The National Jurist - Spring 2017 - 28
"Trust your gut, and know your strengths and
your weaknesses. Hone in on those. ... You
cannot pass the bar if you don't do decent on
the multiple-choice. You have to do as many
practice questions as you can, and if you get
it wrong, you have to understand why. You
can't just move on."
-Dominique Williams, California (passed July 2016)
be devastating for me. But for some reaWilliams passed the bar exam in
son [taking] tests just wasn't my strong July and is now clerking with the San
suit, and I didn't know how to fix it."
Bernardino County (Calif.) Public
Williams' boss at the law firm where Defender's Office. She said she plans to
she was interning told her he'd had the practice criminal law and "represent the
same problem. His secret, he said, was to underdog."
hire a private tutor. She began working
"I feel like, in a sense, I've been an
with Reed, passed the MPRE with 11 underdog when it comes to test taking,"
points to spare, and followed Reed's bar she said. "So, I have really been able to
study instructions to the letter.
connect with our clients."
"If he tells me to take a practice exam,
Reed, a retired Army colonel, credI take a practice exam," she said. "If he its his personalized tutoring approach
tells me to take a day off, I take a day off. that uses memory devices, checklists and
He tells me to do 30 questions and the extensive practice in essay writing for the
ones I get wrong, go through them, I go success of Williams, Kim and other stuthrough
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taken 30 MBEs himself.
"We adjust your program based on
your performance, whereas the other traditional bar reviews use a one-size-shoefits-all [approach]," Reed said, noting
that he is doing more diagnostic testing
these days to see what students already
know. He even works with neuropsychologists to position students for success.
"I give specific tasks to accomplish
based on their performance," he said.
"There's no use studying intentional torts
if you don't know any negligence [law]."
At Themis Bar Review in Chicago,
advisers help students in three primary
areas: breaking down lectures into 15- to
20-minute chapters; reinforcing the key
concepts of each chapter immediately
with a short quiz; and minimizing distractions. A designated attorney grades
all of the person's essays throughout the
program, watching for improvement.
"The great thing about being online is
we know exactly what time they're studying," said Richard Douglas, co-founder
and COO of Themis. "We know what
they're studying. We can break that down
into a number of different areas, such as
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