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Law Students/Pre-Law Students Information Thread

A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
Our forums have seen a great interest in people interested in pursuing a career as a lawyer or some other sort of job within the legal profession. A lot of the questions you have can easily be answered, so check below, and if you're still unsure post below and we'll give a reply! That way, we can grow this thread and use it for future reference instead of having an enormous number of individual threads.

So, here, I'll start:

How do I become a Lawyer?

Overall: to practice law in Canada you require your LL.B. (Bachelor of Laws), then article, then write your Bar exam, then are able to practice law with a firm or begin your own firm. For starters, Carleton has a good overview of "How Do I Become a Lawyer?" with some basic information about applying and getting in.

1. To become a lawyer in Canada you require at least two years of an undergraduate degree. However, most students wait until after their third year, or get their entire four year degree before going to law school.

2. You need to write your LSAT - the Law School Admission Test. These are held in a variety of areas throughout your university, usually between two and four times each year. A "competitive" score, depending on the school you're applying to, usually seems to be between 150 and 165 (out of 180).

3. To actually apply to law school, you're going to need to apply just as you did for university. The OLSAS has a great information booklet on the steps you'll need to take. Applying is going to take a variety of information regarding yourself, your background, and your interests.

4. Canada has 25 law schools. Ontario has six law schools: Osgoode Hall Law School (York University), University of Ottawa, Queen's University, University of Toronto, The University of Western Ontario, and University of Windsor.

5. A law program is usually between 3 and 4 years to complete your LL.B.

6. After you complete your degree, you'll need to article, which is usually about 10-12 months of working under the supervision of a lawyer to complete various tasks. This socializes you into the profession and gets you ready for the type of work you'll encounter.

7. After articling, you'll need to write the Bar examination in the province you'd like to practice law. This exam admits you as a member of the Bar Assocation of _________ (insert province's name).

8. After being admitted to the Bar association of your province, your last step is either getting hired with a law firm or beginning your own law firm!

PLEASE NOTE!

Please note that asking questions about "will I get into law school?" or "what would they say about..." or "do you think that my marks are good enough?" are pointless and no one can answer them to any degree of certainty. We're students too, and the best advice we can give you is to do your research on any questions you may have. There is also no way of anyone here being able to determine your situation - e.g. "I just moved here from... Could I be a lawyer?"

So, let's continue with the questions and answers!
(NOTE: There were 4 pages of responses to this thread here.)
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
If you're looking for more information on becoming a lawyer, check out www.lawstudents.ca. These are students actually in or completed law school, so they're going to have much more comprehensive information regarding admissions and completing law school than could be found on here. Of course, many members on there are also members here (myself included) so if you're lucky you'll get the best of both worlds.
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A photo of myrakhan myrakhan
LSAT advice #1 - PowerScore all the way!
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A photo of NumberOne NumberOne
What's the difference between a LLB and a JD?
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A photo of HeroOfCanton HeroOfCanton

@NumberOne wrote
What's the difference between a LLB and a JD?


From my understanding, the JD is mostly found in America and the LLB in Commonwealth countries. The difference is that the JD is a "professional" degree like medicine, whereas the LLB is an "academic" bachelor's degree. In the UK and some other Commonwealth countries, people study law straight out of law school. However, in Canada, both require some undergraduate schooling. If I remember correctly, some law schools are transferring from LLB to JD.

I could be wrong, but it's probably a superficial difference like BComm vs. BBA.
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A photo of NumberOne NumberOne

@HeroOfCanton wrote

@NumberOne wrote
What's the difference between a LLB and a JD?


From my understanding, the JD is mostly found in America and the LLB in Commonwealth countries. The difference is that the JD is a "professional" degree like medicine, whereas the LLB is an "academic" bachelor's degree. In the UK and some other Commonwealth countries, people study law straight out of law school. However, in Canada, both require some undergraduate schooling. If I remember correctly, some law schools are transferring from LLB to JD.

I could be wrong, but it's probably a superficial difference like BComm vs. BBA.



Yeah, that's what I thought. Thanks for clearing that up.
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A photo of knight123 knight123
what the deal about corporate law? is it financillay more rewarding and if so what challenges/requirements would i face if i pursued this type of law?
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A photo of 123abcuwo 123abcuwo

@knight123 wrote
what the deal about corporate law? is it financillay more rewarding and if so what challenges/requirements would i face if i pursued this type of law?


It is financially rewarding, but you'll have no life (as you will be working constantly, and long hours).
Generally speaking, the whole "work-life" balance (i.e. finding the time to work & raise a family) is pretty much out the window.
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A photo of treecows treecows

@123abcuwo wrote

@knight123 wrote
what the deal about corporate law? is it financillay more rewarding and if so what challenges/requirements would i face if i pursued this type of law?


It is financially rewarding, but you'll have no life (as you will be working constantly, and long hours).
Generally speaking, the whole "work-life" balance (i.e. finding the time to work & raise a family) is pretty much out the window.


I would disagree with that. You can work as an in-house counsel for a company which has a better chance of working only 9 - 5 hours. Smaller companies = less hours, less pay, but you still make around $120k a year for a good and stable small sized company. On the other hand, the amount of money one can make as an in-house counsel for a large corporation can be much more than what you would make in a law firm but it would a workaholic life.

Corporate law also gets a lot of glitz and glam, because of the money, but most of the work is really dry and repetitive. If you're a detail oriented person its for you.
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@NumberOne wrote
What's the difference between a LLB and a JD?


Nothing anymore. All of the Ontario universities have switched or are switching to a JD. They offer the same standards and the same end result (becoming a lawyer). A JD also allows you to practice in the U.S.
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous

@knight123 wrote
what the deal about corporate law? is it financillay more rewarding and if so what challenges/requirements would i face if i pursued this type of law?


Depending on which corporation, sure, it could be a great financial opportunity in comparison to other types of law.

Most big corporations would have a lawyer on salary for $x per year, and then use them full time to do whatever legal litigation the company needed.

McDonald's, for example, hires lawyers to start at $75,000 per year and a company-paid car. That's pretty good, considering the average salary after law school is closer to $50,000 a year.
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A photo of kaloolah kaloolah

@ARMY101 wrote

@NumberOne wrote
What's the difference between a LLB and a JD?


Nothing anymore. All of the Ontario universities have switched or are switching to a JD. They offer the same standards and the same end result (becoming a lawyer). A JD also allows you to practice in the U.S.



Yeah, but don't count on getting a visa. Sometimes it can be hard for graduates of non-ABA schools to gain permission to sit a US bar exam. It depends on the State.


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A photo of kaitx kaitx

@treecows wrote

@123abcuwo wrote

@knight123 wrote
what the deal about corporate law? is it financillay more rewarding and if so what challenges/requirements would i face if i pursued this type of law?


It is financially rewarding, but you'll have no life (as you will be working constantly, and long hours).
Generally speaking, the whole "work-life" balance (i.e. finding the time to work & raise a family) is pretty much out the window.


I would disagree with that. You can work as an in-house counsel for a company which has a better chance of working only 9 - 5 hours. Smaller companies = less hours, less pay, but you still make around $120k a year for a good and stable small sized company. On the other hand, the amount of money one can make as an in-house counsel for a large corporation can be much more than what you would make in a law firm but it would a workaholic life.

Corporate law also gets a lot of glitz and glam, because of the money, but most of the work is really dry and repetitive. If you're a detail oriented person its for you.




I know numerous corporate lawyers making over 400K a year. I think I can live with the dry, repetitive work... Haha ;)
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