Law school in Canada.

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Law school in Canada.

Postby eric922 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:59 am

For various reasons I'm starting to realize that I don't want to live my whole life in the U.S. I really like Canada. If I wanted to practice law there I'm assuming my best bet would be to apply for a Canadian law school. This is still several years off as I want to be sure before I make a decision like this, but I thought I would ask around here and see if anyone has any advice for U.S. students considering this route. Honestly, I'm not even sure how viable an option it is, but I thought I would ask around. Thanks.


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Re: Law school in Canada.

Postby RoaringMice » Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:38 pm

I am assuming you are from the US. As I understand it from the immigration service in Canada, if you go to a university (including law school) in Canada, you may be eligible for a post-graduation work permit for Canada, even if you do not have a job offer in hand. So yes, going to law school in Canada would help you toward your goals.

Generally speaking, there are some additional factors that can boost your chances of being able to settle in Canada. They include if you have any family ties there, and if you speak both English and French. It can also help if you have some full time, post-bachelors work experience in the US (regardless of whether it's in law.) These things are not required, it's just that they can sometimes help. So one relatively painless thing you could do to help yourself in all this is learn French, if you don't already know it.

I do not know the state of legal hiring in Canada, and in the province you want to settle in, so that is something you'll need to research.

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Re: Law school in Canada.

Postby crazycanuck » Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:14 pm

I sent you a PM, but figured I would make a post in case others search for this and find it.

1) Check out it's basically the TLS of Canada law schools.
2) After law school, you need to complete a 9 month articling period to be eligible to get the call to the bar. Most students from every school are usually able to find articles, however the pay is very low for this period of time. My friend at a "biglaw" firm in Vancouver made 45K during his articles.
3) Biglaw is more scarce, there is biglaw in Toronto and Calgary that will pay 100K or so once you complete your articling period. Typically the hiring process is that they hire students to do articling, then decide whether they want to extend offers for full time employment once articling period ends. Depending on the firm, you may not get an offer once you complete your articles.
4) "Biglaw" is attainable from all of the Canadian law schools as they are all solid schools, however it is generally recommended that you go to school in the city you want to practice in. It's difficult to get Toronto Biglaw if you go to University of Victoria.
5) Anecdotal, but my friend works at a "biglaw" firm in Vancouver. He's a 2nd year associate (so 3 years since he's left law school) and he's making around 90-100Kish now. He has billable targets of 1500 hours. Calgary and Toronto tend to demand more hours, but you won't be seeing firms require 2500+ hours. You also wont be seeing those 160K starting salaries.
6) Also, I believe if you are willing to work in a rural community, there is a HUGE HUGE HUGE need for it. So huge, that if you work in some areas (Northern Manitoba etc), your student loans get forgiven after only 5 years (or so I hear). In fact, here's an article: ... e-of-jobs/

I did not end up attending law school, but I have friends who work at law firms and I did lots of research on it a few years ago when I was considering it.

Good luck!

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