A 30+ Year History of Proven Effectiveness
(Featuring quotes/letters attesting to the effectiveness of both live and audio programs)
When I was in third year, a friend who'd Made
Law Review told me he'd discovered that every one of his fellow editors
had taken the LEEWS in their first semester of law school, as had he. ...
— and did not recommend the program to others. That gave them a huge advantage
over their fellow students.
— Atticus Falcon, PLANET LAW SCHOOL, p. 89
Wentworth Miller's [LEEWS] is the secret behind
the success of more law review members than you can shake a stick at.
— The Princeton Review 2001 Buyer's Guide to Law Schools, p. 83
Just finished my last [second term] final earlier today. I definitely passed, but it's up in the air as far as how well I did. I don't want to count my chickens before they hatch.
LEEWS put me in a position to succeed first semester, and I am greatly indebted to you for that. My friends at the U of M [Minnesota] who took LEEWS with me all have the same feelings. Derek earned a 4.0 [first term] and is an accepted transfer to the University of Chicago for next year. Juwon (from Korea, who only learned English a year ago!) received a 3.66 and is an admitted transfer to Georgetown. Richie also has rave reviews about how LEEWS prepared him for exams, and did quite well. AS you know, your course helped me achieve a 3.833 gpa first semester, and I am hoping for similar results. In summary, we all feel that your course was a driving force towards our collective success.
— Michael Stinson, U. Minnesota '11
[LEEWS update: Michael slipped to a 3.641 second term, but made law review. Richie had a 3.733 second term, and the others indeed transferred.]
I took your class in Miami less than one week
before my first law school exam. Of my three friends who attended, I was
the skeptic. Imagine my surprise, astonishment, etc., when fall grades
came back — A, A, A, B+, B. I didn't think it could possibly get any better,
... BUT, somehow (OK, due to your system) it did. Spring semester grades
came back yesterday, and (drum roll) ... — A, A, A, A, A!!! I was amazed!
Thank you so much. Your program was incredibly informative, and gave
me the skills I needed to perform the way I did. It's remarkable how much
the LEEWS method changed my perception of law school exams. Call me crazy
(or a complete nerd), but I actually had FUN taking my exams this past semester,
in whole because I was confident and prepared, not only with respect to
the material, but more so with respect to the method/strategy of how to
approach and structure an exam.
— Lauren J. Grous, U. Miami '07
My roommate and I took LEEWS together and we
both were Kent Scholars during 1L year at Columbia. I'll be clerking for
a Second Circuit judge next year, and I think your program was helpful throughout
law school. Ms. Page's class was great. All the best.
— Ben Trachtenberg, Columbia '05
I attended LEEWS a few weeks before finals, and
it helped everything that I had been studying make sense. It takes all
that information packed in your brain and lays out an attack plan to put
it into a law school essay. I received three A's my first term and the
top grade in contracts!
— Rick Frank, Thomas Cooley '06
Very valuable. I contacted 3 upperclassmen
who took LEEWS, and all recommended it. 2 of the 3 made law review.
— Nicole Hudspeth, U. San Diego '03
3 people in my study group attended last semester, and they got straight
— Brian Collins, UC Hastings '02
Respecting results and effectiveness, we do not poll attendees after exams. However, the evidence of LEEWS' effectiveness (see below) is substantial and persuasive. This effectiveness is also predictable. Given the astonishing ignorance of even 2 and 3Ls respecting what we instruct, especially our unique, systematic approach to identifying issues and our instruction on analyzing and presenting as a lawyer, it is virtually inevitable that exam performance will improve, often dramatically.
Surprisingly (disturbingly), the so-called "case method" of instruction featured in almost all law schools and classes – briefing and going over cases in class, etc. – does a poor job conveying what, exactly, lawyers do, and especially how they think and analyze. It further falls short respecting showing students HOW, exactly, to express "lawyerlike analysis" concisely on confusing law essay exams. Add to this the problems most law students have identifying issues in the complex fact scenarios featured on virtually all law school (and bar) exams (called "hypotheticals," because they are made up fact patterns), or even knowing what an “issue” is, etc., and it is almost inevitable that LEEWS grads outperform their clueless classmates.
In general, LEEWS' effectiveness has been conveyed over the years in several ways. First, in the course of personally contacting hundreds of former students each year in order to secure representatives at the 170+ law schools at which we distribute literature, the overwhelming majority report that they did well and improved performance, and that their friends who attended with them did so as well. It is commonplace that they and/or their friends have made law review. A surprising number report finishing among the top ten in their class. We usually learn of several schools where a LEEWS alum finished first in the class.
