WHY SHOULD I ENROLL IN BARBRI BAR REVIEW MY 2L YEAR (OR EVEN EARLIER)?

Why would I enroll in, and potentially commit to, a bar review course months (or years!) before I plan on actually studying for the bar exam? This is an individual decision, but there are plenty of very good reasons you might consider enrolling as a 2L (or even earlier).

While you’ll utilize the majority of your BARBRI Bar Review course later, there are components that you can access earlier than others…some even immediately.

2L / 3L Mastery is one of the components you can use immediately. We hear often from students who tell us they wish they would’ve known about 2L / 3L Mastery much earlier.

It covers subjects that most students find very challenging during their 2L or 3L year: Evidence, Taxation, Corporations, Wills, Trusts, Secured Transactions, Criminal Procedure, Constitutional Law & Family Law.

For each subject, you get online, on-demand lectures by renowned experts who focus on efficiently teaching you critical rules and elements. Lectures are divided into easily accessible topics so it’s easy to watch and review the sections that supplement what you’re learning in class. Efficient outlines are also included for each subject as well as multiple choice practice questions that track back to each lecture topic so you can apply and assess what you have learned.

In addition to 2L / 3L Mastery, when you purchase and commit to BARBRI Bar Review earlier, you get first access to Early Start Bar Review and the LawMaster Study Keys app, which are typically available in September prior to your bar exam. These are critical as early bar studies (even just a little) statistically increases your chances of passing your exam the first time.

You’ll also get first notifications on book availability (typically in March prior to the July exam and September prior to the February exam) and course location options so you can reserve your space if you’re selecting to watch lectures in a classroom setting.

You can save a lot of money and pay over time

Some people still think that the longer they wait, the better bar review deal they’ll get. Over the past several years, this has not proven to be true. In fact, the people who commit early lock in the best price and protect themselves against future price adjustments.

At BARBRI, we’re committed to providing those who commit to us the very best price. That’s why, if you commit to one price and that price decreases before your bar review course starts, we’ll give you the better price.

Also, the earlier you commit, the more time you have to spread out a custom installment payment plan or to finance your tuition.

With a BARBRI custom installment plan, just pay the minimum required down payment at enrollment then split up the remainder of your tuition into custom payments. No credit check is required and no interest is applied. You can select the months you pay and how much you pay each month. Your total tuition just needs to be paid in full per the payment deadlines prior to the beginning of your BARBRI Bar Review course.

If you have a social security number and want to consider course financing, many BARBRI Bar Review tuition types allow you to “Finance with Affirm” during or after enrollment.  The rate (0-30% APR) and term options (3, 6, 12, 18, 24 or 36 months) you’re offered is based on the tuition type you are choosing and on a credit check. You will begin making payments immediately to Affirm, but the entire balance of your tuition does not need to be paid prior to your course starting or ending. Learn More about Financing with Affirm.

With both the BARBRI Custom Installment Plan and the Finance with Affirm options, you get access to all of the resources mentioned above when they are available.

What if I plan on billing my employer in the future but I’m not sure yet. Should I still enroll?

Unless you know for sure that a firm is paying directly for your course, securing the lowest rate tuition and just paying the minimum balance due is the best way to ensure you pay the lowest possible tuition.

If your firm ends up giving you a stipend for bar review (vs paying BARBRI directly), then you’ll have more stipend money left after paying for bar review. If your firm ends up paying BARBRI directly, we’ll help you get that setup and transferred and you won’t have to pay any more. Best of all, you’ll get access to all of the resources mentioned above.

What if I’m going into public interest and I want a chance to apply for the BARBRI Public Interest scholarship in the future. Should I still enroll?

If you plan on going into Public Interest, you should definitely secure the lowest rate tuition as soon as possible. This will ensure at a minimum that your tuition doesn’t increase and guarantee that you receive priority consideration when a BARBRI Public Interest Scholarship program opens for your class.

