BAR/BRI

post bar travel scaled back.jpgNow that aspiring lawyers have taken the bar exam, they can relax and try to forget about it until the fall, when results come in. One way of relieving stress is “the bar trip”: a post-bar exam vacation to an exotic locale, for sun, surf, or snow, depending on one’s travel preferences.
The bar trip — the last hurrah before immersion into the grim realities of law firm life — is a tradition among law grads. But we’re hearing that the recession may be interfering with the tradition this year. With Biglaw start dates pushed back, and talk of lower salaries running rampant, law grads may be feeling less celebratory this year.
Purely anecdotally, law grads have told us that they’re scaling back. They’re not going on extravagant bar trips, and in some cases, not going on bar trips at all.
Are we only friends with fiscally conservative types, or is this actually a trend this year? Are you thinking of a “staycation,” or are you still planning a trip around the world?
If you’re traveling, please tell us where you’re heading and for how long. If you are heading out of the country, we hope you’ll be sure to spend some time in internet cafes checking out the latest ATL news.
Earlier: Post-Bar Travel: Open Thread

Panic button.JPGSo. There’s this thing called the bar exam taking place next week. (Exact dates vary by jurisdiction.)
As bar exam candidates enter the home stretch, they exhibit a wide range of emotions. Some are cool as cucumbers, so confident of passage that they spend bar review classes making origami creatures. Others are panicky, hot messes (literally — like the folks who had to sprint down smoke-filled stairwells during the NYU library fire earlier this week).
Does anyone sitting for the bar have last-minute requests for advice? Do any veterans have wisdom to impart? What’s the most effective way to study — or relax — over the next 72 hours or so?
Comments are open. You know what to do.
Earlier: Ahhhhhhhh. The Bar Exam! And a Fire!
Prior ATL coverage of the bar exam (scroll down)

From a bored Bar/Bri student:

This is how effective Barbri is this year: this little origami creature (see image below) was created by a student in the NY review course…. during the course. It took her two Corporations lectures and one Conflict of Laws lecture to complete. And she didn’t skip a beat — she had plenty of time to “fill in the blanks,” as we are instructed to do on our lecture handouts.

BarBri Bar Bri mascot.jpg
Can’t believe this elaborate creation is actually origami? Read more, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “BarBri Boredom: Is This Cute, or What?”

Javits bar exam sadness.JPGIt looks like there may have been a mini-riot at the Bar/Bri lecture today. Apparently some students felt that the Con Law lecturer wasn’t entirely on top of all the salient issues. We heard from a few of them; here is one report:

I’m one of thousands of BarBri students studying for the New York Bar. I attend one of the Video locations. Today’s lecture was Constitutional Law. The lecturer was Professor Cristina Rodriguez from NYU. She was horrendous. Not only as a speaker/lecturer, but … she also got some points of law wrong on the handout. Barbri had re-recorded the lecture, which is available later today. At my location, students left midway through the lecture. I don’t plan on going to the lecture tomorrow.

Of all the con law profs, how did Barbri end up with one of the worst? Is that all I get with my thousands of tuition dollars?

After the jump, an email that BarBri sent to its students about the Con Law lecture.
UPDATE: Please note that this post has been revised in various respects since it was originally published. In addition, please see the addendum, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Open Thread: How Does Everyone Like Bar/Bri So Far?
Revised and updated; please see after the jump.

Charles Whitebread.jpgWe’d like to take a moment and acknowledge the great life and career of Professor Charles H. Whitebread. Professor Whitebread passed away Tuesday, in Santa Monica, California.

Professor Whitebread was a legend at the USC Gould School of Law, but most attorneys will remember him for his BAR/BRI Criminal Law lectures. We fondly remember the bow-tied professor for adding a bit of levity at a time when we were stressed beyond belief.

He is survived by his life partner, John Golden, and his devoted friend Michael Kelly.

The USC Gould School of Law will hold a memorial for Professor Whitebread at a date still to be determined. Donations to the Charles H. Whitebread Memorial Scholarship may be sent to the law school.

BarBri bar bri bar exam review course prep course Above the Law Above the Law ATL.jpgHere it is, folks — the daily bar exam open thread. You know what to do.
To those of you who are done (e.g., people taking New York only): congratulations. To those of you with another day to go: good luck.
If you’re one of those people suffering through three days of bar examination hell — either because you’re in a state with a three-day test, or you’re taking two states back-to-back — you have our sympathies. Back in the day, we took the New York and New Jersey bar exams back-to-back. After a mind-frying two days spent taking the NY bar exam, we had to make the long drive home from Albany, to sit for the NJ bar exam the next morning. Fun stuff.
But don’t worry, you’ll survive. And statistically speaking, odds are that you’ll pass.
(We did, in both states — despite attending a law school whose graduates “tend to underperform in passing the bar.”)
Earlier: Bar Exam Open Thread: So How Was Day One?

