Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Do I need to take the BarBri class, or are the study materials enough?  (Read 20921 times)

SaucyInterloper

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
I am looking for some opinions about BarBri.  I am pretty strapped for cash of late and don't really want to spend $3000 on BarBri.  I can get ahold of the study materials for significantly less, but would just be missing the lectures.  I am pretty diligent and can stay on schedule, so I feel like this might be a good option.  Am I crazy?  What are some thoughts about the lecture part of BarBri vs. self study?  Thanks for any insight!

Matthies

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 5988
    • View Profile
    • Tell me where you are going to school and you get a cat!
Re: Do I need to take the BarBri class, or are the study materials enough?
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2009, 03:16:56 PM »
I have not done BarBri yet, but I know someone who did like you and just got the materials and studied on their own ( I think they also said they got the lectures on tape or ipod or something, but that maybe something else Iím remembering). They passed, but this person was really good at self motivation and keeping to a strict study schedule. I donít know if I could do that, so Iím going to take the class.

Also are you a student member of the ABA, at the back of student lawyer magazine (which you get with your membership) there is an application for a barbri scholarship for the cost of the class. It says one of the things they take into account if how much you owe and what your job prospects are, so you might want to apply for that just to see if you get it ( I think they offer several for each state, but I canít find my latest copy anywhere to check). If you donít get the mag I bet the app is online somewhere or you could probably get a copy of it from your schools library.
*In clinical studies, Matthies was well tolerated, but women who are pregnant, nursing or might become pregnant should not take or handle Matthies due to a rare, but serious side effect called him having to make child support payments.

jacy85

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 6859
    • View Profile
Re: Do I need to take the BarBri class, or are the study materials enough?
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2009, 08:20:11 PM »
I think the most important question is: Can you get the workbook?  The book in which you fill in the blanks as you sit in the lectures?  (or as you listen to the lectures on an iPod?)

If the answer to this is no, I'd pay the money for the course. The BarBri materials are ridiculous.  I maintain that there is no way in hell you can read and absorb even 1/3 of the material in the huge state specific books.  I did 95% of my studying from the workbook (or from flash cards I made using the workbook).  [studying the material and doing prep questions are 2 different activities in my mind, although both are essential to really *learning* the information].

Also, if you *can* get the workbook, try to find out if the person attended all the lectures and completely filled in the workbook; without attending the lectures, you won't be able to fill in any blanks on your own.

A.

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 15712
    • View Profile
Re: Do I need to take the BarBri class, or are the study materials enough?
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2009, 08:25:19 PM »
I agree that you should be OK with the lecture handouts, the Conviser Mini Review, and the practice questions (hopefully unmarked).

jimmyjohn

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 150
    • View Profile
Re: Do I need to take the BarBri class, or are the study materials enough?
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2009, 07:23:37 PM »
I'm self-motivated too and thought about going this route last summer.  I'm glad I didn't.  There is so much material and it's hard to prioritize.  The one thing Barbri was extremely helpful with was cutting down the crap to a somewhat manageable volume of information.  There were plenty of topics in the big books that the lectures covered only tangentially or not at all.  If I had studied on my own, I would have always wondered if it was ok to skip over all of that information.  With Barbri, at least I knew that if they didn't cover something, 90+% of others taking the bar didn't know it either. 

ryanjm

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 315
    • View Profile
I decided not to take the classes. I bought a set of 2007 barbri books with the lecture notes already filled in. I don't have a problem studying on my own, and I was told by more than a few bar-takers that going to the classes is a waste of time if you can study on your own. For one, the classes are basically just the professor reading the outline to you, so if you know how to read then you can do it yourself. Also, I heard that the real learning takes place when you do tons of practice problems/essays, and learn what you got right/wrong and why. PMBR workbooks are good for this, plus the barbri stuff.

Personally, I just despise paying $3,000 to watch dvd lectures when I can pay $150 for a set of year-old books and do it myself. I'd argue that law school is similarly a waste of money. It reminds me of the line from Good Will Hunting when Will talks to the Harvard snob guy: "You paid $150,000 for an education you could have gotten for a $1.50 in late fees at the library."

jd06

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 120
    • View Profile
...I was told by more than a few bar-takers that going to the classes is a waste of time if you can study on your own. For one, the classes are basically just the professor reading the outline to you, so if you know how to read then you can do it yourself.

As a Bar Bri "alumni" I would strongly disagree with this statement.  The bar exam is in many ways as much a test of your psychological resolve as it is a test of your legal knowledge.  Bar Bri devotes significant lecture time to this issue throughout the course and I found it to be more than worth the price of admission.  Another important facet of the lectures is that many professors discuss a bar-specific "approach," which differs from the law school exam approach.  You won't get that out of the outline.  To me it makes no sense to grind your way all the way through law school only to shortcut the most important test you'll ever take. Bar Bri doesn't get that $3k just 'cause it has the best outlines... 

jacy85

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 6859
    • View Profile
I thought the lectures were a mixed bag.

Substantively, some were incredible.  Some were horrible and not worth getting up for in the morning.

But some instructors were much better than others regarding giving tips and advice on actually taking the bar.  Prof. Whitebread was great, as was Prof. Espstein for Ks.  This type of advice couldn't be found anywhere in the materials. 

Not that it makes a difference at this point for anyone, since the time to reverse course and take a bar course is past.  So I'll also advise ryanjm and others studying on their own to NOT blow off the MPT if your state has it.  The lectures devote a whole class to it, but if you're on your own, you might blow it off.  They are horrific time crunches, and if you've never really looked at the MPT before, you're going to F it up.  (if you state doesn't have the MPT, lucky you!).

Matthies

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 5988
    • View Profile
    • Tell me where you are going to school and you get a cat!
I thought the lectures were a mixed bag.

Substantively, some were incredible.  Some were horrible and not worth getting up for in the morning.

But some instructors were much better than others regarding giving tips and advice on actually taking the bar.  Prof. Whitebread was great, as was Prof. Espstein for Ks.  This type of advice couldn't be found anywhere in the materials. 

Not that it makes a difference at this point for anyone, since the time to reverse course and take a bar course is past.  So I'll also advise ryanjm and others studying on their own to NOT blow off the MPT if your state has it.  The lectures devote a whole class to it, but if you're on your own, you might blow it off.  They are horrific time crunches, and if you've never really looked at the MPT before, you're going to F it up.  (if you state doesn't have the MPT, lucky you!).

I'll just add that I have reviewed the Rigos Perfroamce Test Workbook that you can get from baristerbooks.com and I thought it did a good job of covering that part of the test for self studiers.
*In clinical studies, Matthies was well tolerated, but women who are pregnant, nursing or might become pregnant should not take or handle Matthies due to a rare, but serious side effect called him having to make child support payments.

Sir Daniel Plum

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
    • Email
Question:  How many workbooks are there?  I had to go overseas right after graduation, so I purchased a bunch of study materials (NY specific BarBri books (3 books), PMBR books (Red & Blue), Strategies by Emanuel), but I didn't buy any workbooks.

Is there one specific workbook or are there many that you use throughout the course? 

I see MPT workbook listed for sale quite a bit, is that what everyone is referring to?

Also, if I purchase this "workbook" will the materials I have be sufficient, or am I dreadfully short of the materials needed?

Thanks!
Fordham - Who knew living in NYC would be this expensive???