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he4dhuntr last won the day on February 13

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  1. Anything is possible, but obviously some paths are much more difficult/complicated when compared to others. It's always a weighing game with these questions re: upside of studying abroad (e.g., life experience) versus studying at home (e.g., better future job prospects). Obviously the VAST majority of lawyers in Quebec have studied locally. Some have switched over from abroad after getting some experience, while another subset after their international studies. That said, and as mentioned above, you will be competing in the local Quebec market against students that have put their full time studying the local laws and in schools known to local employers (i.e., easier for them to evaluate the candidates). The upside of an Australian law degree in Quebec is (in my opinion) pretty much nil, even if you plan on working on international deals. And this is coming from someone who worked at a large firm in Montreal where a "transfer lawyer" came over for a summer from the Australian office, for experience. Most large firms in Montreal have international M&A deals, but they still practice Quebec law. There are some degrees that may be more useful or at least familiar, such as French law (being civil law) or say New York or Ontario (which are geographically close, as well as often seen in candidates in Quebec). All-in-all, make a list of pros and cons. Money, life experience, prospects, training, etc. It's not a clear cut science, but ideally you would at least make somewhat of a decision as to where you are most likely to work after your degree. Law isn't unfortunately like a business degree and is thus not as transferable. The number one recommendation when choosing law schools is to study where you want to work, both because of the applicability of jurisdictions, but also due to proximity and contact with future employers during your studies. Far from me to categorically tell you not to study law abroad, but just be aware of your options I guess is what I'm saying. If you really want to travel, you can also take some time off school to do it (or take your summers off), or else do a degree prior to law school (such as a business degree), which could both be enjoyable and come in handy down the line (not to mention further differentiate you from other candidates). Inversely, there are also options of studying locally if you wish to keep doors open to working abroad, McGill probably being the best such option. My two cents (without any clear answers, obviously). Cheers,
  2. Don't be too hard on yourself or compare yourself too much to others. Law students are classically neurotic. Most of your classmates are likely in the same boat as you, stressed and confused. Take a deep breath, don't be shy to ask questions, take your time and break problems down into pieces. Try understanding one thing at a time and the whole will eventually become clearer. You will be thrown a TONE of information in law school and this can be quite overwhelming at first. You will eventually refine your learning skills in order to better assimilate and manage that level of data. You made it into law school because you are a good student. Rely on what you've learned so far with respect to your approach to studying, and adapt it accordingly. It's a marathon, not a sprint. Everyone in law school is used to being one of the best students in his or her class. Unfortunately, that will no longer be the case for most of you, and that's okay. Start to take bullet point notes. You will eventually get better at understanding what is important information and what isn't. You have time to develop as a student and an eventual lawyer. Some will get it faster than others. Everyone at their own pace and with their own method. Head up! Law school is far from easy, but it can be very enjoyable and rewarding. Make sure you find balance in your life to avoid burnout and excess stress/anxiety. I would suggest walking a few miles before deciding that the shoes don't fit! Don't hesitate to reach out if you have any specific worries or questions. Cheers,
  3. Amazing thread and thanks for contributing to the boards!! Always fun to see fellow lawyers willing to give back to this community Kudos! P.S. Where can I find this TikTok video?
  4. I echo artsydork, and my information is also dated and anectdotal, given that I wrote the bar quite a few years ago now and opted for the French version. You will be given an English translation, but it is apparently not the best. That being said, I have many friends who did use the English version and did just fine.
