My short bio: July 2014 NY Bar Results recently came out and pass rates were significantly down all over the country. I would like to host an IAMA for any students planning to take the upcoming February bar, or who have failed the most recent exam, to submit their questions. I was a Law Professor for many years and as the Director of the Applied Skills Program for New York Law School helped improve the institution's Bar Exam pass rate. Currently I run my own Bar Review Course, Marino Bar Review, which had a 94% pass rate this past July (much higher than NY's state average).

My Proof:as proof I submit a photo through twitter:

and my LinkedIn profile:

Comments: 214 • Responses: 20  • Date: 

LivingInTheVoid46 karma

In the movie Catch Me If You Can, Leo just said he studied really hard to pass the bar in a few days (or was it weeks?) is that actually possible?

Also, fuck being a lawyer.

Source: I work for a law firm

ProfessorMarino25 karma

That was a good movie. Anything is possible, but that scenario is highly unlikely

chetubet25 karma

I'm very interested in opening up my own bar, however, I am very nervous about taking the bar exam. What kind of questions are asked? Are most of the questions like how to make specific drinks or business related questions about running a bar?

ProfessorMarino12 karma


andrewcool2210 karma

Hi Professor, can you explain why the pass rates were significantly down all over the country? I have heard of several reasons, such as they made the MBE harder than the previous years.

And if true that they made the MBE harder, what would your advice be for those taking the February bar?

Also in your experience, is the February bar harder than the July bar?

ProfessorMarino6 karma

You are correct, pass rates are really down all over the country. I happen to believe that one of the main reasons is that most students take the same bar review courses and these courses use an outdated mode of preparation. They simply give a student a whole bunch of information packed into a lengthy lecture and then leave the student alone to figure out what to do with the info. This explains why students who take a course like Barbri tend to pass in GPA order. Those students who are not at the top of their class need more actual exam performance training to pass the exam. My course for example, focuses on skills training workshops that show a student how to tackle each part of the test. We have a specific MBE Worskhop included in the course. Take a look at Also, no I don't believe there is much of a difference in the difficulty level between the February and July tests

AnontherGuy3 karma

So I was unsuccessful in passing the NJ Bar. I know I should retake the bar exam, but I don't feel like doing it right now. Is there a problem with waiting a year or two before retaking? Will law firms look down on that?

ProfessorMarino-17 karma

Some law firms might honestly, some won't as long as you are staying active in the legal field in some way - when you do decide to retake the exam, try to do something different than you did the first time. At Marino Bar Review,we offer a specialized retaker course which is tailored to meet the needs of those have previously been unsuccessful

Vettelaw3 karma

Who wins in a cage match, you or John Pieper?

ProfessorMarino-6 karma


Kallen8902 karma

Is it easier to pass the bar in some states than others? If so, what are some of the easiest and hardest?

ProfessorMarino0 karma

New York and California are generally regarded as the most difficult Bar exams to study for and pass

schoofer2 karma

My wife was diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkins lymphoma right after getting her JD and has been unable to take or study for the CA bar. She's going to study for the July exam and is worried that's it's been so long since she's spent time studying and being organized. What advice would you give someone who has that sort of lag time between graduating and taking the bar?

ProfessorMarino1 karma

How long ago did she graduate from law school?

mpolich2 karma

I go to Wisconsin and thus will not have to take the bar for Wisconsin. Do you suggest I take the bar for another state after I graduate? If so, are there any states' bar exams that are particularly well respected by the others?

ProfessorMarino-8 karma

You can take any of the UBE (Uniform Bar Exam) states - there are 14 of them in total and you find which states they are by googling Uniform Bar Exam. If you pass in any UBE state, you can use this to transfer your score to any other UBE state, so it gives you a lot of flexibility. We also offer a bar review course that can help you pass in any of the 14 UBE states if you decide to take one of their bar exams

fosterco1 karma

As one of the lucky to have passed the bar is there any way to find out how close I was? My essay portion concerned me.

ProfessorMarino0 karma

Did you get a score report sent to you with your MBE score?

fosterco1 karma

No. I'm in Illinois if that matters. Can I get one?

ProfessorMarino2 karma

Yes, I believe if you contact the Illinois Board of Admissions, they should be able to give you it

ghalfrunt1 karma

Awesome. Graduated last year and moved for a related job that didn't require me to have passed the bar. As it is, I will probably a be working for several more years before I determine which bars I will have to take. This means I will be studying for the bar 3-4 years post law school. Given my potential geographic area I'll probably have to take 2-3 states but those states are up in the air (VA DC MD, PA NJ DE, WA OR).

Which bar preps do you recommend and why? I see you have your own but what the pluses and minuses of the major preps out there?

What type of schedule do you recommend?

Most people recommend taking several months and doing nothing but studying but I may have to work full-time in my field while studying. What schedule would you recommend for someone who has to work full-time? Can you stretch it out for 6-12 months and still retain the necessary material?

ProfessorMarino1 karma

For someone working full time, its tough but certainly doable. While youre studying, just don't expect to party on the weekends. You will be doing a little each day after work and then most of your weekends will be studying. I would not recomend stretching it out quite as much as you mention in terms of 6-12 months, but no matter how long you take the key is to reacquaint yourself with the material since it has been a long time for you, and then slowly integrate training workshops to prepare you for the actual exam.

window51 karma

What is the cheapest ABA approved law school?

ProfessorMarino6 karma

Not sure but most state law schools are less expensive. Also, if you are a student who has higher grades and better LSAT score than the average for a given law school, that school is likely to offer you a financial incentive like a scholarship to get you to attend

februarysnake1 karma


ProfessorMarino-21 karma

Wow, that is close! Retakers often have trouble because they take the free "redo" that companies like Barbri offer. They are simply doing the same thing that failed them before, so it is not surprising when they fail again. Retakers need to do something different to pass with confidence. Marino Bar review is the only course that offers a retaker program specifically designed for those who were unsuccessful. If you email your score report to me at [email protected], I will be happy to give you an entirely free evaluation to analyze where you missed those 3 little points

zebediah492 karma

By "same thing" do you mean "same preparation style and way of thinking"? or "if you learn from what you did wrong last time, you can pass it on round 2".

TBH, if it's a free re-take, 21% sounds reasonably good: it's free.

ProfessorMarino0 karma

If you studied using a certain pedagogical approach the first time, with specific study materials like outlines and practice tests, and you were unsuccessful using these measures, I would highly recomend taking a different course with a different study method the next time around. The free redo is "free" but what good is it if you have a poor chance of passing with it?

MrHobbes821 karma

Do you also feel qualified to review liquor bars?

ProfessorMarino1 karma

What the qualifications necessary for such a reviewer?