In retrospect I probably should have left the word Canadian out of the title....
Hi all, thanks for taking the time to look at my profile. I won't be applying to grad schools any time soon as I'm about to start a 3 year JD/MA program, but I was wondering what you guys would suggest I do to strengthen my profile if I'm looking to apply to top 15 US schools -- particularly ones with strong law and economics groups like Yale, Berkeley or Chicago -- 3 years from now.
Type of Undergrad: Canadian Big 4 Econ department
Undergrad GPA: 3.88/4.0 (ranked 2nd overall in department) -- Econ 3.95/4.00, Math 4.00/4.00
Type of Grad: JD/MA, University of Toronto
Grad GPA: --
GRE: 770Q / 620V
My school gave out +/- on grades
Math Courses: Calc I/II (A+), Stats (A+), Mathematical Economics (A+), Econometrics (Transfer Credit), Applied Econometrics (A+)
Econ Courses: Intro Micro/Macro (A+), Micro I (A), Micro II (A), Macro I (A+), Macro II (A), Macro Policy (A), Economic Development (A+), Tax Policy (A-), Econ History of NA (A+), Labour Economics (A), International Macro (A), Topics in Public Economics (A+), Seminar in Microeconomics (A+)
Other Courses: Politics, English, Philosophy (all A/A-)...big regret not taking more math
Letters of Recommendation: JHU PhD (top 5% REPEC), Oxford PhD (top 5% REPEC), UBC PhD
Research Experience: none
Teaching Experience: none (I've applied to become a TA for next year)
Research Interests: Law and Economics
Other: my exchange grades including courses in economics were pretty weak because I spent my time dicking around =S
From the start of undergrad I wanted to go to law school so I chose the major I thought i could do best in -- economics. Over undergrad I came to really like economics but I was so deeply invested in law that I didn't have nearly enough math to get into a top flight program. I had the opportunity to RA with the Bank of Canada for a year that I turned down and am kicking myself over but it's too late for that now.
My big concerns are the lack of math and research experience. Also I spent my entire 3rd year on exchange and due to...a lack of concentration...my grades there weren't very strong. I heard that at UofT it's fairly tough to line up an RA position as a normal stream MA student and for me it'd be much easier to become an RA for a member at the Faculty of Law. Obviously RAing for someone in the econ department would be preferable but would RAing with a prof specializing in 'Law and Economics' from the Faculty of Law be a decent compromise?
I was also thinking of taking some math courses in the summers but I don't think I have enough time to work my way up to analysis...maybe the best I could do is take Linear Algebra and Differential Equations...and maybe some kind of higher level statistics course?
I'll also be rewriting my GRE since I don't have an analytical score as I...accidentally skipped that section so I'll look to improve on my Q score.
Thanks again for taking the time to read through all this.
Last edited by 8idl; 07-21-2012 at 02:29 AM.
I don't think its because the title contains the word Canadian; the senior posters who know a lot more are probably busy.
I also don't think the Econ Dept has many profs in the field of Law and Economics. One prof working in the area has recently retired, one is a legal scholar on international trade regulation, and the other that I know of is the chair at U of T's Mississauga Campus.
A problem you will face in getting the math requirements is that the math department doesn't offer any of their specialist/honors (read rigorous) courses during the summer - definitely not any of the analysis courses (unless you can gather about 30 people willing to take real analysis in the summer and petition the department to list the course). The courses that are available over the summer are also very limited. The Stats dept's rigorous intro to stats and prob courses are offered over the summer, but for higher level stats courses, your stuck with a very limited number of choices (again).
I would think that the worth of RA'ing for a L&E prof at the Law Faculty will depend on what you do and who you RA for. I think that the L&E profs in the econ dept are closer to economists while the L&E profs in the Law Faculty are closer to legal scholars. This is just my personal observation, so this might be wrong.
Obtaining an official RA position is incredibly difficult since all official positions are reserved for DSMA students first.
I'm not sure about this, but having profs from three years ago write your LORs might not be a good idea.
Those are mostly my thoughts from reading your profile. Someone might come along and correct me later on though.
Edit: I think one option available to you is to ask for reading courses for the subjects not offered over the summer. It should be less of a hassle since you are a graduate student and need the courses.
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