TESTIMONIALS

Matthew L. (Loyola Law School)

“Steve personally held me accountable during my bar prep making sure that I hit my deadlines and was actually learning how to take the bar exam and not just trying to complete some prep course. Steve’s advanced knowledge of the exam is evident in how he completely transformed the way in which I approached the essays and the PT. I went from attempting to write the essays how I thought they should be written to using Steve’s methods and saw how much better my writing became. Steve not only helped my essay approach but also opened my eyes to how helpful in depth review of past errors on multiple choice questions was. The Drilldowns that Steve assigns had an immediate impact on how I approached the MBE questions and I immediately started to see improvements day to day in my approach and my scores. As a first time test taker who used Steve and passed the CA bar exam, I could not recommend him enough.”

Nick Terhovsepians (Abraham Lincoln School of Law)

“I started working with Steve after failing the CA bar multiple times. I had tried the one size fits all programs like BarBri, Themis, etc. but each and every time would fall short a few points. While my MBE scores were always good, my writing was another story. I consistently had trouble finishing essays and PTs.  My main intention was to improve my essay and PT scores. His way of writing was difficult at first. However, as we went along, I gradually got used to it and was able to utilize it the on the exam, finishing every single question as well as the PT. Moreover, while I consistently did well on the MBE portion of the exam, Steve still recommended some work. I did a few of his MBE drill-downs and saw my score improve as well.  Overall, I recommend Steve’s program to both first timers as well as repeaters. I gladly paid for the program because I wanted this to be the LAST time I take this nightmare exam.”

Derek Herrera (Thomas Jefferson School of Law)

“After failing the bar exam multiple times using Barbi, I knew I needed to try a different approach. I struggled to pass the MBE section of the exam until I used Steve’s method. Steve’s coaching helped me drastically increase my MBE score by 68 points from 1415 to 1483 by using Adaptibar and his method. His method helped recognize the pattern of mistakes I was making and as a result it helped me pass the MBE section of the exam. His method will definitely help you pass the MBE section of the exam, which is worth 50% of the exam.  Steve’s coaching also helped me with the Performance Exam section of the exam by pushing me to be organized by outlining the file and library before writing, something I had never done before. Steve’s method helped me make it clear to the bar examiners that I was answering the task memo given in the file. By effectively organizing the file and the library, I was able to write a passing PT answer. His strategic approached made the difference between failing and passing the bar exam. I would recommend Steve to all bar exam candidates who are looking to slay the dragon!”

A.L. (University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law)

“After taking the Bar exam twice and not passing, I felt completely defeated. I had a position at a law firm I loved, but it was contingent on me passing the Bar. I had tried Barbri and even a tutor, but nothing seemed to work. I was referred to Steve by a friend and I definitely made the right choice! Steve provided me with tools and resources that are unmatched by any other prep company or tutor. The Bar is daunting because there is so much material to master; Steve’s flash outlines and study schedule helped me memorize the law in a way that felt organized and doable. For the first time ever, I went into the exam feeling confident that I knew the rules and knowing the rules, led to strong analysis. Steve’s flash outlines gave very specific tips about language to use when analyzing various factors and these tips helped me learn to write substantive analysis that was detailed, but succinct. The tips provided a “secret weapon” that I believe made me stand out against other test takers. I really struggled with multiple choice and one of my biggest issues was second guessing myself.  Before I began prepping with Steve, I felt like I would never break this habit, but Steve’s drill down exercises were a game changer for me. Steve provided a strict schedule and held me accountable. He left no room for excuses or whining. Although tough at times, he gave me the encouragement I needed to push harder and be the best test taker I could be. Steve not only helped me pass the Bar, he helped me achieve my lifelong dream of becoming a lawyer! I would recommend him to anyone! Trust the process, stay passionate, and work hard!”

S.S. (USC Gould School of Law)

“If you want a no-nonsense, straight forward, and bespoke Bar learning experience then Steve Zikman is the perfect tutor for you. He was able to polish up the strengths I had while also helping to identify and neutralize the various weaknesses that had held me back from passing the Bar the first time. Steve was always on top of making sure that I was doing what it took to pass the bar. He does not entertain excuses and pushed me to be the best test taker I could possibly be. If you’re someone who found that the commercial programs like BarBri did not work, then Steve is for you. If you find that the best way you learn is through personalized one on one coaching, then Steve is DEFINITELY for you. Do yourself a favor and choose Steve so you never have to worry about this damn test again.”

Grant Royal (Pepperdine University School of Law)

“After using Barbri for about a week, I knew I had to make a change, or I would be destined to fail the bar exam. I was working 10 hours a day, watching the videos and working my way through those giant outlines, but I never felt like I was doing anything useful. I was referred to Steve by a friend, who also used Steve to pass the bar exam, and she told me he was the best in the business and to trust his process. After I started working with Steve, there was no more confusion. Steve completely handled my schedule and I never had to worry about what to study or how to spend my time practicing, he told me exactly what to do and I just followed orders. I never had to wonder how I was doing on my practice essays or performance tests, because Steve graded each and every one of them with me, in real time, and provided helpful feedback. Steve provided me with a solid plan of attack for the bar exam, I watched my scores improve throughout the summer, and I passed the bar exam. I would recommend Steve to anyone. Trust in the process, put in the work, and you will pass.”

Maritsa Flaherty (Ohio State University Moritz College of Law)

“If you are planning on taking the California Bar, the best advice is to hire Steve Zikman as your strategic bar coach. Steve’s method was essential to my passing the bar exam. As a full-time attorney and mother of two active boys, my time to study for the bar was limited. However, Steve’s method is perfect to study smart, study hard, and study efficiently.  By setting up goals and deadlines, Steve holds you accountable in a way other bar review programs don’t. Steve’s method focuses in on exactly what the bar examiners are looking for. You will become better at studying, and a better legal writer by using Steve’s method. In order to tackle one of the most challenging bar exams in the country, you need the right tools. Steve’s strategic method gives you the tools you need to pass. Steve is excellent at pushing you, holding you accountable, and driving you to the finish line with passing the bar as the reward.”

Eric A. (Loyola Law School)

“So I’m a great case of how a tutor like Steve can help someone achieve objectively amazing results. I failed spectacularly my first time studying with Barbri at a score over 300 points below passing. I studied with Steve for the 10 months leading up to the bar and passed on my 2nd try with him. Studying with Steve is like no other law professor I had. He’s serious and demands the best from you. Every week we go over an essay of one of the various subjects of the bar and do 30-50 multiple choice questions. Not only did he teach me how to analyze bar essays and write well on them, but he told me how the bar examiners thought based on his accumulated experience. We’d go line by line over my essays and give me feedback on almost everything I wrote. As for the multiple choice, I worked on those primarily by myself and I used other MBE books that I had in my possession (Barbri books), and every week or two Steve would make me go over the missed questions. Steve turned me into an essay and performance test machine that made me feel supremely confident on the day of the test.  I highly recommend him if you have lost all sense of hope for the test BUT only if you can stay with his strict program and commit to it a full 100%.”

Susan S. (Lewis and Clark Law School)

“In 2019, I faced the challenging task of taking the California bar exam while managing a substantial case load. (I am a practicing attorney with more than 20 years of experience. My first bar exam was in 1997 and second in 2006.) Steve Zikman was referred to me by a practicing attorney who faced a similar scenario. I am very glad that I decided to work with Steve on all three elements of the exam (essays, PT, and MBE). Steve guided me to work to my strengths and tackle my weaknesses. On his advice, I took the full two-day exam, even though I was eligible for the one-day Attorney Exam. This approach helped me maximize points and obtain a passing score. The Strategic Bar Coach study materials are on point for bar exam purposes, far more efficient than hours-long multi-session lectures and dense multi-volume outlines provided by other bar exam prep companies. (I had access to lectures and materials from another bar exam prep course. Had I relied on that material exclusively, I doubt I would have passed the exam.) The Strategic Bar Coach program includes a strict schedule, specific assignments with non-negotiable deadlines, and regular coaching calls that include line-by-line analysis of essays. The end result is that you learn the subjects and develop a technique for all three elements of the exam. More importantly, the program forces you to identify and work through your mistakes and weaknesses before exam day. The MBE segment – an optional add-on – includes access to thousands of real MBE questions and analytics that clearly identify weaknesses. The program is not easy and the coaching is not always “nice”, but it is effective. I walked in to the exam room with a game plan and a firm commitment to do exactly what Steve told me to do, and it worked. I can confidently say working with the Strategic Bar Coach was essential to my success on the exam.”

Anthony L. (University of Wisconsin)

“After failing California Exam several times, even after taking Barbri, I knew that I needed help on my essays. I knew the law, and I was good with the MBE, but my essays kept me from passing. After an extensive search, I decided to hire Steve to help me with the essays. I am so glad that I did. Steve set up a schedule and kept me on track. He provided me with outlines for all the essay topics. After I wrote an essay, he would go over the essay line-by-line and I would have an opportunity to revise the essay, sometimes more than once. After I finished all the essay topics, he had me rewrite the essays from my last bar exam (July 2018). I could not believe how much I improved from my last bar exam. I also decided to work on the MBE with Steve. I worked on thousands of MBE questions online, and on the questions that I missed I received detailed explanations on why the answers were wrong and what were the right answers. I was very confident walking into the test center on the day of the exam. My confidence turned out to be totally justified. I passed. Thank you, Steve! You are the best. I strongly recommend Steve to anyone who wants to pass the California Bar Exam.”

Elena Giannattasio (Fordham Law School, LLM Program and Luiss University, Italy)

“I had failed the CA Bar Exam before, I was working and out of law school for quite some time. Last time I had taken the CA Bar was 5 years ago. I was admitted in NY in 2013 so I could have taken the attorney portion of the Bar only but when I contacted Steve his advise was crucial in my passing. He told me it would be foolish not to take the MBE portion as well as that was my biggest strength. I still remember his words “ the day of the MBE you will walk into the examination room with a friend”.  Steve not only helped me work on my strength so that I could achieve even a higher result on the MBE portion but he was crucial in addressing my weaknesses, such as the written portion of the exam. His outlines and his approach to both PT and Essays are superb! Steve always gave me the best advises he kept me focused and in times of weakness he kept reminding me to trust the process and not to give up. I have to thank Steve if when I open the my Bar Exam screen last night I was able to finally see  “PASS”!!”

J. Q.

“When I contacted Steve I already encountered failure: four unsuccessful attempts despite graduating from a top 20 law school. I was confused, discouraged, and desperate. Steve’s coaching gave me with the tools that led to my success: I am an attorney in California today. Steve Zikman’s approach worked for me. Many others didn’t. Discipline: Steve’s method of outlining each subject tested, drafting practice essays, and then reviewing each practice essay line by line – until I got it right – provided me a disciplined path towards the essay portion. Similarly, his MBE program taught me to quickly identify the subject and issue being tested, to apply the applicable law, and to choose the appropriate answer – with confidence.  Clarity: Working with Steve dramatically improved my essay writing skill. Steve taught me to comprehensively address the issues, and sub-issues, presented on any given essay subject tested. His method emphasizes clarity of analysis in a way that makes essays and practice tests easier to write.  Tenacity: Steve only ever asked for my best effort, day in and day out. His program emphasized the academics, yes, but also squarely addressed the extracurricular challenges of approaching the California Bar: the time commitment, life stresses, and test anxiety. Steve taught me to fight for every available point during every minute I was taking the examination. I will tell anyone who will listen: The first time I prepared with Steve Zikman was the last time I took the California Bar Examination.”

Anne Easton (New York Law School)

“I’m a five-time California Bar Exam taker, one time passer. Steve helped me on attempt numbers 3 and 5. I worked with Steve on the July 2017 exam and failed by only about 15 points, which was more than 40 points higher than my previous exam. I credit that to Steve’s pedagogy. Failing on try number 3 is wholly credited to personal issues with confidence and anxiety, rather than Steve’s methods. In terms of those methods, he’s tough and no nonsense  because he expects you to pass. His outlines are impeccable and he frames legal concepts in such a way that makes it easy to understand and remember. He color codes California specific laws and puts them right next to the federal law, too, which was particularly helpful for me. He doesn’t like excuses, and if you need someone to keep you on your toes, in line, and prepared to pass, Steve is your guy.  I passed in February 2019 with a 30% pass rate. I changed many things in my life, I took 2 months off of work per his recommendation if I could fiscally do so, re-engaged Steve for his services and treated this exam like a job, 8-hours a day, 6 days a week. The second time working with Steve is slightly different because you already know his method – he really focuses on your weaknesses.  For me, it was mostly the essays and timing. So I did a lot of essay drills and then revising those essays. The best way I can sum up Steve is that he almost acts as your bar exam therapist (or a pro football team coach preparing players for the Super Bowl) throughout the process. Overall, I knew that the personal changes I made in my life, coupled with Steve’s guidance,  would help me eventually put this exam behind me, and I was right.”

Melannie G. (Thomas Jefferson School of Law)

“I finally passed the CA Bar (February 2019), and I truly believe that I couldn’t have done it without Steve as my tutor/coach. I failed the bar several times since first taking it in February 2016. I went the commercial route at first, trying BarBri and then Themis. I tried “self-studying,” combining everything I had, including my husband’s and his friends’ bar outlines that were all forwarded to me. Still, no matter how much study material I had, I experienced failure after failure, after failure. I soon realized that I really needed someone to coach me through this awful bar exam process and specifically tell me what was wrong with my essays, especially when I had passing scores on practice essays through BarBri and Themis. I found Steve after researching numerous CA Bar tutors online, but ultimately chose him because I wanted a non-BS tutor, and because I was so, so tired of failing.  Steve takes the time to understand your strengths and weaknesses, and helps you improve your essays and PTs in a way that appeals to the graders, earn points, and get a passing grade. Steve reviews essays with you line-by-line, giving you constructive notes, and allowing you to understand the essay from a different perspective and improve your analysis. His materials are straightforward and every assignment has a purpose. Needless to say, Steve’s specific approach for writing essays gave me the confidence I never had to tackle any convoluted bar exam essay given to me. As for the MBEs, Steve’s program keeps you on track with doing MBE’s regularly and his assignments really help you understand your answer choices. By the time I took the bar, I completed just over 2,000 questions and averaged 80%.  Steve didn’t just help me prepare to take the bar exam, but he also prepared me mentally. After failing so many times, I was in a cycle of depression from not being able to pass this nightmare of an exam. Fortunately, Steve kept me focused and motivated the entire time, and was available to his students even during testing days. I can honestly say that Steve genuinely cares about his students and wants them to pass (for him/herself).  Having Steve as my bar tutor/coach was literally a life-changer and I’m extremely grateful to have worked with him. I would recommend him to anyone, especially repeaters, in a heartbeat. Thanks to Steve, I can finally move on with my life!!!”

Irene Schwieger (Vermont Law School)

“After two unsuccessful attempts at the CA bar using Barbri, and despite receiving a close to passing score, I felt defeated and unsure about whether I’d ever be able to pass the bar. I decided to give it one last shot with professional help, and hired Steve Zikman. I am so thankful that I did. Steve’s approach is personalized, focused, and intense. You really have to put in the work—he will not sugarcoat his feedback if you aren’t trying hard enough or putting in the requisite amount of time. Steve is always to the point and sometimes stern, but it turned out to be exactly what I needed to finally get me to a passing score. Steve has a very specific writing method that will help any student get a passing score on the essays, as well as a gradual and manageable way of improving on the MBEs. Yes, Steve’s services are costly. But if you need someone to whip you into bar exam shape, Steve is your man.”

Jacqueline P (California Western School of Law)

“I worked with Steve Zikman for the February 2019 bar exam and I am so happy that I made the investment. Every session, Steve will show up for you 100% and bring a strict, serious, and committed energy to the preparation process. I failed the exam several times and decided to try again four years later, so having a strategy and plan of attack was imperative. Steve helped provide that foundation and study structure. He is knowledgeable, blunt, direct, and will juice every bit of energy and ability out of you. He is tough, but with purpose. He knows this exam and understands what test takers need to put on paper to pass. It was exactly what I needed – you’ll be surprised what you can produce when someone is pushing you like that! Through his coaching, high standards, and my willingness to do the work, my essays improved markedly and I ultimately earned a passing score.”

Danielle Smith (Chapman Law School)

“Steve was a HUGE role in my success on passing the bar exam. I am thankful for his constant support throughout this process. He really knows what he is doing and keeps you on track throughout the months and days leading up to the bar exam. I would recommend him to anyone whether it’s your first time taking the bar or whether it’s your 4th time. Use steve. He will guide you in the right direction!”

Mojgan KH (University of Guilan, Iran) (University of San Diego School of Law)

“After failing the CA bar exam many times and as a foreign law graduate, I realized that I needed a tutor and coach who would guide me in how to pass the hardest bar exam in the U.S. Steve was the one who coached me in this journey and I cannot thank him enough because I eventually passed the February 2019 CA bar exam. His method and bar prep is a unique and smart method that you cannot find in any other program. One of the best resources that he provides for the students is his Flash Outlines and specially the PR outline that I liked the most. He specifically improved and changed the way of my legal analysis in a way that at the last days of my prep I was so confident that I could answer any type of question in the bar exam. I also had difficulty in passing the MBE portion of the exam. Steve’s MBE drilldowns were the best tool of practicing MBE and eventually the reason why I passed CA bar exam. I highly recommend Steve’s program to everyone and specially to foreign law graduates.”

