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splitterfromhell

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Practicing in Canada with a US J.D.

Post by splitterfromhell » Fri Jan 29, 2016 1:23 pm

I'm going to law school in the States but am interested in practicing in Canada one day potentially. Does a J.D. help in any way? How does one go from an American J.D. to practicing in Canada?

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Aeon

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Re: Practicing in Canada with a J.D.

Post by Aeon » Fri Jan 29, 2016 1:31 pm

splitterfromhell wrote:I'm going to law school in the States but am interested in practicing in Canada one day potentially. Does a J.D. help in any way? How does one go from an American J.D. to practicing in Canada?
Some Canadian law schools, like U of T, award the J.D., so the degree is well known there. Unless your American degree is from one of the top schools, I don't think that it will give you much of an advantage, but it might not handicap you either. But it really depends on your particular circumstances.

Generally, being licensed to practice law in Canada with an American degree isn't terribly difficult. For example, in Ontario, you have to take some exams, and if you've been practicing for a certain period of time, they can waive the articling requirement.

You should take a look at http://www.lawstudents.ca, they'll probably be more knowledgeable about these sorts of things.

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Re: Practicing in Canada with a US J.D.

Post by Phil Brooks » Fri Jan 29, 2016 1:46 pm

splitterfromhell wrote:I'm going to law school in the States but am interested in practicing in Canada one day potentially. Does a J.D. help in any way? How does one go from an American J.D. to practicing in Canada?
I am Canadian. I am sorry, but it is very difficult to practice law in Canada with any foreign law degree. All foreign-trained lawyers need to go through many hurdles: 1) Pass exams that render your foreign law degree "equivalent" to a Canadian law one (the "NCA" exams); 2) Find a firm to give you a one-year Articling Position (and, like OCI in the US, the lion's share of these go to students at Canadian law schools during OCI); and 3) Pass the Canadian bar.

This process can take a few years. And there is a big opportunity cost of foregoing American big-law income for these years (Articling positions pay about $50k). See this forum for more information: http://lawstudents.ca/forums/forum/18-u ... n-schools/

The only exception for American-trained lawyers is that there are a handful of American law firms that have offices in Toronto and are open to American-trained lawyers, but these offices do a very narrow slice of capital markets work: helping Canadian entities issue debt and equity offerings in the United States.

If you come from HYS, your life might be a little easier. Even schools like NYU, Penn aren't that well recognized here.

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splitterfromhell

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Re: Practicing in Canada with a US J.D.

Post by splitterfromhell » Fri Jan 29, 2016 1:52 pm

Phil Brooks wrote:
splitterfromhell wrote:I'm going to law school in the States but am interested in practicing in Canada one day potentially. Does a J.D. help in any way? How does one go from an American J.D. to practicing in Canada?
I am Canadian. I am sorry, but it is very difficult to practice law in Canada with any foreign law degree. All foreign-trained lawyers need to go through many hurdles: 1) Pass exams that render your foreign law degree "equivalent" to a Canadian law one (the "NCA" exams); 2) Find a firm to give you a one-year Articling Position (and, like OCI in the US, the lion's share of these go to students at Canadian law schools during OCI); and 3) Pass the Canadian bar.

This process can take a few years. And there is a big opportunity cost of foregoing American big-law income for these years (Articling positions pay about $50k). See this forum for more information: http://lawstudents.ca/forums/forum/18-u ... n-schools/

The only exception for American-trained lawyers is that there are a handful of American law firms that have offices in Toronto and are open to American-trained lawyers, but these offices do a very narrow slice of capital markets work: helping Canadian entities issue debt and equity offerings in the United States.

If you come from HYS, your life might be a little easier. Even schools like NYU, Penn aren't that well recognized here.
This is true even if I were to get an LLM from a Canadian school?

Phil Brooks

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Re: Practicing in Canada with a US J.D.

Post by Phil Brooks » Fri Jan 29, 2016 2:04 pm

splitterfromhell wrote:
Phil Brooks wrote:
splitterfromhell wrote:I'm going to law school in the States but am interested in practicing in Canada one day potentially. Does a J.D. help in any way? How does one go from an American J.D. to practicing in Canada?
I am Canadian. I am sorry, but it is very difficult to practice law in Canada with any foreign law degree. All foreign-trained lawyers need to go through many hurdles: 1) Pass exams that render your foreign law degree "equivalent" to a Canadian law one (the "NCA" exams); 2) Find a firm to give you a one-year Articling Position (and, like OCI in the US, the lion's share of these go to students at Canadian law schools during OCI); and 3) Pass the Canadian bar.

This process can take a few years. And there is a big opportunity cost of foregoing American big-law income for these years (Articling positions pay about $50k). See this forum for more information: http://lawstudents.ca/forums/forum/18-u ... n-schools/

The only exception for American-trained lawyers is that there are a handful of American law firms that have offices in Toronto and are open to American-trained lawyers, but these offices do a very narrow slice of capital markets work: helping Canadian entities issue debt and equity offerings in the United States.

If you come from HYS, your life might be a little easier. Even schools like NYU, Penn aren't that well recognized here.
This is true even if I were to get an LLM from a Canadian school?
The LLM gets rid of the first requirement (NCA Exams). You still need to find an articling position and take the Canadian bar. And I would imagine that LLMs are looked at as scornfully by Canadian employers as they are looked at by American employers. And LLMs are expensive. It is less costly in time and in dollars just to study for the NCA Exams yourself.

If you want to practice law in Canada, go to a Canadian law school.s

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UnicornHunter

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Re: Practicing in Canada with a US J.D.

Post by UnicornHunter » Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:03 pm

Bumping this thread. Are there American firms with Canadian offices I could take refuge in for the next four years?

Auxilio

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Re: Practicing in Canada with a US J.D.

Post by Auxilio » Fri Jul 29, 2016 3:18 pm

UnicornHunter wrote:Bumping this thread. Are there American firms with Canadian offices I could take refuge in for the next four years?
This seems like a joke, but in case it is not there are very few offices of any size in Canada, and most of them people lateral into.

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UnicornHunter

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Re: Practicing in Canada with a US J.D.

Post by UnicornHunter » Fri Jul 29, 2016 3:30 pm

Auxilio wrote:
UnicornHunter wrote:Bumping this thread. Are there American firms with Canadian offices I could take refuge in for the next four years?
This seems like a joke, but in case it is not there are very few offices of any size in Canada, and most of them people lateral into.
It was semi serious. Like I actually would love to practice in Canada and learn more about it but it seems like a difficult road.

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