AUSTRALIAN LAWYERS have been given the opportunity to demonstrate that they can mix it with the best of them thanks to a program allowing them to complete one of the toughest legal examinations in the world.
The brainchild of US and Australian attorneys practising in high-profile New York City law firms, the New York Bar Review Quality Program has been designed to afford members of the Australian legal fraternity the chance to complete the New York Bar exam. The exams are conducted over two days — that is 12 hours actually undertaking those exams.
The New York Bar Review Quality Program would also be suitable for those pursuing work opportunities in New York or other US jurisdictions, and those hoping to enhance their CV and deal with American and international clients with US interests.
Because pass rates have been declining over recent years, there has been great demand for preparatory programs, available in Australian capital cities from 1 May this year.
Pressed as to why Australian lawyers might be interested in undertaking the New York Bar exam, Beatrice O’Brien, Australian expatriate lawyer and director and founder of New York Bar Review Pty Ltd, said “the world is getting much smaller with globalisation”. The Free Trade Agreement and the relationship between the US and Australia “is going to help those with this kind of qualification”.
O’Brien is also a member of the Committee for Legal Education and Admission to the Bar of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.
Australian universities are showing an interest, and have offered to take the program into their Graduate Diploma of US Legal Practice. O’Brien said the program had also received a positive response from lawyers and undergraduates.
The New York Bar Review Quality Program is a complete training program, said O’Brien. “[It] has been specifically developed to prepare Australian legal practitioners, law graduates and law students for what is regarded as one of the world’s most notoriously difficult, yet highly acclaimed and recognised legal benchmarks,” O’Brien said.
The program draws on the experience and knowledge of New York academics who are practising attorneys and have been training Bar candidates for over 30 years in the US. This means it offers the opportunity for long term career advancement and academic development and recognition, without the costly exercise of travelling to New York in preparation for the exam.
“It bridges the gap to the practice of law in New York,” O’Brien said. “A lot of lawyers have easy access to London, but New York seems to be one step more difficult. It overcomes that obstacle that a prospective lawyer would face if they wanted to practise in New York.”
The program has been designed so that students are equipped with all available information and do not have to undertake their own research in preparation for the exams. It comprises three courses, one of which is compulsory. All are delivered in Australia on an exclusive basis.
The workshops would be delivered using video lectures, including representatives in CBD venues in Australian capital cities, followed by face to face review sessions in New York.
The program comprises 200 hours of lecture time over 48 sessions in Australia. This includes the New York Bar Review Course, a compulsory 42-day lectures component, to be taken part-time, as well as two supporting optional courses, the ‘New York Essay & Multistate Performance Test’ and the ‘Multistate Bar Exam’ intensive courses.
The New York Bar Exam requires candidates to master thousands of principles and concepts, O’Brien said. “These concepts and principles are more effectively learned, retained, understood and recalled using the New York Bar Review Quality Program teaching method,” she said.
For more information see http://www.nybar.com.au/
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