Saif K. (Whittier Law School)

“The first time I took the Bar exam, I used a commercial prep. course to prepare and saw almost no improvement on my scores. Next, I tried a popular online tutoring service, which I instantly regretted, as I found myself frequently asking my tutor to be more specific about how to improve. Then I found The Strategic Bar Coach and he completely changed the way I approached the CA Bar Exam. Steve Zikman delivers the kind of stern, upfront, and honest feedback necessary to pass the exam. He provided weekly updates on my MBE scores and had great outlines to help with studying. The Strategic Bar Coach, went line by line on my Essays and PT, telling me what was specifically wrong with my responses, why they needed to be changed, and he give me examples of how they should be written. This kind of honest, open, and firm communication coupled with his unique method to tackle the written Essays, PT, and MBE’s are without a doubt one of the strongest factors that helped me pass the 2019 February CA Bar Examination. Thanks for everything Steve!!!”

R.W. (UC Irvine)

“I had failed the bar exam and was completely overwhelmed. I did not know what to do, or whether repeating my bar prep course would result in a different outcome. I called two friends who were repeaters from the year ahead of me and they both said the same thing: Call Steve Zikman. Steve helped me identify what bad habits where inhibiting my success. We worked through numerous essay questions to correct my structure, my misuse of the facts, and my approach on timing. I worked through hundreds of MBE questions to finally see patterns of why I was getting questions wrong. Steve’s approach works because it is not a copy and paste job; it focuses you and what is holding youback from passing the bar. When I saw my name on the pass list I knew that calling Steve was the best decision I made. I highly encourage you to do the same.”

Meeghan T. (USC)

“I was referred to Steve by my friend who had also passed with his services, and that was the best thing anyone did for me after I failed my first California bar exam. Throughout law school, I was persuaded that Barbri was the best bar prep company, which is why I used the company’s services. However, once I started studying with Steve, I realized how unorganized, vague, and impersonal the program was. Steve personalized my program to fit me, taking into consideration my strengths and weaknesses. The program really challenged me the way Barbri just did not: I did almost one essay per week and Steve guided me through each and every essay (and PT) so that they were organized and significantly easier to read for the graders. He also put me through 25-50 MC questions per day. I honestly don’t think I could’ve passed without him, and his services were worth every penny.”

Jenna Y. (USC)

“I took the bar exam in July 2018 and ended up with the dreaded “this name does not appear on the pass list.” I already had a job and if I didn’t pass the next time I would not have been able to keep it. I couldn’t fail this next time, so I began searching for a tutor with a great track record, someone that could keep me on the right schedule, as I was studying and working at the same time. I came across Steve zikman and saw countless people who had repeatedly failed and finally after working with Steve were able to pass.. sounded like just the person I wanted. The first time I took the bar exam I made the mistake of relying solely on a one size fits all approach with a big name brand. But that was not my learning style, I learn best from individual attention and hands on practice, something I didn’t get with Barbri. I did not use Barbri in February only Steve, Adaptibar, and BarEssays and I passed. Steve went over each essay, some multiple times, to refine the places where I was losing easy points. My problem wasn’t in knowing the law but in being able to write in a way that made the graders job easy to give me points. I also worked with Steve to improve my PTs, a place where I was really weak. I didn’t realize how easy it was to not follow the directions. He gave me a game plan and fool proof structure when approaching them and we did multiple practice PTs till it was a formula. So happy I came across Steve in my tutor search and ended up working with him.”

Steven C. (Western State College of Law)

“I had been unsuccessful on the bar on two prior occasions, both of which, I received ‘second reads.’  Though I thought I knew the law well enough to pass the exam, Steve taught me how to better write my exam so that the bar grader could better find my issues and analysis.  He provided with strategies such as using my best analysis at the beginning of the essay and writing about “minor issues” towards the end.  Additionally, Steve taught how to write an exam, so that even if I did not know that law sufficiently to pass, I could make the essay ‘look pretty,’ so that the bar graders may not find misstatements or incomplete rule statements.  Steve also taught my to elementise each rule of law and then lead with each element.  Steve provides MBE drill downs, where I was to look at all of my wrong answers and then determine why I got them wrong.  Steve then trended my repeat mistakes so that I could better review those areas of law that I was repeatedly missing.  By doing this, I was also able to recognize patterns in MBE questions so that I could better recognize the correct answer.  This was extremely helpful.  Although the price may appear expensive, I went from a two time bar failer to a one time bar passer.”

L.B. (UC Irvine Law School)

“When I hired Steve, I had failed the bar exam by about ten points. I was frustrated and needed guidance on what I had done right in preparing and taking the exam, and what else I could do to ensure I got through the finish line the next time. Steve’s program gave me a process and a plan for test day that helped me fight test anxiety and prepared me for whatever questions the exam had to offer. Steve’s feedback on and advice for essays and MBE’s is practical and it works. He is tough and his no-nonsense approach is exactly what I needed during such a long and grueling process where it is easy to get discouraged. I highly recommend Steve and his program.”

Robert W. (Thomas Jefferson School of Law)

“I failed the CA Bar Exam several times prior to working with Steve. I needed a lot of help with timing and simplifying my writing style. I had tried most of the commercial bar prep courses and apps which were essentially all the same. I was stuck in a depressing cycle of study for several months, wait for results, grieve, seclude myself from society, repeat. I stumbled across a review of Steve’s tutoring services on Yelp and was immediately skeptical due to the vast number of excellent, upbeat reviews. Was this the Holy Grail of CA Bar prep I had just stumbled upon or an ingenious scam preying on the hopeless? How could so many students be so complimentary of a CA Bar Exam tutor? Within the first few sessions of working with Steve I learned why. Steve’s methods are not taught by any commercial prep program but they make more sense and more importantly they actually work. His outlines are actually useful and not some 2,000 page telephone book that is as useful as, well.. a telephone book. Steve gave me a whole new perspective about the CA Bar Exam which helped my writing and reduced my anxiety. Every task and instruction Steve gives you during your work together is packed full of meaning and mini-lessons. If you know very little about the law, you can probably still pass the essay portion of the exam by utilizing Steve’s techniques. As such, Steve will challenge your critical analysis and give you invaluable insight into how to approach answering essays, mbe questions, and the performance test. In conclusion, if you have committed to taking the bar exam one last time I suggest calling Steve and he will do everything he can to help you achieve your goal.”

Umber H. (City Law School: City University London)

“I wrote the California Bar exam in July 2018 and Steve was a tremendous help throughout the entire Bar process. I’m an attorney from Canada and was starting from scratch in terms of everything I knew about the CA bar. Steve is tough but fair and his process is challenging but so is the Bar. Steve’s tutoring prepared me both mentally and physically for this exam. (1) Essays: Although I have always prided myself on being a good essay writer, I realized only after working with Steve that I didn’t know how to write an essay that the bar graders can easily read through and extract relevant issues from. His step by step essay process makes you understand not what to write, but how to write to get you the most points. (2) MBE’s: His 3 question process for the MBE was ingrained in my brain by the time I was writing the actual exam. It helps you understand how to quickly eliminate the wrong answers and use your best guess or judgment to choose the right one. His practice questions and rigorous drilldowns I am certain are what helped me pass the MBE portion. (3) PT’s: Steve’s process for the PT’s helped me to realize how important paying attention to instructions is, and that misreading one sentence can mean the difference between passing and failing. Organization, structure and attention to detail are especially important skills he taught me through his practice PT’s. (4) Price: Although I did find that the fees were more expensive than I had expected, what I appreciated is that Steve offers different bundles based on your budget and the amount of tutoring you think you need. Personally speaking, it was absolutely worth it.”

Charlie F. (University of North Carolina School of Law)

“I failed on my first attempt of the CA Bar Exam with one of the big bar review programs and decided to look for tutors – I found Steve and I couldn’t be happier. He tailored the program for my strengths and weaknesses and gave me support when I needed it, but he didn’t sugarcoat my performance – he kept me on track and gave me the structure I needed to study and pass the exam. Above all, he kept me accountable, which I sorely needed. After just one of his MBE exercises, I started looking at the test in a completely new light. The essays I wrote on my first attempt were jumbled messes compared to the essays I wrote under Steve’s instruction. His outlines are fantastic and easily accessible and the exercises he uses for MBE review are stellar. Studying with Steve will change the way you look at the bar exam and will give you what you need to pass. It did for me!”

Mike L. (Suffolk Law School, Boston, MA)

“After three failed attempts at taking the CA bar exam, I sought the help of a tutor, and ultimately decided on Steve Zikman. He elevated my approach, particularly in the written portion of the exam, and provided me with an excellent method and structure for tackling any essay question. He also provided me with outlines that were particularly helpful with preparing for the written portion of the exam. His program also allowed me to do a higher volume of MBE questions than I had ever done before, and, perhaps most importantly, he provided excellent analysis and feedback to my MBE practice results, so that I knew which substantive areas required additional focus and improvement. I was over 150 points short of passing on the exam prior to working with Steve. After my first time working with Steve, I improved 90 points (Feb ’18), leaving me just 65 points short of passing. I worked with Steve again for a second time, preparing for the July ’18 exam, and he provided an approach and game plan that was tailored to my previous results and getting me over that final hump.  I’m happy to say that, with Steve’s help, I passed the July ’18 exam. Working with Steve was the big difference between my previous unsuccessful attempts, and my final two attempts, which culminated with me finally passing the exam.”

R. P. (Michigan State University College of Law)

“Steve’s guidance and support was absolutely crucial to my success in passing the 2018 California Bar exam—one of the 12% that passed as an out-of-state repeat taker!  I spent weeks searching for the most qualified person to work with—this turned out to be Steve.  His program is tremendous, including outlines, practice questions, detailed conversations and constructive criticism.  Where else do you get a line-by-line review of your tests, and an HONEST assessment of where you are and what you need to do?  I felt confident going into the exam knowing that I had repeatedly practiced essay questions, PTs, and MBEs under realistic time pressure, and had been coached on my personal areas for success.  I cannot anyone recommend more, thank you Steve!!!!”

Clifford H Young (Thomas Jefferson School of Law)

“I cannot express how tremendously thankful I am for Steve’s help in passing the 2018 bar exam where only 16% of repeat takers passed.  I was unsuccessful several times in the past while using one of the major bar prep programs and I needed something different.  If you’re struggling in writing or MBEs, Steve’s strategy will help you in either area.  Prior to using Steve, my previous essay scores were in the 55’s and 60’s but Steve’s approach obviously helped me see the mistakes I was making in my structure and analysis.  In addition, I saw my MBE score increase 30 points using his strategy. His packages aren’t cheap but they are worth every dime.  I strongly recommend Steve for anyone who is willing to bust their ass and take tough criticism in order to conquer the bar exam.”

Corey H. (Loyola Law School)

“I passed the California Bar thanks to Steve where only 16% of repeat takers passed. Steve’s method is targeted, specific, and extremely helpful. For essays, Steve initially identifies your writing style, strengths and weaknesses and even your personality and how it comes across in your writing. He is able to expand on your writing abilities by targeting the specific level of detail the examiners are looking for. He explains where to impress them and where to get to the point to ensure you have a thorough essay in the time provided. For MBE’s, Steve’s Drilldowns help you focus on what you got wrong, why you got it wrong, how many of that category you got wrong and it allows you to truly see the patterns and fix the problem in bulk which will increase your score. I took the bar 3 times and passed on the third. I took Barbri classes for my first time and a private tutor for the second, but nothing compared to the specific targeting, repetition and dedication you will find in Steve’s course. I highly recommend Steve Zikman to anyone taking the bar for the first time or on repeat. Thank you Steve!”

Kasee K. (Golden Gate University, School of Law)

“Steve helped me immediately identify/confirm where my strengths were and where my weaknesses lied. His program is tough, but in a way I needed to ensure I remained on the right path. We continually worked on where I needed the most help without neglecting my strengths. We’d also tweak and hone in on new areas that came up during my practice. Going into the exam, I was calm and new I could rely on my training to take me whatever was thrown my way.”

C.R. (UC Irvine School of Law)

“I passed the California bar exam with Steve’s guidance. He showed me several recurring patterns in my writing that were hurting my essay scores and he provided strategies to help eliminate those patterns. Drilling the structured, formula-like approach to each bar exam topic and reviewing my rewritten essays  and PTs for improvements or mistakes with Steve was absolutely invaluable to my preparation.”

Joe P. (Santa Clara Law)

“Stop searching for bar-prep tutors!! Steve is the best possibility. I wasted my time, money, and energy on ineffective test-prep companies for 2 years of my life… Then I found Steve!!  Seriously… I felt like it was impossible to pass until Steve showed me how passing works. His method is designed to impress the graders persistently. Steve knows how to pass this exam. His system for writing Bar answers is very different from the other tutors; I failed using another private tutor in LA and Barbri, both of which gave me too much material to possibly study and without enough direct guidance writing the actual essays. The words “strategic” and “coach” should be EMPHASIZED because Steve demands hard work and focus throughout the program. Steve’s approach to winning the bar graders’ approval is designed to pass if you’re willing to open your mind and heart to new habits and strategies. My personal challenge was organizing my writing clearly. I wrote rule statements in prose, I applied the entire rule to the entire facts without breaking out the law into several sub-rules, and my analysis read like a bulky discussion of all the elements in one broad conclusion. Steve taught me how to write bar essays mechanically. I went from spinning in circles trying to answer everything at once, to methodically working through each issue, sub-rule, element, and factor like a checklist with control. I went from never finishing an essay to hitting every issue and going deep into bonus point territory with time to spare, thanks to Steve’s approach. I cannot express enough the difference I felt studying for the Bar with Steve. It is truly a special program that gives you the strongest tools possible to pass by utilizing his masterful formula. I scored a 1240, 1280, 1350, then passed with Steve. The biggest difference was the massive confidence I felt taking the exam once I had the tools Steve provides in his program. Most of all, I was excited to work hard to pass with Steve because he is such a great coach. He
knows how to inspire greatness in law students through the tutoring process. I was invigorated to try my absolute best and work my hardest in Steve’s program like never before. Steve’s program is challenging, but it is fair and fruitful – just like the bar exam! If passing feels impossible: I truly believe the best solution is a) Steve’s class and b) commitment. Good luck!”

Brandon Boozari (Southwestern Law School)

“Steve did an amazing job of helping me get my essay writing skills locked in. I had a major problem of writing a lot about a little as opposed to writing a little about a lot. Because of this, I would miss numerous of issues and burn all of my time on only one or two major issues. Steve’s program really helped me practice my timing to address this issue. In addition to the essays, Steve’s MBE drilldowns using Adaptibar was a game changer for my MBE score. Not only do you do 1,000+ questions, but Steve requires you to go back through all of your wrong answers and mark up why it is that you got that answer wrong and what you can do in the future to ensure that does not happen again. Overall, I highly recommend Steve’s program if you want
someone who is truly going to give you all of the tools you need to succeed on this massively difficult test.”

Alex Murer (University of San Diego School of Law)

“The first time I took the bar exam I felt that I did every thing I could to prepare.  I completed each assignment Barbri gave me, and walked into the exam feeling ready for whatever it could throw at me.  When I checked my results and read the dreaded “this name does not appear on the pass list” I didn’t know what to do.  I scheduled a call with Steve and felt he had what I needed to get my name on the pass list.  There was a lot of work to be done, but with his unique approach I made the necessary changes.  As we worked together I saw my writing improve every week.  Steve’s method stripped away the unnecessary fluff in other bar programs, and really focused on what I needed to know.  He kept me accountable, helped me develop a well-planned strategy for taking the test, and was the extra motivation I needed to put in the hard work.  Looking back, Barbri gave many unnecessary assignments that didn’t move me closer to passing the bar.  It felt great to check the box and move on to my next day’s work, but I wasn’t focusing on the areas I really needed to.  Barbri was a shotgun approach.  They throw every thing at you and hope some of it will help.  Steve’s method is like a sniper.  Focused and effective.  For me, that made all the difference.”

Chelsea S. (UC Irvine Law School)

“While many reputable bar study programs rely on volume of material and provide studies with little insight, support, or constructive criticism, Steve gets results with purposeful assignments and extensive, thoughtful feedback. Steve’s approach allows his students to fine tune their skills, understand the questions posed to them, and improve their self-awareness and confidence with respect to the exam. He is committed to his students and supports them every step of the way. I wish that I had found Steve and invested in his services from the start–he was the winning edge that I needed to pass the bar!”

Jenny S. (La Verne College of Law)

“I finally passed after failing the bar multiple times! The decision to hire Steve as my coach made all the difference.  I needed guidance on my essay and PT writing because while my MBE scores were steadily rising, my essay and PT scores were not getting any better.  During our session, Steve painstakingly reviewed each of my essays line by line.  I was able to fix bad habits and also learned strategies to save time.  Steve is a no-nonsense coach who is focused on seeing you pass.  If you need someone to hold your hand and listen to your feelings, he is not the guy.  If you want to work hard and get results, this is the coach for you.  If you failed the last bar, don’t wallow in your sadness, get yourself someone who can pull you over the finish line once and for all.  For me, that person was Steve and I will always be grateful to him.  Wishing you all the best!”

Daniel B. (UCLA School of Law)

“The Strategic Bar Coach transformed my approach to the bar exam, which I believe was the only way I could have passed on my second attempt.   The first time, I did Barbri, completed 100% of the assigned work, and studied for 12 hours/day for six weeks.  While I knew all the law I needed to know to pass, I knew comparatively little about bar exam test-taking strategy, which proved equally, if not more important.  Steve was an excellent “coach,” in every sense of the word.  He has a no-bullshit, kick-in-the-ass approach that absolutely gets results.  Specifically, I struggled with writing quickly and finishing the written portion of the exam within the time allotted.  Steve reviews and analyzes your writing line-by-line to ensure that you are not wasting time including anything that will not directly increase your point score.  I came to realize that this exam is really not about how smart you are, it is much more about how you execute.  Steve teaches you to execute like a bar grader filling out a sample answer key.  I am very glad I trusted in Steve and his methods.  He helped me close the book on this exam and move on with my life.  I will always be grateful for that.”

