Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hey guys,

    I am not sure if someone will be able to help me out with a bit of advice or information but here it goes. Excuse the lengthy post.

    Here in Canada, as well as the US you can only attend Law School if you have a 4 year undergraduate degree. Right now, I am attending University of British Columbia(UBC) in Vancouver, Canada, and just finished my second year. Currently have an average of 87%, 4.1/4.33 based on the UBC GPA scale. To my knowledge, if the conversion is correct I believe my grades as of right now would be considered First (however I am not sure if that matters, since to my understanding the grades that would mostly be looked at would be the ones I receive during my studies within the UK) Also, I am not sure if this is applicable, but my university is ranked 30th in the world and 2nd best in Canada.
    My entire life I have loved London, and have always wanted to live there. Previously, however, I have never really considered my options for moving there, and staying permanently. But now, halfway through my degree (I know, how convenient) after another trip to London I have suddenly decided to go for it and explore my options for moving.
    Now, with the research I have done I have narrowed down my options.

    a) Apply in September for a standard 3 year law degree, as any English high school graduate would (and I am assuming they would take my high school average, which is 96%) and basically "drop out" of UBC and then do LPC (Legal Practice Course). This would take me 4 years and would mean I have wasted 3 years of my life at UBC.

    b)Finish my degree in Canada and do a 1 year GDL(Graduate Diploma in Law) and then LPC (Legal Practice Course). This obviously would be the most ideal option, since it wouldn't take as much time, however, my concern is how to law firms look at students with GDL. Might be just me being crazy, and this "theory" is by no means backed up by any form of evidence but wouldn't students with GDL be at a disadvantage compared to students with a regular 3 year Law degree from an English university? Please, please, please correct me if I am wrong.

    c) I could also do my Senior Status LLB, however again, I am not sure how law firms look at it compared to the regular law degree. I am also not sure how this compared to GDL.

    d) Or should I just stop trying to find incredibly complicated and risky ways of attaining my law degree and just stay in Canada and go to law school here.

    Another thing to consider is the Visa and how good/bad the job market is there. I have just began my research so if you have any advice or some of my information is incorrect please feel free to correct me. I honestly would appreciate any kind of input. Thanks
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    It depends what university you would want to go to in the UK. I assume you have no citizenship to the UK so fees will be huge for you.

    You could finish your degree in Canada, and then do your masters degree here, although Im not fully certain of how transferable you will be to a UK Law course. (Do you want to be a lawyer in this country or do you want to be a lawyer in Canada?!)

    Perhaps take an ERASMUS year here instead?

    London is quite an expensive city, the job market in places is rather tight, however if you go to a G5 university or a Russell Group for Law you would be best placed to get a job in the law market.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by donte)
    It depends what university you would want to go to in the UK. I assume you have no citizenship to the UK so fees will be huge for you.

    You could finish your degree in Canada, and then do your masters degree here, although Im not fully certain of how transferable you will be to a UK Law course. (Do you want to be a lawyer in this country or do you want to be a lawyer in Canada?!)

    Perhaps take an ERASMUS year here instead?

    London is quite an expensive city, the job market in places is rather tight, however if you go to a G5 university or a Russell Group for Law you would be best placed to get a job in the law market.
    Hi!
    You are correct, I don't have a citizenship in the UK. And yeah, I have looked into the fees and they are quite steep, however to a certain extent money isn't an issue.
    I have looked into into, and my degree would be transferable, I would basically just have the same status as a person who has graduated from an English university with a non-law degree. I would most definitely stay in the UK, thats the sole reason why I am even considering going through all this trouble.
    I am most definitely aiming for the top their schools (Russell Group), however again not sure if I should pursue Senior Status LLB or GDL. To my understanding however, some schools don't offer GDL.
    I am not familiar with ERASMUS, do you mind elaborating?
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    ERASMUS is an exchange program where you get to study in another country's university for a year or so, but you want to properly study and work in this country so forget I mentioned ERASMUS.

    I think the Russell Group's lean more toward the senior status, whereas non-Russell/lower league unis tend to offer GDL. For example Oxford, Cambridge and Uni of Liverpool all offer Senior Status (6-7 terms/2yrs), but none of them offer the GDL.

    I think Senior Status is probably the best way to go, because then you havent wasted several years at UBC, and it gives you more time to prepare yourself for moving over here. I doubt a Senior Stat. will give you a disadvantage compared to Law grads, especially if you go to a decent Uni.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by donte)
    ERASMUS is an exchange program where you get to study in another country's university for a year or so, but you want to properly study and work in this country so forget I mentioned ERASMUS.

