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pineapple21

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pineapple21 last won the day on September 15 2019

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  1. Boston College is #31 in the 2021 US News Rankings. 91.2 percent of graduates (206) from 2018 were employed within 10 months after graduation. Of those 206 graduates, 138 were employed in law firms, 13 in clerkships, 23 in government, 7 in public interest, 18 in business, 1 in education. Of the 138 graduates in law firms, the median 25th percentile median salary was $98,750, the median was $190,000, the 75th percentile median was $190,000. https://www.bc.edu/bc-web/schools/law/careers/employment-statistics.html I agree that for most Canadians it makes little sense to go to law school in a foreign country if you want to return to practice law in Canada. If you want to work in Boston, however, a full ride at Boston College (a T30) is worth consideration even over sticker price at Harvard or Yale in this poster's opinion if the goal is to minimize debt and maximize options post-graduation. I'd much rather end up in Big Law with no debt with a degree from Boston College than in Big Law with $150,000+ in student debt with a degree on my wall from Harvard. A full ride at Boston College is a much less risky move than attending Harvard at sticker price in many respects.
  2. I left big law and started my own firm. I've got an assistant, paralegal, two associates. Contingency fee practice. Still in the USA. Got my work authorization through my firm and then left. I talk a lot of shit about Big Law but at the end of the day I worked my ass off, exceeded my hours every year, did good work, maintained good relations my colleagues and clients and otherwise did everything I could to be on the fast track for partnership. I found out what junior partners made (less than what I thought), saw that they were working long hours as service providers for clients they will do anything to please, and decided that wasn't for me. The lawyers I admired and wanted to be like in Big Law were few and far between and had two or three massive clients that I figured would take me another 10 years to develop. I also recognized that even if I pulled in one of these big clients, there's always some old partner who will muscle in and say "I did work for that client 5 years ago/my sister in law's cousin is the CFO there/I went to law school with so and so/I used to manage that client at my old firm" or some other BS that makes it hard for young people to develop a portable book of business. I thought the risk of staying in Big Law was simply too high because, if I didn't develop large corporate clients of my own, I would essentially become a disposable service partner who would be overworked, underpaid and hanging on to the "prestige" of saying I work for a big firm name that people recognized. I'm OUT and have never been happier. I feel like how much I want to make is only limited by how much I want to work. So I can pick the cases I want, settle cases I want, try cases I want, work with people I like and appreciate, and have more control over my life.
  3. I always saw Big Law as a means to an end so I was happy to get out. I still recommend it as a great starting point to make money, get experience, and have options. Some people make big law work for them, put in the 8-10 years of effort, become a junior partner, and then an equity partner. That path is still available. Just not for me. It's not accurate to categorically say that Toronto or Vancouver or Calgary big law provides a better quality of life than firms in NYC or SF or Chicago or Dallas. It all varies, by city, by practice area, by partner, etc. Edit: Agree with Deadpool that turnover is higher among the traditional big law firms. Many associates are in Big Law to cash in and GTFO. Many end up in midlaw or at AmLaw 100-250 firms. In my city, these firms start around $125K-175K and max out around $275- $300K for associates. These firms would be considered "big law" in Canada, but aren't here given that there are many massive firms that do a lot of the capital markets work. The apples to apples comparison between many Canadian big law firms should be with this tier of law firms, where the work demands are probably more similar.
  4. Rashabon can tell you, levin, that your quality of life in Big Law may vary from the person in the office next to you. Variables like the partner you work for, the associates you work with, the nature of your client base, the workflow needs of your particular practice, and whether the clients you work for pay what's due on time, play a far greater role in associate happiness than the name of the firm you work for. The best case is that you work in a steady practice area, with deadlines that can be managed effectively, for genuinely kind and happy partners, on interesting cases that are sufficiently staffed, for clients who pay and don't bitch about the bill, doing work you really don't mind doing and get some sense of accomplishment out of, with associates who are friendly, and for pay and bonuses that you think are fair and congruent with your effort. Reverse any of these variables and you can see how Big Law can also be miserable. A firm with a 1,750 hours requirement could be a far worse place to work than a firm with a 2,000 hours expectation. Hours are an important part, but these other factors are just as if not even more important.
