Tutoring and coaching students to pass the California bar exam is about much more than simply grading essays. Steve Zikman is an experienced educator and a natural teacher. He received his Masters of Law (LL.M.) from Pepperdine University where is also serves on the Council of Distinguished Advisors at Pepperdine University\\'s Straus Institute. He has taught and coached individuals for over 20 years. Steve is a certified performance and self-esteem coach, specially trained to help students build their level of confidence and achieve their goal of passing the bar exam. Beyond his legal background as an environmental attorney, mediator and administrative judge, Steve is a bestselling author and award-winning editor. As co-author and editor of several of the bestselling Chicken Soup for the Soul titles, Steve has worked with thousands of individuals to help them get the most out of their writing. Steve brings these many skills to his work as one of the premier tutors and coaches for the California bar exam.
Our students' total scaled scores range from 1439 to those who are 100 or 200 points away from passing. Of course, our goal is to get everyone over the passing score of 1440 and our most recent results prove that, including: 78% pass rate in July 2018, 74% pass rate in February 2018, 86% pass rate in July 2017, 77% pass rate in February 2017, 80% pass rate in July 2016, 82% pass rate in February 2016, 80% pass rate in July 2015, and 88% pass rate in February 2015. However, even for those who do not pass, their scores have increased by 100 points or more, boosting their confidence and bringing the next exam to within reach.
All of our tutoring/coaching programs are customized to meet the needs and budget of each individual student. We work very hard to ensure that whatever challenges you are facing, the solutions lie in meeting your specific needs.
Our Premium Unlimited programs allow students to do as many Essays, PTs and/or MBEs as they wish according to the process designed and provided by The Strategic Bar Coach™. For example, our Essay program includes an initial series of 13 essays focused on structure and analysis (one for each of the 13 exam subjects), followed by an unlimited number of our Write to Pass™ Timed Essay Drills (3 essays in 3 hours) that are focused on timing issues. We've had students who have done over 100 essays and 25 PTs. It's up to you.
Customized Premium Packages of Essays, PTs and/or MBEs are also available to suit your needs and budget. Our most popular packages are 22 Essays, 6 PTs & 6 MBE Drilldowns and 19 Essays, 5 PTs & 5 MBE Drilldowns. You can create any combination of Essays, PTs and/or MBEs to suit your particular needs and budget.
Whichever option you choose (Premium Unlimited or a Premium Package), we offer tutoring/coaching on all 3 sections of the exam: Essays, PTs, and MBEs.
This point is critical. All of our program options include 1-on-1, in-depth, line-by-line, detailed review of each essay or performance test AND subsequent revisions. We spend the time with you to discuss each answer (and revision), line-by-line. We strongly believe that the best improvement can only occur through actual interactive conversations to ensure that each point is fully understood and implemented and all of your questions are addressed.
All of our feedback is interactive and in real-time over the phone. We don't rely on cookie-cutter, boilerplate written feedback to tutor our students. We review each essay and PT with you on the phone, 1-on-1, line-by-line, highlighting your strengths, fixing your weaknesses, and modeling how you might have written a better answer. Based on that discussion, you then revise your essay, exercising your essay and PT writing muscles, until each one is consistently a passing answer. We want you to get the most of each essay by examining each essay on five levels: (1) the issues, tricks and complexities of the particular essay question, (2) broader strategies and tactics for the particular subject, (3) IRAC structure, (4) factual analysis, and (5) timing. We strongly believe that this process can only occur through actual interactive conversations to ensure that each point is fully understood and implemented and all of your questions are addressed.
We believe that effective tutoring requires an 'open book' approach to doing the essays. While many tutors require you to memorize the law before you do their essays, we don't see the sense in memorizing weeks and months before the exam. In fact, most students aren't good at memorization and indeed don't see the value in early memorization. Requiring students to spend their energy on early memorization slows down the learning process and hinders their ability to make the critical changes that are needed to pass the exam. Of course memorization is important for the bar exam; however, it is most effective when done 14-21 days before the exam when the material will be fresh in your mind and you will have a much better appreciation for how to use the law. We want to see what you can do with the law if you had it at your fingertips.
All of our Essay programs include our exclusive Flash Outlines™. These highly acclaimed and practical educational supplements are especially designed for better Essay writing by breaking down the elements of the law for more effective IRAC presentation and analysis. Our Flash Outlines™ are only available to enrolled students.
We provide you with two realistic sample answers for each foundational Essay and PT question.
In addition to providing deeper insights in terms of issue spotting, factual analysis and consistent IRAC structure, our unique Write to Pass™ Timed Essay Drills focus on the timing challenges of completing 3 essays in 3 hours.
PR is one of the most predictable essays on the bar exam. As such, we pay extra attention to this subject and provide students with an exclusive PR Tip Sheet and PR Templates, in addition to our detailed PR Flash Outline™.
We design an individualized schedule to meet your specific needs, and to allow sufficient time for memorizing the law and gaining much-needed perspective.
We conduct an in-depth review of your previous bar exam results to help you achieve a better understanding of your strengths and your weaknesses. This process also helps to boost your confidence especially when you see the ways in which your writing style has improved over what you had written before.
Two weeks before the exam, we provide all of our students with exclusive Tips Sheets for the Essay, PT and/or MBE portions of the bar exam.
On each day of the exam, Steve stays in touch with you on the phone or via email to review how things went and to keep you on track for the rest of the exam.
All of our meetings are conducted over the phone. Our students are located all over the California, across the country and around the world. Even if a student lives in Los Angeles where Steve is located, traveling across the city results in too much wasted time and energy. We have found that telephone meetings are ideal for the busy bar exam student who doesn\\'t have the ability or the time to travel to meet Steve in person. With telephone conferences, students save on gas and avoid traffic jams unnecessary delays and waiting. This is especially critical as students get closer to the exam when every minute counts.
You can start whenever you want (as long as there is space available). Take the time you need to make sure that the next bar exam is your last. Feel free to speak with Steve about early study options to meet your needs and budget. If you find yourself close to the exam date and think you might need some last-minute help, inquire about the possibility of our short-term solutions.
We work with students who are 100% committed to passing the bar exam. We just want you to pass the exam and look forward to helping you find the most effective strategy for achieving that goal.
Whether you are able to study full-time or have obligations that restrict your available study time (e.g. a job, family, etc.), we will help you design the right schedule and strategy to meet your needs.
We specialize in repeaters as well as attorneys from other jurisdictions. Of course, we also welcome first-timers.
Teaching requires patience. Steve is nurturing, caring and non-judgmental in his approach. He keeps you on track while focusing on your strengths and fixing your weaknesses.