Slaying The Dragon

Steve Zikman with Nelson MandelaI was first admitted to the Bar of Ontario (Canada) in 1986 when I passed on my first attempt. The California Bar Exam, however, was a different story.

It took me three times to successfully slay that dragon. Unlike those who made it on the first shot, I struggled. After I didn't pass for the second time, I looked around for a tutor but I couldn't find anyone who I could relate to, and more importantly, someone who I could trust with my professional future. So, I set out to figure it out on my own.

I began a process of carefully analyzing essays in a pure IRAC approach, breaking the law into separate elements and diligently applying the facts to the law.  I created a series of highly accessible and readily digestible outlines for each subject, systematically breaking out the law into elements that I could reliably use for both writing better essays and more efficient memorization. I eventually started calling these my Flash Outlines™. Next, I turned my attention to the Performance Tests (PTs). I methodically analyzed dozens of old PTs until I came to understand more and more about the tricks and gamesmanship involved in the only part of the exam that doesn't require any memorization and where everything is given to you. Soon, the Essays and the PTs were no longer my 'enemies' but rather my 'friends'--tools that I could count on to get me over the top. Lastly, I worked on my MBEs. I didn't try to make my way through 1000s of MBEs like so many of my fellow students were intent on doing. Rather, I focused on about 1800 questions and meticulously 'drilled down' on all my incorrect answers until slowly but surely my percentages went up and so, too, did my confidence.

I passed on my third attempt but I had to learn from each one of my mistakes, and along the way, develop a winning strategy, conquer my demons, and fight like hell to pass that damn exam... just like you.

Since then, I have helped thousands of students in their quest to 'slay the dragon.'  Indeed, you too CAN get your name on the 'Pass List' and I want to help you to reach that goal. As your strategic coach and tutor, I will guide you along the inevitable bumps and challenges on the road to successfully becoming a "California Esq."

I look forward to helping you making this next bar exam your last!



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