Posts Categorized: Bar Exam Coaching

Public Service Spotlight: Helping Future Lawyers Pass the Bar

Taking the Bar Exam is stressful. And for those who have already taken the exam and are sitting for it again, the anxiety may be even greater. The BBA’s Bar Exam Coaching program offers free coaching to help applicants navigate the process, anxiety, and expectations that come with preparing for the Bar Exam.

The program focuses on providing support to applicants who are retaking the Uniform Bar Examination in Massachusetts, although first-time takers can also be matched with a coach based on availability. Applicants are matched with volunteer attorney coaches who have received training from experienced bar prep staff to assist with the non-substantive elements of preparing for the exam, including mental preparation, effective study techniques, and time management. Over half of applicants participating in the program work full time while studying for the bar exam, making the support of a coach who can help with time management and study schedules even more critical. Since the program’s official launch in 2017, 57% of participants served by the program have been bar applicants of color.

If you know an applicant taking the exam in February of 2020 who would like to be connected with a coach, you can send them this online information form.

Boston Bar pro bono and public service projects are made possible by funding from the Boston Bar Foundation.

BBA’s Bar Exam Coaching Program Now Seeking Coaches and Applicants

Taking the Bar Exam is stressful. And for those who have already taken the exam and are sitting for it again, the anxiety may be even greater. Since establishing the Bar Exam Coaching program in 2015, the BBA has helped more than 200 people, pairing them with attorney-coaches, who volunteer to help guide applicants through the process of preparing for the exam. This program is specifically designed for those who are retaking the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) in Massachusetts, but first-time takers can also be matched to a coach, based on availability.

This program is now open for sign-ups for both volunteer coaches and bar applicants for the February 2020 Bar Exam. Coaches are trained by experienced bar prep staff to guide applicants through the non-substantive elements such as mental preparation, study tips, and time & stress management.

Volunteer coaches can sign up here.

Bar applicants can sign up here.

Contact Hannah Poor at [email protected] with additional questions.

Thank You to our Bar Exam Coaching Program Volunteers!

Ahead of the July 2019 Uniform Bar Exam in Massachusetts, 14 attorneys provided coaching and guidance to individuals taking the bar exam. The BBA’s Bar Exam Coaching Program matches coaches with bar applicants to support them throughout the preparation process. Coaches keep applicants on track with a study schedule and provide tips for managing time and stress.

This program focuses particularly on assisting applicants who are retaking the bar exam in Massachusetts.  Through this program, we hope to provide support and community during the stressful and sometimes isolating experience of studying for the bar exam. Thank you to all the coaches who provided support this summer:

Joshua Cohn, Holland & Knight LLP
Susan Corcoran, De Novo
Nickeisha Davidson, Massachusetts Probation Service
Emma Days, Ropes & Gray LLP
Anthony Faillaci, Burns & Levinson LLP
Tess Foley, WilmerHale
Caitlin Gossett, Massachusetts Department of Children & Families
D. Paul Koch, Jr., Finard Properties LLC
Kristy Lavigne, Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General
Brendan Lowd, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo P.C.
Yakov Malkiel, White & Case LLP
Tracy Morong, Massachusetts State Ethics Commission
Christina Simpson, The Law Office of Christina Simpson
Conor Slattery, Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford LLP

Good Luck to July 2019 Bar Applicants

The BBA wishes the best of luck to all applicants sitting for the July 2019 Bar Exam! The Exam will take place on July 30th and July 31st in Boston and Springfield.

Volunteers with the BBA’s Bar Exam Coaching Program, which matches applicants sitting for the bar exam with attorney coaches, are currently supporting 13 bar applicants as they study. Coaches provide study tips, time and stress management assistance, and moral support as the applicants prepare for the exam.

Good luck!

Taking the Massachusetts Bar Exam in July 2019? Sign up for Bar Exam Coaching!

The BBA invites those taking the Massachusetts Bar Exam in July 2019 to sign up for our Bar Exam Coaching program. We know you’ve got the academic part of your bar prep under control, but let us help with the mental, emotional, and practical preparation. We are ready to connect you with attorney-coaches from diverse personal and professional backgrounds to offer guidance on time management, effective study techniques, and stress management. Our program is designed for those who are retaking the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) in Massachusetts, but first-time takers can also be matched to a coach, based on availability.

To sign-up for the program, please fill out this online information form.

The program has successfully helped more than 200 applicants to pass the exam. Earlier this year, we interviewed Kate Cook of Sugarman Rogers on the success of her coaching partner, a repeat bar applicant who passed the July exam. You can read that story here.

