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timeisticking

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  1. It really doesn't make a difference whether you take the NCA challenge exams or do the LLM. Either way, you will have to be assessed by the NCA. Many people opt to take the NCA exams because it is much cheaper to take the challenge exams. The GPLLM is extremely expensive and it does not in any way guarantee you an articling position upon completion of your degree. Taking the NCA exams is nowhere as expensive as doing the GPLLM program. You probably might have better access to different activities such as networking events, workshops, and potentially legal volunteer opportunities, but that is the most you will get in terms of employability with the LLM degree. At the end of the day, it depends on your initiative and level of motivation to go out and find a way to secure a position.
  2. I heard of some people taking the online degree with University of London and they managed to be called to the bar. However, it took them much longer to get through the process. They had to take two different degrees from OsgoodePD to complete the NCA requirement, which took 2 years. Only after that could they apply for the licensing process. According to some people that have taken the online course, they managed to juggle in some time to complete it while working. Note that the NCA policies are subject to constant changes. It's possible that they might change the requirements while you are studying your degree. It has happened before. Based on this alone, I wouldn't suggest taking this route unless you accept the risk.
  3. Yes, I mentioned that in my original response to the OP as well. I'm not too sure if they still offer this option, but I believe they allowed the Professional LLM students to participate in the OCI process for summer student positions, which later translated to articling positions (provided that they qualified).
  4. I think it's worthwhile to consider starting over if you really feel that you can get the grades to apply for the JD program. If you believe this might not be possible, then I would suggest you to do the 3-year LLB program in the UK. I would not recommend doing the online LLB program. This will only lead to further complications down the road. Although it is possible to move onto the NCA process, it will mean spending an extra year to obtain your certificate of qualification, which will delay your plans by one year. In addition, you will have to pay a hefty sum for two additional years of studies.
  5. Yes, I did not refute that. My point goes back to the lack of Canadian legal experience and how that would affect the OP's chances of getting an articling position, even if he/she chooses to pursue an LLM degree.
  6. Without legal experience, it's going to be much more difficult for you when searching for an articling position. Should you choose to pursue the LLM route, do note that it will be an arduous process (particularly for an international student). You should be able to get a post-graduate work permit for a year to allow you to do a job search. Once that golden period is over, it will be extremely difficult to continue on. Many people have given up because of the inability to secure an articling position. Some have even withdrawn from the licensing process and went back to their respective countries. Choose wisely and make sure that you make the most of your time to network with local lawyers to ensure that you get an articling position after you finish your NCA exams.
  7. I'm not sure what your situation is, but I do think it would help if you had some legal experience beforehand. Otherwise, it would be somewhat difficult to enter the legal market in Canada without a JD. If this is your case, then I would say it's best to do a JD degree in Canada to help build your connections. On the other hand, if you already have some experience (a few years) under your belt, then I would probably suggest choosing the LLM, given that doing the JD would take 3 years and a lot of financial resources. Generally, it is looked upon favourably for foreign lawyers with experience, so I wouldn't be too concerned about the NCA process if you fit in this category. While I'm not sure how many NCA exams you will need to complete, I do think you will have a decent chance if you are motivated and determined to get an articling position. With that said, should you go the LLM route, you might be able to go through the in-firm interview process if you go to Osgoode. That might come in handy if your plan is to work at a big law firm. Best of luck!
  8. It really depends on the group of friends that you know. I do know many people that are hardworking, as they spent most of their time studying at the library. There are also a number of people that I know that slacked off on their studies and go out to party almost every night. Generally, there are readings that you have to do and questions that you need to prepare for tutorials, which are done in groups once a week. It is different to how classes are taught in Canadian law schools, but it doesn't make it any less of a workload. I do think that the difference lies where you are not marked for participation in classes at UK law schools, which may make it less of an incentive for students to prepare for these readings. This is probably why it might be perceived to be a lesser workload.
  9. I don't think the target audience for these programs is intended for students that would have succeeded in getting into a Canadian law school. I'm sure they would have done their research beforehand. In fact, they may have opted for other programs such as Western's HBA/JD program or Ottawa's BSocSc and JD program (in French). If I'm not mistaken, during open days for prospective students, there tends to be a session for those that are interested in law at various universities such as Western, Windsor, and U of T. I'm sure that these exact people would have sought some advice from these representatives and gain some insight into the whole process. If someone already planned to do their degree abroad in the UK, it wouldn't be sensible to waste two years to study at Trent or Laurier when they could have gone directly to the UK after high school.
