Does it have to be Bar Bri?

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Eco
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Does it have to be Bar Bri?

Postby Eco » Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:17 am

Question- anyone here can recommend another course? Would like to take a great course that doesn't cost me an arm and a leg. If I have no choice, I'll do bar bri, but does anyone here know of a cheaper course with good results?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Does it have to be Bar Bri?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:39 am

Kaplan and Themis, mostly - I think there are others. Search for Themis and you'll find LOTS of discussion of this.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Does it have to be Bar Bri?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:13 pm


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thesealocust
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Re: Does it have to be Bar Bri?

Postby thesealocust » Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:51 pm

XxSpyKEx wrote:http://baroutlines.com/


I did this and passed. BarBRI is crap and most people who've gone through it know it. If you have even a shred of discipline, any self study option (buying barbri materials online, baroutlines, etc.) is going to be superior and cheaper.

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dood
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Re: Does it have to be Bar Bri?

Postby dood » Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:58 pm

if my firm didnt pay for barbri, i woulda used themis. barbri did have some really good profs for some subjects in some states, but a lot of crap too.

the biggest pain in the ass though - they wouldn't let u download the lectures, so to watch at ur own pace, u had to "illegally" jack them using a program. and their fucking website kept crashing in online test modules and shit. actually come to think of it - barbri was pure shit.

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dood
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Re: Does it have to be Bar Bri?

Postby dood » Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:02 pm

be prepared for this kind of shit:






As you are aware, the BARBRI website has recently required emergency reboots. Many students have suggested that we deploy additional servers to handle the student load. These reboots have not been caused by lack of server capacity, but rather a third-party software issue.

Specifically, the issue is one of configuration of the three-node Oracle RAC cluster that drives the BARBRI website. Our tech team has been working very closely with technical support teams from Oracle as well as other third-party experts to engineer a solution to the problem. We have isolated the problem and are pursuing a multi-track solution that includes both upgrading the Oracle clusterware and/or replacing the existing database software and hardware. We have added additional staff, Oracle has sent in additional resources, and all are working 24 hours a day until this problem is solved.

As of the writing of this email, one of the three nodes in the Oracle RAC cluster is showing signs of failure. This will require a reboot of the BARBRI website at midnight Eastern time tonight. The site will be unavailable for approximately one hour.

We know your study time is precious, and hope this advance notice will allow you to plan accordingly.

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dood
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Re: Does it have to be Bar Bri?

Postby dood » Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:03 pm

and this shit ALL SUMMER:

Yesterday and today, BARBRI AMP experienced a series of technical issues that unfortunately impacted your bar exam preparation. I sincerely regret this inconvenience and emphasize that we are acting with urgency. I share your frustration. You have every right to expect BARBRI to deliver as promised.

Late this afternoon, we discovered a database issue with the servers that run BARBRI AMP. To correct the problem as quickly as possible, it was necessary to reboot BARBRI AMP and the BARBRI website. This decision was not made lightly. We recognize the value and importance of your bar preparation time.

BARBRI AMP is just one part of BARBRI’s Active Legal Learning framework. To prepare for class, you can work BARBRI AMP questions or read the outlines. During class, you’ll learn the rules of law needed to succeed on the bar exam. After class, you will work practice questions from the MPQ volumes, StudySmart® software and your state’s essay testing books. BARBRI’s Active Legal Learning framework will help ensure your success on the bar exam.

If you have additional questions, I invite you to contact me at msims@barbri.com.

Mike Sims
President, BARBRI

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dood
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Re: Does it have to be Bar Bri?

Postby dood » Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:04 pm

oh hey another one:

Unfortunately, we continue to experience technical difficulties with BARBRI AMP that are limiting access to the program. In order to stay current on your study schedule, if the assignment in your Paced Program reads “AMP MPQ1,” you can access the exact same questions in your MPQ1 book.

If your Paced Program assignment reads AMP and a subject title (e.g. “AMP Real Property,” “AMP Contracts,” etc.), you can read the outline in the Multistate Outline (MS) book as a substitute to the AMP questions for each subject.

Making these substitutions should keep your bar preparation on schedule. As we have said previously, we very much regret the difficulties you have experienced and truly appreciate your patience and understanding.

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Mick Haller
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Re: Does it have to be Bar Bri?

Postby Mick Haller » Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:10 pm

barbri is okay but not worth the $$$

I took Kaplan and passed the CA bar. I was paying out of pocket, so I was happy to have saved ~2500$

Eco
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Re: Does it have to be Bar Bri?

