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  1. I'm very sorry to hear that this has taken a toll on your mental health. I understand that this can be a challenging time. I was in the same predicament at one point, having graduated in July 2020 from the United Kingdom. I don't feel like anyone here is qualified to tell you what to do. However, if you feel like you need to talk to someone who's been through similar circumstances, please reach out to me via PM—wishing you all the best OP.
  2. Absolutely not. You won't be able to license in the UK with a Canadian JD. It is not seen as a qualifying law degree in England. You'll likely have to pursue further education like a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL). Additionally, most big legal firms in the United Kingdom lean heavily on recruiting from Russell Group Universities as oppose to any Canadian institution.
  3. It really comes down to what you're committed in doing. If you're absolutely certain that you'd like to practice abroad, then there's no sense pursuing any legal education in Canada. There's little benefit in spending four years of undergraduate, followed by three years of law school only to later pursue an LL.M. considering that most international firms have additional unique requirements. From a time and financial perspective, you would be better suited getting an education in Europe if you plan on practicing there. Once you graduate and are able to secure employment you will be paid to finish your licensing procedure if you're on a training contract. Again, I would only advise you take that decision if you're fully committed to working abroad for the foreseeable future. On an international level, Canadian law degrees are simply not as valuable in comparison to UK and US credentials abroad.
  4. Hi Everyone, I was browsing Western Law's JD Admissions page earlier today, and I came across a particular category that caught my interest. The webpage states: Advanced Standing Applicants "Students who have successfully completed part or all of their legal education outside Canada may be considered for admission with advanced standing. Except in extraordinary circumstances, a student will not receive more than one year's advanced standing. If admitted, candidates who successfully complete the last two years of the program will be eligible to receive the Juris Doctor degree from Western University. The granting of advanced standing and the extent of credit to be given are at the discretion of the Admissions Committee." I recognize that this is a very particular question, but I was wondering if anyone could provide input on what would constitute an "extraordinary circumstance" in the context of an Advanced Standing Application? For instance, if an applicant already has a law degree, alongside an NCA Certificate of Qualification and has managed to pass the Ontario Barrister & Solicitor Exams are they likely to be awarded more than one year of credits at the discretion of the Admissions Committee? I'm particularly interested in understanding the scope of the discretion provided by the Admissions Committee. Any input on experiences dealing with an Advanced Standing Application would be appreciated. Thank you.
  5. I think I can understand what you're getting at. I am also inclined to agree with the perspective offered by @noredeisgnr to some extent. In my previous forum postings on this topic, I have noted that some members on this forum tend to push forward a perspective that is formed on the basis of second-hand knowledge of Canadians having gone abroad or downright speculation of foreign legal pathways. This can present dangerous sweeping generalizations of the process. However, I think it's essential to be mindful of one certain fact. This forum is primarily dedicated to Canadian students pursuing a J.D. at Canadian institutions. It serves as one of the few online resources available for Canadians seeking to study law. I do not believe this forum's general narrative is purposely driven by the need to push forward "delusion" or any "attention-seeking behaviour" that seeks to skew the conversation in a distorted way. That is not to say that there will undoubtedly be a difference of opinion offered by various community members. Let me be very clear; I do not have a problem with Canadians seeking education abroad in principle. However, I think the inherent issue that arises on account of prospective foreign students is this false belief, driven in part by predatory foreign school advertising tactics, that pushes forward a narrative that a loophole of sorts exists that allows graduates of foreign law schools to reap the full benefits of Canadian graduates without the need to put in the required work or even being mindful of the immense sacrifices that need to be made. I think many forum members want to make the above point entirely clear and ensure that future readers of this forum are wholly made aware of this reality. Ultimately, a cost-benefit analysis that sticks to the facts presents the most informed narrative in that regard. I would also like to convey my appreciation to @needhelp11 for sharing their unique experience.
