The BARBRI Journey

Guest Blog by Tiffany Khoo, LLB
London School of Economics and Political Science graduate

Can I just say that this BARBRI journey has been a challenge!

I’m enrolled under the 10-month programme which is meant to be at a pretty relaxed pace of about 10 – 15 hours a week. Although this hardly sounds like any work when you break it down, I definitely did not account for how tired I would be after work. As a result, by the time I actually rest my head on the pillow, I’m well and truly tired out and sleep comes very easily.

Fotolia_61821095_Subscription_Monthly_MAllow me to illustrate an average workday – I wake in the morning and feed my dog before heading to work. Work involves reading and analysing legislation, vetting contracts, and attending meetings. If I don’t have to leave late, I try to squeeze in an hour of exercise before heading home. After dinner and a shower, I seat myself at my desk to attempt working at my BARBRI Personal Study Plan (PSP). Although it doesn’t sound very vigorous, it is very mentally tiring and I am so grateful that I’ve signed up for such a comprehensive study plan to help me through it.

It’s been tough but it makes me even more grateful that I’m doing this with BARBRI.

Thanks to the PSP, I know exactly what I have to do and when I have to do it by. Although I did find myself having to play catch-up after going on holiday for a week, the PSP gives me structure to my revision which I otherwise would not have.

Besides watching lectures, an aspect of the PSP is answering multiple choice questions and self-grading essays. Additionally, they’ve also given us a chance to have a piece of work marked. At the moment, I’m trying not to be too hard on myself when my scores on the assigned multiple choice questions haven’t seen much improvement because I trust that with diligent practice, it should get better. I will most definitely keep you guys updated on this!

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One of the great things about being part of the BARBRI community is the support provided, not just from those working at BARBRI but from those being involved in the program as well. I’ve been added to a Whatsapp group with the other international students on the course and it truly is encouraging to be able to ask questions to a group of people from around the world, no matter the time. They recently shared good news about the latest New York Bar passing rates, and we are hoping our group will do well too.

With Christmas season approaching, it’s easy to get caught up in the festivities and neglect to spend enough time revising. I know that it’s going to take a lot of discipline and encouragement to keep myself on track for the next month. Wish me luck! And good luck to the rest of you too.

Till next time!

In a Rapidly Global World, Being Qualified in the United States Worth Considering

GUEST BLOG by Tiffany Khoo, LLB
London School of Economics and Political Science graduate

When overseas, we see time pass by in seasons, in the changing hours of the day, the layers we wear.

blog_1But here in Malaysia, with its ever constant sun and rain, October crept upon me like a surprise and here I am, a month into working life.

One of the most common questions I get from those who know I’ve done law is about taking the UK Bar. After all, I studied in England, and qualifying for the Bar in the UK would qualify me as a practicing lawyer in Malaysia as well. Although I would eventually like to qualify, certain work obligations necessitate that I won’t be able to. In the mean time, I’ve decided to take the New York Bar Exam instead.

Although this route is less popular amongst Malaysians as it does not allow us to qualify locally, in a rapidly global world, being qualified in the United States is another pathway worth considering. And of course, alongside London, New York is an incredibly cosmopolitan city and it isn’t unlikely that arbitration work could involve some international work. Also, instead of having to attend physical classes, qualifying just requires passing the relevant exams.

As I’ll be working alongside my studies (hopefully for the July 2017 paper), I decided to enlist the help of BARBRI International, a Bar Preparation guide that provides online material. I first heard of BARBRI International at LSE, where we were told of many who had dual qualifications. I decided to enrol for the 10 month Home Study Program (This means that I would be starting in September) which would allow me to study part time with the aid of online help, question banks, and even personalised essay feedback.

There are other options available too – like a 6 month option for those who want a quicker course, as well as some physical classes, depending on the country you’re in.

I just felt that doing it on my own would require so much discipline, and as the exam would be in a foreign jurisdiction, guidance just seems like the best option. I went with BARBRI International because they seem to offer really comprehensive help (I probably won’t need to buy anything else!) and they have lots of great online reviews. Their website is incredibly helpful as you can send in a query about eligibility and you will then be put in touch with one of BARBRI’s representatives. I found that I could ask anything, and all of my concerns were taken seriously.

You can find out more HERE and HERE. (Website and Facebook)

Fingers crossed for the entire process to go well! If you’re studying for the Bar as well, drop me an email and we could always start a conversation!

Yours sincerely,
Tiffany

South Korean Native and Irish Law Graduate Expands Career Options Internationally

Hong imageMy Name is Yewhoan Hong, and I was raised in South Korea before arriving in Ireland in 2005.

