New Testimonials from My Latest Roster of Passing Students for July 2017

“If you failed the CA Bar I want you to (1) cheer up because you just found the tutor that will help you pass the next time and (2) hire this tutor and commit to his methods because it helped me pass! I failed the bar on my first attempt by a small margin. I did everything that my commercial bar prep course told me to do and yet still came up short. I was devastated. I remember speaking with multiple tutors and felt like they had the same approach as the commercial bar prep course that I took (a lot of busy work and not a lot of meaningful work). I was feeling hopeless until I called Steve. From our initial conversation, Steve felt different from the other tutors. He had a clear and straightforward game plan and expected me to stick with that plan. Steve was like a drill sergeant and that is something that I needed. Everything we did had a purpose. Steve went over EVERY line of EVERY practice essay that I did with him and pinpointed my weaknesses in the MBEs with his MBE drill-down feedback. Steve's writing style and MBE approach helped me pass the bar the second time. Without Steve I don't think I would have passed the July 2017 California Bar Exam!”--Michael Yap (Thomas Jefferson School of Law)

“Steve is truly the X-factor. I passed the July 2017 California Bar Exam and I can easily attribute that to him. He calls himself a coach, and that’s exactly the type of service you get when you sign up to work with Steve. Like a coach, he’s not going to baby you or tell you how great of a job you’re doing. Rather, Steve will hone in on your mistakes and keep at it until you cannot get it wrong. His approach to the essays and Performance Tests is a game changer. He has found a method to take the guesswork out of the writing process. Further, Steve’s approach to the MBE, while difficult, is very helpful. His MBE approach will show you exactly what you’re doing wrong, how to study in a fashion to remedy that mistake, and ensure you don’t fall in pattern behavior of getting MBE questions wrong. I previously took BARBRI and it simply didn’t work for me. Long lectures and senseless amount of work didn’t teach me much. Rather, Steve’s approaches and tips were direct and helpful. He reviews essays line-by-line. It’s a detailed process. However, it’s this level of review and analysis of your work that is needed to get you through the Bar Exam. Lastly, studying and taking the bar is a marathon. Having Steve train you during that endeavor is just the type of thing you need to be successful.”--Matthew B. (California Western School of Law)

“After my initial attempt of sitting and not passing the CA bar, I was demoralized and mentally drained. I knew I needed help. I wanted to work with a tutor, but not just any tutor. I wanted someone who KNEW this test and what the bar graders were looking for and could coach me based on my own personal strengths and weaknesses. I was over seeing generic feedback on an essay, or a mere suggestion of what worked for some students, or “perhaps you should try XYZ method..” I wanted more direction than that. When I signed up with Steve, I got the coaching that I needed to get me through the grueling months of preparing for the bar exam, because he was efficient and had very high expectations of me as his student. I felt like I had someone who was on my side, who could also keep everything in perspective, and guide me to use precious time wisely.  I had weaknesses in all areas. First, with essays, Steve will go line by line with you and call out your mistakes and sometimes will be very blunt in the process. A no BS approach. He taught me what the bar examiners were looking for in the essays, which is invaluable advice. For MBE’s, his “Drilldowns” forced me to figure out what I was getting wrong AND why. Having his guidance also forced me and encouraged me to keep going when I was drained, lost track of my goal, and doubted myself. His PT method also kept me focused and efficient with my time. He taught me what I should be looking for and what needed to “stand out” in my PT’s. On the day of the exam, for the PT, I no longer felt daunted by the prompt or the library. I knew what to do right away, and got right to it in the time crunch. All the practice I did on my essays and PT’s made me feel like I had the format down of what the bar examiners were looking for, so I could focus on the issues and analysis. I did so much practice and repetition with his program (which was NOT just busy work, but important training so that his students could feel completely confident going into this marathon and endure it) that I felt calm and ready when I heard “You may begin.” Two of the essays on the July 2017 bar exam were similar to essays I worked with Steve on in bar prep and they were ingrained in my memory from working with Steve. I felt confident writing them because they were so similar to what I had practiced during bar prep with Steve. Working with Steve was an investment I will never regret because with his coaching, I saw my name on the pass list!”--J.K. (Southwestern Law School)

Coming from a law school outside of California, and not having much confidence in my writing, I knew I needed more help than standard bar-prep programs could give. Additionally, almost everyone from my law school that took the CA bar the year before failed, and many of them said it was because their bar prep program did not prepare them for the exam, so I knew those wouldn't work for me either. I worked with Steve based on a recommendation from a friend, and I couldn't recommend Steve enough. Steve has a sensible formulaic approach for both the essays and PT, so you know exactly how to structure those on exam day. This really helped me because I did not have to spend any of my time or energy on structure. I just had to fill in the applicable law and analysis with facts from the questions during the exam. Additionally, the one on one reviews of essays and PTs Steve provides help to perfect your essay and PT writing, so you feel confident in your abilities walking into the exam. Steve also explained to me how to do proper analysis, something I was not taught in three years of law school, which I believe made a huge difference in my scores and led me to pass the exam on my first try. Steve's approach to MBEs is also really helpful because he has you use AdaptiBar which contains actual former MBE questions that were used in previous bar exams. I found the AdaptiBar questions to be quite similar to the questions on my exam, compared to the MBE questions BarBri wrote. Steve has you identify patterns in how you answer the MBE questions so you can figure out exactly why you're getting questions wrong, and you can recognize those patterns and correct them and therefore get more MBE questions correct. Steve is great at tailoring your study schedule to your needs, giving you enough time to get a handle on the subject while also balancing the time you need to study every subject. Plus, I really liked Steve's outlines, much more so than BarBri, they were concise and gave the exact law I needed to know for each subject. All in all I had a great experience with Steve, I believe he is the reason I passed the CA bar on my first try.”—M.L. (Boston University School of Law)

I chose the unlimited package with Steve and found his one-on-one tutoring sessions very helpful. Over the course of our sessions, he really helped me identify my specific areas of weakness. It wasn’t that I was not smart, but I needed to push myself to see the big picture and not get bogged down by getting deep with the material. I needed to stay on target with what the examiners are looking for - which Steve was very helpful in clearly guiding me. His requiring me to do re-writes of essays as well as specifically write down summaries of what I learned were all really helpful in not only learning the law, but also learning the strategies to pass the exam! He really is The Strategic Bar Coach! Go Steve!”—A.H.