    I think the Russell Group's lean more toward the senior status, whereas non-Russell/lower league unis tend to offer GDL. For example Oxford, Cambridge and Uni of Liverpool all offer Senior Status (6-7 terms/2yrs), but none of them offer the GDL.

    I think Senior Status is probably the best way to go, because then you havent wasted several years at UBC, and it gives you more time to prepare yourself for moving over here. I doubt a Senior Stat. will give you a disadvantage compared to Law grads, especially if you go to a decent Uni.
    I see, okay thank you! Do law firms really take into account the university you went to? Since obviously doing GDL would be more desirable, because it takes less time, but I don't want to put myself at a disadvantage because I just wanted to "get the schooling out of the way"
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by duckinslippers)
    I see, okay thank you! Do law firms really take into account the university you went to? Since obviously doing GDL would be more desirable, because it takes less time, but I don't want to put myself at a disadvantage because I just wanted to "get the schooling out of the way"

    Unfortunately, yes. You could go to a lower uni and still do really well, but being at a better one, puts you in better stead. The better universities have strong links to the magic circle.

    Doing either will not guarantee you a job, as the market is highly competitive, but the industry does prefer candidates from a higher tier university. If you go down the GDL route I suggest getting as much work experience at a law firm(even if its just on the reception desk), this will help your application tremendously. But work experience would also be desirable if you do the Senior stat as well.
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by duckinslippers)
    I see, okay thank you! Do law firms really take into account the university you went to?
    In your situation - UG at a sensible Uni in Canada, followed by postgrad in the UK - you should use your 'unique selling point', that you have good knowledge of both legal systems. Law firms love people who have relevant overseas experience/knowledge (and language skills where appropriate), typically from Study Abroad, but an entire degree would be seen as very valuable. Targeted applications to international firms with a Canadian connection would be your best route.

    This would also get over any visa issues (its much more difficult for overseas students to 'stay on' here to work after graduation than it used to be) - you obviously have skills/knowledge that a typical UK grad won't have, and this would make it much easier for any firm to get you a work visa.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Thank you both for your replies. While all of this sounds great in theory, it will obviously be a lot of work to make it happen. Truthfully, do you think its worth it? Like previously stated living in London would be an absolute dream, however finishing school and not being able to find a job in a city where I have no support sounds extremely terrifying.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    Graduated from UofGuelph with substantially worse grades than you - seven years ago however. You should be fine.

    Applied to a few senior status programs (Birmingham, Exeter, York) accepted to all of them. Decided on Warwick though.

    Didn't want to do the GDL because I wanted a law DEGREE, not qualification, in case I wanted to do a Masters, etc and so it would have weight as an academic credential. I went to a law mixer and a GDL was deňigrated by one of the partners. Not to mention, the cram, slam, thank you ma'am style isn't for me. But in the UK, the GDL seems fine and you might be able to get a firm to pay for it, so if you want to go that route, aim for that. Just make sure it's transferable to the Canada, in case you ever decide to practice at home. I were you, I'd take a shot at the Oxford Senior Status. Note that beside Oxford, the tip top of the elite don't offer two year programa (eg KCL, UCL, Durham). Bristol seems pretty regarded, and they have a two-year program called a Masters - but that would require you to finish your BA. If you're looking at Top 20 vs Top 10, QMUL, York, Birmingham, Exeter, Nottingham have senior status degrees. Note QMUL is the only London option.

    Hope that helps.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Assan)
    Graduated from UofGuelph with substantially worse grades than you - seven years ago however. You should be fine.

    Applied to a few senior status programs (Birmingham, Exeter, York) accepted to all of them. Decided on Warwick though.

    Didn't want to do the GDL because I wanted a law DEGREE, not qualification, in case I wanted to do a Masters, etc and so it would have weight as an academic credential. I went to a law mixer and a GDL was deňigrated by one of the partners. Not to mention, the cram, slam, thank you ma'am style isn't for me. But in the UK, the GDL seems fine and you might be able to get a firm to pay for it, so if you want to go that route, aim for that. Just make sure it's transferable to the Canada, in case you ever decide to practice at home. I were you, I'd take a shot at the Oxford Senior Status. Note that beside Oxford, the tip top of the elite don't offer two year programa (eg KCL, UCL, Durham). Bristol seems pretty regarded, and they have a two-year program called a Masters - but that would require you to finish your BA. If you're looking at Top 20 vs Top 10, QMUL, York, Birmingham, Exeter, Nottingham have senior status degrees. Note QMUL is the only London option.

