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Bottom2451

Graduating with a Foreign Degree and my options.

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Hello,

I am graduating with a three-year LLB degree in june. In short, I decided to study abroad out of a Canadian High School. When I come home, I understand that I will need to either do my NCA exams or apply for a Common Law Masters degree. 

However, I would like to know the likeliness of me landing an articling position or even a volunteer position at a law firm. I am not considering big law firms. I am aiming at small law firms in my local area. I have gone through the forums quite a bit, and I have not yet came across anyone who decided to work/article at a small firm. A firm with possibly 1-2 lawyers who do contract law. Is this a realistic path? I am hoping to first have the opportunity to pass the bar, work at a small law firm, before transitioning into something I desire. 

My other option is to take a masters in medical law. This is something I wish to do, but also understand that I will need to commit more time and money. And obviously face the reality of rejection. 

Are my options realistic?

Thanks,

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It's not impossible but it's an uphill battle.

My impressions is that, unless you have someone in your corner at a firm, they won't look at you until you complete the NCAs and can actually start articling, so I would hammer out a plan for the NCAs ASAP so that any firm you do approach knows your plan and timeline. 

I'm sure you can find a law firm that will take advantage of your offer to volunteer your time, but I don't know if that is the best use of time. 

Where did you get your LLB? A "household name" may open more doors. 

Edited by conge
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3 hours ago, Bottom2451 said:

Hello,

I am graduating with a three-year LLB degree in june. In short, I decided to study abroad out of a Canadian High School. When I come home, I understand that I will need to either do my NCA exams or apply for a Common Law Masters degree. 

However, I would like to know the likeliness of me landing an articling position or even a volunteer position at a law firm. I am not considering big law firms. I am aiming at small law firms in my local area. I have gone through the forums quite a bit, and I have not yet came across anyone who decided to work/article at a small firm. A firm with possibly 1-2 lawyers who do contract law. Is this a realistic path? I am hoping to first have the opportunity to pass the bar, work at a small law firm, before transitioning into something I desire. 

My other option is to take a masters in medical law. This is something I wish to do, but also understand that I will need to commit more time and money. And obviously face the reality of rejection. 

Are my options realistic?

Thanks,

You may be able to find volunteering positions through cold-calling. but I'm not sure if that will translate into a future articling position. The work you get through volunteering may not be as valuable either, especially if they are mainly giving you administrative work. Many NCA candidates start off as legal assistants or law clerks and work their way up to accumulate legal work experience. 

I can't speak for BC, but I suppose you might have to look further out into smaller towns and rural regions where your chances of finding an articling position are higher. That being said, if you have enough financial resources to pursue an LLM Common Law degree, it may be worth it to gain potential networking opportunities to help you with your articling search. 

Edited by timeisticking

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4 hours ago, conge said:

It's not impossible but it's an uphill battle.

My impressions is that, unless you have someone in your corner at a firm, they won't look at you until you complete the NCAs and can actually start articling, so I would hammer out a plan for the NCAs ASAP so that any firm you do approach knows your plan and timeline. 

I'm sure you can find a law firm that will take advantage of your offer to volunteer your time, but I don't know if that is the best use of time. 

Where did you get your LLB? A "household name" may open more doors. 

OP went to UK

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4 minutes ago, Luckycharm said:

OP went to UK

That is my understanding as well...

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7 hours ago, conge said:

It's not impossible but it's an uphill battle.

My impressions is that, unless you have someone in your corner at a firm, they won't look at you until you complete the NCAs and can actually start articling, so I would hammer out a plan for the NCAs ASAP so that any firm you do approach knows your plan and timeline. 

I'm sure you can find a law firm that will take advantage of your offer to volunteer your time, but I don't know if that is the best use of time. 

Where did you get your LLB? A "household name" may open more doors. 

Thank you,

It seems to be my plan. I was just getting extremely hopeless from reading the forums, but I also believe many people are trying to work at mid size firms if I'm not mistaken. 

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5 hours ago, timeisticking said:

You may be able to find volunteering positions through cold-calling. but I'm not sure if that will translate into a future articling position. The work you get through volunteering may not be as valuable either, especially if they are mainly giving you administrative work. Many NCA candidates start off as legal assistants or law clerks and work their way up to accumulate legal work experience. 

I can't speak for BC, but I suppose you might have to look further out into smaller towns and rural regions where your chances of finding an articling position are higher. That being said, if you have enough financial resources to pursue an LLM Common Law degree, it may be worth it to gain potential networking opportunities to help you with your articling search. 

Thank you,

I definitely will be willing to work my way up from doing adminstrative work into legal work. After understanding the harsh reality of the real world I definitely understand that I can't speed run life, but it's a slow staircase I have to climb. 

