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Employment Law at UO?


Fyodor

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Fyodor
  • Law School Admit

Hello everyone,

I am very interested in attending UOttawa and I specifically want to go into employment law. Whether it be for the government or private. Does anyone have any background knowledge on how strong UOttawa is for employment law? I am set on practicing in Toronto or GTA. I’m only fluent in english. 
 

I know a lot of people talk about UofT, Queens, Western, and Osgoode for big law jobs (like mergers and other corporate sectors) but does this also apply with employment law?

Thanks!

 

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ArchivesandMuseums
  • Lawyer
4 hours ago, Fyodor said:

Hello everyone,

I am very interested in attending UOttawa and I specifically want to go into employment law. Whether it be for the government or private. Does anyone have any background knowledge on how strong UOttawa is for employment law? I am set on practicing in Toronto or GTA. I’m only fluent in english. 
 

I know a lot of people talk about UofT, Queens, Western, and Osgoode for big law jobs (like mergers and other corporate sectors) but does this also apply with employment law?

Thanks!

 

I went to uOttawa and took all employment/labour law courses that the law school offered.

Although I love my law school, uOttawa does not have strengths because it does not offer various labour law/employment law courses.

Based on my knowledge, Osgoode or Queen's would be better choices for those who would practice or study labour law/employment law.

For instance, Hicks seems to love Queen's law students. Prestigious labour law firms, such as Goldblatt Partners or Cavalluzo, would prefer Osgoode or U of T law students.

In sum, if you are interested in labour law/employment law, don't come to uOttawa.

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woahnelly
  • Law Student

If you are set on going into employment law, there must be some reason for that, and being able to articulate your interest is key – whether it's past experience or exposure, semi-related or tangential work experience, undergraduate studies, etc., regardless of which school you go to.

The available courses at different schools will vary and uOttawa has a decent range, as it has two Labour Law courses and one Employment Law course – whereas for comparison, other schools may have only 1 or 2 courses total (i.e. one for both labour/employment like at UofT, special seminars, or one course per topic). Other schools definitely have more clinic or practicum opportunities for labour/employment work, but there is no lack of courses or exposure to those topics at uOttawa. As well, there are a range of ADR courses in upper years, in addition to the 1L required Dispute Resolution course, all of which are super helpful and important for labour/employment work.

What I'm trying to say is that the courses you take on those topics will not be the most significant factor (but any courses you take will be A factor) in getting a job later and so I wouldn't let that be a determining factor in a decision, particularly if you are interested in going to uOttawa for other reasons beyond labour/employment course offerings, such as their public law (i.e. government) opportunities, living experience, or any other factors – just don't let it be the determining factor! Definitely consider all other courses any school offers, as you likely will want options and exposure to different topics throughout law school.

Edited by woahnelly
added clarification re public law
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Fyodor
  • Law School Admit
17 hours ago, ArchivesandMuseums said:

I went to uOttawa and took all employment/labour law courses that the law school offered.

Although I love my law school, uOttawa does not have strengths because it does not offer various labour law/employment law courses.

Based on my knowledge, Osgoode or Queen's would be better choices for those who would practice or study labour law/employment law.

For instance, Hicks seems to love Queen's law students. Prestigious labour law firms, such as Goldblatt Partners or Cavalluzo, would prefer Osgoode or U of T law students.

In sum, if you are interested in labour law/employment law, don't come to uOttawa.

 

16 hours ago, woahnelly said:

If you are set on going into employment law, there must be some reason for that, and being able to articulate your interest is key – whether it's past experience or exposure, semi-related or tangential work experience, undergraduate studies, etc., regardless of which school you go to.

The available courses at different schools will vary and uOttawa has a decent range, as it has two Labour Law courses and one Employment Law course – whereas for comparison, other schools may have only 1 or 2 courses total (i.e. one for both labour/employment like at UofT, special seminars, or one course per topic). Other schools definitely have more clinic or practicum opportunities for labour/employment work, but there is no lack of courses or exposure to those topics at uOttawa. As well, there are a range of ADR courses in upper years, in addition to the 1L required Dispute Resolution course, all of which are super helpful and important for labour/employment work.

