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9cents

Should I do LLM/JD in Canada or would NCA be enough?

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Hi all,

I have a LLB from Korea and a bachelor from an Ivy League school in the US.  I plan on passing bar in the US next year.

My current situation is that I am moving to Canada and I just began my research about how to transfer a Korean LLB to Canada. 

I found out that I can sit for NCA exams or take equivalent courses in any canadian law school.

My question arose because I am not sure about the employability of this path.

How are foreign LLB graduates with NCA certificates treated/viewed in the legal market in Canada? 

I presume that it would be difficult to go to biglaws but is it hard to go to midfirms as well?

For example, in the US even if you pass the bar and do LLM after your foreign degree, it is almost impossible for you to get a decent job.

And everyone recommends that you redo a JD.

 

If this is similar in Canada, given my not-so-old age, I am willing to restart and redo JD or LLM.

In this case, would foreign LLB + NCA + Canadian LLM worth of? Would Canadian LLM give me better employability in the market?

Or should I do simply redo JD?

If I choose to do JD I don't think I can go to top schools like UoT but more maybe lower tier(?) schools like TRU or Windsor (I don't know other schools other than these ones). 

Your comment would be appreciated a lot. Thanks

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On 11/21/2018 at 12:52 AM, 9cents said:

Hi all,

I have a LLB from Korea and a bachelor from an Ivy League school in the US.  I plan on passing bar in the US next year.

My current situation is that I am moving to Canada and I just began my research about how to transfer a Korean LLB to Canada. 

I found out that I can sit for NCA exams or take equivalent courses in any canadian law school.

My question arose because I am not sure about the employability of this path.

How are foreign LLB graduates with NCA certificates treated/viewed in the legal market in Canada? 

I presume that it would be difficult to go to biglaws but is it hard to go to midfirms as well?

For example, in the US even if you pass the bar and do LLM after your foreign degree, it is almost impossible for you to get a decent job.

And everyone recommends that you redo a JD.

 

If this is similar in Canada, given my not-so-old age, I am willing to restart and redo JD or LLM.

In this case, would foreign LLB + NCA + Canadian LLM worth of? Would Canadian LLM give me better employability in the market?

Or should I do simply redo JD?

If I choose to do JD I don't think I can go to top schools like UoT but more maybe lower tier(?) schools like TRU or Windsor (I don't know other schools other than these ones). 

Your comment would be appreciated a lot. Thanks

I'm not sure what your situation is, but I do think it would help if you had some legal experience beforehand. Otherwise, it would be somewhat difficult to enter the legal market in Canada without a JD. If this is your case, then I would say it's best to do a JD degree in Canada to help build your connections. 

On the other hand, if you already have some experience (a few years) under your belt, then I would probably suggest choosing the LLM, given that doing the JD would take 3 years and a lot of financial resources. Generally, it is looked upon favourably for foreign lawyers with experience, so I wouldn't be too concerned about the NCA process if you fit in this category. While I'm not sure how many NCA exams you will need to complete, I do think you will have a decent chance if you are motivated and determined to get an articling position.

With that said, should you go the LLM route, you might be able to go through the in-firm interview process if you go to Osgoode. That might come in handy if your plan is to work at a big law firm. 

Best of luck!

Edited by timeisticking
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Why did you go to law school in Korea and not USA or Canada?

Are you coming to Canada as immigrant or as return Canadian citizen?

 

Edited by Luckycharm

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Back then I didn't know that I would be going to Canada and knew I would stay in Korea. I am going as an immigrant with a pr card. Thanks

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Thank you so much for the advice. No, I do not have legal esperience :( But my degree in the US was kinda like law, plus my minor was law. 

I had some law clerk experience. I don't know if this would help, probably not so much. 

But I saw lots of posts here by the UK llb graduates and I assume they probably are in the similar situation where they have no experience and with a foreign degree. Only difference with me is that their degree is from common law and mine is not. Does that mean UK llb graduates also find it difficult to get a job in Canada w/o LLM or experience? If there is any UK graduates or currently attending students who can comment on this, it will be great. Thanks.

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22 hours ago, 9cents said:

Thank you so much for the advice. No, I do not have legal esperience :( But my degree in the US was kinda like law, plus my minor was law. 

I had some law clerk experience. I don't know if this would help, probably not so much. 

But I saw lots of posts here by the UK llb graduates and I assume they probably are in the similar situation where they have no experience and with a foreign degree. Only difference with me is that their degree is from common law and mine is not. Does that mean UK llb graduates also find it difficult to get a job in Canada w/o LLM or experience? If there is any UK graduates or currently attending students who can comment on this, it will be great. Thanks.

Without legal experience, it's going to be much more difficult for you when searching for an articling position. 

Should you choose to pursue the LLM route, do note that it will be an arduous process (particularly for an international student). You should be able to get a post-graduate work permit for a year to allow you to do a job search. Once that golden period is over, it will be extremely difficult to continue on. Many people have given up because of the inability to secure an articling position. Some have even withdrawn from the licensing process and went back to their respective countries. Choose wisely and make sure that you make the most of your time to network with local lawyers to ensure that you get an articling position after you finish your NCA exams. 

