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Top law school w/ Canadian ug - disadvantage?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Hi there, world of SF...

I know a good bunch of you are lawyers.

I'm doing a cost/benefit analysis for my little brother. He wants to get into H/Y/P Law (shoot for the stars, right?).

I'm new to the world of law schools and I'm curious as to how much of a disadvantage it is for him to get his undergrad at a top Canadian institution (McGill/Toronto) versus an upper-tier American school (think Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke).

As you may well know, an int'l student pays much, much more, and we're trying to see if all the added cost is worth it.

Thanks!
post #2 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by BYucko View Post
Hi there, world of SF...

I know a good bunch of you are lawyers.

I'm doing a cost/benefit analysis for my little brother. He wants to get into H/Y/P Law (shoot for the stars, right?).

I'm new to the world of law schools and I'm curious as to how much of a disadvantage it is for him to get his undergrad at a top Canadian institution (McGill/Toronto) versus an upper-tier American school (think Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke).

As you may well know, an int'l student pays much, much more, and we're trying to see if all the added cost is worth it.

Thanks!

You should never plan your future around being accepted to Harvard or Yale Law (Princeton doesn't have a law school, by the way). The most important thing is to get a ridiculous GPA/LSAT combination. Toronto and McGill are both good schools but they are also grade deflators so the relative advantage of going there could be limited by the GPA deflation.

Also, if he gets accepted as an UG to Cornell, Dartmouth, or Duke he could very end up spending less for his UG because they are so generous with scholarships and bursaries. Canadian universities give out limited financial aid to UG students.
post #3 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord-Barrington View Post
Toronto and McGill are both good schools but they are also grade deflators so the relative advantage of going there could be limited by the GPA deflation.

Are you sure? When I went to law school, 80% of each class at UofT got a B or B+. 10%-15% got As and the rest got Cs. This helped their students get top jobs in NY and Toronto. By contrast, other law schools in Ontario were in the 65% range in terms of Bs per class.
post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by gj555 View Post
Are you sure? When I went to law school, 80% of each class at UofT got a B or B+. 10%-15% got As and the rest got Cs. This helped their students get top jobs in NY and Toronto. By contrast, other law schools in Ontario were in the 65% range in terms of Bs per class.
You need to be in that top 10% for nearly every single class to even get a whiff at Yale, Harvard, Stanford. Hardly seems like an easy task at a good UG.
post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by gj555 View Post
Are you sure? When I went to law school, 80% of each class at UofT got a B or B+. 10%-15% got As and the rest got Cs. This helped their students get top jobs in NY and Toronto. By contrast, other law schools in Ontario were in the 65% range in terms of Bs per class.

You're talking about law school. I'm talking about undergrad.

The bottom line is that law schools want people with high GPAs and high LSATs. Places like Yale and Stanford are so selective that they can usually pick students with great stats and prestigious undergrads, but in general you're probably better off going to a UG where you're sure you'll get a 3.9. If, and only if, you're dead certain you want to go to law school, of course.

A 3.4/169 LSAT at Dartmouth won't get you in to YLS, whereas a 3.93/174 LSAT at Penn State might. But betting on the latter combination isn't exactly smart to begin with. As I said earlier, no one should go into UG planning on attending YLS.
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord-Barrington View Post
You're talking about law school. I'm talking about undergrad.

The bottom line is that law schools want people with high GPAs and high LSATs. Places like Yale and Stanford are so selective that they can usually pick students with great stats and prestigious undergrads, but in general you're probably better off going to a UG where you're sure you'll get a 3.9. If, and only if, you're dead certain you want to go to law school, of course.

A 3.4/169 LSAT at Dartmouth won't get you in to YLS, whereas a 3.93/174 LSAT at Penn State might. But betting on the latter combination isn't exactly smart to begin with. As I said earlier, no one should go into UG planning on attending YLS.

Sorry. I misred your post. I thought you were talking law school. I agree...
post #7 of 27
I'm years -- ok, decades -- out of the admissions game, but most points made here some right, with the caveat that they are necessarily just generalities. One possible point in the advantage column might be that many "top tier" law schools do try to achieve a certain amount of diversity in terms of undergraduate schools and in terms of geography, among other factors. I don't really know how many McGill grads are applying to these law schools, but assuming that it's relatively fewer than from "comparable" U.S. schools, the novelty factor could cut in your brother's favor (at least on the margin).
post #8 of 27
Largely echoing Lord-Barrington, 1) afaik, Dartmouth will treat international students the same as domestic students in terms of Financial Aid. As will Harvard and a handful of other top privates. Of course, depending on family income, this might still be more than what one pays in Canada. 2) The relative quality of undergrad institution won't matter much, if at all, as Lord Barrington said. As for diversity--it really depends, but I don't think it will have a large impact, especially if Canada. 3) A good GPA is much easier to get at US private universities. Might be hard to get the As and A+s (if the school gives these out), but most classes have medians at B+/A- and a motivated kid, gunning for just law school and GPA, with decent amount of work and shrewd course selection, can graduate with a 3.7 without undue difficulty. 4) Law schools might be willing to dole out merit aid like candy--that is, if you have the numbers, scholarships are easy to get provided that you're willing to look a couple steps below where you "should" be at. Of course, this might be easier to get coming out of US undergrads, due to the grade inflation. (we're assuming that he won't be going to MIT/Chicago, etc) 5) Also, law schools might not take into account, as much, GPA from a foreign institution. Im sure they'll consider it, but I don't think it gets reported -> doesn't factor into their rankings -> allows them a bit more leeway. This, in turn, means that LSAT becomes much more important, and whether that's a good thing or bad thing is up to your brother.
post #9 of 27
is he looking to practice law in the states? because if he's looking to stay in Canada, I don't see the point of attending an American law school.
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by warmpi View Post
is he looking to practice law in the states? because if he's looking to stay in Canada, I don't see the point of attending an American law school.

