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Writing the NY Bar Exam

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by AR_Six, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. AR_Six

    AR_Six Senior member

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    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?
     
  2. dragon8

    dragon8 Senior member

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    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?
     
  3. jhva3

    jhva3 Senior member

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    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.
     
  4. Harold falcon

    Harold falcon Senior member

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    Take PA bar exam.
    Wait 5 years.
    Get admitted via reciprocity to NY.
     
  5. Zackb911

    Zackb911 Senior member

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    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.
     
  6. CBrown85

    CBrown85 Senior member

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    I think Bob Lawblaw has a post on his Law Blog about this.
     
  7. dragon8

    dragon8 Senior member

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    Take PA bar exam and pass
    Wait 5 years.
    Get admitted via reciprocity to NY.


    FTFY
     
  8. dragon8

    dragon8 Senior member

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    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.
     
  9. akatsuki

    akatsuki Senior member

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    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.
     
  10. crazyquik

    crazyquik Senior member

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    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.
     
  11. WJSESQ

    WJSESQ Active Member

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    ^this. A good bar review course like BAR-BRI will be very helpful. Study hard!
     
  12. KPFrosty

    KPFrosty Active Member

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    Barbri is a rip off. Check out Themis Bar Review.
     
  13. dragon8

    dragon8 Senior member

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    Barbri is a rip off. Check out Themis Bar Review.

    But it works
     
  14. zalb916

    zalb916 Senior member

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    [​IMG] 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.
     
  15. akatsuki

    akatsuki Senior member

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    [​IMG]

    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.
     
  16. mr. magoo

    mr. magoo Senior member

    Messages:
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    Aug 22, 2003
    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?

    It's not skewed by low-tier law firm participants (those people have a real incentive to pass -- do or get fired), but by people who barely made it through a third-tier school, are waiting tables and don't take a prep course or really even study.

    I've taken three bars at different times in my career and passed each, all using BarBri. But as the previous poster said, if you're diligent and motivated, you can buy the previous year's material and pass. The first good reason to do a class is that every day someone is forcing you to learn by attending lectures and doing mini-tests.

    The bar is divided into two sections: the "multi-state" and the writing portion. The multi-state is a form multiple-choice legal trivia challenge, testing common law principles. This is where you'd live or die and the second good reason to buy BarBri stuff -- to get their books of hundreds of questions. Even if you take a class and study like mad, you'll have to guess on about 30% of the questions. Whether you pass or not depends on how well you can guess. People who don't study have to guess on like 80% of the questions. You want to (a) limit the # you guess on, and (b) eliminate bad answers to be a better guesser.

    If you're a good writer, the writing portion isn't hard. It's what lawyers do every day.

    Seriously, the last time I took the bar, I sat by people who graduated years ago who literally did not study for the test. One guy said he was going to but wanted to watch American Idol instead. Another lady said she looked at the questions the bar sends out (like 10 of them), but that's all. I imagine they all failed.
     
  17. zalb916

    zalb916 Senior member

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    But as the previous poster said, if you're diligent and motivated, you can buy the previous year's material and pass. The first good reason to do a class is that every day someone is forcing you to learn by attending lectures and doing mini-tests.

    I think this is the main benefit of Barbri. I simply would not have the self-motivation or organization to study on my own. I needed the structure of a course to focus me. It all just depends on the individual. For what it's worth, the people I know who self-studied passed at a lower rate than those I know who paid for a course.
     
  18. dragon8

    dragon8 Senior member

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    I think this is the main benefit of Barbri. I simply would not have the self-motivation or organization to study on my own. I needed the structure of a course to focus me. It all just depends on the individual. For what it's worth, the people I know who self-studied passed at a lower rate than those I know who paid for a course.

    I agree. Barbri makes you go to class and learn. Their MBA review is pretty weak so everyone took another MBE class that everyone else signed up for.
     
  19. Meis

    Meis Senior member

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    Chicago

    Seriously, the last time I took the bar, I sat by people who graduated years ago who literally did not study for the test. One guy said he was going to but wanted to watch American Idol instead. Another lady said she looked at the questions the bar sends out (like 10 of them), but that's all. I imagine they all failed.


    Yeah, I don't get this. It's the bar exam, not reality... going to law school or practicing law really has very little to do with passing the bar exam. It's all about memorization.
     
  20. LesterSnodgrass

    LesterSnodgrass Senior member

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    Unless you live in the Boros, you'll be assigned to Albany anyway. But, real NY Lawyers roll at Javits -- 10th Avenue sewer dog lunch break FTW!
     

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