Hi, I’m Lee Burgess, co-founder of the Bar Exam Toolbox and a highly-experienced bar exam tutor. If you’d like help passing the bar exam, you’ve come to the right place! We are currently accepting students for February 2021 and beyond.
The Bar Exam Toolbox Philosophy
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 bar for the first time and are looking to supplement a classroom program or tackling the test again after getting disappointing results, our team can help you navigate the study process and get ready for the next exam.
Retaking the Bar Exam in a UBE, MEE, or MPT Jurisdiction
If you are seeking help after a bar failure, it is crucial that you work with someone who can effectively evaluate what went wrong in your previous bar experience(s) 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, and by practicing and improving the skills necessary to be successful on exam day.
Because we know that bar takers have different budgets, we offer a range of 8- and 10-week tutoring and support options, along with extended options for those who are working and studying or who face other challenges. Contact us to learn more and set up a call to discuss your needs.
Taking the UBE, MEE, or MPT 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 and to discuss your individual situation.
Our job isn’t just to tell you how to do it — it is to give you the tools to succeed!
We cannot be in the exam room with you. You are the only one who can produce winning results on exam day. We see our role as empowering you by giving you the skills necessary to be the best exam-taker you can be.
- You will feel confident that you know what a good essay looks like.
- You will be confident you know what a good performance test essay looks like.
- You will have your plan of how to attack an essay or performance exam.
- You will have a plan for the MBE sections.
- You will even have a plan if you don’t remember the law!
In short, you will have a new set of tools that you can draw upon to help make this bar experience your last!
We make sure that your study techniques match your learning style
One of the great things about working with us is that we use different approaches to match your learning style. This process really is about getting you ready for the bar exam, not some imaginary student.
- Do you learn best from flash cards? Outlining? Flow charts?
- Do you struggle with time management?
- Does your writing style need work?
- Is organization a problem?
The key is to use the study skills you already have and build on them based on the needs of the bar exam.
Who will you be working with?
You will be working one-on-one with one of our bar exam tutors who is an expert on the UBE, MEE, and/or MPT. All of our tutors have extensive experience working with law students and bar exam takers, and can help formulate a plan for success! Find out more about the tutors here.
What does a typical bar exam tutoring program include?
All full-service tutoring programs include the following:
- Weekly one-on-one tutoring meetings with a Bar Exam Toolbox tutor, feedback on a set number of essays, and feedback on a set number of performance tests
- Feedback on your prior bar exam answers (if applicable)
- A customized study schedule with daily goals and a personalized Asana project to manage the process
- Free access to the AdaptiBar MBE program ($395 value)
- Free access to the Brainy Bar Bank (UBE Essay and PT Practice Bank) ($95 value)
- Free access to the Writing of the Week (“WOW”) Videos ($229 value)
- Free access to the MBE Practice of the Week (“POW”) Videos ($149 value)
- Free access to a SmartBarPrep standard package with substantive outlines and attack plans ($124 value)
- Weekly accountability check-in emails
- Access to our handouts, videos, and other helpful bar resources
The great thing about tutoring with the Bar Exam Toolbox is that we can make tutoring recommendations based on your individual needs! So contact us today to talk about putting together your custom tutoring program.
Your Personalized Tutoring Tools
Studying for the bar exam is tedious enough without searching your email looking for feedback or to figure out what you’re supposed to be working on. You’ll have a personal study schedule, developed in consultation with your tutor to focus on your needs. To make things easy, we’ll set up a personal Asana project for you to use for uploads, feedback, tracking your study schedule, and much more.
Here’s what it looks like:
You’ll also receive access to helpful videos and other materials we’ve created.
If you have any questions on how things work, just ask!
Which Jurisdictions Use the UBE, MEE, and MPT?
Not sure which jurisdictions use the UBE, MEE, and MPT? Not to worry! The National Conference of Bar Examiners has a helpful map so you can see what your jurisdiction uses. New states are adopting the UBE each bar season, so make sure you double check!
Looking for help just on the MEE or MPT?
No problem! If you’d like help specifically with the MEE or MPT, we can design a customized program for you where you can focus on just the essays or just the performance test with one of our helpful tutors.
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.
- Do you provide materials?
