Jump to content
apricot

Dual citizen Canada/EU advice

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Hi folks -- long time lurker, grateful for the information posted here. I hope I have this in the right topic.

I am a dual citizen (Canada & EU), age 28 (potentially discretionary), with rather unspectacular grades (I will post my stats below). Due in part to the cost savings and how uncompetitive I am for Canadian schools, I am considering pursuing an LLM in Europe.

I have read a bit about how complicated the process is for people negotiating the accreditation process in Canada for law degrees from overseas. I have also read some concerns about the utility of LLM programs.

I see a few options:
- Study very hard for the LSAT, apply to less competitive Canadian schools;
- Do some upgrading or another degree (don't mind, but trying to keep costs down, and it seems some schools do not take upgrading courses or second degrees into account anyway);
- Move abroad and never come home ...

I am hoping for advice as to what my best course of action would be from those with experience navigating these systems. Perhaps there is something I haven't thought of? What would you do?

Much appreciation.

160-163 LSAT
UBC cGPA 3.1/4.33 (73%)
L2 3.1/4.33
B2 3.2/4.33

Edited by apricot
softening language, probably unnecessarily

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's hard to tell you where you stand because you don't have an actual LSAT score. What I can say is that if you get a mid 160s on the LSAT you could probably get into Queens or Western later in the cycle. 

Moreover, I've only heard of people who can't get into a Canadian school going abroad to do a JD/LLB. An LLM in place of a JD sounds very strange to me. I know that NY firms hire LLM candidates as first year associates but those applicants almost always have prior law degrees.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, harveyspecter993 said:

It's hard to tell you where you stand because you don't have an actual LSAT score. What I can say is that if you get a mid 160s on the LSAT you could probably get into Queens or Western later in the cycle. 

Moreover, I've only heard of people who can't get into a Canadian school going abroad to do a JD/LLB. An LLM in place of a JD sounds very strange to me. I know that NY firms hire LLM candidates as first year associates but those applicants almost always have prior law degrees.

Fair! 160 and 163 were my most recent results from timed preptests, just studying out of the LSAC books in the library. I would like to practice a great deal more before an official LSAT. I will look more into Queens and Western.

I'm still foggy on how the whole European JD/LLB process compares to Canada's. I was under the impression that one pursues law directly out of high school/at the undergraduate level in Europe and that a bachelor's degree is not a requirement, as it is in Canada. An LLM came up when I tried to find European law programs at a 'masters' level, or something that might build on my bachelor's. This feedback is helpful in re-directing me, thank you.

Edited by apricot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, apricot said:

Fair! 160 and 163 were my most recent results from timed preptests, just studying out of the LSAC books in the library. I would like to practice a great deal more before an official LSAT. I will look more into Queens and Western.

 I'm still foggy on how the whole European JD/LLB process compares to Canada's. I was under the impression that one pursues law directly out of high school/at the undergraduate level in Europe and that bachelor's degree is not a requirement, as it is in Canada. An LLM came up when I tried to find European law programs at a 'masters' level, or something that might build on my bachelor's. This feedback is helpful in re-directing me, thank you.

If you were going to Europe (England) because you couldn't get into a Canadian law school, you'd be doing an LLB (probably at Leicester or Sussex).  The LLB is their equivalent of the Canadian JD.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, harveyspecter993 said:

If you were going to Europe (England) because you couldn't get into a Canadian law school, you'd be doing an LLB (probably at Leicester or Sussex).  The LLB is their equivalent of the Canadian JD.

I actually hadn't considered England due to concerns about Brexit.
I have focused on programs in Spain, France or the Netherlands (although open to pretty much anywhere). Many places besides England do seem to have programs taught in English. I have a few ulterior motives -- to improve my fluency in Spanish or French, or to be proximal to family and the International Court in den Haag. I recognize that this approach might pose unexpected challenges, but I simply don't know enough about it to be able to anticipate them. Perhaps it is more challenging to return to Canada with a law degree from France than it would be from England, for example? I'm sort of struggling to suss this kind of thing out through the Googs. I'll keep at it though!

Edited by apricot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, apricot said:

I actually hadn't considered England due to concerns about Brexit.
I have focused on programs in Spain, France or the Netherlands (although open to pretty much anywhere). Many places besides England do seem to have programs taught in English. I have a few ulterior motives -- to improve my fluency in Spanish or French, or to be proximal to family and the International Court in den Haag. I recognize that this approach might pose unexpected challenges, but I simply don't know enough about it to be able to anticipate them. Perhaps it is more challenging to return to Canada with a law degree from France than it would be from England, for example? I'm sort of struggling to suss this kind of thing out through the Googs. I'll keep at it though!

