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TRU vs. Bora Laskin (Lakehead)

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Hi all,

TRU and BL are both fairly new schools and in smaller locations. I would like to practice in Ontario. Would BL be better for me just because it is in Ontario? Leaving the question open-ended to get a variety of responses.

Thanks!

Edited by lawstories

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I agree with AJD19 - if you want to practice in Ontario, I can't see any reason why you would pick TRU over Lakehead. Every 'downside' that you might worry about Lakehead also exists at TRU (eg newer schools, smaller alumni network), and the two have nearly identical tuition (TRU is actually about $1k more expensive, $19,443 over BL's $18,593). Even the cities are similar sizes. Unless you think three years in the mountains would be worth it as against all the career advantages of going to school where you want to work, this is a more cut and dry comparison than most...

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Thanks all. Just wanted to make sure that TRU doesn’t have some sort of advantage over BL that offsets location.

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5 hours ago, lawstories said:

Thanks all. Just wanted to make sure that TRU doesn’t have some sort of advantage over BL that offsets location.

Definitely not. I  think the IPC is a huge plus. I havent looked that far into it but i dont think you need to article? TRU's tuition is also closer to like 22K/year. 

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15 minutes ago, AJD19 said:

Definitely not. I  think the IPC is a huge plus. I havent looked that far into it but i dont think you need to article? TRU's tuition is also closer to like 22K/year. 

Yup that’s correct. You don’t need to article. However, some firms (mainly in southern Ontario) still want you to article. Not too much information on it though!

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I would hazard to suggest that TRU has some tangible strengths over Lakehead.  Its closer to a major center( 4 hours from Vancouver) vs 16 hours from Toronto or 8 hours from Winnipeg for Laskin. TRU also has managed to place in BigLaw in Vancouver in firms like Blakes and Fasken. It's also perceptibly got a wider course offering and doors to more expansive career options.  TRU also seems to have more of a start-up culture, more entrepreneurial, younger professors doing interesting work. From practicing lawyers, I've heard good things about TRU Alum and the program and I've also heard Lakehead's program hasnt been well received in the market. The PR disaster with the Dean leaving, alleging discimination against indigenous people at Lakehead isn't a good look as well.  Then there are the obvious factors: Kamloops for all its flaws, is in a dynamic region that has a robust economy and situation within an hours flight of Calgary, Edmonton, Seattle and Vancouver. If you like the outdoors, wine, golf and good weather, Interior BC is a pretty great place to be.  Thunder Bay is well.... Thunder Bay. 

Jurisdiction considerations aside, I think its an easy choice for TRU. 

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3 hours ago, Yabbie said:

I would hazard to suggest that TRU has some tangible strengths over Lakehead.  Its closer to a major center( 4 hours from Vancouver) vs 16 hours from Toronto or 8 hours from Winnipeg for Laskin. TRU also has managed to place in BigLaw in Vancouver in firms like Blakes and Fasken. It's also perceptibly got a wider course offering and doors to more expansive career options.  TRU also seems to have more of a start-up culture, more entrepreneurial, younger professors doing interesting work. From practicing lawyers, I've heard good things about TRU Alum and the program and I've also heard Lakehead's program hasnt been well received in the market. The PR disaster with the Dean leaving, alleging discimination against indigenous people at Lakehead isn't a good look as well.  Then there are the obvious factors: Kamloops for all its flaws, is in a dynamic region that has a robust economy and situation within an hours flight of Calgary, Edmonton, Seattle and Vancouver. If you like the outdoors, wine, golf and good weather, Interior BC is a pretty great place to be.  Thunder Bay is well.... Thunder Bay. 

Jurisdiction considerations aside, I think its an easy choice for TRU. 

As a TRU alumni, I agree with several of the points you raised, but disagree on your conclusion.  If the end goal is practicing in Ontario, I think Lakehead is actually the easier choice. 

