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BARBRI is a company headquartered in Dallas, Texas whose primary product offering is a bar exam preparation course. Because of the general difficulty of state bar exams a majority of law school graduates choose to take some form of preparation course. BARBRI offers law school graduates a six to seven week review course which features lectures by law professors on the six major areas covered on the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) – torts, contracts, real property, evidence, criminal law, and constitutional law – along with additional lectures on the specific law of the state in which the participant plans to take the bar.
The company's predecessors were founded in the 1950s by William A. Rutter and in 1967 by two Chicago attorneys – Lewis Collens and Beardsley Ruml. In 1974, the unsuccessful San Francisco-based "Bay Area Review" (BAR) and Chicago-based "Bar Review Inc." (BRI) were bought by publisher Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich for $5 million, and promptly combined. The new subsidiary was officially known as "Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Legal and Professional Publications," but was marketed under the brand name BAR/BRI. William Rutter became key Chairman and CEO. Stan Chess was President of BAR/BRI from 1980 until 1995, and the President of BARBRI is currently Mike Sims.
BARBRI offers preparation courses in every state and the District of Columbia for both the summer and winter administration of the bar exam. In many larger states live presentations are available in one or more locations during the summer course. The course is also offered remotely in additional locations, often on or near law school campuses. BARBRI also provides a "home study" version of the course, in which students can access or make-up lectures through the BARBRI website, or by using a mobile device. The course consists of lectures on substantive law, multiple choice question review, a practice administration of the multistate bar exam, and practice essay questions. Most lectures last three to four hours. BARBRI also provides course books which include summaries of the substantive law, note-taking outlines, and practice questions. Most BARBRI lecturers are full-time tenured law professors, and some have lectured for the company for many years. Among long-time BARBRI lecturers include Erwin Chemerinsky (UC Irvine); John Diamond (UC Hastings); Stanley Johanson (Texas); Faust Rossi (Cornell); Michael D. Sabbath (Mercer); Roger Schechter (George Washington); John "Kip" Cornwell (Seton Hall Law School); Michael Spak (Chicago-Kent College of Law), Lewis Collins (Chicago-Kent College of Law), David G. Epstein (University of Richmond School of Law), and Irving Younger (University of Minnesota Law School).