Skills and competencies

10 things about legal training experts BARBRI that you probably don’t know

21 Jun 2023, 15:41

BARBRI’s senior director of learning Jody Tranter delivers the stats, formats and behind-the-scenes facts at this innovative global legal learning and training technology company.

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1 Our history goes back more than 50 years

We are making our presence felt in the UK but we already have more than 50 years of experience delivering training in the US. We mainly focus on licensure exams – that’s bar exams in the US and Solicitors Qualifying Exams (SQE) in the UK – but we also have a broader study offering. When you have done your SQE1 and SQE2 we have continuous professional development programmes and a careers advice service to take you onwards. The education Barbri offers – all based on legal learning – comes in different shapes and formats, from online delivery to providing books. There are few geographical limitations because our products are accessible from anywhere.

2 Teaching based on learning science and data with academic oversight

You won’t just be put in a virtual classroom and expected to start learning; we will find the best method of teaching you on a particular course or exam.

Dedicated technologists and experienced learning, product development and IT development teams create our proprietary platforms and content, making everything personal and adaptable to our students. All of our learning coaches are qualified lawyers with experience in education. We are not a bricks-and-mortar law school but academics write our courses and working practitioners check our programmes to make sure they are up-to-date and relevant.

3 The study plans are tailored

Our core programme content can be presented in a variety of ways, so you’ll find interactive video content and reading content, activities to listen to and activities to participate in as you are learning. We know a range of delivery styles and formats suits different learners so you will be able to personalise your study plan to suit your own needs. BARBRI recognises its learners’ other commitments may mean they are unable to be at a morning lecture, or their only free learning time is during a commute, in a lunchbreak or at a weekend. So, you can block out a week for a holiday or take every Sunday off, join in with our workshops live and in the moment, or later at a time to suit your lifestyle. And if for some reason you fall behind on your schedule, our learning science and data systems will recommend the most essential, valuable content to focus on, distinguishing between the must-have and the nice-to-have – bespoke and personalised to you.

4 No academic terms or years – our courses are super flexible

Courses leading into a scheduled exam offer flexibility through a 40-week option, 20-week option and 10-week option for the SQE1 exam, for example. If you choose to study over 40 weeks that’s 10 hours of learning a week, or 20 hours on the 20-week programme, and you can customise those learning sessions. You don’t have to start in September and study for three terms. Whatever timeframe you choose, we will ensure you are ready for your exams.

5 Trackable progress

The visual progress tracker not only shows your individual scores in different activities, tests or exercises, but also where you are in terms of completing the hours you need to do. So you can see you are currently ahead, behind or on track for your own schedule.

6 Online, but still personal and not on your own

Our platform is designed to be very simple. You do the learning and we will do the IT and teaching. Complete your tasks, view your lectures, study and read; we will manage the complicated technology behind the scenes so you can use the simple and straightforward front end.

You will still be able to interact with other people. Every student gets access to a learning coach for one-to-one meetings, at times to suit you, where you can discuss issues, motivation and reviews – anything. Plus we host group sessions and workshops where you can pose questions tackling broader issues. Online is not impersonal.

7 Tech that changes with the times

We are innovators, not just in terms of what we do with our courses, but by thinking outside the traditional routes to qualification. We want to broaden horizons and help our learners to understand the opportunities and innovations within the legal sector. So we put on insight sessions with speakers working in legal technology and legal operations companies, so you can think outside traditional lawyer roles to where legal skills will be needed in the future.

8 Our results speak for themselves

We achieve amazing results. Of our first cohort of students sitting the SQE 1, 77% passed, compared to an average pass rate of 53% for all the students who sat. And in SQE 2 – the skills-based exam that you can’t sit until you have passed SQE1 – the average pass rate across all students was 77% while BARBRI students’ pass rate was 83%. Those statistics are based on hundreds of students sitting.

BARBRI supports diversity, inclusion and equality

We feel a responsibility to help students who aren’t on a traditional trajectory so we set up BARBRI Bridges scholarships to widen participation and access. We offer a scholarship to people working specifically in the public sector; a humanitarian scholarship for those who have been affected by war or displacement and another scholarship based on an essay competition. In addition we work with a number of organisations such as Breaking Barriers to provide training and education for refugees and we are involved in the Social Welfare Solicitors Qualification Fund which makes training and help available to those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to access it. We also work with organisations such as Flex Legal and Accutrainee as well as our own law firm and university partners to make sure a diverse set of people get access to the training they need.

10 We’re great employers as well as trainers

We have around 50 members of staff in the UK and around 500 globally, all enthusiastic about the learning experience themselves. BARBRI is a great place to work, with jobs focusing on areas such as student experience, innovation, technology and delivery. You might like to join us!

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