BARBRI SCHOLARSHIPS & BAR REVIEW OPTIONS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT

1. PUBLIC INTEREST SCHOLARSHIPS

For students employed or committed to be employed in the public interest sector, each year BARBRI offers Public Interest scholarships resulting in a special, discounted rate on BARBRI Bar Review.

To apply, candidates briefly describe their public interest work, and attach a resume evidencing such work, a formal offer of public interest sector employment, or evidence of participation in a school sponsored public interest scholarship/fellowship program. After submitting the application, candidates will receive an email from BARBRI outlining the scholarship award amount determined. View the Public Interest scholarship application, deadlines and requirements here.

2. SAVE A TON OF MONEY ON A 2ND BAR EXAM COURSE

If you’re pretty sure that you’ll be taking another state bar exam in the near future, the BARBRI Ultimate Decision Tuition decision can save you a lot of money. The BARBRI Ultimate Decision Tuition offers the choice of a bonus option – one of which is to take a second bar exam course within 2 years of your original course.

So, if for example, you’re getting ready to prepare for the New York Bar Exam and you know that you want to also get licensed in California within a couple of years, then go ahead and sign up for BARBRI Ultimate Decision Tuition. You can select any two state exams as part of this option. Check out BARBRI Ultimate Decision Tuition here.

You’ll have 2 years to complete your second course. And, even though it might sound grueling, we’ve found that it’s easier to get a second bar exam out of the way when the material is still relatively fresh in your mind. Many times the application process for your second state will also be easier as well since you have everything in one place from your first state submission.

3. BILL YOUR EMPLOYER AND PAY NOTHING UP FRONT

When you select a BARBRI Bar Review Firm Decision tuition and provide the firm or employer you are billing, you are not required to make an initial payment or deposit toward tuition. And you can begin using materials such as 2L / 3L Mastery immediately and BARBRI Early Start Bar Review when it becomes available for your course administration.

BARBRI 2L / 3L Mastery contains outlines, on demand expert video lectures and multiple-choice and essay practice questions covering Evidence, Wills, Trusts, Taxation, Secured Transactions, Corporations, Family Law, Constitutional Law and Criminal Procedure.

BARBRI Early Start Bar Review is on-demand, self-directed and focuses on the 25 most frequently tested bar exam subtopics. Students who spend a total of 24 study hours with Early Start prior to the start of the BARBRI Bar Review course are statistically much more likely to pass the bar exam, the first time. Early Start access is included in BARBRI Bar Review and is typically open several months before the actual course begins.

Check out BARBRI Bar Review Firm Decision tuition options by selecting “I would like to bill my employer” tab here.

4. PAYMENT PLANS OR FINANCING YOUR BARBRI TUITION

If you are paying for your course (not billing an employer), you can either:

  • Finance your tuition with Affirm for longer-term monthly payments OR
  • Create an interest free, custom short-term installment payment plan

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 or 12 months) you are offered is based on the tuition type you are choosing and on a credit check. You can check your eligibility during enrollment and it will not affect your credit score – provide some basic information and get a real time decision to split your purchase into 3, 6, or 12 monthly payments at 0-30% APR.

If you Finance with Affirm during enrollment, you can include any initially required BARBRI down payments in your loan. Or, you can make the minimum required payment toward your BARBRI tuition at the time of enrollment and decide to finance the remainder with Affirm at a later date. Either way, after you choose this option, 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. When you finance, a down payment may be required and Affirm loans are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey state-chartered bank, Member FDIC. Learn More about Financing with Affirm.

Another option is to create a custom installment payment plan when you pay with a debit or credit card. Pay your initial required BARBRI down payments (depending on the course you’re selecting) and then split up the remainder of your tuition payments over time.

A custom installment payment plan is not a loan – no credit check is required and there is no interest applied to the custom installment payment plan. Your total tuition must be paid in full per the payment deadlines prior to the beginning of your BARBRI Bar Review course.

All of us at BARBRI are looking forward to helping you Own The Bar

If you’d like to take advantage of one of these options or have additional questions, please reach out to us at 888-322-7274 or service@barbri.com. You can also find your BARBRI Director of Legal Education here.

