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 » Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:27 am

BlueLotus wrote:
sd5289 wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:How much did her Barbri cost?


$3600. :shock:


JFC. No discount for PI gunners?

I seriously think I may cop dat Themis and use the money saved for my Nepal trek. 8)


Nah, she's PD bound. And seriously. I'm using the money I save to go drink wine in Italy for a few weeks.

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

Postby BlueLotus » Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:31 pm

sd5289 wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:
sd5289 wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:How much did her Barbri cost?


$3600. :shock:


JFC. No discount for PI gunners?

I seriously think I may cop dat Themis and use the money saved for my Nepal trek. 8)


Nah, she's PD bound. And seriously. I'm using the money I save to go drink wine in Italy for a few weeks.


Wine in Italy sounds lovely. Of course, for me going on a "bar trip" is entirely contingent on whether I get jerbed by next August. Oh, the Vale.

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

Postby mmmnnn » Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:21 pm

At most, Themis will cost you $1600. And, as they say, it really is all you need to pass. I also bought lean sheets for thirty bucks but that's only because I'm too lazy to make my own condensed outlines.

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

Postby sd5289 » Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:40 am

BlueLotus wrote:Wine in Italy sounds lovely. Of course, for me going on a "bar trip" is entirely contingent on whether I get jerbed by next August. Oh, the Vale.


Already ready for it! 8)

Guess that's the nice thing about Gov't hiring...already in the thick of it as we speak (two rounds today, which got me out of 3LOL classes). So either I'll know way before the bar exam whether I'm jerbed or I'll know that I should really drink up during that trip b/c I'll have a hell of a hustle for the next hiring season.

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

Postby CourtneyElizabeth » Wed Sep 10, 2014 5:16 pm

Can anyone suggest a more one-on-one tutoring program? Maybe actually just a tutor? In california in LA area...

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

Postby BlueLotus » Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:13 pm

Will dat Themis reimburse you for your Barbri deposit?

Only $1,600 sounds absolutely lovely.

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

Postby sd5289 » Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:45 pm

BlueLotus wrote:Will dat Themis reimburse you for your Barbri deposit?

Only $1,600 sounds absolutely lovely.


I'm a Themis rep.

Yes they will (assuming it's not the $500 deposit Barbri requested today). If you want exacts I can find it, but assuming you did the typical pre-today Barbri deposit, the answer is yes.

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

Postby BlueLotus » Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:56 am

sd5289 wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:Will dat Themis reimburse you for your Barbri deposit?

Only $1,600 sounds absolutely lovely.


I'm a Themis rep.

Yes they will (assuming it's not the $500 deposit Barbri requested today). If you want exacts I can find it, but assuming you did the typical pre-today Barbri deposit, the answer is yes.


Awesome, thanks. No, I did not pay $500 to barbri.

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

Postby abogadesq » Thu Sep 18, 2014 6:38 pm

Does anyone have an opinion on Themis for the Florida Bar exam?

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

Postby BlueLotus » Sun Sep 21, 2014 4:13 pm

sd5289 wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:Will dat Themis reimburse you for your Barbri deposit?

Only $1,600 sounds absolutely lovely.


I'm a Themis rep.

Yes they will (assuming it's not the $500 deposit Barbri requested today). If you want exacts I can find it, but assuming you did the typical pre-today Barbri deposit, the answer is yes.


Does Themis have a public interest discount?

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kay2016
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Re: So ya need a bar program: Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, Self, etc

Postby kay2016 » Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:30 pm

BlueLotus wrote:
sd5289 wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:Will dat Themis reimburse you for your Barbri deposit?

Only $1,600 sounds absolutely lovely.


I'm a Themis rep.

Yes they will (assuming it's not the $500 deposit Barbri requested today). If you want exacts I can find it, but assuming you did the typical pre-today Barbri deposit, the answer is yes.


Does Themis have a public interest discount?


