Canadians studying law in the US?

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kingstonboy
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Canadians studying law in the US?

Postby kingstonboy » Sat Dec 12, 2009 6:10 pm

Hey, any Canadians planning on or currently studying law at US schools? I'm curious about what prompted your decision, and which country you plan on working in postgrad. I'm aware of the hurdles for graduates transitioning a US degree, from most states, to a Canadian province. And I also understand that the 3rd-year articling positions are apparently hard to come by in Canada if you miss recruitment opportunities, which can make passing the bar a bitch. Hence my curiosity...any input is appreciated!

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Saya
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Re: Canadians studying law in the US?

Postby Saya » Sat Dec 12, 2009 6:14 pm

Hmm... well, I grew up in California, and have a fond attachment to it. But I guess this answer isn't really very helpful to you. I have a friend who also wants to study in the US, and her reason is that New York/LA is much more exciting than any Canadian province. Which is kind of true.

FWIW, a law prof at my school said it's nearly impossible getting a JD in the US and then passing the bar in Canada.

urban_cdn
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Re: Canadians studying law in the US?

Postby urban_cdn » Sat Dec 12, 2009 6:21 pm

yepp, im just finishing my fourth year at mcgill now (i assume from the name youre at queens haha). i really wouldnt recommend going to the states for school if you want to practice in canada.

i personally will be practicing in the US because im in a long term relationship with an american guy and hes got a fairly established career down there. were looking to go to michigan for the three years (hes been approved to telecommute) and then come back to dc, since his career is defense related and those type of jobs are in the dc/va/md area for the most part.

what about you? from toronto? - im heading back on monday, cant wait haha.

p.s. - resent the idea that no canadian cities are as good as american cities.... we always have just as much fun here in montreal or in toronto as we do in dc or ny.

kingstonboy
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Re: Canadians studying law in the US?

Postby kingstonboy » Sat Dec 12, 2009 6:53 pm

Saya - That's interesting. I wonder whether he was implying that the material was totally different, or some other source of increased difficulty?

Urban - Hah, yep, good call. I'm originally from Toronto too. I can't bring myself to come down too hard on Americans who are clueless about lifestyle in TO (let alone the west coast). They just don't have the same incentives for cross-border awareness as we do (which is a mutual cultural knock, really). Plus Montreal hogs all the glory with its reliably hedonistic drinking regulations.
What's the root of the problem, do you think, in terms of translating US education to Canada? Does the tier of school make a difference?

Shadyb
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Re: Canadians studying law in the US?

Postby Shadyb » Sat Dec 12, 2009 8:32 pm

It is not impossible (even virtually) to practice in Canada after going to law school in the US. You have to pass NSA exams and the bar. The bar in Canada is like in the US - you study for it immediately before and pass. The passage rates are much much higher in Canada than the US. The material is very similar in the two countries (having done 1st year of law school in both countries, I really do know this :) )

Obviously you would have to do you own job searching. Just make sure you know the interview schedule for the cities you're interested in and get your applications to the firms in time...I didn't have trouble getting a job.

I think there does start to be a problem for people who go to the States because they couldn't get into a Canadian law school, but for people who went for the opposite reason (go to the States because of an opportunity to go to a top school) everything works out fine.

If you have specific questions about this, let me know. (Although I don't know anything about Canadians getting work permits, etc. and practicing in the US. I'm an American emigrating to Canada :D )

urban_cdn
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Re: Canadians studying law in the US?

