Peer-to-Peer Study Groups: A less expensive way to prep for the bar exam?

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Lucas Cioffi

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Peer-to-Peer Study Groups: A less expensive way to prep for the bar exam?

Postby Lucas Cioffi » Thu Aug 13, 2015 1:36 pm

Hi All,

Our startup is considering creating an easy way to form live, peer-to-peer study groups for the bar exam, and we'd love to hear your advice on any of the following questions:
  • What would make live audio/video study groups most helpful to you?
  • What is a reasonable monthly cost per participant?
  • How long would you want a study session to be and how many times would you want to meet per week?
  • Would you rather meet with people you know or people you do not know?
  • It is important for all members of a study group to have the same materials. Does it make sense to arrange separate study groups around each different bar exam prep course?
  • Any other suggestions?

Thanks for your feedback here. We've found strong success with our first pilot project in a different professional field, and we are looking for ways to tailor this to your needs in the context of the bar exam.

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Re: Peer-to-Peer Study Groups: A less expensive way to prep for the bar exam?

Postby Lucas Cioffi » Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:36 pm

Many people have seen this post. I'm wondering what your thoughts are. Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated.

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Re: Peer-to-Peer Study Groups: A less expensive way to prep for the bar exam?

Postby robinhoodOO » Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:27 pm

Lucas Cioffi wrote:Many people have seen this post. I'm wondering what your thoughts are. Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated.


My initial reaction is to question why you are essentially advertising and seeking gratis feedback for your business model in a TLS forum.

Outside of that, I think peer-to-peer studying for something like the Bar Exam is silly, whether it's a supplement or otherwise. If you'd like additional information and/or perspective, I accept cash or credit card (VISA ONLY!!!) for involvement and participation in any potential focus group.

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Re: Peer-to-Peer Study Groups: A less expensive way to prep for the bar exam?

Postby NYbarguy » Thu Aug 20, 2015 2:31 am

I think it's a bad idea. Bar review is very personal, and I don't see the benefit of regular meetings with a group of people. As an example, meeting to discuss past exam questions is not very helpful because sample answers are readily available. The only people who might benefit from group study are those who are having difficulty understanding the law, and there are other ways, such as posting questions on the TLS forums, to address that problem. Given the limited benefits, regular group meetings might even be counterproductive by diverting time away from more productive activities (like doing practice questions, memorizing the law, etc.).

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Re: Peer-to-Peer Study Groups: A less expensive way to prep for the bar exam?

Postby rcharter1978 » Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:45 am

Lucas Cioffi wrote:Hi All,

Our startup is considering creating an easy way to form live, peer-to-peer study groups for the bar exam, and we'd love to hear your advice on any of the following questions:
  • What would make live audio/video study groups most helpful to you?
  • What is a reasonable monthly cost per participant?
  • How long would you want a study session to be and how many times would you want to meet per week?
  • Would you rather meet with people you know or people you do not know?
  • It is important for all members of a study group to have the same materials. Does it make sense to arrange separate study groups around each different bar exam prep course?
  • Any other suggestions?

Thanks for your feedback here. We've found strong success with our first pilot project in a different professional field, and we are looking for ways to tailor this to your needs in the context of the bar exam.


Are you offering a sort of "study group match.com" type deal where you put people together to study via live meeting technology? If this is the case, why wouldn't people just meet on a forum like this and use Skype or some other free live meeting software for free?

I don't quite understand what the strategic advantage would be of using your service over using a free, or cheap video meeting software. Is it technology? Do you have a better platform to do that on? Is it that you have a better database of people, or a better way to match them than people coming onto a site like this, posting a free thread and forming a group themselves? Is it in the study materials that you would publish? Would you perform more of an administrative function (scheduling, sending out "groupwork") The question is, what are you offering that I can't do cheaper or for free on my own? I know there must be something because you've been successful in another area of study.

Personally, I don't do many study groups. Having said that, I cant see how a study group could work with everyone having different study materials.

