Working in Canada?

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Anonymous User
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Working in Canada?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:10 pm

Hi all, anyone has information on how a US JD student can find a job in a large Canadian law firm?

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Re: Working in Canada?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:24 pm

I go to law school in Canada and don't know about any firms that participate in OCIs at US schools. Most firms accept applications by email/mail but be aware that firms in Canada are subject to strict recruitment procedures/timelines. Are you thinking of applying for an SA?

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Re: Working in Canada?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I go to law school in Canada and don't know about any firms that participate in OCIs at US schools. Most firms accept applications by email/mail but be aware that firms in Canada are subject to strict recruitment procedures/timelines. Are you thinking of applying for an SA?


I did a SA in the US. I am originally from Canada and I have been thinking about going back. Do Canadian law firms accept entry-level applications from US JD students?

Thanks for your info.

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TTRansfer
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Re: Working in Canada?

Postby TTRansfer » Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:36 pm

Also very curious.

I have always had a legitimate interest in moving to Canada (not really just fleeting). I currently have a 2L SA lined up at a place that hires most all of their associates and I feel pretty solid about employment in the states. But I'd really give it all up to be able to move up north to practice and live.

I wouldn't be surprised if no one can even answer anything about this since there hardly seems to be anything posted on Canadian law firms.

But is it possible for: 1) An American at a T20 to break into the Canadian market when 2) he already has a SA lined up for the summer and 3) will be applying for jobs as a 3L.

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TTRansfer
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Re: Working in Canada?

Postby TTRansfer » Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I go to law school in Canada and don't know about any firms that participate in OCIs at US schools. Most firms accept applications by email/mail but be aware that firms in Canada are subject to strict recruitment procedures/timelines. Are you thinking of applying for an SA?


What are the timelines and all? ANY info on this would be appreciated.

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Re: Working in Canada?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:06 pm

OP here. Canadian law students don't start at firms as a first year associate upon graduation, they have to complete a 10 month stint as a "student at-law" (called "articling") in order to get the license, they can then be hired back as a first year associate. I don't know too much about first year associate hiring, but you do need to make sure that the province you want to practice in will allow you to get licensed. For Ontario, you can find information at the links below:
http://www.lsuc.on.ca/licensingprocesslawyer/
http://www.ontarioimmigration.ca/en/wor ... ER_CM.html

In terms of timelines, I think that the strict rules apply to student hiring only (SA, articling students).

I've also heard that Canadian law firms like to hire US trained associates (especially those from major market BigLaw) so being hired as a lateral might also be a good option. Take this last statement with a grain of salt as I've only heard this through various people but have no concrete data.

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Re: Working in Canada?

Postby TTRansfer » Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Canadian law students don't start at firms as a first year associate upon graduation, they have to complete a 10 month stint as a "student at-law" (called "articling") in order to get the license, they can then be hired back as a first year associate. I don't know too much about first year associate hiring, but you do need to make sure that the province you want to practice in will allow you to get licensed. For Ontario, you can find information at the links below:
http://www.lsuc.on.ca/licensingprocesslawyer/
http://www.ontarioimmigration.ca/en/wor ... ER_CM.html

In terms of timelines, I think that the strict rules apply to student hiring only (SA, articling students).

I've also heard that Canadian law firms like to hire US trained associates (especially those from major market BigLaw) so being hired as a lateral might also be a good option. Take this last statement with a grain of salt as I've only heard this through various people but have no concrete data.


Interesting.

I really hope someone at a Canadian firm or someone familiar with the process can come in her and give us some input. I have every desire to relocate and move to Canada in the future if I was able to.

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Re: Working in Canada?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:18 pm

I've heard that the best way is working for a US law firm with a canadian office. Otherwise, your US JD is not really helpful, and you'd need to do at least another year of school in canada to get a canadian degree.

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Re: Working in Canada?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:55 am

The first obstacle to working in Canada is that a US JD is not enough to sit for a Canadian bar exam. It isn't true that you need to do a year at a Canadian school, though, you just need to go through the accreditation process. This means you'll need to do the NCA exams, which are a minimum of four doctrinal exams (e.g., Canadian constitutional law). I believe current cost per exam is $500. If you didn't take the relevant coursework in your US JD (e.g., corporations) it is also possible to have more than 4 exams.

If you manage to pass your NCA exams and the bar, you still have another important hurdle: Canada requires that you "article" before you practice, which I now realize another poster has mentioned above. Getting an article isn't a sure thing--there is currently a shortage in Canada and it is a significant barrier to entry. The picture is complicated if you have prior legal work experience. You can get your articling requirements shortened in some jurisdictions, for instance.

In other words, you can't just pick up and go to Canada to practice. The one thing in your favor: NAFTA has a provision allowing for lawyers to work in Canada (TN status, renewed yearly) for indefinite periods of time. So the visa issue isn't a problem if you can find an employer.

If you can swing all that above, I've been told that mass mailing and networking (ugh) is the main way people get articles. But I'm not sure how pedigree-sensitive this advice is. If you're coming from a TTT, TTTT, or even a school outside the top twenty/thirty or so you'll be facing a certain skepticism from Canadian employers; Canadian schools are generally quite good so the presumption is that most people with foreign degrees who want to practice in Canada failed to get into a Canadian school.

Finally, you'll have better luck if you're actually in Canada when you apply.

That's all I know, HTH.

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Re: Working in Canada?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:26 pm

I echo what the above OP said.

Canadian schools are all pretty solid and are often compared to all being equivalent to at least the US T20. I do know that most US grads working in Canadian big law are from the t14, purely anecdotal.

Your best bet is contacting alumns or other Americans working at firms, they might be willing to help you out.

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Re: Working in Canada?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:21 pm

Some US law schools offer 4 year dual degree law programs granting both US & Canadian law degrees after 4 years or just one degree after 3 years.

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Re: Working in Canada?

Postby crazycanuck » Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:04 am

CanadianWolf wrote:Some US law schools offer 4 year dual degree law programs granting both US & Canadian law degrees after 4 years or just one degree after 3 years.


This seems like kind of a scam to me. You will only be using half of what of pay for. Either you will be practicing in Canada, or the U.S. Pick a country and go to school there and save the money.




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