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Megbean123

McGill/ u of t

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Just got admitted to McGill. I’m beyond ecstatic but now is the time for me to decide between McGill and U of T, truthfully, a reality I never imagined in September when I was applying.

Made a pro/con list but my real question is: does u of t provide any tangible benefit over McGill if I want to pursue family law? 

-I am strongly considering living in Toronto in the future. So of course that is a plus to u of t. But, is it a plus worth 150k of debt?

-I am not in a financial state where I can go to u of t without a credit line and loans.mcgill is obviously more affordable. 

-I know many current students at McGill who can help me navigate the waters. I only know one person at u of t who seems like a super genius and might have found everything “easy”  

-my home and support system is in Montreal. 

BUT - will I have any difficulty getting into a family law firm in Toronto? Can I intern in Toronto over the summers and so, build some connections? Are hiring habits u of t and osgoode or nothing? Do firms understand that McGill covers Ontario laws as well? Will I be wholly unprepared to practice Toronto law? 

Note - I will likely try and pursue a masters after law school in Toronto, would that “fix” any of the detriments going to McGill would have had? I know of at least one case where a student went to umiami and pursued a masters at a Toronto uni and it worked for them. 

Another note - probably should be on another thread but not quite sure where - I’m interning at a well known family law firm in Montreal (granted, not yet in law school so I’d be surprised if they let me do anything fancy), will Toronto firms consider this, or take the time to look it up because they won’t be familiar with the lawyers ? Would I be better off interning at a firm with Toronto offices that is not in a field that is interesting to me? If I continue interning at the Montreal firm throughout my 3 years would I have beeen better off trying to find summer positions in Toronto? 

Edited by Megbean123

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My two cents.  IF you intend on working and living in Toronto - then definitely consider UofT...I would think you are might be more likely to benefit from connections there....both to find employment and over the long term in practice by the peers going through school with you...BUT if you intend to practice anywhere but Toronto, seriously consider the financial cost of the degree, the fact that establishing a practice takes time (making paying that debt challenging) and the fact that it does not give you any greater qualification than any other law school and McGill has a stellar reputation.  

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Whether you think taking on 150k+ debt for a career in family law is worth it, is an individual decision and nobody can answer that for you. Leaving aside whether U of T does have any advantages in family law over McGill, how much do you think you're going to make as a family lawyer in Toronto/Montreal? Since you're interning at a family law firm, did you ask the lawyers about average salaries in the field?

Obviously people can change career tracks, but there is a reason that only 1% of U of T law's graduating class goes into family law. 

https://www.law.utoronto.ca/student-life/career-development-office/career-statistics

Edited by Deadpool
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13 minutes ago, Deadpool said:

Whether you think taking on 150k+ debt for a career in family law is worth it, is an individual decision and nobody can answer that for you. Leaving aside whether U of T does have any advantages in family law over McGill, how much do you think you're going to make as a family lawyer in Toronto/Montreal? Since you're interning at a family law firm, did you ask the lawyers about average salaries in the field?

Obviously people can change career tracks, but there is a reason that only 1% of U of T law's graduating class goes into family law. 

https://www.law.utoronto.ca/student-life/career-development-office/career-statistics

That was exactly what I was thinking although I did see som sort of debt forgiveness program at u of t if u make under a certain amount. I’m more trying to understand if there is really any advantage to u of t for that particular field. It seems like not really 

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I'd warn you against knowing what kind of law you'll find interesting enough to want to practice before even stepping foot in law school.

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11 minutes ago, Megbean123 said:

That was exactly what I was thinking although I did see som sort of debt forgiveness program at u of t if u make under a certain amount. I’m more trying to understand if there is really any advantage to u of t for that particular field. It seems like not really 

https://www.law.utoronto.ca/academic-programs/jd-program/financial-aid-and-fees/back-end-debt-relief-program

Honestly, most family law firms have 1-15 lawyers. There's a bunch of them in Toronto. You don't need to go to U of T or Osgoode to work at one of these small firms. Nobody really cares where you went to law school for this field. However, how sure are you that family law is what you want to do?

U of T's biggest advantage is Biglaw on Bay Street, and the few students that land New York jobs. Are you interested in corporate commercial at all?