Preliminarily, I would say a better use of live audio/video in the bar exam context might be in terms of tutoring.

1) PT intensive/class -- In California, PT's count for about 40% of your written grade and as far as I could tell there aren't many resources available to succeed in PT's. I'm talking in terms of formatting, basic setup, what should be included in each type of assignment. The instructions for the PT will give you some of the information, but I think there is a lot of room for learning. A lot of people have made it through law school without learning how to write jury instructions, or what format would make the most sense for a memo or points and authorities. And, writing classes are typically done in the first year of law school, so some students haven't written an assignment like a PT in years. A live video/audio class on something like that would probably be something people would be interested in if you did it off hours. Barbri (which a lot of students use) takes up the day, so having something like that available maybe on the weekend so people could get the information but not have to drive might be useful

2) Essay feedback/grading -- I've read in a few areas people say that they didn't get much essay feedback. And I know for myself, sometimes I didn't quite understand some of the feedback that I was getting and it would have been helpful to have even 10 minutes to discuss with the person grading my practice essays what they thought. The past essays are available in many states, so if you have a few past bar graders the chance to actually discuss the essay grading with them might give you an advantage over other services.

But hey, those are just my thoughts at 3am

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Re: Peer-to-Peer Study Groups: A less expensive way to prep for the bar exam?

Postby emkay625 » Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:05 pm

I don't quite see the benefit of this. Most law students, if they are the kind of learner that enjoys studying in groups, already has an established study group from law school. If they're living in different cities for the summer, they could just use Google hangout or something similar. Is this just a study group service? I don't think I understand.

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Re: Peer-to-Peer Study Groups: A less expensive way to prep for the bar exam?

Postby robinhoodOO » Tue Aug 25, 2015 12:51 pm

emkay625 wrote:I don't think I understand.


Because this is the shitty idea for Bar studies.

It's like proposing to place a Keurig in a gourmet coffee shop for people to make their own coffee. Nobody will use it and it makes no fucking sense.

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Re: Peer-to-Peer Study Groups: A less expensive way to prep for the bar exam?

Postby Lucas Cioffi » Wed Aug 26, 2015 2:35 pm

NYbarguy wrote:Meeting to discuss past exam questions is not very helpful because sample answers are readily available.


NYbarguy, thank you for your reply. I have seen people in study groups for professional exams help each other better understand why they got a multiple choice question right or wrong. This could be even more useful when discussing subjective topics. I'm not familiar with the bar exam, and I'm here to learn from people in this forum, so I don't know how often the above scenarios would be true, where people would want to speak to each other about specific questions, but I expect that every day someone is studying they have a question that they'd like to ask someone else.

NYbarguy wrote:Bar review is very personal, and I don't see the benefit of regular meetings with a group of people.

I agree that regular meetings can certainly be a burden for people who are already busy. So, I think a more flexible way that we would design this live study forum for bar exam prep would be a place where everyone would know they could go between certain hours of the evening and find someone else (not necessarily the same person every time) to speak with about their questions which are better served with audio rather than typing.

Any more suggestions/feedback are always welcome.

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Re: Peer-to-Peer Study Groups: A less expensive way to prep for the bar exam?

Postby Lucas Cioffi » Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:13 pm

robinhoodOO wrote:My initial reaction is to question why you are essentially advertising and seeking gratis feedback for your business model in a TLS forum.


The reason is that we're in communication with the TLS administrators to see if there's a way to work together. We want to see whether folks in these forums would benefit/appreciate a way to connect with each other using audio/video.

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Re: Peer-to-Peer Study Groups: A less expensive way to prep for the bar exam?

Postby Lucas Cioffi » Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:29 pm

emkay625 wrote:Most law students, if they are the kind of learner that enjoys studying in groups, already has an established study group from law school. If they're living in different cities for the summer, they could just use Google hangout or something similar. Is this just a study group service? I don't think I understand.


