How to Pick a Bar Review Course

Your law school graduation is a day filled with emotions. On the one hand, you're exuberant to have finally completed law school, and now you're looking forward to reacquainting with friends and family. But on the other hand, you're facing the sobering reality of the intensive bar review that lies ahead for the next few months of your life.

Here's the good news that's not often relayed to graduates -- bar review can actually be an enjoyable experience, especially when compared to the rigors of law school. Consider, for example, that studying for the bar doesn't involve the daily grind of law school classes. Also, depending on the bar review program you choose, you might be able to prepare for the bar exam from the comfort of your bedroom. In addition to these niceties, during your bar review you get to:

  • Set aside the theoretical arguments of law school in favor of specific black letter law answers;
  • Use a program specifically designed to help you memorize the law;
  • Limit your focus to one thing -- passing the bar exam;
  • Have a defined endpoint which isn't that far away; and
  • Follow a daily schedule already created for you.

Passing the bar exam is definitely within your reach and your bar review program, if chosen wisely, can carry you across the finish line. Here's some key information on how to pick a bar review course.

What Should You Look For?

There's not a single bar review program that's right for everyone as each offers something different. For example, some programs are tailored to students who've previously taken the bar exam or for students needing help specifically with bar exam essays.

There definitely are the industry giants that everyone has heard of, like BarBri or Kaplan, but before you shell out your hard earned cash or take out yet another loan, you might be surprised to find a variety of other programs that may be better tailored to your personal learning style.

As you're deciding how to pick a bar review program, you may want to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I learn better in the virtual universe or do I need workbooks to markup in an actual classroom setting?
  • Would it benefit me to have more one-on-one individualized tutoring and feedback, or can I learn just as well from reviewing template answers?
  • Would I do better with a fixed daily schedule or would I prefer a more flexible approach?
  • Does the bar review program I'm interested in have a strong bar passage rate?
  • Where does the bar review program that I'm considering get its materials (i.e., are they derived from past bar exams)?
  • If a program I'm looking into contains lectures, are the instructors trusted experts who know how bar exams are graded?
  • Does the bar review program I'm researching use metrics to show my progress and identify areas needing improvement?

How to Pick a Bar Review Course: Additional References

A list of various bar review programs along with brief descriptions is provided below for your reference.

Bar Review Program



An online, adaptive program for preparing for the MBE that automatically adjusts to your strengths and weaknesses.

Bar Graders Supplemental program to help you gain an edge with essay writing skills for the bar exam.
Bar Made Easy Personalized tutoring for the bar exam and first year law student's exam.
Bar Outlines and study materials from seasoned attorneys specializing in New York, California, and more. Materials are designed for self-study or as a supplement to another bar review program.
Bar Secrets Provides materials as part of a personalized program or as a supplement to other bar review programs.
BarBri Bar Review Nationwide review course that provides outlines, law school professors, and multistate and essay testing programs.
BarEssays Offering a searchable database of California bar exam essays from past examinations and designed as a bar exam supplement.
BarMax Offering bar review on devices with a focus on affordability and providing a guarantee of bar passage or you may be entitled to your money back.
BarNone Review

Focusing on bar exam review with immediate personalized feedback. Tailored study for multiple bar exam takers.

BarPlus Bar Review

Offering personal tutoring for multistate and local portions of the bar exam.


California bar review offering individualized tutoring sessions and a bar exam skills boot camp.

Bar review for California, New York and the Uniform Bar Exam with a focus on essay and performance test support.

BarWinners A comprehensive California bar exam review course that offers one-on-one tutoring sessions.
Celebration Bar Review and Test Preparation

Home study bar review and test preparation courses.

Emerson's Bar Review Offering an eight-week course of lectures which have been donated for public use.
Esqyr Bar Prep A public benefit corporation focused on providing affordable bar exam resources for the MBE, MEE and MPRE.
Fleming's Fundamentals of Law Offers instruction in legal research, essay writing, and multiple choice test taking for bar review complete with personalized tutors.
Internet Bar Exam Review Self-study bar review for the multistate bar exam and offering a free trial.
Kaplan Bar Review Kaplan Bar Review provides a variety of bar review courses, including LL.M. bar review courses and MPRE prep courses. Provides individual one-on-one bar review tutoring with a variety of packages and platforms such as GoogleChat, FaceTime or Skype.
LawTutors Help for law students, bar students, MPRE students and LSAT students, with one on one tutoring.
LLM Bar Exam Personal attention, over 1,400 real NCBE questions, a consistently high pass rate with money-back guarantee. Designed specifically for international LL.M. students.
MyBarPrep One of the first online bar review companies with a money back guarantee.
Open Book Bar Prep Providing individually tailored curriculum with a focus on one-on-one instruction.
PassTheBar.Com By Scott Pearce, a bar exam tutor. Site includes articles with strategies for passing as well as dozens of hours of free professional bar review materials.
Pieper Bar Review Bar review class that prepares candidates for the New York and Multistate Bar exams. Offers a free MPRE course as well as courses tailored for working professionals and foreign trained LL.M. students. Performance-based interactive learning techniques.
Rigos Uniform Bar Review International provider of programs for professional licensing examinations including the bar exam.
Skillman Method (TM) Providing year-round bar exam preparation courses as well as resources for law school courses.
Southwest Bar Review Advanced bar review exclusively for Texas offering a single tutor for each student.
Supreme Bar Review Complete preparation for the Multistate Bar Exam with video tutorials.
The Bar Coach One-on-one coaching for the essay and performance parts of the California Bar Exam.
The Bar Code Designed by former bar grader for repeat and out-of-state takers of the California Bar Exam. Offers workshops, small classes, private tutorials and other resources.
The Bar Exam Doctor A supplemental online bar review course for subsequent takers with a focus on essay and performance tests.
The Writing Edge A writing course for passing the California bar exam. Taught entirely by former bar grader.
Themis Bar Review Online bar review by experts with a focus on affordability.
United States Virgin Islands Bar Review Bar exam preparation material specifically for the U.S. Virgin Islands.

What's Your Next Step?

No matter what stage of the process you're in, FindLaw has the information and resources to get you to the next level. Whether you're a college student contemplating a legal career, you're in the thick of law school, or you're making use of that newly-minted bar number, our attorneys know what it's like to be in your shoes. So stick with FindLaw for Law Students as your free go-to resource for all things legal.

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