  6. I appreciate you writing about your experience! I'm also glad you were able to overcome all the hurdles associated with having a foreign degree. As a recent LL.B. graduate that's currently going through the NCA process, your post definitely serves as an inspiration that it can be possible to find success in the Canadian legal market regardless of your legal education background. I do have a number of questions that I would be curious to hear your unique input on. I am curious to know if you have any advice on how recent graduates with no undergraduate background can differentiate themselves in the articling market? Also, having practiced in a few firms and having started your own solo practice, what markets/areas of the law do you think foreign graduates should target in order to have the best opportunity to gain employment/articling in? Finally, I'm curious to hear what your NCA equivalency experience was like. I understand that at one point Bond did not have NCA requirements. Did you have to do equivalency exams at all? Thanks for sharing your experience!
  7. I can't help but feel that this is undoubtedly a difficult predicament for OP. Having personally graduated with an LL.B. from the UK this past July, I can understand the challenges associated with pursuing education abroad. There is an incredible amount of personal and financial sacrifice that has to be made. It can be incredibly disheartening to recognize that Law School was not the experience you had hoped it might be. Those feelings can also amplify where it has impacted those closest to you. There are several important points that you have raised that need to be addressed. Firstly, I should emphasize that no community member here will tell you what you should do with your future. That is a deeply personal matter that should only be yours to define. Secondly, I have noticed some internal contradictions within your writing. It would seem that you require some additional time to reflect on your current situation to better define your interests before choosing to pursue any further education or associated objectives. In regard to graduate studies in law, I will assume you're referring to the LL.M. in Canadian Common Law offered by Osgoode's Professional Development or the University of British Columbia. You should be advised that it will likely be counterproductive to pursue such an LL.M. before fully committing to legal practice. Those LL.M.'s are mainly suited for internationally trained lawyers with previous legal experience from other jurisdictions and serves to fulfill (but not always entirely satisfy) National Committee of Accreditation requirements. In the spirit of full disclosure, you should know that it can be especially challenging to gain admission into the Osgoode masters program. I graduated with a First-Class Honours (Wes Equivalent GPA 4.0) and had applied with excellent recommendations only to be refused admission into the LL.M. program. It is especially competitive, and it likely requires several years of professional experience to be a suited candidate for admission. Additionally, from a financial perspective, you would have already incurred three years' worth of debt from the United Kingdom. You would have to consider that Common Law LL.M's can net upwards of $27,176 (UBC) and $22,804 (Osgoode), in tuition costs respectively. I would imagine that would push your existing debt load quickly over $150,000 at that point. In light of the existing and future financial implications, it is difficult to recommend taking your grandparent's suggested path of pursuing graduate studies, especially where you have already communicated reluctance concerning practicing in a legal capacity. Furthermore, as a current NCA candidate, I'd be remiss not to mention the difficulty associated with the NCA process. There are several requirements to satisfy, and it can take upwards of a year of independent learning before attaining the NCA Certificate of Qualification. You need to be entirely committed because it does not get any easier. Before you make any further decisions, I would strongly suggest you take some time to visit your local Legal Clinic to get some practical legal experience. It may reignite your interest in the law and serve to be useful in providing you with some insight into the legal practice beyond the academic theory. Nevertheless, in reflection of your circumstances, any future consideration as to Graduate or NCA equivalency pathways should only be considered with extreme caution. It is clear that you're not fully aware of your interests or objectives, do not commit yourself to further education that is not relevant. It would only serve to damage your personal and financial interests further.
