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Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that New York Bar courses are the latest UK legal education money-spinner? CLT and  BPP allude to the “benefit” of a dual US/UK qualification and hey, maybe they’re right – but now the College of Law is going that step further:

Nigel Savage, Chief Executive of The College of Law, said: “This initiative raises us well above our competitors and is a vindication of our commitment to maintaining quality and standards. The process was very rigorous, but very fair. The reality is that if students want to work on the global stage they have to qualify either as an English lawyer or at the New York Bar.

“This programme allows the non-law graduate to have that choice. It means that if they cannot secure one of the ever decreasing training contract places or pupillages they still have the option to take the New York Bar Exam. The programme will also attract the very best overseas students to the College thus helping to sustain London as a legal services and legal education hub.”

Yes, Nigel – they can take the New York Bar. New York has allowed foreign law graduates to take the Bar for some time. While the College of Law has indeed done a deal to allow non law graduates to take the New York Bar, the issue for students is whether there is an attorney job at the end of it.

I stumbled across Law School Scam and Tom the Temp’s Blog sometime ago. They speak for themselves. All I have to add is that we are in the middle of a global recession and, as you will see, the New York legal market is hurting too.

If your reason for taking the New York Bar is to have a “safety net” if you can’t get a pupillage or training contract, you’re probably better off improving your CV with pro bono etc and trying again rather than getting a qualification in another jurisdiction which is also awash with newly qualifieds.