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Hastings Critical Studies I student passes February 2022 California Bar Examination!

Hi Professor,
Not sure if you remember me, but I took your Critical Studies I class at UC Hastings in Fall 2021.  I didn’t mention it at the time, but I was actually set to take the February 2022 exam, not the July exam like most folks in the class.  Well, I just wanted to say THANK YOU because I got the results a few weeks ago and I passed.  I know I don’t get the score breakdown, so it’s entirely possible that my MBE score had carried me, but I can’t help but think that taking your writing class allowed me to succeed.  It definitely helped me jump into studying right away because I didn’t have to spend time learning what bar graders look for, or how to approach the PT.  The Evidence Boilerplate came in handy on February’s test for sure, and I basically did all my PR rule memorization from your book.  The boilerplate definitely helped for efficiency, but I also remembered the advice about time management – I was strict with my timing even on that essay, especially since the PT was in the same session.  I’m so glad I decided to take your class!
Thanks again,
Gabrielle Sue
UC Hastings College of the Law

Devika Sagar, Esq., WINNIN’ TIME! and Memorization

I cannot endorse Steven Harris enough!  He helped me pass the California Bar Exam on my first attempt.  His style of teaching was very effective for my learning style and I appreciated his outlines.  I have gone through many outlines and rule books but I have to say that Steven’s study materials were very well organized and made the most sense.  The material was also organized in a way to help me easily memorize the rules prior to the exam.  I remember opening up the first page of the essay portion of the exam and internally screaming “Yes! I got this!”  There were moments during the tutoring process where I felt unsure and not confident that I had the ability to pass, but Steven reassured me and helped guide me on my weak points.  Overall I’d say that the one-on-one guidance and attention during bar prep is unmatched and is extremely beneficial to passing the California Bar Exam on the first try! — Devika Sagar, Esq., passed the February 2022 California Bar Exam

Devika Sagar, Esq., passed the February 2022 California Bar Examination

I cannot endorse Steven Harris enough!  He helped me pass the California Bar Exam on my first attempt.  His style of teaching was very effective for my learning style and I appreciated his outlines.  I have gone through many outlines and rule books but I have to say that Steven’s study materials were very well organized and made the most sense.  The material was also organized in a way to help me easily memorize the rules prior to the exam.  I remember opening up the first page of the essay portion of the exam and internally screaming “Yes! I got this!”  There were moments during the tutoring process where I felt unsure and not confident that I had the ability to pass, but Steven reassured me and helped guide me on my weak points.  Overall I’d say that the one-on-one guidance and attention during bar prep is unmatched and is extremely beneficial to passing the California Bar Exam on the first try! — Devika Sagar, Esq., passed the February 2022 California Bar Exam

Santa Clara repeater passes February 2022 Cal Bar Exam!

I was referred to Steven by my school’s Bar-prep program coordinator. When I first spoke with Steven, he took over an hour to speak with me on the phone, whereas another tutor I was considering only spoke to me for ten minutes. That’s all I needed to know to see that Steven cared about his students because he gave me the time to get to know me and how I would be a good fit for his program.
As an average law student, I knew that I would need additional help outside of the traditional bar prep courses to conquer this exam. I decided to work with Steven again after I failed the July 2021 Bar Exam for two reasons: 1) I knew I didn’t want to go through the rigorous study schedule again without someone who would make studying the material less daunting, and 2) I needed Steven’s expertise again because each bar exam is a different “beast.”
After I failed, Steven spoke with me to decipher my score and made me feel better knowing that I was one or two multiple choice questions away from passing. Steven prepared a 30-plus page report of Essays 1-5 and the Performance Test that helped me understand exactly where I went wrong and how the scores given on the first and second read were accurate after comparing multiple student sample examples and the Bar’s sample answers. This provided me with a comprehensive overview of my strengths and weaknesses in my essays. It also gave me the confidence I needed that I wasn’t starting from scratch the second time around.
Another weakness for me was the MBE. To address this, Steven created a tailored schedule so that I could bake in more MBEs into my study schedule. Steven encouraged me to take two mock MBE tests in preparation for the February 2022 exam.
I enjoyed working with Steven because after every weekly meeting, Steven left me feeling focused. Steven has a way of making the subjects on the bar exam fit into categories so that information is not overwhelming. His materials make the subjects easy to digest and memorize.
The best thing about working with Steven is that he KNOWS the Bar Exam inside and out.  Any updates, rules, or nuances about the bar exam – Steven knows it all!  He takes the guesswork out of the bar exam and when you’re in the midst of studying, there’s no time to stress about the small things.  One must save their brain power for the actual material.
Steven’s approach to the CA Bar Exam, the skills and strategy he teaches, is not something I could find elsewhere.  —Santa Clara alum, passed the 2022 February California Bar Examination

Emma, Esq., passed the February 2022 California Bar Examination!

