As we’ve previously reported, Thomson Reuters is contemplating the sale of Bar/Bri. Instead of preparing the lawyers of the future, Thomson Reuters has acquired Pangea3, a legal outsourcing company. We’ve speculated on what Thomson Reuters’s shift says about the legal economy.
But who wants to get into the business of preparing recent graduates to pass the bar exam and become actual attorneys? There are so many kids in law school and law schools don’t even pretend to prepare people to pass the bar. Surely there’s a business opportunity there.
One company is being mentioned as possibly interested in acquiring Bar/Bri. And put it like this: it would kind of make sense if the company responsible for helping you pass the bar could also help you get a degree in refrigerator repair…
Apparently DeVry University is interested in acquiring Bar/Bri. Yes, DeVry — the same people who offer a degree in something called Justice Administration also want to help you study for your state bar exam.
According to a report on LawSchool.com:
DeVry University, a publicly-traded, Chicago-based provider of vocational and college training, is a leading contender to purchase the BAR/BRI bar review, according to industry insiders.
The current asking price is believed to be about $227.3 million. BAR/BRI was sold in 1974 to Harcourt Brace Jovanovich for about $5 million.
DeVry previously purchased BAR/BRI’s CPA review course and is known to be interested in expanding into bar review.
A spokesperson for Thomson Reuters declined to comment on this rumor to Above the Law.
Still, the potential acquisition would kind of make sense. If not for the arcane requirement that lawyers attend a three-year law school, wouldn’t DeVry already be offering some sort of “attorney-at-law” degree? You can totally see how bar prep fits in with DeVry’s other course offerings.
I admit, I’m rooting for this to happen. If for no other reason than I think it will be hilarious when the following bio appears on a law firm website near you:
- Columbia University, B.A., Political Science.
- Yale Law School, J.D.
- DeVry Legal Finishing School, Certificate of Completion
Make it happen, DeVry. Do it for the lulz. Preparing the service professionals of the future is hard work, and law schools don’t want to do it.
P.S. Speaking of BAR/BRI, it appears that checks from the class-action settlement are in the proverbial mail.
DeVry May Purchase BAR/BRI, Insiders Say [LawSchool.com]