Unfortunately, it is often difficult for foreign-trained lawyers to sit for the bar exam in the US and preparing for the bar exam can be a daunting challenge. Bar admission is regulated by each of the 50 states, and while California permits qualified, foreign-educated attorneys with a non-equivalent degree or civil law background to sit for the bar exam, New York allows only foreign lawyers with an equivalent Master of Laws (LLM) degree to take the bar exam.
Most US law students take months preparing to sit for the bar exam by taking review courses and classes, and foreign-educated lawyers should do the same. It is important that all law students take a commercial bar review course in order to prepare for successful completion of the bar exam—not merely signing up for the course, but also completing the recommended practice questions and exams. If you are not yet based in the US, one way you can prepare for the exam is to take the US Bar Review.
What is the US Bar Review?
BARBRI International is the largest legal preparation course provider in the world with over 30,000 students annually. It offers the US Bar Review course to non-US students to help them qualify to take the US bar exam. BARBRI allows law graduates to qualify as US attorneys by providing the only international bar review programme tailored specifically for non-US law graduates and lawyers.
Where Can it be Taken?
BARBRI offers classroom-based review classes in London, Dublin, Paris, or Dubai, and an innovative home study online course along with a blended approach are also available. Classes are available in February, April, and September each year, take either six or 10 months to complete, and require between 10-15 hours of study time per week over 10 months or 20-30 hours per week over six months.
Who is Eligible?
Students who are interested in expanding their career options to the US and currently hold a law degree are eligible to take the review course, sit for the US Bar Exam, and upon passage, practice law in the US.
What is Covered?
To prepare for the bar exam, the US Bar Review covers the following subjects and others:
- Criminal law and procedure
- Federal civil procedure
- Real property
- US Constitutional law
Pre-recorded lectures delivered by American law school professors are accessible online, and online students are encouraged to attend physical venues for mock exams and simulations.
Why Become a US Attorney?
Taking and passing the US Bar Exam will add prestige and other credentials to your CV. Being able to practice law in the US provides lawyers with the ability to obtain specialised positions, work with international clients, manage cross-border transactions, and appreciate the differences between American and international law.