Upon being accepted into Law and French at Trinity College Dublin in 2011, I was exposed to the contrasting nature of common law and civil law. After completing my Erasmus in France at Université de Strasbourg, I decided to practise law internationally.

The New York bar seemed an appealing choice by which I could begin building my profile as an international practitioner. The New York Attorney-at-Law qualification comes with a certain prestige and international mobility. Not only do many employers hold the qualification in high regard, but many businesses also have ties with New York, a prominent global financial hub.

As a fresh college graduate, I had to make sure I was eligible to sit for the examination. Having devoted my time to studying common law and French civil law, there was a possibility that I would not meet the requirement set by the New York Board of Examiners. I contacted BARBRI International as soon as my final transcript was released, and quickly received a response that I would most likely be eligible. I duly registered for the examination.

Studying the substantive law was by no means easy.

Ireland, being a common law jurisdiction, had many things in common with U.S. law; however, there were numerous additional legal principles that were unique to Federal and New York state laws.

Through online lectures and carefully structured assessments, I was able to understand principles and gradually complete each branch of law every week. From the pre-course materials to the actual sitting of the New York examination, I answered approximately 2,000 MCQs, 100 essays and 10 MPTs which were all provided by BARBRI. Having put the work in, I successfully passed the examination on my first sitting with an MBE score that was 10 points above the national average.

BARBRI International has been very supportive throughout the entire process. The administrative staff is willing and able to help with any problems that may arise. The course structure is comprehensive and convenient. At each class, there is an on-site supervisor who shared his or her experiences and fueled motivation.

I am ultimately happy with my decision to sit the New York bar examination and feel my decision will open new opportunities as I seek to begin my international legal career.

I’m an LL.M.! Now what?

GUEST BLOG by Ambar Rossi, Esquire
Associate Attorney at Sobosik Law, Massachusetts

With graduation day around the corner, it’s now time to pursue our plans post-LL.M.

Some of us will return to our countries, others will try out luck in the U.S. labor market, and the most adventurous will sit for the Bar Exam in July. To all: good luck! To the latter: let’s chat…

I’m not going to sugar coat it for you all: the Bar Exam is no joke! Even for our fellow JDs the next two months will be full of stress, countless hours of study, no sleep and contact with the world whatsoever. They will breathe, drink and eat Bar Prep materials like there’s no tomorrow. Multiply all that by a million and you’ll get the full LL.M. experience. The good news (yes, there is such a thing!) is that the Bar exam is just a test and, just like you, this too shall pass!

Now to the million-dollar question: how to prepare for the Bar Exam?

There’s certainly not one correct answer to this question, but as a foreign-trained attorney trying to pass the Bar I know that the struggle is real! So, I will leave you with 4 things that worked for me:

  1. Do not try to read ALL your Bar prep materials: I am going to assume that all of you will take a Bar Prep Course. That’s a no brainer because you will need the training and technique to learn how to take (and pass) the exam. But getting those 25lbs of books can and will be very overwhelming. No matter what you do, learn when and how to use each book. Some of them will be our companions throughout the entire process but others are there only for reference or in case you need a better understanding of certain issues.  Trust me, you don’t want to become a master in one subject; you want a basic understanding of all of them (key word = basic).  Use your time wisely and read only what you need to pass the exam. No more no less!
  2. Grab your Dictionary: Seriously. This exam is also a cultural challenge. No matter how good your English is some words and sentence construction will make no sense! If, like in my case, English is not your first language it’s a good idea to have your dictionary handy. After all, you don’t want to risk getting a question wrong because you didn’t understand what was being asked.
  3. Practice, practice, practice: Imagine like your new full time job is to prep for this exam. Imagine that this exam is your favorite sport or whatever you want to accomplish the most. You will only achieve your goal by practicing every day. Time yourself, read the explanatory answers of your practice books, do as many assignments as possible. You will feel like you’re not getting anything out of it but, trust me, you are.
  4. Do your own thing: Everybody has his or her own learning methods. Preparing for the Bar exam is not the time to learn a new one. You are a successful attorney and LL.M. graduate. You made it using your own methods; it doesn’t have to be different now. Take the materials and do whatever works for you. It will work this time, too!

fotolia_109834265OK, OK, I’ll give you a bonus tip, perhaps the most important one: don’t be afraid to ask questions and talk to your instructors about your struggles. I remember when I took the BARBRI simulated MBE I was extremely nervous about my – less than ideal – results being a forecast of the inevitable. I shared my concerns with a professor at the review session. He not only gave me useful advice but he even offered additional materials to help me get through the most challenging subjects to me. That’s when I knew I had a true support system that was going to hold my hand throughout this experience. That, to me, made all the difference in the world.

