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Author Topic: Should I get my LLB at a British University?  (Read 5871 times)

for-sure

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Should I get my LLB at a British University?
« on: September 27, 2004, 11:47:32 PM »
I am thining of studying in a British University (I am an EU citizen and therefore will pay much less than at a typical US law school).  I should already have my BA by that time.  Is it hard to transfer to a Canadian school later?; what would I need to do to get canadian past the Canadian "bar" exam?  Is the process hard?
thanks,

David.
Oct. 2005 LSAT: 149 :(

Cheeks

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Re: Should I get my LLB at a British University?
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2004, 10:17:51 AM »
From what I've heard, transferring is hard, regardless of where you're trying to transfer from.  I've also heard that british law is 'similar' to Canadian law but you should probably ask someone who actually knows to help you with this.

To pass the Canadian bar, you will have to study the provincial law in the province where you want to pass the bar.  Going to school in the UK and then passing the ontario bar say will be pretty difficult, but I'm sure it's not impossible. 

Generally, Canadian firms will be more inclined to hire Canadian graduates since they were actually taught for three years in the law they are going to practice.  In fact, even if you practice in the UK for say 5 years, a Canadian firm may still want you to article for a year before they hire you. 

I think you should go to school where you want to practice.  If you want to practice in Canada, you should be going to a Canadian law school.

long_gone

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Re: Should I get my LLB at a British University?
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2004, 10:35:17 AM »
Don't do it.  I looked into this option specifically, and it is not pretty.  Expect to study from 1-2 years extra after you get back just to be eligable, not to mention the fact that UK universities aren't held in the highest regard for law in Canada.  Yes, this includes even the big names in UK education.  It's not an accident the British like to hire from Canada but not vice versa.  Companies know that UK law school is easier to get into, and that there is no LSAT (unless you're applying to the top schools, in which case there is a watered down LSAT-type test).
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londongirl

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Re: Should I get my LLB at a British University?
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2004, 10:42:44 AM »
I disagree. If you read the Montauk book, he has a whole chapter dedicated to this topic. I think it's great to do a law degree in the UK before doing one in Canada, and treat it like postgrad, if you haven't done any yet. You don't have to train to be a lawyer, the LLB is just the first stage. And since it's an undergrad degree and you already have one, you can usually complete it in two, rather than three, years. And the admissions person at Penn was quoted as saying his 'heart would sing if someone applied to Penn with a BA in law from Oxford'.
Anyway, for what it's worth, that's what I have decided to do. A second BA at Oxford in law. Then I'll apply to law school in the states. I believe it will help mitigate my less than brilliant (to say the least) LSAT score. 

long_gone

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Re: Should I get my LLB at a British University?
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2004, 10:52:09 AM »
I disagree. If you read the Montauk book, he has a whole chapter dedicated to this topic. I think it's great to do a law degree in the UK before doing one in Canada, and treat it like postgrad, if you haven't done any yet. You don't have to train to be a lawyer, the LLB is just the first stage. And since it's an undergrad degree and you already have one, you can usually complete it in two, rather than three, years. And the admissions person at Penn was quoted as saying his 'heart would sing if someone applied to Penn with a BA in law from Oxford'.
Anyway, for what it's worth, that's what I have decided to do. A second BA at Oxford in law. Then I'll apply to law school in the states. I believe it will help mitigate my less than brilliant (to say the least) LSAT score. 

I am replying to the original post, for a person that wishes to apply to Canada.  I have done a lot of research on this.  My impression is that he wants to get an LLB from UK and practice in Canada.  This will not be possible without upgrading one's education.  He will NOT get another LLB in Canada for his extra studying, he will just be allowed to practice.  Maybe US is different and you can get an LLB and then a JD.  But you can't get a UK LLB and then a Canadian one.  Instead you will do an upgrade program, but this will not grant you another degree.  I know for a fact that UK degrees here are not nearly as respected as Canadian ones because of the considerably lower admission standards and because I have heard this from the actual law community.  Even if he wishes to practice in England, a Canadian degree will probably serve him better than a UK one, especially if he's already done an undergrad.
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for-sure

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Re: Should I get my LLB at a British University?
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2004, 02:38:32 PM »
Thanks everyone! all the info you gave is great :).  Now, to change it up a little ;), what would be the best option if I wanted to do EU law in the UK or another European country ;).
Oct. 2005 LSAT: 149 :(

long_gone

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Re: Should I get my LLB at a British University?
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2004, 03:13:05 PM »
Good question.  It depends.  I am somewhat in the same boat, but at the same time not entirely, because I am not 100% sure about my decision.  In Canada, the best option is obviously McGill, others come into consideration for the LLB part.  Once you finish an LLB, you can get a BCL in Oxford which is a route I am SERIOUSLY considering.  I would say get the LLB first.
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Kollesch

