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1Lofaride

Osgoode vs Queen's vs UBC?

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Hi everyone, 

I was recently admitted into Osgoode and Queen's, and am still waiting to hear back from UBC. I am from BC, and hope to practice in BC, but may want to work in Toronto, and eventually hope to pass the NY bar and practice there, if possible. 

I love the proximity of Osgoode to downtown Toronto, and know that many grads end up working at prestigious firms in downtown Toronto. As well, I've heard that New York recruits directly form Osgoode. Having said this, I am slightly deterred from choosing Osgoode, as I have heard questionable things about the location and the social aspect at the school. Is there anyone who attended Osgoode who would be able to share some insight on their experience? 

As for Queen's, I really like the international opportunities that they provide, and have heard great things about the school community. I am leaning slightly more towards Queen's at the moment, but would choosing Queen's over Osgoode put me at a disadvantage in terms of career prospects? I haven't heard of that many students who have gone off to work in New York from Queen's, but that could be because they never intended to in the first place.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, I really appreciate it! 

 

 

 

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18 hours ago, 1Lofaride said:

Hi everyone, 

I was recently admitted into Osgoode and Queen's, and am still waiting to hear back from UBC. I am from BC, and hope to practice in BC, but may want to work in Toronto, and eventually hope to pass the NY bar and practice there, if possible. 

I love the proximity of Osgoode to downtown Toronto, and know that many grads end up working at prestigious firms in downtown Toronto. As well, I've heard that New York recruits directly form Osgoode. Having said this, I am slightly deterred from choosing Osgoode, as I have heard questionable things about the location and the social aspect at the school. Is there anyone who attended Osgoode who would be able to share some insight on their experience? 

As for Queen's, I really like the international opportunities that they provide, and have heard great things about the school community. I am leaning slightly more towards Queen's at the moment, but would choosing Queen's over Osgoode put me at a disadvantage in terms of career prospects? I haven't heard of that many students who have gone off to work in New York from Queen's, but that could be because they never intended to in the first place.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, I really appreciate it! 

 

 

 

I'm a currently a student at Osgoode, and I also did my undergrad at York while living on campus. So the first point I'll address is the location of the campus. It sucks. There's no way around it. Although now that the subway is completed, you can just live downtown and take to subway to and from campus. With t hat being said, the safety concerns about York U and the surrounding area are vastly overblown. As someone who has lived in the area for almost 7 years now lets me declare for all of the world to know: Jane and Finch IS a safe place to live.

When choosing a law school the general advice on this forum is to go to the law school that is closest to where you want to practice. If you want to be a lawyer in NYC, then you be better served by going to a law school in NYC, or at least somewhere else in the North East. Getting a good job in NYC is very difficult for Canadian law school grads. And it makes sense. If you want to be a lawyer in New York, you should probably study the law of New York and not the law of another country.

My understanding is that the few Canadian in practice in NYC pretty much all come from U of T, Osgoode, and McGill. So going to one of those three schools would maximize your, already very slim, chances on getting a job in NYC with a Canadian law degree. I know that NYC firms come to U of T and Osgoode annually for OCI's, but not to Queens as far as I know.

Judging by the sounds of it you have not decided what city, or country for that matter, you want to practice law in. So you should probably go to the law school that gives you the most mobility and will keep as many doors open for you as possible. I'm inclined to think that Osgoode is better in that respect, although that might just be me swallowing the "Osgoode = most prestigious law school in Canada"  BS that they shove down our throats here to justify the $30k/year tuition.

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Be realistic. Your chances of landing New York from any of those schools is slim to none. New York firms almost exclusively recruit from U of T only now, particularly their JD/MBA program. Maybe 1-3 students from other schools like Osgoode, McGill, and Queen's will land them, but this could be due to a variety of factors - specialized background, connections, grades in the top 5% of their class, JD/MBAs, etc. 

Tuition costs are significantly different between UBC and Osgoode/Queen's. If you're hoping to practice in BC, is it worth the extra costs? If you do well at UBC, you can still apply for Toronto OCIs and articling and land a job here. Nobody in Ontario is going to scoff at a law degree from UBC. 

