Since you may have landed right here, I’m assuming that you’ve both efficiently completed legislation faculty or shall be graduating quickly. Understanding the pains you may have endured, congratulations is definitely so as. However like me, after ending legislation faculty, I’m certain you might be considering “okay, I efficiently jumped that hurdle, now I want to leap the subsequent and most essential one – passing the Bar.”

Taking the Bar examination is way 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 companies in an try to check for whether or not an individual could be a reliable legal professional. Thus, the examination is totally different in some ways as to what you may have been uncovered to.

For that reason alone, taking a Bar preparation course is vital. And notice, if that is the primary time you’re taking the Bar examination, it is necessary that you simply select a full service course which prepares you for all points 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 important. For some, you have already got a job lined up which might disappear in case you did not go the primary time. Others could have needed to take out substantial scholar loans which now, that you’ve graduated, would require compensation.

Both method, a Bar examination preparation course is important. To additional complicate issues, as I’m certain you may have heard, and as amply reported in publications just like the Los Angeles Occasions and the ABA Journal, Bar examination go 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 go minimize traces to boost the go 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. In consequence, right this moment’s Bar exams are simply as troublesome to go as these given twenty years in the past after I took mine. So then you definately may be questioning, “why are the Bar go charges steadily reducing, it isn’t as if right this moment’s college students are much less clever than these from twenty years in the past?”

You might be appropriate, right this moment’s college students are simply as clever, however there’s something else happening. An evaluation was achieved and the researchers discovered that the decline was not attributable to decrease scores on the a number of alternative portion of the examination (generally known as the MBE). It was decided that the decrease bar go charges had been attributable to a better failure fee on the essay questions.

It was discovered that due to societal adjustments (together with that college students right this moment examine in a special method than up to now) and adjustments in the best way many legislation colleges are administering their classroom exams, lots of right this moment’s college students taking the Bar are having issue following the decision of an essay query; they don’t seem to be recognizing a adequate 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 modification. Previously, the MBE was thought-about essentially the most troublesome and difficult portion of the examination to go. Consequently, the key emphasis, within the firms providing full service Bar evaluate, targeted on the strategies of mastering MBE.

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

At this time, 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, keep in mind that not all programs are alike. Many of the Bar evaluate programs should not full service programs, as they give attention to one explicit facet of the Bar (often 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 firms which give attention to a specific kind of examination or jurisdiction, for instance, a course focusing simply on the California first 12 months examination or the New York examination. Different firms are targeted on these college students who’ve beforehand failed the examination, and thus their strategy with the second time takers is way totally different than if you’re a primary time taker.

If you’re a primary time taker, these restricted programs is not going to fulfill your entire wants and shouldn’t be thought-about as your main Bar preparation course. For those who discover that you simply want some supplementation in some unspecified time in the future, then, in fact, you must take 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 targeted firms throughout the comparability under. The businesses, that I do know of, which have the restricted targeted curriculum embody: Adapti Bar; Bar Graders; Bar Made Straightforward; PMBR; Bar Outlines; Bar Secrets and techniques; Bar Overview Options; Bar Prep Hero; Good Bar Prep; Omni Prep Patent; Web Bar Examination Overview; My Bar Prep; Go the Bar; Pieper Bar Overview; Marino Bar Overview; Bar Examination Physician; Supreme Bar Overview; Skillman Methodology; and The Writing Edge.

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

Due to the small capability, the regional concerns and that the course curriculums usually give attention to the coed who has already taken the Bar examination, I’m of the opinion that these firms must also not be thought-about by the primary time taker (however in fact, that may be a private alternative). Thus, I cannot embody the businesses that target a tutorial format within the comparability under. The businesses, I do know of, on this class embody: 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 firms to your evaluate and comparability. The total service firms, which I’m presently conscious of, embody: Facet Bar; BarBri; Bar Max; Kaplan; Themis; Flemings; and AmeriBar.

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

The publication of a Bar go fee, by a Bar prep firm, has all the time left me in a quandary. How exactly do these firms set up a protocol to precisely assess the 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 gather any knowledge regarding whether or not an individual took a Bar prep course, roughly 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 should not the supply of this info for the Bar prep firms to publish. There might be just one method to set up this sort 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 scholar must contact the Bar prep firm they used and inform them whether or not they handed or failed the examination.

