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)

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)

Congratulations to all my students who worked so hard on the July 2015 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 of the big smiles at your Admission Ceremony.

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

“I have no doubt in my mind that I passed the California February 2015 bar exam because of Steve and his system.  I researched several tutors/coaches after I failed in July 2014.  I realized that there was more to the exam than just knowing the law.  Steve’s process was a game changer.  He pulls the curtain back for you on the bar exam and reveals how to play the “game” effectively and successfully.  It was tough at times, because I had to learn this new perspective and way of writing.  I listened to his past students and I trusted the process – I followed every instruction he gave me.  He showed me that it was ok to let go of my inner perfectionist, because it did not serve me on the bar exam.  Steve helped me to shoot for excellence rather than perfection and I discovered that the exam anxiety and paralysis subsided. It was a lot of hard work, but his system became second nature and my approach to the essays and the performance exams became mechanical.  I knew that I could write a passing answer to whatever was thrown at me.  He is not a cheerleader, but that is not what you want at this stage of the game!  What you get is a tailored approach to target your weaknesses and maintain your strong points.  On exam day you will have his voice in your head and his process to pull you through and then, like me, you name will be on the PASS LIST!!!” --Kristin M. (Suffolk University Law School)

“I took the CA bar in July 2014 after using Barbri as my prep course.  After completing dozens of practice essays, several PTs, and hundreds of MBEs, I was incredibly disappointed to not see my name on the pass list in November.  By then, I was working full time and was not sure how to tackle the next exam.  My husband contacted Steve and, after Steve reviewed my scores, I signed up with Steve and the February 2015 exam.  Steve hammered the importance of structure and consistency with my essays, and provided excellent, specific feedback on improving my essays.  He went through each practice essay with me 1-3 times and each time we discussed what score I would have gotten on the essay.  This helped me to realize that an above passing score was possible on each essay and to not be intimidated by any question or issue.  My PTs were my strength and Steve's approach with me was to focus on earning as many additional points as I could out of each PT.  Coming out of the February exam, I definitely felt like my PTs would help me get on the pass list.  Steve is practical, to-the-point, and treats you like a professional with feedback that is designed to promote improvement rather than complacency.  I highly recommend Steve to anyone who wants to put the CA bar behind them!” –Mary C. Vegher (University of California, Hastings College of the Law)

“I just found out that I passed the February 2015 California Bar Exam thanks to Steve’s help.  He really took the time to find out what I needed from him as a tutor, and help me in the areas that I needed it. When I took the bar the first time I failed because I had no idea how to write a passing PT or Essay answer.  Steve taught me a process for both, which I practiced over and over with him.  By the time I took the exam, I felt that I was ready for anything the examiners threw at me.  His technique worked – I passed the exam the second time I took it and I owe it to all of the help and support that Steve gave me. I would definitely recommend Steve as a tutor to anybody taking the California Bar Exam.” --Maureen A. (Atlanta's John Marshall Law School)

“Steve is an exceptional motivator and coach.  I can truly say that I put all my faith into his approach and this was a very difficult thing for me to do.  In the end, however, it all worked out because I passed the CA Bar.  His individualized approach allows him to assess his students’ weaknesses and strengths, giving them the capabilities and confidence to get their name on the pass list.  Steve is with his students during the entire bar-study experience, and having him available for a pep talk during the actual exam was a great relief.  His patience and diligence helped me stay focused on succeeding!! I would recommend The Strategic Bar Coach, Steve Zikman, to anyone who sincerely wants to take a serious attempt at getting his or her name on the CA Bar pass list!” --Trevor S. Potts (Thomas Jefferson School of Law)

“Steve specifically helped me by identifying my individual weaknesses, motivating me to overcome them through practice, and by capitalizing on my strengths to maximize my scoring potential. To address my number one issue of timing, Steve reviewed my essays and taught me how to eliminate excess verbiage that did not count for points. To address my number two issue of synthesizing the performance test material efficiently, Steve taught me a universal road-map for deconstructing the law in the library and gathering relevant facts from the file. To capitalize on my strength with the MBE, Steve taught me how to identify patterns in my incorrect answers. Steve also highlighted the subjects and topics in which I scored lower percentages on the MBE, and this helped raise my original MBE diagnostic score of 63.7% to an 86% on my final MBE practice set.” --Gabriel C. (USC Gould School of Law)

“I highly recommend Steve as a bar tutor whose methodology and caring persistence were essential to my success passing the Feb. 2015 CA bar exam. As a practicing attorney who had just moved from another state, I was determined not to take the CA Bar twice. My previous experience with BarBri had been mixed. I struggled to keep up with the self-study schedule and to format my essays in a manner that would consistently score high points. Steve presented a solution to both of my challenges. His strict, no-nonsense enforcement of a customized schedule kept me on track even through the busy Christmas season when my husband and I (newlyweds in Nov.) were faced with holiday responsibilities of thanking and attending to our many wedding guests. Steve was a pro at honing my ability to draft essays according to a strong IRAC formula and pushed me to do so consistently with attention to both quality and time efficiency. I thank God for Steve who coached me to never have to take the CA Bar again!” –A.C. (Harvard Law School)

“I would not have passed the bar without Steve. As a foreign lawyer I needed qualified information and guidance on approaching the prep in the best way possible: how to prioritize, how to allocate my time, how to reason and write.  Steve’s straightforward approach was reassuring from the start.  On our first phone call he laid out how the coaching was going to be structured and asked me a couple of key questions to understand my motivations and background.  Over the entire prep period he was very professional and kept me focused. Steve made me work hard, there’s no denying that.  But I know that without his disciplined approach I would have had neither the knowledge nor the confidence and poise to tackle the three days of exams with success.” --Michael F. (Swiss Lawyer)

