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S8232

Thoughts on a UK LLB (accelerated) paired with a BSc (Hon) + MSc Microbiology in Canada

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Hi there,

This may have been beaten to death in previous threads, and from what I gather, I should be prepared to suffer if I'm doing an LLB from the UK... But what I'm wondering is whether I would encounter the same difficulties or less resistance when coming with a science background? I'm told that there is a market for IP lawyers with an aptitude for science (please correct me if I've been misinformed), and since I have a BSc and an MSc in Microbiology & Immunology from a top-tier Canadian University, I figure I may have skills that make me more marketable when returning to Canada to practice law. For those with a similar background, or experience with returning to Canada after a UK-acquired LLB, would my education increase my chances of acquiring an articling position, or provide me with any additional advantage in a competitive niche? Other experiences include several publications at time of graduation across different disciplines, including Microbiology, Kinesiology, Dentistry. 

A little more information if you're wondering why I am hesitant about applying in Canada: 

My undergraduate grades are mediocre (~3.3 cGPA). I haven't taken a swing at the LSAT (would prefer to start as soon as possible; I'd have to consider study time/writing/applications, meaning I wouldn't be able to start until earliest 2020). Thoughts on whether I should consider Canadian law schools are also appreciated -- i.e., do I have shot? and if so, which schools would you recommend. 

Please be advised that I am not naive; I realize that grades in the UK are second to nothing, that extracurriculars are important, and that the NCA exams are not easy and will take an additional year. Just looking for some advice to my own unique situation. 

Thanks!

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It might give you a slight edge at two or three places, but it won’t overcome a foreign degree. 

Apply to Canadian schools. If you have lurked around here enough to know the general consensus on UK degrees, you can easily find out which schools to look into. 

Figure out your OLSAS GPA. Figure out your best two years. Figure out your last two years. And write a diagnostic LSAT (strictly timed, no cheating) to get an idea of your scoring capabilities. 

No one can give you any real input on just “3.3 cgpa”. 

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Agree with @Hegdis, but you should consider applying to Canadian schools now. You can write the November LSAT, apply broadly, and possibly start next sept. Your uGPA isn’t great, but it’s not going to prevent you from getting into a Canadian law school with a strong LSAT (think 165+) and your MSc. 

I would write a diagnostic and see where you’re at. If a 165 by November seems doable, consider applying this cycle. 

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10 hours ago, S8232 said:

Hi there,

This may have been beaten to death in previous threads, and from what I gather, I should be prepared to suffer if I'm doing an LLB from the UK... But what I'm wondering is whether I would encounter the same difficulties or less resistance when coming with a science background? I'm told that there is a market for IP lawyers with an aptitude for science (please correct me if I've been misinformed), and since I have a BSc and an MSc in Microbiology & Immunology from a top-tier Canadian University, I figure I may have skills that make me more marketable when returning to Canada to practice law. For those with a similar background, or experience with returning to Canada after a UK-acquired LLB, would my education increase my chances of acquiring an articling position, or provide me with any additional advantage in a competitive niche? Other experiences include several publications at time of graduation across different disciplines, including Microbiology, Kinesiology, Dentistry. 

A little more information if you're wondering why I am hesitant about applying in Canada: 

My undergraduate grades are mediocre (~3.3 cGPA). I haven't taken a swing at the LSAT (would prefer to start as soon as possible; I'd have to consider study time/writing/applications, meaning I wouldn't be able to start until earliest 2020). Thoughts on whether I should consider Canadian law schools are also appreciated -- i.e., do I have shot? and if so, which schools would you recommend. 

Please be advised that I am not naive; I realize that grades in the UK are second to nothing, that extracurriculars are important, and that the NCA exams are not easy and will take an additional year. Just looking for some advice to my own unique situation. 

Thanks!

You realize that it takes a lot of extra time for people returning from the UK to pass the NCAs, find a position etc? Starting in Canada in 2020 will probably take you less time to become a lawyer than going to the UK in 2019. 

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If you're not dead set on working in Canada, you could look into some of the big firms and see if they'll take you on as a patent guy or clerk or whatever they call you, and go to an American law school at night. I know of at least one big law American firm who does this for science people with masters (impressive ones.. so check in).

