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American considering applying to Canadian Law Schools

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I'm from the US and applying to American law schools but I also wanted to apply to Canadian law schools as well. I absolutely loved my time in Toronto, Vancouver and Victoria. Do you know of any Americans attending law school in Canada? I have no issues with practicing in Canada only. My GPA is 3.75 and my LSAT is 170. 

I was planning on applying to Toronto, UBC and UVictoria. Can anyone shed light on the process?

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Not sure about the logistics of an American citizen going through the application process, but with your stats (assuming that GPA is OLSAS? Or at least similar to what OLSAS will be) I am fairly certain you will get into whichever Canadian school you apply to.

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2 hours ago, bpm180 said:

I'm from the US and applying to American law schools but I also wanted to apply to Canadian law schools as well. I absolutely loved my time in Toronto, Vancouver and Victoria. Do you know of any Americans attending law school in Canada? I have no issues with practicing in Canada only. My GPA is 3.75 and my LSAT is 170. 

I was planning on applying to Toronto, UBC and UVictoria. Can anyone shed light on the process?

One huge concern I have is, more the sort of thing to talk to an immigration lawyer about: if you go to law school in Canada, will you, when no longer a student, be permitted to live and work in Canada? Under whatever rules exist then, in the future, not just now (there's uncertainty about what will happen even if the current deal is implemented, let alone if it isn't or is cancelled again).

Because if not, you'll be going back to the US with a foreign law degree that you paid a high price for (international student rates in Canada).

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13 minutes ago, epeeist said:

Because if not, you'll be going back to the US with a foreign law degree that you paid a high price for (international student rates in Canada).

Depending on the school, the difference between domestic and international fees is negligible. At Osgoode for example, it wasn’t even $1k. The visa thing (yes OP should talk to an immigration lawyer) may be manageable from what I’ve heard. 

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While I don't know of any Americans attending law school in Canada, I do know the reverse (Canadians attending law school in the US, because they weren't accepted to a school in Canada). 

There is no issue with this, either way. Both countries employ the common law and both countries recognize each other's degrees (at least, state depending, but in general, you can register in a state that recognizes the Canadian degree and then transfer it into another state that may not recognize it off the bat). Attending law school in Canada will permit you to work in Canada or back home in the US. Depending on where you go, it may also be cheaper for you, especially with the feasibleness of the Canadian dollar. 

As an interesting tidbit that has absolutely NOTHING to do with your post, Canadian law copies American law quite extensively, especially in the area of constitutional law. Canadians generally look to the US for guidance in the areas of constitutional interpretation, as the American constitution is much older than the Canadian and Americans take their constitution quite literally. 

Edited by steversteves

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40 minutes ago, steversteves said:

While I don't know of any Americans attending law school in Canada, I do know the reverse (Canadians attending law school in the US, because they weren't accepted to a school in Canada). 

There is no issue with this, either way. Both countries employ the common law and both countries recognize each other's degrees (at least, state depending, but in general, you can register in a state that recognizes the Canadian degree and then transfer it into another state that may not recognize it off the bat). Attending law school in Canada will permit you to work in Canada or back home in the US. Depending on where you go, it may also be cheaper for you, especially with the feasibleness of the Canadian dollar. 

As an interesting tidbit that has absolutely NOTHING to do with your post, Canadian law copies American law quite extensively, especially in the area of constitutional law. Canadians generally look to the US for guidance in the areas of constitutional interpretation, as the American constitution is much older than the Canadian and Americans take their constitution quite literally. 

Your entire last paragraph is so wrong. The fundamental theory of Canadian constitutional law is diametrically opposed to the entire conservative judicial project's animating theory, which has dominated discourse in the U.S. for years, so that alone is reason enough to ignore it. But the existence of Section 1 of the Charter and nothing comparable in the U.S. is again such a fundamental difference as to again be so very wrong.

