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…)

UBC Pre-Law Society Presents: Admissions Night 2014

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The UBC Pre-Law Society is excited to kick off the new school year by hosting Admissions Night, where members will be able to meet and listen to admissions directors from various Canadian and U.S. law schools. Our guests this year include representatives from:

– Queen’s University 
– University of Alberta
– University of BC
– University of Saskatchewan
– University of Toronto
– University of Victoria
– University of Washington (U.S.)
– University of Western Ontario

Learn about the law school admissions process, find out how to make your application a competitive one, and discover the unique programs and benefits each law school has to offer. Representatives will also be on hand to answer your questions.

— WHEN & WHERE
Date: Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
Time: 5PM-9PM (registration starts at 4:30)
Location: TBA

— COST & REGISTRATION
– FREE for Pre-Law members
– Non-members ($10– includes membership for the year)

Also, sign up for club membership during Clubs Week! Our booth is located in the SUB ballroom. Can’t make it during Clubs Week? Show up 30 minutes early to the event on the day of – we’ll be selling memberships prior to the event. 

— INFO
– Business casual dress is preferred. 
– Light food and snacks will be provided.

PLEASE RSVP here to confirm your attendance on the Facebook Event Page. We look forward to seeing you at Admissions Night!

Davis LLP Firm Visit Recap

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“Guys… it smells like the future!”

Davis LLP firm visit

When UBC Pre Law met up in downtown on a sunny Thursday morning to tour Davis LLP, the law firm that was kind enough host us for the morning, the firm definitely left an impression on us. Located high up in the sky (or the 26th floor to be accurate), the offices overlook the city of Vancouver, the city where the firm was founded.  With offices throughout Canada, Davis LLP is a large business law firm which offers clients cross-jurisdictional advice services and remains the only Canada-based law firm with an office in Japan.

Not only were the views of the mountains breathtaking, but the people working for Davis LLP were extremely accommodating. Two articled students, Alex and Johanna, were able to take us on a tour and answer all our burning questions from everything about the LSAT to life at law school. The Director of Student Programs, Kerry, shared his vast knowledge about law school and also gave us pointers on how to secure employment, particularly articling positions after law school. Some of his useful tips included what kinds of things he would look for on a resume when hiring students fresh out of law school to article. Interestingly, Kerry mentioned that although a solid and consistent transcript is paramount, your resume should have something more to offer beyond just grades such as work experience that shows that you were growing in your position. Even if it is something not related to law, such as a barista, dedication to your job and steady promotions show Kerry and other hiring partners that you are dedicated and hardworking, two traits necessary to be a good lawyer. A job that allows you to work on your communication skills is also useful for lawyers spend a lot of time communicating with their clients on a variety of platforms.

During our tour we even got to see the infamous horse-hair wig that dates back to over a century ago that Davis the founding father of the firm himself used to rock. In the 19th century, court dress for barristers involved such wigs; think of it as the suit and tie of today’s world. UBC Pre-law members are infamous for rocking the permanent business-casual look 24/7, something tells me that working for a big law firm such as Davis LLP is only a stepping stone away!

DAVIS LLP Law Firm Visit

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First off, happy 2014 to all Pre-Law members! Hope this year is filled with success in all your legal education pursuits.

To kick start the new year and the second semester at UBC, Pre-Law is having its signature event: a visit to a prestigious Canadian law firm, DAVIS LLP.  This is an extremely good way for students who thought about working in a law firm so see what it is like firsthand as well as a great networking opportunity.  Happening this Thursday January 16th, 2014 at 10am, spots are limited so fill out this form https://bit.ly/KT0lB1 to register and visit our Facebook page for all the details at https://www.facebook.com/ubcprelaw 

Hope to see you all there!

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Study Law in Belfast

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Anyone who has ever thought about studying law in Europe,  this post will be of particular interest to you. Back at the start of the semester, Dr Sara Ramshaw from Queen’s University Belfast was visiting UBC all the way from Northern Ireland and she was kind enough to sit down with a couple of Pre-Law members to pass on some useful information about Queen’s Law program. Dr Ramshaw is actually one of the admissions personnel for the School of Law, so she was able to tell us first hand as to what the university is looking for in applications.

For anyone who is unfamiliar with Belfast, it is an area located in Northern Ireland. Queen’s University has been internationally recognized as one of the top UK Law Schools for a number of years in a row and offers students a 3 year Juris Doctor degree. Dr Ramshaw mentioned that International students are especially welcome to apply as there are scholarships available and local agencies work with the university to provide internships to international students. International students are also guaranteed accommodation for at least their first year. The small-group intensive teaching strategies used in this program allow students to be actively engaged in their learning and to thrive off each other’s knowledge. For me personally, small classrooms are one of my top priorities when choosing a law school as getting to know my professors and colleagues really helps stay focused and engaged in my learning, as my undergrad experience has shown.

The entry requirements are a 3.0 / 4.0 GPA in a primary degree other than law, supporting paperwork such as a personal statement and a letter of recommendation and that is pretty much it. Yes, you read that right…. no LSAT exam score is required!

Belfast has a history of having political instability and when we asked Dr Ramshaw about this, she assured us that the area was recently named the safest region in the UK (British Crime Survey 2011). The university is actually situated in a quiet residential suburb close to the Belfast city-centre. Most major United Kingdom cities are located within an hour’s flying time and there is also a daily ferry which provides fast transportation services to wherever you may want to explore that day.

For any students interested in finding out more information about this amazing program I would recommend checking out www.law.qub.ac.uk or email Dr Ramshaw directly (she’s really friendly!) at s.ramshaw@qub.ac.uk and don’t forget to mention UBC Pre Law! (An alumni of UBC, Dr Ramshaw is especially pleased to give any UBC students advice.)

qub spring

Executive Retreat to Whistler

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Last Saturday just when the fog cleared and before the rains hit, the unpredictable Vancouver weather decided to be on the Pre-Law team and bless us with sunshine for the entire weekend. Some of the executives from Pre-Law and myself set out on a mini-road trip to Whistler for the yearly Pre-Law Executive Retreat. The autumn leaves were just the perfect golden colour and spirits were high as we met up on campus, ready to escape midterms and papers for some open mountain air. Eleven of us in total in three cars, the drive to the mountains was filled with Lion King music in one car; in another of typical Pre-Law fashion, LSAT arguments! While it is impossible to sum up everything that transpired that weekend, the executive team definitely bonded better than ever and shared countless laughs.

We were lucky enough to stay at the very comfortable Pinnacle Hotel Whistler right in the centre of the village. The team successfully managed to balance work with fun and get through a meeting and the first reading of the Pre-Law Constitution that Saturday afternoon. After some down time, we hit the town to have dinner and explore. Especially special was the fact that Geena, one of our Executive Assistants had her birthday that day which had her squished in a giant group hug resonating “happy birthday” at midnight. After dinner, we trekked to the luxurious Fairmont Chateau Whistler to cuddle next to a fire pit with hot chocolate while the wind rustled the leaves around us. Overall, the retreat was just like our Co-president implicitly implied, a huge success and a lot of memories were made last weekend.

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