Barbri ...... why???

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AMCD
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Barbri ...... why???

Postby AMCD » Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:56 am

Is it because they dominate the prep. market? Is it because they claim "superior" professors hired for the lectures? Is it what they have told me is the more true and tried forumla of pacing the work/tailoring the course to take into account the value of each section of the bar (ie. not the MBE heavy prep. of Kaplan because "it's only 35% of the grade"). Bottom line, I cannot for the life of me decide on Barbri vs. Themis. I don't need to go to my campus to do the work each day, but I am just fearful that leaving the well trodden path of Barbri is a gamble I shouldn't be taking. Any feedback hugely appreciated!!

Finally: Why do their reps. state that the bar is "curved" and that their feedback to your work lets you know "where you are in relation to everyone else who will be taking it" .... I thought it was not curved.

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Mick Haller
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Re: Barbri ...... why???

Postby Mick Haller » Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:59 am

I'd go with something cheaper than Barbri.

Themis and Kaplan are both good. I took Kaplan and passed the California bar.

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Mick Haller
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Re: Barbri ...... why???

Postby Mick Haller » Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:05 am

I had the entire set of Kaplan books and the Conviser and a few other BarBri materials. There isn't a huge difference, the material is going to be the same. You just gotta commit to learning it. Common complaints against Barbri:
-Expensive
-Essay feedback is not helpful
-Their website crashed several times last summer

I liked Kaplan's MBE q bank. I didn't submit many essays, but what feedback I got was pretty thorough.

If money is no object, go with Barbri I guess. But for California it was close to 3x as expensive as Kaplan, and probably 4x as expensive as Themis.

I also think it's pointless to pay extra for a classroom course. Half the time they are going to turn on a video anyway. Most of the people who pay for the classroom courses stop attending the lectures after a week or two. Don't waste money, just go straight to a Kaplan or Themis online course.

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prezidentv8
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Re: Barbri ...... why???

Postby prezidentv8 » Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:08 am

Copped dat Themis. Feels good man.

AMCD
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Re: Barbri ...... why???

Postby AMCD » Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:27 am

Thanks for the quick replies! Kaplan is 2K, Themis 1,500 and Barbri $4,100. It's not the money, so only the issue of the format. Barbri claim such a different approach and, I suppose, bank on their reputation for being in the game so long. I had a couple of friends have good luck with Kaplan and Themis, but I think they all had way better grades than me so that's probably part of my worry!! Themis gives you a particular grader that you work with the whole time -- maybe that's good, but maybe it's better to have other eyes looking at the work?? I realize the Barbri isn't live and, as you say, if a lot of people stop going, I suppose they just end up doing it online anyway -- like the other two. My friend gave me his condensed Kaplan notes/outlines/self-made flash cards etc., so perhaps that with Themis would be enough??

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Mick Haller
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Re: Barbri ...... why???

Postby Mick Haller » Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:35 am

last year Kaplan offered a special rate of $1500. Themis $999.

Try to negotiate with them or wait until later in the spring when they get desperate.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Barbri ...... why???

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:38 am

The bar exam is curved.

I did Barbri, mostly because I'm cowed by tradition, and it was fine (i.e. I passed. There are things I think are stupid about it, but I don't think they mean you don't learn what you need to learn, they're just dumb). I also knew tons of people who took Kaplan and passed, so either is completely fine. Themis is probably fine, too, I just can't say I know anyone who used it.

005618502
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Re: Barbri ...... why???

Postby 005618502 » Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:51 am

If you are going to a firm wont they pay anyways?

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thesealocust
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Re: Barbri ...... why???

Postby thesealocust » Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:14 pm

Baroutlines.com -> $100 bar prep package -> pass the bar without a test prep company standing over your shoulder all the time making you paranoid. That's what I did.

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Mick Haller
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Re: Barbri ...... why???

Postby Mick Haller » Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:51 pm

thesealocust wrote:Baroutlines.com -> $100 bar prep package -> pass the bar without a test prep company standing over your shoulder all the time making you paranoid. That's what I did.

With all due respect, sea locust is an exceptional student from a top law school. If you have an excellent class rank, you may want to try the self study route. I think the typical law student is better served by some kind of prep course.

I needed to feel paranoid to have the motivation to study.

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thesealocust
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Re: Barbri ...... why???

Postby thesealocust » Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:21 pm

Mick Haller wrote:
thesealocust wrote:Baroutlines.com -> $100 bar prep package -> pass the bar without a test prep company standing over your shoulder all the time making you paranoid. That's what I did.

With all due respect, sea locust is an exceptional student from a top law school. If you have an excellent class rank, you may want to try the self study route. I think the typical law student is better served by some kind of prep course.

I needed to feel paranoid to have the motivation to study.