Also there are a number of states that will only admit lawyers that have a degree from an ABA-approved school. It is not so easy to work in the states with a Canadian law degree, outside certain states like New York or California (which has an extra hurdle to New York but not that bad).

EDIT:

Found the old article I was looking for. Not only do Canadians not really look to the U.S. for constitutional matters, Canadian constitutional law is among the most influential in the world, if not the most:

http://www.slaw.ca/2012/04/15/canada-is-the-worlds-constitutional-superpower/

Edited by Rashabon
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12 minutes ago, Rashabon said:

Your entire last paragraph is so wrong. The fundamental theory of Canadian constitutional law is diametrically opposed to the entire conservative judicial project's animating theory, which has dominated discourse in the U.S. for years, so that alone is reason enough to ignore it. But the existence of Section 1 of the Charter and nothing comparable in the U.S. is again such a fundamental difference as to again be so very wrong.

Also there are a number of states that will only admit lawyers that have a degree from an ABA-approved school. It is not so easy to work in the states with a Canadian law degree, outside certain states like New York or California (which has an extra hurdle to New York but not that bad).

Re: Constitutional law

Yes, they are very different. I think I may have worded this a bit awkwardly. What I mean, is we frequently look to what the US does for guidance, but we don't generally follow the same rules as the US imposes. We have our "living tree" and they have their "What the founding fathers intended". I just meant that we look to how they deal with constitutional issues, we adapt some things to our Canadian style and avoid others. But we do look to them quite frequently for guidance on constitutional issues. 

Re: States not accepting Canadian degree.

Yes, as I said, there are some. But, the trick around it is to go to a state that will accept it, pass the bar there and register in that state, then transfer your registration to another state. That is what a friend of mine did in Cali!

Hope this clarifies! :-) 

P.S. The U.S.s conservative approach to constitutional interpretation does not make it any less valuable than Canada's liberal approach to constitutional interpretation. Just because someone has a conservative ideology does not mean their opinion and approach is any less valuable and should be immediately discredited. I won't engage in a left vs right debate, I just want to emphasis that it is important not to disregard the opinions and views of conservatives in favour of liberals just because popular belief tends to the left. 

Edited by steversteves

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That works for California. It doesn't work for a large number of states which only admit lawyers that are educated at an ABA-approved school.

I don't agree with you on constitutional interpretation. Canada has developed its own approach and most cases will look to existing Canadian jurisprudence, not whatever the Americans are doing.

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9 minutes ago, Rashabon said:

That works for California. It doesn't work for a large number of states which only admit lawyers that are educated at an ABA-approved school.

I don't agree with you on constitutional interpretation. Canada has developed its own approach and most cases will look to existing Canadian jurisprudence, not whatever the Americans are doing.

I disagree with you, too!

Just look at the case of R v Tessling 2004. We looked to American constitutional law. We went the opposite way of the USA but we still considered their constitutional law when developing our own law.

The case of R v Plant we looked to the US constitution as well as R v Wong and many MANY others.

I agree we tend to go the opposite way of the USA, where i don't agree is that we don't look to the USA for guidance. We do quite a lot. 

By the way @Rashabon, respect! Having a legal debate at 0130 AM on a Friday night. We gotta be the coolest people on Lawstudents.ca hahaha :D

Edited by steversteves

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24 minutes ago, Rashabon said:

Your entire last paragraph is so wrong. The fundamental theory of Canadian constitutional law is diametrically opposed to the entire conservative judicial project's animating theory, which has dominated discourse in the U.S. for years, so that alone is reason enough to ignore it. But the existence of Section 1 of the Charter and nothing comparable in the U.S. is again such a fundamental difference as to again be so very wrong.

Also there are a number of states that will only admit lawyers that have a degree from an ABA-approved school. It is not so easy to work in the states with a Canadian law degree, outside certain states like New York or California (which has an extra hurdle to New York but not that bad).

