Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Cheeks

Canadian 1L at a US law school taking questions ...

Recommended Posts

Hey all ...

 

thought I'd drop in and see if anyone had any questions/concerns/rants about studying law in the US. I'd be more than happy to give any limited insight that I might have.

 

Hope applications are going well ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2 Questions:

 

How are you paying?

 

How tough is the competition (curve)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(1) Paying by a combination of my own money, grants from my school, and loans from my school. To be honest, my school makes it very easy for me to pay, or take out any necessary loans, and I haven't had to worry much about the whole issue. I imagine it would be the same at any of the top schools. If you're willing to make the investment, they're willing to loan you the money.

 

(2) The competition can be intense, but it is what it is. I think law school in general is pretty competitive as law students tend to be like that. At my school, the average is a B+. About 10% of students get As, the next 20% A-s, 30% B+s, 30% Bs, and the rest B-s and Cs. People fight ridiculously hard for the As and A-s, but in the end, grading seems rather arbitrary and the variations in marks don't seem overly important.

 

I think that its very difficult to characterize the atmosphere. I think the worst part of it is the pressure, not from the grading, but from participation in class and this weird feeling that you're always been assessed, critiqued. A lot of people start feeling very intellectually inferior, and there have been a few breakdowns.

 

And this obviously depends a lot on your individual personality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm wondering if you have anything lined up for 1L Summer. Are you planning on staying in the US for the summer, or coming back to Canada to find something?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Cheeks,

 

Thanks for doing this.

 

Questions:

 

Does being Canadian put you in the International category for admissions - i.e. pump this up in the app to up their diversity factor?

 

What are the major diffs you've found being at a US school instead of Canadian?

 

Do you plan on coming back?

 

Does going to a 1st tier school really matter in the US for top career opportunities? Or is it better to graduate with less debt/more scholarships from a smaller school?

 

Thanks! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hey, thanks for taking the time and i hope that you are still answering.

 

two big questions. first, work and visas. i have been looking into the student visa apparently one is not allowed to work off campus except in case of extreme and unforseen need. however, i assume that you will be working 2l summer while still on the student visa. how does this work? how feasible is it to think that one could work off campus part time during 2l and 3l, ie internships, research, temp work etcetera? for what it matters, i'm hoping to be in NYC.

 

second, could you give some examples of moments where you have thought to yourself "boy, this would never have been possible at a Canadian school"? ie prestige and employment opportunities aside, what are you getting out of being at an elite school?

 

thanks again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm wondering if you have anything lined up for 1L Summer. Are you planning on staying in the US for the summer, or coming back to Canada to find something?

 

I'll be coming bakc to Canada this summer, and doing some public interest work.

 

I found that it would have been fairly easy for me to do both though. Even if I wanted to work at a US law firm, it wouldn't have been too difficult to find a position.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey Cheeks,

 

Thanks for doing this.

 

Questions:

 

Does being Canadian put you in the International category for admissions - i.e. pump this up in the app to up their diversity factor?

 

What are the major diffs you've found being at a US school instead of Canadian?

 

Do you plan on coming back?

 

Does going to a 1st tier school really matter in the US for top career opportunities? Or is it better to graduate with less debt/more scholarships from a smaller school?

 

Thanks! :)

 

1) Yes, being Canadian puts you in the interenational category. I don't think this really helps though - if anything might hurt. Schools typically don't accept too many international students, and while they say they evaluate on the same criteria, I suspect it's a little harder for international students.

 

2) I hadn't really thought this would be a problem until I got here, but all American law is essentially built around American history. Everything I study has ties to the civil war, the American revolution, the declaration of independence, the union of the 13 states ... and I really knew nothing about these things. Things like 'federalism' play major roles in the jurisprudence, and at first, I found it extremely difficult to understand a lot of the constitutional law because of this.

 

3) Not sure if i plan on coming back immediately, but eventually, I would like to for sure. I miss toronto, and can't wait to be back for the summer.