Yes. At least in my state, is like a $500 discount

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

Postby BlueLotus » Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:35 am

kay2016 wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:
sd5289 wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:Will dat Themis reimburse you for your Barbri deposit?

Only $1,600 sounds absolutely lovely.


I'm a Themis rep.

Yes they will (assuming it's not the $500 deposit Barbri requested today). If you want exacts I can find it, but assuming you did the typical pre-today Barbri deposit, the answer is yes.


Does Themis have a public interest discount?


Yes. At least in my state, is like a $500 discount


I'm sold! Imma cop dat Themis.

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kay2016
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Re: So ya need a bar program: Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, Self, etc

Postby kay2016 » Tue Sep 23, 2014 11:54 am

BlueLotus wrote:
kay2016 wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:
sd5289 wrote:
I'm a Themis rep.

Yes they will (assuming it's not the $500 deposit Barbri requested today). If you want exacts I can find it, but assuming you did the typical pre-today Barbri deposit, the answer is yes.


Does Themis have a public interest discount?


Yes. At least in my state, is like a $500 discount


I'm sold! Imma cop dat Themis.



8) woop woop. doing my job as a rep, PM if you need more info about the PI discount/etc.

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

Postby abogadesq » Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:18 pm

Just copped that Themis. With the scholly you pay $1095.

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

Postby sd5289 » Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:56 pm

BlueLotus wrote:
sd5289 wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:Will dat Themis reimburse you for your Barbri deposit?

Only $1,600 sounds absolutely lovely.


I'm a Themis rep.

Yes they will (assuming it's not the $500 deposit Barbri requested today). If you want exacts I can find it, but assuming you did the typical pre-today Barbri deposit, the answer is yes.


Does Themis have a public interest discount?


Samesies. It has an excellent public interest discount. 8)

ValerOn1820
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Re: So ya need a bar program: Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, Self, etc

Postby ValerOn1820 » Tue Sep 30, 2014 8:20 pm

guys, what do you think about Illinois: Kaplan has today an impressive discount, total will be somewhere at 2k.

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

Postby bdubs » Fri Oct 03, 2014 4:22 pm

ValerOn1820 wrote:guys, what do you think about Illinois: Kaplan has today an impressive discount, total will be somewhere at 2k.


I took and passed Illinois with Kaplan, but I think I would have passed using any well-structured commercial prep program (i.e. not self-study). Not sure about how well I did because IL doesn't release scores to those who pass. Overall I was unimpressed with the quality of the Kaplan materials but I think that they are sufficient. I would probably do Kaplan if my firm wasn't paying but BarBri if they were.

First issue is clearly price. I paid $1,320+return shipping for books for Kaplan, no negotiation necessary I just responded to a promotional e-mail received through my school's list serve (sent in Feb of same year as exam). BarBri in IL was $3,900+ at rack rates and I was never offered a discount so I never bothered. Lots of points to Kaplan for being significantly cheaper and very low-hassle.

I did the completely online Kaplan course. The lectures all look like they were recorded in a 1980's public access cable channel basement, but they do the job. Some of the materials were clearly a few years old but it seemed like they updated when they needed to.

I watched every lecture video that they offered because I found it easier to absorb the info that way than to read the materials. The quality of the lecturers varies a lot but I found they ranged from terrible (Fed. CivPro was awful) to really good. Kaplan offers the ability to watch or listen to lectures at 1.5x speed, but I really wished they would have offered the ability to do 2x like BarBri does. The website design is clunky, old, and at times unaccessible (getting error messages is really annoying) but you can deal with it. The IPad/Iphone app is really nice but it was brand new and still had some bugs when they rolled it out mid-way through this summer. At the time I used it there was no Android version of the app which was kind of unfortunate.