Postby urban_cdn » Sat Dec 12, 2009 8:42 pm

its not unheard of to see top US grads in bigger toronto firms and you can likewise find some mcgill or toronto grads in boston (mcgill) or new york (toronto). but it is less likely that you will find US grads from anywhere below the T-14 in canadian firms or anyone from the other canadian schools in the US. so i guess in that sense, the tier matters.

if you're planning to practice in toronto, you should honestly go to any of the ontario law schools. going to a T-14 US school really isnt going to put you ahead of grads from say toronto, osgoode, and queens (so its not really worth the money in my opinion). also,i dont know your numbers, but even if you dont attend those schools - my dad is a criminal defense attorney in toronto and knows a number of bay street bigwigs who went to windsor, ottawa, western etc., (as opposed to toronto, osgoode, or queens.)

in the US, there are so many law schools that you need to hit the T-14 to compete in the big city job markets. that doesn't really seem to be the case as much in canada. take a look at Miller Thomson's website (one of the largest firms in toronto). a good number of people from all the canadian schools (including the oft-criticized windsor, canada's cooley haha) work there. you'll also see that when an american school is listed it's because the person did their undergrad there, or have both a canadian and an american law degree. though, like i said an american law degree alone is not unheard of - like the above poster i guess!

p.s. - enjoy canada shadyb, i know ill miss it.

kingstonboy
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Re: Canadians studying law in the US?

Postby kingstonboy » Sat Dec 12, 2009 9:58 pm

Shady - Thanks, that's good to hear. Did you go from US studies to Canadian employment? Either way, it sounds like your 1st-year impressions followed through, and you experienced an easy transition in terms of material.

Urban - looking around those sites, I absolutely see what you mean. Which makes sense; I have no doubt that a top-tier Canadian school could edge out a T14 US degree in places, given the added local prestige/familiarity of certain institutions...

And I can see the appeal of Osgoode or UofT regardless, so in a sense I'm ambivalent about the border-hopping. Money's not an issue for me, so the attraction is a combination of A) the possibility of practicing in the US - it would be nice to have the option, B) what seems like a more internationally involved schooling orientation, in terms of student body and work opportunities and C) what seems like the lack of any drawbacks.

Shadyb
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Re: Canadians studying law in the US?

Postby Shadyb » Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:36 pm

I did a weird thing - I went to UWO law for a year, then buckled to the peer pressure and went to HLS. I had to start over, so I'm a 1L at HLS right now. I already have summer employment lined up in TO, since I already had a full year of law school grades. Despite what everyone says, I definitely got treated differently/better coming from HLS than Canadian law students did; probably because of the prestige (including lay prestige, want to impress the clients!!) and scarcity.

I will say that if I had to take on the debt for the full price of HLS, I would NOT have come...it's too expensive and would have forced me to stay in the States to pay it off, which I wasn't willing to do. If it were between an Ontario school and a lower T14, I would stay in Ontario if my goal was Bay Street.

Urban - I miss Canada too, can't wait for the summer!

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DreamLaw
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Re: Canadians studying law in the US?

Postby DreamLaw » Wed Dec 16, 2009 11:56 pm

I like this thread cause its not easy to know Canadian's that are interested in going to law school in the US like me. Im at McGill now, from montreal. I always wanted to go study law in the US because of my lack of interest in Quebec civil-law. My french would not be strong enough to be a successful lawyer in Quebec which is why im looking elsewhere. If i get accepted in the US i would stay there after graduation. I think that if you know where you want to practice (certain city, country) just go to law school there, it will benefit you the most in the end.

pattymac
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Re: Canadians studying law in the US?

Postby pattymac » Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:18 pm

urban_cdn wrote:its not unheard of to see top US grads in bigger toronto firms and you can likewise find some mcgill or toronto grads in boston (mcgill) or new york (toronto). but it is less likely that you will find US grads from anywhere below the T-14 in canadian firms or anyone from the other canadian schools in the US. so i guess in that sense, the tier matters.

if you're planning to practice in toronto, you should honestly go to any of the ontario law schools. going to a T-14 US school really isnt going to put you ahead of grads from say toronto, osgoode, and queens (so its not really worth the money in my opinion). also,i dont know your numbers, but even if you dont attend those schools - my dad is a criminal defense attorney in toronto and knows a number of bay street bigwigs who went to windsor, ottawa, western etc., (as opposed to toronto, osgoode, or queens.)

in the US, there are so many law schools that you need to hit the T-14 to compete in the big city job markets. that doesn't really seem to be the case as much in canada. take a look at Miller Thomson's website (one of the largest firms in toronto). a good number of people from all the canadian schools (including the oft-criticized windsor, canada's cooley haha) work there. you'll also see that when an american school is listed it's because the person did their undergrad there, or have both a canadian and an american law degree. though, like i said an american law degree alone is not unheard of - like the above poster i guess!

p.s. - enjoy canada shadyb, i know ill miss it.



