Celebration Bar Review was nice enough to give me access to its courses so I could check them out and share my thoughts with you. I reviewed the MBE course and the California-specific materials.
What is Celebration Bar Review?
Celebration Bar Review is a bar review program that can be completed online or on your iPad/iPhone. Prep programs are available for California, New York, New Jersey, Florida, Texas, Georgia, and the multistate portion of the bar exam. It includes a range of programs at different price points offering various levels of support (including one-on-one mentoring). Learn more about the programs here.
Celebration Bar Review is a family-owned business run by Jackson Mumey and his wife. Jackson is the face (and voice of your bar prep) as he gives the lectures throughout the course.
What do the materials look like?
I first checked out the iPad edition. You can download the materials to iBook, where you can read through them, highlight them, and use all of the nifty iBook note-taking tools. This definitely lightens the load, literally, compared with carrying around the large number of prep materials required for the bar exam. I found the books (which are your study outlines) easy to read and almost as though someone is lecturing to you. This is great, especially if you learn more from reading outlines. Warning though! These outlines are so complete they may feel overwhelming. If you do feel overwhelmed, I would recommend that you simplify the work and make your own study materials. Also included with the review materials, however, is something called “Multistate Nutshells of Law”—a rule-based outline on areas of law that are heavily tested on the MBE. This may help you target your studying to hit heavily tested areas of the law.
There are many practice questions for studying the Multistate Bar Exam. One especially nice feature is that the answer to each question immediately follows the question! This is great, because so often students ignore the explanation to an MBE question, especially when they get it right. Placing the answer with the question facilitates students using it as a study tool, helping to make sure they got the answer right for the right reasons.
The online course is hosted by an e-learning host and I found it to be pretty easy to navigate. The iPad app is also very easy to navigate. I did run into some small technical issues with the iPad app on my system (watching the videos), but Celebration Bar Review quickly connected me with tech support to get the issue resolved.
The lectures are video lectures by your host, Jackson Mumay. The videos aren’t terribly high-tech; they actually take on the feel of sitting in a room with Mumay, talking to you about the bar exam. If you are watching online, the videos are played through YouTube.
One thing to note: You need to be connected to the Internet in order to view and load these videos. So make sure you include that in your bar exam study plan!
A Note on the California Materials
As most of you know, I specialize in the California Bar Exam, so Celebration Bar Review was nice enough to send me its California materials as well. As with the multistate materials, the California outlines are very complete, but they could be overwhelming for some students.
The study materials include numerous essays and sample answers. The sample answers seem very complete, but many of them may be longer or more detailed than most students could finish in the time allowed. In addition, some students may be confused by the fact that the sample answers cite to individual cases (which, in my opinion, is not required by the bar examiners). Also included is a performance test book with questions and sample answers. (Note: If you are studying for the California bar exam using an app, I do recommend that you print out some performance tests to complete on paper, to coincide with the way you will take the exam.)
For which students would Celebration Bar Review be a good fit?
With the program’s affordable price point, a student gets materials at a reasonable cost. In addition, the program provides one-on-one support or mentoring, something that many students are looking for. But remember, when selecting a mentor or tutor, you must make sure they are a good fit. If you are looking for a program with a large amount of autonomy, this is a good program to check out—because it gives you the materials all at once, so you can tailor the program to your specific needs. It may not be as high-tech as some of the other programs out there, but that doesn’t mean that the content isn’t valuable.
Have you used Celebration Bar Review? Please share your experience in the comments.
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