Foreign-educated lawyer passes U.S. bar exam without fail

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By Hiba Tawfik, Legal Counsel at CSCEC Middle East and BARBRI AlumBARBRI Alum, Hiba Tawfik

I knew I wanted to be a lawyer for as long as I can remember, and the journey to becoming one was far from the traditional path taken. With a background in international relations and political science, I started my career in international development working for world-renowned organizations, managing large complex projects throughout the EMEA region.

While tending to a very demanding job, I was still adamant about pursuing a legal career. I set out to earn my second bachelor’s degree, a common law LL.B. (Hons), in the United Arab Emirates with the aspiration of becoming a global attorney.

Achieving qualification as a U.S. attorney was something I had dreamed about, but never thought was possible. Then I met the BARBRI team in the UAE, and the encounter dramatically changed my professional course.  

I met the BARBRI team in Dubai in 2017 at an introductory workshop. It was at a time when students and practicing lawyers from the region rarely qualified in the U.S. The information was overwhelming, but the BARBRI representative patiently answered every question that I threw his way at the time and for the next few months until I finally made the decision to go for it!  

As a foreign-educated lawyer, it is easy to get discouraged by the statistics of pass rates and the opinion that it is very difficult to pass the U.S. bar exam. I am a testament to the fact that it is possible.

Not only did I pass on my first try — during a global pandemic, but my score was in the top 10% of bar takers for the same sitting. I cannot thank BARBRI enough for their role in my success.

Preparation that’s personalized and flexible

I studied with the online BARBRI Extended U.S. Bar Prep course, and it could not have prepared me more. The course provided me with the structure I needed to balance my full-time work, life and studies without feeling immensely overwhelmed. It was also the perfect balance of reading, watching (very engaging) lectures and practice so that the process didn’t seem monotonous.

The BARBRI platform and the mobile application are user friendly, which gave me the flexibility to study anywhere and at any time. Moreover, I never felt alone in my journey, and this made a huge difference to me. BARBRI put me in touch with other students who were doing the course and preparing to take the bar at the same time as me, so I got a sense of community and ongoing support.

In addition, I was assigned a 1:1 mentor who was extremely helpful, always available and provided not only academic support but a lot of moral support. There were several workshops throughout the course as well that gave me the opportunity to chat with the BARBRI team and have my questions immediately answered. 

Beyond providing a process for studying that was both efficient and effective, the BARBRI team was immensely helpful in the administrative aspects of U.S. qualification. My mentor helped walk me through some of the otherwise intimidating steps of completing applications to the court, exam registration and applying for admission.


It is by no means an easy journey to become a licensed U.S. lawyer. But if you put in the work, you will see results. My biggest piece of advice for anyone considering dual qualifying in the U.S. is to trust the BARBRI process and the strategy. By the time I completed the BARBRI course, I felt confident to conquer the bar. Nothing in the actual exam was a surprise.

Today, I can proudly say that I am a U.S.-qualified lawyer working in the largest construction company in the world — and this is just the beginning. My additional qualification has added abundant value to my portfolio in the way of international expertise that places me in a unique position in the global market.

To anyone considering BARBRI, do not think twice. U.S qualification is one of my biggest achievements so far, and I would not have been able to do it without BARBRI.

Learn more about BARBRI Extended U.S. Bar Prep options.

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