Choising a Bar Review Course


Dear all,

I've heard that BarBri is (one of) the best bar exam preparation class but there are many others. Which one should you recommend? Do you know llmbarexam? It's a course for foreign llm students only.

Thks!
Dear all,

I've heard that BarBri is (one of) the best bar exam preparation class but there are many others. Which one should you recommend? Do you know llmbarexam? It's a course for foreign llm students only.

Thks!
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AAude
Salut Claire-Marie, je suis française et j'ai passé le barreau en juillet dernier. Après mûre reflexion et en avoir parlé avec des amis américains, j'ai décidé de prendre LLM Bar Exam parce que je trouvais que le fait que leur cours soient "live" et qu'on puisse poser des question aux profs plutôt que d'être devant un écran, faisait vraiment la différence. Et puis le fait qu'ils garantissaient qu'on récupère l'argent en cas d'échec était vraiment très intéressant et montraient qu'ils étaient vraiment sûr d'eux. Honnêtement, ça a été deux mois très dur, parce qu'on avait beaucoup de travail, plus que ceux faisant BarBri, mais je ne le regrette pas. J'ai fais beaucoup plus d'essais que mes amis de BarBri, environ une vingtaine et surtout plus de test MBE. En plus on est assez encadré et comme aller en cours est obligatoire si tu veux récupérer ton argent, ça aide à se motiver pour se lever le matin. Il y a même deux ou trois questions qu'on avait fait dans des essais en cours qui sont tombés à l'exam, ce qui n'est vraiment pas négligeable. Donc vraiment si tu hésites entre LLM Bar exam et BarBri, je te conseille LLM Bar Exam, tu seras bien encadrée et il y a toujours quelqu'un de disponible pour répondre à tes questions ou mieux t'expliquer les choses que tu ne comprends pas.
Si tu as d'autres question, surtout n'hésite pas.
Bonne soirée.
Aude
Salut Claire-Marie, je suis française et j'ai passé le barreau en juillet dernier. Après mûre reflexion et en avoir parlé avec des amis américains, j'ai décidé de prendre LLM Bar Exam parce que je trouvais que le fait que leur cours soient "live" et qu'on puisse poser des question aux profs plutôt que d'être devant un écran, faisait vraiment la différence. Et puis le fait qu'ils garantissaient qu'on récupère l'argent en cas d'échec était vraiment très intéressant et montraient qu'ils étaient vraiment sûr d'eux. Honnêtement, ça a été deux mois très dur, parce qu'on avait beaucoup de travail, plus que ceux faisant BarBri, mais je ne le regrette pas. J'ai fais beaucoup plus d'essais que mes amis de BarBri, environ une vingtaine et surtout plus de test MBE. En plus on est assez encadré et comme aller en cours est obligatoire si tu veux récupérer ton argent, ça aide à se motiver pour se lever le matin. Il y a même deux ou trois questions qu'on avait fait dans des essais en cours qui sont tombés à l'exam, ce qui n'est vraiment pas négligeable. Donc vraiment si tu hésites entre LLM Bar exam et BarBri, je te conseille LLM Bar Exam, tu seras bien encadrée et il y a toujours quelqu'un de disponible pour répondre à tes questions ou mieux t'expliquer les choses que tu ne comprends pas.
Si tu as d'autres question, surtout n'hésite pas.
Bonne soirée.
Aude
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Merci pour ton message Aude. C'est aussi ce qui me plait dans LLM Bar. Mes réticences sont plus dans le manque de notoriété de ce programme. Ou as tu suivi les cours?
Merci pour ton message Aude. C'est aussi ce qui me plait dans LLM Bar. Mes réticences sont plus dans le manque de notoriété de ce programme. Ou as tu suivi les cours?
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AAude
Je t'en prie. Je comprend tes réticences quand au manque de notoriété, j'avais les même. Mais j'ai été agréablement surprise par leur prépa. J'ai même un copain français qui a fait BarBri qui m'a dit tout à l'heure qu'il aurait du faire LLM Bar Exam parce qu'on avait été mieux préparé. J'étais à Fordham (NY) et c'est là que les cours ont eu lieu, donc c'était plutôt pas mal pour moi!
Bonne soirée
Je t'en prie. Je comprend tes réticences quand au manque de notoriété, j'avais les même. Mais j'ai été agréablement surprise par leur prépa. J'ai même un copain français qui a fait BarBri qui m'a dit tout à l'heure qu'il aurait du faire LLM Bar Exam parce qu'on avait été mieux préparé. J'étais à Fordham (NY) et c'est là que les cours ont eu lieu, donc c'était plutôt pas mal pour moi!
Bonne soirée
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mikado
Bonjour,

Je profite de cette discussion en français pour vous poser quelques questions!

