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Employment?


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#1 Twoodsguy69

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 08:18 AM

I am excited to start at UNB next year, but I have been concerned as of late with the extent to which my opportunities will be limited by UNB. Do UNB grads generally find well paying jobs after graduation in and out of the Maritimes? I always figured I would remain in the Maritimes, but we all know of the ways in which life can land you somewhere you never believed you would be. If that was the case, is a good student at UNB (graduate) recognized as a highly employable person in other parts of Canada such as Ontario? 

 


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#2 QuincyWagstaff

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 08:38 AM

If you are at all concerned about portability, I would say it is a poor choice.

UNB has little in the way of a national reputation (compared to Dalhousie, for example, which has a large alumni network even on the West Coast). What reputation it does have is as a bit of a 'last chance-U'.

If you do exceptionally well, as in deans list, clerkships, etc I'm sure you would get some looks. Although, if that's the case, you should probably just transfer somewhere else after first year.

Edited by QuincyWagstaff, 10 January 2017 - 08:38 AM.


#3 conge

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 08:44 AM

Depends what you mean by "well paying job" - I'm thinking that you mean large firm/Bay Street type jobs. If you do well at UNB doors will open everywhere in Canada, but I bet big firms don't traditionally dig deep into UNB's class, and so it might be more difficult to stand out as compared to someone at an ON school. (As an illustrative example: if UNB students want to OCI with TO/Van/AB/Ottawa firms, they have to go to Dal during Dal's OCI process. )


Edited by conge, 10 January 2017 - 08:44 AM.


#4 Twoodsguy69

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 08:45 AM

If you are at all concerned about portability, I would say it is a poor choice.

UNB has little in the way of a national reputation (compared to Dalhousie, for example, which has a large alumni network even on the West Coast). What reputation it does have is as a bit of a 'last chance-U'.

If you do exceptionally well, as in deans list, clerkships, etc I'm sure you would get some looks. Although, if that's the case, you should probably just transfer somewhere else after first year.

 

Interesting. Thanks for the response Quincy. The fact that my parents live in Fredericton makes UNB so enticing because...ya know... thats saving a lot of money. In your opinion (and don't worry i won't take it to heart), is the extra debt worth a "better" school?



#5 QuincyWagstaff

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 08:48 AM

Interesting. Thanks for the response Quincy. The fact that my parents live in Fredericton makes UNB so enticing because...ya know... thats saving a lot of money. In your opinion (and don't worry i won't take it to heart), is the extra debt worth a "better" school?

 

No one can answer that for you, because it is all dependant on your goals. 

 

If you are happy to practice in and around that region for the rest of your life, then probably not. 

 

If you have ambitions to work elsewhere in Canada, probably yes. 


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#6 Twoodsguy69

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 10:21 AM

I'll take it into consideration! 



#7 Blipple

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 08:43 PM

If you are at all concerned about portability, I would say it is a poor choice.

UNB has little in the way of a national reputation (compared to Dalhousie, for example, which has a large alumni network even on the West Coast). What reputation it does have is as a bit of a 'last chance-U'.

If you do exceptionally well, as in deans list, clerkships, etc I'm sure you would get some looks. Although, if that's the case, you should probably just transfer somewhere else after first year.

 

 

This is a baseless opinion.

 

UNB places students nationally, and often has a strong reputation among the people that matter. It places fewer students nationally than Dalhousie largely because of (i) self-selection by UNB students choosing to stay in the Maritimes, and (ii) it graduates fewer students yearly than any other school in Canada. 

 

My class placed people at Stikeman, Bennett Jones, McCarthy, Gowlings, Norton Rose, BLG, Fasken, you name it - in Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, etc. I'm with one of those firms in one of those cities, for example.

 

Despite that, the best advice remains that a person should, in most cases, go to school where they want to practice. 


Edited by Blipple, 10 January 2017 - 08:51 PM.

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#8 Hon

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 07:36 AM

To add on to what Blipple has said, if you do a people search on the website of any of the major/national firms, you can find many UNB alumni as both partners and associates across the country. 



#9 Yogurt Baron

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 07:55 AM

I must have missed that you'd decided on UNB! Congratulations! I'm obviously the least qualified person here to comment on the portability of various law degrees, but based on my dealings with UNB over the years and based on my interactions with you, it feels like a nice fit in some ways.

