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A Exclusive

BAR/BRI to End Its Patent Bar Review

By Stan Chess
December 3, 2010
BAR/BRI Bar Review, which has been put on the block by its parent company, will be ending its troubled patent bar review course next year, has learned.

"We are not accepting enrollments and do not anticipate any future dates for live courses," according to a BAR/BRI spokesperson.

Rumors have spread for months that BAR/BRI would be getting out of the patent bar review business.  BAR/BRI Patent Bar Review has trailed PLI's successful Patent Bar Review, and other patent bar review courses, for many years.

BAR/BRI Patent Bar Review was started by BAR/BRI's former president Richard James Conviser about 15 years ago.

BAR/BRI has already closed its LSAT course, its MCAT course, its GMAT course, its GRE course, and its HarBrace Multistate Bar Review course.  Its CPA review course was sold off.  These were all started when Conviser was BAR/BRI's top executive, during the 1980s.

BAR/BRI's parent company, Thomson Reuters' West Publishing, has itself gotten into, and then out of, the bar review business.  It closed down its full-service bar review business in the 1960s, and then started West Bar Review in 1995, which it closed in 1997.  It has informed its executives that it is now getting out of the bar review business for a third time, by seeking a buyer for BAR/BRI.

BAR/BRI has faced increasing competition in bar review, with Kaplan PMBR, Reed Bar Review, Emanuel Bar Review, Rigos Bar Review and other bar review companies gaining market share.

The 73-year-old Conviser was replaced as president of BAR/BRI by Michael Simms, who left BAR/BRI in 1995 to join its competitor West Bar Review.  

At West Bar Review, Simms developed the strategy employed to beat BAR/BRI in Texas, Oklahoma, and other southern states.  Simms returned to BAR/BRI when he was offered a large contract for six figures a year, at a salary higher than West was willing to pay.


Stan Chess, the editor of and President of LawTV, Inc., was President of BAR/BRI until 1995. He lectured for BAR/BRI for about 21 years, before joining West Publishing, where he was Chairman and CEO of the West Professional Education Group.  He also lectured for PLI (the Practising Law Institute) for many years.