Legal education service BARBRI Selects FirstSpirit


Unless you or a family member is in the legal services industry, chances are that you have never heard of BARBRI, Inc. But for the lawyers among us, there’s a very good chance that BARBRI played a major role in helping them complete their legal education and pass the bar examination so they could go out and actually practice law.

To date, more than 1 million law school graduates have used BARBRI to prepare for the bar exam, and more students have passed the bar with BARBRI than all other bar review courses combined. BARBRI launched its first website in 1995 and has steadily strengthened its digital strategy to the point where its website is the cornerstone of BARBRI’s business.

During critical study periods – when students are spending every available minute studying for bar exams – the BARBRI website must be available and performing smoothly 100 percent of the time. To ensure website availability, BARBRI maintains two fully redundant data centers with rapid fail-over capability.

Therefore, when it came to selecting its first Web CMS solution to replace an internally developed system, high availability and performance were high on the list of requirements. BARBRI also needed a CMS with the flexibility to support its evolving mix of services and online content delivery models.

As Mark Kaplan, Director of IT Infrastructure for BARBRI puts it:

“We needed to have a Web content management solution as robust and reliable as our data centers. We evaluated several alternatives before making our selection and in the end it was clear that FirstSpirit was best equipped to help us increase operational efficiency, ensure reliable operation, and provide an exceptional experience for our users and content creation teams.”

Among the product features that factored in to BARBRI’s selection of FirstSpirit were:

  • High availability – For applications that require maximum uptime, FirstSpirit offers mechanisms for monitoring status and automatically switching operations to a standby or cluster server in the event of a software or hardware failure.
  • Performance – With features such as SmartDynamics, FirstSpirit meets the performance demands of international corporations while requiring a less costly computing infrastructure compared to alternatives, helping to lower TCO.
  • Extensibility – FirstSpirit provides a complete set of interfaces that make it possible to easily extend the system through an open access API. Hotspot capability allows new module integration with restarting the server.

We are very excited that BARBRI selected FirstSpirit and look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship. The first phase of the website rollout with FirstSpirit is anticipated for June for a redesigned front-end. Additional enhancements such as increased personalization and back end upgrades will take place over the next two years. Founded in 1967, BARBRI is headquartered in Dallas with offices throughout the United States. The site is located at