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.

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

“I failed the July 2015 CA Bar Exam having used one of the traditional bar prep programs and I knew I needed to make a drastic change in my approach to the February 2016 CA Bar Exam if I wanted to see my name on the pass list. I used Steve’s Strategic Bar Coach program to prep for the February exam and I successfully passed the February 2016 CA Bar Exam as a result. My experience with one of the major traditional bar programs left me unprepared and ill-equipped to perform my best on the bar exam. I found the materials and schedule overwhelming, with inconsistent scores and minimal improvement. After researching bar tutors immediately after July results were released, I came upon Steve and reached out right away. Steve not only created a schedule that worked for my lifestyle (work/study), but also put me in contact with several former bar students, so I could make an informed decision. Steve’s program is much more streamlined and his materials are second to none. He not only improved me in areas that I was decent in already, but also drastically overhauled my approach to the MBE, resulting in huge improvements in my practice scores. Steve is not messing around – he expects you to give 100% commitment and effort because he gives you 100% of both (keep in mind, there are several others who also require his time as well during prep). Steve held me accountable for my prep work and the improvements starting showing fairly quickly as a result. It will be challenging at times, but his methods WORK and his dedication doesn’t end when the exam begins – he checked-in with me before each day of the exam to make sure my attitude was right and my brain was sharp for that given day of the exam. Steve’s bar prep program is worth the financial commitment, as I honestly do not believe that I would have been successful on the February 2016 CA Bar Exam if it weren’t for Steve.” --Lance Kaufman (Thomas Jefferson School of Law)

If there is a formula for passing the California bar exam, I’m honestly still not sure exactly what it is. What I am sure of however is that Steve has a reliable and highly effective system and process that put me in the best possible position to pass the exam. Finally I’m on the pass list!  As an older, working professional, recently married and expecting my first child, I knew I needed one on one tutoring to focus my efforts and keep me motivated, on task, and on schedule. Above all, I needed to improve my writing on essays and PT’s. Steve helped me eliminate bad essay writing habits (some learned in law school) and taught me how to write FOR the California bar examiners. I learned the importance of organization, structure, conciseness and how to present an easy to read essay. Steve’s demanding regiment and countless exercises also helped immensely with my timing which plagued me on the first two bar exams. By the time I sat for the third and last bar exam of my career, rather than run out time mid sentence halfway through an essay, I actually had time to review and check answers. Steve is accessible, responsive and offers a form of coaching that minimizes one’s weakness and maximizes one’s strengths. He has countless tips and proven techniques which translate into critical points across the board. Its all about fighting for points and every facet of Steve’s system, whether its learning how to write an essay introduction, head a PT cover memo, or attack a certain type of MBE question, Steve will help arm you for battle so you win that fight.  Lastly, while Steve is not a certified therapist or a psychologist (to my knowledge), he does find a way to keep the emotional and mental grind of bar prep in perspective and provides tools to manage and steady oneself through the storm. He is firm and no nonsense yet patient and encouraging up through the very last exam session. Having Steve there during those three exam days was like having a great corner man in the ring during a heavyweight title bout. The California bar exam is a huge commitment and a hiring a tutor is a serious investment which is approached with the same intensity as I did preparing for the bar itself. In doing the research, reading the message boards, online reviews, emailing strangers and talking to people in the legal community, Steve’s name kept coming up. As I got through the process and finally reached out and personally spoke to Steve’s past students on the phone, I realized that I had only one option. It was a no brainer at that point. I’m happy that I chose Steve as bar tutor as he was instrumental in my passing the February 2016 exam.  I highly recommend Steve for anyone who wants to pass the California bar exam.   It’s the best overall investment I have ever made for myself more importantly, for my new family. Give Steve a call and get yourself on the pass list!” --Jeff R.

“I just passed the Cal bar exam on my third attempt, and Steve was the difference.  I was near the top of my class in law school, but I just couldn’t get over top with Barbri and another highly advertised private tutor.  Steve’s approach makes thinking about how take each section of the exam automatic—I didn’t even have to think about how to structure an essay or PT by the time the exam came around.  Steve provided me with specific approaches and writing structure for each and every subject and then made sure I had it down by analyzing my work, line by line.  Most importantly, Steve treated me like a unique individual and helped me understand my strengths and weaknesses, so I could focus my study time.  He kept in contact with me throughout the entire process and made sure I was on track, all the way to the last day of the exam. I can’t say enough about how thankful I am that I chose Steve over all of the other tutors and bar methods I investigated. I’m a lawyer now, and you can be too, with Steve’s help!” --Jim S. (Whittier Law School)