When working with us you will get access to a SmartBarPrep standard package. We think the substantive materials provided by SmartBarPrep combined with the study materials you likely already have (from your current or past bar review course) are plenty of substantive materials. And, it is possible you will also end up making some of your own materials during the study process – it can be a form of active learning! We also provide some study tips and attack plans for various subjects to assist with essay preparation.
- 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 2010. 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.
- Do you work with students who receive testing accommodations such as extended time?
Many of our students receive testing accommodations for learning disabilities, health concerns, or even breastfeeding. It is important to talk through strategies of how best to utilize your testing accommodations to help you perform at your best.
- Do you work with LLMs or foreign-trained attorneys?
Yes! We have helped many LLMs and foreign-trained attorneys study for the bar exam. When you don’t have the experience of attending a traditional law school program in the U.S., the bar exam format can be especially challenging. We can demystify it for you and help you understand what you need to know to pass.
- How do you accept payment?
Bar tutoring can be purchased in packages. We accept most major credit cards and checks and are happy to discuss payment plans. Want to know how much a package will cost? Just shoot us an email.
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.
About a year before I took the UBE, I happened upon the Bar Exam Toolbox podcast. I listened every day on may way to and from work. I found the information so useful that when it was time to get serious about studying, I ditched my pre-paid big box study course in favor of a few sessions with my amazing tutor Natalie and a customized study plan that was tailored to my schedule and how I learn. Even though I’m a non-traditional student with a low probability of passing on my first try, I passed with flying colors. I can’t say enough about how effective this program is, thank you Bar Exam Toolbox! – A
After having used commercial bar exam preparation programs, I decided that I needed more personalized attention and support to pass the bar exam. After having been recommended Bar Exam Toolbox from a friend, I decided to give Bar Exam Toolbox a chance. And, it was the best decision! Bar Exam Toolbox provided me with materials and strategies that were straightforward, simple to comprehend, and easy to remember. My tutor, Brittany Raposa, really understood the way in which I functioned, the way in which I processed information, what made me anxious, how to avoid feeling overwhelmed and defeated, which were my weak substantive areas, and much more. She worked with me and was always available to de-stress me and put me back on the right path of productivity and progress. I ended up passing the bar exam by over 28 points. I could not believe it! I am very thankful to have had Bar Exam Toolbox and Brittany Raposa by my side throughout this entire process. Thank you very much to Bar Exam Toolbox and Brittany for everything! – A
I failed the bar exam on my first attempt after taking a commercial bar prep course where I wasted time listening to video lectures that went over my head and filling out an endless amount of outlines with barely anytime to practice my writing skills while I was working a full time job. I am very grateful to have an amazing tutor like Doretta to help me pass the DC bar exam on my second attempt! Doretta is great at mentoring people that are working while studying and providing valuable feedback on how to strengthen weak areas. Bar Exam Toolbox is great at setting up customized schedules for people that are working and studying as well as providing just the right amount of material to focus on. I’d highly recommend using Bar Exam Toolbox rather than a commercial bar prep course! – L.
Bar Exam Toolbox helped me pass the Bar on my second attempt. The tools included are especially helpful. The feedback on my essays really helped improve my bar exam writing skills. Brittany was always positive and encouraging, and this kept my spirits up! – P.
I passed the NY Bar on the first try with the help of Keri. I wanted more feedback and access to more materials than were provided in my standard bar prep class. I knew that the UBE essays were my weak spot and her personalized study schedule and feedback helped me improve. Keri answered all of my questions quickly and gave me detailed comments about my essays. We had weekly phone calls that were essential in helping me pass on the first try. I couldn’t have done it without her! – K.
Shortly after beginning bar prep with a well-known commercial bar program, I realized that the program was not the right fit for me and that I needed a more personalized approach. I came across Bar Exam Toolbox and began working with Brittany. Brittany provided me with clear weekly schedules, personalized feedback for essays, and was available to talk whenever I had questions or concerns. Bar Exam Toolbox made all the difference in my bar prep because I prepared using real Bar Exam questions and was encouraged to practice MEE/MPT essays and MBE questions daily. Brittany and the team were great motivators the entire way and even helped me supplement my study plan with materials from the commercial program so they didn’t go to waste. Thanks to Brittany and the team I passed the NY Bar Exam and know Bar Exam Toolbox is a major reason why! – N.