  5. For OCI, no one will know you're a Canadian and need work authorization until they extend the offer to you. They can't ask if you're a citizen. They can ask if you have work authorization to work in the USA. As a student you do have work authorization through your student visa. Check "YES" for work authorization on the application form. Then if they extend you an offer, you work with HR to have them sign the paperwork needed to ensure your student work visa is valid (Google: Curricular Practical Training/Optional Practical Training/Pre-Completion Optional Practical Training). Most large law firms have a handful of H1Bs and people on visas so this isn't anything unusual. As you know, summer associate jobs lead to associate positions. As an associate you can continue working on your F1 work authorization for about a year after you graduate. Then you need to have the firm draft up a letter to support your TN status. Google "TN Status for Lawyers Checklist Canadian". Bring those documents to the border when you re-enter the USA, tell the truth, and the border agent will stamp your passport giving you work authorization for 3 years. It can be renewed indefinitely but after your second renewal you'll want to get something more permanent. For Non-OCI, same as above. Once you get the job, ask for an offer letter that meets the TN status requirements. Repeat steps above. Post-TN Status, at a certain point you'll want to get off TN status. If you work at a firm for 3+ years, they will be looking for ways to provide benefits to you that do not increase what they consider to be your already inflated salary. Ask for an H1B sponsorship. This leads to a green card and you can become a permanent resident with full work privileges. My experience: I worked at a firm in law school using my student work authorization. The firm was a small firm. The international student office helped me get my work authorization in order. The firm I started at signed the paperwork. I worked there. Then after I graduated, I used up the time on my student work authorization and then told them about the TN Status, then under NAFTA, and told them "all I need from you is a job offer letter and here's a draft letter." They signed and revised it. I left that firm, went to a big law firm, got the offer, and asked them if they could include certain information required for the TN status in their job offer letter. They did that, I went to the border, they stamped my passport, good to go. H1B/permanent residency after that. Edit: I will also add, for non-Big Law firms it's probably easier if you can explain what you need and how straightforward the process is. There are less policies, restrictions, bureaucratic requirements at small firms. Call up the partner who owns the firm and hired you tell him or her what you need and ask politely if they will help. Tell them it's good for three years and renewable. If they reject your request they basically don't want you to work there. If it's a close call between you and another candidate and they don't quite understand what you need, then of course you might be out of a job.
  6. I agree. I will also say that I think an incredibly underutilized option is attending law school in Canada and then trying to get a job in the United States. I always hear from Canadian lawyers that they want to practice in California or New York. Ok... take the bar exam in those states, attend some conferences, meet some people. Unlike Canadian big law firms, outside of a handful of US big law firms, I find that US firms are a lot less snobby about what school you attend (there are even plenty of tier 3s in some big law firms, but at a lower rate) and instead look at grades, fit and experience. If you're a Canadian with Canadian experience and a license in California or New York, find a firm with a cross-border practice, corporate practice that handles Canadian clients, or with a Canadian office. Talk to American lawyers on deals you're working on. Fly into a city and see if you can meet with a hiring partner. You've got to have a good value proposition for the firm about why they should hire you, but that goes for anyone trying to get a job. You've got to move the puzzle pieces in your own favor, but I think that there is certainty a path to US big law from UBC or Calgary or UA or Dalhousie outside of traditional OCI. Right now, a friend of my at a big law firm is trying to find an associate for a somewhat niche litigation practice area. If someone called from Vancouver and said hey I've got family in your city, plan to move there, etc. and practice in the same area (but under different Canadian statutes) there would be enough cross-over for that person to be considered. No different than a real estate associate from Florida trying to get a real estate job in New York. But it starts with having passed a US bar exam.
