The Strategic Bar Coach™

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Testimonials

TestimonialsWe hope the words and photos of these successful students help you make the best choice on your path to passing the Bar Exam. Please click on each quote below to read the full testimonial. You can also find more testimonials on my blog.


. "Steve was, without a doubt, my X-factor."--Dylan T. (University of San Diego)  See More...

"The first time around, I felt that I had mastered the law and crushed the MBE, so I was shocked when my name was not on the pass list. After my first couple of sessions with Steve, I realized that I wasn't as good at the exam as I had previously thought, and now I was learning why. Steve taught me the gamesmanship involved in the exam and gave me a strong sense for the mindset of the grader. I followed his techniques form the outset, and in a short time I was writing passing essays. Most importantly, he taught me how to be consistent under the pressure and time-crunch of the exam. Steve was, without a doubt, my X-factor. He taught how to beat the test. I passed the bar exam!"
--Dylan T. (University of San Diego)

. "Because of Steve, I was ready for anything that the examiners threw at me: good, bad or tricky. There was nothing that I feared because I was ready. I would recommend Steve to any student who wants to pass CA bar exam and move on to the next chapter of their life."--Kirsten A. Holstrom (Trinity Law and Graduate School, Santa Ana)  See More...

"After several attempts, several tutors and thousands of dollars wasted, I finally did something right and hired Steve Zikman. Steve not only taught me how to 'attack' every essay (even the subjects that were not my best), but he also taught me that you need more than just 'knowledge' of the law to pass the exam. He showed me repeatedly the importance of what made a 'passing essay'. I always under estimated the importance of organization, conciseness, headnotes, conclusions and timing. Before Steve I would read an essay and regurgitate everything I knew about that subject without a lot of thought as to where an issue should be addressed or how I should conclude. Obviously that method had not worked for me. Steve taught me how to read the essay and then analyze it in a fashion that was systematic; yet thorough and easy for the grader to follow. The guidance, instruction and materials that Steve provided to me were worth far more than any price I paid. He not only taught me how to consistently write a passing essay (regardless of the subject), but he also taught me how to handle, organize and 'break apart ' the worst performance exams that the CA bar has given. His methods, again, were based on presentation, organization and conciseness. Steve 's dedication and commitment to his students goes well beyond what any other tutor provides (and yes, I have used a few). The only thing that I regret is not using him the first time around. Had I done so, I know I would have passed. Steve worked around the clock, 7 days a week with me. He analyzed what I was doing wrong; addressed those concerns and then focused on my strengths. It was my strengths that allowed me to finally pass. When I took the February bar exam, because of Steve, I was ready for anything that the examiners threw at me: good, bad or tricky. There was nothing that I feared because I was ready. I would recommend Steve to any student who wants to pass CA bar exam and move on to the next chapter of their life."
--Kirsten A. Holstrom (Trinity Law and Graduate School)

. "After four failed attempts, I had to face the fact that my essays were the reason I kept failing and, if I ever wanted to pass the bar, I needed one-on-one tutoring to address my essay and PT writing. Steve is methodical in his approach and if the student trusts his process (and this is the key!!), anyone, no matter how many times there has been failure in the past, will experience the bliss of passing!"--Patti White, (Concord Law School, Los Angeles)  See More...

"After four failed attempts, I had to face the fact that my essays were the reason I kept failing and, if I ever wanted to pass the bar, I needed one-on-one tutoring to address my essay and PT writing. I am a psychologist and have done lots of writing in my career but this kind of writing didn't translate to the kind of writing needed for the bar exam essays. In essence, I had to learn a new way to write. Steve is methodical in his approach and if the student trusts his process (and this is the key!!), anyone, no matter how many times there has been failure in the past, will experience the bliss of passing! Trusting Steve's process for me was to put aside my ego and stubbornness and be willing to trust that Steve knows what he is talking about. And he does! Want proof? Look up "Patti White" on February's pass list!"
--Patti White, (Concord Law School)

. "Steve provided me with a framework that lent itself to a quick and clear written structure. Even when I had a bad essay, Steve was professional and respectful as he pushed me to stay focused and motivated." --Julie W. (California Western School of Law, San Diego)  See More...