EDIT:

Found the old article I was looking for. Not only do Canadians not really look to the U.S. for constitutional matters, Canadian constitutional law is among the most influential in the world, if not the most:

http://www.slaw.ca/2012/04/15/canada-is-the-worlds-constitutional-superpower/

Cool article!

Thanks for sharing! That's really awesome to hear how influential Canada is! Shout out to Canada!!

I agree, we do great things with our constitutional law. And I am so grateful to be a Canadian because of it!

All I am saying is we have no decided one landmark, constitutional case WITHOUT looking to the USA first. The last case law example I will give and that I know you would be familiar with if you have taken any criminal law whatsoever, is R v Oakes. We looked to the US constitution there as well as the other cases I cited, supra and a multitude of other constitutional cases I have yet to cite. 

But yes, I agree, we do great things and we do our own thing. We simply like to refer to the USA to see what they are doing in the world of constitutional interpretation during our SCC judgments. 

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15 hours ago, steversteves said:

Cool article!

Thanks for sharing! That's really awesome to hear how influential Canada is! Shout out to Canada!!

I agree, we do great things with our constitutional law. And I am so grateful to be a Canadian because of it!

All I am saying is we have no decided one landmark, constitutional case WITHOUT looking to the USA first. The last case law example I will give and that I know you would be familiar with if you have taken any criminal law whatsoever, is R v Oakes. We looked to the US constitution there as well as the other cases I cited, supra and a multitude of other constitutional cases I have yet to cite. 

 But yes, I agree, we do great things and we do our own thing. We simply like to refer to the USA to see what they are doing in the world of constitutional interpretation during our SCC judgments. 

You're not a lawyer or a law student, calm down, you don't need to have "debates" with practicing lawyers who are here to help you. You're wrong, but that's okay, that is what law school is for. 

To the OP: You're probably better off with those stats going to a top25 school on a full scholarship or a t14. I have known people who have studied in Canada as an American, but you'd need to have a good reason for wanting to be in Canada beyond it being a nice place to live for school because it limits you in America a lot.

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On 7/13/2019 at 1:13 PM, Rashabon said:

EDIT:

Found the old article I was looking for. Not only do Canadians not really look to the U.S. for constitutional matters, Canadian constitutional law is among the most influential in the world, if not the most:

http://www.slaw.ca/2012/04/15/canada-is-the-worlds-constitutional-superpower/

Yes, if you ignore the 170 years that one existed and the other didn’t, that’s a plausible argument.

But it’s a bit like saying GoT is more influential than LotR because it currently has a tv show. Which is to say, obviously wrong to anyone who thinks about it.

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On to the point - I think it’d be interesting to know if American students who move to Canada deal with any skepticism from employers on whether the student intends to stay in Canada. Kids I knew from other countries were subject to that skepticism during OCIs, or reported being asked skeptically.

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On ‎7‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 10:36 PM, steversteves said:

While I don't know of any Americans attending law school in Canada, I do know the reverse (Canadians attending law school in the US, because they weren't accepted to a school in Canada). 

There is no issue with this, either way. Both countries employ the common law and both countries recognize each other's degrees (at least, state depending, but in general, you can register in a state that recognizes the Canadian degree and then transfer it into another state that may not recognize it off the bat). Attending law school in Canada will permit you to work in Canada or back home in the US. Depending on where you go, it may also be cheaper for you, especially with the feasibleness of the Canadian dollar. 

As an interesting tidbit that has absolutely NOTHING to do with your post, Canadian law copies American law quite extensively, especially in the area of constitutional law. Canadians generally look to the US for guidance in the areas of constitutional interpretation, as the American constitution is much older than the Canadian and Americans take their constitution quite literally. 

IMHO, I think the bolded text misrepresents how easy it is to work in the US as a Canadian lawyer (Source: am Canadian lawyer working in the US.) There are actually many issues with working in the US as a Canadian lawyer. The reality is much more nuanced (and, frankly, difficult) than you make it seem.

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