how do US school choices translate in Toronto?

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tryingtodecide
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how do US school choices translate in Toronto?

Postby tryingtodecide » Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:08 pm

quick background: I am a US citizen, have my MBA, and am leaning towards corporate/business law.

I am considering practice options in the Toronto area after I finish law school (because of a personal situation). It isn't my primary objective, but it is something I am considering and is in the back of my mind.

I have no grasp on how a US degree will be viewed when looking for jobs. I'm still waiting for a lot of my decisions letters now, but am looking at a range of T2 schools and maybe low T1. That being said, I realize this is going to be a big struggle 3 years from now if I go that route.

Can any Canadians give me some perspective on how school name/US rank will be viewed if I do try to go north of the boarder after graduation?

How are you Canadian applicants viewing your choice of US schools if your end goal is to return to Canada, particularly Ontario, after school?

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iShotFirst
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Re: how do US school choices translate in Toronto?

Postby iShotFirst » Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:25 pm

I dont know much about how much it costs for Americans to go to Canadian schools, but you might look into that. Really, Canadian companies are going to pick U of T or Osgoode over American schools any day, unless you are talking about Harvard or other top schools. If you go to school in Canada nowadays you get a visa to stay around for a few years after if you get a job in your field, and its easy to get PR after that if you have a legal job.

I am a dual citizen, and if I wanted to go back to Canada, I know I'd have to go to a Canadian school. However remember that Canadian schools entail three years of study and one year of articling, which is like an internship but is still pretty decently paid (if you are in a top firm).

And according to the Ontario bar association equivalent, your American JD will be judged and they may determine you need to take more classes for membership. If you really want to go to Canada, you almost have to go to a Canadian school. Don;t forget that it is another country, as close as it may be.

Mal
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Re: how do US school choices translate in Toronto?

Postby Mal » Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:35 pm

The chances of getting a Canadian job from a non-elite American school is unlikely.

You may not realize this but getting an American law degree does not permit you to article and write the bar in Canada. You will be forced to go through our accreditation committee which will likely force you to do either exams or part of law school again.

An aside contrary to the above articling is not a school requirement, its still required if you go to a foreign school.

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Dignan
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Re: how do US school choices translate in Toronto?

Postby Dignan » Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:36 pm

Edit: Sorry... I didn't read the OP's first post carefully. If the OP is looking at lower T1/T2 schools in the US, then he or she is probably not qualified to get into Toronto or BC. Never mind.

tryingtodecide
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Re: how do US school choices translate in Toronto?

Postby tryingtodecide » Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:42 pm

I have no problems with needing to take extra course work, exams, etc in order to practice in Canada -

I was rejected by UofT (figured I might as well try! had NO chance in hell lol) and was a late applicant to Osgoode so I haven't heard back from them. Regardless, they wouldn't have taken me given my scores.

Mal
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Re: how do US school choices translate in Toronto?

Postby Mal » Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:03 pm

tryingtodecide wrote:I have no problems with needing to take extra course work, exams, etc in order to practice in Canada -


It is also very very difficult to get a job with an American degree because there are barely enough for Canadian graduates and there is a huge preference for them.

Due to the restriction on the amount of law schools in Canada it is very common for Canadians to try to use foreign degrees as a sort of backdoor into Canadian law industry. It seldom works.

tryingtodecide
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Re: how do US school choices translate in Toronto?

Postby tryingtodecide » Sat Mar 27, 2010 7:02 pm

Mal wrote:
tryingtodecide wrote:I have no problems with needing to take extra course work, exams, etc in order to practice in Canada -


It is also very very difficult to get a job with an American degree because there are barely enough for Canadian graduates and there is a huge preference for them.

Due to the restriction on the amount of law schools in Canada it is very common for Canadians to try to use foreign degrees as a sort of backdoor into Canadian law industry. It seldom works.


Given the schools I am choosing from, looks like my chances of successfully transitioning into Canada are like my chances of landing a BigLaw job. :|

Any idea if concentrating on International Law/Business helps at all in marketability?

Since my current choices of Tulane, Penn State, & Temple will serve me no recognition at all, should I just focus on minimizing my cost of attendance? I have decent scholarships at lower ranked schools in Chicago & DC - Do you think it will be of any advantage to locate in a major hub like those cities (firms with US/Toronto offices, etc)?

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darknightbegins
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Re: how do US school choices translate in Toronto?

