Canadian/American - Where to go for law school?

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jkwoo92
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Canadian/American - Where to go for law school?

Postby jkwoo92 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:41 pm

I have dual citizenship (Canada & USA) and I wish to apply to law school. My GPA for my Science degree during the last three years at the University of Alberta is not too high due to an abusive situation at home. I am planning to go back to Vancouver, transfer to an arts program (that is definitely where my passion and strengths lie), and get my grades up. I saw that Langara College offers guaranteed admission to law school at the University of Sussex in the UK; however this seems almsot too good to be true and I am skeptical about being able to transfer to a different country in order to practice. I have checked out John Kelly's website but I feel as though I would like an opinion from someone who does not do this program as a business.

I would love to be able to practice in California and/or Vancouver, BC. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I should do?

Please forgive me if i am not too knowledgable on this topic; I have only started looking at this path a couple days ago.



Thank you a million times :)

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DoveBodyWash
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Re: Canadian/American - Where to go for law school?

Postby DoveBodyWash » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:51 am

jkwoo92 wrote:.....transfer to an arts program (that is definitely where my passion and strengths lie),


Why law??

Ultimately it'll come down to

1. how debt-averse you are and which option is cheaper
2. Where you want to practice/live. If Canada, then definitely Canadian law school
3. What your respective options are in each country (have you taken LSAT yet?)

I realize that this would probably require you to apply to programs in both countries...If that's gonna be a problem and you want to eliminate one early then it would depend primarily on where you want to live after you graduate

jkwoo92
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Re: Canadian/American - Where to go for law school?

Postby jkwoo92 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:05 pm

1. I"m currently around $14,000 in student loan debt. I'm willing to do whatever it takes in order to get to where I want to be. I do understand that law schools in the states usually sit at around $20,000-65,000 whereas Canadian law schools are almost at a fraction of the price. I'm just trying o weigh out if shelling out that much money is worth it for an American school so I would not have to worry about the degree being recognized/the additional schooling.

2. British Columbia would be my second option. My first choice is California, USA. As I am a dual citizen, I want to take advantage of my American citizenship but it would simply be nice if I had the option to practice in BC if I ever wanted to.

3. Not yet! I'm currently in the process of looking at books/websites for it! :)


I just want to have at least some sort of structure to this new life plan so that I know what my options are and I can better review them later on if need be. :)

lawstudent7
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Re: Canadian/American - Where to go for law school?

Postby lawstudent7 » Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:43 pm

Just a heads up for anyone interested in applying to the Canadian/US dual JD at American University and University of Ottawa - if you start the program at American you pay 3 years tuition to American ($150,000) but if you start at University of Ottawa you pay 4 years tuition to Ottawa plus a fee to American (around $70,000-$80,000) so there's a drastic price difference depending on which school you start at.

lawschoolbound94
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Re: Canadian/American - Where to go for law school?

Postby lawschoolbound94 » Wed Feb 11, 2015 2:02 am

I would advise against a dual degree. If you want to go back to Canada, go to law school in Canada.

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banjo
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Re: Canadian/American - Where to go for law school?

Postby banjo » Wed Feb 11, 2015 2:25 am

lawschoolbound94 wrote:If you want to go back to Canada, go to law school in Canada.


This. From what I've seen, legal education in Canada is much cheaper and the employment prospects are strong across the board. You might have better luck at lawstudents.ca if you have Canada-specific questions.

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blueberrycrumble
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Re: Canadian/American - Where to go for law school?

Postby blueberrycrumble » Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:19 am

lawstudent7 wrote:Just a heads up for anyone interested in applying to the Canadian/US dual JD at American University and University of Ottawa - if you start the program at American you pay 3 years tuition to American ($150,000) but if you start at University of Ottawa you pay 4 years tuition to Ottawa plus a fee to American (around $70,000-$80,000) so there's a drastic price difference depending on which school you start at.


^Do not do this program. If you go take a look through lawstudents.ca (Canadian equivalent of TLS), job prospects are terrible, heavy debt after four years, just really unadvised.

As for where to apply (eventually), you're really going to have to decide where you want to end up working and living. Cali and BC are so radically different, there really isn't any one (affordable and reasonable) school you could attend that would allow you a decent chance at working in both upon graduation. While it's possible to take additional exams to qualify for the Canadian bar after getting a US law degree, again, it's REALLY unadvised, because almost no one will take you on as an articling student, barring HYS, possibly CCN (there's a one year practicing student type stint required before you're a full fledged lawyer).

If you want to be a practice law in Canada, go to a Canadian law school. If you want to practice law in the US, go to a US law school.

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions. I am actually from Vancouver myself, and I thought really deeply about my decision to attend a US law school, fully intending to work and stay here upon graduation.

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Auxilio
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Re: Canadian/American - Where to go for law school?

Postby Auxilio » Wed Feb 11, 2015 7:01 pm

I am just a Canadian citizen, but I would definitely (assuming you really do not care much where you live, which I find doubtful, yet it mostly applies to me so meh) just focus on getting your grades as high as possible, same with LSAT, and then see where that leaves you. Do no be afraid to apply on both sides of the border, I did, and evaluate your options from there.

In general American schools value your LSAT more than your GPA, so you may be able to make up for your current weak GPA better with a strong LSAT coming to the states (still not worth it on sticker though, and only to top schools).

Canadian schools also offer the option of dropping some courses, or looking at your best 2 or 3 years of undergrad so that might also be the best route to getting the best numbers you can find. What school you go to (and which grading scale they use) will make a significant difference when applying to Canadian schools).

Do not plan on going to school in one place and then switching over, but having said that I believe the process is a little easier coming down then going up. http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/Educati ... ation.aspx seems to state that you would have to take 1 year at an American school, then take the bar exam to practice in California. For coming up you would have to take the NCA exams (which can take about a year) and then article for a year before taking the bar.

As to UK (and Australian) schools, while they can be an option to come back to Canada with a much shorter NCA exam process, it is often a mistake due to the difficulty of finding a job (especially the mandatory articling position for a year) when you get back. You are devoid of any alumni connections, on campus interviews, and there is a stigma attached of being unable to get into a Canadian school.

If you can get into a Canadian school it is a much less rank-based system than the States, and almost any school will set you up for a likely decent career with MUCH less debt than going to an American school.




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