Hi, emkay, yes you and I agree in that folks could just use Google hangout or some other tool. The main thing that our service would provide is saving time because it would no longer be necessary for people to pre-plan or synchronize schedules in order to join a study group.

As you know, coordinating schedules of 4-6 busy people takes time, and different people might want to study at a different pace. So with the model that I'm proposing, anyone could post a study session on any topic (or even an open topic where people can discuss all any exam question on their mind) and then people can attend that session if it interests them.

Sometimes it's great to study with the same group of people, so a group can continue to plan closed study sessions for themselves, however I think many people will benefit from being able to post a study session on the specific topic that's on their mind that day without much pre-planning. What do you think?

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Re: Peer-to-Peer Study Groups: A less expensive way to prep for the bar exam?

Postby Lucas Cioffi » Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:57 pm

rcharter1978 wrote:I don't quite understand what the strategic advantage would be of using your service over using a free, or cheap video meeting software. Is it technology? Do you have a better platform to do that on?


Thanks, rcharter1978, I very much appreciate the detailed suggestions in your full post. The short answer is that we do have some features that better meet the needs of study groups.

rcharter1978 wrote:Is it that you have a better database of people, or a better way to match them than people coming onto a site like this, posting a free thread and forming a group themselves? Is it in the study materials that you would publish? Would you perform more of an administrative function (scheduling, sending out "groupwork") The question is, what are you offering that I can't do cheaper or for free on my own? I know there must be something because you've been successful in another area of study.


We absolutely do have to compete with Skype which is free for Skype-to-Skype calls, as you probably know. The main service that we would be providing is helping people save time by helping them seamlessly create study sessions or join study sessions that are in-progress or about to form. As you could imagine it would be a little chaotic to do that on a forum thread every evening, and that's probably one of the main reasons it doesn't happen.

Another big reason that study sessions aren't forming on their own is that people probably do not want to be burdened with sticking to a group's study schedule. So with the system that I'm proposing, it would be easy to post a study session topic a day (or an hour) in advance and then people who are interested in that topic will show up. That's how impromptu study sessions would form.

Additionally, you mention the concept of "groupwork" which I'm assuming to mean a pre-planned study agenda from week to week. From my experience, this is the best way to organize study groups because people can prepare beforehand, and then the conversation can be go in-depth during the session.

I am very interested in this concept and am wondering if anyone has advice for week-to-week study agendas that already exist. This is similar to a course syllabus. If we posted a schedule of study topics, then many people who are studying could be moving through material (albeit from different sources) at a similar pace. The advantage would be that I could participate in the Monday night study group one week and one of the Tuesday night study groups the next week, yet still be able to connect with people who would have studied the same material I did for that week. This seems to provide flexibility while still saving coordination time for all participants. Does this make sense?

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Re: Peer-to-Peer Study Groups: A less expensive way to prep for the bar exam?

Postby rcharter1978 » Thu Aug 27, 2015 4:46 am

Lucas Cioffi wrote:
rcharter1978 wrote:I don't quite understand what the strategic advantage would be of using your service over using a free, or cheap video meeting software. Is it technology? Do you have a better platform to do that on?


Thanks, rcharter1978, I very much appreciate the detailed suggestions in your full post. The short answer is that we do have some features that better meet the needs of study groups.

We absolutely do have to compete with Skype which is free for Skype-to-Skype calls, as you probably know. The main service that we would be providing is helping people save time by helping them seamlessly create study sessions or join study sessions that are in-progress or about to form. As you could imagine it would be a little chaotic to do that on a forum thread every evening, and that's probably one of the main reasons it doesn't happen.

Another big reason that study sessions aren't forming on their own is that people probably do not want to be burdened with sticking to a group's study schedule. So with the system that I'm proposing, it would be easy to post a study session topic a day (or an hour) in advance and then people who are interested in that topic will show up. That's how impromptu study sessions would form.