"After looking over my essays and PTs from the July 2010 California Bar, it was clear I needed a stronger structure and more substantive analysis in my writing to pass the Bar. Steve provided me with a framework that lent itself to a quick and clear written structure. From there, beefing up my analysis on the essays and PTs came (relatively) easily. Even when I had a bad essay, Steve was professional and respectful as he pushed me to stay focused and motivated. I passed the February 2011 Bar!"
--Julie W. (California Western School of Law)

 

 

 

 

 

. "Steve's formula for passing the bar is incredible. It armed me with much-needed confidence, even for subjects I didn't have down pat. Steve is really a great bar coach. I'm grateful I took a chance and contacted him for help." --Genevieve Suzuki (California Western School of Law, San Diego)  See More...

"When I found out I failed the bar exam, I felt like the bottom had fallen out of my world. I thought I knew the law enough to get through. When I got my scores, I discovered that I did well enough on the PTs and the MBEs, but failed every subject essay. I felt like I couldn't break through that wall. Friends recommended tutors they worked with, but for the exorbitant fees they were asking, I would be taxing my family far too much. It was bad enough that the exam was taking time, but money would be in even shorter supply if I had to pay through the nose. Fortunately for me, Steve Zikman reassured me things could be fixed after seeing a frustrated rant I wrote on a bar taker's website. I was so tired of my life being on hold. Emailing Steve was the best decision I made for my bar experience. Steve is a straightforward tutor, who kept it professional and succinct. He spent time working with me on my subject essays over the phone, which made it easier for me to ask him questions as we went along. His formula for passing the bar is incredible. It armed me with much-needed confidence, even for subjects I didn't have down pat. Even after I took the bar exam, Steve let me know I could call or email him during the excruciating waiting period. I ended up doing exactly that a week before results were released; my mind was wandering into insecure and frightened territory. He calmly went over what I told him during the bar exam and reminded me of good things I said. Knowing he was with me the whole time really bolstered my faith. Steve is really a great bar coach. I'm grateful I took a chance and contacted him for help. Seeing my name on the pass list was one of the best feelings of my life. Although I felt miserable for my failures, the feeling of triumph blew the bad feelings out of the water. I can't say enough about Steve, the man who helped me to finally enjoy Thanksgiving again."
--Genevieve Suzuki (California Western School of Law, Click here to see Genevieve's article about her journey to passing the bar exam)

. "I passed the bar on my 4th time. Steve is with you all the way to the end of the bar. He will call you during your breaks and after you?re done taking the exam. If I could pass the bar so can you. Good Luck!"--Ricardo Gomez (University of West Los Angeles)  See More...

"I passed the bar on my 4th time and it was Steve who prepared me to pass. Steve will teach you how not to be conclusory on your essays by emphasizing factual analysis. Additionally, Steve will teach you how is possible to IRAC every issue on a timely basis. But more importantly, Steve is with you all the way to the end of the bar. He will call you during your breaks and after you?re done taking the exam. If I could pass the bar so can you. Good Luck!"
--Ricardo Gomez (University of West Los Angeles)

 

. "During the week I found out I was unsuccessful on the bar exam, I spent a lot of time researching various tutors and even met with a few. During our first conversation, Steve spent more time asking me questions--trying to find out about my strengths and weaknesses. I always felt like he had my full attention. I'm sure I was just one of many students he had to call that day, but I never felt that way. I never felt rushed and really appreciated how at the end of each call, he asked if I had any further questions." --Z.A. (Western State University College of Law)  See More...

"During the week I found out I was unsuccessful on the bar exam, I spent a lot of time researching various tutors and even met with a few. For some reason, Steve set himself apart when I first spoke to him. During our first conversation, he spent more time asking me questions--trying to find out about my strengths and weaknesses. Also, during our phone conversations, I always felt like he had my full attention. I'm sure I was just one of many students he had to call that day, but I never felt that way. I never felt rushed and really appreciated how at the end of each call, he asked if I had any further questions. He always listened to me and tried to understand why I was doing things in a certain way and attempted to follow my thought process (even when I didn't express myself very well) to see where I was having issues. He could have told me to just do things the way he told me to but he always checked in with me to make sure I understood the reasoning behind his approach. His personal feedback was great and I felt that he was personally vested in trying to do everything he could to get me to pass. And of course, his strategy and approach was very useful in giving me tools to greatly improve my writing. Unfortunately, many people are disappointed with their bar exam tutors. I am so thankful that I decided to go with Steve. He really surpassed my expectations. I went into this past bar exam feeling very prepared and that was because of him. He's good at what he does."
--Z.A. (Western State University College of Law)

. "Where Steve really goes the extra mile is being in constant contact with you right before and during the Bar exam--reminding you of what techniques to remember and how to approach each upcoming section of the exam. I don't know of any other Bar review program that does this." --David M. (Trinity Law School, Santa Ana)  See More...

