LLM University Of Ottawa versus university of McGill


gudzo
Hello

I am a french law student. I am in my third year, I spend my first two years in france and I am finishing my third year in Ireland. I got two diploma, the french civil law bachelor and a diploma in common law.

I wish to continue in the field of Human rights and I think thaht a country such as canada offers more opportunities than france.

I applied for two LLM in Canada, one in Mcgill (Comparative law) and one in the University of Ottawa (common law et commerce international). I got accepted in both... I cannot make a choice...

I don't want to refer to general world ranking, because what is relevant is the reputation of the law school even if there is a huge gap regarding the internaitonal reputation of mcgill and ottawa.

I am balancing because ottawa is offering in at least 27 000 canadian dollars (scholarship for the promotion of the french...). So I will not need a loan, and no need to work. Ottawa is the capital of the country with all the institutions such as the parliament or the supreme court. The only "bad" point ot ottawa is that the master is in french, I would not prefer to have it in english but it would be better for me as far as I am not billingual... But I guess because the city is english i will work my english as well....

Mcgill It's the world recognised reputation... very low fees (because I am french I am paying the same amount than the quebec resident!!). It's in english...

My objective is to continue my studies with a phd, and maybe become a teacher in canada and practice in the same time. I need to find information about the possibility of taking the bar exam in canada after my LLM (with my french experience and common law experience from ireland).

last question: do you thaty if I am definitely accepted in Mcgill I could try to "blackmail" them with what ottawa is offering to me as scholarship?

thank for your answers!

merci par avance pour vos réponses ou commentaires!
Hello

I am a french law student. I am in my third year, I spend my first two years in france and I am finishing my third year in Ireland. I got two diploma, the french civil law bachelor and a diploma in common law.

I wish to continue in the field of Human rights and I think thaht a country such as canada offers more opportunities than france.

I applied for two LLM in Canada, one in Mcgill (Comparative law) and one in the University of Ottawa (common law et commerce international). I got accepted in both... I cannot make a choice...

I don't want to refer to general world ranking, because what is relevant is the reputation of the law school even if there is a huge gap regarding the internaitonal reputation of mcgill and ottawa.

I am balancing because ottawa is offering in at least 27 000 canadian dollars (scholarship for the promotion of the french...). So I will not need a loan, and no need to work. Ottawa is the capital of the country with all the institutions such as the parliament or the supreme court. The only "bad" point ot ottawa is that the master is in french, I would not prefer to have it in english but it would be better for me as far as I am not billingual... But I guess because the city is english i will work my english as well....

Mcgill It's the world recognised reputation... very low fees (because I am french I am paying the same amount than the quebec resident!!). It's in english...

My objective is to continue my studies with a phd, and maybe become a teacher in canada and practice in the same time. I need to find information about the possibility of taking the bar exam in canada after my LLM (with my french experience and common law experience from ireland).

last question: do you thaty if I am definitely accepted in Mcgill I could try to "blackmail" them with what ottawa is offering to me as scholarship?

thank for your answers!

merci par avance pour vos réponses ou commentaires!

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P_Martini
gudzo:

Having attended Ottawa for law and McGill (undergraduate), I think you have a really interesting and promising decision to make. If you are committed to becoming a professor in Canada, I don't think you should be concerned about the world rankings of McGill and Ottawa. Ottawa is a very respected law faculty in Canada and internationally.

You certainly would not be making a poor decision to attend either McGill or Ottawa. Both are top law schools in Canada, but I would tend to agree with you as a general proposition that McGill is the more prestigious of the two. Having said that, I found Ottawa to be very heavy in Social Justice and Human Rights, and, though I basically tried to avoid that as much as possible, I think it has a very strong reputation for that specifically. I can't tell you if McGill is similarly strong in Social Justice and Human Rights, or if it is focused as much on it, but you probably should find out. You might want to start by contacting the LL.M. office at Ottawa (actually) to find out exactly what programs might interest you there. There are some really great people in that office that I relied on when I was applying overseas, and I am sure they will do their best to help you out. Of course, you might do the same at McGill.

