Durham Law School teams up with BARBRI to offer New York and California bar course

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Exclusive: New students to start in September

Aspiring lawyers wishing to practise in America can now study for the New York or California state bar exam at Durham University, thanks to a first-of-its-kind partnership between the Russell Group law school and international legal education provider BARBRI International.

From September this year, students can enrol on the 10-month bar exam programme either at Durham or in BARBRI’s London campus in Finsbury Square. This first cohort of students in Durham, which BARBRI hopes will be between 20 and 40-strong, will work towards the July 2019 bar exam through a combination of classroom and online learning. Teaching will take place on weekends, which means students can complete the course while studying for their law degree.

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Sarah Hutchinson, the managing director of BARBRI International, says:

“BARBRI uses the highest quality and innovative education technology to achieve high pass rates for those studying with us. We’re excited to partner with one of the UK’s oldest and most distinguished universities to offer students the opportunity to take advantage of BARBRI’s expertise and best practices in US bar preparation.”

The dean of Durham Law School, Thom Brooks, says: “At Durham University, we take great pride in offering students unique opportunities to sustain a world class global legal education.” Brooks, who will be speaking at Legal Cheek‘s The Future of Legal Education and Training Conference next week, added:

“And with the growing importance of knowing the law and being licensed in more than just one jurisdiction, it makes perfect sense to partner with a company that shares our commitment to both knowledge and student success in an increasing globalized legal landscape.”

The cost of the course will be the same as it is currently in London: $6,295, which by today’s exchange rate is about £4,650. Aspiring barristers who are studying at or have graduated from Durham will receive a 10% discount on the course.

Across the globe, students wishing to qualify with BARBRI can do so from the likes of China, Israel and Singapore, and closer to home in Ireland and Scotland.

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But what are the chances of actually working in the U.S. as a lawyer after you finish this course?



Practically 0 unless you have a US JD and the right to work in the US.



Now you can be an unemployed lawyer in both London AND New York…



Disagree with the negative points above. A few of my E&W qualified mates have also done the NY bar and are practicing in London (as US qualified lawyers) largely with US law firms (although some English firms e.g. A&O and FBD have quite a few in high yield). They are paid US rates so decent incentive.



Having worked at A&O and FBD, I suspect you are at best exaggerating, or at worst lying.

US qualified associates working in London are not typically recruited with a E&W degree only. They are typically recruited with a US JD.


You’re right. Passing NY state bar doesn’t mean needing to work in US. Lots of US legal work in UK and beyond that this would open the door to. Great news opening more doors.

What even

Hey, sorry – this advert seems to be without any contact information, can we get this corrected please?



So, you can work towards being qualified in the US… but without having a US JD… or even a degree from the States…

Methinks that they didn’t think this through.

Also why on earth would someone looking to do the bar course sit it in Durham of all places.



It’s a money making scheme for Barbri – they couldn’t care less whether you can actually practice or not and just want you to do the exam. They will do lots to sell it to you.



And they get to try and benefit from Durham’s reputation, which will be much more widely recognised globally than BARBRI.

Just have to hope that people don’t fall for all the marketing glib.



As an Oxbridge-reject whinge-house?



Agreed. As if any self respecting US law firm would hire a graduate from Durham when they’ve got thousands of top JD talent.



Why does this partnership make 0 sense in terms of employment



It is a much cheaper and faster route to qualification/becoming admitted to practice in a major jurisdiction. I know people who skipped the laborious training contract route and just went and did the New York Bar before ending up in very good law firms outside of the US. Probably more appropriate for those looking to work in international arbitration and the like, where expertise in domestic procedure is not much of a necessity.

Fair play to Durham. The route to qualifying as a solicitor is unnecessarily long in England – in Australia you just graduate from a law degree which combines substantive law and procedure modules and you’re automatically admitted to practise. New York Bar a useful alternative for some, if not for the majority



Those you know who skipped – was that not with the QLTS and was that not closed/tightened some time ago to prevent routes like this?



This is nothing but a disgusting money making scheme. One of my university lecturers is a dual qualified lawyer (she is a solicitor in England but also qualified as an attorney in New York).

All you need is a LLB degree and the willingness to study on your own and then you can pass the New York bar.

Also, you probably won’t get a job In the US anyways unless you get a top LLM or a JD.

If they really wanted to appeal to students, why not just open a ABA accredited JD law school in England?



Correct. The PGDip/GDL/CPE course doesn’t count. Not does a distance learning LLM.



Do you know of any ABA acreddited JD Law Schools in the UK because I’ve been looking for years and can’t find one!

Also, unless you’ve got your 3 year LLB, you can’t take the NY Bar. So that discounts CILEx lawyers and GDL converters.



thats because one of those A stands for American. Henceforth, it is the reason you cant find one outside the States. I thought this was common sense.



5.07- Thank you Captain Obvious for using your sole power of being a complete asshole. I didn’t think it was such an outlandish question considering the likes of BCU offer American Law as part of a JH degree.



4:40pm – when copying the person above it helps to leave a gap between posts to camouflage it at least 1%.



9.33pm- If you’re going to contribute could you at least have the dignity to write a coherent sentence?



They keep trying to put pressure on the Bar Council and the Law Society to have a single standardised pass / fail “London Bar” exam for international students

This jurisdiction has traditions of legal practice since the eleventh century

They can fvck right off


Not Amused

Pretty disappointing behavior by Durham.

It’s not like they don’t know what they’re doing.


Salty Solicitor

£4,650 is a bargin compared with the fees for the BPTC, at £18,150 to do the course in London which is frankly extortionate.




So you can practise in a jurisdiction where lawyers have a slightly worse reputation than Ebola, rather than the undisputed best and least corrupt Legal System on the planet?



Personally I don’t know why UK universities don’t just offer a 4 year LLB where in the fourth year you can either complete the BPTC or LPC



A 4-year combined LLB would make sense but that would slay the LPC cash cow.



I believe northumbria do? I hear it said that many of their bptc qualified grads don’t make it to the bar though….



Any BPTC grads that are not from BPP or UoL seem to struggle. In Northumbria’s case it probably doesn’t help being so far away from the London Bar.


Common Law Common Sense


p95 – Pupillage rate of BPTC grads by provider. The most up-to-date statistics available show that after BPP Manchester, City Law School grads are the most successful at securing pupillage early (commencing within 6 months of graduation), and if you’re playing the long game, Cardiff and Nottingham Trent are the top two providers for students commencing pupillage more than 18 months after graduation.



No need to make it 4 years. Just do a 3 month add on at the end of the LLB



I can’t believe I logged onto Legal Cheek instead of doing some work in order to read a press release from BARBRI/Durham.

And it’s *at* the weekend, not *on* the weekend ffs.



Better than no qualification at all (which is what those who sit this would have otherwise)


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