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Broadening your horizon

Every day, I get the pleasure of helping attorneys who were not educated in the U.S. study and pass a U.S. bar exam. My name is Chris Jorgenson and I am a Legal Manager with BARBRI in London, England.

While many countries around the world govern the right to practice law on a national level, in the U.S., the right to practice law is governed by each individual state. Most U.S. states do not permit foreign trained lawyers or graduates to practice law in their state; however, New York and California buck that trend and are open to internationally trained law graduates and lawyers qualifying as attorneys in their jurisdictions. I talk to people every day who aren’t aware of this fact and believe that obtaining an LL.M. in the U.S. is the only way to sit a U.S. bar exam.

We find that non-U.S. lawyers choose to obtain a U.S. qualification for many reasons. International business is generally governed by U.S. or U.K. law, so gaining qualification in a U.S. jurisdiction can equip a lawyer with a more comprehensive understanding of the law at issue on the international stage. Some seek to complement their home jurisdiction with U.S. qualification to open their current practice to a more global vista. Others are looking to dual qualification to distinguish themselves from his or her peers.

Additionally, for some European based law students, U.S. qualification can be the initial step to ultimately qualifying in their home jurisdiction, via a foreign lawyer transfer scheme. Entry into some European jurisdictions through traditional domestic routes can be time and cost prohibitive, and can in practice be unavailable due to limited training contract opportunities. Pursuing U.S. qualification first then transferring in to an available European jurisdiction as a foreign lawyer can at times be the only avenue available.

While there are many reasons to pursue U.S. qualification as a non-U.S. lawyer or law graduate, the important thing when preparing for the exam is to ensure you find the necessary support and structure to put you in the best position to pass. Qualifying in a foreign jurisdiction is an ambitious goal, and it requires a tremendous amount of commitment and preparation to achieve.

BARBRI is a U.S. legal education company that has prepared students to sit a U.S. bar exam (the qualifying exam to become a U.S. attorney) for 50 years. We have helped over 1.3 million licensed attorneys pass a U.S. bar exam. In order to bring these services to the Middle East, BARBRI partnered with DIFC’s Academy of Law. Taught at the DIFC Academy of Law premises in Dubai’s International Finance Centre, this course offers full access to BARBRI’s renowned teaching methods plus unique access to the world of international law in the DIFC Courts.

To prepare non-U.S. lawyers and law graduates to sit the New York or California Bar Exam, candidates study with the BARBRI International Bar Preparation programme over a 6-month or 10-month time frame based on how much time they have to dedicate to their studies each week. Both options are specifically designed to prepare students who are coming from a foreign jurisdiction and to accommodate busy professional schedules. We provide everything a student needs to pass the bar exam, and deliver it in a comprehensive and effective way.

Whatever path you choose to prepare for the California or New York Bar Exam, make sure you develop a game plan, and that you properly execute the plan. One of the advantages of the BARBRI International Bar Review Programme is that we have already developed the game plan that leads to success on the U.S. bar exam. It is just up to you to execute.