“I failed the bar twice using 2 of the better known prep programs- Barbri and BarMax- and I knew that I could not see the ‘error’ screen one more time. My boss recommended Steve to me because he also helped her pass about 5 years ago proving Steve's method is tried and true. Unlike ‘traditional’ methods that lecture and encourage referencing over a thousand pages in reading material, Steve's method is well-paced and to the point. Not once did I feel overwhelmed because of a lack of time or material because Steve's method stresses only to review commonly tested material and then to practice that material until it becomes comfortable. You will always have something to do but it will be in a more manageable and structured workload. It also helped to have Steve's end of section essay follow-ups because I would force myself to move on to a new topic rather than to dwell on little details until I reached ‘perfection.’ Steve helped me be comfortable with the fact that the bar doesn't require perfection, it just requires key words and structure. I strongly recommend Steve Zikman's bar prep program. Trust the method and save your perfection for your pleadings when you FINALLY pass the bar!”--Resa B. (Thomas Jefferson School of Law)

“Prior to moving to California, I practiced law in another state for 20+ years.  Steve Zikman helped me pass the July 2017 exam after I failed the Feb. 2017 exam (which I used an online course to prepare for).  Steve provided a structured model for answering the written portions of the exam.  Under the extreme time pressure of the exam, having this standard, grader-friendly format was critical and time-saving.  I was able to focus on issue spotting and analysis rather than how to format my answer.  Steve’s front-loaded study schedule also kept me on track and focused, so I was able to avoid 11th hour cramming.  The stakes for passing the California Bar Exam are enormous, and I would highly recommend Steve to give an applicant an extra push across the pass line.”—Jim T. (Antonin Scalia Law School--George Mason University, Arlington, VA)

“I did well in law school, but I'm a poor standardized exam taker.  However, going with Steve was the best decision I made since he made me pass.  If you do the work, (yes, it's a lot of work) you will pass!  Steve's taught me how to write for the bar, and taught me how to attack MBEs.  His MBE drills are a nightmare, but I went from scoring in the 50%-65% range to high 70% range!  His writing technique is very different than commercial bar prep - it works!  Specifically, his approach to "write what you think" and formatting saved me on the bar.  I wish I didn't follow the herd and went to Steve my first or second time!  Another important thing I learned from Steve was fixing my attitude towards the bar, which already put me ahead half way as I prepared to pass.”--Farhana Akther (Thomas Jefferson School of Law)

“The bar exam was a complete nightmare, and after quite a few attempts it seemed like this struggle would never end. That was until I found Steve. Steve focused on my strengthens which were my MBES while helping me understand why I've missed a specific question. But most importantly he helped me focus on areas I needed many improvements. His method and strategies help me transform my writing on the essays and PTs. Steve’s line by line essay and PT review helped me transform my analysis which was too wordy and incomplete. He helped me spot facts that I was overlooking which help me analyze the issues correctly. Prior to Steve, I was terrified of the PTS, I would read the file and library but had no clue how to organize all the information. Steve’s guidance and technique helped me improve my PT writing and gave me the confidence I truly needed in passing the bar exam. I am forever grateful to Steve for helping me concur my greatest challenge because without his help I don’t think it was possible.”--Svetlana L. (Arizona Summit Law School)

I passed the July 2017 CA Bar Exam on my 3rd attempt. The feeling of seeing your name on the pass list is honestly the best feeling in the entire world. The first time around I took Kaplan Bar Prep and my computer crashed during the bar exam. The second time around, I went with Barbri and still came up short. I actually only changed my score from the first bar exam by ONE point. When I found out I didn't pass the second time, I vowed that I would never take this test again. I studied so hard and thought there was nothing more I could do to pass this bar exam. I was emotionally and mentally drained. After taking some time to think it through, I decided I would give it another shot and hire a tutor because I needed someone to work with me personally and "fix" whatever it was that I needed to fix to get my name on the pass list. From my initial phone call with Steve, I knew I was signing up to work with someone who was ready to help me achieve my goal, as long as I was willing to put in the work. Like other reviews have said, Steve is no-nonsense and is not going to baby you. He talked to me about being aggressive and competing to get my name on the pass list. I followed every single assignment Steve gave me, completed it on time, and never missed an appointment with him. You have to have self-discipline and trust his method.  I thought I was a good essay writer until I met Steve. He completely transformed my way of writing. His approach to writing essays is straightforward & to the point and he goes over your essays line by line and tells you how you should change it so it is exactly what the graders want to see. At first, changing my writing style was difficult but by the end I was getting 70+'s on essays, finishing on time and getting it done. My area of weakness was the MBE. Steve's "Drilldowns" were so beneficial and over time I began seeing the patterns I was making that were contributing to my low score.  Going over EVERY wrong MBE question and figuring out why I got it wrong, although time consuming, helped me pass the bar exam. My score improved tremendously and I felt confident going into the bar exam. The PT strategies Steve has and the attack plan for conquering the PT for the bar is amazing--I would have never known what the graders wanted to see. Lastly, one of the essays we had for the July 2017 bar exam was almost identical to one I worked on with Steve. When I saw it on the day of the bar exam, I was the happiest girl in the room. I knew exactly what to do and how to "wow" the graders. It was essay 3 of the morning session, where most people get tired but I knew I was going to kill that essay. If you are considering a tutor please invest in yourself and make this bar exam the last time you have to take it EVER again. I promise you, although it is expensive, it is worth it to have the feeling of seeing your name on the pass list.”—Stephanie D. (Thomas Jefferson School of Law)