  5. McGill is definitely not an easy school to get into. However, they do look past grades and take a holistic approach to admissions, so a strong PS, CV, LORs can make up for lower grades. You are however probably safer with spreading your applications to increase chances of getting in somewhere. That same logic however applies to UdeM versus Sherbrooke, Ottawa, UQAM, Laval, etc. If money and time aren't too big of an issue, you can always push some firm decisions back to take a more informed and clear decision later on, and once you have the information you need. For instance, if you apply to all the above, you may perhaps not get into McGill or UdeM, but get accepted to Sherbrooke. Even though you may want to study in Montreal, perhaps doing a year at Sherbrooke and trying to transfer to UdeM afterwards would be a more interesting path for you personally than simply waiting an extra year to try to re-apply again (without your chances increasing much if at all), or simply dropping the idea of law school altogether. Just a thought though, you obviously know your situation better than any of us do. As far as working and studying in Montreal goes, it's definitely interesting to have a working knowledge of French. That being said, anglophone students coming out of McGill for example still manage (quite successfully actually) to get great jobs. People also studying outside of Montreal (e.g., Sherbrooke, Ottawa, Laval, etc.) get a lot of hiring opportunities within the city if they so choose. All-in-all, my approach is usually to put as many chances on your side and to have as many options as possible (time and money permitting). As mentioned, some of these decisions can be pushed to a later time when you will have more clarity on your personal situation. Hedging your bets so to speak and not closing doors too early if you don't have to. All that said, if you are firm on not wanting to study at UQAM or move outside of Montreal even for potentially a short period of time, the decision becomes simpler. Cheers,
  6. Hey @raylaw! Here are my attempts at some of your questions: Should you apply for the Certificate or the Bachelor at UdeM? It's difficult to say what path is the best. If money and time is not an issue, you can always apply for the Certificate now and push your decision to the time where (and if) you get accepted to the program. What you should do, in either case, is to read through the accepted threads for UdeM in the last year or two to get an idea of your chances at getting accepted to the Bachelor (and to the Certificate). You should also check these boards for chances of getting accepted into the Certificate and then from the Certificate into the Bachelor. I unfortunately don't have much direct experience with this, but I know there has been quite a bit of ink spilled on the subject on this board, so if you search and take the time to read through, you may start getting a better sense of which path could be better for you. Advice for an anglophone I think I've spoken about this in some of my previous posts, and do take it with the amount of required salt, as my experience at UdeM is somewhat dated now, I studied at UdeM with a lot of very anglophone students and friends who were very successful (at school and afterwards). That being said, they needed to obviously put in more work and effort than native French speakers. However, I think they come out of it big winners, being very bilingual at the end of it. In my day, you could write exams in English, however I think that may have changed in the last few years, so maybe you should check in on that topic. Is there are reason you are sold on UdeM? Are you applying to other schools as well? If so, which ones? If not, why? Cheers,
  7. C'est une bonne question et malheureusement je ne pourrai pas te répondre par expérience. De ce que je sais quand j'étais à l'UdeM, il y avait seulement une ou deux places pour les étudiants de l'UdeM pour ce programme chez Osgoode, mais bon, ça fait déjà presque 10 ans de ça, donc les choses ont probablement changées. Tu peux faire un search dans ces forums et probablement trouver des réponses plus récentes et plus informées, ou sinon t'adresser directement au personnel de l'UdeM en charge de ce programme. Bonne chance!
  8. I couldn't agree more from a theoretical perspective. Yes, absolutely, law students from Quebec can thrive as lawyers in Common Law jurisdictions. However, the question in this case is more a practical one, or in other words, one of employment. Rather than taking the view from how successful a person can be in his or her practice (once already employed), the point at issue is more how likely is the graduate in question to find the job he or she desires in the first place (or in other words, how easy will the path be to gaining desired employment). It's more about weighing the pros and cons of which route to choose (i.e., study in a Civil Law or a Common Law program) given the desired outcome (i.e., working as a lawyer in a Common Law jurisdiction). Regardless of whether a student that spent most of his or her time at a civil law school can in theory be a successful lawyer in a Common Law jurisdiction, it is simply undeniable that he or she will be fighting an uphill battle (where the degree of incline can be debated on a case by case basis). For instance, if an employer at a large (or smaller) firm in Toronto has dozens (if not much more) of candidates to pick from, all else being equal, they will likely tend to turn to those students that hold full-fledged Common Law J.D.'s from schools such as Osgoode, UofT, Western, or even UBC, Victoria and the like, rather than to take a bit of a gamble on someone who spent (most of) their time studying in Quebec (or under Quebec jurisdiction, with McGill being the obvious exception to this rule). Needless (and albeit from me) to say, it's far from impossible to find gainful (and even desirable) employment in a Common Law jurisdiction with an academic training that is