Law School Discussion

Going to the US, need HELP !!!!

Going to the US, need HELP !!!!
« on: May 31, 2007, 11:31:45 PM »
I have been rejected from the top Ontario schools, and I am waiting on some other ones. However, I doubt that I will get in. By the way, I have no interest in going to school outside of Ontario, only applied to Dalhousie. I have also applied to American law schools and I got into some top third tier schools and some low second tier schools. More importantly I have been accepted to the JD/LLB program in Detroit Mercy/Windsor. Currently my goal is to come back home and practice in Canada. I dont know what I should do. Should I go to a better school, get a JD and if I want, go through the NCA (which I have limited knowledge about), which might take an extra year. Or should I just do the JD/LLB program? I am worried about the job prospects, due to Detriot's low rank (tier 4).

Re: Going to the US, need HELP !!!!
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2007, 11:58:37 AM »
If you want to practice in Canada, your best bet would be to do the joint JD/LLB degree because with the LL.B. you will not have to do extra courses at a Canadian law school as is the norm for American JD's coming back. Also there was an article floating around here on the boards about UDM having some biglaw recruiters coming to their campus for ints with top students. I'd assume UDM grads place decently in the city of Detroit, but its not very good for national placement if thats what you're looking for.

What were your stats btw if you don't mind me asking? I'm interested in Windsor's joint program as well..did you have significant soft factors that you think affected the admission decision?

Re: Going to the US, need HELP !!!!
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2007, 11:35:27 AM »
Yeah the more I read, the more attractive the JD/LLB program looks. Most importantly, having both degrees makes you more appealing in the Canadian job market. Although I wonder how much work is involved in order to get both degrees in just 3 years. Are a 100 credit hours a lot? I have no concept of how much that is. 
My stats: 3.3, 154 (average), and yes I did have significant soft factors which I believe did have an important role in me being admitted.

Re: Going to the US, need HELP !!!!
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2007, 04:11:27 PM »
How do finances figure into this situation?  Are you going to be paying for University of Detroit law school entirely on debt?

I'll reserve my opinion until you've clarified that point.

I will say your tenacity is to be admired.  Also have you applied to Windsor law school and been rejected?

Re: Going to the US, need HELP !!!!
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2007, 05:02:06 PM »
The JD/LLB tuition is less than UDM tuition, its around $25K. I wont be paying it entirely on debt, but after considering US schools, I am mentally prepared for debt. Also an acquaintance, who is finishing law school in Canada, told me that she regrets not paying more for the JD/LLB program.
I have applied to Windsor for just the LLB but I have not heard back from them, they are notoriously "thorough" (read slow). Although, since I got into the joint program I dont see why I wouldn't get into just the LLB. I could be wrong. And even if I get into just the LLB, I would probably chose the JD/LLB program. There are other Ontario schools which are also taking their sweet time.
I wouldn't say I am tenacious, I think most people living in Canada with my stats would look towards the US instead of waiting on the 10 or so Canadian law schools. 
Does anyone know how many credit hours is a typical law school? Are a 100 credits a lot?

Re: Going to the US, need HELP !!!!
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2007, 11:18:00 PM »
UDM states that tuition is 26,880 PER year.  How do you calculate 25k total? 

It's a tough situation.  On one hand you're attending one of the worst law schools in the U.S and likely the worst law school in Canada.  That isn't to say you can't have a fantastic career, just don't expect jobs to be easy to come by in big markets. 

I think if your goal is to work in Canada you should either get an LLB or in the case that you cannot get a simple LLB get the joint degree.  Getting a JD from a weak school and coming back to shell out more money and getting an LLM only to have to article for 1 year (which they don't have to do in the U.S) at miserable pay just seems like a lot of schooling and extra money for nothing. 

If your heart is set on Canada, the best advice I can give is wait it out and see if you are admitted to a Canadian school.  If you are not, retake the LSAT and try to bump your score up a couple points and re-apply in November.   

Re: Going to the US, need HELP !!!!
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2007, 04:19:06 PM »
Like I said earlier, the JD/LLB tuition is around $25K. You do not pay the full tuition of UDM.
I do not want to make this a discussion about how good the law school at Windsor is, but I very much doubt that it is the "worst in Canada." I doubt that it is the worst in Ontario, let alone Canada. Further, from talking to some current law students it seems that the JD/LLB program is fantastic. It seems worth the additional tuition.
Honestly, I do not use this forum much for Canadian information, thought it would be good, but my own research has proven to be much more valuable.


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Re: Going to the US, need HELP !!!!
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2007, 07:07:07 PM »

All things considered, I'd take the JD/LLB acceptance and run with it.  A JD from a Tier 4 school won't do you much good, and you'd be stuck in the area for a few years and/or would have at least a year's worth of extra courses AND articling left to do in addition if you wanted to come back to Canada.

The UDM program isn't the greatest, but it's the JD itself that counts here, and considering the cost, it's actually a pretty good deal.  With some proper networking (there are a few threads on this board that are very valuable for networking skills that I can link you to), you should be fine for a job in the school's immediate region if you chose to practice in the US.

As for the LLB from Windsor, most schools in Canada beyond the Big 3 (UBC, McGill, UofT, not in that order) are cut from the same cloth.  It's also debatable whether they're even "worse" than those other three -- certainly, the benefit of huge local markets and a reputation for prestige seems to be what sets those three apart from the rest, superficially, and that doesn't really address the actual merits of the schools themselves.  Personally, I don't think you can really go wrong with any law school in Canada.  The system isn't so brutally tiered, and degrees travel well from region to region, although top jobs are usually reserved for locals (in my experience).

In other words, Windsor is just fine.  I think the JD/LLB is an EXTREMELY useful combination of degrees for a Canadian citizen, and a lot of the typical worries about "lower tiered schools" that would normally play into going to either UDM or even Windsor are mitigated by the value of this specific program.

If I were you, I'd do it.  Keep your options open.

Re: Going to the US, need HELP !!!!
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2007, 10:15:08 AM »
Astro I couldn't agree with you more.

Re: Going to the US, need HELP !!!!
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2007, 03:24:42 PM »
Just FYI, I know somebody who did that degree who says that the JD part of that program added NOTHING to her job/career prospects.  For Canadian recruiters, it does not add to your resumé to say that you've graduated from one of the crappiest excuses for a law school in the US. 

Do just the Windsor degree, forget about the UDM JD.