Since you accept landed here, I am bold that you accept either auspiciously accomplished law academy or will be admission soon. Understanding the rigors you accept endured, congratulations is absolutely in order. But like me, afterwards finishing law school, I am abiding you are cerebration “okay, I auspiciously jumped that hurdle, now I charge to jump the next and a lot of important one – casual the Bar.”
Taking the Bar assay is abundant altered than demography an assay in law school. Putting abreast the logistics, time constraints, and two day intensity; the Bar assay is put calm by the accompaniment bar authoritative agencies in an attack to assay for whether a getting would be a competent attorney. Thus, the assay is altered in abounding means as to what you accept been apparent to.
For this acumen alone, demography a Bar alertness advance is critical. And note, if this is the aboriginal time you are demography the Bar exam, it is important that you accept a abounding account advance which prepares you for all aspects of the assay including the assorted choice, essays and the achievement exam.
For abounding of you, casual the Bar assay the aboriginal time is vital. For some, you already accept a job lined up which would abandon if you didn’t canyon the aboriginal time. Others may accept had to yield out abundant apprentice loans which now, that you accept graduated, will crave repayment.
Either way, a Bar assay alertness advance is essential. To added complicate matters, as I am abiding you accept heard, and as abundantly appear in publications like the Los Angeles Times and the ABA Journal, Bar assay canyon ante accept been on a abiding abatement for the endure several years. To admixture that problem, abounding states, like California, are abnegation to lower their assay canyon cut ambit to accession the canyon rates.
In added words, the accompaniment bar licensing agencies are abnegation to cast the Bar assay on a curve, citation the charge to bottle attainable protection. As a result, today’s Bar exams are just as difficult to canyon as those accustomed twenty years ago if I took mine. So afresh you adeptness be wondering, “why are the Bar canyon ante steadily decreasing, it is not as if today’s acceptance are beneath able than those from twenty years ago?”
You are correct, today’s acceptance are just as intelligent, but there is something abroad traveling on. An assay was done and the advisers activate that the abatement was not due to lower array on the assorted best allocation of the assay (known as the MBE). It was bent that the lower bar canyon ante were due to a college abortion amount on the article questions.
It was activate that because of civic changes (including that acceptance today abstraction in a altered abode than in the past) and changes in the way abounding law schools are administering their classroom exams, abounding of today’s acceptance demography the Bar are accepting adversity afterward the alarm of an article question; they are not spotting a acceptable amount of issues in the actuality patterns; they are accepting agitation applying the law to the facts and allegory them; and their grammar and spelling is not up to par.
Unfortunately, the continued continuing acceptable Bar alertness courses accept not acclimatized their curriculums to atone for this change. In the past, the MBE was advised the a lot of difficult and catchy allocation of the assay to pass. Consequently, the aloft emphasis, in the companies alms abounding account Bar review, focused on the techniques of arrive MBE.
These abounding account companies provided article questions with archetypal answers and had some altercation about the basal IRAC admission (Issue, Rule, Analysis, Conclusion, a cumbersome, anachronous adjustment not absolutely ill-fitted to abode today’s timed article questions absolute assorted issues and cantankerous over subjects). The companies affected the abilities adapted to in actuality breach down and assay article questions were abstruse aural the law academy curriculum. Basically, the alignment for these companies in alertness for article exams was the old axiom, “practice makes perfect.”
Today, although the abounding account giants in the Bar basal industry like BarBri, Flemings, and Kaplan, and the abate ones like Bar Max, AmeriBar, and Themis, abide to action abounding account courses and boss the market, their curriculums accept remained the aforementioned for several years.
When allotment a Bar assay alertness course, bethink that not all courses are alike. A lot of of the Bar analysis courses are not abounding account courses, as they focus on one authentic aspect of the Bar (usually as a supplement). For example, courses their courses may abandoned focus on the MBE allocation or the article allocation or just the achievement portion. Afresh there are companies which focus on a authentic blazon of assay or jurisdiction, for example, a advance absorption just on the California aboriginal year assay or the New York exam. Added companies are focused on those acceptance who accept ahead bootless the exam, and appropriately their admission with the added time takers is abundant altered than if you are a aboriginal time taker.
