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Full scholarship to T30 Law School/ Prospects in Canada with American JD

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Hi all. It’s long been a dream of mine to work in the US. I’ve applied to schools in Ontario and the US. I’ve been offered a full ride to a couple T30 schools in the US and I  really want to attend down there.

My biggest concern is it if I didn’t hit H1B lottery or for some reason was denied the TN visa, and I had to come back to Canada.

I know that Canadian firms will prefer Canadian JDs (and I’m fairly certain I’ll be accepted into the Canadian schools which is why people keep telling me I’m crazy to consider going south), but realistically how hard would it be to get into the Canadian market, even with good grades? 

Just wondering because I know I can do well if I stay in Canada, but deep down I really want to live out my dreams and head to the USA. 

 

Thoughts?

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Life is uncertain. Trying to weigh ever possible variable becomes impossible, at some point. If it's your dream to live and work in the U.S. then pursue that dream. I understand that dream about as much as I would if you were desperate to get laid by Danny DeVito before he dies and it's too late. But hey - follow your dreams, wherever they may lead.

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Are you aware of the job market in the States where even grads from T-14 schools are struggling? I'm not sure what your job prospects are going to look like as an international student attending a Tier 2 law school. I strongly advise that you post this question over on the TLS forum. 

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 Follow Deadpool's advice and seek information in TLS. 

 

U.S. is different from Canada in some subtle ways. For a lot of if not most canadians, sometimes the seemingly similarity would lead to disastrous consequences, due to wrong assumptions in decision-making process.   

 

Without going too much in details, I can list some common issues on the big picture:

  1. As a foreigner, you must comply with the requirement of the work permit, TN, OPT, or H1B. 
    • That means your freedom of action is much reduced. Shackles translate more pressure in your life. Can you handle it? Is it worth it? 
  2. The south has what I call the spirit of the empire, which takes a terribly long time to explain in full details. Can you really handle the aggressiveness, the pressure and the stress? Burn-out lawyers from Canada in major cities such as NYC isn't uncommon. 
    • For instance, the south's attitude is you pay more if you want more. Although this sounds seemingly logical, the attitude often translates into exceedingly high pressure on individuals for expenses such as child rearing. 

 

I admit that all the above matter not if your heart desires it. Millions of Canadians immigrated to U.S.A. for all sorts of different reasons. I merely urge you to research intensively before commiting. 

 

Caveat emptor !

Edited by ScipioAfricanus
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21 hours ago, ScipioAfricanus said:

 Follow Deadpool's advice and seek information in TLS. 

 

U.S. is different from Canada in some subtle ways. For a lot of if not most canadians, sometimes the seemingly similarity would lead to disastrous consequences, due to wrong assumptions in decision-making process.   

 

Without going too much in details, I can list some common issues on the big picture:

  1. As a foreigner, you must comply with the requirement of the work permit, TN, OPT, or H1B. 
    • That means your freedom of action is much reduced. Shackles translate more pressure in your life. Can you handle it? Is it worth it? 
  2. The south has what I call the spirit of the empire, which takes a terribly long time to explain in full details. Can you really handle the aggressiveness, the pressure and the stress? Burn-out lawyers from Canada in major cities such as NYC isn't uncommon. 
    • For instance, the south's attitude is you pay more if you want more. Although this sounds seemingly logical, the attitude often translates into exceedingly high pressure on individuals for expenses such as child rearing. 

 

I admit that all the above matter not if your heart desires it. Millions of Canadians immigrated to U.S.A. for all sorts of different reasons. I merely urge you to research intensively before commiting. 

 

Caveat emptor !

Who even are you? Who talks like this?

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Impossible to answer your questions, but if it were me (and it was), I wouldn't take the risk of moving to the States for anything other than Harvard or Yale, maybe Stanford and maybe Columbia/NYU at full scholarship.

 

Those will pretty much guarantee you $200k biglaw jobs in the States and be as close to guarantee as possible of easily coming back over the border. Everything else is a big risk, imo

Edited by dave54321

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Doesn't Columbia place like 90 percent of its class into NY big law alone? Lol. Where are you getting your information from? Why is everything else a big risk? 

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On 11/27/2019 at 10:42 PM, pzabbythesecond said:

Doesn't Columbia place like 90 percent of its class into NY big law alone? Lol. Where are you getting your information from? Why is everything else a big risk? 

All I meant is that it is a risk to go to law school, both in the sense of a) securing a 200k biglaw job, and b) coming back to Canada and convincing someone to hire you.

Someone who goes to Stanford or Columbia will definitely be fine in US big law and probably be fine coming back to Canada. But the latter is not a sure bet.

The only thing close to guaranteeing you both a) and b) are Harvard and Yale, which, for better or worse, are perceived to be special over and above other US law schools.

At the end of the day, it's all about risk tolerance.

Edited by dave54321
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1 hour ago, dave54321 said:

All I meant is that it is a risk to go to law school, both in the sense of a) securing a 200k biglaw job, and b) coming back to Canada and convincing someone to hire you.

Someone who goes to Stanford or Columbia will definitely be fine in US big law and probably be fine coming back to Canada. But the latter is not a sure bet.

The only thing close to guaranteeing you both a) and b) are Harvard and Yale, which, for better or worse, are perceived to be special over and above other US law schools.

At the end of the day, it's all about risk tolerance.

I doubt it’s more difficult to convince Canadian legal employers to hire you if you graduated from Stanford than if you graduated from Osgoode. Why would you ever think that? 
 

