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Thoughts On Dual JD?


coffeelover
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coffeelover
  • Law School Admit

Hi Guys, 

I am thinking about applying to Dual JD Windsor this year. does anyone have any thoughts on their program and if I should apply there? Thank you 🙂

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Darth Vader
  • Lawyer

Why would you apply there with a 3.2/3.85/160? Detroit Mercy is a 4th tier law school in the U.S., Windsor is a lower ranked law school in Canada, and you are paying double the tuition. It makes no sense to do financially unless it is your only offer to a Canadian law school, and you so badly want to be a lawyer that you decide to take a risk on this investment.

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Kimura
  • Articling Student

What are your reasons for applying to Dual JD at Windsor? When I applied, I applied across Ontario, Windsor included, but not the dual JD.

I wanted to increase my chances of getting into law school, but the cost of the dual JD just wasn't worth it to me - I'd have been willing to sit the application cycle out to re-write the LSAT and re-apply the following year. 

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erin otoole
  • Articling Student

Or you could take advice from an actual Dual JD... I'm in the dual and I like it, speak to nearly any student in the program and they will tell you how much more they enjoy their time in Detroit over Windsor. 

Apply to the program, it is free to do. Pray to god that you get into the Windsor single or literally any other law school. Come down here for the dual if it is your only choice.

You have good stats you'll probably end up somewhere else. 

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coffeelover
  • Law School Admit

Thanks for the information guys. My reason for potentially applying to Windsor is so I can have the flexibility to practice in the USA... so I will definitely have to think about it since it is a 4th tier US school. I am just a little worried with my 3.21 CGPA, despite my higher L2 (3.86 to be exact) and 160 lsat. I guess I will have to wait it out and see how this cycle goes.

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Renerik
  • Law Student
33 minutes ago, coffeelover said:

Thanks for the information guys. My reason for potentially applying to Windsor is so I can have the flexibility to practice in the USA... so I will definitely have to think about it since it is a 4th tier US school. I am just a little worried with my 3.21 CGPA, despite my higher L2 (3.86 to be exact) and 160 lsat. I guess I will have to wait it out and see how this cycle goes.

I haven't heard anything good about Windsor dual from practicing lawyers on this forum. I know of a UCalgary alumnus who works in Texas after doing the international energy program at UCalgary. It's a dual JD that you apply for during your 1L year and it follows the same scheme as Windsor/Mercy except you go to a T60 school (UHouston; respectable) during your third and fourth year. If someone had a gun to my head and forced me to do dual, I'd choose UCalgary/UHouston over Windsor/Mercy.

He makes good money, no idea if he enjoys life or his thoughts on doing the dual program.

Edited by Renerik
Mention UCalgary because your stats would make you competitive there.
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Ya I was in the Dual too and I can assure you that literally no one wants to be in that program.. not even those who are in it lol. It's a waste of money, the school doesn't care about its students whatsoever and the student body is full of radical politics. It's a complete disaster and the school needs a complete reform. 

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Pendragon
  • Lawyer
8 minutes ago, Mustang said:

Ya I was in the Dual too and I can assure you that literally no one wants to be in that program.. not even those who are in it lol. It's a waste of money, the school doesn't care about its students whatsoever and the student body is full of radical politics. It's a complete disaster and the school needs a complete reform. 

Where did you transfer to? 

I am interested in hearing more about the radical politics in the program? Do you find that it is just with the current student body or is it systematic?

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erin otoole
  • Articling Student
14 hours ago, Mustang said:

Ya I was in the Dual too 

Just be careful about posting things here, not many duals leave it won't be hard to figure out who you are :). 

14 hours ago, Mustang said:

 I can assure you that literally no one wants to be in that program.. not even those who are in it lol. 

I can confirm this is 99% true

14 hours ago, Mustang said:

 the school doesn't care about its students whatsoever and the student body is full of radical politics. It's a complete disaster and the school needs a complete reform. 

Windsor's admin is going through some severe pains regarding cyber bullying, general apathy and an increasing disconnect between the "average" law student and the "leftist" (for a lack of a better term) professors. Many professors have been going down the if you're not with us you're against us pathway, and have encouraged such thinking in an increasingly aggressive, yet small number, of students. I don't have friends at any other law schools so I am unaware if this trend is unique to Windsor or not. 

The school does need reform, but Windsor's institutional inertia has determined the path of reform is in fact the "radical" politics. It is my opinion that once Windsor goes back into person, hopefully next year, these attitudes with subside. Two years of ZoomU has caused only the loudest, and often the most radical, students to be heard publicly by the faculty. The Windsor Law of today is not how I remember it pre-covid, it is a sad state of affairs we find ourselves in, but I am more than confident that things will level out in the future with some quality face to face time. 

