Andrew66 wrote:Hi everyone. I'm a Canadian HS student planning on pursuing my undergraduate degree in Canada. My dream is to practise American law and so I plan on applying to the T-14 law schools in the states thereafter.
The searches I have made in this forum have made me come to the conclusion that I wont be at a disadvantage. However, I have been told on a different forum that international applicants are placed into a different pool by admissions councils. The law school class profiles of USC Gould, Virginia, and UCLA also indicate very, very few Canadian undergraduates.
Also, do American law schools look at the reputations of Canadian UG institutions? The most frequent answer I have received is 'no'. But when I looked at the class profiles I previously mentioned, the only Canadian universities that appeared were the University of Toronto and McGill.
USC and UCLA aren't T14 law schools.
The Canadians at my T14 that went to Canadian UGs went to UBC, Queens, U of T, Western Ontario, or McGill.
The visa situation could be very different in seven years so don't put all your bags in this basket. Get a marketable undergrad degree that will lead to reasonable employment because you might not want to go to law school or the path to being a US lawyer might be all but closed.
Canadians are looked at the same as US undergrads because they will have a GPA and LSAT score and those scores are what matter.
The primary reason for so few Canadians is probably because US law school costs over $300,000 at sticker price and Canadians aren't eligible for loans. Many of the Canadians in US law schools come from wealthy families.
OP, depends what you mean by "disadvantage." I'm Canadian and graduated from a T14 this year. Your GPA is evaluated just the same as American UG GPAs, unless you are from Quebec (if you're from Quebec, PM me). Because of Quebec's CEGEP system, grading is different. The reason McGill and UofT UGs are overrepresented is, in addition to those being the "top UGs" in Canada, so law schools are more familiar with them. But your UG really doesn't matter when compared to your numbers.
Cost of Attendance and federal loan ineligibility is one reason why fewer Canadians are found in US law schools, as was already pointed out. Other reasons include 1) Although eligible for Canadian student loans to study abroad, Canadian banks earmark a general maximum of 100K CAD for law school, which barely covers 1L. You either need to be wealthy or like me, lucky to have gone to a school that offered a scholarship; 2) American JDs are NOT recognized in Canada. You need to do 18 months worth of accreditation to practice in Canada with an American JD. So if you study law in the US, don't plan on going back home for a job right away. Ain't gonna happen; 3) Finally, it is not easy for a non-U.S. citizen to secure long term employment in the United States. F1 OPT lasts a year at most, after which you could theoretically get on a TN visa for 1-3 years at a time. That's assuming NAFTA isn't blown up. If, and it's a big if, your firm or employer sponsors your H1-B, then maybe you can gradually get your PR. If your employer doesn't want to sponsor you, short of marriage, you won't be able to stay and work long term.
I knew all of this going in and I'm still trying to make it here, but these are things to think about. McGill and UofT both offer JD programs that NY, MA and I believe CA recognize for bar admission. The JD is cheaper, the schools are reputed, and you can work both in the US and Canada as you please. Strategy might dictate you get your JD in Canada with little to no debt, and find your dream job in the US. Good luck!