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NYCLawyer last won the day on August 13 2018

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  1. There’s nothing you can do about it at this stage. If you improve your grades 2L and you’re applying to articles then you may have an opportunity to explain why you did so much better 2L than 1L and your 1L grades should be discounted. But you have to do better first - nobody is going to simply assume you would have done better but for your emergency. I’m not sure whether that’s something I’d put in my cover letter for articling apps either - I’m agnostic about this - but that’s down the road anyway. The good news is I know people who improved their 2L grades and had great results.
  2. I did the Toronto recruit a million years ago but I would be surprised if you don’t get a decent number of OCIs with those grades. Good work.
  3. Nobody learns anything useful in law school. All law schools are the same from that perspective. The employer risk is unknown talent pool.
  4. OP - I went to law school in Canada and now work in the US. I don’t think it’s useful to think about there being a “stigma” about attending good UK law schools. As you point out, magic circle firms and US firms with London offices will hire these graduates. And I’ve seen many of these people make their way to New York offices of large US law firms. I expect some come directly to the US although I can’t recall having interviewed anyone like that myself. The purpose of law school from an employer’s perspective is to sort talent. Law firms in Canada are roughly aware of how class rank at a given Canadian law school equates to class rank at another Canadian school. The disadvantage of going to a UK school is that employers in Canada are less experienced at judging the talent pool at UK law schools. A lot of them won’t be bothered to figure out how you ranking 34/257 at LSE equates to a top 15% student at Western. The only firms that may have any experience with LSE’s talent are going to be large, corporate firms. When you’re a Canadian law student coming to New York the only firms you have a real shot at are the large, corporate firms here. Counterintuitively, you’re MORE likely to be hired at Paul Weiss as a top 10% student at McGill than at some firm you’ve never heard of. That’s partly because Paul Weiss has an HR department that can sort out your visa but it’s also because they have interviewed McGill students over the years and come up with a view about its talent. Gym Tan Laundry LLP has not. So you’re going to be at some disadvantage versus Canadian graduates because a lot of employers will “opt out” of figuring out what your qualifications mean or, in the absence of any means of valuing them accurately, apply a haircut. By its nature coming from any path that is less well trodden is generally a disadvantage.
  5. I don’t know if it’s what “defines your character” but I agree you should always close the blinds and lock the door, even if you think it doesn’t matter - it’s never worth the risk of a very embarrassing situation.
  6. I don’t know how to rank your options but you should leave law school out of the calculations. Try to get decent finance internships during undergrad and go from there. Law school won’t add anything.
  7. Once you’re past articling it’s unlikely that anyone is going to sit down and calculate your “average” ever again. I think it makes sense to improve your grades in your one remaining semester so that you can tell a story — if need be — that you got a little bit complacent 2L year but wanted to finish strong. That’s a better story than I got my job so I threw in the towel completely. As a lateral interviewer I wouldn’t sit there and say “yes but you had two low semesters 2L year and only one good 3L semester to balance it so your overall average is x.” As others have said if you stay at your first firm for some time there’s a good chance your grades will never matter again but if you want to do the prudent thing just do well your last semester. Skipping study abroad is overkill.
  8. This has been my experience as well.
  9. A thing to keep in mind is that much of what drives hiring at any stage isn’t candidate quality or experience - it’s whether the firm has a hiring need. The most reliable way to get a NY job is through OCI because, no matter what the economy is like, large New York firms will always hire a summer class. It may be smaller or larger and that will impact the grade cutoffs they’re looking for at a given school, but they’re all going to hire a bunch of people. Once you get past that their interest in hiring you is driven by how badly they need someone, or don’t. If the deal market is gangbusters and everyone is leaving they will take laterals who they would not have touched on the OCI market. Conversely, if they feel like they overhired their summer class there’s no amount of credentials or experience that will get you hired. I had a very qualified medalist and appellate clerk reach out to me once and I tried to help get this person hired at my firm and they said “look we’re just not hiring anyone right now our incoming class for his year is already big.” My same firm would have hired people with “lesser” credentials from OCI a year before and a year later might be happy to take someone with far lesser credentials from a Canadian firm as a midlevel. If the market is crazy it’s much easier to get a job and when it dies you may be hosed no matter what. There are really no guarantees other than that.
  10. Take the job and keep looking from there.
  11. If you have any honor you disembowel yourself but you’d be surprised how many people are willing to shame themselves and their families by living on.
  12. I am poor but happy. My happiness isn’t very related to earnings. Also someday I’ll earn more.
  13. Do you have some legal status that allows you to work in the US? The biggest reason you mostly see Canadian students going to large firms is they’re the only ones with the infrastructure and resources to apply for/sponsor visas. If you don’t have legal status this is going to be your biggest obstacle (assuming you get admitted to the bar).
  14. You will get into all of the Canadian schools and you will get into H. You have a strong chance of getting into S. There are never guarantees with Y but you are as much in the running as anyone. There is a site called lawschoolnumbers.com that’s useful for estimating your chances if you want to look into it further. At least it used to be good 10 years ago. You should apply to all of the above and not worry overly about what to do until you’ve been admitted and learn what financial aid package you get from the US schools. If you know for sure you want to practice in the US I think it’s a given you should go to HYS. That will guarantee you can get a job down here. Unless you finish at the top of your class in Canada it can be very hard to move down here, and even then you are limited to a few states. You obviously stand a better chance than most at doing well in law school but there are never any guarantees. Graduating in the top part of your class at HYS will open doors coming out of law school in the US and internationally that graduating at the top of your class in Canada will not: US clerkships, some elite US firms, academia. All things being equal going to HYS is always an advantage in the US and internationally over Canadian schools but all things are never equal. Cravath will take a top percentile Toronto/Osgoode/McGill student over a bottom half Harvard student. And everyone will hire a fourth year M&A associate from Cravath who went to Osgoode over a fourth year M&A associate from an also-ran firm even if that student went to Harvard. If you want to stay in Canada I think it’s more complicated. It’s hard to say that HYS is ever a “disadvantage” even in Canada but depending on how much extra debt you have to take on it may not confer enough advantage that it’s worth it to you. You’ll always be able to say you went to HYS, and that’s something. But there are no doors in Canada open only or preferentially to HYS grads and you will have to jump through a bunch of hoops (google the NCA requirements) to be admitted to the bar in Canada with a US law degree. And you won’t have as much of a local network.
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