Postby darknightbegins » Sat Mar 27, 2010 7:05 pm

Mal wrote:The chances of getting a Canadian job from a non-elite American school is unlikely.

You may not realize this but getting an American law degree does not permit you to article and write the bar in Canada. You will be forced to go through our accreditation committee which will likely force you to do either exams or part of law school again.

An aside contrary to the above articling is not a school requirement, its still required if you go to a foreign school.


Wait a minute...you mean...you Canadians actually have your own seperate legal system? I just figured you guys were the 51st state.

Just stay in the US OP, after the healthcare legislation got passed we will be looking at high taxes and universal healthcare down the road in no time, and without the shitty weather!

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crazycanuck
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Re: how do US school choices translate in Toronto?

Postby crazycanuck » Sat Mar 27, 2010 7:22 pm

darknightbegins wrote:
Mal wrote:The chances of getting a Canadian job from a non-elite American school is unlikely.

You may not realize this but getting an American law degree does not permit you to article and write the bar in Canada. You will be forced to go through our accreditation committee which will likely force you to do either exams or part of law school again.

An aside contrary to the above articling is not a school requirement, its still required if you go to a foreign school.


Wait a minute...you mean...you Canadians actually have your own seperate legal system? I just figured you guys were the 51st state.

Just stay in the US OP, after the healthcare legislation got passed we will be looking at high taxes and universal healthcare down the road in no time, and without the shitty weather!


Canadian banks are stronger, we live longer, are healthier and are happier. Also our "high taxes" aren't that much higher than a lot of states, and some state taxes are higher than Canada.

Anyway, OP, first thing you need to know is that you will have to go through the NCA process, which I hear is a BITCH.

Here is some info on that:
http://www.flsc.ca/en/foreignLawyers/foreignLawyers.asp

Honestly, if you are planning on practicing in Toronto, I would recommend you withdraw from the American schools and apply to the Toronto schools next cycle (Queens, Osgoode, UWO, U of T, Windsor). Going to law school in the states to move to Canada is not usually a good option unless it was for HYS, and even then it's debatable.

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darknightbegins
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Re: how do US school choices translate in Toronto?

Postby darknightbegins » Sun Mar 28, 2010 1:46 am

crazycanuck wrote:
darknightbegins wrote:
Mal wrote:The chances of getting a Canadian job from a non-elite American school is unlikely.

You may not realize this but getting an American law degree does not permit you to article and write the bar in Canada. You will be forced to go through our accreditation committee which will likely force you to do either exams or part of law school again.

An aside contrary to the above articling is not a school requirement, its still required if you go to a foreign school.


Wait a minute...you mean...you Canadians actually have your own seperate legal system? I just figured you guys were the 51st state.

Just stay in the US OP, after the healthcare legislation got passed we will be looking at high taxes and universal healthcare down the road in no time, and without the shitty weather!


Canadian banks are stronger, we live longer, are healthier and are happier. Also our "high taxes" aren't that much higher than a lot of states, and some state taxes are higher than Canada.

Anyway, OP, first thing you need to know is that you will have to go through the NCA process, which I hear is a BITCH.

Here is some info on that:
http://www.flsc.ca/en/foreignLawyers/foreignLawyers.asp

Honestly, if you are planning on practicing in Toronto, I would recommend you withdraw from the American schools and apply to the Toronto schools next cycle (Queens, Osgoode, UWO, U of T, Windsor). Going to law school in the states to move to Canada is not usually a good option unless it was for HYS, and even then it's debatable.


Debatable? HYS are among the finest institutions in the world.

And I don't think you want to get in a pissing contest between Canada and the US. Just be thankful for being Uncle Sam's little cousin and the benefits that you have enjoyed as a result of it.

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crazycanuck
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Re: how do US school choices translate in Toronto?

Postby crazycanuck » Sun Mar 28, 2010 2:21 am

darknightbegins wrote:
crazycanuck wrote:
darknightbegins wrote:
Mal wrote:The chances of getting a Canadian job from a non-elite American school is unlikely.

You may not realize this but getting an American law degree does not permit you to article and write the bar in Canada. You will be forced to go through our accreditation committee which will likely force you to do either exams or part of law school again.

An aside contrary to the above articling is not a school requirement, its still required if you go to a foreign school.


Wait a minute...you mean...you Canadians actually have your own seperate legal system? I just figured you guys were the 51st state.

