News broke a couple weeks ago that Thomson Reuters is planning to sell BAR/BRI. In an email sent to current BAR/BRI enrollees, Thomson stated, “bar preparation no longer fits its long-term strategic vision.” This probably means that a sale of BAR/BRI, the cornerstone of bar student preparation, is going to be sold.
But, don’t hit the panic button yet. If Thomson sells BAR/BRI, they are not going to just get rid of it entirely. They are just going to sell it to another company, who will be in charge of carrying out its operations. Indeed, this has happened before. Only ten years ago BAR/BRI was sold to its current owner Thomson Reuters. So, no need to worry, BAR/BRI is not getting carted off the field just yet.
How does this impact you?
That depends on when you’re taking the bar exam. For the February 2011 takers, it probably means absolutely nothing. Company transitions take time and within three months you’ll have already prepared for and taken you bar exam (yes, we’re that close!).
Also, the company assured the current students that nothing would change during their program should there be a transition and that BAR/BRI has gone through transitions before without a hiccup (in 2001, Thomson purchased BAR/BRI).
For future bar exam students, it’s important to keep an eye out. Whether you should go with BAR/BRI depends on who will be buying them. Believe it or not, this sale could be a very good thing for you! BAR/BRI has been the King Kong of bar prep programs for over thirty years, but in the past few years Themis and Kaplan have emerged onto the scene. It is rumored the BAR/BRI sale is due, in part, to the increasing competition BAR/BRI is facing from these other programs.
This means BAR/BRI may have to cut its prices and provide other services to stay competitive. But, this is all speculation right now. If you’re already about to take the bar with BAR/BRI, stick with them. For you 2Ls and 3Ls, we recommend you implement the evidentiary ‘wait and see’ doctrine. For the 1Ls, if you are being approached and told how you can save $250 by reserving your BAR/BRI spot now, you may want to hang onto the cash and spend it on class supplements or happy food for now.
We wish you success in passing your bar exam!
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