Perhaps the most dramatic reported result came the year eight students from the then University of Bridgeport School of Law (now Quinnipiac School of Law) came to a program on Long Island after a subpar first semester. Five ended the year 1st, 2d, 3d, 5th, and 6th in their class! They then transferred to bigger name schools. [Note that transferring to a higher ranked school is easy if you get A's as a 1L. LSAT score and college gpa no longer matter. You are seen as being one of those rare individuals possessed of "the right stuff" — an imagined, innate lawyering aptitude. E.g., a rep at Duke transferred there from Nova Southeastern after aceing his first year.]
Refunds pursuant to our money back guarantee policy
A second and obvious measure of effectiveness is reflected in how many elect to take us up on our guarantee of better grades (if there are previous grades), a top third of the class finish in first term, and at least a 2.7 GPA. In our first ten years fewer than 1 in 25 requested refunds. Since revisions in the program in 1992, principally integration of and sharper focus on the concept of “premise” throughout the instruction — e.g., find premises (in fact patterns), present the analysis of each in a series of concise paragraphs — that ratio has fallen to less than 1 in 50! In other words, it appears that over 98 percent of students who take the live program finish in the top 1/3, get at least B's, or improve on previous performance. And we've gotten even better!
Of course, some 1Ls might have done fine without LEEWS. Having done well first term, students are sometimes reluctant to give us credit. They say, "well, I used your approach on some exams, but not others." One woman got all A's, yet called to inquire about a refund. . . . Denied!
By "your approach" students mean the very precise steps we instruct for systematically breaking down confusing fact patterns to reveal (ALL!) issues. This is probably the most dramatic and memorable aspect of LEEWS. However, what they don't acknowledge or perhaps even realize is that our instruction on how lawyers think and analyze is even more important. Once grasped (and practiced) it permeates every aspect of study and preparation. It becomes a way of thinking, a mindset that serves the student well, whether he or she is aware of it. It is also the fundamental building block for impressing professors and earning rare A's on exams.
Moreover, we can't say for sure that 49 of 50 attendees do not meet the refund criteria. We know that some who qualify don't seek a refund, because they are so impressed with the system and know they just need to practice the techniques more. Others, no doubt, simply don't get around to applying for a refund. However, it must also be noted that many LEEWS attendees are likely marginal students. They attend owing to insecurity stemming from lower LSAT scores or college gpas. No matter. Such students also do well. We have raised many from academic probation comfortably into the top half of the class. Even at Thomas M. Cooley in Michigan (nearly 3000 students!), which admits most who apply, but then grades very severely, our refund ratio is still better than one in 20. At the top schools we almost never get refund requests. For example, we have never been asked for a refund by a Harvard or Stanford law student, and we have instructed many hundreds. To cite the example of one year (1996-97), of nearly 40 Stanford 1Ls, over 40 Harvard 1Ls, and almost 50 Duke 1Ls who took the live program (and therefore qualified for a refund), not one requested a refund.
LEEWS Grads on Law Review
Finally, there is membership on law review (typically the top ten percent of a law school class). Owing to skepticism and/or arrogance or embarrassment (about admitting that they may need help), it is likely that many among the most capable law students shy away from a program such as ours. Nevertheless, a disproportionate number of LEEWS grads make law review.
Early on (early 1980's), when we had fewer students from fewer schools in fewer cities, we took the time to match the memberships of law reviews from selected schools with our class lists. After noting, for example, that eight of our students were on law review at Harvard in one year, and a similar number at UCLA, the pattern of success in this regard became clear, and we stopped checking. Since those early years we have only gotten better. Students often do not publicize that they have taken LEEWS live or audio. (Partly they want to retain a competitive advantage. Partly they don't want to admit that they needed assistance, or that their excellent results are attributable to anything other than innate brilliance.) However, we routinely suggest that students at all schools walk up to their law review offices and ask about LEEWS. A 1L from U. Penn. Law once told us she sought out the fellow who was number one in the second year class to get his suggestions for being successful. He told her he had ordered the LEEWS program on audio tape, and added, "it's all you'll need."
Over the years persistent anecdotal evidence has indicated that an inordinate number of LEEWS grads make law review. Planet Law School publicizes the circumstance that in one year "all of the editors at my [top twelve] law school had taken LEEWS as 1Ls." (On our Home Page you may click to the full text of PLS's remarks.) That revelation surprised even us. Now that the Internet makes it easier to research law review membership, in January, 2001 we cross referenced our class and tape order lists with members of law review at a number of schools. All had numerous LEEWS grads on law review. For example, 23 of 58 members of law review at Washington University School of Law (including 50% of the editors, among them the editor-in-chief) had taken LEEWS as 1Ls. 14 of 53 members of Duke Law School's law review were LEEWS grads. Recently, the ed-in-chief of the Stanford Law Review was a LEEWS grads and a LEEWS rep. The ed-in-chief at U. Georgia in 2007-2008 came to our attention as a LEEWS grad (and 35 1Ls who found out came to the Atlanta live program). The 2008-2009 ed-in-chief at the University of Kansas is a LEEWS grad and rep, and his remarks are reprinted below.