Toronto OCI numbers:

http://ultravires.ca/wp/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Recruitment-Special.pdf

http://ultravires.ca/2018/11/toronto-2l-hiring-numbers/

That said, these are some factors that would weigh in favour of Osgoode; the school does have a more national/international reach than UBC and Queen's:

https://www.osgoode.yorku.ca/programs/juris-doctor/experiential-education/internship-programs/

https://www.osgoode.yorku.ca/programs/juris-doctor/jd-program/clinics-intensives/

https://www.osgoode.yorku.ca/pro-bono-students-canada/

https://www.osgoode.yorku.ca/courses-and-seminars/

Edited by Deadpool
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@Deadpool

Thank you!! This is exactly what I was looking for. It's great to know that UBC grads still have a chance of landing Toronto OCI's. 

Edited by 1Lofaride

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@shawniebear

@Deadpool

Thank you for replying! Assuming that I'm going to practice in Toronto, would I be at a huge disadvantage by choosing Queen's over Osgoode? Personally, I'm leaning towards Queen's, but I don't want to decline Osgoode solely on the basis of a "less appealing social aspect." Although Queen's students seem to place very well when it comes to OCI's, I'm still having difficulty declining Osgoode... 

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That’s not true that your odds of working at a NYC firm are “slim to none” if you’re not at U of T.

I’m a McGill grad and more than a dozen students place at NYC firms every year (out of a class of 180). I can’t speak for Queens, but the market is hot at the moment and firms are willing to look beyond the border for talent.

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If you don't care about living in Toronto during your degree, I would pick Queens over Osgoode. The marginal advantage of Osgoode over Queens, whatever it is and wherever it appears, is negligible for the average student. 

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@AliasFinch thank you! I'm actually waiting to hear back from Mcgill, I've heard that the career prospects are unmatched! 

 

@BlockedQuebecois thank you! that's what I've heard, especially because Queen's students tend to place very highly when it comes to OCI's. 

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For NY, if you're not dead set on it and so don't want to study south of the border, your best shots are at u of t, McGill, Oz in that order. McGill gives you an advantage of working for those same firms offices in China, or France, or other civil law jurisdictions. It just takes leg work.

I recommend you not base your decision on NY chances though, unless you're dead set on corporate and are willing to also get an MBA.

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1 hour ago, AliasFinch said:

That’s not true that your odds of working at a NYC firm are “slim to none” if you’re not at U of T.

I’m a McGill grad and more than a dozen students place at NYC firms every year (out of a class of 180). I can’t speak for Queens, but the market is hot at the moment and firms are willing to look beyond the border for talent.

More than 12 students a year from McGill are placing at NYC firms every year? 

First post made immediately after new account was created too. OP, I'd advise you to take this with caution. Who knows, maybe it's true, but I'd wait for confirmation from other established posters here to respond. 

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29 minutes ago, Deadpool said:

More than 12 students a year from McGill are placing at NYC firms every year? 

First post made immediately after new account was created too. OP, I'd advise you to take this with caution. Who knows, maybe it's true, but I'd wait for confirmation from other established posters here to respond. 

Most recent information I could find from our Career Development Office says 6 students were hired (out of 30 who applied). 

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42 minutes ago, Girona said:

Most recent information I could find from our Career Development Office says 6 students were hired (out of 30 who applied). 

Thanks for sharing the stats! Very informative for OCI success rates.

OCI numbers (mainly 1L & 2L students) make up around half of the NYC hires I encounter, so this is about what I would expect. Every year an additional batch of 3/4Ls make it to NYC outside of the OCI process (I know two personally, there could be more from that cohort). 

There’s also a regular handful who make it after clerking - I’m not sure the CDO includes those numbers in what they send out (thanks for correcting me if they already do). There’s usually 1-2 SCC clerks (out of the average 6 clerks per cohort) in a given year who land major starting bonuses in NYC. There should be a number of Court of Appeal clerks in similar positions but they’re a bit less high-profile, so I can’t speak to those numbers as much.

One possible factor for McGill’s NY success (for average students, not the ones with stellar grades) is that you have an additional year to sort out your career and pick relevant classes if you decide on leaving Canada. 

