Bar Examination Preparation Programs In contrast – Reducing By means of the Litter of Thirty Six Firm Choices


Since you could have landed right here, I’m assuming that you’ve both efficiently completed legislation faculty or can be graduating quickly. Understanding the trials you could have endured, congratulations is actually so as. However like me, after ending legislation faculty, I’m certain you’re pondering “okay, I efficiently jumped that hurdle, now I want to leap the subsequent and most vital one – passing the Bar.”

Taking the Bar examination is far completely different than taking an examination in legislation faculty. Placing apart the logistics, time constraints, and two day depth; the Bar examination is put collectively by the state bar regulatory businesses in an try to check for whether or not an individual can be a reliable lawyer. Thus, the examination is completely different in some ways as to what you could have been uncovered to.

Because of this alone, taking a Bar preparation course is crucial. And notice, if that is the primary time you take the Bar examination, it is necessary that you simply select a full service course which prepares you for all facets of the examination together with the a number of selection, Essays and the efficiency examination.

For a lot of of you, passing the Bar examination the primary time is important. For some, you have already got a job lined up which might disappear should you did not move the primary time. Others could have needed to take out substantial pupil loans which now, that you’ve graduated, would require compensation.

Both method, a Bar examination preparation course is crucial. To additional complicate issues, as I’m certain you could have heard, and as amply reported in publications just like the Los Angeles Occasions and the ABA Journal, Bar examination move charges have been on a gentle decline for the final a number of years. To compound that downside, many states, like California, are refusing to decrease their examination move lower strains to lift the move charges.

In different phrases, the state bar licensing businesses are refusing to grade the Bar examination on a curve, citing the necessity to protect public safety. In consequence, right this moment’s Bar exams are simply as tough to move as these given twenty years in the past after I took mine. So then you definately is likely to be questioning, “why are the Bar move charges steadily lowering, it isn’t as if right this moment’s college students are much less clever than these from twenty years in the past?”

You might be right, right this moment’s college students are simply as clever, however there’s something else occurring. An evaluation was accomplished and the researchers discovered that the decline was not on account of decrease scores on the a number of selection portion of the examination (generally known as the MBE). It was decided that the decrease bar move charges have been on account of the next failure fee on the Essay questions.

It was discovered that due to societal modifications (together with that college students right this moment examine in a unique method than up to now) and modifications in the best way many legislation colleges are administering their classroom exams, a lot of right this moment’s college students taking the Bar are having problem following the decision of an Essay query; they aren’t recognizing a enough variety of points within the truth patterns; they’re having bother making use of the legislation to the info and analyzing them; and their grammar and spelling is lower than par.

Sadly, the lengthy standing conventional Bar preparation programs haven’t tailored their curriculums to compensate for this modification. Up to now, the MBE was thought of essentially the most tough and difficult portion of the examination to move. Consequently, the foremost emphasis, within the firms providing full service Bar evaluation, targeted on the strategies of mastering MBE.

These full service firms offered Essay questions with mannequin solutions and had some dialogue concerning the primary IRAC method (Difficulty, Rule, Evaluation, Conclusion, a cumbersome, outdated methodology not likely suited to handle right this moment’s timed Essay questions containing a number of points and cross over topics). The businesses assumed the abilities required to really break down and analyze Essay questions have been realized inside the legislation faculty curriculum. Principally, the methodology for these firms in preparation for Essay exams was the outdated axiom, “observe makes good.”

At present, though the complete service giants within the Bar prep trade like BarBri, Flemings, and Kaplan, and the smaller ones like Bar Max, AmeriBar, and Themis, proceed to supply full service programs and dominate the market, their curriculums have remained the identical for a number of years.

When selecting a Bar examination preparation course, do not forget that not all programs are alike. Many of the Bar evaluation programs should not full service programs, as they concentrate on one explicit side of the Bar (often as a complement). For instance, programs their programs could solely concentrate on the MBE portion or the Essay portion or simply the efficiency portion. Then there are firms which concentrate on a specific sort of examination or jurisdiction, for instance, a course focusing simply on the California first yr examination or the New York examination. Different firms are targeted on these college students who’ve beforehand failed the examination, and thus their method with the second time takers is far completely different than if you’re a primary time taker.