James E. (Whittier Law School)

“It took me 6 times to take the bar exam. The bar exam was an absolute nightmare, and seemed to be never-ending. I took Barbri, Kaplan, and even my own mixture of both. Nothing seemed to work. I was referred to Steve by another attorney and coincidentally other people I knew had used Steve as well. Going with Steve was the best investment I ever made. He cares very much about his students, but is a no bullsh** kind of guy. Steve will tell you how it is, which is surprisingly something no other bar company ever did. Steve is very regimented and has a “strategic” system that works!!! He gives you all the material you need, lays out your schedule, and goes over all the material “line by line” (literally). I am extremely thankful and forever indebted for all of Steve’s help. Steve is the way to go.”

Ricardo L. (University of California, Irvine School of Law)

“Steve Zikman is the number one reason I passed the February 2017 California bar. In particular, he helped me raise my MBE score to a passing score within a couple of weeks (something I thought was impossible at the time). His structure and overall methodology was key to helping me understand why I was getting questions wrong, and it helped me rewire the way my brain was thinking. Moreover, Steve’s essay structure was a major reason I was able to stay organize and answer the question directly. Additionally, Steve provided great individual feedback and I always felt he was heavily invested in my success. I highly recommend Steve to anyone who believes they need help and feel hopeless, because Steve will re-instill that hope and ensure that you pass.”

M.N. (Loyola Law School)

“After failing the CA Bar exam three times, I knew that I needed to drastically change my approach. I chose to work with Steve after reading his great reviews online and talking to him about his program. I really liked how Steve met with me via telephone, which allowed me to spend that valuable time studying rather than driving across town to meet up with him. Steve simplified the process by providing me with an organized and formulaic approach to both the PTs and the Essays. He ensured that I started practicing immediately, which was something I failed to do prior to working with him. By the time the Bar exam rolled around, I knew exactly how to structure my essay and what the graders were looking for, regardless of the subject. Steve provided me with essay tips and attack plans for exam day, which were very helpful. Additionally, Steve also helped me improve my MBEs through his drilldown process, which was intensive but invaluable. Lastly, Steve checked in with me throughout the exam in case I had any questions or needed any advice. Hiring Steve was the best decision I have ever made. Give him a call, you will not regret it.”

S.M. (University of San Diego School of Law)

“Steve’s techniques armed me with the confidence I needed to pass the California bar exam! I struggled the most with multiple choice, although there was obviously room for improvement in my writing as well. Specifically, Steve uses an online multiple choice program that commercial bar preparation programs do not, with actual licensed questions from previous bar exams. Steve tracked my progress online and forced me to do double the number of multiple choice questions than my commercial program asked of me. He tracked my specifics, including at what point during multiple choice questions I was most frequently answering the question correctly (i.e. at the 1 minute mark) and at what point my accuracy level decreased. As for writing, his road-map approach to essays and PTs, focused on what the bar exam grader actually wanted to see to help you pass the exam. It focused my writing so that I was truly answering the call of the question, something that commercial bar preparation programs do not teach you, let alone focus on. He went line-by-line through my essays and PTs to show me what was working and what wasn’t. Further, his outlines provide specific tips of key words and/or concepts to hit on to impress the bar exam graders. Steve focused on my weaknesses but also highlighted my strong suits to re-build my confidence. Overall, if you are dedicated to the program, Steve is inherently dedicated to you and your success!”

Haik C. (Thomas Jefferson School of Law)

“I am incredibly grateful to Steve for helping me pass the bar exam. I tried different methods for preparing for the bar, including a bar prep course and studying on my own without taking any courses. But it was the collaboration with Steve that enabled me to acquire the ultimate prize. Steve was able to evaluate my strengths and weaknesses early on and tailor the program accordingly. I would sometimes panic when he would grade my essay with a low score. But he would always remind me that there’s still plenty of time and the memorization portion comes in the end, so many of the mistakes I made when writing that particular essay I won’t make on the exam. Surely, he was right. Some of the essays with similar topics in which I scored below 65 during practice showed up on the actual bar exam. Had it not been for his advice, I would probably panic. But instead, I walked out on the last day of the exam knowing that I had passed. Lastly, make no mistake it’s a two-way street. As the test-taker, you must be fully committed to giving it all you’ve got; otherwise, you’ll be wasting both your time and Steve’s time. Just because he is a phenomenal tutor does not mean you will automatically pass. At times you might feel exhausted or question his methods, but you must stick to the game plan and do as he instructs. All in all, it’s the best investment you can make both for preparing for the bar and being confident on the day you walk into the exam.”

AC (Harvard Law School)

“Hiring Steve was a game changer. I had taken the bar three times prior. Twice with a structured test prep course and once on my own. Things just didn’t click for me no matter how hard I tried. I took amazing notes and studied 10-14 hours each day. Still I failed. But Steve provided the tools to make things click. He really broke down how to write essays and gave me assignments for the MBE that were manageable.  The notion of quality over quantity definitely rang true when studying with Steve. I actually ended up doing less work than I did on my prior attempts, spending more time studying my mistakes than anything else. One of the things I valued the most was the in depth essay review process. We would spend a week on one essay, revising the same essay a couple times before he said I was good to go. And the feedback was delivered right away and consisted of concrete information I could actually use to make my essays better. This was stark difference compared to the typical and useless “more analysis” comment, “incorrect law” comment, or a grade you receive two weeks later with no feedback.  He also provides extensive notes. His notes were very helpful in the essay practice of the studying process. And I used my own adjusted notes for memorizing since I memorize in a particular way. In addition to Steve, I had to approach the bar with a different mindset; one that took away the stress, pressure, and anxiety that governed the last exams. Combined, everything finally began to click, and as strange as it sounds, even for me, I found the last bar extremely easy and fun to do. For the first time I walked out knowing I passed. I highly recommend hiring Steve to get you through this unfortunate rite of passage.”

Donna K. (California Western School of Law)

“After receiving my results from the July 2016 bar exam it was clear that I needed to improve my essays and PTs. Steve was able to hone in on my weaknesses within a short amount of time. Steve provided me with a game plan and structure for the essays that assisted my analysis and improved my writing to be more concise. Steve’s method and organization for the PT was incredibly helpful in addressing the call of the question and keeping me focused throughout the long PT. Steve’s critiques and comments were direct and to the point; there was no beating around the bush or wasting of valuable time. His constructive criticism immensely improved my essay and PT writing. After passing the February 2017, CA bar, I would highly recommend Steve Zikman as a bar tutor.”

E.F. (Southwestern Law School)

“Being unsuccessful after two attempts, I knew I needed to change my approach and preparation to this exam. I was weak in all three areas of the exam, but not by much. I just needed that ‘extra push.’ I found Steve after searching online for personal tutors and I subsequently reached out to a few of his former students. Steve’s method completely changed my writing style and made me understand how to present the information accurately and concisely to the examiners. Further, I began to understand why I was answering MBE questions incorrectly and how to avoid making the same mistake in the future. Steve’s approach to conquering the exam is precise, thorough and effective. It simply works. Beyond that, Steve instilled the confidence in me to overcome the mental hurdle that the exam poses. I highly recommend Steve to any student, regardless of their weaknesses. I am finally on the pass list, and you will be too.”

Justin A. Hall (Thomas Jefferson School of Law)

“After taking the California Bar exam 4 times and hiring Steve twice, I am proud to say that I passed! Despite my failure on the third attempt, I do not hold him responsible because my computer crashed. Even still, I was points away from passing – the closest I had ever been! Learning his strategy to tackle an essay, PT, or MBE question is the only reason why I was so successful. The outlines are straightforward, easy to understand and provide many tips for analysis; The practice essays and PTs are comprehensive, covering many issues of a given subject; And, the drill-down exercises hone in on practicing new writing techniques while also providing an opportunity to understand areas of weakness. What I liked most about Steve is that he holds you accountable to learn the law and get the work done. Knowing that I had a scheduled phone call with him motivated me to get up every single morning to study and not slack off. While his services are pricey, there is a reason for that. He will teach you effective and time-saving strategies that will ultimately help you finally defeat the California Bar exam.”

Olivia S. (University of San Diego School of Law)

“After multiple attempts at the California Bar Exam, I needed a tutor who would personalize a program to my individual needs. Steve went above and beyond to help me. He helped me work through the frustrations I had when I was writing good essays, but just couldn’t seem to make it over the hump. The MBE was my weakness, but with Steve’s customized feedback and MBE Drilldowns, my scores continued to improve. It made all the difference to have Steve in my corner during the exam. His phone calls at lunch during the exam gave me the motivation and encouragement I needed to get through the PTs in the afternoon. Steve also helped me change my attitude and find my inner fire. I was able to go in to the exam with a fighting attitude which made all the difference for me. I couldn’t have done it without all of Steve’s help!”

P.D. (Seattle University School of Law)

“If you are a practicing attorney and you want to pass the California Bar Exam the first time, you should hire Steve Zikman.  I was not a traditional bar examinee as I had been practicing law for nearly 10 years.  I took the July 2016 Attorney Bar Exam and enrolled in a traditional bar review course.  The traditional course was not geared for the Attorney Bar Exam, and I did not pass the July 2016 bar exam. I knew I had to find another method, and I found Steve Zikman. Steve is an excellent bar exam coach. Steve has a very strict method that he instills from day one with his coaching. When I sat for the February 2017 bar exam, I was extremely prepared and confident because I had a plan coming in with Steve’s coaching.  Steve demands that you follow his method, and I know that it was his method that helped me pass the February 2017 California Bar Exam. Trust the method and you too will pass the California bar exam.”

Mary Girges (Southwestern Law School)

“After having taken the bar four times and failing four times I knew that I needed to do something different. I found Steve on Google and decided to give him a call and talk to him about my options. He gave me a number of different packages that I could choose from and I decided to pick the one that was best geared towards my problem areas which were the essays and the MBEs. The outlines that Steve provided helped me stay focused on what was important and what wasn’t. His technique for writing the essays made my writing very clear and concise and made it easy to outline the question in a manner that would cover all of the elements. I was having an extremely hard time with the multiple-choice questions and Steve helped me see my problem areas and where I needed more practice and help. I had done fairly well on the PTs so I decided to do a smaller package regarding those, and I’m sure that Steve’s help and techniques help push me over the edge and solidify those on the bar. I had a tutor previous to Steve and also took Barbri to no avail. Steve taught me to have confidence in my writing and in the techniques he was teaching me and it all paid off at the end because I finally passed the bar!”

Radha K. (University of San Diego School of Law)

“After not passing the bar the first time around by a few points, I knew I had to do something different because Barbri did not work for me. After searching for a few tutors and talking with each of them, I decided to go with Steve. His method is very straight-forward and clear because he teaches you how to organize your essay with clear headings. Barbri did not help me systematically organize my essay because I was throwing out elements and not analyzing the facts under each element. However, Steve’s method helped me break down my essays in such a way that helped me analyze each element specifically and thoroughly. Steve’s ‘get to the point’ personality and way of teaching really made it very clear for me because I knew exactly what I needed to focus on and what needed to be improved as I completed each assignment. He was very tough on me and never sugar-coated anything, but I think that is truly what made me pass the second time around. Specifically, it helped me stay on top of all my assignments, diligently correct my mistakes, organize my responses to get a 65-75 on each essay, and stick to my schedule. Lastly, my weakest subject was the MBEs. Steve introduced me to AdaptiBar, which I highly recommend to any re-taker or even first time taker. I did a handful of drilldowns with Steve and even though it was a very long and tedious process, my MBE score got significantly higher. As a re-taker, I not only had to study diligently but also smartly. I do not think Barbri or any commercial bar course really taught me how to study ‘smartly’ in regards to the essays or MBE’s. However, after every session with Steve, I knew that I was studying smarter because I finally understood what the reader was looking for or wanted in an essay (which is key). Without Steve, I don’t think I would have passed this bar exam because I would have made the same mistakes over again and stuck to a commercial bar prep course without taking the time to actually figure out what the graders want.”

David E. (McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific)

“After failing the California Bar Exam for a third time, it was clear that I needed help to demonstrate my legal knowledge better on the written exam. Steve explained in extensive detail what I should do for each part of the written exam and what I should not do, from the introduction to the analysis to the conclusion. No detail important for the exam is neglected with Steve. Steve’s approach to the test was thorough and gave me concrete rules to writing that kept me focused, calm, and collected for the exam. Finally, it is important to mention that Steve keeps his student on track. When reviewing a specific written exam with me, Steve provided substantial objective feedback. Steve was there to remind me that parts of my work were good without neglecting to mention where I needed to improve. Steve genuinely cares about helping his students pass the bar exam, and this shows in his program.”

Ted H. (University of San Diego School of Law)

“I failed the bar exam twice and then became busy with work. The next thing I knew, it had been two years and my moral character was about to expire so I knew I only had one chance to take the bar exam again. I was rusty and didn’t remember much because it had been two years. Steve knew this and helped whip me into shape. He is not a ‘hold-your-hand’-type of tutor. He is blunt and sometimes brutally honest, but that is the kind of tutor I needed and many people who didn’t pass the bar need. If you have an ego going into studying, you need to put it aside and Steve will let you know that. There were times I questioned his methods, but if it wasn’t for him then I do not think I would have passed or even received got close. Take it from someone who wasn’t close to passing, used a different tutor that cost twice as much before and took two years off, Steve is the tutor you need.”

Tommy P.

“I had taken the CA Bar on 3 prior occasions and came up just short each time.  With each failed attempts, I felt demoralized about the prospects of ever passing and becoming a licensed attorney.  I finally decided that I may need to seek professional help if I were to pass this test.  I did some research online and asked around to make sure that I found the perfect tutor/coach.  I spoke to several tutors on the phone to get a sense of how they could help me perform better.  When I spoke to Steve, he made me feel very comfortable.  There was a sense of understanding and compassion as he listened to my previous attempts and offered advice on how I might do better.  By the end of my initial phone call with Steve, I had decided that I needed his help to pass the bar.  He was polite but stern when we went over the practice essays.  Steve encouraged what I did right and made sure I knew areas where I needed to improve upon.  The essay structure that he taught me made organizing my thoughts and headings very clear to me as the writer and for potential graders.  It was a very elegant system!  I felt more encouraged with each essay that I wrote and Steve was very accommodating with my work/study schedule.  We got through the subjects and with each essay, I felt more confident about my work product.  My sessions with Steve definitely made me more comfortable with writing the essay responses and gave me more confidence as I sat for the real exam.  I am very happy I found Steve and would recommend him to anyone who wants that extra push to passing the exam! Thank you again, Steve!”

BJK (Thomas Jefferson School of Law)

“Steve’s instruction is especially helpful in two respects.  First, his methodology is very regimented.  This made the essay easier to write and easier to read-the latter of which is invaluable, given the examiners spend approximately 60 seconds grading each essay.  Second, although his outlines and instruction are thorough, he focuses on the rules that are highly tested.  This systematic and focused approach gave me confidence going into the July 2016 bar exam, which I passed.  Having previously taken Barbri, I can say that you won’t get this kind of detailed instruction with the major bar study programs.”

R.R. (Pepperdine Law School)

“Steve was my tutor for the July 2016 California Bar Examination. His strategies and methods helped me transform my writing style to be tailored specifically to master bar essays and performance tests. He diligently walked me through each of my essays, line by line, to help me improve my writing technique which was too vague and wordy. His attention to detail helped me spot important issues and properly analyze facts that I had been overlooking. He took the time to help me focus on areas that I was struggling with, such as my time management on the essays, second-guessing myself on the MBEs, and wrong issue recognition, to help me improve in those areas tremendously. Furthermore, Steve taught me how to analyze each issue on the bar exam logically and in an organized fashion. Steve was not only a fantastic tutor, but also a great mentor that helped me reach my ultimate goal of passing the California Bar Exam.”

J.K. (Washington University in St. Louis)

“I passed the July 2016 California Bar Exam and I owe it all to Steve Zikman.  I’m an out-of-state practicing attorney with over 20 years of experience and I failed the Bar in 2015 after using one of the popular bar prep courses.  I thought that with my decades of “real world” experience practicing at a big firm, and a few months of hard studying, that I could pass the Bar.  However, despite hundreds of hours of watching classroom videos and studying late into the night, I failed the 2015 Bar by a wide margin.  When I decided to try again in 2016, I knew I had to hire a coach who would work with me one-on-one, tell me exactly what I needed to know, and respect that I also had a busy practice to run.  I interviewed several bar coaches, and Steve’s approach and attitude stood out from all of them.  But, it wasn’t until I started working one-on-one with Steve that I fully realized what a good choice I had made.  Not only did Steve provide me with concise subject matter outlines that were spot-on as to what I needed to know, but most importantly, he showed me how to change my writing style to write essays and PTs that would impress the graders.  Steve worked with me to write and re-write essays and PTs until I knew exactly how to write to pass the Bar – something that decades of practicing never taught me.  Steve’s coaching and “visual writing” technique made me understand for the first time what I needed to do to pass the Bar, and it worked!  I highly recommend that anyone trying to pass the Bar work with Steve.”

Basil Bokhary (Golden Gate University School of Law)

“If you are willing to put in the time and effort necessary to pass the Bar exam, Steve Zikman is one of the best tutors to guide you towards a passing score. Shortly after failing the bar exam for a second time, I realized that studying via Themis and Barbri was not working for me. I used Google to search for a tutor, and I am incredibly lucky to have come across the services of Steve. From the onset of the tutoring, Steve is very disciplined and dedicated to ensuring you develop the skill set necessary to achieve a passing grade. Steve completely changed the way I approached essay questions particularly on performance tests. Over the course of 2 months, we tackled every Bar subject in great detail, both in terms of issue spotting and structure and with Steve’s help I learned to identify recurring issues and possible ‘partner issues’ for various subjects. In addition, Steve spends a good deal of time making sure his students learn to structure their essays in a manner that is favorable to bar graders. I was able to pass the Bar on my 3rd try after tutoring with Steve. His wealth of knowledge of the exam is a definite boon and I highly recommend Steve for anyone who is struggling to achieve a passing score and be done with this exam forever.”