Detroit Mercy is nearly free from all radical politics, the typical access seeking club at UDM is well organized and well respected among the student body. At UDM BLSA, Outlaws, HiLLSA, and the Women's Law Caucus are some of the most forward thinking and reasonable clubs around. I cannot have any more respect for the advocacy these groups do around the halls of UDM. 

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Bob Jones
  • Lawyer
17 hours ago, Mustang said:

Ya I was in the Dual too and I can assure you that literally no one wants to be in that program.. not even those who are in it lol. It's a waste of money, the school doesn't care about its students whatsoever and the student body is full of radical politics. It's a complete disaster and the school needs a complete reform. 

I don't know about the study body piece but I can confirm everything else is true. I think Osgoode used to have a dual program with NYU. Those two schools are leading institutions and that would provide actual merit for job purposes and what not. But that's not what this is. It's Ontario's bottom ranking law school (not the end of the world though, it's still fine) and a really shitty school in the US, which is a money grab. You don't "gain" anything at all by having UDM on your resume, and it doesn't open any doors, except for 0.0001% of students who decide to practise transaction work on both sides of the border.... maybe having the joint background would be somewhat beneficial but I would avoid this. Go for your masters if you have to reapply, upgrade your LSAT if you can, and then reapply. 

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On 10/31/2021 at 8:00 PM, Pendragon said:

Where did you transfer to? 

I am interested in hearing more about the radical politics in the program? Do you find that it is just with the current student body or is it systematic?

Erin O’toole said it perfectly in the post above. A lot of students have taken the “if youre not 100% with us youre against us” standpoint and it’s really dividing the student body. The program in itself is taught well and the education is decent. However, the politics are creating a very hostile atmosphere for no reason. 

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  • 1 month later...
Law nerd 221
  • Law Student

I'm not in the dual program but I know many people from that program who found great jobs and are doing really well. If it's your only option and you can afford it...do it. 

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erin otoole
  • Articling Student
21 minutes ago, Sundin13 said:

What is the workload like in the dual compared to the single stream? Is it significantly heavier? 

In first year and first semester second year it is MUCH heavier. You essentially take every single class twice, and depending on the subject you do "modules" where they try to cram an entire section of law into bi-weekly lectures. You get used to it, and besides a couple differences in Michigan/Canadian contracts law you won't get too confused. The only downer is the summer classes you are required to take between 1L and 2L, makes it nearly impossible to find full time employment, law or otherwise. 

Other obvious downside is essentially buying every textbook twice, one Canadian one American. I love the dual, but I would be lying if I didn't say I wish I was in the single for the $$$$, after my scholarships and OSAP my law degree from Windsor was actually free. Go to the single if you can, but the dual is not the death sentence this forum makes it out to be. 

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Sundin13
  • Applicant
1 hour ago, erin otoole said:

In first year and first semester second year it is MUCH heavier. You essentially take every single class twice, and depending on the subject you do "modules" where they try to cram an entire section of law into bi-weekly lectures. You get used to it, and besides a couple differences in Michigan/Canadian contracts law you won't get too confused. The only downer is the summer classes you are required to take between 1L and 2L, makes it nearly impossible to find full time employment, law or otherwise. 

Other obvious downside is essentially buying every textbook twice, one Canadian one American. I love the dual, but I would be lying if I didn't say I wish I was in the single for the $$$$, after my scholarships and OSAP my law degree from Windsor was actually free. Go to the single if you can, but the dual is not the death sentence this forum makes it out to be. 

Appreciate the detailed response! I do hope to get accepted to the single at Windsor, or elsewhere in Ontario, but if not, I guess I will keep my mind open to the Dual! As for now, I am PT’ing at 150, so I need to bump that up for the January test to have a shot anywhere 🙂 

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  • 1 month later...
Bob Jones
  • Lawyer
On 10/29/2021 at 2:37 PM, erin otoole said:

Or you could take advice from an actual Dual JD... I'm in the dual and I like it, speak to nearly any student in the program and they will tell you how much more they enjoy their time in Detroit over Windsor. 

Apply to the program, it is free to do. Pray to god that you get into the Windsor single or literally any other law school. Come down here for the dual if it is your only choice.

You have good stats you'll probably end up somewhere else. 

Former Dual here - don’t do it unless your tuition is fully covered. Waste of money and having UDM does nothing for you. Get your MA, re do your LSAT and then try again to a single program.  

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lawess
  • Law Student

Current Dual here. I took the LSAT very late and this was the only Canadian acceptance I had by July 1, so I went with it. I was dreading it and honestly, it's not that bad.. my classmates seem really happy to be here and the summer after first year, there are actually very interesting internship opportunities in the United States that seem to make students stand out in the job process. I say this because first years get to appear in court, etc., which not many students at other schools across Canada get to do. Some employers seem to be interested in that, so Im not sure why other people here are saying UDM adds nothing to our resumes. Just take advantage of the resources offered to you. Keep in mind the in-person Detroit summer positions are only available if you elect to spend the full academic semester in in-person classes at UDM, which many of my classmates didnt do because of covid. Side note: UDM is beautiful.