Working with Steven was everything I needed it to be.  As a second-time taker that fell just short of the passing line, Steven understood my strengths and weaknesses and cultivated a plan accordingly.  I used a commercial bar prep program for my first time studying and completed 93% of it before taking the exam, as well as other resources recommended by my law school. I unfortunately learned the hard way that lectures were not the system I needed to best prepare for the exam.  Once I decided to work with a tutor, I was able to focus on the areas that I previously struggled with and get even stronger in the areas I already excelled.  The materials that Steven provides are top-tier; from the boilerplate templates, to the rule statements and outlines, to the filing system for the performance test, to the issue spotting materials, to MBE Primers and Flowcharts.  I developed incredible issue-spotting skills using The Trigger List. I relied on the system outlined in WINNIN’ TIME! and saw my writing scores skyrocket.  More critically, though, was the individualized calendar that helped me stay on track throughout the studying process.  What I appreciated about Steven is his desire for his students to own their studying process – there is a degree of autonomy that goes with working with a tutor, but Steven wants and encourages his students to put in the work to pass.

In addition to great materials, the advantage of working with Steven is the amount of individual feedback he provides you.  The amount of depth in his feedback provides students an opportunity to reflect and learn what to do on the next essay.  The feedback is personalized and expansive – more feedback than I had ever gotten on any practice essay.  The feedback helped me learn how to best organize my responses to maximize points on the exam.  Steven’s writing system at first felt foreign and rigid, however it only took one week of his feedback for me to believe that it was the best approach to solidifying a passing score.

Though I cannot recommend the program enough, what I believe sets Steven apart is his ability to connect with his students and be an encouraging, supportive voice.  For me, taking the bar exam was going to be a mental game.  Steven listened to me – he empathized with my feelings of sadness when I found out I did not pass, but he turned that sadness into motivation to beat the exam the next time.  He encourages his students to move on and celebrates all of the “wins” throughout the study process.  He reminds you of your goals and how amazing it’s going to feel when you get the news that you passed. He knows that half of the battle is getting your mind situated around the exam.  You’d be surprised how far a simple “I believe in you” goes when you are in the thick of studying!  He helped instill a confidence and determination in me that I didn’t have before.  A good tutor helps you develop strategies to pass the exam; but a great tutor helps you prepare mentally and emotionally as well.  Without a doubt, working with Steven is the reason I passed on my second attempt.

Overall my advice is this: whether you are a first-time taker or a repeater, having a study plan that works for you is the most critical component of passing the bar exam.  Because of the individualized program that Steven provides his students, you will be well prepared to beat the exam and will walk away with skills that will make you a better lawyer in the long run.  Trust the process! – Emma, Esq., Hastings Alumna, passed the February 2022 California Bar Exam

Santa Clara alumna, Esq., passes the February 2022 Cal Bar Exam!

Hi Steven,

Good news, I passed!!

I cannot thank you enough for everything you did to help me.  I know you know the feeling of passing after failing, and it is a great feeling!  I truly thank you for helping me achieve this.  I am so appreciative of your system, techniques, and your dedication to my success throughout our time working together.  I am beyond grateful you were recommended to me and that your process worked for me.  A huge thank you again!! — Santa Clara alumna, Esq., passed the February 2022 California Bar Examination

Repeater passes the February 2022 Cal Bar Exam

CA Bar is not an IQ Test

The California Bar is a beast, and don’t let anyone tell you any different.  The first time I took the bar, I used one of the most popular programs out there in the bar prep world.  Don’t get me wrong, the program was professionally done and provided useful information for the California Bar.  What you won’t hear however is that the people who use these programs often times use a third party for their bar prep in order to be better prepared for the essay portion.  I was not in a position financially at the time to invest in these third parties in addition to the program I was enrolled in.  I figured that if I worked harder than everyone else (which is hard and maybe even impossible to do) I would be ok.

What I didn’t fully appreciate until after I signed on with Steve Harris was that the bar exam is far less a measure of intelligence (plenty of people smarter than you will not pass the bar) and much more of a measure of “can you play the game  effectively?”  I unfortunately did not pass on my first attempt, and it came down to the fact that I didn’t understand what the bar examiners were really asking for on the essays.  Fortunately, within minutes of us finding out that I didn’t pass, my wife immediately began looking for a tutor.  I then joined her in the search, and I was lucky enough to find Steve.  Steve kindly laid out the program and made me feel that he really did understand the pain that comes with not passing the bar.