HAHAHA I love this post. Today, I had a friend try to tell me that Windsor compares to the top schools in the states (HYS) and that the quality of education was overrated in the states. YAAAAAAA. Right. I'm a U of W undergrad and its absolutely hilarious to hear people say we have a law quality school. I told my parents I'd rather die than go to U of W again for law.

freeflowfox
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Re: Canadians studying law in the US?

Postby freeflowfox » Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:50 am

Torontonian here considering the U.S.

Really quite dithering over this, 200,000 debt vs maximum 80,000 debt in Canada with UofT:

UofT: Guaranteed employment in Toronto, 15% chance at New York. (UChicago has about 20-25% chance to go to New York if their geographic distribution is what we're going by.)

Top U.S schools: better chances to work in NY, but none except HYS with guarantees, put that together with the debt...

very difficult choice here, in at both UofT and T10, anyone else in this situation?

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Globetrekker
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Re: Canadians studying law in the US?

Postby Globetrekker » Fri Dec 18, 2009 5:12 pm

freeflowfox wrote:Torontonian here considering the U.S.

Really quite dithering over this, 200,000 debt vs maximum 80,000 debt in Canada with UofT:

UofT: Guaranteed employment in Toronto, 15% chance at New York. (UChicago has about 20-25% chance to go to New York if their geographic distribution is what we're going by.)

Top U.S schools: better chances to work in NY, but none except HYS with guarantees, put that together with the debt...

very difficult choice here, in at both UofT and T10, anyone else in this situation?


How is this a difficult choice?

I did the opposite: American who came to Canada for law school. Wouldn't trade it for a second. $100,000 vs. $200,000 debt. Doi.

jocelyne
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Re: Canadians studying law in the US?

Postby jocelyne » Thu Dec 24, 2009 3:44 am

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Last edited by jocelyne on Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ashleigh
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Re: Canadians studying law in the US?

Postby ashleigh » Thu Dec 24, 2009 4:15 am

deleted
Last edited by ashleigh on Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

7ED
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Re: Canadians studying law in the US?

Postby 7ED » Fri Dec 25, 2009 2:48 pm

Lol I have the exact opposite problem, im a Canadian whose aiming for HYS but wants to study law in Canada.

kermit
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Re: Canadians studying law in the US?

Postby kermit » Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:10 pm

I was wondering if someone out there could provide some advice. I'm a Canadian, I got into the University of Toronto and HLS, and I'm trying to decide between them. I know that it should be a no-brainer, but HLS is a LOT more expensive than U of T, combined with my fear that it can be hard to come back to Canada to work afterwards. I'm not really too sure where I want to end up. Given that, is the extra cost worth the prestige?

tarp
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Re: Canadians studying law in the US?

Postby tarp » Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:56 pm

UofT is the best law school in Canada, so if you want to stay in Canada, go there. You will also have mobility to the U.S. (New York only). HLS will give you better access to the U.S. job market but you will have to jump through some hurdles (NCA exams) to take the bar in Canada.

HLS doesn't give grades... it's all pass/fail, so that might be interesting...

Tough choice, but I would probably take UofT and save the $. You could go to a Bay street firm from there if you want biglaw, and stay in Canada (probably better than being in the U.S.). You would probably be happier in Canada, although the winters are cold.

urban_cdn
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Re: Canadians studying law in the US?