  8. To tone down some of the flaring tensions that have been raised by this forum post. I will provide my unique perspective on this matter, as I genuinely believe that OP has asked a legitimate question. On a personal note, I can understand OP's thinking process, having been in a similar predicament myself a few years ago. At that time, it wasn't easy to connect or hear from anyone having attempted the UK route for three primary reasons: The majority of information having being posted on the forum consisted of second-hand knowledge of Canadians having gone abroad to study law or downright speculation of the UK legal pathway. Additionally, forum posts from the 2000s were rarely made by law graduates or licensed barristers and solicitors. Establishing inconsistent and conflicting forum perspectives in regard to studying abroad. People who have attempted the UK Route and have been unsuccessful aren't incentivized to talk about their failures. People who have been successful are too busy to provide their perspective. Unlike most members on this forum, I have graduated with an LL.B. from a "top 10 UK law school". So, I'll do my best to provide you with some unique advice that goes beyond what community members have already highlighted as potential issues with the UK route with some more relevant specifics. Firstly, to address your underlying question of whether there is a difference between attending a Canadian Law School and getting an LL.B. abroad: To put it simply, there is a substantial difference. Without established connections, you will undoubtedly face substantial difficulty locating articling positions in medium to large firms. Many employers restrict their job postings by noting "Canadian Graduates Only" under their employment education requirements, and you can find numerous examples of that on many job search engines. Furthermore, the economic impact of deciding to attend a UK Law School as an International Student is significant. For instance, I'll provide you with a rough cost breakdown of attending my Law School in the UK as of 2021 based on my conservative financial history for the past few years, specifically from 2017-2020: £20,000 per annum fixed rate over a three year period = $105,140 CAD £8,560 per year for assorted living expenses including transportation = $32,772.43 CAD £2,050 pounds over a three year period for flight costs out of YYZ = $3681.05 CAD £1,758 pounds for initial Visa applications and mandatory healthcare coverage = $3,081 CAD Overall, you can expect to take on roughly $135,000 to $150,000 in student loan debt over a three-year period. Plus the additional 6-12 months of wasted financial opportunity attaining a Certificate of Qualification from the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA). Additionally, it is also essential to be mindful that over the past few years, Canadian banks have become increasingly difficult to approve student loans for Canadians intending to study abroad, and in some cases, have stopped offering them entirely (I.e. Scotiabank). Where they do offer loans, it's rarely enough to cover the entire amount, and you'll likely find yourself in a position where you'll have to be asked to provide a co-signer. In my circumstance, I was rejected by most Canadian Banks, and I had to fund my entire law school tuition in cash. The financial bleeding will start from the moment you decide that you want to travel abroad for education. As a Canadian, you need to apply for a Tier 4 student visa; this will cost you thousands of dollars and presented a significant challenge in my initial application process. UKVI required financial disclosure documents that were difficult to deliver. I had to disclose that 24 months' worth of tuition fees and monthly living costs for my specific LL.B. program were in my bank account for 90 days. Considering that most Canadian banks refused my student loan applications at the time, I was put in a position where I had to be listed as a joint account holder with a family member who had $90K cash in their account to satisfy their border requirements. Keep in mind, this was years ago, and the process has likely changed, but I imagine there is still a financial disclosure requirement of some sort. Moreover, while gaining admission to a UK Law School is comparatively easier than a Canadian one. Once you're in, UK Law Schools can be equally as academically challenging as Canadian institutions, if not more difficult. At my University, you were required to take several year long law classes that concluded with one unseen 4 hour summative examination that accounted for 100% of your grade. We had two UofT students on exchange at my Law School that encountered some difficulties with the academic requirements of attending a British law program early on in their semester. If you're already facing mental health issues and are not entirely confident of your future academic capability, it would be best advised to factor that into your decision before considering the UK. It certainly does not get any easier abroad. Ultimately, when considering the limited job prospects, overall difficulty of UK LL.B. programmes, and significant financial implications of moving abroad. It would undoubtedly be more logical and convenient to attend a Canadian Law School where you can access more financial support, networking opportunities, and better job prospects (even outside UofT or Osgoode Law). In your situation, considering the overall debt you already carry from your undergraduate and in light of the personal circumstances you have already shared. I would highly advise you to exhaust all Canadian options before considering studying abroad, because failure to do so might cripple your legal career prospects before you can even start it.
