So ya need a bar program: Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, Self, etc

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sd5289
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Re: So ya need a bar program: Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, Self, etc

Postby sd5289 » Sat Apr 18, 2015 4:12 pm

BlueLotus wrote:I already paid the $50 deposit for BarBri during my 1L year. The full price for my state is $3,895(!). I just realized that Themis offers a public interest discount at the very reasonable price of $1195. I've used and liked Themis materials for the MPRE, and I'm thinking of switching over. Any viable reason to stick with BarBri? Will Themis refund my BarBri deposit? Keep in mind that I am in the bottom half of the class and thus more likely to fail the bar which is why I am kind of apprehensive of taking a less-established course. Any perspective from Themis bar passers would be appreciated.


(Obviously) not a Themis bar passer, but I am a rep. Well, I did use Themis for 6 hours the day before the MPRE and passed, so there's that.

Yes, the PI discount is $1195, and does not require you to have a PI job before graduation to get the discount. If you do not have a PI job, you just send in your resume along with the application to demonstrate your background in PI. Themis should refund your deposit to another bar review company up to $200 or $250 (but that may vary by state, so check with the reps at your school).

As far as taking a "less-established course," it is true that Themis is a new company, but if you're truly apprehensive, Themis publishes its pass rates for every jurisdiction it is in, and your school reps likely have the information for your specific school (at my school the pass rate for the NY bar is 95% whereas the state average for Themis takers is 92% for people who complete 75% of the course and 83% for people who do not complete 75% of the course). Barbri and Kaplan do not publish their pass rates (though perhaps their reps at your school may know the pass rates for your school? I really don't know).

Also, is Themis all-online or do you have to go to the lectures? I'd prefer not to have to commute into the city each day to watch a video.


Yes, it is entirely online. You have two study options: directed study or flex. The directed study is very much like what you're expecting with Barbri or Kaplan. You'll get a schedule to follow, and that schedule will adjust based on what you do/don't complete. The flex study is exactly what it sounds like, and that's a little more loose. I personally plan on following the directed study schedule.

P.S. I was not a rep my 1L or 2L year, and had already decided to take Themis before they offered me the chance to become a rep near the end of my 2L year. I honestly believe that Themis is the way to go with the exception of that small subset of people who have told me that if they're not forced to go into a classroom to watch the videos (see: Barbri), then they won't do it. Since the bar exam is basically preparation, practice, repeat, I wouldn't suggest Themis to anyone who can't follow a directed study schedule on their own (meaning they won't do it if they're not forced into a classroom to do it). For everyone else, I can't see why you'd choose to pay $3000-$4000.

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BlueLotus
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Re: So ya need a bar program: Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, Self, etc

Postby BlueLotus » Sat Apr 18, 2015 4:42 pm

sd5289 wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:I already paid the $50 deposit for BarBri during my 1L year. The full price for my state is $3,895(!). I just realized that Themis offers a public interest discount at the very reasonable price of $1195. I've used and liked Themis materials for the MPRE, and I'm thinking of switching over. Any viable reason to stick with BarBri? Will Themis refund my BarBri deposit? Keep in mind that I am in the bottom half of the class and thus more likely to fail the bar which is why I am kind of apprehensive of taking a less-established course. Any perspective from Themis bar passers would be appreciated.


(Obviously) not a Themis bar passer, but I am a rep. Well, I did use Themis for 6 hours the day before the MPRE and passed, so there's that.

Yes, the PI discount is $1195, and does not require you to have a PI job before graduation to get the discount. If you do not have a PI job, you just send in your resume along with the application to demonstrate your background in PI. Themis should refund your deposit to another bar review company up to $200 or $250 (but that may vary by state, so check with the reps at your school).

As far as taking a "less-established course," it is true that Themis is a new company, but if you're truly apprehensive, Themis publishes its pass rates for every jurisdiction it is in, and your school reps likely have the information for your specific school (at my school the pass rate for the NY bar is 95% whereas the state average for Themis takers is 92% for people who complete 75% of the course and 83% for people who do not complete 75% of the course). Barbri and Kaplan do not publish their pass rates (though perhaps their reps at your school may know the pass rates for your school? I really don't know).

