I passed the July 2013 California Bar Exam on my first try in large part because of Steven Harris’ WINNIN’ TIME!, The Trigger List, and Performance Test (PT) class.
The Trigger List helped me pass the bar exam because it taught me how to actively, as opposed to passively, spot issues in an essay fact pattern. Put differently, it provided me with an approach and strategy to study for taking the bar exam itself. My bar course lectures were fine and dandy but I realized by the second week that my bar course was not going to cut it for me when the going got tough (also known as the final few weeks before the exam). Although my bar course was a very helpful refresher on each bar topic, it isn’t more than just a refresher. I needed a method and strategy to actually prepare for taking the exam, not just the material that I would be tested on. To explain, I needed to assure that I was reading actively and attacking each fact pattern, as opposed to reading the fact patterns passively and have them attack me. The Trigger List is like an answer key to bar exam essays. It provides the key words or sets of facts in a fact pattern that “trigger” an issue that needs to be discussed in your answer. After I got the hang of The Trigger List, I was able to study a large quantity of essays in short periods of time. I began seeing patterns and noticing particular topics that were especially essay “testable.” I could also quickly confirm that I was on point when I spotted a particular issue on an essay.
Finally, some things I would like to mention. Steven’s teaching method is no-nonsense, this is what you must do, approach. None of this wishy-washy, “it depends” or let’s discuss, style of teaching. Steven just told me what to do and that’s exactly what I did, and I passed. In the PT Class, Steven provides an approach on studying and memorizing during the final month before the exam itself. Make no mistake, what Steven tells you to do in that final month is rigorous and grueling at times. But I followed it to the best of my abilities and it worked. When I walked out of that exam room, I had no idea as to whether I passed or not. But what I did know, and I specifically remember telling myself this when I stood up to leave, was that my studying approach was effective. Steven’s two books and his PT class made my studying for the bar exam effective and, in my opinion, that’s the most important aspect to passing the California Bar. — Karl Sung, Esq., Hastings alum, passed the July 2013 California Bar Examination