From the Himalayas to Houston to California… a point-generating journey like no other.
My Bar passing story is fairly unique and interesting. Had I found Steven Harris earlier it would have been a much shorter route to my eventual success on the California Bar. Right out of law school I, as most people, took the normal course. The whole time I was in class and working through the assignments I could feel an intuitive sense that something was off, it just didn’t seem enough for me to be successful. I kept up with the assignments and turned in all my essays, however when it came time to take the test I definitely was by no means confident. My intuition was correct and failing the bar was a serious challenge mentally, financially, socially, and professionally. I lost a job opportunity that would have paid me a healthy salary and led to the start of a nice legal career. Instead I found myself in a very difficult place in my life in all respects. One thing I knew was that I was going to pass the California Bar – at any cost.
I began to think about the experience of the three days of the test and I remembered at lunch on the third day I ran into one of my old classmates who seemed completely calm, collected and seemed to have the confidence of a person that really knew what to do, and did it. I remember him telling me that he had an amazing tutor who completely changed the way he studied for the bar. I also remember him pulling out a yellow book (WINNIN’ TIME!) and showing me how simple and concise that book made all of the material. I felt a bit jealous and frustrated that I had not been privileged to have the same help on the bar as he did.
Once I was committed to taking the test again I immediately thought of my friend and called him to get the name of the book and the tutor. I decided that I would do research on a bunch of different tutors and find the best one. I told myself that I was going to go on my already planned journey to India to clear my head and get perspective then come back and take the bar.
While in India I began studying my mini review book and started doing research on different tutors for the California Bar. Just to get to an internet connection I had to travel for over an hour, but a few times a week I would make that trek and do research on different tutors which eventually lead me to my original tutor – Steven Harris. I communicated with him from India and set it up so that when I got back to California we could start working together.
Unfortunately, due to factors out of my control at the time I was unable to pay for Steven to tutor me, and I decided to take the test again without a tutor. I studied harder than before and with more determination but to no avail. I took the bar again and did not pass. My MBE score went up a few points however my essays barely moved. Devastated again, all I heard from my family and friends was that I should “give up” or “try another state” or “find another type of career.” None of those options worked for me. I set a goal for myself and I was going to achieve it.
I found a job that would allow me enough time to study in the evenings and paid me enough that I could pay for the tutoring. I had to move to Texas and I worked pretty long hours but I knew that in the end it would all be worth it. A few days later, I hired Steven Harris, which will always be considered one of the best decisions I made my entire life!
The tutoring sessions with Steven were very direct and concise. I was a bit skeptical at first because the entire session was through the phone. He was very nice; however we did not spend time talking too much about unnecessary stuff. I liked this because I was very busy and I realized that almost everything he said was important. I did not have to weed through a bunch of useless stories or real life examples or theory; everything was important for passing the bar. He was very nice and supportive but also very serious when it was time to get down to business.
His study method was very different from what I was used to, so much so that in the beginning I found it hard to commit to some of what he was telling me to do. However, I can honestly say that his unique method was the reason I passed the bar. Studying and memorizing the way that Steven taught me really changed my confidence going into the test. My ability to access and recall information I had learned for the test was unbelievable. There was actually a moment during the first day when I realized it all worked!!! I was smiling ear to ear because I knew at that moment I was going to pass the bar. I will never forget that moment. His memorization plan worked outstandingly well, so much so that to this day I could probably pass the essays with ease. Not only did I memorize all the information for the bar I also learned about how the brain memorizes in general…. Great stuff.
Steven’s essay approach really simplified and demystified the illusive question of how to structure bar answers. I was always having trouble figuring out how to structure my answers and my rule statements were all over the board. However, once I learned his method I became a machine – I knew how to structure every essay no matter what subject. Most importantly he taught me how to score more points in less words and how to eliminate words to save time on each exam.
To make certain subjects even easier Steven created boilerplates that I memorized and could use no matter what issues came up. For these certain subjects it was just a matter of plugging in the specific facts from the question on the Bar exam. His boilerplates were a huge benefit on the exam and something that were easy to learn. These boilerplates forced me to practice subjects that were definitely going to be on the bar exam and made them very easy when it came down to the test.
Steven’s approach to the Performance Tests was something that was really the toughest thing for me to grasp because it really requires a high level of trust in the method. No doubt he really has unlocked a code for the Performance Test, but it was so different that it took some getting used to. After a few practice PT’s I realized how well his method worked and I was completely blown away at how much easier his method made taking this part of the exam.
The PT’s were always an issue for me and I had previously taken another course on just the PT. The other course was really intricate and involved so much set up that it really was not feasible for me to use. I found that on previous exams my PT scores were always something of a mystery. After learning Steven’s method not only did I feel comfortable taking this part of the test I actually looked at these portions of the test as something that was a strength. His method was clear, simple, and cut out a lot of useless reading. This was really a game changer for me. Going into each PT I had a very specific game plan; I knew what to look for, what to write, how to write it, and most importantly what not to waste my time on.
The Comprehensive package that Steven put together is everything you need to pass the California bar. I could not say more positive things about Steven and his program. My experience from the first time we spoke up to the day I got my results was truly amazing. I have already referred a few of my friends to him that are taking the bar next year. If you are serious about passing The Bar Exam… Steven Harris is The Man.
Thank you again Steven!
Brian J. Yosowitz, Esq. (passed the February 2012 California Bar Examination)