It's not like you don't feel paranoid studying on your own. BarBRI's materials are crap anyway based on the reports I heard from friends/roommates studying that way.

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I.P. Daly
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Re: Barbri ...... why???

Postby I.P. Daly » Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:57 pm

The thing I really appreciated about Kaplan was the schedule they provided. I think it helped me manage time efficiently. If you go the self-study route, it's probably important to formulate a detailed study schedule in late May, and some type of system to help you gauge your progress throughout the summer.

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thesealocust
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Re: Barbri ...... why???

Postby thesealocust » Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:03 pm

I.P. Daly wrote:The thing I really appreciated about Kaplan was the schedule they provided. I think it helped me manage time efficiently. If you go the self-study route, it's probably important to formulate a detailed study schedule in late May, and some type of system to help you gauge your progress throughout the summer.


(1) baroutlines.com comes with a study schedule (actually several, depending on the amount of time you have before the bar)

(2) it also comes with shitloads of practice MBE questions for progress gauging if you're into that kind of thing

truevines
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Re: Barbri ...... why???

Postby truevines » Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:18 pm

AMCD wrote:Is it because they dominate the prep. market? Is it because they claim "superior" professors hired for the lectures? Is it what they have told me is the more true and tried forumla of pacing the work/tailoring the course to take into account the value of each section of the bar (ie. not the MBE heavy prep. of Kaplan because "it's only 35% of the grade"). Bottom line, I cannot for the life of me decide on Barbri vs. Themis. I don't need to go to my campus to do the work each day, but I am just fearful that leaving the well trodden path of Barbri is a gamble I shouldn't be taking. Any feedback hugely appreciated!!

Finally: Why do their reps. state that the bar is "curved" and that their feedback to your work lets you know "where you are in relation to everyone else who will be taking it" .... I thought it was not curved.


If you're going to a firm, and the firm pays for the bar prep, it may be better to use Barbri. That way, in the unfortunate event that you fail (not saying you will), you can tell your firm that you did your due preparation by using the most expensive prep course and that, out of some uncontrollable factors, you fail.

If you're paying for the prep course yourself, do whatever you feel comfortable with.

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quiver
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Re: Barbri ...... why???

Postby quiver » Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:43 pm

Mick Haller wrote:I also think it's pointless to pay extra for a classroom course. Half the time they are going to turn on a video anyway. Most of the people who pay for the classroom courses stop attending the lectures after a week or two. Don't waste money, just go straight to a Kaplan or Themis online course.
I'm interested in more opinions on this. Is online course > than classroom even if they're the same price? What's the deal with barbri classroom stuff (how long are the classes, how many days per week, how many weeks, etc.)?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Barbri ...... why???

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:10 pm

quiver wrote:
Mick Haller wrote:I also think it's pointless to pay extra for a classroom course. Half the time they are going to turn on a video anyway. Most of the people who pay for the classroom courses stop attending the lectures after a week or two. Don't waste money, just go straight to a Kaplan or Themis online course.
I'm interested in more opinions on this. Is online course > than classroom even if they're the same price? What's the deal with barbri classroom stuff (how long are the classes, how many days per week, how many weeks, etc.)?

Here's the NY bar, Manhattan schedule: --LinkRemoved--. It's pretty typical. I personally went to class because if I didn't, it took me 5 hours at home to watch a 3 hour lecture. Also, I attended a location that had live lecturers, which made it a little easier for me to make myself pay attention (since they could see what I was doing in class) - but that's just me, not an objective reason to go to class rather than do online.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Barbri ...... why???

Postby XxSpyKEx » Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:15 am

AMCD wrote:Is it because they dominate the prep. market? Is it because they claim "superior" professors hired for the lectures? Is it what they have told me is the more true and tried forumla of pacing the work/tailoring the course to take into account the value of each section of the bar (ie. not the MBE heavy prep. of Kaplan because "it's only 35% of the grade"). Bottom line, I cannot for the life of me decide on Barbri vs. Themis. I don't need to go to my campus to do the work each day, but I am just fearful that leaving the well trodden path of Barbri is a gamble I shouldn't be taking. Any feedback hugely appreciated!!

Finally: Why do their reps. state that the bar is "curved" and that their feedback to your work lets you know "where you are in relation to everyone else who will be taking it" .... I thought it was not curved.


BarBri's reason for going with BarBri is because something like 90% of all bar takers use barbri, and the barbri answers are therefore the correct answers... This ties into your final question- barbri says the bar exam is curved to account for bad questions and varying difficulties in each administration. I'm not completely sure how exactly it works, but it supposedly occurs when they scale the raw scores to the scaled scores. In any event, go with themis, baroutlines.com, or just buy used barbri books off ebay for less than a couple hundred bucks. $4k for the full course is a total waste of money. I don't understand how they even get away with charging that much money to play prerecorded lectures to you (I mean, seriously, at $4k /head they can't have live lecturers?!?)

