Law School Discussion

Law Students => Current Law Students => Topic started by: PoisonPill2008 on April 06, 2008, 09:05:50 PM

Title: Bar review courses
Post by: PoisonPill2008 on April 06, 2008, 09:05:50 PM
I'm a 3L set to take the NY and NJ bar exams this summer. I locked in the lower BarBri rate when I was a 1L, and I now currently owe the complete $2200+ fee - due April 10.

I would have already paid it but I'm wondering whether there are any other bar review alternatives? The stark majority of the attorneys for the firm I currently work for didn't do the BarBri lectures. They just bought the books and studied on their own then passed both exams with flying colors. They found the classroom environment, gunners, commute, etc to be a huge distraction and waste of time.

I've been working at that firm for 1.5 years, and I was impressed that my mentor - with whom I've been working closely with the entire time - came to me and strongly suggested that I just buy the books and study on my own as he knows I'm self-motivated and can do this on my own. However, I didnt even know this option existed with BarBri (it does and it's alot cheaper - I checked - tho they don't talk about it), but since not many people take or even know about that option... I'm concerned.

I would like some insight. I'm currently considering BarBri books only and 6 day PMBR.

And so:
Is everyone doing BarBri/PMBR?
If BarBri - classroom lectures or other?
If PMBR - 3 day or 6 day?
If another bar review course, which?

The pressure's really on as my salary increases are contingent upon me passing both the NY and NJ exams. My firm will have me practicing out of both our NY and NJ offices -- I really need to pass the first time!

Any opinions will be greatly appreciated and considered.

Thanks. :)

PS - When is everyone going to start post-bar work?
Title: Re: Bar review courses
Post by: slacker on April 07, 2008, 12:37:26 AM
If you're doing the 6-day PMBR, you might as well do the 3-day, also. It's not going to be that much of a difference in price. 6 day is an overview of the MBE subjects. 3 day is a practice MBE and fine-tuning once you've got stuff down.

As far as the NY/NJ bars, I didn't take them. I've heard NJ isn't bad, but I'm not sure I'd want to do teach-yourself for the first time taking the NY bar, esp. with the job on the line. Partially it depends on how well you do studying on your own. Take a look at some bar questions; that might give you an idea of if you want to tackle it yourself or if you want some guidance.

Not sure about gunners in BarBri. It's generally just lecture, not interactive.
Title: Re: Bar review courses
Post by: txlawstu on April 07, 2008, 06:03:15 AM
Depends on what your trying to accomplish.  There are numerous other bar prep programs (Micromash, passyourbar.com are two examples) out there that are online.  From what I am told by the people doing the online classes, they have check ins with someone occasionally to keep them on track.  Plus barbri has the at home ipod option for a little more.  If you are wanting to save commute time and expense and are motivated to do it on your own, these are viable options.

If your wanting to save money, then buy the books and study on your own.

However, I personally, would not risk the NY bar on a study on your own method unless you know you are really good at self-study.  CA, TX, and NY are notoriously hard bar exams and that's a big risk with self-study alone.

As far as PMBR goes, the 3 day is a good review and practice session for the MBE with last minute tips.  I did a dry run with the 6 day and it's a great review to get you started, and I proctored the 3 day and it was fabulous for last minute review of problem areas.  I'm taking both and ordered the cd's to listen to in the car on my commute to PMBR and BARBRI classes.  I'm also taking BARBRI because I'm not motivated enough for self-study and I know it and taking the TX bar I'm not willing to risk doing anything else.
Title: Re: Bar review courses
Post by: shimra on April 07, 2008, 09:55:40 AM
I'm a 3L set to take the NY and NJ bar exams this summer. I locked in the lower BarBri rate when I was a 1L, and I now currently owe the complete $2200+ fee - due April 10.

I would have already paid it but I'm wondering whether there are any other bar review alternatives? The stark majority of the attorneys for the firm I currently work for didn't do the BarBri lectures. They just bought the books and studied on their own then passed both exams with flying colors. They found the classroom environment, gunners, commute, etc to be a huge distraction and waste of time.

I've been working at that firm for 1.5 years, and I was impressed that my mentor - with whom I've been working closely with the entire time - came to me and strongly suggested that I just buy the books and study on my own as he knows I'm self-motivated and can do this on my own. However, I didnt even know this option existed with BarBri (it does and it's alot cheaper - I checked - tho they don't talk about it), but since not many people take or even know about that option... I'm concerned.

I would like some insight. I'm currently considering BarBri books only and 6 day PMBR.

And so:
Is everyone doing BarBri/PMBR?
If BarBri - classroom lectures or other?
If PMBR - 3 day or 6 day?
If another bar review course, which?

The pressure's really on as my salary increases are contingent upon me passing both the NY and NJ exams. My firm will have me practicing out of both our NY and NJ offices -- I really need to pass the first time!

Any opinions will be greatly appreciated and considered.

Thanks. :)

PS - When is everyone going to start post-bar work?


I recently paid for Barbri.  I wish there was an alternative, but I just don't see it.  There's a lot of companies that cover the MBE, but for most states, it seems that Barbri is the only company that covers the local subjects well, and most companies don't cover the local subjects at all.

If you are confident enough, you could probably buy the Barbri books used, but I don't know what the odds are of getting both the NJ and NY materials from someone. 
Title: Re: Bar review courses
Post by: jacy85 on April 07, 2008, 12:37:01 PM
I also wouldn't risk the NY bar on my own.  With its reputation as one of the hardest bar exams in the country, it seems like a huge risk to go it alone just to save a few bucks, especially when you have so much riding on passing your first time.