This was my third time studying for and taking the exam, and my third exam prep service. The individual tutoring combined with voluminous assignments and resources available through the Toolbox really helped me improve my writing skills, my biggest stumbling block on previous exams. The Toolbox resources, combined with resources from my previous two courses, helped me finally cram enough subject matter into my brain to pass all three parts of the UBE. – K.
I really think the one on one tutoring is extremely helpful, especially when you have failed a bar exam and are unsure why. I felt that I had done everything my traditional bar prep program had asked of me and felt that I knew the law, but still failed. Bar Exam Toolbox helped me through a tutor find the exact reasons and helped me see where I needed to work. Also, I felt that my tutor was extremely positive and helped me feel confident in my skills and improvements. – V.
As a repeat exam taker with a full-time job and family, working with Doretta helped me with accountability and maintaining momentum. We talked a lot about legal writing, but also about preparing mentally for exam days, maintaining a positive attitude, and visualizing a successful outcome. – S.
Keri Clap was very professional, helpful, and accessible. She was also very honest about the fact that my score would be close to the line regardless of whether I passed or failed and I really appreciate that level of candor. Finally, she gave me concrete advice on how to organize my essays so that I could maximize my points and make my arguments clearer to the audience. – R.
Bar Exam Toolbox helped me through a tutor find the exact reasons and helped me see where I needed to work. Also, I felt that my tutor was extremely positive and helped me feel confident in my skills and improvements. – V.
I failed my Feb 2016 DC bar exam, which I had a month to prepare. I had 2 months to prepare for the July 2017 bar exam. I retook the conventional bar courses for a month, but I knew I was repeating the same process which did not help me pass first time around so I reached out to Lee, and I was assigned to a life saving tutor, Keri. At first my peers laughed at me for spending my money on tutor. I had my doubts, but Keri pushed me hard yet was patient with me to fix my weakness, which I did not know about. It is not magic formula, in fact it is arduous process, but it was worth it, because my score improved by 51 points and I passed. I would like to thank Lee for her amazing program, and especially to Keri, who guided me in the right direction within a month for me to pass the bar.-E.
DC just posted its bar results and I passed!! I really want to thank you for helping me prepare for the exam and giving me the confidence I needed to get through it. I didn’t think this day would ever come and you really helped me get here. –R.
Lee and the Bar Exam Toolbox was exactly what I needed after failing the bar exam for the first time. After speaking with Lee she made me feel secure and confident in the fact that I could beat this test, and that my failure did not mean I wasn’t capable of overcoming this obstacle. She then put me in touch with my private tutor Keri who set up a study plan and schedule for me. Keri stuck to me like glue and really provided me with a personalized tutoring experience. We spoke multiple times a week, she was constantly reviewing my work and providing feedback, and she was always providing exercises or handouts or anything else she might find useful to me. This whole Bar Experience was probably the most difficult obstacle I have ever had to overcome in my life, but I never felt alone or lost when I had Lee and Keri keep track of my work, and push me to keep moving forward. While Barbri might be a good program, it was the personal attention and the constant kick in the butt from Lee and her team at the Bar Exam Toolbox that really made the difference. I’m proud to say that I recently passed the Bar and am being sworn in in two weeks. I don’t think I could have done it without Keri and Lee and will always be grateful to them for getting me through it. – L.
I passed the NY Bar exam!!!! Thank you SO much for all of your help – I literally could not have done it without you. Taking the bar was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life, but I am happy I devoted the necessary time and now it’s over! –M.
I was lucky enough to find out today that I was one of the 57% to have passed the Arizona Bar Exam! Your course Bar Exam Toolbox was a great resource and definitely played a part in my success! Additionally, Doretta was just what I needed to conquer this barrier. Thanks again for all your help! I will definitely recommend your course to anyone who might be interested in writing the US bar exam. – M (foreign trained attorney)
With Doretta’s help I was able to increase my score from 257 to a score of 322. I needed a 260 to pass. I passed the bar exam by 62 points! I never thought that was possible. Thank You. – H
Just a line to thank you for all your advice and tutoring. I was admitted to Washington State Bar on 15 December 2016. I can hardly believe it! Your advice, help and support was really invaluable. I couldn’t have done it without you and will be recommending you to anyone if they ask me! -V
I just got my bar results back today: I passed!
