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Our lawyers are California dreaming

Our lawyers are California dreaming

AUSTRALIAN LAWYERS have been given a further chance to mix with the United States’ top legal eagles thanks to the introduction of a program that will allow them to prepare for the Californian…

AUSTRALIAN LAWYERS have been given a further chance to mix with the United States’ top legal eagles thanks to the introduction of a program that will allow them to prepare for the Californian Bar exam at home.

Spurred on by the success of a similar program for Australian lawyers wanting to head for New York (detailed in Lawyers Weekly in April), the California Bar Review Quality Program (CBRQP) will put Australian participants in the running to pursue work opportunities in California and other US jurisdictions.

The Program will also enable participants to enhance their CVs by making them relevant for American and international clients, or Australian clients with US interests, useful even if they are not interested in working in US jurisdictions.

The CBRQP draws on academics and attorneys who have been training bar candidates in the US for more than 19 years. The Program’s organisers said it would mean Australian lawyers could avoid the costly and lengthy relocation to California to prepare to sit the Californian Bar exam. Instead, applicants can study in Australia’s capital cities.

Australian expatriate lawyer and director of New York Bar Review, Beatrice O’Brien, said the CBRQP is a complete training “that specifically caters to Australian legal practitioners, law graduates and students for achieving success on the California Bar exam”.

“Not until recently could you qualify as an attorney in LA,” O’Brien said. “But there is now an opportunity to be qualified to practise there.”

The Program is designed to ensure students are equipped with all the necessary information and do not have to undertake their own exhaustive research, the organisers said.

Australian lawyers will likely be attracted to California by its similarities to Australia, O’Brien said. “There are generally synergies between LA and Australia in terms of lifestyle.”

Aligned with high-profile attorneys and judges in the US, the CBRQP is supported by some of the largest US law firms.

The firms recognise that program graduates have both the competence and confidence to pass the Bar exam, and achieve admission, as well as having the potential to work in the US, she said.

Also, the possibility of being dually qualified is attracting lawyers who will become more sought after than lawyers who do not have these qualifications, O’Brien said.

The US market is becoming more attractive to Australian firms. There are Australian companies and law firms that, due to the FTA and globalisation, are expanding and investing in the LA market, she said.

Visit www.nybar.com.au for more information on the program

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