Quebec student loses legal challenge over law school admission standards

An aspiring Quebec law student who took both a university and the provincial universities’ forum to court after he was refused admission to a law faculty has lost his case.

But the 23-year-old says last Thursday’s judgment could end up saving him much time and money because it soured him — at least for now — on the workings of the justice system.

“The judge said I should continue with my career plans,” says Anton Zelenkin. “But it seems paradoxical for me to do that because I couldn’t get justice for the injustice I suffered.”

The case began in June when Zelenkin filed a request with the Superior Court of Quebec asking for both interlocutory and permanent injunctions to force the co-defendants — the Université du Québec à Montréal and the non-profit Office of Interuniversity Cooperation — to enrol him in the UQAM’s law faculty in downtown Montreal.

In his petition, Zelenkin claimed that recent changes in the province’s R-score system “artificially raised” admission standards to Quebec law schools, effectively killing his chances of landing a first-year seat at UQAM.

Unlike other Canadian provinces, which require law school applicants to write the LSAT, Quebec uses a statistical method called the R score to weigh and compare the academic performances of students from Cegeps (technical colleges) that apply to university.

Quebec’s five law faculties set their own admission criteria in regards to R scores and the number of first-year seats they have available.

After a years-long review, however, Quebec’s R-score system was overhauled in early 2018, with retroactive calculations of students’ academic results dating back as far as 2014.

Zelenkin, who emigrated from Russia to Canada five years ago with his family, graduated this year from a three-year legal studies program at the francophone Ahuntsic Cegep in Montreal.In both his legal claim and a phone interview this week with Legal Feeds , he said he aimed for and achieved the 29-30 R score that has been required to gain admission to the UQAM law faculty over the past several years.But he says the reform pushed the threshold for admissibility up over 31 for the upcoming academic year, leaving […]

How Law School Applicants Can Discuss Extracurriculars

According to an old wives’ tale, law school applications rise and fall with the applicant’s LSAT score and GPA, marginally aided by a personal statement. However, work experience is becoming increasingly important when applying to law school, with some schools openly stating that they prefer applicants a few years removed from college.

Yet, some applicants prefer not to wait and apply to law school while still in college. So how does such a student leverage their extracurricular activities to compete with applicants coming in with a few years of work experience under their belts? Here are a few tips.

Think outside the box. Intuitively, one might seek to highlight law-related activities when applying to law school , such as moot court, debate team or a prelaw society. While these all look good on your application, do not exclude other activities just because they’re not directly connected to the legal realm.

Remember: Law schools do not expect you to come in knowing much about the legal system. They evaluate your application based on the traits you’ve shown more than on any actual knowledge gained during those activities. Being the captain of a varsity team or the president of a sorority or fraternity all show skill, ambition and social involvement that schools love to see on the application.

Show depth, not breadth. Some applicants tend to overcompensate for a lack of work experience by including dozens of extracurricular activities on their resume. First, the admissions committee doesn’t really care that you won third prize in your school chili cook-off. Ask yourself if that activity showcases qualities that the law school would value in a student – culinary acumen probably isn’t one of them.

Second, by listing a plethora of activities you run the risk of the committee skimming over all of them rather than focusing on the important ones. Treat your extracurriculars like jobs. Just like you wouldn’t list 15 different positions on your professional resume, limit yourself to the most significant activities, preferably the ones which you’ve been involved in for a long time.

Leverage all parts of the application. A resume doesn’t […]

Harvard Law School Student Learns Law Firms Can Be Real Jerks

(Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images) It’s rare that someone from Harvard Law can garner your sympathy, what with their bright shining future just staring at them and all that, but this is the story to do that. See, this poor Harvard kid just got OWNED by a firm he interviewed with. It’s at once awful and entertaining, so obviously it’s perfect fodder for Above the Law.

Picture it: you’re Harry Harvard and you’ve survived the gauntlet of screening interviews. You’ve even managed to secure some callbacks and you’re well on your way living the summer associate dream. After meeting you at OCI, the powers that be at Edelson PC contact you for a callback interview. Then in the midst of trying to coordinate schedules — seemingly apropos of nothing at all — the recruiting contact drops this line: At this point, I think bringing you in for a callback interview would be a waste of your time, and ours. That’s way harsh, and super inappropriate. Like how hard is it for the firm to fake it through a few interviews? Maybe they had a good reason to cut off this interview process but how can a firm professional write something like this and expect to be taken seriously by future law students seeking a good faith interview.

Poor Harry responds in a much more cordial and professional fashion than many in his position would: Got it. Thanks. And oh yeah, we’ve got the receipts. The utter lack of additional information is also perplexing…. like what did Harry do? Does he not have the GPA they thought he did? Did they confuse Harry with another student they do want to callback? Is the price of an interview lunch just too damn high?

