Bar review leader BARBRI acquires iLawVentures, LLC, pioneer in legal education distance learning

DALLAS — Legal education provider BARBRI today announced its acquisition of iLawVentures, LLC, the leading provider of online J.D., post-J.D. and international programs for law schools in the U.S. This acquisition brings together two industry pioneers and creates an unmatched set of end-to-end educational solutions for the U.S. law school market.

BARBRI has, since 2011, partnered with a growing number of law schools to offer curriculum, faculty training, and assessment. With the addition of iLaw, the company can now also offer a robust, proven legal education distance learning platform. The iLaw leadership team, headed by founder Ken Randall, J.S.D, will remain in place, offering a breadth of expertise and experience in legal distance learning education that will be leveraged across BARBRI’s core curriculum offerings, bar review and cyber products.

“As the world changes, so does the way we learn. Law schools today are taking a much more holistic view of the entire legal education lifecycle from admissions and student assessments to faculty training and ultimately bar passage,” Stephen Fredette, BARBRI CEO said. “BARBRI and iLaw together offer a powerful portfolio of solutions that meets the needs of both law schools and their students at every phase.”

Prior to the transaction, iLaw had venture capital backing from Inspiras. iLaw’s portfolio encompasses J.D. content, post-J.D. graduate programs, strategic consulting for law schools, and international programs. iLaw has worked with over 20 percent of ABA-accredited law schools, including private schools such as Boston University, Vanderbilt, Emory and Baylor, and public schools such as Texas A&M and Illinois.

“We’re extremely excited to become a part of BARBRI,” Randall said. “Both companies have a shared commitment to helping law schools train and produce great lawyers, and we are confident that the combination of BARBRI’s skills-focused curriculum and iLaw’s substance-focused curriculum creates a compelling value proposition for our customers.”

About The BARBRI Group

The BARBRI Group companies meet the legal education needs of law students and attorneys throughout their careers. At the core of The BARBRI Group Companies is BARBRI Bar Review, which has helped more than 1.3 million U.S. lawyers pass the exam. The company also provides specialized ongoing skills training and certifications in areas such as financial crime, eDiscovery, and cyber awareness, security and protection. The BARBRI Group affiliated companies work to improve legal and professional learning in the United States and around the world by providing superior opportunities for law schools and law firms, as well as law- and finance-related businesses to prosper. Founded in 1967, The BARBRI Group is headquartered in Dallas with offices throughout the United States and around the world.

BARBRI enhances learning and development opportunities for members of the International Association of Young Lawyers

DALLAS — BARBRI, a leading legal education provider, is partnering with the International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA) to further learning and professional development opportunities for association members.

In preparation for the next U.S. state bar exams, BARBRI International is offering members of the Association an incentivised provision on its International Home Study Programme. This comprehensive six- to 10-month bar review package is specifically designed for non-U.S. educated law graduates and lawyers wanting to enhance their career opportunities by sitting for a U.S. bar exam, primarily the California and New York Bars.

The International Home Study Programme is designed for candidates who may have other professional commitments, and includes the same materials as the classroom series — online lectures from top American law school professors, textbooks, bar application assistance, BARBRI’s industry-leading personal study plan, simulated exams, and access to a dedicated BARBRI International support contact.

“We’re delighted to be partnering with such a dynamic membership organisation as AIJA,” said Rob Dudley, BARBRI International director. “Our collaboration demonstrates the appetite for dual-qualifying at home and in the U.S., and the opportunities it offers young lawyers practising globally.”

AIJA is a non-profit association devoted to lawyers and in-house counsel under 45, with a goal of fostering career success for young career-building professionals in an international arena.

For more information, please visit BARBRI/AIJA partnership.

About the BARBRI Group

The BARBRI Group companies meet the legal education needs of law students and attorneys throughout their careers with expert instruction and innovative technologies. At the core of The BARBRI Group Companies is BARBRI Bar Review, which has helped more than one million U.S. lawyers pass the exam. In addition to law school and bar review offerings, the company provides specialized ongoing skills training and certifications in areas such as financial crime and eDiscovery. The BARBRI Group affiliated companies work to improve legal learning in the United States and around the world by providing superior opportunities for law schools, law firms and law-related businesses to prosper. Founded in 1967, The BARBRI Group is headquartered in Dallas with offices throughout the United States and around the world.

