Jump to content
mo2143

Advice Regarding JD in US vs UBC

Recommended Posts

Hello,

I am currently a 4th year student at UBC with a cGPA of 3.53 and an LSAT score of 171. I've applied to U of T and to UBC, and I've been accepted into UBC while U of T still hasn't responded, though I doubt that I will be accepted. I am currently debating as to whether or not it would be worth it to apply to US law schools, as I would prefer to work in the US if possible. I'm currently looking into applying for schools ranging from University of Texas, Austin down to Boston college, so schools ranked between 15 to 30 approximately. I'm not intending on applying to T14 schools as my softs aren't impressive and my GPA is too low to be competitive and I'd rather not just toss away the money for a shot in the dark.

 

From what I have read on this forum and others, a lot of people seem to say that as a Canadian it wouldn't be worth going to US schools at all if they aren't T14. However, people also say that if you want to practice in the US, then you should go to a school in the US. From what I've read, finding work in the US is also more difficult than in Canada, especially as a Canadian. I was wondering if anyone had any opinions as to whether it would be best to stay at UBC (I'm fine with working in Canada if work in the US isn't realistic), or would it still be good to apply to those schools ranked between 15-30 in the light that I would prefer to work in the states. Would being Canadian be too much of a hindrance in finding work after graduation?

 

I also have the option of waiting another year to apply, which I would predict my cGPA to rise to maybe 3.6, as well as being able to apply in October, which does give me an okay shot at T14 schools, would this be the best option if I want to work in the states?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that if you are not competitive for a T-14, you should go to UBC. Tuition is also considerably cheaper at UBC than American law schools. If you are worried about being employable after graduation, go to UBC. If you have a difficult time finding articling after graduation, at least you won't be suck with astronomical debt.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you need to make a hard decision on whether or not you want to work in the US.

If you are set on working in the US, then it makes sense to go to a US law school (and take on all the debt, immigration uncertainty, etc. that comes along with it - speaking of which, are you legally entitled to work in the US?) The schools you name are all great schools, but the US market places a premium on going to a highly ranked school. So, I'd wait a year, get your GPA up and get into the best schools possible. 

If want to work in Canada, then go to UBC. 

If you're really not sure, I'd go to UBC.   

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you wait another year, you should retake the LSAT. 
 

171 is a great score in Canada. 
It’s less impressive in the US. 
 

A deep 99th percentile score will open up much better USA options (perhaps up to NYU if you can get close to 180). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you calculated your CGPA based on LSAC? They're on a 4.3 scale, so it may be higher than you a think.

I'd hazard to say a 3.6 and a 171 should be enough for lower T14 schools, since a 171 is higher than most non T6 medians (last I checked, admittedly a long time ago, so confirm yourself).

If the decision really is UBC vs a T30 school, I'd go to UBC and try to make some connections in school. I've definitely heard of big law lawyers moving down south after a couple years, and UBC isn't a school that's frowned on.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For what its worth while you are completing your JD in the US you are able to work/volunteer for law firms and get credit. I know a few Canadians studying in the US  who are currently volunteering in boutique firms in Vancouver & the lower mainland. 

So if money is no object and you want to go to the US, there are still ways to make connections. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are definitely competitive for at least the lower T-14s. Whether they offer you enough scholarship money to make it worth your while is totally another question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everyone says HYS or bust or T14 or bust. If you can get a full ride at really good regional school in a city you would like to work, that's a win too. Last I checked UBC Law and Van City are expensive too.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/27/2020 at 1:39 PM, pineapple21 said:

Everyone says HYS or bust or T14 or bust. If you can get a full ride at really good regional school in a city you would like to work, that's a win too. Last I checked UBC Law and Van City are expensive too.

This is just uninformed. UBC is probably the first or second best bang for your buck as far as Canadian law schools go. The cost of a JD at UBC is almost certainly less than the cost of a single year of an American law school.