“Among the Essays, PT, and MBE, the MBE was my weakest area. While I can self-learn my mistakes doing practice questions, I needed another pair of eyes to examine hidden issues. After I had completed the MBE questions, MBE drill-downs, and pattern exercises, Mr. Zikman made it apparent the different type of mistakes as well as my weaknesses in the various topics of each of the MBE subjects. These were all issues I could not see by myself, and Steve brought them to my attention. Additionally, while my Essays and PTs were my strengths, I found that Mr. Zikman’s formulaic approach to writing Essays and PTs further enhanced my writing. I learned to structure my Essays and PTs in a format that kept me organized while simultaneously making it easy for graders to read. Mr. Zikman has taught me strategies and approaches in the Essays, PT, and MBE that I have never learned before. He was the coach and tutor who gave me the extra push needed to pass the bar exam. Thanks Steve!!”--A.J. 

Hiring Steve as my tutor was one of the best decisions I ever made. I first took the Barbri course and failed the CA bar the first time.  When I hired Steve, he taught me how to write a real passing essay and PT essay.  During our tutoring sessions, he went through my essays with me line-by-line.  He gave me pointers, great lines to use in any analysis, and made me think critically.  He also had me use Adaptibar for multiple choice.  Steve held me accountable for everything--there were no excuses, even if you have phone trouble or did more multiple choice questions than is required.  Time working with his was very valuable.  He wants you do well and really cares.  I did the work and took his advice and learned from his instruction. My essay writing skills and multiple choice improved dramatically. If it wasn't for Steve's guidance, my family's support, and studying--using what I learned from Steve, I would not have passed the bar on my second attempt.”--Stephanie Feccia (Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School)

I highly recommend Steve for anyone looking for a more customized, streamlined approach to bar prep. Not only did he tell me what to study, but more importantly he told me what to not waste my time doing.  Steve kept me level-headed—when I had a bad practice exam he was straight with me and he honed in on how I could approach the question better next time. His time management tips were also extremely helpful. After looking over my practice essays he would mentor me as to where I could have written more or less in order to maximize my essay score points. His MBE schedule gave me peace of mind to know that I was doing the right amount of questions throughout the study period and also was set up in a way to maximize my MBE score on exam day.”—J.M. (University of San Diego School of Law)

“Based on an initial consult with Steve, I made the strategic decision to take the MBE even though I’d practiced in another jurisdiction long enough to sit for the 1-day exam. Doing Steve’s drilldowns helped to buoy my strengths on the objective portion which had an equalizing effect on the exam overall.  Essays were my biggest challenge. In our one-on-one tutoring sessions, Steve went through my responses to past questions word for word and showed me exactly how I was missing opportunities to score points in some cases and wasting precious time in others. Looking at my weaknesses in such detail was painful at times but absolutely necessary in order to shed light on my blind spots and ultimately prevail.  After a couple of weeks of working with Steve, I noticed that my essays had fewer shortcomings and increasing instances where I was really starting to ‘get’ it. All of the materials that we used made good sense. As exam day got closer, I could feel myself getting sharper and more attuned. I internalized Steve’s suggested wording, framing and approach and I even got much better at self-diagnosis. By exam time I felt well prepared.”-- T.G. (Cornell Law School)

When I took the bar exam my first time, I chose to prepare with a national bar prep company.  Their one size fits all approach did not work for me. Another re-taker recommended Steve, and I'm glad I listened to their advice.  Steve reviews every essay you write line by line and explains what needs to be fixed.  He also has a specific approach for how to write the essays and performance tests in order to maximize points.  His approach is simple, effective, and easy to implement.  But more importantly, it helps minimize stress on exam day because you know how to structure your essay so you can spend more time reading and analyzing the facts.  When it comes to the MBE, Steve teaches you to look for specific patterns in your incorrect answers so you know which pitfalls to avoid.  I initially struggled with the MBE, but eventually improved my overall score by 13.5% under Steve's guidance (some subjects increased by 30% or more).  Steve also tailors his program to you.  There were certain subjects that I needed more time to review, and other subjects that I didn't need to spend as much time working on.  Steve adjusted my study schedule accordingly.  In short, Steve's approach works because he highlights your weaknesses, teaches you how to fix them, and gives you the tools to avoid them.”--T.E.

I walked out of the July 2016 bar with a smile on my face, thanks to Steve! Steve went through each essay with me line by line, and gave me brutally honest, thorough, and personalized feedback. He helped me see for myself what I was doing wrong and his outlines gave very specific tips so that I knew exactly what I needed to do to write a passing bar essay. My bar essay writing improved significantly with Steve’s method and personalized feedback I could not get from a big test prep company like Barbri. Steve was tough but he was also compassionate, respectful, and very patient with me throughout the learning process.”—V.L.