Tout d'abord, je postule dans plusieurs universités dont Fordham. Peux tu me dire si tu as été satisafaite de tes cours et plus généralement de l'Université stp?

Ensuite, je n'ai pas trop d'idée quant à la difficulté d'intégrer les top law schools... La plupart des discussions à ce sujet sur le forum concernent des parcours anglais, etc.
Avez vous une idée des exigences pour les étudiants français pour Columbia, Berkeley, NYU? C'est beaucoup de frais pour postuler et je voudrais bien choisir...

Mon parcours n'estr pas mauvais : Paris 1 pendant 5 ans, mentions, Magistère, 2 stages conséquants et une vie à côté :)

Merci d'avance.
Bonjour,

Je profite de cette discussion en français pour vous poser quelques questions!

Tout d'abord, je postule dans plusieurs universités dont Fordham. Peux tu me dire si tu as été satisafaite de tes cours et plus généralement de l'Université stp?

Ensuite, je n'ai pas trop d'idée quant à la difficulté d'intégrer les top law schools... La plupart des discussions à ce sujet sur le forum concernent des parcours anglais, etc.
Avez vous une idée des exigences pour les étudiants français pour Columbia, Berkeley, NYU? C'est beaucoup de frais pour postuler et je voudrais bien choisir...

Mon parcours n'estr pas mauvais : Paris 1 pendant 5 ans, mentions, Magistère, 2 stages conséquants et une vie à côté :)

Merci d'avance.
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dbk
Salut Mikado,

Pour les parcours français, je dirais qu'un bon parcours à Paris I/Paris II (mention AB) est suffisant pour intégrer Cornell, Berkeley, NYU.

Pour Columbia, je n'ai pas été pris l'année dernière, malgré un bon parcours à Paris I (mention AB en maitrise) et HEC. A priori, il faut plutôt mention Bien et surtout de l'expérience professionnelle (1 an de stage minimum). Je repostule donc cette année!

Pour Harvard, les gens que je connais qui ont été pris venaient soit de Sc Po (avec des échanges dans des universités américaines) soit de Paris I/Paris II avec de très bonnes notes (au moins major de 3ème cycle).
Salut Mikado,

Pour les parcours français, je dirais qu'un bon parcours à Paris I/Paris II (mention AB) est suffisant pour intégrer Cornell, Berkeley, NYU.

Pour Columbia, je n'ai pas été pris l'année dernière, malgré un bon parcours à Paris I (mention AB en maitrise) et HEC. A priori, il faut plutôt mention Bien et surtout de l'expérience professionnelle (1 an de stage minimum). Je repostule donc cette année!

Pour Harvard, les gens que je connais qui ont été pris venaient soit de Sc Po (avec des échanges dans des universités américaines) soit de Paris I/Paris II avec de très bonnes notes (au moins major de 3ème cycle).
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mikado
Merci beaucoup pour ta réponse.

Paris 1 avec mention chaque année et un M2 + magistère... Ca me parait bon pour au moins une entre NYU/ Berkeley/UCLA! Cela dit, j'ai l'impression que ça reste la lotterie...

J'ai un an de stage ("année de césure" suite à mon M2 pour engranger de l'expérience) donc ca pourrait le faire pour Columbia mais j'imagine que la concurrence est rude. Mais sur un malentendu :)

Bonne chance pour tes candidatures.
Merci beaucoup pour ta réponse.

Paris 1 avec mention chaque année et un M2 + magistère... Ca me parait bon pour au moins une entre NYU/ Berkeley/UCLA! Cela dit, j'ai l'impression que ça reste la lotterie...

J'ai un an de stage ("année de césure" suite à mon M2 pour engranger de l'expérience) donc ca pourrait le faire pour Columbia mais j'imagine que la concurrence est rude. Mais sur un malentendu :)

Bonne chance pour tes candidatures.
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dbk
Je ne pense pas que ça soit vraiment la loterie... c'est vrai ils connaissent mal notre système (notamment les grandes écoles), mais savent que Paris I/Paris II sont meilleures. La comparaison se fait alors beaucoup pour les notes.

Oui, un an de césure, c'est suffisant pour Columbia si le dossier scolaire est assez solide!

Bonne chance à toi aussi, on se retrouvera peut-être quelque part :).
Je ne pense pas que ça soit vraiment la loterie... c'est vrai ils connaissent mal notre système (notamment les grandes écoles), mais savent que Paris I/Paris II sont meilleures. La comparaison se fait alors beaucoup pour les notes.

Oui, un an de césure, c'est suffisant pour Columbia si le dossier scolaire est assez solide!

