In a national first, the College of Law has partnered with legal education nonprofit AccessLex Institute to offer the institute’s interactive Helix Bar Review prep course free of charge to all Syracuse Law students.
Helix Bar Review is a state-of-the-art, comprehensive bar review program that offers students full access to the program during their third year of law school, up to 20 weeks before the bar exam. Early access is one of the distinguishing characteristics of the Helix Bar Review, and it ensures that students with multiple responsibilities in law school, at work or at home can start their review early and complete the entire course on the schedule they choose. Other bar preparation programs are not fully open to students until much later.
Helix Bar Review’s online, adaptive learning platform uses an integrated content approach, an active learning interface, personalized pathways and flexible access options designed to adapt to individual learning styles and to help students efficiently use study time to confidently prepare for the bar exam. While Helix Bar Review uses all the traditional components of a bar review course—such as substantive law outlines, practice questions and flashcards—the program employs active learning and other methods that are based on the most up-to-date learning science and support long-term retention of knowledge.
Learning methods include short videos, illustrations, checklists and performance tests. In addition, Helix Bar Review uses gamification to provide supplemental practice opportunities, live “Ask the Experts” webinars that target frequently missed questions and misunderstood concepts, and intensive daylong workshops called “Pass Classes.”
“Continuing our track record of innovation in legal education, I am thrilled that Syracuse Law is the first school to partner with AccessLex as they launch their new Helix Bar Review program. This groundbreaking program offers the tools and preparation our graduates need to efficiently and effectively prepare for the bar exam,” says Craig M. Boise, dean and professor of law. “At Syracuse Law, we are laser-focused on student success at every step of the law school journey. This partnership will give our students a distinct edge in studying for the bar exam—setting them squarely on the path to career success—while reducing their debt by eliminating the need to finance a commercial bar prep course.”
“We are grateful, honored and excited to be partnering with Syracuse Law in bringing Helix Bar Review to its students. At AccessLex, we have long said it is an accident of history that the bar exam preparation industry exists as it currently does, which makes this, potentially, a seminal moment in legal education,” says AccessLex President and Chief Executive Officer Christopher P. Chapman. “As the leader of a law school whose reputation for innovation and progressive action is well known, Dean Boise recognizes that the Helix approach to bar prep tracks with his strategic vision for student success. It is why we feel Syracuse Law is a perfect partner for the public launch of this game-changing endeavor.”
Currently, Helix Bar Review offers study materials for the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE), Multistate Essay Exam (MEE), Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), Multistate Performance Test (MPT) and Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE). The nonprofit company is currently developing non-UBE state-specific courses and anticipates it will release materials for non-UBE states, such as Florida and California, in 2023. In the meantime, the College of Law is making similar no-cost bar preparation arrangements for third-year students who plan to take the bar exam in those states.
“We know there are law students who do not purchase a commercial bar prep program because of the cost implications,” says Kelly Curtis, teaching professor and director of academic and bar support at the College of Law. “The additional cost of bar prep should never be a barrier to a graduate’s success on the bar exam. With this partnership, we remove that barrier.”