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

Since you’ve landed right here, I’m assuming that you’ve got both efficiently completed legislation college or might be graduating quickly. Understanding the pains you’ve endured, congratulations is definitely so as. However like me, after ending legislation college, I’m certain you’re considering “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 college. Placing apart the logistics, time constraints, and two day depth; the Bar examination is put collectively by the state bar regulatory companies in an try to check for whether or not an individual could be a reliable lawyer. Thus, the examination is completely different in some ways as to what you’ve been uncovered to.

For that reason alone, taking a Bar preparation course is vital. And be aware, if that is the primary time you take the Bar examination, it is crucial that you just select a full service course which prepares you for all elements 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 when you did not move the primary time. Others could have needed to take out substantial pupil loans which now, that you’ve got graduated, would require compensation.

Both means, a Bar examination preparation course is important. To additional complicate issues, as I’m certain you’ve heard, and as amply reported in publications just like the Los Angeles Instances and the ABA Journal, Bar examination move charges have been on a gradual decline for the final a number of years. To compound that downside, many states, like California, are refusing to decrease their examination move reduce traces to boost the move charges.

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

You’re right, right now’s college students are simply as clever, however there’s something else happening. An evaluation was performed and the researchers discovered that the decline was not as a consequence of decrease scores on the a number of selection portion of the examination (often called the MBE). It was decided that the decrease bar move charges have been as a consequence of a better failure fee on the Essay questions.

It was discovered that due to societal modifications (together with that college students right now examine in a special method than up to now) and modifications in the best way many legislation colleges are administering their classroom exams, lots of right now’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 hassle making use of the legislation to the information 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 transformation. Prior to now, the MBE was thought of probably the most tough and tough portion of the examination to move. Consequently, the foremost emphasis, within the corporations providing full service Bar assessment, centered on the strategies of mastering MBE.

These full service corporations offered Essay questions with mannequin solutions and had some dialogue concerning the primary IRAC strategy (Challenge, Rule, Evaluation, Conclusion, a cumbersome, outdated technique not likely suited to deal with right now’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 discovered inside the legislation college curriculum. Mainly, the methodology for these corporations in preparation for Essay exams was the previous axiom, “follow makes good.”

At present, though the total service giants within the Bar prep business 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. A lot of the Bar assessment programs aren’t full service programs, as they deal with one specific facet of the Bar (often as a complement). For instance, programs their programs could solely deal with the MBE portion or the Essay portion or simply the efficiency portion. Then there are corporations which deal with a specific sort of examination or jurisdiction, for instance, a course focusing simply on the California first 12 months examination or the New York examination. Different corporations are centered on these college students who’ve beforehand failed the examination, and thus their strategy with the second time takers is far completely different than if you’re a primary time taker.

If you’re 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. For those who discover that you just want some supplementation in some unspecified time in the future, then, in fact, it is best to have a look at what they provide.

As a result of it’s vital that as a primary time taker you are taking a full service course, I cannot be together with these restricted curriculum centered corporations inside the comparability under. The businesses, that I do know of, which have the restricted centered curriculum embrace: 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 corporations, there are a number of corporations which give Bar assessment in a tutorial setting, whether or not one-on-one or in small teams, however largely face-to-face. These are often regional corporations, 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 deal with the coed who has already taken the Bar examination, I’m of the opinion that these corporations also needs to not be thought of by the primary time taker (however in fact, that may be a private selection). Thus, I cannot embrace the businesses that concentrate on a tutorial format within the comparability under. The businesses, I do know of, on this class embrace: Bar None Overview; Bar Plus Overview; Bar Overview; Bar Winners; Legislation Tutorial; Legislation Tutors; Open E-book; Southwest Bar Overview; The Bar Coach; and The Bar Code.

That leaves the total service corporations to your assessment and comparability. The complete service corporations, which I’m at the moment conscious of, embrace: Aspect Bar; BarBri; Bar Max; Kaplan; Themis; Flemings; and AmeriBar.

Earlier than we start the comparability, I want to say a phrase about revealed Bar move charges and revealed pricing for these particular person corporations. Of the seven full service Bar Prep corporations, 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 individuals verbally tout an 80 % move fee.

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The publication of a Bar move fee, by a Bar prep firm, has at all times left me in a quandary. How exactly do these corporations set up a protocol to precisely assess the proportion 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 willpower after which publish this as a promoting level. The person state bars administering the exams definitely don’t accumulate any information 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 definitely aren’t the supply of this info for the Bar prep corporations to publish. There might be just one approach to set up this type of info which might be unreliable and thus produce inaccurate outcomes. That might 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, 100 % 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 could be removed from correct and thus deceptive to publish.

