After completion of law school, students in the United States must then study for, and pass, the bar examination in this state in which they plan to practice law. Many companies offer help studying for the bar examination through the use of a bar exam course. Choosing the right bar exam course is, of course, a personal decision and may be influenced by a number of personal factors. Among the factors many people consider to decide which bar exam course to use are location, reputation, materials, and cost.
There is no requirement that a bar examination applicant use a bar exam course to study for the test, but most students do choose to make use of a course for a number of reasons. First, law school focuses on United States federal law which forms the basis for all state laws. State laws, however, are state-specific and, therefore, vary from state to state. A bar review course will include laws which are specific to the state in which the applicant plans to test.
A bar review course will also help a student to remember things that he or she learned during the first year of law school, which may be a little foggy by the time the third year rolls around. In addition, a bar exam course can help to organize the voluminous amount of material that needs to be studied in order to pass the test. The study materials alone can help a student organize and plan for the examination, even if he or she declines any of the classroom review.
Location is clearly an important factor in deciding on a bar review course. Most major bar review companies have centrally-located classrooms across the country. If a student plans to enroll in the classroom reviews, then finding a location close to where he or she lives will be vital.
The reputation of the school or company offering the course should be considered as well. Some companies have been in the business of offering bar exam courses for decades — and for good reason. Given what is riding on passing the bar exam, checking the reputation of the company offering the class is paramount.
The material, or classroom options, offered by the company are of equal importance. Some students are looking for study materials only, while others make use of classroom reviews and lectures. Carefully review what is offered and pay only for those options that are needed.
Cost for most bar exam takers is a factor. A bar exam course can be extremely expensive. Some companies offer the option to work as a representative of the company while in law school in exchange for a free or discounted review when the time comes to take the bar exam. In addition, many companies offer fee waivers for eligible low-income students upon request. This option may not be advertised so the student should inquire.