Bar Exam Preparation Courses Compared – Cutting Through the Clutter of Thirty Six Company Offerings

Since you have landed here, I am assuming which you have either correctly finished law school or might be graduating quickly. Understanding the pains you have persevered, congratulations is truely in order. But like me, after finishing law school, I am sure you’re questioning “okay, I efficaciously jumped that hurdle, now I need to leap the next and most crucial one – passing the Bar.” Concurseiros Unidos

Taking the Bar examination is a lot special than taking an examination in regulation college. Putting apart the logistics, time constraints, and day depth; the Bar examination is prepare through the country bar regulatory corporations in an attempt to test for whether or not someone could be a competent attorney. Thus, the exam is exceptional in lots of ways as to what you have been exposed to.

For this cause alone, taking a Bar instruction direction is essential. And word, if that is the first time you are taking the Bar examination, it’s far crucial which you pick out a complete provider course which prepares you for all factors of the exam which include the a couple of preference, essays and the performance examination.

For lots of you, passing the Bar examination the first time is vital. For some, you have already got a process covered up which might disappear in case you didn’t bypass the primary time. Others may additionally have had to take out giant scholar loans which now, that you have graduated, will require compensation.

Either manner, a Bar examination coaching direction is critical. To in addition complicate matters, as I am certain you have got heard, and as amply suggested in publications just like the Los Angeles Times and the ABA Journal, Bar examination pass prices were on a constant decline for the closing numerous years. To compound that problem, many states, like California, are refusing to decrease their exam skip reduce lines to raise the pass rates.

In different words, the nation bar licensing groups are refusing to grade the Bar exam on a curve, mentioning the want to preserve public protection. As a result, modern Bar tests are just as difficult to bypass as those given twenty years in the past once I took mine. So you then is probably wondering, “why are the Bar skip charges gradually decreasing, it isn’t as if modern-day students are less intelligent than those from two decades in the past?”

You are accurate, present day college students are just as shrewd, but there is something else going on. An evaluation become finished and the researchers determined that the decline was now not due to lower scores at the multiple desire part of the examination (called the MBE). It turned into decided that the decrease bar skip prices were because of a better failure fee at the essay questions.

It turned into observed that because of societal adjustments (together with that scholars these days look at in a different manner than within the past) and modifications inside the manner many law schools are administering their classroom tests, lots of modern-day college students taking the Bar are having difficulty following the call of an essay query; they’re not spotting a sufficient quantity of troubles inside the fact patterns; they’re having trouble applying the regulation to the records and studying them; and their grammar and spelling isn’t up to par.

Unfortunately, the lengthy standing traditional Bar practise guides have not adapted their curriculums to make amends for this modification. In the beyond, the MBE became considered the maximum difficult and complicated portion of the examination to skip. Consequently, the foremost emphasis, within the businesses imparting complete provider Bar evaluation, focused at the techniques of learning MBE.

These full carrier groups supplied essay questions with model solutions and had some dialogue about the simple IRAC approach (Issue, Rule, Analysis, Conclusion, a bulky, outdated approach now not simply desirable to address modern timed essay questions containing multiple issues and pass over subjects). The corporations assumed the competencies required to genuinely wreck down and analyze essay questions had been learned in the law school curriculum. Basically, the technique for those groups in coaching for essay tests was the old axiom, “exercise makes perfect.”

Today, despite the fact that the total service giants within the Bar prep industry like BarBri, Flemings, and Kaplan, and the smaller ones like Bar Max, AmeriBar, and Themis, continue to offer complete service courses and dominate the market, their curriculums have remained the same for numerous years.

When selecting a Bar examination instruction direction, remember the fact that no longer all publications are alike. Most of the Bar evaluate publications are not full carrier courses, as they consciousness on one precise element of the Bar (typically as a complement). For example, courses their courses may simplest consciousness at the MBE element or the essay component or just the overall performance element. Then there are agencies which recognition on a selected kind of examination or jurisdiction, as an instance, a route focusing simply at the California first 12 months exam or the New York examination. Other groups are centered on the ones students who have previously failed the exam, and for this reason their approach with the second one time takers is much one of a kind than if you are a first time taker.