If you are selected, the scholarship award will simply be applied to your existing tuition. In the event you are not selected for a scholarship, you will be able to cancel your enrollment and have no further obligation.

All of us at BARBRI look forward to helping you succeed in law school and, ultimately, Own The Bar.

Law Students Dress Up

GUEST BLOG Makenzie Way, 2L at the University of Pennsylvania Law School

Barristers Ball, Law Prom, and a wide range of formal events such as Law Review Banquet, are fast approaching on many of our calendars. How do you differentiate between the dress code on these formal events? And more importantly, where do you find outfits that match the dress code without breaking the bank?!

In a previous article, Law School Attire Un-Coded I broke down dress codes ranging from casual to black tie. For the purposes of today’s article, I’ll skip straight to the more formal end of the dress code range.

Cocktail

The most casual of the formal events, and likely the most commonly encountered as well. Unbeknownst to many, dress codes are broken down into two categories, (1) cocktail, and (2) cocktail formal.

  • Cocktail:
    • Men: should opt for a full suit in a neutral color. Dress shoes are must and of course, the belt should match the shoe color. Cuff links and ties are optional.
    • WomenKnee length to mid-calf length dresses in neutral colors or calm patterns are always safe options, though suits are of course permissible. Heels, flats, or loafers are appropriate footwear, while a clutch and complimentary jewelry are optional but recommended.
  • Cocktail Formal
    • Men: full suits are again a must, though you should feel free to expand beyond neutral colored suits into patterns and textiles. Dress shoes and statement loafers are common, as are flashy ties, cufflinks, and other accessory pieces.
    • Women: knee-length dresses can be traded in for more fashion-forward midi to maxi dresses (think short bridesmaid dress, fashion-forward pantsuits or jumpers). Again clutches are appropriate, as are heels or statement loafers. Jewelry is generally worn, and makeup and hair can be more done up.

Black Tie

  • Men: Typically black tie attire requires a black tuxedo, tuxedo shoes, bow tie, and cuff links.
  • Women: Long gowns with heels, clutches, and complimentary jewelry are generally the preferred outfit choice for black tie events. Dresses should be hemmed tailored.

White Tie

  • Men: For the most formal of formal events, men should wear a tailcoat, white tuxedo shirt, waistcoat, and a white bowtie with tuxedo shoes and pants.
  • Women: Similar to black tie, women should wear a floor length formal gown with heels and a clutch, often paired with elbow length gloves.

Shopping Tips

Tuxedo and tails rentals are common for men and can be found at most local Men’s Warehouse, or similar, stores in your local shopping district. For online tuxedo rentals, The Black Tux, and Menguin come highly recommended!

Formal gowns are slightly harder to find than your average tuxedo. Of course, you can head to your local bridal or prom store, but be sure to give yourself 2-3 months for ordering and fitting time. If you’re more pressed for time (or cash) try websites such as Hello Molly. If you don’t want to take up precious closet space, turn to Rent the Runway for a quick rental option.

Don’t Have A Summer Job? It’s Time To Get Resourceful And Here’s How

By Chris Nikitas, Esq., BARBRI Director of Legal Education

Alright, you don’t have a summer job. It’s stressful. Whether you’re a 1L or 2L student, this is a rather scary position to be in, honestly. First thing’s first … “don’t panic.” Especially in your first year of law school. Not having a legal job during the summer isn’t an end-of-the-world scenario. I hosted bar exam trivia during my 1L summer. A prominent scholar I know taught tennis lessons. The fact is, you can make up for not having a summer job in a number of ways and here are a few ideas.

