If you have not already been bombarded by the different options of bar review courses at your law school, you soon will be. We've already discussed how important it is to take your time and make an informed decision about which course to use; there is no benefit in making a hasty decision and committing to a course in your first year of law school.
Now that we've got your ear, however, we're sure you are wondering:
Well just how do I glean through the many courses available to me?
The following five questions will tell law students pretty much everything they need to know about the bar exam prep product that they are considering:
- How much does your course cost and what does that give me?
- By 'in-class' do you mean pre-recorded videos?
- Do you only use real questions?
- Do you offer personalized essay feedback? If yes, does a person or a computer grade the essays? If a person, what are their qualifications?
- What is your pass rate?
Another thing to be on the look out for is asterisked pass rates. Some courses release pass rates that may be very misleading. For example: 77%* -where the asterisk denotes an extremely small sample size (e.g., first-time takers from ABA approved law schools who attended 100% of the classes, finished every assignment, were selected to law review, graduated with honors, received a Supreme Court clerkship, etc.)
Unless you happen to fall within the categories denoted by the asterisk, these pass rates should not factor into your decision. More so, think about what that asterisk really means. Basically they're telling you that out of all the students who did everything that was asked of them, 23% still failed. That should be more than just concerning.
Take your time, read through the fine print, extravagant colors and frilly exteriors of these courses, and see exactly what you are paying for, and if it is worth it. This is such an important exam in your law career. Don't you want to take your time in investigating the options?
The best advice is for you to use the same critical eye you would use to consider a new bar exam prep option, such as BarMax, when considering all bar review courses. Longevity of a company is not an indicator of quality. Do not assume that just because a company has been around for a long time, that they are automatically the best option. Fifty years ago, people thought asbestos was the building material of the future. Things change.