From the late 1960s through the 1980s, the nation’s finest bar review courses were created and operated by the Josephson Bar Review Center of America, Inc. (“BRC”), which presented bar review courses in California, New York, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Hawaii, Nevada, and other states. In the 1970s, BRC’s sister corporation – the Center for Creative Educational Services (“CES””) – was formed, and it created the finest and most innovative law school study aids that had ever been seen, including the Sum & Substance of Law series of books and tapes, The Essential Principles of Law series of study outlines, and other study aids of unprecedented quality. During most of this period, Barry Josephson was the Editor-in-Chief, Director of Programs, and/or Director of Academic Development for one or both companies. In these capacities, Mr. Josephson helped raise the quality of bar review and law school “outlines” (and bar review courses as a whole) to a previously-unimagined level and helped to develop many new kinds of programs and study aids, many of which are now considered standards in the industry. Ask your law professors and any older attorneys that you know, and chances are that they will speak glowingly about the unsurpassed quality of the BRC and CES materials and courses.
While he was at BRC and CES, Mr. Josephson continually worked with the companies’ founder and C.E.O. – and its all-star faculty of authors and lecturers (more than fifty law professors, including some of the premiere scholars and teachers from the country’s top law schools) – to identify and analyze each of the skills that law schools endeavor to teach. Then, in conjunction with these same experts, Mr. Josephson helped to create programs which effectively and efficiently sharpened and enhanced those skills and taught law students and bar applicants how to demonstrate them on their law school tests and bar examinations. In order to do all of this, Mr. Josephson arduously studied, and made sure that he and the other people responsible for the substantive aspects of BRC and CES materials and courses fully understood, matters such as:
- The scope of bar exam coverage in each state (for bar review)
- The typical scope of coverage of various subjects in the nation’s law schools (and the most common deviations from the scope of the “typical” class)
- How essay, “performance” and multiple choice questions – specifically including the Multistate Bar Exam (the “MBE”) and the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (the “MPRE”) – were designed, drafted, and graded
- How bar applicants and law students could best prepare for and do well on their exams
- What skills are needed for bar applicants and law students to excel (and how to teach and enhance those skills)
- What obstacles prevent bar applicants and law students from excelling (and how to remove those obstacles)
Armed with such knowledge, Mr. Josephson helped in the development and execution of virtually every substantive element of BRC and CES’s materials and courses – products and services which were designed exclusively to meet two related and complementary goals: to improve the quality and efficiency of each bar applicant or law student’s individual study and to maximize his or her performance on tests of all types. As part of this process, Mr. Josephson:
- Prepared written materials and lectures that would clearly and efficiently teach all of the information that law students or bar applicants would need
- Helped to create the first comprehensive programmed learning system used to teach law
- Designed schedules and regimens which maximized the efficiency and substantive mastery of the materials while, at the same time, minimizing stress
- Designed and prepared new and innovative study materials to help law students and bar applicants improve their knowledge and performance
As an important part of this process, Mr. Josephson also frequently discussed diverse aspects of both individual state bar exams and the Multistate Bar Exam with numerous bar examiners from many different states, law professors and others who actually drafted the questions used on different state bar exams and/or the MBE, and numerous graders of various state bar exams. As a testament to Mr. Josephson’s knowledge and expertise, on one occasion, the head of the board of bar examiners for one of our larger states called Mr. Josephson on the telephone to tell him how impressed he was with Mr. Josephson’s written explanation of the bar review process; this bar examiner then went on to explain that his state had never clearly defined how its bar exam should be constructed or evaluated and he then asked for permission to reproduce Mr. Josephson’s materials and distribute them to that state’s bar examiners and graders for use as that state’s formal guidelines! (Of course, such permission was granted.)
In addition to all of the above “editorial” duties, Mr. Josephson has authored, co-authored, or extensively edited law school and bar review outlines and other substantive materials and legal study aids on almost every topic tested on any state bar exam (and many other law school subjects as well), including every topic tested on the California Bar Exam. Furthermore, he ultimately became one of BRC’s most popular national lecturers, lecturing to thousands of students on a wide variety of topics – everything from study techniques and how to analyze and score highly on each type of test used on the bar exam (essays, multiple choice exams, and the performance section of the California Bar Exam) to the substantive topics of Torts, Corporations, Agency, Partnerships, and Criminal Procedure (among others). In his “spare time,” Mr. Josephson also taught Corporations and Business Organizations at the University of West Los Angeles in Los Angeles, California for two years and lectured at numerous law schools and elsewhere throughout the country on examination and study techniques, the specifics of various state bar examinations, and related topics.
During this entire period (in which Mr. Josephson was lecturing to hundreds and writing for thousands a time), Mr. Josephson refused to look at “bar applicants” and “law students” as if they were merely large, faceless groups. Instead, he understood that it was essential for him – both to be an effective teacher of “the masses” and for his personal sense of mission – to continuously work with individuals on a one-on-one basis. Thus, Mr. Josephson refused to hide from students whether he was out lecturing (he always tried to come early, leave late, and be available at every break to address any kind of question that might be posed to him) or back at his office in the BRC/CES headquarters attending to his writing, editorial, and administrative duties.
After BRC and CES were sold by its founder (and shortly thereafter closed after a series of corporate mergers resulted in ownership of the companies being held by a Dutch conglomerate which had no interest in remaining in the bar-review or law-school-study-aids businesses), Mr. Josephson was the California Intellectual Director and a national lecturer for another national bar review course – the Smith-McLaughlin-Hart (“SMH”) Bar Review. During this period, Mr. Josephson continued to lecture at law schools throughout the country on examination and study techniques, the specifics of various state bar examinations, what to expect from (and how to prepare for) law school, the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam, and numerous other topics. In addition, he continued to work with individual bar applicants and law students on a one-on-one basis.
Over the last fifteen years, Mr. Josephson has curtailed his bar review activities and has been principally engaged in practicing law. (Click here for more details.) However, he has always made time to work with individual law students and bar applicants (both first-timers and repeaters) on a one-on-one basis to help them learn and understand what is being expected of them and how to meet the expectations of their law school and law professors, the bar examiners, and others who would control their legal careers.