Bar prep courses?

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Bar prep courses?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:08 pm

What all do I need to realistically pass the bar? Is bar/bri alone sufficient, or do I need something for the state part of the exam as well (or is that included in bar/bri)?

What's better- bar/bri or kaplan?


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Re: Bar prep courses?

Postby BeautifulSW » Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:46 pm

The Bar prep industry takes shameless advantage of the new J.D.'s terror of failing the Bar the first time. Indeed, the consequences of failure, both emotional and economic, can be pretty severe. But look, folks: The best predictors of first-time Bar passage are your school rank, your law school g.p.a., and your class rank. If you are in the top half of your graduating class at a T1 or T2 school, your chances of success are at least 85% almost no matter WHAT you do. Pick a single review course and do like they tell you and you'll be okay.

If, may heaven forbid, I ever have to take another Bar exam, I will study for it using which costs about $100. I would recommend that course of action even to a new grad as well but the leap of faith is probably more than can be expected.

Now...if you are among those who fall below the middle of the pack (or attended a T3, T4, or unaccredited school), my advice is rather different. Find a Bar prep program that offers individualized writing critique and work it like your future depends on it. There's a reason you ended up where you are in your school or class and it's probably that you don't write as clearly as you could. Bar examiners grade a LOT of essay answers and they don't tend to mull over prose that's dense or convoluted. They don't have the time. Take a look at the example answers various Bar examiner authorities provide and you'll see what I mean.

If you want to get a feel for the situation as I describe it, look up the semi-annual school-by-school Bar exam statistics posted by the California State Bar Association. The Texas Board of Law Examiners also published some very interesting research on the subject. You can find that at

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