My completely baseless observation is that it seems like it's generally safer to attend law school where you want to practice, but that for the right person who goes to the right school and is looking for the right job, any law degree can be portable. There's a school in Cleveland called Case Western Reserve University. It's ranked 68th in the United States; its admissions medians are about 3.3/159. Anyone here would tell you it's probably a bad idea to go there. But twenty years ago, a young Canadian went there, somehow parlayed it into a career doing big business/trade law stuff in England, came home, and ran for Parliament in the last election. Yesterday, Justin Trudeau appointed him as trade minister, on the grounds that he's the only person in Parliament knowledgeable enough and worldly enough to make trade deals with Donald Trump. This is not what you expect to happen when you go to Case Western Reserve University.

If you want to help seniors in Strathroy draft their wills, the safest way to get that kind of practice is by going to Western. The further afield you go from where you want to practice, the more safety you're gambling with. But it's a gamble, not a death sentence.


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#10 Twoodsguy69

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 10:09 AM

@Blipple & @Hon: Thank you both for your advice! Makes sense what you're saying and I think thats sort of the consensus huh? 

 

@YB: Thanks! Again, that makes sense! I guess it ultimately depends on how good you are at actually being a lawyer. I know I wouldn't hire a 7/10 over a 9/10 caliber employee based on what school they went to :D 



#11 Blipple

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 10:35 AM

You'll be fine at UNB if you work hard with an eye toward where you want to end up - and that's the case at any law school. The nationals don't attend OCIs at UNB because there are so few UNB students who apply to them - UNB students seem to generally aim to practice in the Maritimes, much like many Osgoode students would likely prefer to work in Toronto if they can. Recruiters at one of the nationals told me flatly in the past that they think highly of UNB students, but that they have a hard time getting them to apply.

 

It's important to sift through the things you see on a forum like this, because a lot of it comes from students who really have no experience with the schools they are offering opinions on, or have not been involved in hiring processes (I'm not suggesting that is the case with anyone who posted in this thread; just a general comment).

 

As an aside, GPAs and LSAT scores are completely irrelevant once a person is working - a person doesn't need to be a genius to practice law, despite what some students might think. It's a business, and that means the ability to build and maintain relationships, and grind out the hours to generate revenue - really grind - is the ticket.


Edited by Blipple, 11 January 2017 - 10:53 AM.


#12 conge

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 06:18 AM

I must have missed that you'd decided on UNB! Congratulations! I'm obviously the least qualified person here to comment on the portability of various law degrees, but based on my dealings with UNB over the years and based on my interactions with you, it feels like a nice fit in some ways.

My completely baseless observation is that it seems like it's generally safer to attend law school where you want to practice, but that for the right person who goes to the right school and is looking for the right job, any law degree can be portable. There's a school in Cleveland called Case Western Reserve University. It's ranked 68th in the United States; its admissions medians are about 3.3/159. Anyone here would tell you it's probably a bad idea to go there. But twenty years ago, a young Canadian went there, somehow parlayed it into a career doing big business/trade law stuff in England, came home, and ran for Parliament in the last election. Yesterday, Justin Trudeau appointed him as trade minister, on the grounds that he's the only person in Parliament knowledgeable enough and worldly enough to make trade deals with Donald Trump. This is not what you expect to happen when you go to Case Western Reserve University.

If you want to help seniors in Strathroy draft their wills, the safest way to get that kind of practice is by going to Western. The further afield you go from where you want to practice, the more safety you're gambling with. But it's a gamble, not a death sentence.

 

A little bit off topic, but I thought Champagne went to UdeMontreal for law?



#13 Yogurt Baron

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 08:05 AM

A little bit off topic, but I thought Champagne went to UdeMontreal for law?

 

Oh, I looked it up and you're right - he did an LLM at Case Western, which is why I'd been hearing he'd studied law there.



#14 Yogurt Baron

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 08:55 AM

@YB: Thanks! Again, that makes sense! I guess it ultimately depends on how good you are at actually being a lawyer. I know I wouldn't hire a 7/10 over a 9/10 caliber employee based on what school they went to :D

 

Note that this advice comes from stuff I've read on the boards over the years, not from any personal expertise, but in case you haven't read the same stuff...

Most issues of portability don't seem to be about the quality of your education; they seem to be about networking opportunities. You go to UNB, you become a 9/10, you volunteer at stuff and participate in clinics and moots and networking events and etc. while you're in law school, New Brunswick lawyers get to know you and know you're a 9/10. Chad goes to Queen's, becomes an 8/10, meets a lot of Kingston-area lawyers, they get to know he's an 8/10. If you and Chad both apply for a job with a Kingston lawyer who's known Chad for the three years he's been in law school, well, that lawyer knows Chad. He knows Chad is good. He meets you for fifteen minutes, and you seem like you might be slightly better than Chad, but you also might just be good at interviews, and once you're no longer in best-behaviour interview mode, you might be a 3/10---meanwhile, he knows Chad.

