1L SA in Canada?

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1L SA in Canada?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:31 am

HYS L1 here.

I plan to work in the US and am hoping for big law, but due to connections I will be able to acquire an 1L SA position at a smaller firm (around 25-35 lawyers) in Canada, which at this point I prefer over the other work option for the summer. Does anyone know how law firm experience in Canada is viewed by American firms?

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Re: 1L SA in Canada?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:45 am

Anonymous User wrote:HYS L1 here.

I plan to work in the US and am hoping for big law, but due to connections I will be able to acquire an 1L SA position at a smaller firm (around 25-35 lawyers) in Canada, which at this point I prefer over the other work option for the summer. Does anyone know how law firm experience in Canada is viewed by American firms?


Are you Canadian? If you plan on working in the US long-term, be prepared to answer the "why not Canada?" question a lot at OCI. I was in the same boat as you (minus the 1L position in Canada) and was asked numerous times why I wasn't applying in Canada. Working there during you 1L summer will likely increase firms' suspicions of you not being serious about working in the US. Not saying you won't end up getting a 2L SA position in the US by going the 1L summer in Canada route, but you'd better have a great answer as to why you want to work in the US long-term.

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Re: 1L SA in Canada?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:48 am

Anonymous User wrote:Are you Canadian? If you plan on working in the US long-term, be prepared to answer the "why not Canada?" question a lot at OCI.

I imagine pointing out the fact that you have to take NCA accreditation exams (typically taking one year), and then spend another year articling before you can be called to the bar (after which you can expect to make maybe $90,000 at the high end) is a pretty good answer. Because outside the very few positions available for US-trained lawyers, that's what you're looking at.

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Re: 1L SA in Canada?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Are you Canadian? If you plan on working in the US long-term, be prepared to answer the "why not Canada?" question a lot at OCI.

I imagine pointing out the fact that you have to take NCA accreditation exams (typically taking one year), and then spend another year articling before you can be called to the bar (after which you can expect to make maybe $90,000 at the high end) is a pretty good answer. Because outside the very few positions available for US-trained lawyers, that's what you're looking at.


[Previous Anon above]

Agreed, and that's generally what I said. Some were still skeptical, believe it or not. On the other hand, some didn't even ask me about it all. I'm just saying that OP should have a good answer for when he/she get the skeptical interviewer.

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: 1L SA in Canada?

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Sat Oct 19, 2013 1:53 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Are you Canadian? If you plan on working in the US long-term, be prepared to answer the "why not Canada?" question a lot at OCI.

I imagine pointing out the fact that you have to take NCA accreditation exams (typically taking one year), and then spend another year articling before you can be called to the bar (after which you can expect to make maybe $90,000 at the high end) is a pretty good answer. Because outside the very few positions available for US-trained lawyers, that's what you're looking at.

But also keep in mind that while almost every US firm will be suspicious about whether you want to remain in the US, only some will explicitly ask. So, while having a convincing answer is great, it will only help in some cases.

You're at HYS - there must be something interesting you could do in America for your 1L summer, or at least some other country you don't have strong ties to (assuming you have strong ties to Canada, that is; if you don't have strong ties, take the SA position and don't worry about this).

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Re: 1L SA in Canada?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 19, 2013 2:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Are you Canadian? If you plan on working in the US long-term, be prepared to answer the "why not Canada?" question a lot at OCI.

I imagine pointing out the fact that you have to take NCA accreditation exams (typically taking one year), and then spend another year articling before you can be called to the bar (after which you can expect to make maybe $90,000 at the high end) is a pretty good answer. Because outside the very few positions available for US-trained lawyers, that's what you're looking at.


OP here. Yep, you've listed a few of the major reasons 'why not Canada?'

I was born in Canada and moved to the US for law school. I got into my dream school and I think I have a better shot of major success in the US than in Canada. The elite first year associate jobs in Canada usually pay about 100k, and that's after a year of making about 40-70k articling.

You're at HYS - there must be something interesting you could do in America for your 1L summer, or at least some other country you don't have strong ties to (assuming you have strong ties to Canada, that is; if you don't have strong ties, take the SA position and don't worry about this).


I have very strong ties to the location given that I was born there, lived there for many years, and got my BA there. I know I want to stay in the US, but obviously my ties to the area where the SA position is located may raise suspicions. If I don't take it, I'll make significantly less money doing PI work, but that may be worth if taking the SA job hurts my chances of employment in the US!

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Re: 1L SA in Canada?

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:49 am

Anonymous User wrote:
You're at HYS - there must be something interesting you could do in America for your 1L summer, or at least some other country you don't have strong ties to (assuming you have strong ties to Canada, that is; if you don't have strong ties, take the SA position and don't worry about this).

I have very strong ties to the location given that I was born there, lived there for many years, and got my BA there. I know I want to stay in the US, but obviously my ties to the area where the SA position is located may raise suspicions. If I don't take it, I'll make significantly less money doing PI work, but that may be worth if taking the SA job hurts my chances of employment in the US!

A few more things to think about here. First, does your resume strongly suggest PI work? If so, that might be reason to avoid a PI position, if you really do want big law after graduation.

Second, I get that - as a Canadian citizen - many of the opportunities available to US students will be unavailable to you, but there are still other options beyond a PI interest position in the US and a SA position in Canada, if you think outside the box a bit here. For example: what about a SA position in some other country - one you don't have strong ties to? A few people at my HYS got SA positions in Asian countries, and at least one got a SA position in Europe (although in that case, you probably need to be fluent in the relevant foreign language).




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