Postby Eco » Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:06 am

Thanks, Kaplan and Themis are definitely cheaper. I don't know if a self-study option is a good idea- I'll check out bar outlines. Anyone else had success with that method? How useful are classes really?

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Mick Haller
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Re: Does it have to be Bar Bri?

Postby Mick Haller » Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:19 pm

Eco wrote:Thanks, Kaplan and Themis are definitely cheaper. I don't know if a self-study option is a good idea- I'll check out bar outlines. Anyone else had success with that method? How useful are classes really?


I found it helpful to watch some video lectures for less common essay topics. I mean if there's a 5% chance of something being tested, it was more efficient for me to watch a 2 hour video rather than poring over the 150 page outline for that subject for 4 or 5 hours.

sfhaze
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Re: Does it have to be Bar Bri?

Postby sfhaze » Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:18 pm

dood wrote:and their fucking website kept crashing in online test modules and shit. actually come to think of it - barbri was pure shit.

Lol. It seems all the reps make assertions about their rivals' sites crashing over last summer. After this, say cost is not a factor, would you still pick Barbri? I've yet to hear a truly compelling reason to pick them other than that everyone's using 'em.

Self-study sounds great and all but having structure/handholding w/ a course I think is probably worth some extra cost, at least for me.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Does it have to be Bar Bri?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:54 pm

sfhaze wrote: After this, say cost is not a factor, would you still pick Barbri? I've yet to hear a truly compelling reason to pick them other than that everyone's using 'em.


That's pretty much the only reason

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Re: Does it have to be Bar Bri?

Postby sfhaze » Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:10 pm

thesealocust wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:http://baroutlines.com/


I did this and passed. BarBRI is crap and most people who've gone through it know it. If you have even a shred of discipline, any self study option (buying barbri materials online, baroutlines, etc.) is going to be superior and cheaper.

I finally looked at baroutlines. Heck, it seems basically like a stripped down version of Themis, and probably all the others... It even provides paced study schedules and video lectures.

I really wonder what Barbri claims to provide for an additional whopping $4038 in CA! Do the 'high profile' professor lectures really cost that much?

Thesealocust, certainly self study will be cheaper, but why superior? Or do you mean superior b/c it's so much cheaper?

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Does it have to be Bar Bri?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:04 am

sfhaze wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:http://baroutlines.com/


I did this and passed. BarBRI is crap and most people who've gone through it know it. If you have even a shred of discipline, any self study option (buying barbri materials online, baroutlines, etc.) is going to be superior and cheaper.

I finally looked at baroutlines. Heck, it seems basically like a stripped down version of Themis, and probably all the others... It even provides paced study schedules and video lectures.

I really wonder what Barbri claims to provide for an additional whopping $4038 in CA! Do the 'high profile' professor lectures really cost that much?


No, it's all profit. The lectures are prerecorded, so barbri definitely isn't paying a ton of money for that (and the lectures are pretty fucking boring). Barbri is a scam.

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thesealocust
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Re: Does it have to be Bar Bri?

Postby thesealocust » Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:41 am

sfhaze wrote:Thesealocust, certainly self study will be cheaper, but why superior? Or do you mean superior b/c it's so much cheaper?


Superior because you'll have to figure out what to do to pass, then you'll have to do it, instead of being subject to BarBRI's hamfisted/buckshot approach based largely on paranoia and the least common denominator.

timbs4339
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Re: Does it have to be Bar Bri?

Postby timbs4339 » Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:01 am

I self-studied and will be happy to take questions.

Eco
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Re: Does it have to be Bar Bri?

Postby Eco » Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:07 am

My problem with Themis is that they don't have books. It's all online. I'm not sure I'm comfortable studying like that.

With Kaplan, I've read on TLS that their outlines are not always up-to-date. Anyone had experience with this?

@timbs: Can you tell us how you studied (like a basic overview)? What materials you used? Thanks!

timbs4339
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Re: Does it have to be Bar Bri?

Postby timbs4339 » Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:32 am

Materials

I got lucky and was able to cobble together a "Frankenstein" set of old Barbri books through donated materials from friends. I ended up with almost a full set of old books from 2010-2011. But I didn't need the entire set. By far the most important book was the Barbri CMR, which has very detailed outlines of every single MBE and New York subject. Almost as important were the MBR question books. I think I did around 2K MBE questions. I shelled out $100 for the three NCBE practice tests (300 questions). Everything else was surplusage. Total spent on prep materials: $100.

Now if I could do it all over again without the donations I would have done the following 1) Bought the CMR off Craigslist, 2) Bought question banks from Adaptibar or some other service, 3) Bought a commercial bar outline that focuses on the most tested essay subjects.

