I passed the July 2013 California Bar Exam on my first try in large part because of Steven Harris’ WINNIN’ TIME! book, The Trigger Lis book, and Performance Test (PT) class. WINNIN’ TIME! helped me pass the bar exam for the following three reasons: (1) synthesize; (2) memorize; and (3) identify. First, unlike the materials from my bar course, this book separated each of the bar topics into a more manageable number of subtopics. This allowed me to synthesize the material and allowed me to see the big picture (the forest from the trees), which makes memorizing much easier. Second, the book provided me with succinct rule statements with enumerated elements. I cannot emphasize how important this was to my studying. These rule statements were invaluable when it came to memorization. I memorized these bad-boys and used them ad nauseum on the actual exam. Third, because each rule statement has enumerated elements (i.e.: Shopkeeper’s Privilege requires 1) . . . 2) . . . etc.), the book enabled me to identify problematic issues and/or particular element(s) within an issue. Being able to identify these problems allowed me to focus my studying on areas of need, which allowed me to study more efficiently and effectively, and it saved me tons of time. Notable is the book’s Evidence Boilerplate, which turns evidence essays into as mindless an exercise as possible. In case you are wondering, this is a very good thing. Turning any law essay into a mechanical process is priceless. No brain cells or valuable minutes are wasted on structure, form, or substance. Bottom line, this book is a must have.
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