What I'm trying to say is that the courses you take on those topics will not be the most significant factor (but any courses you take will be A factor) in getting a job later and so I wouldn't let that be a determining factor in a decision, particularly if you are interested in going to uOttawa for other reasons beyond labour/employment course offerings, such as their public law (i.e. government) opportunities, living experience, or any other factors – just don't let it be the determining factor! Definitely consider all other courses any school offers, as you likely will want options and exposure to different topics throughout law school.

Thank you both so much for the responses. It’s kind of disheartening to see that it’s limited in that way although I’m almost interested in public law and ADR. For sure if I could pick any city to live in I’d pick Ottawa even though I’d have to move. I’ll still apply regardless! 
 

Thank you so much! 

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Toast Viking
  • Law Student

Another thing I'd add about Ottawa is that they don't offer any employment law clinics to my knowledge. So even if you wanted to get experience outside of coursework, you would have limited opportunities to do so, unless you pursue a research project or student proposed internship with one of the employment profs. I know that uOttawa participates in the Hicks Morley employment law moot - but aside from that, there's not much of an avenue to actually get some experience.

To my knowledge, UofT has a clinic for injured workers where you can learn to advocate on behalf of workers seeking WSIB compensation following a workplace injury. If this is something you would be interested in, I'd recommend looking into it further.

Ultimately, if your end goal is to work in Toronto and you're interested in employment law, I would suggest aiming for Osgoode/UofT and inquiring about their clinic opportunities, because that's where you'll get the best experience outside the classroom. And if you already know you're set on working there, you'd have a stronger chance at landing a job at one of the top employment law firms because of this experience.

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Fyodor
  • Law School Admit
5 hours ago, hopeless semantic said:

Another thing I'd add about Ottawa is that they don't offer any employment law clinics to my knowledge. So even if you wanted to get experience outside of coursework, you would have limited opportunities to do so, unless you pursue a research project or student proposed internship with one of the employment profs. I know that uOttawa participates in the Hicks Morley employment law moot - but aside from that, there's not much of an avenue to actually get some experience.

To my knowledge, UofT has a clinic for injured workers where you can learn to advocate on behalf of workers seeking WSIB compensation following a workplace injury. If this is something you would be interested in, I'd recommend looking into it further.

Ultimately, if your end goal is to work in Toronto and you're interested in employment law, I would suggest aiming for Osgoode/UofT and inquiring about their clinic opportunities, because that's where you'll get the best experience outside the classroom. And if you already know you're set on working there, you'd have a stronger chance at landing a job at one of the top employment law firms because of this experience.

Hello,

Thank you so much for the reply. It’s tough because even with my GPA and extracurriculars/experience I’m far from confident I’ll be good enough for UofT or Osgoode. Realistically my best chances below them are probably queens. I have a strong GPA (3.95 Olsas) but my lsat range is 157-162 in my last few PTs and I’m taking an LSAT in October, Nov, and maybe Jan. 
 

Your advice is greatly appreciated though. It sucks because I really like Ottawa as an atmosphere but it seems like it might not be the best place to aim for. I do appreciate gaining this insight beforehand. 

Thanks again!

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Chef Justice
  • Law Student
1 minute ago, Fyodor said:

It’s tough because even with my GPA and extracurriculars/experience I’m far from confident I’ll be good enough for UofT or Osgoode. Realistically my best chances below them are probably queens. I have a strong GPA (3.95 Olsas) but my lsat range is 157-162 in my last few PTs and I’m taking an LSAT in October, Nov, and maybe Jan. 

I wouldn't be too pessimistic. Your GPA is outstanding and even with a 157 you would be competitive for Osgoode.

I attend Queen's and L&E is definitely a focus here. Many of my peers came to Queen's solely focused on L&E (turning down schools such as Osgoode and Ottawa) and Queen's even offers a JD/MIR program. There is an L&E law journal and professors such as Kevin Banks are well respected academics in the field. If L&E is a field you are interested in, Queen's would be a strong pick.

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Naj
  • Law Student
15 minutes ago, Fyodor said:

I’m far from confident I’ll be good enough for UofT or Osgoode.

Just writing to concur with the above poster re Osgoode and help you rid yourself of whatever doubts you seem to be having. That is a seriously impressive GPA and scoring a 160 or higher (which you should certainly be able to do by November) should all but guarantee you a seat. 

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Fyodor
  • Law School Admit
16 hours ago, Chef Justice said:

I wouldn't be too pessimistic. Your GPA is outstanding and even with a 157 you would be competitive for Osgoode.

