How about applying to law schools in Canada?

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How about applying to law schools in Canada?

Postby janborn » Tue Dec 16, 2014 8:57 am

My friends recommend it to me. It's said life in Canada is more casual and comfortable than in US, and the employment is way easier.

BTW, I am an international student, maybe Canada will be easier to blend in.

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Re: How about applying to law schools in Canada?

Postby banjo » Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:04 pm might be a good resource. The legal job market in Canada seems healthy for now, but the salaries are definitely lower (~85k for ~1700 billable hours in Vancouver, for example), and as an international student you may be paying a lot more than native Canadians. You'll also have to complete an articling year after school. I am also not sure what visa issues you'll run into and whether it would be any different from the US.

As for admissions, Canadian law schools are numbers-focused, though they weight GPA more heavily than US schools since they don't face the pressures of US News. You can see their stats here: Feel free to PM me too, though I don't really have special knowledge about this. I've heard that the best Canadian law schools are Toronto, UBC, McGill, and maybe Osgoode, though they all place well into their respective regions. The Alberta schools benefit from a strong oil/gas market there.
Last edited by banjo on Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How about applying to law schools in Canada?

Postby Gray » Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:08 pm

I'm a Canadian with some knowledge of Canadian Law Schools and the legal markets in our cities. I'm a US citizen as well and will be leaving Canada permanently for a few reasons, including more interesting opportunities in the US. Feel free to PM me too.

The short version is: if you want Toronto biglaw, go to U of T or Osgoode (York University). McGill requires French fluency. Vancouver is it's own bubble.

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Re: How about applying to law schools in Canada?

Postby pylon » Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:14 pm

There are fewer schools, and there are no major tiers between them. Although they can be generally ranked, for the most part the quality of education is similar across the board.

So, in that sense, schools become quite regional (i.e. if you want to work in BC, go to school in BC. if you want to work in Alberta, go to school in Alberta, etc.).

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Re: How about applying to law schools in Canada?

Postby twenty » Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:06 pm

Before you make the transition from China to "oh, maybe the US, but Canada seems pretty cool too" please, please do yourself a favor and spend some serious time in both countries. Assuming you want to actually practice law in one of the two countries, that's a fairly hefty commitment based on what a friend is saying.

From a legal markets perspective (not societal, economic, etc. etc.) the US legal profession is strongly divided on a bimodal curve - people either make 0-45k a year starting, or 145k-180k starting salary. Very few people start their legal careers in the 80k-100k range. There's no articling requirement. Tuition here is a bitch, usually costing 40k-50k a year, combined with another 20k a year in cost of living and massive interest rates, you could be looking at 250k+ in student loan debt before you even graduate. That means you end up having to do one of two things: either go to a top level school that gives you a very good chance of ending up in the "145k-180k starting salary pool" (biglaw), or else go to a school that offers you a lot of scholarship money so that it doesn't matter as much if you don't get one of these jobs starting out. Of course, those in the 145k+ jobs work very long hours + on weekends, etc.

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