US Biglaw with Canadian Law Degree?

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DealChump

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US Biglaw with Canadian Law Degree?

Postby DealChump » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:06 pm

Is there precedent for Canadian law students to get positions in US biglaw? Wondering about Texas Biglaw specifically. I saw a thread about a University of Toronto student who got NYC biglaw placement and was wondering if U of T is the only school with that opportunity or what. If its even possible, what kind of steps would have to be taken to get a position in a US (i.e. Texas) biglaw firm straight out of a Canadian School?

Thanks in advance for any info, super curious about this.

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Re: US Biglaw with Canadian Law Degree?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:04 pm

I know one person who has a dual JD from U of Houston and U of Calgary from a joint program who did it.

I've never seen it otherwise and wouldn't recommend it. What school are we talking about here?

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Re: US Biglaw with Canadian Law Degree?

Postby QContinuum » Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:21 pm

Texas BigLaw strongly, strongly prefers hiring folks with TX ties. Texas is hard even for US students without TX ties.

As for NYC BigLaw/US BigLaw in general, I've only seen significant numbers from U of T and Osgoode Hall (with U of T being clearly dominant).

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Re: US Biglaw with Canadian Law Degree?

Postby two post » Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:08 am

I am a Canadian at U of T. I am happy to chat about coming to the States from Canada.

The combined Texas-Calgary program described above focused on oil and gas law (shocking, right?). Presumably this program allowed you to write the Texas bar immediately after graduation. I do not believe it is still offered.

The major impediment to practicing in Texas (in addition to the hiring practices of Texas firms...) is that no Canadian law school is ABA approved, which as a practical matter means that we cannot write the bar except in a select few states that make exceptions for Ontario law schools. These include New York, Massachusetts, and California. They do not include Texas, as far as I’m aware. (I’ve done a bit of Googling on this point, but haven’t found anything — you may want to call the Texas bar to confirm.) This isn’t to say it’s impossible to practice in Texas with a U of T degree. I think what you’d have to do is (i) get barred in another state then (ii) get your New York admission (or whatever) recognized in Texas, generally possible after 5 years, which waives the requirement to have attended a Texas-approved law school.

More generally, each year U of T sends about 10% of its class to New York (approximately 20-25 students). The majority of these students are hired by three or four firms: SullCrom, Paul Weiss, White & Case regularly hire 3+ each I believe, while a bunch of other firms participate in the hiring process (DPW, Weil, Cravath, STB, Sidley) and hire one or two or none. It’s pretty hard to get to New York from U of T. You generally have to be within the top 20% of the class to have a shot at an OCI—and even then, because the pool of firms hiring is so small, it’s an incredibly random process. Lots of folks are JD/MBAs. Things are even more difficult at Osgoode, where I think like 2% of the class (4-5 students) is hired and only two firms attend OCIs. Firms also recruit at McGill—I’m not sure how many students come down or how difficult their process is.

So, if you want to practice big law in the States, my advice is to go to a T14 school in the States. If you want to practice in Canada, go a Canadian school (with the possible exception of HYS). If you are unsure where you want to practice, U of T isn’t a bad call. U of T is expensive in Canadian terms, but we make out like bandits in NYC.

EDIT: Another route to Texas from Canada would be to do a Texas LLM after receiving a Canadian JD, I believe.

EDIT2: I guess I will make this post somewhat more comprehensive by pointing out that NAFTA provides a special immigration status for professionals, known at TN status. This allows Canadian lawyers to work in the States without applying for a visa.

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Re: US Biglaw with Canadian Law Degree?

Postby DealChump » Sun Aug 19, 2018 11:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I know one person who has a dual JD from U of Houston and U of Calgary from a joint program who did it.

I've never seen it otherwise and wouldn't recommend it. What school are we talking about here?


Could you elaborate on that person? Did they end up living in Houston or Calgary? Did they do biglaw or did they find it harder to get biglaw placement (seeing that Houston Law Center and UCalgary are not top tier schools)?

Thanks for replying btw, embarrassed to say after I posted this thread I couldn't actually figure out how to find it again (lol)

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Re: US Biglaw with Canadian Law Degree?

Postby DealChump » Sun Aug 19, 2018 11:29 pm

QContinuum wrote:Texas BigLaw strongly, strongly prefers hiring folks with TX ties. Texas is hard even for US students without TX ties.

As for NYC BigLaw/US BigLaw in general, I've only seen significant numbers from U of T and Osgoode Hall (with U of T being clearly dominant).