 

4) I'm not sure I can answer this, without knowing specifics about the schools and whatnot. If you're looking at the top 15 or so schools, I would say go to the best one you get into, regardless of money - and if you want to return to Canada, international rep. will matter for sure. If you are looking at lower schools, a lot will depend on where you want to practice, how much you want to pay, and a number of other factors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hey, thanks for taking the time and i hope that you are still answering.

 

two big questions. first, work and visas. i have been looking into the student visa apparently one is not allowed to work off campus except in case of extreme and unforseen need. however, i assume that you will be working 2l summer while still on the student visa. how does this work? how feasible is it to think that one could work off campus part time during 2l and 3l, ie internships, research, temp work etcetera? for what it matters, i'm hoping to be in NYC.

 

second, could you give some examples of moments where you have thought to yourself "boy, this would never have been possible at a Canadian school"? ie prestige and employment opportunities aside, what are you getting out of being at an elite school?

 

thanks again.

 

1) For the summers with firms, it's not an issue at all. The firm will sponsor you for a temp. work permit and I would doubt you would even have to do much work. As for working off campus during the school year, I don't think you are allowed to do that - unless you were able to get your employer to sponsor you like a firm would. Mind you, it is very unlikely you will be able to do this regardless ... way too much work.

 

2) lol.

 

Before I get into a little rant ... looking back on it, at the school itself, I don't think that there is really too many opportunities that wouldn't be available at a Canadian school. My school in particular has a ton of money, so we have almost every club, organization, student body you can think of - but realistically, any Canadian school could implement the same thing.

 

One of the most amazing thing about going to HLS is the people who I get to learn law from. It's actually really incredible. Yesterday I walked by Charles Fried in the library and still couldn't believe that I'm actually get to study law around these people. Or our moot court competition is judged by typically two supreme court judges. Arguing before J. Scalia and J. Breyer can certainly be a life experience.

 

That said ...

 

There are times that I really regret not learning Canadian law (and I can tell you that the other Canadians at my school feel the same). In a weird way, I feel a little like I've betrayed my country sometimes - and it can be sad. Sitting in class learning about the US Constitution for months can make you feel a little out of your element. I know absolutely nothing about the Canadian legal system, the Canadian Constitution, or the Canadian law, and it really bothers me. There's not much I can do about it though. sigh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1.i was under the impression that people have a fair amount of time on their hands come second and third year and thought that it would be a good chance to get some policy related experience before heading off into the cave of BIGLAW for however long. oh well, perhaps it is not the most practical plan on at least two fronts. good to know.

 

2.there is a quote on the cls website which seems quite to the point. it says something like "cls taught me to be at home among excellence". i guess this is what you are learning at harvard as well. i had wanted to add another question about yr classmates. i have friends at hysccn and at mcgill/UofT and i dont really see a difference at an individual level. does the above quote apply in this case as well?

 

thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1.i was under the impression that people have a fair amount of time on their hands come second and third year and thought that it would be a good chance to get some policy related experience before heading off into the cave of BIGLAW for however long. oh well, perhaps it is not the most practical plan on at least two fronts. good to know.

 

2.there is a quote on the cls website which seems quite to the point. it says something like "cls taught me to be at home among excellence". i guess this is what you are learning at harvard as well. i had wanted to add another question about yr classmates. i have friends at hysccn and at mcgill/UofT and i dont really see a difference at an individual level. does the above quote apply in this case as well?

 

thanks.

 

I can't speak to the other schools, but I can tell you this ...

 

The law is what it is. It changes daily, and to be honest, really isn't all that complex. However, the theories behind the law, historical underpinings, and justifications for our legal system and the rights we uphold are complex and far from intuitive. And these are things you really can't learn from a textbook or a professor.

