The Bar Exam Toolbox takes a one-on-one approach to test preparation. Our team believes that working with a tutor on an individual basis can help students study smarter by creating targeted test preparation approaches that will lead to better exam results.
Whether you are taking the Pennsylvania bar exam for the first time and are looking to supplement a commercial program or are tackling the test again after getting disappointing results, our team can help you navigate the study process and get ready for the next test. Our Fall 2020 tutoring program is closed for Pennsylvania. We are currently accepting students for February 2021 and beyond.
Please contact us to discuss how we can help, or read on for more details about our Pennsylvania bar exam tutoring team.
Retaking the Pennsylvania Bar Exam
If you are seeking help after a bar failure, it is crucial that you work with a someone who can effectively evaluate what went wrong in your previous bar experience and empower you to be successful in the future.
We believe students are empowered:
- By learning the best way to study based on their individual needs
- By getting detailed and constructive feedback
- By deliberately practicing and improving the skills needed to be successful on exam day
Because we know that bar retakers have different budgets, we offer a range of tutoring and other support options.
Please contact us for details on pricing and to discuss your individual needs.
Taking the Pennsylvania Bar Exam for the First Time
It is important to remember that if you are taking a commercial bar review course, it is one course designed to help thousands of people at a time. Not everything may work for you! And if you need different or additional support, you should ask for help.
Many students who have disappointing bar experiences know that things aren’t going well during their first bar preparation period. If that is you, we can help you work on your exam-taking skills and give you the much-needed feedback that many people feel is missing from a commercial bar review experience.
Please contact us for details on pricing and to discuss your individual needs.
Our job is to give you the tools you need to succeed!
Unfortunately, we cannot be in the exam room with you as you take the exam! You are the only one who can produce passing results on exam day. We see our role as empowering you by giving you the skills necessary to be the best bar exam taker you can be.
When you show up to the Pennsylvania bar exam:
- You will feel confident that you know what a good essay looks like.
- You will be confident you know what a good performance test looks like.
- You will have your plan for how to attack an essay or performance exam.
- You will have a plan for the MBE portion to set yourself up for success.
- You will even have a plan if you don’t remember the law!
You will have a new set of tools that you can draw upon to — hopefully — make this bar exam experience your last!
What does a typical Pennsylvania bar exam tutoring program include?
Each one of our tutoring programs is completely customizable. Most students start working with a tutor about 9 weeks before the exam, but we are flexible as to start date.
Typical programs include the following:
- Weekly one-on-one tutoring meetings with a Bar Exam Toolbox tutor
- Feedback on a set number of essays
- Feedback on a set number of performance tests
- Feedback on your prior bar exam answers (if available)
- A customized study schedule with daily goals and a personalized Asana project to manage the process
- Weekly accountability check-in emails
- Access to our handouts, videos, and other helpful bar resources
- Free access to the MBE Practice of the Week (“POW”) Videos ($149 value)
- Free access to one season of the AdaptiBar MBE Program ($395 value)
If you are curious about our pricing or other details, please drop us a line.
Who will I be working with?
You will be working with one of our very experienced bar tutors (who are also Pennsylvania bar exam experts).
Doretta McGinnis is a Pennsylvania and UBE bar exam tutor for the Bar Exam Toolbox. After graduating from Harvard, she worked in academic publishing until a friend dared her to go to law school.
Doretta earned her JD at Penn Law, where she was an editor of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review and a legal writing instructor. Eager to pay off her student loans, she practiced labor and employment law at a major Philadelphia law firm, but soon left Biglaw to pursue her interest in legal education.
Doretta joined the faculty at Widener University Delaware Law School, where, over the course of nearly 20 years, she served as Associate Director of the legal writing program and taught labor law, employment discrimination, and bar exam prep. Specifically, she has taught the Bar Success course at Widener, primarily for Pennsylvania bar students. She is a member of the Pennsylvania bar.
Keri Bischoff Clapp is a Pennsylvania and UBE bar exam tutor for the Bar Exam Toolbox. Keri’s love for writing led her to journalism school and then directly to law school at Penn Law, which she absolutely loved. Keri was an executive editor and published author of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.
After law school, she learned many life and professional lessons by clerking for a woman federal District Court judge in Philadelphia. Keri then joined a large Philadelphia law firm as a litigation associate and later worked as in-house and trial counsel for a U.S. government office.
The next act of Keri’s career brought her into the classroom to teach undergraduates and law school students. Among other courses, she has taught business law, legal research and writing, and bar exam preparation. Specifically, she has worked with numerous students taking the Pennsylvania bar at Widener University Delaware School of Law and at Villanova Law. She is a member of the Pennsylvania bar.
Got some questions? Here are some answers!
We’re always happy to answer your questions! You’ll find frequently asked questions below, but please don’t hesitate to reach out if your question isn’t answered.
- I have failed once, do I really need a tutor?
If you have failed the bar once, the best thing you can do is change your study habits so you don’t have the same experience the second time. It is heartbreaking to hear students who are sitting for the bar a third or fourth time say they just wish they had worked with a tutor earlier and given themselves a better chance at passing. If you have failed, you need to change the way you approach the bar exam and create a new plan for yourself. This is exactly what we can help you do.
- How is this different from classroom bar review courses?
When you work with the Bar Exam Toolbox, your bar preparation focus is about you — what will work best for you as far as study techniques, writing practice, and scheduling. You are not the same as every other person sitting for the bar and we can help you decide the best way to prepare for this test. Classroom bar preparation courses do a great job of covering substantive law. We help you turn that substantive law into passing answers.
- Do you meet in person?
We have been working remotely with bar takers since 2009. Our students don’t feel that anything is lost by working remotely, even if they are located within driving distance of their tutor. Working remotely is the most efficient way to meet with your tutor because you don’t lose any study time to transportation. We meet with students over the phone, Google Hangout, and Skype.
- Do you work with people who are studying while working?
Yes, a number of our bar students are studying while working. In that case, we often recommend spreading one of our standard programs out over a longer time frame, to ensure adequate prep time.
- Can you help me if I am taking the Pennsylvania and NJ bars concurrently?
Unfortunately, these exams are no longer offered on offset days, so you cannot take both in the same week.
Do you have another question? Contact us and we will get right back to you.
What do our students have to say about us?
Wondering what it’s like to work with the Bar Exam Toolbox tutors? Read on for some student accounts. You can also check out these helpful podcast episodes where our tutors chat with Lee about the Bar Exam.
Bar Exam Toolbox is not just another bar review course that provides you with information to memorize. Their program is tailored to your every need and provides each student with a pathway to success on the bar exam. Their resources and instructive videos provide each student with a blueprint on how to attack each part of the exam. Bar Exam Toolbox gave me the tools and confidence to walk into the exam feeling calm and prepared. My success on the Pennsylvania Bar Exam is direct result of the program engineered by Bar Exam Toolbox.
If you’re taking the Pennsylvania Bar Exam, there is no better resource and tutor then Doretta McGinnis. Her attention detail and willingness to assist with every question you may have, was the foundation of successfully passing the Pennsylvania Bar Exam. Without Doretta’s detailed feedback and weekly instruction, I would not have increased my score by thirty points and passed the Pennsylvania Bar Exam. – G
We look forward to helping you find success on the Pennsylvania bar exam!