In case you are a primary time taker, these restricted programs won’t fulfill all your wants and shouldn’t be thought of as your major Bar preparation course. When you discover that you simply want some supplementation in some unspecified time in the future, then, after all, it’s best to have a look at what they provide.

As a result of it’s crucial that as a primary time taker you’re taking a full service course, I can’t be together with these restricted curriculum targeted firms inside the comparability beneath. The businesses, that I do know of, which have the restricted targeted curriculum embody: Adapti Bar; Bar Graders; Bar Made Simple; PMBR; Bar Outlines; Bar Secrets and techniques; Bar Overview Options; Bar Prep Hero; Sensible Bar Prep; Omni Prep Patent; Web Bar Examination Overview; My Bar Prep; Cross the Bar; Pieper Bar Overview; Marino Bar Overview; Bar Examination Physician; Supreme Bar Overview; Skillman Methodology; and The Writing Edge.

Along with these restricted focus firms, there are a number of firms which give Bar evaluation in a tutorial setting, whether or not one-on-one or in small teams, however principally face-to-face. These are often regional firms, requiring your attendance and have very restricted enrollment. As well as, as a result of they’re so hands-on private tutorial programs, they primarily cater to these Bar takers who’ve beforehand failed the examination.

Due to the small capability, the regional issues and that the course curriculums usually concentrate on the coed who has already taken the Bar examination, I’m of the opinion that these firms also needs to not be thought of by the primary time taker (however after all, that could be a private selection). Thus, I can’t embody the businesses that concentrate on a tutorial format within the comparability beneath. The businesses, I do know of, on this class embody: Bar None Overview; Bar Plus Overview; Bar Overview; Bar Winners; Regulation Tutorial; Regulation Tutors; Open Ebook; Southwest Bar Overview; The Bar Coach; and The Bar Code.

That leaves the complete service firms on your evaluation and comparability. The complete service firms, which I’m at present conscious of, embody: Facet Bar; BarBri; Bar Max; Kaplan; Themis; Flemings; and AmeriBar.

Earlier than we start the comparability, I wish to say a phrase about printed Bar move charges and printed pricing for these particular person firms. Of the seven full service Bar Prep firms, three (Themis, Bar Max, and Flemings) publish Bar move charges. BarBri doesn’t formally publish Bar move charges, nonetheless it has been reported within the press that their gross sales folks verbally tout an 80 % move fee.

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The publication of a Bar move fee, by a Bar prep firm, has all the time left me in a quandary. How exactly do these firms set up a protocol to precisely assess the share of these individuals who have taken their course after which handed the Bar examination?

It appears to me to be enigmatic to make such a dedication after which publish this as a promoting level. The person state bars administering the exams actually don’t acquire any knowledge regarding whether or not an individual took a Bar prep course, kind of a specific model. As well as, many states don’t publish the names of these individuals who handed the examination.

Thus, the official arbiters of the exams actually should not the supply of this data for the Bar prep firms to publish. There might be just one method to set up this sort of data which might be unreliable and thus produce inaccurate outcomes. That will be after the six months of taking the examination after which receiving their outcomes, every particular person pupil must contact the Bar prep firm they used and inform them whether or not they handed or failed the examination.

For a move fee to be dependable and correct, one hundred pc of the those that bought the Bar prep course must voluntarily reply to the corporate and be truthful about whether or not they handed or failed. If even a fraction of these (allow us to say 20 %) didn’t reply to the corporate, the outcomes can be removed from correct and thus deceptive to publish.

Somebody as soon as advised me that no less than one of many firms set up their move fee based mostly upon those that took the examination, failed after which contacted the corporate requesting to retake the course without spending a dime. Right here once more, this will by no means be an correct portrayal of a move fee as a result of usually, those that fail on their first strive resolve that the Bar prep course they took was not adequate they usually then interact a unique firm to organize them for the second go round (and as talked about above, there are a number of firms solely targeted on that market area of interest).