“First, Steve's outlines are super helpful for both understanding the law and memorizing rule statements for essays. Other programs tend to either have outlines that are so brief that you can't use them to understand all the details or law, or so verbose that they are hard to use for memorizing rule statements for essays. Steve also really helped me with improving my essays. Structure and format as just as important as content, so he helped me shape that up in time through much practice. He also pushed me to use the facts to their full extent in the analysis. The line-by-line review helped me to get to the next level of essay writing each time. It was also useful to revise essays until they were in shape. Steve's PT method also helped tremendously. He has a method for getting you to use as much of the relevant law and facts as possible. It's up to each student to put in the work, but Steve can definitely push you over the top!” –A.H. (University of California Berkeley Law School)

“I had already struggled through the bar exam twice, before I found Steve. While I knew a lot of information, I did not understand how to present it to the bar examiners in a way that demonstrated all of my knowledge and ability to write. Steve showed me precisely how to do this and with his detailed regime of practice essays and PT's, and the detailed feedback after, I was finally able to see the outer frame work for each essay question and what remained the same, no matter the question.  After the basic framework, Steve's feedback taught me how present the rest of the information based on what question was asked. If this sounds complex, it is. Hence why Steve is the STRATEGIC bar coach! Steve's MBE charting also took a strength I had in the MBE's and made it stronger. Steve was exactly what I needed to unlock the mystery and pass the exam!” --Cher Heath (Loyola Law School, Los Angeles)

“After failing the July 2015 California bar exam, I knew I needed a focused approach to pass the test.  It is a very specific exam, so I knew I needed specific preparation to succeed. I researched the various bar coaches and programs, and located Steve. I am so thankful I did.  Having practiced in another state before moving to California, I had to check my ego at the door in order to effectively prepare. Steve gave me the structure, workload, and accountability I needed to succeed, and I passed the test in February.  He helps you hone an approach to any essay or PT you may encounter on the exam.  His personal attention and feedback are vital to developing these skills and refining your work.  In short, he knows how to write to the level expected by the graders.  Steve is very disciplined, and expects the same from his students. Make no mistake he will make you work. He will also not mince words when you need correction. However, if you are willing to commit to his program and work hard, you can find your name on the pass list as well. Please do your due diligence as a current or aspiring attorney, and check out Steve. You will be so glad you did!” –Lynn H.

Steve Zikman put me on the right track to get past the California Bar Exam.  I was unsuccessful after two attempts following Kaplan’s Bar review course.  I needed something different.  Steve gave me the right approach, the right structure, and the right attitude to PASS THIS EXAM.  He kept me on pace with my studies as exam day approached.  He kept me focused on his method and really forced me to relax.  Steve helping me keep my anxiety level down and my optimism up by staying engaged with me throughout the study process and into the exam days.  I absolutely recommend him for your success on your next bar exam.” –P. Spanos (SUNY Buffalo Law School)

“Best money I ever spent! I was a repeat taker and I had completely lost hope! Steve worked with me one-on-one to identify my weaknesses, my strengths, and to improve my scores! I had trouble with the multiple choice and PT portions of the California Bar. Steve worked with me on both portions helping me not only to exponentially improve my scores after each practice exam, but he ultimately helped me to PASS THE CALIFORNIA BAR EXAM!!! If you are on the fence about hiring Steve, just do it! If you find yourself feeling like a hopeless failure, like I did, Steve will coach you out of that funk and make you BELIEVE YOU CAN DO IT! Not only is Steve a great tutor, but he is also a great life coach! Thank you Steve for helping me pass! I could not have done it without you!” --Kiki Manti (Thomas Jefferson School of Law)

“I would not have passed the February 2016 bar exam without Steve. During our first few weeks of working together, Steve broke down my writing structure and taught me how to earn every point possible.  The structure that Steve teaches was invaluable, especially during the very difficult third day of the exam.  By that third day, I was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted.  Luckily, I could rely on Steve’s strategies and formats, both of which were particularly helpful on the difficult evidence and professional responsibility essays.  Because I was working full-time while studying, I was in danger of mismanaging my time, but Steve kept me on track.  He coordinated my schedule for me and told me exactly what I needed to do and when.  I did not have to waste any mental energy on planning.  Instead, I could focus on learning the law and, more importantly, on learning how to write to pass.”—Derek L. (UNC School of Law)

“Not knowing what you did wrong after studying day-after-day with a standard bar preparation program was downright frustrating. You gave it your all, and thought you would pass the first time. After picking myself up, I decided to try a different approach -- insanity is trying the same thing twice and expecting different results. I gave Steve a call, placing my faith in his hands. Steve was able to immediately recognize my strengths and weaknesses after the first call, tailoring a plan to my individual needs. His approach is both caring and careful, methodically teaching you how a bar grader thinks and how to write towards their expectations. The pace is just right for the full-time and part-time exam taker. By the end of the program, I knew passing was certain because of my progress during Steve’s program. His realistic, no-nonsense feedback was exactly what I -- and everyone -- should hear. Trust Steve and you'll be fine.” --James H. (Notre Dame Law School)