Abner P. (Suffolk Law School)

“As a person who went to law school outside of California, taking the CA Bar Exam was no easy feat for me. I am so glad to have found Steve to be my tutor; there really is no other coach like him. He is very thorough and compassionate, and is very intentional about all of the advice he gives – each and every correction he makes on your practice essays and PTs is really tailored to how to improve upon your writing style in order to match a passing score. He was able to pinpoint all of my weaknesses, both in the MBE and written portions, and coach me through what exactly I needed to do in order to pass. His outlines were succinct and very easily digestible. He wastes no time with his instruction at all and makes sure to cater to whatever concerns you might have. I really owe my success and the passing of the bar to Steve. Without his help, I can unreservedly say that I would not have succeeded. Thank you Steve!”

Larry C. (University of Nebraska College of Law)

“I took the July 2015 California bar examination.  I assumed going in that with decades of experience practicing law, previous success on bar examinations, taking a popular bar review course and diligent study, I would succeed.  I was wrong.  I retained Steve to help me prepare for the July 2016 bar examination.  He disabused me of the notion that analyzing an examination question is the same as evaluating a client’s problem.  Through numerous practice question exercises he instructed me on what graders expect to see in answers, and how the information must be organized.  He reinforced his approach through the structure of his extensive course outlines.  Anyone retaining Steve should be prepared to work hard, however.  He takes his students’ success seriously and expects them to do likewise.  The study and practice examination schedule is demanding for someone who also is working.  The commitment is well worth it, given the wasted time and money a bar examination failure entails.”

Hamlet Y. (Pacific Cost University College of Law)

“Before Steve, I used three “major” bar-prep courses over multiple attempts! Provided my ability to compare Steve to other “major” bar-prep courses, I can compare and contrast Steve’s instruction with other major players and confidentially say that Steve is a MASTER COACH!! The strategies and techniques Steven taught me, is unparalleled to his competition.  I wish I found Steve the first time I took the bar!! Don’t make the same mistake!”

Suzy W.

“I hired Steve to tutor me for the July 2016 bar exam.  I had previously taken the bar twice, and although my scores improved, I knew I needed to do something different this time in order to improve my scores enough to pass.  The problem for me wasn’t that I didn’t know the material or even that I wasn’t a good writer, but I needed to know how to format the information and present it to the examiners in way that made it easy for them to see.  The things I learned from Steve that I found most helpful were:  how to write up the issues so that they are easy for the grader to see; how to manage your time so that you always finish an essay or PT and what to do if you start to run out of time; what to do when you’re not sure how to write up an issue; little things you can add that could get you an extra few points; and how to identify any patterns you have that are causing you to answer MBEs incorrectly.   I chose to work with Steve on all 3 areas of the exam in order to improve all of my scores instead of just working in my weakest area.  I’m glad I did because it proved to be enough to help me pass this time!”

Joanne Heilbrun (California Western School of Law)

“Steve is 100% the reason I passed the California Bar Exam. After two unsuccessful attempts, I knew I needed someone to help guide me through the process. The first time I used Barbri and felt extremely uncomfortable throughout the entire program, and the second time I tried to self-study.  While my score improved, it was not enough to pass. Steve offers a really well-developed program and holds you accountable every step of the way. I felt myself improving during each tutoring session and growing in confidence. His laser focus on structure, analysis, common sense and reflection is unparalleled and his commitment to your success is evident. Probably the most important takeaway from my experience was that working with Steve improved my confidence and greatly reduced my anxiety. For anyone who has taken this exam more than once, you know that the anxiety increases with each bar. I walked into the July 2016 bar exam knowing that because of Steve, I had done everything I possibly could to prepare. This is the best money you will ever spend – it was a privilege to work with him and I could not more sincerely recommend someone. My best wishes for your success!”

L. Smith (Loyola Law School, New Orleans)

“Taking the attorney portion of the California Bar Exam is no easy task when you’re working full-time and managing cases all over the country. After two unsuccessful attempts, I knew I had to change my approach. I had previously studied with BarBri and The Bar Guru, but I needed more substantive rather than a generic method if I was ever going to pass this beast of an exam. I did my research on Steve and upon speaking with him, it was evident that his direct approach, line-by-line review of my essays and timed essay drills is exactly what I had been missing from the other bar review courses. Plus, I did not have the time to travel to and from a bar prep course, so telephone meetings were key allowed more time for studying. Steve’s tutoring was invaluable. He taught me how to break down the question to determine precisely what the examiners were looking for in the answer. He showed me how to write effective (and point-generating) essays and PTs, and his emphasis on Professional Responsibility provides you with a platform to knock out any PR question quickly and successfully. His no non-sense approach is fool-proof and you’ll walk away after the exam with confidence.”

Lance

“I failed the July 2015 CA Bar Exam having used one of the traditional bar prep programs and I knew I needed to make a drastic change in my approach to the February 2016 CA Bar Exam if I wanted to see my name on the pass list. I used Steve’s Strategic Bar Coach program to prep for the February exam and I successfully passed the February 2016 CA Bar Exam as a result. My experience with one of the major traditional bar programs left me unprepared and ill-equipped to perform my best on the bar exam. I found the materials and schedule overwhelming, with inconsistent scores and minimal improvement. After researching bar tutors immediately after July results were released, I came upon Steve and reached out right away. Steve not only created a schedule that worked for my lifestyle (work/study), but also put me in contact with several former bar students, so I could make an informed decision. Steve’s program is much more streamlined and his materials are second to none. He not only improved me in areas that I was decent in already, but also drastically overhauled my approach to the MBE, resulting in huge improvements in my practice scores. Steve is not messing around – he expects you to give 100% commitment and effort because he gives you 100% of both (keep in mind, there are several others who also require his time as well during prep). Steve held me accountable for my prep work and the improvements starting showing fairly quickly as a result. It will be challenging at times, but his methods WORK and his dedication doesn’t end when the exam begins – he checked-in with me before each day of the exam to make sure my attitude was right and my brain was sharp for that given day of the exam. Steve’s bar prep program is worth the financial commitment, as I honestly do not believe that I would have been successful on the February 2016 CA Bar Exam if it weren’t for Steve.”

Jeff R.

“If there is a formula for passing the California bar exam, I’m honestly still not sure exactly what it is. What I am sure of however is that Steve has a reliable and highly effective system and process that put me in the best possible position to pass the exam. Finally I’m on the pass list!  As an older, working professional, recently married and expecting my first child, I knew I needed one on one tutoring to focus my efforts and keep me motivated, on task, and on schedule. Above all, I needed to improve my writing on essays and PT’s. Steve helped me eliminate bad essay writing habits (some learned in law school) and taught me how to write FOR the California bar examiners. I learned the importance of organization, structure, conciseness and how to present an easy to read essay. Steve’s demanding regiment and countless exercises also helped immensely with my timing which plagued me on the first two bar exams. By the time I sat for the third and last bar exam of my career, rather than run out time mid sentence halfway through an essay, I actually had time to review and check answers. Steve is accessible, responsive and offers a form of coaching that minimizes one’s weakness and maximizes one’s strengths. He has countless tips and proven techniques which translate into critical points across the board. Its all about fighting for points and every facet of Steve’s system, whether its learning how to write an essay introduction, head a PT cover memo, or attack a certain type of MBE question, Steve will help arm you for battle so you win that fight.  Lastly, while Steve is not a certified therapist or a psychologist (to my knowledge), he does find a way to keep the emotional and mental grind of bar prep in perspective and provides tools to manage and steady oneself through the storm. He is firm and no nonsense yet patient and encouraging up through the very last exam session. Having Steve there during those three exam days was like having a great corner man in the ring during a heavyweight title bout. The California bar exam is a huge commitment and a hiring a tutor is a serious investment which is approached with the same intensity as I did preparing for the bar itself. In doing the research, reading the message boards, online reviews, emailing strangers and talking to people in the legal community, Steve’s name kept coming up. As I got through the process and finally reached out and personally spoke to Steve’s past students on the phone, I realized that I had only one option. It was a no brainer at that point. I’m happy that I chose Steve as bar tutor as he was instrumental in my passing the February 2016 exam.  I highly recommend Steve for anyone who wants to pass the California bar exam.   It’s the best overall investment I have ever made for myself more importantly, for my new family. Give Steve a call and get yourself on the pass list!”

Jim S. (Whittier Law School)

“I just passed the Cal bar exam on my third attempt, and Steve was the difference.  I was near the top of my class in law school, but I just couldn’t get over top with Barbri and another highly advertised private tutor.  Steve’s approach makes thinking about how take each section of the exam automatic—I didn’t even have to think about how to structure an essay or PT by the time the exam came around.  Steve provided me with specific approaches and writing structure for each and every subject and then made sure I had it down by analyzing my work, line by line.  Most importantly, Steve treated me like a unique individual and helped me understand my strengths and weaknesses, so I could focus my study time.  He kept in contact with me throughout the entire process and made sure I was on track, all the way to the last day of the exam. I can’t say enough about how thankful I am that I chose Steve over all of the other tutors and bar methods I investigated. I’m a lawyer now, and you can be too, with Steve’s help!”

A.H. (University of California Berkeley Law School)

“First, Steve’s outlines are super helpful for both understanding the law and memorizing rule statements for essays. Other programs tend to either have outlines that are so brief that you can’t use them to understand all the details or law, or so verbose that they are hard to use for memorizing rule statements for essays. Steve also really helped me with improving my essays. Structure and format as just as important as content, so he helped me shape that up in time through much practice. He also pushed me to use the facts to their full extent in the analysis. The line-by-line review helped me to get to the next level of essay writing each time. It was also useful to revise essays until they were in shape. Steve’s PT method also helped tremendously. He has a method for getting you to use as much of the relevant law and facts as possible. It’s up to each student to put in the work, but Steve can definitely push you over the top!”

Cher Heath (Loyola Law School, Los Angeles)

“I had already struggled through the bar exam twice, before I found Steve. While I knew a lot of information, I did not understand how to present it to the bar examiners in a way that demonstrated all of my knowledge and ability to write. Steve showed me precisely how to do this and with his detailed regime of practice essays and PT’s, and the detailed feedback after, I was finally able to see the outer frame work for each essay question and what remained the same, no matter the question.  After the basic framework, Steve’s feedback taught me how present the rest of the information based on what question was asked. If this sounds complex, it is. Hence why Steve is the STRATEGIC bar coach! Steve’s MBE charting also took a strength I had in the MBE’s and made it stronger. Steve was exactly what I needed to unlock the mystery and pass the exam!”

Lynn H.

“After failing the July 2015 California bar exam, I knew I needed a focused approach to pass the test.  It is a very specific exam, so I knew I needed specific preparation to succeed. I researched the various bar coaches and programs, and located Steve. I am so thankful I did.  Having practiced in another state before moving to California, I had to check my ego at the door in order to effectively prepare. Steve gave me the structure, workload, and accountability I needed to succeed, and I passed the test in February.  He helps you hone an approach to any essay or PT you may encounter on the exam.  His personal attention and feedback are vital to developing these skills and refining your work.  In short, he knows how to write to the level expected by the graders.  Steve is very disciplined, and expects the same from his students. Make no mistake he will make you work. He will also not mince words when you need correction. However, if you are willing to commit to his program and work hard, you can find your name on the pass list as well. Please do your due diligence as a current or aspiring attorney, and check out Steve. You will be so glad you did!”

P. Spanos (SUNY Buffalo Law School)

“Steve Zikman put me on the right track to get past the California Bar Exam.  I was unsuccessful after two attempts following Kaplan’s Bar review course.  I needed something different.  Steve gave me the right approach, the right structure, and the right attitude to PASS THIS EXAM.  He kept me on pace with my studies as exam day approached.  He kept me focused on his method and really forced me to relax.  Steve helping me keep my anxiety level down and my optimism up by staying engaged with me throughout the study process and into the exam days.  I absolutely recommend him for your success on your next bar exam.”

Kiki Manti (Thomas Jefferson School of Law)

“Best money I ever spent! I was a repeat taker and I had completely lost hope! Steve worked with me one-on-one to identify my weaknesses, my strengths, and to improve my scores! I had trouble with the multiple choice and PT portions of the California Bar. Steve worked with me on both portions helping me not only to exponentially improve my scores after each practice exam, but he ultimately helped me to PASS THE CALIFORNIA BAR EXAM!!! If you are on the fence about hiring Steve, just do it! If you find yourself feeling like a hopeless failure, like I did, Steve will coach you out of that funk and make you BELIEVE YOU CAN DO IT! Not only is Steve a great tutor, but he is also a great life coach! Thank you Steve for helping me pass! I could not have done it without you!”

Derek L. (UNC School of Law)

“I would not have passed the February 2016 bar exam without Steve. During our first few weeks of working together, Steve broke down my writing structure and taught me how to earn every point possible.  The structure that Steve teaches was invaluable, especially during the very difficult third day of the exam.  By that third day, I was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted.  Luckily, I could rely on Steve’s strategies and formats, both of which were particularly helpful on the difficult evidence and professional responsibility essays.  Because I was working full-time while studying, I was in danger of mismanaging my time, but Steve kept me on track.  He coordinated my schedule for me and told me exactly what I needed to do and when.  I did not have to waste any mental energy on planning.  Instead, I could focus on learning the law and, more importantly, on learning how to write to pass.”

James H. (Notre Dame Law School)

“Not knowing what you did wrong after studying day-after-day with a standard bar preparation program was downright frustrating. You gave it your all, and thought you would pass the first time. After picking myself up, I decided to try a different approach — insanity is trying the same thing twice and expecting different results. I gave Steve a call, placing my faith in his hands. Steve was able to immediately recognize my strengths and weaknesses after the first call, tailoring a plan to my individual needs. His approach is both caring and careful, methodically teaching you how a bar grader thinks and how to write towards their expectations. The pace is just right for the full-time and part-time exam taker. By the end of the program, I knew passing was certain because of my progress during Steve’s program. His realistic, no-nonsense feedback was exactly what I — and everyone — should hear. Trust Steve and you’ll be fine.”

Claude Durden (University of San Diego Law School)

“When I failed the July 2015 California Bar Examination, it was a devastating experience. I put everything I had in preparing for the exam, and still I came up short. I knew I needed help. I scoured the web to search for tutors and Steve Zikman’s name came up. I talked to close friends, who like me were unsuccessful on their first attempt, and once again, Steve’s name came up. After considering a few other tutors I decided to go with Steve. I had my doubts throughout the process. I had performed well in law school (top half of my class) and some of Steve’s methods did not align with what I did in law school. But because I had selected Steve after considering other tutors and purchased his services, I decided to go all-in. Best decision I have ever made. The February 2016 Bar Examination was not easy by any stretch, but in all honesty, it felt like just another day on Steve’s program, especially the performance exam section. I can still vividly recall walking out after the second performance exam confident that I would see my name on the ‘passed list’ and if not, at least a 70 or 80 on the performance exams. Steve will help you understand what the graders are looking for and to write a complete answer so that you too can see your name on the ‘passed list’.”

K. S. (University of Texas School of Law)

“I hired Steve after failing the CA bar 3 times, and I passed on the first try with Steve’s help. I went to a top 20 law school outside California, and I had passed the bar in that state on the first try, but I couldn’t pass the CA bar using Barbri. Steve’s process made the study process easier and helped me focus on what was important in preparing for the test. Being a practicing attorney at the time that I took the test, Steve made sure that I was focusing on memorizing what was important, so that I wasn’t overwhelmed. In addition, I had done poorly on PTs, but Steve made me confident that I could gain points rather than lose points on the PTs. The essays were also a problem for me, and Steve’s system worked much better for me than the Barbri system, by ensuring that I was still able to gain points on essays, even if I didn’t remember the law perfectly. I would highly recommend Steve for anyone who needs to pass and has been unsuccessful in the past.”

Joulia Tchembrovskaia (John F Kennedy University, College of Law)

“I took CA Bar Exam in February 2016. I passed it the first time. I strongly believe that my success is a result of my bar prep with Steve Zikman. During my last year of law school I asked people who had already taken the bar and passed it for advice on what helped them to pass. One of them told me: “Get a tutor.” That person recommended Steve Zikman. I contacted Steve the next day. Steve’s services are not cheap, but I treated my bar prep as a financial investment. As a mother of three young children I wanted to pass the bar the first time and be done with it. So I treated it as another semester of law school, financially and time wise. My law school provided Barbri course to all the graduates. I was automatically enrolled in Barbri, received their books and online resources. As I was going through Steve’s program I had an opportunity to compare the two approaches. I strongly believe that Steve’s program is tailored to a student’s individual weaknesses and strengths. Steve analyzed my every single essay and PT and gave points on how to improve them. He pinpointed my personal mistakes that I repeated again and again and gave me tools to fight them. Often such mistakes were rooted in my thinking process and my approach to essays and PTs. He helped me to fight through my insecurities and inspired me to be confident in writing what I thought.  More specifically: (1) Essays: I had always done well on essays in law school. However, now after taking and passing the bar, I know it wouldn’t be enough. Writing an essay on the bar exam is very different than in law school. Steve’s method teaches you reality. He taught me how to begin strong and finish strong, how to make important points stand out so that the grader spots them right away. Steve’s program made me practice essay writing under testing conditions, which made a huge difference. (2) PTs: Although I took Advanced Legal Writing course in my law school I felt that my PT skills had to be improved. Again, Steve’s PT approach taught me how to use time in the most efficient way. Time is either your friend or your enemy on PT. Time is everything! Steve gave me a PT format that showed strong beginning, strong ending and a solid analysis. I believe that Steve’s PT approach gave me a competitive advantage and made my PTs stand out in the crowd. (3) MBEs: Steve uses AdaptiBar to prepare for MBEs. This system has thousands of real bar exam questions, as opposed to other systems that use their own MBEs, not real questions from past bar exams. It took me a while to improve my scores in AdaptiBar, because the system is intuitive to your personal weaknesses. As soon as it senses that you get better in a certain area of law it challenges you even more in that area. Eventually my scores were pretty high. Steve analyzed personally each MBE drill and pinpointed my areas of improvement. It was a lot of work, but it paid off. I believe that Steve’s bar prep approach gave me a competitive advantage in each area tested on the bar: PTs, essays, and MBEs.”