2L year, the ideal time to check bar exam requirements.

Believe it or not, the second year of law school is when you should begin researching bar exam requirements. If you’re a 2L student reading this blog, yes, that means pretty much now. It’s not too early to get moving on this process. Depending on the state/jurisdiction in which you plan to take the bar, you may encounter specific instructions, special fees and other details that will require plenty of advanced planning and work on your part. The goal is to avoid pitfalls later, when you really don’t want any surprises.

Download the free BARBRI Bar Exam Digest, which has all the information you need to know for every state and jurisdiction, including the UBE.

BE AWARE OF THE STEPS, SAVE YOURSELF MONEY.

The bar admission requirements are just that — requirements — and certain ones come with a fee. Pay close attention. Make sure you are fully aware of those requirements and their deadlines. You may have something to do during 2L year. Ohio is a good example. Your Application to Register as a Candidate for Admission to the Practice of Law (fondly known as Character and Fitness) is due by November 15th of your second year of law school. That second year requirement applies regardless if you are on a three-, four- or five-year plan. It’s a 30-page application that wants to know everywhere you have lived since the age of 18. Seriously. Another example: In Florida, there’s an even earlier deadline. It allows (and encourages) you to sign up your first year of law school. In fact, the earlier you sign up for the Florida bar exam, the lower your overall fee.

REALIZE THIS IS NOT A QUICK AND EASY PROCESS.

Even if you’re going to a state where you don’t have to file your bar exam application until the third year of law school, this is not something you can do in one night. Or even over the course of a week. You will likely have to do some significant digging into your personal, financial and work histories. Remember that traffic ticket you got in the middle of nowhere driving home from college your second year? You are going to have to hunt down the docket for it to include with your application. That’s only part of it. You may have to get forms notarized and references to provide letters of recommendation. Here’s a helpful Bar Admission Checklist that will give you a general overview of what to expect.

PREPARE TO MOVE FAST, TIME MAY BE LIMITED.

Some states have a limited timeline established for you to file your bar exam application. In New York, for example, the application filing period is only one month. No extensions. Late applications are not accepted. The last thing you want is to wait another six months to take the bar because you missed a deadline. As a 2L student now, you can see these coming with more than enough time to gather and do everything you need on schedule.

KNOW THE TOPICS TESTED, TAKE THOSE COURSES.

By checking bar exam requirements (going into fall semester of 2L year or sooner), you get to see what’s tested on that exam and then plan your course schedule accordingly. If you’re bar exam state tests Commercial Law and Secured Transactions, consider taking those classes in law school. Give yourself every advantage, early and often.

As with so many things related to law school, taking time to stay informed has its rewards.

5 Reasons You Should Start Studying Early

By Mike Sims, BARBRI President

Every year, students ask me if they should begin studying early for the bar exam. Does it hurt or does it help? Our experience and data tells us that students should begin studying for the bar exam early if at all possible. Here are 5 reasons why:

  1. You are more likely to pass the bar exam.
    While plenty of students do very well following their Personal Study Plan during their BARBRI Bar Review course, we have found that those who engage with BARBRI Early Start Bar Review 67 days or more before the course begins are statistically even more likely to pass the bar exam the first time. Since BARBRI Early Start is included with your BARBRI Bar Review course, there’s no reason not to start early.
  2. Bar exam pass rates are lower than they were in the past
    While National Mean MBE scores have recovered a little over the past couple of administrations, they still remain much lower than they were several years ago. That’s one reason why we make Early Start Bar Review available to committed BARBRI Bar Review students several months prior to the BARBRI Bar Review course start date.
  3. Spreading the work out now avoids burnout
    Studying for the bar is a marathon, not a sprint. Time spent learning early is time saved during your bar review course. If you can devote about 24 total study hours to BARBRI Early Start before your bar review course starts, you’ll take a little stress out of your bar exam preparation.
  4. Early learning is not forgotten – it’s foundation
    We’ve all crammed for a final exam, and sometimes it worked. Cramming won’t work for the bar. Learning will. BARBRI Early Start is an on-demand, self-directed experience that teaches you the law faster and helps you retain it longer. BARBRI Early Start helps you build a solid foundation of Multistate mastery – a foundation that will stay with you throughout the bar exam.
  5. Studying smarter, not harder, makes a difference
    BARBRI Early Start focuses your study on the 25 most frequently tested bar exam subtopics. Students who complete this early work have a head start on the areas of law that are most frequently tested on the actual exam.

