[ By Juliana Del Pesco, BARBRI International Legal Manager, Americas ]

The one thing I wish I had done differently, as an LL.M student, in my preparation for the United States Bar Exam is to have given myself more time. This is a common admission I have heard from other former LL.M. students as well. Time is such an important factor in taking on an exam of this scope, and it is something that can be greatly underestimated.

When I sat the Pennsylvania State Bar Exam in February 2019 as an LL.M. graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, I was ready to internationalize my career by becoming dual-qualified in the U.S. The preparation was intense, and very different from my earlier experience of learning civil law in my home jurisdiction of Brazil.

As a full-time working LL.M. student, I had to come up with a schedule on my own before my course started to ensure I’d have time to study all the subjects. I also had to be extremely organized to work and prepare for the bar exam at the same time. I have no doubt that an extended prep program would have helped me to alleviate some pressure while preparing.

The good news is BARBRI offers options for foreign-trained attorneys to start preparation extra early for the U.S. Bar Exam. With BARBRI Extended U.S. Bar Preparation courses, you can begin your studies now and be ready to sit the July 2020 examination with the 6-month course. A typical student in the 6-month Extended U.S. Bar Prep course will study 20-30 hours per week.

If you need more time to devote to your studies due to other work and life commitments, the BARBRI Extended U.S. Bar Prep course offers the support and flexibility you need. Study 100% online or attend one of the blended classroom locations around the world. Choose the 10-month course and complete 10-15 hours of study per week. You know what’s right for your situation and goals.

Whatever you do, make the decision to prepare early with BARBRI. It will make a difference. Here’s why:


As soon as you enroll in one of the BARBRI Extended U.S. Bar Prep courses, you have access to the on-demand Foundations in U.S. Law pre-course module. This allows you to extend the amount of time you have to learn the concepts and get familiarized with the structure of the bar exam. Foundations in U.S. Law begins with an overview of the U.S. legal system and focuses on exam techniques that international students often find difficult to master. You can connect earlier with subjects that you may not encounter during your LL.M. studies and start to work on the foundational skills you will need to master the core course.

If you are a non-U.S. law graduate still learning the English language, you may welcome the English subtitles that BARBRI offers in its course modules as well. It’s another way BARBRI designs the course to help you effectively prepare for and pass the bar exam.



BARBRI understands you are busy taking classes, getting to know the city you are in, and perhaps even looking for a job while you learn. That’s why the BARBRI Extended U.S. Bar Prep course is designed to be flexible to allow you to study for the bar while staying on top of your other commitments. Yes, it is possible to coordinate earning your LL.M. degree with preparing for the U.S. Bar Exam.

Look at it this way, if you choose to take the extended course you will still have plenty of time to catch up on your bar prep after graduation. And because a large chunk of the work will have been done already, your study schedule won’t be so intense. You will have more time to focus on practicing essays, multiple-choice questions and performance tests, and to do reviews.


All students enrolled in a BARBRI Extended U.S. Bar Preparation course receive guidance through the Foreign Evaluation of Credentials and bar exam application process as needed. You are also assigned a personal mentor who is a U.S. qualified attorney with bar exam coaching and teaching experience. Your mentor is with you throughout your bar exam preparation to schedule one-on-one, bi-weekly check-ins or meetings to see how you are progressing with your studies. He/she will conduct livestream workshops, provide tips, and help you with any problem areas including customizing your course to better fit your schedule if necessary.


BARBRI provided me with all of the materials and techniques I needed to pass the bar exam. I found the Personal Study Plan to be particularly helpful because it adapted according to my progress and, therefore, ensured that I also spent adequate time on my weaker areas.

This methodology speaks for itself. Of those students who completed 80% of the BARBRI Extended U.S. Bar Prep course, 74% passed a U.S. State Bar examination. It’s worth noting that the official pass rate for foreign-trained attorneys who take the New York Bar Exam is around 43%.

For more tips, download the free BARBRI LL.M. Guide.

For effective first-year law school resources, learn about the BARBRI 1L Mastery Package.