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UBC vs Dalhousie

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Hi all, I would love to hear your thoughts on my situation:

 

I’ve been accepted into UBC’s JD program, and I’ve also been accepted into Dalhousie’s JD/MBA program. 

 

I don’t have a preference on the city I wish to live in after I graduate. Although if I were go to Dalhousie, I feel like I would try to find an articling position in Vancouver or Toronto so I could stay in either BC or Ontario for the long-term. 

 

I havent heard much of Dalhousie’s JD/MBA program on this forum and would love to hear your thoughts on how good you think the program is. 

 

I am interested in corporate law and have a double-major in Accounting and Finance. I’ve lived in a very small town in Northern BC my entire life. 

 

 

Thanks guys, some pros and cons would be great!

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I'd stick with UBC if I were in your position. 

If you want to live in BC, UBC is an ideal choice. If you want to live in Ontario, either school can get you there. You already have a great background for corporate law and really don't "need" the MBA. Without a clear reason as to why you need/want the extra degree, I don't think having an MBA is worth the additional expense.  

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I went to Dal; if you go to Dal, I don't think you'll have an issue finding work in ON or BC, except for the fact that you'll need to travel for interviews - that will add expense, time, and prob. some stress. But Dal has a strong alumni presence in BC and ON and I don't think the degree will disadvantage you.

However, if I were you, I'd go to UBC. First because you'll go to law school in the jurisdiction you will prob. end up working in (Van seems more likely based on what I'm reading), and second because you'll pay extra for the MBA that you don't need. Dal's business school is fine, but in the JD/MBA combo, I think the JD is the more valuable degree, and the MBA is adding marginal value when you have a UG business degree.  If you had a BA/BSc/BEng, the MBA would have more value, IMHO. 

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How is the legal market in Vancouver though? Would career prospects be better with an MBA so there’s is a possibility of different career paths?

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I would pick UBC. I am a current UBC student and I was able to secure a position in Toronto for the Summer. Most of my friends will be working in Vancouver. It seems like the Vancouver Market is doing well since it seems like most firms are quite busy. 

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58 minutes ago, ebbfl said:

How is the legal market in Vancouver though? Would career prospects be better with an MBA so there’s is a possibility of different career paths?

If you're set on corporate law, and especially in-house positions with a possibly of switching to a business role, then it may make a difference. How much extra will the MBA cost? Am I crazy thinking that it will cost an extra $60k or something like that?

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Dalhousie would be probably 24k a year for 4 years, whereas UBC is 13k a year for 3 years. Dalhousie’s MBA also has a paid 8 month corporate residency program. UBC may have higher living expenses but the quality of education, jurisdiction, and reputation is better. 

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6 hours ago, ebbfl said:

How is the legal market in Vancouver though? Would career prospects be better with an MBA so there’s is a possibility of different career paths?

It's quite strong in Vancouver at the moment. Many of the established large firms have increased the number of summer/articling students they are hiring, and several firms from out east have expanded into Vancouver in recent years and are growing. Whether this is just a short burst of increased activity or the beginning of a longer expansion remains to be seen. 

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Alright thanks guys for your input! How big of an advantage do you think the Dalhousie JD/MBA program would have for corporate law and in-house positions?

9 hours ago, conge said:

If you're set on corporate law, and especially in-house positions with a possibly of switching to a business role, then it may make a difference. How much extra will the MBA cost? Am I crazy thinking that it will cost an extra $60k or something like that?

Also, does UBC have a good business law program? What are some other pros and cons for UBC vs Dalhousie, especially given Dal’s JD/MBA VS UBC’s JD

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Honestly it doesn't really matter all that much where you go to school, or whether you get an MBA, at least between Dal and UBC. Both are good schools and neither has a particularly strong business/MBA program reputation. Both schools will have the basic corporate law courses and that is all you need to get started.

Having the MBA may be a leg up in getting corporate/in-house positions, but I'd note, for example, that my company has 30+ lawyers spread out over multiple countries and I think maybe one has an MBA. I did a BA before going into corporate law and I've never really felt at a disadvantage.

If I were you, I'd look to costs and where you want to work as the guiding factors. In this case, that's pointing towards UBC IMHO.

