BARBRI Extended Bar Prep and 8-Week BARBRI Bar Review: What’s the Difference?

Guest Blog by Natalia Urrea
BARBRI International Director

As a foreign-trained attorney or international law graduate considering sitting a state bar exam in the United States —whether or not you have or are completing an LL.M. program in the U.S. ―you know you have study options with BARBRI, the world’s largest legal qualification exam prep company. But what is the best option for you?

Let’s find the right one to fit your individual study style and schedule.

What is Included?

First, let’s look at the similarities between the BARBRI Extended U.S. Bar Preparation (over 6- or 10-months) and the BARBRI Bar Review course (over 8-weeks). They both have some powerful, common features and experiences, including:

  • Course work assigned through the online BARBRI Personal Study Plan (PSP) that is focused on what is most likely to be tested on the actual examination.
  • Lectures in substantive law taught by top U.S. law professors that are examination-driven so you get what you need to know in each subject.
  • Full Multistate (MBE) simulation that allows you to do a complete timed exam and submit it to BARBRI for grading. The simulation shows you where you are on the bar exam curve with enough time to modify your study before the actual exam.
  • BARBRI’s MBE Success Learning Path that includes thousands of multiple-choice practice questions.
  • Directed Essay Grading starting with Essay Architect, our exclusive online instruction platform that takes you through a series of steps to learn to critically read bar exam questions, enhance the speed of your essay writing and construct strong, winning answers. Essay Architect provides immediate feedback to build your essay writing skills quickly.
  • Then, we assign a carefully selected series of past bar exam essays and performance tests for grading and feedback from trained bar exam writing experts.

What’s Different?

The major differences between the two BARBRI options involve the amount of time you need to study, the flexibility you need in your preparation, and the 1:1 support you require. For a list of factors to consider, check out the blog “Extended Bar Prep or 8-Week Bar Review? As a Foreign Attorney, Which Course Should I Take?

The Extended Bar Prep is a part-time, home study program designed to accommodate busy professionals and LL.M. graduates with other commitments who are studying for the California or Texas Bar Exam or for a U.S. state that utilizes the Uniform Bar Exam (including New York).

BARBRI Extended U.S. Bar Prep for non-U.S. nationals focuses on exam techniques that international students find difficult to master and on the topics that are most frequently examined. Here’s a closer look:

  • Full bar preparation administered all online over 6 or 10 months; study 20-30 hours per week over a 6-month duration or no more than 15 hours per week over a 10-month duration for maximum weekly flexibility.
  • Focus first on foundational elements of U.S. law tested on the exam to catch up on information that most U.S. law students learn during their J.D. program.
  • Receive a personal 1:1 mentor who is a qualified U.S. attorney to help guide you. Your personal mentor assists with eligibility, your application, course navigation, study strategies, and schedule modifications if needed. They have access to your progress report to help them know where you excel and where you most need additional study.
  • More flexible, weekly PSP. Your PSP is used by your mentor to see your activities and milestones, tailor studies and what lectures you should watch based on your progress, and provide encouraging messages to keep you on track.

Structure, accountability, support and success are what the extended bar prep programs are about. Overall, you will get a deep-dive into heavily tested exam topics in U.S. law and areas of most difficulty for foreign student.

What If I Want to Do the 8-Week Bar Review Course?

We have seen many foreign candidates be successful with the 8-week BARBRI Bar Review Course. The shorter timeline makes it attractive to many who want to take the course directly after their LL.M. program and who want to take the exam as quickly as possible.

The best advice I can give you is to be prepared to start as early as you can with BARBRI Early Start and plan to treat your bar review course like a very intensive, full-time job. Go to a classroom location for lectures if you are able (included at no additional cost in BARBRI Bar Review).

How best to pursue U.S. licensure is really a personal choice. BARBRI understands the unique challenges international students can face in learning American concepts of law. That’s why we provide options, with courses taught by professors who have extensive experience in LL.M. training and qualification exam prep. We are here to help you Own The Bar.

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