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Is Manitoba a good school for someone who wants to Practice in Ontario?

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I'm in my last year and I'm looking at a 3.1 cGPA and a ~3.2 L2 when it's all said and done. I've run the numbers and I think if ever I were to get into an Ontario school I'd need a 170+ maybe. But I'm being dragged down by a few bad marks, and getting into Manitoba seems like a reasonable goal. However, I've talked to some people who said going to U of M is only good for those who want to practice in Manitoba. Like it would be really hard to get a job in Ontario afterwards. How true is this?

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Rule of thumb, go to school in or near the market you want to practice in.


Yes, it is possible to hop markets to somewhere else, but it is very hard to get your foot in the door. You essentially will be fighting at a disadvantage trying to get the attention of firms that likely already heavily recruit from in-province and meet potential hires all the time at events, receptions, OCIs. Ontario has no shortage of law students.


If you want to do an uphill battle, by all means, it is not impossible. But it is highly statistically unlikely.


The only schools that I can think of that I've heard regularly place outside their market are Calgary (lots of BC students there who return home) and McGill (lots of anglos who go to Ontario).

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I wouldn't say it's "highly" unlikely to go from U of M to work in Ontario.


It depends on what you mean by working in Ontario. If you mean practising anywhere in Ontario doing any kind of law, you have a very decent shot at getting some kind of work somewhere in that province.


If you mean getting a coveted summer student position on Bay Street doing largely business law, that's different.

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There isn't a huge amount of interest in jobs outside of Winnipeg among U of M law students and legal recruiting at the U of M differs from what seems to be the norm at other law schools. We have OCIs but the only firms that participate are from Calgary. The big Winnipeg firms hold wine and cheese type events throughout the year in lieu of participating in OCIs. Winnipeg is kind of insular and this extends to the law school; to the extent that there's much interest in getting jobs outside of Manitoba that interest is mostly in SK or AB rather than Ontario. That being true, I don't think it would be all that difficult to get a job *anywhere* in Ontario coming from U of M and your chances at landing a job will likely vary wildly according to specific location and desired practice area. A large number of lawyers in northwestern Ontario (maybe a plurality) are U of M grads, so if you wanted to be a family lawyer in Kenora, you're probably set going to U of M. As Hegdis pointed out, if you want to do corporate law at a national firm in Toronto, then you're probably in for more of an uphill battle (again, not impossible, however).

Edited by 2345434

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