I think you can! #ownthebar
A.

First CILEx Qualified Lawyer to Sit the California State Bar Exam

I’m John Dickens and I recently became the first CILEx qualified lawyer to be deemed eligible to sit the California State Bar Exam.

At the time of writing the good people at BARBRI International are helping me towards my goal of being the first CILEx lawyer practising in both the U.K. and U.S.

I am an employment lawyer originally from sunny Yorkshire. The academic and professional route I took to become such was in the form of the traditional LLB three-year law degree, the Legal Practice Course, interspersed with seven years working in my chosen field of employment law as a Litigation Executive for both national and boutique firms.

I decided to undertake the bar in California as it had always been a dream of mine to move to America. While I was happy with the work I was doing in the U.K., I felt strongly that the remuneration was not what it should be. I also believe that a better work/life balance is possible as an Attorney, in addition to increased earning power and the peripheral benefit of swapping rain and cold for sunshine and warmth.

Having recently secured a job offer in Los Angeles contingent on my passing the bar, I am now very excited to progress with my studies and have found BARBRI International to be a most excellent partner in preparing me for the bar. In providing its wealth of knowledge and experience going back nearly fifty years, BARBRI International not only helped me to become the first CILEx lawyer to be eligible to sit the bar but I believe it will be instrumental in my being the first to pass it also.

Foundations in U.S. Law

Alia DeBellotte,
BARBRI International Marketing Assistant

NEW “FOUNDATIONS IN U.S. LAW” COURSE INTRODUCED TO PREPARE INTERNATIONAL LAW GRADUATES TO PASS U.S BAR EXAMS

BARBRI International has introduced a new Foundations in U.S. Law Course: your first step in preparing to sit a U.S. Bar Exam. This program is specially designed to prepare you, a foreign educated law graduate or lawyer, to pass the Bar Exam.

A little history first – BARBRI has been preparing students for Bar Exams for over 40 years. In recent years, the number of foreign educated students taking the Bar Exam has increased. It is those students who told us what they needed:

A longer period to study for the Bar Exam

  • Basic understanding for the Multistate subjects
  • A method to help memorise large amounts of information
  • A framework for how to read and understand Multistate (MBE) questions
  • Essay writing instruction that addresses what the bar examiners look for in student essays
  • Insight in the performance test
  • And all in a manageable time frame.

That is what BARBRI International will provide you, and it all starts with the Foundations in U.S. Law Course designed to help you lay a foundation in the substantive law tested on the Bar Exam, introduce you to how you tackle each part of the exam, and give you some practice in each subject area.

With the Foundations in U.S. Law course, students will (1) work on starting to develop the skills needed for all parts of the Bar Exam, (2) get a broad understanding of each Multistate subject, and (3) dive more deeply into the heavily tested topics of each subject so you can build confidence in your abilities. The course is self-directed, so students can dip in and out of it in your own time.

With the Foundations in U.S. Law Course you can get started on honing your foundational skills now.

  • Systematic Problem Solving: teaches you how to read questions critically and efficiently.
  • Essay Writing Workshop: teaches you how to organise relevant law and facts.
  • Essay Architect: tests your reading skills, reviews essay answer organisations and gives you the opportunity to build a lawyer-like answer from component parts. You will also receive immediate feedback on your personal performance.
  • Performance Test Skills Workshops: gives you an overview of the exam and how to tackle one of the most important parts of the exam.

For each Multistate subject, you’ll get an overview of the subject explaining what the subject broadly covers as well as areas that are tested and/or how one should approach each subject.

The next step looks deeper into each of the MBE subjects. We have selected highly tested or particularly difficult sub-topics for you to focus on during your studies.

MBEYou will get an alphabetically ordered subject-based syllabus as part of the online Foundations course. The format is as follows:

  • Read an excerpt to become familiar with terminology
  • Listen to a modularised lecture
  • Assess your knowledge with BARBRI AMP to build and test understanding of the black letter law
  • Test your knowledge with a short quiz
  • Work on issue spotting and organisations with essays in each subject.

The BARBRI commitment is to assist you in every way possible to ensure you pass the Bar Exam. The qualifications of New York Attorney-at-Law and California Attorney-at-Law, once obtained will open many doors to you and the effort you put into the course will be repaid many times over throughout your professional career. If you have any concerns, do not hesitate to contact us (www.barbri-international.com).