McGill or Oxford?

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McGill vs Oxford

McGill
4
14%
Oxford
25
86%
 
Total votes: 29

jeanpet
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McGill or Oxford?

Postby jeanpet » Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:13 am

Hey guys,

So I've followed this forum for a while now, but never actually posted anything. Anyways, assuming money is not an issue, I am really hesitating between Oxford and McGill in regards to law school and it would be great to have a few wise opinions. So far, the people I have discussed this with have all advised me to read law at Oxford and don't even understand why I am hesitating. Let me express the pros and cons of each school and then you can tell me what you think.

Oxford: great reputation, good employment prospects, and close to my home country. Although the course has little options, the tutorial system is pretty impressive being almost 1 on 1 with the professor. However, it is considered an undergraduate degree (although I was admitted in a college for +21 years old which would compensate for the undergrad), and having studied in London for the past 4 years I wouldn't mind something new.

McGill: although not the same reputation at Oxford, I think it is still pretty good. Plus, the transsystemic program looks great and speaking french would not be an issue for me. The course options are much more vast than at Oxford (where you can only take two options). For instance, at McGill the major in commercial negotiation and dispute resolution is very attractive, and the possibility to study three months abroad is interesting.

Take in mind that there are really two things that I think are important in my decision: employment prospects, and the law school experience itself. I feel that Oxford would be better for the former, but I find the course more attractive at McGill.

So taking all this into consideration, what would you do?

Thanks in advance for your replies, it is greatly appreciated.

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dingbat
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Re: McGill or Oxford?

Postby dingbat » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:24 am

unless you are 100% certain you want to end up in Canada, go to Oxford. Even if you want to end up in Canada, Oxford is probably a better option. Certain opportunities should not be given up

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banjo
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Re: McGill or Oxford?

Postby banjo » Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:24 am

If you are a Canadian citizen (meaning cheaper tuition and no visa-related issues), McGill is the right choice. The legal market in the UK is horrendous; you just don't hear as much complaining because an LLB is just another undergraduate degree in that country.

bbsg
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Re: McGill or Oxford?

Postby bbsg » Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:07 am

dingbat wrote:unless you are 100% certain you want to end up in Canada, go to Oxford. Even if you want to end up in Canada, Oxford is probably a better option. Certain opportunities should not be given up


Partial credit. If you want to end up in Canada, you 100% want to take McGill over Oxford. Maybe even 1000%. But only if you want to end up in Canada. I'd completely stake my reputation on this point.

I'm less certain on this point, but my instincts are to say McGill is a better pick than Oxford if you want to end up anywhere in North America.

</well versed in Canadian legal stuff in a way similar to how most TLS posters are well-versed in US stuff>

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dingbat
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Re: McGill or Oxford?

Postby dingbat » Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:11 am

bbsg wrote:
dingbat wrote:unless you are 100% certain you want to end up in Canada, go to Oxford. Even if you want to end up in Canada, Oxford is probably a better option. Certain opportunities should not be given up


Partial credit. If you want to end up in Canada, you 100% want to take McGill over Oxford. Maybe even 1000%. But only if you want to end up in Canada. I'd completely stake my reputation on this point.

I'm less certain on this point, but my instincts are to say McGill is a better pick than Oxford if you want to end up anywhere in North America.

</well versed in Canadian legal stuff in a way similar to how most TLS posters are well-versed in US stuff>
I'll take your word for it, though I doubt McGill would be preferred to Oxford outside of Canada - Oxford just has that magical name.

bbsg
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Re: McGill or Oxford?

Postby bbsg » Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:28 am

dingbat wrote:
bbsg wrote:
dingbat wrote:unless you are 100% certain you want to end up in Canada, go to Oxford. Even if you want to end up in Canada, Oxford is probably a better option. Certain opportunities should not be given up


Partial credit. If you want to end up in Canada, you 100% want to take McGill over Oxford. Maybe even 1000%. But only if you want to end up in Canada. I'd completely stake my reputation on this point.

I'm less certain on this point, but my instincts are to say McGill is a better pick than Oxford if you want to end up anywhere in North America.

</well versed in Canadian legal stuff in a way similar to how most TLS posters are well-versed in US stuff>
I'll take your word for it, though I doubt McGill would be preferred to Oxford outside of Canada - Oxford just has that magical name.