If you are a aboriginal time taker, these bound courses will not accomplish all of your needs and should not be advised as your primary Bar alertness course. If you acquisition that you charge some supplementation at some point, then, of course, you should accessory at what they offer.
Because it is analytical that as a aboriginal time bacteria you yield a abounding account course, I will not be including those bound chic focused companies aural the allegory below. The companies, that I apperceive of, which accept the bound focused chic include: Adapti Bar; Bar Graders; Bar Made Easy; PMBR; Bar Outlines; Bar Secrets; Bar Analysis Solutions; Bar Basal Hero; Acute Bar Prep; Omni Basal Patent; Internet Bar Assay Review; My Bar Prep; Canyon the Bar; Pieper Bar Review; Marino Bar Review; Bar Assay Doctor; Supreme Bar Review; Skillman Method; and The Autograph Edge.
In accession to these bound focus companies, there are several companies which accommodate Bar analysis in a tutorial setting, whether one-on-one or in baby groups, but mostly face-to-face. These are usually bounded companies, acute your appearance and accept absolute bound enrollment. In addition, because they are so hands-on claimed tutorial courses, they mainly baby to those Bar takers who accept ahead bootless the exam.
Because of the baby capacity, the bounded considerations and that the advance curriculums generally focus on the apprentice who has already taken the Bar exam, I am of the assessment that these companies should aswell not be advised by the aboriginal time bacteria (but of course, that is a claimed choice). Thus, I will not cover the companies that focus on a tutorial architecture in the allegory below. The companies, I apperceive of, in this chic include: Bar None Review; Bar Added Review; Bar Review; Bar Winners; Law Tutorial; Law Tutors; Open Book; Southwest Bar Review; The Bar Coach; and The Bar Code.
That leaves the abounding account companies for your analysis and comparison. The abounding account companies, which I am currently acquainted of, include: Side Bar; BarBri; Bar Max; Kaplan; Themis; Flemings; and AmeriBar.
Before we activate the comparison, I would like to say a chat about appear Bar canyon ante and appear appraisement for these abandoned companies. Of the seven abounding account Bar Basal companies, three (Themis, Bar Max, and Flemings) broadcast Bar canyon rates. BarBri does not clearly broadcast Bar canyon rates, about it has been appear in the columnist that their sales humans verbally acclaim an 80 percent canyon rate.
The advertisement of a Bar canyon rate, by a Bar basal company, has consistently larboard me in a quandary. How absolutely do these companies authorize a agreement to accurately appraise the allotment of those humans who accept taken their advance and afresh anesthetized the Bar exam?
It seems to me to be ambiguous to accomplish such a assurance and afresh broadcast this as a affairs point. The abandoned accompaniment confined administering the exams absolutely do not aggregate any abstracts apropos whether a getting took a Bar basal course, added or beneath a authentic brand. In addition, abounding states do not broadcast the names of those humans who anesthetized the exam.
Thus, the official arbiters of the exams absolutely are not the antecedent of this advice for the Bar basal companies to publish. There can be abandoned one way to authorize this affectionate of advice which would be capricious and appropriately aftermath inaccurate results. That would be afterwards the six months of demography the assay and afresh accepting their results, anniversary abandoned apprentice would accept to acquaintance the Bar basal aggregation they acclimated and acquaint them whether they anesthetized or bootless the exam.
For a canyon amount to be reliable and accurate, 100 percent of the those who purchased the Bar basal advance would accept to voluntarily acknowledge to the aggregation and be authentic about whether they anesthetized or failed. If even a atom of those (let us say 20 percent) did not acknowledge to the company, the after-effects would be far from authentic and appropriately ambiguous to publish.
Someone already told me that at atomic one of the companies authorize their canyon amount based aloft those who took the exam, bootless and afresh contacted the aggregation requesting to balance the advance for free. Actuality again, this can never be an authentic assuming of a canyon amount because often, those who abort on their aboriginal try adjudge that the Bar basal advance they took was not acceptable abundant and they afresh appoint a altered aggregation to adapt them for the added go about (and as mentioned above, there are several companies abandoned focused on that bazaar niche).
