How does University of Toronto compare to the T10?

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Shadyb
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Re: How does University of Toronto compare to the T10?

Postby Shadyb » Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:23 am

col.faith wrote:I'll try to explain why U of T takes only the best 3 of the 4 years of GPA from their applicants. My understanding is because they did not want to screw over their own undergrad students. I went to U of T undergrad. We have very strict grade controls to prevent GPA inflation. Professors have quotas on how many As and Bs they can give out.(less than 40% of students receive As and Bs) The median is ALWAYS controlled at 64-66(equivalent to C in letter grade or 2.7 in GPA), which means at least half of the class is getting below 2.7 GPA. Personally, I think this is one of the most stringent grading policies in North America, if not the most. Unless half of the students in a particular class in the US are getting high 50s, in which case I'll shut up immediately, otherwise, I think now the point becomes clear why U of T takes the best 3. But I got screwed over anyway. I have a very slim chance at U of T law school with their median GPA set at 3.8, since I only have a 3.47/4.00 GPA.(The best 3 yrs comes to 3.6) I wish I went to another school for my undergrad now. I am hoping that I can get into BU or BC, and hopefully I'll have a comparable career prospect in Boston as I would have in Toronto had I made it to U of T.


To protect you from being bashed for whining, let me just second this. I went to a US university (and was a TA), then went to U of T for my MA (and was a TA again). The curve at U of T (and all Canadian universities, I believe) is much stricter and lower than at US universities. This doesn't matter when applying to Canadian law schools, which understand the curve, but does when applying to US law schools, who don't care. I think the reason U of T Law GPAs are lower is that Canadian GPAs in general are lower. On the other hand, Canadian Universities are not as selective because they are required to let in tons of locals to give them the chance to succeed, even if they aren't really qualified. So in Toronto, for example, lots of people will get into U of T, but lots will then fail out. So the top students are just as good, but the tail is a lot longer (in undergrad, not law school!!). It's just a different system.

freeflowfox
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Re: How does University of Toronto compare to the T10?

Postby freeflowfox » Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:23 pm

Sigh... if only they understood that my 3.69 was actually a 4.0. How I loathe that mandatory C+ curve!!

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CE2JD
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Re: How does University of Toronto compare to the T10?

Postby CE2JD » Wed Dec 02, 2009 4:34 pm

can't believe it hasn't been said yet: University of TTToronTTTo

Shadyb
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Re: How does University of Toronto compare to the T10?

Postby Shadyb » Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:09 am

CE2JD wrote:can't believe it hasn't been said yet: University of TTToronTTTo


...and this is why I recommend anyone seriously considering any Canadian law schools to head over to lawstudents.ca, where people are infinitely more polite!

Devin Copeland
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Re: How does University of Toronto compare to the T10?

Postby Devin Copeland » Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:39 am

I know a few things anecdotally about law school in Canada, but just how an American would get started practicing up there isn't one of them. Let's say I go to a Canadian law school and start working at a Canadian firm. Do I automatically get a work permit? And eventually do I get permanent residency? I mean, I suppose I could, but I don't really know.

Here are some things that I can guess about law school in Canada:
--The legal market up there is better than at home. It's probably harder to make a whole lot of money, but easier to find a job. Down here, it's impossible for most law graduates to find a job at all.
--The tuition figures most of you are citing are for Canadians. If we Americans wanted to go up there, we would have to pay international tuition, which is somewhere around $30K USD/year for most schools give or take.
--Also, I'm not sure what an American law school graduate up there would say to justify the move across the border to job interviewers, or how exactly the immigration situation would work, like I said above.

In most cases (but certainly not all), UofT would probably not be too useful in the U.S. NYC biglaw used to take good students from top Canadian schools, and they also used to hire lots of associates outside of HYSCCN. Nobody really knows what's going to happen anymore. I think it's fair to say that UofT and McGill are the best law schools in Canada. It's hard to compare that to HYS or Duke or whatever else.

