McGill Law Language Requirement Question

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daDudeAbides28
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McGill Law Language Requirement Question

Postby daDudeAbides28 » Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:27 pm

Hello everyone,

I am very interested at studying at McGill Law in Montreal, however I don't currently speak much French. I have spoken to French Professors at my home University about taking two course this year and then enrolling in an intensive, immersion French program in Quebec City next summer. The professors here seem to think that this would adequately prepare me for the reading requirements that 1L students would face, and I would supplement this with French courses at McGill.

My question is the following: do you think the odds are good that the Selection Committee would buy in? I have spoken to a representative from the Law School a bit about it, and she seemed to think it could go either way. My GPA is 3.93 and while I haven't taken the LSAT yet (taking it in a few days), but my practice exams have been in the mid 160's. Both of these are above the averages at McGill, so my main obstacle would be the language requirement.

I definitely appreciate any insight from those who have applied or are currently enrolled there! Thanks!

CanadianWolf
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Re: McGill Law Language Requirement Question

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:31 pm

Not sure if this is still accurate, but I thought that McGill had a pre-entrance French language test. You may want to check out the McGill thread on lawstudents.ca.

Just checked lawstudents.ca. It appears that you will be given an interview to test your French language skills.

CanadianWolf
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Re: McGill Law Language Requirement Question

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:39 pm

If you have no knowledge of French, then you should consider taking a year off before entering McGill in order to study French fulltime in both an academic & cultural environment. If unable to do so, then contact Middlebury College (Vermont) about their summer French language immersion program.

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daDudeAbides28
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Re: McGill Law Language Requirement Question

Postby daDudeAbides28 » Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:42 pm

The impression that I got from the rep I talked with was that they would call me in February (ish) and judge where I am at that point. This may be the test you were referring to? From there, with consideration to my plans, they would make the judgement. She also said that they could revoke admission if I showed up in the Fall without sufficient French ability. The reason I am curious is that I hate to enroll in a bunch of courses and the summer program if my chances are very low. That being said, I am optimistic!

I've seen conflicting reports from students there on how much they actually use, but I definitely think it would be very useful. Thanks for the tip, though; I will definitely look at the McGill thread to see if anyone has been in a similar position.

Also, I will look further into the Middleburry College immersion program, is it well regarded?

CanadianWolf
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Re: McGill Law Language Requirement Question

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:53 pm

Yes, the Middlebury language programs are well regarded.

CanadianWolf
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Re: McGill Law Language Requirement Question

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:55 pm

Ottawa has both common law & civil law programs. You might want to inquire as to whether or not you can apply to both programs in order to have a Canadian law school option.

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Gray
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Re: McGill Law Language Requirement Question

Postby Gray » Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:04 pm

Hey! I was a McGill undergrad and I know a lot about their law program. Usually they will assess your french language skills via phone interview mid winter IF your resume and past education don't demonstrate that you have a high level of french proficiency. So, for example, having completed graduate studies at a francophone university, or having worked professionally in a francophone environment might exempt you from the interview (but only if there's no question at all about proficiency).

The requirement is basically reading and understanding dense legal text, and participating in class discussions in French. This is the example they give on their website for reading
https://www.mcgill.ca/law-admissions/fi ... cerpts.pdf

They also have a self-assessment here: https://www.mcgill.ca/law-admissions/un ... quirements

Another thing to keep in mind is that McGill admissions is not as number based as you might expect. Just having a high GPA is not enough. They put a lot more weight on personal statement and fit than a US school ever would. They also aren't all about the LSAT (they may be concerned about a bad one but they usually aren't that impressed by a good one) so I wouldn't say that your main obstacle is the language requirement, but an excellent personal statement and impressive resume.

Anyway PM me if you have any questions about their program or living in Montreal (I lived there for about 8 years)

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daDudeAbides28
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Re: McGill Law Language Requirement Question

Postby daDudeAbides28 » Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:16 pm

CanadianWolf:

All good advice. l read some past students' opinions on Middlebury, and they seem to offer very strong programs. Thanks for pointing that out as a good option.

I am a U.S. student and will be applying to a good chunk of the T14 (plus a few others) here along with McGill and Toronto. I haven't looked at University of Ottawa's Law School much at this point, but I'll check their programs out more in depth soon.

Gray:

Thanks for the great insider perspective. I will definitely take you up on the offer to ask you questions in the future! I will be working hard on the personal statement and resume portion after this weekend's exam, and I'm sure some questions regarding McGill and Montreal will come up.

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Gray
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Re: McGill Law Language Requirement Question

Postby Gray » Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:28 pm

daDudeAbides28 wrote:Thanks for the great insider perspective. I will definitely take you up on the offer to ask you questions in the future! I will be working hard on the personal statement and resume portion after this weekend's exam, and I'm sure some questions regarding McGill and Montreal will come up.

Good luck on the LSAT! I'm sure you are already fully aware, but it's always good to remind other people reading this that McGill's program is NOT a JD (it's BCL/LLB) and that can limit options a bit, depending on career goals. Just something to keep in mind. I'm always a little concerned when I see people applying to both McGill and T14 because the career outcomes don't overlap THAT much.

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daDudeAbides28
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Re: McGill Law Language Requirement Question

Postby daDudeAbides28 » Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:45 pm

Gray:

Yep, I am aware! If i'm remembering correctly, with the degrees from McGill you are permitted to take the Bar in New York and Massachusetts? I am going into law school with a fairly open mind in regards to practice area, although with my background Corp Law would make some sense. I've heard McGill is well respected by firms in New York.

That being said, I do appreciate the heads up. It is another thing for me to consider during the process of applications.




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