Pre-Law Society Presents: Admissions Night!

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Am I prepared enough for applying to law school?
What unique programs does each law school offer?
Does my LSAT score or GPA weigh more?
When is the best time to take the LSAT?
MUST I complete a full 4-year undergraduate degree to apply to law school?
How important are extracurricular activities to the law school I want to attend?

If any of these questions have popped up into your mind recently, we urge you to attend our first event of the year – Admissions Night! If you’re about to apply to law school or want to feel really prepared for when you do apply, Admissions Night is a fantastic opportunity to know all the details about the process of getting admitted into law school and how to make your application stand out to the school you want. Pre-Law brings together a panel of admissions officers from law schools all over Canada (sometimes the U.S.) in order to answer all the questions you may have about getting admitted into law school. You will have an opportunity to visit their booths, chat one-on-one with the representatives, and of course, indulge in some free food. Further, this year, we’re offering to take students on a tour around our stunning venue – the Allard School of Law at UBC!

Here are some interesting general facts about admission to law schools in Canada:

  1. There are 16 law schools in Canada currently, each with a different standard of admission in terms of GPA, LSAT, and other requirements.
  2. Not all law schools have the same application deadline; the most common is November 1st, but deadlines can range from December to March.
  3. Every law school in Canada requires you to take the LSAT; some schools take the highest score, others take the average of all your test scores, etc.
  4. Typically, your application will consist of your academic and personal information, a personal statement, extracurricular activity experience, and sometimes letters of references from at least 2 professors.
  5. For UBC Law only, it is possible to get admitted after completing only 3 years of your undergraduate study (What?!)
  6. Think about the type of law you may want to specialize in – different law schools have different programs and are stronger with certain types of law.
  7. The first-level law degree (a J.D.) is 3 years long, after which students must “article” (working under supervision of a licensed lawyer for 10 months) or take the Law Practice Program (Ontario only).
  8. There are considerable differences between Canadian and U.S. law schools, so do the research and consider which path is more fitting to your goals!

Want to know more? Details for Admissions Night are as follows:

Date: Wednesday, Sept 30th (2 days from now!)

Time: 5:00 – 9:00pm (Registration opens at 4:30pm)

Location: Allard Hall (Allard School of Law, UBC) 1822 East Mall

Cost: FREE for members, $10 for non-members (includes membership for the year)

Dress Code: Business Casual preferred

More information here!

See you there!

Feature: Hailey Graham, 1L

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This week we’re introducing a new feature – an interview with someone in the process of entering the legal field. Our first interviewee is Hailey Graham, a first year law student (1L) studying at Allard Law School in the University of British Columbia. We are honoured to have her as our first feature, and are excited for you all to get to know her!

What was your journey to law school like? What was the hardest part of the process?
My journey has been one full of detours and potholes, but also one of eventual success. I was in university almost straight out of high school and very aimless. I had a child at the age of 22, but decided when he went to kindergarten that I would pursue my education. The hardest part of the process was believing in myself. I wasn’t sure if I was “good enough.” With hard work, perseverance, and unfaltering dedication to doing MY best, I achieved my goals.

How are you liking your first year of law so far?
No lie, law school is hard. Like, really hard. I was a top student and totally sure of my abilities after graduation, but law school is a different ball game. However, everyone is in the same boat. Everyone feels like an imposter, but you have a supportive community around you that wants you succeed.

What are you hoping to pursue after law school? Do you want to practice? If so, where and why?
There is a lot of versatility in what you can do after law school. Like my dad said, nobody will ever laugh at a law degree. I would like to practice as a lawyer for 10-15 years or so, then hopefully go into public office. I mean it’s only the second week of law school, but I’ve been drawn towards family and criminal law. Having said that, criminal law seems really hard so far so we’ll see!

What do you like to do in your free time (do you even have any)?
I like to spend time with my family, i also like to run. Surprisingly, there actually is free time. What I’ve found in my time at Allard is that they want you to be balanced and you have to be able to have that balance in order to succeed. They emphasize that a lot, and the best student isn’t the person who spends all day in the library.

