Bar Examination Preparation Programs In contrast – Chopping By way of the Muddle of Thirty Six Firm Choices

Since you have got landed right here, I’m assuming that you’ve both efficiently completed legislation faculty or will likely be graduating quickly. Understanding the pains you have got 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 following and most essential one – passing the Bar.”

Taking the Bar examination is far totally 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 totally different in some ways as to what you have got been uncovered to.

Because of this alone, taking a Bar preparation course is important. And notice, if that is the primary time you’re taking the Bar examination, it is crucial that you just 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 for those who did not move the primary time. Others could have needed to take out substantial scholar loans which now, that you’ve graduated, would require reimbursement.

Both method, a Bar examination preparation course is crucial. To additional complicate issues, as I’m certain you have got 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 gradual decline for the final a number of years. To compound that drawback, many states, like California, are refusing to decrease their examination move minimize 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. Because of this, at this time’s Bar exams are simply as troublesome to move as these given twenty years in the past after I took mine. So then you definately could be questioning, “why are the Bar move charges steadily reducing, it’s not as if at this time’s college students are much less clever than these from twenty years in the past?”

You might be appropriate, at this time’s college students are simply as clever, however there’s something else happening. An evaluation was completed and the researchers discovered that the decline was not resulting from 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 had been resulting from the next failure price on the Essay questions.

It was discovered that due to societal adjustments (together with that college students at this time examine in a unique method than previously) and adjustments in the way in which many legislation faculties are administering their classroom exams, a lot of at this time’s college students taking the Bar are having issue following the decision of an Essay query; they aren’t recognizing a ample variety of points within the reality patterns; they’re having hassle making use of the legislation to the details and analyzing them; and their grammar and spelling is less than par.

Sadly, the lengthy standing conventional Bar preparation programs haven’t tailored their curriculums to compensate for this alteration. Previously, the MBE was thought-about essentially the most troublesome and difficult portion of the examination to move. Consequently, the foremost emphasis, within the corporations providing full service Bar evaluation, centered on the strategies of mastering MBE.

These full service corporations supplied Essay questions with mannequin solutions and had some dialogue in regards to the fundamental IRAC strategy (Subject, Rule, Evaluation, Conclusion, a cumbersome, outdated methodology probably not suited to handle at this time’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 had been discovered inside the legislation faculty curriculum. Mainly, the methodology for these corporations in preparation for Essay exams was the previous axiom, “follow makes good.”

At the moment, 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 evaluation programs are usually not full service programs, as they give attention to one explicit facet of the Bar (normally as a complement). For instance, programs their programs could solely give attention to the MBE portion or the Essay portion or simply the efficiency portion. Then there are corporations which give attention to 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 corporations are centered on these college students who’ve beforehand failed the examination, and thus their strategy with the second time takers is far totally different than in case you are 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-about as your main Bar preparation course. If you happen to discover that you just want some supplementation sooner or later, then, after all, you need to take a look at what they provide.

As a result of it’s important 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 beneath. The businesses, that I do know of, which have the restricted centered curriculum embrace: Adapti Bar; Bar Graders; Bar Made Straightforward; PMBR; Bar Outlines; Bar Secrets and techniques; Bar Assessment Options; Bar Prep Hero; Good Bar Prep; Omni Prep Patent; Web Bar Examination Assessment; My Bar Prep; Cross the Bar; Pieper Bar Assessment; Marino Bar Assessment; Bar Examination Physician; Supreme Bar Assessment; Skillman Technique; and The Writing Edge.

Along with these restricted focus corporations, there are a number of corporations which offer Bar evaluation in a tutorial setting, whether or not one-on-one or in small teams, however principally face-to-face. These are normally 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 concerns and that the course curriculums typically give attention to the coed who has already taken the Bar examination, I’m of the opinion that these corporations also needs to not be thought-about by the primary time taker (however after all, that may be a private selection). Thus, I cannot embrace the businesses that target a tutorial format within the comparability beneath. The businesses, I do know of, on this class embrace: Bar None Assessment; Bar Plus Assessment; Bar Assessment; Bar Winners; Legislation Tutorial; Legislation Tutors; Open Guide; Southwest Bar Assessment; The Bar Coach; and The Bar Code.

That leaves the total service corporations in your evaluation and comparability. The complete service corporations, which I’m presently conscious of, embrace: Facet Bar; BarBri; Bar Max; Kaplan; Themis; Flemings; and AmeriBar.

