Canada vs USA: Examining the Comparison

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LLM Guide: Canada vs USA: Examining the Comparison

The USA has long been viewed as the powerhouse of education, success and employment. The notion of going to an American university is something that a lot of students strive to achieve to experience the ultimate 'college life' and set themselves up for a promising post-graduation career. However, just north of the border, you can find a country steeped in first-class education, employment prospects and quality of life. Canada can often be overlooked (like most countries) when being compared to America. However, we've compiled a list of facts that can show you why choosing to live and study LLM in Canada could be the best thing you've ever done. 

A More Supportive Environment

Canada is a well-regulated country. To coincide with this, the price tag between a Canadian law degree and a US one differs a huge amount. Annual tuition fee alone can be as much as $45,000 in the States, compared to Canadian prices ranging from as little as $3,700 for Canadian residents and $21,000 for international students. For those who are affected strongly by the price of an LL.M. degree, choosing to head to Canada will really be just as beneficial as going to the US. The only difference is your spot on the map. 

Another factor to observe is that in Canada, due to a relatively low number of law schools, a much more supportive environment has started to develop. This can, without question, be considered to be better than the support environment available to students in the States.An example of this is the existence of a reciprocity agreement between the schools, in which students can be referred to the career services office of another law school anywhere in the country. 


The recruiting process is similarly well controlled and overseen by the law school's career development office.

After submitting an application, a candidate will be interviewed on-campus and then, during the second round, can be flown out to the firm's offices for another interview.

Like the US, it is a competitive process. Canadian law schools also look for the best possible caliber of students to come to their school, but it is better controlled and managed. 

The Canadian Market

Although securing a job after graduation is clearly a competitive and comprehensive process, the small number of law schools and the well regulated industry means that new Canadian law graduates have a much better chance of finding work than those in the U.S. 

As well as this, it's a well-known fact that Canada weathered the 2008 recession quite well, which meant there was less economic and employment rebuilding to do than the US had. Because of this, law school entry levels have roughly stayed the same over the years. This meant that they're has been a steady outflow of law graduates finding employment, while the US legal employment prospects continued to flounder for a substantial period of time. 

Student Appeal

You can be assured that for every student vouching for a US law education, there is another doing the same for a Canadian one. There have also been cases where a law student begins law school in the US and then decides to leave and head to Canada (take a look at this testimony from Tyler Devenyi who transferred from Loyola to Osgoode Hall Law School.) This is proof that the idea of US law schools being the top of the tier is not always 100% fact, and that Canada has just as much to offer. Although the decision to go to law school should never be taken lightly, it is worth noting that beyond the US, particularly north of it, are just as amazing opportunities awaiting - all you have to do is look for them! 

Paula Mahon

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Osgoode Professional Development (OsgoodePD), is a division of Osgoode Hall Law School at York University – one of Canada’s largest, oldest and most prestigious legal institutions. We fost...