LLM common law is something I'm looking into. I think it will really put me to the test if I'm really capable of becoming a lawyer. 

 

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17 hours ago, Bottom2451 said:

Hello,

I am graduating with a three-year LLB degree in june. In short, I decided to study abroad out of a Canadian High School. When I come home, I understand that I will need to either do my NCA exams or apply for a Common Law Masters degree. 

However, I would like to know the likeliness of me landing an articling position or even a volunteer position at a law firm. I am not considering big law firms. I am aiming at small law firms in my local area. I have gone through the forums quite a bit, and I have not yet came across anyone who decided to work/article at a small firm. A firm with possibly 1-2 lawyers who do contract law. Is this a realistic path? I am hoping to first have the opportunity to pass the bar, work at a small law firm, before transitioning into something I desire. 

My other option is to take a masters in medical law. This is something I wish to do, but also understand that I will need to commit more time and money. And obviously face the reality of rejection. 

Are my options realistic?

Thanks,

Hi there, 

I feel as though you have received some good advice above. I am in a similar predicament after having graduated this past July with an LL.B. from the United Kingdom. If you feel as though you would like to talk about the challenges you're facing, feel free to send me a message. 

You're not alone. Best of luck. 

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15 hours ago, Bottom2451 said:

Thank you,

It seems to be my plan. I was just getting extremely hopeless from reading the forums, but I also believe many people are trying to work at mid size firms if I'm not mistaken. 

I wouldn't give up. But figure out your plan for the NCAs. Note that an LLM won't replace the NCAs.  

Did you go to a school with a name that people will recognize? If so, may open more doors than an relatively unknown school. 

 

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On 1/28/2021 at 4:13 PM, Bottom2451 said:

Thank you,

I definitely will be willing to work my way up from doing adminstrative work into legal work. After understanding the harsh reality of the real world I definitely understand that I can't speed run life, but it's a slow staircase I have to climb. 

LLM common law is something I'm looking into. I think it will really put me to the test if I'm really capable of becoming a lawyer. 

 

It's much harder to find a position with the current situation. Normally I would suggest certain volunteer opportunities available for NCA students, but they are not taking anyone right now. 

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Why did you go UK ?

My high school classmate went to Oxford and got her LLB and went on to do  LLM in California. 

She never returned to Canada and I think she is in USA now.  She was her parent's only child.

 

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On 1/28/2021 at 10:04 PM, Shady said:

Hi there, 

I feel as though you have received some good advice above. I am in a similar predicament after having graduated this past July with an LL.B. from the United Kingdom. If you feel as though you would like to talk about the challenges you're facing, feel free to send me a message. 

You're not alone. Best of luck. 

I agree. I will definitely get into contact with you. Being able to talk to someone with similar challenges will definitely make things more clear.

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On 1/29/2021 at 4:35 AM, conge said:

I wouldn't give up. But figure out your plan for the NCAs. Note that an LLM won't replace the NCAs.  

Did you go to a school with a name that people will recognize? If so, may open more doors than an relatively unknown school. 

 

For sure. I am definitely thinking about my options and trying to solidify a realistic plan!

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On 1/30/2021 at 7:01 AM, Luckycharm said:

Why did you go UK ?

My high school classmate went to Oxford and got her LLB and went on to do  LLM in California. 

She never returned to Canada and I think she is in USA now.  She was her parent's only child.

 

Other than being interested in Law, I think studying abroad really taught myself a lot about myself. I lived at home for all my life, and being able to experience independency really changed the way I appreciate certain aspects of life. 

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On 1/30/2021 at 10:04 AM, QuincyWagstaff said:

Have you consider obtaining a JD? 
...

I have not. However, after reading over forum posts and advices from people, I am definitely considering it. Ultimately, I think that If i am able to find a job at a firm, regardless of my job title, It is ultimately better than going back to school. In my opinion, I personally do not think that law school teaches you how to become a lawyer, but they teach you theories of justice and logical thinking. 

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12 minutes ago, Bottom2451 said:

I have not. However, after reading over forum posts and advices from people, I am definitely considering it. Ultimately, I think that If i am able to find a job at a firm, regardless of my job title, It is ultimately better than going back to school. In my opinion, I personally do not think that law school teaches you how to become a lawyer, but they teach you theories of justice and logical thinking. 

A JD would not so much be about learning "how to become a lawyer" as becoming employable as a lawyer.

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Getting a Canadian JD will remove any stigma associated with a foreign LL.B. You did your degree right after high school so you're not really losing time compared to those who did an undergrad, then went to law school. Getting a JD will also give you access to clinical and volunteering opportunities which will only further boost your employability. You'll likely have more doors open to you by going this route than taking the NCAs. 

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I also did an LLB as my undergrad. I'm the GPLLM now, PM me if you want to ask any questions!

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