 

Almost everything useful that I've learn thus far has been from my classmates, and everyday, I'm in awe that I get to study law with these people. I swear, each class I look around and think that I have no business being in the same room as my classmates.

 

And this may be the best part of law school. For example, i'm studying property right now, and property law is fairly laid out and hasn't changed much (at least in the US over the past 100 years save IP law). But why do we have property rights? What gives someone a "right" to property? Is there a natural, normative right to your possessions, or merely a matter of convention? These are things you need to decide for yourself, and no textbook or law prof can make up your mind for you. but discussing it in class, or over lunch w/ your classmates can - and I think this is invaluable to learning the "law".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

one more question for you. what do you think of canadians doing a top US LLM?

 

I really want to work internationally which means that US commercial law seems to be the ticket for the beginning of my career. Do LLMs get equal access/treatment at OCI? Any thoughts about why it would be a bad plan to do my three year LLB in Canada (UBC), hope for the best in terms of finding a good job after 1L summer, but hold the fall-back plan of applying directly to top LLM programs upon graduation?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
one more question for you. what do you think of canadians doing a top US LLM?

 

I really want to work internationally which means that US commercial law seems to be the ticket for the beginning of my career. Do LLMs get equal access/treatment at OCI? Any thoughts about why it would be a bad plan to do my three year LLB in Canada (UBC), hope for the best in terms of finding a good job after 1L summer, but hold the fall-back plan of applying directly to top LLM programs upon graduation?

 

There are plenty of Canadian LLMs at my school. I know to get in, you have to do quite well in your LLB degree. As for treatment during OCI, I really don't know. From what I understand, they have their own OCI, and firms typically will hire them for one year after graduation. I would recommend talking to an LLM about this; they would be able to give you a lot more insight than I would.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Question: What books do you recommend to prepare for studying American law?

 

Thanks for being here to answer our questions! This is a great thread

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: LLM. Having studied law and being a holder of a JD from a US school, my understanding is that LLMs are really for when one wishes to practice a specialized field or enter academia. These specialized fields are quite limited, the most prominent being Taxation in which an LLM is implicitly required if you want to get anywhere (I know a law school classmate who recently went back and completed it as she wants to do tax law). Otherwise, most fields do not call for an LLM, and having one gives you not much edge or advantage.

 

I am not sure why you think UBC is a fall back plan as if it was a mediocre school that requires a top-school LLM option. And if you want to work internationally, US commercial law isn't the only path unless that is what you want to practice in particular. I want to work internationally, too, but I would hate getting into commercial/corporate field. I prefer to go the human rights route. My suggestion is to stick with your UBC LLB, get the best marks as you can possible, get on moot court or a law journal, and find a summer position at a prestigious multinational firm in Toronto or even Vancouver (with offices all over the world), perhaps do mergers & acquisitions or corporate commercial. If your goal is to work internationally rather than enter a specialized field that calls for an LLM, then don't put time and money into an LLM simply for that objective.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


  • Recent Posts

    • What are my chances for an interview at one of the big firms for the 1L recruit? My 1st term marks are as follows: Contracts - A Torts - B Criminal - A School is Osgoode 
    • Dude, come on. This person worked hard to get into law school. Congratulate them or don't say anything at all. Why poke fun at them now and belittle them?  Major congrats oceann. You're going to law school and on your way to becoming a lawyer. Wish you the best of luck in the rest of the process. 
    • From my understanding, Osgoode’s actual bursary application does not open until the first week of classes.    The early bursary notification application, which is filled out prior to the start of law school, only tells you whether you are likely to receive bursary funding should you apply. It doesn’t tell you the likely quantum of funding.    As such, missing the deadline for this early bursary notification program should not exclude you from receiving funding since you actually apply for this at the beginning of term.    Unless the process is different than last year or the year prior, there’s no need to worry! 
    • Now you get a chance to learn Python. Congratulations! You are still a number, either 1 (true) or 0 (false).😂  

×
×
  • Create New...