After near 30 years, there is no question about LEEWS' effectiveness. The reports of success go on and on. [In this regard we are extremely gratified by the glowing description of LEEWS in PLANET LAW SCHOOL, and the description of LEEWS as the "best" of all study aids in The Princeton Review 2001 Buyer's Guide to Law Schools. (See Home Page)] The book, Law School: Getting In, Getting Good, Getting the Gold, published in 2008 answers the question, "How to get the A [in law school]" very succinctly -- "... easy. (The advice, anyway.) The Answer? In a word, LEEWS." [At p. 304] It is simply a matter of understanding our approach (which shows how to break any law essay exam down into components corresponding to issues, then address each component as a competent lawyer would), then practicing it enough (on old exams) to implement it efficiently and competently on the next set of exams.
Law students are busy. Unlike some other programs, LEEWS does not solicit complimentary feedback. However, occasionally former students are moved to write, call, or e-mail to report successful results.
One of the very first letters we received remains one of the most instructive. For that reason it is reprinted in the Basic Truths section. It merits a reprinting here as well. Not only does it show how well a student can do with LEEWS — and we offer a much better program today than in 1983 —, it points up how startling little assistance law school and law professors provide when it comes to preparing for and writing exams.
I took your course in December of 1983. It changed my law school career. I was at that time at Golden Gate School of Law. I had just finished midterms and had not done as well as I had hoped. Your class made the difference for me.
I was able to finish the first year very near the top of my class and transfer to Boalt Hall (UC Berkeley School of Law). I am currently on both law review and the moot court board.
It is important to stress that I learned from your class what I wasn't told anywhere else: that the exam is everything and exam taking skills can be articulated, practiced, and improved. You articulated them, I practiced them, and they certainly improved. Just as you said, all my professors — even the very liberal and student oriented ones — had the "right stuff" attitude. If you had the "right stuff" to be a lawyer, then it would show in exams. Before I took your class I used to write practice exams and try to get profs to read them. They would tell me, "just study law — not taking exams." What BULL____!! Almost everyone in the class knows the law — the challenge is to write it down in a fashion that will impress the grader. That is what I learned from you.
Randall Aiman-Smith [Mr. Smith is a practicing attorney in San Francisco, and a writing instructor at U. C. Hastings College of Law.]
A 1995 letter from a woman at Duquesne Law School in Pittsburgh comes to mind. She and a friend took LEEWS after getting B's, B+'s, and a C+ first semester (not bad grades at Duquesne!). She reported feeling pretty good about the next set of exams, but was extremely nervous as she approached "The Misery Wall" to check her grades. She reported:
Barb and I were simply incredulous! I got all A's and A-'s, and Barb received similar grades with the exception of one B. We are now Believers! Thank you for offering such a valuable program that gave us the tools to show that we did know the law.
Early on, LEEWS wasn't so polished and effective as it is today. Nevertheless, results were dramatic. Professor Alfred Porro, Jr. of the University of Baltimore School of Law (now retired) steered his daughter, a 1L at NYU, to the program. He also sat in. He later wrote us:
Dear Wentworth [Miller, LEEWS founder]:
I know you will be happy to learn that Janet got three A's and two B's first semester. Your seminar made the difference.
[LEEWS note: Average GPA at U. Balt. in the 1980's was C+ - B-.]
In 1989 Bruce Cohen, then assistant dean of Touro College of Law (Long Island, New York), later a dean at Harvard Law School (where he referred students distraught over B's to LEEWS), relayed the letter of a student he had advised to attend LEEWS. The student wrote:
Dear Dean Cohen:
I am in my final year of law school, thanks to your help. In my first year I was doing quite poorly. I came to you for advice, and you told me about the LEEWS course to improve my test taking. After taking this course I saw a dramatic improvement in my grades. As a matter of fact, I made the Dean's List in my second year. Thanks to you and LEEWS I will be entering my final semester.
A number of letters and e-mails from live attendees and audio tape purchasers are reprinted below. They not only convey the improved performance of those students, they describe something of what LEEWS accomplishes beyond the standard, merely helpful advice others offer. Some offer a sense of the unique effect LEEWS instruction has on students.
