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UofT vs Osgoode


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  • Law School Admit

Interested in education quality, campus quality, articling rates, specialization in certain areas, competitiveness and anything else that one could consider relevant.

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Pecan Boy
  • Articling Student

I'm a UofT student so I'm shamelessly biased, but I'll try to be evenhanded.

It's hard to compare certain things like quality of education without going to both schools, though I'd imagine they're the same. You'll learn the same stuff in 1L, and the quality of education in upper years really depends on the profs. I'm sure both schools have great, good, and shitty profs. Quality of education would also include things like clinical opportunities and externships. You should peruse each school's websites to get a sense of what each school is offering. Osgoode would almost certainly have the edge in terms of the breadth of clinical work you can do. But there'll be very hands-on, client-facing opportunities at each school. 

UofT's location is 1000% better (each school's "campus" will pretty much consist of one building if you're a law student). 

Articling rates are probably the same generally (i.e., somewhere in the high 90s), but UofT places its students better in the 2L recruit if that's something you might be into.

If you mean "competitiveness" as in "is the student body hyper-competitive?" I've certainly never felt that at UofT, and I'd be surprised if that was the case at Osgoode. Classmates in law school are generally much more supportive and helpful than they're caricatured to be by pre-law students, and I think that's a universal truth.

As for "specialization in certain areas," maybe you could clarify what areas you're interested in. 

Other relevant considerations would presumably include tuition (which is no joke at either school, but UofT's tuition is obviously higher), scholarship opportunities (UofT doesn't give merit-based scholarships, Osgoode does), quality of financial aid (I would've likely had better financial aid at Osgoode than I do at UofT, but I know others were the opposite), etc. You can DM me if you have more specific questions.

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Deadpool
  • Lawyer

If you want to work in IP law as you've indicated in other posts, you should go to U of T if you get accepted. Most IP law is practiced in Big law firms and IP boutiques that participate in the OCI process. These places act as pipelines for in-house IP law jobs. Osgoode has more variety in course selection, clinics, and extracurriculars for IP law, but U of T has better OCI placement rates, and that is what matters at the end of the day if you want to work in this field; especially if you do not have a master's/PhD in STEM or an engineering degree. U of T's JD/MBA program is also superior to Osgoode's JD/MBA program, if you think you may want to pursue that. Osgoode still places very well during OCIs though, but you have to perform better in the class than you would at U of T, where employers are likely to go deeper into the class to scoop up even the average students. 

As a public sector lawyer, I hands-down support Osgoode over U of T for anyone going into my line of work. I have met many U of T grads in the public sector who straight-up told me that the golden handcuffs are real, and they had to spend a few years in Big law to pay off their debt before they could switch into practice areas that they actually wanted to do. In addition, I have been told by numerous U of T law students and alumni that there is a huge corporate focus at the school, and fewer clinical opportunities in diverse and niche areas of law. I was invited as a speaker to a panel event at U of T once, where I met a student working at a seven sister firm asking me how they could go into public sector work, and how there was no guidance at the school regarding this. In comparison, Osgoode has a very in-depth public sector guide that is available to students and many Osgoode students land jobs with the government, non-profits, and legal aid. 

So, you need to have a better understanding of what you are looking to get out of your law school experience, and what you want to go into, before automatically deferring to U of T as the superior choice strictly based on its reputation alone.  

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OnlyResident
  • Articling Student
4 hours ago, Pecan Boy said:

Articling rates are probably the same generally (i.e., somewhere in the high 90s), but UofT places its students better in the 2L recruit if that's something you might be into.

Osgoode has an articling rate of 87.5% and UofT has a rate of 95%. Not sure if this is considered significant, but I think it is important to point out. 

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Pecan Boy
  • Articling Student
33 minutes ago, OnlyResident said:

Osgoode has an articling rate of 87.5% and UofT has a rate of 95%. Not sure if this is considered significant, but I think it is important to point out. 

My estimates were a bit off!

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10 hours ago, OnlyResident said:

Osgoode has an articling rate of 87.5% and UofT has a rate of 95%. Not sure if this is considered significant, but I think it is important to point out. 

Where is the source?

Not 95% - 100%?

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scooter
  • Law Student
10 hours ago, OnlyResident said:

Osgoode has an articling rate of 87.5% and UofT has a rate of 95%. Not sure if this is considered significant, but I think it is important to point out. 

This is incorrect. For the class of 2020 at Osgoode, 94% obtained articling positions.

Source: Osgoode offer package https://www.osgoode.yorku.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Osgoode_Hall_Law_School_Offer_Package_2021-22.pdf

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easttowest
  • Lawyer

I wouldn’t have thought articling rate would be a relevant statistic to evaluate these schools by. It’s U of T and Osgoode. You’ll get an articling job if you want one. 

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3 minutes ago, easttowest said:

I wouldn’t have thought articling rate would be a relevant statistic to evaluate these schools by. It’s U of T and Osgoode. You’ll get an articling job if you want one. 

Graduates from which Canadian law schools cannot get an articling job even they want one?

