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

Since you might have landed right here, I’m assuming that you’ve both efficiently completed legislation faculty or might be graduating quickly. Understanding the trials you might have endured, congratulations is definitely so as. However like me, after ending legislation faculty, I’m certain you might be pondering “okay, I efficiently jumped that hurdle, now I would like to leap the following and most vital 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 could be a reliable lawyer. Thus, the examination is totally different in some ways as to what you might have been uncovered to.

Because of this alone, taking a Bar preparation course is essential. And word, if that is the primary time you take the Bar examination, it is vital that you just select a full service course which prepares you for all features of the examination together with the a number of alternative, Essays and the efficiency examination.

For a lot of of you, passing the Bar examination the primary time is significant. For some, you have already got a job lined up which might disappear if you happen to did not cross the primary time. Others could have needed to take out substantial scholar loans which now, that you’ve graduated, would require reimbursement.

Both approach, a Bar examination preparation course is crucial. To additional complicate issues, as I’m certain you might have heard, and as amply reported in publications just like the Los Angeles Instances and the ABA Journal, Bar examination cross 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 cross lower traces to boost the cross 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 now’s Bar exams are simply as troublesome to cross as these given twenty years in the past once I took mine. So then you definitely may be questioning, “why are the Bar cross charges steadily reducing, it’s not as if right now’s college students are much less clever than these from twenty years in the past?”

You’re appropriate, right now’s college students are simply as clever, however there’s something else happening. An evaluation was accomplished and the researchers discovered that the decline was not as a result of decrease scores on the a number of alternative portion of the examination (often called the MBE). It was decided that the decrease bar cross charges had been as a result of a better failure price on the Essay questions.

It was discovered that due to societal adjustments (together with that college students right now research in a unique method than previously) and adjustments in the way in which many legislation colleges are administering their classroom exams, a lot of right now’s college students taking the Bar are having problem following the decision of an Essay query; they don’t seem to be recognizing a ample variety of points within the reality patterns; they’re having bother 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 modification. Up to now, the MBE was thought of probably the most troublesome and difficult portion of the examination to cross. Consequently, the most important emphasis, within the corporations providing full service Bar evaluate, centered on the methods of mastering MBE.

These full service corporations supplied Essay questions with mannequin solutions and had some dialogue concerning the fundamental IRAC strategy (Situation, Rule, Evaluation, Conclusion, a cumbersome, outdated technique probably not 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 truly 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 outdated axiom, “apply makes good.”

Immediately, though the total 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 evaluate programs usually are not full service programs, as they deal with one specific facet of the Bar (normally 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 selected kind 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 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 of as your major Bar preparation course. Should you discover that you just want some supplementation sooner or later, then, in fact, it is best to have a look at what they provide.

As a result of it’s essential that as a primary time taker you are taking a full service course, I can’t 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 Simple; PMBR; Bar Outlines; Bar Secrets and techniques; Bar Evaluate Options; Bar Prep Hero; Sensible Bar Prep; Omni Prep Patent; Web Bar Examination Evaluate; My Bar Prep; Cross the Bar; Pieper Bar Evaluate; Marino Bar Evaluate; Bar Examination Physician; Supreme Bar Evaluate; Skillman Methodology; and The Writing Edge.

Along with these restricted focus corporations, there are a number of corporations which offer Bar evaluate in a tutorial setting, whether or not one-on-one or in small teams, however largely 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 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 alternative). Thus, I can’t embrace the businesses that target a tutorial format within the comparability beneath. The businesses, I do know of, on this class embrace: Bar None Evaluate; Bar Plus Evaluate; Bar Evaluate; Bar Winners; Regulation Tutorial; Regulation Tutors; Open E-book; Southwest Bar Evaluate; The Bar Coach; and The Bar Code.

That leaves the total service corporations on your evaluate 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 cross 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 cross charges. BarBri doesn’t formally publish Bar cross charges, nevertheless it has been reported within the press that their gross sales individuals verbally tout an 80 p.c cross price.

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The publication of a Bar cross 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 willpower after which publish this as a promoting level. The person state bars administering the exams definitely don’t accumulate any knowledge regarding whether or not an individual took a Bar prep course, kind of a selected 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 usually are not the supply of this data for the Bar prep corporations to publish. There may be just one approach to set up this type of data 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 scholar must contact the Bar prep firm they used and inform them whether or not they handed or failed the examination.

For a cross 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 could be removed from correct and thus deceptive to publish.

