Bar Exams

Graduation marks the end of grueling law school exams… and the beginning of preparing for the worst exam of your life.

Most recent grads are heading straight from law school classes into bar exam prep classes, and so 3Ls have been bombarded for the last nine months with spam informational emails from bar prep companies touting their costs, features and success rates.

A new entrant into the bar prep field this year is BarMax, an iPhone-based course that’s significantly cheaper than BAR/BRI and Kaplan. In better times, when graduates could count on new employers to foot the bill for prep courses, they likely wouldn’t have considered a tele-course, but the high numbers of grads without firm jobs may bode well for the app.

How will having a cheap choice affect the market? And how does one decide between the options?

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Results from the February 2010 administration of the Texas bar exam are out today. They’re available on the website of the Texas Board of Law Examiners.

Speaking of the Texas BOLE website, it looks très 1990s — one step above a GeoCities page. The Board is based in Austin, a top tech city. Can’t they find someone to redesign their website? Maybe an unemployed or underemployed lawyer who knows a little html?

In any event, congrats to all the happy Texans, who can now look forward to bright futures filled with 3500-sq.-ft. wives — and Lexis.

February 2010 Texas Bar Examination – Pass List [Texas Board of Law Examiners]

Congratulations to Elizabeth Wurtzel! The celebrated writer, who now works at Boies Schiller, just passed the New York bar exam. (As we noted earlier, February bar exam results for New York were released today.)

More discussion after the jump.

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The February Bar Exam results are out in New York and a few other states around the country. In case you haven’t done it already, click here to see if you passed.

The February Exam tends to have a lower passage rate than the summer one. So if you passed you should be even more proud :).

If you did not, let’s hope your firm lets you shrug it off and try again.

And if your firm won’t wait for you to take it again this summer, well, that’s their loss. You didn’t need that stinkin’ Biglaw job and lifestyle anyway. Run to the welcoming arms of your family and friends, and get ready for your new life — freed from the tyrannical rule of the billable hour.

Congratulations to all those who passed, and everybody who received a blessing in disguise.

Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Bar Exams

College of Law logo.jpgDo you want to sit for the New York Bar Exam without spending three years in an American law school? Now you can. But you’re not going to be saving a whole lot of time, and we’re not sure if you’re going to be saving any money.
The Lawyer reports that the College of Law has made a move to accelerate the time it takes for U.K. lawyers to get licensed in the U.S.:

The College of Law (CoL) has announced plans to offer the New York Bar Exam to UK students, allowing them to qualify as American lawyers without having to complete a training contract.
Full-time GDL students who go on to complete CoL’s Legal Practice Course (LPC) or Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) will be eligible to sit for the New York Bar Exam following an additional 22-week study programme.
Previously UK non-law graduates would first need to qualify as a lawyer in the UK and then complete an LLM degree in the US before being able to sit the New York Bar Exam.

The program is also open to people educated in the U.S., though it doesn’t look like you’ll save a whole lot of time hopping across the pond and back …

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The College of Law — London, Makes Move in U.S. Market”

bar exam success good luck.jpgThe February bar exam is now over, for everyone, everywhere. Rejoice and enjoy that Inuit prostitute.

Some of you have suggested on open threads that things went reasonably well. Others are hot messes, desperately trying to figure out firm policy when it comes to second-time failing of the bar.

Many February takers are bar veterans. Maybe you can advise this soon-to-be lawyer gearing up for the July bar. She’s trying to make her bar review course decision:

I can already see the angry people who say it’s idiotic not to take BarBri. But, honestly, Kaplan’s complete bar review course in Cal. is seeming ever-more seductive. I would love to make an informed decision based on real information, but it appears to not be out there (ie pass rates for the two).

In addition to courses, there are other tools.

Since quantifiable data is lacking, anecdotal evidence shall have to suffice. Who is feeling the least screwed after taking the February exam — your Inuit friend aside — and which bar review course did you take? Or did you eschew a formal course and prepare in some other way? If so, how?

bar exam taking the bar exam lawyer attorney.jpgFor many of you February bar takers, it’s over. You’ve finished it. Yay! Congratulations. So what are you going to do now?
Seriously, what the hell do you do to celebrate finishing the bar when it’s the middle of freaking February? When you finish in the summer it’s warm and you don’t have to go to work in the morning. You have all kinds of lazy time on your hands to get drunk, make a pass at some Bar/Bri girl you’ve been eying, pass out in a beer garden, whatever.
But what are supposed to do in the winter? Pound a fifth of vodka and enjoy a thrilling chess match before heading to work on Wednesday? Make love to an Inuit prostitute? Buy a new bottle of anti-freeze you’ve had your eye on for the past six weeks? You can’t even go out for a relaxing drive on the open road; your Ton-ton will freeze before it reaches the first marker.
I guess you just have to add “post-bar celebration” to the list of things that are crappier when you have to take the February bar. But maybe there are celebration strategies that I’m missing. Tell us what you are doing to celebrate your success (at completing the exam; we’ll worry about passing it later) in the comments.
The Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) [National Conference of Bar Examiners]

bar exam taking the bar exam lawyer attorney.jpgAs we noted this morning, today was the first day of the bar exam for many of you. In light of the still-fragile legal economy, where some firms are looking for any excuse to fire associates, passing the bar exam may be more important than ever.
Some firms — e.g., Quinn Emanuel — have specific policies requiring lawyers to leave the firm if they fail the bar exam a second time. And many candidates for the February bar exam are people who didn’t pass during the July administration, so this is their second time at bat.
In light of the stress that February 2010 bar takers are under, we’d expect some amount of… weirdness. Did the person next to you have a nervous breakdown? Did a fellow exam taker get arrested while taking the bar? Was there an earthquake?
Here’s an open thread for you to talk about today’s bar exam experience.
P.S. Do not post specific questions or answers from today’s test, which could get you in legal trouble.
Earlier: Good Luck on the Bar Exam!

bar exam success good luck.jpg
Today is the first day of the February bar exam. If you’re sitting for the test today, good luck.
Celebrity authoress Elizabeth Wurtzel, a repeat taker, is freaking out. As Wurtzel said last night on Twitter, “I guess I’m taking the bar exam on Tuesday & Wednesday. Anyone with magical, mystical powers who wants to use them on my behalf, please do.”
If it makes you feel better, Lizzie, you’re not alone in your anxiety. Many other aspiring lawyers are losing it on Twitter.
To ATL readers who have passed the bar: Do you have any last-minute tips for today’s victims? Feel free to offer them in the comments.

mike ghaffary barmaxCa one grand iphone app.jpgOver the holiday weekend, reports came pouring into the ATL inbox about the most expensive iPhone app currently on the market. It costs $1,000 and is aimed at legal types, specifically those who want to be lawyers in California. From PCWorld:

BarMax: California Edition, available now in the iPhone’s App Store for $999.99, is a study guide for the California Bar Exam. Harvard lawyers oversaw development of the app, which weighs in at 1 GB and includes outlines, lectures, a study calendar, and real questions and essays from previous exams. The only comparable app available now is from BarBri, but you must be enrolled in the company’s $3000 to $4000 classes to use most of the features.

According to TechCrunch, the man behind the app is Mike Ghaffary, a JD/MBA ’06 Harvard grad. Ghaffary was just recently admitted to the California bar himself, in December 2009.
He says he came up with the BarMax app idea while studying…

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