U.S. vs. Canada Law School (I really need help on this!)

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
sethlim
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:58 am

U.S. vs. Canada Law School (I really need help on this!)

Postby sethlim » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:00 pm

So I've received a few offers from schools in the States - ranging in between ranks 20-100, and also from Windsor in Canada, and I'm in the midst of deciding. I've done a lot of research but I haven't come across anything too helpful or solid as of yet.

I don't mind living in either country, though transferability is a slight factor, and I have heard it is easier for Canadian law school grads to work in the States, as opposed to the other way around.

My goal is to work for a big firm on Bay St./Wall St., and the most important factors for me would be the likelihood of getting in, income (starting and progressive), and likelihood of making partner.

I have read that if you don't graduate in the top ranks from a T14 law school in the States, it would be extremely difficult to get into a big firm on Wall Street, or even make a significant income - what are your thoughts on this? Thus far, Washington University in St. Louis is the best school I've received an offer from (rank #23), and realistically I doubt I'll receive offers from any T14 schools.

From what I've gathered so far, I am leaning slightly more towards staying in Canada and attending Windsor - even though Windsor isn't exactly the best - as it seems I'd have the best chance (if I graduate in the top ranks) of getting into a big firm (on Bay Street).

Looking forward to your input, thanks guys!

Aroldis105
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 11:38 am

Re: U.S. vs. Canada Law School (I really need help on this!)

Postby Aroldis105 » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:09 pm

Better healthcare in Canada and no chance of being drafted.
Stay in Canada.
But seriously, I'm unsure if anyone in the US can give you sound advice on this as most of us have very little knowledge on the nuances of the US/Canadian law relationship. If it's easier to practice in both countries with a Canadian degree that seems like the best route.

tarp
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 1:22 am

Re: U.S. vs. Canada Law School (I really need help on this!)

Postby tarp » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:18 pm

Take Windsor. If you go to a school outside of the T14 in the states that is not even in NYC or the northeast for that matter, you will almost definitely NOT get into NYC biglaw, whereas with Windsor you at least have a shot at Bay Street.

If you had gotten into Duke or UVA or Columbia it'd be an easy choice but do you really want to go to a school outside the T14, bust your ass, not make top 5% and end up striking out from getting into a big law firm? I don't know from experience but I doubt NYC firms are lining up to hire Wash. U grads. You may well end up 1) without a job, 2) without a visa to remain in the U.S. and work, 3) returning to Canada and taking the NCA exams, 4) having a hell of a time trying to network/find job opportunities in the GTA legal market.... Trust me, it won't be easy, and it'll add a year or two to your accreditation/licensing process.

Other pluses:
Windsor - low cost of living, low tuition, located in Canada, actually a pretty cool town, close to Detroit which has plenty of shopping/dining/etc.

FYI it is easier to practice in both countries with a U.S. law degree because Canada has the NCA exams which qualify you to sit for the bar in any Canadian common law province (meaning not Quebec). Canadian law degrees, on the other hand, only allow you to sit for the bar in a few U.S. states, New York being one of them (California might be the other). The plus is that a Canadian law grad can go right to the NY State bar with no other exams needed beforehand, while a U.S. law grad must take the NCA exams before sitting for a Canadian bar exam. However, that U.S. law degree in conjunction with the NCA certificate is good nationwide in Canada, whereas the only way for a Canadian law graduate to become licensed in, say, Virginia, would probably be by taking the NY bar exam, practicing for three years or five years (whatever the requirement is for admission by motion) then waiving into Virginia.

tarp
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 1:22 am

Re: U.S. vs. Canada Law School (I really need help on this!)

Postby tarp » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:23 pm

Aroldis105 wrote:Better healthcare in Canada and no chance of being drafted.
Stay in Canada.
But seriously, I'm unsure if anyone in the US can give you sound advice on this as most of us have very little knowledge on the nuances of the US/Canadian law relationship. If it's easier to practice in both countries with a Canadian degree that seems like the best route.


Just FYI the healthcare in the U.S. is definitely better, with more advanced tests available everywhere and shorter wait times for non-emergency procedures. Many rural Canadian hospitals don't even have a CT Scan machine let alone an MRI. The U.S. system is just WAY more expensive and less accessible for many who don't have unlimited amounts of cash in their bank accounts or excellent low deductible, low co-pay health insurance plans. If you're a student, self-employed, or work a non-unionized, non-government job, you will almost certainly do better with Canada's system. In Canada I walk into any hospital or to my doctor's office or a walk-in clinic when I am sick and I am seen with no paperwork and I pay nothing out of pocket. Things like bloodwork are done immediately at any lab just like in the U.S.... things that require a specialist such as dermatology or gastroenterologist can have a waiting time of a few months, longer than in the U.S. usually.

dixiecupdrinking
Posts: 3142
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:39 pm

Re: U.S. vs. Canada Law School (I really need help on this!)

