Today it is our pleasure to welcome Kobelah Bennah, the Managing Director of Smarter Review LLC (they offer bar prep materials for New York and the MBEs). You may have read about Smarter Review on the Bar Exam Toolbox before (check out this review of Smarter Review).
Without further ado …
1. What’s Smarter Review and how is it different from other bar review courses?
Well, do you know how most bar courses take months to complete, are impossible to keep up in, and are super expensive? What Smarter Review materials do is (1) cover only what is usually tested; (2) make the law as easy to understand as possible; and (3) do it in easy-to-read print volumes so that bar takers get what they need to study quicker, easier, and cheaper.
2. How did you come to run the company?
That’s a great story. A few summers ago, I had a great firm job in New York that I could keep so long as I passed the NY bar exam. So there was a lot on the line. Unfortunately, I had been completely preoccupied for most of my study time, and found myself with only about 15 days left. And I hadn’t done anything. So, as you can imagine, I was VERY concerned.
Long story short, I took a shot on a relatively unknown product offered in New York. In the end, I was the 4th person of literally thousands to walk out of the testing center—half an hour or so before time was called. And yes, I passed.
I never forgot that product. It made studying quick, easy, and relatively cheap.
So when it was time to transition from practice to business, I couldn’t think of a problem I’d rather help solve than the nightmare of bar prep. A few partners agreed, so we joined with the makers of that product to offer the materials to a wider audience.
3. Lots of people think you have to spend a bunch of money on a well-known bar course to pass. What’s your perspective on this? Can anyone use Smarter Review, or do you think it’s better suited for particular types of bar exam takers?
Thousands of people go with “that course” for a lot of reasons. And if that’s you, we have a product to make that course easier. If you find yourself lost or falling behind, we have law digests that will give you an advantage over others in the course and keep you on track. It will change the way you feel about bar study, guaranteed.
Are Smarter Review products best suited for a particular kind of exam taker? Yes. Smarter Review products are good only for takers who want their study to be quicker, easier, and/or cheaper. You can take my word for it because I’ve passed one bar using the big company and I’ve passed another one using a Smarter Review product.
4. I’m studying for the bar exam now, and there’s about a month left. What are the three most critical things I need to be doing to give myself the best shot at passing?
- Make a schedule that allows you to study and practice each subject.
- Get the law you will study down to the essentials. Most people make outlines – you can even get some from somebody who studied for a previous test. What’s better than that, of course, are subject digests that cover only what’s tested and give explanations of difficult concepts.
- Practice. Practice essays and multiple choice. That’s what puts the information in your brain in a way that you can best use it on exam day.
- And one bonus—Try to relax. Chances are that you’re going to do just fine
5. Where’s Smarter Review going in the future? What are your plans?
The most exciting thing we’re working on is partnering with student organizations. We’re working with them to provide fellowships for law graduates going into non-profit careers. Just last week, for example, we began our partnership with EPIC, a public interest organization at Emory law school. There’s no telling how many students will get relief because of these partnerships.
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Thanks Kobelah! If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments.
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If you enjoyed this post, you might want to check out these:
- Jessica Klein, Author of The Goat’s Guide: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide To Preparing for the California Bar Exam On Your Own (Part I)
- Jessica Klein, Author of The Goat’s Guide (Part II)
- Tools for Bar Exam Success: AdaptiBar
- Tools for Bar Exam Success: BarEssays.com
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Image from Smarter Review.