The service component of of the bar prep was probably the worst. The essay grading was truly awful and unhelpful. The graders only checked your answer against a model prepared by Kaplan that was clearly only a sample and not complete or even entirely accurate. Someone else claimed that Kaplan used model answers from the board of bar examiners as their "model" or template, which seems awful and lazy of them and would lead to the results I experienced. I never independently verified that claim though. All of the essay prompts do come from prior exams though, so the content of the practice essays seems to not entirely line up with recent trends in tested subjects. To make things worse it took forever for Kaplan to grade the essays you submitted, particularly the mid and final practice exams. I felt very much on my own in preparing for essays. This was the worst part of the course.

A few times I wrote to the Kaplan administrators for IL and asked or complained about content that seemed wrong or inconsistent. These e-mails didn't get properly followed up on and no one seemed to care that their materials were inaccurate or inconsistent. This was really disheartening and would deter me from buying the service if the price weren't so much better than BarBri.

In contrast to essays and customer service, I found that the "ask an expert" function was very helpful the few times I used it.

The MBE Q-bank was probably the best feature of the prep. It has around 2,200 available questions and they are very helpful in both learning how to approach MBE questions, but also in learning the parts of the law that you didn't get in the lectures. I did a lot of MBE questions and I think it probably saved me if my essays were as crappy as Kaplan thought they were.

Overall I think when you're selling a preparation product it should be accurate, but Kaplan doesn't seem overly concerned with accuracy. They get 95% of the law right, which is probably fine for you to pass the bar, but I lost a measure of confidence in them after their unsympathetic response to complaints.

I really hated bar prep and didn't really want to talk about it with friends doing BarBri in my time off from studying. I don't know whether BarBri has similar issues, but based on their reputation they probably have far fewer errors in their materials. I would probably choose BarBri if I had to do it over again and knew my firm would reimburse me for whatever course I chose. Otherwise I think the annoyances are probably worth $2,600+.

I might consider Themis at $1,695 too, but i didn't know much about them and figured at the time I bought that Kaplan was at least as good based on name recognition/reputation.

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

Postby Neve » Mon Oct 06, 2014 7:42 pm

I used Barbri for the Texas Bar Exam. I got Tuition Assistance so the price was similar to Kaplan's ($2100 for Texas).

MBE Prep: I haven't gotten my result yet, but I felt that Barbri was very weak in their MBE prep. I felt that the actual MBE was much harder than the Barbri simulated questions. I mostly relied on the Barbri materials during my bar prep period. I did supplement my MBE study with the Emanuel's book (which I wish I used more) and the Critical Pass MBE notecards (http://criticalpass.refr.cc/3W6LZL6 - referral link). I think the Critical Pass notecards helped me since I did raise my percentage a lot after I started using them. I also relied on the CMR over the lecture notes in addition to the Critical Pass notecards since the Barbri MBE lectures were somewhat inadequate in my opinion. That said, the MBE tested a lot of nuances and things I didn't expect like the 8th amendment and the Fair Housing Act and none of the materials I used truly prepared me for that. I left the morning session feeling like I had been slaughtered. Not a good feeling. If I could do it again, I think I would either go with Kaplan since they have a reputation for being very strong in MBE prep or supplement Barbri with AdaptiBar, which has received rave reviews from everyone I know that used it. If I have to retake, I am definitely adding AdaptiBar to my MBE prep. Barbri needs to completely overhaul their approach to the MBE.

State Essays: Barbri was very strong here. I heavily relied on the Texas Testing book and their state lectures were far better than their MBE lectures. I tabbed the Texas Testing book and went nearly 10 years back for each subject, reviewing the question and model answer in detail after outlining the answer on my own. Sometimes I would write out the black letter law from the model answers by hand to help me memorize it cold.

The Texas Testing book is excellent and contains about 20 years worth of testing in each state essay subject. I sent my books back to Barbri, but the Texas Testing book is the one book I would keep besides the CMR since it contains a wealth of information and spending time with it is key to doing well on the essays.