Edited by Deadpool

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You should confirm the details but I don't think the debt relief applies to debt incurred with a PSLOC.

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54 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

I'd warn you against knowing what kind of law you'll find interesting enough to want to practice before even stepping foot in law school.

On the other hand, I went in knowing I wanted to do tax law, and I am now doing tax law and want to keep doing tax law. 

Mind, I am a weirdo. 

Edited by Skweemish

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3 minutes ago, Skweemish said:

On the other hand, I went in knowing I wanted to do tax law, and I am now doing tax law and want to keep doing tax law. 

Mind, I am a weirdo. 

You're the exception to the rule. Surely most would agree with this.

 

To add to that idea, I've found it's more likely for someone who's a k-JD candidate than someone who works then comes back. as a K-JD student, you enter law school still in your formative years, and are more susceptible to change in what you like. OP as far as I know is a k-JD candidate.

Edited by pzabbythesecond
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14 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

You're the exception to the rule. Surely most would agree with this.

 

To add to that idea, I've found it's more likely for someone who's a k-JD candidate than someone who works then comes back. as a K-JD student, you enter law school still in your formative years, and are more susceptible to change in what you like. OP as far as I know is a k-JD candidate.

I think I’m more aware of what i don’t want to do although admittedly feel like i want family. I interned in corporate/real estate and hated it so if bay st is the only advantage to u of t doesn’t seem so worth it but ultimately I’m torn

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6 minutes ago, Megbean123 said:

I think I’m more aware of what i don’t want to do although admittedly feel like i want family. I interned in corporate/real estate and hated it so if bay st is the only advantage to u of t doesn’t seem so worth it but ultimately I’m torn

Interns don't do legal work. Non law interns anyway. 

I'm saying don't make an assumption you may come to regret making. Your debt levels are certain. Your career path is all but.

Edited by pzabbythesecond
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I attended McGill, took every family law related course on offer, and, for a while, contemplated a career in family law.

Things I liked about McGill: 1) the low cost of attendance.

Things I did not like about McGill: 1) the family law courses seemed to be civil law heavy; 2) limited clinical opportunities; 3) the difficulty in networking with folks in Toronto that don't practice "big law".

On the whole, I'd still recommend McGill. I found employers were interested in knowing if I took courses with titles relevant to their practice areas and if I did well in them. You'll probably be learning most of what you need to know on the job anyways. Likewise, for the clinical programs. It was frustrating that law students in Quebec are limited to providing legal information but I found that most interviewers were interested in the soft skills that come with clinic experience.

 

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On 1/10/2019 at 12:06 AM, Megbean123 said:

Just got admitted to McGill. I’m beyond ecstatic but now is the time for me to decide between McGill and U of T, truthfully, a reality I never imagined in September when I was applying.

My usual advice is, all other things being equal, to go to school in the city or area you want to practice in.  But it sounds like everything is not equal for you.

$150,000 in debt is a lot of money, and will impact you for years down the road.  I repeat that students going into law school often don't know what working as a lawyer is like so they often change their mind about what kind of law they'd like to practice, but OP sounds like he or she has a better idea than many about what being a family law lawyer is like.  And not having that kind of heavy debt would make a big difference in starting out as a new family law lawyer.

I have no doubt that going to school in Toronto would be an advantage in trying to get a job in that city.  But Toronto is Canada's largest city, and it attracts people from all across Canada.  Employers won't bat an eye at someone from Montreal trying to move to Toronto.  And McGill is certainly a well-known school that employers will know all about.

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On 1/10/2019 at 2:42 PM, Megbean123 said:

That was exactly what I was thinking although I did see som sort of debt forgiveness program at u of t if u make under a certain amount. I’m more trying to understand if there is really any advantage to u of t for that particular field. It seems like not really 

To build on whereverjustice's caution upthread, I don't know that anyone has ever accessed the debt relief program at U of T. As I roughly remember, the debt to be forgiven must be a Faculty of Law interest free loan, you must be below the income/asset cutoff, and then the Faculty retains a discretion to reject or reduce your forgiveness from the public 'guidelines.'

Edited by Eeee
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