Study Schedule

I took NY. Because I'm a lazy fucker and because I was working 20 hours a week that summer I started early- like four days after graduation. I divided my time 50% on the MBE and 50% on the NY essays. For the MBE I went through the outlines, summarized, and wrote them out, then did practice questions. I started with about 50 a day on two subjects and went up to 100 a day on mixed subjects. For each question I looked up the answer and wrote out the rule if I got it wrong.

For the essays, I went through the CMR and wrote out rule statements. I'd spend 2-3 days on the "major" subjects (the six MBE subjects, Corps, Wills, Trusts, Domestic Relations) and half a day on the minor subjects (Agency, Partnership, Personal Property, etc). The CMR is invaluable because it lists out the NY/MBE distinctions and they WILL test those on the essay portion. About a week and a half before the exam I starting going through all the practice essays on the NY BOLE website. But I burned out, and ended up mostly just outlining the questions and finally just reading the model answers over for style. About a week left a friend gave me a great commercial outline and I spent the week memorizing the rule statements. I then took two days off before the whole thing.

What I Wish I'd Done

You need to learn the bar exam. Don't learn the subjects, learn the test. For example, my friend's outline just had rule statements. It had a rule statement for every single essay that had been tested in the last 10 years, ordered by frequency. That's all you need to know to pass. Although the exam is guaranteed to have at least one issue that is novel, most of them will be recurring, and you should know those cold.

I went to a law school where essay exams were all about analysis and policy. The bar is different- the essays are short, the issues are relatively easy to spot, and the analysis is cursory. Some of the questions will give you a fact pattern and you'll be able to do the analysis in one sentence, like X breached her duty when she allowed her dog to run off the leash, the dog bit Y which was the proximate cause of Y's dog bite injury. That's it. Clarity and organization are key.

The MBE tripped me up. Prepping with Barbri books was a bad idea- they focused on topics that were hardly tested on the exam and ignored topics that recurred. If I could do it again I'd just get a question bank from another company, but the Barbri questions were free.

Feel free to ask more specific questions.

Shameless plug: If you're living in the NYC area I'll sell you my books for cheap.
Last edited by timbs4339 on Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Eco
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Re: Does it have to be Bar Bri?

Postby Eco » Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:23 am

^ That sounds great. I just don't know how much I trust myself. I could save 3k by self-studying but I basically do not think I have the guts to do that (lol). But I'll take that into account when I make a decision sometime this or next week.

Anyone can give me more information on Kaplan? Is it a decent course? Are they up-to-date on the law?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Does it have to be Bar Bri?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:35 am

I would say about 60% of my class took Barbri, and 40% took Kaplan. There was no discernible difference in pass rates. I've heard people say that Kaplan has better MBE questions; I think Barbri may have, at one time, been better at state-specific stuff (because it had a monopoly for a long time and had the chance to build up the resources/track what was tested more than Kaplan did), but my state didn't test state law, so it was a wash. In any case, Kaplan seems to get the job done just as well as Barbri, for less. (I took Barbri, but I'm a sheep.)

Eco
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Re: Does it have to be Bar Bri?

Postby Eco » Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:43 am

Is there any type of material/book that Bar Bri offers that Kaplan doesn't, that would be helpful for studying for the bar?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Does it have to be Bar Bri?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:49 am

Not that I'm aware of. (Of course, I took Barbri, so I can't compare the two from experience.) Barbri will hype their online AMP system or whatever it is (not sure if it's the same as when I took it), but they basically all offer the same stuff.

Eco
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Re: Does it have to be Bar Bri?

Postby Eco » Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:58 am

So my girlfriend took the bar last year, still has all her materials. I could hypothetically not sign up for the course and just take her books. Of course, she did write on the book when answering practice Qs etc.., but otherwise everything is there.

Is there anything about taking the actual Bar Bri course, as opposed to just using their books, that is helpful and makes a difference?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Does it have to be Bar Bri?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:07 am

Depends on what works for you. I benefited from the structure of going to a class, but that's not a great reason. I did find useful the feedback on essays and the evaluation stuff - you'll do practice tests online and the program tells you how you're doing compared to everyone else taking Barbri. I found that fairly useful because, especially as you get to the end of the practice questions, they're designed to be harder than the actual exam and for you to do badly. So if you get 55% right, you freak, until you find out that's scoring higher than 75% of the current students. That kind of thing.

But I don't know that any of this is worth what Barbri charges - lots of people self-study with used books/no course, and pass. Basically, I passed, so I don't regret using Barbri, but in no way think that doing Barbri is the *only* way to pass. (And if I take another bar and I'm paying for it, I'll probably self-study.)




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