Postby urban_cdn » Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:03 am

kermit wrote:I was wondering if someone out there could provide some advice. I'm a Canadian, I got into the University of Toronto and HLS, and I'm trying to decide between them. I know that it should be a no-brainer, but HLS is a LOT more expensive than U of T, combined with my fear that it can be hard to come back to Canada to work afterwards. I'm not really too sure where I want to end up. Given that, is the extra cost worth the prestige?


id vote toronto if you're 100% sure you want to stay in canada and harvard if you're undecided between the US and canada. p.s - its nice to see some other canadians floating around on this forum! congrats on your acceptances!

cuin2010
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Re: Canadians studying law in the US?

Postby cuin2010 » Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:01 am

If you are sure you want to stay in Canada it makes no sense to go to Harvard, especially given the fact you got accepted to the UofT!

freeflowfox
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Re: Canadians studying law in the US?

Postby freeflowfox » Wed Jan 20, 2010 7:00 am

Yeah if you want to stay in Canada it makes NO sense to go to HLS. The only reason I'm dithering over whether or not to go to UofT is because i WANT to go to the U.S, and even then UofT is still within consideration.

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VeeD101
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Re: Canadians studying law in the US?

Postby VeeD101 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:49 pm

Bump. Anyone in this situation? I am so completely confused!

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yodamiked
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Re: Canadians studying law in the US?

Postby yodamiked » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:30 am

VeeD101 wrote:Bump. Anyone in this situation? I am so completely confused!


Yep. Top choices right now are UCLA, BYU, and WUSTL. Got into a bunch of law schools in western Canada, but didn't apply to U of T (mostly cause I didn't know what the heck I was doing back in October). I figure it's a lot easier bringing a US JD up to Canada than the other way around. Also, I wouldn't mind working in the US for a few years before making my way back to my homeland.

bbsg
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Re: Canadians studying law in the US?

Postby bbsg » Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:21 am

I want to work in the US for at least awhile, that's why I'm headed state-side.

If I was 100% sure I wanted to work in Canada? Like 100%, deadset on it? I'd definitely turn down HYS (due to cost) and even then seriously consider going so far as to turn down a Hamilton at Columbia (so cost not even being a concern) to go to UofT or Osgoode, seriously. I'd definitely take any Canadian school over any US school at sticker -- even Ottawa over Yale. The Canadian market is pretty insular and streamlined as long as you get an articling position. Missing OCI will kill you on that count. A year of NCA + the absence of networking makes jumping south a pretty dumb idea. But only if you have no interest in anything except Canadian legal practice.

Academia? US practice? That might be another story altogether. It's telling that at UofT's admitted students day they went to great lengths to brag that much of their faculty all had backgrounds at NYU, Columbia, Penn, Stanford, etc.

tl;dr: Want to practice in Canada for sure? Stay in Canada. Unsure? Consider US, but only T-14 and only giving serious consideration to cost.

bbsg
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Re: Canadians studying law in the US?

Postby bbsg » Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:24 am

kermit wrote:I was wondering if someone out there could provide some advice. I'm a Canadian, I got into the University of Toronto and HLS, and I'm trying to decide between them. I know that it should be a no-brainer, but HLS is a LOT more expensive than U of T, combined with my fear that it can be hard to come back to Canada to work afterwards. I'm not really too sure where I want to end up. Given that, is the extra cost worth the prestige?


To answer directly:
Extra cost not worth prestige.
Extra cost might be worth it to keep US doors open. UofT-> States is possible, but more difficult to pull off than Harvard->Canada. If you're unsure, like REALLY unsure, you need to start asking yourself some serious questions now.

For what it's worth, a lot of people I know at UofT Law (UofT undergrad here) went there despite HYS acceptances because they rationalized it would be the right choice but ended up regretting it. I know one person who didn't regret and like 5 who did. So I mean, there's that anecdotal info? All of them kinda hoped to jump to NYC, though, except the one happy person who never wanted to do anything except Bay Street anyway.




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