LawAbroad35

University of Sussex - Brighton

31 posts in this topic

My younger brother has just been accepted into a law program at University of Sussex Brighton for a 3 year LLB with politics (I think?). He has completed his UG at a Ontario University with decent stats and doesn't want to wait any longer. Now as a Canadian med school student, I know going abroad and coming back is tough, or "luck of the draw". I've read forum topics about the NCA exams and gaining articulating positions being difficult for UK grads, however I just want some more info before I completely block my brother from going to law in the UK. 

1) If you have connections in Canada for gaining articulating positions and summer jobs in Canada (specifically Ontario), would it make sense to go to the UK? 

2) How many NCA exams would my brother write after completing his studies in the UK? I'm guessing it would take a year plus a half year for the bar (so 4.5 years total including studies for LLB)?

3) Is there anything I'm missing in terms of UK law schools? It is a difficult path but if finances aren't an issue and gaining positions after the fact and summer experience in Ontario is possible, would it be worth trecking over the Atlantic?

Thank you for your help in advance!!

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It's articling, to start ;)

Let your brother make his own mistakes. He can post here for feedback if he wants feedback. We have some very helpful people who have done the NCA route who can chat with him. 

There is no question that if his goal is to come back to Canada to be a lawyer he should learn Canadian law. That's... kind of a no brainer. Law is jurisdictional and we have a different system from the UK or the states based on a hundred years of jurisprudence (aka common law) as well as major legislative differences eg The Charter. 

The idea that a UK law degree is any kind of shortcut is laughably uninformed. The quickest route, least expensive route, and most effective route to becoming a Canadian lawyer is to learn the law of Canada IN Canada. You want to travel and learn law then organize an exchange for a semester in your third year when you have the proper foundation. 

You want to Grow As A Person then take a gap year and just travel.

You want to be a lawyer in Canada? Stay here, learn here, get a degree here. 

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1. If he has legitimate connections that can guarantee him articles, then there is probably no issue with going abroad. Are those connections 100% legitimate?

2. The average NCA grad probably gets anywhere from 6-10 exams. Each person is assessed differently so its difficult to place a precise number here.

3.If finances are absolutely no issue, see #1. 

One thing: he completed an undergrad but is still taking a 3-year LLB? Typically, Canadians who have completed an undergrad degree have the benefit of being able to apply for a 2-year program abroad instead of the 3-year. Its not worth wasting that one year if he can be admitted into the accelerated program. Overall, the best way to do this all is study in a Canadian school; however, I suppose the UK is fine if he really does have lawyers willing to offer him articles upon return. FWIW, most of my Canadian friends and I who went abroad secured articles and are now lawyers. Still, its not something I recommend lightly. There are many horror stories for every success story. 

 

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On 7/7/2017 at 1:08 AM, Hegdis said:

It's articling, to start

Let your brother make his own mistakes. He can post here for feedback if he wants feedback. We have some very helpful people who have done the NCA route who can chat with him. 

There is no question that if his goal is to come back to Canada to be a lawyer he should learn Canadian law. That's... kind of a no brainer. Law is jurisdictional and we have a different system from the UK or the states based on a hundred years of jurisprudence (aka common law) as well as major legislative differences eg The Charter. 

The idea that a UK law degree is any kind of shortcut is laughably uninformed. The quickest route, least expensive route, and most effective route to becoming a Canadian lawyer is to learn the law of Canada IN Canada. You want to travel and learn law then organize an exchange for a semester in your third year when you have the proper foundation. 

You want to Grow As A Person then take a gap year and just travel.

You want to be a lawyer in Canada? Stay here, learn here, get a degree here. 

Articling, right haha sorry!

I've talked to him about posting on forums and gathering more information rather than going by people in the area. For meds, we have premed101 which is quite useful and i'm sure this forum is no different. I hope he posts here to get some more perspective and info. 