Just stay in the US OP, after the healthcare legislation got passed we will be looking at high taxes and universal healthcare down the road in no time, and without the shitty weather!


Canadian banks are stronger, we live longer, are healthier and are happier. Also our "high taxes" aren't that much higher than a lot of states, and some state taxes are higher than Canada.

Anyway, OP, first thing you need to know is that you will have to go through the NCA process, which I hear is a BITCH.

Here is some info on that:
http://www.flsc.ca/en/foreignLawyers/foreignLawyers.asp

Honestly, if you are planning on practicing in Toronto, I would recommend you withdraw from the American schools and apply to the Toronto schools next cycle (Queens, Osgoode, UWO, U of T, Windsor). Going to law school in the states to move to Canada is not usually a good option unless it was for HYS, and even then it's debatable.


Debatable? HYS are among the finest institutions in the world.

And I don't think you want to get in a pissing contest between Canada and the US. Just be thankful for being Uncle Sam's little cousin and the benefits that you have enjoyed as a result of it.


Yes, HYS are the finest legal institutions in the world and you have no idea how the Canadian legal market works.

Your second statement made lol @ you.

Mal
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Re: how do US school choices translate in Toronto?

Postby Mal » Sun Mar 28, 2010 2:32 am

I agree with CrazyCanuck.

There are serious problems coming into Canada from any foreign school.

The reason why it is debateable to go to HYS is because that Canadian degrees are far cheaper (I paid 11k this year tuition), and do just as well in our own market. You don't get paid more if you have a HYS degree, nor will you advance faster in the firm.

To the OP: Pretend you aren't going to be able to get a job in Toronto from those schools. Hurting your American prospects for an extremely slight chance here isn't a good plan.
Last edited by Mal on Sun Mar 28, 2010 2:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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crazycanuck
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Re: how do US school choices translate in Toronto?

Postby crazycanuck » Sun Mar 28, 2010 2:37 am

Mal wrote:I agree with CrazyCanuck.

There are serious problems coming into Canada from any foreign school.

The reason why it is debateable to go to HYS is because that Canadian degrees are far cheaper (I paid 11k this year tuition), and do just as well in our own market. You don't get paid more if you have a HYS degree, nor will you advance faster in the firm.


11k eh? UBC? I was looking at going there before I got hired at a big 4 accounting firm in Vancouver.

Mal
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Re: how do US school choices translate in Toronto?

Postby Mal » Sun Mar 28, 2010 2:41 am

crazycanuck wrote:
Mal wrote:I agree with CrazyCanuck.

There are serious problems coming into Canada from any foreign school.

The reason why it is debateable to go to HYS is because that Canadian degrees are far cheaper (I paid 11k this year tuition), and do just as well in our own market. You don't get paid more if you have a HYS degree, nor will you advance faster in the firm.


11k eh? UBC? I was looking at going there before I got hired at a big 4 accounting firm in Vancouver.


UoA actually, I decided against UBC.

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crazycanuck
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Re: how do US school choices translate in Toronto?

Postby crazycanuck » Sun Mar 28, 2010 2:43 am

Mal wrote:
crazycanuck wrote:
Mal wrote:I agree with CrazyCanuck.

There are serious problems coming into Canada from any foreign school.

The reason why it is debateable to go to HYS is because that Canadian degrees are far cheaper (I paid 11k this year tuition), and do just as well in our own market. You don't get paid more if you have a HYS degree, nor will you advance faster in the firm.


11k eh? UBC? I was looking at going there before I got hired at a big 4 accounting firm in Vancouver.


UoA actually, I decided against UBC.


Ah nice, they have a good program there. I wouldn't be able to live in Oiler country for 3+ years.

tryingtodecide
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Re: how do US school choices translate in Toronto?

Postby tryingtodecide » Sun Mar 28, 2010 1:58 pm

I feel so stuck.

The story behind all this is that I am madly in love with someone in Toronto. She has a few special circumstances and I realistically don't believe she will ever leave Canada. Because I am in the states & starting law school, things have shifted between us. I really want to make this work somehow, or at least leave that door open. She means enough to me that I can't stop thinking of her in the back of my head while I make these decisions. She would never ask me to relocate to a completely different country though (and isn't)

Honestly, choosing a law school right now feel like choosing between two mediocre dates when all I think about is an unattainable bombshell.

Each time I try to move on and focus on building a career in the states, it lasts about two weeks and then I feel miserable in the pit of my stomach again.