If you are a first time taker, these constrained publications will now not satisfy all of your wishes and must now not be taken into consideration as your number one Bar education path. If you locate that you need some supplementation at some point, then, of course, you must observe what they provide.

Because it’s miles essential that as a first time taker you’re taking a complete carrier path, I will no longer be which include those confined curriculum focused groups within the contrast under. The groups, that I recognize of, which have the restricted focused curriculum encompass: Adapti Bar; Bar Graders; Bar Made Easy; PMBR; Bar Outlines; Bar Secrets; Bar Review Solutions; Bar Prep Hero; Smart Bar Prep; Omni Prep Patent; Internet Bar Exam Review; My Bar Prep; Pass the Bar; Pieper Bar Review; Marino Bar Review; Bar Exam Doctor; Supreme Bar Review; Skillman Method; and The Writing Edge.

In addition to these restricted recognition agencies, there are several companies which provide Bar assessment in an academic placing, whether one-on-one or in small companies, but in general face-to-face. These are usually regional businesses, requiring your attendance and feature very limited enrollment. In addition, because they’re so palms-on personal academic guides, they particularly cater to the ones Bar takers who’ve formerly failed the examination.

Because of the small potential, the nearby concerns and that the route curriculums often awareness at the pupil who has already taken the Bar examination, I am of the opinion that these agencies should also now not be taken into consideration by means of the first time taker (but of course, that is a non-public choice). Thus, I will now not consist of the companies that target an instructional layout within the assessment beneath. The businesses, I recognize of, in this class include: Bar None Review; Bar Plus Review; Bar Review; Bar Winners; Law Tutorial; Law Tutors; Open Book; Southwest Bar Review; The Bar Coach; and The Bar Code.

That leaves the entire provider businesses for your assessment and comparison. The full service groups, which I am currently aware of, consist of: Side Bar; BarBri; Bar Max; Kaplan; Themis; Flemings; and AmeriBar.

Before we begin the assessment, I would like to mention a word approximately published Bar skip charges and posted pricing for those person businesses. Of the seven complete provider Bar Prep agencies, three (Themis, Bar Max, and Flemings) post Bar skip charges. BarBri does no longer formally submit Bar skip quotes, but it’s been pronounced within the press that their sales human beings verbally tout an 80 percent bypass price.

The ebook of a Bar skip rate, by a Bar prep employer, has always left me in a catch 22 situation. How exactly do those organizations set up a protocol to accurately examine the percentage of those humans who’ve taken their path after which handed the Bar examination?

It appears to me to be enigmatic to make such a determination and then publish this as a promoting point. The character nation bars administering the checks without a doubt do now not accumulate any statistics concerning whether a person took a Bar prep path, greater or much less a specific brand. In addition, many states do no longer submit the names of those people who exceeded the exam.

Thus, the reliable arbiters of the exams honestly are not the supply of this records for the Bar prep companies to post. There can be most effective one manner to set up this type of facts which could be unreliable and thus produce inaccurate outcomes. That might be after the six months of taking the exam after which receiving their outcomes, each man or woman pupil could have to touch the Bar prep organisation they used and inform them whether or not they passed or failed the examination.

For a skip charge to be dependable and correct, 100 percentage of the folks who purchased the Bar prep route might need to voluntarily respond to the organisation and be truthful approximately whether or not they surpassed or failed. If even a fragment of those (allow us to say 20 percent) did now not reply to the organization, the outcomes might be a long way from correct and as a result deceptive to publish.

Someone once instructed me that as a minimum one of the agencies set up their bypass charge primarily based upon folks that took the examination, failed after which contacted the employer inquiring for to retake the path free of charge. Here again, this will by no means be an correct portrayal of a pass fee because regularly, folks that fail on their first attempt determine that the Bar prep course they took changed into not top sufficient and that they then interact a one of a kind agency to prepare them for the second one pass around (and as noted above, there are numerous companies simplest focused on that marketplace area of interest).

