Bar Exam Information

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heyhowdyhey
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon May 23, 2011 12:30 am

Bar Exam Information

Postby heyhowdyhey » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:14 am

So I've seen some threads here and there with specific questions relating to the bar exam, but nothing that gives more general information about it.

It's very early for me to be asking about the bar exam, I know, since I haven't even taken the LSAT yet. But since passing the bar is ultimately what I will be working toward.... and not passing will essentially make my entire law school experience a waste of time and money... I wanted to get a few questions answered. If there's an article or thread on TLS with info about it that I missed, I apologize.

So:

1) When do law students typically take the bar exam?
2) What are regarded as the best prep companies for the exam?
3) Would you say it's absolutely necessary to take a bar exam review class? If so, how do people manage to pay for these classes since they're so damn expensive?
4) How much time do people generally spend studying for the bar?

And... I guess that's all the questions I can think of at the moment. If it helps any, I hope to practice in CA as of now, so I'm asking these with the CA bar in mind, which I know is one of the most difficult bar exams in the country-- if not THE most difficult (yay).

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Eugenie Danglars
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:04 pm

Re: Bar Exam Information

Postby Eugenie Danglars » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:18 am

heyhowdyhey wrote:1) When do law students typically take the bar exam?

Summer after 3L

2) What are regarded as the best prep companies for the exam?

BarBri

3) Would you say it's absolutely necessary to take a bar exam review class? If so, how do people manage to pay for these classes since they're so damn expensive?

Most people say yes. Often, you can get your future employer to pay for it or at least advance you money to cover it.
4) How much time do people generally spend studying for the bar?

Full time that summer

Paul Muad'dib
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:04 pm

Re: Bar Exam Information

Postby Paul Muad'dib » Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:45 am

heyhowdyhey wrote:
1) When do law students typically take the bar exam?
2) What are regarded as the best prep companies for the exam?
3) Would you say it's absolutely necessary to take a bar exam review class? If so, how do people manage to pay for these classes since they're so damn expensive?
4) How much time do people generally spend studying for the bar?



1. The bar exam is tested twice yearly, the last week of February and the last week of July. Graduates sit for the exam typically directly following the completion of the JD degree. Employers will look at graduation date and admission to the bar, and if the period spans more than about nine months, the assumption will be that the applicant failed on the first try. It's really not a good idea to wait to sit for the exam anyway, because you quickly get out of school mode and your skills will deteriorate, especially those key test-taking skills.

2. Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, and now Barmax are your best options, though things might be different by the time you graduate, as Barbri was just sold to a private equity firm and no one is sure what that will mean for the company.

3. It is pretty much necessary to take a bar review class because law school does not prepare you for the test. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but law school really doesn't even teach you how to be a lawyer, let alone how to take the exam, and law school exams are not the same as the bar exam. Also, you will be in hell if you take every single subject tested on the bar (as many as 20+ subjects depending on the state), which means you'll have less time to focus on other subjects you are interested in.

You can offset the cost of bar review by applying to become a campus rep for any one of the bar prep companies. By sitting at the table once a week, posting some fliers, and maybe sending some emails, you can earn your course, or even get paid outright or earn commissions.

4. The bar prep period for the winter exam is only about 6 weeks, and the summer period is around 8 weeks. Students typically do not begin their prep until after graduation. 6 weeks is the minimum time needed to get a good handle on all the material.




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