Additionally, you mention the concept of "groupwork" which I'm assuming to mean a pre-planned study agenda from week to week. From my experience, this is the best way to organize study groups because people can prepare beforehand, and then the conversation can be go in-depth during the session.

I am very interested in this concept and am wondering if anyone has advice for week-to-week study agendas that already exist. This is similar to a course syllabus. If we posted a schedule of study topics, then many people who are studying could be moving through material (albeit from different sources) at a similar pace. The advantage would be that I could participate in the Monday night study group one week and one of the Tuesday night study groups the next week, yet still be able to connect with people who would have studied the same material I did for that week. This seems to provide flexibility while still saving coordination time for all participants. Does this make sense?


There are two concerns/questions I would have about this:

1. How do I know I'm studying with people who are really going to help me? At least in law school there were certain people who knew what they were talking about and would be good candidates for a study group and there were some people who clearly didn't. IMO, a study group in an unmitigated waste of time if the people in the group are lame. Choosing who to study with seems like an important part of forming a study group -- although admittedly it wasn't really my preferred way to study.

2. On the one hand you're saying that you would have an agenda, which makes sense. But on the other hand, if people can join as a session is in progress. To me it seems like a set up for a lot of leeches who haven't done the work, and can't contribute to the discussion in a meaningful way. And it sort of negates the idea of mobility between groups. If people can join any group according to the ease of their schedule that means if I join on a Monday and I get an awesome, amazing group I have no idea if I'm going to get that the next Monday, because maybe half of those people decided to change to Wednesday. Now I show up on Monday and I'm stuck with a bunch of people who are leeches, and its a waste of time.

If people aren't committed to a study group and can join one and leave one at a whim I think it might be a little difficult to ensure that you are going to get a high quality study group experience on any day. My feeling is this is why people generally form study groups with people they know and stick to a schedule. However, like you said, your product worked in another professional area, so perhaps other people think much differently than I do.

Either way - good luck! :)

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Re: Peer-to-Peer Study Groups: A less expensive way to prep for the bar exam?

Postby Lucas Cioffi » Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:32 am

rcharter1978 wrote:If people aren't committed to a study group and can join one and leave one at a whim I think it might be a little difficult to ensure that you are going to get a high quality study group experience on any day.


Hi rcharter1978, I think you captured the challenge very well: enable flexibility of people to connect live with each other at any time and also enable robust study groups to form and meet on a regular basis.

I think it's possible to do both and I've seen it work on a smaller scale with a study group of 80 landscape architects who were studying for their post-masters exam. The way to do it (I think) is to have one "surge" hour per day when the max number of people are expected to be online. You would know that this is the most likely time when you would be able to connect with someone live and informally (audio or video) in a group of perhaps 2-4 and just chat about random bar exam questions and topics. This is similar to a happy hour setting where people are mingling. Drinks would not be provided by the website, however, so you'd have to bring your own. :wink:

If you get along well with someone, then you can invite them to form a study group with them that meets regularly, and you can grow the group to the requested size this way.

I think that if we can make this happen, then we can provide a valuable service. There would be a free trial period and people could cancel any time if they do not find it useful. Price point would probably be $20-$30/month so that people would consider doing it in addition to the other bar exam prep course they are taking.

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Re: Peer-to-Peer Study Groups: A less expensive way to prep for the bar exam?

Postby mr.hands » Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:43 am

Lucas Cioffi wrote:
rcharter1978 wrote:If people aren't committed to a study group and can join one and leave one at a whim I think it might be a little difficult to ensure that you are going to get a high quality study group experience on any day.


Hi rcharter1978, I think you captured the challenge very well: enable flexibility of people to connect live with each other at any time and also enable robust study groups to form and meet on a regular basis.

I think it's possible to do both and I've seen it work on a smaller scale with a study group of 80 landscape architects who were studying for their post-masters exam. The way to do it (I think) is to have one "surge" hour per day when the max number of people are expected to be online. You would know that this is the most likely time when you would be able to connect with someone live and informally (audio or video) in a group of perhaps 2-4 and just chat about random bar exam questions and topics. This is similar to a happy hour setting where people are mingling. Drinks would not be provided by the website, however, so you'd have to bring your own. :wink:

If you get along well with someone, then you can invite them to form a study group with them that meets regularly, and you can grow the group to the requested size this way.

