Skillman Lawyer’s Quote
“Her classes not only helped me to excel in my law school courses and pass the New York Bar with ease, but her classes also improved my skills and allow me to be an effective lawyer. I continue to use the skills I learned from her in my current practices as an associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, and Flom LLP.
While I was a student at Catholic, my observation was that her courses contributed to a significant increase in the bar passage rate of Catholic University graduates. The bar passage rate of Columbus School of Law graduates went up within a year from 70% to almost 80% among first-time takers.”
Graduate, Columbus School of Law
The Catholic University of America
The Skillman Method™ is a transformative tool which can be applied to law school and bar exam preparation. Skillman lawyers go on to become top lawyers, tenured law professors, judges, appellate court justices, and public advocates.
Her bar preparation courses have been sponsored the Oregon State Bar, the Massachusetts Bar Association, Legal Aid Society of New York City, the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University, the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, the King’s County District Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, Vanderbilt University Law School, and the Judicial Friends.
The eight-hour Basic Bar Preparation Course™ was filmed at Vanderbilt Law School. It includes three classes and is available online 24/7 via video streaming. Once a student registers for the course, he/she has access to the course for a year.
Class 1: How to Prepare for the Bar Exam
The class is approximately three hours and includes two breaks. Topics covered in Class 1 are
- How to schedule time realistically
- The four phases of study
- How to set up a Preparation List and calendar time
- How to recognize and understand the operative value system
- How to recognize the potential for value conflicts and resolve them
- What it means to think like a traditional lawyer
- How to understand and read commercial outlines to achieve success on the bar exam
- How to organize class notes taken at bar lectures
- How to make a Short Outline for each course and impose structure on course materials
- How to feel comfortable, not feel overwhelmed, and learn the law well
Class 2: How to Outline Bar Courses
The class is approximately two hours with a fifteen-minute break.
- In the first hour, Professor Skillman explains that it is important for a bar candidate to develop his/her own long outlines to prepare for bar success. She teaches students how to develop long outlines that will serve their purposes on both essay and MBE exams.
- Students learn how to use their Short Outlines to structure their long outlines. They also learn how to think linearly and apply linear thinking to the essays, MBE questions, and to the Multistate Performance Test.
- Students learn how to state the law succinctly and in complete sentences in their long outlines. They learn how to organize the information presented in commercial outlines and bar course lectures. Professor Skillman also emphasizes the importance of understanding the policy behind each statement of law included in long outlines.
- In the second hour of class, Professor Skillman reviews actual past student outlines and critiques them to demonstrate the application of the principles explained in the first hour of the class. She reviews and critiques several samples of good outlines, as well. By the end of the class, students are clear about how to develop their own outlines for success on a bar exam.
Class 3: Exam Writing, Legal Analysis, and the Exam Templates
This class is three hours and includes two breaks.
- In the first hour of the class, Professor Skillman announces the standard applied to essays. She also explains that there are three writing styles when writing essay exam answers including IRAC, a more sophisticated version of IRAC, and the Integrated Writing Style. She has developed Exam Templates™ which demonstrate her theories, and she walks students through the templates to show them how they apply. She teaches students strategies for organizing their answers well.
- Students learn how to use their Short Outlines to spot issues on both essay exams and multiple-choice exams.
- In the second and third hours of class, Professor Skillman teaches students exactly what the term “legal analysis’ means. She also teaches students how to use the sentences developed in their long outlines to apply the law well. The class includes a review of sample answers from past students and sample essay answers written by Professor Skillman. Students then see how the theories laid out in part one apply to exam answers.
- Students also learn how to apply The Skillman Method™’s strategies for success on the MBE Exam
Professor Nerissa Shklov Skillman, a graduate of Berkeley Law School and Founder of The Skillman Method™, believes all motivated law students deserve to have the tools to EXCEL and pass the bar. Over the course of her forty+-year career, more than 20,000 students have attended her courses