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haseeb432

Advice for UK student moving to Canada?(not a Canadian)

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Hey everyone, thanks for reading my post!

I am a UK law student who was born in the UK, so I'm not going to UK for school and an easier degree. I want to move to Canada to practice as my girl and family are over there. I've seen a lot of discussion on the topic of Canadian students leaving, and the backlash thereof. 

My main question would be, what can I do to give myself a better opportunity when I move to Canada? I'm aware of the NCA process and the articling. I'm also aware that articling is gonna be difficult. Apart from all that I was hoping for some advice, thank you!

 

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What law school? If you're at Oxbridge or somewhere with similar clout it's much less trouble than usual.

 

You also have the fact that you're actually British going for you. Unless of course you're born there, grew up here and went to undergrad here then went over - because then it still looks like you just couldn't cut it here so you took a back door (not passing judgement; just how it is).

 

I would emphasize that you're British during your search for articles then employment, so you don't get as much as a label as regular UK grads.

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Yeah born and raised here. Going to University of Surrey. Okay makes sense, I see a lot of hate for UK grads, but I figured it was towards the cop-outs.

I've read that articling is almost impossible

 

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Do a JD at Toronto or a professional LLM instead of the NCA exams to build your network and knowledge of CDN law -- if you're made of money or willing to take on loans.

And, with deference to your dry British wit, stop calling people cop-outs: there are 8 million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them:

http://lawstudents.ca/forums/topic/14139-ba-gpa-51-ma-gpa-77-lsat-58-forget-canada/

 

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19 minutes ago, kcraigsejong said:

Do a JD at Toronto or a professional LLM instead of the NCA exams to build your network and knowledge of CDN law -- if you're made of money or willing to take on loans.

And, with deference to your dry British wit, stop calling people cop-outs: there are 8 million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them:

http://lawstudents.ca/forums/topic/14139-ba-gpa-51-ma-gpa-77-lsat-58-forget-canada/

 

I'm confused. You're linking to a thread that describes your experience as someone who did not have the grades or LSAT score to get into any Canadian schools, and had to settle by going to the UK. I don't understand how this is a contradiction of the OP's notion that going to the UK is a cop out. If anything, it seems to give credence to the notion. 

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It's not a cop-out, it's a cop-on. Sometimes you've just gotta start going to law school. Any law school. Glad I did.

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10 minutes ago, kcraigsejong said:

Do a JD at Toronto or a professional LLM instead of the NCA exams to build your network and knowledge of CDN law -- if you're made of money or willing to take on loans.

And, with deference to your dry British wit, stop calling people cop-outs: there are 8 million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them:

http://lawstudents.ca/forums/topic/14139-ba-gpa-51-ma-gpa-77-lsat-58-forget-canada/

 

Wow. What a ride. Hats off to you lol. 

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12 hours ago, haseeb432 said:

Yeah born and raised here. Going to University of Surrey. Okay makes sense, I see a lot of hate for UK grads, but I figured it was towards the cop-outs.

I've read that articling is almost impossible

 

Actually, if you are 22 and just have your one bachelor degree, I would also recommend writing the lsat and applying to Canadian law schools like Kcraig said. I would check to make sure what your tuition situation would be like but as far as I know there are at least some Canadian law schools who charge the same tuition for domestic and international students.

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I don't have the knowledge or experience of the process that some of the above posters do. But I am concerned about the idea that you should apply to Canadian law schools to get another degree. Even assuming you get in.

Let's say (I could be wrong) that the NCA + articling process is 2 years and $X, versus the Canadian law school + articling is 4 years (assuming very efficient about writing LSAT and applying and getting in) and $Y. Is it worth the extra two years and money to be more employable? Would it be better to do e.g. an LLM (aimed at foreign law grads or otherwise) as has also been suggested? I don't know. But I wouldn't be so sanguine about just assuming you'd get into law school and incur significant additional debt (and I'm assuming you're eligible for loans?).

Also, obviously, you need to figure out the immigration situation also, maybe being a student here gives options that make that worthwhile, again I don't know. But it's all part of the calculation.

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Posted (edited)

Honestly - you’ll be fine. Just go through the NCA. Articling positions are hard to find, not impossible.

I have a friend that went to the UK for 3 years right after high school to do his law degree. I wish I did the same. He Came back at the age of 21 and he was fully employed at the age of 23. Meanwhile most Canadians graduating from law school are usually 26-27.