I think that if we can make this happen, then we can provide a valuable service. There would be a free trial period and people could cancel any time if they do not find it useful. Price point would probably be $20-$30/month so that people would consider doing it in addition to the other bar exam prep course they are taking.


I don't understand why people can't do this themselves. Based on your explanation, the only service being provided is some sort of mingling session where people can find out if they want them in their study group. There don't seem to be any bar-specific element to this plan. For instance, you don't seem to be providing test materials, questions, tutoring, etc. If it's basically a chatroom that you pay for, I don't see how people will latch on and do this.

As you noted earlier, Skype, FaceTime, TLS forums, Go-To Meeting, and other applications can already do this at a price point lower than 20-30 a month. The fact that your price point is so far above that of other services just makes it less likely that people would do this. In other words, I don't know why I'd pay $30 a month just to have an application that connects me to other people.

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Re: Peer-to-Peer Study Groups: A less expensive way to prep for the bar exam?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:53 am

Pretty sure that most law school students find study groups to be a waste of time well before the end of their first year of law school. Only benefit is the outlines prepared by each member. Horrible idea for bar exam preparation, in my opinion.

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Re: Peer-to-Peer Study Groups: A less expensive way to prep for the bar exam?

Postby Lucas Cioffi » Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:12 am

mr.hands wrote:There don't seem to be any bar-specific element to this plan. For instance, you don't seem to be providing test materials, questions, tutoring, etc. If it's basically a chatroom that you pay for, I don't see how people will latch on and do this.


Thank you for sharing your perspective. Correct; we are assuming that people are getting their study materials elsewhere. For example if someone is paying $3300 for the online Kaplan course, I think they'd would also consider paying $100 to be able to get questions answered live by their peers over five months. I guess that most people won't be interested, as you would probably agree, but I think there will be enough.

mr.hands wrote:As you noted earlier, Skype, FaceTime, TLS forums, Go-To Meeting, and other applications can already do this at a price point lower than 20-30 a month. The fact that your price point is so far above that of other services just makes it less likely that people would do this. In other words, I don't know why I'd pay $30 a month just to have an application that connects me to other people.


If it was integrated into TLS forums, I think people might pay for it because they trust the brand. We're just saving people the coordination time (because they could jump in live), and that will be worthwhile for some people. We'll see whether it's enough, but I'm hopeful.

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Re: Peer-to-Peer Study Groups: A less expensive way to prep for the bar exam?

Postby Lucas Cioffi » Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:13 am

CanadianWolf wrote:Pretty sure that most law school students find study groups to be a waste of time well before the end of their first year of law school. Only benefit is the outlines prepared by each member. Horrible idea for bar exam preparation, in my opinion.


Hi, CanadianWolf, what do you find most valuable about TLS? I wonder if some of those aspects would also be present in a live online forum (audio/video) and whether some people would pay for that.

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Re: Peer-to-Peer Study Groups: A less expensive way to prep for the bar exam?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:21 am

It's an interesting way to kill time.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Peer-to-Peer Study Groups: A less expensive way to prep for the bar exam?

Postby Lucas Cioffi » Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:29 am

CanadianWolf wrote:It's an interesting way to kill time.


Congrats on your 10,000th post!

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Re: Peer-to-Peer Study Groups: A less expensive way to prep for the bar exam?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:32 am

Study groups work well as a way to quell anxieties or to divide up responsibilities on a project (think MBA school & different depts. of a company). Bar exam prep should be an individual effort as the concepts are fairly simple & straightforward.

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Re: Peer-to-Peer Study Groups: A less expensive way to prep for the bar exam?