What advice do you have for students hoping to attend law school in the future?

Believe in yourself and don’t get discouraged – just do your best and you can get there.

All About the LSAT!

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Unless you’ve been under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard about the LSAT. From Pre-Law execs to high school students, everyone seems to be obsessed with when they’re taking it, what they scored, and what you need to get into Harvard Law (170-175). The real question is – what are logic games?

What is it?
LSAT stands for Law School Admission Test, and is approximately a 6-hour test taken by prospective law-school students in Canada, the U.S., some schools in Australia and increasingly more countries globally. Focusing on Canada and the U.S., the test is administered 4 times a year (June, October, December, and February) at designated testing centers. While it is still being adopted in many countries worldwide, if you are applying to law school in Canada or the United States, it is almost sure that you will need to take the LSAT.

What is it meant to test? How is it generally structured?
The LSAT is designed to test important skill sets believed to be critical for success as a law school student and lawyer. The test has 5 sections, each testing one of the following components: Logical Reasoning, Analytical Reading, Reading Comprehension, and a writing sample. The fifth component is an unscored variable section; you will not know which section will be unscored. It is time-sensitive – every participant is given 35 minutes to complete each section.

When would/should you take it?
At least at UBC Law, the most popular time students choose to take the LSAT is in October, with the least popular date being February. Most students plan to take the LSAT in their upper undergraduate years, either at the end of third year or beginning of fourth year.
Applications for Law School are typically accepted in the fall starting in September. Many of our Pre-Law Execs, including our Co-Presidents and VP External took the LSAT first in June, which allows time to retake it in October if you aren’t satisfied with your performance.

What resources in Vancouver offer LSAT preparation resources?
Kaplan
Princeton
Powerscore
Blueprint
UBC continuing studies
Ivy Global
Prep 101 UBC
It isn’t necessary to use a company to prepare for the LSAT, however most people find it useful, as you get help from an external source that is experienced.

Thoughts on the LSAT from other students!

“FML. That’s what I think about the LSAT. Alright I’ll be serious. I feel it’s certainly a challenge, but it’s what makes us better suited for life as a lawyer or in other fields. Tackling our problems head on, even if it’s scary. It’s how you grow as people.” – Josh James, BA Political Science Honours, 2017 candidate, UBC

“The LSAT is pretty hard, but did you really think that going to law school would be easy?” – Hailey Graham, 1L Allard Law School

Executive Member Feature #1 – Jessica Chung, Co-President

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Being able to use Pre-Law Society’s resources as a tool to accelerate your path toward law school is essential to our vision as a student club. What’s more, we couldn’t do it without all our hard working executives, and here on our blog you’ll get the chance to get to know each and every one of them as they share their stories about both pre-law and their perspectives on law and law school.

Executive Feature #1: Jessica Chung, Co-presidentheadshot bio

Jess is a fourth year Psych major with academic interests in clinical and forensic studies. In the future, she hopes to pursue either family or criminal law. On her free time, you’d find her volunteering at the local hospital, watching horror movies or at cafes taking Instagram photos of her lattes. Some other hobbies include playing with her dog, dancing, and trying out new restaurants. Jess is extremely excited to share with you the club’s new and improved events for the coming year and highly encourages those pursuing a career in law to utilize the many resources this club has to offer.

We asked Jessica a few questions about her inspiration with law school, career goals, and some advice she may have for you.

1. What inspired you to want to pursue law school?

Legal dramas, of course! No but really – I was mesmerized when I first saw on television lawyers wearing their gowns and wigs in court, way back in elementary. At the time, I had no idea what was going on – I just thought they looked really cool and I wanted to be just like them. Growing up, however, I realize they are so much more than what is portrayed. I’ve gradually become more aware of the many global issues surrounding us and the different ways laws can be utilized to serve those in need. With every passing year, I find myself more angry at injustice, and more determined to protect those who’ve been hurt. Hopefully a legal education may enable me to, in turn, strengthen others.

