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Writing the NY Bar Exam

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
A friend of mine in our Toronto office wants to go do this this summer, just to have it under his belt, and wants me to come along for the ride. I hear it has like a 30% pass rate and while I recognize that's skewed by low-tier law firm participants, I'm not sure I'd fall into that category. Given that I know Canadian / UK law - ie, basic legal principles are very similar and we often borrow a lot of law from the USA - but was not taught law school in the USA, how much prep would this actually require? How much minutia would I need to know?
post #2 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by AR_Six View Post
A friend of mine in our Toronto office wants to go do this this summer, just to have it under his belt, and wants me to come along for the ride. I hear it has like a 30% pass rate and while I recognize that's skewed by low-tier law firm participants, I'm not sure I'd fall into that category. Given that I know Canadian / UK law - ie, basic legal principles are very similar and we often borrow a lot of law from the USA - but was not taught law school in the USA, how much prep would this actually require? How much minutia would I need to know?

NY has a 30% pass rate?
post #3 of 20
No, the pass rate is way way higher than that, especially among first time test takers. The people who drag it down are the people who take it five times. You will have to spend a lot of time preparing.
post #4 of 20
Take PA bar exam.
Wait 5 years.
Get admitted via reciprocity to NY.
post #5 of 20
A friend of mine is from Ireland and graduated law school there but never practiced. NY let him take the bar and after studying for 4-6 weeks he passed. He had never studied US law before only the law in Ireland. Mass wouldn't let him sit though and is making him get an LLM.
post #6 of 20
I think Bob Lawblaw has a post on his Law Blog about this.
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by harvey_birdman View Post
Take PA bar exam and pass
Wait 5 years.
Get admitted via reciprocity to NY.

FTFY
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zackb911 View Post
A friend of mine is from Ireland and graduated law school there but never practiced. NY let him take the bar and after studying for 4-6 weeks he passed. He had never studied US law before only the law in Ireland. Mass wouldn't let him sit though and is making him get an LLM.


I think NY maybe the only state that will let you take the bar exam if licensed in another country w/o taking further courses in the US. A former KKR exec who never went to law school either in England or the US passed both exams.
post #9 of 20
It isn't that hard, but you have to put in the time. You could definitely do it in about a month of studying or so. But that is solid studying.
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by akatsuki View Post
It isn't that hard, but you have to put in the time. You could definitely do it in about a month of studying or so. But that is solid studying.

This.

The fail rate for first-time takers is more like 30%, not the pass rate. I think the pass is 70-80%.

Since you are familiar with common law principles, if you studied for a solid 4 weeks you should be able to pass it (although 6 would be better). The usual American bar review courses are 10-12 weeks, although they are pretty casual (at least, most ppl treat them as such) for the first half, and then you really rock and roll during the second half).

If you started studying now and did it every couple nights, and on the weekends, you would be well prepared by the end of July.

You will also need to pass the ethics portion of the bar to get admitted (the MPRE). That is way easier though.

You will probably need to buy a commercial bar prep course though.
post #11 of 20
^this. A good bar review course like BAR-BRI will be very helpful. Study hard!
post #12 of 20
Barbri is a rip off. Check out Themis Bar Review.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by KPFrosty View Post
Barbri is a rip off. Check out Themis Bar Review.

But it works
post #14 of 20
The passage rate for foreign educated students taking it for the first time generally seems to be in the low-40s when looking at July and February together. I am barred in a different state, but bar exams are, generally, not that difficult for a capable law school graduate. However, they do require a lot of studying. Of course, the amount of studying and the method will vary by person. You just have to find what works for you.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by zbromer View Post


The passage rate for foreign educated students taking it for the first time generally seems to be in the low-40s when looking at July and February together.

I am barred in a different state, but bar exams are, generally, not that difficult for a capable law school graduate. However, they do require a lot of studying. Of course, the amount of studying and the method will vary by person. You just have to find what works for you.

Doesn't that include people not educated in common law jurisdictions and people whose first language is not English?

Barbri is a rip-off, but really is the standard. I studied for NY using the iPod course while living in Japan and it went fine, just buy someone's used Barbri stuff from last year, get a good outline, and make a ton of flashcards or whatever. I used the iPod course again for Cali and it was easy.

Pro tip - sign up and take it in Albany versus the city. Much more organized, you can rent a hotel room nearby for the week to study and focus. The rooms you take the exam in are nicer and more relaxed.

Second tip - I recommend taking Massachusetts at the same time. It is one more day, the test is easy and there is no CLE requirement in Mass, so you can maintain it easily. I, in fact, only studied for it in the car while driving from Albany to Boston. It was so easy I had a couple of drinks during the lunch break. You could also do Connecticut where there are a lot of hedge funds. I would not do NJ since they have ridiculous CLE requirements and it is a pain in the ass to maintain.
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