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Graduate Diploma in Legal Services Management


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King of Queens
  • Law School Admit

Hey everyone, I was just wondering if anyone had any insight into the Graduate Diploma in Legal Services Management. I know its not running currently, which I assume is just due to Covid.

A few specific questions I have are:

Do you complete the entire Diploma in the 1L summer? If not, whats the typical distribution of classes.

Are the courses taught online or a mix?

Approximate tuition cost?

Did you find it helpful in anyway? Either for job hunts or starting your own practice?

If any of these answers are online I can't seem to find them, the current website is barebones so there isn't much to find out.

 

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QueensDenning
  • Law Student

I wouldn't take any legal graduate diploma, my intuition is that you'll learn more from working than you could from a diploma, and the work experience would almost certainly be more of a sell in terms of future employers. Just my $0.02. 

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King of Queens
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Posted (edited)
On 6/18/2021 at 2:57 PM, QueensDenning said:

I wouldn't take any legal graduate diploma, my intuition is that you'll learn more from working than you could from a diploma, and the work experience would almost certainly be more of a sell in terms of future employers. Just my $0.02. 

Fair enough, I was hoping that since it was through the summer and possibly online I could work full time and maybe do it on the side. I don't anticipate to have any legal related work during the 1L summer so I figured it'd be something interesting to do.

Edited by King of Queens
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QueensDenning
  • Law Student
3 minutes ago, King of Queens said:

Fair enough, I was hoping that since it was through the summer and possibly online I could work full time and maybe do it on the side. I don't anticipate to have any legal related work during the 1L summer so I figured it'd be something interesting to do.

are you a 0L? If so, and you're planning to go to Queen's, a lot of the 1Ls do the "BISC" international law program over the summer. That will give you extra grades that employers can see for the 2L recruit, so would be especially helpful if you don't do as well grades-wise during 1L. A diploma won't count for your law school GPA. Also, if you work hard enough and send out enough applications, you might be surprised with the job you're able to get over 1L. There are lots of legal and sorta legal-adjacent jobs that are really interesting and are open to hiring 1Ls (ie. clinics, RA work, policy jobs, etc.). Most 1Ls I know who really tried were able to land some sort of interesting position for the summer!

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King of Queens
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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, QueensDenning said:

are you a 0L? If so, and you're planning to go to Queen's, a lot of the 1Ls do the "BISC" international law program over the summer. That will give you extra grades that employers can see for the 2L recruit, so would be especially helpful if you don't do as well grades-wise during 1L. A diploma won't count for your law school GPA. Also, if you work hard enough and send out enough applications, you might be surprised with the job you're able to get over 1L. There are lots of legal and sorta legal-adjacent jobs that are really interesting and are open to hiring 1Ls (ie. clinics, RA work, policy jobs, etc.). Most 1Ls I know who really tried were able to land some sort of interesting position for the summer!

Yep, accepted to Queens for the fall. I've thought a lot about doing BISC but it seems out of reach for me personally. The price tag plus the forfeit of at least half a summers wage is pretty daunting to me. I have one foot in another career, so giving up one of my last free summer's to do this for the opportunity cost of at least $35000 seems like a bad idea. Although it does seem like an amazing program, I just wish it was during the school year or something. 

Edited by King of Queens
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Stacci
  • Law Student

From my recollection, the Master's program will also continue after the JD degree but I may be mistaken. My own personal take is that the LLM degree is trying to bridge the gap between legal skills and working in a smaller firm that doesn't have a huge amount of built-in infrastructure. Law school does not teach you management or business skills but running a law firm is still a business at the end of the day. It would be very helpful if you hope to open your own practice one day or join a smaller group. The degree is rightly trying to bridge the knowledge gap here that many have faced when not going to a big Toronto firm. But, say, if you are hoping to do crown work, it won't necessarily contribute much as you don't need to be very business savy.

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BlockedQuebecois
  • Lawyer

This isn't an LLM. 