Montreal is about the best place in the world to be a student. It's cheap, and it's a very accessible city. There is a lot to do, and McGill is at the centre of everything. Ottawa is a smaller city, and it is (by most people's standards) less fun and accessible. On the other hand, as you point out, there are many extra-curricular/educational opportunities in Ottawa because it is the capital city.

Good luck with your decision!

P. Martini
gudzo:

Having attended Ottawa for law and McGill (undergraduate), I think you have a really interesting and promising decision to make. If you are committed to becoming a professor in Canada, I don't think you should be concerned about the world rankings of McGill and Ottawa. Ottawa is a very respected law faculty in Canada and internationally.

You certainly would not be making a poor decision to attend either McGill or Ottawa. Both are top law schools in Canada, but I would tend to agree with you as a general proposition that McGill is the more prestigious of the two. Having said that, I found Ottawa to be very heavy in Social Justice and Human Rights, and, though I basically tried to avoid that as much as possible, I think it has a very strong reputation for that specifically. I can't tell you if McGill is similarly strong in Social Justice and Human Rights, or if it is focused as much on it, but you probably should find out. You might want to start by contacting the LL.M. office at Ottawa (actually) to find out exactly what programs might interest you there. There are some really great people in that office that I relied on when I was applying overseas, and I am sure they will do their best to help you out. Of course, you might do the same at McGill.

Montreal is about the best place in the world to be a student. It's cheap, and it's a very accessible city. There is a lot to do, and McGill is at the centre of everything. Ottawa is a smaller city, and it is (by most people's standards) less fun and accessible. On the other hand, as you point out, there are many extra-curricular/educational opportunities in Ottawa because it is the capital city.

Good luck with your decision!

P. Martini
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P_Martini
And one other thing: I don't think the black-mail idea is going to fly.

P. Martini
And one other thing: I don't think the black-mail idea is going to fly.

P. Martini
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I agree mostly with what is set out above, especially regarding the character of Ottawa versus Montreal. However, I don't believe that, academically, ottawa is as good as Mcgill. Ottawa is not in my view a 'top' law school in Canada. Out of of 16 or so law schools in this country, Ottawa is probably no better than 8th (I think that uoft, osgoode, ubc, uvic, mcgill, dalhousie and queens are all more highly regarded by most people.). That said, rankings aren't really formal here unlike the us and uk and opinions on this point most likely differ (though I don't think anyone would put ottawa in the top 5). Fureht, rankings probably don't matter that much here, either. I know plenty of people from schools regarded lower than all those mentioned above who have secured LLM's at globally ranked graduate schools (harv, oxford etc...) and who work in major downtown firms in toronto, vancouver etc... so go where you want; it doesnt matter that much in canada.
I agree mostly with what is set out above, especially regarding the character of Ottawa versus Montreal. However, I don't believe that, academically, ottawa is as good as Mcgill. Ottawa is not in my view a 'top' law school in Canada. Out of of 16 or so law schools in this country, Ottawa is probably no better than 8th (I think that uoft, osgoode, ubc, uvic, mcgill, dalhousie and queens are all more highly regarded by most people.). That said, rankings aren't really formal here unlike the us and uk and opinions on this point most likely differ (though I don't think anyone would put ottawa in the top 5). Fureht, rankings probably don't matter that much here, either. I know plenty of people from schools regarded lower than all those mentioned above who have secured LLM's at globally ranked graduate schools (harv, oxford etc...) and who work in major downtown firms in toronto, vancouver etc... so go where you want; it doesnt matter that much in canada.
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junior1891
I do not know anything about the specific ranking of Canadian law schools. But, if you just wish to compare general (non-law school specific) worldwide university rankings then, according to one study, McGill is 96 and Ottawa 217.
I do not know anything about the specific ranking of Canadian law schools. But, if you just wish to compare general (non-law school specific) worldwide university rankings then, according to one study, McGill is 96 and Ottawa 217.
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The thing about canadian universities is that their overall ranking and the percieved quality of their law schools do not necessarily correspond. For instance, York university isn't terribly competative or really that great for doing a BA or a BSc., but osgoode hall, which is located in york university, is arguably the second best law school in canada (behind u of t). In canada perhaps even more than elsewhere, one really needs to consider the specific programme being offered and not just the general reputation of the school. Another example in science field: university of waterloo is a middle of the pack uni at best for most priogrammes, but its engineering department is one of the best in the world...
The thing about canadian universities is that their overall ranking and the percieved quality of their law schools do not necessarily correspond. For instance, York university isn't terribly competative or really that great for doing a BA or a BSc., but osgoode hall, which is located in york university, is arguably the second best law school in canada (behind u of t). In canada perhaps even more than elsewhere, one really needs to consider the specific programme being offered and not just the general reputation of the school. Another example in science field: university of waterloo is a middle of the pack uni at best for most priogrammes, but its engineering department is one of the best in the world...
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P_Martini
Rankings are especially unhelpful for Canadian law schools. Law schools may be very diverse, and when there are 16 of them, they are more different than they are the same. That makes comparing them very difficult.