#TBT | The Experience of a Bar Coach

Since 2015, the Boston Bar Exam Coaching Program has matched 141 coaches and 205 bar applicants ahead of each bar exam iteration in Massachusetts. Involvement in this program offers both exam takers and coaches a unique opportunity to form a mentor and mentee connection that may extend beyond the volunteer months.

For this week’s Throwback Thursday, let’s take it back to 2015 and read the first-hand experience of former Bar coach, Kate Cook of Sugarman Rogers, that proves hard work and determination pay off, and the importance of remaining positive while mentoring an aspiring lawyer.

If you are taking the Bar Exam in July and would like the support of a coach, or are interested in volunteering as a coach, please click here.

Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Co-Chair Kate Cook Reflects on Bar Coaching
Original Publication Date: 2015
“As BBA Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Section Co-Chair Kate Cook left the BBA’s Annual Meeting Luncheon last week, she checked her phone and saw she had a missed call. It was from the law school graduate Cook had mentored as part of the BBA’s Bar Coaching Program.

The pair first met in January, after Cook’s mentee had not passed the Bar Exam on her first attempt. In spite of young woman’s continued diligence and Cook’s best efforts as a coach, the bar exam applicant did not pass a second time over the summer. Cook felt she had let the aspiring lawyer down. But after a pep talk from Chief Justice Ordonez, who helped launch the Bar Coaching Program in 2015, Cook resolved to stay focused, positive, and determined to help her coaching partner pass.

When Cook was able to connect with her coaching partner last week, she learned their hard work had paid off!

“I believe the Bar Exam Coaching Program can and does make a difference. I am so pleased that my mentee (and now friend) will soon join the Bar. I can’t wait to see all the great things she accomplishes,” Cook said.

For more information on the Bar Coaching Program, please click here.”

Thank You to our Bar Exam Coaching Program Volunteers!

Ahead of the February 2019 Uniform Bar Exam in Massachusetts, 45 attorneys provided coaching and guidance to individuals taking the bar exam. The BBA’s Bar Exam Coaching Program matches coaches with bar applicants to act as a cheerleader throughout the process. Coaches keep applicants on track with a study schedule and provide tips for managing stress and time.

This program targets working with applicants who are retaking the exam in Massachusetts, and of this winter’s participants, 38 were retaking the exam in February. Through this program, we hope to provide support and community during what can feel like an isolating experience. Thank you to all of the coaches who provided support this winter:

Ana Alvarado, Northeastern University School of Law
Brittany Besler
Elizabeth Broderick, Committee for Public Counsel Services
Laura Brown, Law Office of Laura Anastasia Brown
Elmira Cancan Zenger, WGBH
James Coffey, Polsinelli
Joshua Cohn, Holland & Knight LLP
Susan Corcoran, De Novo
Emma Days, Ropes & Gray LLP
Janelle Dempsey, Moriarty Troyer & Malloy LLC
Jessica DiBacco
Christopher Dodge, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Anthony Faillaci, Burns & Levinson LLP
Tess Foley, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Robert Friedman, Burns & Levinson LLP
Nicole Gallerano, Nixon Peabody LLP
Alexandra Gill, Gill Law
Eric Haskell, Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General
Naitasia Hensey, State Street Corporation
Stephanie Holding, Boston University School of Law
D. Paul Koch, Jr., Finard Properties LLC
Szeman Lam, Proskauer Rose LLP
Kristy Lavigne, Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General
Katie Leung
Brendan Lowd, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Jessica Lu, Brown Rudnick LLP
Yakov Malkiel, White & Case LLP
Lauren Maloney, Vigorito Barker Porter & Patterson LLP
Christina Miller, Suffolk University Law School
Geraldine Muir, Boston University School of Law
Emily Notini, Goodwin Procter LLP
Nicole Phe, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP
Dana Pierce, State Street Corporation
Amy Pimentel, McDermott Will & Emery
Alex Praschma, Spartan Race, Inc.
Rebekah Provost, Justice Resource Institute: Health Law Institute
Abbigail Shirk, MetroWest Legal Services
Christina Simpson, The Law Office of Christina Simpson
Eileen Sprague, Glynn Law Offices
Katie Stock, Miyares and Harrington, LLP
Ben Towbin, LibbyHoopes, P.C.
Sheba Varughese, Greater Boston Legal Services
Christine Wahr, McDermott Will & Emery
Chaloea Williams, U.S. District Court-MA
Samuel Zuckernik, Smith Duggan Buell & Rufo LLP

If you’re interested in signing up either as a bar applicant or a coach ahead of the July exam, please visit our website here.

Thank You to the 2018 Bar Exam Coaches

The BBA is grateful for the below attorneys who supported bar applicants ahead of the February and/or July exam in Massachusetts. They worked with bar applicants offering encouragement and assisting with time management and developing effective study techniques.

