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Sanada1985

An Account of a First Year Law Student in the UK

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I will agree, that say, after seven or ten years of practising law, only some people, would care about where you got your law degree and if you got an honours degree or not. However, one cannot deny that it is very, very difficult, for many people, with foreign law degrees, to gain articling positions in law firms, in Canada. For the few people, with foreign law degrees, who have gained articling positions in law firms, within Canada. Congratulations, to you, you have proven that you have overcomed a number of difficult obstacles, to be where you are now. And you deserve to be congratulated and fully respected for your achievements.

 

I know this is dated, but I couldn't resist - it's more like "after one or two years of practising law, nobody will care about where you got your law degree".

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I am not xenophobic.

 

I have never met a xenophobic grape, but I have met a sour one.

 

Revision merited.

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anyone have her email address ?  I hope I am  allowed to ask that  

 

You realize the thread is almost four years old, right? The OP hasn't logged in to the site for a year. If she isn't responding to your PM you might be out of luck, sorry.

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Howdy all,

 

It's been a bit, but thought I'd chime in, mainly because of what I'm seeing as a growing number of people still looking to foreign law schools as a way in (I've more than a few friends/friends of friends who tried this and are struggling with finding articling positions this year) and what, at least in some provinces, is a poor market for students. On the whole, my advice is don't do it. I've explained why below.

 

I did finish up without issue and was offered articles in the summer before 3L at a firm I've been rather happily at since finishing law school. To anyone not wanting to bother reading the whole thread (don't blame you), I started a little log of a year I did in the UK (I couldn't retrieve my pw for one account so the thread has me as Sanada1985 and Sanada, technology and I are not generally friends). Long story short, I haphazardly applied to the UK without an LSAT thinking writing one may take a long time and delay possible admission. I got in, which tingled me and I thought sure. Then I learned of the hellscape which awaited me after graduation, but was scheduled to start school rather soon. I had also quit a fairly good job in anticipation of starting. I learned I could perhaps get lucky and transfer to a cdn school. I was a hermit, did well and got into a cdn law school after my first year (oddly enough one I wouldn't have gotten into even with a stellar LSAT). Did my remaining two years. Graduated, found articles and started practice. Happily ever after by most accounts, really. 

 

With all that said, if you were to ask me if I'd recommend my son take this path if he came to ask me about it in 20 years, the answer would be a resounding no. I was really just lucky. The transfer was probably very lucky. You can work as hard as you'd like, but that, in and of itself, doesn't entitle you to a result. Good luck getting any joy out a career without hard work though. Graduate from wherever you'd like, you need to work hard to do well in this field.

 

If that transfer didn't come through, I'm sure I would've struggled immensely in finding an articling gig, especially at a firm worth working at. If you were to ask me to go back, I probably wouldn't have rolled the dice the same way either. I'd have maybe lost the extra year in admission cycles, worked on the LSAT and given it a go. The overall risk/benefit analysis is pretty plain. The odds I'd for sure get a transfer are probably low. The odds I'd have employers look at me the same way are exponentially worse. Before the pro-foreign school crowd attack this comment, I'm not saying this is right/wrong of them, but it is practical reality. End of.

 

What makes me say this is that the job market for foreign students is VERY tough. The firm I'm at sees people asking for articling jobs aplenty. I have friends who went abroad thinking they'd just transfer, willy-nilly, or come back and a buddy would swing them all jobs, plucked from the ether. From what I hear it's actually pretty tough for local grads this year, let alone foreign grads. Even if you do land articles, the odds are (I'm not saying this is absolute, I'm sure it's not) you'll end up with less than ideal articles.

 

Most (one friend from Leicester is at a great tax firm, one is in-house counsel at a company, the flipside is some seem to have taken extra years (note the plural) in getting called to the bar) of the people I know who have gone abroad had to go through a Dante-esque journey, much longer/more expensive than improving their local prospects, to claw their way into the proverbial light.