    Hope that helps.
    Thank you! That helps a ton, I thought I was going insane since I couldn't find anything on the KCL and UCL websites about Senior Status. You mentioned that for the Master as Bristol I would have to finish my undergrad, however to my understanding I would have to finish my undergrad regardless if I want to do Senior Status. Is that not the case?
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by duckinslippers)
    Thank you! That helps a ton, I thought I was going insane since I couldn't find anything on the KCL and UCL websites about Senior Status. You mentioned that for the Master as Bristol I would have to finish my undergrad, however to my understanding I would have to finish my undergrad regardless if I want to do Senior Status. Is that not the case?
    Absolutely correct. Senior Status anywhere requires you to finish your degree. The GDL requires you to finish your degree. A 3-year degree doesn't.

    And of course, the SS degrees - most require B+/2:1, but you've got that covered.

    So, the major choice you need to make is:
    Are you absolutely, completely certain that you 1- want to be a lawyer and 2 - that you will get a job as a lawyer (and the odds are different for the ultracompetitive commercial bar vs a solicitor vs public interest law, the funding for which is drying up).

    if you have ANY inkling that you may want to do a postgrad in law, get a law degree, whether it's SS or 3-year. I'm not sure what your current undergrad is in so how much mileage you'll get out of that.

    If you know you want to be a lawyer, get legal work experience, finish your degree and get your GDL funded. Again, check that it is transferable to Canada. If that doesn't work, the SS and 3-year programs will be there waiting.

    School name seems to matter in England - or at least it does on TSR.

    Bear in mind that some 3-year degrees require the LNAT test. Don't know whether that's an advantage or disadvantage for you.

    If you need anything else let me know. I'm not Canadian but I did graduate from the Canadian school system.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Assan)
    Absolutely correct. Senior Status anywhere requires you to finish your degree. The GDL requires you to finish your degree. A 3-year degree doesn't.

    And of course, the SS degrees - most require B+/2:1, but you've got that covered.

    So, the major choice you need to make is:
    Are you absolutely, completely certain that you 1- want to be a lawyer and 2 - that you will get a job as a lawyer (and the odds are different for the ultracompetitive commercial bar vs a solicitor vs public interest law, the funding for which is drying up).

    if you have ANY inkling that you may want to do a postgrad in law, get a law degree, whether it's SS or 3-year. I'm not sure what your current undergrad is in so how much mileage you'll get out of that.

    If you know you want to be a lawyer, get legal work experience, finish your degree and get your GDL funded. Again, check that it is transferable to Canada. If that doesn't work, the SS and 3-year programs will be there waiting.

    School name seems to matter in England - or at least it does on TSR.

    Bear in mind that some 3-year degrees require the LNAT test. Don't know whether that's an advantage or disadvantage for you.

    If you need anything else let me know. I'm not Canadian but I did graduate from the Canadian school system.
    Thank you so much for your information and input. Do you think dropping out of UBC and applying to the 3 year degree would be silly? I would finish the 3 year degree at the same time I would finish the LLB, since I would have to finish my undergrad for LLB.
    The fact that I want to do law is apparent, and it has been that case since I was 10.
    However, the question is now whether I am willing to risk it all, just to move to the UK. But you mentioned that if I know I want to do law I should proceed with the GDL. Why do you say that?
    I feel like at this point I am just trying to get you to make the decision for me ahahaha
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by duckinslippers)
    Thank you so much for your information and input. Do you think dropping out of UBC and applying to the 3 year degree would be silly? I would finish the 3 year degree at the same time I would finish the LLB, since I would have to finish my undergrad for LLB.
    The fact that I want to do law is apparent, and it has been that case since I was 10.
    However, the question is now whether I am willing to risk it all, just to move to the UK. But you mentioned that if I know I want to do law I should proceed with the GDL. Why do you say that?
    I feel like at this point I am just trying to get you to make the decision for me ahahaha
    Haha. I know, it can be tricky to weigh up the various factors.
    What discipline is your undergraduate degree in?

    Let me see if I can help?

    Is money, time, or money and time a dominant issue? If yes, proceed to the GDL, preferably funded.

    If money or time isn't an issue, and if a law degree interests you, what type of law degree do you want?