 

Generally I'd recommend just going to Canada if you can and even seeing if you want to do IP. You never know.

Edited by pzabbythesecond

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Your MSc is not as unique as you may think. In the Class of 2021 at UBC (these are rough numbers) they told us during our welcome ceremony the class demographics.

~35 students with advanced degrees (MD, PhD, Masters).

~120 students with a BA

~35 students with STEM degrees (includes advanced degrees)

~35 students with other degrees (BBA, BCOM, etc)

This is out of 190 students entering the UBC class of 2021 with average age being 24-25. Most students if not all, either have advanced degrees or professional experience of value with the exception of like 20 (or less) students who came straight from undergrad. 

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5 minutes ago, Lawby said:

Your MSc is not as unique as you may think. In the Class of 2021 at UBC (these are rough numbers) they told us during our welcome ceremony the class demographics.

~35 students with advanced degrees (MD, PhD, Masters).

~120 students with a BA

~35 students with STEM degrees (includes advanced degrees)

~35 students with other degrees (BBA, BCOM, etc)

This is out of 190 students entering the UBC class of 2021 with average age being 24-25. Most students if not all, either have advanced degrees or professional experience of value with the exception of like 20 (or less) students who came straight from undergrad. 

To add to this, all these students will also be graduating with a JD from UBC. This is your competition if you're trying to be hired at an IP firm in Vancouver (Oyen Wiggs, etc). You are better off going to school in Canada, where we have 2 - 3 events every week with a different firm in town who are generous enough to donate their time to us and give us tips and pointers on how to land a job at their firm (at least in Vancouver).

Also I had a lower GPA then you, it is worth a shot, before you decide to jump the pond.

Edited by Lawby
Spelling.

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Thank you everyone for reaching out. You've given me lots to consider and I definitely appreciate the advice. I'll have a closer look at Canadian law schools before I resort to the UK.

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On 9/12/2018 at 11:28 PM, Lawby said:

Your MSc is not as unique as you may think. In the Class of 2021 at UBC (these are rough numbers) they told us during our welcome ceremony the class demographics.

~35 students with advanced degrees (MD, PhD, Masters).

~120 students with a BA

~35 students with STEM degrees (includes advanced degrees)

~35 students with other degrees (BBA, BCOM, etc)

This is out of 190 students entering the UBC class of 2021 with average age being 24-25. Most students if not all, either have advanced degrees or professional experience of value with the exception of like 20 (or less) students who came straight from undergrad. 

This is really good feedback. 
I can personally attest to the fact these stats aren't unique to UBC, for the U of C class of 2020 there are alot of "STEM" degree holders, a number of which happen to have masters on top of it. 

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On 9/12/2018 at 8:57 AM, S8232 said:

Hi there,

This may have been beaten to death in previous threads, and from what I gather, I should be prepared to suffer if I'm doing an LLB from the UK... But what I'm wondering is whether I would encounter the same difficulties or less resistance when coming with a science background? I'm told that there is a market for IP lawyers with an aptitude for science (please correct me if I've been misinformed), and since I have a BSc and an MSc in Microbiology & Immunology from a top-tier Canadian University, I figure I may have skills that make me more marketable when returning to Canada to practice law. For those with a similar background, or experience with returning to Canada after a UK-acquired LLB, would my education increase my chances of acquiring an articling position, or provide me with any additional advantage in a competitive niche? Other experiences include several publications at time of graduation across different disciplines, including Microbiology, Kinesiology, Dentistry. 

A little more information if you're wondering why I am hesitant about applying in Canada: 

My undergraduate grades are mediocre (~3.3 cGPA). I haven't taken a swing at the LSAT (would prefer to start as soon as possible; I'd have to consider study time/writing/applications, meaning I wouldn't be able to start until earliest 2020). Thoughts on whether I should consider Canadian law schools are also appreciated -- i.e., do I have shot? and if so, which schools would you recommend. 

Please be advised that I am not naive; I realize that grades in the UK are second to nothing, that extracurriculars are important, and that the NCA exams are not easy and will take an additional year. Just looking for some advice to my own unique situation. 

Thanks!

You can get into a Canadian law school with a 3.3. Check the Windsor / TRU / UNB threads. 

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