Due to this fact, for my part, any printed Bar move fee proffered by a Bar prep firm is misleading. In utilizing this as a standards in your analysis of the businesses beneath, contemplate this; there’s a Civil Jury Instruction in nearly each State which principally says: “When you resolve {that a} witness didn’t inform the reality about one thing vital, you could select to not consider something that witness mentioned in her different testimony.” There may be a lot knowledge behind that jury instruction, and based mostly upon that standards, I personally can not suggest any firm which publishes Bar move charges.

When you agree with my opinion regarding printed move charges, that might remove Themis, Bar Max, and Flemings from critical consideration (and if the BarBri gross sales representatives are additionally instructed to tout these move charges, they need to be eradicated as properly).

That leaves 4 full service firms (Facet Bar, BarBri, Kaplan, and AmeriBar) to guage and examine. Nonetheless, to be honest, all seven firms can be included within the comparability beneath.

Now about printed pricing. Right here once more, not all firms are alike and have completely different and generally complicated pricing constructions. For instance, Flemings has completely different tiers of pricing: Quick Time period is greater than $2,000, Lengthy Time period is greater than $3,000 and Final is in extra of $6,000. Every tier has a unique stage after all and preparation supplies offered. AmeriBar has an identical tiered pricing construction.

I query this sort of pricing, as a result of how is a primary time Bar examination taker going to know what stage or tier is correct for them with a purpose to move the examination? Frankly, if the primary time taker really knew the reply to that query, they’d be so clairvoyant and educated that they’d not want a Bar prep course in any respect.

Then again, different firms, like Facet Bar, present one hundred pc of all course and preparation supplies, that might be required to move the Bar, for a single worth.

Thus, it’s tough and complicated to try to check an organization that gives tiered pricing, versus an all inclusive payment firm, as it could be making an attempt to check apples and oranges. Thus, I counsel that upon getting settled upon two firms to select from, and a kind of firms has tiered pricing, that you simply then delve into these pricing tiers and try and make a subjective analysis for your self.

Nonetheless, if you’re like me, and easily remove out of your consideration these firms who interact in publishing Bar move charges and those who have tiered pricing, that leaves three full service Bar prep firms on your evaluation that are as follows: Facet Bar, BarBri, and Kaplan.

In your comparability, these are listed first after which the opposite 4 full service firms will comply with. An excellent place to begin the comparability is the beginner on the block – Facet Bar.

Facet Bar web site: SideBarPrep

This full service Bar prep firm was lately established to handle the declining Bar move charges. With their system, the coed just isn’t left on his/her personal to determine what to do and the place to begin. It’s all specified by a progressive plan which the coed follows inside his/her personal schedule.

There are not any lectures to attend or watch, no flash playing cards and no hype about customization to the coed’s explicit strengths or weaknesses. What’s offered are particular strategies, strategies and ideas to reach each the Essay questions and the MBE questions, coupled with tips about the best way to move the efficiency examination, mated with observe exams and optimum solutions.

The MBE part not solely provides the coed the strategies of the best way to method the questions and the way they’re developed, but in addition 170 particular ideas separated by topic to sort out the tough questions. Additional, 2000 observe MBE questions are offered not solely with a solution key, however with explanations that are a part of the system’s legislation reminiscence reinforcement.

As a result of declining Bar move fee, cautious consideration is given to the Essay exams. College students are taught, through a step-by-step methodology, the best way to method, break down, analyze and write clear Essay solutions. The Facet Bar methodology acknowledged that the Bar examiners are searching for completely different approaches within the completely different topics, and the corporate addresses this. The strategy is formulation pushed and as soon as the coed learns the formulation, they will anticipate to enter auto-pilot in answering essays. To hone their Essay abilities, the corporate supplies nearly 60 observe questions with solutions.

As well as the corporate has a reminiscence system for the black letter legislation taught in the entire core programs examined on the Bar. This consists of a number of course outlines, for every course, which progressively change into extra condensed as the coed progresses by means of the course. These are matched up with a program of integration of the Essay and a number of selection questions, which improve reminiscence reinforcement when coupled with the detailed rationalization to the solutions.