 

Also, despite having transferred to quite a good school in Canada, when it came time to articling interviews, employers did ask about the UK thing. It was often a bit of an uncomfortable elephant in the room. I had to concede a bit of what happened there as poor planning which luckily ended up okay. I scored zilch in the 2L summer student market, probably because I only had a year of UK marks. 

 

The big fat conclusion is, don't. I got weirdly lucky. Being on the other side of the table, it is really difficult to land a job. The NCAs (from what I'm told) aren't fun. Employers know the "UK" stigma usually too, given the rising number of students thinking it's the easy way in. If you try to pitch at as some cool/exotic degree everyone will see through you (unless you're a legitimately foreign lawyer). It's like going to the Caribbean for medical school. Save yourself the tens of thousands in costs (let alone foregone wages in other work) and years for a very uncertain outcome. Instead, put a fraction of the cost, but probably a touch extra time into improving your current prospects, get into law school here and have a much more certain outcome. Unless you want to work government (prosecutors not included, I see how much work they need to do, same with DOJ), law is a lot of work as a career. If you're not willing to put in a lot of work now, whilst you're young and spry, it might not be the best career option, especially if you do the UK/US/Bond thing and have to work/network real hard to have a chance (not a guarantee) at a meaningful career.

 

I don't mean to sound like a wet blanket. I realize it's maybe even hypocritical of me to say it, since I started that way and by all accounts ended up okay. But only two folks my year transferred out to safety (one did so after his second year at Leicester, and then had to do two years at the school we got into).I was still asked about the UK at articling interviews, some didn't really care, some felt it was a blot on the resume. Given the stigma, and sheer number of people looking for articles, I don't blame them. Why risk it? Put some work in now, have a much more secure future. Or roll the dice and spend a lot of time after trying to make sure it falls your way. 

 

That's just my take. I'm sure there are some who want to be lawyers more than anything else, and more power to you. If you just want a relatively stable/secure source of decent income and you didn't do well in O-Chem, there are still other options which don't carry as high a risk, but with probably close to equal/higher pay offs.

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You know, I agree with all of the above. I've said the same thing. That said, I'm a lawyer (of a sort) now and I owe it all to Leicester. And UBC. And my family. And to the neighbours' dog who gives me instructions. Go, Longhorns.

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Hello,

How long does it take to get a Student VISA as a Canadian citizen to study law in the UK?

Can someone please send me the link to start applying? 

Thank you in advance.

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48 minutes ago, CrimNation said:

Hello,

How long does it take to get a Student VISA as a Canadian citizen to study law in the UK?

Can someone please send me the link to start applying? 

Thank you in advance.

If you really are hell-bent on studying in the UK because you can't get into Canadian schools, you should learn simple skills like searching for visa application information. General information on a UK study visa is less than 30 seconds away via Google, and any university you've been accepted to is likely to have an international office whose entire job is to help people with questions like that.

 

Which might sound like 'don't ask us ask someone else', but is really 'don't rely on others who have little reason to know this, and if you really struggle to find easily available information, there are people you've paid for who are there to get it right'.

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5 minutes ago, lookingaround said:

If you really are hell-bent on studying in the UK because you can't get into Canadian schools, you should learn simple skills like searching for visa application information. General information on a UK study visa is less than 30 seconds away via Google, and any university you've been accepted to is likely to have an international office whose entire job is to help people with questions like that.

 

Which might sound like 'don't ask us ask someone else', but is really 'don't rely on others who have little reason to know this, and if you really struggle to find easily available information, there are people you've paid for who are there to get it right'.

I found the info but it doesn’t give a straight answer. 

I’ll send an email to the Gvmt of UK. 

I thought that post might be able to help give other Canadians an idea as well, but yes, the best way is to email the department themselves. 

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9 hours ago, CrimNation said:

Hello,

How long does it take to get a Student VISA as a Canadian citizen to study law in the UK?

Can someone please send me the link to start applying? 

Thank you in advance.

1-2 months, but can take longer if there are issues with your application. You also have to go in for a meeting at a VISA office after you commence the process

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