27 November 2007

Hey ... new plan: pass the bar!

Options, options, options. I've been researching which books, programs, tutors, and bullshit work the best and here's the general plan:

Books:
  1. Jeff Adachi's Bar Survival series - Bar Breakers I and II are the biggest parts, there are also flash cards (pretty good), a "Survival Guide" (has outlines which parallel the flashcards closely), and a book on the MBE's (which is supposed to be inferior to other MBE specific resources). ($100 off craigslist for all the above, ~$325 new)
  2. Strategies & Tactics for the MBEby Walton and Emanuel - recommended by many online and by John Holtz (see below). $56

Courses, seminars, tutors:
  1. John Holtz - PT and Essays, seminar and tutoring. 3 day course on the PT for $450 (reviews range from mixed to very positive, more on the positive end). Based in LA but teaches PT course in SF also. May be available to tutor for a similar price. Tutoring is over the phone and fax. Free study plan by email. You work off materials you already have or can get on the cheap (PMBR big books, Bar/bri stuff, the Walton book above, Bar Breakers, etc). I'll be using him personally, but below are some other options I researched.
  2. The Bar Code - $1200 for the "intensive" program, $3000 for the "complete program." Mixed reviews, some really like their materials, two of my friends recommended it. (I might use it with Holtz's program/help).
  3. Essay Advantage - Essays only, substantive review and essay feedback.
    1. $1500, taught by Jeff Adachi in SF, operated by Bar/bri. Supposed to be similar to the bar/bri experience but with sole focus on essays which get a bit more feedback than in the regular course (this apparently varies, but the same person has been grading them in SF for a while now and gives a respectable level of feedback).
    2. 12 classes, 6 graded essays. Classes during weekdays so incompatible with work.
  4. PT advantage - same as above, but for PT only, $450 for "alumni" of bar/bri.
  5. Emerson's tutorial bar review - Recommended by a friend of mine, but costs $4950.
  6. Barpassers - $2000, see chart, also recommended by a friend. Commonly used, slick presentation materials, on the affordable side but less personalized than most others.
  7. MicroMash - $900 for MBE's, $1600 for MBE's + State specific materials (for California at least). This is a computer program that is sold by Thompson-West. Supposed to be good help with MBE's. VERY similar to the Smart Study program Bar/bri students are familiar with.
  8. The Writing Edge - some people seem to like Vivian Dempsey, but her course is $5500, high even for a private tutor.
  9. CalBar Tutorial - many random recommendations, some negative though. Paul Pfau is behind this - some love him, some really hate him. Serious spite.
  10. Hugh Reed / passyourbar.com - good reviews out there, though few. Hugely expensive! Small classes for $4,400, private on-on-one tutoring for $14000 (and some options in between).
  11. Fleming’s - covers essays, performance exam, and MBE
  12. National Bar Review - private tutoring, they advertise heavily
  13. PASS - online course — covers essays and performance test
  14. Adaptibar - online MBE course.
  15. Bar Graders - private tutoring for essays
  16. Bar None Review - essays, MBE, performance exam
  17. Bar Perfect - private tutoring on essays, performance exam
  18. Shari Karney - WAY too expensive ($6,000 for limited help, $12,000 for the "platinum package" which I think includes hypnotherapy. Not a good choice in my opinion, few independent reviews. At least she includes her prices on the website (most other private tutors do not).
  19. There are others, post your recommendations, reviews, additions, or thoughts in the comments!
* Here's a link to my little spread sheet on the courses:
http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=p1suH5w6dNJwpxS4x3iy5Vg&hl=en



20 November 2007

The downlow on the MBE - free mbe questiosn from the bar examiners

All States other than Louisiana and Washington use the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) on their bar exams. The MBE has 200 multiple-choice questions given over two 3-hour exam periods. Ten "pretest" questions are not used for scoring purposes: the remaining 190 questions test the following substantive areas of law (links to outlines below, NCBE booklet here):

If you are taking the MBE, visit the website of the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) early in your bar review process. The NCBE provides a detailed description and subject-matter outlines for each subject tested. (Clicking on the subject-matter links above will take you directly to the subject-matter outlines.) The free MBE Information Booklet provides sample questions. Over 1200 MBE questions have been released and are available for purchase.

18 November 2007

Failing the bar - GOOD idea?!?

Name does not appear, etc ... so ... um ... yeah, we need a new plan ...