Edited by timeisticking
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49 minutes ago, timeisticking said:

Without legal experience, it's going to be much more difficult for you when searching for an articling position. 

Should you choose to pursue the LLM route, do note that it will be an arduous process (particularly for an international student). You should be able to get a post-graduate work permit for a year to allow you to do a job search. Once that golden period is over, it will be extremely difficult to continue on. Many people have given up because of the inability to secure an articling position. Some have even withdrawn from the licensing process and went back to their respective countries. Choose wisely and make sure that you make the most of your time to network with local lawyers to ensure that you get an articling position after you finish your NCA exams. 

legal experience in Korea will not really help. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Luckycharm said:

legal experience in Korea will not really help. 

 

 

Yes, I did not refute that. My point goes back to the lack of Canadian legal experience and how that would affect the OP's chances of getting an articling position, even if he/she chooses to pursue an LLM degree.

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5 minutes ago, timeisticking said:

Yes, I did not refute that. My point goes back to the lack of Canadian legal experience and how that would affect the OP's chances of getting an articling position, even if he/she chooses to pursue an LLM degree.

I doubt any firm in Canada will hire someone with a LLB from Korea. 

 

 

Edited by Luckycharm

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My two cents - fluency in Korean with Korean legal experience will get you far with law firms owned by Koreans in cities like Toronto and Vancouver where they do a ton of business within their own community and would probably be more welcoming to help you with doing your articles. Get cracking with the networking, do some research on LinkedIn and Google and when you reach book your calendar solid with meetings; you will be surprised at how positively they will respond to you. If you can get a mentor and help with articles then just do the LLM if not do the JD.

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On 11/21/2018 at 12:52 AM, 9cents said:

In this case, would foreign LLB + NCA + Canadian LLM worth of? Would Canadian LLM give me better employability in the market?

Or should I do simply redo JD?

I hate to give you such a terrible answer to this and that is whichever way you choose the market is saturated, the prestige is gone, the competition is high, the mentality of the people hasn't caught up with the idealism that is talked about by the Law Society. It's a lot of money to find out later. 

The culture here is different and you will experience racism and you will have to figure out how to work around that. If you do the LLM + NCA it doesn't mean you have better employability it just means you can be treated or thought of as different to JD students. 

If you were thinking of doing anything do the New York Bar it would be easier than the years you will have to spend competing with people on a course because they don't have the broader travel experience to welcome new comers instead they see them as competition. 

Some of my friends were Chinese and Korean and in the end they all just made groups amongst themselves. You might think you will come here and it's like a music video where everyone is friends with everyone but it's not. 

Good luck

 

 

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On 11/26/2018 at 3:37 AM, timeisticking said:

I'm not sure what your situation is, but I do think it would help if you had some legal experience beforehand. Otherwise, it would be somewhat difficult to enter the legal market in Canada without a JD. If this is your case, then I would say it's best to do a JD degree in Canada to help build your connections. 

On the other hand, if you already have some experience (a few years) under your belt, then I would probably suggest choosing the LLM, given that doing the JD would take 3 years and a lot of financial resources. Generally, it is looked upon favourably for foreign lawyers with experience, so I wouldn't be too concerned about the NCA process if you fit in this category. While I'm not sure how many NCA exams you will need to complete, I do think you will have a decent chance if you are motivated and determined to get an articling position.

With that said, should you go the LLM route, you might be able to go through the in-firm interview process if you go to Osgoode. That might come in handy if your plan is to work at a big law firm. 

Best of luck!

What type of interview process does Osgoode provide?

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On 11/28/2018 at 11:03 PM, timeisticking said:

Yes, I did not refute that. My point goes back to the lack of Canadian legal experience and how that would affect the OP's chances of getting an articling position, even if he/she chooses to pursue an LLM degree.

That is why I suggested OP to apply to Canadian Law School.

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On 12/24/2018 at 8:50 PM, Blakpepa said:

My two cents - fluency in Korean with Korean legal experience will get you far with law firms owned by Koreans in cities like Toronto and Vancouver where they do a ton of business within their own community and would probably be more welcoming to help you with doing your articles. Get cracking with the networking, do some research on LinkedIn and Google and when you reach book your calendar solid with meetings; you will be surprised at how positively they will respond to you. If you can get a mentor and help with articles then just do the LLM if not do the JD.

Why do you think Korean Law firm will be interested in someone with Korean legal experience?  

Fluency in Korean may have help but I know a few Canadian Law graduates who can speak a second or third language fluently including Korean, Chinese, Italian ... and then I don't see a huge advantage (there are some but not very much) 

 

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On 1/11/2019 at 5:35 PM, Luckycharm said:

That is why I suggested OP to apply to Canadian Law School.

Yes, I mentioned that in my original response to the OP as well. 

On 1/11/2019 at 4:50 PM, cgoppy said:

What type of interview process does Osgoode provide?

I'm not too sure if they still offer this option, but I believe they allowed the Professional LLM students to participate in the OCI process for summer student positions, which later translated to articling positions (provided that they qualified).  

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