Edited by conge

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UBC has Sauder School of Business, I think it is good. But I agree with Conge, most lawyers in the corporate or in house positions do not have MBAs. During my recruit, a couple classmates of mine who had an MBAs did not do well in the Vancouver and Toronto recruit. So there are a lot of factors that play a role in the recruitment process. Ultimately, if you want to work in Vancouver I would go to UBC. 

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On 12/02/2018 at 3:51 PM, Hesse said:

It's quite strong in Vancouver at the moment. Many of the established large firms have increased the number of summer/articling students they are hiring, and several firms from out east have expanded into Vancouver in recent years and are growing. Whether this is just a short burst of increased activity or the beginning of a longer expansion remains to be seen. 

Do you know what hire back rates are like for articling students? I have a friend who graduated from a BC school a few years ago, and he said only around 30% of articling students at big firms got hired on as associates. Do you know if the situation seems to have improved?

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32 minutes ago, lau said:

Do you know what hire back rates are like for articling students? I have a friend who graduated from a BC school a few years ago, and he said only around 30% of articling students at big firms got hired on as associates. Do you know if the situation seems to have improved?

30% seems incredibly low, and I would definitely raise my eyebrow at that number (although that may have just been a very bad year for firms business-wise). Unfortunately, there's no systemized tracking of Vancouver hire-back numbers like on Bay Street.

NALP does a pretty good job of keeping track of the Vancouver numbers, and from my cursory scan of the various big firms on there, the hire-back rate seems to be much, much higher than 30% (I would guess, roughly, that it's between 60-75%, but someone can feel free to do a deeper dive on the data and correct me if I'm wrong). 

 

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On 2/12/2018 at 6:43 PM, ebbfl said:

Alright thanks guys for your input! How big of an advantage do you think the Dalhousie JD/MBA program would have for corporate law and in-house positions?

Also, does UBC have a good business law program? What are some other pros and cons for UBC vs Dalhousie, especially given Dal’s JD/MBA VS UBC’s JD

Did you apply for UBC's JD/MBA program? We have a joint program. I'm told you can apply during 1L for the joint program.

Edited by Starling

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On 2/26/2018 at 11:47 AM, Hesse said:

30% seems incredibly low, and I would definitely raise my eyebrow at that number (although that may have just been a very bad year for firms business-wise). Unfortunately, there's no systemized tracking of Vancouver hire-back numbers like on Bay Street.

NALP does a pretty good job of keeping track of the Vancouver numbers, and from my cursory scan of the various big firms on there, the hire-back rate seems to be much, much higher than 30% (I would guess, roughly, that it's between 60-75%, but someone can feel free to do a deeper dive on the data and correct me if I'm wrong). 

 

So I was bored/curious (and am approaching that stage in my budding legal career where hireback is on my radar) and crunched the numbers myself. According to NALP,  in 2017 the hireback rate in Vancouver was just under 80%. 

I don't know what the margin of error is because many firms (including several large national ones) aren't listed on NALP), so I'll be conservative and say the rate is about 75%. 

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1 hour ago, Hesse said:

So I was bored/curious (and am approaching that stage in my budding legal career where hireback is on my radar) and crunched the numbers myself. According to NALP,  in 2017 the hireback rate in Vancouver was just under 80%. 

I don't know what the margin of error is because many firms (including several large national ones) aren't listed on NALP), so I'll be conservative and say the rate is about 75%. 

Thank you very much for the info--this is really good to know, and relieves my fears about the Vancouver legal market.

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If I was completely indifferent with where I want to work in the future, would UBC JD still be a better option than DAL’s JD/MBA?

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8 hours ago, ebbfl said:

If I was completely indifferent with where I want to work in the future, would UBC JD still be a better option than DAL’s JD/MBA?

I don't mean to be glib, but if you're truly indifferent about where you want to work, then I don't think it matters all that much which you choose; both are good schools with alumni in all major markets. I think it comes down to personal choice (e.g., where do you want to live and study for 3 years? is one cheaper than the other and does that matter to you? do you want the MBA, acknowledging that it likely provides very little "leg up" in getting the positions you want?)

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