Ruth Adeyinka, Massachusetts Trial Court Administrative Office
Eunice Aikins-Afful, Alliance Foundation Trials, LLC
Ana Alvarado
Anne Archbald, Beaumont Financial Partners
Brittany Besler
Rose Billeci, Housing Opportunities Unlimited
Olympia Bowker, McGregor & Legere, P.C.
Elmira Cancan-Zenger
Kate Cook, Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C.
Susan Corcoran, Community Legal Services and Counseling Center
Jessica Corr
Shaneka Davis, Boston Children’s Hospital
Emma Days, Ropes & Gray
Jasmine Elatab
Tony Faillaci, Mintz
Natalie Feigenbaum, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Joseph Flynn, Molina Flynn Law Offices/Latino Law Center
Brian Galletta
Laurel Gilbert, Hinckley Allen
Caitlin Gossett, Massachusetts Department of Children and Families
Naitasia Hensey, State Street Corporation
Christopher Huntsman, Goodwin
Paul Koch, Jr., Finard Properties LLC
Robert Kubica, The Davis Companies
Szeman Lam, Proskauer
Kristy Lavigne, Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General
Jin Lin
Michael McDermott, Dain Torpy
Marc Parsons, Ascensus College Savings
Robert Quinan, Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General
Carla Reeves, Goulston & Storrs
Alexandra Rubin, Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Jonathan Schreiber, Iron Mountain
Alicia Selman, Davis, Malm & D’Agostine, P.C.
Shane Setalsingh, Competition Dynamics
Pamela Swanson, Sherin and Lodgen
Sheba Varughese, Greater Boston Legal Services
Robert Ward, Law Offices of Kenneth V. Kurnos, PC
Doyon Won, Fish & Richardson P.C.

If you’re interested in acting as a Bar Exam Coach ahead of the February 2019 exam, you can read more and sign-up on our website: http://www.bostonbar.org/in-the-community/bar-exam-coaching

Bar Exam Coaching Program – Call for Bar Applicants and Attorney Volunteers

As we move into the summer, recent law school graduates are preparing to take the July Bar Exam. The Boston Bar Association is continuing to support bar applicants, especially those who are retaking the exam, with the mental, emotional, and practical preparation required. We’re currently recruiting bar applicants signed-up to take the July exam and attorneys who’d like to volunteer as coaches. See below for specific information and to sign-up!


Bar Applicants – Are you taking the Uniform Bar Examination in Massachusetts in July 2018?

We know you’ve got the academic part of your bar prep under control, but let us help out with the mental, emotional, and practical preparation. We are ready to connect you with attorney-coaches from diverse personal and professional backgrounds to offer guidance on:

  • time management
  • effective study techniques
  • stress management

If you are taking the July exam and would like to be connected with a coach, please fill out this online information form. Please note that this program is designed for those who are retaking the Bar Exam. However, we will accept applications for the program from first-time exam takers and assign you to a coach based on availability.


Attorneys – Could you offer a helping hand to an applicant sitting for the July 2018 Bar Exam?

We are seeking attorneys to serve as coaches to bar exam applicants sitting for the Bar Exam this July. This is a short-term commitment with a big impact. Coaches are not expected to answer substantive law questions, but will be trained to offer guidance on mental preparation, confidence, study tips, and time & stress management. Coaches will communicate with their applicant by e-mail, by phone, or in person.

Training and program guidelines will be provided.

If you would like to volunteer as a coach, please fill out this online information form.


If you have any questions, please contact Cassandra Shavney at [email protected]

Inspiration and Encouragement at the Bar Exam Coaching Kickoff Reception

On November 29th, over 20 bar applicants and volunteer coaches gathered to kick off the Bar Exam Coaching Program ahead of the February Massachusetts bar exam. The BBA’s Coaching Program matches volunteer coaches with bar applicants to provide encouragement and accountability in the weeks leading up to the exam. Over 90% of the bar applicants participating in the program this winter are repeat applicants. At the Kickoff, applicants heard from two successful lawyers who provided their advice for tackling the exam again. Chief Justice Angela Ordoñez (Massachusetts Probate & Family Court), who was instrumental in starting this program and who has been dedicated to mentorship initiatives throughout her career, shared her insight into the bar exam and urged the applicants to stay positive and diligent over the next few months. The Kickoff attendees also heard from Eunice Aikins-Afful, a recent bar admittee who participated in the program with her coach, Kate Cook (BBA Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Section Co-Chair). Eunice described her experience studying while also working full-time and the steps she took to successfully prepare for the July exam. We wish all of the February bar applicants good luck as they begin to prepare for the exam.

For anyone taking the February 2018 bar exam who wishes to sign up for the program, please complete this online information form.