OP, this is a $12,000 money grab by Queens that you absolutely should not fall for. 

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King of Queens
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7 minutes ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

This isn't an LLM. 

OP, this is a $12,000 money grab by Queens that you absolutely should not fall for. 

I was tracking it wasn't an LLM, but I think your probably right about the money grab.

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QueensDenning
  • Law Student
1 hour ago, King of Queens said:

Yep, accepted to Queens for the fall. I've thought a lot about doing BISC but it seems out of reach for me personally. The price tag plus the forfeit of at least half a summers wage is pretty daunting to me. I have one foot in another career, so giving up one of my last free summer's to do this for the opportunity cost of at least $35000 seems like a bad idea. Although it does seem like an amazing program, I just wish it was during the school year or something. 

yeah, I was more saying IF you were going to do some type of school over the summer, BISC is a better option. I chose not to do it though, and I also think it's a money grab. I'm not paying a cent for legal education that I don't have to, personally.

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QMT20
  • Articling Student
On 6/18/2021 at 9:45 AM, King of Queens said:

Hey everyone, I was just wondering if anyone had any insight into the Graduate Diploma in Legal Services Management. I know its not running currently, which I assume is just due to Covid.

A few specific questions I have are:

Do you complete the entire Diploma in the 1L summer? If not, whats the typical distribution of classes.

Are the courses taught online or a mix?

Approximate tuition cost?

Did you find it helpful in anyway? Either for job hunts or starting your own practice?

If any of these answers are online I can't seem to find them, the current website is barebones so there isn't much to find out.

 

They piloted this program when I was in 1L. Back then it was free. I would not pay $12,000 to do it. It is manageable while also doing a job on the side. I knew lots of people who worked in legal aide clinics, RA, or non-law related jobs that also did the graduate diploma while working. Some of them wanted to do this because for this program, there's no curve. The lowest grade I heard about anyone getting was an A-. However, out of the 3 people I knew that did the program, none of them landed a job in the 2L recruit afterwards so I don't think it helps with getting a job at all

12 minutes ago, QueensDenning said:

yeah, I was more saying IF you were going to do some type of school over the summer, BISC is a better option. I chose not to do it though, and I also think it's a money grab. I'm not paying a cent for legal education that I don't have to, personally.

The BISC isn't necessarily a money grab and doesn't necessarily force you to pay extra money for legal education. Because the credits from BISC are recognized towards your law degree lots of students graduate early and save a semester of tuition by doing it. The BISC's policy (at least under Dean Flanagan, I'm not sure if there were changes this year) is that nobody should miss the opportunity because they can't afford it. They give very generous bursaries for anyone who makes a request. Out of the people I knew who did it, I don't think they felt they overpaid for what they got from the program. 

1 hour ago, QueensDenning said:

That will give you extra grades that employers can see for the 2L recruit, so would be especially helpful if you don't do as well grades-wise during 1L. 

This is true. However, what I heard from students who did it my year was that it's actually harder to get good grades in the castle program than it was during 1L. You get extra grades for sure but some people actually ended up worse off as a result of those grades. 

@King of Queens to be perfectly honest with you, the only programs I would consider doing alongside your JD are the JD/MBA or the JD/MIR. The JD/MIR only if you're interested in labour & employment law and then you're pretty much a lock to get a position in that field in the recruit. If you're going for big-law the JD/MBA at Queen's is basically a guarantee that you'll get a position. I've known straight B law-students doing the JD/MBA who landed at full-service Toronto firms. I've also known some people who struck out during the 2L recruit and then decided to enroll in the JD/MBA program to add a year onto their degree and then reapply for the 2L recruit the year afterwards. They were successful in landing at a full-service firm their second try. However, the downside of the JD/MBA is that it'll add a year onto your law degree and unlike BISC, you'll probably be paying full tuition for that year. 

