I mistakenly thought that my law school coursework and a bar prep course along with months of study were enough to pass the bar exam. Although I was familiar with Steven Harris’ books, WINNIN’ TIME! and The Trigger List, I did not consider them to be primary sources for bar study until I failed the bar exam on my first attempt. At that point, I hired Steven as a tutor, and everything changed. Throughout the two-and-a-half-month tutorial, I threw out all of my outlines and rules, and used only those in WINNIN’ TIME! Because of the format of the book, I quickly learned to streamline my issue and rule statements, making them uniform and automatic. The book also includes some “boilerplates” in selected subjects (Evidence, Professional Responsibility, Property, and Civil Procedure), which are strictly guided sections that tend to be the same regardless of the particular question call and, thus, can be memorized in full before the exam. Learning these streamlined rules and boilerplates then freed up much valuable time for issue spotting and analysis during the actual exam, not to mention the vast increase in confidence.
The tutorial includes the Essay Review Week, which is clearly outlined and self-explanatory in The Trigger List. I recommend that anyone taking the bar exam (or even individual course exams) follow this plan; it is enormously empowering because it forces you to see multiple, but limited, possibilities in fact patterns and question calls. It truly makes an otherwise intimidating universe smaller and more manageable. I wish I had realized its value on my first try, but I was still thinking that it was an “extra” for which I had no time. I could not have been more wrong.
In addition to these two widely available books, the tutorial included a custom-designed study schedule, weekly private meetings, and access to Steven Harris’ recently-developed materials on MBEs and PTs that also proved greatly valuable. He is easily accessible during the process, and his feedback on essays and PTs was phenomenal—sometimes as much as ten pages of commentary. The program is comprehensive and complete in and of itself. Steven is like a benevolent master: strict, keeping you focused and accountable, but always with unwavering support and encouragement. Following this plan completely and exclusively, I passed on my second try, making up over 150 points. I could not have done it without Steven Harris’ tutorial and accompanying materials. I only wish I had appreciated the materials that were available to me on my first attempt.
I have been working in education for over 30 years, and I have no reservations in saying that this plan is pedagogically sound as well as unique. If one is serious about passing the bar exam, Steven Harris’s books and tutorial plans are well worth any price. — Ellen Eggers, Esq., passed the February 2011 Cal Bar Exam