First, I want to thank you for following my blog. We now have over 1.1 million views. I am grateful and humbled for your readership.
I started this blog in 2007 because I knew that examinees were struggling unnecessarily with the bar exam. Sure, the bar exam is difficult. And, the California bar exam is one of the most difficult in the country. But, what I had found, working with examinees, is that course providers, and even their law schools, were providing bad advice on bar prep. I have worked with so many repeat bar examinees. I learned early on that examinees who attempted to adhere to their course providers study schedule typically led to failure, not to mention a very stressful bar review period.
These study schedules were unrealistic and impossible to complete unless a student was willing to spend 12 to 16 hours a day on their studies. I can tell you, this is a recipe for failure. It was frustrating to see this over and over again – students taking the bar with one of the big box bar prep companies – receiving little or no attention and devoting countless hours a day trying to follow an unreasonable and unrealistic study schedule.
So many of the programs out there instruct students to read all day and offer very little assistance with writing and fail to provide real feedback. One major bar prep provider only “grades” three essays. I have quotation around “grades” because typically the examinee gets a numbered score and very few comments, if any.
I have heard the stories of so many examinees who put in the work and gave it their all and still failed. It is one of my biggest frustrations in bar prep – that students are truly mislead as to what it actually takes to pass the bar exam.
Often, by the time someone has found this blog and found Bar None Review, they have taken the bar exam a few times, sometimes quite a few times. They have spent a lot of money on bar prep and are simply not in the position to take another program. This is one of the main reasons I started this blog – to help those who can not afford another review course. Also, I write here in order to help those who are studying with a big box prep course to steer away from the unrealistic study schedules (that I personally believe are designed to keep you away from them) and instead get focused on the actual test. Studying past essay exams and answers, completing MBEs (and doing so in a very specific way so that you make the needed improvement).
Last week I had lunch with one of my past students. He took the exam five times before joining our program. He passed the bar exam in one attempt with our program. He married shortly after getting sworn in, has three children now and is ten years into a very successful law practice of his own. Same week, I ran into one of my past students in the grocery store! He took my bar prep course ten years ago and now works for the California State Bar Exam. He loves his job. One more story: one of the new attorneys at my former office in Orange told me about “this lady that predicts what is going to be tested on the essays” and that after failing the bar exam five times, he just decided to spend most of his time studying the “predicted subjects” and that after doing that he passed the bar exam. I don’t know if I can take credit for that one. But, it was pretty great to be able to tell him I was “that lady.” He has since become a very good friend and I am currently preparing one of his law clerks for the February 2019 bar exam.
It is an honor to me to be a part of people’s lives getting back on track and getting to doing what they were meant to be doing. It is so rewarding to me. Thank you for your follows and please share this blog with anyone who you think could benefit.
Good luck to all who are studying for the February 2019 bar exam (and yes, you should be studying now). Check back here for posts on how to begin your studies for the February 2019 bar exam!
Lisa Duncanson Founder/Program Director Bar None Review and Bar Exam Cram Session email: firstname.lastname@example.org