Tuition at the University of Texas is $54,000 USD, equivalent to roughly $72,000 Canadian. Tuition at UBC is just below $13,000 Canadian. I'm sure U Texas offers financial aid and scholarships, etc. but so does UBC and I'll be stunned if American schools will offer anywhere near enough to close the gap.

While I'm sure Texas is cheaper to live in than Van I very much doubt it's anywhere near enough to make up for the stark difference in tuition. Not to mention unless OP is independently wealthy or has access to family money they may have a lot of difficulty financing an American degree.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, HammurabiTime said:

This is just uninformed. UBC is probably the first or second best bang for your buck as far as Canadian law schools go. The cost of a JD at UBC is almost certainly less than the cost of a single year of an American law school.

Tuition at the University of Texas is $54,000 USD, equivalent to roughly $72,000 Canadian. Tuition at UBC is just below $13,000 Canadian. I'm sure U Texas offers financial aid and scholarships, etc. but so does UBC and I'll be stunned if American schools will offer anywhere near enough to close the gap.

While I'm sure Texas is cheaper to live in than Van I very much doubt it's anywhere near enough to make up for the stark difference in tuition. Not to mention unless OP is independently wealthy or has access to family money they may have a lot of difficulty financing an American degree.

I said a US school on a full ride.

 

It's pretty straight forward to finance an American degree through the big banks. Same process as a Canadian professional student line of credit. Some additional requirements. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

The issue with attending regional schools in the States is that they do not have the best employment prospects. Also, the market they feed in typically are more ties-sensitive than the major markets that the national schools usually feed into, particularly NY.

Edited by Chemistry124

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Chemistry124 said:

The issue with attending regional schools in the States is that they do not have the best employment prospects. Also, the market they feed in typically are more ties-sensitive than the major markets that the national schools usually feed into, particularly NY.

Yeah those are generally repeated ideas on places like TLS and do have some truth to them. A full ride at schools like Villanova or U Houston, as examples, would result in a fine outcome if you're a law student with half a brain and a decent work ethic who attended the school on a full ride. Decent percentage chance at big law, $190usd starting salary, good chance at mid law ($120-160 USD starting), worst case is small firm ($60-100kusd) which is what most Vancouver firms pay articling students anyways. And if all else fails you saved on $14k tuition x 3 years plus Vancouver COL. 

If you really wanted you could probably do a full COL and tuition comparison with UBC and look at employment stats for UBC and any regional school (with a full ride) and come to a true numbers to numbers comparison under best, likely, and worst case scenarios.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, pineapple21 said:

Yeah those are generally repeated ideas on places like TLS and do have some truth to them. A full ride at schools like Villanova or U Houston, as examples, would result in a fine outcome if you're a law student with half a brain and a decent work ethic who attended the school on a full ride. Decent percentage chance at big law, $190usd starting salary, good chance at mid law ($120-160 USD starting), worst case is small firm ($60-100kusd) which is what most Vancouver firms pay articling students anyways. And if all else fails you saved on $14k tuition x 3 years plus Vancouver COL. 

If you really wanted you could probably do a full COL and tuition comparison with UBC and look at employment stats for UBC and any regional school (with a full ride) and come to a true numbers to numbers comparison under best, likely, and worst case scenarios.

WUT?

Also, how the hell are you saving tuition and COL “if all ales fails”? What does that even mean? 
 

In sum, this is nonsensical advice from someone who clearly doesn’t know the first thing about Vancouver’s legal market. 

Edited by QuincyWagstaff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, QuincyWagstaff said:

WUT?

Also, how the hell are you saving tuition and COL “if all ales fails”? What does that even mean? 
 

In sum, this is nonsensical advice from someone who clearly doesn’t know the first thing about Vancouver’s legal market. 

After conversion, isn't the 60 to 100 not accurate?

Share this post


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

WUT?

Also, how the hell are you saving tuition and COL “if all ales fails”? What does that even mean? 
 