This goes without saying. If you're dead set on practicing in Canada there is literally no point in doing LS in the US.
post #11 of 27
OP: I have a short anecdote about one of my brother's best friends, a Taiwanese kid with American citizenship who grew up in Vancouver and lived nearby. I don't know what impact minority (if Taiwanese counts as minority) and citizenship have on the application process. Academically, this kid was in the 70-80% range in high school. He chose to attend NYU and recently finished his BA in journalism (or communications; something similar to English but easier). He spent his days on campus playing League of Legends with my brother and vacations in Vancouver (also playing League of Legends with my brother). Aside from online gaming, he has no extracurricular activities. Next year he'll be studying at Harvard Law School. He wasn't the smartest kid but he definitely researched the best way to get into a US law school. I'm confident he decided that a US Undergrad > Canadian Undergrad for law school admission.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BYucko View Post
Hi there, world of SF... I know a good bunch of you are lawyers. I'm doing a cost/benefit analysis for my little brother. He wants to get into H/Y/P Law (shoot for the stars, right?). I'm new to the world of law schools and I'm curious as to how much of a disadvantage it is for him to get his undergrad at a top Canadian institution (McGill/Toronto) versus an upper-tier American school (think Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke). As you may well know, an int'l student pays much, much more, and we're trying to see if all the added cost is worth it. Thanks!
post #12 of 27
Quote:
OP: I have a short anecdote about one of my brother's best friends, a Taiwanese kid with American citizenship who grew up in Vancouver and lived nearby.

I don't know what impact minority (if Taiwanese counts as minority) and citizenship have on the application process.

Academically, this kid was in the 70-80% range in high school. He chose to attend NYU and recently finished his BA in journalism (or communications; something similar to English but easier).

He spent his days on campus playing League of Legends with my brother and vacations in Vancouver (also playing League of Legends with my brother). Aside from online gaming, he has no extracurricular activities.

Next year he'll be studying at Harvard Law School.

He wasn't the smartest kid but he definitely researched the best way to get into a US law school. I'm confident he decided that a US Undergrad > Canadian Undergrad for law school admission.

Must have had some great connections? And Asian in general is definitely considered a minority, even as a true foreigner.
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sportin_life View Post
Must have had some great connections? And Asian in general is definitely considered a minority, even as a true foreigner.
No connections I don't know what his LSAT score, but his admittance was a shock to everyone. In fact, when he told us he applied, we all assumed it was a Hail Mary He's Canadian so he's not a true foreigner
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viktri View Post
OP: I have a short anecdote about one of my brother's best friends, a Taiwanese kid with American citizenship who grew up in Vancouver and lived nearby.

I don't know what impact minority (if Taiwanese counts as minority) and citizenship have on the application process.

Academically, this kid was in the 70-80% range in high school. He chose to attend NYU and recently finished his BA in journalism (or communications; something similar to English but easier).

He spent his days on campus playing League of Legends with my brother and vacations in Vancouver (also playing League of Legends with my brother). Aside from online gaming, he has no extracurricular activities.

Next year he'll be studying at Harvard Law School.

He wasn't the smartest kid but he definitely researched the best way to get into a US law school. I'm confident he decided that a US Undergrad > Canadian Undergrad for law school admission.

This is totally anecdotal evidence, but I'm sure going to NYU didn't hurt him either.

The point is that massive statistical evidence is available that shows, unequivocally, that law schools only care about your GPA/LSAT combo. The only exceptions to this rule are Yale and Stanford who have so many 3.9/175 LSAT applicants that they can look for softs as well, and Northwestern (work experience).
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord-Barrington View Post
This is totally anecdotal evidence, but I'm sure going to NYU didn't hurt him either.

The point is that massive statistical evidence is available that shows, unequivocally, that law schools only care about your GPA/LSAT combo. The only exceptions to this rule are Yale and Stanford who have so many 3.9/175 LSAT applicants that they can look for softs as well, and Northwestern (work experience).

What's the "massive statistical evidence"?
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