“Zikman’s method will corral the rules and concepts that may be floating around in your head into precise structures you can apply to conquer any essay. He will also show you how to zone in on minutia that may otherwise go by undetected and use it to grab those extra points you need to cross the finish line. You will learn where to place every detail where it belongs to craft the essays with skill and precision. Best of all, his method makes the challenge fun. You won’t get fatigued and may actually look forward to training every day with confidence.”--Bryan, San Diego, CA 
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Congratulations to all my students who worked so hard on the July 2017 Bar exam and PASSED!

Once again, hard work, commitment, and focus... and now you too have slayed the dragon!  I'm looking forward to seeing some great pics from your Admission Ceremony.

New Testimonials from My Latest Roster of Passing Students for February 2017

“The first time I took the bar exam I felt that I did every thing I could to prepare.  I completed each assignment Barbri gave me, and walked into the exam feeling ready for whatever it could throw at me.  When I checked my results and read the dreaded “this name does not appear on the pass list” I didn’t know what to do.  I scheduled a call with Steve and felt he had what I needed to get my name on the pass list.  There was a lot of work to be done, but with his unique approach I made the necessary changes.  As we worked together I saw my writing improve every week.  Steve’s method stripped away the unnecessary fluff in other bar programs, and really focused on what I needed to know.  He kept me accountable, helped me develop a well-planned strategy for taking the test, and was the extra motivation I needed to put in the hard work.  Looking back, Barbri gave many unnecessary assignments that didn’t move me closer to passing the bar.  It felt great to check the box and move on to my next day’s work, but I wasn’t focusing on the areas I really needed to.  Barbri was a shotgun approach.  They throw every thing at you and hope some of it will help.  Steve’s method is like a sniper.  Focused and effective.  For me, that made all the difference.”--Alex Murer (University of San Diego School of Law)

While many reputable bar study programs rely on volume of material and provide studies with little insight, support, or constructive criticism, Steve gets results with purposeful assignments and extensive, thoughtful feedback. Steve's approach allows his students to fine tune their skills, understand the questions posed to them, and improve their self-awareness and confidence with respect to the exam. He is committed to his students and supports them every step of the way. I wish that I had found Steve and invested in his services from the start--he was the winning edge that I needed to pass the bar!”--Chelsea S. (UC Irvine Law School)

I finally passed after failing the bar multiple times! The decision to hire Steve as my coach made all the difference.  I needed guidance on my essay and PT writing because while my MBE scores were steadily rising, my essay and PT scores were not getting any better.  During our session, Steve painstakingly reviewed each of my essays line by line.  I was able to fix bad habits and also learned strategies to save time.  Steve is a no-nonsense coach who is focused on seeing you pass.  If you need someone to hold your hand and listen to your feelings, he is not the guy.  If you want to work hard and get results, this is the coach for you.  If you failed the last bar, don't wallow in your sadness, get yourself someone who can pull you over the finish line once and for all.  For me, that person was Steve and I will always be grateful to him.  Wishing you all the best!”--Jenny S. (La Verne College of Law)

“The Strategic Bar Coach transformed my approach to the bar exam, which I believe was the only way I could have passed on my second attempt.   The first time, I did Barbri, completed 100% of the assigned work, and studied for 12 hours/day for six weeks.  While I knew all the law I needed to know to pass, I knew comparatively little about bar exam test-taking strategy, which proved equally, if not more important.  Steve was an excellent "coach," in every sense of the word.  He has a no-bullshit, kick-in-the-ass approach that absolutely gets results.  Specifically, I struggled with writing quickly and finishing the written portion of the exam within the time allotted.  Steve reviews and analyzes your writing line-by-line to ensure that you are not wasting time including anything that will not directly increase your point score.  I came to realize that this exam is really not about how smart you are, it is much more about how you execute.  Steve teaches you to execute like a bar grader filling out a sample answer key.  I am very glad I trusted in Steve and his methods.  He helped me close the book on this exam and move on with my life.  I will always be grateful for that.”—Daniel B. (UCLA School of Law)

“It took me 6 times to take the bar exam. The bar exam was an absolute nightmare, and seemed to be never-ending. I took Barbri, Kaplan, and even my own mixture of both. Nothing seemed to work. I was referred to Steve by another attorney and coincidentally other people I knew had used Steve as well. Going with Steve was the best investment I ever made. He cares very much about his students, but is a no bullsh** kind of guy. Steve will tell you how it is, which is surprisingly something no other bar company ever did. Steve is very regimented and has a “strategic” system that works!!! He gives you all the material you need, lays out your schedule, and goes over all the material “line by line” (literally). I am extremely thankful and forever indebted for all of Steve’s help. Steve is the way to go.” --James E. (Whittier Law School)

“Steve Zikman is the number one reason I passed the February 2017 California bar. In particular, he helped me raise my MBE score to a passing score within a couple of weeks (something I thought was impossible at the time). His structure and overall methodology was key to helping me understand why I was getting questions wrong, and it helped me rewire the way my brain was thinking. Moreover, Steve's essay structure was a major reason I was able to stay organize and answer the question directly. Additionally, Steve provided great individual feedback and I always felt he was heavily invested in my success. I highly recommend Steve to anyone who believes they need help and feel hopeless, because Steve will re-instill that hope and ensure that you pass.”--Ricardo L.
(University of California, Irvine School of Law)