I'm not usually an openly emotional guy, but choosing a law school has turned me into an emo-tard!

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darknightbegins
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Re: how do US school choices translate in Toronto?

Postby darknightbegins » Sun Mar 28, 2010 2:24 pm

Never, EVER choose your law school based on a woman unless she is your wife.

tryingtodecide
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Re: how do US school choices translate in Toronto?

Postby tryingtodecide » Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:39 pm

darknightbegins wrote:Never, EVER choose your law school based on a woman unless she is your wife.


yeah... so I keep being told.

I just need to suck this up, let go, and get my head in the game. I will be 150% dedicated to whatever school I choose- I need to just choose a school and kick some ass!

I appreciate the input about entering the Canadian system. The perspective and reality of opportunities/process definitely helps!

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crazycanuck
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Re: how do US school choices translate in Toronto?

Postby crazycanuck » Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:32 pm

tryingtodecide wrote:
darknightbegins wrote:Never, EVER choose your law school based on a woman unless she is your wife.


yeah... so I keep being told.

I just need to suck this up, let go, and get my head in the game. I will be 150% dedicated to whatever school I choose- I need to just choose a school and kick some ass!

I appreciate the input about entering the Canadian system. The perspective and reality of opportunities/process definitely helps!


There used to be a pretty useful forum called lawbuzz for Canadian lawyers, but it's gone now.

http://www.lawstudents.ca is for prospective canadian law students. I think you should just consider going to some of the Toronto area schools, the employment prospects in Canada coming out of any of those will be better than any of the T2 schools you get into in the U.S.

Case2L
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Re: how do US school choices translate in Toronto?

Postby Case2L » Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:23 pm

Since there just aren't that many law schools in Canada, even the least respected Canadian law school is probably more difficult to get into than a low T1 or high T2 here in the States. I'm no expert on the Canadian legal system, but I'd say your course of action should be to attend the best US law school that admits you, study your butt off, and apply to some Canadian LLM programs your 3rd year of law school.

MJMD
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Re: how do US school choices translate in Toronto?

Postby MJMD » Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:01 pm

Since there just aren't that many law schools in Canada, even the least respected Canadian law school is probably more difficult to get into than a low T1 or high T2 here in the States. I'm no expert on the Canadian legal system, but I'd say your course of action should be to attend the best US law school that admits you, study your butt off, and apply to some Canadian LLM programs your 3rd year of law school.


As a soon-to-be Canadian law student (probably UofA) who hopes to one day practice in the States with an LLM from a T14 school, I know for a fact that the reverse is more difficult: a Canadian LLM will not, in-and-of-itself, save you from the NCA process, and you will still need to pass between 6 and 12 difficult exams, schedueled over 1 to 2 years; or spend at least as much time as a full-time student taking courses at a Canadian law school (mostly of the kind not offered in LLM programmes), at the end of which you will not have a Canadian law degree (unless you go for the full three years), and may still be seen in an unfavourable light by employers.

My understanding of the U.S. legal system is that in most states you are free to write the bar and practice law as soon as you graduate: in Canada, though, before you can even write the bar exam you have to do a year of "articling." If you're not hired for an articling position, you can't write the bar, and you can't practice law. Period. This is the biggest hurdle to someone with a U.S. law degree, and the reason why Canadians who choose to get a law degree in the States are advised to go "T14 or bust", unless they intend to immediately transfer back after 1 year; if the name recognition carries over the border, they still have a chance. But they won’t be regarded more favourably than someone with a degree from a Canadian law school. There isn’t really a “least respected” Canadian law school (not yet, anyway): U of T, McGill, and (in Ontario) Osgoode Hall have a very, very slight edge, but all of the others are looked upon as virtually the same, and a top grad from another Canadian law school will beat a middle-of-the-road candidate from these three any day. And a top grad from any Canadian school will beat a top grad from any American school, T14 included.

Judicial clerkships are one route that graduates of T14 schools sometimes take to practice up here: clerking fulfills part of your articling period, and can eliminate a good chunk of your NCA requirements, and you can do it without being able to practice law. But no court in Canada that I know of is likely to seriously consider U.S. applicants from outside the top 20 U.S. law schools. You would have to have an extremely compelling record.

