Bar Review recommendation for foreign students?

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sg.cambs

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Bar Review recommendation for foreign students?

Postby sg.cambs » Wed May 16, 2018 10:54 pm

Hi,

I realise this has been fleshed out multiple times on this board but can't find any recommendations that are too similar to my circumstances. I'm trying to decide between bar review courses - I am a foreign student, graduated with a first from Oxbridge and then did an LLM in Asia. I'm looking to sit the NY bar in feb 2019, studying part time while working and taking some time off a few weeks before the exam to focus.

I have no US law background and I'm trying to decide between these two options:
1) BARBRI international course (USD 6000)
2) Themis LLM course (USD 2495) + Adaptibar (USD 395) + can borrow a friends BARBRI books from July 2016.

From what I can tell, its quite personal as to which provider you like. I prefer the sound of shorter lectures with Themis, but heard that the interface is not as great and its potentially not as content-rich (not sure if thats relevant). Either way I am self-studying and need to motivate myself so BARBRI having in-person lectures in the US is not relevant. I'm Singapore-based and BARBRI is the course with an office based in Asia, so theres potential for more customer support from them. My employer is looking to fund part of the course (potentially all) and cost is not a hugely significant factor, though I don't want to spend an extra 3000 on BARBRI for no reason.

If anyone has any particular comments or has studied with either of these having no US law background, would appreciate any insight! Most of what I have heard has come from US students.

Meggoca

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Re: Bar Review recommendation for foreign students?

Postby Meggoca » Thu May 17, 2018 6:19 am

Canadian here. I used Themis + critical pass + spaced repetition (the latter two for drilling) and the Emmanuel MBE book to help with a couple of my problem subjects. Passed the MA bar in Feb which had a 36% pass rate this time.

I liked Themis. I was working full time and I found the program to be flexible for my schedule, and comprehensive enough that I could pass even though the prep course was my only exposure to US law prior to writing the exam.

nada123

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Re: Bar Review recommendation for foreign students?

Postby nada123 » Thu May 17, 2018 9:29 pm

sg.cambs wrote:Hi,

I realise this has been fleshed out multiple times on this board but can't find any recommendations that are too similar to my circumstances. I'm trying to decide between bar review courses - I am a foreign student, graduated with a first from Oxbridge and then did an LLM in Asia. I'm looking to sit the NY bar in feb 2019, studying part time while working and taking some time off a few weeks before the exam to focus.

I have no US law background and I'm trying to decide between these two options:
1) BARBRI international course (USD 6000)
2) Themis LLM course (USD 2495) + Adaptibar (USD 395) + can borrow a friends BARBRI books from July 2016.

From what I can tell, its quite personal as to which provider you like. I prefer the sound of shorter lectures with Themis, but heard that the interface is not as great and its potentially not as content-rich (not sure if thats relevant). Either way I am self-studying and need to motivate myself so BARBRI having in-person lectures in the US is not relevant. I'm Singapore-based and BARBRI is the course with an office based in Asia, so theres potential for more customer support from them. My employer is looking to fund part of the course (potentially all) and cost is not a hugely significant factor, though I don't want to spend an extra 3000 on BARBRI for no reason.

If anyone has any particular comments or has studied with either of these having no US law background, would appreciate any insight! Most of what I have heard has come from US students.


Hi, i’m Australian, worked full time and did not have any exposure to US law prior to using Themis. I passed the NY bar in February 2018. I used the normal Themis program (not LLM one) + adaptibar + studicata and i found it sufficient to go from 0 knowledge of US law to knowing enough to pass. I also chose Themis because of the shorter lectures and flexibility.

If you’re concerned about customer support, with Themis you could message the staff on the portal with administrative questions or law related questions and they were pretty good with responses (within 1-2 business days).

Content wise, i thought Themis had just enough content without overwhelming you. I only listened to the lectures and used the lecture notes. They also provided outlines (chapters in the books) for each subject but i didn’t find i needed to use them.

Happy to help if you have more questions.

sg.cambs

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Re: Bar Review recommendation for foreign students?

Postby sg.cambs » Thu May 17, 2018 11:00 pm

nada123 wrote:
Hi, i’m Australian, worked full time and did not have any exposure to US law prior to using Themis. I passed the NY bar in February 2018. I used the normal Themis program (not LLM one) + adaptibar + studicata and i found it sufficient to go from 0 knowledge of US law to knowing enough to pass. I also chose Themis because of the shorter lectures and flexibility.

If you’re concerned about customer support, with Themis you could message the staff on the portal with administrative questions or law related questions and they were pretty good with responses (within 1-2 business days).

Content wise, i thought Themis had just enough content without overwhelming you. I only listened to the lectures and used the lecture notes. They also provided outlines (chapters in the books) for each subject but i didn’t find i needed to use them.

Happy to help if you have more questions.


Thanks! Good to know - any reason except cost that you chose normal Themis rather than LLM? For the normal course, did you only get access to materials 2 months or so before? The only thing that concerned me about Themis was potentially not getting enough time to prep if they don't let you start until later. Working full time with around 3 weeks solid study time before, do you think that around 6 months is too much/too little?

sg.cambs

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Re: Bar Review recommendation for foreign students?