Simply put, people who start early and study smart, don’t just pass the bar, they #OwnTheBar. BARBRI Early Start Bar Review is included at no additional charge with BARBRI Bar Review.

The Bar Exam Curve: It’s Real

Even after years of published MBE results and graphs, there are still people who try to convince others that the bar exam curve is not real. Those people must not have studied the MBE every year since its inception in 1972.

If you look at the 2017 MBE National Scaled Score Distribution from the National Conference of Bar Examiners, you will see that MBE results fall in a pattern that looks like a bell curve. This happens Every. Single. Administration.

This is also why you often hear of people who fail the bar exam by just a few points. Look at the distribution.  A large number of examinees are clustered right around the top of the curve – right around the score you need to pass the bar exam. This also means that just a few additional points can tip many people over into the “pass” category.

Many students begin studying for the bar exam as they would for any other exam for which they’ve prepared in their life. They are focused on their percentage correct in every area – or getting an “A” or a “B” on everything. Studying this way for the bar exam can hurt you and focus your attention in the wrong areas for the result you want – which is an overall passing score of course.

The bar exam is a pass / fail exam that covers a ton of material. The key to passing the exam is doing well enough, in enough areas. For a lot of students who have focused on excelling at everything they do, that isn’t intuitive, and it doesn’t feel right. They want to ace every section and can’t mentally move on if they have a 60% or a “D” for example. Well, for the bar exam, that may be good enough to pass.

So how do you know you are doing well enough in enough areas? This is where percentile rank comes in. Percentile rank is simply the comparison of how you are doing vs everyone else. Or in other words, what percentage of students are doing better than you and what percentage of students are doing less well than you. Depending on your state, the bar exam pass rate is typically around 60-80%. Therefore, your goal is to do better than 20% to 40% of other bar takers, or to be in the 20th to 40th percentile or above in each subject – that’s how you know you’re on track to pass.

If your percentile rank is already high in a particular subject– let’s say in the 50th percentile or above- it likely won’t benefit you to spend much more time on that particular subject. To raise your overall score, your time is better spent on a subject with a lower percentile rank to move you over that peak into the passing score range.

An important note about percentile rank: The only way percentile rank is reliable is to have a large enough sample size to make it a valid “real world” comparison. Since the majority of students sitting for your state’s bar exam study with BARBRI each administration, BARBRI Bar Review is the only way to get this statistically valid and meaningful view of where you sit on the bar exam curve before you actually take the exam. It’s one of the key reasons why year after year, most students choose BARBRI.

As you progress through BARBRI Bar Review and answer MBE practice questions, your percentile rank will build by subject and allow you to see where you stand throughout the course. Then, just a few weeks before the actual bar exam, you’ll have the opportunity to do a full simulated Multistate Bar Exam. This is critical.

This simulation mentally and physically prepares you for the exam. In fact, just the experience alone statistically increases your chances of passing your bar exam. After the simulation, you will also get a Pass Predictor score report that shows your overall percentile rank – where you sit on the bar exam curve compared to everyone else preparing for your state exam – as well as your percentile rank in each subject and subtopic. With enough time to act upon the results.

With the Pass Predictor, you will know exactly where to spend your remaining study time before the actual exam to ensure you are doing well enough, in enough areas, to pass the exam.

5 Frequently Asked Questions About BARBRI Bar Review

By Mike Sims,
BARBRI President

Year after year, tens of thousands of graduating students choose BARBRI. As they are making that choice, there are a few questions that arise more frequently than others. Knowing that your time is valuable, I want to take this opportunity to answer the most frequently asked questions.

If you’d like to learn more or have other questions, please reach out to your BARBRI Director of Legal Education, or to me directly at mike.sims@barbri.com.

Q1: Can I do my BARBRI lectures all online? If I choose to go to a classroom location, can I still access lectures online?