travel.jpgWith bar exams taking place at the end of this month, a bunch of almost-lawyers are furiously studying away. It’s not the worst way to spend the dog days of summer… but it’s pretty bad. If you’re in that boat, we wish you luck (and encourage you to spend your study breaks here at ATL).
While few look forward to taking the bar, many look forward to post-bar, pre-start-date travel: the legendary, celebrated bar trip, your last hurrah before immersion into the grim realities of law firm life. With Biglaw start dates pushed back at quite a few firms (see here, here, and here), some of you may have more travel time than expected.
So where are you headed, and how long are you staying there? Or where are you considering going? Is Europe still a desirable destination, or does the weakness of the dollar put it out of reach? Is southeast Asia still a popular pick, or is a post-bar trip to Thailand so “five minutes ago”? Please share your views, in the comments.
If nothing else, this post should trigger you to buy airplane tickets — e.g., on a 21-day advance fare — if you haven’t done so already. Last-minute airfare deals seem to be a thing of the past (perhaps due to rising fuel costs). If you want to get a ticket using frequent flyer miles, you need to act fast — heck, you may even be too late — given the dwindling supply of such seats.
Kash leaves today for two months in Hong Kong — an unfortunate destination in terms of weather right now, described by the Lonely Planet guide as “punishingly hot and humid” during the summer. Hope you’ve made wiser choices!

funny-pictures-cat-furniture.jpgWhile responses to last week’s ATL / Lateral Link survey on summer associate programs continue to flow in (add your 2 cents here), let’s pause to consider what last year’s summer associates are going to experience over the next few months: bar exams (sorry), relocations, and sweet, sweet signing bonuses (or not).
We’ve received about a hundred comments and tips since we posted our “Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Starting Bonuses But Were Afraid To Ask” table, which aggregated the results from our ATL / Lateral Link surveys on bar stipends and reimbursements, salary advances, and signing bonuses, relocation benefits and whether you have to pay it all back when you leave.
So today, we’re updating the table to fill in some more blanks.
The table below now shows six things for each firm:
  * which bar exam expenses the firm will reimburse (send us tips to fill in the blanks),
  * whether the firm pays new associates a summer stipend or a signing bonus or graduation bonus (not counting clerkship bonuses, which are discussed elsewhere),
  * whether the firm provides salary advances (i.e., loans) in any particular amounts,
  * whether the firm provides any particular relocation benefits,
  * whether the firm provides a pro-rated bonus (a “stub bonus”) for the period between your start date and the end of the year first year, and
  * whether the firm will make you pay it all back if you leave. As a general rule, payback requirements will apply to everything but a stub bonus, and will include clerkship bonuses.
And now, that introduction aside, read on to see the aggregated table of bar reimbursements, stipends and bonuses, salary advances, moving expenses, stub bonuses, and payback requirements. Check it out, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Life Survey: Everything (Else) You Always Wanted To Know About Starting Bonuses But Were Afraid To Ask”

money cash ATL Above the Law blog.jpgLast week, we posted Part Four of the results from our ATL / Lateral Link survey on bar stipends and reimbursements, salary advances, and signing bonuses, covering the range of firms from Akin Gump to Young Conaway. We’ve also posted results from our surveys on relocation benefits and whether you have to pay it all back when you leave. And between survey responses, comments, and tips, we have a few thousand data points.

Today, we’re consolidating the three tables in one place, so that we can start filling in more blanks and squeezing out some nuances.

The table below now shows six things for each firm:

  * which bar exam expenses the firm will reimburse (send us tips to fill in the blanks),

  * whether the firm pays new associates a summer stipend or a signing bonus or graduation bonus (not counting clerkship bonuses, which are discussed elsewhere),

  * whether the firm provides salary advances (i.e., loans) in any particular amounts,

  * whether the firm provides any particular relocation benefits,

  * whether the firm provides a pro-rated bonus (a “stub bonus”) for the period between your start date and the end of the year first year, and

  * whether the firm will make you pay it all back if you leave. As a general rule, payback requirements will apply to everything but a stub bonus, and will include clerkship bonuses.

And now, that introduction aside, read on to see the aggregated table of bar reimbursements, stipends and bonuses, salary advances, moving expenses, stub bonuses, and payback requirements. Check it out, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Featured Job Survey: Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Starting Bonuses But Were Afraid To Ask”

BarBri 2 bar bri bar exam review course prep course Above the Law Above the Law ATL.jpgSeveral readers have written in to inquire about the status of the BAR/BRI class action litigation. Here’s the latest update on the lawsuit website:

Over 85,000 Claim Forms representing claims for over 120,000 BAR/BRI courses have been received and processed by the Claims Administrator. However, several objectors appealed from the Court’s Order granting final approval of the Settlement. A total of seven Notices of Appeal of the Settlement were filed….

NO CLAIMS CAN BE CALCULATED OR PAID UNTIL THERE HAS BEEN A FINAL RESOLUTION OF ALL APPEALS.

On January 25, 2008 Class Counsel met with attorneys for the objector-appellants and defendants’ counsel under the auspicies of the Ninth Circuit Mediation Program. After a full day of mediation, the parties could not reach a resolution that would allow for a dismissal of the appeals and distribution of the Settlement Fund. Further updates will be posted on this website.

So don’t hold your breath waiting for that check. But for some class members, you may have another source of relief.
Details, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “What’s Up With the Bar/Bri Litigation?”

Page 5 of 6123456