Somebody as soon as instructed me that no less than one of many corporations set up their cross price 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 cross price as a result of typically, those that fail on their first strive resolve that the Bar prep course they took was not adequate and so they 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 cross price 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 virtually each State which principally says: “Should you resolve {that a} witness didn’t inform the reality about one thing vital, you might select to not consider 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 not suggest any firm which publishes Bar cross charges.

Should you agree with my opinion regarding revealed cross charges, that may eradicate Themis, Bar Max, and Flemings from critical consideration (and if the BarBri gross sales representatives are additionally instructed to tout these cross charges, they need to be eradicated as effectively).

That leaves 4 full service corporations (Aspect Bar, BarBri, Kaplan, and AmeriBar) to guage and examine. Nevertheless, to be truthful, all seven corporations might be included within the comparability beneath.

Now about revealed pricing. Right here once more, not all corporations are alike and have totally different and generally advanced 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 in fact and preparation supplies supplied. 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 degree or tier is correct for them in an effort to cross the examination? Frankly, if the primary time taker truly 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.

Then again, different corporations, like Aspect Bar, present 100 p.c of all course and preparation supplies, that may be required to cross the Bar, for a single value.

Thus, it’s troublesome and complicated to aim to match an organization that gives tiered pricing, versus an all inclusive payment firm, as it might be attempting to match apples and oranges. Thus, I recommend that upon getting 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 to make a subjective analysis for your self.

Nevertheless, in case you are like me, and easily eradicate out of your consideration these corporations who have interaction in publishing Bar cross charges and people who have tiered pricing, that leaves three full service Bar prep corporations on your evaluate that are as follows: Aspect Bar, BarBri, and Kaplan.

On your comparability, these are listed first after which the opposite 4 full service corporations will comply with. A superb place to begin 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 cross charges. With their system, the coed is just not 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 specific strengths or weaknesses. What’s introduced are particular strategies, methods and suggestions to achieve each the Essay questions and the MBE questions, coupled with tips about the right way to cross the efficiency examination, mated with apply exams and optimum solutions.

The MBE part not solely provides the coed the strategies of the right way to strategy the questions and the way they’re developed, but additionally 170 particular suggestions separated by topic to deal with the troublesome questions. Additional, 2000 apply MBE questions are supplied 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 cross price, cautious consideration is given to the Essay exams. College students are taught, through a step-by-step technique, the right way to strategy, break down, analyze and write clear Essay solutions. The Aspect Bar technique acknowledged that the Bar examiners are on the lookout for totally different approaches within the totally different topics, and the corporate addresses this. The tactic 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 abilities, the corporate gives virtually 60 apply 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 change into extra condensed as the coed progresses by the course. These are matched up with a program of integration of the Essay and a number of alternative 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 have a look at. Every thing is on-line and accessible through desktop, laptop computer, pill or sensible telephone 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 night time.

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

They’ve a a refund assure inside fifteen days of the acquisition. The subscription value 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 must 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 faculty who want to get a head begin on making ready for the Bar examination.

BarBri web site: BarBri

BarBri pioneered bar examination preparation fifty years in the past and their repute 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 evaluate 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 capable of 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 Regulation Grasp Research Keys. The primary secret is to have a manageable and memorable framework to study the legislation and perceive the place all the guidelines match into that framework. The following key to truly studying the legislation is to have the ability to convey collectively guidelines, the weather that comprise the rule, and a narrative to truly apply the principles and parts to actual world eventualities.

Additional, BarBri gives what known as the Essay Architect software which gives rapid suggestions for increased scoring essays. They declare that it enhances the coed’s potential to put in writing the lawyer-like solutions that the bar examiners are on the lookout for on the bar examination. The software is on-line and through the use of 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 data 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 apply 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 take a look at.

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 refund assure, nevertheless they do say that if the coed fails their Bar examination that they’ll repeat the identical jurisdictional state BarBri evaluate 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 fundamental. The corporate gives course lectures whether or not in a classroom or on-line, after which gives Essay and MBE apply 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 dwell streaming the classroom to their house. And as soon as the coed’s evaluate course ends, they analyze the coed’s efficiency and create a personalised Last Research Plan. They declare that this helps maximize the coed’s factors, and serves as a bridge between the final day of sophistication and take a look at 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, nevertheless, 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). 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, methods and tricks to reply each the MBE and Essay questions and it doesn’t look as if they supply any. Nevertheless they do present apply Essay and MBE questions and solutions, and so they declare that with doing apply questions the scholars’ scores improve over time. In actual fact the corporate states, “an important element of take a look at prep, it has been proven that Kaplan college students who submit extra Essays see enchancment of their scores.” Additionally they have a really giant knowledge base of apply 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 take a look at.