Now, if you have borrowed hundreds of thousands of dollars to get that law degree from Stanford, and you expect to find a legal job in Canada that starts at $200,000, you are going to of course have a very bad time. But, you won’t have a more difficult time getting a legal job. 

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If you're a Canadian going to law school in the USA, you need to be prepared to create your own destiny - plain and simple. Visa issues (F-1, TN, H1B), employment issues, (sponsoring your visa, being ineligible for government jobs), financial issues (health insurance, bank accounts, forex transfers, student loans, taxes, retirement accounts), return to Canada issues (NCA, job searching, bar admission) all come into play.

The biggest hurdle to getting a TN is getting a job offer and then working with HR to get an offer letter that meets the requirements you'll need for the border agent to process your visa. You can also work after a certain period of time on your student visa via OPT, CPT and pre-competition OPT. (You can Google those terms to learn more). If you marry a lucky man or woman down there you can get a green card. Or you can do the TN thing for a few years and see if your boss will ask management to sponsor your H1B. These are the most common ways to stay in the USA and build a life there.

The easiest way to get a job in an American city is to go to law school in that city. If you want to go to school in California but work in NYC or Illinois, that will be another hurdle. Obviously Stanford or Berkeley will open those options more than other schools, but I'd suspect it's easier to get a job in the Bay Area from those schools than it is to get a job in NYC or Chicago. Maybe not, I don't really know.

I attended law school in a US city then committed to working there. It's worked out for me. Big Law is a good starting point to getting a financial platform that allows you to have choices about what you want to do with your career. Big Law isn't the only way to make boat loads of money in the American legal system.

The biggest thing should be to try to avoid financial ruin (i.e., low ranked school, high debt, no job prospects, no or low job offer, visa issues, return to Canada delay, etc.). Good luck.

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Get to know the people in the international student office, too, they are the key to helping you navigate the work authorization process when you're on F1 status. You'll be introduced to them early due to the fact that their office will process your F1 but I would also explain to them that you'll need work authorization if you get a 2L OCI job. They might not know the ins and outs of law school things like OCI, timeline etc so you need to be on top of your sh*t 100 percent and that starts with good communications and relationships with the international student office. 

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Be further advised that the international student office likely knows nothing about TN work status and you'll need to do that on your own once your OPT expires. Once you're on TN try to get an H1B sponsorship from your law firm then once that clears and you have a green card you can basically leave and work wherever you want. You'll need a new TN each time you change jobs. I never had any problem with this but you basically need to leave the US and reenter to be active on the new TN. This is a pain in the ass but it shouldn't be an issue if you are following the rules and are 100 percent prepared. 

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On 1/5/2020 at 5:51 PM, pineapple21 said:

Be further advised that the international student office likely knows nothing about TN work status and you'll need to do that on your own once your OPT expires. Once you're on TN try to get an H1B sponsorship from your law firm then once that clears and you have a green card you can basically leave and work wherever you want. You'll need a new TN each time you change jobs. I never had any problem with this but you basically need to leave the US and reenter to be active on the new TN. This is a pain in the ass but it shouldn't be an issue if you are following the rules and are 100 percent prepared. 

Pm’d you.

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On 12/5/2019 at 1:31 AM, QuincyWagstaff said:

I doubt it’s more difficult to convince Canadian legal employers to hire you if you graduated from Stanford than if you graduated from Osgoode. Why would you ever think that? 
 

Now, if you have borrowed hundreds of thousands of dollars to get that law degree from Stanford, and you expect to find a legal job in Canada that starts at $200,000, you are going to of course have a very bad time. But, you won’t have a more difficult time getting a legal job. 

Look. The legal job market in Canada is difficult. It's especially difficult if you are an outsider and have to prove to someone that you are just as good a hire as someone with 3-4 years of Canadian legal experience (if you are lateraling from the US as a mid-level) or with a law degree that provided substantive knowledge of Canadian law (if you are going for NCA/entry straight out of law school). Unless you are practicing in an area where US legal experience is highly valued (e.g., PE, M&A, cap markets), then you're basically going to be relying on your pedigree to beat out the Canadian competition. My point was that the more sway your fancy American law school has in Canada, the better off you will be. I have seen graduates of Columbia and NYU stumble when they tried to come back to Canada. I do not know about Stanford grads: I'd imagine they go West coast and my experience is all Toronto, Montreal, etc. But my guess is that Stanford has a little less purchase in Canada.

Harvard and Yale have the most sway. Period. If you want to end up in Canada in the long term but do a brief stint in the US for law school and biglaw bucks, then I would only gamble on those two. But I'm risk averse.

And @Lawstudent97 I think it is rich that you are laughing at my post, given that you have not even decided where you are going to law school next year. 

Edited by dave54321
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I love how people throw Harvard and Yale around as if those are realistic options considering they reject 4.0gpa 170+ lsats on a regular basis and that Canadian big law employers "won't look at you" if you go to a school like Columbia or NYU lol.

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On 11/17/2019 at 10:58 PM, pzabbythesecond said:

Who even are you? Who talks like this?

You sound like the popular but rude girl/boy in high school :rolling:.

Edited by TdK

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UChicago (non-HYS) has a ~90% Federal Clerkship and BigLaw placement, what the fuck is with this forum and valuing insanely pessimistic anecdotes over actually published statistics?

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4 minutes ago, lolnope said:

UChicago (non-HYS) has a ~90% Federal Clerkship and BigLaw placement, what the fuck is with this forum and valuing insanely pessimistic anecdotes over actually published statistics?

Aren't those American stats?  Isn't the title of this thread "Full scholarship to T30 Law School/ Prospects in Canada with American JD"?

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