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dilemma

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  1. If your end goal is to practice in Canada, then the obvious choice is to go to U of T or McGill. It is not worth going to Oxford just to get through the NCA process later on. Even if you decide that you want to study at Oxford later on, you can always opt to take a year for the BCL program after you complete your JD.
  2. It's possible that you can be a corporate lawyer and work on Bay Street, but it's definitely not going to be one you expect it to be. It will most likely be a small firm renting out some office space at one of the buildings on Bay Street. While there are top law firms hiring through the LPP, they are extremely limited (probably one or two firms), competitive, and likely to be given to a candidate with a Canadian JD degree.
  3. Here's some food for thought: Have you considered looking into other jurisdictions? Have you thought about going to Atlanta? Although it isn't exactly close to Miami, it is one state away and fairly accessible. You can practice law in Georgia, provided that you have enrolled in an eligible LLM program. Since you are considering it after you are called to the bar in Ontario, that should fulfill their second requirement. Here's the link: https://www.gabaradmissions.org/instructions-for-foreign-educated-applicants
  4. Given that you are working at a small firm, I think it's best that you schedule a weekly routine meeting at the beginning of the week with your principal (and also other lawyers that you are directly working with) to debrief on some of the files you've dealt with. This way, you can also get up-to-date information with files that they are dealing with. It also gives you the opportunity to raise some questions that you might want to address at once without needing to approach your principal on a frequent basis. I found that this helped clarify some previous issues and it also helps your principal to understand what is going on.
  5. I highly recommend that you seek better opportunities. As others have mentioned, there are positions opening up around this time and they generally continue until July or August. Don't settle for this because you want to get it done and over with; wait it out a bit and check with your CDO to see if they could put you in a directory of students looking for articling positions. If worse comes to worst, you can always consider the LPP. Deadline to switch to LPP should be end of May.
  6. The same thing does apply to English law school exams. Some markers might be lenient enough to give you partial marks if you misspelled the case name (re: EU law case names), but it is still necessary to cite them as authority for every issue.
  7. I met one or two people that were in your position and they ended up going to the UK. One of them has since been called to the bar and the other is currently working on the NCA exams. It is possible to make it work if you are really sure that you are fully committed. Otherwise, I would err on the side of caution. If you re-evaluated your options and truly believe that you want to pursue your studies in the UK, it is best that you choose LSE over Glasgow. As providence has mentioned, Scottish law is significantly different from Canadian law. Should you go to Glasgow, you will end up with a few more challenge exams than law students studying English law (notably property law and contract law). While LSE is a great school, I don't think it would help you much upon your return to Canada, but you may be able to benefit from the alumni network.
  8. I believe this highly depends on the practice area, type of firm, and the size of firm. To top off with what others have mentioned, I would compare your cover letter to a sales pitch: you should be focusing on your strong qualities and relevant experience that make you an asset to the firm. If you need some templates, I believe there is a guideline from University of Ottawa floating around. Here's the link.
  9. Hi everyone, I have heard of people moving from a small firm to a mid-size firm, but I was just wondering if anyone here has moved from a small firm to a large firm or working as in-house counsel? Was it easy to adjust to the change in environment and workplace dynamics? Were there many people that questioned your reasons to make such a change? Did you feel that this was a right decision you made? Any comments would be appreciated. Thank you!
  10. If you are commuting from Vaughan, I don't see why it is necessary to live in chambers. There is a subway line that goes all the way to Vaughan Metropolitan Centre and it's pretty easy to get to Osgoode from there. Now, I'm not sure where in Vaughan you are commuting from, but given that you could take the VIVA bus, I would suggest saving your money and just commute (unless, for course, you feel like buying a monthly parking pass and drive there).
  11. I think you'll be hard-pressed to find an articling position in IP. Note that many students that end up articling at IP law firms tend to have a scientific or engineering background. Given that you don't have this background, it is extremely disadvantageous to you to consider. Not only that, it's a really competitive field and one where you really need to have good connections to maintain your chances of getting yourself there. At this point, I think it's worthwhile to consider other areas of law. Do you have one that interests you other than IP? I would start off there and narrow down your choices. Note that there are a few articling positions here and there during this time of the year, so keep on applying and don't give up until you try. If you really don't want to continue with the articling search, I suppose you can stick with the LPP program, but you also need to consider the chance that you might not get your ideal position (or even a paid one, for that matter). You will still need to go out of your way to make sure that you fulfill their 4-month work requirement, if you end up getting no offers through the interview process. Good luck!
  12. London is a really expensive city. Be prepared to save up enough money to live there for a few months. First of all, I would highly suggest you to get an Oyster card. It would help you get around London. It is essential that you always tap your card when you get on and leave the Tube station, bus, or train, as they always charge you the maximum fare amount if you forget to tap when you leave. Since you are a student in London, you would be eligible for student fares, but you'll need to get that sorted out. As for phone plans, they are much cheaper than Canadian plans. I would recommend giffgaff: it is prepaid with cheap plans. You can always order a free SIM card in advance to your address and activate it once you are there. There are other carriers, but this one tends to be the favourite amongst international students. I would avoid living within the city centre. Note that rent is extremely expensive, comparable to that in NYC. I would suggest living away from Zones 1 and 2. Better to find accommodation in the borderline areas between Zones 2 and 3. I wouldn't suggest living near the campus as well: it's known for being really sketchy and usually an unsafe area to stay if walking there during the night. You will find that groceries vary according to the supermarket you go to. One of the supermarkets in the UK is owned by Wal-Mart (known as Asda), which is considerably cheap compared to the other supermarkets. Other ones include Tesco, Sainsbury's, Morrisons, and Waitrose (in order of cheap to expensive). If you are lucky enough to have a Lidl or Aldi (both discount stores), then I would suggest going there instead. Selection is extremely limited, but it serves its purpose. If you have any other questions, please feel free to message me. Congrats and good luck with your exchange year!
  13. I don't think that would be an issue at all, provided that you are continuing to engage in legal work, whether it's through pro bono, legal aid, or even legal research. I know a few friends that have gone through some difficult times looking for articling positions after graduation and they ended up finding one. So I don't think you are at any disadvantage for being out of school for a year. Sometimes it's better to take a gap year and figure out what you really want before moving on with the licensing process. Speaking of which, have you ever considered a joint-articling arrangement or even split articles? I may understand that the criminal lawyer you worked for doesn't offer articling positions per se (probably for financial reasons or any other reason), but I think it's worth giving it a try to ask him to consider it (and perhaps find a legal aid clinic that can take you on for a few months as well).
  14. I don't think learning French would be a major asset to your employability prospects in Toronto, but I do occasionally see a few positions within the government (within the Ministry of the Attorney-General) that considers French as an asset, sometimes even a necessity. If you aren't interested in the public sector, then it would be worthwhile to focus on another language as others have mentioned (i.e. Mandarin, Arabic, Punjabi, Korean, Vietnamese, Farsi, etc.).
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