Also, is Themis all-online or do you have to go to the lectures? I'd prefer not to have to commute into the city each day to watch a video.


Yes, it is entirely online. You have two study options: directed study or flex. The directed study is very much like what you're expecting with Barbri or Kaplan. You'll get a schedule to follow, and that schedule will adjust based on what you do/don't complete. The flex study is exactly what it sounds like, and that's a little more loose. I personally plan on following the directed study schedule.

P.S. I was not a rep my 1L or 2L year, and had already decided to take Themis before they offered me the chance to become a rep near the end of my 2L year. I honestly believe that Themis is the way to go with the exception of that small subset of people who have told me that if they're not forced to go into a classroom to watch the videos (see: Barbri), then they won't do it. Since the bar exam is basically preparation, practice, repeat, I wouldn't suggest Themis to anyone who can't follow a directed study schedule on their own (meaning they won't do it if they're not forced into a classroom to do it). For everyone else, I can't see why you'd choose to pay $3000-$4000.


Thanks, I'm sold! You're a good rep. :)

I glad I don't have to add the cost of commuting to the city every day into my bar prep and can do everything from home. That commute would eat up a good chunk of my study time.

I don't get why anyone would do BarBri at ~$4,000 (unless their firm foots the bill)

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ymmv
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Re: So ya need a bar program: Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, Self, etc

Postby ymmv » Sat Apr 18, 2015 4:48 pm

Using Barmax to study for Professional Ethics/MPRE since I skipped every class. This app is really fucking good - downloadable lectures, well-written outlines, flash cards, practice quizzes and tests. Super clean, logical interface. Runs fast on an iPhone 5. Lectures are just as good as or better than a lot of the Barbri/Kaplan ones I've used to review for other classes. Almost definitely using this for bar study next summer.

(Not a rep.)

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sd5289
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Re: So ya need a bar program: Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, Self, etc

Postby sd5289 » Sat Apr 18, 2015 5:00 pm

ymmv wrote:Using Barmax to study for Professional Ethics/MPRE since I skipped every class. This app is really fucking good - downloadable lectures, well-written outlines, flash cards, practice quizzes and tests. Super clean, logical interface. Runs fast on an iPhone 5. Lectures are just as good as or better than a lot of the Barbri/Kaplan ones I've used to review for other classes. Almost definitely using this for bar study next summer.

(Not a rep.)


What is Barmax? I've seen several references to it lately. Also, you mentioned the iPhone, but does it work on the Kindle Fire?

(if you know)

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sd5289
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Re: So ya need a bar program: Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, Self, etc

Postby sd5289 » Sat Apr 18, 2015 5:06 pm

BlueLotus wrote:I don't get why anyone would do BarBri at ~$4,000 (unless their firm foots the bill)


I'm sort of the same. I think people who are working at a firm paying for it (or parents are paying for it...I know at least one person like this) does Barbri or Kaplan because they are the well-known ones and when you don't have to worry about cost, why not. I also think people can be afraid of not doing the most well-known programs, which is why I spend time explaining what Themis is and what it does. By the by, the people who created Themis helped create Barbri, and then eventually left and created Themis. I know my Themis staff person (who schedules all our table dates and all that) used to work for Barbri for a long while and then left to come to Themis. Finally, I do think there is that group of people, albeit small, who might not do as well if they have to be completely self-reliant in their bar study. I'm engaged to one such person who basically had to be forced into going into the classroom (she did Barbri and passed no problem). There's nothing wrong with that...it's just a more expensive option, but everyone should choose the program that works best for them.

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ymmv
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Re: So ya need a bar program: Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, Self, etc

Postby ymmv » Sat Apr 18, 2015 5:27 pm

sd5289 wrote:
ymmv wrote:Using Barmax to study for Professional Ethics/MPRE since I skipped every class. This app is really fucking good - downloadable lectures, well-written outlines, flash cards, practice quizzes and tests. Super clean, logical interface. Runs fast on an iPhone 5. Lectures are just as good as or better than a lot of the Barbri/Kaplan ones I've used to review for other classes. Almost definitely using this for bar study next summer.