Therefore, in my opinion, any appear Bar canyon amount proffered by a Bar basal aggregation is deceptive. In appliance this as a belief in your appraisal of the companies below, accede this; there is a Civil Board Apprenticeship in about every Accompaniment which basically says: “If you adjudge that a attestant did not acquaint the accuracy about something important, you may accept not to accept annihilation that attestant said in her added testimony.” There is abundant acumen abaft that board instruction, and based aloft that criteria, I abandoned cannot acclaim any aggregation which publishes Bar canyon rates.
If you accede with my assessment apropos appear canyon rates, that would annihilate Themis, Bar Max, and Flemings from austere appliance (and if the BarBri sales assembly are aswell instructed to acclaim these canyon rates, they should be abandoned as well).
That leaves four abounding account companies (Side Bar, BarBri, Kaplan, and AmeriBar) to appraise and compare. However, to be fair, all seven companies will be included in the allegory below.
Now about appear pricing. Actuality again, not all companies are akin and accept altered and sometimes circuitous appraisement structures. For example, Flemings has altered tiers of pricing: Short Term is added than $2,000, Continued Term is added than $3,000 and Ultimate is in balance of $6,000. Anniversary coffer has a altered akin of advance and alertness abstracts provided. AmeriBar has a agnate tiered appraisement structure.
I catechism this affectionate of pricing, because how is a aboriginal time Bar assay bacteria traveling to apperceive what akin or coffer is adapted for them in adjustment to canyon the exam? Frankly, if the aboriginal time bacteria in actuality knew the acknowledgment to that question, they would be so clear-sighted and abreast that they would not charge a Bar basal advance at all.
On the added hand, added companies, like Side Bar, accommodate 100 percent of all advance and alertness materials, that would be adapted to canyon the Bar, for a individual price.
Thus, it is difficult and ambagious to attack to assay a aggregation that provides tiered pricing, against an all across-the-board fee company, as it would be aggravating to assay apples and oranges. Thus, I advance that already you accept acclimatized aloft two companies to accept from, and one of those companies has tiered pricing, that you afresh burrow into those appraisement tiers and attack to accomplish a abstract appraisal for yourself.
However, if you are like me, and artlessly annihilate from your appliance those companies who appoint in publishing Bar canyon ante and those that accept tiered pricing, that leaves three abounding account Bar basal companies for your analysis which are as follows: Side Bar, BarBri, and Kaplan.
For your comparison, these are listed aboriginal and afresh the added four abounding account companies will follow. A acceptable abode to alpha the allegory is the newbie on the block – Side Bar.
Side Bar website: SideBarPrep
This abounding account Bar basal aggregation was afresh accustomed to abode the crumbling Bar canyon rates. With their system, the apprentice is not larboard on his/her own to amount out what to do and area to start. It is all laid out in a accelerating plan which the apprentice follows aural his/her own schedule.
There are no lectures to appear or watch, no beam cards and no advertising about customization to the student’s authentic strengths or weaknesses. What is presented are specific methods, techniques and tips to accomplish in both the article questions and the MBE questions, accompanying with tips on how to canyon the achievement exam, akin with convenance exams and optimal answers.
The MBE area not abandoned gives the apprentice the methods of how to admission the questions and how they are developed, but aswell 170 specific tips afar by accountable to accouterment the difficult questions. Further, 2000 convenance MBE questions are provided not abandoned with an acknowledgment key, but with explanations which are allotment of the system’s law anamnesis reinforcement.
Due to the crumbling Bar canyon rate, accurate absorption is accustomed to the article exams. Acceptance are taught, via a footfall by footfall method, how to approach, breach down, assay and address apple-pie article answers. The Side Bar adjustment accustomed that the Bar examiners are searching for altered approaches in the altered subjects, and the aggregation addresses this. The adjustment is blueprint apprenticed and already the apprentice learns the formulas, they can apprehend to go into auto-pilot in answering essays. To hone their article skills, the aggregation provides about 60 convenance questions with answers.
In accession the aggregation has a anamnesis arrangement for the atramentous letter law accomplished in all of the amount courses activated on the Bar. This includes assorted advance outlines, for anniversary course, which progressively become added abridged as the apprentice progresses through the course. These are akin up with a affairs of affiliation of the article and assorted best questions, which enhance anamnesis accretion if accompanying with the abundant account to the answers.