So basically, I see that going abroad is very risky, and learning law abroad will pose tons of challenges. I can understand that, its just difficult to explain to him. Not sure if people know but certain areas of GTA (Mississauga, etc)  produce a lot of foreign law students. Heck, our own street has 3 kids at Sussex and Birmingham so its the same argument, if they can go, why can't I?

15 hours ago, ppbrum said:

1. If he has legitimate connections that can guarantee him articles, then there is probably no issue with going abroad. Are those connections 100% legitimate?

2. The average NCA grad probably gets anywhere from 6-10 exams. Each person is assessed differently so its difficult to place a precise number here.

3.If finances are absolutely no issue, see #1. 

One thing: he completed an undergrad but is still taking a 3-year LLB? Typically, Canadians who have completed an undergrad degree have the benefit of being able to apply for a 2-year program abroad instead of the 3-year. Its not worth wasting that one year if he can be admitted into the accelerated program. Overall, the best way to do this all is study in a Canadian school; however, I suppose the UK is fine if he really does have lawyers willing to offer him articles upon return. FWIW, most of my Canadian friends and I who went abroad secured articles and are now lawyers. Still, its not something I recommend lightly. There are many horror stories for every success story. 

 

1) So I asked him to elaborate on this and his reasoning is this: The company he works for right now (marketing company I think?) has said they will offer him summer experience on the legal team and since they have connections with law firms, they can get him articling positions. Now that to me sounds like its not guaranteed per say? I think someone mentioned to me that nothing is easy or given for foreign grads since there is ample Canadian grads which get those positions first. I'm guessing that his company is just giving him false hope rather than being informative.

2) I see...so basically lots of studying.

Not sure..I need to ask about that. I didn't know that there was a direct entry for 2 year for UG, I'll gather more info and update here. 

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13 minutes ago, LawAbroad35 said:

they will offer him summer experience on the legal team and since they have connections with law firms, they can get him articling positions. Now that to me sounds like its not guaranteed per say

The standard he should be looking to achieve, before going abroad, is: A commitment from a lawyer that there will be an articling position for him upon his return, with that lawyer has his principal. If he has that, then some of the disadvantages are mitigated.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, LawAbroad35 said:

Not sure if people know but certain areas of GTA (Mississauga, etc)  produce a lot of foreign law students. Heck, our own street has 3 kids at Sussex and Birmingham so its the same argument, if they can go, why can't I?

Definitely didn't know that. Wow. It's like a cluster of people who haven't been vaccinated with practicality all getting the same disease. That's a joke btw, I just mean that seeing your friends and neighbours do something is a really bad way to determine if it's a good idea.

1 hour ago, LawAbroad35 said:

Now that to me sounds like its not guaranteed per say?

It sounds like it's about 80-90%. Generally companies are pretty good about hiring people they know or who have worked for them. However if someone with a better connection comes in, or decision-makers leave the company etc. he may be SOL. (Edit: the articling sounds much less certain, since it depends on the connections of his friends at his company. Even if those people have an "in", that doesn't necessarily mean it's enough to get him hired. Maybe a couple of interviews though.)

And I hope Hedgis isn't paying attention to this thread. He's got a pet peeve about that spelling of "per se".

Edited by kiamia
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10 hours ago, kiamia said:

 

It sounds like it's about 80-90%. Generally companies are pretty good about hiring people they know or who have worked for them. However if someone with a better connection comes in, or decision-makers leave the company etc. he may be SOL. (Edit: the articling sounds much less certain, since it depends on the connections of his friends at his company. Even if those people have an "in", that doesn't necessarily mean it's enough to get him hired. Maybe a couple of interviews though.)

I agree, the summer job opportunity sounds 80-90% solid, corporations are good about letting former employees work in their legal departments over the summer while attending law school. I know two people who were tellers at banks (just tellers at a branch somewhere), and another who was a customer service rep at a call centre of a bank, and they all worked in the legal departments of those banks for their 1L summers. 