I mean sure...if you do undergrad here in Canada and then leave to the UK/US/AUST for law school, then you’re at a disadvantage compared to someone that obtained their law degree here in Canada. But if you’re anywhere from 21-23 with a UK law degree..then you’re way ahead of even the finest to be lawyers here...because even the smartest students that got into law school faster than most are probably just graduating at the age of 25. And remember...those are the “superstars."

 

Edited by Wod14

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Wod14 said:

Honestly - you’ll be fine. Just go through the NCA. Articling positions are hard to find, not impossible.

I have a friend that went to the UK for 3 years right after high school to do his law degree. I wish I did the same. He Came back at the age of 21 and he was fully employed at the age of 23. Meanwhile most Canadians graduating from law school are usually 26-27.

I mean sure...if you do undergrad here in Canada and then leave to the UK/US/AUST for law school, then you’re at a disadvantage compared to someone that obtained their law degree here in Canada. But if you’re anywhere from 21-23 with a UK law degree..then you’re way ahead of even the finest to be lawyers here...because even the smartest students that got into law school faster than most are probably just graduating at the age of 25. And remember...those are the “superstars."

 

I wouldn't be so quick to say that. While it worked out for your friend, it doesn't necessarily mean that it would work for everyone else that studied their law degree right after high school. 

There are too many people (mainly those that plan to study abroad) that seem to think that it is a straightforward route from high school to articling. This is definitely not the case; people are misled and fed into what they think is a really simple solution. It is much harder to find an articling position as a foreign-trained graduate, let alone one that has only finished at the age of 21. The only time when it is "easier" is when you have family or personal connections that promised you an articling position by the time you completed your NCA exams. 

This is not a competition to see who can get articling at the earliest age. Sure, there are people that have managed through, but there are certainly many restrictions and drawbacks that come along with graduating with a foreign degree. This would not end up well for those that have their dreams set on Bay Street. It's much more difficult than what you are portraying it to be. 

Edited by timeisticking

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, timeisticking said:

I wouldn't be so quick to say that. While it worked out for your friend, it doesn't necessarily mean that it would work for everyone else that studied their law degree right after high school. 

There are too many people (mainly those that plan to study abroad) that seem to think that it is a straightforward route from high school to articling. This is definitely not the case; people are misled and fed into what they think is a really simple solution. It is much harder to find an articling position as a foreign-trained graduate, let alone one that has only finished at the age of 21. The only time when it is "easier" is when you have family or personal connections that promised you an articling position by the time you completed your NCA exams. 

This is not a competition to see who can get articling at the earliest age. Sure, there are people that have managed through, but there are certainly many restrictions and drawbacks that come along with graduating with a foreign degree. This would not end up well for those that have their dreams set on Bay Street. It's much more difficult than what you are portraying it to be. 

 

You’re absolutely right. It’s just that too often people on this board overly exaggerate the obstacles of transferring a foreign degree. I figured I post about someone that ended up doing very well with a UK degree.

Every foreign degree is different, but those from Aust/UK in particular are very close to the Canadian system. I personally had a GPA of 3.4 with a 160 LSAT. I live in Ontario, but did not get accepted to any schools here. I did however get accepted to 2  Canadian schools outside Ontario,  but instead I chose to go to Australia for my JD since I have family there. Why spend 3 years of my life in a cold and shitty province ( no offence to Sasketwchan) all alone, while I could do it in a beautiful country like Australia, with family there. Plus there is always the experience of learning an entire new culture.

I am finishing my last year, have an overall average of B and I am not in the least even worried about the NCA process. But then again, my goal was never to go into corporate law on Bay Street. At the end, itall comes down to the individual’s goals and their given circumstance. I guess my post was meant to clarify that just because someone has a forein degree it doesn’t automatically mean that they aren’t as good as canadian law grads or at a great disadvantage. 

Edited by Wod14

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My suggestion to you...  Get yourself qualified as a solicitor or barrister in the UK before moving to another country.  You will be looked at very unfavourably when you try to look for an articling position in Canada with just a UK law degree (unless the degree is from Oxbridge).  On the other hand, a qualified lawyer from the UK with couple years of experience in an area such as international tax or global finance will be marketable in all the major financial hubs on planet earth, including Toronto.  

There is really no point to put yourself in a disadvantaged position in a country that you are not familiar with.

Good luck.

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