DON’T THROW IN THE TOWEL

When final exams wrap up and you still don’t have a job, do not give up. Get out there. Go to legal aid societies, public interest firms and non-profit organizations to start handing out resumes. Don’t be shy. Pass them out, whenever and to whomever you can, like they’re flyers for a local band. Even if you get an opportunity, you may be getting a late start, but you’ll still get to add a valuable line to your resume. That’s all that matters. Even if nothing comes of it, you’ll have your name circulated and show potential employers that you’re determined and driven.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF NETWORKING EVENTS

One of the biggest benefits of a summer job is the networking opportunities; however, you can still network outside of a summer job. There will be networking events all summer for young lawyers and law students. Do some investigating, find a few to attend and start slinging around business cards like they’re candy. You’ll be surprised how quickly these networking moments (and just handing over a business card) can turn into possible employment leads in the future.

MAKE UP FOR IT DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR

Your school has opportunities to provide you with experience during the year: Field placements, internships and externships. Talk with your career services office to find out what they can offer you as far as placement help. You’ll get some course credit at the same time, too. Consider taking a litigation or drafting class for some realistic experience that you can add to your cover letter and resume.

SPEAK WITH YOUR PROFESSORS

One of your professors may still need research assistants or may introduce you to someone who would like some summer help. Your professors might even have more sage advice on how to find that elusive summer job.

Above all else, remember, this is not by any means the end of your law school career. Part of my 1L summer, I worked for career services during On Campus Interviews, serving as a runner between the interview rooms. I ate lunch with the attorneys and spoke with them more each day than anyone they interviewed. As a result, I left that week with a stack of business cards that turned into valuable new contacts. I was able to utilize them in the coming years. Just keep at it!

Data From The ABA Proves It: When More Students Take BARBRI, More Students Pass The Bar Exam

In a recent study, BARBRI’s data scientists evaluated pass rates reported by EVERY ABA accredited law school, in every jurisdiction for the past 3 years*. We then looked at results for students at those schools who studied for their first exam with BARBRI Bar Review vs those who studied with some other course or method.

The results were clear: When more students at a school study with BARBRI Bar Review, the overall school pass rate is higher – regardless of the amount of work each student completed.

The diagram below shows that for every 10% of students who enrolled in BARBRI Bar Review over the last three years, the overall school pass rate increased by 2%:

The converse was true as well: For every 10% increase in the number of first-time takers who did NOT choose to study with BARBRI Bar Review, overall school pass rate decreased by 2%:

THAT’S INTERESTING, BUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME?

In the 50+ years we’ve helped students prepare for every U.S. state bar exam, thousands of students have asked, “does it really matter which course I choose?”  Now data collected by the American Bar Association answers this question with a resounding, “Yes, BARBRI works better.

REMEMBER, BAR REVIEW COMPANY PASS RATES DON’T INDICATE HOW YOU WILL DO ON THE BAR EXAM

The reality is that about 9 out of 10 BARBRI students who do the average amount of work in our course pass the bar. That’s impressive … but we don’t care, and neither should you.

Don’t forget, our earlier studies have shown that, for a similar amount of work, students who study with BARBRI score more points. With BARBRI, you’ll study smarter, better utilize your precious, limited study time, and have a greater cushion and more confidence on exam day.

It’s not about bar review company pass rates…it’s about YOU passing YOUR exam. Learn More about how BARBRI will help you do that – the first time.

*Source: ABA 509 reports filed by every ABA accredited law school each year.

 

Exploring Israel as a Law Student

GUEST BLOG Makenzie Way, 2L at the University of Pennsylvania Law School

This spring break…

I passed up the opportunity to relax on the beach in some tropical location and said goodbye to my law school library in favor of a group trip to Israel. Globally, but especially in America, our media channels are filled with geopolitical and international law stories focusing on some aspect of the Israeli state. Having been exposed to this narrative both academically and via the mainstream media, I was curious and excited to see what this trip had to offer.

To preface, there is absolutely nothing wrong with using your spring break to study, see family and friends, or just relax and travel. However, I do urge you to contemplate embarking on at least one trip that is more legal focused, because as law students and academics we are in a unique position to be able to delve into these issues and potentially be involved in the future resolution of them.