The BARBRI GROUP sponsors Social Media Contest at Michigan State University of Law

The BARBRI Group is sponsoring a contest underway at Michigan State University (MSU) College of Law that emphasizes to law students the importance of building an online presence.

The first-of-its-kind MSU Law Career Services Office social media contest is designed to help students use social media as a career-development and relationship-building tool. It’s an important lesson given the changing marketplace for lawyers, according to Daniel W. Linna Jr., assistant dean of career development and professor of law in residence.

“To be competitive, lawyers must develop personal brands and professional connections both offline through face-to-face networking, and online through social media channels,” Linna said. “We hope students competing in the contest learn to better market their professional expertise and demonstrate why employers and clients should hire them.”

The contest, which uses the hashtag #MSULawSM, was open to all MSU Law students, who submitted a social media plan by January 12. Contestants shared examples of their online activities on or before January 26 for the contest’s first status update. The second status update is due by the end of the day on March 2, 2015.

Social media industry judges will select eight to ten finalists in March, and those students will present their social media campaign strategies on April 10. After the presentations, the panel of judges will announce the winners.

Prizes include $2,500 in cash awards funded through a Dean’s Choice Grant by MSU Federal Credit Union to the Law College and legal courses from The BARBRI Group, the nation’s leading bar review and legal education firm. The first-place winner will receive a “Beyond the Bar” course from BARBRI’s Legal Practice Group valued at $495 and $1,000 from the MSUFCU. Two runners-up will each receive $500 from the MSUFCU grant and a $99 BARBRI gift certificate for a financial skills course. Five contestants will receive honorable mentions and $100 each from the MSUFCU grant.

Both BARBRI and the MSUFCU will provide judges who work in the social media field. Melody Glatz, BARBRI’s social media manager, will join a representative from MSUFCU, Paul Jaques of Spartan Innovations, MSU Law Dean Joan Howarth and others on the panel of esteemed social media judges.

ABOUT MSU COLLEGE OF LAW

Michigan State University College of Law successfully prepares graduates for legal employment in settings across the nation. The elective and required curriculum of the College of Law integrates theory and practice, thereby helping to ensure that graduates of MSU Law are well prepared for their first professional positions and their professional responsibilities for decades to come.

ABOUT THE BARBRI GROUP

At the core of The BARBRI Group Companies is BARBRI Bar Review, which has helped more than 1 million U.S. lawyers pass the exam. Now, The BARBRI Group companies meet the legal education needs of both law students and attorneys throughout their careers with expert instruction and innovative technologies. The BARBRI Group comprises affiliated companies working to improve legal learning in the United States and around the world by providing superior opportunities for law schools, law firms and law-related businesses to prosper. Founded in 1967, The BARBRI Group is headquartered in Dallas with offices throughout the United States. To learn more, visit www.theBARBRIgroup.com.

LEGAL EDUCATION FIRM TO NAME BARBRI PUBLIC INTEREST FELLOW WHO WILL SERVE SAVE THE CHILDREN

This May, passing the bar exam is all that will stand between the law school graduate named the first-ever BARBRI Public Interest Fellow and a one-year paid fellowship at Save the Children – the leading, independent organization that creates lasting change for children in need in the United States and around the world.

BARBRI, the country’s preeminent legal education resource, announces the Public Interest Fellow contest that will fund a new, one-year fellowship for a lawyer at the admired children’s nonprofit. BARBRI will pay the first-year salary of the candidate who submits a winning video expressing why he or she would like to work for Save the Children.

“We designed the new BARBRI Public Interest Fellow program to promote social responsibility and raise awareness of alternate career paths for new attorneys,” said Mike Sims, an attorney and president of BARBRI. “We want to help Save the Children improve kids’ health, education and economic opportunities through the valuable addition of an in-house legal fellow who can help navigate an increasingly complex legal landscape.”

Students can submit videos to vie for the fellowship through March 9, 2014. Videos may be posted to BARBRI.shycast.com and should demonstrate why a contestant is the most qualified person for the Save the Children in-house counsel fellowship.