    If STRAIGHT law - ie just law and anywhere in the Russell group - consider applying to SS. There are fewer electives to choose from, and some law students feel the law degree could be done in 2 years anyway. Personally, I loved loved York, and was happy to go there. Note Birmingham and maybe one or two other Russell Group universities seem to have tailored aspects of their degree to Canadian students (ie you can take Canadian Constitutional Law there, I think.)

    If Law AND - (Politics, a language, Social Sciences, Humanities, etc) is what you want then a three year minimum degree is for you. (Some are four years or can be taken as four-year options). You'll need to check out LSE's Law and Anthropology, KCL's Politics, Philosophy, Law (4years), Warwick's Law and Humanites/Social Sciences/Sociology/Business/European Law (3 or 4), SOAS's Law + an ASian/African/European language like Arabic, Farsi, Swahili, etc, Birmingham's Law and Globalization (very cool - international law and politics focus) and the countless Law and French/German/sometimes Spanish options, available at most schools. Note most of these are 4 years, with the 3rd year spent abroad. They differ not only in terms of the language you choose but whether the program stresses language acquisition or language and the legal culture of the target culture.

    If you choose to go this route, just BE SURE to carry out the degree in such a way that it is QLD, ie a qualifying law degree requires you to take all the modules/courses specificed by the SRA.

    But - all of this hinges on your visa status. I would start there. The Govt is cracking down on students staying in London after their degree, and exceptions are made for STEM students - not lawyers. So if I were you I'd start there - can you stay, for how long? The legal job market is very competitive, that's all I can say about that.

    On the other end, if you get accepted to a London unoversity, maybe three years is all yo'll need(or all you'll want. Let's say you use your 5 choices to apply to UCL, LSE, KCL, SOAS and Queen Mary. You are accepted. You enjoy your two, three, or four-year options (both SOAS and QM have SS), but you get sick of the expense, the crowding, etc etc. Many, many people get tired of London and move away. You could test drive London, gamble on staying if you like it, but go home if you don't.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Assan)
    Haha. I know, it can be tricky to weigh up the various factors.
    What discipline is your undergraduate degree in?

    Let me see if I can help?

    Is money, time, or money and time a dominant issue? If yes, proceed to the GDL, preferably funded.

    If money or time isn't an issue, and if a law degree interests you, what type of law degree do you want?

    If STRAIGHT law - ie just law and anywhere in the Russell group - consider applying to SS. There are fewer electives to choose from, and some law students feel the law degree could be done in 2 years anyway. Personally, I loved loved York, and was happy to go there. Note Birmingham and maybe one or two other Russell Group universities seem to have tailored aspects of their degree to Canadian students (ie you can take Canadian Constitutional Law there, I think.)

    If Law AND - (Politics, a language, Social Sciences, Humanities, etc) is what you want then a three year minimum degree is for you. (Some are four years or can be taken as four-year options). You'll need to check out LSE's Law and Anthropology, KCL's Politics, Philosophy, Law (4years), Warwick's Law and Humanites/Social Sciences/Sociology/Business/European Law (3 or 4), SOAS's Law + an ASian/African/European language like Arabic, Farsi, Swahili, etc, Birmingham's Law and Globalization (very cool - international law and politics focus) and the countless Law and French/German/sometimes Spanish options, available at most schools. Note most of these are 4 years, with the 3rd year spent abroad. They differ not only in terms of the language you choose but whether the program stresses language acquisition or language and the legal culture of the target culture.

    If you choose to go this route, just BE SURE to carry out the degree in such a way that it is QLD, ie a qualifying law degree requires you to take all the modules/courses specificed by the SRA.

    But - all of this hinges on your visa status. I would start there. The Govt is cracking down on students staying in London after their degree, and exceptions are made for STEM students - not lawyers. So if I were you I'd start there - can you stay, for how long? The legal job market is very competitive, that's all I can say about that.

    On the other end, if you get accepted to a London unoversity, maybe three years is all yo'll need(or all you'll want. Let's say you use your 5 choices to apply to UCL, LSE, KCL, SOAS and Queen Mary. You are accepted. You enjoy your two, three, or four-year options (both SOAS and QM have SS.).
    I am a double major in Finance and Political Science, and want to practice corporate law. Also, I do speak Russian and French fluently, but to be honest I don't know how much that would matter. Money isn't an issue to a certain extent, however time is. While I am only 20 as of right now and still have a few years to spare, I would much rather prefer to begin my career, than spend a few more years in school and not because I don't/wouldn't enjoy it, but because I would enjoy working much more.