Being in Israel, a state known as a religious capital, a conflict zone, and so much more, has truly opened my eyes to how essential it is to experience the things we learn about first hand. As you might have guessed, the American newspapers haven’t gotten the entire Israeli narrative down. After spending only one week in Israel, neither have I to be honest. But seeing and hearing from people actively engaged in the conflict, in the resolution process, and just living in the state has allowed me to paint a broader picture then I previously had.

The main message, however, is not to visit Israel (though if you want to, I highly recommend, and your stomach will truly thank you). The message instead is to consider ways that you can utilize your legal knowledge and education to make an impact both within your immediate community and within the larger global community. If there is a conflict, an issue, a legal system, or an entire country that intrigues you then consider visiting, not just as a tourist, but as an academic (i.e. meeting with local professors, persons from both sides of the narrative, religious figures, politicians, etc.).

COURSES THAT WILL PREPARE YOU FOR THE BAR

COURSES

GUEST BLOG Makenzie Way, 2L at the University of Pennsylvania Law School 

It may only be the spring semester of 2L, but course selection for our fall 3L semester is just around the corner. With only two semesters left before graduation, it’s time to start thinking strategically about what to take to best help us prepare for the bar examination.

According to your school, some of these suggestions may be mandatory, in which case you’re already one step ahead! Non-degree required courses are of course optional, and taking them should not serve as a replacement for traditional bar prep, however, they may help you feel more confident going into bar prep!

The Courses you Probably Already Have … but Should Review Throughout 3L

  1. Civil Procedure
  2. Torts
  3. Contracts
  4. Constitutional Law
  5. Criminal Law

The Courses You Should Consider Taking

  1. Advanced Civil Procedure
  2. Advanced Contracts and/or Contract Drafting
  3. Property Law
  4. Evidence
  5. Estate Law or Wills and Trusts
  6. Corporations
  7. Secured Transactions
  8. Family Law

Other Generally Useful Courses

  1. Professional Responsibility (note, this is especially useful for the MPRE)
  2. Advanced Legal Research and Writing (or a similar writing-intensive course)

Preparing for Your 2L Summer

2L Summer

GUEST BLOG Makenzie Way, 2L at the University of Pennsylvania Law School

So you’ve landed a summer job, but you don’t start until May, so what do you do to fill the time? Obviously, you want to come in prepared, make a good impression, convince them you’re worth a full-time job offer. How do you differentiate yourself from the rest of your summer associate class?

I interviewed a number of 3L’s, asking them about their 2L summer experience, what they did right, what they did wrong, and what they wish they’d done, and here’s the advice that I got.

One.
Take a few courses in the areas that interest you the most

If you’re a 2L reading this then, unfortunately, it’s too late to register in courses; if you’re a 1L then keep this in mind for next year! For the 2L’s out there, while you may not be able to register for classes at your university, you can register for free online “crash courses” in these subject areas

Two.
Subscribe to and Read Law360

You don’t need to read every article that is sent your way, but every 3L I spoke to said the best way to appear competent in a particular field, aside from taking courses, is to read up on what is happening in that field in real time.

Three.
Brush up on the Rules of Professional Conduct

Whether or not you’ve taken your universities professional responsibility course, or the MPRE, you should make sure you understand the Rules of Professional Conduct since these rules and regulations will be applicable to you and your firm over the summer!

2L Summer

Four.
Network with people from your firm

You thought networking was over once you landed your job? Sorry to break it to you, but networking is forever a part of a lawyers job. Networking within your own firm can start before the summer program begins; feel free to reach out to junior and senior associates, get their advice on how best to prepare for your summer. Reaching out early will also benefit you when it comes to case assignment!

Five.
Accumulate your business wardrobe

Most of us have one or two suits that got us through interviewing, but that’s about it. The 2L summer is 10-weeks of employment where the dress code is likely business formal or at a minimum, business casual. Make sure you’re not caught running to the drycleaner in a mad panic because your one suit is dirty after two days on the job.