As for what I'm doing, I'm just doing BarBri.  I heard differing opinions on everyone re: the MBE and PMBR.  I decided to not spend the money on the course, and I'm just going to get the PMBR books on ebay or something and work through some problems on my own.  I think most of my friends are doing some combo of both, however.
Title: Re: Bar review courses
Post by: unlvcrjchick on April 07, 2008, 12:58:10 PM
I'm taking BarBri, PMBR, and Essay Advantage.  Overkill?  Maybe, but Nevada's bar passage rates are so low, I'm not taking any chances.
Title: Re: Bar review courses
Post by: smujd2007 on April 09, 2008, 06:50:13 PM
BarBri and PMBR should be sufficient--provided you do enough self study on your own.

I'm taking BarBri, PMBR, and Essay Advantage.  Overkill?  Maybe, but Nevada's bar passage rates are so low, I'm not taking any chances.
Title: Re: Bar review courses
Post by: unlvcrjchick on April 09, 2008, 11:23:49 PM
BarBri and PMBR should be sufficient--provided you do enough self study on your own.

I'm taking BarBri, PMBR, and Essay Advantage.  Overkill?  Maybe, but Nevada's bar passage rates are so low, I'm not taking any chances.

I've already started studying. I'm also being cautious because I'm a primary caregiver to my sick grandmother, and that alone is going to take a chunk out of my time. So, the more classes I take to drill this stuff into my head, the better. Plus, I'm taking Essay Advantage because I know many people who have taken it, and each one has said that it gave them much confidence on the difficult essay portion of the NV bar, and the essays constitute 2/3rds of the score, with the MBE constituting a mere 1/3rd.
Title: Re: Bar review courses
Post by: slacker on April 10, 2008, 10:50:29 AM
I've heard the NV bar has a lot of horse racing questions. That almost sounds amusing enough to take the bar.
Title: Re: Bar review courses
Post by: dewayne_wayne on April 10, 2008, 12:16:41 PM
As for what I'm doing, I'm just doing BarBri.  I heard differing opinions on everyone re: the MBE and PMBR.  I decided to not spend the money on the course, and I'm just going to get the PMBR books on ebay or something and work through some problems on my own.  I think most of my friends are doing some combo of both, however.

I have heard this too.  Does anyone know the most recent publication of PMBR MBE books?  Differences in publications? 

Probably no big deal, but would hate to end up with outdated questions/answers, etc.
Title: Re: Bar review courses
Post by: slacker on April 10, 2008, 01:30:43 PM
For PMBR, as long as you get the red book and blue book, it's probably pretty current. I wouldn't be too concerned beyond that.
Title: Re: Bar review courses
Post by: smujd2007 on April 10, 2008, 04:36:46 PM
Ditto.  I don't think the books have publication dates in them (prob b/c they use the same ones every year).  The ones they change are in the 3 day course, I think.

Some of the answers, as you start studying, will seem incorrect. Those questions you talk out with a study buddy. When you get to that point you know you are in good shape in terms of studying. 

As for what I'm doing, I'm just doing BarBri.  I heard differing opinions on everyone re: the MBE and PMBR.  I decided to not spend the money on the course, and I'm just going to get the PMBR books on ebay or something and work through some problems on my own.  I think most of my friends are doing some combo of both, however.

I have heard this too.  Does anyone know the most recent publication of PMBR MBE books?  Differences in publications? 

Probably no big deal, but would hate to end up with outdated questions/answers, etc.
Title: Re: Bar review courses
Post by: jimmyjohn on April 10, 2008, 04:57:53 PM
When did PMBR become necessary?  I'm just doing Barbri and hoping that will be enough. 
Title: Re: Bar review courses
Post by: jacy85 on April 10, 2008, 06:23:57 PM
For PMBR, as long as you get the red book and blue book, it's probably pretty current. I wouldn't be too concerned beyond that.

Thanks!

As for when PMBR became necessary, who knows.  They certainly do a good job capitalizing on our fear of failing the bar.
Title: Re: Bar review courses
Post by: mmhome on April 10, 2008, 08:01:33 PM
I found PMBR to be a HUGE waste of time.  If you are self motivated, I highly recommend Adaptibar over PMBR. And I had several friends that did BarBri self study and all passed (but none took NY).  One of the things that could bother some people in BarBri classes is the stress level.  My God - I thought some of those people were going to explode.  If you are one that gets bothered by that, then run like hell from BarBri classes.  Oh...and in typical law student fashion....there are the liars telling everybody how many practice questions they did and how well they did on the last practice test.  If you are one to buy into that and get bothered by it, then beware.  None of that stuff bothered me but it really messed up my best friend's head.  She flunked.  The second go round, she did self study and was much calmer. She hasn't gotten her results yet, though.  One of the things that did bother me was the sloooooow pace of some of the lectures.  But, I needed the set schedule to motivate me so it worked well for me. Good Luck. 
Title: Re: Bar review courses
Post by: jacy85 on April 10, 2008, 08:55:31 PM
...One of the things that could bother some people in BarBri classes is the stress level.  My God - I thought some of those people were going to explode.  If you are one that gets bothered by that, then run like hell from BarBri classes.  Oh...and in typical law student fashion....there are the liars telling everybody how many practice questions they did and how well they did on the last practice test.  If you are one to buy into that and get bothered by it, then beware.  ...

 :D  None of this surprises me.  I suppose it was overly optimistic to expect the asshats who did this during law school to grow up during the 2 week break between graduation and BarBri!
Title: Re: Bar review courses
Post by: slacker on April 10, 2008, 09:44:25 PM
There's also the people who make sure they get a tan so they can give the impression of how little they're studying. Or go out drinking. Or whatever.

Personally, it didn't bother me in law school, and it didn't bother me in law prep.

I did appreciate the value of the day's crossword puzzle or sudoku, however. Sometimes the lectures were a little rambly.