As most of you know …
I am a recent graduate and of course I am studying for my bar exam this summer. I was fortunate to receive a full scholarship to take a BarBri course offered through my state’s “Lawyer Review School”. Now, I was surprised to learn that when I mentioned this on Twitter, many students were unaware that many Bar Prep companies offer financial assistance. Naturally, I’m sure they don’t publish this information because getting that $ 1200- $ 2000 from you is so much more enjoyable.
Well, I’ll let the cat out of the bag! There are several ways to get financial aid for a bar prep course …
1) Campus Representative – The first and probably most obvious way is to become a campus representative for one of the main programs (KaplanPMBR or BarBri). Campus representatives will be paid for the course or significantly reduced.
2) Procrastinate! – Another way is to give up all those pesky emails and “presentation” events they do during the school year, and wait until April or May to sign up for a course. I know that the BarBri representatives sent emails lowering the price of the class after the so-called “deadlines” had passed.
3) Review and READ the fine print – As I mentioned earlier, I came across a scholarship that was being sponsored by our state bar association and my law school. It was not highly publicized and it was in a single email sent by our professional development office during the time of the finale that people were least than concerned about emails. Check with your law school and state bar association to see if they offer a reduced fee or even scholarships (usually a refund of course fees) to take a review course that has been approved by them. Also, in the fine print of many of the advertisements and emails from these bar prep programs, they do state that financial aid is available (payment plan or tuition reduction). * Themis Bar even ran a contest to blog their bar prep experience for a free course!
4) Get a sponsor! – If you are one of the lucky few who have gotten a job or have interviews scheduled before graduation, negotiate your deal as far as your employer pays you to take the bar exam and possibly a prep course. Or at least ask for help! Closed mouths don’t feed, and you know you’re worth it!
5) Take Your School’s Pub Prep Class – Many of the lower tier schools offer their own in-house pub review course. I took the one my school offered me and it was a great help in alleviating some of my fear taking the bar exam. I pushed myself and took the course seriously (even though it passed / failed, and all you had to do was introduce yourself!). I knew my financial situation and that I probably wasn’t going to be able to fork out the $ 1,200,1,600 for a bar prep class in my state. So if you can stay disciplined and get the job done, I would definitely recommend taking the bar prep class your school offers and saving yourself a few bucks!