BarBri online vs on site?

supersplittysplitter
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BarBri online vs on site?

Postby supersplittysplitter » Sun Sep 24, 2017 3:29 pm

Is there any difference between taking BarBri online as opposed to going to a live location? I hear in most cases even when you go in person you are still watching a recording of a lecture, so is there any value whatsoever to showing up in person? I think there have been some old threads on this but I was hoping to get some feedback from people who have done the course in the last year or so.

sparkytrainer
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Re: BarBri online vs on site?

Postby sparkytrainer » Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:23 pm

Close friend bought Barbri this summer because of the in-person classes. Turns out, they wheeled a 20 year old tv into the classroom and watched the same lecture you could watch at home.

She was pissed and was very angry about the extra cost when it was pointless.

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cricketlove00
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Re: BarBri online vs on site?

Postby cricketlove00 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:01 pm

sparkytrainer wrote:Close friend bought Barbri this summer because of the in-person classes. Turns out, they wheeled a 20 year old tv into the classroom and watched the same lecture you could watch at home.

She was pissed and was very angry about the extra cost when it was pointless.


Pretty sure the "on site" video thing is the same price as the streaming service.

sparkytrainer
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Re: BarBri online vs on site?

Postby sparkytrainer » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:04 pm

cricketlove00 wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:Close friend bought Barbri this summer because of the in-person classes. Turns out, they wheeled a 20 year old tv into the classroom and watched the same lecture you could watch at home.

She was pissed and was very angry about the extra cost when it was pointless.


Pretty sure the "on site" video thing is the same price as the streaming service.


I mean extra cost as paying a f*^&ton more for barbri because it was the only service with in class classes that turned out to just be videos.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: BarBri online vs on site?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:07 pm

sparkytrainer wrote:
cricketlove00 wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:Close friend bought Barbri this summer because of the in-person classes. Turns out, they wheeled a 20 year old tv into the classroom and watched the same lecture you could watch at home.

She was pissed and was very angry about the extra cost when it was pointless.


Pretty sure the "on site" video thing is the same price as the streaming service.


I mean extra cost as paying a f*^&ton more for barbri because it was the only service with in class classes that turned out to just be videos.

To be fair, though, it's not at all hard to find that out ahead of time. (My location actually had live lecturers, but everyone knew that "in person" generally meant "watching a video with everyone else in the class.")

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Ronan
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Re: BarBri online vs on site?

Postby Ronan » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:18 pm

I took the bar in summer 2016. I originally signed up for the live classes at a local law school (not one I went to). Went on the first day and discovered that it was just watching the online videos in a large lecture hall. People were browsing the Internet on their laptops, it was easy to get distracted, and they played the videos at the normal speed (you should watch them at 1.5x). Switched to the online classes the next day. It was so much easier and way more relaxing.

You can work at your own pace, not worry about other people bugging you, etc. It was a no brainer for me.

Tony48
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Re: BarBri online vs on site?

Postby Tony48 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:02 pm

Wow. If by "live" they mean "watching a huge TV screen" then I would just do online.

I studied at Cleveland State University's law library and got there early and heard some of the Barbri lectures going on upstairs. It was the voice of the same guy that I was watching over the last few days. I was thinking, "How the hell is that guy here in Cleveland?" I had no idea that you were just watching a recorded video.

But anyway, I'd recommend online anyway. If you miss something, it's not like you can raise your hand and ask them to rewind.

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cricketlove00
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Re: BarBri online vs on site?

Postby cricketlove00 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:33 pm

Honestly it's not the lectures that will make you pass. It's the work you put in after.

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ndbigdave
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Re: BarBri online vs on site?

Postby ndbigdave » Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:56 pm

I have posted my general advice a few times, but it likely bears repeating here...

Regardless if you pic Barbri, Themis, Kaplan or any other program the key is to actually put in the work and "know thyself" in that only YOU know what works for you when it comes to studying (do you need lectures or are you better off self-studying outlines? Do you find success with flashcards? Do you have to see the speaker to get value out of it or can audio lectures work? Are you self motivated enough to stay at home, keep a general plan and get through materials or do you need your hand held more and forced to things - dont take that as a slight, but be honest with yourself)

No program...none of them...have a 100% success rate and though Themis (to their credit) discusses success rates and publishes them, the fact of the matter all of the programs are foundationally the same. There will be lectures on the topics, outlines (usually one more robust and the other at least a bit shorter) then access to MBE practice questions and past essays. The different programs may call things different names "modules" or "AMP" or whatever, but at the core thats all the programs offer - the information and tools for YOU to use to succeed. Big programs cover the average student because they arent (nor can they be) tailored to your specific strengths and weaknesses - if you want and need that find a private tutor, under most scenarios it will be far more expensive BUT you get what YOU need.