What qualifies a tie to Texas? If a Canadian went to law school at University of Texas for instance, would that be enough or do Texas firms prefer people actually born/from Texas prior to law school? And on that note, would a texas law student from Canada find it harder to get biglaw placement due to the visa requirements/general hassle of hiring a non-citizen?

Also, thanks for the reply

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Re: US Biglaw with Canadian Law Degree?

Postby DealChump » Sun Aug 19, 2018 11:36 pm

two post wrote:I am a Canadian at U of T. I am happy to chat about coming to the States from Canada.

The combined Texas-Calgary program described above focused on oil and gas law (shocking, right?). Presumably this program allowed you to write the Texas bar immediately after graduation. I do not believe it is still offered.

The major impediment to practicing in Texas (in addition to the hiring practices of Texas firms...) is that no Canadian law school is ABA approved, which as a practical matter means that we cannot write the bar except in a select few states that make exceptions for Ontario law schools. These include New York, Massachusetts, and California. They do not include Texas, as far as I’m aware. (I’ve done a bit of Googling on this point, but haven’t found anything — you may want to call the Texas bar to confirm.) This isn’t to say it’s impossible to practice in Texas with a U of T degree. I think what you’d have to do is (i) get barred in another state then (ii) get your New York admission (or whatever) recognized in Texas, generally possible after 5 years, which waives the requirement to have attended a Texas-approved law school.

More generally, each year U of T sends about 10% of its class to New York (approximately 20-25 students). The majority of these students are hired by three or four firms: SullCrom, Paul Weiss, White & Case regularly hire 3+ each I believe, while a bunch of other firms participate in the hiring process (DPW, Weil, Cravath, STB, Sidley) and hire one or two or none. It’s pretty hard to get to New York from U of T. You generally have to be within the top 20% of the class to have a shot at an OCI—and even then, because the pool of firms hiring is so small, it’s an incredibly random process. Lots of folks are JD/MBAs. Things are even more difficult at Osgoode, where I think like 2% of the class (4-5 students) is hired and only two firms attend OCIs. Firms also recruit at McGill—I’m not sure how many students come down or how difficult their process is.

So, if you want to practice big law in the States, my advice is to go to a T14 school in the States. If you want to practice in Canada, go a Canadian school (with the possible exception of HYS). If you are unsure where you want to practice, U of T isn’t a bad call. U of T is expensive in Canadian terms, but we make out like bandits in NYC.

EDIT: Another route to Texas from Canada would be to do a Texas LLM after receiving a Canadian JD, I believe.

EDIT2: I guess I will make this post somewhat more comprehensive by pointing out that NAFTA provides a special immigration status for professionals, known at TN status. This allows Canadian lawyers to work in the States without applying for a visa.


Wow, first of all, thanks for posting this, this is tremendously helpful. A DAMN shame its no longer an option to write the Texas Bar immediately after graduation via that joint program. Not sure how much you know about that joint MBA/JD program but do you know many people doing it and what kind of effect it has on there value in the job market (i.e. do they get higher starting salaries)?

Thanks again for the response, super grateful for that. Did not know toronto sent that many lawyers to NYC, would never have guessed. Do you know how they typically fare on the American Bar?

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Re: US Biglaw with Canadian Law Degree?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:19 am

.

BrainsyK

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Re: US Biglaw with Canadian Law Degree?

Postby BrainsyK » Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:35 am

I typed out answers to all your questions before realizing that I am a Canadian who locked down offers from all top Houston firms. If you want, you can call me and ask questions to your heart's content. I didn't get a Canadian JD, but I'm the closest person to an expert you'll find on this very niche topic.

PM me a phone if you care to talk. I hate typing.

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Re: US Biglaw with Canadian Law Degree?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:11 am

QContinuum wrote:Texas BigLaw strongly, strongly prefers hiring folks with TX ties. Texas is hard even for US students without TX ties.


Respectfully, this is outdated advice. No doubt true of some firms and Austin, but the large number of NY/international firms has created opportunities for students without the traditional Texas ties. I came from a law school and undergrad in the north east to Texas with nothing more than a sincerely stated “I want to be here”, and this is true of many, many colleagues and acquaintances at other firms.

What TX biglaw prefers is people who genuinely want to be there, as does every firm in every market. Historically, Texas was open to exploitation of its 1L summer programs and split summers, and they were extra protective. Nowadays, if you genuinely want a job in Houston or Dallas and you can communicate why, then any candidate competitive in NY is competitive here.