mostly (or evenly) focused on Civil Law, but said person should simply be aware of the fact that he or she will more than likely be at a disadvantage (be it slight or large). At most, potential employers will view the civil law training as a soft bonus, but I would be surprised if it would make up for anything substantial or set the person in question apart in any material respect. My previous point on cross-jurisdictional practice was simply to say that perhaps a firm (or lawyer) that requires (or is looking for) someone who can act as a lawyer in multiple jurisdictions (i.e., Quebec), would see the Civil Degree (and thus potential Quebec bar membership) as a true and tangible upside. I'm not even going to dive into how difficult it has been in recent years for Ontario graduates to find articling positions in their own province (especially in Toronto). Given the above, it's pretty difficult to advise/suggest/recommend to a prospective student (or even to get their hopes up) to go the Civil + tacked-on J.D. route if they know they want to practice in a Common Law jurisdiction. Even though it doesn't make the endeavor impossible, I just can't seem to see the upside (again, if the person in question definitely wants to practice in a Common Law jurisdiction for his or her foreseeable future). But again, I 100% agree with your points in theory, and the above is really only my 2 cents from anecdotal evidence and from what I've personally experienced (directly or indirectly), discussed or read. Cheers,
  9. Hey! Difficult to evaluate your options, given that they seem very personal. Whether you would prefer to work in Montreal or Toronto is really up to you. Nobody else (especially someone that doesn't know you) can weigh in on how much working (and thus living) in one city or another is important to you (or the reasons behind wanting to be in one place or the other). In any case, it is undoubtedly more difficult to find a job as a lawyer in Ontario (or any other Common Law province for that matter) with only a one-year Common Law degree tacked on to a Civil Law degree. This makes sense, as you will be competing against people with full-fledged degrees in the relevant legal regime (i.e., Common Law). While your Civil Law degree can be seen as a soft positive, it doesn't hold much value beyond that, in my opinion, unless you are practicing some kind of cross-jurisdictional law. Either way, the Toronto market is very competitive for articling (and lawyer) positions. In any case, a number of questions come up without knowing more... Is there a reason that you are going the Civil Law route if you want to work in a Common Law jurisdiction? Alternatively, have you explored whether UofO offers a way to transfer to the Common Law degree after having completed a few credits in the Civil Law program? Is the prospect of pursuing 6 years of studies (followed by the bar) realistic and/or feasible for you? Cheers,
  10. Moi j'ai personnellement trouvé mes études en science (au CÉGEP) beaucoup plus difficiles que mes études en droit (à l'UdeM), mais bon, comme OPA l'a bien dit, ça dépend de la personne. Fait de ton mieux
  11. OMG this! Don't panic people! It isn't the first rodeo for any of these firms
  12. Hey @YesNoToaster ! Glad my answers could be somewhat useful to you. Here are my attempts at answering your other questions/comments: How is the initiation at UdeM? If it’s anything like the one from my previous degree, I’m a bit apprehensive. Are there events / days in particular that are more conductive to meeting & getting to know your cohort? It's what you imagine it to be, although it has come down quite a bit since my time there (it used to be very intense, drinking and partying-wise). That's for UdeM however, McGill is a bit more civilized (not least due to the older average age). That said, you get involved as much or as little as you want. I understand your apprehension, and I had the same, but I would suggest at least giving a few events a try. This is really a conversation piece that is somewhat timeless. To this day (10 years later), when I see my law faculty friends, we still almost always mention at least one story from initiations and still relate to the Section we were assigned to in first year. In any case, there are events during the day to which you can simply just wear your sections colors and spectate while having a drink (or not) in the sun right outside the faculty building. Obviously if it's not your thing, no worries. You'll get to know everyone in your class in first year, unless you're super anti-social. You brought up an interesting view about faculty vs. out of faculty involvement. I personally may be leaning more towards faculty involvement to really get a deep dive in the field of law as an academic discipline. Fair enough. Most law students go this route. I personally just needed a break from all the law (and wanted to go skiing on a smaller budget :P). That said, getting involved within the faculty doesn't keep you from exploring beyond as well, time permitting. To be competitive for La Course Aux Stages, do you necessarily need to get some type of involvement on the first / second semester? I may want to focus on my studies to get the highest GPA possible. No. Grades are the #1 way to go. Obviously more experience and extracurriculars won't hurt you! But I always say, don't get involved just to pad a CV. Do it because it's something you like and that interests you. This will also let you talk about something with more passion during interviews eventually, which comes off really well (everyone likes the energy that real interest and passion creates, and that can't be faked). I’d be happy to keep in touch. I’m excited about going back to school, especially in law. However, doing a career switch is daunting. I'm here if/when you need me! Just a private message away Changing careers can be daunting (I've done it a few times now), but it can also be really exciting and energizing. Enjoy the experience!