(Not a rep.)


What is Barmax? I've seen several references to it lately. Also, you mentioned the iPhone, but does it work on the Kindle Fire?

(if you know)


It's a bar prep course in an app, but it's really more like a whole suite of study apps integrated into a single app wrapper (which is fantastic). Unfortunately it's iOS only for now, but I'd be shocked if they didn't expand to Android/Kindle once it picks up steam. The MPRE course is free. Full state bar prep course is $999, plus an extra $499 for the MBE. Their only states are California, New York, and New Jersey right now, with apparent plans to add the rest at regular intervals.

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BlueLotus
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Re: So ya need a bar program: Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, Self, etc

Postby BlueLotus » Sat Apr 18, 2015 5:43 pm

sd5289 wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:I don't get why anyone would do BarBri at ~$4,000 (unless their firm foots the bill)


I'm sort of the same. I think people who are working at a firm paying for it (or parents are paying for it...I know at least one person like this) does Barbri or Kaplan because they are the well-known ones and when you don't have to worry about cost, why not. I also think people can be afraid of not doing the most well-known programs, which is why I spend time explaining what Themis is and what it does. By the by, the people who created Themis helped create Barbri, and then eventually left and created Themis. I know my Themis staff person (who schedules all our table dates and all that) used to work for Barbri for a long while and then left to come to Themis. Finally, I do think there is that group of people, albeit small, who might not do as well if they have to be completely self-reliant in their bar study. I'm engaged to one such person who basically had to be forced into going into the classroom (she did Barbri and passed no problem). There's nothing wrong with that...it's just a more expensive option, but everyone should choose the program that works best for them.


Does Themis let you speed up lectures like BarBri?

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sd5289
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Re: So ya need a bar program: Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, Self, etc

Postby sd5289 » Sun Apr 19, 2015 2:33 pm

BlueLotus wrote:Does Themis let you speed up lectures like BarBri?


Yep. They're also broken up into smaller lectures (like they were for the MPRE) to make it a little more manageable / likely that you'll pay attention during the whole thing.

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ymmv
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Re: So ya need a bar program: Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, Self, etc

Postby ymmv » Mon Apr 20, 2015 4:50 pm

sd5289 wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:Does Themis let you speed up lectures like BarBri?


Yep. They're also broken up into smaller lectures (like they were for the MPRE) to make it a little more manageable / likely that you'll pay attention during the whole thing.



Does Themis let you do this with lectures downloaded via the mobile app? What about BarBri/Kaplan? Pretty much the biggest thing I think I'll care about in a bar program. Planning to spend most of my study months running cross country (not joking).

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Re: So ya need a bar program: Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, Self, etc

Postby underthirty » Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:58 pm

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Last edited by underthirty on Sat May 30, 2015 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ymmv
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Re: So ya need a bar program: Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, Self, etc

Postby ymmv » Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:01 pm

underthirty wrote:
ymmv wrote:Does Themis let you do this with lectures downloaded via the mobile app? What about BarBri/Kaplan? Pretty much the biggest thing I think I'll care about in a bar program. Planning to spend most of my study months running cross country (not joking).

Kaplan lectures can be downloaded in the app. And, yes, you can speed up the diwnloaded videos. For some professors I found 1.5x worked best for me, others I listened to at 2x.


Cool. Are the lectures available as pure audio too? Most video apps won't keep running with the screen off. And I really have no interest in watching the profs anyway.

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Re: So ya need a bar program: Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, Self, etc

Postby underthirty » Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:12 pm

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Last edited by underthirty on Sat May 30, 2015 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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sd5289
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Re: So ya need a bar program: Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, Self, etc

Postby sd5289 » Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:41 pm

ymmv wrote:
sd5289 wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:Does Themis let you speed up lectures like BarBri?


Yep. They're also broken up into smaller lectures (like they were for the MPRE) to make it a little more manageable / likely that you'll pay attention during the whole thing.