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QueensDenning
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19 minutes ago, QMT20 said:

This is true. However, what I heard from students who did it my year was that it's actually harder to get good grades in the castle program than it was during 1L. You get extra grades for sure but some people actually ended up worse off as a result of those grades. 

As far as I know the BISC program curves to a B+, compared to most of the 1L courses which are curved to a B. So I think on average, people do better at BISC. 

Edit for OP: The BISC program gives you extra credits, but does NOT necessarily reduce the amount of courses that you'll have to take in upper years. Just food for thought. 

Edited by QueensDenning
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King of Queens
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4 minutes ago, QMT20 said:

@King of Queens to be perfectly honest with you, the only programs I would consider doing alongIf you're going for big-law the JD/MBA at Queen's is basically a guarantee that you'll get a position. I've known straight B law-students doing the JD/MBA who landed at full-service Toronto firms. I've also known some people who struck out during the 2L recruit and then decided to enroll in the JD/MBA program to add a year onto their degree and then reapply for the 2L recruit the year afterwards. They were successful in landing at a full-service firm their second try. However, the downside of the JD/MBA is that it'll add a year onto your law degree and unlike BISC, you'll probably be paying full tuition for that year. 

So you can apply to joint JD/MBA even after 2L? I've read that there is only a small amount of students admitted to this each year, about 5. I imagine though that once you've completed 1L, those grades matter more for the application then undergrad and LSAT. Although I'm above both minimums for the dual, I wouldn't say I'm an rockstar with stats.   

I've become more interested in the joint program since I initially applied, do the two program fees stack on each other? MBA is approx. $80,000 and JD is $60,000, or is tuition cheaper to both in the joint program? 

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QMT20
  • Articling Student
9 minutes ago, King of Queens said:

So you can apply to joint JD/MBA even after 2L? I've read that there is only a small amount of students admitted to this each year, about 5. I imagine though that once you've completed 1L, those grades matter more for the application then undergrad and LSAT. Although I'm above both minimums for the dual, I wouldn't say I'm an rockstar with stats.   

I've become more interested in the joint program since I initially applied, do the two program fees stack on each other? MBA is approx. $80,000 and JD is $60,000, or is tuition cheaper to both in the joint program? 

I didn't do the JD/MBA so I don't know all the details about how the tuition works. You can try reaching out to some students who are doing the JD/MBA at Queen's right now on LinkedIn and I'm sure one of the will be willing to walk you through it. I also can't speak to what the exact requirements are for switching into JD/MBA after first year law school since again, I never tried to do it. However, I will say that I've known a number of people who switched into JD/MBA after 1L, and at least one student who is a B-level law student that switched in after striking out during the 2L recruit and who landed a position at a full service firm this year. 

I can only say what I've observed people around me doing. If you want a more direct perspective on the joint-program just message someone on LinkedIn and I'm sure they'll talk to you. 

10 minutes ago, QueensDenning said:

As far as I know the BISC program curves to a B+, compared to most of the 1L courses which are curved to a B. So I think on average, people do better at BISC. 

That's good to know. I wasn't sure how grading worked exactly for BISC. Again, I can only say what some people around me said about their experience with the Castle. For most of them, they found it to be pretty draining to jump right back into classes after 1L and many of them received grades that were worse than their 1L grades. In light of what you said, they probably don't represent the majority of students but it's still worth noting the risk that you can end up with worse grades as a result of the Castle than better. 

Edited by QMT20
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King of Queens
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35 minutes ago, QMT20 said:

I didn't do the JD/MBA so I don't know all the details about how the tuition works. You can try reaching out to some students who are doing the JD/MBA at Queen's right now on LinkedIn and I'm sure one of the will be willing to walk you through it. I also can't speak to what the exact requirements are for switching into JD/MBA after first year law school since again, I never tried to do it. However, I will say that I've known a number of people who switched into JD/MBA after 1L, and at least one student who is a B-level law student that switched in after striking out during the 2L recruit and who landed a position at a full service firm this year. 

