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About Livinginamerica

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  1. What are examples of "strong" ECs?

    I'm somewhere in between both of you, as I think it did help me to aim to do things that improved my resume in undergrad, whereas other people just partied and slacked around. That being said, the best ECs that I ended up doing were the ones that were spontaneous and unplanned. I kind of agree with what you say, plan to do something interesting in your undergrad, but also have a degree of spontaneity about it.
  2. Waitlisted at U of T 2018

    I will say this. I am someone who is really close with my parents, and I certainly discussed law school applications with them, but at this age, ie, your early to mid 20s, your parents should not be running your law school application process, you should. My parents were not telling me where to apply, or posting on forums for me, and frankly that is inappropriate at this age or stage of your life. Really think about what some of the life skills competencies of a 22 year old person ought to be. At the end of the day, this is your (or your child's) decision, and you (or they) need to be in control. It is much healthier for them in the long run.
  3. 1L Grades for NY jobs

    This is good advice. The range of firms Canadians are applying to is very limited, and these firms are often the most grade selective. Canadian students determined to be in NYC should seek out firms with practice areas where they have relevant experience, less selective firms with demand, etc.
  4. 1L Grades for NY jobs

    Much as it surprises me that people turn down HYS for U of T, it also surprises me that people would turn down Mcgill for U of T (barring the usual caveats of personal reasons and whatnot). Nonetheless, I know multiple people who have done either (and even both).
  5. 1L Grades for NY jobs

    I actually think this is a very valuable discussion for Canadian students interested in hitting NYC from a Canadian school. The traditional wisdom has always been that U of T is the best bet for those students, but I actually think there is a decent argument that Mcgill may be the better option for such folks. Mcgill has traditional relationships with the Ivy League in America, a large US undergrad population, and significant US law school population, brings a unique skillset to the law firms (in that it provides a bilingual and bijuridical expertise), and is a known quantity in America. I certainly get the feeling that there are many NY firms that would dig deep into the Mcgill class for the right candidate, I honestly feel the question is more of interest than it is of U of T being better than Mcgill for this purpose.
  6. 1L Grades for NY jobs

    I should also note that I am going into a practice area where the bilingual and bijuridical nature of the Mcgill degree may be viewed as particularly valuable, so this would also skew my impression a little.
  7. 1L Grades for NY jobs

    Fair enough, I'm basing most of what I am saying on various chatter that I have picked up on during the process. It does seem that some NY firms would hire more Mcgill grads if given the opportunity, but it's often difficult to tell how much this kind of chatter and discussion actually translates into the process itself. I would also note that I have noticed that a lot of Mcgill grads have had a great deal of success in NY recruiting post clerkship, usually after a COA or SCC clerkship, which can be valued by the firms down here.
  8. 1L Grades for NY jobs

    It actually wouldn't surprise me if the inverse was true, though. Mcgill is very highly regarded down here, and their grads are viewed as often bringing unique skillsets. I feel the main reason why more U of T grads are hired in NY than Mcgill grads is a question of interest, as most Mcgill grads are more interested in staying in Canada than going to NY, whereas the inverse is often true at U of T. I have always felt Mcgill is the better regarded school here though, it's viewed as very much akin to the T14 schools (due to traditional relations with the Ivy League), whereas U of T is viewed as slightly outside that bracket. Overall, the idea of NY firms digging deeper into Mcgill wouldn't surprise me, Americans just have more experience with Mcgill generally.
  9. U of T vs top US

    No question, I certainly acknowledge that the socio-economic, and, in many cases, racial sorting mechanism in America is at the law school admissions stage. There has been research done suggesting that HLS's student body is disproportionately and shockingly wealthy (in terms of family background) compared to the average American family. The poor minorities in the US are too often forced to go to worse law schools. This is because the LSAT can also be a barometer of privilege. I would not have been able to score in the 170s of the LSAT if I did not have the privilege of having my parents support me financially for a summer, such that I did not have to work and could devote myself full time to purchasing a thousand dollars worth of LSAT materials, and studying them rigorously. The single parent, the working poor, the underprivileged minority, don't have this ability to study for the test in the same way, or even afford its materials. And so they will be shut out of biglaw in the US in the same way as they might be in Canada, because they were forced to go to a lower ranked law school that biglaw won't even look at. But for those of us who are minorities and maybe aren't economically privileged, getting into HYS can be a way of beating a system that is rigged against us, by getting into a school that allows us access to elite opportunities. You can't beat the system in the same way in Canada. But I absolutely acknowledge that race and class plays into law school admissions standards, because it plays into LSAT scores. These poor minorities will then often graduate from scam law schools unemployed or underemployed, unable to feed their families or make a decent living for themselves (there was actually a case of student loans being withdrawn from students at Charlotte Law School, which meant that the school had to set up a food bank to ensure students could continue to pay for basic necessities). This is not the case in Canada, where one can still make a sustainable living from a smaller legal practice, or opening one's own firm. We should remember, always, that the success of HYS and T14 students is built off the backs of a system that is still fundamentally oppressive to the vast majority of American law school students. I think someone said on this forum previously, the American system is the one where the winners win bigger because the losers lose harder. The top 1-5% of American law school admits benefit from the shitty system which is given to the 95-99% of American law school students who don't go to the T14. In that sense Canada can be more equitable, because at least the talented kid from Windsor still has a chance of making Bay Street. The talented kid from Cooley would have his application tossed in NYC.
  10. U of T vs top US