A: Only BARBRI offers online, mobile and in-class study options for no additional charge. You can do 100% of your BARBRI course online or can you choose to go to a classroom location for all or a portion of your lectures. If you select a classroom location, you still have access to all lectures online. BARBRI lets you mix and match what works best for you throughout the course – go to class for your most challenging subjects, revisit specific topics and subtopics online afterward or speed through your best subjects online at 1.5x speed. You can also stream or download video or audio lectures in the BARBRI Mobile App to watch or listen on the go.

Either way – all online or attending a classroom location– you’ll get the same great lectures from the same renowned U.S. law professors. It’s your time, your preference and your choice as to what works best for you to reinforce and recall the material you need to know to Own the Bar.

Q2: Aren’t BARBRI lectures long and boring?

A:  While I’ll admit that it’s hard to make Fee Simple Subject to Condition Subsequent exciting, I can tell you that year after year students rave about BARBRI professors. Our faculty are all gifted teachers who have the fantastic ability to make the law memorable and understandable.

BARBRI professors understand that you can’t learn everything all at once. That’s why both our classroom and online MBE lectures are divided into short segments, all of which include a professor-led review activity at the end of each topic. No long, boring, 3-4 hour lectures here.

After each subject, you’ll work a quick set of Knowledge Check questions that will increase retention and help ISAAC customize your Personal Study Plan.

Q3: How many graded essays are included with BARBRI Bar Review? Can I have unlimited essays graded at no additional charge?

A: The short answer is we will grade as many essays as you want to submit. Don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise.

Before we talk about the right number of essays to be graded, let’s first talk about the strategy of essay writing for the bar exam. During bar study, your goal is to learn to write the best bar exam essays possible, as quickly as possible. And writing essays for the bar exam is very different than writing essays for law school.

As we’ve worked with students, we’ve seen that submitting practice essay after essay with no initial guidance and delayed feedback reinforces bad habits and wastes time. For this reason, a purely “unlimited” essay grading system can actually stunt your progress. We don’t want that for our students so BARBRI has a better answer with proven results: Directed Essay Grading.

It starts with Essay Architect, our exclusive online instruction platform that takes you through a series of steps to learn to critically read bar exam questions, enhance the speed of your essay writing and construct strong, winning answers. Essay Architect provides immediate feedback to build your essay writing skills quickly.

Then, we assign a carefully selected series of past bar exam essays and performance tests for grading and feedback from trained bar exam writing experts. You’ll also receive many more essays for practice and self-grading. If after taking advantage of those assignments you want additional essays graded, we’re happy to grade more. You can simply work with a BARBRI Director of Legal Education to get personal, 1:1 help, all free of charge.

Q4: How many MBE practice questions do you provide? Are they REAL released MBE Questions?

A: The short, direct answer to this question is that you’ll have access to over 2,000 MBE questions throughout your BARBRI Bar Review course. That being said, we don’t believe that this is quite the right question– or at least not the entire question – to be asking.

As with many things, it’s not just the quantity, it’s the quality and the methodology that matters. This is such an important topic, that we have another entire blog dedicated to this topic that you can read here if you’d like to geek out.

When it comes to real released MBE questions, BARBRI has released questions – but we don’t assign those questions and we don’t recommend focusing on them.

Questions that have been released by the examiners will not appear in any future MBE because the scoring data for those questions would not be reliable. And, because only about 80 questions per subject have been released in the past 10 years, released questions don’t provide a good representation of the topics that are most likely to actually appear on the exam. Focusing primarily on real released MBE questions is another way some bar preppers misuse precious, limited study time.

The vast majority of BARBRI’s questions have been developed by BARBRI subject matter experts to test on the most important, most frequently tested topic areas – the same way the bar examiners do. These questions have been drafted after careful review of actual MBE questions and have been approved by professors who are experts in those subjects.

Q5: Do bar exam results really fall on a curve? Why should I care?

A: Even after years of published MBE results and graphs, there are still people who insist that bar exam results do not fall into a bell curve. For those who do believe what they see, there are also still many who feel that this fact is not meaningful. If anyone ever tries to convince you of either one of these things, there is only one thing to say: They’re wrong.