"Steve is very professional. He will show you where your writing needs improvement, and instill correct writing techniques and approaches to the essays and performance tests to give you a consistently passing answer. In addition he will identify why you made wrong choices on the MBE to correct your mistakes as well as approaches and tips for these questions in order to improve your score. Where Steve really goes the extra mile is being in constant contact with you right before and during the Bar exam - reminding you of what techniques to remember and how to approach each upcoming section of the exam. I don't know of any other Bar review program that does this. In short, Steve goes above and beyond other Bar review programs and tutors and adds a personal touch no other program can offer. I highly recommend Steve Zikman for any repeater (his specialty) as well as any person taking the CA Bar for the first time."
--David M. (Trinity Law School, Santa Ana)

. "Steve taught me how to present my knowledge of the law in a way that made it easier for the bar graders to read my essays. I learned how to attack the essay question using an organized approach. For me, his tips for headings and paragraph organization made the difference between passing and failing the exam."--K.L. (UCLA School of Law, Beverly Hills)  See More...

"Steve taught me how to present my knowledge of the law in a way that made it easier for the bar graders to read my essays. I learned how to attack the essay question using an organized approach. For me, his tips for headings and paragraph organization made the difference between passing and failing the exam."
--K.L. (UCLA School of Law, Beverly Hills)

 

 

 

. "On my last and successful attempt, I followed Steve's program and his guidelines, even though sometimes my stubborn side wanted to complete the task at hand in another manner. But I executed his exam preparation exactly as he instructed, and I passed the exam, and so will you. If you have sat multiple times for the Bar, feel more lost than ever, and feel as if the Bar is some unattainable and monumental task, then contact and work with Steve. You will thank him and yourself for doing so." --Capt Neil Opdahl, USMC (St. Thomas University, Miami FL)  See More...

"Where to start- Steve Zikman demystified the whole Bar exam process. I was unsuccessful more times than I want to remember, and what I hated each time was the fact that I felt more lost and confused than the previous attempt. With each exam attempt, I tried new methods, along with old methods that seemed to work, but still had the same result--failure. This all changed once I started working with Steve. Steve made preparing for the Ca Bar Exam simple, but this is NOT to be confused with easy. Studying was absolutely difficult, but Steve simplified the process, and took out the complications. On my last and successful attempt, I followed Steve's program and his guidelines, even though sometimes my stubborn side wanted to complete the task at hand in another manner. But I executed his exam preparation exactly as he instructed, and I passed the exam, and so will you. If you have sat multiple times for the Bar, feel more lost than ever, and feel as if the Bar is some unattainable and monumental task, then contact and work with Steve. You will thank him and yourself for doing so. Steve made me realize that the bar is an academic test, nothing more, nothing less. Tackling the Bar is just as mental as it is academic, and Steve was also my "life coach" during this period of time. He kept me motivated and on track. Lastly, once you pass and are past the Bar exam, then you can focus on moving on with your professional aspirations, and never, ever, look back."
--Capt Neil Opdahl, USMC (St. Thomas University, Miami FL)

. "Unlike nearly all other tutors that I checked out, Steve has many options for instruction, so you don't have to waste time on what you don't need. Steve's instructions on essays (and the tips he gave me on the MBEs and PTs) were spot on. He knows the formula for passage, and he's effective at communicating his message. He does not skimp on time with his students, let's you know what you're doing well, and gives concrete strategies for improvement." --Rigel M. (University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law)  See More...

"I failed July 2009 and hired Steve specifically for help on my essays. Unlike nearly all other tutors that I checked out, Steve has many options for instruction, so you don't have to waste time on what you don't need. Steve's instructions on essays (and the tips he gave me on the MBEs and PTs) were spot on. He knows the formula for passage, and he's effective at communicating his message. He does not skimp on time with his students, let's you know what you're doing well, and gives concrete strategies for improvement. I entered the Bar Exam more confident than I was after taking BarBri. And even when a question came up that on law that I didn't remember, I implemented Steve's strategies to write a well-organized, fact intensive essay. I would hire Steve again and again, except that if you hire him once, that won't be necessary. That is, I passed the February exam. Steve is fabulous. Give him a call."
--Rigel M. (University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law)

. "Steve did not judge nor did he criticize; instead, with extreme patience, Steve pinpointed my weakest areas and helped me strengthen them. He gave me a formula to follow that helped me tremendously during the exam. I knew exactly what to do, what to write and how to write it in real time." --Avital Gertner-Samet  See More...

