Side Bar is a new, lower-cost bar prep option

There is a new bar review course that promises to help students pass the California and Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) exams at the lowest possible cost.

Bill Hansult launched Side Bar nine months ago, but is just now selling its program to bar examinees. The cost is $495. And new students get 20 percent off, making it the lowest priced full-service bar prep course in the nation at just $395.

Side Bar is the latest in a series of bar review offerings that have cropped up in recent years. The internet and the UBE have opened the door for companies to compete with the likes of Barbri and Kaplan, which have long dominated the market. The internet makes delivery affordable, and the UBE is now used in 33 jurisdictions, allowing the companies to sell their programs to a large audience. 

Hansult, an attorney in Grover Beach, Calif., spent the last two years developing a system that he says works for both California and UBE states.

“I am semi-retired, and I love the law and saw what was going on with the bar pass rates,” he said. “I wanted to fill that need and help kids out.”

His unorthodox program does not include lectures. Instead, he provides students with outlines, practice tests and a schedule. It’s what he calls a memory reinforcement system.

After students have mastered a long outline, they move onto a smaller one, and then a smaller one, and a smaller one, until the week before the exam. At that point, they switch to what Hansult calls the Bar Bones, which includes everything on 12 pages and is used as a refresher.

The program also provides students ith memory techniques, about 170 tips to help them pass, and practice essay and MBE exams. For the essay exams, students start with the easiest questions and work their way to the hardest. They also start with an open book exam, eventually moving to closed book.

“By time they are done with practice questions they can go on auto pilot and pass the exam,” he said.

The program is 100 percent refundable. If students don’t like it, they can get a full refund within the first 14 days. Once purchased, they have access to the online program for 18 months.

Here's a link to the web site,