“After failing the CA Bar exam three times, I knew that I needed to drastically change my approach. I chose to work with Steve after reading his great reviews online and talking to him about his program. I really liked how Steve met with me via telephone, which allowed me to spend that valuable time studying rather than driving across town to meet up with him. Steve simplified the process by providing me with an organized and formulaic approach to both the PTs and the Essays. He ensured that I started practicing immediately, which was something I failed to do prior to working with him. By the time the Bar exam rolled around, I knew exactly how to structure my essay and what the graders were looking for, regardless of the subject. Steve provided me with essay tips and attack plans for exam day, which were very helpful. Additionally, Steve also helped me improve my MBEs through his drilldown process, which was intensive but invaluable. Lastly, Steve checked in with me throughout the exam in case I had any questions or needed any advice. Hiring Steve was the best decision I have ever made. Give him a call, you will not regret it.”—M.N. (Loyola Law School)

Steve's techniques armed me with the confidence I needed to pass the California bar exam! I struggled the most with multiple choice, although there was obviously room for improvement in my writing as well. Specifically, Steve uses an online multiple choice program that commercial bar preparation programs do not, with actual licensed questions from previous bar exams. Steve tracked my progress online and forced me to do double the number of multiple choice questions than my commercial program asked of me. He tracked my specifics, including at what point during multiple choice questions I was most frequently answering the question correctly (i.e. at the 1 minute mark) and at what point my accuracy level decreased. As for writing, his road-map approach to essays and PTs, focused on what the bar exam grader actually wanted to see to help you pass the exam. It focused my writing so that I was truly answering the call of the question, something that commercial bar preparation programs do not teach you, let alone focus on. He went line-by-line through my essays and PTs to show me what was working and what wasn't. Further, his outlines provide specific tips of key words and/or concepts to hit on to impress the bar exam graders. Steve focused on my weaknesses but also highlighted my strong suits to re-build my confidence. Overall, if you are dedicated to the program, Steve is inherently dedicated to you and your success!” –S.M. (University of San Diego School of Law)

“I am incredibly grateful to Steve for helping me pass the bar exam. I tried different methods for preparing for the bar, including a bar prep course and studying on my own without taking any courses. But it was the collaboration with Steve that enabled me to acquire the ultimate prize. Steve was able to evaluate my strengths and weaknesses early on and tailor the program accordingly. I would sometimes panic when he would grade my essay with a low score. But he would always remind me that there’s still plenty of time and the memorization portion comes in the end, so many of the mistakes I made when writing that particular essay I won’t make on the exam. Surely, he was right. Some of the essays with similar topics in which I scored below 65 during practice showed up on the actual bar exam. Had it not been for his advice, I would probably panic. But instead, I walked out on the last day of the exam knowing that I had passed. Lastly, make no mistake it’s a two-way street. As the test-taker, you must be fully committed to giving it all you've got; otherwise, you’ll be wasting both your time and Steve’s time. Just because he is a phenomenal tutor does not mean you will automatically pass. At times you might feel exhausted or question his methods, but you must stick to the game plan and do as he instructs. All in all, it’s the best investment you can make both for preparing for the bar and being confident on the day you walk into the exam.”—Haik C. (Thomas Jefferson School of Law)

“Hiring Steve was a game changer. I had taken the bar three times prior. Twice with a structured test prep course and once on my own. Things just didn’t click for me no matter how hard I tried. I took amazing notes and studied 10-14 hours each day. Still I failed. But Steve provided the tools to make things click. He really broke down how to write essays and gave me assignments for the MBE that were manageable.  The notion of quality over quantity definitely rang true when studying with Steve. I actually ended up doing less work than I did on my prior attempts, spending more time studying my mistakes than anything else. One of the things I valued the most was the in depth essay review process. We would spend a week on one essay, revising the same essay a couple times before he said I was good to go. And the feedback was delivered right away and consisted of concrete information I could actually use to make my essays better. This was stark difference compared to the typical and useless “more analysis” comment, “incorrect law” comment, or a grade you receive two weeks later with no feedback.  He also provides extensive notes. His notes were very helpful in the essay practice of the studying process. And I used my own adjusted notes for memorizing since I memorize in a particular way. In addition to Steve, I had to approach the bar with a different mindset; one that took away the stress, pressure, and anxiety that governed the last exams. Combined, everything finally began to click, and as strange as it sounds, even for me, I found the last bar extremely easy and fun to do. For the first time I walked out knowing I passed. I highly recommend hiring Steve to get you through this unfortunate rite of passage.”--AC (Harvard Law School)

“After receiving my results from the July 2016 bar exam it was clear that I needed to improve my essays and PTs. Steve was able to hone in on my weaknesses within a short amount of time. Steve provided me with a game plan and structure for the essays that assisted my analysis and improved my writing to be more concise. Steve’s method and organization for the PT was incredibly helpful in addressing the call of the question and keeping me focused throughout the long PT. Steve’s critiques and comments were direct and to the point; there was no beating around the bush or wasting of valuable time. His constructive criticism immensely improved my essay and PT writing. After passing the February 2017, CA bar, I would highly recommend Steve Zikman as a bar tutor.”-- Donna K. (California Western School of Law)

“Being unsuccessful after two attempts, I knew I needed to change my approach and preparation to this exam. I was weak in all three areas of the exam, but not by much. I just needed that 'extra push.' I found Steve after searching online for personal tutors and I subsequently reached out to a few of his former students. Steve's method completely changed my writing style and made me understand how to present the information accurately and concisely to the examiners. Further, I began to understand why I was answering MBE questions incorrectly and how to avoid making the same mistake in the future. Steve's approach to conquering the exam is precise, thorough and effective. It simply works. Beyond that, Steve instilled the confidence in me to overcome the mental hurdle that the exam poses. I highly recommend Steve to any student, regardless of their weaknesses. I am finally on the pass list, and you will be too.” --E.F. (Southwestern Law School)

