Canadian -> San Francisco, advice please!!

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khimdad.rwandzie

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Canadian -> San Francisco, advice please!!

Postby khimdad.rwandzie » Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:31 pm

Hey, work for a large Canadian corporate law firm in Calgary, M&A and Capital Markets general practice, 2nd year associate. Just received an offer for a V10 firm in San Francisco for M&A. Looking for some advice.

Pros:
Currently make 95,000 + 10k bonus CAD if I hit target of 1850 hours. 190,000 USD in San Francisco, don't really understand how the bonus works.
Calgary is pretty depressed economically, San Francisco is growing.
Presumably I'd have a lot more other doors open to me after working for a famous US law firm.

Cons:
Taking the CA bar, seems really hard.
Worried about Visa, can get a temporary TN visa but no guarantee on getting the green card or H-1b
I assume they work a lot more in San Francisco? Target is 2000 hours.

SFSpartan

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Re: Canadian -> San Francisco, advice please!!

Postby SFSpartan » Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:36 pm

If your concern is hours, it would be helpful to know the firm (feel free to PM me, since sharing firm name probably outs you).

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Re: Canadian -> San Francisco, advice please!!

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:56 pm

I moved last year from Canada to NYC. I don't regret it and would encourage you to take the opportunity. Here's some thoughts that come to mind.

Your pay is double (Above the Law will have your firm's bonus information, it is a great US resource). Market bonus for 2nd years was 25k last year. I wouldn't pay too much attention to the whole CAD v USD thing, as you don't know what the future holds and everything you'll be spending is in USD.

(I've heard) Canadian firms, especially corporate, love people with US experience, in the hopes that you'll bring business from your US contacts. So, going down to the US for a period of time might be better for your CAN career than staying put.

I did the NY bar, which is easier than the CA Bar. However, it honestly wasn't that bad. IMO, if you're smart enough to do well enough in Canada to get US firms to be interested in you, you're smart enough to pass the CA bar. Just do a prep course and you're good to go.

TN Visa is a worry. No one knows what would happen to them if NAFTA goes. Based on the sheer number of professionals on them, I would guess that we'd get to finish our 3 year term, or something else would be put in place, but I have nothing to back that up. My advice would be get in ASAP.

Regarding hours, I find that hitting target is a lot easier in the US. In CAN, because our clients were smaller (less <$), I felt the constant pressure to write off my own hours. Here the emphasis is to bill every minute.

Congrats, btw. I've been getting a lot of messages from Canadians asking how they can move down here, and most have no success. It isn't easy.

CanadianWolf

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Re: Canadian -> San Francisco, advice please!!

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:15 pm

Congratulations ! San Francisco is a great city.

The California bar exam is the third or fourth hardest state bar exam in the US. By contrast, the New York state bar exam is the 33rd hardest.
Recently released California bar exam results show that first (1st) time test takers passed at a rate of 70% for those who attended in-state (California) ABA approved law schools & 67% for first time California state bar by those who attended out-of-state ABA accredited law schools.

Are you a graduate of Toronto or McGill ?

NoLongerALurker

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Re: Canadian -> San Francisco, advice please!!

Postby NoLongerALurker » Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:54 am

As a fellow TN holder doing similar work: your visa concerns are valid, and probably makes sense to get a TN ASAP and get down here then figure everything else out later.

khimdad.rwandzie

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Re: Canadian -> San Francisco, advice please!!

Postby khimdad.rwandzie » Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:34 pm

Appreciate all the advice!
SF, I'm trying to PM you but I'm new to this platform so can't seem to figure out how to do it.

Also didn't go to McGill or U of T, went to another Canadian law school, similar prestige.

CanadianWolf

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Re: Canadian -> San Francisco, advice please!!

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:46 pm

Osgoode Hall--York. Good luck to you.

Hand

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Re: Canadian -> San Francisco, advice please!!

Postby Hand » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:01 pm

you probably can use a legal recruiter

khimdad.rwandzie

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Re: Canadian -> San Francisco, advice please!!

Postby khimdad.rwandzie » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:12 pm

LOL, great forum. I've already got the job, no need for a recruiter!



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