Therefore, in my view, any published Bar skip fee proffered by using a Bar prep enterprise is dishonest. In the usage of this as a criteria on your assessment of the businesses beneath, remember this; there’s a Civil Jury Instruction in nearly every State which essentially says: “If making a decision that a witness did no longer tell the truth approximately something essential, you could pick now not to consider anything that witness said in her different testimony.” There is much understanding behind that jury instruction, and based upon that criteria, I in my view can’t suggest any organisation which publishes Bar skip costs.

If you accept as true with my opinion regarding published pass charges, that could do away with Themis, Bar Max, and Flemings from serious consideration (and if the BarBri sales representatives are also told to tout these pass rates, they should be eliminated as properly).

That leaves four full carrier companies (Side Bar, BarBri, Kaplan, and AmeriBar) to evaluate and examine. However, to be honest, all seven businesses will be blanketed within the assessment underneath.

Now approximately published pricing. Here once more, not all groups are alike and have distinctive and now and again complex pricing systems. For instance, Flemings has special levels of pricing: Short Term is greater than $2,000, Long Term is more than $3,000 and Ultimate is in extra of $6,000. Each tier has a one-of-a-kind level of path and practise substances furnished. AmeriBar has a comparable tiered pricing structure.

I question this sort of pricing, due to the fact how is a first time Bar examination taker going to recognize what level or tier is proper for them with a purpose to bypass the exam? Frankly, if the first time taker absolutely knew the answer to that question, they might be so clairvoyant and knowledgeable that they could not need a Bar prep route at all.

On the alternative hand, different organizations, like Side Bar, provide one hundred percentage of all course and training materials, that might be required to pass the Bar, for a single rate.

Thus, it’s far hard and confusing to try and compare a company that offers tiered pricing, versus an all inclusive fee enterprise, as it would be seeking to compare apples and oranges. Thus, I advise that after you have got settled upon businesses to pick out from, and one of those businesses has tiered pricing, that you then delve into those pricing stages and try and make a subjective assessment for your self.

However, if you are like me, and honestly get rid of from your consideration the ones corporations who have interaction in publishing Bar bypass quotes and those which have tiered pricing, that leaves 3 complete service Bar prep businesses for your review which are as follows: Side Bar, BarBri, and Kaplan.

For your evaluation, these are listed first and then the opposite four full provider agencies will comply with. A excellent region to start the comparison is the novice on the block – Side Bar.

Side Bar website: SideBarPrep

This complete carrier Bar prep agency turned into lately established to deal with the declining Bar pass prices. With their machine, the scholar isn’t always left on his/her own to figure out what to do and where to begin. It is all laid out in a innovative plan which the student follows within his/her very own time table.

There aren’t any lectures to attend or watch, no flash playing cards and no hype approximately customization to the student’s unique strengths or weaknesses. What is supplied are unique methods, strategies and pointers to reach each the essay questions and the MBE questions, coupled with tips on the way to pass the overall performance exam, mated with practice tests and premier solutions.

The MBE section no longer only offers the pupil the strategies of a way to technique the questions and the way they may be developed, however also 170 particular tips separated via challenge to tackle the difficult questions. Further, 2000 practice MBE questions are provided not only with an answer key, but with factors which are part of the device’s law memory reinforcement.

Due to the declining Bar bypass price, cautious attention is given to the essay checks. Students are taught, through a grade by grade method, a way to technique, spoil down, analyze and write easy essay solutions. The Side Bar technique diagnosed that the Bar examiners are seeking out distinct strategies in the distinct topics, and the corporation addresses this. The technique is method driven and as soon as the scholar learns the formulas, they can anticipate to go into vehicle-pilot in answering essays. To hone their essay skills, the agency affords nearly 60 practice questions with answers.