“After taking the California Bar exam 4 times and hiring Steve twice, I am proud to say that I passed! Despite my failure on the third attempt, I do not hold him responsible because my computer crashed. Even still, I was points away from passing - the closest I had ever been! Learning his strategy to tackle an essay, PT, or MBE question is the only reason why I was so successful. The outlines are straightforward, easy to understand and provide many tips for analysis; The practice essays and PTs are comprehensive, covering many issues of a given subject; And, the drill-down exercises hone in on practicing new writing techniques while also providing an opportunity to understand areas of weakness. What I liked most about Steve is that he holds you accountable to learn the law and get the work done. Knowing that I had a scheduled phone call with him motivated me to get up every single morning to study and not slack off. While his services are pricey, there is a reason for that. He will teach you effective and time-saving strategies that will ultimately help you finally defeat the California Bar exam.”--Justin A. Hall (Thomas Jefferson School of Law)

“After multiple attempts at the California Bar Exam, I needed a tutor who would personalize a program to my individual needs. Steve went above and beyond to help me. He helped me work through the frustrations I had when I was writing good essays, but just couldn't seem to make it over the hump. The MBE was my weakness, but with Steve's customized feedback and MBE Drilldowns, my scores continued to improve. It made all the difference to have Steve in my corner during the exam. His phone calls at lunch during the exam gave me the motivation and encouragement I needed to get through the PTs in the afternoon. Steve also helped me change my attitude and find my inner fire. I was able to go in to the exam with a fighting attitude which made all the difference for me. I couldn't have done it without all of Steve's help!”--Olivia S. (University of San Diego School of Law)
If you are a practicing attorney and you want to pass the California Bar Exam the first time, you should hire Steve Zikman.  I was not a traditional bar examinee as I had been practicing law for nearly 10 years.  I took the July 2016 Attorney Bar Exam and enrolled in a traditional bar review course.  The traditional course was not geared for the Attorney Bar Exam, and I did not pass the July 2016 bar exam. I knew I had to find another method, and I found Steve Zikman. Steve is an excellent bar exam coach. Steve has a very strict method that he instills from day one with his coaching. When I sat for the February 2017 bar exam, I was extremely prepared and confident because I had a plan coming in with Steve's coaching.  Steve demands that you follow his method, and I know that it was his method that helped me pass the February 2017 California Bar Exam. Trust the method and you too will pass the California bar exam.” --P.D. (Seattle University School of Law)

After having taken the bar four times and failing four times I knew that I needed to do something different. I found Steve on Google and decided to give him a call and talk to him about my options. He gave me a number of different packages that I could choose from and I decided to pick the one that was best geared towards my problem areas which were the essays and the MBEs. The outlines that Steve provided helped me stay focused on what was important and what wasn't. His technique for writing the essays made my writing very clear and concise and made it easy to outline the question in a manner that would cover all of the elements. I was having an extremely hard time with the multiple-choice questions and Steve helped me see my problem areas and where I needed more practice and help. I had done fairly well on the PTs so I decided to do a smaller package regarding those, and I'm sure that Steve's help and techniques help push me over the edge and solidify those on the bar. I had a tutor previous to Steve and also took Barbri to no avail. Steve taught me to have confidence in my writing and in the techniques he was teaching me and it all paid off at the end because I finally passed the bar!”--Mary Girges (Southwestern Law School)

“After not passing the bar the first time around by a few points, I knew I had to do something different because Barbri did not work for me. After searching for a few tutors and talking with each of them, I decided to go with Steve. His method is very straight-forward and clear because he teaches you how to organize your essay with clear headings. Barbri did not help me systematically organize my essay because I was throwing out elements and not analyzing the facts under each element. However, Steve’s method helped me break down my essays in such a way that helped me analyze each element specifically and thoroughly. Steve’s ‘get to the point’ personality and way of teaching really made it very clear for me because I knew exactly what I needed to focus on and what needed to be improved as I completed each assignment. He was very tough on me and never sugar-coated anything, but I think that is truly what made me pass the second time around. Specifically, it helped me stay on top of all my assignments, diligently correct my mistakes, organize my responses to get a 65-75 on each essay, and stick to my schedule. Lastly, my weakest subject was the MBEs. Steve introduced me to AdaptiBar, which I highly recommend to any re-taker or even first time taker. I did a handful of drilldowns with Steve and even though it was a very long and tedious process, my MBE score got significantly higher. As a re-taker, I not only had to study diligently but also smartly. I do not think Barbri or any commercial bar course really taught me how to study ‘smartly’ in regards to the essays or MBE’s. However, after every session with Steve, I knew that I was studying smarter because I finally understood what the reader was looking for or wanted in an essay (which is key). Without Steve, I don’t think I would have passed this bar exam because I would have made the same mistakes over again and stuck to a commercial bar prep course without taking the time to actually figure out what the graders want.” --Radha K. (University of San Diego School of Law)

After failing the California Bar Exam for a third time, it was clear that I needed help to demonstrate my legal knowledge better on the written exam. Steve explained in extensive detail what I should do for each part of the written exam and what I should not do, from the introduction to the analysis to the conclusion. No detail important for the exam is neglected with Steve. Steve's approach to the test was thorough and gave me concrete rules to writing that kept me focused, calm, and collected for the exam. Finally, it is important to mention that Steve keeps his student on track. When reviewing a specific written exam with me, Steve provided substantial objective feedback. Steve was there to remind me that parts of my work were good without neglecting to mention where I needed to improve. Steve genuinely cares about helping his students pass the bar exam, and this shows in his program.”—David E. (McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific)