Gabriella (Glendale University College of Law)

“Steve helped me so much with my writing. Particularly my essays. Steve teaches you a format and style for the essays that really lays the material out to the reader in a simple way and touches on everything they are looking for. This approach can be applied to any essay that could be thrown at you. Same applies to the Performance Tests technique that Steve teaches. You will end up doing a lot of writing with Steve and it is very structured, but so worth all of the effort you put in because writing becomes second nature and you will end up using his technique automatically. If you are having difficultly with writing, Steve is the guy for you!”

Chris G. (Southwestern Law School)

“Steve’s program was exactly what I needed to push my scores over the edge and get a PASS on the California bar. The typical bar prep class or tutor will provide endless materials and methods to help you learn the subject matter; Steve’s program, on the other hand, actually teaches you how to synthesize all of that information in your head, and how to write an answer that appeals to bar exam graders.  I requested Steve’s help with essays and PTs, and his sessions were priceless. The subject outlines were solid; his essay approach and writing style were a joy to memorize and replicate; his PT approach was bulletproof and made me smile after every single trial run; our over-the-phone reviews were engaging and full of new tips and tricks. Steve isn’t shy about pointing out your shortcomings, but that’s exactly what you need to pass this test.  If you didn’t read anything else, read this: I walked out of the July 2015 bar exam with the biggest smile on my face because I realized that I successfully replicated Steve’s approach on every single essay and PT without fail. I cannot tell you how amazing it feels when you can feel confident in both your approach before you hear the words “you may begin,” and in your answer after you hear, ‘please stop writing.’”

Bryan Palmer (Western State College of Law)

“After failing the bar for a second time, I was devastated. I was actually beginning to think it was not possible for me to pass the bar exam; then I found Steve. Steve’s process and method for preparation was phenomenal. I felt extremely prepared for all three phases of the exam. First, Steve taught me how to write, and even more importantly, how to actually answer the essays. His process was difficult at first, but soon answering any essay, in any subject, became second nature. Second, Steve had me doing practice multiple choice questions daily, and one by one my scores greatly improved, but even more importantly, so did my confidence. Third, Steve is a Performance Test expert. The PTs had been my greatest weakness on my previous 2 attempts. Steve taught me the gamesmanship and tricks of these exams. For the first time ever, I was finishing the PTs and passing them, which of course did wonders for my confidence as well. By the time the exam rolled around, I felt so confident and prepared in all three phases, and no subject or part of the test scared me. After trying Barbri and another private tutor the first two times, I sure wish I had used Steve for my first attempt. Put your trust into Steve’s method, work hard, and you too can finally slay the dragon!”

A.R.E. (University of San Diego)

“After not passing the 1st time, I wanted more straight practice (no lectures, etc.).  Studying with Steve was focused.  For essays, Steve’s method is succinct, straightforward, and exactly what bar examiners need to see.  No matter how good a writer I thought I was – for the bar I could not manage my writing time well.  But Steve had me fashioning essays the same way each time so that it became habit.  On this past July 2015 Bar, I felt 2 essays didn’t go well – and they probably didn’t – but I think I passed because his method helped with all other essays, even bad ones.  Also a big part of my passing had to come from MBE practice; Steve drills you on countless Adaptibar questions and for the July Bar, all the questions looked like what I’d studied.  Steve won’t mince words when telling you what you’re doing wrong – but it’s not personal – it’s for what the bar examiners need to see.”

Terrence L. (Syracuse University College of Law)

“Having failed the Bar Exam twice I knew I Babri wasn’t working for me. I sought out a tutor and ultimately selected Steve and I have no doubt in my mind that his coaching methods and strategies are what helped me finally pass.  Steve provided a regimented system for me to attack the bar. He provides all the materials, including his Flash Outlines which highlight key areas of the law that frequently show up on the exam (and they did).  Steve broke down my essays and pinpointed where I was losing valuable points, and more importantly Steve helped me correct my mistakes by showing me examples of how specific parts of the essay prompt could be analyzed and then following up and making sure that I was able to actually write it that way. Steve also provided me with a framework for organizing all the materials you find in a PT (which I was having trouble with) and writing a beefy and organized essay for the graders. For the MBEs Steve emphasized practice, and helped me dig deeper into why I was missing certain question types, and ultimately correct them.  I wholeheartedly recommend Steve, his coaching style, and his methods if you are really serious about passing the bar exam!”

Neelu K. (Sandra Day O’ Connor College of Law, Arizona State University)

“My personal weakness for the Bar Exam was the performance test. I took Barbri and Barbri did not provide me with enough material or guidance for this portion of the exam. Luckily, I was able to find Steve Zikman who was the right tutor to prepare
me for this section. Routine, practice, guidance on how to write a sample answer, and insight into what the graders are really looking for is key to do well and give you the confidence and skill you need to pass. Steve Zikman keeps you on a timely
schedule and feeling fully prepared a week or two before the exam so that you are able to relax and get the rest you need right before the exam. Steve Zikman’s method minimizes the stress and you will see yourself quickly progressing according to his
schedule for you. Barbri’s preparation was good but it was easy to get stressed and find yourself on a time crunch and cramming last minute. With Steve Zikman’s method, I was able to pass with ease and plenty of rest. I recommend his services to
anyone taking the California Bar Exam.”

Steve Boggins (Cleveland-Marshall College of Law)

“I approached Steve after previously failing the February 2015 administration of the California Bar Exam. I used one of the big bar prep companies that lacked the personalized approach that Steve offered. After speaking with several tutors I took the leap and went with Steve; and I’m so glad that I did! What stood out with Steve is the customization he offers in his services. I did not require much help with the MBE’s….but my Essays and Performance Tests were another story. He helped show me what the graders are looking for, how to attack each issue and how to write a coherent, and more importantly, passing essay/PT. Steve will go line by line and analyze each sentence and offer his critique. It’s this personal attention that helped me pass the July 2015 California Bar Exam. My biggest piece of advice to those who decide to hire Steve: do not fight the process. Listen to what he says and understand that he knows what works and doesn’t work. It was one of the best experiences finding out that I had passed. Steve Zikman can make this a reality for you, too.”

Kristin M. (Suffolk University Law School)

“I have no doubt in my mind that I passed the California February 2015 bar exam because of Steve and his system.  I researched several tutors/coaches after I failed in July 2014.  I realized that there was more to the exam than just knowing the law.  Steve’s process was a game changer.  He pulls the curtain back for you on the bar exam and reveals how to play the “game” effectively and successfully.  It was tough at times, because I had to learn this new perspective and way of writing.  I listened to his past students and I trusted the process – I followed every instruction he gave me.  He showed me that it was ok to let go of my inner perfectionist, because it did not serve me on the bar exam.  Steve helped me to shoot for excellence rather than perfection and I discovered that the exam anxiety and paralysis subsided. It was a lot of hard work, but his system became second nature and my approach to the essays and the performance exams became mechanical.  I knew that I could write a passing answer to whatever was thrown at me.  He is not a cheerleader, but that is not what you want at this stage of the game!  What you get is a tailored approach to target your weaknesses and maintain your strong points.  On exam day you will have his voice in your head and his process to pull you through and then, like me, you name will be on the PASS LIST!!!”

Mary C. Vegher (University of California, Hastings College of the Law)

“I took the CA bar in July 2014 after using Barbri as my prep course.  After completing dozens of practice essays, several PTs, and hundreds of MBEs, I was incredibly disappointed to not see my name on the pass list in November.  By then, I was working full time and was not sure how to tackle the next exam.  My husband contacted Steve and, after Steve reviewed my scores, I signed up with Steve and the February 2015 exam.  Steve hammered the importance of structure and consistency with my essays, and provided excellent, specific feedback on improving my essays.  He went through each practice essay with me 1-3 times and each time we discussed what score I would have gotten on the essay.  This helped me to realize that an above passing score was possible on each essay and to not be intimidated by any question or issue.  My PTs were my strength and Steve’s approach with me was to focus on earning as many additional points as I could out of each PT.  Coming out of the February exam, I definitely felt like my PTs would help me get on the pass list.  Steve is practical, to-the-point, and treats you like a professional with feedback that is designed to promote improvement rather than complacency.  I highly recommend Steve to anyone who wants to put the CA bar behind them!”

Maureen A. (Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School)

“I just found out that I passed the February 2015 California Bar Exam thanks to Steve’s help.  He really took the time to find out what I needed from him as a tutor, and help me in the areas that I needed it. When I took the bar the first time I failed because I had no idea how to write a passing PT or Essay answer.  Steve taught me a process for both, which I practiced over and over with him.  By the time I took the exam, I felt that I was ready for anything the examiners threw at me.  His technique worked – I passed the exam the second time I took it and I owe it to all of the help and support that Steve gave me. I would definitely recommend Steve as a tutor to anybody taking the California Bar Exam.”

Trevor S. Potts (Thomas Jefferson School of Law)

“Steve is an exceptional motivator and coach.  I can truly say that I put all my faith into his approach and this was a very difficult thing for me to do.  In the end, however, it all worked out because I passed the CA Bar.  His individualized approach allows him to assess his students’ weaknesses and strengths, giving them the capabilities and confidence to get their name on the pass list.  Steve is with his students during the entire bar-study experience, and having him available for a pep talk during the actual exam was a great relief.  His patience and diligence helped me stay focused on succeeding!! I would recommend The Strategic Bar Coach, Steve Zikman, to anyone who sincerely wants to take a serious attempt at getting his or her name on the CA Bar pass list!”

Gabriel C. (USC Gould School of Law)

“Steve specifically helped me by identifying my individual weaknesses, motivating me to overcome them through practice, and by capitalizing on my strengths to maximize my scoring potential. To address my number one issue of timing, Steve reviewed my essays and taught me how to eliminate excess verbiage that did not count for points. To address my number two issue of synthesizing the performance test material efficiently, Steve taught me a universal road-map for deconstructing the law in the library and gathering relevant facts from the file. To capitalize on my strength with the MBE, Steve taught me how to identify patterns in my incorrect answers. Steve also highlighted the subjects and topics in which I scored lower percentages on the MBE, and this helped raise my original MBE diagnostic score of 63.7% to an 86% on my final MBE practice set.”

A.C. (Harvard Law School)

“I highly recommend Steve as a bar tutor whose methodology and caring persistence were essential to my success passing the Feb. 2015 CA bar exam. As a practicing attorney who had just moved from another state, I was determined not to take the CA Bar twice. My previous experience with BarBri had been mixed. I struggled to keep up with the self-study schedule and to format my essays in a manner that would consistently score high points. Steve presented a solution to both of my challenges. His strict, no-nonsense enforcement of a customized schedule kept me on track even through the busy Christmas season when my husband and I (newlyweds in Nov.) were faced with holiday responsibilities of thanking and attending to our many wedding guests. Steve was a pro at honing my ability to draft essays according to a strong IRAC formula and pushed me to do so consistently with attention to both quality and time efficiency. I thank God for Steve who coached me to never have to take the CA Bar again!”

Michael F. (Swiss Lawyer)

“I would not have passed the bar without Steve. As a foreign lawyer I needed qualified information and guidance on approaching the prep in the best way possible: how to prioritize, how to allocate my time, how to reason and write.  Steve’s straightforward approach was reassuring from the start.  On our first phone call he laid out how the coaching was going to be structured and asked me a couple of key questions to understand my motivations and background.  Over the entire prep period he was very professional and kept me focused. Steve made me work hard, there’s no denying that.  But I know that without his disciplined approach I would have had neither the knowledge nor the confidence and poise to tackle the three days of exams with success.”

Andrew Kantor (UC Irvine)

“Steve was 100% the difference between failing in July and passing in February. After finishing the July exam with Barbri, I felt thoroughly unprepared. I felt that I spent an inordinate amount of time sitting through painfully slow videos and switching back and forth between multiple outlines, which made it incredibly hard to know what or how much of a subject to study. After one week with Steve, I fully understood why I felt that Barbri had failed me. First, Steve gives you ONE outline which shows you exactly how to attack a particular issue. The outlines themselves made a world of difference, as I finally understood how to break down every possible topic if it came up on an exam. Second, the process of actually going through the essays and then getting feedback from Steve quickly shaped my writing and attack process. I didn’t really understand what it took to write a “great” essay before Steve. He just made the process click and really showed me what it took to kill the bar exam. Finally, the MBE drilldowns really helped me improve on my MBE’s. Being able to target problem areas made me realize what topics I didn’t really understand, which also helped me with the essays. In sum, I am eternally grateful to Steve, and would recommend him to anyone who wants to take the bar for the last time.”

Kate Broderick (Saint Louis University School of Law)

“After failing the bar on my first try using a commercial bar review, I knew I needed some extra help for my second attempt. I failed by 48 points and was scoring relatively well in the writing portion-although there was definitely some room for improvement. I called several tutors in CA before deciding on Steve. Steve seemed all business, a no nonsense type of tutor who was dedicated to the plan of me passing the bar. Steve has spent a lot of time organizing and thinking of the most effective way to pass the bar. It was very difficult for me to abandon what I thought would get my name on the pass list and adhere to what Steve instructed me to do-but even during the first week I could see his methods produced results. The writing became easier and more effective for maximum points. The MBE (my weakest area) did not improve until I dedicated the time to learning from my wrong answers as instructed by Steve-it is not how many you do but how you learn and study from your mistakes that will help you. I highly recommend Steve-he will give you the method to pass, you just have to be dedicated to do it.”

Megan G.

“I had taken the CA bar twice when I came to Steve. My failures had left me feeling confused, ashamed, and dejected. But Steve immediately put me on a course of study that enabled me to regain my confidence and go into the bar exam feeling prepared and ready to pass — which I did! I implemented Steve’s test taking techniques and believe this is the reason I passed. While working with Steve, he read my essays and analyzed my weaknesses, then worked with me to write passing essays. He gave very specific feedback and this allowed me to correct the mistakes I was making. Having Steve tell me what I was doing wrong and then give me a method to fix it was truly invaluable and allowed me to pass the CA bar. Steve restored my confidence, because I truly did not understand what I was doing wrong and through Steve’s constant analysis and correction, I was able to finally understand what the graders were looking for and then give them just that on exam day(s). Additionally, Steve’s method for ‘attacking’ the PTs was extremely valuable. This is an area of the bar where you can capitalize points and Steve took the time to thoroughly explain how to write a passing objective PT versus a subjective PT versus a client letter, etc. and worked through each one with me. So on exam day, when we received a rather difficult and involved PT, I was able to take a deep breath and ‘attack’ it using the structure Steve taught me. There was zero stress involved. I am incredibly grateful to Steve and I recommend him wholeheartedly to anyone looking for a tutor to take the CA bar, whether it be the first time — or third.”

B.V.

“I was a repeater who had come so close before that it hurt.  Other tutors I had spoken with took a ‘it won’t take much’ approach; when I spoke with Steve I told him I didn’t want to risk being close again, I wanted someone who would push me above and beyond.  Well, be careful what you wish for!  Steve’s no-nonsense approach taught me to strive for perfection.  While I worked incredibly hard under his direction, I was able to work through all of my prior hang-ups and bad habits before the test.  I knew exactly what to do on the exam, I felt in complete control of the situation.  If you are ready to get serious about passing and moving forward, Steve Zikman will get you there.”

Duncan P.  (Lincoln Law School of Sacramento)

Nobody worked harder than I did over the eight weeks leading up to my first attempt at the CBX. When I didn’t pass, it mystified me more than anything else. I mistakenly believed that I had hit the written portions of the exam more or less out of the park. Steve Zikman showed me why I had not. Foremost, my analyses lacked depth. I was hurling issues at the wall just to see what would stick, but I wasn’t delivering enough meaningful factual analysis. Steve taught me how to write essays that had substance, essays that focused on answering the call of the question. He showed me what factual analysis is all about. It was exciting. Steve did not teach me the law: he taught me how to exhaust the facts. With every essay that I wrote and rewrote, he opened my eyes to something new and fine-tuned my application of his methods, line by line. His “elementized” approach required some effort on my part before it became second nature, especially since I had to work full time during my prep. But Steve kept me focused. He pays strict attention to the  business of passing the bar, and didn’t let me waste time on distractions that would have impeded my progress. Happy to say, it worked. I committed to his method, embraced it, and applied it on my second attempt at the bar. And I passed! I cannot recommend Steve Zikman highly enough. He is simply an outstanding coach, tutor and mentor for passing the California bar exam. Steve Zikman gave me the game plan for success that put my name on the pass list. Thank you, Steve!

L.E.

“Steve’s approach helped me pass the bar. He had a specific way to start and end each essay and PT. He actually spends time and goes over essays with you, line by line, and makes sure you don’t forget the approach. He is consistent and structured, and makes you do the same, so by game day, you don’t do anything different. Steve always made himself available by email, and phone. I highly recommend him to anyone who needs help with writing and just working more effectively with the little time you have. Trust in Steve’s work and his approach and guidance. He knows his shit.”