2. How did you first get started with Pre-Law Society?

I was actually still in Gr. 12 – one day I came across the hiring event on Facebook and decided to try it out regardless. To my surprise, I was recruited and was able to serve as an executive assistant during first year. I then took on the role of VP Internal for the next two years. This year marks my fourth on the team, and I feel incredibly honoured for the opportunity to serve as Co-President during my final time in undergrad.

3. What do you like best about Pre-Law Society?

It would have to be the amazing group of individuals I get the chance to work with every year, who are all supportive, driven and knowledgeable. The organization has provided me a place for growth, and likewise, I am very blessed to be able to watch it evolve and improve over the years. I couldn’t possibly imagine an university experience without my Pre-Law family! Additionally, through this club, I am able to interact with and give advice to younger students who are still at the beginning stages. This type of resource was invaluable to me back then so hopefully I could do the same for others. Really hoping to see all our career dreams come true one day!

4. What are your short-term and long-term goals as of right now?

I aim to Graduate by 2016, and attend law school in the near future! As for the long-term, Vancouver is my home, so I’d love to article and eventually practice here!

5. What advice can you give others pursuing law?

Follow your passion! If law is an area you really want to pursue, then don’t give up no matter how difficult the path may be. Stay focused, believe in yourself and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. These are words that I have to constantly remind myself too. 🙂

6. What are some of your other involvement at UBC?

I was a research assistant for the UBC Emotion & Self Lab and served as an executive on both the Free the Children and YOURS Student Association teams.

5. What are some of your favourite places at UBC?

The Rose Garden – it’s beautiful no matter the season. And of course, anywhere with food…what can I say…I’m always hungry!

Some other fun-facts about Jessica is that she can’t whistle, she loves the smell of chlorine, and avoids cucumbers at all costs.

Catch Jessica at our upcoming event on Sept 30th, Admissions Night!

Hey, you! Welcome back. Why should you go to Law School?

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The Pre-Law Team Welcomes you to back to school!
The Pre-Law Team Welcomes you to back to school!

Pre-Law Society welcomes you back to the 2015-2016 school year! We hope you had as great of a summer as we did – how about all that extra sunshine? This year, we’ve got a brand new team and a whole new schedule of great events lined up for you. Let’s kick off the school year by talking about why YOU should go to law school!

Deciding to pursue law is great for so many reasons, but it’s not necessarily what you think it’ll be. If you’re basing your decision to go to law school off of Suits and Legally Blonde, you can still be an ideal candidate, but you should probably look at a few more realistic sources of information (like this blog!).

The big question to ask yourself before you decide to pursue a future in law is, ‘Why do I want to go to law school?’ The thing about this question is that there is no right answer… So we decided to ask around, and compile a wealth of reasons you may want to enrol:

  1. You are passionate about human rights, crime, justice, etc.. and overall about fairness and making sound decisions.
  2. You want to know your own rights to avoid being taken advantage of (extremely valuable knowledge throughout your life!).
  3. You understand the immense role Law plays in any system of civilization; without law, most systems would not be successfully implemented – there must be structure and consequences for disrupting the structure.
  4. You know that a law degree is vastly broad – It can be applicable to countless industries: Entertainment, Social, Business, Health, Diversity, Real Estate, Personal, etc.
  5. Along with playing hard, you understand that working in law often requires putting in long weekday, and usually weekend hours too.
  6. You want to broaden your perspective on every topic. Law school exposes you to both viewpoints that you do and don’t agree with, which gives you the opportunity to make more educated decisions.
  7. You are highly detail-oriented, enjoy long hours of reading, are creative and analytical, have public speaking skills, among other characteristics.
  8. You like to win an argument – and do it in a logical and convincing way. Who doesn’t? It’s much more effective than “I’m right because I said so”.

Whatever your reason is, Pre-Law Society is here to help you get the tools and resources you’ll need to get into law school. We offer information sessions, networking sessions, discounts and privileges through our partnering LSAT preparation companies; we even visit law firms throughout the year. Interested? Come find us on Clubs Days (Sept 23-25th) to get your $10 membership and pick up some awesome swag!

For updates on our events and opportunities, be sure to “like” us on Facebook! (more…)