In sum, this is nonsensical advice from someone who clearly doesn’t know the first thing about Vancouver’s legal market.

Let me put it in terms you can understand:

Attend UBC Law (no scholarship) or U Houston Law (full ride).

Over three years you save $14k x 3 in tuition if you accept a full ride at U Houston.

Over the three years in Houston, your COL will be lower than Vancouver, even considering exchange rate. So you've saved the Vancouver COL difference. 

What's not accurate about this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

You're also arguing with me because you think I over stated what articling students make in Vancouver. $60-100k USD is like the worst job I ever heard of someone getting out of a US law school so my point is that if you have a decent work ethic you'll land one of these dime a dozen jobs and make more money than you would articling anyways. 

I was trying not to to be too on the nose about how humble the salaries are for lawyers in Vancouver, especially when factoring in taxes and COL.

Edited by pineapple21

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the worst outcome for attending law school (whether in Canada or US) is unemployment. Going to school in the US has the added uncertainty of obtaining work authorization, which shouldn't be taken lightly even for Canadians going on TN. Hell, I am not sure if small firms, or even mid-sized firms, in the US are willing to go through all that paperwork.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, pineapple21 said:

You're also arguing with me because you think I over stated what articling students make in Vancouver. $60-100k USD is like the worst job I ever heard of someone getting out of a US law school so my point is that if you have a decent work ethic you'll land one of these dime a dozen jobs and make more money than you would articling anyways. 

 

As much fun as this Morning in America post is, US lawyers can definitely make way less than $60,000.00. US schools produce more graduates than there are jobs. So I think you're understating the risks of going the US route. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

The entire exercise makes zero sense. 
 

Setting aside the actual costs of UBC, etc., it simply doesn’t make sense to compare some estimate of the cost, and then claim you would “save” money in the “worst case scenario”. 
 

The reason is that degrees from UBC and the U Huston are entirely different things. 
 

I cannot imagine that any Canadian student that comes on to lawstudents.ca and says they are interested in working in the USA is picturing relocating to Huston, Texas. Regardless of the size of the law firm. 
 

They are imagining NY, maybe SF or Chicago. Not Huston Texas LOL. 
 

And, regardless of what you may have saved on your tuition initially, if you do come back to Canada with a degree from U Huston or similar, your education would be viewed with as much suspicion  as a Bond graduate (unless you had years of experience, which would have required you to live in Texas for like a decade). 
 

 

Edited by QuincyWagstaff
  • Like 2

Share this post


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

The entire exercise makes zero sense. 
 

Setting aside the actual costs of UBC, etc., it simply doesn’t make sense to compare some estimate of the cost, and then claim you would “save” money in the “worst case scenario”. 
 

The reason is that degrees from UBC and the U Huston are entirely different things. 
 

I cannot imagine that any Canadian student that comes on to lawstudents.ca and says they are interested in working in the USA is picturing relocating to Huston, Texas. Regardless of the size of the law firm. 
 

They are imagining NY, maybe SF or Chicago. Not Huston Texas LOL. 
 

And, regardless of what you may have saved on your tuition initially, if you do come back to Canada with a degree from U Huston or similar, your education would be viewed with as much suspicion  as a Bond graduate (unless you had years of experience, which would have required you to live in Texas for like a decade). 
 

 

You'd save tuition costs at UH vs UBC because you have a full ride there and not one at UBC.

I know a fair share of Canadians in Houston. Many from Alberta. Some lawyers. It's a good place to live. It's a regional school, like Villanova. Agree that Phila and Houston are not NYC and SF, but still good places to live. I wasn't making assumptions about where people on this forum want to live, I was trying to show that some regional schools present good options when you have a full ride and aren't facing horrible post grad debt. 

Nova and UH are both fine schools. But ya if you come back to Canada you've got to pass the NCAs and get a job. 

Houston has an O in it. 

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.



×
×
  • Create New...