I want to say thanks. It had been six years since I graduated law school and I had been away from the legal world long enough that I had to look up the word “preclude” when I first started studying. When I connected with you and BarExamToolbox this last Spring, I was still a little nervous about my ability to engage the test.
The bar is like any other training I’ve ever done: one must prepare for more than what is needed. You never know what’s going to happen and the only way to be ready is to be more than ready. A week out from the exam, I found out that I had failed to clarify the registration information in Minnesota and had failed to properly register my laptop. My only option was to handwrite the exam. This was a bit stressful, to say the least. While the last-minute change might be easy for someone who regularly handwrites, I had only prepared by typing. Still, I had done a lot of prep work with the WOW program early on – and I had an awesome tutor. Had I not done all of that prep or had my tutor for advice and guidance, I may not have done as well or passed.
Your program doesn’t cut corners or give out magic pills. It promotes steady results by efficient study and hard work. I had confidence because I put in the work. The WOW and Denise were an essential part of that. – J
I contacted Lee about getting a tutor for the UBE a few months before graduating law school and I am so glad I did. She paired me with Denise, and after an introductory phone call, Denise and I had a plan for how I was going to attack the Bar exam. Denise was so willing and able to answer all of my subject-related questions, however, she was so much more to me than someone to explain the issues – Denise offered me complete peace of mind. We created a study schedule together, which helped me decide which activities from my bar prep class were most important and what I should be doing in my spare time. She also always answered my “freak out” emails, and always with a calm response, reminding me that I didn’t have to study 12 hours a day to pass the test. And of course, she helped me alter my study schedule when my strengths and weaknesses became apparent. While so many of my classmates were hoping they were studying the right materials and studying correctly, I knew I was because Denise had helped me recognize my own personal study strengths. Most importantly, on test day I was confident that I could pass, and I know Denise helped me get to that point. – Kaylyn
After failing the bar exam for the first time using only a commercial bar exam course, I knew I wanted to try something different. I stumbled upon the Bar Exam Toolbox website after doing a random Google search. After my initial phone call with Lee Burgess, I was assigned a tutor and I can honestly tell you that she made all the difference. My tutor, Doretta, set up calendar for me to follow over the two-month period prior to the bar. Each week, I had bar exam subjects to review and essays/ MPTs to write. Then, I would spend time critiquing my own work prior to my weekly phone call with Doretta, which I really looked forward to each week. I enjoyed being able to connect with her each week and get critical feedback from an experienced tutor. She was great at explaining the areas that I needed to work on and she was also great at just checking in on how I was doing outside of bar prep. At the time, I was balancing my full-time judicial clerkship along with bar prep. While family and friends are supportive, they don’t really understand the amount of pressure and stress associated with a bar exam failure. Whereas your tutor, can help put things in perspective for you.
In addition to having such an awesome tutor, I think the best thing I learned from Bar Exam Toolbox was to write at least one essay every single day. I know it sounds crazy. Who has the time? What about all those MBE questions? What about just outlining? I told myself that I can do anything for thirty minutes. Thirty minutes is as long as your favorite sitcom and it’s much shorter than the amount of time most of us spend flipping through photos on our favorite social media platforms. I am 100% sure that the repetition of writing on topics that scared me, i.e. Secured Transactions or Corporations, helped me succeed on test day. For example, there’s a difference in knowing the elements for negligence and writing about it in such a way that would allow the graders to know that you truly understand the law.
Finally, I really liked that Bar Exam Toolbox recommended Adaptibar. Adaptibar allowed me to practice with real MBE questions. I was able to track my progress and my improvements. This may sound similar to the commercial courses, but I found Adaptibar’s process of using ONLY real MBE questions to be much more beneficial. On test day, I found the questions on the exam to be very similar if not identical to Adaptibar’s questions. I kid you not, I took a sigh of relief when I sat down and read the MBE questions.
I can honestly say that I am an Attorney today because of my work with Bar Exam Toolbox. I cannot thank them enough! – A
Do you have another question? Contact us and we will get right back to you.
We look forward to helping you find bar exam success!