C.L./M.B.A. but you can modify your schedule and take the standard curriculum to 3 years, you will have no summer breaks.

Do everything to send them the needed documents, one missing paper can break your application and don't forget to report your LSAT score because they will ditch you if you don't.

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Re: Canadian Resident taking questions.

Postby niederbomb » Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:12 pm

Thank you so much for the helpful information!

Any personal statement advice?

The one I did for UofT is basically "Background overcoming poverty and LD ----> Academic success ----> non-academic success ----> Why UofT? (program specifics)"

Would this work for McGill, too, or are they looking for something else?

EDIT: I was homeschooled, so I've had troubling filling out a lot of applications this year that ask for high school info (why would they care anyway?).

My parents used to call our homeschool "East Point Academy" because homeschooling is considered a private school in Texas.

Should I do this on the application or do you think putting "homeschool" might add some diversity points?

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Re: Canadian Resident taking questions.

Postby Noval » Sat Nov 06, 2010 3:05 pm

niederbomb wrote:Thank you so much for the helpful information!

Any personal statement advice?

The one I did for UofT is basically "Background overcoming poverty and LD ----> Academic success ----> non-academic success ----> Why UofT? (program specifics)"

Would this work for McGill, too, or are they looking for something else?

EDIT: I was homeschooled, so I've had troubling filling out a lot of applications this year that ask for high school info (why would they care anyway?).

My parents used to call our homeschool "East Point Academy" because homeschooling is considered a private school in Texas.

Should I do this on the application or do you think putting "homeschool" might add some diversity points?


Your personal statement is good, let's say that if UofT likes it, McGill will like it as well, but try to add some more diversity in it, coming from a poor family and always had to work harder than others to get something is a good example.

I remember that i added the line "Anyhow, if i was going to get into Law, i was going to aim high, this is why i want to come in McGill" , be honest, do not pretend to care about kids in Africa if you don't, lots of Lawyers don't and they still make great Attorneys.

For your Highschool education, they obviously won't care, just give them the infos they need to make a complete record of you and it will be fine.

One more thing, just in case you are considering UBC, it's President and Vice-Chancellor Stephen Toope went to McGill Law. :mrgreen:

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Re: Canadian Resident taking questions.

Postby lilliea » Sun Nov 07, 2010 5:47 pm

Just sent in my electronic application :D

I'll be mailing the rest of my application on Wednesday once I pick up my LORs from my professors.

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Re: Canadian Resident taking questions.

Postby Noval » Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:07 pm

lilliea wrote:Just sent in my electronic application :D

I'll be mailing the rest of my application on Wednesday once I pick up my LORs from my professors.



Ok good, the earlier the better ^^

Don't worry if your status takes way too long to change on Minerva, it's normal.

I received my acceptance letter before my goddamn status changed...I thought my acceptance got revocked for a second lol

Keep an eye on this website to talk with other 2011 applicants, just avoid the user called "Quebecois", he's the biggest 1L douchebag you'll ever meet in the McGill section, he'll start arguments for a yes or no and his hate against Cegep applicants is really annoying

http://www.lawstudents.ca


Good luck and hit me up if you have other questions. :mrgreen:

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Re: Canadian Resident taking questions.

Postby mikeman » Mon Nov 08, 2010 2:11 am

I was told at the law school forum by the McGill booth that in some years, mandatory classes are offered only in French. Also, law documents may be available only in French. And I also thought that all students have to take a French language test for admission. But perhaps I'm mistaken? Anyways, once hearing that, I gave up on any thought of attending McGill.

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Re: Canadian Resident taking questions.

Postby niederbomb » Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:00 am

Apparently, McGill still does the French assessment phone interview for all applicants whose French ability is not apparent from their application materials (e.g. mine). It's a comprehension interview only, but still....

My Rosetta Stone download just finished, though.

Do you think 30 minutes per day on Rosetta Stone French is enough between now and (January?) when they do the interviews?

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Noval
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Re: Canadian Resident taking questions.

Postby Noval » Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:55 pm

mikeman wrote:I was told at the law school forum by the McGill booth that in some years, mandatory classes are offered only in French. Also, law documents may be available only in French. And I also thought that all students have to take a French language test for admission. But perhaps I'm mistaken? Anyways, once hearing that, I gave up on any thought of attending McGill.


Yes there may be a test, depending the situation, i think it changed since i didn't enter McGill again since i graduated from there already.

The French is easy, pretty basic, just practice hard for a year and you will be there.
Civil Law classes will be in French, but you will be able to write exams in English and use english documentation on your own to study, not a big big big problem, the McGill's Trans-systemic mentality allows both French and English students to perform well on the curriculum.

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Re: Canadian Resident taking questions.

Postby Noval » Mon Nov 08, 2010 2:00 pm

niederbomb wrote:Apparently, McGill still does the French assessment phone interview for all applicants whose French ability is not apparent from their application materials (e.g. mine). It's a comprehension interview only, but still....

My Rosetta Stone download just finished, though.

Do you think 30 minutes per day on Rosetta Stone French is enough between now and (January?) when they do the interviews?



Try doing at least 60 minutes everyday and try your best to assimilate what you find hard.
It's good to understand words but you also have to know how to write them on a sentence without making yourself look like a Middle school student.Try having a coherent accent, no need to be perfect, just enough to make yourself understood.

Some of my colleagues actually learned French in less than 4 months, they invested lots of time in it and they succeded.
It's definitely possible, you are your only obstacle for this one.

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Re: Canadian Resident taking questions.

Postby niederbomb » Mon Nov 15, 2010 7:23 am

I submitted the electronic application and mailed the documents today.

Don't worry if your status takes way too long to change on Minerva, it's normal.


Am I supposed to be able to get on this now?




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