“When I failed the July 2015 California Bar Examination, it was a devastating experience. I put everything I had in preparing for the exam, and still I came up short. I knew I needed help. I scoured the web to search for tutors and Steve Zikman’s name came up. I talked to close friends, who like me were unsuccessful on their first attempt, and once again, Steve’s name came up. After considering a few other tutors I decided to go with Steve. I had my doubts throughout the process. I had performed well in law school (top half of my class) and some of Steve’s methods did not align with what I did in law school. But because I had selected Steve after considering other tutors and purchased his services, I decided to go all-in. Best decision I have ever made. The February 2016 Bar Examination was not easy by any stretch, but in all honesty, it felt like just another day on Steve’s program, especially the performance exam section. I can still vividly recall walking out after the second performance exam confident that I would see my name on the 'passed list' and if not, at least a 70 or 80 on the performance exams. Steve will help you understand what the graders are looking for and to write a complete answer so that you too can see your name on the ‘passed list’.” –Claude Durden (University of San Diego Law School)

“I hired Steve after failing the CA bar 3 times, and I passed on the first try with Steve's help. I went to a top 20 law school outside California, and I had passed the bar in that state on the first try, but I couldn't pass the CA bar using Barbri. Steve's process made the study process easier and helped me focus on what was important in preparing for the test. Being a practicing attorney at the time that I took the test, Steve made sure that I was focusing on memorizing what was important, so that I wasn't overwhelmed. In addition, I had done poorly on PTs, but Steve made me confident that I could gain points rather than lose points on the PTs. The essays were also a problem for me, and Steve's system worked much better for me than the Barbri system, by ensuring that I was still able to gain points on essays, even if I didn't remember the law perfectly. I would highly recommend Steve for anyone who needs to pass and has been unsuccessful in the past.” –K. S. (University of Texas School of Law)

I took CA Bar Exam in February 2016. I passed it the first time. I strongly believe that my success is a result of my bar prep with Steve Zikman. During my last year of law school I asked people who had already taken the bar and passed it for advice on what helped them to pass. One of them told me: “Get a tutor.” That person recommended Steve Zikman. I contacted Steve the next day. Steve’s services are not cheap, but I treated my bar prep as a financial investment. As a mother of three young children I wanted to pass the bar the first time and be done with it. So I treated it as another semester of law school, financially and time wise. My law school provided Barbri course to all the graduates. I was automatically enrolled in Barbri, received their books and online resources. As I was going through Steve’s program I had an opportunity to compare the two approaches. I strongly believe that Steve’s program is tailored to a student’s individual weaknesses and strengths. Steve analyzed my every single essay and PT and gave points on how to improve them. He pinpointed my personal mistakes that I repeated again and again and gave me tools to fight them. Often such mistakes were rooted in my thinking process and my approach to essays and PTs. He helped me to fight through my insecurities and inspired me to be confident in writing what I thought.  More specifically: (1) Essays: I had always done well on essays in law school. However, now after taking and passing the bar, I know it wouldn’t be enough. Writing an essay on the bar exam is very different than in law school. Steve’s method teaches you reality. He taught me how to begin strong and finish strong, how to make important points stand out so that the grader spots them right away. Steve’s program made me practice essay writing under testing conditions, which made a huge difference. (2) PTs: Although I took Advanced Legal Writing course in my law school I felt that my PT skills had to be improved. Again, Steve’s PT approach taught me how to use time in the most efficient way. Time is either your friend or your enemy on PT. Time is everything! Steve gave me a PT format that showed strong beginning, strong ending and a solid analysis. I believe that Steve’s PT approach gave me a competitive advantage and made my PTs stand out in the crowd. (3) MBEs: Steve uses AdaptiBar to prepare for MBEs. This system has thousands of real bar exam questions, as opposed to other systems that use their own MBEs, not real questions from past bar exams. It took me a while to improve my scores in AdaptiBar, because the system is intuitive to your personal weaknesses. As soon as it senses that you get better in a certain area of law it challenges you even more in that area. Eventually my scores were pretty high. Steve analyzed personally each MBE drill and pinpointed my areas of improvement. It was a lot of work, but it paid off. I believe that Steve’s bar prep approach gave me a competitive advantage in each area tested on the bar: PTs, essays, and MBEs.” –Joulia Tchembrovskaia (John F Kennedy University, College of Law)

“Steve helped me so much with my writing. Particularly my essays. Steve teaches you a format and style for the essays that really lays the material out to the reader in a simple way and touches on everything they are looking for. This approach can be applied to any essay that could be thrown at you. Same applies to the Performance Tests technique that Steve teaches. You will end up doing a lot of writing with Steve and it is very structured, but so worth all of the effort you put in because writing becomes second nature and you will end up using his technique automatically. If you are having difficultly with writing, Steve is the guy for you!” --Gabriella (Glendale University College of Law)