I attend Queen's and L&E is definitely a focus here. Many of my peers came to Queen's solely focused on L&E (turning down schools such as Osgoode and Ottawa) and Queen's even offers a JD/MIR program. There is an L&E law journal and professors such as Kevin Banks are well respected academics in the field. If L&E is a field you are interested in, Queen's would be a strong pick.

Hello @Chef Justice

Thank you so much for the insight. Queens has always been one of my top choices besides the two local schools because they are known to be well-rounded. I also heard they have a great community and I currently have friends attending there for law who love it. I was always pretty big on Osgoode because they are known to be great, and the commute is 15 min from my house 🙃

Also, thank you for the reassurance on my GPA. I feel the rest of my application is pretty solid aside from my LSAT, so hopefully it can pull through and get me into Osgoode or Queens. It is great to hear they have a major employment/labour focus as that has always been my interest! I should be considered an access applicant at Queens due to my disability and I hope to have a decent chance as my B2/L2 is a 3.98/4.00. From what I read (assuming they keep me as access) I'd need a 155 to be competitive. Regardless, I'd be ecstatic to get in there! 

16 hours ago, Naj said:

Just writing to concur with the above poster re Osgoode and help you rid yourself of whatever doubts you seem to be having. That is a seriously impressive GPA and scoring a 160 or higher (which you should certainly be able to do by November) should all but guarantee you a seat. 

Thanks for the feedback. I guess I'm freaking out because I was hitting low 160s and a couple of days before a week of my LSAT I was a little rusty and hit a 157.  Since then I've been practicing every day so hopefully I am not rusty going in. I also caught a major bad habit that tanked my LG on the 157 test so hopefully I got it out of me before I write. 

It's so hard to have any confidence because my life feels so up in the air rn (I'm on a gap year) and have been preparing for the LSAT full-time. The reassurance is greatly appreciated though and I feel a lot better. Thanks 🙂

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Chef Justice
  • Law Student
58 minutes ago, Fyodor said:

Also, thank you for the reassurance on my GPA. I feel the rest of my application is pretty solid aside from my LSAT, so hopefully it can pull through and get me into Osgoode or Queens. It is great to hear they have a major employment/labour focus as that has always been my interest! I should be considered an access applicant at Queens due to my disability and I hope to have a decent chance as my B2/L2 is a 3.98/4.00. From what I read (assuming they keep me as access) I'd need a 155 to be competitive. Regardless, I'd be ecstatic to get in there! 

Of course! The admissions process is very stressful and the LSAT score inflation didn't help, but it seems like score inflation has calmed down. Each school looks for different things but I always tell people to look at the actual class profiles rather than what the school states is competitive because that will give you a better idea of your admissions odds. For example, Queen's states a competitive access applicant needs a 155 but I know in recent years the average has actually been 160. Either way, your GPA is terrific and I would find it hard to believe you wouldn't get into one of Osgoode or Queen's if you score 157+. Best of luck on the LSAT!

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  • 7 months later...
stk97
  • Law Student

I know this is a little dead now, but I am at Ottawa and interested in employment/labour and have been having no issues making connections and getting experience! In addition to the course offerings other members mentioned, there are experiential opportunities such as the Pro Bono Employment Law Clinic and the Injured Workers Group and there is always the option of student-proposed internships. Ottawa is a city of unions so lots of labour opportunities there as well! My profs have been so helpful in terms of networking and I honestly have zero concerns about my ability to find a job in Ottawa if I choose to stay 🙂 Best of luck to you wherever you end up!

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  • 1 month later...
Fyodor
  • Law School Admit
On 5/12/2024 at 1:47 PM, stk97 said:

I know this is a little dead now, but I am at Ottawa and interested in employment/labour and have been having no issues making connections and getting experience! In addition to the course offerings other members mentioned, there are experiential opportunities such as the Pro Bono Employment Law Clinic and the Injured Workers Group and there is always the option of student-proposed internships. Ottawa is a city of unions so lots of labour opportunities there as well! My profs have been so helpful in terms of networking and I honestly have zero concerns about my ability to find a job in Ottawa if I choose to stay 🙂 Best of luck to you wherever you end up!

Thank you for including your experiences! This is great to know especially considering some of the other experiences weren't as positive. While I'm going to a different school, this is great advice :)

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