It's hard enough to return to Canada with a foreign degree from a common law jurisdiction, why would you screw yourself even more with a civil law degree?

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, harveyspecter993 said:

It's hard enough to return to Canada with a foreign degree from a common law jurisdiction, why would you screw yourself even more with a civil law degree?

Probably partially as a result of my LLM/LLB confusion. I had been looking at LLMs more in the vein of international humanitarian law, which I assumed would be less of a screw-over than a foreign civil law degree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Put simply, you won't be able to practice law in Canada if you only have an LLM. If you are looking to get admitted to the bar, you pretty much need an LLB, BCL, LLL, JD or the equivalent.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, msk2012 said:

Put simply, you won't be able to practice law in Canada if you only have an LLM. If you are looking to get admitted to the bar, you pretty much need an LLB, BCL, LLL, JD or the equivalent.

Thank you. It's clear I need to step back and learn about the process more broadly. 

Maybe I can try and re-phrase to clarify what I am hoping to learn from this thread:

How might EU citizenship be an advantage in pursuing a law degree to eventually practice in Canada?

Simplified line of thinking:
- Would like to be employable in Canada.
- Not particularly competitive for Canadian schools.
- But, dual citizen and considering how to work that angle.

Edited by apricot
removed note about being interested in international human rights to narrow focus -- also because there was a discrepancy re: an earlier post (i mentioned humanitarian law, which means something else) and i didn't want to distract with blunderings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Simply put, EU citizenship is not in any way an advantage to practicing law in Canada. It may be an advantage in relation to studying law in the EU. I don't claim to know anything about that. But studying law in the EU is also not an advantage in any way to practicing law in Canada (it's the opposite, actually, as you already know) and so that doesn't help you either.

All the same advice to any other Canadian student looking to study overseas for lack of domestic options applies equally to you. I don't see how having EU citizenship changes anything.

You don't want my reply on "international human rights." You've come across reasonably so far and you're just trying to figure things out, which is fine. But I'd urge you to stow away that phrase until you learn why 98% of the time it's used only to convey a nonsensical understanding of what law is and does.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, Diplock said:

Simply put, EU citizenship is not in any way an advantage to practicing law in Canada. It may be an advantage in relation to studying law in the EU. I don't claim to know anything about that. But studying law in the EU is also not an advantage in any way to practicing law in Canada (it's the opposite, actually, as you already know) and so that doesn't help you either.

All the same advice to any other Canadian student looking to study overseas for lack of domestic options applies equally to you. I don't see how having EU citizenship changes anything.

You don't want my reply on "international human rights." You've come across reasonably so far and you're just trying to figure things out, which is fine. But I'd urge you to stow away that phrase until you learn why 98% of the time it's used only to convey a nonsensical understanding of what law is and does.

I appreciate you putting this so directly. I had certainly hoped otherwise -- maybe that someone had found some weird little loophole of value in it, or at least saved a bit of tuition. Kind of seems like any tuition saved in the EU wouldn't be worth the hassle of trying to get back to Canada, though.

Duly noted re: international human rights. I am definitely curious to hear what you have to say on the topic and I do think it would be valuable to me -- but a departure from the discussion at hand and one that probably requires a better conceptual understanding than I have at present. That said, if you are willing and have the time, I'd very much appreciate a PM (or another thread, for posterity).

Edited by apricot
for posterity

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, apricot said:

Thank you. It's clear I need to step back and learn about the process more broadly. 

Maybe I can try and re-phrase to clarify what I am hoping to learn from this thread:

How might EU citizenship be an advantage in pursuing a law degree to eventually practice in Canada?

Simplified line of thinking:
- like to be employable in Canada.
- Not particularly competitive for Canadian schools.

- But, dual citizen and considering how to work that angle.

Write the LSAT.

Write it again, if necessary.

Write it a third time, if you must. 

Consider additional undergraduate level courses, and apply to any Canadian schools that will consider them. 

If you still, after exhausting all of the above, cannot gain admission to any Canadian school (and I mean any Canadian school), pursue another profession. There are many of those. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, apricot said:

I am a dual citizen (Canada & EU), age 28 (potentially discretionary), with rather unspectacular grades (I will post my stats below). Due in part to the cost savings and how uncompetitive I am for Canadian schools, I am considering pursuing an LLM in Europe.