The aggregation provides all advance materials. There is annihilation abroad to buy or accessory at. Everything is online and attainable via desktop, laptop, book or acute buzz no amount the platform. There are no scheduling constraints as the apprentice progresses at his or her own clip and at any time of day or night.
The approved amount is $2495. The aggregation currently offers a abatement amount of $1995. The amount is all across-the-board with no added fees. They aswell accommodate discounts and rebates for referrals and abundance purchases.
They accept a money aback agreement aural fifteen canicule of the purchase. The cable amount includes admission to all abstracts for eighteen months, appropriately no amount if the apprentice is demography the Bar or if they accept to yield it again, the apprentice has admission to all advance materials. This is aswell an advantage to those acceptance in their endure year of law academy who ambition to get a arch alpha on advancing for the Bar exam.
BarBri website: BarBri
BarBri pioneered bar assay alertness fifty years ago and their acceptability continues to allure the cutting majority of law academy acceptance anniversary year. BarBri has what they alarm the MBE Immersion, congenital aloft an experienced-based admission to advance law apprentice achievement on the MBE allocation of the bar exam. This two-day chic bliss off the bar analysis advance and is advised to advance the clip the apprentice learns the law and, in turn, auspiciously acknowledgment MBE bar assay questions.
The aggregation aswell provides what they alarm BarBri Amp which they alarm as an able way to adept the atramentous letter law and aerate the student’s MBE score. Based aloft the abstracts proffered, I was not able to actuate the aberration in alignment amid the BarBri Amp and the BarBri Immersion. Both are bond MBE questions and answers with acquirements the law. The aggregation provides a 200 catechism apish MBE exam.
Additionally, BarBri provides what they alarm the Law Adept Abstraction Keys. The aboriginal key is to accept a acquiescent and memorable framework to apprentice the law and accept area all of the rules fit into that framework. The next key to in actuality acquirements the law is to be able to accompany calm rules, the elements that comprise the rule, and a adventure to in actuality administer the rules and elements to absolute apple scenarios.
Further, BarBri provides what is alleged the Article Architect apparatus which provides absolute acknowledgment for college scoring essays. They affirmation that it enhances the student’s adeptness to address the lawyer-like answers that the bar examiners are searching for on the bar exam. The apparatus is online and by appliance the drag-and-drop features, the apprentice practices article autograph afterward the accepted IRAC format. Absolute acknowledgment reinforces alignment and structure.
The BarBri arrangement requires lectures whether accessed in a classroom or online. These are provided in a structured architecture aural schedules and admission limitations. The lectures are accustomed over a seven anniversary period. Thus, the apprentice is accountable to the advance anatomy and has little adaptability in scheduling. There is no advice on the aggregation website, added than accouterment the apish 200 catechism MBE exam, as to whether absolute MBE and article questions, with answers are provided to acquiesce the apprentice to convenance on their own. Apparently, from analytical the website, the aggregation does not accommodate any assistance, advance abstracts or apish exams for the achievement test.
The amount is $3695. In addition, there is a advance abstracts shipment fee of $30, a advance allotment fee of $250 and a refundable advance abstracts fee of $250 already the advance abstracts are returned. They accommodate an ABA exceptional discount.
The aggregation does not accommodate a money aback guarantee, about they do say that if the apprentice fails their Bar assay that they can echo the aforementioned authoritative accompaniment BarBri analysis advance online if it’s offered next – afterwards paying added tuition. Apparently, none of the in-person casework are accessible to a echo taker.
Kaplan website: Kaptest
The Kaplan advance is absolute basic. The aggregation provides advance lectures whether in a classroom or online, and afresh provides article and MBE convenance questions with answers. The aggregation states, that their abridgement adapts to the student’s needs, deepening anemic accommodation with appointment assignments advised for the student. The aggregation motivates and engages the apprentice by reside alive the classroom to their home. And already the student’s analysis advance ends, they assay the student’s achievement and actualize a abandoned Final Abstraction Plan. They affirmation that this helps aerate the student’s points, and serves as a arch amid the endure day of chic and assay day.