In addition the enterprise has a memory system for the black letter law taught in all the core courses tested at the Bar. This consists of more than one route outlines, for every direction, which step by step emerge as extra condensed as the pupil progresses through the course. These are matched up with a software of integration of the essay and more than one desire questions, which enhance reminiscence reinforcement when coupled with the exact rationalization to the solutions.

The business enterprise offers all course materials. There is nothing else to shop for or look at. Everything is on-line and available through desktop, pc, tablet or clever phone irrespective of the platform. There are no scheduling constraints as the pupil progresses at his or her personal pace and at any time of day or night time.

The normal price is $2495. The company presently gives a reduction rate of $1995. The fee is all inclusive with no additional expenses. They also offer discounts and rebates for referrals and amount purchases.

They have a money back assure inside fifteen days of the purchase. The subscription price includes get admission to to all materials for eighteen months, thus regardless of while the scholar is taking the Bar or in the event that they should take it again, the student has get admission to to all route substances. This is likewise a bonus to those college students in their last 12 months of law college who desire to get a head start on getting ready for the Bar exam.

BarBri website: BarBri

BarBri pioneered bar exam instruction fifty years in the past and their recognition continues to draw the overpowering majority of law school students each yr. BarBri has what they call the MBE Immersion, constructed upon an skilled-based technique to improve regulation pupil performance at the MBE part of the bar examination. This -day magnificence kicks off the bar review route and is designed to accelerate the pace the pupil learns the law and, in turn, correctly solution MBE bar exam questions.

The business enterprise additionally presents what they call BarBri Amp which they describe as an powerful way to grasp the black letter law and maximize the student’s MBE rating. Based upon the substances proffered, I changed into now not capable of determine the distinction in methodology among the BarBri Amp and the BarBri Immersion. Both are linking MBE questions and answers with studying the regulation. The organisation presents a 2 hundred question simulated MBE exam.

Additionally, BarBri offers what they call the Law Master Study Keys. The first secret is to have a doable and remarkable framework to research the regulation and apprehend wherein all the rules in shape into that framework. The subsequent key to certainly mastering the law is with a purpose to deliver collectively policies, the factors that incorporate the rule, and a tale to actually apply the guidelines and factors to actual world scenarios.

Further, BarBri offers what’s called the Essay Architect device which affords instantaneous comments for better scoring essays. They declare that it complements the student’s ability to jot down the attorney-like solutions that the bar examiners are seeking out at the bar exam. The tool is on line and by means of using the drag-and-drop functions, the pupil practices essay writing following the same old IRAC layout. Immediate comments reinforces employer and shape.

The BarBri device calls for lectures whether accessed in a lecture room or on line. These are furnished in a dependent format inside schedules and access barriers. The lectures are given over a seven week length. Thus, the pupil is restrained to the route structure and has little flexibility in scheduling. There isn’t any facts on the employer website, apart from offering the simulated two hundred question MBE examination, as to whether or not real MBE and essay questions, with answers are supplied to allow the scholar to practice on their personal. Apparently, from examining the internet site, the agency does not offer any assistance, course substances or simulated assessments for the performance test.

The rate is $3695. In addition, there’s a course materials delivery charge of $30, a path registration price of $250 and a refundable route substances price of $250 once the path materials are back. They offer an ABA top class cut price.

The enterprise does no longer provide a cash back guarantee, however they do say that if the scholar fails their Bar exam that they are able to repeat the identical jurisdictional kingdom BarBri assessment course online while it is presented next – without paying extra tuition. Apparently, none of the in-character services are available to a repeat taker.

Kaplan website: Kaptest

The Kaplan course could be very primary. The employer provides course lectures whether or not in a classroom or online, and then provides essay and MBE exercise questions with answers. The organization states, that their syllabus adapts to the student’s needs, strengthening susceptible topics with homework assignments designed for the student. The employer motivates and engages the student through live streaming the school room to their home. And once the student’s assessment course ends, they examine the scholar’s performance and create a customized Final Study Plan. They declare that this helps maximize the pupil’s factors, and serves as a bridge among the remaining day of sophistication and take a look at day.