The MPT: Barbri covered the MPT first. I did the Barbri assigned practice MPT and scored a 19 out of 25 doing it cold under timed conditions. The practice assignment was a memo. I did skim some MPTs the day before the exam to refresh my memory as to how to approach the MPT (read the task memo first, then the library, then the rest of the documents). I was told by various sources that the MPT for Texas would be either a memo or a brief. On the actual MPT, it was a client letter with a memo-like component. I finished it on time on exam day so I was satisfied. I think I spent about 35 minutes reading and planning and the rest of the time writing. According to my character count on ExamSoft, I wrote more on the actual MPT than I did on the practice one, where I scored 19/25.

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

Postby catlawl » Sat Oct 11, 2014 12:52 pm

I self-studied and easily passed the July 2014 bar exam. I purchased a complete set of 2011 Barbri books via Craigslist for $120. The books contain everything necessary to pass, and acquiring the most recent edition is not necessary. In order to pass the bar exam, you simply need to memorize the required information, then practice multiple choice and essay questions.

Self-studying is the most efficient study method because the written word communicates ideas much faster than the spoken word. After graduation, I spent twenty days traveling abroad in Africa and Europe. Upon my return, I studied four to five hours each weekday. I rarely touched the books on weekends. I advise first focusing on the conviser mini-outline. As you memorize the outline for each subject, do a few practice sets. After you have studied each subject, begin practicing mixed question sets. Four weeks prior to the exam, start memorizing the lecture outlines and long outlines for the state essay subjects. Two weeks before the exam, begin practicing state essay questions while occasionally mixing in MBE practice tests. Do not waste time preparing for the MPT. Two or three days prior to the MPT, read about the question format, look at past questions, look at a few model answers, then practice two or three of the essays.

Self-studying may be more difficult in 2015 due to the addition of civil procedure to the MBE. Prior Barbri sets will not include MBE outlines for civil procedure. However, most states test civil procedure as a state-specific subject, and these outlines should prove helpful. Moreover, just look at a 1L civ pro outline. The information you need should be there.

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

Postby BlueLotus » Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:07 pm

Anyone try Themis for PA?

JJ556
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Re: So ya need a bar program: Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, Self, etc

Postby JJ556 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:00 pm

BlueLotus wrote:Anyone try Themis for PA?


Yes, and if you're self-disciplined, I highly recommend that you save the money and buy Themis. I felt Themis prepared me well for both the MBE and PT/essays. My MBE scaled score was a 161 and PT/essay score was a 157. I did pretty bad on one essay and that's what brought my score down. My PT was 16.5 followed by an 8,17,17,11,15,14 for the essays.

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

Postby dreakol » Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:39 pm

dreakol wrote:Just wanted to give a heads up: doing baroutlines.com for Nevada and their state specific materials seemed to be lacking based off of reading model answers. For instance, one of the released model answers has Nevada as a "wait and see" state for RAP and that their time period is around 300+ years. There is no mention of this in the outline.

Also, the MBE question bank will repeat a lot. Did a 100 mixed practice test and ended up doing the same question around 5 times in that set. not to mention that most of the Qs were recycled from previous practice Qs that they have you do for specific subjects.

So, all in all, you might want to do some due diligence for state specific stuff and might need an additional source of MBE questions.

This might be because I'm taking Nevada and might be the first person using this for the state but just throwing it out there.



ended up passing in a state with a 57 percent pass rate. paid 50 for baroutlines and 30 for lean sheets. it really is all that's necessary.

wannabeapd2014
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Re: So ya need a bar program: Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, Self, etc

Postby wannabeapd2014 » Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:57 am

dreakol wrote:
dreakol wrote:Just wanted to give a heads up: doing baroutlines.com for Nevada and their state specific materials seemed to be lacking based off of reading model answers. For instance, one of the released model answers has Nevada as a "wait and see" state for RAP and that their time period is around 300+ years. There is no mention of this in the outline.

Also, the MBE question bank will repeat a lot. Did a 100 mixed practice test and ended up doing the same question around 5 times in that set. not to mention that most of the Qs were recycled from previous practice Qs that they have you do for specific subjects.

So, all in all, you might want to do some due diligence for state specific stuff and might need an additional source of MBE questions.