Neither are ABA approved, obviously, but as far as I'm aware a McGill JD allows one to sit for the bar in NY and MA whereas an Oxford LL.B would require a years' worth of additional coursework (not entirely clear on the Oxford side of things or the logistics around it).

At the end of the day, Oxford's LL.B (while carrying the Oxford name) is an undergraduate degree closer to the "BA" sense than a Canadian/American second-entry degree program. McGill doesn't require an undergraduate degree before entering their JD program, but they do prefer one and in any case require at least a few years of undergraduate study. In fact, the reason Canadian schools like McGill and UofT started shifting away from the "LL.B" designation toward the "J.D." designation is specifically because legal education in Canada is more like the US in terms of prerequisites for admission than is the case in the UK. The designation shift was more a matter of appealing to lay-observers, but bar associations are of course aware of all this.

Edit - I think McGill might still be using the LL.B designation, but the vast majority of schools have moved to redesignate to "J.D." in any case. The words above hold true even if McGill is still carrying its old designation.
Last edited by bbsg on Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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cinephile
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Re: McGill or Oxford?

Postby cinephile » Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:32 am

The tutorial system sounds pretty intense. I, personally, would want to avoid it. Don't you have to write quite a lot?

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bernaldiaz
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Re: McGill or Oxford?

Postby bernaldiaz » Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:38 am

cinephile wrote:The tutorial system sounds pretty intense. I, personally, would want to avoid it. Don't you have to write quite a lot?


Yeah, I was at Cambridge for a while. Thought I would love it, but ended up hating the tutorial system. Give me lectures and classes any day of week over supervisions/tutorials.

jeanpet
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Re: McGill or Oxford?

Postby jeanpet » Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:57 am

Thank you for your replies. Judging by the poll, you would almost unanimously choose Oxford. I personally feel that the tutorial system at Oxford is what makes the school so attractive as it is a real intellectual challenge and would provide a great preparation for a career in law.

The McGill degree is also considered an undergrad (BCL/LLB) but you can only be admitted after 2 years of university education, so most students consider it a grad school, and the course structure is much more similar to a grad school than anything else. It is in fact a double degree in civil law and quebec law, and opens the doors to many jurisdictions. As I already mentioned, the program at McGill is (to me) more compelling than the one at Oxford. However, I have no intention of practicing law in Canada - although this is not entirely ruled out. With McGill I would probably end up passing the bar in New York (I have an American passport), while with Oxford I would certainly stay in London.

I think the central issue here is whether I would have more probability of landing a job in London with an Oxford degree or in NY with a McGill degree. And in these times of crisis, where all the London firms are mostly recruiting from 'oxbridge', I feel that it would be a mistake not to go to Oxford, no matter how much I feel attracted to the McGill program.

bbsg
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Re: McGill or Oxford?

Postby bbsg » Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:32 pm

Yeah, no Canadian law program actually -requires- a completed undergraduate degree. UofT is the hardest to crack into and even it just requires three years (though approximately 100% of its incoming class does have a completed degree, regardless).

If you have no compelling reason to prefer NY over London then you should by all means go Oxford. I was the -one- person to vote McGill (under the mistaken impression you were looking to come Stateside) and I hereby reverse my vote. So you have a unanimous poll -- something that never really happens here! Ahah.

As you know, the US market is in dire straights. If you want NYC and were going to any T14 below NYU you're hoping for some luck. Even NYU and up doesn't guarantee a job by any stretch. McGill is a quirky school that is very, very well regarded in Canada (think Supreme Court clerkships and practically a guaranteed job coming out, albeit at half the income of US biglaw) but it isn't going to open up many doors for you in NY at a time when top students from top US schools are praying for a job. Do you see this working itself out in three years?

Meanwhile, London gig with an Oxford degree? As far as I'm concerned, it's a no-brainer at this point.

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twenty
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Re: McGill or Oxford?

Postby twenty » Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:53 pm

The only law programs I personally would consider above Oxford are HYS. Tuition + room and board for 30k a year (assuming you're not a British citizen, where you'd get in for about half that).

If you REALLY wanted to work in Canada, McGill is a solid choice, too. If you REALLY wanted NYC biglaw, probably T14 > Oxford. Other than that, go Oxford, don't look back.

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The Brainalist
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Re: McGill or Oxford?

Postby The Brainalist » Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:20 pm

If you wanted to practice in the US and are from GB, Oxford + LLM would be the way to go, wouldn't it?




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