Now . . . these world-wide rankings of universities. I don't want to disparage anyone's school, but if you see University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign ranked ahead of:

1. Cornell
2. Columbia
4. Penn
5. University of Chicago
6. Toronto
7. Cambridge
8. NYU
9. Duke
10. Oxford
11. Princeton

to name a few, in no particular order, I think the majority of LL.M. applicants (at least) may be able to come to some kind of conclusion about the value of the rankings.

Many schools have very strong programs, and you should attend the one which is the best fit for you, but you probably should avoid world rankings in general. Surely any undergraduate who had to decide between University of Illinois Urbana Champaign and, say, Oxford might be somewhat misguided to select Illinois. The same is true for LL.M. programmes.

P. Martini
Rankings are especially unhelpful for Canadian law schools. Law schools may be very diverse, and when there are 16 of them, they are more different than they are the same. That makes comparing them very difficult.

Now . . . these world-wide rankings of universities. I don't want to disparage anyone's school, but if you see University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign ranked ahead of:

1. Cornell
2. Columbia
4. Penn
5. University of Chicago
6. Toronto
7. Cambridge
8. NYU
9. Duke
10. Oxford
11. Princeton

to name a few, in no particular order, I think the majority of LL.M. applicants (at least) may be able to come to some kind of conclusion about the value of the rankings.

Many schools have very strong programs, and you should attend the one which is the best fit for you, but you probably should avoid world rankings in general. Surely any undergraduate who had to decide between University of Illinois Urbana Champaign and, say, Oxford might be somewhat misguided to select Illinois. The same is true for LL.M. programmes.

P. Martini
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junior1891
w.
w.
quote
P_Martini
junior 1891:

Right, right, it's perfectly right that McGill is more prestigious and recognized domestically and internationally. but in general, I really don't think worldwide rankings are very successful, and the lists we have linked to in this thread likely are more misleading than helpful.

P. Martini
junior 1891:

Right, right, it's perfectly right that McGill is more prestigious and recognized domestically and internationally. but in general, I really don't think worldwide rankings are very successful, and the lists we have linked to in this thread likely are more misleading than helpful.

P. Martini
quote
I agree with p_martini. Those rankings aren't very useful. I don't think the one immediately above even distinguises between the programmes offered by each school, does it?
Obvously, as i indicated above, the same school can be great for some things and not so good for others. For instance, In the link above, Yale is quite a ways down the list, but I think it is indisputably THE place to be for aspiring law profs, wheras Oxford is the place for aspiring jurisprudes, Chicago is the place for economics, and Cambridge is the place for experimental physics. A bald ranking without these nuances isn't really helpful, in my view, except to get a very rough and ready feel for the quality of the school as a whole. But, as juniour 1891 notes, common sense is probably just as useful for these purposes as the above ranking links are...
I agree with p_martini. Those rankings aren't very useful. I don't think the one immediately above even distinguises between the programmes offered by each school, does it?
Obvously, as i indicated above, the same school can be great for some things and not so good for others. For instance, In the link above, Yale is quite a ways down the list, but I think it is indisputably THE place to be for aspiring law profs, wheras Oxford is the place for aspiring jurisprudes, Chicago is the place for economics, and Cambridge is the place for experimental physics. A bald ranking without these nuances isn't really helpful, in my view, except to get a very rough and ready feel for the quality of the school as a whole. But, as juniour 1891 notes, common sense is probably just as useful for these purposes as the above ranking links are...
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irishguy24
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lili85
Salut Gudzo,

