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)