In short, it's (mostly) not about my-school-is-better-than-your-school snobbery; it's about I-know-this-guy nepotism. Demonstrating that you're a 9/10 and that the person the lawyer already knows is only a 7/10 is harder than it seems.

That said, I'm aware of at least three lawyers here who are practicing very far away from where they went to law school. I'd love to see a thread with tips from them on how to overcome this kind of thing (both for you, in general, and in case I ever bite the bullet).



#15 Blipple

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 09:26 AM

In short, it's (mostly) not about my-school-is-better-than-your-school snobbery; it's about I-know-this-guy nepotism. Demonstrating that you're a 9/10 and that the person the lawyer already knows is only a 7/10 is harder than it seems.
 

 

 

I agree with this. This is what I mean when I say above that the best advice is to go to school where you want to practice, if possible. It's just easier. It's the nonsense above about school reputations from other posters that is useless information.



#16 widget

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 07:16 PM

Interesting. Thanks for the response Quincy. The fact that my parents live in Fredericton makes UNB so enticing because...ya know... thats saving a lot of money. In your opinion (and don't worry i won't take it to heart), is the extra debt worth a "better" school?

 

To respond to this portion of your question, I become more and more convinced with each passing year - and the regular tuition increases - that the answer is no. Assuming extra debt for school prestige is a bad idea. For better market access (i.e. going to school where you want to practice), I'm not even convinced that's worthwhile anymore. It's a question of marginal returns - does the extra money spent on a different school give you a better outcome? I don't think it does. The debt follows you around and puts pressure on your decision making. Can you afford to hold out for the job you want? Should you take a job you find interesting, but that doesn't pay as well as a job you're not interested in? If you have to article for free, or have trouble finding an articling spot, how manageable are your payments? 



#17 Constant

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 08:58 PM

What is your basis for concluding that attending school where you want to practice doesn't produce a better outcome? Strikes me that one of the few consistent themes on these threads is precisely the opposite. Attend school where you want to practice. In most circumstances this will be the approach which produced the best outcome. Consider the relative cost of the tuition at the various Canadian law schools across a working career and the differences will generally be de mininimus.

#18 East

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 05:34 AM

Nobody in my graduating class at UNB that wanted to work in Ontario, Alberta, or elsewhere in Canada failed to find employment where they were looking for it. What Blipple said is spot on - UNB produces fewer graduates and of those graduates, even fewer look to leave the Maritimes. I think we had about 10 students out of a class of 80 that looked for work Ontario and west.

 

I think there's a bias created among students/potential students when they don't see many UNB grads in amongst the partners and associates in Toronto and Calgary, but Dalhousie pops up somewhat frequently. Have to remember that Dal graduates a lot more students and a big reason for that is the way they take in far more applications from across the country. UNB often looks for the Atlantic resident thing and there's just not that many people from Atlantic Canada that want to go west.



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Posted 16 January 2017 - 12:48 PM

What is your basis for concluding that attending school where you want to practice doesn't produce a better outcome? Strikes me that one of the few consistent themes on these threads is precisely the opposite. Attend school where you want to practice. In most circumstances this will be the approach which produced the best outcome. Consider the relative cost of the tuition at the various Canadian law schools across a working career and the differences will generally be de mininimus.

 

I think that it's a question of ease of access rather than one of quality. If a local law firm in Saskatoon or Calgary or Victoria is going to hire, they're probably not going to paper the country with job ads. There's also the added ease of transition into practice if you've been studying your home province's law for the last three years. 

 

When I first joined, there wasn't all that much difference in tuition, U of T notwithstanding. These days, it's skyrocketed - doubling in some cases. At the same time, the job market has gotten worse. Thus, I'm of the view that minimizing debt has bumped up the list in priorities - at least it would for me. You can average out the cost of school per year of working life, but when you start out, you're being hit with student loan payments at their highest while your income is at its lowest. Unfortunately, that's also the formative time in your career, where your choices guide what you'll be doing for the rest of your career. If $20k per year produces only a minimal gain on your desired goal versus $10k per year, is the additional $10k/yr in debt really worth it? 



#20 Constant

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 05:06 PM

Sure...if two or more law schools meet the geographic criteria pick the cheapest one if the difference in debt is a material consideration.

Edited by Constant, 16 January 2017 - 05:09 PM.