Some of our law students have asked me to share my thoughts on Themis Bar Review. Themis was nice enough to give me access to a demo course so I could learn more about its offerings and share my thoughts with the Bar Exam Toolbox community. So without further ado . . .
What is Themis Bar Review?
Themis Bar Review is a commercial bar review course that you can take entirely online. It is offered at a lower price point than some other commercial courses (course offerings are around $1,795 for a full bar review course, which is over a thousand dollars off compared to some other bar prep. options!). Instead of sitting in a large lecture hall or convention center with other students listening to lectures, you listen to lectures and do all of your studying autonomously online.
Themis offers courses for 39 jurisdictions: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming. There is also a separate MBE review.
The program provides some flexibility
One of the things I liked most about Themis was that it offers two ways to approach a study schedule. You can choose “Directed Study” or “Flex Study.” Directed Study is more structured and suggests you complete lessons and practice in a sequential order. Flex Study allows you to pick and choose what you would like to study on a given day. You can also go in and select your own bar study start date as well to fit with your schedule.
Why is this difference important? Many students feel that their bar review provider doesn’t give them any flexibility with their study schedule. If they are sick, or tired, or just having a bad day, they can’t choose to change their study schedule. Themis offers students the flexibility to jump between different types of schedules while still tracking their progress.
For students who are working, this might be a great option. They can even extend their bar review prep period to allow them a longer study period. The schedule will reflect this and help students manage their workload (which is critical for students who are planning on working while studying).
The program doesn’t set unrealistic expectations
I’ve been told that Themis suggests students study eight hours a day during the week and some also on the weekend. Thank you, Themis! This is a reasonable approach to bar study (as we always say, it helps to treat studying like a job).
You don’t have to sit through an entire lecture at once
I thought this was also a nifty approach. Themis breaks down the subject lectures into 15- to 20-minute “Chapters.” So, if you find it difficult to focus on a lecture for four hours at a time, for example, you can choose to listen in shorter chunks, altering your bar prep. study time to what works best for you. Want to check out the lecture handouts before listening? You have that option too.
Themis gives you tools to check your understanding
Themis provides assessment questions so you can check your understanding and retention of information from each lecture. The results will identify specific chapters where you may need additional review (or you may want to go back and listen to the entire lecture again!). There are assessments at the end of lectures, as well as quizzes you can complete within 24 hours of listening to a lecture in order to help you move information from short- to long-term memory.
What if you use your tablet or smartphone?
There is an app for that, which you can download as part of your tuition (Apple and Android available).
You Get Personalized Feedback
Themis makes it a priority to get feedback to its students. You have due dates to submit various essays and performance exams for grading. You get an overall score on the writing and then a track changes discussion of areas you can work on. This feedback comes from your attorney advisor who gives you tips throughout the entire process. And, your attorney advisor stays with you throughout your prep. so you are getting consistent advice from the same person each time.
There is plenty of MBE practice
Themis let me know that there were about 3,000 practice MBE questions included on its site, some “real” questions straight from the National Conference of Bar Examiners and some written by Themis. There are different “modes” you can practice MBE questions in, testing mode or practice mode. You will also get to see which answers choices are chosen the most often by other students, as well as the difficulty level of each question. There is also a link to a subject outline that you can click on if the legal rules triggered by a question confuses you or needs refreshing.
Themis tracks your progress
One of the benefits of the online program is that you get to track your progress. You can check to see how much material you have covered and how you are doing on the writing and MBE portions. This helps you feel as though you are “owning” the preparation process.
Who is a good match for Themis Bar Review
I think that Themis is a quality option for the student who is a self-regulated learner and doesn’t need the structure of going to a class every day or working with a group of people. I think the program provides some flexibility so you can move through the material and experiment with what works for you (but still it creates accountability through the due dates of practice exams and periodic check-ins with your attorney advisor).
Anything else to keep in mind?
If you’re a procrastinator or think your bar review will require a lot of hand-holding to keep you on track, Themis might not be the best choice for you. Also, if you’re gong to watch 5 hours of lectures, you should make sure that that’s a strategy that actually works for you. In my experience, most bar students think video lectures are helping them, but there ends up being better ways they can spend their valuable time—such as more targeted practice and review.
Want to learn more?
If you are still a law student, you should try out a Themis product to see if you think it will be a good fit for you for the bar! You can try the Themis MPRE review for free by following this link.
Have you taken Themis Bar Review? Share your experience in the comments.
You might also find these posts helpful:
- How do you Pick a Bar Exam Tutor?
- MBE Trouble? Tips for Studying Again
- Bar Study Tips: Getting Mentally Ready for the Bar Exam
Image by Themis Bar Review. Originally posted November 2012, updated April 2016