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Went to TRU and practiced in Ontario.  I would likely take Lakehead but Im not a fan of their non-articling requirement as Im more traditional in that sense.  Look at tuition costs as well there is a likely a substantial difference.  Thunder Bay is a garbage city compared to Kamloops (Ive spend time in both).

If money aint an huge issue and you already have something lined up in Ontario I would say TRU.

If money is an issue and you are going to be grinding for a job after school I would suggest Lakehead.

Edited by Bure10

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On 4/25/2019 at 6:32 PM, Stark said:

As a TRU alumni, I agree with several of the points you raised, but disagree on your conclusion.  If the end goal is practicing in Ontario, I think Lakehead is actually the easier choice. 

Could you talk about the pros and cons of going through lakehead and not having to article.  Possibly in another thread?

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1 hour ago, Iyaiaey said:

Could you talk about the pros and cons of going through lakehead and not having to article.  Possibly in another thread?

I think not articling is a pretty big con if you are going into private practice.

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for whats its worth, I am graduating from Lakehead. I successfully got a job in the GTA, and most of my classmates who wanted to be in Toronto are there. we have alumni in big law as well. our alumni pool is small - but I could comfortably reach out to ANY alumni and they'd do what they can to help, so in that way our smaller pool of alumni creates a close bond between us. In my experience, and from what my friends went through, a large majority were able to get associate positions over articling. my employer, once hearing about the schools program actually said he would rather an associate than articling student, so win win! 

 

Also, as per the articling thing, we do not have to article. I am leaving law school with a first year associate position, earning me about double what i was quoted if i wanted to article (yes, we can still choose to article if we want). the IPC program is instituted at every year of law school, with the major component - a semester of placement, occurring in our third year. placement students and articling students have the same abilities within and outside of court (in terms of what theyre allowed and not allowed to do). For me, I was at my placement 8 months because they offered me a summer job, so I really don't feel like I lost anything by doing this over articling. this is true of a lot of firms - they will try to hire you on for the summer before your placement if they can. Now, our placements are ALL OVER Ontario. pretty much in every city you can imagine. off the top of my head: TBay (obv), Timmins, even farther north than Tbay like Kenora, Toronto, All over the GTA, Ottawa, London, Kitchener, Oakville etc. So, if your goal is going back to Toronto, I'd simply advise getting a placement there in your third year. 

 

there are both public and private placements, crown, ministries, law offices, federal government etc, in almost every field you can imagine, some being more competitive than others. so there really is something in every field. every student is guaranteed a placement and you go through interviews and the student and employer rank and they place you based on that. its kind of complicated but thats the gist of it. 

 

After we finish, we have the option of writing the bar in June, and being called in September. which is actually cheaper by a couple thousand dollars than articling. but, we can opt at whatever point to defer our call and article should you want to (which many people do to get crown positions - as the gov't is not always willing to defer the articling requirement). we can also (if we pass the bar) opt out of articling at any time and get called. 

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On 5/16/2019 at 9:59 AM, Bure10 said:

I think not articling is a pretty big con if you are going into private practice.

Feel free to expand.

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On 6/23/2019 at 3:00 AM, Iyaiaey said:

Feel free to expand.

Articling is extremely important.  Law School does a poor job of teaching what it is like to be an actual lawyer, it does a good job of teaching the theory and history behind the law but not about being an actual lawyer.  Articling is the addition to law school that does this.  8 Months is an amount that I would say is too short to properly do this but there has there be some concession for new lawyers to begin actually making money.  The system in place at Lakehead is deficient IMO having a CO-OP for a semester isnt anything close to an actual term of articling.  I believe there have been stories on this board of students having to article from Lakehead even after the semester CO-OP.  The students I have seen doing the CO-OP have not been close to have the responsibilities of an actual articling student.  The fact that someone can CO-OP and then open up their own shop is dangerous.  I think a lawyer needs their articling period and probably needs a longer one.

My articling experience was amazing and taught me so much and I couldnt imagine not having it.  Some have had different experiences from that and Im sure students graduating from Lakehead have had good and bad experiences. 

Edited by Bure10
Forgot to add

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