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People from Canadian law schools who have gone on to write the NY Bar, what was the process like? What kind of prep did you do, what were your results? If you intended to stay in Canada, what was your reason for doing the NY Bar? If you wanted to move, did you do articles and get Called in Canada first? What kind of recruitment is available if you don't do the traditional summer associate recruit and you've already graduated? Feel free to PM me if you would prefer! 

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People I know from Canadian law schools tended to be fine with a Barbri or Themis course with respect to preparing for NY bar.

I don't see any reason to take the NY bar if you're staying in Canada unless you are in the unicorn position of working for a US firm who practices US law in Canada.

Everyone I know who did both bars did the NY first and the Canadian provincial bar later --- but, everyone I know who did both was working one of those unicorn positions.

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On ‎6‎/‎28‎/‎2017 at 1:55 PM, sng said:

People I know from Canadian law schools tended to be fine with a Barbri or Themis course with respect to preparing for NY bar.

I don't see any reason to take the NY bar if you're staying in Canada unless you are in the unicorn position of working for a US firm who practices US law in Canada.

Everyone I know who did both bars did the NY first and the Canadian provincial bar later --- but, everyone I know who did both was working one of those unicorn positions.

Is this really unicorn?  These firms' Canadian offices do an incredibly narrow slice of capital markets work--helping Canadian companies issue debt and equity in the U.S.  Working for one of these offices is a recipe for over-specialization and, frankly, a boring day-to-day life.  Perhaps it is a lot of money for the two or three years one can last in these offices, but those years will likely not be that interesting, and may create adverse long-term consequences on one's career.

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On 6/26/2017 at 1:38 PM, twinsfindme said:

People from Canadian law schools who have gone on to write the NY Bar, what was the process like? What kind of prep did you do, what were your results? If you intended to stay in Canada, what was your reason for doing the NY Bar? If you wanted to move, did you do articles and get Called in Canada first? What kind of recruitment is available if you don't do the traditional summer associate recruit and you've already graduated? Feel free to PM me if you would prefer! 

I wrote years ago, there's a simplified version of the bar exam now. I took barbri course (videos), course 6 weeks finishing 2 weeks before exam, so 2 months total, studying 12+ hours per day every day (I probably didn't need that much, but didn't want to fail and barbri had study guide about what topics to study every day). Did it out of interest, not planning to go to US but US citizen and wanted to get at least one US call and I was keen, after articles finished and the then-applicable bar ads had a couple of months the timing worked out for. Recruitment, no idea since as noted I didn't plan to work in US and the experience of others I knew was years ago. But with a couple of exceptions, most people had NY positions already, only a few were doing it for interest or comparative law (academic) etc. reasons.

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I know a handful of tax lawyers who are called in both the US and Canada. It might be useful if you do, say, private individual tax planning where clients might not have the budget (or, at least, the inclination) for two lawyers. Personally, I'd be scared shitless to advice on Canadian and US taxlaw, but maybe if you find a niche. 

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14 hours ago, maximumbob said:

I know a handful of tax lawyers who are called in both the US and Canada. It might be useful if you do, say, private individual tax planning where clients might not have the budget (or, at least, the inclination) for two lawyers. Personally, I'd be scared shitless to advice on Canadian and US taxlaw, but maybe if you find a niche. 

Yeah, I had a disclaimer (yeah, duh) in documentation that I didn't advise clients re US law. Lawpro insurance doesn't cover foreign legal advice (some US jurisdictions don't require malpractice insurance, is a lawyer in a Canadian jurisdiction obliged to obtain such insurance, and even if not they should want it; also some question about whether regular bar membership allows giving foreign legal advice or you have to register as a foreign legal consultant in Ontario as well as being a lawyer?). Usual disclaimers, this is all from memory years ago since I don't offer such advice, research it yourself... I knew some IP lawyers who were Canadian patent agents and also registered with the USPTO and so had separate insurance (also because patent agent work isn't covered by Lawpro), but even then retained US agents re patent filings in the US (I'm registered with the USPTO but don't provide such services, so no need for me to get insurance).

And aside from what you are legally entitled to do, except as noted in niche practices (tax, IP) the cost in time and effort of keeping informed about multiple systems of law is not trivial.

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Yeah, staying up to speed would be a challenge. But if you can find a nice niche - snowbirds, maybe - where the issues are the same for all your clients, that may be manageable.  

You see it sometimes with securities lawyers - they're called in the US so that they can advise on US rules around offerings. Again, the issues may be discrete enough (and have sufficient overlap with Canadian rules) that it's manageable.  

