BAR/BRI

Back in November, we told you that Thomson Reuters was looking to unload BAR/BRI, its bar exam preparation business. The news was huge, given BAR/BRI’s status as a de facto finishing school for would-be lawyers.

Today, it appears that BAR/BRI has found a home. According to various reports, BAR/BRI will be acquired by Leeds Equity Partners. Leeds is a private equity firm that specializes in educational products and services.

Above the Law just spoke with Jeffrey T. Leeds, the co-founder and president of Leeds. He called BAR/BRI a “jewel” for the firm. And since the man is a graduate of Harvard Law School (Class of ’83), he knows just how important BAR/BRI is to our system of legal education… .

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Even witches must pay full price for BAR/BRI.

Law school is expensive. We get it. Preparing for the bar exam is expensive too. We know.

What’s a law student to do? Taking out more loans is the obvious answer, but at a certain point, one cries out, “!No más!”

Some have turned to, for lack of a better word, begging — like this aspiring UNC law student, and this 3L at Arizona State. But their efforts were not well-received. In these troubled times, we all have our own financial burdens to bear.

Alas, one student at Temple Law School didn’t get the “no begging” memo. She sent out a Facebook invitation to almost 800 people, requesting their attendance at an event entitled “HELP [REDACTED] RAISE MONEY FOR THE BAR EXAM IN JULY!!!!”

Yes, she’s asking her law school classmates — some of whom are probably just as cash-strapped and debt-burdened as she is — to just give her money.

Or pay her for one of her magic spells. Because she’s a witch, you see….

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(And begs her classmates for cash, too.)

Ed. note: Have a question for next week? Send it in to advice@abovethelaw.com.

Dear ATL,

I’m in my last year of law school and will be taking the bar this summer. I was wondering if you had some advice on the necessity of a bar review course. The opinions I’ve received from friends who have passed the bar has been split. They all say that it helped keep them “on pace” or “forced them to study” which I’m frankly not worried about. Is there going to be enough new law in one year to sink your bar exam if you’re studying from the previous year’s materials?

– Pay to Play

Dear Pay to Play,

Upon realizing that Suze Orman’s Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke was not itself filled with money, I recently sat down with a “financial advisor”…

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Wouldn't it be awesome if every person in this picture received education from the same place?

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…

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Hang onto your hats, your legal world is about to get rocked. At least behind the scenes.

Thomson Reuters, owner of West Publishing and BAR/BRI is selling BAR/BRI. The reports have been confirmed by people who are enrolled in BAR/BRI. They all received an email from the company tonight.

Above the Law obtained a copy of this stunning email containing the news….

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Nice torso -- no wonder he gets lucky.

Almost a month has passed since our last open thread devoted to bar exam results. So we have some catching up to do.

It’s not yet November, so California and New York test takers still have some time left to wait. But if you took the Massachusetts bar exam, release of the results is imminent, according to Stuff To Do During BarBri.

(Random aside: BAR/BRI isn’t the only provider of bar exam preparation services. For a comparison of BAR/BRI, Kaplan PMBR, and BarMax, see here — including the comments.)

Stuff To Do During BarBri attributes the Massachusetts mailing, said to be taking place tomorrow, to “the grape vine allegedly originating in the Massachusetts Superior Court.” So at this point it’s still rumor.

But we do have confirmed news of bar exam outcomes from other states….

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AZ, CT, MI, PA, VA, WA — any others?

Ann Althouse did it. So can you.

Fourth of July weekend is behind us. And we all know what that means: if you’re studying for the July 2010 bar exam, it’s time to buckle down and focus. There are just three weeks left until your date with destiny.

Looking over our recent posts about the bar exam, we see higher-than-average numbers of Twitter mentions and Facebook shares. Perhaps some of you are procrastinating?

It pains us to say this, but for those of you taking the bar this summer, you should probably start rationing the amount of time you spend online (whether on Twitter, Facebook, or Above the Law). Use the prospect of web surfing to incentivize your studying. For example, let yourself surf the web for X minutes after you complete Y hours of study.

That’s just one tip for bar exam studying; there are many others. On our last post about the bar exam, in which Elie explained how you can fail the Bar/Bri “midterm” and still pass on the first try, this advice-dispensing comment was popular with readers (with over 20 “likes”):

(1) Use the BarBri/Pieper/PMBR study schedule to guide you. This will keep you from spending too much time on any given subject.

(2) Practice, practice, practice. Practice those essays. Practice those MBE questions. And better yet, time yourself when you practice.

(3) Stress. You’re supposed to stress. But stress just enough to keep fire under your a*s. Don’t stress so much that you black out or have an anxiety attack. E.g., a former coworker fainted the morning of the exam.

More bar exam advice, after the jump.

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Just three weeks left until the big day!

Ann Althouse did it. So can you.

It’s about the time of year when students studying for the bar exam are gearing up for one of the big BAR/BRI practice tests: the midterm. Many, many people report that they only really step up their study efforts after the 4th of July — and the reason for that is usually a disappointing score on the midterm.

Most people who score poorly on the midterm will either slip into despair or go into crazy, hyper-studying overload. And both of those paths can lead to bar exam failure. For the vast majority of people, passage or failure on the bar exam is not about innate intellectual ability. It’s about managing your nerves and successfully gaming the test. Most people who can graduate from law school can pass a bar exam. But many will not, and their failure is not about being dumb.

To give hope to those who might be feeling hopeless this week, I’d like to tell you how I passed the bar on my first try — after absolutely bombing the midterm just a month before the real thing…

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Did you enjoy your BAR/BRI lecture today? Do you wish it could have gone just a little bit faster? You are not alone. A tipster reports that he too is bored to death by the interminable BAR/BRI lectures, and he’s not going to take it anymore:

After starting my Barbri Evidence lecture yesterday, I realized that the slower the lecture, the longer the lecture, and the more difficult it is to pay attention. So after 4 hours of searching the web and reading every blog available, I realized that ever since Barbri changed the software they use for the lectures, no one could adjust the speed at which these videos are played.

After about an hour of work, I pieced together a quick and easy way to watch the lectures at 1.5X speed. I am not only saving time, but I feel like it is actually easier to pay attention when they are moving through the material quickly.

Here’s the secret solution to making BAR/BRI go 50% faster…

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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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