  9. Looking at OP’s post history, it’s pretty clear they’ve posted about this topic several times and have had varying responses. They are currently a UK applicant but I am unsure as to why this question is being asked again. Nevertheless, I will say that I’ve known several people who have tried unsuccessfully to transfer to a Canadian Law School from the UK. This is likely because the requirements to gain admission for transfers are extremely similar to the regular applicant pathway. If you’ve struggled to gain admission due to a low GPA or bad LSAT score in the past, it is unlikely that the transfer committee would review things differently in your circumstance. Furthermore, depending on the Law School’s transfer policy some Canadian schools (I.e UNB Law) now require you to have finished two years (4 academic terms) before placing a request to transfer. Moreover, in the event you’re offered admission to a Canadian program they will additionally require you to spend a minimum of two years in the JD program. From a financial perspective, you would have already incurred 3-4 years worth of undergraduate debt from Canada, in addition to 2 years worth of debt from the UK, and you’ll also be required to complete and incur 2 years worth of debt from the Canadian JD program. I would imagine your expenses would easily be over $150,000+ at that point. Look, I’ll say this. If you’ve struggled in the past, it would be unlikely for you to make a dramatic academic shift that lands you first class grades in the UK that would be capable of supporting your transfer application. This reality, coupled with the fact that you’re also likely to compete with Canadian students attempting to domestically transfer from other law schools establishes a very low chance for most international transfer applicants to succeed. I am not saying it’s impossible to have a transfer application successfully land you at a Canadian law school. It just seems statistically unlikely, and could carry substantial financial implications.
  10. Hi there, I feel as though you have received some good advice above. I am in a similar predicament after having graduated this past July with an LL.B. from the United Kingdom. If you feel as though you would like to talk about the challenges you're facing, feel free to send me a message. You're not alone. Best of luck.
  11. GameTime, you can private message me if you'd like to know more about me. I just wouldn't like to hijack OP's thread, although the discussion has already gotten sidetracked by everyone else.
  12. You can read a little more about my story here: http://lawstudents.ca/forums/topic/46990-magic-circle-firms/#entry632696 TL;DR - Hoping to work abroad but will likely come back to pursue further graduate legal education, considering all the time I am saving. - As a side note, I am hoping to document some of my experiences for those reading the forums in the future, to serve as either a warning or motivation to Canadians looking to work or study abroad. Hopefully the latter, but I have yet to see how my story unfolds. I can understand the OP's concerns about tuition, Oxford's tuition is 25,000 pounds ($41,000 CAD) yearly. It was something I had to dredge throughout my application last year.
  13. You're right, OP needs to clarify what they mean by not having an undergraduate. Big difference between some 19-year-old applying overseas and someone just applying because they've underperformed and lacking a competitive GPA. Additional NCA barriers and a longer Law Degree might be just some of the additional burdens of not having an undergraduate.
  14. Getting a little confused here. OP you titled your post with "The best international university", but I'll go ahead and assume by virtue of the choices you've provided, that you're talking about UK Schools here. That being said, you ought to recognize that all three of the choices you've provided as options do not register as "the best" in the UK by any means. Neither by employment nor by rankings. If you're adamant about the "best" then consider - Oxford and Cambridge. In terms of employment rankings, think - Manchester, LSE, UCL, KCL, Durham, Nottingham and Edinburgh. Though, the Universities mentioned above do come at a substantial price. Every single one of those will cost you some major debt. Not meaning to be rude, but this topic has been heavily debated and covered in the past. Any additional information seems redundant at this point. Try searching for the relevant information through the forums for future reference. P.S. - You can find more information on Law firms' preferred Universities here: http://www.chamberss...ed-universities.
  15. I think it largely depends on what the individual has in mind for a "legal career". Within the correct context, I can see someone's determination paying off regardless of their school. Though, that isn't to say that they'll have a smooth ride. However, we can only work with the information the OP has provided us. So, you're not entirely wrong for reaching such a conclusion.
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