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Re: US Biglaw with Canadian Law Degree?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
QContinuum wrote:Texas BigLaw strongly, strongly prefers hiring folks with TX ties. Texas is hard even for US students without TX ties.


Respectfully, this is outdated advice. No doubt true of some firms and Austin, but the large number of NY/international firms has created opportunities for students without the traditional Texas ties. I came from a law school and undergrad in the north east to Texas with nothing more than a sincerely stated “I want to be here”, and this is true of many, many colleagues and acquaintances at other firms.

What TX biglaw prefers is people who genuinely want to be there, as does every firm in every market. Historically, Texas was open to exploitation of its 1L summer programs and split summers, and they were extra protective. Nowadays, if you genuinely want a job in Houston or Dallas and you can communicate why, then any candidate competitive in NY is competitive here.


Agree with the spirit of this answer but disagree on how this functionally works. Obivously, the "COL lol" bros probably still fail the laugh test, but if you really think about who you are as a person, what you want from being in TX, and make a decision to go there, you would absolutely be competitive. The problem is that ties are still a big part of that calculus. It's hard to imagine someone who has never been to TX and grew up entirely in NE to want to be in TX all of a sudden, not saying it can't happen. It literally happened to me, but it's rare for someone like that to be able to come up with a convincing enough answer.

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Re: US Biglaw with Canadian Law Degree?

Postby QContinuum » Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Agree with the spirit of this answer but disagree on how this functionally works. Obivously, the "COL lol" bros probably still fail the laugh test, but if you really think about who you are as a person, what you want from being in TX, and make a decision to go there, you would absolutely be competitive. The problem is that ties are still a big part of that calculus. It's hard to imagine someone who has never been to TX and grew up entirely in NE to want to be in TX all of a sudden, not saying it can't happen. It literally happened to me, but it's rare for someone like that to be able to come up with a convincing enough answer.


Agreed, this is a more refined/accurate statement than my earlier one-liner. Firms don't necessarily have a strong preference for ties per se, but it's hard (although certainly not impossible) for most people to come up with a convincing "why TX" if they don't have ties.

Assuming two post is correct about Texas' practice restrictions vis-a-vis Canadian law grads, then I can't imagine any TX BigLaw firm/office hiring a fresh Canadian grad. Can't work as a lawyer in TX if you aren't eligible to be admitted to the bar.

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Re: US Biglaw with Canadian Law Degree?

Postby DealChump » Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:59 pm

BrainsyK wrote:I typed out answers to all your questions before realizing that I am a Canadian who locked down offers from all top Houston firms. If you want, you can call me and ask questions to your heart's content. I didn't get a Canadian JD, but I'm the closest person to an expert you'll find on this very niche topic.

PM me a phone if you care to talk. I hate typing.


That is a HELL of an offer, I would gladly like to take you up on that, however I could easily talk your ear off for a couple hours tbh (or however long you would be willing) so would you be okay with skype or something not racking up long distance minutes?

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Re: US Biglaw with Canadian Law Degree?

Postby BrainsyK » Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:18 am

DealChump wrote:That is a HELL of an offer, I would gladly like to take you up on that, however I could easily talk your ear off for a couple hours tbh (or however long you would be willing) so would you be okay with skype or something not racking up long distance minutes?


Check your private messages.

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Re: US Biglaw with Canadian Law Degree?

Postby BrainsyK » Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:05 am

DealChump wrote:That is a HELL of an offer, I would gladly like to take you up on that, however I could easily talk your ear off for a couple hours tbh (or however long you would be willing) so would you be okay with skype or something not racking up long distance minutes?


Okay. The private message doesn't really work and won't send anything. eftigmisc@outlook.com. Send contact information (Skype, Discord, Facebook, whatever you have) to that email.

DealChump

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Re: US Biglaw with Canadian Law Degree?

Postby DealChump » Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:28 pm

BrainsyK wrote:
DealChump wrote:That is a HELL of an offer, I would gladly like to take you up on that, however I could easily talk your ear off for a couple hours tbh (or however long you would be willing) so would you be okay with skype or something not racking up long distance minutes?


Okay. The private message doesn't really work and won't send anything. eftigmisc@outlook.com. Send contact information (Skype, Discord, Facebook, whatever you have) to that email.


Thank you SO much, pm went through, replied!



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