Postby sg.cambs » Thu May 17, 2018 11:01 pm

Meggoca wrote:Canadian here. I used Themis + critical pass + spaced repetition (the latter two for drilling) and the Emmanuel MBE book to help with a couple of my problem subjects. Passed the MA bar in Feb which had a 36% pass rate this time.

I liked Themis. I was working full time and I found the program to be flexible for my schedule, and comprehensive enough that I could pass even though the prep course was my only exposure to US law prior to writing the exam.


Great to know, thanks for the info. Just looked up spaced repetition - never heard of it but looks useful!

nada123

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Re: Bar Review recommendation for foreign students?

Postby nada123 » Fri May 18, 2018 12:18 am

sg.cambs wrote:
nada123 wrote:
Hi, i’m Australian, worked full time and did not have any exposure to US law prior to using Themis. I passed the NY bar in February 2018. I used the normal Themis program (not LLM one) + adaptibar + studicata and i found it sufficient to go from 0 knowledge of US law to knowing enough to pass. I also chose Themis because of the shorter lectures and flexibility.

If you’re concerned about customer support, with Themis you could message the staff on the portal with administrative questions or law related questions and they were pretty good with responses (within 1-2 business days).

Content wise, i thought Themis had just enough content without overwhelming you. I only listened to the lectures and used the lecture notes. They also provided outlines (chapters in the books) for each subject but i didn’t find i needed to use them.

Happy to help if you have more questions.


Thanks! Good to know - any reason except cost that you chose normal Themis rather than LLM? For the normal course, did you only get access to materials 2 months or so before? The only thing that concerned me about Themis was potentially not getting enough time to prep if they don't let you start until later. Working full time with around 3 weeks solid study time before, do you think that around 6 months is too much/too little?


From my research at the time, the LLM version just taught you how to write US style essays and introduced you to common terms used etc - that didn’t sound very useful to me personally. But maybe would’ve been useful for people from civil law countries? From memory, the LLM course doesn’t let you start the normal bar prep course until the same time as everyone else anyway.

Themis allowed “early” access to the course in November, so 3 months to prepare. It would’ve been better if i had 3 weeks more to study but then again i was taking it very easy in November. Only started really studying in December. So if you start studying full time when the course opens in November, you should be ok. I took 1 full week off to study right before the exam and during that week i covered so much more than when i was working and studying. So 3 weeks of solid study would be extremely helpful!

I personally wouldn’t recommend starting 6 months early. By the end of 3 months of just work and study, i felt so drained. It really depends on your personal preference and situation/commitments but i think if you start that much earlier you’ll be mentally tired before exam time.

nagawika

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Re: Bar Review recommendation for foreign students?

Postby nagawika » Mon May 21, 2018 9:31 pm

Hello, here is a feedback from a civil law country attorney with no US law background. I studied on my own for 3 full months (about 5h/day, 6d/week), I passed the Feb 2018 CA bar with the following materials:

- Full Barbri set July 2017 - Feb 2018 I bought on craigslist: IMO, contains all the information you need to know.
- Emmanuel Bar Review, Strategies & Tactics for the MBE, 7th ed.: extremely well made and very complete.
- Previous exams, questions & selected answers: download that from the Cal bar website, it taught you how to write a good US essay. Very useful.

IMO, you need to focus on a restricted amount of material, otherwise you may get confused: (1) Barbri gives you the raw law that you need to know by heart, (2) Emmanuel prepares you for the MBE (essential), and (3) previous exams show you how to write passing essays. As for the PT, as a practicing attorney, you just need to read one or two and you should be good to go.

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Neilt001

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Re: Bar Review recommendation for foreign students?

Postby Neilt001 » Tue May 22, 2018 2:47 pm

Hi there,

I would also recommend Themis. I'm Australian and admitted in Australia and Bermuda. I was working full-time and used Themis to go from zero knowledge of US law to getting 89th percentile written and 85th percentile MBE in February 2018. And I'm not terribly smart. I just finished 100% of the Themis course during evenings/weekends over a period of 4 months.

It doesn't matter if you're far away because Themis is all done online, with correspondence by email (although you should expect to have a telephone call or two so you may have to work out a good time with your supervisor). Honestly, there was very little reason to contact my Themis rep and so I could have been studying in Siberia for all I cared. Themis really is perfect, in my opinion, for people who are working and/or live overseas.

Content-wise, I agree with poster above that it has more than enough to get you where you need to be to do very well on the bar, especially if you supplement it with other study aids (I made some light use of Critical Pass flashcards and nothing else). In any event, you don't want to be overwhelmed with too much info and I think Themis strikes a good balance. Again, bar isn't about perfection - just minimum competency.

As for start date, Themis lets you choose your own start date. I chose 4 months before the bar but it's up to you. The adaptive schedule recalibrates at midnight every night depending on your start date and your progress, so it's really up to you how you approach it.

You sound like a smart person so I really don't think you need to shell out $6k for some overpriced Barbri international course. Maybe if you were from a non-English speaking and/or non common law country, but that's doesn't sound like the case.



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