AMCD
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Re: Barbri ...... why???

Postby AMCD » Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:41 am

Thanks, everyone. The watching DVDs in the classroom does seem rather pointless vs. watching online at home. They claim something new called Barbri Amp?

They do seem to prey upon those who are an anxious mess -- making you think they have the sure path to success. Mind you, about 85% of my school's last July bar takers took Barbri and had a 91% pass rate ... so that's what's got me thinking.

They wouldn't budge a DIME on the price -- $4,135

I hate this process more and more!

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Mick Haller
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Re: Barbri ...... why???

Postby Mick Haller » Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:05 am

AMCD wrote: They claim something new called Barbri Amp?


I may be wrong but I think that's just their online study system. MBE questions, essay bank, etc. And it crashed two or three times last summer for several days.

In any event, it's not anything amazing that leaves Themis and Kaplan in the dust.

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Mick Haller
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Re: Barbri ...... why???

Postby Mick Haller » Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:13 am

AMCD wrote:They wouldn't budge a DIME on the price -- $4,135


That's an insane amount of cash. I don't know of anyone who thinks Barbri is a good value.

run26.2
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Re: Barbri ...... why???

Postby run26.2 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:29 am

Mick Haller wrote:
AMCD wrote: They claim something new called Barbri Amp?


I may be wrong but I think that's just their online study system. MBE questions, essay bank, etc. And it crashed two or three times last summer for several days.

In any event, it's not anything amazing that leaves Themis and Kaplan in the dust.

Yeah, Barbri's site crashed a couple of times last summer, but I think it was about 1 day at the most each time. It wasn't a major inconvenience because there was always something else to work on, so it was no big deal.

Barbri AMP is an adaptive learning program. It asks you questions, and you have to gauge how you feel about your answer and you have to be certain (and right) about each question twice before you can complete a lesson. This method is designed, they say, to reinforce learning. There were about 400-500 total questions in Barbri AMP, if I recall correctly, so it was not comprehensive. Maybe they are expanding it though. I wouldn't base my decision on this, unless it is more comprehensive than it was last year.

Oh, and the reasons to take Barbri are 1) your firm is paying so cost doesn't matter; 2) they are very structured; 3) they have more than enough material for you to use; 4) you get peace of mind out of doing what others do; 5) if you fail, you can repeat for free (not sure about the other cos on this one).

You can definitely learn everything you need using other methods. Barbri is for people who think more is better.
Last edited by run26.2 on Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Barbri ...... why???

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:30 am

Barbri works, it's been proven repeatedly. That's why. Other things probably work too, but Barbri definitely works. This isn't a comment on value, just efficacy.

run26.2
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Re: Barbri ...... why???

Postby run26.2 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:36 am

AMCD wrote:Is it because they dominate the prep. market? Is it because they claim "superior" professors hired for the lectures? Is it what they have told me is the more true and tried forumla of pacing the work/tailoring the course to take into account the value of each section of the bar (ie. not the MBE heavy prep. of Kaplan because "it's only 35% of the grade"). Bottom line, I cannot for the life of me decide on Barbri vs. Themis. I don't need to go to my campus to do the work each day, but I am just fearful that leaving the well trodden path of Barbri is a gamble I shouldn't be taking. Any feedback hugely appreciated!!

Finally: Why do their reps. state that the bar is "curved" and that their feedback to your work lets you know "where you are in relation to everyone else who will be taking it" .... I thought it was not curved.

As to the bolded, this is true. But it is also the easiest piece to use to change your score. If I were taking the CA bar again, I would spend more time on the MBE. If you get a good score on the MBE, your essays don't need to be very good (i.e. nearly all can be failing, around 60) and you can still pass.

See this:
http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=186174&start=4500#p6116577

Good luck.

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I.P. Daly
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Re: Barbri ...... why???

Postby I.P. Daly » Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:51 pm

A documentary called "A Lawyer Walks into a Bar" provides insight into what it's like to study for the Cali bar. It follows people that self-study and people that use BarBri. Apparently, in the LA area, BarBri actually has its own campus where students watch the pre-recorded lectures.

I think it's on both Netflix and Prime.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Barbri ...... why???

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:27 pm

I.P. Daly wrote:A documentary called "A Lawyer Walks into a Bar" provides insight into what it's like to study for the Cali bar. It follows people that self-study and people that use BarBri. Apparently, in the LA area, BarBri actually has its own campus where students watch the pre-recorded lectures.

I think it's on both Netflix and Prime.

OMG after having actually studied for the bar, you could not pay me enough money in the world to watch such a thing.




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