Somebody as soon as informed me that at the very least one of many corporations set up their move fee primarily based upon those that took the examination, failed after which contacted the corporate requesting to retake the course without cost. Right here once more, this may by no means be an correct portrayal of a move fee as a result of usually, those that fail on their first attempt resolve that the Bar prep course they took was not adequate they usually then interact a special firm to organize them for the second go round (and as talked about above, there are a number of corporations solely centered on that market area of interest).

Subsequently, for my part, any revealed Bar move fee proffered by a Bar prep firm is misleading. In utilizing this as a standards in your analysis of the businesses under, contemplate this; there’s a Civil Jury Instruction in virtually each State which mainly says: “For those who resolve {that a} witness didn’t inform the reality about one thing vital, you could select to not imagine something that witness stated in her different testimony.” There’s a lot knowledge behind that jury instruction, and primarily based upon that standards, I personally can’t suggest any firm which publishes Bar move charges.

For those who agree with my opinion regarding revealed move charges, that may 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 effectively).

That leaves 4 full service corporations (Aspect Bar, BarBri, Kaplan, and AmeriBar) to judge and evaluate. Nonetheless, to be honest, all seven corporations might be included within the comparability under.

Now about revealed pricing. Right here once more, not all corporations are alike and have completely different and generally advanced pricing buildings. 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 special stage in fact and preparation supplies offered. AmeriBar has an analogous tiered pricing construction.

I query this type 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 view to move the examination? Frankly, if the primary time taker really knew the reply to that query, they might be so clairvoyant and educated that they might not want a Bar prep course in any respect.

Alternatively, different corporations, like Aspect Bar, present 100 % of all course and preparation supplies, that may be required to move the Bar, for a single worth.

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

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

In your comparability, these are listed first after which the opposite 4 full service corporations will observe. A superb place to start out the comparability is the beginner on the block – Aspect Bar.

Aspect Bar web site: SideBarPrep

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

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

The MBE part not solely offers the coed the strategies of the best way to strategy the questions and the way they’re developed, but additionally 170 particular suggestions separated by topic to deal with the tough questions. Additional, 2000 follow 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 technique, the best way to strategy, break down, analyze and write clear Essay solutions. The Aspect Bar technique acknowledged that the Bar examiners are searching for completely different approaches within the completely different topics, and the corporate addresses this. The tactic is system pushed and as soon as the coed learns the formulation, they will count on to enter auto-pilot in answering essays. To hone their Essay expertise, the corporate supplies virtually 60 follow 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 develop 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 clarification to the solutions.

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The corporate supplies all course supplies. There’s nothing else to purchase or have a look at. Every little thing is on-line and accessible through desktop, laptop computer, pill or sensible telephone regardless of the platform. There aren’t any scheduling constraints as the coed progresses at his or her personal tempo and at any time of day or night time.

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

They’ve a a refund assure inside fifteen days of the acquisition. The subscription worth consists of entry to all supplies for eighteen months, thus regardless 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 12 months of legislation college 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 status continues to draw the overwhelming majority of legislation college college students annually. BarBri has what they name the MBE Immersion, constructed upon an experienced-based strategy to enhance legislation pupil efficiency on the MBE portion of the bar examination. This two-day class kicks off the bar assessment 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 approach to grasp the black letter legislation and maximize the coed’s MBE rating. Primarily based 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 Legislation 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 carry collectively guidelines, the weather that comprise the rule, and a narrative to really apply the principles and components to actual world situations.

Additional, BarBri supplies what is known as the Essay Architect software which supplies fast suggestions for increased scoring essays. They declare that it enhances the coed’s means to write down the lawyer-like solutions that the bar examiners are searching for on the bar examination. The software is on-line and by utilizing the drag-and-drop options, the coed practices Essay writing following the usual IRAC format. Fast 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 is no such thing as a info on the corporate web site, apart 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 follow 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 worth 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 refund assure, nonetheless they do say that if the coed fails their Bar examination that they will repeat the identical jurisdictional state BarBri assessment course on-line when it is supplied subsequent – with out paying extra tuition. Apparently, not one of the in-person providers can be found to a repeat taker.

Kaplan web site: Kaptest

The Kaplan course could be very primary. The corporate supplies course lectures whether or not in a classroom or on-line, after which supplies Essay and MBE follow 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 stay streaming the classroom to their dwelling. And as soon as the coed’s assessment course ends, they analyze the coed’s efficiency and create a customized Last 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 method is flash playing cards. The corporate claims to have whole flexibility for accessing the lectures and different supplies on-line, nonetheless, they supply no info 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 follow Essay and MBE questions and solutions, they usually declare that with doing follow questions the scholars’ scores enhance over time. The truth is 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 information base of follow 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 the moment have discounted worth of $2399. There’s a further $250 registration payment.

