Moving From Toronto to New York to Practice Law: What You Need to Know

You’ve gone through the rigors of law school, and are ready to take your legal career to the next level across the border in the U.S. While you hate to say goodbye to Toronto, a new opportunity awaits you in New York state. As you pack up your law degree and get ready for this next step, here are some things to keep in mind to ready yourself for the move from Canada to the United States, and what that may entail.

Exploring New York


Moving from Canada to the U.S. has been complicated in the past year and a half by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. With new leniency, it’s a better case than ever to get vaccinated against the coronavirus if you haven’t already. This will allow you access to New York State courtesy of the Peace Bridge to explore what the Empire State has to offer. You may want to set up shop in New York near your new employer, or within the realm of the courts to handle any complex litigation that may be thrown your way.

If you have questions about the next steps in your law career, be sure to take into account the advice of your mentors or a legal director that may have some insight on the best path forward. Take inspiration from legends of litigation like Malliha Wilson. Malliha rose from his native Sri Lanka to become a top Tamil Canadian lawyer, serving as Assistant Deputy Attorney General for the province of Ontario. She became the first visible minority to hold the office, using her background in indigenous, human rights, and labor law to now reside as senior partner of her own firm Nava Wilson LLP.

Understanding Moving Costs


Let’s face it. Regardless of where you’re moving from, it’s important to consider your budget for the move. You’ll want to take into account your anticipated salary and current financial situation. Be sure to reach out to your new employer, as they may be able to fund some of your moving expenses. Some companies have offered down payment assistance for apartments and temporary steads or offered the protection of a long-term hotel stay to give you time to settle into your new surroundings.

It could make more sense to ship your belongings down to your new New York neighborhood from Toronto, saving on a moving crew or worrying about any issues with your items that could halt you at the border. This will ensure success in moving, and allow you to take inventory of what needs to make the trip with you. This could make for some things to give away, or even sell to pay down your moving expenses.

Renting vs. Owning a Home


Depending on where your new career opportunity takes you, you may want to rent to get a little time to adjust to a nearby neighborhood. With time, you could be ready personally and financially to pursue homeownership in the area. If you think you’re ready to be a home buyer, it’s time to consider your mortgage options in New York. Be sure to work with financial institutions to check your eligibility with prospective lenders for the right mortgage program.

You may want to opt for a fixed-rate mortgage, with an interest rate that holds steady throughout the entirety of the mortgage. These quotes vary in how much the mortgage can cover the cost of a house, as well as any help for a down payment. Adjusted rate mortgages could be opportune for some New Yorkers to be able to save for the first five years within their new house, increasing that interest rate over the next two decades. After all, you want to make sure you feel right at home in New York.