I have read a bit about how complicated the process is for people negotiating the accreditation process in Canada for law degrees from overseas. I have also read some concerns about the utility of LLM programs.

Holding EU citizenship is in no way advantageous to a law career in Canada. It doesn't have to be any kind of a problem, but Canada wants Canadian educated people to work in Canadian law. 

 

The 'EU' as a concept can be kind of complicated, but the fundamental question is where your citizenship is within that, and if it's different, where you'd be looking to study. If, for example, you were Irish and contemplating getting a degree in Dublin, then due to its historic links with British law, like Canada, that would be less problematic to come back to Canada with than if you were Swedish and looking to study Greek law (neither of which has any connection to Canadian law). If you wanted a degree in French law then that might not be as big a problem if you wanted to practice in Quebec as if you want to practice in Saskatchewan. As you have identified, Brexit could cause substantial problems if either of the answers is 'British', particularly if exactly one of the two of them is.

 

The locations matter, and although the EU is in some ways better integrated than Canada is (eg a single internal market for goods), law and citizenship are distinctly not those ways. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, QuincyWagstaff said:

 

If you still, after exhausting all of the above, cannot gain admission to any Canadian school (and I mean any Canadian school), pursue another profession. There are many of those. 

Not so much with OP but I always find it somewhat amusing how marginal candidates behave as if it's law school or suicide and will even fuck themselves over by going to Bond just to have a law degree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, QuincyWagstaff said:

Write the LSAT.

Write it again, if necessary.

Write it a third time, if you must. 

Consider additional undergraduate level courses, and apply to any Canadian schools that will consider them. 

If you still, after exhausting all of the above, cannot gain admission to any Canadian school (and I mean any Canadian school), pursue another profession. There are many of those. 

I respect your dogma, I just cling to the belief that there must be more than one way to skin a cat. I think it's valuable to explore angles. It does sound like that might be to my detriment in the law school scenario. You may be right that an alternative profession could be more strategic rather than exhausting my options pursuing a particular qualification at all costs. I'm less committed to the idea of lawyering than I am intent on particular outcomes, which I believed law might be the right tool for -- but not if it means wasting a lot of time and money gaining access. All about that pragmatism. I'm enjoying the LSAT puzzles though, despite modest success.

6 hours ago, lookingaround said:

The 'EU' as a concept can be kind of complicated, but the fundamental question is where your citizenship is within that, and if it's different, where you'd be looking to study. If, for example, you were Irish and contemplating getting a degree in Dublin, then due to its historic links with British law, like Canada, that would be less problematic to come back to Canada with than if you were Swedish and looking to study Greek law (neither of which has any connection to Canadian law). If you wanted a degree in French law then that might not be as big a problem if you wanted to practice in Quebec as if you want to practice in Saskatchewan. As you have identified, Brexit could cause substantial problems if either of the answers is 'British', particularly if exactly one of the two of them is.

This is an excellent explanation, thank you for the detail. (I am Dutch, interested in UNDRIP and figured den Haag might be a good spot. Couple glaring oversights to be sure. Read: not pragmatic. Grateful to have the opportunity to discuss.)

46 minutes ago, harveyspecter993 said:

Not so much with OP but I always find it somewhat amusing how marginal candidates behave as if it's law school or suicide and will even fuck themselves over by going to Bond just to have a law degree.

What are some alternatives marginal candidates might pursue? I imagine there are heaps of associated professions, but without some experience it's difficult to know what options exist. Put somewhat differently, have you encountered non-lawyers who have proven to be particularly instrumental to your work? If so, what did they do?
Again a bit of a departure. I'm gonna search the forum a little, it seems likely that this has been covered elsewhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm also a dual Canadian/EU citizen and I've done a fair bit of research on this subject, so I'll throw in my 2 cents.

I had briefly looked into applying to law programs in the EU; however, the process is so remarkably different in Canada vs the EU, that it is incredibly difficult to compare the two. First of all, almost all EU law programs are direct-entry from high school, so no initial undergrad degree is required, and then many lawyers will go on to do an LLM afterwards. Additionally, the vast majority of LLM programs in the EU require some form of legal education, so it may be difficult for you to find an LLM in the EU without having a legal background. All this to say, if you go the EU route, you may even find yourself having to pursue an LLB in the EU before you can begin an LLM.