Postby rcharter1978 » Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:24 am

Lucas Cioffi wrote:
rcharter1978 wrote:If people aren't committed to a study group and can join one and leave one at a whim I think it might be a little difficult to ensure that you are going to get a high quality study group experience on any day.


Hi rcharter1978, I think you captured the challenge very well: enable flexibility of people to connect live with each other at any time and also enable robust study groups to form and meet on a regular basis.

I think it's possible to do both and I've seen it work on a smaller scale with a study group of 80 landscape architects who were studying for their post-masters exam. The way to do it (I think) is to have one "surge" hour per day when the max number of people are expected to be online. You would know that this is the most likely time when you would be able to connect with someone live and informally (audio or video) in a group of perhaps 2-4 and just chat about random bar exam questions and topics. This is similar to a happy hour setting where people are mingling. Drinks would not be provided by the website, however, so you'd have to bring your own. :wink:

If you get along well with someone, then you can invite them to form a study group with them that meets regularly, and you can grow the group to the requested size this way.

I think that if we can make this happen, then we can provide a valuable service. There would be a free trial period and people could cancel any time if they do not find it useful. Price point would probably be $20-$30/month so that people would consider doing it in addition to the other bar exam prep course they are taking.


However, than as far as I can tell, the participant has to show up at a certain day/time to even have the potential to meet someone that they may later want to form a group with. And than that person has to also want to form a group with them. And they are choosing from only 2-4 people in the surge hour. And that person would have to be able to meet on the same schedule as you. Thats a lot of moving parts that have to coordinate well in order for the experience to be a successful one. I think happy hour mingling is great, and I don't even drink :) but it seems to have the potential for a lot of wasted time with the potential for little to no reward.

If the same person tapped the TLS forum looking for people they have the benefit of not having to figure out a surge hour in order to meet people. They could simply either post study questions online and people can respond at their leisure, or they can start a thread looking for people to study with, post the times and go from there. Or even worse for you would be if they used your service to meet someone and simply decided to use a different service to do their study group meetings. I'm not sure how you would guard against that.

I don't know -- I suppose I could see people maybe being interested if you initially formed focused study groups based on topic, but some of those would be state specific. And you really couldn't ensure the quality of the participant in the group, because anyone could join or leave the group at any time.

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Re: Peer-to-Peer Study Groups: A less expensive way to prep for the bar exam?

Postby rcharter1978 » Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:32 am

Lucas Cioffi wrote:
mr.hands wrote:There don't seem to be any bar-specific element to this plan. For instance, you don't seem to be providing test materials, questions, tutoring, etc. If it's basically a chatroom that you pay for, I don't see how people will latch on and do this.


Thank you for sharing your perspective. Correct; we are assuming that people are getting their study materials elsewhere. For example if someone is paying $3300 for the online Kaplan course, I think they'd would also consider paying $100 to be able to get questions answered live by their peers over five months. I guess that most people won't be interested, as you would probably agree, but I think there will be enough.

mr.hands wrote:As you noted earlier, Skype, FaceTime, TLS forums, Go-To Meeting, and other applications can already do this at a price point lower than 20-30 a month. The fact that your price point is so far above that of other services just makes it less likely that people would do this. In other words, I don't know why I'd pay $30 a month just to have an application that connects me to other people.


If it was integrated into TLS forums, I think people might pay for it because they trust the brand. We're just saving people the coordination time (because they could jump in live), and that will be worthwhile for some people. We'll see whether it's enough, but I'm hopeful.


I think thats a bold assumption to make (pun intended!). I would definitely consider paying $100 (perhaps even more) to have my questions answered live by a professor, or by someone I'm certain was more knowledgeable than me in a subject but I don't think I would pay that kind of money at all to have my questions answered by a peer who may, or may not have more knowledge than me in a subject.

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Re: Peer-to-Peer Study Groups: A less expensive way to prep for the bar exam?

Postby Lucas Cioffi » Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:50 am

rcharter1978 wrote:I think thats a bold assumption to make (pun intended!).