The articling sounds super flaky to me though. If this marketing place is of significant size those places are probably large firms who do OCIs, and in my experience they are very concerned with making sure their hiring process is fair and impartial, so I don't know if a connection would get you a position. The other thing is they really don't seem to hire the Canadian/UK law degree/NCA Candidate type for articling. They do hire NCA candidates, I know an Australian who moved to Toronto because his partner is Canadian who articled at a sister firm (to the OP these are large full service firms), but I don't know about situations like your brother's. 

Long story short if your brother wants to be a lawyer in Canada and has the grades to get in he should write the LSAT and go to a Canadian law school. I think if he did that his connection at his current company would be a great asset to ensure he could work every summer. I wouldn't go to the UK and try to come back unless I had no other options. 

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Two things.

First, if your brother can't even be pro-active enough to post here on his own, or do his own research, he's probably un-helpable right now. And honestly, I've been there. There are times you just can't manage to take in even useful information from well-intentioned sources. Whatever the hell he wants to believe, he's going to believe it. Because he obviously don't want to hear anything that disagrees with him.

Second, it's good to take advantage of any connections or opportunities while you can. But the idea that some kind of second-degree connection will be your entry into a great legal career is just completely butt-fuck insane. And I'll spell out why in explicit terms. IF you buy into the idea that every graduate from law school is somehow equal - meaning any graduate from any law school - then you may be inclined to believe that when people are hiring for jobs and a friend of a friends says "hey, can you give this kid a shot - he's good people" that's going to make all the difference. It easily might make the difference if we were talking about a job in a restaurant, or as a camp counselor. But it's completely fucking delusional to imagine that all law graduates - regardless of proven ability, education, and background - are created equal. The idea that being someone's friend might make all the difference rests on an insane self-deception.

People want to believe all graduates are created equal. Of course they want to believe that. Especially students who have thus far failed to distinguish themselves, or do well on the LSAT. Of course they say "it won't matter when I get into law school." They tell themselves that. And undistinguished students repeat the lie to each other. But no one else, no one else believes it. Sure as hell not the legal marketplace.

So let's tell this student in the real version. Any articling student, or associate lawyer, is going to be entrusted with serious, serious shit. What we do is real, and important, and it can save or destroy real lives. Now when a friend of a friend says "hey, can you give this kid a shot" and you know that kid has thus far failed to distinguish themselves in any meaningful way, are you going to hire that kid and "give them a chance?" Or are you going to hire the better candidate, even if you don't know their fucking family? And the answer is, of course you hire the better candidate.

Even at this stage in my career, my clients are always, always gauging me for signs that I know what I'm doing. Because truly, their lives are in my hand. And if I were to employ someone else, I'd need to employ someone else who can pass that same scrutiny, otherwise I can't sell their services effectively. That's just the bottom line.

So, yeah. Your brother needs a reality check. And he's also presently immune to one. So ... you know, good luck.

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Posted (edited)

Quote

butt-fuck insane

What's insane about butt-fucking?

Also, OP, I agree with the others that your brother really needs to figure this out on his own. What do you mean when you say you're going to completely block your brother from going anywhere? Seriously? Let him make his own mistakes. If he decides to go off and do this, it's going to be a big fucking deal for him, and you won't be helping anyone by hiding his luggage on the morning of his flight to Gloustleicershire or whatever.

As for articling, there is NO guaranteed position anywhere in the story you recounted. There's a vague "oh ya we'll have something for you", and "oh sure I know X at Y firm and I'm sure he'll hire you" vibe, but here's the thing: Even huge law firms shut down unexpectedly. Google Heenan Blaikie. There's no guarantee that even guy who your guy knows himself will even still be working at his/her firm by the time your brother comes knocking for his articling position, let alone still be in a position to hire a student without reference to transcripts and references.

Edited by ericontario
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2 hours ago, ericontario said:

What's insane about butt-fucking?

I don't know. It's an expression. I take it as being non-judgmental or homophobic because in context, "insane" can be good or bad (as in, "insanely good" is a thing) and I'll take it as assumed by butt sex is, in any form, pretty intense.

