The Writing Edge Course

The Writing Edge course is available on DVD for home study. You have the flexibility of making your own schedule, adapting Vivian’s master schedule and you can start any time. Vivian personally critiques 24 essays and 10 Performance Tests in writing and tutors you by phone and email.


Winter 2015 Bar Answers

See videos on The Writing Edge YouTube Channel

Five Reasons Why You Failed the Bar



Vivian Dempsey tutors a limited number of students who are graduates of The Writing Edge Bar Review Course.

BarBoost for First-Time Takers

First-time takers of the California Bar Exam may find the law in a full-service bar course is not detailed or focused and that they do not get meaningful feedback on essays. They may also find that they do not feel adequately prepared for performance tests. At the same time, first-time takers feel overwhelmed by classes in a full-service bar course, so anxiety builds and there is no time for the help they need. Vivian fills that need by giving first timers a course in a book plus her fine grading and access to her for all your questions by email. She gives you the law to focus, what to memorize, a method for analyzing essay questions and PT’s, and she personally grades 15 of your exams—11 essays and 4 Performance Tests. You can also get immediate answers to all your concerns and legal questions, all by email.

Course is limited to first time takers of the California Bar Exam who are currently taking a bar review course.


The course takes 8 - 10 weeks

Every week, you take a day of the bar exam, just like Tuesday and Thursday of the California Bar Exam. Under timed conditions and closed book, you take three essay exams and one Performance Test in your home. The best practice for taking the bar exam is taking the bar exam. So you will gain the most by doing all three essay exams and the Performance Test in one day, just as you would on the real bar exam.
If your schedule does not permit this, you may take each as a standalone exam.

It is important to do the exams closed book and in the time the Bar allots you.

You turn in the 3 essay and 1 PT exams each week and Vivian gives you constructive, thorough critiques and a realistic bar-grader grade. Vivian does not “blow smoke up your skirt” by suppressing your early exam scores and inflating the later ones. She knows how the exam is actually graded because she was a California bar grader of both essays and PT exams. In addition to her written critique and grade, she explains exactly how she found the most important issues, how she picked out the subtle issues that really required reasoning, and how she planned and constructed her answer while managing her time. This occurs during one-on-one tutoring sessions by telephone or email. Plus you have Vivian’s own model answers to study. (See “Answers to Last Exam”) Vivian’s model answers would receive high passing scores on the bar exam. Vivian passed the California bar exam on her first attempt ans was invited by the Committee of Bar Examiners to be a bar exam grader, an invitation extended to a select few who have done exceptionally well on the exam. Her teaching method has succeeded so well with many of her students that they too were invited to be graders. Vivian was also invited to assist the Committee of Bar Examiners in developing the Performance Test by taking mock Performance Tests and giving the Examiners feedback on how to improve the clarity of the exam.

You prepare to take the tests for Vivian each week by:
(a) studying the law outlines in The Writing Edge.
(b) watching the two-hour law lecture on DVD.
(c ) memorizing the test elements for the most frequent essay issues in the law quizzes in The Writing Edge.
(d) Practicing 4 to 6 essay exams. These are all genuine California Bar Exam essays. You can reach Vivian 7 days a week, 12 hours a day by email, phone, and videoconference.

Then you submit three essays and a PT to Vivian. She returns the exams to you, thoroughly critiques within two to three days.

Your telephone conference on these exams with Vivian goes over the law in the exams, and the process of identifying the issues and the exam’s finer points. Then Vivian lets you step into her brain to hear how she prioritizes the issues, made a plan for her answer and managed the time remaining to write a passing answer.

On the Performance Test, Vivian repeats that process, showing you how to find the issues on any PT, how to quickly find the case rules and put together a simple, logical plan tha allows you to spend the most time reasoning in your answer and get high PT scores.

The course contains:
24 essay exams Vivian will grade.
135 Essay Exams
Law outlines for every subject tested n the California Bar essay exam, containing the essential essay law, and quizzes that makes it simple to memorize the legal tests.
21 DVDs (approximately 42 hours), including:
Law lectures on every subject
“How to Fact Issue Spot an Essay Exam” DVD
“PT Method.” Two DVDs
“How to Find PT Case Rules” DVD
Detailed study schedule
Unlimited telephone and email tutoring with Vivian.

Writing Edge application Acrobat Reader image (PDF 85 Kb)

Writing Edge application: Type in & Print Acrobat Reader image (PDF 115 Kb)

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Phone: 510-219-7795