+1

rcharter1978 wrote:I would definitely consider paying $100 (perhaps even more) to have my questions answered live by a professor, or by someone I'm certain was more knowledgeable than me in a subject but I don't think I would pay that kind of money at all to have my questions answered by a peer who may, or may not have more knowledge than me in a subject.


Makes sense. I'm coming at this from the perspective of a software developer that works on applications for sharing knowledge within peer groups. Groups are great in connecting members to the right answers, so even if they do not have the knowledge of the professor, one member will recall in which book they found the answer with the professor-level detail. I think this act of connecting people to the information they are seeking might be all that's necessary, given what CanadianWolf wrote that bar exam concepts are straightforward:

CanadianWolf wrote:Bar exam prep should be an individual effort as the concepts are fairly simple & straightforward.


Although I wouldn't expect bar exam prep to be simple (perhaps it is), the hard part probably is finding the simple answers among a vast sea of material. If group members can efficiently point each other to the primary sources to find right answers, saving each other time, then some people will find it worth paying for.

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Re: Peer-to-Peer Study Groups: A less expensive way to prep for the bar exam?

Postby rcharter1978 » Thu Aug 27, 2015 12:51 pm

Lucas Cioffi wrote:
rcharter1978 wrote:I think thats a bold assumption to make (pun intended!).

+1

rcharter1978 wrote:I would definitely consider paying $100 (perhaps even more) to have my questions answered live by a professor, or by someone I'm certain was more knowledgeable than me in a subject but I don't think I would pay that kind of money at all to have my questions answered by a peer who may, or may not have more knowledge than me in a subject.


Makes sense. I'm coming at this from the perspective of a software developer that works on applications for sharing knowledge within peer groups. Groups are great in connecting members to the right answers, so even if they do not have the knowledge of the professor, one member will recall in which book they found the answer with the professor-level detail. I think this act of connecting people to the information they are seeking might be all that's necessary, given what CanadianWolf wrote that bar exam concepts are straightforward:

CanadianWolf wrote:Bar exam prep should be an individual effort as the concepts are fairly simple & straightforward.


Although I wouldn't expect bar exam prep to be simple (perhaps it is), the hard part probably is finding the simple answers among a vast sea of material. If group members can efficiently point each other to the primary sources to find right answers, saving each other time, then some people will find it worth paying for.


This is true, sometimes a person will just remember something that they saw that perfectly fits with the question you have. But how often is that perfect puzzle piece of question matching knowledge going to happen in a group of 2-4 people? I don't know. And how do you ensure its the right information? I may be paranoid because of law school, but the people who claimed to know everything were rarely right about anything.

I see your point, but if the benefit is in connecting people to information, it seems like you would be competing with the free forums and people who simply post a question and get an answer, or a number of answers, and then ask people for the resource they got the information from so they could check. I would think that most people would only ask a question if they couldn't find the answer in their study materials. I know, for myself, I would check the study materials first. But $20 a month to maybe engage with people who might know the right resource for you to find the answer to a question seems like a tough sell.

I understand your background, but it might help to understand that at least one of the big bar exam companies has videos on each topic by professors who routinely give out their phone numbers/emails for questions. Additionally, the practice materials such as essay questions come with model answers that review, in depth, each topic that should be covered in an essay. Each multiple choice question also comes with an in depth explanation. The study materials I used were broken down with a comprehensive table of contents so if I wanted to look up a question in a certain subject area I could easily do so.

I will say that the only people I knew of who did group study sessions during bar review were people doing self study and that may be where you consider targeting your efforts. Especially those that are going to do self-study for an out of state bar exam.

Lucas Cioffi

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Re: Peer-to-Peer Study Groups: A less expensive way to prep for the bar exam?

Postby Lucas Cioffi » Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:16 pm

rcharter1978 wrote:those that are going to do self-study for an out of state bar exam


That's a great insight. Thanks again for the detailed analysis.



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