    I have looked at Queen Mary University of London, and while it looks very appealing, its rankings don't look very impressive to me to be honest. Is it considered a good school?
    I feel like I am so used to Canadian firms not putting too much emphasis on the prestige of the school, it is hard for me to adjust to caring about rankings and all that jazz.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by duckinslippers)
    I am a double major in Finance and Political Science, and want to practice corporate law. Also, I do speak Russian and French fluently, but to be honest I don't know how much that would matter. Money isn't an issue to a certain extent, however time is. While I am only 20 as of right now and still have a few years to spare, I would much rather prefer to begin my career, than spend a few more years in school and not because I don't/wouldn't enjoy it, but because I would enjoy working much more.

    I have looked at Queen Mary University of London, and while it looks very appealing, its rankings don't look very impressive to me to be honest. Is it considered a good school?
    I feel like I am so used to Canadian firms not putting too much emphasis on the prestige of the school, it is hard for me to adjust to caring about rankings and all that jazz.
    I would get that degree. That background in finance could be an asset although, couldn't you just graduate now without an honors degree? At Guelph we could do four years for an Honors degree, three years for a regular degree. Remember, a thre-year degree isn't abnormal in the UK.

    And do not negate the benefit of your languages, especially Russian. You have a great profile

    Re: QMUL - 1 you need a back up option. Law is highly, highly competitive. QMUL has a good law program but a weak overall reputation (at least onTSR). If you are set on London, I'd apply to all 5. I decided not to apply, but it does have some advantages - award-winning probono opportunities being one of them. SOAS and and QMUL could be your backups, KCL a very good middling option, and UCL and LSE your first and second choices.

    You can also work during your degree, at least part-time. Or volunteer. Work experience is crucial.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    Also, I edited that previous post while you were writing. Read the bottom paragraph...
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Assan)
    I would get that degree. That background in finance could be an asset although, couldn't you just graduate now without an honors degree? At Guelph we could do four years for an Honors degree, three years for a regular degree. Remember, a thre-year degree isn't abnormal in the UK.

    And do not negate the benefit of your languages, especially Russian. You have a great profile

    Re: QMUL - 1 you need a back up option. Law is highly, highly competitive. QMUL has a good law program but a weak overall reputation (at least onTSR). If you are set on London, I'd apply to all 5. I decided not to apply, but it does have some advantages - award-winning probono opportunities being one of them. SOAS and and QMUL could be your backups, KCL a very good middling option, and UCL and LSE your first and second choices.

    You can also work during your degree, at least part-time. Or volunteer. Work experience is crucial.
    No, UBC doesn't let you do a 3 year degree, not to my knowledge anyway. UCL and LSE both don't have the Senior Status, which is super disappointing, if they did that would be ideal. I just really can't fathom doing another 3 years plus an LPC, it just feels like such a waste of time.
    Also, as I previously mentioned being with out a job in a completely different country with no support system sounds terrifying to me, just like it does to every one I would assume, however crazy enough the cost of QMUL for the SS is less than going to UofT for law. And while I appreciate your advice on applying to Oxford, realistically I don't think I would get in to be honest. So this doesn't leave me much options except for QMUL, but again I don't know how competitive in the eyes of the law firms.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by duckinslippers)
    No, UBC doesn't let you do a 3 year degree, not to my knowledge anyway. UCL and LSE both don't have the Senior Status, which is super disappointing, if they did that would be ideal. I just really can't fathom doing another 3 years plus an LPC, it just feels like such a waste of time.
    Also, as I previously mentioned being with out a job in a completely different country with no support system sounds terrifying to me, just like it does to every one I would assume, however crazy enough the cost of QMUL for the SS is less than going to UofT for law. And while I appreciate your advice on applying to Oxford, realistically I don't think I would get in to be honest. So this doesn't leave me much options except for QMUL, but again I don't know how competitive in the eyes of the law firms.
    You should always stretch yourself. It's better to fail than to wonder - trust me.

    I know your options aren't ideal.

    Alternatively, you could do something else althogether - finish your degree, do a 1 or 2 year Masters degree in London, and head home for your law degree.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Assan)
    You should always stretch yourself. It's better to fail than to wonder - trust me.

    I know your options aren't ideal.

    Alternatively, you could do something else althogether - finish your degree, do a 1 or 2 year Masters degree in London, and head home for your law degree.
    There is loads to think about, but regardless thank you so so much for your input and advice. I really appreciate it
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    Good luck. Update me when you've figured it out. I'd be happy to know what you decide.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Would you like to hibernate through the winter months?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.