  7. Are UBC's employment statistics published anywhere online? Someone could crunch the numbers, based on comparable statistics, and do an apples to apples comparison of outcomes between UBC and Boston College or some other US law schools. The benchmark outcome for most American law schools worth attending is a $190K starting salary (US dollars). The benchmark for UBC is a starting articling salary of about $65K bumped up to $90K to $125K in the first few years (Canadian dollars). Boston College's numbers are here: https://www.bc.edu/bc-web/schools/law/careers/employment-statistics.html Your comment about returning to Canada is an important one. I don't think it makes a whole lot of sense, absent unusual circumstances, to attend an American law school if you want to practice law in Canada. If you want to carve out a career in the United States, then it makes sense. This is what it comes down to. Also, if anyone attends a US law school outside of one that places in Big Law at an exceptionally high rate, it is a big risk to take on significant debt in US dollars considering the visa issues and, depending on the particular school you attend, the employment prospects. UBC's $13K (Canadian) tuition is an absolute deal. Would I rather be unemployed with Canadian student debt in my home country rather than unemployed with no student debt and no job prospects in a foreign country? Absolutely! But I knew I wouldn't be unemployed no matter where I attended law school. I realize that many risk-adverse lawyers will consider this bet on yourself attitude very silly, but I don't. The important thing that I did is I minimized the downside of my situation (little debt), maximized the upside (attended a law school with decent job prospects) and put in the work outside the classroom to prevent abject failure (networking, extracurricular resume boosters, internships, etc.). I graduated with average grades, got an entry level job at one of the "dime a dozen" firms I mentioned earning $75K starting, then quickly lateraled into Big Law and earned close to top dollar. I made enough money in Big Law to quit (thank god) and still practice law making more money than I would as a junior income partner in Big Law.
  8. You can look at the NALP numbers for any US law school and see median reported salaries by job type. These provide a decent picture. I went to law school in the USA and a non 14. I don't know anyone in the financially ruined category that this forum thinks is so prevelent. If OP can get a full ride at Boston College that's something to consider over UBC. Look at the NALP employment statistics for Boston College. Good numbers. Far better than $65K Canadian or whatever that converts to in US dollars.
  9. Probably one-third of the lawyers I know seem genuinely happy and fulfilled and live a decent life. Probably one-third are disgruntled but generally all right and either staying in a perpetual state of dissatisfaction or have some future plan (either a financial goal or a way to get out or a plan to go to a different type of job) or hope or goal or dream to improve their quality of life. Another probably one-third seem miserable.
  10. You'd save tuition costs at UH vs UBC because you have a full ride there and not one at UBC. I know a fair share of Canadians in Houston. Many from Alberta. Some lawyers. It's a good place to live. It's a regional school, like Villanova. Agree that Phila and Houston are not NYC and SF, but still good places to live. I wasn't making assumptions about where people on this forum want to live, I was trying to show that some regional schools present good options when you have a full ride and aren't facing horrible post grad debt. Nova and UH are both fine schools. But ya if you come back to Canada you've got to pass the NCAs and get a job. Houston has an O in it.
  11. You're also arguing with me because you think I over stated what articling students make in Vancouver. $60-100k USD is like the worst job I ever heard of someone getting out of a US law school so my point is that if you have a decent work ethic you'll land one of these dime a dozen jobs and make more money than you would articling anyways. I was trying not to to be too on the nose about how humble the salaries are for lawyers in Vancouver, especially when factoring in taxes and COL.
  12. Let me put it in terms you can understand: Attend UBC Law (no scholarship) or U Houston Law (full ride). Over three years you save $14k x 3 in tuition if you accept a full ride at U Houston. Over the three years in Houston, your COL will be lower than Vancouver, even considering exchange rate. So you've saved the Vancouver COL difference. What's not accurate about this?
  13. Yeah those are generally repeated ideas on places like TLS and do have some truth to them. A full ride at schools like Villanova or U Houston, as examples, would result in a fine outcome if you're a law student with half a brain and a decent work ethic who attended the school on a full ride. Decent percentage chance at big law, $190usd starting salary, good chance at mid law ($120-160 USD starting), worst case is small firm ($60-100kusd) which is what most Vancouver firms pay articling students anyways. And if all else fails you saved on $14k tuition x 3 years plus Vancouver COL. If you really wanted you could probably do a full COL and tuition comparison with UBC and look at employment stats for UBC and any regional school (with a full ride) and come to a true numbers to numbers comparison under best, likely, and worst case scenarios.
  14. I said a US school on a full ride. It's pretty straight forward to finance an American degree through the big banks. Same process as a Canadian professional student line of credit. Some additional requirements.
  15. Everyone says HYS or bust or T14 or bust. If you can get a full ride at really good regional school in a city you would like to work, that's a win too. Last I checked UBC Law and Van City are expensive too.
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