Does Themis let you do this with lectures downloaded via the mobile app? What about BarBri/Kaplan? Pretty much the biggest thing I think I'll care about in a bar program. Planning to spend most of my study months running cross country (not joking).


Had no idea, so downloaded one of the MBE Civ Pro lectures onto my phone. You can slide the bar to fast forward, but doesn't look like you can speed up. Boo.

Was planning on watching via iMac anyway though. Prefer the bigger screen over the small screens.

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Re: So ya need a bar program: Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, Self, etc

Postby Tabirks » Sat Jun 06, 2015 8:39 pm

Has anyone heard about The Bar Code Cheat Sheets in Action, by Whitney Roberts? I am willing to purchase.

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Re: So ya need a bar program: Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, Self, etc

Postby JulyNYbar » Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:01 am

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grizz20
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Re: So ya need a bar program: Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, Self, etc

Postby grizz20 » Sat Oct 03, 2015 12:18 am

Your choice of prep company will not determine your outcome. None are lamborghinis or pontiacs.

I only took Barbri, but it was paid for by a different party. I passed.

Study time: Because of personal family reasons I studied for 4 weeks. But I think cramming is a better study method for the bar anyways. Don't forget, you aren't trying to learn, you just want to pass.

For lectures: listen at 1.75-2x speed. The people are boring. Fill it in, don't think about it and move on. One prof had a shit voice so I had to go slower. Listening to their dumb acronyms is a waste and you won't learn anything. You may feel like you are accomplishing a lot while listening, you aren't. You only learn by doing the questions.

Going to lectures: Even if I did start on time and lived in the state where I sat for the Bar, I would not have attended the lectures. Commute plus listening to them at normal speed sounded terrible. Don't go unless you can't take bar studying seriously at home.

Don't change your study style for bar prep unless you did shitty in law school.

Essays: Figure out what is historically tested in your state, and which law is only subparts of essays. I skipped 3-4 subjects completely. I focused on Civ Pro, State "X" Civ Pro, Wills, Secured, and Bus Org subjects - worked well. My next effort was on Contracts. Only outline your essays and read the answers. Within each subject be sure and cover different areas of that law by looking at the essay questions before doing essays. Maybe write out 1-2 if you really want to.

Figure out if you want to do CIRAC or CRAC, and just go with it. I did CIRAC and probably got extra points for good issue statements. Even if they were shit on exam day, I still did it to go through the motions.

MBE: I sucked at property, so I did enough to hit at average and said fuck it. I consistently crushed civ pro, contracts, and evidence, so I made sure to crush those on exam day.

Percentage MBE to Essay: Crucial to look at. If it isn't 50-50 don't bank on crushing the MBE and doing well.

MPT: Maybe do 1 timed, and write completely. Otherwise, I wouldn't sweat it. Put in headings, write by CIRAC, and you are done.

No more than 1000 MBEs: it is better to understand why you got the question right or wrong rather than doing thousands. Some people I saw go through 3500. That is a terrible strategy and will only provide a marginal benefit.

Don't open up Conviser Mini or the big book. I didnt open it. If you are that concerned about not understanding a niche area, your priorities are misplaced. If it's a global concept, I guess you will have to.

AMP software: Did one. Found it stupid and not helpful.

Percentage completion: If it makes you feel better to check off what you've done, do it. If it keeps you organized, do it. Otherwise, you know what you need to work on.

Hotel: Stay at a nice hotel. Needs to have decent food, good bar for a nightcap, convenience, relaxing, swimming pool, and little to no students. Yeah, it was expensive, but when compared to law school, foregone wages, 1L summer internships, and 2L SA, money should not be your determinant.

Post test: Like everyone else, I felt like a moron after the exam. A week later, I just told myself that most people pass. Just work diligently and focused.

Again prep company doesn't matter unless you have focus problems or must rely on a better guarantee. If you are overthinking this, move on with your priorities. The focus is your study habits.

Given that, OP started a valuable thread. Many other posters have provided insight. Choose and move on.