Driven By Data: What To Expect During BARBRI Bar Review

At BARBRI, data drives everything we do, and we are guided by one principle: It’s not about pass rates. It’s about passing.

As in YOU passing YOUR bar exam.

There are three overarching ways we keep YOUR INDIVIDUAL SUCCESS front and center:

  • We focus your attention on the material you are most likely to actually see on your bar exam
  • We adjust your schedule based on your strengths and weaknesses as you progress
  • We present content in the best way to maximize learning and retention

NOT TOO MUCH WORK, OR TOO LITTLE, BUT JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT

During BARBRI Bar Review, everything assigned in your online Personal Study Plan (or “PSP”) is carefully curated by an engine we call ISAAC, your Intuitive Study Assistant And Coach.

ISAAC combines proprietary algorithms with our 50+ years of bar exam data and expertise to drive your BARBRI course.

ISAAC keeps you on track, effectively scaffolding your knowledge and skills. It’s meant to motivate and keep you accountable. Remember, generally the higher the percent of course completion, the higher the average bar exam score.

THE TYPES OF ASSIGNMENTS, THE SEQUENCE AND THE TIMING

During our summer 2018 BARBRI Bar Review course, ISAAC assigned more than 7.5 million learning activities. That sounds like a lot, but don’t worry, that’s not any individual student – that covers the tens of thousands of students studying for that bar exam with BARBRI. Let’s dig into the data.

Check out the chart below and see, on average, you’ll spend about 24% of your total bar review course study time learning the law with lectures. About 28% of your time working multiple-choice practice questions. And about 19% of your time in our Directed Essay Grading process (Essay Architect, Practice Essays and Graded Essays). Most importantly, each of these align with the top activities correlated to increased points on the bar exam and, ultimately, bar passage.

That’s interesting, yet it’s not just about the type of assignments you do, but also the sequence and timing in which you do them. The chart below shows how the assignment types will progress and change during your bar review course.

Notice the blue line – early on in the course, you’ll spend the majority of your time with lectures, acquiring knowledge from the best U.S. law professors and legal experts.

Then, you see from the light green and yellow lines, you are reading and reviewing your notes and also start to ramp up on multiple-choice learning and practice questions.

Two dark green peaks stand out – that’s for the BARBRI Simulated MBE (which by the way is as correlated to the real MBE as the PSAT is to the SAT, and it is the single best way to know where you are on the curve before sitting for the exam. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the Simulated MBE).

Then notice the peach line, which indicates movement into our Directed Essay Grading process and practice essays.

None of your precious study time is wasted on activities that won’t help you maximize your point potential on the bar exam. To see how it all works together, check out this 5-minute video: Meet the BARBRI Course.

All this is why, year after year, the vast majority of graduating law students choose BARBRI Bar Review to Own The Bar.

Studies Show BARBRI Students Score More Points On The Bar Exam For A Similar Amount Of Effort

The bar exam is arguably the most important and most difficult test of your life. Nobody wants to fail. Everybody wants to walk in to the exam with the confidence that they are going to pass, the first time. BARBRI students are best equipped to perform at the highest levels on exam day.

In all of the studies conducted by our BARBRI team of data scientists, at schools across the United States, it was clear. For similar course completion rates, BARBRI students achieved a higher average score on the bar exam than students using other bar prep courses.

It’s a significant differential. For example, in one study, the non-BARBRI student group cleared the pass line by six points on average. The BARBRI students scored 31 points above the passing mark. That’s 5x the cushion for a similar amount of effort.

On a test where most people who fail do so by just a few points, how thin a margin is worth the risk?

BETTER PREPARATION, MORE POINTS FOR SIMILAR EFFORT

Our in-house data scientists have analyzed four years of BARBRI student data and continue to work closely with law schools nationwide. Among the tens of thousands of data points gathered, they spotted an eye-opening pattern: BARBRI students scored more points on the bar exam compared to non-BARBRI students for a similar amount of study effort.