“Steve was 100% the difference between failing in July and passing in February. After finishing the July exam with Barbri, I felt thoroughly unprepared. I felt that I spent an inordinate amount of time sitting through painfully slow videos and switching back and forth between multiple outlines, which made it incredibly hard to know what or how much of a subject to study. After one week with Steve, I fully understood why I felt that Barbri had failed me. First, Steve gives you ONE outline which shows you exactly how to attack a particular issue. The outlines themselves made a world of difference, as I finally understood how to break down every possible topic if it came up on an exam. Second, the process of actually going through the essays and then getting feedback from Steve quickly shaped my writing and attack process. I didn't really understand what it took to write a "great" essay before Steve. He just made the process click and really showed me what it took to kill the bar exam. Finally, the MBE drilldowns really helped me improve on my MBE's. Being able to target problem areas made me realize what topics I didn't really understand, which also helped me with the essays. In sum, I am eternally grateful to Steve, and would recommend him to anyone who wants to take the bar for the last time.” –Andrew Kantor (UC Irvine)

“I had taken the CA bar twice when I came to Steve. My failures had left me feeling confused, ashamed, and dejected. But Steve immediately put me on a course of study that enabled me to regain my confidence and go into the bar exam feeling prepared and ready to pass -- which I did! I implemented Steve's test taking techniques and believe this is the reason I passed. While working with Steve, he read my essays and analyzed my weaknesses, then worked with me to write passing essays. He gave very specific feedback and this allowed me to correct the mistakes I was making. Having Steve tell me what I was doing wrong and then give me a method to fix it was truly invaluable and allowed me to pass the CA bar. Steve restored my confidence, because I truly did not understand what I was doing wrong and through Steve's constant analysis and correction, I was able to finally understand what the graders were looking for and then give them just that on exam day(s). Additionally, Steve's method for 'attacking' the PTs was extremely valuable. This is an area of the bar where you can capitalize points and Steve took the time to thoroughly explain how to write a passing objective PT versus a subjective PT versus a client letter, etc. and worked through each one with me. So on exam day, when we received a rather difficult and involved PT, I was able to take a deep breath and 'attack' it using the structure Steve taught me. There was zero stress involved. I am incredibly grateful to Steve and I recommend him wholeheartedly to anyone looking for a tutor to take the CA bar, whether it be the first time -- or third.” –Megan G.

“I was a repeater who had come so close before that it hurt.  Other tutors I had spoken with took a ‘it won't take much’ approach; when I spoke with Steve I told him I didn't want to risk being close again, I wanted someone who would push me above and beyond.  Well, be careful what you wish for!  Steve's no-nonsense approach taught me to strive for perfection.  While I worked incredibly hard under his direction, I was able to work through all of my prior hang-ups and bad habits before the test.  I knew exactly what to do on the exam, I felt in complete control of the situation.  If you are ready to get serious about passing and moving forward, Steve Zikman will get you there.” –B.V. 

Nobody worked harder than I did over the eight weeks leading up to my first attempt at the CBX. When I didn’t pass, it mystified me more than anything else. I mistakenly believed that I had hit the written portions of the exam more or less out of the park. Steve Zikman showed me why I had not. Foremost, my analyses lacked depth. I was hurling issues at the wall just to see what would stick, but I wasn’t delivering enough meaningful factual analysis. Steve taught me how to write essays that had substance, essays that focused on answering the call of the question. He showed me what factual analysis is all about. It was exciting. Steve did not teach me the law: he taught me how to exhaust the facts. With every essay that I wrote and rewrote, he opened my eyes to something new and fine-tuned my application of his methods, line by line. His “elementized” approach required some effort on my part before it became second nature, especially since I had to work full time during my prep. But Steve kept me focused. He pays strict attention to the  business of passing the bar, and didn’t let me waste time on distractions that would have impeded my progress. Happy to say, it worked. I committed to his method, embraced it, and applied it on my second attempt at the bar. And I passed! I cannot recommend Steve Zikman highly enough. He is simply an outstanding coach, tutor and mentor for passing the California bar exam. Steve Zikman gave me the game plan for success that put my name on the pass list. Thank you, Steve! — Duncan P.  (Lincoln Law School of Sacramento)

“Steve's approach helped me pass the bar. He had a specific way to start and end each essay and PT. He actually spends time and goes over essays with you, line by line, and makes sure you don't forget the approach. He is consistent and structured, and makes you do the same, so by game day, you don't do anything different. Steve always made himself available by email, and phone. I highly recommend him to anyone who needs help with writing and just working more effectively with the little time you have. Trust in Steve's work and his approach and guidance. He knows his shit.” --L.E.

“I choose Steve because I was at my wits end. Steve has an excellent program. The difference between this program and any other is that it taught me to set up a structure to argue both sides of an issue. I had to practice. My initial belief was that you don’t have enough time. I had gotten use to spotting issues laying down the law as fast as I could. This led to very short essays. I thought I was typing long essays and I found I was coming in with 500 words. My mind was a race-horse that forgot to put its feet on the ground. Steve gave me a course with hurdles to jump. This helped stream what I knew into the form.  His PT method taught me how a PT was constructed. Once I saw that it made it much easier to organize and write. Steve is a strong energy and no non-sense person. He shows up on time and completes the tasks. This is good because its like moving next to a stronger horse you start running the same way. He has a good and kind heart but is stern.” –Josephine Gerrard (Golden Gate University)