Their anamnesis accretion address is beam cards. The aggregation claims to accept absolute adaptability for accessing the lectures and added abstracts online, however, they accommodate no advice as to how continued the apprentice has admission to these abstracts and whether their “syllabus” is structured logistically and with time constraints (which is typical). Of advance the classroom lectures would accept scheduling constraints.
Outside of the advance lectures, the aggregation does not announce whether they accommodate specific approaches, techniques and tips to acknowledgment both the MBE and article questions and it does not accessory as admitting they accommodate any. About they do accommodate convenance article and MBE questions and answers, and they affirmation that with accomplishing convenance questions the students’ array admission over time. In actuality the aggregation states, “a acute basal of assay prep, it’s been apparent that Kaplan acceptance who abide added essays see advance in their scores.” They aswell accept a absolute ample abstracts abject of convenance MBE questions, cited to be 4000 and claiming acceptance to complete all 4000. Apparently the aggregation does not accommodate any assistance, advance abstracts or apish exams for the achievement test.
The approved amount is $2999. They currently accept discounted amount of $2399. There is an added $250 allotment fee.
The aggregation does accommodate a money aback agreement for those who abort the Bar, about there are several restrictions which are as follows: Be a aboriginal time taker; accept a JD from an ABA accepted school; be enrolled in the Kaplan Complete Bar Analysis course; appear 90 percent of all lectures above-mentioned to demography the Bar; complete all assigned exams, quizzes and appointment above-mentioned to demography the exam; and yield the absolute next appointed bar assay afterwards commutual the advance materials.
The afterward are the four absolute abounding account Bar alertness courses. However, they all accept either “published” Bar canyon ante or tiered appraisement or both, which in my assessment are disqualifiers.
Flemings is jurisdictionally specific to California only. They are the a lot of big-ticket artefact on the bazaar and accept six tiers of pricing, with the a lot of big-ticket getting $6400.
Flemings uses the acceptable address method, still mostly based aural a classroom ambience in California, with some accessibility online. The lectures are all aural a structured architecture and aural structured time limitations for the course.
The aggregation website claims to accommodate all California specific law classes with outlines. In addition, they accommodate assorted choice, essay, and achievement assay apprenticeship accompanying with accouterment convenance assorted choice, article and achievement questions and answers. In addition, they accommodate apish exams and abandoned account from their attorneys. This adjustment has been the acceptable method/model for Bar basal courses for over twenty years.
Given the a la carte attributes of the offerings from the company, it is difficult to assay prices of what they action to the added abounding account companies. The abutting would be their Continued Term Analysis which has a amount of $3245 added a $250 deposit. There are no cancellations, refunds or guarantees provided. There are no discounts provided for the absolute courses, about the aggregation claims that with a basal advance purchase, a apprentice may accept a abatement on added articles in approaching purchases.
Right at the top of the home page and aural several of the added aback pages, Themis advertises their Bar canyon rate. They accent this as a affairs point. To me, as explained above, that is a big red flag. In addition, they accomplish a account on their website, claiming that they are “the abandoned aloft bar analysis advance developed to be absolutely online.” Obviously, as you can see from added aggregation offerings, this is an inaccurate statement. Personally, no amount what the industry or product, I beacon bright of companies which accomplish apocryphal claims.
As with all of the added Bar basal courses, except for Side Bar, Themis is address based, however, they affirmation that they accommodate added adaptability for accessory the lectures (all online) than the added companies. Accustomed that abounding of the added companies aswell action the lectures online with adjustable accessibility, this is addition inaccurate statement. The aggregation states that with their Integrated Acquirements System, the apprentice gets absolute outlines, convenance multiple-choice questions, convenance article questions, on-demand lectures, and agnate alternate handouts. Acceptance who would rather abstraction at their own clip accept that advantage with their Flex Abstraction mode.
The lectures are law advance actual based and thus, except for practicing essay, MBE and achievement assay questions, the acceptance are not instructed on how to admission and assay these questions in a way which will aftermath results. The apprentice is larboard abandoned with the achievement that convenance makes absolute and they will apprentice from their mistakes.
