But if you really do know now, just tell them. And you can probably just tell them the reason, unless it's because it's a garbage place to work, in which case you should just tell them you don't think this is the right career choice for you long term and you're planning to look for something else.
I really really recommend that you avoid slamming doors shut before finding out if they’re the only ones that would be open for you. Don’t run to cut off opportunities. You really can’t know how the next six months will go for you.
For a variety of reasons, I know I don't want to stay at my firm after articles. I think hire-back offers are made in March, but presumably the firm is already considering the matter now. I have a mid-articles check-in with my principal soon, and I wonder if I should tell her at that point, or if I should just receive the feedback and nod along when speaking of hirebacks, and then schedule a meeting in February to express my intentions. Any tips for how to have the conversation would be appreciated too.
If I have no intention to work in Toronto, is there really a reason to prioritize one of these schools over the others? Or would the comparison then shift to factors such as proximity to home, tuition, etc?