If you look at the 2017 MBE National Scaled Score Distribution from the National Conference of Bar Examiners, you will see that MBE results do in fact fall in a bell curve pattern. And they fall into this pattern every single administration. Since BARBRI prepares the vast majority of law school graduates every year, the BARBRI Simulated MBE with Pass Predictor is the best way to know where you are on the curve before you sit for the exam.

We have a lot more to say on this topic and why it matters. If you’re interested in learning more, check out the blog: THE BAR EXAM CURVE: IT’S REAL.

What You Need to Know About the UBE

Six new states have recently adopted the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE). Illinois (effective July 2019), Maryland (effective July 2019), North Carolina (effective February 2019), Rhode Island (effective February 2019) and Tennessee (effective February 2019). On the horizon is Ohio effective July 2020.

Why does the UBE matter?

The UBE is uniformly administered and graded, resulting in a portable score that may be transferred to other UBE jurisdictions. Each jurisdiction independently determines the rules for who may sit and be admitted, passing scores, portability restrictions and other jurisdiction-specific admissions requirements.

Questions? Check out our What to Expect On the Bar Exam video or get in touch with your BARBRI Director of Legal Education.

Upcoming UBE Dates: February 26-27, 2019 and July 30-31, 2019

Classes to consider if your state utilizes the UBE? Although not required, these courses can help you prepare: Evidence, Criminal Procedure, Business Associations, Secured Transactions, Family Law, Conflicts of Law and Remedies.

PRO TIP: Remedies is ALWAYS a must-take. It will be tested on the bar in basically every subject, so study up!

#BarPrepLife is Over

GUEST BLOG Katie R. Day,
Quinnipiac University School of Law Graduate

WE’RE DONE WITH THE BAR EXAM!!!! Cue the confetti!

#BarPrepLife is over!! I am so proud of all of us. We worked so hard to get to this point and our hard work has paid off. I don’t know about y’all, but I am SO excited to have the next few days to celebrate, relax, and enjoy the summer before I start my new job. It feels like a huge weight has been lifted off my chest and I’m going to take advantage of that awesome feeling!

While I’m beyond thrilled that my time as #BarPrepLife blogger and bar exam are over, there is that little voice in my head that’s wondering if I passed. Waiting for the results is going to be killer, but I encourage all of you to put the results out of your head. The exam is over. What’s done is done. There’s no point in stressing about it. I know that’s easier said than done, but I want us all to really try!

Take time to enjoy your summer! Go to the beach. See your family. Take a road trip. And whenever you start stressing about the results, have some faith in yourself. You made it through law school. You studied hard for the exam. And you did your best.

So put the bar exam out of your mind and have some fun. You deserve it! Also, thank you for following my #BarPrepLife journey.

The Final Countdown to the Bar Exam: #BarPrepLife

GUEST BLOG Katie R. Day,
Quinnipiac University School of Law Graduate

The bar exam is JUST A FEW DAYS AWAY! (Cue freakout!)

I can’t believe we’re finally at the end of this crazy bar prep journey. The last couple of months have been challenging to say the least and I’m beyond excited to put this exam behind me and start working as an attorney!

Since I know these next few days are going to be crazy, I made a to-do list for myself so I make sure I’m not forgetting anything important and I’m staying as stress-free as possible. I’m sharing it with the hopes that it helps you stay calm, cool, and collected leading into the exam.

Visit the site. If possible, check out the testing location. How do you get there and how long will it take? Where should you park? Is it warm or cold inside the building? You may not be able to get into the specific testing room, but having a general idea of where you’ll be taking the test is helpful. You don’t want to get lost the day of the exam or feel like you’re running late because you can’t find parking.

People lined up at New York City’s Javits Center July 25 for the first day of the New York Bar exam. (Photo credit: Suzanne Tullo)

Get your materials together. Make a list of everything you need to bring with you the day of the exam and set it all out. A couple of days before the exam, make sure you have pens and pencils, tissues, etc. and make a run to the store if you’re missing anything. Then, the night before the exam lay out your clothes, ID, car keys, water bottle, etc. You’ll be stressed enough the day of the exam, you don’t need to be hunting for your car keys or struggling to find pencils.