“We’re grateful to BARBRI for establishing this fellowship,” said Gretchen Wagner, General Counsel for Save the Children. “The BARBRI fellow will be a welcome addition, and will work closely with our legal team on a broad range of matters in support of our global mission to help children and to make a lasting impact in their lives. We are very appreciative to BARBRI for its support in creating this fellowship, and for encouraging law school graduates to consider careers in the public sector.”

The BARBRI Public Interest Fellow and two runners-up also will receive the BARBRI Bar Review Course, which will help to ensure successful outcomes on the most important exam of their professional lives. BARBRI will award additional prizes of free Certified E-Discovery Specialist (CEDS, www.aceds.org) certification training and a paid CEDS exam fee to the second-place winner. Five student voters selected at random will receive their choice of complimentary admission to a BARBRI Law Preview workshop for pre-law students, a BARBRI Bar Review Course and BARBRI for Legal Practice professional development session. More information and contest rules can be found at BARBRI.shycast.com.

ABOUT BARBRI

BARBRI, Inc., has helped more lawyers prepare for the bar than any other company and is now positioned to meet the legal education needs of both law students and attorneys throughout their academic and professional careers. BARBRI’s leading legal and education experts cultivate engaged, successful students – leading to lower attrition rates at law schools and higher bar passage and job placement rates – and better-trained, more professionally effective practicing attorneys. Founded in 1967, BARBRI is headquartered in Dallas with offices throughout the United States. To learn more, visit www.BARBRI.com.

ABOUT SAVE THE CHILDREN

Save the Children is the leading independent organization for children in need, with programs in 120 countries, including the United States. The organization aims to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children, and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives by improving their health, education and economic opportunities. In times of acute crisis, Save the Children mobilizes rapid assistance to help children recover from the effects of war, conflict and natural disasters. For more information, visit www.savethechildren.org. Follow the nonprofit on Twitter and Facebook.

ESTEEMED LEGAL EDUCATORS JOIN WITH BARBRI ON LEGAL EDUCATION ADVISORY BOARD

BARBRI, the preeminent legal education company, announced the formation of the company’s Legal Education Advisory Board, consisting of nine distinguished educators and administrators from leading law schools across the country. This esteemed group is partnering with BARBRI to help the company analyze legal education trends and to identify potential solutions for industry challenges.

Law schools have been the subject of intense criticism recently as many graduating students find themselves burdened with substantial debt and facing significantly reduced employment prospects. Of the need for change, there is little debate. However, the underlying issues are complex and lie within an interdependent landscape combining several factors and constituents. A key focus of the BARBRI Advisory Board is to identify the collaborative efforts needed from key stakeholders, including BARBRI, in contributing to the transformations needed in the legal education and practice lifecycle.

“I’m pleased to serve on the BARBRI Advisory Board and to provide feedback to the company’s management on the changing world of law and law schools. I look forward to exploring ways that BARBRI can help to reshape the legal education field,” said Saul Levmore, professor and former dean of the University of Chicago Law School. Professor Eric Talley of Berkeley Law adds, “I applaud the proactive efforts of BARBRI to collaborate in improving legal education generally, and in reimagining its future trajectory.”

Board members met for the first time August 12 – 13, 2013 in Chicago, where they discussed such topics as student employability, law school innovation, student assessment, law school tuition and operating costs, and the future direction of BARBRI.

“BARBRI is evolving with the industry, and we’re fully committed to finding ways to overcome those issues that confront it,” said attorney and BARBRI President Mike Sims. “The scholars on our advisory board will be invaluable as we all work together to transform legal education.”