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2 minutes ago, maximumbob said:

Yeah, staying up to speed would be a challenge. But if you can find a nice niche - snowbirds, maybe - where the issues are the same for all your clients, that may be manageable.  

You see it sometimes with securities lawyers - they're called in the US so that they can advise on US rules around offerings. Again, the issues may be discrete enough (and have sufficient overlap with Canadian rules) that it's manageable.  

Agreeing with your general point, but disagreeing issues are all the same. As long as lawyers recognize that, okay... e.g. if you're a snowbird who's a Canadian citizen but also a citizen of Iran, does that raise issues travelling to the US? Probably officially not (given the current US position on Canadian citizens not being subject to exclusion as others from certain countries are) but the issue still has to be considered and one's client might still run into problems at the border...

My opinion is not a legal opinion, but an offhand comment on the political situation, not to be relied upon by anyone... :uriel:

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18 hours ago, Jessup said:

Is this really unicorn?  These firms' Canadian offices do an incredibly narrow slice of capital markets work--helping Canadian companies issue debt and equity in the U.S.  Working for one of these offices is a recipe for over-specialization and, frankly, a boring day-to-day life.  Perhaps it is a lot of money for the two or three years one can last in these offices, but those years will likely not be that interesting, and may create adverse long-term consequences on one's career.

I agree with this -- I think we were just using unicorn differently. I just meant it as legitimately hard to get and you can't waltz in expecting you can get the job even if you've done everything "right" to secure it (merely given how few lawyers they hire -- between 0 and 2 per year), regardless of the valid points you raise.

Edited by sng
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I summered at a Canadian "Bay Street" firm and while I wasn't keeping a runny tally, it felt like a number of the lawyers I worked with were called in NY and Ontario. Maybe I had a skewed sample but it didn't seem as uncommon as some posts have suggested.

Edited by bernard
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3 minutes ago, bernard said:

I summered at a Canadian "Bay Street" firm and while I wasn't keeping a runny tally, it felt like a number of the lawyers I worked with were called in NY and Ontario. Maybe I had a skewed sample but it didn't seem as uncommon as some posts have suggested.

I think being called isn't that uncommon - you have a lot (OK, a reasonable number) of people who have practiced at US or international firms before coming to Toronto.   I think the number who actually practice both US and Canadian law is pretty thin.

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On 6/27/2017 at 1:38 AM, twinsfindme said:

People from Canadian law schools who have gone on to write the NY Bar, what was the process like? What kind of prep did you do, what were your results? If you intended to stay in Canada, what was your reason for doing the NY Bar? If you wanted to move, did you do articles and get Called in Canada first? What kind of recruitment is available if you don't do the traditional summer associate recruit and you've already graduated? Feel free to PM me if you would prefer! 

You'll take a barbri course. You probably won't attend the classes, instead watching videos of lectures and reading their materials. For the first 1/4 or so, it will seem very easy. Then the practice tests will come, a number of questions will appear incoherent, and your marks will likely be too-close-to-failure to ground confidence. You will stress about it and begin studying most of your waking hours with a few weeks left. You'll write the exam in some horrible room in Buffalo and walk out less sure that you passed than you have ever felt about an exam before. Then, in October, a few days before they said they would send your marks and while you're 5 nights deep into an 80 hour week, they will send you your pass/fail and your mark on the multiple choice. You'll pass and your score on the MBE will be so far above the passing rate that the contentment of not losing your job will fade quickly with the realization that you wasted too much of your last free summer studying for a silly exam. I think everyone I wrote with had more or less the above story. 

I had a US position lined up through OCIs, so I'm not much help on your other qs. I know associates who transferred to NY shops after doing biglaw in Toronto, but am not familiar with any other context for the post-grad switch. 

Edited by theycancallyouhoju
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On ‎29‎/‎06‎/‎2017 at 4:53 PM, Jessup said:

Is this really unicorn?  These firms' Canadian offices do an incredibly narrow slice of capital markets work--helping Canadian companies issue debt and equity in the U.S.  Working for one of these offices is a recipe for over-specialization and, frankly, a boring day-to-day life.  Perhaps it is a lot of money for the two or three years one can last in these offices, but those years will likely not be that interesting, and may create adverse long-term consequences on one's career.

It's not really. I'm pursuing an NY bar call as in-house counsel bc we deal in cross border transactions; it's not as glamorous or unusual as a unicorn.