TwoBars
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Re: So ya need a bar program: Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, Self, etc

Postby TwoBars » Fri Oct 09, 2015 7:47 am

Great post by Grizz20.

I think the key is not to try and change how you study. Staying at a nicer hotel is very good advice.

willistononresults
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Re: So ya need a bar program: Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, Self, etc

Postby willistononresults » Thu Nov 19, 2015 2:16 pm

I'm taking the UBE in February so MBE is 50% and I don't have to worry about state law essays. It seems like based on this thread and others that Kaplan is the best prep course for MBE material, mainly because the Q Bank? Any other thoughts are helpful - thanks!

aschick
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Re: So ya need a bar program: Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, Self, etc

Postby aschick » Thu Dec 03, 2015 1:50 pm

I need to buy the Barbri The Conviser Mini Review Texas 15' 16' book, if you have it and would like to sell, please text me at 214-212-0241. Thank you.

Scottie2Hottie
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Re: So ya need a bar program: Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, Self, etc

Postby Scottie2Hottie » Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:10 pm

FYI....Kaplan is real grimy with their book deposit refund. Make sure to keep the tracking number when you send it back, otherwise they will just say it never got there.

dxchpwd
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Re: So ya need a bar program: Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, Self, etc

Postby dxchpwd » Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:05 am

Anybody know what is the average score for Kaplan MBE Midterm test?

Is it difficult or is it just me?

Good luck everybody!

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fourtyacslaw
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Re: So ya need a bar program: Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, Self, etc

Postby fourtyacslaw » Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:43 pm

I will be taking the July '16 bar exam. My firm will repay any bar expenses, but only after I have started work in September. So, if at all possible, I would like to spend as little money upfront so that I can save it for summer living expenses (and avoid taking out any bar loans).

I know Themis offers a payment plan, but only stretches the final payment to the end of May. Barbri mentions offering a payment plan, but I cant see any specifics without registering.

Has anyone else been in the same position? Any ideas for how to best approach this? I figure I'm probably going to have to just bite the bullet.

Nat Sherman
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Re: So ya need a bar program: Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, Self, etc

Postby Nat Sherman » Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:54 pm

fourtyacslaw wrote:I will be taking the July '16 bar exam. My firm will repay any bar expenses, but only after I have started work in September. So, if at all possible, I would like to spend as little money upfront so that I can save it for summer living expenses (and avoid taking out any bar loans).

I know Themis offers a payment plan, but only stretches the final payment to the end of May. Barbri mentions offering a payment plan, but I cant see any specifics without registering.

Has anyone else been in the same position? Any ideas for how to best approach this? I figure I'm probably going to have to just bite the bullet.


This seems pretty short sighted. If your firm is reimbursing expenses, and you got a bar loan, then the most you'll be on the hook for is the interest rate, which couldn't be more than a couple hundred. Why go through all this work to pinch pennies just to save yourself a couple hundred that you can easily pay back once you start working. Not having to worry too much about expenses when taking the bar is worth a lot more than a couple hundred once you start your job.

Even better plan, get one of those 0% apr for 12 month cards, put all your bar expenses on that, pay the minimum payments (like $30 a month) and then when your firm reimburses you, pay it off. No interest accrued, almost no cost to you out of pocket, and you'd have more money for summer living expenses than if you pinched pennies by trying to spend as little as possible.

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VirginiaBarExamTutor
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Re: So ya need a bar program: Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, Self, etc

Postby VirginiaBarExamTutor » Sun Feb 21, 2016 6:19 pm

I agree with Nat Sherman's advice. But to answer your question more directly, as of last year Kaplan also offered a payment plan. I believe you could split it into 4 payments on a credit card. It could all be done online. I haven't checked for the 2016 courses, so your mileage may vary.

rhs67858
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Re: So ya need a bar program: Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, Self, etc

Postby rhs67858 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:45 pm

Does Barbri use real MBE practice questions? I called a rep and she said yes; however, a fellow TLSer said no. I am about to pull the trigger on one of these programs for the July bar.

It's bizarre, part of me really wants to use Themis. But I keep leaning toward BarBri.




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