[ By Cindy Anna Nicolson, LLB – Guest Blogger and Immigration Attorney ]
Whenever someone asks where I am licensed to practice and I tell them New York, I know I earn their respect. Even fellow attorneys who are licensed elsewhere in the United States recognize that my passing of the New York State Bar is a real feather in my cap.
To receive such admiration is humbling, and not something I set out to achieve in my career. Rather, my goal has always simply been to do meaningful work where I am most passionate: in the area of immigration law. Through sheer dedication, perseverance and BARBRI, this dream has come to fruition.
Earning a four-year Scottish LLB degree in law was the first stage of my legal training. I then became aware of the BARBRI Extended U.S. Bar Preparation program and knew it was the right path for me as a non-U.S. attorney with aspirations of practicing internationally.
BARBRI’s reputation in the legal field is unsurpassed, and their results speak for themselves. I first studied with BARBRI using their 6-month course in 2015 after setting down roots in Las Vegas, Nevada. Licensed in Nevada, I could practice in areas of federal law—such as Social Security, Bankruptcy and, of course, Immigration Law. I could not, however, practice state-specific law. For this reason, I enlisted the help of BARBRI again in February 2018 when I decided to sit the New York Bar Exam.
TOOLS THAT WORK FOR ANYONE, ANYWHERE
As with my first experience with BARBRI, I knew I would get clear and concise instruction from expert lecturers using lesson plans and schedules designed for busy professionals like me. If someone works full-time, has children or has only a limited amount of time to devote to studies, the BARBRI home study schedule fits their lifestyle.
The course was easy to follow and structured well. I found the topics to be fully explained. But for those times when questions arose, a BARBRI rep was always there to provide advice, guidance, or a little morale boost.
The bar exam was like no other exam I took in law school. The time allocated to studies in the BARBRI plan was something I absolutely had to give my full commitment. I did the many practice questions and mock exams as directed. The intense preparation paid off with success on the bar exam.
THE REWARDS OUTWEIGH THE TIME INVESTMENT
Now with a New York license in hand, I can work anywhere in the U.S. And if I should choose to relocate to New York City or any major city around the world, I am confident I will be able to utilize my license to full potential. Because the U.S. bar is recognized globally, practicing on an international basis is well within my reach.
The opportunity to dual-qualify and practice in the U.S. has changed my life. Yes, I worked harder than I ever imagined to get here. However, the rewards of being an international lawyer far outweigh the long days and nights of study.
The two words I would use to best describe my experience with BARBRI Extended U.S. Bar Prep: life-changing and exceptional.