How Did this California Bar Review Course Start and What Differentiates Barwinners From the Competition?

September19, 2015
by Bar Winners

Professor Karney grew up with a love of writing. When she was younger, she worked on her school’s newspaper, and while a student at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, California, she tutored and mentored other law school students. In the 1980s, Professor Karney created a Bar review course that captured the unique teaching method she had been using for years as a law school tutor and mentor.

Her unique approach incorporates skills Professor Karney had learned post-1L to help incoming 1Ls master their academics and test preparation skills, and 3L’s master the California Bar Exam. She believes if someone had mentored her from the beginning of her law school career, her law school studies would have been more focused and less stressful and helped when taking the bar exam. A key feature of her program is to be able to learn skills that maximize study time efficiency, which includes making outlines for finals early in the semester to make time for essay practice later on.

Professor Karney believes a student can be most successful if he or she spends less time briefing cases, and more time applying the law to hypotheticals, practice exams and getting instructor feedback. When she took the California Bar Exam, Professor Karney studied with a larger bar review prep company that she, in hindsight, sees was not suited to her needs.

She created her California bar review courses and program to reflect what she had wanted in California bar preparation-LIVE classes, interaction with professors and instructors, a place for students to ask questions, simulated bar exams, quality, thorough exam feedback, and a more hands-on approach to learning the law.

Her materials are synthesized and pull out the core content of each Bar subject into Approach template format, that a student can then apply to writing an essay on the Bar exam. This way a student is able to focus more on how to apply and analyze the law, rather struggling over structure as Professor Karney already has the structure and content formatted for her students.

In about thirty five pages per subject, the “Approach Book Bar Bible” is the main text her students use to prepare for the essay portion of the Bar exam. While self-grading is a helpful tool that many other prep companies use, Professor Karney recognizes it’s difficult for students to diagnose their own weaknesses. This is why in her program, she provides students with simulated exam grading and quality feedback from the Barwinners licensed California Attorney, graders and mentors.  She also demonstrates an effective self-grading technique for self-study as needed, with rubrics, or “cut sheets,” that are similar to those of Bar exam graders. These cut sheets enable students to see the elements necessary for a passing score, rather than having to read through a convoluted sample essay that doesn’t even identify the issues for students!

Another unique feature to Professor Karney’s California Bar Review program is that she schedules her classes around a student’s most productive time to study, which is during the day. This is why her classes are held two weeknights and on the weekends, in order to leave students time to study the substantive materials and do practice essays and questions during the day.

There is homework assigned in every class that is due for the next class meeting. This California Bar Review Course is very structured!  For students in Southern California, Professor Karney offers in-person, live professors in nearly all classrooms.

For students further away, a structured and interactive experience is still possible through the online option that features simulated exams, an online mentor, and other interactions with her company. Either online or in-person, Professor Karney’s program is one that stands apart from others with its attention to detail and personalized, student-oriented approach!

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