Earlier than we start the comparability, I wish 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 p.c move price.

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The publication of a Bar move price, by a Bar prep firm, has all the time left me in a quandary. How exactly do these corporations 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 gather 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 are usually not the supply of this info for the Bar prep corporations to publish. There could be just one approach to set up this sort of info 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 scholar must contact the Bar prep firm they used and inform them whether or not they handed or failed the examination.

For a move price to be dependable and correct, 100 p.c 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 p.c) didn’t reply to the corporate, the outcomes can be removed from correct and thus deceptive to publish.

Somebody as soon as informed me that a minimum of one of many corporations set up their move price based mostly upon those that took the examination, failed after which contacted the corporate requesting to retake the course free of charge. Right here once more, this will by no means be an correct portrayal of a move price as a result of typically, those that fail on their first strive determine that the Bar prep course they took was not adequate they usually then have interaction a unique firm to arrange 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).

Due to this fact, for my part, any revealed Bar move price proffered by a Bar prep firm is misleading. In utilizing this as a standards in your analysis of the businesses beneath, take into account this; there’s a Civil Jury Instruction in virtually each State which mainly says: “If you happen to determine {that a} witness didn’t inform the reality about one thing essential, you could select to not imagine something that witness stated in her different testimony.” There’s a lot knowledge behind that jury instruction, and based mostly upon that standards, I personally can not advocate any firm which publishes Bar move charges.

If you happen to 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 nicely).

That leaves 4 full service corporations (Facet Bar, BarBri, Kaplan, and AmeriBar) to judge and examine. Nonetheless, to be honest, all seven corporations will likely be included within the comparability beneath.

Now about revealed pricing. Right here once more, not all corporations are alike and have totally different and typically complicated pricing constructions. For instance, Flemings has totally 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 degree after all and preparation supplies supplied. AmeriBar has the same 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 degree or tier is correct for them as a way 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.

However, different corporations, like Facet Bar, present 100 p.c of all course and preparation supplies, that may be required to move the Bar, for a single worth.

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

Nonetheless, in case you are like me, and easily remove out of your consideration these corporations who have interaction in publishing Bar move charges and people who have tiered pricing, that leaves three full service Bar prep corporations in your evaluation that are as follows: Facet Bar, BarBri, and Kaplan.

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

Facet Bar web site: SideBarPrep

This full service Bar prep firm was not too long ago established to handle 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 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 introduced are particular strategies, strategies and suggestions to reach each the Essay questions and the MBE questions, coupled with recommendations on easy methods to move the efficiency examination, mated with follow exams and optimum solutions.

The MBE part not solely provides the coed the strategies of easy methods to strategy the questions and the way they’re developed, but in addition 170 particular suggestions separated by topic to deal with the troublesome questions. Additional, 2000 follow MBE questions are supplied not solely with a solution key, however with explanations that are a part of the system’s legislation reminiscence reinforcement.

Because of the declining Bar move price, cautious consideration is given to the Essay exams. College students are taught, by way of a step-by-step methodology, easy methods to strategy, break down, analyze and write clear Essay solutions. The Facet Bar methodology acknowledged that the Bar examiners are searching for totally different approaches within the totally different topics, and the corporate addresses this. The strategy is system pushed and as soon as the coed learns the formulation, they’ll anticipate to enter auto-pilot in answering essays. To hone their Essay expertise, the corporate gives virtually 60 follow questions with solutions.

As well as the corporate has a reminiscence system for the black letter legislation taught in all the 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 way 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 gives all course supplies. There’s nothing else to purchase or take a look at. All the things is on-line and accessible by way of desktop, laptop computer, pill or sensible telephone regardless 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 presently provides a reduction worth of $1995. The worth 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 regardless of when the coed is taking the Bar or in the event that they should 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 annually. BarBri has what they name the MBE Immersion, constructed upon an experienced-based strategy to enhance legislation scholar 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 gives 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 gives a 200 query simulated MBE examination.

Moreover, BarBri gives 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 all the guidelines match into that framework. The subsequent 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 foundations and components to actual world situations.

Additional, BarBri gives what is known as the Essay Architect device which gives instant suggestions for greater scoring essays. They declare that it enhances the coed’s potential to put in writing 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. Fast suggestions reinforces group and construction.