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:15 pm

For the love of god don't move to the U.S. and pay three times as much for WUSTL. That would be completely foolish.

tarp
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 1:22 am

Re: U.S. vs. Canada Law School (I really need help on this!)

Postby tarp » Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:29 pm

Also, the legal market in Canada is doing way, way better than the U.S. legal market.

User avatar
banjo
Posts: 1345
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:00 pm

Re: U.S. vs. Canada Law School (I really need help on this!)

Postby banjo » Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:41 pm

Windsor, easily. You may not get a job at a big firm, but at least you'll get a job as a lawyer.

User avatar
Pumpkin_Pie
Posts: 76
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 7:37 pm

Re: U.S. vs. Canada Law School (I really need help on this!)

Postby Pumpkin_Pie » Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:31 am

dixiecupdrinking wrote:For the love of god don't move to the U.S. and pay three times as much for WUSTL. That would be completely foolish.

User avatar
UofT ITLP
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed May 13, 2015 2:20 pm

Re: U.S. vs. Canada Law School (I really need help on this!)

Postby UofT ITLP » Wed May 13, 2015 2:37 pm

Hey Sethlim!

I hope that law school is going well for you! The replies on this board have been incredibly helpful, but I just wanted to provide some further information on the NCA process that people have been mentioning in this thread.

It is possible for an American trained lawyer to practice in Canada once they have gone through the National Committee on Accreditation’s (NCA) accreditation process. First, you must apply to the NCA to have your credentials and experience assessed. They will issue you an assessment that details what you must do to obtain a Certificate of Qualification. Typically, you must demonstrate competence in certain key areas by taking challenge exams or law school courses. Once you have completed those steps, you can apply for your NCA Certificate of Qualification, which in turn will allow you to move to the next step: applying to the Bar admission/ licensing process in the Canadian province or territory of your choice.

MOD EDIT: LINKS REMOVED

Traynor Brah
Posts: 718
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 10:23 pm

Re: U.S. vs. Canada Law School (I really need help on this!)

Postby Traynor Brah » Wed May 13, 2015 2:48 pm

you have to pay money to advertise on www.top-law-schools.com, bruh

User avatar
Gray
Posts: 5996
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:02 pm

Re: U.S. vs. Canada Law School (I really need help on this!)

Postby Gray » Wed May 13, 2015 2:52 pm

Windsor kind of sucks though I wouldn't really bank on getting a job in Toronto with a degree from Windsor. There aren't that many Law Schools in Canada, but Windsor is basically the bottom of the barrel in Ontario. Also the western part of southwestern Ontario is a real armpit so I wouldn't recommend committing to a law school there unless you're okay with never making it to a firm downtown Toronto. TBH I would guess that you'd have a better shot at getting NYC from WUSTL than you do at getting Bay St. from Windsor.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: U.S. vs. Canada Law School (I really need help on this!)

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed May 13, 2015 4:13 pm

Try lawstudents.ca for current advice regarding Windsor's Bay Street placement. I suspect that it is not good.

Did you apply to Ottawa ? Were you admitted to any other Canadian law schools ? Any dual (US & Canadian) degree programs ? Any scholarship offers from US law schools ? What is your LSAT score & how many times did you sit for this exam ?

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: U.S. vs. Canada Law School (I really need help on this!)

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed May 13, 2015 4:18 pm

It is important to understand that making partner in a major Canadian law firm is much more likely than for a major New York City law firm. Also, do not attend a US law school without a substantial scholarship offer. Cost of law school is higher in the US.
Unless you get a full tuition scholarship or attend a dual degree program, do not venture outside of the T-14 US law schools in light of your goals.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: U.S. vs. Canada Law School (I really need help on this!)

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed May 13, 2015 4:28 pm

If willing to do four years in law school to earn both US & Canadian law degrees, try for a full tuition scholarship to Michigan State which can serve as a back door entry to Ottawa. (Two years at each law school.) Best to do the last two years in the country where you prefer to practice, but in the case of Michigan State/Ottawa dual degree program, Ottawa is the better place to finish as the job opportunities are better.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22887
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: U.S. vs. Canada Law School (I really need help on this!)

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed May 13, 2015 4:52 pm

I'm pretty sure the OP made a decision back in 2013, so I'm locking this.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Screech Owl, Yahoo [Bot] and 6 guests