by Paulina Bandy, Esq.Avoid these smoke and mirrors:
Before investing in your bar exam preparation, keep the following considerations in mind to ensure you are making an informed decision:
1. Talk with the Instructor Before Giving Them Money
If they are unwilling to speak with you prior to contracting, then it is unlikely this will improve once you pay them tuition.
To get the most out of your tutorial, you need to be able to trust and communicate with your instructor.
2. Does the Program Provide the Instruction You Need as a Repeater?
Does the tutor prepare both First-Timers and Repeaters? If so, how do they prepare Repeaters differently?
If you are paying for a tutor you should expect instruction beyond bar review and exam critiques.
Bar review serves a purpose. Some candidates pass the bar exam after taking bar review. For others, bar review lays a foundation in which to build. As a repeater, you don’t want to purchase another review of a review.
Before hiring a tutor, ask them how they differ from bar review. A bar exam tutor should show you what you are doing wrong and teach you how to do it right.
3. Will They Address Your Individual Needs and Learning Style?
If they say you need to take a writing course, they don’t want to see your bar answers, or jump to conclusions without knowing any of your particulars, you are headed for bar review again.
Although my proven formula teaches Repeaters how to pass the bar exam, it would not be executed as successfully if I did not consider the individual's past preparation, performance, and individual idiosyncrasies.
4. Will You Be Sharing the Service with Others?
Will you be sitting in a classroom in a shared experience or will you be getting lessons, and tutor time, directed to you?
This is a trade-off. Shared experience, less expensive. Shared experience, less attention to your needs.
Similar to bar review, do not expect the classroom environment to pinpoint individual needs, nor provide the opportunity to address it.
5. Choose a Tutor Who Knows How to Get You to Pass
You want to know what they can do for you. Are they getting candidates, who look like you, to pass todays bar exam?
-Does the tutor dwell too much on how good they did in law school or at the bar exam? Telling you how easy law school was for them, and how they passed the bar on their first try, does not provide insight into their teaching ability, nor how they will address your needs as a Repeater. The question is, can they get you to pass the bar exam?
-Does the tutor spend your consultation time criticizing other tutors you are considering? Instead, they should be sharing with you what they have to offer you.
6. Read Disclaimers Carefully
Are they disclaiming their promises to you?
7. Avoid Tutors Who Have A Cure All
Avoid tutors who speak in generalities…they have “inside information”, the “secret”, the “key”. Passing the exam encompasses many correct choices, not a single enlightenment. A qualified tutor should assess your situation and provide a path for you.
8. What Does the Tutor Do For A Living?
Are they going to be available to you? Find out if this is a supplemental job for them or their chosen career. You should not be an afterthought.
One bar candidate reports, their past tutor dumped them once a personal injury client walked in the door.
9. Choose a Specialist
Similar to choosing a doctor or lawyer, choose a tutor specializing in your needs. For instance, I specialize in California Bar Exam multi-repeaters. Some tutors may specialize in the New York Bar Exam. Others, may specialize in bar candidates with learning disabilities.
10. Do They Listen To You?
If you sense insensitivity before signing up…it will not get better. Red flag.
11. Does the Pricing Correlate with the Program Offerings?
The tuition should be proportional to the work involved, expertise, and exclusivity of time and materials.
Bar review and exam critiques should cost less than private lessons. For instance, my Changing CourseTM tutorial costs more than bar review because it takes greater skill, time, and effort, to effectively instruct the individual, multi-repeater, failing all three parts of the CA Bar Exam, there is a cap on the enrollment, and candidates have exclusive access to trade secreted materials.
12. Seek Referrals from Individuals You Know and Trust
Be aware of hidden advertising agendas, paid referrals, and insincere endorsements. For instance, when a bar review recommends a tutor, is it based on compatibility with your needs and the tutor's success rate, or the receipt of a referral fee?
Seek legitimate referrals from individuals who you know, who know someone that can help you, and have passed the bar exam. Then, speak with the tutor to see if they are the best match for you.
When referrals from family, friends, or colleagues, are not available, the above 11 guidelines are even more crucial to your making an informed decision.
Choosing the right person who can help you, makes bar exam preparation a hopeful, exciting experience with productive results.
Best of Luck to You.
Paulina Bandy, Esq.
Bar Exam Strategist
CA Bar Exam Repeaters' Resource™
Prepare to Pass™
About the Author: Paulina Bandy, Esq. creates, writes, and develops, programs, curriculum, books, articles, and study enhancements, for bar exam repeat takers. Ms. Bandy created the first tutorial for bar exam multi-repeaters called "Let's Do This Thing". If you would like to discuss your bar exam preparation, and learn more about her tutorial, you may contact Paulina directly at: Paulina@cberr.com