In any event, at least Harry appears to be in good spirits about the whole fiasco. And that’s the real lesson here: getting lots of callbacks and offers might be nice for your ego, but you only need one job. No matter how bad any one interview is, just pick yourself back up and try again, try again. Kathryn Rubino is […]

Should You Take Law School Classes Online?

Online learning has been around for awhile now. Heck, I even took a few online classes back in college in the early 2000s. But like most things in the law, online classes were slower to appear in law schools. There are currently no fully online JD programs that are accredited by the ABA. Further, if a student earns a JD at a non-accredited online law school, the only jurisdiction in which they are currently eligible to sit for the bar exam is California.

Today, however, many law schools offer at least some of their classes online, even though most jurisdictions limit the number of online credits a law student can take, usually around 12. If you’re a law student thinking about taking a traditional law school class or an online class, here are some questions to ask yourself to help you decide.

Do you need flexibility?

One of the most appealing things about online classes to most law students is the flexibility they afford. For many online courses, you don’t have to be present online at any specific time which leaves a lot of freedom to create your own schedule. Further, avoiding the commute to campus for all your classes can be a real time saver, particularly if you have kids or a part-time job. Additionally, an online class can also give flexibility to a student who is participating in an internship in another state but has time to also take a class or two.

What is the format of the class?

An important piece of information to know about the online course you’re considering is whether it is synchronous (meaning that there are live online classes that you must report to at a specific time) or asynchronous (meaning that there are no specific times you must be present online). A synchronous class would still allow for location flexibility but not time flexibility. So, if your class meets at the same time you have to pick your kids up from school – that wouldn’t work.

Another formatting question to ask is how the course will be delivered. Will there be video […]

University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law Launches New Early Admissions Program

Salt Lake City–The University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law has launched a new early admissions process designed to give candidates who know the U is their top-choice law school a chance to commit to attending law school earlier than previously possible.Under the college’s newly established Early Decision Program (EDP), students can apply to attend law school for the fall of 2019 by Oct. 19 and be assured of decision on whether they will be admitted as an Early Decision Program student by early November.Applying to the Early Decision Program is a binding applications process and students who apply to the S.J. Quinney College of Law are committed to attending the law school once accepted. Students should carefully consider all law school options before making the decision to apply through the Early Decision Program.“This decision—establishing the S.J. Quinney College of Law as one’s first-choice law school—should be the result of fully researching law school options. If after investigating law schools and determining that S.J. Quinney College of Law is your first-choice law school, you may then wish to apply through the EDP,” said Reyes Aguilar, the law school’s associate dean for admission and financial aid.“The establishment of this program is meant to give top candidates who know they want to attend law school in Utah a sooner answer that there is a place for them here, so they can commit to their future as a law student at the S.J. Quinney College of Law,” he added.Applicants who are admitted under the Early Decision Program are automatically awarded a renewable merit-on-entrance scholarship package. Over a student’s three-year span at the S.J. Quinney College of Law, the value of the scholarship package for Utah residents is $50,000 (and for non-resident students the value is $75,000).The scholarship package will be disbursed in equal portions for each of the three years of a student’s enrollment at the law school. The only requirement to renew this scholarship is to maintain good academic and behavior code standing. Admitted Early Decision Program applicants may also be eligible for need-based scholarship support. That eligibility will be […]

Ghana could soon produce lawyers who do not understand law – Prof. Kotey

Prof Kotey has suggested a reform in the country’s legal education A nominee for Supreme Court Justice, Prof Emmanuel Nii Ashie Kotey has told the Appointments Committee of Parliament that legal education in Ghana presently needs massive reforms otherwise there would be a point that the country will be producing lawyers who do not have any knowledge of the law.

He said currently legal education in Ghana is at the crossroads because to the best of his knowledge as a Professor in law some students with a degree in law who want to pursue masters programme in law do not even know what a lease is or what the requirements of a valid contract are.

“Legal education needs root to branch reforms. From accreditation of the Law Faculties, ” he said adding that if he had his own way he would recommend that all the law faculties in the universities would be disaccredited for them to reapply based on the quality of lecturers, classroom space, libraries and other important resources for effective training.

“Mr chairman, I was on an interview panel interviewing students with a degree in law, that is LLB, who want to do masters programme in law and you would be surprised to know that some of the students could not tell what a lease is, the requirements of a valid contract. When we asked one student to discuss a single case of constitutional law he could not, I then asked about the 31st December case which he retorted ‘Is it the 31st December Women Movement?”.

He said the matter is so serious that if care is not taken the nation will be producing lawyers who do not know any law.

When asked about his view on suggestions that the Ghana School of Law must have campuses in all public universities with Law Faculties, he said that since the matter is at the Supreme Court it will be prejudicial to comment on it.

When Prof Kotey who was the former Dean of the University of Ghana Law Faculty and who has extensive legal knowledge on land administration was asked by a member of […]

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