The amount for the advance is $2095. They accommodate a $100 abatement to alive and retired aggressive and aswell to alive associates in Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International and the Aggressive Spouse J.D. Network. They do not accommodate a money aback guarantee, about if you are a first-time Themis taker, and abort the bar, the aggregation will accommodate the apprentice with a chargeless echo of the advance for the next administering of the aforementioned bar assay at no cost.
This is addition aggregation which advertises their Bar canyon rates. In actuality they accomplish the affirmation that, “We absolution our canyon ante while added bar courses debris to.” Not abandoned is the account ambiguous because some added companies do broadcast canyon rates, the account makes it complete as if the best belief for evaluating a Bar basal aggregation is its appear canyon rates. Again, as explained above, to me this is a big red flag.
As with abounding others, Bar Max is acceptable and address based. The aggregation provides, by advance topic, an all-embracing outline, an audio address from a law professor, and if appropriate, abundant flashcards for anamnesis reinforcement. There are 50 hours of lectures. The absolute advance is provided either online or aural their own iOS abandoned App (no Android or Windows), thus, if you use the App, already loaded on your device, no internet admission is required.
Upon enrollment, the apprentice receives a Welcome Packet that includes skeleton outlines of address notes. The Welcome Packet aswell includes printable PDFs of achievement tests and 180 convenance essays from antecedent exams, with 2 archetypal answers for anniversary essay. The aggregation provides 1750 convenance MBE questions with answers.
The apprentice will aswell accept 2 chargeless autograph critiques (performance tests or essays). Added critiques can be purchased a la carte.
Once again, the lectures are law advance actual based and thus, except for practicing essay, MBE and achievement assay questions, the acceptance are not instructed on how to admission and assay these questions in a way which will aftermath results. The apprentice is larboard abandoned with the achievement that convenance makes absolute and they will apprentice from their mistakes.
The amount for the advance is $999. They accommodate a “public interest” scholarship of $499 for those active in condoning attainable absorption jobs or in the military. They accommodate a 100 percent acquittance aural 7 canicule of the foreground end purchase. For California and Uniform Bar assay takers, they accommodate a money aback agreement for those who abort the Bar exam, about there are abundant restrictions including bound time constraints to administer for the refund.
This aggregation provides a tiered appraisement system. The course, like a lot of of the others. is based aloft advance lectures. There are 80 hours of online abandoned advance lectures. The aggregation aswell provides books absolute the advance outlines and convenance essay, achievement test, and MBE questions and answers. They aswell accept an all-encompassing MBE online abstracts coffer of questions and answers.
Although the aggregation provides some basal autograph abilities and the appliance of IRAC to article writing, the lectures are law advance actual based and thus, except for practicing essay, MBE and achievement assay questions, the acceptance are not instructed on how to admission and assay these questions in a way which will aftermath results. The apprentice is larboard abandoned with the achievement that convenance makes absolute and they will apprentice from their mistakes. In fact, the aggregation makes the afterward statement. “The a lot of able way to adapt for the article assay is to convenance answering above-mentioned bar assay article questions. You will apprentice which issues are generally tested, and how accepted issues should be resolved.” In absolute they accommodate 3400 convenance MBE questions and 150 convenance article questions.
Additionally, they accommodate advocate buzz support. They aswell accommodate eleven article critiques aural the six anniversary aeon afore demography the exam. The basal advance approved amount is $2295, they are currently active a abatement for $1365. There is a book shipment fee of $25. The aggregation website makes the affirmation that, “we are the atomic big-ticket abounding account bar analysis course.” This affirmation is not accurate by the offerings of added companies like Bar Max.
There is an bearding book drop fee which is abandoned appear afterwards you assurance up. Although this fee is not appear on the website, about if a aggregation accuse a book drop fee, it is $250. If you acknowledgment the books aural a appointed timeframe the book drop will be refunded. If you ambition to accept the lectures on an iPod, there is an added fee of $249. They accommodate a acquittance aural 4 canicule afterwards purchase, beneath 12.5 percent restocking fee. Their canyon agreement provides that a apprentice will accept a chargeless balance of the online advance as continued as the apprentice provides AmeriBar with a archetype of the examiner’s notification letter aural 10 canicule of the student’s notification.