"As a foreign attorney, I needed extra guidance on the written portion of the California Bar exam and Steve provided that for me. He did not judge nor did he criticize; instead, with extreme patience, Steve pinpointed my weakest areas and helped me strengthen them. He gave me a formula to follow that helped me tremendously during the exam. I knew exactly what to do, what to write and how to write it in real time. Simply put, thanks to Steve's methods and strategies I passed. I have no doubt about it."
--Avital Gertner-Samet

. "He helped me feel confident in writing any essay question even if I did not know the subject that well. Through his supervision I was able to create a schedule that I could stick with." --Jennifer G.  See More...

"I took the California Bar 5 times and I have used all the different methods that are generally recommended when you graduate law school. However, although each of the programs were helpful, none of these preparations ever made me feel comfortable in actually writing the bar. I had a lot of knowledge about bar subjects but I just could not apply it to my writing. This is where tutoring by Steve Zikman was so helpful. He helped me feel confident in writing any essay question even if I did not know the subject that well. Through his supervision I was able to create a schedule that I could stick with. Steve was a great tutor and I definitely recommend him."
--Jennifer G.

. "About 3 weeks before the exam, I took a practice test and failed it. In a panic, I found Steve Zikman online and called him. After working with him every day for the last three weeks and studying very hard, I passed."--DC  See More...

"I just passed the bar exam on the second try. About 3 weeks before the exam, I took a practice test and failed it. In a panic, I found Steve Zikman online and called him. He called back within an hour, went over my score report from the first exam, and told me my approach to studying was totally wrong. He was right! After working with him every day for the last three weeks and studying very hard, I passed. Not only did I pass, but I wasn't even worried about failing, because I had been doing so well on the practice tests immediately before the exam. Steve does more than just grade your practice essays, for me he would calm me down when I was panicking. Can't recommend him enough."
--DC

. "I prepared for the CA bar exam while having a full-time job. Since English is my second language, I had difficulty in both essay writing and PTs. Steve was able to offer very helpful advise in coping with both."--JC (Abraham Lincoln University, Los Angeles)  See More...

"Thanks to Steve Zikman, I passed the CA bar as a repeater. Steve is not only able to assess my strength and weakness, but also provide effective study plan, motivation and encouragement. I prepared for the CA bar exam while having a full-time job. Since English is my second language, I had difficulty in both essay writing and PTs. Steve was able to offer very helpful advise in coping with both. In essay-writing, he was able to point out what bar examiners are looking for and made me follow a consistent writing style. In PTs, Steve helped me focus on organization, as well as writing skills for 'bonus points.' Overall, I think Steve's bar review coaching was very effective and an important factor in me finally passing the CA bar."
--JC (Abraham Lincoln University, Los Angeles)

. "I struggled the first time I took the Bar, getting 55s on both PTs despite understanding the material and feeling like I did well. However, I did not know was how to write a PT the way the graders wanted it written. Steve taught me that."--Bobby O. (University of San Diego School of Law)  See More...

"Steve helped me immensely, particularly with the organization and structure of my PTs. He provided me with a plan on how to approach every PT, a well laid-out roadmap, such that it didn't matter what kind of question was thrown my way, the approach was always the same. Steve worked hard to ensure my success, he prepared me well and really wanted me to succeed. By the time the Bar came around, I felt so prepared I actually hoped for difficult PTs, as I felt I would benefit in ways others couldn't. I struggled the first time I took the Bar, getting 55s on both PTs despite understanding the material and feeling like I did well. However, I did not know was how to write a PT the way the graders wanted it written. Steve taught me that. I am so thankful for his help and highly recommend his services."
--Bobby O. (University of San Diego School of Law)

. "I highly recommend Steve Zikman as a coach for the Baby Bar. Steve helped me overcome my fears of not writing enough and not finishing. Steve's approach to writing and his detailed feedback on my practice essays was just what I needed."--Bill S. (John F. Kennedy University College of Law, Costa Mesa)  See More...