And yeah. Believe it or not, I wrote it the first time, considered removing it because I was sure someone would call me on it (expected artsydork, actually), decided I could defend it in the terms I just did, and left it in.

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2 hours ago, Diplock said:

I don't know. It's an expression. I take it as being non-judgmental or homophobic because in context, "insane" can be good or bad (as in, "insanely good" is a thing) and I'll take it as assumed by butt sex is, in any form, pretty intense.

And yeah. Believe it or not, I wrote it the first time, considered removing it because I was sure someone would call me on it (expected artsydork, actually), decided I could defend it in the terms I just did, and left it in.

I was totally kidding. You can unclench :D

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The problem with relying on that sort of connection is that it really limits your opportunities.  When I was I. Undergrad I couldn't even have imagined doing what I do now.  

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OP

You have done enough.

Your brother has to make his own mistakes

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Unless its a family member offering, I feel VERY skeptical about any promise of work. Even if its offered by, say, a very close friend. You just never know if that friend won't have money to pay you, won't have a firm anymore, etc... Don't rely on anything. Your bro needs to change his mindset towards this whole plan, it just doesn't seem well thought. Here's why:

He wants to go abroad because he doesn't want to waste time, but he's then looking at a 3-year LLB instead of the 2-year LLB? If he won't be doing the 2-year option, at least take time to write the LSAT. The LSAT plus 3 years of domestic schooling will likely take the same time as foreign schooling plus NCA's. I can at least understand if someone decides to go foreign if they screwed up the LSAT beyond all hell, since at that point its foreign-or-bust. Fine. But it seems like your bro has some options he's unwilling to explore simply because he's anxious/nervous/whatever. Its only becoming more and more difficult to get licensed with a foreign law degree these days. 

Why not do a half-year of university to bump the grades up and write the LSAT? I'm sure his former uni would love to take more of his money for a 5-month period. 

 

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Honestly, before you guys get too judge-y, I want to point out that part of this is psychology. I've seen this in sibling relationships where, even if there aren't demands placed by the family, when one sibling does well, it raises the standard on the other(s) to not do things like "waste" time etc. Which is not to say any of this is the OP's fault - it's not - but it's probably not as easy to talk his brother out of it as it might be for an only child in the same situation. Although that being said, I don't know if an older brother in med school is the best person to drop the reality bombs here. 

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Posted (edited)

On 06/07/2017 at 10:08 PM, Hegdis said:

You want to Grow As A Person then take a gap year and just travel.

You want to be a lawyer in Canada? Stay here, learn here, get a degree here. 

I yearned/pined/ached for a CDN JD during my searches for articles and an associate position - and so will your brother -  because I thought I was being overlooked for not having the right qualifications in my UK LLB and UBC LLMCL, but I daresay that I - and this may not be true for all -  "grew more as a person" by working and living abroad, getting a degree in the country that invented common law, re-training in Canada, and marketing myself to employers and now to clients as a mature person with the skills and life-experience they need than I would have by going back to a Canadian university to have the same, old, tired Canadian truths drummed into me again and again. AND despite all the learning, and grooming, and crying, the only way I got through the door was by having a personal connection. AND then another one. And so on. Anybody who tells you the practice of  law isn't about connections is lying. AND I don't think getting an A+ average in Latin-American history or genetics or _______ Studies has anything at all to do with a person's likelihood to succeed in law school or as a lawyer AND the LSAT is a relic from a technocratic era and an insult to every aspiring lawyer. You aren't in law school until you are. Simulating it by putting passengers into seats on airplanes and cats into cages and expecting classroom-learning from other disciplines to translate into academic and career success -- that's insanity. If the kid wants to go to Brighton, let him go to Brighton. PS: I think OP is trolling us all. But if he isn't, he sure needs to brush up on his writing ability if he wants to be taken seriously as a doctor. Have a nice weekend. Your "brother" should read this: http://lawstudents.ca/forums/topic/14139-ba-gpa-51-ma-gpa-77-lsat-58-forget-canada/

 

Edited by kcraigsejong
Typo.
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I work with doctors, their writings skills are often attrocious. 