Out of fairness to @Deadpool, I don’t know how many McGill grads decide to stay in NYC for good. I know a couple who decided it wasn’t for them and returned after their first summer in NYC. I definitely see more U of T senior associates and partners on NYC firm directories.

 

Edited by AliasFinch
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11 minutes ago, AliasFinch said:

Thanks for the stats! Very informative for OCI success rates.

This is about what I would expect. Every year an additional batch of students make it to NYC outside of the OCI process. There’s also a regular handful who make it after clerking (does the CDO include those numbers in what they sent you? Thanks for correcting me if they already do).

Those numbers only include those who were hired through the OCI process. I don’t know if the CDO keeps track of where graduates end up after clerking. 

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There's roughly 5-15 McGill people who end up in NY for let's say each associate year of call. How they end up there differs.

This isn't to even mention how many actually apply. I've heard a 3.3 being the magic GPA number for hiring, with 3.2 and above giving you a good shot at a handful of in firms (which of course often have GPA be less important at that stage). 

The myth that you need to be in the top 5 percent, or even necessarily Dean's list is wholely inaccurate.

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I just want to say, your odds of placing in NYC are slim to none straight out of school. But I've heard of many lawyers - from many different schools in Ontario - who work on Bay St for a few years, pass the NY bar, and end up in NY. More common (and much easier) than you think - because the turn-over rate in NY firms are so high, and these ppl hire armies of associates at a time. Alternatively, you can always do a 1 year LLM in US, pass NY bar, and go that way.

I think, generally speaking, you will find as the real problem with working in NY, is the sheer volume of hours and work that these jobs demand. As well, many people don't do it because it's also quite a bit of work to study and pass the NY bar. But if you are up for that, then go for it.

Also, for one reason or another, I've found working in Toronto and going to BC is much easier than starting in BC and ending up in Toronto. So something to consider. 

Other than that, I don't really have much advice as between Osgoode and Queen's. I think their OCI placement percentage is very close.

Edited by johnalm

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Maybe I'm biased because a lot of my friends and I either summered in NY or had the opportunity to go, but I feel like the difficulty of landing a job in NY from UofT or Osgoode is being overblown. I wouldn't say its easy but the odds are also not "slim to none". 

Edited to add that Osgoode's career development office is also pretty knowledge and helpful with the NY recruit because they have more than a handful of students who go every year. They've gone so far as to organize panels and workshops specifically geared towards the NY recruit. I wont say more because I dont want to out myself 😂

Edited by healthlaw
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16 minutes ago, healthlaw said:

Maybe I'm biased because a lot of my friends and I either summered in NY or had the opportunity to go, but I feel like the difficulty of landing a job in NY from UofT or Osgoode is being overblown. I wouldn't say its easy but the odds are also not "slim to none". 

Edited to add that Osgoode's career development office is also pretty knowledge and helpful with the NY recruit because they have more than a handful of students who go every year. They've gone so far as to organize panels and workshops specifically geared towards the NY recruit. I wont say more because I dont want to out myself 😂

From my graduating class of 2018, I only know of 4 in New York right now. I asked the CDO and they said it was around that number. There's 2 clerking at the Court of Appeal who would probably go the New York route after they're done. The two clerking at SCC are pursuing public interest and social justice careers. 

Edited by Deadpool

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1 minute ago, Deadpool said:

From my graduating class of 2018, I only know of 3 in New York right now. I asked the CDO and they said it was around that number. There's 2 clerking at the Court of Appeal who would probably go the New York route after they're done. The two clerking at SCC are pursuing public interest and social justice careers. 

Yeah sorry I was talking about people who summered or at least interviewed. I know that some chose to clerk or article/not return to NY after graduation. 

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On 3/16/2019 at 3:33 PM, 1Lofaride said:

I was recently admitted into Osgoode and Queen's, and am still waiting to hear back from UBC. I am from BC, and hope to practice in BC, but may want to work in Toronto, and eventually hope to pass the NY bar and practice there, if possible.

 

 

 

You can go to UBC and get jobs in Toronto, or go to Osgoode/Queen's and get a job in BC. That being said, it is easier to network when you are studying in the City where you want to work. If you're in BC, you can't ask a lawyer in Toronto to go for coffee.

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