Once I joined the program, his directions were simple: Stick to the schedule.  That’s it. While Steve provides strategies that you certainly will not get from the bigger programs available (far more essay feedback, and more difficult MBE questions among other things), the real question is are you committed?  I can tell you firsthand that this program is doable, and Steve truly is invested in your success.  I was nowhere near the top of my law school class but guess what, I get to put Esq. at the end of my name.  Bar passage is the result of hard work and effective strategy.  If you complete this program you will have demonstrated hard work, and you will have effective strategy.  I cannot recommend this man or his program enough.  In conclusion, I simply did what Steve told me to do, and I passed the CA bar exam. – Penn State Dickinson alum, Esq., passed the February 2022 California Bar Examination

New parent passes July 2021 Cal Bar Exam after long journey

Steven was an incredibly important and positive figure in my long journey to pass the bar exam.  I passed on my 6th attempt with a 7 month old baby after working in ADR for 6 years.  After spending my first two years out of law school repeatedly taking the bar exam, I needed tutoring from someone who deeply understood the exam and could teach me how to see it for what it was (and what it wasn’t).  Some of the most important realities of the bar exam are really hard to see unless you’ve done the work of The Trigger List.  I benefited tremendously from Steve’s predictable writing structure which made it possible for me to complete essays in the way that is credited on the exam.  Now that I’ve passed, I feel like I’ve gotten a piece of myself back.  I am so grateful that I had Steven’s support and care as I learned to pass this most difficult exam.  I highly recommend him to anyone.  — New Parent, Esq., passed the July 2021 California Bar Exam.  

Hastings 1st timer passes the July 2021 Cal Bar Exam!

I took the July 2021 CA Bar exam and passed on the first try with Steven’s help.  Steven’s tutoring services were well worth the investment. His approach to essays really made the bar feel more approachable.  Specifically, Steven’s boilerplates made seemingly intimidating essay subjects such as evidence, constitutional law, and professional responsibility manageable and formulaic.  His approach to the performance test is also extremely useful and unique.  I was particularly nervous about this aspect of the exam, but Steven made it a breeze.  In addition to many other perks, you will receive a personalized daily calendar and extensive essay feedback. If you are considering a tutor for the bar, I would recommend meeting with Steven sooner rather than later. – UC Hastings Alum, passed the July 2021 Cal Bar Exam

US Army Veteran signs up late in the game, passes the July 2021 Cal Bar!

Steven Harris and WINNIN’ TIME! were the secret to my success in passing the July 2021 California Bar Exam.  Steven provided me with the tools, strategies, and confidence necessary to unlock my potential.  His approach to mastering the bar exam is mechanical and simple.  Essential in the high stress environment leading up to and during the bar.  The only mistake I made was waiting too long to call him.

When I sat down at the beginning of Summer 2021 to study for the bar, I was overwhelmed.  I had purchased a commercial pre course and the mountain of materials was a monolith in the middle of my living room serving as a reminder of how daunting an endeavor bar prep was going to be.  I did not know how I was going to do it.  I was a single father in the middle of a pandemic homeschooling two kids. I was also burned out from finishing a dual JD/MBA in 3 years, participating in two moot court competitions, finalizing a contentious divorce, and preparing to move abroad for two years.  So, I fell back on my Army training – brute force studying and no sleep. But that wasn’t sustainable. I fell behind the first week and kept falling behind.  Every day I was overwhelmed with more fear, anxiety, and dread. Then I got WINNIN’ TIME!. Then I got Steven.  Then I got a plan. It changed my life, and it will change your life too.

At first, I thought I was tough enough to take on the bar by myself.  After all, as an aviator I have flown in the most intense environments.  I have had emergencies that have taken me to the precipice of death.  I have even been in an air crash that totaled the airplane.  As an Army officer, I was the tip of the spear – forward deployed to Libera to support the global Ebola effort.  I made it through Army Basic Training and Officer Candidate school at Fort Benning, GA when the Army was downsizing.  Stress is my constant companion and copilot, but the Bar exam was something else.  You need help to be successful.  You need a mentor.  You need a Steven Harris.

My advice to anyone about to take the bar is don’t hesitate to call Steven!  I waited until I had 5 weeks left to pull the trigger.  I waited till I was in a knife fight with the bar.  Steven was my combat multiplier. He was my air support, my artillery, and my tank division.  He was my secret weapon — US Army Veteran, Esq., passed the July 2021 California Bar Examination.