Basically, the question you need to ask yourself is where do you want to practice? If the answer is Canada, then you should work on your LSAT, apply broadly and really sell yourself in your PS to try and get into a Canadian school. If the answer is Europe, then by all means pursue whatever opportunities you can find there.

It is worth noting, it is A LOT more difficult to come back to Canada with a European degree than the other way around. Your EU passport will always be there, and should you decide after finishing your law degree in Canada that you would like to cross the pond, then you can always pursue an LLM in any of the countries you had mentioned before and that would be sufficient to practice in the EU. There are many LLM programs in the EU specifically for foreign-educated lawyers to learn EU law, and the "integration process" for foreign lawyers with these types of degrees is much less strenuous there than it is here (from what I've heard anecdotally from people I know who have done this--I cannot speak to the process myself).

If you have any questions at all feel free to PM me ! :)

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, CommeCiCommeCa said:

I had briefly looked into applying to law programs in the EU; however, the process is so remarkably different in Canada vs the EU, that it is incredibly difficult to compare the two. First of all, almost all EU law programs are direct-entry from high school, so no initial undergrad degree is required, and then many lawyers will go on to do an LLM afterwards. Additionally, the vast majority of LLM programs in the EU require some form of legal education, so it may be difficult for you to find an LLM in the EU without having a legal background. All this to say, if you go the EU route, you may even find yourself having to pursue an LLB in the EU before you can begin an LLM.

Yes! This is the point I got to before I decided to post here. I'm glad to have this corroborated, even though it isn't the answer I hoped for.

1 hour ago, CommeCiCommeCa said:

Basically, the question you need to ask yourself is where do you want to practice? If the answer is Canada, then you should work on your LSAT, apply broadly and really sell yourself in your PS to try and get into a Canadian school. If the answer is Europe, then by all means pursue whatever opportunities you can find there.

I had a sense, but wasn't fully aware of how limiting/not mobile a law degree could be prior to this thread. I wouldn't think twice about gearing for a Canadian school if it weren't going to plunge me into the deepest depths of debt.

1 hour ago, CommeCiCommeCa said:

It is worth noting, it is A LOT more difficult to come back to Canada with a European degree than the other way around. Your EU passport will always be there, and should you decide after finishing your law degree in Canada that you would like to cross the pond, then you can always pursue an LLM in any of the countries you had mentioned before and that would be sufficient to practice in the EU. There are many LLM programs in the EU specifically for foreign-educated lawyers to learn EU law, and the "integration process" for foreign lawyers with these types of degrees is much less strenuous there than it is here (from what I've heard anecdotally from people I know who have done this--I cannot speak to the process myself).

This is super helpful!! Thank you!

32 minutes ago, whereverjustice said:

cries in Mancunian accent

Read this 'maine coon-ian' ... over-associative thinking is probably why LSAT reading comprehension is kicking my butt. I digress.3042CA1400000578-0-image-a-40_1453048234

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



  • Recent Posts

    • I think I once passed through Saskatchewan by train, and I've flown over it a number of times. But seeing comment excerpts in the sidebar attracted me to this thread. I was just wondering why OP is so against a lunch break. If she doesn't want to eat lunch okay, but why should other people be denied the opportunity?! Eating in class is problematic for multiple reasons (sound, smell, sight, spring to mind). And what's wrong with having a day off in the middle of the week, in which she could study all day at home, sipping old fashioneds?
    • I scored a 156 on the July LSAT and I'm seriously considering canceling my score. My poor GPA doesn't help my situation either. I consistently scored between 152-162 on PT's. My list of schools I'd like to get into goes something like this; McGill, Calgary, Queens, Dalhousie, Windsor and then Western. Any input, advice or general help would be amazing for me as I'm struggling with this decision.
    • Okay, listen here, ass hat. I like to do my reading at home, the way I've been doing it for the past four years during my undergrad. Obviously it worked for me since I got into law school. I'm not interested in lugging my books all over Hell's half acre trying to find a quiet corner of the library or student lounge to read in when I can do it from the comfort of my couch with an old fashioned. Furthermore, I don't need someone to block out time in the middle of my day for me to do my readings since I'm a night owl as is. It would be much more productive for me, and undoubtedly others, if we could set our own schedules. By the way, the period goes inside of the quotation mark. Idiot. 
    • On the bright side, having your thumb up your ass might prevent you from speaking out of it. 
    • At Dal we do not pick our own schedules in 1L. We're randomly assigned one of three first year sections (A, B, or C) and the schedule is completely determined for us. 
×
×
  • Create New...