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The corporate supplies all course supplies. There may be nothing else to purchase or have a look at. All the things is on-line and accessible through desktop, laptop computer, pill or good cellphone irrespective of the platform. There are not any scheduling constraints as the coed progresses at his or her personal tempo and at any time of day or evening.

The common worth is $2495. The corporate at present presents a reduction worth of $1995. The value is all inclusive with no further charges. In addition they present reductions and rebates for referrals and amount purchases.

They’ve a a reimbursement assure inside fifteen days of the acquisition. The subscription worth consists of entry to all supplies for eighteen months, thus irrespective of when the coed is taking the Bar or in the event that they need to take it once more, the coed has entry to all course supplies. That is additionally a bonus to these college students of their final yr of legislation faculty who want to get a head begin on getting ready for the Bar examination.

BarBri web site: BarBri

BarBri pioneered bar examination preparation fifty years in the past and their popularity continues to draw the overwhelming majority of legislation faculty college students every year. BarBri has what they name the MBE Immersion, constructed upon an experienced-based method to enhance legislation pupil efficiency on the MBE portion of the bar examination. This two-day class kicks off the bar evaluation course and is designed to speed up the tempo the coed learns the legislation and, in flip, efficiently reply MBE bar examination questions.

The corporate additionally supplies what they name BarBri Amp which they describe as an efficient method to grasp the black letter legislation and maximize the coed’s MBE rating. Based mostly upon the supplies proffered, I used to be not in a position to decide the distinction in methodology between the BarBri Amp and the BarBri Immersion. Each are linking MBE questions and solutions with studying the legislation. The corporate supplies a 200 query simulated MBE examination.

Moreover, BarBri supplies what they name the Regulation Grasp Examine Keys. The primary key’s to have a manageable and memorable framework to be taught the legislation and perceive the place the entire guidelines match into that framework. The following key to really studying the legislation is to have the ability to deliver collectively guidelines, the weather that comprise the rule, and a narrative to really apply the principles and parts to actual world situations.

Additional, BarBri supplies what is named the Essay Architect device which supplies rapid suggestions for greater scoring essays. They declare that it enhances the coed’s means to jot down the lawyer-like solutions that the bar examiners are searching for on the bar examination. The device is on-line and by utilizing the drag-and-drop options, the coed practices Essay writing following the usual IRAC format. Speedy suggestions reinforces group and construction.

The BarBri system requires lectures whether or not accessed in a classroom or on-line. These are offered in a structured format inside schedules and entry limitations. The lectures are given over a seven week interval. Thus, the coed is constrained to the course construction and has little flexibility in scheduling. There isn’t a data on the corporate web site, aside from offering the simulated 200 query MBE examination, as as to if precise MBE and Essay questions, with solutions are offered to permit the coed to observe on their very own. Apparently, from inspecting the web site, the corporate doesn’t present any help, course supplies or simulated exams for the efficiency check.

The value is $3695. As well as, there’s a course supplies delivery payment of $30, a course registration payment of $250 and a refundable course supplies payment of $250 as soon as the course supplies are returned. They supply an ABA premium low cost.

The corporate doesn’t present a a reimbursement assure, nonetheless they do say that if the coed fails their Bar examination that they will repeat the identical jurisdictional state BarBri evaluation course on-line when it is provided subsequent – with out paying further tuition. Apparently, not one of the in-person companies can be found to a repeat taker.

Kaplan web site: Kaptest

The Kaplan course may be very primary. The corporate supplies course lectures whether or not in a classroom or on-line, after which supplies Essay and MBE observe questions with solutions. The corporate states, that their syllabus adapts to the coed’s wants, strengthening weak topics with homework assignments designed for the coed. The corporate motivates and engages the coed by reside streaming the classroom to their dwelling. And as soon as the coed’s evaluation course ends, they analyze the coed’s efficiency and create a customized Ultimate Examine Plan. They declare that this helps maximize the coed’s factors, and serves as a bridge between the final day of sophistication and check day.