Just wonder.

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scooter
  • Law Student
9 minutes ago, easttowest said:

I wouldn’t have thought articling rate would be a relevant statistic to evaluate these schools by. It’s U of T and Osgoode. You’ll get an articling job if you want one. 

Yeah, if UofT is 95% that really just tells you that 5% of their class decided to do something else. Same with Osgoode.

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easttowest
  • Lawyer
14 minutes ago, NowOrNever said:

Graduates from which Canadian law schools cannot get an articling job even they want one?

Just wonder.

Guessing, I’d imagine that there is a chance at every Ontario law school apart from UT and Osgoode that some small part of the class is looking but can’t find a placement. It’s probably possible at those schools too but not a point that I’d use to differentiate them. That’s why they created the LPP in Ontario, so graduates can get licensed if they can’t find a placement. 

But there are other factors to consider when wondering why graduates can’t find a placement. Maybe they only want to work and network in a certain part of the province. Maybe they’re looking for a certain kind of firm. Maybe they don’t want to work for free. 

Anecdotally, everyone I know personally had paid articles (or clerked), even those that didn’t have a placement before graduation. I know of one person who did the LPP but I suspect they only wanted to work near the GTA.

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6 minutes ago, easttowest said:

Guessing, I’d imagine that there is a chance at every Ontario law school apart from UT and Osgoode that some small part of the class is looking but can’t find a placement. It’s probably possible at those schools too but not a point that I’d use to differentiate them. That’s why they created the LPP in Ontario, so graduates can get licensed if they can’t find a placement. 

But there are other factors to consider when wondering why graduates can’t find a placement. Maybe they only want to work and network in a certain part of the province. Maybe they’re looking for a certain kind of firm. Maybe they don’t want to work for free. 

Anecdotally, everyone I know personally had paid articles (or clerked), even those that didn’t have a placement before graduation. I know of one person who did the LPP but I suspect they only wanted to work near the GTA.

Thanks!

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OntheVerge
  • Lawyer

Osgoode's campus is awful. It's a barren wasteland of concrete buildings and lonely trees. It's also somewhat unsafe if you're out and about in the off-hours when most of the populace has left. I lived on campus for 1L and because of my dog, was always out walking the campus early mornings, evenings, and weekends. I think it's generally safer when you're only walking around when everyone else is around, too. There were quite a few muggings, stabbings, and the odd person shot. "Campus security" was a joke.

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20 minutes ago, OntheVerge said:

Osgoode's campus is awful. It's a barren wasteland of concrete buildings and lonely trees. It's also somewhat unsafe if you're out and about in the off-hours when most of the populace has left. I lived on campus for 1L and because of my dog, was always out walking the campus early mornings, evenings, and weekends. I think it's generally safer when you're only walking around when everyone else is around, too. There were quite a few muggings, stabbings, and the odd person shot. "Campus security" was a joke.

You and I seemed to have had quite different experiences. I lived there throughout law school, and felt pretty safe most of the time.  There were a few criminal acts, but definitely not "quite a few" and no one got shot. 

I do agree that it can be pretty inaccessible, though. Overall, my experience was pretty decent and the subway coming into campus has definitely helped. But YMMV. 

 

 

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Darth Vader
  • Lawyer

I know people that lived in the York Village which is considered the sketchy off-campus housing area beside Osgoode, and they didn't have any issues either. The incidents that happened near York were associated with York by the media, but rarely did they occur on campus or anywhere near the school. There was a shooting at York during a late-nigjt clubbing event, where the victim knew the perpetrator so it was personal. 

I find these kinds of general statements without context to be unhelpful. If we're going to say the campus is unsafe, then we need more information and context on the incidents that occurred, where and when they did, and who was involved. Most are not random and associated with parties that know each other or have prior beef. The media reports these as random, unprovoked incidents but they may not be. 

There is nothing unsafe about York or Osgoode if you stay on campus and don't venture too far out. And certainly if you are walking around at night by yourself, there is a possibility of risk anywhere. That is no different even if you were studying in downtown Toronto. 

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OnlyResident
  • Articling Student
10 hours ago, scooter said:

This is incorrect. For the class of 2020 at Osgoode, 94% obtained articling positions.

Source: Osgoode offer package https://www.osgoode.yorku.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Osgoode_Hall_Law_School_Offer_Package_2021-22.pdf

https://www.osgoode.yorku.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/2019-2020-Annual-Report_Low-Res.pdf Page 6 shows only 280 out of 320 as of April 2020 for their 2019 class. I am guessing the rest secured articles after graduating. 

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Lfg11
  • Applicant

Is choosing U of T over Osgoode worth the ~30k tuition difference if the goal is Toronto big law? I'm leaning towards U of T but cost is definitely still a factor for me 

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99problems
  • Lawyer
1 hour ago, Lfg11 said:

Is choosing U of T over Osgoode worth the ~30k tuition difference if the goal is Toronto big law? I'm leaning towards U of T but cost is definitely still a factor for me 

I don't think so. Of course, UofT lands more students on Bay Street in the formal recruits. But the number is not that much higher. Also you still need to perform quite well, which if you did, it wouldn't matter whether you are from UofT or Osgoode.