“I failed the bar exam twice and then became busy with work. The next thing I knew, it had been two years and my moral character was about to expire so I knew I only had one chance to take the bar exam again. I was rusty and didn’t remember much because it had been two years. Steve knew this and helped whip me into shape. He is not a ‘hold-your-hand’-type of tutor. He is blunt and sometimes brutally honest, but that is the kind of tutor I needed and many people who didn’t pass the bar need. If you have an ego going into studying, you need to put it aside and Steve will let you know that. There were times I questioned his methods, but if it wasn’t for him then I do not think I would have passed or even received got close. Take it from someone who wasn’t close to passing, used a different tutor that cost twice as much before and took two years off, Steve is the tutor you need.”—Ted H. (University of San Diego School of Law)

“I had taken the CA Bar on 3 prior occasions and came up just short each time.  With each failed attempts, I felt demoralized about the prospects of ever passing and becoming a licensed attorney.  I finally decided that I may need to seek professional help if I were to pass this test.  I did some research online and asked around to make sure that I found the perfect tutor/coach.  I spoke to several tutors on the phone to get a sense of how they could help me perform better.  When I spoke to Steve, he made me feel very comfortable.  There was a sense of understanding and compassion as he listened to my previous attempts and offered advice on how I might do better.  By the end of my initial phone call with Steve, I had decided that I needed his help to pass the bar.  He was polite but stern when we went over the practice essays.  Steve encouraged what I did right and made sure I knew areas where I needed to improve upon.  The essay structure that he taught me made organizing my thoughts and headings very clear to me as the writer and for potential graders.  It was a very elegant system!  I felt more encouraged with each essay that I wrote and Steve was very accommodating with my work/study schedule.  We got through the subjects and with each essay, I felt more confident about my work product.  My sessions with Steve definitely made me more comfortable with writing the essay responses and gave me more confidence as I sat for the real exam.  I am very happy I found Steve and would recommend him to anyone who wants that extra push to passing the exam! Thank you again, Steve!”--Tommy P.


Congratulations to all my students who worked so hard on the February 2017 Bar exam and PASSED!

Once again, hard work, commitment, and focus... and now you too have slayed the dragon!  I'm looking forward to seeing some great pics from your Admission Ceremony.

Congratulations to all my students who worked so hard on the July 2016 Bar exam and PASSED!

Once again, hard work, commitment, and focus... and now you too have slayed the dragon!  I'm looking forward to seeing some great pics from your Admission Ceremony.

New Testimonials from My Latest Roster of Passing Students for July 2016

“Steve’s instruction is especially helpful in two respects.  First, his methodology is very regimented.  This made the essay easier to write and easier to read-the latter of which is invaluable, given the examiners spend approximately 60 seconds grading each essay.  Second, although his outlines and instruction are thorough, he focuses on the rules that are highly tested.  This systematic and focused approach gave me confidence going into the July 2016 bar exam, which I passed.  Having previously taken Barbri, I can say that you won't get this kind of detailed instruction with the major bar study programs.” --BJK (Thomas Jefferson School of Law)

“Steve was my tutor for the July 2016 California Bar Examination. His strategies and methods helped me transform my writing style to be tailored specifically to master bar essays and performance tests. He diligently walked me through each of my essays, line by line, to help me improve my writing technique which was too vague and wordy. His attention to detail helped me spot important issues and properly analyze facts that I had been overlooking. He took the time to help me focus on areas that I was struggling with, such as my time management on the essays, second-guessing myself on the MBEs, and wrong issue recognition, to help me improve in those areas tremendously. Furthermore, Steve taught me how to analyze each issue on the bar exam logically and in an organized fashion. Steve was not only a fantastic tutor, but also a great mentor that helped me reach my ultimate goal of passing the California Bar Exam.” –R.R. (Pepperdine Law School)

“I passed the July 2016 California Bar Exam and I owe it all to Steve Zikman.  I’m an out-of-state practicing attorney with over 20 years of experience and I failed the Bar in 2015 after using one of the popular bar prep courses.  I thought that with my decades of “real world” experience practicing at a big firm, and a few months of hard studying, that I could pass the Bar.  However, despite hundreds of hours of watching classroom videos and studying late into the night, I failed the 2015 Bar by a wide margin.  When I decided to try again in 2016, I knew I had to hire a coach who would work with me one-on-one, tell me exactly what I needed to know, and respect that I also had a busy practice to run.  I interviewed several bar coaches, and Steve’s approach and attitude stood out from all of them.  But, it wasn’t until I started working one-on-one with Steve that I fully realized what a good choice I had made.  Not only did Steve provide me with concise subject matter outlines that were spot-on as to what I needed to know, but most importantly, he showed me how to change my writing style to write essays and PTs that would impress the graders.  Steve worked with me to write and re-write essays and PTs until I knew exactly how to write to pass the Bar – something that decades of practicing never taught me.  Steve’s coaching and “visual writing” technique made me understand for the first time what I needed to do to pass the Bar, and it worked!  I highly recommend that anyone trying to pass the Bar work with Steve.” –J.K. (Washington University in St. Louis)