Also, it's pretty clear that GPA and LSAT score are indicative of ones ability to succeed in law school. There's tons of research into this and it's absolutely absurd to insist that it doesn't "have anything to do with" law school success. That's like arguing that high school success is not indicative of university success. There's a reason we use previous grades to determine eligibility for higher learning. 

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Posted (edited)

This link depicts about foreign legal education and how it works and whether it works.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140803144750-131203211-canadian-law-firms-hiring-foreign-law-graduates

 

I think kcraigsejog

He probably did really well in his UK LLB degree otherwise, he would not be accepted into UBC LLMCL program. It's an LLM program in UBC and probably offer limited spots for enrollment.  I guess he probably get 3.5 or above on his UK LLB degree.  He is a successful case but not a regular cases because UBC LLM is just not everyone's things. Even though LLM has less applicants but it still need good or high gpa to get in.  I think kcraigesjog make a point is that , first degree undergraduate study is sometimes indeed irrelevant to study of law degree in term of study content, But what might be relevant to law is the capability and ability to study.. I think in Asia I always saw a few guys, from other department come to laws and be my classmate, their class ranking of previous major is top 1, so they are granted privilege to access to law and study of it. Their performance or grade in law class is equally astonishing and  also score nearly perfect gpa in law with similar results. That's the moment I decide to drop some challenging courses and re-arrange instructors with more generous grading

I think Kiamia make a good point there of brother studying in medicine.  

It just always reminds me of my friend , who went to foreign med program.  His grandfather is doctor, and both his father and mother are doctors. His younger brother just got into dental school much earlier than him, sibling pressure.  I seriously just do not want to live in family like that. Everyone is so high achiever in the family and the pressure must be high. Your mom, you dad, your sibling, grandpa, your whatever , your pets, are all doctor. In a sense, material affluence is great.. One lives in a good life probably. That's just also terrible because of all those pressure from family members might drive you nut sometimes.. One does not have autonomy sometimes.

 His father just always push  his three sons, " you guys need to be doctors somehow" .. His father will always to push around, perhaps it mix of love and pressures.  His father , even said to him that his med school classmate's usually perform far worse than him in med school, now song of his classmate just got accepted into Ivy league med school in US.. I think father say something like that  as motivation, push , stimulation, tough love to my friend. It's like a cage bird without true freedom. so my  friend was basically sent almost everywhere around the world , north america, south Asia , Eastern Europe to try his luck to get in any  med school. North America is really tough and he eventually just had a spot for him, Eastern Europe .  Foreign med or legal program, require better than average financial status of family to endure those financial burden and pressure.

I don't  really highly recommend foreign routes, It certainly work out for some people. But quite a bit people just do not work out., I know a dentist sending his sons for foreign med school program, they are all graduating from foreign med program. However, things just never work out and his sons has to find something else to do with life. But my friend luckily turn out to be alright in as Asian doctor, passing  med license, he married another "doctor family", and continue the doctor dynasty.  But to continue the doctor dynasty. without autonomy..is sometimes, sad.

I think in this case, I have to agree with Kiamia, perhaps, brother is studying in med school. It just give younger brother a push or motivate to study something prestige in fast pace to offset those pressure.

 

 

Edited by akulamasusu
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3 hours ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

Also, it's pretty clear that GPA and LSAT score are indicative of ones ability to succeed in law school.

So how did I get through?

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Posted (edited)

8 minutes ago, kcraigsejong said:

So how did I get through?

Indicative doesn't mean it's a 100 percent perfect predictor of success.  Of course there'll be exceptions, both people who got in to Canadian law schools then flamed out, and those who didn't but end up at the top of the profession. 

 

But exceptions don't make the rule.

Edited by pzabbythesecond
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