This might be because I'm taking Nevada and might be the first person using this for the state but just throwing it out there.



ended up passing in a state with a 57 percent pass rate. paid 50 for baroutlines and 30 for lean sheets. it really is all that's necessary.


Was this your first bar?

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

Postby dreakol » Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:10 am

wannabeapd2014 wrote:
dreakol wrote:
dreakol wrote:Just wanted to give a heads up: doing baroutlines.com for Nevada and their state specific materials seemed to be lacking based off of reading model answers. For instance, one of the released model answers has Nevada as a "wait and see" state for RAP and that their time period is around 300+ years. There is no mention of this in the outline.

Also, the MBE question bank will repeat a lot. Did a 100 mixed practice test and ended up doing the same question around 5 times in that set. not to mention that most of the Qs were recycled from previous practice Qs that they have you do for specific subjects.

So, all in all, you might want to do some due diligence for state specific stuff and might need an additional source of MBE questions.

This might be because I'm taking Nevada and might be the first person using this for the state but just throwing it out there.



ended up passing in a state with a 57 percent pass rate. paid 50 for baroutlines and 30 for lean sheets. it really is all that's necessary.


Was this your first bar?


Yeah

bartaker1
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Re: So ya need a bar program: Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, Self, etc

Postby bartaker1 » Thu Oct 23, 2014 4:28 pm

I created an account here to chime in on baroutlines.com. I was a July '14 first time bar taker. I paid a total of $100 on bar prep, $50 of which was spent on baroutlines. (The other $50 was on NCBE OPE4, which I recommend if you're self-studying and you need a realistic MBE set that comes with answer explanations). I used other free materials to supplement my studying, but baroutlines was how I spent most of my time. I passed in Tennessee, a 50/50 MBE/essay state with a 270 minimum passing score. Pass rate this year was 68%.

I think "you get what you pay for" is an accurate summary of baroutlines. For $50, you get a little over 100 pages of MBE topic outlines, about 200 pages of state-specific outlines, access to video "lectures", and an MBE question bank. I would recommend the program, but only if you are a good standardized test taker and if you're in a strong MBE=auto pass state.

I agree with dreakol that the MBE question bank was very repetitive. Moreover, the question quality and writing style was nothing like actual MBE questions. I think going through the questions for a while can't hurt, but you should probably find something else as your go-to source for MBE drills. The lectures were pretty useless for me. It was a disembodied voice mostly reading from the outlines, with additional explanations/examples that were few and far between.

The MBE topic outline quality was fine. There were typos and grammar issues, but by and large it covered what I needed to know. When the outline was written in a confusing way, I'd just google for more guidance. I wrote my own flashcards along the way while using the outlines. I felt good coming out of the July '14 MBE - not too many curveballs.

The state specific outlines were worse. First off, when I said the state materials spanned 200 pages, that includes the MBE topics, which were mostly just carbon copies of what I already had. There were very few state-specific distinctions included. There were things you'd expect to be covered -- the state's rules on RAP, the statutory period for adverse possession, whether the state is a lien theory/title theory state, etc. -- that were not mentioned. Even worse was the fact that some of the supposedly state-specific information was incorrect. Lastly, the editing left something to be desired. One of the pages included a paragraph to the effect of "I don't have this section, does anyone have it?" which hadn't been deleted and replaced by content. Maybe I was the first in my state to purchase the outlines which accounts for the low quality. I can't speak to the quality of the materials for more popular states, but what I've seen doesn't instill much confidence.

I didn't put much effort at all on essay studying because I was scoring well enough on practice MBEs to pass. But if you're in a state that requires you to pay attention to state-specific materials, I would not rely on baroutlines for that portion of your studying -even if it's cheap, you're learning information that's potentially inaccurate. Your money and time's better off on something else. But, if you're just looking for a way to learn MBE subject matter, and you want to avoid paying the fear-induced $2,000+ to Barbri, it's probably worth it.




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