Selecting Bar Review Courses

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gittar03
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Selecting Bar Review Courses

Postby gittar03 » Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:15 pm

Hello all,

First of all, if you're reading this post, you're more than likely in the same boat as myself - the last semester of law school. Congratulations to all of you who hung in there! Good luck to everyone on passing your respective bar exams!

Anyway, I wanted to open up the discussion to your thoughts on studying for the bar exam on a budget. I wanted to know if anyone is planning on studying for the bar on their own? And if you are going to be enrolling in a course other than BARBRI or Kaplan, what programs are you considering? I have been looking into AmeriBar and Themis. Both have money-back guarantees and are significantly more affordable than their well-known counterparts.

Thank you all. :)

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dailygrind
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Re: Selecting Bar Review Courses

Postby dailygrind » Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:56 pm

Moving this over to where it might get more responses.

hasmith
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Re: Selecting Bar Review Courses

Postby hasmith » Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:55 am

I used Themis last year for IL, very happy with it

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thesealocust
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Re: Selecting Bar Review Courses

Postby thesealocust » Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:08 pm

Don't buy into the test prep-industrial complex. Real law students self study.

tarp
Posts: 157
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Re: Selecting Bar Review Courses

Postby tarp » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:10 pm

You can buy the books on ebay and study the material yourself.

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Garinold
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Re: Selecting Bar Review Courses

Postby Garinold » Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:15 pm

I haven't made up my mind whether or not I want to take New York. I'm definitely taking New Jersey though, and I'm not sure whether to go with Barbri or Kaplan. The price difference between Kaplan and Barbri for NJ is huge though. $1,500-$1,900 for Kaplan, while Barbri hits for $2,600....I have no idea what Barbri offers that is worth the extra $1k compared to Kaplan.

BeautifulSW
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Re: Selecting Bar Review Courses

Postby BeautifulSW » Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:27 pm

I've posted this info in several other places but I still think it's worth thinking about:

Your chances of passing the Bar exam on your first attempt are statistically radically better with a commercial Bar prep course than if you study on your own. People DO study on their own and pass but in the aggregate, you are taking a significant risk.

If you graduated in the bottom third of your class, the need for a commercial prep course is urgent.

In order to make a living, you need a law license. A six-month delay in receiving that license will likely cost you more, much more, than BarBri. That's why 90% of law grads pay for the stupid course (or another like it). I sure did.

There is a non-profit bar review outfit called http://www.baroutlines.com I have absolutely no idea whether what these people offer is any good but it's extremely cheap and might give you some structure if you choose to self-study.

Good luck!

tarp
Posts: 157
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Re: Selecting Bar Review Courses

Postby tarp » Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:02 pm

I have heard good things about Themis, which is much cheaper (around $1500 I believe) but is completely virtual - all lectures are online.

Personally, I am going to study myself. I bought the Pieper and Themis books for NY online and scored some helpful outlines and other materials from recent grads, so I'll save the money. Then again, I am graduating near the top of my class and I'm in general a confident test-taker so YMMV.

BeautifulSW
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Re: Selecting Bar Review Courses

Postby BeautifulSW » Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:13 pm

Good luck to you, tarp. Just keep in mind that the Bar exam is not like any examination you've ever taken before in your life (unless you've taken another Bar, that is) so download the past essay questions and write out answers within the time limits the actual Bar exam will impose.

If you do this, you probably will pass.

tarp
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 1:22 am

Re: Selecting Bar Review Courses

Postby tarp » Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:39 pm

Thanks. I actually have some past exams and plan on spending 40 hours a week studying from mid-April until just before the July examination date. Barring some catastrophe, I am positive I will pass the exam.

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Mick Haller
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Re: Selecting Bar Review Courses

Postby Mick Haller » Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:50 pm

In CA, BarBri costs just over $4000. I think I'll be forfeiting my deposit to go with Kaplan online for $1600. I'll buy the BarBri books on ebay and just study both sets.

I've heard the lectures are dull and often not that helpful....and that the most important thing is working the MC questions and essays in the books.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Selecting Bar Review Courses

Postby reasonable_man » Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:54 pm

Cost of legal education ~ 200k

Cost of Pieper Bar review for NY or Barbri in any other state ~4k

Not having to tell everyone you have ever met that you failed the fucking bar ... priceless..

Passed the bar on the first shot in NY, thanks to my pals at Pieper.. I was poor too at that point in my life... Don't let economics be the only factor in your decision. Get a long and take the course.

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thesealocust
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Re: Selecting Bar Review Courses

Postby thesealocust » Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:05 pm

If I can't pass the bar exam by studying on my own without paying an absurd fee to a test prep company I have no business representing clients. I am entirely comfortable flipping the bird to Kaplan, BarBRI, Themis, and their other test prep-industrial complex bretheren.

I consider the choice a hail-marry chance at not having to be a lawyer.

BeautifulSW
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Re: Selecting Bar Review Courses

Postby BeautifulSW » Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:27 pm

I admire your spirit! If I ever take another Bar exam (heaven forbid) I will also refuse to use BarBri or any other prep course costing in the thousands.

But.

Passing the Bar has absolutely nothing to do with being a good lawyer. Think about it. You waltz in and take a full day multiple choice exam. What client will ever offer you multiple choices? Then, you write the essays using legal principals that you memorized for the purpose. Trust me on this; you will NEVER write a legal opinion on memory alone. Ever. Doing so is an invitation to malpractice. Finally, you do a set of "closed universe" legal tasks where, wonder of wonders, you do have an abbreviated library to consult. Ah, but the law in that library, like the law in the MBE, isn't the law of your, or any other, jurisdiction; it's "Bar law" and learned just for the purpose of satisfying the examiners.

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thesealocust
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Re: Selecting Bar Review Courses

Postby thesealocust » Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:35 pm

Dulce et decorum est pro hating BarBri mori




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