I do not know what radical politics other people are talking about, as I haven't come across any political messaging yet... I'm guessing they just call any politics they don't like "radical." 

People on this forum will tell you it's a death sentence, and that did freak me out, but I have yet to see that. Some second year students got good positions in Bay Street firms - not many, but I was surprised to see it was within our reach. I see some of our program grads in good positions on Bay Street firms. Our professors are good. There are also students who get placed in good Detroit firms and are making significantly more money than they would in Canada. Also, because the program is so small and unique, it's a really tight-knit group of people - the second and third year students keep in close contact with first year students and help as much as they can. This may be the case at other law schools, too, but im just saying that its nice to experience that.

Cons: the workload is very intense... we have to learn every course twice, for Canada and the US, and as someone mentioned they really cram as much as possible in each semester. I'm not looking forward to having intense summer classes that annoyingly prevent us from finding full time legal work. Orientation is 2 weeks, one for each school, and is highly repetitive and boring.

BIG CON: the program is massively disorganized. It feels like we are placed on the back burner of both schools. Communication is rare and unclear. We dont even have our final class schedules yet for this semester, and classes started last week. We got our student handbook at the end of first semester.  The chaos is seriously annoying, given how much money we pay in tuition. It is not at all one unified program, but rather the responsibility falls on the students to piece together direction from both Windsor and UDM. And sometimes the requirements from each school conflict with each other. Really irritating.. you'd think they'd have it developed better by this point.

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CleanHands
  • Lawyer
10 minutes ago, kilgoretrout said:

I say this because first years get to appear in court, etc., which not many students at other schools across Canada get to do

This is simply not true.

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lawess
  • Law Student
6 minutes ago, CleanHands said:

This is simply not true.

Do you mean other Canadian students appear in court the summer after their first year as well? I was mistaken, then. Either way, it's a cool experience.

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CleanHands
  • Lawyer
Just now, kilgoretrout said:

Do you mean other Canadian students appear in court the summer after their first year as well? I was mistaken, then. Either way, it's a cool experience.

Not just in summers after 1L but during 1L itself through various volunteer opportunities. This is pretty standard for every law school in Canada that I'm somewhat familiar with.

All good man, just wanted to clear that up.

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lawess
  • Law Student
Just now, CleanHands said:

Not just in summers after 1L but during 1L itself through various volunteer opportunities. This is pretty standard for every law school in Canada that I'm somewhat familiar with.

All good man, just wanted to clear that up.

Actually yeah you're right, I've heard CLA offers opportunities like that as well. But I do specifically remember hearing an upper year mention that employers were pleased to see their court experience on the Detroit side.

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Bob Jones
  • Lawyer
15 hours ago, kilgoretrout said:

Current Dual here. I took the LSAT very late and this was the only Canadian acceptance I had by July 1, so I went with it. I was dreading it and honestly, it's not that bad.. my classmates seem really happy to be here and the summer after first year, there are actually very interesting internship opportunities in the United States that seem to make students stand out in the job process. I say this because first years get to appear in court, etc., which not many students at other schools across Canada get to do. Some employers seem to be interested in that, so Im not sure why other people here are saying UDM adds nothing to our resumes. Just take advantage of the resources offered to you. Keep in mind the in-person Detroit summer positions are only available if you elect to spend the full academic semester in in-person classes at UDM, which many of my classmates didnt do because of covid. Side note: UDM is beautiful.

I do not know what radical politics other people are talking about, as I haven't come across any political messaging yet... I'm guessing they just call any politics they don't like "radical." 

People on this forum will tell you it's a death sentence, and that did freak me out, but I have yet to see that. Some second year students got good positions in Bay Street firms - not many, but I was surprised to see it was within our reach. I see some of our program grads in good positions on Bay Street firms. Our professors are good. There are also students who get placed in good Detroit firms and are making significantly more money than they would in Canada. Also, because the program is so small and unique, it's a really tight-knit group of people - the second and third year students keep in close contact with first year students and help as much as they can. This may be the case at other law schools, too, but im just saying that its nice to experience that.

Cons: the workload is very intense... we have to learn every course twice, for Canada and the US, and as someone mentioned they really cram as much as possible in each semester. I'm not looking forward to having intense summer classes that annoyingly prevent us from finding full time legal work. Orientation is 2 weeks, one for each school, and is highly repetitive and boring.