For a go 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 no less than one of many firms set up their go fee primarily based 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 may by no means be an correct portrayal of a go fee as a result of usually, those that fail on their first strive resolve that the Bar prep course they took was not ok and so they then interact a special firm to arrange them for the second go round (and as talked about above, there are a number of firms solely targeted on that market area of interest).

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

For those who agree with my opinion regarding revealed go charges, that will remove Themis, Bar Max, and Flemings from severe consideration (and if the BarBri gross sales representatives are additionally instructed to tout these go charges, they need to be eradicated as effectively).

That leaves 4 full service firms (Facet Bar, BarBri, Kaplan, and AmeriBar) to judge and examine. Nonetheless, to be truthful, all seven firms shall be included within the comparability under.

Now about revealed pricing. Right here once more, not all firms are alike and have totally different and typically complicated pricing constructions. For instance, Flemings has totally different tiers of pricing: Brief 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 degree in fact and preparation supplies offered. 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 with a view to go the examination? Frankly, if the primary time taker truly knew the reply to that query, they’d be so clairvoyant and educated that they’d not want a Bar prep course in any respect.

Alternatively, different firms, like Facet Bar, present 100 % of all course and preparation supplies, that will be required to go the Bar, for a single worth.

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

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

On your comparability, these are listed first after which the opposite 4 full service firms will comply with. A very good 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 just lately established to deal with the declining Bar go charges. With their system, the coed isn’t 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 offered are particular strategies, strategies and ideas to reach each the essay questions and the MBE questions, coupled with tips about how one can go the efficiency examination, mated with observe exams and optimum solutions.

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

As a result of declining Bar go fee, cautious consideration is given to the essay exams. College students are taught, through a step-by-step methodology, how one can strategy, break down, analyze and write clear essay solutions. The Facet Bar methodology acknowledged that the Bar examiners are on the lookout 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 count on to enter auto-pilot in answering essays. To hone their essay abilities, the corporate offers nearly 60 observe 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 means of 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 rationalization to the solutions.

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

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

They’ve a a reimbursement assure inside fifteen days of the acquisition. The subscription worth consists of entry to all supplies for eighteen months, thus irrespective of when the coed is taking the Bar or in the event that they 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 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 offers what they name BarBri Amp which they describe as an efficient method to grasp the black letter legislation and maximize the coed’s MBE rating. 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 offers a 200 query simulated MBE examination.

Moreover, BarBri offers what they name the Legislation 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 subsequent 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 eventualities.

Additional, BarBri offers what is known as the Essay Architect instrument which offers fast suggestions for greater scoring essays. They declare that it enhances the coed’s means to write down the lawyer-like solutions that the bar examiners are on the lookout for on the bar examination. The instrument 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 isn’t a info on the corporate web site, apart from offering the simulated 200 query MBE examination, as as to whether precise MBE and essay questions, with solutions are offered to permit the coed to observe 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 value is $3695. As well as, there’s a course supplies transport price of $30, a course registration price of $250 and a refundable course supplies price 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 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 may be very primary. The corporate offers course lectures whether or not in a classroom or on-line, after which offers essay and MBE observe questions with solutions. The corporate states, that their syllabus adapts to the coed’s wants, strengthening weak topics with homework assignments designed for the coed. The corporate motivates and engages the coed by reside streaming the classroom to their dwelling. And as soon as the coed’s evaluate course ends, they analyze the coed’s efficiency and create a personalised Remaining 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 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 observe essay and MBE questions and solutions, and so they declare that with doing observe questions the scholars’ scores improve over time. The truth is the corporate states, “a vital 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 observe MBE questions, cited to be 4000 and problem college students to finish all 4000. Apparently the corporate doesn’t present any help, course supplies or simulated exams for the efficiency take a look at.

The common worth is $2999. They presently have discounted worth of $2399. There may be an extra $250 registration price.

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

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


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

Flemings makes use of the standard lecture methodology, 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 observe a number of alternative, essay and efficiency questions and solutions. As well as, they supply simulated exams and personalised service from their attorneys. This methodology has been the standard methodology/mannequin for Bar prep programs for over twenty years.