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99problems
  • Lawyer
On 12/9/2021 at 11:55 PM, OnlyResident said:

Osgoode has an articling rate of 87.5% and UofT has a rate of 95%. Not sure if this is considered significant, but I think it is important to point out. 

On 12/10/2021 at 10:19 AM, scooter said:

This is incorrect. For the class of 2020 at Osgoode, 94% obtained articling positions.

Source: Osgoode offer package https://www.osgoode.yorku.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Osgoode_Hall_Law_School_Offer_Package_2021-22.pdf

I wouldn't sweat over articling rates. Almost everyone can find an articling position, and the schools use this number to boost their statistics. In doing so, they factor in even unpaid articlings (rare but existent) since it is technically an articling position. But I don't think it is something that an applicant fancies about when he applies to law school. Truth is that many of the students are not happy with their secured positions, whether it be its compensation, location, area of practice, etc.

In comparing schools, you should consider other factors like their curriculum, clinical programs, the type and diversity of their curricular streams, etc.

 

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Darth Vader
  • Lawyer
1 hour ago, Lfg11 said:

Is choosing U of T over Osgoode worth the ~30k tuition difference if the goal is Toronto big law? I'm leaning towards U of T but cost is definitely still a factor for me 

Probably doesn't matter for big law at least. Osgoode's OCI placement rate for summer 2022 was 38% and U of T's was 53%. Given the fact that U of T is a more corporate school than Osgoode, and given the higher tuition rate, we can presume that more U of T students are interested in Toronto big law to begin with. Osgoode attracts a lot of social justice types. Have you checked the aid calculator on U of T's website? 

Obviously not all OCI jobs are Toronto big law, but most employers are corporate employers.

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LordBONSAI
  • Applicant

I may go off on a tangent, but how does Osgoode compare to UofT in terms of food scene (e.g. quality, choices, affordability...)?  

Edited by LordBONSAI
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4 hours ago, LordBONSAI said:

I may go off on a tangent, but how does Osgoode compare to UofT in terms of food scene (e.g. quality, choices, affordability...)?  

I love Osgoode, but it doesn't compare. The options on campus are now *better* than they used to be, but downtown is better for each one of those metrics.

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SNAILS
  • Articling Student

The simple answer is that most people choose to attend U of T over Osgoode if they are accepted to both.

There is information readily available on articulating rates and so on. It would be really cool if someone had first hand experience attending both schools, but since that is not realistic, a comparison of the schools based on other people's experiences will always be one sided.

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  • 1 month later...
Bread
  • Law School Admit

Thank you all for your insight! 

On 12/9/2021 at 7:36 PM, Deadpool said:

If you want to work in IP law as you've indicated in other posts, you should go to U of T if you get accepted. Most IP law is practiced in Big law firms and IP boutiques that participate in the OCI process. These places act as pipelines for in-house IP law jobs. Osgoode has more variety in course selection, clinics, and extracurriculars for IP law, but U of T has better OCI placement rates, and that is what matters at the end of the day if you want to work in this field; especially if you do not have a master's/PhD in STEM or an engineering degree. U of T's JD/MBA program is also superior to Osgoode's JD/MBA program, if you think you may want to pursue that. Osgoode still places very well during OCIs though, but you have to perform better in the class than you would at U of T, where employers are likely to go deeper into the class to scoop up even the average students. 

As a public sector lawyer, I hands-down support Osgoode over U of T for anyone going into my line of work. I have met many U of T grads in the public sector who straight-up told me that the golden handcuffs are real, and they had to spend a few years in Big law to pay off their debt before they could switch into practice areas that they actually wanted to do. In addition, I have been told by numerous U of T law students and alumni that there is a huge corporate focus at the school, and fewer clinical opportunities in diverse and niche areas of law. I was invited as a speaker to a panel event at U of T once, where I met a student working at a seven sister firm asking me how they could go into public sector work, and how there was no guidance at the school regarding this. In comparison, Osgoode has a very in-depth public sector guide that is available to students and many Osgoode students land jobs with the government, non-profits, and legal aid. 

So, you need to have a better understanding of what you are looking to get out of your law school experience, and what you want to go into, before automatically deferring to U of T as the superior choice strictly based on its reputation alone.  

I am interested in IP law. I have a BSc in Neuroscience (but no master's or PHd) so I hope that should help some. It seems like Osgoode has more IP opportunities like the clinic and the intensive and others that you mentioned, but you don't think I would be at a disadvantage going into IP with potentially less IP experience than students at Osgoode? Genuinely curious. I've been accepted to UofT and there are other things that draw me to it like the location (I'll be commuting) is but I want to weigh all my options and not miss any important factors. I would prefer to work in a bigger full service firm as opposed to boutique or smaller.

 

In terms of commuting, how is parking on either campus? Does either school offer the student discount for the TTC or is that just for undergrads? I'll likely be at school as long as possible every day.

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