Shadyb
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Re: How does University of Toronto compare to the T10?

Postby Shadyb » Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:54 pm

Re: immigrating to Canada:

1) You go to a Canadian law school. You can get a work permit to practice law after graduation very easily, and renewing it is also easy. At some point either your employer will have to get you a permanent work permit or you will have to apply for permanent residency, which you will qualify for after 1 year of full-time work experience.

2) You go to an American law school. Your employer has to get you a work permit, which includes getting a labor market survey. Once you have the work permit it's the same, although you will have to wait longer before applying for permanent residency because you don't have 2+ years at a Canadian University.

Either way, you will have to covince potential employers that you are serious about immigrating to Canada. They asked me about this very point-blank, i.e. "Why don't you want to stay in Boston or go to New York," "we are looking for a long-term commitment, explain why you want to spend your career with us." I think it's like when trying to get a job in a small legal market in the US - you need to have ties and an intention to stay, because the firms don't want to waste money training you just to have you run off to NYC biglaw (haha, as if there were any jobs!) at graduation. Given the hassle, I don't think trying to start your career north of the border is a good idea unless you really do want to live there long term.

As for salaries, first year associate salary on Bay street in Toronto is about $90,000 CAD, with lockstep raises for the first 5-7 years. The legal market is in much better shape than down here - hiring is down slightly, but not dramatically. Salaries in other cities are somewhat lower, for example about $80,000 in Calgary. Articling salaries are lower yet, at about $75,000 in Toronto and closer to $60,000 in Calgary. In even smaller legal markets, such as London, ON; salaries are lower yet. I have heard of many Canadian students having a hard time finding articles and ending up working for $30,000 or lower (even free!) in very small firms.

Devin Copeland
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Re: How does University of Toronto compare to the T10?

Postby Devin Copeland » Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:47 pm

About the students who have trouble finding articles: Is this more or less likely in the big cities? Like, if I went to some Canadian school out in the middle of nowhere like New Brunswick, would I basically be forced to live in New Brunswick? Are jobs in the boonies more plentiful?

Shadyb
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Re: How does University of Toronto compare to the T10?

Postby Shadyb » Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:50 pm

I don't think that people who go to school in remote areas are stuck there, every school has connections to at least one major legal market (Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary are the biggest). It's harder to find articling in a remote area because small firms often can't afford to hire articling students, especially not on a regular basis. When they do, the pay is often very low. It's much easier to find an articling position with a bigger firm that has an established program, which only exacerbates the problem of everyone moving in lock-step towards Bay street. Clerking is another option that counts as articling, but of course you have to have the grades for it. My impression is that poor students who can't get into the bigger firms end up doing midlaw in big cities for low pay, although I don't really know as my cohort at UWO is only in 2nd year (I went there for a year, so am somewhat apprised of the employment outcomes of my classmates). The law school rankings don't matter nearly as much in Canada, and all of the schools have national reach. For example - UWO is a poorly ranked school in Ontario, but we have OCIs from every major Canadian legal market, including Calgary (which is obviously very far away and has plently of 'local' schools to draw from). UWO's placement in Canada isn't much worse than the top schools such as U of T. You would have a very hard time breaking into NYC from UWO, but rank doesn't matter so much for staying within Canada.

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crazycanuck
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Re: How does University of Toronto compare to the T10?

Postby crazycanuck » Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:20 pm

Devin Copeland wrote:About the students who have trouble finding articles: Is this more or less likely in the big cities? Like, if I went to some Canadian school out in the middle of nowhere like New Brunswick, would I basically be forced to live in New Brunswick? Are jobs in the boonies more plentiful?


The thing about Canadian law schools is that there are no rankings. If you go to any school and do reasonably well you can go anywhere in Canada, there are lots of lawyers on Bay street with New Bruns or Sask or Manitoba degrees. Dalhousie has a very strong following here in Vancouver.

Also, I read somewhere that usually less than 10% of UBC students have trouble finding articles, I'm not sure if this is true of all law schools, but I would hazard a guess to say that it probably is true.