Their reminiscence reinforcement technique is flash cards. The business enterprise claims to have general flexibility for getting access to the lectures and different materials on line, however, they offer no records as to how lengthy the scholar has access to these materials and whether their “syllabus” is dependent logistically and with time constraints (that’s common). Of route the lecture room lectures could have scheduling constraints.

Outside of the course lectures, the enterprise does now not indicate whether they provide specific processes, techniques and hints to reply each the MBE and essay questions and it does not look as even though they provide any. However they do provide practice essay and MBE questions and answers, and they claim that with doing exercise questions the students’ ratings boom through the years. In fact the corporation states, “a important element of check prep, it’s been proven that Kaplan college students who publish extra essays see development in their scores.” They additionally have a totally massive records base of practice MBE questions, noted to be 4000 and undertaking students to finish all 4000. Apparently the enterprise does no longer provide any help, route substances or simulated checks for the overall performance take a look at.

The regular price is $2999. They presently have discounted fee of $2399. There is a further $250 registration fee.

The business enterprise does offer a cash back guarantee for people who fail the Bar, but there are several regulations that are as follows: Be a first time taker; have a JD from an ABA approved faculty; be enrolled in the Kaplan Complete Bar Review path; attend ninety percentage of all lectures prior to taking the Bar; complete all assigned checks, quizzes and homework previous to taking the exam; and take the very next scheduled bar examination after completing the course materials.

The following are the four ultimate full provider Bar practise publications. However, all of them have both “published” Bar skip rates or tiered pricing or both, which in my view are disqualifiers.


Flemings is jurisdictionally unique to California only. They are the most luxurious product available on the market and feature six degrees of pricing, with the maximum expensive being $6400.

Flemings uses the traditional lecture approach, nevertheless usually based totally inside a school room placing in California, with a few accessibility on line. The lectures are all inside a structured layout and within based time barriers for the route.

The corporation website claims to offer all California particular law classes with outlines. In addition, they provide more than one choice, essay, and overall performance exam coaching coupled with supplying exercise multiple choice, essay and performance questions and answers. In addition, they provide simulated checks and personalized service from their legal professionals. This approach has been the traditional method/version for Bar prep courses for over 20 years.

Given the a la carte nature of the offerings from the enterprise, it is hard to evaluate expenses of what they provide to the opposite full carrier groups. The closest might be their Long Term Review which has a price of $3245 plus a $250 deposit. There aren’t any cancellations, refunds or ensures provided. There are no reductions furnished for the actual courses, however the organization claims that with a fundamental route buy, a pupil may additionally receive a discount on additional products in destiny purchases.


Right at the top of the house page and within numerous of the other lower back pages, Themis advertises their Bar bypass rate. They emphasis this as a promoting point. To me, as defined above, that is a huge pink flag. In addition, they make a assertion on their internet site, claiming that they may be “the best important bar assessment direction evolved to be absolutely on-line.” Obviously, as you can see from different organization offerings, that is an erroneous statement. Personally, no matter what the enterprise or product, I steer clean of businesses which make unfaithful claims.

As with all of the other Bar prep publications, besides for Side Bar, Themis is lecture based, but, they claim that they offer greater flexibility for attending the lectures (all on-line) than the alternative groups. Given that most of the other corporations additionally offer the lectures on line with flexible accessibility, this is another erroneous statement. The organisation states that with their Integrated Learning System, the student receives comprehensive outlines, exercise more than one-choice questions, practice essay questions, on-call for lectures, and corresponding interactive handouts. Students who might rather examine at their personal tempo have that alternative with their Flex Study mode.

The lectures are regulation direction fabric based and as a result, besides for working towards essay, MBE and overall performance take a look at questions, the scholars are not instructed on how to approach and analyze those questions in a way for you to produce results. The pupil is left on my own with the hope that exercise makes ideal and they may study from their errors.