“If you are willing to put in the time and effort necessary to pass the Bar exam, Steve Zikman is one of the best tutors to guide you towards a passing score. Shortly after failing the bar exam for a second time, I realized that studying via Themis and Barbri was not working for me. I used Google to search for a tutor, and I am incredibly lucky to have come across the services of Steve. From the onset of the tutoring, Steve is very disciplined and dedicated to ensuring you develop the skill set necessary to achieve a passing grade. Steve completely changed the way I approached essay questions particularly on performance tests. Over the course of 2 months, we tackled every Bar subject in great detail, both in terms of issue spotting and structure and with Steve's help I learned to identify recurring issues and possible ‘partner issues’ for various subjects. In addition, Steve spends a good deal of time making sure his students learn to structure their essays in a manner that is favorable to bar graders. I was able to pass the Bar on my 3rd try after tutoring with Steve. His wealth of knowledge of the exam is a definite boon and I highly recommend Steve for anyone who is struggling to achieve a passing score and be done with this exam forever.” –Basil Bokhary (Golden Gate University School of Law) 

“As a person who went to law school outside of California, taking the CA Bar Exam was no easy feat for me. I am so glad to have found Steve to be my tutor; there really is no other coach like him. He is very thorough and compassionate, and is very intentional about all of the advice he gives - each and every correction he makes on your practice essays and PTs is really tailored to how to improve upon your writing style in order to match a passing score. He was able to pinpoint all of my weaknesses, both in the MBE and written portions, and coach me through what exactly I needed to do in order to pass. His outlines were succinct and very easily digestible. He wastes no time with his instruction at all and makes sure to cater to whatever concerns you might have. I really owe my success and the passing of the bar to Steve. Without his help, I can unreservedly say that I would not have succeeded. Thank you Steve!” --Abner P. (Suffolk Law School)

I took the July 2015 California bar examination.  I assumed going in that with decades of experience practicing law, previous success on bar examinations, taking a popular bar review course and diligent study, I would succeed.  I was wrong.  I retained Steve to help me prepare for the July 2016 bar examination.  He disabused me of the notion that analyzing an examination question is the same as evaluating a client’s problem.  Through numerous practice question exercises he instructed me on what graders expect to see in answers, and how the information must be organized.  He reinforced his approach through the structure of his extensive course outlines.  Anyone retaining Steve should be prepared to work hard, however.  He takes his students’ success seriously and expects them to do likewise.  The study and practice examination schedule is demanding for someone who also is working.  The commitment is well worth it, given the wasted time and money a bar examination failure entails.” –Larry C. (University of Nebraska College of Law)

“Before Steve, I used three "major" bar-prep courses over multiple attempts! Provided my ability to compare Steve to other "major" bar-prep courses, I can compare and contrast Steve's instruction with other major players and confidentially say that Steve is a MASTER COACH!! The strategies and techniques Steven taught me, is unparalleled to his competition.  I wish I found Steve the first time I took the bar!! Don't make the same mistake!” --Hamlet Y. (Pacific Cost University College of Law)

“I hired Steve to tutor me for the July 2016 bar exam.  I had previously taken the bar twice, and although my scores improved, I knew I needed to do something different this time in order to improve my scores enough to pass.  The problem for me wasn’t that I didn’t know the material or even that I wasn’t a good writer, but I needed to know how to format the information and present it to the examiners in way that made it easy for them to see.  The things I learned from Steve that I found most helpful were:  how to write up the issues so that they are easy for the grader to see; how to manage your time so that you always finish an essay or PT and what to do if you start to run out of time; what to do when you’re not sure how to write up an issue; little things you can add that could get you an extra few points; and how to identify any patterns you have that are causing you to answer MBEs incorrectly.   I chose to work with Steve on all 3 areas of the exam in order to improve all of my scores instead of just working in my weakest area.  I’m glad I did because it proved to be enough to help me pass this time!” –Suzy W.

Steve is 100% the reason I passed the California Bar Exam. After two unsuccessful attempts, I knew I needed someone to help guide me through the process. The first time I used Barbri and felt extremely uncomfortable throughout the entire program, and the second time I tried to self-study.  While my score improved, it was not enough to pass. Steve offers a really well-developed program and holds you accountable every step of the way. I felt myself improving during each tutoring session and growing in confidence. His laser focus on structure, analysis, common sense and reflection is unparalleled and his commitment to your success is evident. Probably the most important takeaway from my experience was that working with Steve improved my confidence and greatly reduced my anxiety. For anyone who has taken this exam more than once, you know that the anxiety increases with each bar. I walked into the July 2016 bar exam knowing that because of Steve, I had done everything I possibly could to prepare. This is the best money you will ever spend - it was a privilege to work with him and I could not more sincerely recommend someone. My best wishes for your success!” --Joanne Heilbrun (California Western School of Law)

“Taking the attorney portion of the California Bar Exam is no easy task when you're working full-time and managing cases all over the country. After two unsuccessful attempts, I knew I had to change my approach. I had previously studied with BarBri and The Bar Guru, but I needed more substantive rather than a generic method if I was ever going to pass this beast of an exam. I did my research on Steve and upon speaking with him, it was evident that his direct approach, line-by-line review of my essays and timed essay drills is exactly what I had been missing from the other bar review courses. Plus, I did not have the time to travel to and from a bar prep course, so telephone meetings were key allowed more time for studying.  Steve's tutoring was invaluable. He taught me how to break down the question to determine precisely what the examiners were looking for in the answer. He showed me how to write effective (and point-generating) essays and PTs, and his emphasis on Professional Responsibility provides you with a platform to knock out any PR question quickly and successfully. His no non-sense approach is fool-proof and you'll walk away after the exam with confidence.” --L. Smith (Loyola Law School, New Orleans)

Congratulations to all my students who worked so hard on the February 2016 Bar exam and PASSED!

Once again, hard work, commitment, and focus... and now you too have slayed the dragon!  I'm looking forward to seeing some great pics from your Admission Ceremony.