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Bottom2451

Graduate Program Vs NCA exams

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Hello,

I've came across someone who advised me to look into a graduate program for foreign law students, a conversion degree. However, It seems like people are likely to do the NCA exams than a graduate degree. Does anyone know the pros and cons of each? 

To be more specific, I am looking at the Graduate program at UBC Allard. 

Thanks.

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With graduate programs, you get a Canadian law degree which might help remove the stigma (for the lack of a better word) of being a foreign trained lawyer and you can more or less clear your NCA requirements in a year. It's expensive though.

With the NCA challenge exams, you don't have to shell out lots of money for a degree that isn't by itself very valuable in the marketplace. The downside is that it might take you quite a while to clear your NCA requirements.

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If I were you, I would consider applying to a 3-year Canadian JD program instead. 

Looking at your post history, it seems you are a 19 year old  Canadian without a previous undergraduate degree. Unless your UK law degree is from OxBridge, you're facing a very, very poor employment market in BC. 

 

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5 hours ago, msk2012 said:

With graduate programs, you get a Canadian law degree which might help remove the stigma (for the lack of a better word) of being a foreign trained lawyer and you can more or less clear your NCA requirements in a year. It's expensive though.

With the NCA challenge exams, you don't have to shell out lots of money for a degree that isn't by itself very valuable in the marketplace. The downside is that it might take you quite a while to clear your NCA requirements.

Im currently very 50 50 on it, i guess ill have to look into it more. 

Thanks though!

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1 hour ago, QuincyWagstaff said:

If I were you, I would consider applying to a 3-year Canadian JD program instead. 

Looking at your post history, it seems you are a 19 year old  Canadian without a previous undergraduate degree. Unless your UK law degree is from OxBridge, you're facing a very, very poor employment market in BC. 

 

Im currently looking at very small firms to begin my journey. But definitely not looking to spend three more years if i dont have to

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2 hours ago, Bottom2451 said:

Im currently looking at very small firms to begin my journey. But definitely not looking to spend three more years if i dont have to

You are 19 years old and have time on your hands. Why not spend that time learning Canadian law, at a Canadian law school, where you will have access to a school's Career Development Office and other resources. I'm not a fortune teller, but I think that may save you time in the future.

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5 hours ago, Bottom2451 said:

Im currently looking at very small firms to begin my journey. But definitely not looking to spend three more years if i dont have to

Journey to where? Unless you have some personal connections and that's where you want to stay long-term, given the fact that you have little to no practical experience and a foreign law degree that is not reputable in Canada, you are going to face a very challenging legal market here. Canadian law students who easily have 5 years or more of life/work experience over you AND a Canadian JD are currently struggling for jobs. 

It seems to me like you want a shortcut into the market here. Sorry to break it to you, but lawyers are a fairly smart group of people. Many of them completed an undergraduate degree, LSAT, and maybe worked for a bit before going to law school in Canada (average age in Canadian law schools is 25-27). How do you expect to compete, especially now with the COVID-19 situation making jobs even more difficult to come by? 

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Do you know how many NCA tests you'd need to take? How long it'd take you to study for those tests, schedule them, and get your results? Have you compared that timeline with the timeline of accepting enrollment in UBC's LLM program? Have you run a cost analysis on how much the UBC LLM would cost in comparison to taking the NCA exams on your own? How confident are you that you'd pass all NCA exams you need to take on the first shot? Have you looked into what it takes to article in BC once you get a green light from the NCA or an LLM from UBC? Have you looked for employment at a law firm with your current degree to assist with research, writing, paralegal-type tasks? How has that gone? Are you from a country with a high immigrant population in Vancouver like India or China? If so, have you reached out to any lawyers from the same background who own their own firm to learn about their experience and try to get some full time or part time hourly work with them? Are you building your resume now so you can show potential employers that you're the kind of person who can really hit the ground running?

These are the types of questions I'd be asking myself.

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I think people do the UBC LLM to partially satisfy the NCA requirements. The LLM does not help in terms of articling search (at least in my personal opinion).

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