Oh yea, I agree with you. Just to clarify I was only talking about NYC. I don't think Canadian schools are well recognized by other states (especially ones that are not city like) in general. They might of heard of UofT but it doesn't sound like a big deal to them compare to the ivy schools. I think it is better to just attend a US school if anyone wants to work in the states.
The other thing OP is going to have to consider is immigration issues. Big law firms will sponsor law students seeking to practice in the US, but even some of those firms don't want to deal with the hassle and screen out most Canadians for that reason.
If OP is looking to practice at a firm in North Dakota, the odds of them having experience sponsoring Canadians seeking to practice in the US are incredibly low. OP is going to want to take the lead on immigration issues so they can guide any prospective employers through the process.
If OP is looking to practice independently, they're going to have to look into whether or not that's even possible as a Canadian.
Okay, now that I've writtern both exams, here are my thoughts. To recap, this is how I wrote each exam:
Barristers – read the materials, highlighted them, and used the DTOC during the exam. I ultimately finished quite early and didn't find it challenging at all.
Solicitors – did not read the materials (and thus didn't highlight them) and used the DTOC during the exam. The exam took close to the whole time for me (finished ~30 mins early), and was relatively challenging at points.
For context, I took courses in essentially everything examined on the barrister and only took a course on one portion of the solicitors.
If I were to do the exams again, I think I would choose one of the following two methods and stick with it: (i) what I did for the barristers – reading the materials and using the DTOC; or (ii) not reading the materials, but using an index instead of the DTOC.
I think it was ultimately somewhat challenging to write the exam without an index and without having read the materials. The lack of familiarity with the materials makes it difficult to find things via the DTOC, whereas an index would allow you to quickly find answers.
For future students, I would encourage you not to purchase practice exams, and, if you choose to use the DTOC method, don't purchase indices either. They're a racket.