  10. I personally wouldn't suggest going to the UK unless: 1) you are applying from high school and determined to practice law; 2) you have already exhausted all your options for Canadian law schools, or; 3) you have a relative that guarantees you a potential summer/articling position where you can gain some experience. It is a really rocky road ahead and your degree will be met with a lot of skepticism among your future employers, colleagues, friends, and other members of the legal community. With respect to the UK experience, I advise you to look through the other threads. http://lawstudents.ca/forums/topic/23288-an-account-of-a-first-year-law-student-in-the-uk/ http://lawstudents.ca/forums/topic/14139-ba-gpa-51-ma-gpa-77-lsat-58-forget-canada/ http://lawstudents.ca/forums/topic/44913-a-foreign-success-story/
  11. I don't think you can solely say that your claim is qualified. I understand that the bar pass rates for foreign-trained graduates are concerning. At the same time, doesn't that also undermine your argument that it isn't doing a good job to keep their standards high? Note that the law society set up a series of checkpoints, one being the NCA process and the other being the bar exam. You can't say that the system is incompetent just because they are getting more complaints. Canadian law graduates similarly go through the licensing process in determining whether they are qualified. It's the same benchmark. Yes, I am pointing out an exception. Mind you, I was responding to your statement that " A student with less than a 2:1 is dead in the water and would not be considered for any of the above." I am merely telling you that you are misinformed. Look, you are comparing apples to oranges here. There are many students in the UK that can go into the legal profession through different routes, whether it's the GDL, CILEx, or the LLB. UK law firms usually select half of their cohort of trainees from non-law backgrounds. Thus, many people tend to choose the non-law route to get a training contract. You are simplifying the process, as if there is only one route to get there. With respect to your last paragraph, that may be true, but I still don't see why they are not allowed to come back to Canada. As I've stated earlier, they go through the same rigorous process in order to become licensed. If they could make it through, why is it a problem for you to determine whether or not they are competent? If they meet all the requirements to become called to the bar, it shouldn't be a problem.
  12. I believe you are slightly misinformed. Having a 2:2 doesn't bar you from everything. There are certain avenues that one can take. If you did not make assumptions, I'm sure you would know that the Crown Prosecution Service does allow those with 2:2 to partake in the Legal Trainee Scheme: https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-trainee-scheme-2018. I'm not sure why you think the NCA is not meeting its objective. The NCA itself is a filtering process that weeds out certain people that would not otherwise be able to qualify for the licensing process. I'm not sure why you are making assumptions about the NCA process based on the small subset of people that you know, but I can assure you that it does effectively eliminate candidates that would not make it to the next round (i.e. graduates with a poor academic record will be disqualified from the NCA process).
  13. You shouldn't need to worry just yet. There are still a number of articling positions for 2018-19, paid or unpaid, that are still available. While it isn't the best option, you will always be able to find a number of job postings throughout the year. I wouldn't be too quick to jump at the opportunity for an unpaid position, unless it is in an area that is rather difficult to find an articling principal. Otherwise, take your time to consider your options and surely you will get an offer along the way. I'm not sure if you opted for the LPP with your licensing application, but I would suggest giving yourself a backup option. Remember that you can always opt-out of the program, should you end up with an articling position.
  14. I don't think this is exactly the right place to ask your question. There aren't a lot of people that have gone through the same as you did; however, I'll try my best to help. I see that you had some in-class instruction. However, you haven't exactly told us how long you have been taking these classes. Are they part-time or full-time? Did you graduate from the accelerated two-year programme or three-year programme? Did you take this through an institution affiliated with the University of London or through the International Programme? There are some people that have done the programme through in-class instruction and managed to avoid the additional two-year requirement. As others have already mentioned, in the case that the NCA does not determine that the duration of your in-class instruction is sufficient, then you will most likely have to do two additional years. This could be done through Osgoode Professional Development. Note that most people in your situation would normally take the LLM in Canadian Common Law, followed by the LLM in International Business Law. Hope that helps.
  15. It depends on what you want to do with the degree. The job market is more versatile in the UK, so it is possible to get both legal and non-law careers, depending on what you plan to do. There are people that managed to move on towards a non-law approach while remaining in the UK and less people within the legal field. Note that the odds are against you and getting a training contract or pupillage is highly competitive, even if you completed the LPC or BTPC. Likewise, as others have mentioned, it'll be extremely difficult to say whether or not your degree is worth much in Canada. It is possible, albeit difficult, to make it into the legal circle. In fact, I'd say that most of your worth comes from your own motivation and determination to make things right, even if employers don't look at you favourably. I've seen people overcome this obstacle and still manage to pull it off. Remember, it's not your degree that you make the most of; it's the network of connections that you create and the skill set that you bring to the table that will determine your worth.
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