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Queens vs Cardozo (NYC)


Mr Mango 77

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Mr Mango 77
  • Applicant

Hi,

I am a dual US and Canadian citizen who has lived my entire in Canada. I was accepted into Queens in Kingston, Ontario, as well as Cardozo Law School in NYC, where I have some family. Even with the scholarship I received, Cardozo is significantly more expensive, especially with tuition being in US dollars. However, Cardozo provides a good opportunity to live and work in NY and potentially earn more money. Do you think it would be possible to have a path to NY after a Queens JD if I take the NY bar exam etc.? I do not know what field of law I will go into, but for now I am interested in immigration and civil litigation. I visited both schools and enjoyed my tours. However, I am heavily leaning towards Queens simply bc I wish to graduate with less debt by staying in Canada. 

Thank you

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scooter
  • Law Student

Do you for sure want to practice and live in NY, or is it just an option you'd like to have?

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Dinsdale
  • Lawyer
11 minutes ago, scooter said:

Do you for sure want to practice and live in NY, or is it just an option you'd like to have?

Exactly.  Whichever you choose is very likely going to define whether you end up practising (or practicing, if the latter) in Toronto or NYC.  Not definitely, but quite probably.  You're making it much, much harder on yourself if you graduate from a law school in a different country.

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Mr Mango 77
  • Applicant

I am not 100 percent sure on living in NY, so I would say its more an option I would like to have

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CleanHands
  • Lawyer

Echoing that you need to decide which country you want to live and practice in post-graduation right now, and chose which law school to attend based on that. This decision really is that simple.

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LMP
  • Articling Student

I think it'd be diffcult (for me at least) to justify the costs with those goals. 

If you were deadset on New York biglaw or something, it'd be a different conversation but I don't see any reason you can't go do immigration or general civ lit in NYC after graduating from Queens. Especially as a dual citizen. 

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Mr Mango 77
  • Applicant
8 hours ago, LMP said:

I think it'd be diffcult (for me at least) to justify the costs with those goals. 

If you were deadset on New York biglaw or something, it'd be a different conversation but I don't see any reason you can't go do immigration or general civ lit in NYC after graduating from Queens. Especially as a dual citizen. 

Thanks for the response. Queens makes much more sense for me financially. Im not sure though if graduating from Queens Law which maybe has less name recognition in the US would hurt my employment odds should I choose to move there in the future? I am just concerned about keeping my options open, but I also think it is probably wiser to choose the more affordable option given my situation. 

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Dinsdale
  • Lawyer
20 hours ago, LMP said:

I don't see any reason you can't go do immigration or general civ lit in NYC after graduating from Queens. Especially as a dual citizen. 

Well, except he has to get called to the NY bar, which isn't easy (particularly without any background in U.S. law).

11 hours ago, Mr Mango 77 said:

Im not sure though if graduating from Queens Law which maybe has less name recognition in the US would hurt my employment odds should I choose to move there in the future? 

Yes, of course it would.  But it would also improve your chances of working in Toronto, say.  That's why you kind of have to decide now where you are headed, post-graduation.

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BlockedQuebecois
  • Lawyer
15 minutes ago, Dinsdale said:

Well, except he has to get called to the NY bar, which isn't easy (particularly without any background in U.S. law).

I would agree it's not easy, but it's not particularly difficult, either. Most reasonably competent Canadian law students could pass the exam without significant difficulties. 

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Conge
  • Lawyer
On 4/14/2024 at 12:12 AM, Mr Mango 77 said:

Thanks for the response. Queens makes much more sense for me financially. Im not sure though if graduating from Queens Law which maybe has less name recognition in the US would hurt my employment odds should I choose to move there in the future? I am just concerned about keeping my options open, but I also think it is probably wiser to choose the more affordable option given my situation. 

IMHO, Queen's won't have any name recognition in the US. The most likely path to NYC from Queens is via Bay Street. Even then, it's not very likely. 

If you are set on NYC, and you like to gamble, got to Cardozo. If you want to work in Canada, or aren't sure where you want to be, I'd go to Queen's.

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bigtruss
  • Lawyer

Because of the practice areas you have an interest in and because you're saying NYC is an option you would like to have and not something you're dead set on, I would take the tuition discrepancy seriously. Cardozo sends 20-25% of the class into biglaw, where you could do civil litigation but not immigration work. If we look at biglaw as a possible but unlikely outcome given your interests and what Cardozo grads tend to do, it's fair to say that the opportunity to make more money in NYC will probably only be proportionate to the higher cost of living in NYC versus in Toronto. Based on what you've said, you know that the tuition will be steeper at Cardozo given whatever scholarship you were offered. Taking on significant debt is a serious life decision in general, and can exert a lot of tacit pressure on what you decide to do with your career, so I would think hard about whether you're likely to be able to service that debt and whether your appetite for risk aligns with taking that choice before you take it. If money's not a big issue and NYC is a life experience you're dying to have, then fair enough, but if you see NYC more as a financial opportunity I think this is all worth taking seriously. 

Also, passing the NY Bar after studying at Queens is absolutely possible but not a lay-up. The ~66% overall pass rate on the NY Bar (already much lower than in Ontario) can be a bit misleading because: 1) The state tends to disproportionately attract law grads from near the top of their class at their respective law schools because NYC is by far the biggest biglaw market; and 2) People going into biglaw all get $3k USD prep courses paid for by their firm which help a lot with passing the bar exam. Both factors put upward pressure on the average pass rate. Worth noting is that the 2022 pass rate for foreign-educated candidates taking the NY Bar was 44%. In 2021 it was 31%. California probably has the hardest bar exam in the U.S., but NY is definitely on the more difficult end of the spectrum and it does become trickier without a U.S. legal education. 

Hope this helps, congrats on the offers, and good luck!

Edited by bigtruss
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