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Do you know how many bar exam study alternatives there are other than BarBri? A simple search on Yahooor AltaVista) for “bar exam” brings up a myriad of study options that range from home study kits to night classes. We’ll look at some of them and discuss issues concerning your study for the bar. WHAT’S OUT THERE? Please don’t get me wrong � I don’t have anything against BarBri. They are a fine company and I, like many, many others of you, will probably be taking their course. But BarBri only gets better when they have a little competition. And if you need a little supplemental help, or if the BarBri program just isn’t working for you, it’s good for you to know about your other options. The Study Group Personal Bar Review( www.thestudygroup.com) is touted as “the best home-study program in the bar review business.” The Study Group offers audio cassettes and outlines that you can order and use at home at your own pace. There are no classes to attend, they do offer “personalized critiques” of your practice essays, and you can contact them by their toll free phone number, e-mail, or fax. MicroMash( www.micromash.com). Although their Web site could use a little help, MicroMash is a fairly solid home study course for those that like to set their own study pace. For their “State Reviews,” they provide a personal mentor that hand-grades your homework assignments. PLI’s Multistate Bar Review( www.mbe.pli.edu). This program, from the not-for-profit Practicing Law Institute, is presented as a supplement to other traditional bar review courses. It focuses mainly on the MBE subjects. The coolest thing about this program is that it’s delivered to you either on CD-ROMor by streaming media over the Internet (such as the RealPlayer at www.real.com/). Pass The Bar.Com( www.passthebar.com). Lastly, a gentleman named Scott Pearce in California can give you personalized Real Audio commentary on your practice essays. His Web page repeats the mantra: The most common mistake is to study too much and not practice enough. Once you send him your practice answers, Pearce will critique your work via a Real Audio e-mail attachment. You can listen to some of his samples at www.passthebar.com/sample.html. Before you do anything, make sure you read through the individual Web sites to make sure you see prices, testimonials from other students, and perhaps even send an e-mail to the company to ask them any other questions you have. COULD THERE BE MORE? There are several other Internet sites that offer help aside from full-fledged bar review courses. For example, Lawschool.comoffers Harvard Law Professor Arthur Miller’s Civil Procedure review through their BarPlus Bar Review (www.lawschool.com/barplus/). The course is $39.95, and it’s offered in Real Audio format. ExamWeb.com ( www.examweb.com/) offers MBE and California bar study courses. Once you subscribe to the MBE course for $345, you receive a username and password and log into the program through the Internet. They also provide a free demo to test. NetBarExams.com ( www.netbarexams.com/) offers a complete self-study bar review E-book for the MBE. Their course is in an electronic book format, which unless you print it out means that you’ll be reading it on your computer. You can check out their preview by going to www.netbarexams.com/preview.htm. On the state essay side, Essay Advantage ( www.essayadvantage.com) is a supplemental course that helps you perfect your writing skills. It is part of the Bar/Bri Group Program. Currently, courses are only being offered in California and Ohio. For a whole list of bar preparation courses, see Findlaw’s list at lawschools.findlaw.com. � BUT THAT’S NOT ALL! � The Internet offers a lot more than just information on bar review courses. If you’re one of the thousands of law students across the country who have already dived deep into bar exam preparation, you might be interested in how some others are faring. One of my favorite sites is from Keri Shining, who appears to have taken the California bar in July 1998. Keri Shining set up a “LawSite”where she placed a lot of links to legal resources, organized in subjects. But she also put up what she calls Keri’s Bar Review Notes. Keri wrote a whole diary that tells her experiences studying for the bar from March 21 to July 25, 1998. She does a great job of recording her thoughts and feelings with daily titles like “Cookie dough for brains” and “A Day at the Fluorescent Beach.” She even provided a link for family members to e-mail her if they thought she wasn’t studying enough. If nothing else, it’s some good free-time reading to keep yourself sane. A VERY helpful article called “How I Successfully Prepared for the Bar Exam”is posted online thanks to a former Chase College of Law student Barbara Barber. After a few introductory paragraphs, Barbara provides a very thorough checklist to prepare for the bar — it starts at 90+ days before the bar, going to the day before and during. If nothing else, be sure and read through the list just to make sure you haven’t overlooked anything. Another helpful page is presented by Professor Vernellia Randall at the University of Dayton School of Law. Her page, “Passing the Bar”, provides some great general advice that you probably won’t hear from anybody else. I guarantee that you’ll feel just a little calmer after reading her pages, and you take away a good tip or two that will help your personal study sessions. Lexis.com provides a few “Bar Exam Basics”to help keep yourself collected. They suggest getting a bar study partner and to exercise daily. GET YOURS TODAY! Above all, make sure that you always check out the bar exam information for your particular state. It could change at any time and one of the best ways these days for them to disseminate information is through their Web sites. Barexam.orgprovides a list of links to the state-sponsored bar exam / admissions offices. You might even want to bookmark the page and check it periodically. Also, most state sites will post some practice questions, exam pass results, and people to contact with questions. Let me join many other people who have recently told you “best of luck” on the exam. All of us know that it’s not going to be easy, but it’s good to know that we’re all in this together, and there are several ways that we can get the help we need to pass our bar exams. The final prize is in sight, so keep calm, cool, and collected, and happy surfing for any bar review help that you might need.

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