This means you do study smarter, not harder, with BARBRI. In fact, all activities assigned to you during BARBRI Bar Review, through the powerful ISAAC engine that runs the course, are positively correlated to increased points on the bar exam and, ultimately, bar passage. To  read more about that, click here.

BARBRI students are better prepared among all bar takers and walk into exam day with far greater confidence to pass the bar.

THE TRUE BARBRI ADVANTAGE, IT’S OBVIOUS

Here is a closer look at one study we conducted in summer 2018. First, we see that a greater percentage of assignments completed, within any bar prep course, will generally correlate to a higher average bar exam score. It’s pretty obvious.

In the chart below, all the blue dots are BARBRI students and the dotted line represents the relationship between bar review course completion and final bar exam score. The dotted line slopes upward, which means the higher percentage of BARBRI course completion, the better students do on the bar exam. Simple enough.

When we look at the group of bar takers who did not study with BARBRI, we see a similar upward trajectory.

When we combine both BARBRI and non-BARBRI student scores within the graph, it reveals the true BARBRI advantage – BARBRI students score more points for the same amount of effort and percentage of the course completed as non-BARBRI students.

CONFIDENCE IN THE (HUGE) CUSHION

Now think about the bar exam curve. Generally, when you hear of someone failing the bar, many do so by 10 or fewer points. Wouldn’t you rather go in with the confidence of knowing you’re going to get the most points possible and give yourself the best chance possible?

Another reason why the majority of graduating law students, every year, go with BARBRI to Own The Bar.

About 9 Out of 10 Average BARBRI Students Pass the Bar … But We Don’t Care and Neither Should You

It’s easy to get caught up in state bar exam pass rates when considering your bar prep options. The reality is that about 9 out of 10 BARBRI students who do the average amount of work in our course pass the bar. That’s impressive … but we don’t care, and neither should you. Don’t put too much stock in a pass rate – BARBRI’s or anyone else’s. That is not a good indication of how YOU will actually perform on the bar exam.

What you really need to understand are the bar prep activities that are most important, and what YOU need to do, to get your highest bar score possible and pass the bar.

OUR 4-YEAR STUDY: WHAT DRIVES BAR PASSAGE

Let’s start where our in-house data scientists did – combing through four years of BARBRI data and working with law schools nationwide to uncover what truly drives bar passage.

BARBRI data scientists researched all activities completed by tens of thousands of BARBRI students, segmenting by UBE /non-UBE states and looking state-by-state to determine the activities and experiences that are more or less important to bar passage. We also looked at the effects of studying overall with BARBRI vs. other courses and you can get that information here.

BREAKING DOWN THE “INDEPENDENT VARIABLES TO PASSING THE BAR”

The great news is that all activities that were assigned by ISAAC in the BARBRI Personal Study Plan are positively correlated to increased points on the bar exam and, ultimately, bar passage.

Some assignments have an even greater impact. These are a darker shade of green, which means they have an even higher correlation to bar passage.

The data scientists have found the BARBRI Simulated MBE to be one of the most powerful and statistically significant experiences one can have in preparing to pass the bar exam.

In fact, the BARBRI Simulated MBE is as correlated to the actual MBE as the PSAT is to the SAT. There are many reasons why an individual preparing to pass the bar exam should not miss out on the BARBRI Simulated MBE. Check out this blog to learn more.

One more important note: It’s not just about the type of assignments you do, but also the sequence and timing in which you do them. ISAAC, the engine that runs the BARBRI course, takes all of this into consideration as it drives your Personal Study Plan.

We want to ensure you focus exactly where you need to get the most points possible on your bar exam. That’s a measure of success you can trust with a great deal of confidence. It’s also a compelling reason why the majority of graduating law students, every year, go with BARBRI to Own The Bar.