The aim of the Jurists coaching program is the rigorous training of the bar reviewee so that he or she can properly analyze a bar exam problem, come up with an answer and then effectively present the answer in such a manner as to gain the most points from the bar examiner. In this regard, Jurists was the first bar review center to conduct a coaching program with mock bar examinations in the Philippines. Since then others have followed the trail blazed by Jurists but Jurists continues to remain at the forefront in the field of bar exam coaching. The Jurists program is sui generis and offers unique and special advantages and benefits not found in other programs.
Our coaching system features the administration of a series of 6 mock-bar examinations specially crafted by the Jurists coaching staff in consultation with the bar reviewers. After each mock bar, the coach checks the booklets and afterwards sits down with the reviewee in a one-on-one coaching session wherein the coach identifies the strengths and weaknesses of the bar reviewee and discusses the answers with the reviewee. The reviewee also receives a written feedback from the coach for his or her reference and file. The reviewee is also trained to use proven test-taking strategies and tactics specially developed by Jurists.
The performance of the reviewee is monitored by the coaching staff and weaknesses and faults are identified and then excised. The reviewee will note with satisfaction the marked improvement in the way he or she performs in the mock bar exams as the coaching program progresses. Jurists believes that each reviewee has his or her unique strong and weak points which must be addressed individually and not just in a group lecture or seminar. Reviewees are exhorted to undergo the full coaching protocol in order to gain the maximum benefits from the Jurists program.
At the conclusion of the coaching program, the reviewee has been thoroughly immersed in the Jurists Method of analyzing and answering bar questions such that its application becomes second nature or almost intuitive. This cannot be achieved in a program where there is only one or a few mock bar examinations and where there is only an omnibus or group lecture on how to answer the bar exam.
We have a dedicated and well-trained corps of coaches which has enabled us to effectively implement our unique program. Our coaches have themselves undergone an intensive clinic where they are taught the Jurists Method of training and coaching. Our coaches are concurrent law professors or those experienced in teaching the law. Jurists believes that a law professor will prove to be the best bar exam coach, as he or she can check and evaluate the mock-bar examinations from the unique perspective of a teacher experienced in checking and evaluating thousands of law school examinations.
New format for the 2011 Bar Exams, Jurists in excellent position to leverage its coaching system and program
The 2011 Bar Exams will be a historic one as it will be the first bar exam in which the Supreme Court will use multiple-choice questions, patterned after the Multi-State Bar Exam (MBE) used in the United States. The bar will be comprised of two parts: The first part will be made up of MCQs while the second part will consist of an essay-type question designed to test the examinee’s lawyering skills.
The new format involving MCQs means that the importance of coaching and training has assumed greater proportions. In the United States, the more important part of the review is not the study portion but the practice and coaching sessions. An essential part of the MBE review is for the reviewee to answer practice MBE questions over and over again.
Answering mock MCQ exams will improve a reviewee’s test-taking ability or his “testmanship.” There is an art and technique for reading and answering MCQs. This is acquired not from mere theoretical studies but from answering practice exams under the guidance and tutelage of experienced bar exam coaches. Furthermore, time-simulated practice MCQs will test a reviewee’s ability to work under grinding time pressure and the ability of his body and mind to stand the pressure and rigors of a 3-hour or 4-hour MCQ exam. Practice MCQs will enable an examinee to time and phase himself so that he can answer on average an MCQ in one minute and 48 seconds or less.
In this regard, Jurists Bar Review Center is in the best position to undertake training and coaching for the new bar-exam format. Jurists already has a proven practice-exam and coaching program in place since 2005 and which has been readily adopted and fine-tuned to the new MCQ format. In fact Jurists had anticipated the eventual shift to an MCQ format and had collected and is continuing to collect a bank of MCQs for use in the practice exams and coaching.
The need for coaching has been further underscored in the essay-portion of the exam. The essay portion will test the examinee’s “lawyering skills,” particularly his skill in writing in English, sorting out the relevant facts, identifying the issue or issues, organizing his thoughts, constructing his arguments, and persuading his reader to his point of view. The emphasis here is not on theoretical knowledge but on legal writing and reasoning. The Jurists coaching staff has considerable experience in coaching examinees on how to read a bar exam question, spot the issues, and present the answer in a logical and persuasive manner. This experience will prove in good stead to the coaching staff as they train examinees on how to answer the essay portion of the bar exam.
Jurists has also engaged the services of and consulted with law deans and professors who have passed the New York bar exam, given in MBE and essay-type format and reputedly the toughest state bar exam in the United States.