  13. It all depends on you. I took the opportunity to meet as many people as possible by attending most/all social events (including the initiations). It's typically easier to meet people with a drink in your hand (depending again on who you are), and these friendships and relationships give you quite an interesting network down the line (not to mention a much more enjoyable experience during your studies). Depending on your situation and whether you have the time (i.e., if you're working during semesters, if you have a family, if you have the finances, the amount of travel time to and from school, the amount you need to study to keep up your grades, etc etc.), I would suggest to get involved at school (be it within or outside of the law faculty) for something that interests you, be it law, sports, social issues, etc. I opted to get involved outside of the faculty (started a university ski club, a student accelerator program for startups, a student-run venture capital fund, etc.), since you'll quickly notice that the law faculty itself is a bit of its own world (bubble) which is sometimes hard to break out from. Not to mention that getting involved more broadly once again widens that future network (as an added benefit). That said, most of my friends immersed themselves almost completely within the law faculty and loved every minute of it. There's no right or wrong way to do it. You can also take the opportunity, during study breaks and summers, to travel and/or take time off (since it's probably some of the last consecutive weeks/months of time off you might get in a while). I didn't really do this, since I needed to work, but it's an option for some. There are some interesting study abroad programs too over the summer. When I was there, a lot of students loved their summer experience studying in China. Obviously, with all this said, do keep your grades up as much as possible, especially if you're planning on going the Course aux stages route. Your background and experience is important, but grades will (fortunately or unfortunately) remain the best way to open the most doors. Finally, (and I know I repeat myself on this point, but I think it's important) stay in touch with people throughout your studies and beyond. Keep building your network and cultivating it (including the one you've already built). While I got my first big law job through the Course aux stages, all of my subsequent (and many previous) career opportunities have come from within my network (and pretty much all were unsolicited). Stay in touch with firms that reject you and with those that you reject (if you are lucky enough to have that). It's a small world, and many of these people are very smart and resourceful. They tend to end up in interesting places a few years down the line. Or at the very worst, it's always good to know a labour lawyer, family lawyer, criminal lawyer, etc etc. Who knows what you'll need in the future All in all, try to get your nose out of your books as often as possible. My approach, in general, is always to simply offer people help without expecting anything in return. Not only does it feel good to help, but more often than not these things tend to come back to you in a positive way, down the line. Anyway, my view on it (among many many others). Enjoy the ride (and don't hesitate to reach out throughout the process, I'm always happy to help if I can - not least if you end up at UdeM, I'm only a stone's throw away these days)! Cheers,
  14. J'avais 24 ans quand j'ai commencé mon Bac à l'UdeM (et ça fait déjà 10 ans de ça) et je ne me sentais pas vieux (on était une bonne gang du même âge, et ça ne fait qu'augmenter avec les années je crois). C'est certain qu'il y aura des étudiants plus jeunes sortant du CEGEP, mais ça met une belle atmosphère qui te rappelera ton premier Bac J'ai un ami qui vient de terminer son stage du Barreau à 33 ans. Il se sentait un peu vieux desfois, mais rien de dramatique. Aucun impact sur le recrutement (ou même un impact positif, vu ton expérience académique et professionnelle plus poussée). Enjoy! C'est une belle expérience
  15. Tu as raison. Un grand nombre de cabinets font des entrevues en parallèle: plusieurs groupes d'avocats qui passent un(e) étudiant(e) chaque dans différentes salles. Difficile de mettre plus que 10 plages par jour sur deux jours
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