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On ‎29‎/‎06‎/‎2017 at 5:20 PM, epeeist said:

I wrote years ago, there's a simplified version of the bar exam now. I took barbri course (videos), course 6 weeks finishing 2 weeks before exam, so 2 months total, studying 12+ hours per day every day (I probably didn't need that much, but didn't want to fail and barbri had study guide about what topics to study every day). Did it out of interest, not planning to go to US but US citizen and wanted to get at least one US call and I was keen, after articles finished and the then-applicable bar ads had a couple of months the timing worked out for. Recruitment, no idea since as noted I didn't plan to work in US and the experience of others I knew was years ago. But with a couple of exceptions, most people had NY positions already, only a few were doing it for interest or comparative law (academic) etc. reasons.

Am I reading that right? You studied for 12 hours a day for two months straight for NY exam?

I ask bc I'm approved to write the exam but haven't given a date yet, and I'll need to plan out a study schedule, but I didn't anticipate that much preparation.

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10 hours ago, conge said:

Am I reading that right? You studied for 12 hours a day for two months straight for NY exam?

I ask bc I'm approved to write the exam but haven't given a date yet, and I'll need to plan out a study schedule, but I didn't anticipate that much preparation.

It was a closed-book exam with any area of NY law examinable (even e.g. worker's compensation as unlikely as that would be), I didn't want to write it again, I had finished my articles and wasn't working at the time, it made sense to study as much as possible - I don't think that was that unusual to spend a lot of time.

Note that the current version is supposed to be significantly easier, no idea what current recommended study schedule is like.

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On 7/27/2017 at 8:07 PM, conge said:

Am I reading that right? You studied for 12 hours a day for two months straight for NY exam?

I ask bc I'm approved to write the exam but haven't given a date yet, and I'll need to plan out a study schedule, but I didn't anticipate that much preparation.

I think I only put in about 7 weeks total, maybe less, and only the last 2 weeks were 12+ hours a day. It was overkill, but that wasn't obvious at the time, and I was willing to risk overkill/not willing to risk failing. 

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On 29/07/2017 at 11:33 PM, theycancallyouhoju said:

I think I only put in about 7 weeks total, maybe less, and only the last 2 weeks were 12+ hours a day. It was overkill, but that wasn't obvious at the time, and I was willing to risk overkill/not willing to risk failing. 

Yes I should have clarified it wasn't 12 hours a day at the beginning - after the first day of the course there's not that much to review - but it's cumulative, as you learn more you also have to review material you've already studied, so it gets progressively more and more. In my case (barbri, and again, this was the previous version of the bar exam) they had a study guide with suggested topics to cover and review each day, I stuck with that and it grew to being 12 hours a day the last few weeks.

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Reviving a bit of an older topic to see if:

1- There are new folks who may be writing the NY Bar this July or in Feb 2019; and

2- Whether anyone who has written it since the change to the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) format can provide insight into bar prep courses and whether there were areas that they felt they needed extra attention having studied law in Canada.

I'm a 2010 British Columbia call, though after practicing law for 5 years, went back to my former career. I'm currently living in New York City for my wife's job and considering a change to get back in to law. I have no desire to do BigLaw, but there are some pretty interesting options in New York.

I've spent a lot of time reviewing old threads here and on top-law-schools, but any thoughts on challenges/courses/tips etc. regarding the new New York bar would be very helpful. With regard to the prep courses, I've read a lot on top-law-schools about the different pros and cons, though would definitely appreciate thoughts on coming at it from the Canadian background. i.e. did you do an "international" edition of the course? Did you find that you were lacking info? Or did they do a really good job of going over the basics?

My own challenge will be that I haven't touched certain subject matters since last writing a Canadian bar exam in 2009!

Cheers!

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I wrote the NY bar after the change to the UBE, after going to Canadian law school and articling in Canada.  The general verdict is that the UBE (which tests on federal law) is easier than the NY law specific test was.  That said, the UBE is still no cakewalk.  Most people I know used either Barbri or themis, and there are number of other reputable prep courses whose names escape me, all of which seem to work fine.  I used themis, which basically gives you notes, lectures, and a shit ton of practice questions and then gives you daily/weekly study targets to keep up with, and it was decent.

I’m not really sure which area would need extra attention as a Canadian.  The one big subject that’s totally alien is con law, but at the same time that subject felt easier, likely because it is a lot less dry than some of the other topics.  I wouldn’t expect whatever legal knowledge you currently have to give you too much of a head start on the bar, since even in familiar subjects like torts and contracts the test covers a bunch of obscure crap that you are unlikely to have encountered before.  You just have to put the work in, and if you are able to devote a month or two to full time studying you will be fine!

If you want to get a sense of the materials, the NYBLE publishes the old tests online, and I think themis lets you watch their 1L course lectures for free (most of the content of which is on the bar).  

Best of luck and welcome to NYC!

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