Their reminiscence reinforcement approach is flash playing cards. The corporate claims to have complete flexibility for accessing the lectures and different supplies on-line, nonetheless, they supply no data as to how lengthy the coed has entry to those supplies and whether or not their “syllabus” is structured logistically and with time constraints (which is typical). After all the classroom lectures would have scheduling constraints.

Exterior of the course lectures, the corporate doesn’t point out whether or not they present particular approaches, strategies and tricks to reply each the MBE and Essay questions and it doesn’t look as if they supply any. Nonetheless they do present observe Essay and MBE questions and solutions, they usually declare that with doing observe questions the scholars’ scores improve over time. In actual fact the corporate states, “a vital element of check prep, it has been proven that Kaplan college students who submit extra Essays see enchancment of their scores.” In addition they have a really massive knowledge base of observe MBE questions, cited to be 4000 and problem college students to finish all 4000. Apparently the corporate doesn’t present any help, course supplies or simulated exams for the efficiency check.

The common worth is $2999. They at present have discounted worth of $2399. There may be an extra $250 registration payment.

The corporate does present a a reimbursement assure for individuals who fail the Bar, nonetheless there are a number of restrictions that are as follows: Be a primary time taker; have a JD from an ABA accredited faculty; be enrolled within the Kaplan Full Bar Overview course; attend 90 % of all lectures previous to taking the Bar; full all assigned exams, quizzes and homework previous to taking the examination; and take the very subsequent scheduled bar examination after finishing the course supplies.

The next are the 4 remaining full service Bar preparation programs. Nonetheless, all of them have both “printed” Bar move charges or tiered pricing or each, which for my part are disqualifiers.


Flemings is jurisdictionally particular to California solely. They’re the most costly product available on the market and have six tiers of pricing, with the most costly being $6400.

Flemings makes use of the normal lecture methodology, nonetheless principally based mostly inside a classroom setting in California, with some accessibility on-line. The lectures are all inside a structured format and inside structured time limitations for the course.

The corporate web site claims to supply all California particular legislation courses with outlines. As well as, they supply a number of selection, essay, and efficiency examination instruction coupled with offering observe a number of selection, Essay and efficiency questions and solutions. As well as, they supply simulated exams and customized service from their attorneys. This methodology has been the normal methodology/mannequin for Bar prep programs for over twenty years.

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Given the a la carte nature of the choices from the corporate, it’s tough to check costs of what they provide to the opposite full service firms. The closest can be their Lengthy Time period Overview which has a value of $3245 plus a $250 deposit. There are not any cancellations, refunds or ensures offered. There are not any reductions offered for the precise programs, nonetheless the corporate claims that with a primary course buy, a pupil could obtain a reduction on further merchandise in future purchases.


Proper on the prime of the house web page and inside a number of of the opposite again pages, Themis advertises their Bar move fee. They emphasis this as a promoting level. To me, as defined above, that could be a large purple flag. As well as, they make a press release on their web site, claiming that they’re “the one main bar evaluation course developed to be utterly on-line.” Clearly, as you possibly can see from different firm choices, that is an inaccurate assertion. Personally, it doesn’t matter what the trade or product, I keep away from firms which make unfaithful claims.

As with the entire different Bar prep programs, apart from Facet Bar, Themis is lecture based mostly, nonetheless, they declare that they supply extra flexibility for attending the lectures (all on-line) than the opposite firms. Provided that most of the different firms additionally provide the lectures on-line with versatile accessibility, that is one other inaccurate assertion. The corporate states that with their Built-in Studying System, the coed will get complete outlines, observe multiple-choice questions, observe Essay questions, on-demand lectures, and corresponding interactive handouts. College students who would quite examine at their very own tempo have that choice with their Flex Examine mode.

The lectures are legislation course materials based mostly and thus, apart from working towards essay, MBE and efficiency check questions, the scholars should not instructed on the best way to method and analyze these questions in a method which can produce outcomes. The coed is left alone with the hope that observe makes good and they’re going to be taught from their errors.