The corporate does present a a refund 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 college; 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 “revealed” Bar move charges or tiered pricing or each, which for my part are disqualifiers.


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

Flemings makes use of the normal lecture technique, nonetheless largely primarily based 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 offer all California particular legislation courses with outlines. As well as, they supply a number of selection, essay, and efficiency examination instruction coupled with offering follow a number of selection, Essay and efficiency questions and solutions. As well as, they supply simulated exams and customized service from their attorneys. This technique has been the normal technique/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 match costs of what they provide to the opposite full service corporations. The closest could be their Lengthy Time period Overview which has a value of $3245 plus a $250 deposit. There aren’t any cancellations, refunds or ensures offered. There aren’t any reductions offered for the precise programs, nonetheless the corporate claims that with a primary course buy, a pupil could obtain a reduction on extra 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 may be a huge crimson flag. As well as, they make an announcement on their web site, claiming that they’re “the one main bar assessment course developed to be utterly on-line.” Clearly, as you may see from different firm choices, that is an inaccurate assertion. Personally, it doesn’t matter what the business or product, I keep away from corporations which make unfaithful claims.

As with the entire different Bar prep programs, aside from Aspect Bar, Themis is lecture primarily based, nonetheless, they declare that they supply extra flexibility for attending the lectures (all on-line) than the opposite corporations. Provided that most of the different corporations additionally supply 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, follow multiple-choice questions, follow Essay questions, on-demand lectures, and corresponding interactive handouts. College students who would fairly examine at their very own tempo have that choice with their Flex Examine mode.

The lectures are legislation course materials primarily based and thus, aside from practising essay, MBE and efficiency check questions, the scholars aren’t instructed on the best way to strategy and analyze these questions in a means which is able to produce outcomes. The scholar is left alone with the hope that follow makes good and they’re going to be taught from their errors.

The worth for the course is $2095. They supply a $100 low cost to energetic and retired navy and in addition to energetic members in Phi Alpha Delta Legislation Fraternity, Worldwide and the Navy Partner J.D. Community. They don’t present a a refund 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 for gratis.

Bar Max

That is one other firm which advertises their Bar move charges. The truth is 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 corporations do publish move charges, the assertion makes it sound as if the most effective standards for evaluating a Bar prep firm is its revealed move charges. Once more, as defined above, to me this can be a huge crimson flag.

As with many others, Bar Max is conventional and lecture primarily based. The corporate supplies, by course subject, 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 complete course is offered both on-line or inside their very own iOS solely App (no Android or Home windows), thus, when 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 follow Essays from earlier exams, with 2 mannequin solutions for every essay. The corporate supplies 1750 follow MBE questions with solutions.

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

As soon as once more, the lectures are legislation course materials primarily based and thus, aside from practising essay, MBE and efficiency check questions, the scholars aren’t instructed on the best way to strategy and analyze these questions in a means which is able to produce outcomes. The scholar is left alone with the hope that follow makes good and they’re going to be taught from their errors.

The worth for the course is $999. They supply a “public curiosity” scholarship of $499 for these employed in qualifying public curiosity jobs or within the navy. They supply a 100 % refund inside 7 days of the entrance finish buy. For California and Uniform Bar examination takers, they supply a a refund 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. is predicated upon course lectures. There are 80 hours of on-line solely course lectures. The corporate additionally supplies books containing the course outlines and follow essay, efficiency check, and MBE questions and solutions. In addition they have an in depth MBE on-line information financial institution of questions and solutions.

Though the corporate supplies some primary writing expertise and the appliance of IRAC to Essay writing, the lectures are legislation course materials primarily based and thus, aside from practising essay, MBE and efficiency check questions, the scholars aren’t instructed on the best way to strategy and analyze these questions in a means which is able to produce outcomes. The scholar is left alone with the hope that follow makes good and they’re going to be taught from their errors. The truth is, the corporate makes the next assertion. “The best approach to put together for the Essay examination is to follow 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 whole they supply 3400 follow MBE questions and 150 follow Essay questions.

Moreover, they supply lawyer telephone help. 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 the moment working a reduction for $1365. There’s a ebook delivery payment of $25. The corporate web site makes the declare that, “we’re the least costly full service bar assessment course.” This declare shouldn’t be supported by the choices of different corporations like Bar Max.

There’s an undisclosed ebook deposit payment which is barely disclosed after you join. Though this payment shouldn’t be disclosed on the web site, sometimes when an organization prices a ebook deposit payment, it’s $250. For those who return the books inside a chosen timeframe the ebook deposit might be refunded. If you want the lectures on an iPod, there’s a further payment of $249. They supply a refund inside four 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 replica of the examiner’s notification letter inside 10 days of the coed’s notification.