"I highly recommend Steve Zikman as a coach for the Baby Bar. I was not successful in my 1st attempt. Steve helped me overcome my fears of not writing enough and not finishing. Steve corrected bad habits I had developed from those fears. Steve's approach to writing and his detailed feedback on my practice essays was just what I needed. My work with Steve enabled me to write complete answers in the time given that were much more thorough. I easily passed on my 2nd attempt."
--Bill S. (John F. Kennedy University College of Law)

. "Steve actually coached me by focusing on my strengths and helping me to not overemphasize my weaknesses. It was completely different approach. Steve actually helped me believe in me, that I could actually pass the stupid test. He coached me up, if you understand what that means. In my opinion, that is what sets him apart from other tutors I had in the past." --Jeremy C. (Michigan State University College of Law)  See More...

"Steve actually coached me by focusing on my strengths and helping me to not overemphasize my weaknesses. It was completely different approach. I felt that he really cared about me, about how I was doing and that he really wanted me to succeed. Steve provided me with some quantitative strategies for approaching the exam, especially on the essays. He helped me realize the exam is in 3 parts and that there was more to passing the exam than focusing solely on the essays. I was stressing on areas and things that weren't important. Steve helped me take a step back and refocus on the important things when I otherwise might have quit and not taken the exam. He was a calming influence always checking in on me. Even on the days of the exam, he'd check in. He helped me get things off my chest and shift my focus to the next part of the exam. Steve actually helped me believe in me, that I could actually pass the stupid test. He coached me up, if you understand what that means. In my opinion, that is what sets him apart from other tutors I had in the past."
--Jeremy C. (Michigan State University College of Law)

. "Steve was very accessible and I got the attention I needed. I highly recommend him to anyone who wants to pass the bar and move on with their life." --Pam S. (Loyola University New Orleans School of Law)  See More...

"I used Steve for the CA Bar Exam and I finally passed! I was looking for a tutor who could help me with my particular issues. I was not disappointed. Steve did a great job finding my problems and showed me the correct way to write bar essays. He also helped me to build on my strength, the MBE. Steve was very accessible and I got the attention I needed. I highly recommend him to anyone who wants to pass the bar and move on with their life."
--Pam S. (Loyola University New Orleans School of Law)

. "Steve showed me how to break the exam apart, how each part was different and required a different strategy; which let me see that there were points to be gotten in all three parts of the exam." --Craig R. (New College of California School of Law, San Francisco)  See More...

"I had taken the exam twice before 5 years apart and wanted to take it again, but did not want to use one of the "canned" study courses. I discovered Steve online and was impressed with his response, how much time he took to understand where I was in terms of motivation, time, past scores and abilities. The method he uses helped me to understand the exam in a different way. In school it was always stressed that the essays were the most important part of the exam. Steve showed me how to break the exam apart, how each part was different and required a different strategy; which let me see that there were points to be gotten in all three parts of the exam. This also helped me be more focused in my review. Steve is a great coach, he was very available, worked with my own peculiar style, and gave me a perspective on the exam that I had not previously had. I could not recommend him more."
--Craig R. (New College of California School of Law)

. "Prior bar prep courses had returned my practice essays with vague, cursory, feel-good comments and plenty of '70' scores, but not a lot of constructive criticism. Steve took the time to really look at my writing and determine what I had to do to succeed and then worked closely with me through the sometimes painful process and firmly kept me on track. He really was a bar coach, not just a tutor." --Jane K. (Vermont Law School)  See More...

"I was facing the bar for the third time and frankly, I was just plain tired of it all. I knew that my main problem was my writing but I couldn't figure out what exactly I had to do to improve. Prior bar prep courses had returned my practice essays with vague, cursory, feel-good comments and plenty of '70' scores, but not a lot of constructive criticism. Steve took the time to REALLY look at my writing and determine what I had to do to succeed and then worked closely with me through the sometimes painful process and firmly kept me on track. Though I sometimes doubted, I am glad that in the end I trusted Steve and his methods because they worked! He was in contact just about every day during the prep period, even if it was just to check in and make sure I was doing okay. During the exam, he even called during the lunch breaks and at the end of the day on each of the three days--for a pep talk in preparation for the next part. He really was a bar "coach," not just a tutor. While it is true there were many factors that contributed to my eventual success, I am absolutely certain that I would not have been at the swearing in ceremony a few days ago had it not been for Steve's help. SO worth it!"
--Jane K. (Vermont Law School)

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