BIG CON: the program is massively disorganized. It feels like we are placed on the back burner of both schools. Communication is rare and unclear. We dont even have our final class schedules yet for this semester, and classes started last week. We got our student handbook at the end of first semester.  The chaos is seriously annoying, given how much money we pay in tuition. It is not at all one unified program, but rather the responsibility falls on the students to piece together direction from both Windsor and UDM. And sometimes the requirements from each school conflict with each other. Really irritating.. you'd think they'd have it developed better by this point.

As a dual grad, I agree with this. This forum makes it sound a lot worse than it is but in reality, it’s another Ontario JD and nobody will ask or care when you’re in your role. There’s tons of foreign JDs who are excellent at their jobs as well. 
 

Yes in terms of OCIs and Bay there’s probably more Osgoode and U of T grads than Dual JDs and others, but the duals in my class all went on to do well. 
 

my gripe is how horribly expensive it is, and that you’re teamed up with a really poorly ranked school which does absolutely nothing for your career. It feels like a cash grab. And almost nobody goes on to specialize in cross border transactional or other solicitor work. It’s super niche, which is really when the Dual may come in handy but for everyone else it’s a cash grab. 
 

edit: also with COVID, if you still have to physically be present and cross the border 3x week to get to the UDM classes you’re dreading and deal with COVID testing or vaccine headaches and regulations. Fuck. That. Shit. 
 

Avoid this program if you can, Unless money is no object. You’ll do well in the long run, but it’s expensive and you don’t get anything by having UDM on your resume. It’s a more challenging and expensive way to break into the Canadian legal profession. 

Edited by Bob Jones
COVID Discussion
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BlockedQuebecois
  • Lawyer

Cross-border transactional or other solicitor work isn't super niche; it's just super niche for Windsor dual grads because they aren't able to get jobs at the shops that advise on cross-border transactions. All of the major Bay Street firms will be involved in cross-border work. 

Also, there are "probably" more Osgoode and U of T grads on Bay than Dual? Really? 🙄 

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A number of years out no one will care and your work will speak for you. If the dual program gets you a degree, go for it.

When I was interviewing potential articled students the only thing that stood out to me about the Dual program was the transcripts were really hard to decipher. The Canadian/American divide wasn't really described in any way so I had no idea how much time the student had spent on the topics I was actually interested in (these were not the American courses).

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lawess
  • Law Student

 

1 hour ago, Bob Jones said:

As a dual grad, I agree with this. This forum makes it sound a lot worse than it is but in reality, it’s another Ontario JD and nobody will ask or care when you’re in your role. There’s tons of foreign JDs who are excellent at their jobs as well. 
 

Yes in terms of OCIs and Bay there’s probably more Osgoode and U of T grads than Dual JDs and others, but the duals in my class all went on to do well. 
 

my gripe is how horribly expensive it is, and that you’re teamed up with a really poorly ranked school which does absolutely nothing for your career. It feels like a cash grab. And almost nobody goes on to specialize in cross border transactional or other solicitor work. It’s super niche, which is really when the Dual may come in handy but for everyone else it’s a cash grab. 
 

edit: also with COVID, if you still have to physically be present and cross the border 3x week to get to the UDM classes you’re dreading and deal with COVID testing or vaccine headaches and regulations. Fuck. That. Shit. 
 

Avoid this program if you can, Unless money is no object. You’ll do well in the long run, but it’s expensive and you don’t get anything by having UDM on your resume. It’s a more challenging and expensive way to break into the Canadian legal profession. 

Yeah, we literally had one UDM class and it cost us over $16K. And yeah, even with COVID, you still have to be physically present at UDM to be eligible for in person externships. It's been a nightmare with the testing and changing regulations. Just goes to show again how inconvenient and disorganized parts of the program are, but like you said, I don't really feel like I'm missing out on a lot of opportunities by being here and I do see our grads in interesting positions. I think it really just depends on the person, like with anything. 

OP, I urge you to really pay attention to what the people who have actually been in the program say (the good and the bad), and take the others with a grain of salt. A lot of people on here tend to make these sweeping, dramatic statements about things that just tend to not be accurate. I remember asking a question about the program on here before I started and just being told things that were flat out untrue, which freaked me out. If your endgame is corporate law, Windsor probably isn't the best school for that anyways, but I do see our grads in top positions on Bay Street. It really is just another Ontario JD -- if you do come here, just take advantage of the resources and study hard (like students at any other school should do) and you'll be fine.

 

59 minutes ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

Cross-border transactional or other solicitor work isn't super niche; it's just super niche for Windsor dual grads because they aren't able to get jobs at the shops that advise on cross-border transactions. All of the major Bay Street firms will be involved in cross-border work. 

Also, there are "probably" more Osgoode and U of T grads on Bay than Dual? Really? 🙄 

Osgoode and U of T are of course better schools, but that doesn't make Windsor "bad." It was my understanding that proximity to Bay Street plays the largest factor in which schools see their students get hired the most. There are some really good law schools across Canada that don't place a lot of students on Bay Street.

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