[The most immediate and typical effect is greatly increased confidence. Students now know how to play the lawyering game (although practice is needed to get good at it). They understand what is meant by "think and analyze as a lawyer." They understand HOW they need to know the law, and therefore what they want to extract from cases and class discussion. They typically begin to brief cases in 2-4 lines, and take far fewer notes in class (typically less than a page per class hour), while comprehending more. They have a precise plan of attack, not only for exams, but for daily and weekly preparation. Most report beginning to enjoy law school and even looking forward to exams. They understand the entire lawyering process as a GAME, and they feel equipped to play the game well.]
Over the years we have detected no important difference in effectiveness between the live program and the audio program. Once you've taken LEEWS, the lawyering skills and perspective obtained simply vault you far beyond where you were, and beyond the capabilities of most others.
(Additional letters/e-mails from purchasers of the audio program follow. Note. Some have been edited to save space and eliminate extraneous material.)
Live Program Attendees
2009 [Via e-mail from a third year at U. Kansas, whom we left a phone message inquiring whether he would distribute flyers for us. We're pretty impressed that someone who did so well, and who is poised for such a fine career, would even bother to get back to us, much less agree to perform such a pedestrian service. Often it is just a desire to give something back, to assist others in finding the proper road in law school. We didn't know that our rep at Washington & Lee law school for 2006-2008 was #1 in her class, ed-in-chief of the law review, and on her way to a clerkship on the Ninth Circuit until a woman we solicited to be the rep in fall 2008 told us. Apparently W & L has a mentorship program, whereby 3rd years share dorm rooms with 1Ls. This woman had been our previous rep's roommate as a 1L, and that is how she had come to take LEEWS.]
I apologize for the delayed response. I would be happy to do some advertising around the law school for you. I think the LEEWS program was incredibly helpful to me, and I would definitely like to encourage others to take it. I really do believe it set me off on the right foot in law school ... leading me to 19 A's so far, a position as Editor in Chief of the Law Review, and a job at a prominent Washington D.C. intellectual property law firm following graduation.
Just give me the materials and I'll gladly pass them out.
My current address is: [...]
At the Boston program in April, 2009, Mr. Miller inquired of a woman from Suffolk University School of Law how she had learned of LEEWS [as she was the only student from Suffolk]. She related the following amusing and curious story. Seems she had attended a friend's wedding in NYC, and noticed that the groom was carrying a yellow-gold booklet around with him, even to the extent of taking photos with it in his hand. She asked what it was -- the LEEWS primer! He said he took it with him wherever he went as a good luck talisman. LEEWS had helped him get straight A's and his dream job. [We've since learned that part of this young man's law firm job involves representing Madonna! Yes, that Madonna!] The woman, who had been somewhat agitated as the class began, contacted Mr. Miller with follow up questions following the program, and he made some suggestions [Mainly, practice writing paragraphs of analysis in the concise LEEWS' format.] She then sent us the following email after her exams several weeks later:
Just a quick note to let you know that I finished final exams. ... Phew!! While I won't receive my grades for a few weeks, I feel confident that I did well. What a tremendous difference between my spring finals vs. fall exams! Honestly, your LEEWS program changed my entire perspective and exam experience. As we discussed, I followed your suggestions and did the practice paragraphs daily. I immediately felt a significant shift in my attitude and approach to exams. I entered the rooms nervous, but much more confident and almost excited to attack each exam. It really was the equivalent of shifting from defense (fall) to offense (spring). Instead of feeling as if I could only react or jump through whatever hoops the professors laid in front of me, I anticipated the questions proactively and knew exactly what to expect. As I have said before in our email exchanges, thank you so much for you help. Again, you broke that seemingly insurmountable task of perfoming successfully on law school exams down into a science, a methodical action plan and formula that simply works. I hope to be able to reach back out to you in a few weeks with stellar exam grades to report!
Thanks again & hope that all is well in your world!
Lindsay Breed, Suffolk '11 or '12 (after being '12E)
[LEEWS update: We did not hear from Lindsay, and feared things might
not have gone so well. Professors tend to grade harder second term. They
expect more, and students are somewhat improved as a result of their first
term experience. Not to worry. We contacted Lindsay to ask permission to
publish her remarks, and she reported the following improvement: Contracts
-- C+ at midyear to A-; Civil Procedure -- B- at midyear to A-. A- in Practical
Legal Skills, and B+ in torts with the notoriously hard grading Professor
Glannon. (Yes, Glannon of Aspen Books' Glannon on Torts.) Lindsay's
reduced course load reflects that she was a part-time student. She tells
us that she is moving to full time fo the fall 2009 term.]