Josephine Gerrard (Golden Gate University)

“I choose Steve because I was at my wits end. Steve has an excellent program. The difference between this program and any other is that it taught me to set up a structure to argue both sides of an issue. I had to practice. My initial belief was that you don’t have enough time. I had gotten use to spotting issues laying down the law as fast as I could. This led to very short essays. I thought I was typing long essays and I found I was coming in with 500 words. My mind was a race-horse that forgot to put its feet on the ground. Steve gave me a course with hurdles to jump. This helped stream what I knew into the form.  His PT method taught me how a PT was constructed. Once I saw that it made it much easier to organize and write. Steve is a strong energy and no non-sense person. He shows up on time and completes the tasks. This is good because its like moving next to a stronger horse you start running the same way. He has a good and kind heart but is stern.”

James Golden (Pacific Coast School of Law)

“After graduating from a Non-ABA approved school, I knew I needed something more than the traditional BarBri course to pass the bar. I signed up with Steve after a friend recommended him to me and I passed the bar exam on my first attempt. I believe Steve’s approach to the essays and PTs is far superior to any of the major bar review courses. His strategies kept my essays and PTs structured, clean and organized. In addition to his strategies, Steve kept me focused and motivated during the months and weeks leading up to the bar exam. Steve also called me during the bar exam to make sure that I stayed calm during the bar exam like a coach would during the ‘big game.’ Steve’s coaching and strategies were a big part of the reason why I passed the bar exam on my first attempt. I would recommend anyone to Steve that is serious about passing the California Bar Exam.”

Allison H. (Pepperdine School of Law)

“After two unsuccessful attempts at taking the CA Bar exam, I decided to find a coach to help me pass the Bar.  Steve was exactly what I was looking for.  Having been a ballet dancer, I craved honest feedback and someone who would teach me how to pass the Bar. Steve is the essence of that coach–his feedback was honest and direct, yet he was always on my side, pushing me towards passing.  Steve worked with me on my essays, PTs and especially the MBEs.  His Flash Outlines, line-by-line review, and revisions were invaluable. These are things that the BarBri program and graders did not provide.  Steve focused on my weaknesses, namely being too general, and answering questions too quickly, and made me address these.  During the exam, he called me after each writing session to check in and refocus me for the upcoming session.  On November 21st, I had the privilege of calling Steve to tell him that I had passed thanks to his coaching.  Thank you, Steve!”

Hellen H. (Lincoln Law School of Sacramento)

“I took and failed the bar exam twice before hiring Steve as my tutor.   Both times I failed the exam, I felt prepared to take the exam:  I had studied the law, memorized the rules and thought I had a solid approach to the essays and PTs.  I was wrong!  I consistently struggled with PTs and MBEs.  The third time around I knew I needed to do something different.  I hired Steve as my tutor and what a difference he made.  He gave me an approach to the essays and PTs. We reviewed each essay and PT.  He told me what I was doing wrong and how I could improve.  On the MBEs, I quickly learned why I was choosing the wrong answer.  At times, I would still fall into my old habits and he called me out every time.  He pushed me to work hard and held me accountable.  It was hard work but it paid off.  By the time the exam came around, his approach to the essays and PTs was second nature.  I went into the exam and executed what he had taught me.   Now, I can proudly say that I passed the July 2014 bar exam.  Steve is a game changer!”

Paige Cabral (University of San Francisco School of Law)

“After my third unsuccessful attempt at the California Bar Exam, I decided to look for a tutor. I had taken the Barbri course right after law school and used their materials to study on my own for the next two attempts. The Barbri information was overwhelming and I started to feel less and less confident going into the exams. Steve’s techniques are very useful and working with him gave me back the confidence I had been losing with every unsuccessful exam. He helped me tremendously with the organization and structure of my essays and PT’s. I also found the line-by-line review and multiple revisions to be extremely useful and very different from how Barbri works. Steve is also very good with time management; I felt like I was spending enough time on each area of the exam and I wasn’t overstressed during the final days before the exam. I am incredibly happy I reached out to Steve for help and recommend him to anyone looking for help with the California Bar Exam.”

Rory D. (UC Hastings College of the Law)

“The first time I took the Bar I was woefully unprepared. As I started the preparations for my second go, I remained skeptical of my ability to overcome the 230-point gap between my first score and passing, with Barbri and my wits alone. I worked with Steve on the Essays and the PT’s. Steve’s ‘elementalized’ system of writing will make you a more effective writer and thinker. Even when I began to memorize the black letter law, I processed it using Steve’s system, helping both my ability to recall the law and ability to effectively apply it to the facts.  Most importantly, Steve does not pull any punches during the tutoring process. Steve goes through your essays line by line, and points out what you need to do to improve. In the end, whether you pass the Bar will have everything to do with the work you put into the studying process. That being said, working with Steve will give you invaluable tools, information, and guidance to overcome the Bar.  Good luck!”

Seth G. (University of San Diego School of Law)

“After I was unsuccessful on my first California bar exam attempt, I felt lost because I had put forth a completely concerted effort in my preparation for all three portions.  Fortunately for me, there were 2 attorneys at my firm who had gone through the same experience I had, and found Steve to help them pass on their second attempt.  Dylan and Will recommended Steve wholeheartedly and I decided to hire him immediately.  As it turns out, I was not writing my PTs and Essays how the graders wanted to read them.  Steve provided the framework and guidance on how to write the PTs and Essays exactly how the graders want them presented.  My scores were very low on the PTs and that is where most of the opportunity lies on the exam since they are worth 2 essays each.  Simply having a step-by-step approach to any PT that was thrown at me on my next attempt helped put me over the top with a passing score.  Steve is flexible and will diagnose your score report and recommend a program to fit your needs, whether it be help with MBEs, Essays, or PTs, or any combination of the three.  Steve is a true coach, which means he tells you what you are doing poorly and tells you what you are doing well.  If you chose to use Steve you must trust in his constructive criticism and not take it personally.  Without making mistakes, you will never know how to improve and most importantly, PASS THE BAR!  The quicker you can deal with the failure, the quicker you will be ready for success.  Simply heed his coaching, and implement his tips on your next practice exam, and then it will become a habit.”

Gila Lee Adato (New York Law School)

“Steve’s tutoring was invaluable!  Without his expertise and guidance I don’t believe I would have passed the California attorney bar exam.  This was my 4th time taking a bar exam (I took and passed NY on the 1st try in ’99 and failed CA 2x before) so I have plenty to compare it to.  What I feel made the biggest impact and difference was Steve’s method of teaching.  Admittedly, I had some reservations when I first spoke with him because other tutors told me I would do so many more essays with them but I am glad I trusted my gut instinct in the end.  Steve has a very intensive experiential method and technique.  He teaches you how to think for the exam and what the examiners are looking for.  He provides valuable insight into the grading process and teaches a standardized approach to answering essays and PTs that can and should be used for very answer.  Thanks to these tools, even when I didn’t feel I had any clue what to answer, I was able to begin writing and to make far more educated choices on how to answer the questions saving me valuable time and eliminating a tremendous amount of anxiety.”

Melody K. (Whittier Law School)

“Steve provided me with the tools I need to pass the CA bar. I struggled with the MBE section of the bar exam.  His approach to tackling the MBE’s including his ‘MBE Drilldowns’ helped me move away from the mystery which I often felt about the answers to a much better understanding of what was the correct answer, and why. In doing so, I was able to improve my score tremendously. The template Steve provides for the PT helped me organize the law and facts and see the bigger picture. Trust in Steve’s process, put in the hard work and you will see results!”

S.S. (Northeastern University School of Law)

“I failed the July CA bar exam on my first try and I knew I wanted my next attempt to be the last one. My weakness was the MBEs. I had a very, very low score, and I knew I needed help. Steve let me know right at the beginning what the study plan would be and how we would focus on strengthening my MBEs as well as making my writing stronger. Even though I couldn’t start studying until January, Steve was very accommodating.  Through a lot of hard work, I steadily saw my MBEs increase, and I was way more confident when exam day came.  I know I passed because Steve was my tutor!”

Anna (Penn State)

“Steve is awesome! I improved my score by over 150 points to pass after working with him for about a month. He is strict and methodical in his process.  I did exactly what he told me and trusted his process. I worked really hard, and he challenged me. I believe he was the difference I needed to get over the hurdle and pass.  BarBri was not for me, and Steve was without a doubt the best decision I could have made with regards to my studying.”

Ryan A. (Whittier Law School)

“If you are looking for a quality Bar Exam tutor Steve is your guy! During my first attempt at the bar, I was really struggling in 2 areas: organization for the Performance Tests and low MBE scores. With Steve’s help, I was able to develop an efficient structure and approach that allows the grader to find everything they are looking for, thereby maximizing your score. My PT went from 50s during the first attempt, to solid 65-70 by the time I was ready to take the Bar the second time. In regards to the MBEs, working with the Adaptibar program was amazing. They test the same type of fact pattern in many different varieties which allows you to get a very solid grasp on difficult subject areas. Overall, I truly believe that Steve was the ‘difference maker’ this time around. His motivation and genuine willingness to help gave me the extra kick I needed to tackle this beast they call the CA Bar Exam!”

Phoebe Kirk, London

“I have just found out that I passed the CA Bar first time and I have no doubt that it was thanks to Steve. As a lawyer from England, I worked with Steve on the Performance Test part of the exam in some intense sessions during the last 6 weeks before the exam. Steve’s approach is rigorous and methodical. He has a great method for working on a Performance Test question that made practicing the tests more approachable and achievable and, most importantly, going into the exam much less daunting. Each time I felt I had ‘got it,’ Steve was quick to point out how to do better, how to write a more ‘on point’ answer and how to help the grader see my answer. This constant breaking down and building up was essential to my success. Steve is a ‘coach’ in the true sense and his ‘pre-exam’ tips were helpful in terms of content and confidence. He even arranged to speak to me right before the last Performance Test exam; I can honestly say that speaking to him at that exhausting stage in the process made all the difference to help me re-focus and conquer the final exam. He takes a strong approach so you get it right, and I really can’t recommend him enough. Thanks Steve!”

Mimi Cheng (University of Pennsylvania)

“Steve is a terrific coach that will keep you on task and on schedule.  His course is perfect for students who need a little more structure, attention and accountability than Barbri can offer.  I failed the first time in July and started studying for the February exam while I was still working.  The experience of having a set timeline was invaluable when I had to juggle work and bar review.  Steve’s method is straightforward and easy to grasp, taking out a lot of the unknown intangibles of the essay writing and the PTs.  Steve’s programs are ideal if you need a direct, no-nonsense approach.”

Alexa M. (Suffolk University Law School)

“For the California bar exam knowing the law isn’t always enough, you have to know how to take the exam and present your knowledge properly.  Steve helped me pinpoint what the graders were looking for and provided a framework that could be used for every essay and performance test, regardless of the subject. Steve was able to motivate me to work through hundreds of MBE and finally recognize patterns within the questions.  I followed Steve’s method and used his feedback to improve my test taking strategy and once exam day arrived I was confident I was writing passing answers.”

Adam (Boston University)

“Steve was a huge help for me when studying for the Bar Exam, and I would absolutely recommend him for anybody studying for the Bar Exam. The biggest way that Steve helped me personally was in improving my essay and performance test structure. A large portion of what I worked on with Steve was making sure that my essays and performance tests were structured in the best way possible. I felt very comfortable during the Bar Exam after all of the work that I did with Steve on practice essays and practice performance tests, and I believe that my essays were much easier for graders to score well after that work as well. Steve also helped me greatly with the MBE section of the Bar Exam, and after doing a few drill downs my MBE score increased greatly. I learned a great deal about how to approach the MBE section, and that was a big boost to my score.”

Y.X.L (Georgetown University Law Center)

“I was seven years out of law school, was already licensed in two other states, and the CA attorney exam was the last thing I wanted to study for. I thought I could just study by myself and somehow wing it.  Needless to say, I failed the first time.  Then my friend recommended Steve to me.  I decided to hire him based on high recommendations from my friend and others. Steve’s approach is straightforward, formulaic, and really helped me to develop a way to tackle each subject matter.   His Flash Outlines were also extremely helpful in parsing down the laws into easily digestible form. They were so much better than the outlines I was able to develop myself. Most importantly for me, I was forced to practice many essays and PTs, and Steve provided very crucial feedback for each. At the end of each session, I understood exactly what I needed to improve and how to work on it.  Thanks to Steve’s coaching, I passed this time!”

M.N. (UCLA School of Law)

“One of the most difficult aspects of not passing the CA bar exam for me, was not knowing why or what I did wrong in preparing the first time. Barbri left me with no feedback and therefore no reference as to how to improve.  The second time around I worked with Steve, who helped me recognize both my strengths and my weaknesses throughout the entire process. His no-nonsense, direct approach motivated me to continue studying and improving. I worked with Steve on the essays, performance tests, and MBE portions of the exam. He meticulously reviewed and explained each essay and performance test he assigned. He highlighted my weak subjects on the MBE, and had me review the explanations for each question at least twice. After each phone call, he encouraged me to write out all the lessons I learned and to email it to him for his review. It was a lot of hard work, but it was necessary and worth it for me in the end.  In doing so, I internalized both my weaknesses and strengths; I developed skills that were invaluable not just for the exam, but also for my career. Like a good coach, Steve didn’t baby me, he pushed me to improve and consistently supplied detailed, constructive notes and criticism. It was a humbling yet empowering experience and I’m very grateful I had the opportunity to work with him. I wholeheartedly recommend Steve as a coach to anyone who is serious about passing the CA Bar Exam. He knows what he’s doing, and if you put in the work and listen to him, you’ll see your name on the pass list, too.”

Mark I. (California Western School of Law)

“As a repeat-taker, I was in need of some personalized, guided assistance to finally eradicate this burden from my life; I didn’t need another run-of-the-mill bar prep course. During the convenient telephone sessions (I was working while studying), Steve helped me to discover patterns in the MBE questions I was getting incorrect and therefore ingrain in my mind so I would not make the same mistakes on test day. Further, the PT sessions greatly increased my confidence – after receiving constructive criticism and helpful writing and organizational tips (using key phrases in strategic areas, creating a chart as a roadmap, etc.), my writing and structure progressively comprised not only a simple 65 passing PT answer, but those that look like 70 and 75 answers with further feedback on how I can improve. In all, Steve was a tremendous resource in making this my last bar exam–he was always available, via phone or email, to answer any question or provide additional guidance I needed. Give him a call–his services are absolutely worth it!”

T.H. (University of San Diego)

“I took the bar exam several times before my name finally appeared on the February Pass List.  The initial cookie cutter law review course and subsequent efforts to study on my own did not get me to pass. What did get me to pass was the individualized study program, consistent communication, and feedback that I received from Steve. Because he worked with me one on one and was able to understand me/figure out how my mind works, I was able to break through the 2 major roadblocks that had kept me from passing: Timing and “The Inner Perfectionist.” Performance Tests were my worst enemy- I’m a slow reader, had difficulty with organizing the material, and always wasted time rephrasing what I was writing as I was writing it because I thought that I could make my answer sound better/smoother/smarter.  I failed PT after PT after PT.  It usually took me over 2 hours just to read through the material before I worked with him, but by the time I was done, I was able to read the materials AND organize my thoughts in under 1hr30 (and get my answer written in the remaining time). Steve also got me to the point where I was writing consistently passing essays, and he helped me get my practice MBE scores, which were honestly not bad, to the point where they were excellent.  In the end, I’ll never know what my score was on this last bar exam, but what I do know is that Steve’s coaching was definitely the reason my name is on that pass list.”

J. H. (California Western School of Law)

“Steve was very accessible and willing to go the extra mile in helping me with my writing (a proven weak point in previous bar exams).  One thing I appreciate about Steve is that he is a straight-shooter.   In reviewing assigned practice essays, he let me know what my weaknesses were (without mincing words).  This was something I needed, but did not receive from tutors from previous ‘well known’ bar prep programs.  He avoids any fluff that inevitably sets you up for failure, while teaching you how to capitalize on your strengths as well.  Although his method is not meant to re-teach the law, he provides you with detailed elements of rules for all tested subjects, neatly packaging them in his customized Flash Outlines.  These tools were invaluable, enabling me to memorize and apply the law in a way that I failed to master throughout law school, or for previous bar exams for which I studied prior to seeking Steve’s help.  I highly recommend The Strategic Bar Coach’s services for any CBX examinee who wants to learn how to pass this challenging exam.”

Caroline Bolton (University of San Diego, School of Law)

“Steve’s methods work because he finds your weaknesses and turns them into your strengths. There were no surprises on the bar exam because Steve had worked with me on every subject and a variety of essays and performance tests. The bar exam felt like another day of working with Steve, not a scary, confusing, or frightening exam.  He brought my confidence and writing skills to the level they needed to be at to pass the bar exam. Simply put, Steve is the reason I am able to move on with my life!”

Bill Stewart (JFK School of Law)

“After working with Steve Zikman extensively, I am happy to give him a strong & unqualified endorsement.  I first enlisted Steve’s help after my unsuccessful attempt to pass the Baby Bar (FYLSX).   I easily passed the second time. While I did not pass on my first try at the California Bar Exam, I’m confidant that Steve’s work and methodologies played an essential role in getting me to a second read and a miss by only 30 points. I am glad that I used Steve again to claim my spot on the pass list on this second and last attempt. Steve’s approach is a straightforward, common sense method that can be practiced for continued improvement.  Steve’s knowledge, experience and in-depth, constructive feedback were essential to my progress.  Most importantly, Steve has a wonderful, personal style.  It was clear that he cared about me and my success. He was able to gently assist me through those crises of confidence, and over those inevitable walls.”

Andrew D. (Western State College of Law)

“Steve Zikman’s approach to the exam is much different than other bar prep programs and that made the difference. Steve takes the time to review each essay, then he critiques the essay, then the student redrafts the essay, and then Steve and the student review the essay again line-by-line to make sure the student understands how to write a consistent, passing essay. It’s a long process, but following this approach results in a better understanding on how to write a passing exam for both the Essays and the Performance Tests. I would recommend Steve’s bar prep program to anyone taking the bar. Thanks again Steve!”