    Providence's first point regarding fit would also be my own point regarding it. I'm sorry @maximumbob, but your comment shows a shocking lack of awareness regarding implicit racial and class bias. What you might think is simply fitting in or an innocuous idea of "we would like to work with this person" is replete with class and racial implications. My hockey example was only being used to illustrate the point that a poor, minority person simply does not have, because they cannot have, the same life experiences as an upper middle class white male. Therefore, when that upper middle class white male looks for who will "fit" in his firm, he is going to find he shares little in common with the downtrodden minority, who did not have the money, or the integration needed to enjoy the same things, and have the same experiences as he did. That you might be blind to this and are involved in the hiring process for Canadian firms, to me, kind of illustrates my point regarding implicit bias. To Providence's other point, you're quite right that the kind of public interest people shoot for out of Harvard is often quite different than the kind of public interest normally seen out of a Canadian school, in that the public interest careers are usually unicorn public interest fellowships, often with a strong international bent. This is particularly true for public interest minded Canadians. It is notable, however, that there are many practice areas at HYS that seem almost completely neglected among the student body. For example, in the nearly two years I have been here, I have not heard of a single HLS educated family lawyer (apart from maybe the legal aid context, which occasionally might handle family issues). There are definitely a few folks who go into community legal services and indigent criminal defence each year, but these are invariably American citizens. For Canadians wanting to do that kind of work, it can often be very difficult to return to your community in Canada with an HYS degree, and be taken seriously for community based public interest work. I can definitely see those employers preferring someone with more local clinical experience in the legal aid/family/criminal realm over a kid coming in from HYS, whose devotion to the cause may be doubted for obvious reasons, and who has not been exposed to Canadian legal issues or statutory law in the same way. So, I think for public interest careers, there are definitely tradeoffs between HYS and staying in Canada. If you want international public interest, or maybe something like the ACLU or appellate level public interest work, HYS remains the better choice I think. If you want more community level public interest, such as legal aid/family/non white collar criminal defence, I would recommend a cheap Canadian school (hopefully someone who can get into HYS is able to get full or near full scholarship offers from a Canadian school, I know I certainly did)
  11. U of T vs top US

    Don't Canadian firms hire a great deal based on "fit"? To me, that is often sugarcoating prejudicial hiring, whether we like it or not. I have also had experience interacting with Canadian and American firm lawyers, and the Canadians always seemed a little more "fratty" and country-clubbish than the Americans did (not that the Americans are much better, but strivery and gunnerish seemed more apposite for them). Forcing people to talk about sport and hockey in interviews seems very elitist as well. Do you know how expensive it is to buy hockey equipment, and how many poor kids are kept from that experience due to familial wealth? And to then ask that same poor kid about his experiences with hockey? If your going to prefer the kid who played (or plays) hockey recreationally to one who doesn't, at least recognise the class and racial implications of that preference.
  12. U of T vs top US

    Providence, I have the utmost respect for you and what you have accomplished, but you have said yourself here, and in other places, that you made the decision to attend U of T law over Harvard/Yale law for very personal/relationship reasons that had little to do with the merits of the two schools, and more to do with your particular familial needs. Are you really saying that others should use your experience to make a decision between these two schools? I understand if your point is merely that everyone has their own struggles and issues going on in life, and so we shouldn't judge anyone who may make one choice or another. But to make those circumstances broadly applicable seems unwise and inapposite to me.
  13. U of T vs top US

    I don't actually necessarily disagree with this point. I have always said, and continue to acknowledge, that the unhappiest Canadians at Harvard Law are the ones who wanted to pursue non-white collar criminal defence, family law, legal aid, and other such community oriented legal ventures. They have often said the same thing, actually, that they wish they were in Canada building the relevant networks, as opposed to here at Harvard, and, in a sense, being driven into biglaw (or maybe large scale NGO/public interest work, often with an international bent). If your goal is to really work to make a difference in your local community (which is a commendable ambition) you are always better placed to make that difference by being in that local community. But that being said, if I had had the wherewithal, capability, and desire to pursue that kind of public interest legal work, I would certainly have never picked the highest tuition law school in Canada to pursue it. I would picked a place like Mcgill, Ottawa, UBC, Queens, etc. where I knew I would not be saddled with such debt as to prevent me pursuing those aspirations.
  14. U of T vs top US

    I can certainly say, anecdotally, that I don't know of a single person who wanted biglaw at Harvard and didn't get it. Is it possible that they exist? Sure. I imagine someone with the level of social ineptness that you are describing is probably not going to be well known by his or her classmates, so it's possibly that a very small number of them do exist. But I have known some extremely akward and inept people who have found biglaw jobs at Harvard that pay market. These opportunities are often at less prestigious firms that just need warm bodies and don't care if you're super weird, but they are still making 180k, and still have the same exit options as other biglawyers. If they can do it, surely a relatively normal person is assured biglaw at Harvard? And they most certainly are. For all intents and purposes, unless you are so akward you are basically known as a serial axe murderer, Harvard offers a guarantee of biglaw for all those who want it.
  15. U of T vs top US

    But, much like you said earlier, not everyone wants biglaw out of HYS, which is quite true. The tuition may be harder to justify for public interest careers, I'll grant that. I've always said U of T is not a good idea for those careers either, folks should be looking to cheaper schools like Mcgill, UBC, and Queens for those. Honestly, if I had a public interest bent (and the requisite French skill), I would probably have picked Mcgill over Harvard, but that decision could go either way.