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 firms. The closest could be their Lengthy Time period Overview which has a price of $3245 plus a $250 deposit. There are not any cancellations, refunds or ensures offered. There are not any reductions offered for the precise programs, nonetheless the corporate claims that with a primary course buy, a scholar 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 go fee. They emphasis this as a promoting level. To me, as defined above, that may be a large purple flag. As well as, they make an announcement on their web site, claiming that they’re “the one main bar evaluate course developed to be utterly 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 trade or product, I keep away from firms which make unfaithful claims.

As with all the different Bar prep programs, aside from Facet Bar, Themis is lecture primarily based, nonetheless, they declare that they supply extra flexibility for attending the lectures (all on-line) than the opposite firms. Provided that most of the different firms additionally 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, observe multiple-choice questions, observe essay questions, on-demand lectures, and corresponding interactive handouts. College students who would reasonably examine 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 working towards essay, MBE and efficiency take a look at questions, the scholars should not instructed on how one can strategy and analyze these questions in a method which is able to produce outcomes. The scholar is left alone with the hope that observe makes excellent and they’ll study from their errors.

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

Bar Max

That is one other firm which advertises their Bar go charges. The truth is they make the declare that, “We launch our go charges whereas different bar programs refuse to.” Not solely is the assertion misleading as a result of another firms do publish go charges, the assertion makes it sound as if the very best standards for evaluating a Bar prep firm is its revealed go charges. Once more, as defined above, to me this can be a large purple flag.

As with many others, Bar Max is conventional and lecture primarily based. The corporate offers, by course subject, 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. All the course is offered both on-line or inside their very own iOS solely App (no Android or Home windows), thus, in case you 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 observe essays from earlier exams, with 2 mannequin solutions for every essay. The corporate offers 1750 observe MBE questions with solutions.

The scholar will even obtain 2 free writing critiques (efficiency assessments or essays). Extra critiques might be bought a la carte.

As soon as once more, the lectures are legislation course materials primarily based and thus, aside from working towards essay, MBE and efficiency take a look at questions, the scholars should not instructed on how one can strategy and analyze these questions in a method which is able to produce outcomes. The scholar is left alone with the hope that observe makes excellent and they’ll study from their errors.

The value for the course is $999. They supply a “public curiosity” scholarship of $499 for these employed in qualifying public curiosity jobs or within the 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 reimbursement assure for individuals who fail the Bar examination, nonetheless there are quite a few restrictions together with tight time constraints to use for the refund.


This firm offers a tiered pricing system. The course, like a lot of the others. is predicated upon course lectures. There are 80 hours of on-line solely course lectures. The corporate additionally offers books containing the course outlines and observe 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 offers some primary writing abilities and the appliance of IRAC to essay writing, the lectures are legislation course materials primarily based and thus, aside from working towards essay, MBE and efficiency take a look at questions, the scholars should not instructed on how one can strategy and analyze these questions in a method which is able to produce outcomes. The scholar is left alone with the hope that observe makes excellent and they’ll study from their errors. The truth is, the corporate makes the next assertion. “The best method to put together for the essay examination is to observe answering prior bar examination essay questions. You’ll study which points are sometimes examined, and the way widespread points ought to be resolved.” In whole they supply 3400 observe MBE questions and 150 observe essay questions.

Moreover, they supply legal professional cellphone assist. Additionally they present eleven essay critiques throughout the six week interval earlier than taking the examination. The essential course common worth is $2295, they’re presently operating a reduction for $1365. There’s a e-book transport price of $25. The corporate web site makes the declare that, “we’re the least costly full service bar evaluate course.” This declare isn’t supported by the choices of different firms like Bar Max.

There may be an undisclosed e-book deposit price which is just disclosed after you join. Though this price isn’t disclosed on the web site, usually when an organization expenses a e-book deposit price, it’s $250. For those who return the books inside a chosen timeframe the e-book deposit shall be refunded. If you want the lectures on an iPod, there may be an extra price of $249. They supply a refund inside four days after buy, much less 12.5 % restocking price. Their go assure offers {that a} scholar will obtain a free retake of the web course so long as the coed offers AmeriBar with a duplicate of the examiner’s notification letter inside 10 days of the coed’s notification.


Source by William Hansult


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