ULaw to offer New York bar course for non-US law grads

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Online programme includes an introductory consultation with a US attorney and on-demand lectures

The University of Law (ULaw) is to offer a new course for non-US law graduates that want to sit the New York bar exam.

The Themis Global Advantage programme, designed in partnership with Themis Bar Review, an online bar prep provider, will be available to ULaw students and alumni from September. It aims to provide students with “the same foundation offered to US-educated candidates over three years of law school” to help them pass the uniform bar exam in February 2021. The course will be priced at $2,295 (around £1,800), which Themis says is “less than half the cost of other bar prep courses”.

Those enrolled onto ULaw-Themis programme will receive “everything needed to pass the bar exam”, including an introductory course consultation with a New York attorney and live classroom sessions, as well as lectures and practice questions available on-demand via students’ computers, phones or tablets.

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Commenting on the transatlantic tie-up, Professor Andrea Nollent, the vice chancellor and CEO of ULaw, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Themis Bar Review to offer our students and alumni the opportunity to enhance their careers and employability options.”

She continued:

“New York is a hub for international business, governmental organisations, and arbitration, among other areas. Passing the New York bar exam opens up an extensive range of opportunities for careers in a global legal landscape that is ever-changing.”

Themis Bar Review isn’t the first US bar prep provider to announce a UK tie-up. Last year, BARBRI teamed up with King’s College London to offer a ten-month course which would prepare students to sit the New York or California bar exam.

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Pond Crosser

The Big Apple, here I come!


Ulaw Student

They can barely teach the lpc….



Serious question, what does having the NY bar on your CV actually add to your qualifications as a candidate? When will it be important in your future practice as a lawyer?



Jul 15 2020 3:12pm: it will add nothing, unless you intend to practise in the US.



It also allows you to present yourself as a qualified lawyer without having done any training whatsoever. Which is useful for people who can’t get a training contract.



Jul 16 2020 12:58pm: But people know you haven’t done any training, so it’s worthless anywhere outside the US.



That’s incorrect. I have plenty of friends (mostly EU nationals) who could not get a TC in London, did the NY bar instead and landed a job in Brussels doing EU competition law (you can practise in Brussels as a US attorney) at US firms like Gibson Dunn, Sullcrom, Latham, Skadden etc. Once they burned out from doing merger control after merger control (typically after 2 years) they landed a job in top firms in London immediately at 2-3 PQE level. It is a gamble and you would have to commit to competition/antitrust but it can work out much better than going down the TC route.


Lord Bark

You can qualify in the UK through the back door. There are fast track conversion exams here to cross qualify if you have an overseas law license, no further training required. The lack of experience might disadvantage some, but others can use it to scrape some work together on their own. It’s still an improvement over the training contract olympics joke.


A British man with an opinion

I still don’t understand why non-law conversion candidates are barred from cross qualifying in NY.

If we are allowing American law entry into our market, they should accommodate our English tradition too.



The Americans quite sensibly realise you should go to law school to be a lawyer.



If you had actually worked in law then you would realise that there is no meaningful difference in quality between someone who has an LLB and someone who has a GDL and in most cases you would genuinely be unaware of someone’s route to qualification unless you asked them.

Why do you think the biggest law firms in the world willingly hire so many GDL law conversion candidates? Also what is a law conversion course if not law school?



The conversion course is not law school. It’s a 9 month crammer and a poor one at that.


Lord Bark

I do work in law and there is a very clear difference. The entire UK legal industry has lower standards and expectations and it definitely shows across the board. US and Australian associates produce work of much higher quality, by a mile.



What do you mean by this? That their legal research is better? That they give you the answers you want? That they draft better?

Also, are you instructing these Australian/US associates as lawyers working in their home jurisdictions, or are they working in London having been hired by British firms? Because the Aussies that come to London include some of the very best within their own Australian peer group; it’s not necessarily a direct result of their having done 2/3 years of law.

Passer by

I don’t think that’s quite right? You just have to do an LLM before you sit the bar?


Lord Bark

Not in New York State, if you have a three year LLB degree with all the appropriate modules.



It’s not just the US. Most of the world requires a law degree and in many countries that can easily take 5 years (with studying abroad as well that can climb up to 6-7 years). That’s why you have so many foreigners doing law in London, especially in more technical legal areas (you certainly don’t have to study law to do transactional legal work, where the differentiator is rather understanding businesses and be willing to give up your personal life rather than understanding complex legal principles).



NY Bar exams were being offered by providers 10 years ago.

Absolutely no-one I know who has done it here is now raking $$$$$$$ in Manhattan. In the US, the snobbery over which Law School you attended is far worse than the Oxbridge/RG/Non-RG divide here.

Please don’t waste your money.


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