The BarBri system requires lectures whether or not accessed in a classroom or on-line. These are supplied 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 any 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 supplied to permit the coed to follow on their very own. Apparently, from analyzing 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 transport 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’ll 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 could be very fundamental. The corporate gives course lectures whether or not in a classroom or on-line, after which gives 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 reside streaming the classroom to their residence. And as soon as the coed’s evaluation course ends, they analyze the coed’s efficiency and create a customized Remaining 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). In fact the classroom lectures would have scheduling constraints.

Outdoors 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 giant knowledge 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 presently have discounted worth of $2399. There’s a further $250 registration payment.

The corporate does present a a reimbursement assure for many 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 Assessment course; attend 90 p.c 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 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 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 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 troublesome to match costs of what they provide to the opposite full service corporations. The closest can be their Lengthy Time period Assessment which has a value of $3245 plus a $250 deposit. There are not any cancellations, refunds or ensures supplied. There are not any reductions supplied for the precise programs, nonetheless the corporate claims that with a fundamental course buy, a scholar 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 price. They emphasis this as a promoting level. To me, as defined above, that may be a massive 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 fully on-line.” Clearly, as you’ll be able to see from different firm choices, that is an inaccurate assertion. Personally, it doesn’t matter what the business or product, I avoid corporations which make unfaithful claims.

As with all the different Bar prep programs, aside 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 corporations. On condition 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 moderately examine at their very own tempo have that choice with their Flex Examine mode.

The lectures are legislation course materials based mostly and thus, aside from practising essay, MBE and efficiency check questions, the scholars are usually not instructed on easy methods to strategy and analyze these questions in a method which is able to produce outcomes. The coed is left alone with the hope that follow makes good and they’ll be taught from their errors.

The worth for the course is $2095. They supply a $100 low cost to energetic and retired navy and likewise to energetic members in Phi Alpha Delta Legislation Fraternity, Worldwide and the Navy Partner J.D. Community. They don’t present a a reimbursement assure, nonetheless in case you are a first-time Themis taker, and fail the bar, the corporate will present the coed with a free repeat of the course for the following administration of the identical bar examination for free of charge.

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 one of the best standards for evaluating a Bar prep firm is its revealed move charges. Once more, as defined above, to me it is a massive purple flag.

As with many others, Bar Max is conventional and lecture based mostly. The corporate gives, by course matter, an in-depth define, an audio lecture from a legislation professor, and when applicable, quite a few flashcards for reminiscence reinforcement. There are 50 hours of lectures. The whole course is supplied both on-line or inside their very own iOS solely App (no Android or Home windows), thus, for those who use the App, as soon as loaded in your system, 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 assessments and 180 follow Essays from earlier exams, with 2 mannequin solutions for every essay. The corporate gives 1750 follow MBE questions with solutions.

The coed will even obtain 2 free writing critiques (efficiency assessments or essays). Further critiques could be bought a la carte.

As soon as once more, the lectures are legislation course materials based mostly and thus, aside from practising essay, MBE and efficiency check questions, the scholars are usually not instructed on easy methods to strategy and analyze these questions in a method which is able to produce outcomes. The coed is left alone with the hope that follow makes good and they’ll 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 p.c refund inside 7 days of the entrance finish buy. For California and Uniform Bar examination takers, they supply a a reimbursement assure for many who fail the Bar examination, nonetheless there are quite a few restrictions together with tight time constraints to use for the refund.


This firm gives 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 gives books containing the course outlines and follow essay, efficiency check, and MBE questions and solutions. In addition they have an intensive MBE on-line knowledge financial institution of questions and solutions.

Though the corporate gives some fundamental writing expertise and the appliance of IRAC to Essay writing, the lectures are legislation course materials based mostly and thus, aside from practising essay, MBE and efficiency check questions, the scholars are usually not instructed on easy methods to strategy and analyze these questions in a method which is able to produce outcomes. The coed is left alone with the hope that follow makes good and they’ll 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 must be resolved.” In whole they supply 3400 follow MBE questions and 150 follow Essay questions.

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

There’s an undisclosed guide deposit payment which is simply disclosed after you enroll. Though this payment shouldn’t be disclosed on the web site, sometimes when an organization fees a guide deposit payment, it’s $250. If you happen to return the books inside a delegated timeframe the guide deposit will likely be refunded. If you need 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 p.c restocking payment. Their move assure gives {that a} scholar will obtain a free retake of the net course so long as the coed gives AmeriBar with a duplicate of the examiner’s notification letter inside 10 days of the coed’s notification.

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