From my perspective, as someone who has sat for the Michigan and Illinois bar (Illinois is almost effectively a UBE state at this point) I would seriously look into self studying with BarMax or Adaptibar for the MBE, then SmartBar (or an equivilent) for essay prep. I would supplement with material from your specific state bar's website (old essay questions should be there) and generally call it a day. That is more than enough material and its a matter of getting through it, doing the questions in a productive way (just "doing" 1000 questions is insufficent, youre better off doing a few hundred less but actually REVIEWING each answer and reading why you got it right or wrong). The tracking tools that both BarMax and Adaptibar offer are very helpful to track trends over time and spot weaknesses not just in a specfic subject, but a subtopic of the subject so you know better where to spend your time.

Studying for the bar is not rocket science, most bar exams arent trying to hide the ball (there certainly can be arguments on a test-by-test basis of some essay sections being easier/harder and the grading of these sections can create great variance - but I digress) the fact is the material is out there, its a matter of putting in the time to learn it and understand the format. You have never taken a test like the MBE so prepare, writing essays for the bar is different than for your final exam in law school (for better and worse) you have time constraints and character limits, but with practice you can be very comfortable with both portions. How much do you need to study? Again - know thyself. If you were an below or average student you likely have more work to do than the person with multiple book awards and a near 4.0 GPA, both students need to study but one clearly has a better grasp of at least some of the core subjects.

As for the "conventional wisdom" Barbri is the biggest name in the game, but there is no "Secret sauce" to their program, from everyone I know who has taken it (and I was living with my GF who was using their program so I am well versed in their offering) their general program is to bury you in work, scare the hell out of you with overly difficult MBE questions and then hope you work your tail off to stay on pace and improve your crap scores which leads to success on the bar for many people - see the thread regarding the MBE midterm/final and then actual scores for evidence of this. All of the programs teach the same material in generally the same way - its what you do with it that matters and that is why I routinely reccommend totally different programs that are cheaper and in my opinion "better" because they are cheaper and offer material in a more "you specific" way (again BarMax and Adaptibar at least for the MBE).

Know what works for you, speak to others who have taken the bar, everyone has a war story and a list of things they thought were good and those that were bad - then make up your mind for what will work for your style and budget.

diogenes89
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Re: BarBri online vs on site?

Postby diogenes89 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:00 pm

To echo what was mentioned above, I chose Barbri on site because I knew myself. I dunno if I passed or not and still have my doubts. That said, I knew that if I did something where I could just sit at home and do it on my own time, it wouldn't get done. Having somewhere to go, where my friends could keep me accountable when I didn't show up to sit through the video or live-streamed lectures was helpful.

Lucky for us, most of the lecture videos specific to my state were done by professors from my law school. As such, if we had any questions, we could just go straight to those professors' offices. I realize that's different for UBE states, but....yeah.

I paid extra for a perk I didn't wind up receiving (in-person lecturing). That said, if I pass, I think a lot of it will have to do with the fact that having somewhere to go...a place to basically treat as a formal class with a set start time was quite beneficial.

Brian_Wildcat
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Re: BarBri online vs on site?

Postby Brian_Wildcat » Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:10 pm

Online. That way you can speed the video up 2x and enjoy the extra hour or so you have every day.

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ndbigdave
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Re: BarBri online vs on site?

Postby ndbigdave » Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:36 pm

diogenes89 wrote:To echo what was mentioned above, I chose Barbri on site because I knew myself. I dunno if I passed or not and still have my doubts. That said, I knew that if I did something where I could just sit at home and do it on my own time, it wouldn't get done. Having somewhere to go, where my friends could keep me accountable when I didn't show up to sit through the video or live-streamed lectures was helpful.

Lucky for us, most of the lecture videos specific to my state were done by professors from my law school. As such, if we had any questions, we could just go straight to those professors' offices. I realize that's different for UBE states, but....yeah.

I paid extra for a perk I didn't wind up receiving (in-person lecturing). That said, if I pass, I think a lot of it will have to do with the fact that having somewhere to go...a place to basically treat as a formal class with a set start time was quite beneficial.


Totally agree - frankly, for many students (not all of course) there would be tremendous value in being held more accountable and "forced" to attend and complete at least certain assigments. I know for me, if I had been required to attend or otherwise be "dropped" (think something along the lines of an attendance program with limited absences, if you go over you fail) I think I would have been even better prepared then I was (and I passed in Michigan) being forced to attend and devote some time to lectures then being forced to do a set of questions every day would accumulate to an excellent program.

Can you do what I described above on your own? Of course, if you are committed and focused enough any self-study program with the tools I described earlier should get you across the finished line for basically any jurisdiction.

I do agree with the other posters about not going to "live lectures" when they are simply going to be videos anyways - if you are factoring in the time to both drive to and from campus along with whatever other time you "lose" by being neurotic about the test with other takers you start to really snowball a huge loss of time. Though I worked full-time through both bar exams I took, if I had wanted to go to the classes that would have added up to over an hour and a half of driving (if not a bit more) every day - I could easily have done 40-50 MBE questions with at least some basic review of the questions in that amount of time which, over the course of 8-10 weeks would be a staggering amount of questions + review. I also believe that most lectures can be played at 1.5 or 2x speed which cuts down on your watching/listening time a ton and allows you to do questions or dive into outlines or flashcards (whatever works for you).




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