New Testimonials from My Latest Roster of Passing Students for July 2015

“Steve's program was exactly what I needed to push my scores over the edge and get a PASS on the California bar. The typical bar prep class or tutor will provide endless materials and methods to help you learn the subject matter; Steve's program, on the other hand, actually teaches you how to synthesize all of that information in your head, and how to write an answer that appeals to bar exam graders.  I requested Steve's help with essays and PTs, and his sessions were priceless. The subject outlines were solid; his essay approach and writing style were a joy to memorize and replicate; his PT approach was bulletproof and made me smile after every single trial run; our over-the-phone reviews were engaging and full of new tips and tricks. Steve isn't shy about pointing out your shortcomings, but that's exactly what you need to pass this test.  If you didn't read anything else, read this: I walked out of the July 2015 bar exam with the biggest smile on my face because I realized that I successfully replicated Steve's approach on every single essay and PT without fail. I cannot tell you how amazing it feels when you can feel confident in both your approach before you hear the words "you may begin," and in your answer after you hear, ‘please stop writing.’” --Chris G. (Southwestern Law School)

“After failing the bar for a second time, I was devastated. I was actually beginning to think it was not possible for me to pass the bar exam; then I found Steve. Steve's process and method for preparation was phenomenal. I felt extremely prepared for all three phases of the exam. First, Steve taught me how to write, and even more importantly, how to actually answer the essays. His process was difficult at first, but soon answering any essay, in any subject, became second nature. Second, Steve had me doing practice multiple choice questions daily, and one by one my scores greatly improved, but even more importantly, so did my confidence. Third, Steve is a Performance Test expert. The PTs had been my greatest weakness on my previous 2 attempts. Steve taught me the gamesmanship and tricks of these exams. For the first time ever, I was finishing the PTs and passing them, which of course did wonders for my confidence as well. By the time the exam rolled around, I felt so confident and prepared in all three phases, and no subject or part of the test scared me. After trying Barbri and another private tutor the first two times, I sure wish I had used Steve for my first attempt. Put your trust into Steve's method, work hard, and you too can finally slay the dragon!” --Bryan Palmer (Western State College of Law)

“After not passing the 1st time, I wanted more straight practice (no lectures, etc.).  Studying with Steve was focused.  For essays, Steve’s method is succinct, straightforward, and exactly what bar examiners need to see.  No matter how good a writer I thought I was – for the bar I could not manage my writing time well.  But Steve had me fashioning essays the same way each time so that it became habit.  On this past July 2015 Bar, I felt 2 essays didn’t go well – and they probably didn’t – but I think I passed because his method helped with all other essays, even bad ones.  Also a big part of my passing had to come from MBE practice; Steve drills you on countless Adaptibar questions and for the July Bar, all the questions looked like what I’d studied.  Steve won’t mince words when telling you what you’re doing wrong – but it’s not personal – it’s for what the bar examiners need to see.” --A.R.E. (University of San Diego)

“Having failed the Bar Exam twice I knew I Babri wasn’t working for me. I sought out a tutor and ultimately selected Steve and I have no doubt in my mind that his coaching methods and strategies are what helped me finally pass.  Steve provided a regimented system for me to attack the bar. He provides all the materials, including his Flash Outlines which highlight key areas of the law that frequently show up on the exam (and they did).  Steve broke down my essays and pinpointed where I was losing valuable points, and more importantly Steve helped me correct my mistakes by showing me examples of how specific parts of the essay prompt could be analyzed and then following up and making sure that I was able to actually write it that way. Steve also provided me with a framework for organizing all the materials you find in a PT (which I was having trouble with) and writing a beefy and organized essay for the graders. For the MBEs Steve emphasized practice, and helped me dig deeper into why I was missing certain question types, and ultimately correct them.  I wholeheartedly recommend Steve, his coaching style, and his methods if you are really serious about passing the bar exam!” –Terrence L. (Syracuse University College of Law)

“I approached Steve after previously failing the February 2015 administration of the California Bar Exam. I used one of the big bar prep companies that lacked the personalized approach that Steve offered. After speaking with several tutors I took the leap and went with Steve; and I'm so glad that I did! What stood out with Steve is the customization he offers in his services. I did not require much help with the MBE's....but my Essays and Performance Tests were another story. He helped show me what the graders are looking for, how to attack each issue and how to write a coherent, and more importantly, passing essay/PT. Steve will go line by line and analyze each sentence and offer his critique. It's this personal attention that helped me pass the July 2015 California Bar Exam. My biggest piece of advice to those who decide to hire Steve: do not fight the process. Listen to what he says and understand that he knows what works and doesn't work. It was one of the best experiences finding out that I had passed. Steve Zikman can make this a reality for you, too.” –Steve Boggins (Cleveland-Marshall College of Law)