At Willamette, we provide our graduates with personalized support while they study for the bar examination. The BEAST program is a supplemental bar preparation program that pairs Willamette graduates with mentors and resources to prepare for the bar exam. Mentors provide support throughout the bar preparation process in areas including:
- Advice on test preparation strategies;
- Creating a bar prep schedule;
- Analyzing areas where bar takers should focus their time;
- Teaching the strategy for answering tricky questions; and
- Providing self-care suggestions and emotional support.
The program helps graduates practice and refine the strategies they learned during law school in each of the three tested skills (multiple-choice, essays, and performance of a lawyering task). Our graduates can customize the BEAST program to meet their needs, whether it is accountability, support, or both. Professor Amy Meyers, a national leader in the field of academic success, leads the program.
We approach bar preparation as teamwork. BEAST helps our graduates structure their studies and gives them the level of support they want. We strive to help students manage the stress of bar preparation, maximize the efficiency and impact of study time, and answer substantive law questions. BEAST also offers free resources to focus bar takers on the areas that the bar tests.
Faculty mentorship is the most popular part of the BEAST program and is regarded as the most effective. Our mentors are all experienced faculty volunteers who have guided, in many cases, dozens of graduates along this path. Bar takers can choose to have written practice work evaluated, or schedule regular meetings with their mentors. They always have someone there to call or email.
The BEAST program offers various resources from many sources to help with preparation for the bar exam. Here is a quick list of the most-used:
- Shared Content Resources: We maintain a collection of resources provided by various bar prep providers, bloggers, the National Conference of Bar Examiners NCBE, and our faculty.
- BEAST Blog: The blog provides updates to subscribers as events unfold, and in recent years, especially with the pandemic, events do unfold. Notifications are tailored to a subscriber's jurisdiction. We also maintain a discussion forum for students who wish to interact with others or post questions for a professor to answer.
- “Messages from Meyers”: Students, graduates and mentors receive weekly emails from our BEAST director, Professor Amy Meyers. These messages usually include important announcements, a "to do" list for the week, and affirmations. Graduates can also reach out to Professor Meyers or their mentors if they have questions.
- On-Campus Spaces and Simulated Exams: Sometimes, graduates need a quiet, air-conditioned space to study. Other graduates prefer the accountability and community of watching the lectures together as a group in the same room. Many graduates value the opportunity to practice a full-day multiple-choice examination and a half-day written examination under exam rules and conditions. We work to facilitate those needs.