Steven was recommended to me after I failed the California Bar Exam as an attorney applicant on my first attempt. As an attorney barred in another jurisdiction that had been practicing for 7 years, clerked for two judges at my home state’s supreme court, and had served in the USAF JAG Corps, I figured I wouldn’t have any problems passing the California Bar exam. I largely used the system I had used the first time I took the bar exam 7 years ago, and felt I had prepared well for the test. My score told a different story—I failed with a score in the 1360s.
At the outset, Steven did a fantastic job of creating a schedule and system around my needs and life. I was working full time for a firm as a law clerk mostly doing law and motion work. As a result, there were times where work would get in the way. Steven prepared for life’s interruptions and built enough flexibility into the schedule to allow for life to get in the way. When unforeseen issues would knock me off schedule, Steven was quick with a plan and a response to make sure I was still on track.
I also cannot say enough about Steven’s system for not only learning the substantive material necessary to succeed on the bar exam, but also his methodology on how to approach the exam. His system cuts to the chase and is laser focused on one thing: teaching you how to collect the points necessary to pass the exam. The information provided in his books, I must admit, was overwhelming at first. But his system has you work through all the skills necessary to successfully handle the California Bar Exam. He has meticulously analyzed the different types of questions that may present themselves on the exam, and he will teach you how to approach each issue as the graders expect and in a way that will maximize your points.
To that point, Steven’s system of how to address issues and elements makes the exam manageable and accessible. He teaches you how to identify and address each of the elements necessary to achieve a passing score on each essay question. Steven’s system will ensure that come exam day, maximizing your points is second nature, even if the question makes no sense to you at first blush. He, in essence, provides you a formula to follow that makes it nearly impossible to get tripped up by a question. By the time you complete his course, the myriad of question forms that you encounter will be easily accessible and simply make sense—you won’t even have to think about it, you just know what you need to do with any type of question.
Case in point: during the exam I encountered a question that completely caught me off guard, and I wasn’t sure where to begin. However, I had a system in place, and I knew conceptually how I needed to answer the question. So, I started putting headings, issues, and elements down on my outline that I knew needed to be addressed based on the type and topic of the question (including an issue that the call of the question doesn’t expressly implicate, but the graders expect to appear). Once I had those, I moved onto plugging in facts for each element. Next, I just started writing out each issue and element as I had been taught. By the time I was done, I had a complete answer when at the beginning, I felt like I didn’t know where I was going. By simply following what I had learned regarding how to approach the question, the question essentially answered itself.
I also cannot speak highly enough of Steven’s guidance regarding the Performance Test. The first time I took the exam, I figured that the performance test would be a breeze—after all, it is supposed to be essentially what I had been doing as a practicing attorney for years. Again, I was wrong. Steven teaches a fool-proof system for learning how to answer each type of performance test question, how to identify the required issues, and how to find the information from the library that must be included for a passing score. He teaches what you need to pay attention to and what you can ignore and will help you maximize your time so that you have more than enough time to write a passing answer.
Finally, I strongly recommend Steven’s books WINNIN’ TIME! and The Trigger List. WINNIN’ TIME! is the Bible to answer any questions that the California Bar Exam throws at you. It does an especially good job of breaking down the not-so-obvious issues that may be hidden in each question. It will teach to find all the elements necessary in the questions that seem overly simple so that you are never left feeling like “that can’t be enough.” The outline in WINNIN’ TIME! is created with the rule statements already formulated so you don’t have to make that additional mental step. It masterfully walks the line of including everything that you need to know while somehow also including only what you need to know. Of all the outlines I have seen, it is the best attack outline for preparing for the exam. The Trigger List is also essential if you have ever wondered “how did they get that issue out of that question.” It teaches you to read questions with your real goal in mind: issue spotting. In conjunction, WINNIN’ TIME! and The Trigger List will make sure that you don’t miss any of the “hidden” issues that will serve as a bar to a passing score.
Working with Steven was a pleasure, and I know that he was critical to my success on the exam. I am certain that Steven can lead anyone to a passing score on the California Bar Exam so long as he or she has faith in the system and is willing to put in the necessary work and time. I cannot express how strongly I recommend Steven’s services. – Joel Knaack, Esq., passed the October 2020 Cal Bar Examination