The common value is $2999. They at the moment have discounted value of $2399. There’s a further $250 registration payment.

The corporate does present a a refund assure for many who fail the Bar, nevertheless 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 Evaluate 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. Nevertheless, all of them have both “revealed” Bar cross 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 standard 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 alternative, essay, and efficiency examination instruction coupled with offering apply a number of alternative, Essay and efficiency questions and solutions. As well as, they supply simulated exams and customized service from their attorneys. This technique has been the standard 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 troublesome to match costs of what they provide to the opposite full service corporations. The closest could be their Lengthy Time period Evaluate 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, nevertheless the corporate claims that with a fundamental course buy, a scholar could obtain a reduction on extra merchandise in future purchases.


Proper on the high of the house web page and inside a number of of the opposite again pages, Themis advertises their Bar cross price. They emphasis this as a promoting level. To me, as defined above, that may be a large pink flag. As well as, they make a press release on their web site, claiming that they’re “the one main bar evaluate course developed to be fully 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 corporations which make unfaithful claims.

As with all the different Bar prep programs, aside from Aspect Bar, Themis is lecture primarily based, nevertheless, they declare that they supply extra flexibility for attending the lectures (all on-line) than the opposite corporations. On condition that lots of the different corporations 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, apply multiple-choice questions, apply Essay questions, on-demand lectures, and corresponding interactive handouts. College students who would slightly research at their very own tempo have that possibility with their Flex Research mode.

The lectures are legislation course materials primarily based and thus, aside from practising essay, MBE and efficiency take a look at questions, the scholars usually are not instructed on the right way to strategy and analyze these questions in a approach which can produce outcomes. The coed is left alone with the hope that apply makes good and they’ll study 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 Regulation Fraternity, Worldwide and the Army Partner J.D. Community. They don’t present a a refund assure, nevertheless 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 cross charges. In actual fact they make the declare that, “We launch our cross charges whereas different bar programs refuse to.” Not solely is the assertion misleading as a result of another corporations do publish cross charges, the assertion makes it sound as if the perfect standards for evaluating a Bar prep firm is its revealed cross charges. Once more, as defined above, to me this can be a large pink flag.

As with many others, Bar Max is conventional and lecture primarily based. 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 complete course is supplied both on-line or inside their very own iOS solely App (no Android or Home windows), thus, if you happen to 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 apply Essays from earlier exams, with 2 mannequin solutions for every essay. The corporate gives 1750 apply MBE questions with solutions.

The coed will even obtain 2 free writing critiques (efficiency exams or essays). Extra critiques may 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 take a look at questions, the scholars usually are not instructed on the right way to strategy and analyze these questions in a approach which can produce outcomes. The coed is left alone with the hope that apply makes good and they’ll study 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 refund assure for many who fail the Bar examination, nevertheless 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 a lot 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 apply essay, efficiency take a look at, and MBE questions and solutions. Additionally they have an in depth MBE on-line knowledge financial institution of questions and solutions.

Though the corporate gives some fundamental writing abilities 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 take a look at questions, the scholars usually are not instructed on the right way to strategy and analyze these questions in a approach which can produce outcomes. The coed is left alone with the hope that apply makes good and they’ll study from their errors. In actual fact, the corporate makes the next assertion. “The simplest approach to put together for the Essay examination is to apply answering prior bar examination Essay questions. You’ll study which points are sometimes examined, and the way widespread points ought to be resolved.” In complete they supply 3400 apply MBE questions and 150 apply Essay questions.

Moreover, they supply lawyer telephone help. Additionally they present eleven Essay critiques inside the six week interval earlier than taking the examination. The essential course common value is $2295, they’re at the moment operating a reduction for $1365. There’s a e-book transport payment of $25. The corporate web site makes the declare that, “we’re the least costly full service bar evaluate course.” This declare is just not supported by the choices of different corporations like Bar Max.

There’s an undisclosed e-book deposit payment which is barely disclosed after you join. Though this payment is just not disclosed on the web site, usually when an organization prices a e-book deposit payment, it’s $250. Should you return the books inside a chosen timeframe the e-book 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 p.c restocking payment. Their cross assure gives {that a} scholar will obtain a free retake of the web 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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