Debt loads are much much smaller (unless you are coming out of U of T or York, or pissed out tons of money and never worked in UG) for Canadians so a 40k job isn't nearly as bad as it sounds. COA at some schools like U of sask Or UNB would be about the same as one years tuition at a school like NYLS, not even counting COL.

My brother in-law just graduated from UBC law, he has about 30k debt, which is very manageable. On this site people wish they would only have 60-70k debt. He has a job doing litigation at mid-sized firm, starting for him was 50k with billing targets of 1400 hours with a minimum of 1200 hours. A pretty decent gig and he loves the work.

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Cara
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Re: How does University of Toronto compare to the T10?

Postby Cara » Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:12 pm

But you treat Canada like it has a wholly separate legal education system. Canadians try to get into American schools, especially the good ones, and it's my understanding that a top US JD is an acceptable replacement for an LLB.

If that's the case and Canadian legal education is somewhat connected to the US at the top of the food chain, then you might say more that the top 5 schools for Canada are the top 5 US schools. Or at least that the top schools for practicing in Canada are HYS.


When I read the contention that the best Canadian law school would only rate #6 in the minds of Canadian firms when it comes to recruiting it seemed highly odd to me and probably just flame.

I finally got around to testing it by looking at the bios at McCarthy Tetrault, Canada's largest firm. According to its website it has 6 lawyers who graduated from HYSCCN and 89 who graduated from UoT.

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nematoad
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Re: How does University of Toronto compare to the T10?

Postby nematoad » Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:19 pm

Helmholtz wrote:
Chewbacca Defense wrote:I think how it compares will also depend on the subject, like I'm sure UofT probably has a great polar bear rights program, and maybe a pretty good clinic on igloo property rights.


Hey, you never know when you're going to be in a board meeting and there is a moose that needs skinning or you have to build a bear trap out of tree branches.


what a tool.

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bceagles182
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Re: How does University of Toronto compare to the T10?

Postby bceagles182 » Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:47 pm

--LinkRemoved--

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--LinkRemoved--

If you want insight as to your prospects at BigLaw with a degree from a Canadian Law School, just go to links like these (and other NY Big Law firms) and take a look at how many attorneys went to whatever school you're looking at. I see 6 attorneys at Davis Polk and 9 at S&C who went to U of Toronto.

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daddymike
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Re: How does University of Toronto compare to the T10?

Postby daddymike » Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:37 am

U of T is an internationally recognized university and is often seen as a parallel to schools like Harvard or Stanford... in PhD studies. If we are talking law, and more specifically the JD program, I would say that while it is the best law school in Canada, there is no way in hell any CANADIAN employer would choose a U of T grad over a HYS grad, all else being equal. No way in hell. In fact, other schools will probably surpass U of T in the Canadian market, including NYU, UC Berkley, Duke, Cornell, and Vanderbilt. This is because Canadians, like the rest of the world, romanticize about American schools and associate the names of these universities with prestige.

Note: I am not hating on Toronto. God knows I love the Maple Leafs (although Sundin sucks and I am glad he's gone. There. I said it.)

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Cara
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Re: How does University of Toronto compare to the T10?

Postby Cara » Wed Jan 13, 2010 4:46 am

Interesting. Let's test that by seeing who McCarthy Tetrault have on staff from the schools you've listed:

HYS: 3
NYU: 1
Berkeley: 0
Duke: 1
Cornell: 0
Vanderbilt: 0

U of T: 89

If you're right then, despite MC being Canada's largest biglaw firm and one of the highest paying, they have been spectacularly unsuccessful in recruiting from the schools you are certain they rank higher than U of T.

The advice is pretty simple. If you want to work in the US go to LS in the US. If you want to work in Canada go to LS in Canada.

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daddymike
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Re: How does University of Toronto compare to the T10?

Postby daddymike » Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:39 am

^^^ Simply, your logic is flawed because you are assuming that students from those schools actually want to work there.







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