Foreign attorneys commonly have the most impressive resumes of anyone taking the New York State Bar Exam, brandishing experience and credentials from top international law firms and prestigious law schools both within and outside the United States. However, fewer than 1,650 (34%) of more than 4,750 foreign-educated attorneys who sat for the New York State Bar Exam in the past year managed to pass the exam, while the overall passage rate for all other candidates was approximately 75%. Why is it that so many strong foreign-trained candidates fail to pass the exam?
The answer is that most foreign-trained lawyers are not given sufficient exposure to basic, fundamental, American legal concepts that are essential for success on the New York bar exam. They simply dive into bar review courses with little or no prior knowledge of subjects like American constitutional law, evidence, family law, or civil practice, with the expectation that they’ll be able to learn a tremendous amount of very complex material, without taking year or semester long courses on these subjects as the vast majority of American students graduating with a Juris Doctor degree have done.
While a good bar review course will teach you everything you need to know about these subjects, it is extremely difficult to learn (let alone master) such an incredible volume of new material in the span of 10 weeks (the typical length of a bar review course). So it is essential for any foreign-trained attorney to recognize that the more time you have to review, digest, and work with the concepts tested on the bar exam, the easier it will be for you to apply them on the test. Many foreign-trained attorneys pass the exam after preparing for the exam three or four times over two years, because it is only after multiple opportunities to review the material that they start to gain some level of comfort with it.
"The key to passing on the first attempt is to prepare appropriately. Start early, work hard, and build yourself a firm foundation in American Legal principles."
Pieper’s LLM PassPort Program for Foreign-Trained LLMs allows you the opportunity to study with the specialists in the New York bar exam, and allows you to begin your preparations earlier than programs designed for American law school graduates. The program offers:
1) An Introduction to the Bar Exam:
A comprehensive breakdown of the format of the exam and strategies for familiarizing yourself with the American legal system months before the exam.
2) Free Introductory Texts on the American Legal System and Multiple Choice Bar Exam Strategies:
Strategies & Tactics for the MBE, a book designed to introduce you to the intricacies of multiple choice questions on the MBE and each of the six MBE subjects; Law 101, a basic (sometimes entertaining) breakdown of the seven subjects taught to all American students in law school, so that you'll get a general understanding of the American legal framework prior to bar review; and 1001 Legal Words You Need to Know, a handy guide to American legal terms that are essential on the bar exam.
3) Six Introductory Workshops to Introduce LLMs to Fundamental Bar Exam Legal Concepts:
You'll have access to six live workshops hosted in New York City teaching you essential introductory concepts in essential subjects like Contracts, Torts, Real Property, Criminal Law and Procedure, Constitutional Law, New York Civil Practice and Procedure, and Exam Skills (and all workshops will be available on demand through Pieper's iPass streaming video system if you cannot attend in person).
4) Early Access to Bar Review Lectures:
On-demand, online access to Pieper’s bar review lectures now and continuing through the start of your bar review course in May 2015 (bar review video access is activated upon payment of only $1,000 toward the cost of your bar review course). You'll be able to review subjects months before other courses designed for American JDs begin.
5) Weekly Review Sessions with the Professors:
In addition to your ability to answer questions after class and by email, every week from mid May through July you'll have access to hour long review sessions designed specifically for LLM students at Pieper's live NYU location. If you cannot attend in person, Pieper will have a similar session live over the internet on Skype or Google+.
6) Live Bar Review Lectures at NYU:
Our bar review lectures take place live at NYU. The same lectures are also played on DVD at law schools throughout the eastern United States and on iPass, our on-demand streaming video system, so you can choose whatever methods are most convenient for your study schedule.
7) Guidance from Start to Finish: Pieper's size and unique focus enables us to work with individual students like no other bar review course can, so you'll know exactly what to do to succeed.