Do a final review. Run through everything one more time. Don’t quiz yourself, don’t beat yourself up if something is confusing, just absorb the information. I spoke with my professor today and he gave me some great advice, he said “If you don’t know it now, you won’t learn it in the next few days.” And he’s right, we’ve learned a lot and we’ve taken the time to commit a significant amount of information to memory. There’s no way you’ll know 100% of the information that will be on the exam, so don’t stress yourself out trying to cram it all in. Do one more cursory review to refresh your memory and then be confident in what you know.

Take care of yourself. It can be tempting to devote every last minute to studying and reviewing material. I’m not telling you to stop studying, but make sure you’re reserving time for self care. Get enough sleep. Eat healthy meals. Take time to go to the gym or take a bike ride. Don’t neglect yourself to get in a few more hours of bar prep videos or practice essays. Trust me, it won’t be worth it.

Have fun. You want to go into the exam confident and relaxed. Being stressed to the max will only hurt your performance on test day, so take some steps to de-stress and have some fun before the exam. The day before the exam go to dinner with your friends, spend the day with your family, or relax at the local beach. Just do something that will take your mind off the exam and help you get in a relaxed headspace. 

GOOD LUCK to all of you taking the bar exam! WE CAN DO THIS!

Law School Graduates ‘Fairly Certain’ They’ll Fail the Bar Exam

Mike Sims, BARBRI President

An Answer to the Recent “Above The Law” Article

A recent headline on Above the Law said, “Law School Graduates ‘Fairly Certain’ They’ll Fail the Bar Exam.” If you’re feeling that way, let me assure you that, based upon my 26 years of working with bar preppers, your feelings are normal. The first weeks of July are typically the hardest weeks of bar study. In early July you draw near to the end of the lecture phase of your bar review course. In early July the sheer volume of the law you have to learn becomes a stark reality. And in early July you get your first real sense where you are sitting on the curve when you sit for the Simulated MBE.

The first weeks of July are justifiably scary.

However, this year there is also good news in the first weeks of July.

Dr. Dave Clark, BARBRI’s Senior VP for Learning (and chief data wrangler), recently completed an analysis of more than 86,000 BARBRI students over the past four years. Here’s what he found:

At this point in July, the current class of BARBRI students has completed more of their bar review course assignments than in any of the three previous years prior (a measure highly correlated with pass rates and overall scores on the bar examination). Also, scores from the recently administered BARBRI Simulated MBE indicate that this current group of students is as prepared and equipped to be successful on the bar examination as any class prior, and significantly more prepared than those who sat for the bar three years ago.

According to the data, the BARBRI class of 2018 is on track for success this summer.

To be sure, the last weeks of July mean there’s more to do. You have practice questions to answer, essays to write and lots of rules to learn. But you have the tools and now hopefully a bit more confidence.

It’s important to remember that every July, in every state, more first-time takers pass the bar exam than not – even in California. I’m sure that will be true this year too.

As Stacy Zaretsky said in the Above the Law post I referenced above, “keep studying, think positive thoughts, and keep the faith. We believe in you — you just need to believe in yourselves. You can do it!”

Keep up the great work!

Practice Makes Perfect: #BarPrepLife

GUEST BLOG Katie R. Day,
Quinnipiac University School of Law Graduate

We’ve all heard that practice makes perfect, right?

As I write this, there are exactly 2 weeks left until the bar exam—yikes! I’m definitely nervous. There’s still so much information I need to learn. As I’ve been studying, I’ve found that the saying “practice makes perfect” really rings true during bar prep. With each set of MBE questions and each essay I write, I feel myself getting more comfortable with the material and the structure of the questions.

It’s such a great feeling to read a question and think “I know this!” and that happens more and more as I practice. I know at this point you never want to see another bar exam question again—trust me, I feel your pain—but these questions are one of the best ways to prepare for the exam!

I highly recommend that you treat these questions the same way you would on exam day: put away your notes, set a timer, and pretend it’s go time! When the exam rolls around you’ll feel confident in your ability to answer the questions correctly and within the time frame. Plus, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect and even how to handle a question that you don’t know the answer to.

So as you open another set of MBE questions or read another MEE essay or MPT, remind yourself that practice makes perfect. Or maybe more appropriately in our case, practice makes passing!