On my last post, I threw out an open request to anyone for the topic of this post. I received one (lonely) comment from a reader out there requesting me to adress the applications process and how it relates to life in law school. So, below are my thoughts thusfar.
Disclaimer: Let me start this post by clarifying that I am from Toronto. I applied to Ontario and BC schools only, so my experience is limited to those two provinces.
The Hardest Part is Getting In.
To be honest, there is some truth to that statement. However, I think to leave it at that is a gross injustice to the amount of hard work law school students do. Depending on your university of choice, getting in requires communications for letters of recommendations, transcripts, composition of letters of intent and equivalent bureaucratic requirements. You need to achieve high academic standings throughout four years of university. You need to get a relatively decent LSAT result. All of these things combine to create your application. So yes, this is a difficult process.
However, law school itself is not EASY. The idea is that you get into law school because you are driven to do it. The requirements you must meet are designed (in my opinion) to make certain this is a career you will be serious about. You do not just put your name down to get acceptance, you need to work hard. Once you meet all of those standards of admission, it is not that requirements suddenly drop or that law school itself is easy. Rather, the main concept is that by meeting the requirements set out by admissions, you are better prepared to take on the assignments and you are committed to doing so. Hundreds of pages of reading will avert some people but the people who do get in typically are ready to handle it or if not, are willing to put in the time to get there.
Hopefully this helps both answer my one reader’s question and anyone else who is thinking of applying. I would add one thing in terms of the application process and researching your schools. Try to get as much information about all of your choices (I—with a potential bias—suggest you closely look at UBC) and find out what gels with who you are. Talk to students, ask questions, and try to nquire. Go beyond traditional questions. Think about everything. Consider the location (can you see mountains from every law library? I think not). Consider the social requirements and look beyond the name on the pamphlet. Look at the facilities available. I never would have advocated this until I was fortuitous enough to be among the first class of students into the new facilities at Allard Hall. Facilities can impact education and this new building has been incredible.
For my fellow out-of-province potential applicants: do not be intimidated from a big move away from your home province. UBC has a really big mixture of Canadians from across the country and you will definitely meet people who are from where you are. There also is support from the university to help get you here. When I was applying last year, I remember thinking that it was just too far. I knew one person in the entire province of BC. Not only have I met people but, as funny as this may sound, I have not even had time to miss the people left behind. Make the
decision that is best for you and your future. Do not worry about a big move; it is completely do-able. In fact, it is a great adventure that I am so
thrilled I decided to undertake.
I will be coming up on exams soon so will be taking a brief hiatus from long-winded posts on my blog. Hopefully after my first set of law school exams, I can give you a better idea of what to expect. Any questions you may have are still welcomed and if I can answer it in short form, I’ll do that instead. If not, I will be back with a breath of fresh air (see what I did there with my use of imagery–you do not get to do this in legal writing) in late December or early January. I am thinking of topics for upcoming posts such as exams, preparation for law school, extracurriculars, firms and social events… if any or none of the above appeal to you, leave a comment or ask away.
Happy holidays to everyone out there.