BARBRI Advisory Board members include:

  • Robert B. Ahdieh, vice dean, professor of law and director, Center on Federalism and Intersystemic Governance at Emory University School of Law
  • Craig M. Boise, dean of the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University
  • G. Marcus Cole, Wm. Benjamin Scott and Luna M. Scott professor of law at Stanford Law School and former associate dean for curriculum and academic Affairs
  • William D. Henderson, professor of law, Val Nolan faculty fellow and director, Center on the Global Legal Profession at Indiana University Maurer School of Law
  • Monica Ingram, assistant dean for admissions and financial aid at the University of Texas School of Law
  • Saul Levmore, William B. Graham Distinguished Service professor of law and former dean of the University of Chicago Law School
  • Marin Scordato, associate dean for academic affairs and research and professor of law at The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law
  • Eric Talley, the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Chair in Law, Business and the Economy, and Faculty Co-Director of the Berkeley Center for Law, Business and the Economy at the University of California Berkeley School of Law

David N. Yellen, dean and professor of law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law and member of the ABA Task Force on the Future of Legal Education

ABOUT BARBRI

BARBRI, Inc., has helped more lawyers prepare for the bar than any other company and is now positioned to meet the legal education needs of both law students and attorneys throughout their academic and professional careers. BARBRI’s leading legal and education experts cultivate better prepared, engaged students who are more likely to succeed, which translates to lower attrition rates at law schools and higher bar passage and job placement rates. Founded in 1967, BARBRI is headquartered in Dallas with offices throughout the United States.

To learn more, visit www.BARBRI.com.

BARBRI EXPANDS PORTFOLIO TO MEET THE NEEDS OF TODAY’S STUDENTS AND LAWYERS

Widely known for the industry’s leading bar review course, BARBRI now supports every stage of the legal life cycle – from pre-law student to practicing attorney. For the first time ever, both students and lawyers can turn to one source – BARBRI – to be more successful in school and in practice.

“Having helped almost every lawyer in the United States today prepare for the bar, BARBRI is no longer just setting the industry standard for bar review, we’re also shaping the academic careers of students considering or enrolled in law school and accelerating professional effectiveness for new and practicing attorneys,” said BARBRI CEO and Chairman of the Board Stephen Fredette.

Responding to a changing industry and drawing from its related expertise, BARBRI has added legal education programs for new audiences to its product portfolio through acquisitions and internal development efforts. Two acquisitions over the past year, Law Preview and Telestrat Education, have expanded BARBRI’s market reach with courses for students entering law school and for lawyers looking to bolster their professional skills.

All of BARBRI’s educational services are designed to help develop successful attorneys in an evolving industry and a challenging job market. Students at the beginning of the process are well-served by Law Preview, the company and course BARBRI acquired in June 2012.

Law Preview has long been known for preparing incoming students for the unique challenges of law school – a dramatically different experience from undergraduate studies – by teaching academic strategies such as test- and note-taking skills, case briefing, time management and how to survive the Socratic teaching method. Law Preview students also gain a better understanding of first-year subjects, affording them a head start on all other 1Ls.

In a recent survey, 69 percent of students who took Law Preview reported that the course improved their 1L performances. The median class rank of Law Preview students at the end of their first year was the top 16 percent of their classes. An impressive 39 percent of students who took Law Preview were in the top 10 percent of their 1L class, and 57 percent of students reporting their end-of-1L class rank enjoyed positions in the top 20 percent.

After graduating and passing the bar, lawyers who need to sharpen specific professional skillsets can now rely on BARBRI for Legal Practice products that fill in the gaps left by law school curricula. Through its Legal Practice offerings, BARBRI teaches practice-ready skills to first-and second-year associates and professional effectiveness to attorneys at all levels.

One area most attorneys agree they should know more about is finance. BARBRI’s Financial Skills for Lawyers courses were formerly known as Telestrat Education, the company BARBRI acquired in October 2012. In these classes, top financial and business experts teach and make understandable such topics as accounting essentials; corporate transactions; finance and valuation; forensic accounting; stocks, bonds and options; and financial statements. BARBRI also is developing courses on professional effectiveness, communications and other subjects that will help new and seasoned attorneys enhance and grow their businesses.

ABOUT BARBRI

BARBRI, Inc., has helped more lawyers prepare for the bar than any other company and is now positioned to meet the legal education needs of both law students and attorneys throughout their academic and professional careers. BARBRI’s leading legal and education experts cultivate better prepared, engaged students who are more likely to succeed, which translates to lower attrition rates at law schools and higher bar passage and job placement rates. Founded in 1967, BARBRI is headquartered in Dallas with offices throughout the United States. To learn more, visit www.BARBRI.com.