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Re: Should I get my LLB at a British University?
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2004, 04:34:51 PM »
Londongirl, not to be too pessimistic but I doubt doing a second BA (even in law) at Oxford will help your chances significantly for a school like Penn (and yeah I read the Montauk book too, but still). I remember you were British, so if you want to stay in the UK a second BA in law from Oxford is gonna be very useful from what I know. However, while I don't know your score, I fear essentially nothing is going to get you into a top 14 school if you have an LSAT score that's far below the school's average. Have you considered retaking the test, maybe when you've got more time? I retook it and scored 9 points higher, and I didn't even do anything differently (well I was a lot more relaxed during the second test because I knew I had basically already blewn it and it couldn't get much worse, maybe that helped). A lot of this is just luck, i.e. what kind of reading passage you get. I am bad in standardized tests, my SATs already sucked, but I started very hard for the LSAT and it turned out more or less o.k. (164) Have you taken an LSAT prep class? That's very helpful too.

Again, I don't know what you scored, but trust me if you got into Oxford you are definitely capable of scoring in the mid-160s (I couldn't get into Oxford for college btw).---And what happened to Boalt?

londongirl

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Re: Should I get my LLB at a British University?
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2004, 12:22:53 PM »
Hey Kollesch!
Boalt was great, but I've since been informed that I can get a partial scholarship at Oxford (which is way less expensive anyway), so it makes sense to stay there. And probably qualify here, and do an LLM in the US. Or maybe not. The adcoms I spoke to said a good Law BA _would_ go a long way, but we'll see. After doing it I'll probably just stay here, because the route to qualifying will be shorter and more financially lucrative. I'll try to get a training contract with a large firm, and then tranfer to the US if I want to at that point....
Thanks for the LSAT advice and congratulations on the great improvement! That's awesome!
I don't care about the LSAT too much. I'm fed up with the whole thing. I really enjoyed the law class at Boalt and I even participated in it, and that was good for my morale because I realised I really wasn't worse that all those people. The score wasn't atrocious but not great either. And without being arrogant (because I'm not) and with all due respect to those who have scored highly on the test, and without philosophising on its predictability en masse (I'm not qualified to give an opinion), I think it's not a good predictor of MY abilities. That much I can say.
I feel great about my decision to stay here for a while, and I guess we'll just see what they say after two years at Oxford and what I want at that point. Maybe I'll retake, maybe not. For now, I just feel like staying here is a great option, and one that I am really very fortunate to have.
What have you decided to do?

Kollesch

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Re: Should I get my LLB at a British University?
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2004, 02:56:32 PM »
Hi londongirl

I think your decision makes a lot of sense. I thought about the UK option too, since I already have a masters (just finished) what I would need to do is a law conversion course and then another year (forgot the exact terms but it's 2 years altogether). So it would be 2 years and then 2 years training. What makes me nervous about this option is getting a training contract though. I talked to a friend from LSE who chose that path and she said it's possible to get into a good law school but the real difficulty is getting a training contract since obviously everybody will want a contract with a magic circle firm. Therefore I think I'd prefer getting into a US law school. In fact that's one of the things I like best about the US system, that you are pretty much guaranteed a good job as long as you manage *somehow* to get into a good school. I'm also encouraged by a few foreign students I know back from college who got into top schools, so I'm still hopeful (well we'll see how long that lasts...). So far I've applied to Cornell, UVA, Georgetown, GW, USC, and Vanderbilt, and I'll apply to UCLA, Duke and Minnesota still. All these schools seem good enough to me in order to get a decent job after graduation (even though I really really hope for a top-14).

Everybody who knows a little bit about the LSAT knows that it's not necessarily a predicator of one's ability. Standardized tests never are. My SATs sucked and I still got into a top 10 college and finished in the top 10 % percent there. I still am not a good test taker and just got very lucky on my second LSAT, to be perfectly honest. Once you get into a school you can make up a lot by just working harder than others.

I really think you made a good decision. A BA in law from Oxford is pretty much as good a preparation as you can get for a legal career in Europe. What college are you gonna attend at Oxford? I heard BNC is very famous for law (I always wanted to go to University College, never quite made it there).

In case you won't post as much on this board anymore, good luck! I'm sure you'll be fine.