Amanda Millea (JFK School of Law)

“After failing the bar twice I was so defeated by this test.  I am so grateful that I found Steve. Steve isn’t just another bar prep course or cookie-cutter tutor.  He gives you the language, format, and structure required to pass the bar.  He is amazingly intuitive and perceptive and is able to quickly ascertain his student’s strengths and weaknesses to truly give you the road map to success. Thank you so much Steve; I couldn’t have done it without you.”

B.R. (University of San Diego, School of Law)

“The first time I took the bar, I used BarBri. Unfortunately, the feedback I received on my BarBri essays was only a score with the same comment “needs more analysis”, and no matter how much analysis I added it was always the same comment. Since I worked full-time, I thought I was going to be doomed in the eternal repeater cycle, because I didn’t have time to parse BarBri’s feedback & model answers to determine how to write a passing answer. Steve taught me his approach and he explained how having a very clear and organized answer made it easier for examiners to pass you. While I thought my answers using BarBri’s model was organized, it very apparent that Steve’s approach was significantly better. He also showed me that having an organized answer also made it easier for me to spot weaknesses in my answer. I remember after doing a rewrite of my first essay I could see that I missing analysis for some elements. More importantly, for each essay, he would walk me through my response line-by-line to show me how I could strengthen it. While I programmed by BarBri to think my analysis was weak, Steve showed me that my analysis wasn’t always the problem and that sometimes minor tweaking of my organization greatly increased my score. Steve’s philosophy is to study smarter. By using his flash outlines and his feedback, I saw a huge improvement in my essays/PTs and was able to pass the bar. Thanks Steve!”

Brandon Woodward (Western State College of Law)

“The name above [mine] does not appear on the pass list for the California Bar Examination.” I had received those despised quoted words 5 times prior to Steve Zikman becoming my Strategic Bar Coach to prepare me to take the CA Bar for the last time. His step-by-step methodical approach is elegantly simple. Having a full-time job and raising two children under the age of five-years-old, I felt that Steve made himself and his Flash Outline material readily accessible–making the very most of our phoned meetings and finally culminating in those sweet words: “The name above [mine] appears on the pass list for the California Bar Examination.” Failing to prepare is to prepare for failure. Steve Zikman will prepare you to pass the CA Bar.”

Neha Modi (Thomas Jefferson School of Law)

“I turned to Steve Zikman after I wasn’t successful in my goal of passing the California Bar. Upon looking at my score report, I realized that I needed substantial work related to the written portion of the exam. I was unaware how to write for the graders and didn’t know what they were looking for in an essay or PT. Ultimately, I am extremely grateful to Steve for helping me achieve my goal of passing the Bar. He has a clear, formulaic method in which to write essays and PTs that are visually pleasing to the grader. He taught me how to write an essay with confidence even when I had no idea where to begin. Steve will go through each essay and PT with you line by line, giving you honest feedback that you use to improve future essays. He is supportive throughout the whole process, is always available by phone or email, and checks in with you twice a day when taking the test. Looking back, I can honestly say that if faced with the task of retaking the Bar I would choose Steve again.”

J.B. (Columbia Law School)

“There are myriad ways to write a passing bar exam. Steve teaches you a single method that can be applied in every circumstance, and then coaches you through hours of rigorous edits until the method is second nature. Steve’s Flash Outlines break down the law into easily applied rule statements, and the essay approach he taught me made me confident in writing a passing essay even when I wasn’t sure of the law. Furthermore, Steve provides an invaluable service in illuminating the little mistakes each individual makes in writing essays or performance tests, that add up to failing scores. Particularly in the wake of a bar failure, Steve’s coaching and demeanor (from the time of hire through the last day of the exam) help to bolster optimism and maintain sanity during an incredibly stressful process.”

E.O. (Southwestern Law School)

“As a first time bar exam taker who struggled through law school final exams, I knew I had to make major changes to my test taking process if I was going to pass the California bar exam on my first attempt. I felt strongly that if I used a generic program like Barbri I would fail, which would then lead to me seeking out a tutor for my second attempt. Instead, I decided to just cut out all that wasted time, money, and heartbreak and go straight to using Steve Zikman for my first attempt. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I started working with Steve early – beginning in March for the July exam. I found out quickly that Steve is very supportive but really a no-nonsense guy. He won’t waste your time or money with small talk – he will contact you on time and get straight to the point. Steve will identify your strengths and weaknesses and adjust the program specifically to address the areas you need help in the most, while at the same time still giving attention to the other areas of the exam to make sure all your bases stay covered. By the time the exam was 2-3 weeks out, I had worked so hard with Steve that things just became automatic. During the actual exam, knowing exactly what to do the instant the proctor says “begin” is absolutely invaluable. After working with Steve I knew exactly what to do from start to finish on every section of the exam, including those times I felt slowed down or stuck. I was able to relax and fall back on Steve’s training to smash through those roadblocks without letting precious time tick away. Steve will have you writing in a way that allows you to tackle anything the bar examiners throw at you. I have no doubt that his system is why I passed the exam on my first attempt. I fully recommend Steve to anyone preparing for the bar exam without hesitation.”

F.G. (Ventura College of Law)

“I can’t believe that my name is on the PASS list for the CA Feb 2012 Bar Exam! I would not have been able to do this without you. As a repeater, the thought of taking the bar exam again did not appeal to me at all this time around. YOU changed all that. You made me realize I can do this and preparing for the bar exam while balancing kids, family, activities, work, and life etc. was not easy but it can be done. Your personalized review was perfect for me – your method helped me structurally to keep my essays focused & to answer the call & watch my time, the MBE review helped me improve my reading and comprehension, and I very much appreciated your 1-on-1 feedback. PLUS you made sure I stayed on track. I am proof that your bar review approach works! I could not have passed the bar without you Steve! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!”

Ashley P. (California Western School of Law)

“I paid for BarBri for the July 2011 bar exam, and failed it.  I knew private tutors would be expensive, but if I wanted individualized help to figure out what I was doing wrong I needed a one-on-one tutor.  There are a lot of different programs and tutors out there, but after talking to a bunch of them, I liked Steve Zikman’s methodology, strategy, and attitude the best.  He was very reassuring and positive when I felt like passing the bar was impossible.  His teaching style is individualized and he was able to assess all my weak points after reading my bar essays and performance tests from July.  For me, the cookie cutter Barbri approach wasn’t working for me, which is why I chose Steve.  He developed a strategic and formulaic approach to essay writing and performance tests which was easy to learn, easy to follow, and made a huge difference in my essays and PT.  I compared my essays from July 2011 bar to the essays I was writing with Steve right before the Feb 2012 bar and the difference is astounding.  If I had known about Steve the first time I took the bar, I would have saved myself a lot of grief.  He’s really worth the money.”

P.S. (University of San Diego)

“Steve helped me pass the bar after a near miss on my first time.  The best thing about Steve is his ability to spot your weaknesses, and give you strategies, tricks, and reinforcement to shore up those weaknesses.  Because he had spent so much time drilling down with me through my essays and multiple choice work, I felt confident in the potential to get the job done by the time exam day came.  Steve really takes the time to talk you through his analysis of your work, and provides great insight into how you can improve, pertaining to your specific areas that need work.  He got me to fight harder, and I fought my way to a pass with his help.”

C.L. (Golden Gate University, School of Law)

“When I found out that I did not pass the bar exam on the first try, like many others, I was utterly devastated.  I had always been a decent writer and knew the substantive legal material like the back of my hand.  I couldn’t understand why I received such low essay scores.  Steve taught me that it’s not about how much information you put down on your answer, but it’s putting that information into the format that the bar graders expect to see it in.  Steve had me use a very specific formula for answering all of the questions which helped to manage my time and strengthen the structure of my response. I learned to not aim for the “perfect” answer, but instead write the answer that would garner the most points instead.  After practicing dozens of essays and PTs with Steve, which he goes over with you line by line, I knew that when exam day came, his formula would work.  And it did!  I passed the exam on my second try.  Steve is without a doubt the reason that I passed, and the ultimate mastermind in revamping your bar writing style.”

H. Lan, LL.M. (Boston University Law)

“After I had failed the CA bar exam 3 times, I finally realized that it was time to face up to my weakest points on the exam–the Essays and PTs. I had a passing score on MBEs on my 3rd bar exam, but my writing was a disaster. I was confident that I would pass my 3rd bar exam, but I did not, and my writing score was far below my expectations. After feeling deeply frustrated, I decided to find help. I searched for essay tutors online and read all the comments and reviews of all the tutors I could find, and I decided to give Steve a try. It has proven to be one of the wisest decisions I have ever made. The law was not a problem for me; I knew the law, but my application was a mess. Steve taught me how to organize the layout systematically in order to let the examiners easily find and understand all my analysis, how to add more analysis to impress the examiners, and he taught me how to do ‘real’ IRAC! After working hard with Steve for 3 months, my essays were finally all looking like the same no matter what topic I wrote, and that was so amazing! If you are in the same situation as I was (i.e. finding yourself stuck in Essays and PTs and having no idea what’s wrong or how to improve them), I recommend you to Steve.  He helped my out of the hell that is the bar exam!”

Paul W. (Golden Gate University School of Law)

“After failing the Bar for the third time; I knew something had to change. I found Steve Zikman, and discovered that I had not really been using a coherent strategy to tackle the Essays and Performance Tests. As a person who happens to be blind it was important for me to find a tutor/coach who would be totally comfortable working with me; Steve was that person–he took me on as a client without any reservations whatsoever. A coherent strategy from a professional, warm and caring person is what you get with Steve; I found his approach to Performance Tests headings and Essay strategy particularly useful.  Thanks to Steve I succeeded! I would highly recommend Steve to anyone seeking a highly structured approach.”

James G. (Southwestern Law School)

“After failing the Bar twice, I retained the services of Steve for my third adventure with the exam.  Steve assessed my weaknesses, then provided me with specific strategies for both essays and the MBEs. MBE’s in particular were my weakness. Working with Steve allowed me to approach the Bar with confidence–and I passed! Applying his methods, I was confident going into the exam handling any essay they would throw at me.  I have no doubt Steve is the major factor for my present success.   He is both demanding and caring, and working with him is the best move you can make.”

Matt V. (California Southern Law School)

“The Strategic Bar Coach program helped me pass the 2012 February bar exam on my 4th try. Steve knows exactly what these graders are looking for. His program is unique because he offers one-on-one assistance and he’s serious about what he does. Something tells me he takes it personally when one of his students doesn’t pass. Steve showed me how to properly analyze and apply the law–how each element is broken down, analyzed and concluded, one element at a time. His style of writing makes it easy for the graders to look at your answer and determine if you got it correct right off the bat. His course made every subject approachable. His method of writing provided fail-safes and checks and balances so nothing got left out. His course provided a great way to take down a Professional Responsibility essay. Before I took Steve’s course I would just get an essay and go. My answers were all over the place and I was not focusing on the areas that I needed to focus on. I was not answering the call of the question. His approach made me answer the question that was in front of me, gave me confidence, worked on my timing, and formatting, corrected my major faults, changed my writing and tone, removed words that graders hate, gave me a jumping-off points, and most of all, got me to pass. I could not recommend this course more!”

EJ P. (California Western School of Law)

“Steve focuses not on whether how many essays or MBEs you are practicing or touching before the test, but on whether how thoroughly you are analyzing and attacking each essay and MBEs in great depth.  Steve’s method for essays really forced me to do more analysis on each issue more in depth, and his detailed advice on time management helped me timely write on each essay.  Steve’s structure for essays was very helpful not only to please the graders but also to keep me clear and focused on what I was writing.  Steve has never been judgmental, but rather, he always helped me move on without frustration, even when I was stressed and not feeling good.  Steve was always keenly aware of my strengths and weaknesses.  When I walked into the test room, I felt prepared to attack any issues in any subjects, and as it turned out I was confronted with essay questions in the subjects that I had been most afraid of (Trusts/Wills, Constitution, Business Association, and Evidence), but my name appeared on the Pass List for the Feb 2012 CA Bar!  Thank you Steve… you saved my life!”

Priscilla H.  (California Southern Law School)

“I felt I knew the law but needed help with my essay structure and analysis. Steve provided me with his Flash Outlines for each subject. Going through practice essays, I would find facts to match to each element. Steve taught me the rules of law and also how to expand on my analysis. I was finding one fact when he showed me there were multiple facts to support each element and also taught me how to use outside knowledge and ‘common sense.’ Steve focused in on my weaknesses right away and drilled me until those weaknesses became my strengths. After just one session with Steve, I was ecstatic because I was learning. Steve prepared me so much, after taking the bar exam, I knew I passed, thanks to Steve!”

David Chang, (University of California, Davis)

“Steve helped me pass when no one–and seemingly nothing–could. My essays for Barbri and law school were never a problem, but the bar examiners continued to disagree. From our first session, Steve broke down my essays and showed me exactly how to write an essay that bar graders would appreciate. Steve helped me:  (1) Use a bar-specific IRAC method. It gave me a completely different writing style geared toward bar readers and meant to quickly highlight elements and analysis for points. Too many other programs simply ask you to recite carefully memorized rules and then tell you to IRAC it like you did in law school; (2) Optimize my organization and format. I used to think presentation for all 6 bar essays wasn’t as big a priority as getting out all my memorized points, but Steve taught me otherwise. His organizational format helped me effectively lay down my points and gave my essays a strong and consistent frame that I could depend on to get my analysis out quickly and fully. This also helped during the bar exam, when I was able to continue writing even though I had blanked out from a confusing fact pattern and nerves; and (3) Improve my analysis. The bread and butter of the scores, Steve helped me focus and strengthen my analysis with every essay so that I would be able to wring out every point from every single fact.  Steve has years of experience and coaching. I appreciated his consistency and his time-honed practice, and Steve’s confidence and support carried me through the ups and downs of the process while always making sure that I got better every week. When the typical essay scores cluster around an incredibly narrow range of 50 to 75, being able to improve so steadily was huge and helps explain Steve’s phenomenal success rate.”

S. Taylor (Western State University College of Law)

“After several failed attempts at taking the CA bar exam, I decided I needed one-on-one help. Steve Zikman’s name kept coming up in my searches…and I’m so glad it did because I just found out I passed the February 2012 Bar Exam!!!! Steve’s program is very simple and direct–for the essays and PTs he teaches you a basic format to use for any subject, any topic, ANYTHING the bar exam throws your way.  The formula for the essays and PTs just became second nature– so when it came to the actual exam, I had the confidence to know that I could conquer anything they threw at me.  Steve has a program that is simple, straightforward and helps build your confidence to be able to take on the bar exam. He targets individual weaknesses and is able to get you to a point where taking the bar exam just feels routine.  It was through Steve’s methods and tutoring that I was able to conquer the California Bar Exam!”

Renee P. (Empire College School of Law)

“Steve provides an invaluable, strategic writing approach for the CA bar exam essays and PTs.  The repeated, subject-specific writing practice helped me to develop the writing style needed to pass the exam.  Preparing for the exam is undoubtedly an arduous and time-consuming endeavor.  But Steve’s method helped me to focus my time and energy on the skills needed to write passing essays and PTs, in addition to my reviewing the law covered on the exam.  Rather than simply a grade or generalized comments, he provided detailed, line-by-line review of my writing.  His feedback was specific yet concise.  He gets to the point, challenges you to do better with each writing assignment, and tells you how it is (not what you want to hear).  I found his writing templates and subject-specific approaches to be very helpful as well.  Further, I really appreciated the ability to speak with him personally on each evening of the exam. Those conversations helped me to focus on each remaining day of the exam and inspired me to give it my best, regardless of how I felt about the previous day.  Steve truly acts as your ‘personal bar coach’ throughout the whole process.”

S. D. (San Fernando Valley College of Law)

“I was a repeat taker who consistently fell into the re-read and even the triple read (yes it does exist) category until I signed up with Steve, the Strategic Bar Coach.  Steve’s coaching program is unique in that it is specifically tailored for each student.  There is no ‘one size fits all’ coaching.  He helped me pass by helping me improve in every area of the bar exam to ensure a clear pass.  I totally trusted him and he taught me how to write above passing essays and performance exam answers.  I am a firm believer in ‘timing’ so if you are blessed enough to know about Steve’s bar coaching program then I truly believe that it’s your time to pass.  I highly recommend The Strategic Bar Coach, without reservation.  If you follow ALL of Steve’s instructions, passing the Bar will be your dream come true!  To your success.”

Holly B. (American University, Washington College of Law)

“Thank you for all of your help preparing me for the CA attorney’s bar exam and for gently, yet persistently, encouraging me to leave the perfectionist out of this test! One of my biggest fears was that I would get a question on the exam and have absolutely no idea what was being asked or what to write. You helped me overcome this fear with your consistent encouragement to just write what I thought. And having practiced your structured and organized essay approach over and over again, despite the question, I always knew how to at least start writing. Equally helpful was your approach to the performance tests. I believe your tips for this portion of the exam distinguished my answers from those of other test takers and aided me and making my first attempt at this exam successful!”

D.M. (Trinity Law School class of ’07)

“I consider myself the ultimate proof that Steve’s system works. I graduated law school in 2007.  Because of my full time job, getting married, and having a kid, I didn’t take the bar until two years later. Using one of the ‘big names in bar prep, I went through the motions, and ended up with a score in the 1200’s. Disappointed, I decided to move on without the law.  Two years later, needing a change, I decided to take the bar again, and somehow I found Steve. We spoke throughout the decision-making process, and then my wife and I made the commitment. However, now four years removed from law school, I was essentially starting from scratch, so I decided to invest in the unlimited package. We started in September and never looked back. I trusted Steve, his process, his system, and did what was asked. I passed the bar, and truly believe my score was in the top percentile; and if not, who cares… because I passed the bar. Good luck!”