I can only say what I've observed people around me doing. If you want a more direct perspective on the joint-program just message someone on LinkedIn and I'm sure they'll talk to you. 

Yeah, I'm probably going to do that. Thanks for your advice!

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QueensDenning
  • Law Student

Last thing I would say to keep in mind, and a good point made by @QMT20 is that I couldn’t imagine jumping right back into classes after 1L. Draining it would be indeed. Hard to exaggerate the stress that goes with those final 1L exams. 

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Turtles
  • Law Student
12 hours ago, King of Queens said:

So you can apply to joint JD/MBA even after 2L? I've read that there is only a small amount of students admitted to this each year, about 5. I imagine though that once you've completed 1L, those grades matter more for the application then undergrad and LSAT. Although I'm above both minimums for the dual, I wouldn't say I'm an rockstar with stats.   

I've become more interested in the joint program since I initially applied, do the two program fees stack on each other? MBA is approx. $80,000 and JD is $60,000, or is tuition cheaper to both in the joint program? 

I highly recommend reaching out to the Smith MBA admissions recruiters directly. They will jump on a phone call and answer all your questions, including things the school doesn't put in writing (e.g. you can ask what LSAT you need to get GMAT waived, whether your specific transcript is competitive for admission, how much scholarship/bursaries you can expect, the application process and timeline, etc). I did a call with them a few years when I was considering taking the plunge after getting accepted to Queen's JD and they were totally forthcoming about how much student aid I could expect (~50% of the MBA tuition*) and how I compared to the JD/MBA applicants. I also heard their usual class size is 5 but had recently doubled to 10 due to heightened demand. Any full-time work experience is a real asset in the process, particularly 2 years+, but it's not a formal requirement for JD/MBA students and most JD/MBA have none. In the absence of work experience, their primary criteria is 1L grades for applicants applying during 1L (you apply in November of 1L and they wait until transcripts are ready in January to do interviews and make a decision), or undergrad GPA (B2 focus) for applicants applying to the joint program directly from OLSAS, in addition to GMAT (if not waived) or LSAT score. I think they said you need 85th percentile LSAT to waive GMAT requirement. My info may be a few years out of date, do reach out to them directly.

* Just FYI: like US law schools, it's very common for MBA (and JD/MBA) students to not pay anything close to sticker price as the school subsidizes higher performing students' tuition from the inflated tuition from lower performing students -- and as someone with strong enough grades to get into a JD program, your undergrad record is likely higher performing than the average MBA student's. Always try to get a scholarship/bursary estimate to see what the real cost will be before getting scared off by the purported cost.  

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QueensGrad
  • Lawyer
19 hours ago, King of Queens said:

So you can apply to joint JD/MBA even after 2L? I've read that there is only a small amount of students admitted to this each year, about 5. I imagine though that once you've completed 1L, those grades matter more for the application then undergrad and LSAT. Although I'm above both minimums for the dual, I wouldn't say I'm an rockstar with stats.   

I've become more interested in the joint program since I initially applied, do the two program fees stack on each other? MBA is approx. $80,000 and JD is $60,000, or is tuition cheaper to both in the joint program? 

It seems to be pretty easy to get into the dual JD/MBA. At least it was in my year - the people who got into it after 1L were not exactly top of the class in 1L nor did they have incredible stats from what I heard. Average JD entry stats are likely sufficient for getting into the the joint MBA. 

 

To your second question, I believe the tuition stacks. The point of this joint program is to bring in more $$ for each school. 

Edited by QueensGrad
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King of Queens
  • Law School Admit
8 hours ago, Turtles said:

.

 

1 hour ago, QueensGrad said:

.

Thanks both of you, I'll probably reach out to Smith and see what they say regarding my stats and financial support. Good to know that it isn't incredibly competitive. I think I would be competitive for the MBA outright, I do feel that my stats are at the lower end of Queen's acceptances probably so I was a little discouraged initially. Luckily I have a few years of full-time government work experience so that will probably help.  

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