If you remember enough from your FIRST YEAR contracts course to not take BARBRI for the bar exam, then you are incredibly amazing. Your first year is about figuring out how the law works, not remembering anything substantive.
Wow... I don't think I could possibly disagree more.
I certainly don't mean to imply that good class performance as a 1L will eliminate the need for a bar review course after graduation. However, Barbri is just that... it's a "review" course, not a "learn it for the very first time in a couple of weeks" course. The idea for a contracts review is to jog your memory on, for example, the rules for excluding parol evidence. If you've never even heard of "parol evidence", or never gained clarity from multiple contradictory explanations, how is a "refresher seminar" supposed to bail you out? It seems to me approaching 1L as just a time to practice IRAC writing would be awfully short-sighted.
Yeah, it does seem short-sighted but it's the truth. I didn't believe it myself until I'd heard it from so many reliable sources that it would be unreasonable for me not to believe it.
Your first year is all about thinking like a lawyer, not learning substantive material to remember for the bar. If you don't believe me, ask a professor. Ask them what they think about choosing your classes around the bar, after you tell them you're doing BARBRI bar prep. My buddy who just passed the FL bar told me that you will be amazed when they reduce a whole semester down to just a few hours. He told me that the first couple times you don't believe them and go back to check your notes, only to realize, "yep, that's everything." My con law professor told me that he never took commercial paper in law school, read through the BARBRI review stuff on it for about 30 min. the day before the bar, and passed that area on the bar. Look through your notes from your first semester of law school and you'll realize that you've forgotten a lot already. At a recent firm reception, I ask a group of young associates what I should take in law school, and most of them couldn't even remember what all courses they had taken.
You learn more in 1 year of practice than in your whole law school career. Any practicing attorney will tell you that. Law school is all about just learning how to think and act like a lawyer. This summer, I intend on forgetting everything but the basics from 1L. It's just the way it is; the bar covers way too much for you to be expected to remember all the specifics as you would in a law school course. Just the basics.