Joint degree programs with U.S. schools are one “back door” for people trying to get into Canada. These are the following:

J.D./J.D: University of Hawaii – University of British Columbia
J.D./LL.B: University of Colorado – University of Alberta
J.D./LL.B: University of Detroit-Mercy – University of Windsor
J.D./J.D: NYU – Osgoode Hall
J.D./LL.B: Michigan State University – University of Ottawa
J.D./LL.B: Washington College of Law at American University – University of Ottawa

If you didn’t apply to any of these schools already, though, you’re hooped.

You can try to transfer to a Canadian school after one year in America, which would be difficult: you’d probably lose most of your credits in the process. But if your heart is set on Canada, and the GTA in particular, then you should set your sights on U of T or Osgoode next year and pull the trigger, if you can.

Or, if you’re made of money, you can take courses for Canadian credit in the summer, either in Canada or at study abroad programmes hosted by Canadian schools. I have no idea what effect, if any, this would have on the amount of time it would take you to complete the NCA process after graduation, but my guess would be that taking some elementary (i.e. 1L) courses in Canadian law, in Canada, you’d shave off a bunch of time down the road.

Or, since you’re in Pennsylvania anyway, you could work your ass off and try to transfer into Penn. Probably a good idea in any case, even if (God forbid) this relationship doesn’t work out. Most Canadians don’t know the difference between Penn and Penn State (if you go to the latter, that might even work to your advantage), or even which schools are Ivy League after Yale, Harvard, and Columbia; but employers at big firms should know this stuff, and with good marks you’d definitely have a shot at a clerkship in Toronto and a fast-track through NCA. An Ivy League degree + a clerkship + an LLM from U of T or Osgoode would stylishly fulfill all of your requirements to practice and get paid big $$$. Is that a crazy ambitious plan? No doubt. Do you really love this woman?...

Good luck to you.

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crazycanuck
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Re: how do US school choices translate in Toronto?

Postby crazycanuck » Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:32 pm

Case2L wrote:Since there just aren't that many law schools in Canada, even the least respected Canadian law school is probably more difficult to get into than a low T1 or high T2 here in the States. I'm no expert on the Canadian legal system, but I'd say your course of action should be to attend the best US law school that admits you, study your butt off, and apply to some Canadian LLM programs your 3rd year of law school.


This may or may not be true depending on the school and the individual. No school does admissions the same, most schools drop at least your 6 worst semester classes or 3 full year courses, some school take your last two years GPA (upward trend anyone?), others take your best two years GPA. Some weight GPA as 70% and LSAT as 30%(UVIC) and others take LSAT 70% and GPA 30% (UofA). Some schools tend to take a more holistic approach to admissions where "numbers" are not the end all be all, and others give you a number based on your GPA/LSAT combo, based on a formula and ranks and offers accordingly (UBC). McGill doesn't require the LSAT if you speak french fluently. For applicants who have been out of school for 5+ years, GPA is not a big consideration and it's largely LSAT and work experience.

See, we don't have a stupid ranking system put on by some shitty magazine, who really should not have an effect on an important education, so schools are free to build the type of student body and culture they want.

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A'nold
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Re: how do US school choices translate in Toronto?

Postby A'nold » Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:12 pm

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa,


WHOA!

Dude, you are American. You automatically get any job you want in Canyada. Our superiority is assumed.

MJMD
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Re: how do US school choices translate in Toronto?

Postby MJMD » Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:15 pm

A'nold wrote:Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa,


WHOA!

Dude, you are American. You automatically get any job you want in Canyada. Our superiority is assumed.


Nah, dude. Not true. Your superiority is assumed if you go to T14, yes, because people just assume those schools are the shayits (which they are). You go to something no Canadian knows anything about, even a great school like Pittsburgh or Temple, and he'll probably assume it's TTT, until you educate him, just because there are so many TTT in the States. Just the way it works. Sorry: ignorance cuts both ways.

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A'nold
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Re: how do US school choices translate in Toronto?

Postby A'nold » Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:17 pm

MJMD wrote:
A'nold wrote:Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa,


WHOA!

Dude, you are American. You automatically get any job you want in Canyada. Our superiority is assumed.


Nah, dude. Not true. Your superiority is assumed if you go to T14, yes, because people just assume those schools are the shayits (which they are). You go to something no Canadian knows anything about, even a great school like Pittsburgh or Temple, and he'll probably assume it's TTT, until you educate him, just because there are so many TTT in the States. Just the way it works. Sorry: ignorance cuts both ways.


Turn up your sarcasm radar my friend. :)




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