Bonne chance à toi aussi, on se retrouvera peut-être quelque part :).
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AAude
I answered in English, but some of you who are not French speaker might be interested by the answer, so here is the translation. Hello Claire-Marie, I am French and I took the bar last July. After a big reflexion and having spoken about it with American friends, I decided to take LLM bar exam because I found that the fact that their course is "live" and that we can ask question to the teachers rather than being watching a screen, really made the difference. Additionally the fact that they guaranteed money back in case of failure was really very interesting and showed that they were really sure of them. Honestly, that was two very hard months, because we had a lot of work, more than with BarBri, but I do not regret it. I have made many more essays than my friends of BarBri, approximately about twenty and especially more MBE tests. Moreover we were supervised enough and as to go current is mandatory if you want to get back your money, that helps to motivate to get up in the morning. There were even two or three questions that we had made in current essays that were the day of the exam, what is not really unimportant when you want to pass!
Thus really if you hesitate between LLM Bar Exam and BarBri, I advise recommend you LLM Bar Exam, you will be well supervised and there is always somebody available to answer your questions or better explain to you the things, which you do not understand.
If you have further question, do not hesitate.
I answered in English, but some of you who are not French speaker might be interested by the answer, so here is the translation. Hello Claire-Marie, I am French and I took the bar last July. After a big reflexion and having spoken about it with American friends, I decided to take LLM bar exam because I found that the fact that their course is "live" and that we can ask question to the teachers rather than being watching a screen, really made the difference. Additionally the fact that they guaranteed money back in case of failure was really very interesting and showed that they were really sure of them. Honestly, that was two very hard months, because we had a lot of work, more than with BarBri, but I do not regret it. I have made many more essays than my friends of BarBri, approximately about twenty and especially more MBE tests. Moreover we were supervised enough and as to go current is mandatory if you want to get back your money, that helps to motivate to get up in the morning. There were even two or three questions that we had made in current essays that were the day of the exam, what is not really unimportant when you want to pass!
Thus really if you hesitate between LLM Bar Exam and BarBri, I advise recommend you LLM Bar Exam, you will be well supervised and there is always somebody available to answer your questions or better explain to you the things, which you do not understand.
If you have further question, do not hesitate.
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BarBri is the gold standard. There are others, perhaps some that are better, but remember this: most bar exam takers will be using BarBri. You don't need to score first on the exam, only pass it. Follow the herd. This is one case where it is better to be a lemming.
BarBri is the gold standard. There are others, perhaps some that are better, but remember this: most bar exam takers will be using BarBri. You don't need to score first on the exam, only pass it. Follow the herd. This is one case where it is better to be a lemming.
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AAude
Sure, BarBri is the gold standard for JDs and we are LLM. It makes a big difference. My LLM fellows who took BarBri were very disappointed and thought they were not well prepared.
Sure, BarBri is the gold standard for JDs and we are LLM. It makes a big difference. My LLM fellows who took BarBri were very disappointed and thought they were not well prepared.
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I don't doubt that the LLM experience at a bar exam is different, indeed, more difficult, than for the JD student. The LLM student will need to study longer, because the LLM student hasn't had exposure to substantive areas of the law for three years (although many JD programs don't teach much substance frankly; I learned more substance in 6 weeks of BarBri than I did in 3 years of law school). That said, whatever you do, I would not advise not taking the BarBri course. Everything one needs to know to pass the bar is exam is taught in the BarBri course.
In my experience, some LLMs have problems with the bar exam due to limited English writing skills. You must write quickly; the same time pressures are not present in many USA LLM courses.
I don't doubt that the LLM experience at a bar exam is different, indeed, more difficult, than for the JD student. The LLM student will need to study longer, because the LLM student hasn't had exposure to substantive areas of the law for three years (although many JD programs don't teach much substance frankly; I learned more substance in 6 weeks of BarBri than I did in 3 years of law school). That said, whatever you do, I would not advise not taking the BarBri course. Everything one needs to know to pass the bar is exam is taught in the BarBri course.
In my experience, some LLMs have problems with the bar exam due to limited English writing skills. You must write quickly; the same time pressures are not present in many USA LLM courses.
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AAude
In your answer you gave all the arguments for LLM students to take a prep that's gonna be aware of their differences with JDs. And regards to time pressures, I did with LLM Bar Exam over than 20 essays in a limited time, i.e. the same time as for the exam. Can you tell the same for BarBri? You seem having a very limited experience with LLM students and seem to think that we barely speak English. Are you aware than most Law School require a toefl high score in order to get admitted? And don't you think that people from prep fotr LLMs aren't aware of what students need to know to pass the bar exam?!
In your answer you gave all the arguments for LLM students to take a prep that's gonna be aware of their differences with JDs. And regards to time pressures, I did with LLM Bar Exam over than 20 essays in a limited time, i.e. the same time as for the exam. Can you tell the same for BarBri? You seem having a very limited experience with LLM students and seem to think that we barely speak English. Are you aware than most Law School require a toefl high score in order to get admitted? And don't you think that people from prep fotr LLMs aren't aware of what students need to know to pass the bar exam?!
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I believe you are reading too much into my response. I have more than a limited experience with LLM students, and I don't think LLM students barely speak English.