J'espère que tu as finalement pris la meilleure décision et que tu répondras à mon message!
Si ce n'est pas trop indiscret, quelles étaient à peu près tes notes de droit en France ? Et dans quelle université étais - tu ? Je compte "appliquer" à Mc Gill mais j'aimerais être réaliste et ne pas trop m'emballer, donc ton expérience en tant qu'étudiant français m'aiderait BCP.
Merci !
Salut Gudzo,

J'espère que tu as finalement pris la meilleure décision et que tu répondras à mon message!
Si ce n'est pas trop indiscret, quelles étaient à peu près tes notes de droit en France ? Et dans quelle université étais - tu ? Je compte "appliquer" à Mc Gill mais j'aimerais être réaliste et ne pas trop m'emballer, donc ton expérience en tant qu'étudiant français m'aiderait BCP.
Merci !
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ipilar
As an American who has studied in the states, Canada, and England, I would first of say to people to stop fretting about rankings. Rankings are arbitrary, contradictory, and try to compare apples and oranges. McGill, for example, is to my knowledge the only law school in the world that offers a truly bijuridical program (comparative common law and civil law, side by side), so how do you compare that to another school?
With respect to human rights and social justice, both would be good choices for you. I would add that I believe McGill has historically had strong offerings in those areas, and has a well-regarded Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism based out of the law school.
As an American who has studied in the states, Canada, and England, I would first of say to people to stop fretting about rankings. Rankings are arbitrary, contradictory, and try to compare apples and oranges. McGill, for example, is to my knowledge the only law school in the world that offers a truly bijuridical program (comparative common law and civil law, side by side), so how do you compare that to another school?
With respect to human rights and social justice, both would be good choices for you. I would add that I believe McGill has historically had strong offerings in those areas, and has a well-regarded Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism based out of the law school.
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safral
re irishguy--you have no idea what you are talking about. texas and wisconsin (not "winconsin") are two of the finest universities in the world. and wisconsin is not in the bible belt either. it's always a good idea familiarize yourself with what you speak about before attempting to offer an opinion.
re irishguy--you have no idea what you are talking about. texas and wisconsin (not "winconsin") are two of the finest universities in the world. and wisconsin is not in the bible belt either. it's always a good idea familiarize yourself with what you speak about before attempting to offer an opinion.
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I just wanted to say that I have been a student at both schools (uOttawa and McGill) and have found that the people at uOttawa are about twenty thousand times nicer. There are a few true exceptions to this (i.e., a good number of nice, helpful competent people at McGill) but overall, I had a shocking number of unpleasant encounters with McGill staff, all concerning routine issues that have not been a big deal at other universities! Flexibility is non-existent there. People seem really bitter and lack compassion and understanding. They tended to either bite my head off or refer me to other people who then did the same without helping me. At uOttawa, I didn't feel treated like dirt in quite the same way.
I just wanted to say that I have been a student at both schools (uOttawa and McGill) and have found that the people at uOttawa are about twenty thousand times nicer. There are a few true exceptions to this (i.e., a good number of nice, helpful competent people at McGill) but overall, I had a shocking number of unpleasant encounters with McGill staff, all concerning routine issues that have not been a big deal at other universities! Flexibility is non-existent there. People seem really bitter and lack compassion and understanding. They tended to either bite my head off or refer me to other people who then did the same without helping me. At uOttawa, I didn't feel treated like dirt in quite the same way.
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Jaan222
I m with u that at Mcgill ppl are stiff and not flexible.......personal experience.........i think ppl think at Mcgill that because they r stiff they got good ranking worldwide.....
I m with u that at Mcgill ppl are stiff and not flexible.......personal experience.........i think ppl think at Mcgill that because they r stiff they got good ranking worldwide.....
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