The fee for the course is $2095. They provide a $100 bargain to lively and retired navy and also to energetic participants in Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International and the Military Spouse J.D. Network. They do no longer provide a cash back assure, but in case you are a primary-time Themis taker, and fail the bar, the agency will offer the scholar with a loose repeat of the path for the next administration of the equal bar exam without charge.

Bar Max

This is another agency which advertises their Bar bypass rates. In reality they make the declare that, “We release our pass prices whilst other bar courses refuse to.” Not simplest is the assertion misleading due to the fact some different groups do put up pass fees, the announcement makes it sound as if the great criteria for evaluating a Bar prep enterprise is its posted pass fees. Again, as explained above, to me this is a huge crimson flag.

As with many others, Bar Max is conventional and lecture primarily based. The business enterprise offers, via path topic, an in-intensity define, an audio lecture from a law professor, and whilst suitable, numerous flashcards for reminiscence reinforcement. There are 50 hours of lectures. The entire path is furnished both on line or within their very own iOS only App (no Android or Windows), as a result, if you use the App, as soon as loaded for your device, no net access is needed.

Upon enrollment, the scholar gets a Welcome Packet that consists of skeleton outlines of lecture notes. The Welcome Packet also consists of printable PDFs of overall performance assessments and one hundred eighty practice essays from preceding exams, with 2 version solutions for each essay. The company affords 1750 exercise MBE questions with solutions.

The pupil will also acquire 2 loose writing reviews (overall performance assessments or essays). Additional reviews may be purchased a la carte.

Once again, the lectures are regulation path cloth primarily based and for this reason, except for practicing essay, MBE and performance check questions, the students aren’t advised on a way to method and analyze these questions in a manner for you to produce effects. The pupil is left on my own with the wish that practice makes ideal and they’ll analyze from their errors.

The fee for the course is $999. They provide a “public interest” scholarship of $499 for those employed in qualifying public hobby jobs or within the army. They offer a a hundred percentage refund within 7 days of the the front stop buy. For California and Uniform Bar exam takers, they offer a cash lower back assure for people who fail the Bar exam, however there are various restrictions along with tight time constraints to use for the refund.


This agency gives a tiered pricing system. The course, like maximum of the others. Is based totally upon path lectures. There are eighty hours of online handiest route lectures. The organization also gives books containing the direction outlines and practice essay, performance test, and MBE questions and answers. They additionally have an intensive MBE online statistics bank of questions and solutions.

Although the business enterprise offers a few simple writing capabilities and the software of IRAC to essay writing, the lectures are regulation path cloth based and as a result, besides for practising essay, MBE and performance take a look at questions, the scholars are not told on a way to method and examine these questions in a manner which will produce outcomes. The scholar is left alone with the desire that exercise makes ideal and they may examine from their mistakes. In reality, the business enterprise makes the subsequent statement. “The handiest way to put together for the essay exam is to exercise answering earlier bar exam essay questions. You will study which troubles are regularly tested, and how common problems ought to be resolved.” In total they offer 3400 practice MBE questions and a hundred and fifty exercise essay questions.

Additionally, they provide attorney telephone support. They additionally offer 11 essay opinions in the six week length before taking the examination. The primary course ordinary fee is $2295, they are presently going for walks a discount for $1365. There is a e book delivery charge of $25. The corporation internet site makes the declare that, “we’re the least high-priced full carrier bar assessment course.” This declare is not supported by means of the services of other groups like Bar Max.

There is an undisclosed book deposit fee that is best disclosed when you join up. Although this rate isn’t disclosed at the website, usually whilst a enterprise fees a e-book deposit rate, it’s miles $250. If you come the books inside a chosen time-frame the e-book deposit will be refunded. If you wish to have the lectures on an iPod, there is an additional fee of $249. They provide a refund inside four days after purchase, much less 12.Five percent restocking price. Their bypass assure provides that a pupil will receive a free retake of the online course so long as the pupil affords AmeriBar with a copy of the examiner’s notification letter within 10 days of the student’s notification.

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