The value for the course is $2095. They supply a $100 low cost to lively and retired army and likewise to lively members in Phi Alpha Delta Regulation Fraternity, Worldwide and the Navy Partner J.D. Community. They don’t present a a reimbursement assure, nonetheless if you’re a first-time Themis taker, and fail the bar, the corporate will present the coed with a free repeat of the course for the subsequent administration of the identical bar examination without charge.

Bar Max

That is one other firm which advertises their Bar move charges. In actual fact they make the declare that, “We launch our move charges whereas different bar programs refuse to.” Not solely is the assertion misleading as a result of another firms do publish move charges, the assertion makes it sound as if the most effective standards for evaluating a Bar prep firm is its printed move charges. Once more, as defined above, to me it is a large purple flag.

As with many others, Bar Max is conventional and lecture based mostly. The corporate supplies, by course matter, an in-depth define, an audio lecture from a legislation professor, and when acceptable, quite a few flashcards for reminiscence reinforcement. There are 50 hours of lectures. Your entire course is offered both on-line or inside their very own iOS solely App (no Android or Home windows), thus, should you use the App, as soon as loaded in your machine, no web entry is required.

Upon enrollment, the coed receives a Welcome Packet that features skeleton outlines of lecture notes. The Welcome Packet additionally consists of printable PDFs of efficiency exams and 180 observe Essays from earlier exams, with 2 mannequin solutions for every essay. The corporate supplies 1750 observe MBE questions with solutions.

The coed may also obtain 2 free writing critiques (efficiency exams or essays). Extra critiques might be bought a la carte.

As soon as once more, the lectures are legislation course materials based mostly and thus, apart from working towards essay, MBE and efficiency check questions, the scholars should not instructed on the best way to method and analyze these questions in a method which can produce outcomes. The coed is left alone with the hope that observe makes good and they’re going to be taught from their errors.

The value for the course is $999. They supply a “public curiosity” scholarship of $499 for these employed in qualifying public curiosity jobs or within the army. They supply a one hundred pc refund inside 7 days of the entrance finish buy. For California and Uniform Bar examination takers, they supply a a reimbursement assure for individuals who fail the Bar examination, nonetheless there are quite a few restrictions together with tight time constraints to use for the refund.


This firm supplies a tiered pricing system. The course, like many of the others. relies upon course lectures. There are 80 hours of on-line solely course lectures. The corporate additionally supplies books containing the course outlines and observe essay, efficiency check, and MBE questions and solutions. In addition they have an in depth MBE on-line knowledge financial institution of questions and solutions.

Though the corporate supplies some primary writing abilities and the appliance of IRAC to Essay writing, the lectures are legislation course materials based mostly and thus, apart from working towards essay, MBE and efficiency check questions, the scholars should not instructed on the best way to method and analyze these questions in a method which can produce outcomes. The coed is left alone with the hope that observe makes good and they’re going to be taught from their errors. In actual fact, the corporate makes the next assertion. “The best method to put together for the Essay examination is to observe answering prior bar examination Essay questions. You’ll be taught which points are sometimes examined, and the way widespread points needs to be resolved.” In complete they supply 3400 observe MBE questions and 150 observe Essay questions.

Moreover, they supply lawyer cellphone assist. In addition they present eleven Essay critiques inside the six week interval earlier than taking the examination. The fundamental course common worth is $2295, they’re at present operating a reduction for $1365. There’s a guide delivery payment of $25. The corporate web site makes the declare that, “we’re the least costly full service bar evaluation course.” This declare just isn’t supported by the choices of different firms like Bar Max.

There may be an undisclosed guide deposit payment which is simply disclosed after you enroll. Though this payment just isn’t disclosed on the web site, sometimes when an organization prices a guide deposit payment, it’s $250. When you return the books inside a chosen timeframe the guide deposit can be refunded. If you need the lectures on an iPod, there may be an extra payment of $249. They supply a refund inside 4 days after buy, much less 12.5 % restocking payment. Their move assure supplies {that a} pupil will obtain a free retake of the web course so long as the coed supplies AmeriBar with a duplicate of the examiner’s notification letter inside 10 days of the coed’s notification.

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