S. Seyb (Trinity Law School)

“I can’t express enough how essential Steve’s bar prep services were for me passing the bar the 1st time.  I know I would not have passed if I had taken one of the traditional bar prep courses.  My writing needed improvement and I only would have gotten that through the special attention of Steve’s one-on-one tutoring sessions.  Steve was able to spot my weaknesses early on, so that I was able to overcome them and be successful.  He not only helped me analyze the facts in order to write a passing essay but how to do it so I was actually finishing them within the time frame.  It also helped that he started working with me early on.  Thanks again!”

R.D. (Loyola Law School)

“After failing the July 2011 bar by a small margin I decided I wasn’t going to take any chances in February.  I hired Steve Zikman to help strengthen my essay writing and performance test skills.  Steve has a very clear and methodical approach.  He helped me to deepen my analysis and to be more thorough when issue spotting.  I’m thrilled to report that my name was on the pass list for the February 2012 exam.”

Kris Bailey (California Western School of Law)

“I’m a full time attorney with a demanding practice, my wife is a full-time student, and we have three kids—in addition our church and community activities.  While juggling all of this, I decided to take the California bar.  A traditional bar review course did not seem like the answer.  I needed someone who could prepare me to actually write for the bar examiners–not just learn the law.  I learned the law in law school and knew I could get back up to speed.  However, it had been over 12 years since I had written a bar exam answer.  Steve Zikman and the Strategic Bar Coach was the perfect fit for me.  His outlines were extremely insightful, he kept me on a consistent schedule, and most of all taught me how to write for the bar examiners.  That is the first rule for attorneys–write to your audience.  I highly recommend him to anyone taking the bar and most especially to out-of-state attorneys taking the California bar for the first time.”

Travis S. (University of Oklahoma School of Law)

“After getting over the shock and disappointment of not passing the California Bar the first time around, I searched the internet for private tutors.  Steve’s name came up and all of the reviews were very positive so I decided to give it a shot.  We went through my scores to find out the areas I needed to work on and came up with a schedule.  Steve helped me understand that on the essays it’s not necessarily how much law you can memorize, but how you present what you know to the grader.  On the PTs, he taught me a great method for working my way through the file so I wouldn’t have to keep flipping back and forth trying to find what I was looking for.  Well worth the investment!”

Dylan T. (University of San Diego)

“The first time around, I felt that I had mastered the law and crushed the MBE, so I was shocked when my name was not on the pass list. After my first couple of sessions with Steve, I realized that I wasn’t as good at the exam as I had previously thought, and now I was learning why. Steve taught me the gamesmanship involved in the exam and gave me a strong sense for the mindset of the grader. I followed his techniques form the outset, and in a short time I was writing passing essays. Most importantly, he taught me how to be consistent under the pressure and time-crunch of the exam. Steve was, without a doubt, my X-factor. He taught how to beat the test. I passed the bar exam!”

Kirsten A. Holstrom (Trinity Law and Graduate School)

“After several attempts, several tutors and thousands of dollars wasted, I finally did something right and hired Steve Zikman. Steve not only taught me how to ‘attack’ every essay (even the subjects that were not my best), but he also taught me that you need more than just ‘knowledge’ of the law to pass the exam. He showed me repeatedly the importance of what made a ‘passing essay’. I always under estimated the importance of organization, conciseness, headnotes, conclusions and timing. Before Steve I would read an essay and regurgitate everything I knew about that subject without a lot of thought as to where an issue should be addressed or how I should conclude. Obviously that method had not worked for me. Steve taught me how to read the essay and then analyze it in a fashion that was systematic; yet thorough and easy for the grader to follow. The guidance, instruction and materials that Steve provided to me were worth far more than any price I paid. He not only taught me how to consistently write a passing essay (regardless of the subject), but he also taught me how to handle, organize and ‘break apart ‘ the worst performance exams that the CA bar has given. His methods, again, were based on presentation, organization and conciseness. Steve ‘s dedication and commitment to his students goes well beyond what any other tutor provides (and yes, I have used a few). The only thing that I regret is not using him the first time around. Had I done so, I know I would have passed. Steve worked around the clock, 7 days a week with me. He analyzed what I was doing wrong; addressed those concerns and then focused on my strengths. It was my strengths that allowed me to finally pass. When I took the February bar exam, because of Steve, I was ready for anything that the examiners threw at me: good, bad or tricky. There was nothing that I feared because I was ready. I would recommend Steve to any student who wants to pass CA bar exam and move on to the next chapter of their life.”

Patti White, (Concord Law School)

“After four failed attempts, I had to face the fact that my essays were the reason I kept failing and, if I ever wanted to pass the bar, I needed one-on-one tutoring to address my essay and PT writing. I am a psychologist and have done lots of writing in my career but this kind of writing didn’t translate to the kind of writing needed for the bar exam essays. In essence, I had to learn a new way to write. Steve is methodical in his approach and if the student trusts his process (and this is the key!!), anyone, no matter how many times there has been failure in the past, will experience the bliss of passing! Trusting Steve’s process for me was to put aside my ego and stubbornness and be willing to trust that Steve knows what he is talking about. And he does! Want proof? Look up “Patti White” on February’s pass list!”

Julie W. (California Western School of Law)

“After looking over my essays and PTs from the July 2010 California Bar, it was clear I needed a stronger structure and more substantive analysis in my writing to pass the Bar. Steve provided me with a framework that lent itself to a quick and clear written structure. From there, beefing up my analysis on the essays and PTs came (relatively) easily. Even when I had a bad essay, Steve was professional and respectful as he pushed me to stay focused and motivated. I passed the February 2011 Bar!”

Genevieve Suzuki (California Western School of Law)

“When I found out I failed the bar exam, I felt like the bottom had fallen out of my world. I thought I knew the law enough to get through. When I got my scores, I discovered that I did well enough on the PTs and the MBEs, but failed every subject essay. I felt like I couldn’t break through that wall. Friends recommended tutors they worked with, but for the exorbitant fees they were asking, I would be taxing my family far too much. It was bad enough that the exam was taking time, but money would be in even shorter supply if I had to pay through the nose. Fortunately for me, Steve Zikman reassured me things could be fixed after seeing a frustrated rant I wrote on a bar taker’s website. I was so tired of my life being on hold. Emailing Steve was the best decision I made for my bar experience. Steve is a straightforward tutor, who kept it professional and succinct. He spent time working with me on my subject essays over the phone, which made it easier for me to ask him questions as we went along. His formula for passing the bar is incredible. It armed me with much-needed confidence, even for subjects I didn’t have down pat. Even after I took the bar exam, Steve let me know I could call or email him during the excruciating waiting period. I ended up doing exactly that a week before results were released; my mind was wandering into insecure and frightened territory. He calmly went over what I told him during the bar exam and reminded me of good things I said. Knowing he was with me the whole time really bolstered my faith. Steve is really a great bar coach. I’m grateful I took a chance and contacted him for help. Seeing my name on the pass list was one of the best feelings of my life. Although I felt miserable for my failures, the feeling of triumph blew the bad feelings out of the water. I can’t say enough about Steve, the man who helped me to finally enjoy Thanksgiving again.”

Ricardo Gomez (University of West Los Angeles)

“I passed the bar on my 4th time and it was Steve who prepared me to pass. Steve will teach you how not to be conclusory on your essays by emphasizing factual analysis. Additionally, Steve will teach you how is possible to IRAC every issue on a timely basis. But more importantly, Steve is with you all the way to the end of the bar. He will call you during your breaks and after you?re done taking the exam. If I could pass the bar so can you. Good Luck!”

Z.A. (Western State University College of Law)

“During the week I found out I was unsuccessful on the bar exam, I spent a lot of time researching various tutors and even met with a few. For some reason, Steve set himself apart when I first spoke to him. During our first conversation, he spent more time asking me questions–trying to find out about my strengths and weaknesses. Also, during our phone conversations, I always felt like he had my full attention. I’m sure I was just one of many students he had to call that day, but I never felt that way. I never felt rushed and really appreciated how at the end of each call, he asked if I had any further questions. He always listened to me and tried to understand why I was doing things in a certain way and attempted to follow my thought process (even when I didn’t express myself very well) to see where I was having issues. He could have told me to just do things the way he told me to but he always checked in with me to make sure I understood the reasoning behind his approach. His personal feedback was great and I felt that he was personally vested in trying to do everything he could to get me to pass. And of course, his strategy and approach was very useful in giving me tools to greatly improve my writing. Unfortunately, many people are disappointed with their bar exam tutors. I am so thankful that I decided to go with Steve. He really surpassed my expectations. I went into this past bar exam feeling very prepared and that was because of him. He’s good at what he does.”

David M. (Trinity Law School, Santa Ana)

“Steve is very professional. He will show you where your writing needs improvement, and instill correct writing techniques and approaches to the essays and performance tests to give you a consistently passing answer. In addition he will identify why you made wrong choices on the MBE to correct your mistakes as well as approaches and tips for these questions in order to improve your score. Where Steve really goes the extra mile is being in constant contact with you right before and during the Bar exam – reminding you of what techniques to remember and how to approach each upcoming section of the exam. I don’t know of any other Bar review program that does this. In short, Steve goes above and beyond other Bar review programs and tutors and adds a personal touch no other program can offer. I highly recommend Steve Zikman for any repeater (his specialty) as well as any person taking the CA Bar for the first time.”

K.L. (UCLA School of Law, Beverly Hills)

“Steve taught me how to present my knowledge of the law in a way that made it easier for the bar graders to read my essays. I learned how to attack the essay question using an organized approach. For me, his tips for headings and paragraph organization made the difference between passing and failing the exam.”

Capt Neil Opdahl, USMC (St. Thomas University, Miami FL)

“Where to start- Steve Zikman demystified the whole Bar exam process. I was unsuccessful more times than I want to remember, and what I hated each time was the fact that I felt more lost and confused than the previous attempt. With each exam attempt, I tried new methods, along with old methods that seemed to work, but still had the same result–failure. This all changed once I started working with Steve. Steve made preparing for the Ca Bar Exam simple, but this is NOT to be confused with easy. Studying was absolutely difficult, but Steve simplified the process, and took out the complications. On my last and successful attempt, I followed Steve’s program and his guidelines, even though sometimes my stubborn side wanted to complete the task at hand in another manner. But I executed his exam preparation exactly as he instructed, and I passed the exam, and so will you. If you have sat multiple times for the Bar, feel more lost than ever, and feel as if the Bar is some unattainable and monumental task, then contact and work with Steve. You will thank him and yourself for doing so. Steve made me realize that the bar is an academic test, nothing more, nothing less. Tackling the Bar is just as mental as it is academic, and Steve was also my “life coach” during this period of time. He kept me motivated and on track. Lastly, once you pass and are past the Bar exam, then you can focus on moving on with your professional aspirations, and never, ever, look back.”

Rigel M. (University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law)

“I failed July 2009 and hired Steve specifically for help on my essays. Unlike nearly all other tutors that I checked out, Steve has many options for instruction, so you don’t have to waste time on what you don’t need. Steve’s instructions on essays (and the tips he gave me on the MBEs and PTs) were spot on. He knows the formula for passage, and he’s effective at communicating his message. He does not skimp on time with his students, let’s you know what you’re doing well, and gives concrete strategies for improvement. I entered the Bar Exam more confident than I was after taking BarBri. And even when a question came up that on law that I didn’t remember, I implemented Steve’s strategies to write a well-organized, fact intensive essay. I would hire Steve again and again, except that if you hire him once, that won’t be necessary. That is, I passed the February exam. Steve is fabulous. Give him a call.”

Avital Gertner-Samet

“As a foreign attorney, I needed extra guidance on the written portion of the California Bar exam and Steve provided that for me. He did not judge nor did he criticize; instead, with extreme patience, Steve pinpointed my weakest areas and helped me strengthen them. He gave me a formula to follow that helped me tremendously during the exam. I knew exactly what to do, what to write and how to write it in real time. Simply put, thanks to Steve’s methods and strategies I passed. I have no doubt about it.”

Jennifer G.

“I took the California Bar 5 times and I have used all the different methods that are generally recommended when you graduate law school. However, although each of the programs were helpful, none of these preparations ever made me feel comfortable in actually writing the bar. I had a lot of knowledge about bar subjects but I just could not apply it to my writing. This is where tutoring by Steve Zikman was so helpful. He helped me feel confident in writing any essay question even if I did not know the subject that well. Through his supervision I was able to create a schedule that I could stick with. Steve was a great tutor and I definitely recommend him.”

DC

“I just passed the bar exam on the second try. About 3 weeks before the exam, I took a practice test and failed it. In a panic, I found Steve Zikman online and called him. He called back within an hour, went over my score report from the first exam, and told me my approach to studying was totally wrong. He was right! After working with him every day for the last three weeks and studying very hard, I passed. Not only did I pass, but I wasn’t even worried about failing, because I had been doing so well on the practice tests immediately before the exam. Steve does more than just grade your practice essays, for me he would calm me down when I was panicking. Can’t recommend him enough.”

JC (Abraham Lincoln University, Los Angeles)

“Thanks to Steve Zikman, I passed the CA bar as a repeater. Steve is not only able to assess my strength and weakness, but also provide effective study plan, motivation and encouragement. I prepared for the CA bar exam while having a full-time job. Since English is my second language, I had difficulty in both essay writing and PTs. Steve was able to offer very helpful advise in coping with both. In essay-writing, he was able to point out what bar examiners are looking for and made me follow a consistent writing style. In PTs, Steve helped me focus on organization, as well as writing skills for ‘bonus points.’ Overall, I think Steve’s bar review coaching was very effective and an important factor in me finally passing the CA bar.”

Bobby O. (University of San Diego School of Law)

“Steve helped me immensely, particularly with the organization and structure of my PTs. He provided me with a plan on how to approach every PT, a well laid-out roadmap, such that it didn’t matter what kind of question was thrown my way, the approach was always the same. Steve worked hard to ensure my success, he prepared me well and really wanted me to succeed. By the time the Bar came around, I felt so prepared I actually hoped for difficult PTs, as I felt I would benefit in ways others couldn’t. I struggled the first time I took the Bar, getting 55s on both PTs despite understanding the material and feeling like I did well. However, I did not know was how to write a PT the way the graders wanted it written. Steve taught me that. I am so thankful for his help and highly recommend his services.”

Bill S. (John F. Kennedy University College of Law)

“I highly recommend Steve Zikman as a coach for the Baby Bar. I was not successful in my 1st attempt. Steve helped me overcome my fears of not writing enough and not finishing. Steve corrected bad habits I had developed from those fears. Steve’s approach to writing and his detailed feedback on my practice essays was just what I needed. My work with Steve enabled me to write complete answers in the time given that were much more thorough. I easily passed on my 2nd attempt.”

Jeremy C. (Michigan State University College of Law)

“Steve actually coached me by focusing on my strengths and helping me to not overemphasize my weaknesses. It was completely different approach. I felt that he really cared about me, about how I was doing and that he really wanted me to succeed. Steve provided me with some quantitative strategies for approaching the exam, especially on the essays. He helped me realize the exam is in 3 parts and that there was more to passing the exam than focusing solely on the essays. I was stressing on areas and things that weren’t important. Steve helped me take a step back and refocus on the important things when I otherwise might have quit and not taken the exam. He was a calming influence always checking in on me. Even on the days of the exam, he’d check in. He helped me get things off my chest and shift my focus to the next part of the exam. Steve actually helped me believe in me, that I could actually pass the stupid test. He coached me up, if you understand what that means. In my opinion, that is what sets him apart from other tutors I had in the past.”

Pam S. (Loyola University New Orleans School of Law)

“I used Steve for the CA Bar Exam and I finally passed! I was looking for a tutor who could help me with my particular issues. I was not disappointed. Steve did a great job finding my problems and showed me the correct way to write bar essays. He also helped me to build on my strength, the MBE. Steve was very accessible and I got the attention I needed. I highly recommend him to anyone who wants to pass the bar and move on with their life.”

Craig R. (New College of California School of Law)

“I had taken the exam twice before 5 years apart and wanted to take it again, but did not want to use one of the “canned” study courses. I discovered Steve online and was impressed with his response, how much time he took to understand where I was in terms of motivation, time, past scores and abilities. The method he uses helped me to understand the exam in a different way. In school it was always stressed that the essays were the most important part of the exam. Steve showed me how to break the exam apart, how each part was different and required a different strategy; which let me see that there were points to be gotten in all three parts of the exam. This also helped me be more focused in my review. Steve is a great coach, he was very available, worked with my own peculiar style, and gave me a perspective on the exam that I had not previously had. I could not recommend him more.”

Jane K. (Vermont Law School)

“I was facing the bar for the third time and frankly, I was just plain tired of it all. I knew that my main problem was my writing but I couldn’t figure out what exactly I had to do to improve. Prior bar prep courses had returned my practice essays with vague, cursory, feel-good comments and plenty of ’70’ scores, but not a lot of constructive criticism. Steve took the time to REALLY look at my writing and determine what I had to do to succeed and then worked closely with me through the sometimes painful process and firmly kept me on track. Though I sometimes doubted, I am glad that in the end I trusted Steve and his methods because they worked! He was in contact just about every day during the prep period, even if it was just to check in and make sure I was doing okay. During the exam, he even called during the lunch breaks and at the end of the day on each of the three days–for a pep talk in preparation for the next part. He really was a bar “coach,” not just a tutor. While it is true there were many factors that contributed to my eventual success, I am absolutely certain that I would not have been at the swearing in ceremony a few days ago had it not been for Steve’s help. SO worth it!”

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