I'm just one person giving my opinion, i.e., that the BarBri course is the gold standard, and anyone taking the bar, including LLM grads, should take it. Everyone is free, of course, to ignore my advice and prove me wrong, and I'm sure someone can and will.

The advice, however, is probably worth what it cost you.
I believe you are reading too much into my response. I have more than a limited experience with LLM students, and I don't think LLM students barely speak English.

I'm just one person giving my opinion, i.e., that the BarBri course is the gold standard, and anyone taking the bar, including LLM grads, should take it. Everyone is free, of course, to ignore my advice and prove me wrong, and I'm sure someone can and will.

The advice, however, is probably worth what it cost you.
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aster10
I did an LLM at Columbia this year and used BarBri (which I must say was the most efficient thing I came across in my life). I would advise against using the LLM bar review course - at Columbia, most people who registered for it switched to Kaplan in the end because, as I understand, many were appalled at the quality of the LLM bar review materials. (It was Kaplan and not Barbri that most switched to because Barbri did not give a discount).
I did an LLM at Columbia this year and used BarBri (which I must say was the most efficient thing I came across in my life). I would advise against using the LLM bar review course - at Columbia, most people who registered for it switched to Kaplan in the end because, as I understand, many were appalled at the quality of the LLM bar review materials. (It was Kaplan and not Barbri that most switched to because Barbri did not give a discount).
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Aster,

I'll be sitting for the NY bar exam in July 2011. I'm still trying to decide which bar prep course to go with. My top 2 picks are Barbri and LLM Bar Exam. LLM Bar Exam seems to be more tailor-made to address LLM students' needs, however you mentioned that LLM Bar Exam's materials are sub-par. In what way are they insufficient? Are their materials not comprehensive enough? Would you know if more LLMs passed with Barbri compared to other bar review companies? Did the LLMs who went with LLM Bar Exam generally pass the NY bar?
Aster,

I'll be sitting for the NY bar exam in July 2011. I'm still trying to decide which bar prep course to go with. My top 2 picks are Barbri and LLM Bar Exam. LLM Bar Exam seems to be more tailor-made to address LLM students' needs, however you mentioned that LLM Bar Exam's materials are sub-par. In what way are they insufficient? Are their materials not comprehensive enough? Would you know if more LLMs passed with Barbri compared to other bar review companies? Did the LLMs who went with LLM Bar Exam generally pass the NY bar?
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There are many Bar prep courses. One size does not fit all.

I suggest that you research the methodology behind each, and then make a determination if that methodology best fits with your strengths and weaknesses.

By example, to name others not mentioned above yet, some like BarSecrets.com focus on individualized essay writing skills, whereas others like MicroMash focus on the multiple choice question-answer skills.

If you are taking the NY Bar, then there are a few small companies that only focus on the NY Bar like Piepers, just like BarSecrets focuses primarily on the Cal Bar.

Some people perform better with a one-on-one tutor, whereas others require a study group. Some candidiates need to work on essay timing skills, rather than esay structure, whereas others need multiple choice focus. If one size fit all, then there would only be one size.

By the way, it was covered in the Wall Street Journal that Thomson announced recently it was getting rid of BarBri and is currently looking for a buyer. The new owners may bring different attitudes and opinions to the methodology. Stay tuned on what happens after its eventual sale.
There are many Bar prep courses. One size does not fit all.

I suggest that you research the methodology behind each, and then make a determination if that methodology best fits with your strengths and weaknesses.

By example, to name others not mentioned above yet, some like BarSecrets.com focus on individualized essay writing skills, whereas others like MicroMash focus on the multiple choice question-answer skills.

If you are taking the NY Bar, then there are a few small companies that only focus on the NY Bar like Piepers, just like BarSecrets focuses primarily on the Cal Bar.

Some people perform better with a one-on-one tutor, whereas others require a study group. Some candidiates need to work on essay timing skills, rather than esay structure, whereas others need multiple choice focus. If one size fit all, then there would only be one size.

By the way, it was covered in the Wall Street Journal that Thomson announced recently it was getting rid of BarBri and is currently looking for a buyer. The new owners may bring different attitudes and opinions to the methodology. Stay tuned on what happens after its eventual sale.
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Eduardo - congrats for passing the bar!

Thanks Professor Byrnes and Eduardo for your thought-out and helpful responses. I have taken the information under advisement and made up my mind which bar prep company to go with. Happy holidays!
Eduardo - congrats for passing the bar!

Thanks Professor Byrnes and Eduardo for your thought-out and helpful responses. I have taken the information under advisement and made up my mind which bar prep company to go with. Happy holidays!
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