2008 [Via e-mail from the graduating LEEWS rep at Brooklyn Law School]
It has been a pleasure both using the LEEWS method and encouraging others to learn it. I still can't express enough how grateful I am that you designed this program. It has helped me immensely over the years. My first semester at law school — before I'd taken LEEWS — I barely pulled off a 3.0. I was accordingly devastated that all my hard work had not in fact paid off. Since taking the program I've managed a 3.66 (A- average) or higher every semester, and I've earned the highest grade in my class 3 times (2 classes with approximately 120 students, 1 with approximately 50 students). I cannot thank you enough. I'm sure you hear this a lot, but LEEWS really was THE most valuable class I ever attended in law school. I don't know that I would have been able to stick with it if I hadn't learned how to translate my knowledge into proper exam answers. I'm sure I will continue to realize the benefits of the method as I prepare for and take the New York bar.
I've enjoyed working with you on advertising LEEWS. I hope that our paths will cross again in the future. Thanks again and best of luck to you.
Rebecca [Worden '08]
2007 [Via e-mail from a "non traditional" older student pursuing the law as a second career.]
Your program was great. I bought the audio program [first semester] and then took the live program in LA my second semester. First semester my highest grade on an essay final was 86. Second semester I received two 89's, a 93, and a 95, and I know your program helped. It makes you think a different way about the problems, and avoid coming to a conclusion too soon and ignoring the other side of the argument. I will recommend your program to anyone looking or help.
Agnes Felton '09
Arizona State University College of Law
2007 [As noted in the letter that follows (actually
an e-mail), one of this person's A+ exam responses was used as the model,
verbatim, for students in two sections. It is reprinted along with professor
comments in our sample exams section. The introductory instructions and
the exam itself suggest just how confusing and intimidating a task facing
a law essay exam is. LEEWS seeks to enable students to take charge of any
such exercise to produce a series of paragraphs, each introducing relevant
law and the kind of analysis that impresses. Clearly, Richard absorbed the
approach strategy and the analysis instruction in spades.]
Greetings. Let me say that LEEWS was absolutely essential to my success on exams. I know you like to look at sample hypos, so I'm attaching our fall civil procedure hypo & examplar response along with faculty comments. The exemplar is, in fact, *my* exam essay answer, and if I say so myself, it's a pretty good LEEWS examplar as well.
Thanks to LEEWS and my other preparation (mostly the PLS regimen) I am 3rd in a class of 141 with a 3.786 GPA. I made the highest grade in the class in both civil procedure and contractts, "A plus," and I also clocked in with "A" in property and "A minus" in Torts. Legal methods, which is evaluated differently, yielded a respectable "B."
I have been encouraging friends to visit your site and order the CD version of LEEWS [Note: as did the author], and our reconstituted study group (a trio of geriatric mid-30s guys) is embarking on a LEEWS-based romp through the second semester subjects.
Richard Townley, Sr., U. Memphis '09E
2006 [It is never too late to start getting A's. We may note that A's are particularly hard to achieve at lower tier law schools like Thomas Cooley in Lansing, MI.]
Dear Mr. Miller:
I am writing to let you know how grateful I am for your program. I am just entering my third semester at Thomas Cooley Law School and attended the LEEWS program at the Intercontinental Hotel in Chicago this past October. Immediately after the program I realized that the information presented would be helpful, but I failed to realize just how valuable the program was. Well, I am proud to report that I just received my grades for this past semester, and they consisted of all "A's" with a Certificate of Merit award for the highest grade in my property course.
I am incredibly proud of my performance this past semester, and I owe a major portion of it to you and LEEWS. Please keep up the great work!
Adam C. Reddick
2005 [Even days before exams LEEWS can make a big difference.]
I took your class in Miami less than one week before my first law school exam. Indeed, of my three friends who attended, I was the skeptic. Imagine my surprise, astonishment, etc., when fall grades came back — A, A, A, B+, B. I made Dean's List (top 20% of the class)!!
I didn't think it could possibly get any better, ... BUT, somehow (OK, due to your system) it did. Spring semester grades came back yesterday, and (drum roll) ... — A, A, A, A, A!!!
I was amazed! Thank you so much. Your program was incredibly informative and gave me the skills I needed to perform the way I did. I still cannot believe how wonderful your program strategy and my grades are!
It's remarkable how much the LEEWS method changed my perception of law school exams. Call me crazy (or a complete nerd), but I actually had FUN taking my exams this past semester, in whole because I was confident and prepared, not only with respect to the material, but more so with respect to the method/strategy of how to approach and structure an exam.
I will be a mentor for the incoming 1L class. I am telling them about LEEWS asap!
Regards, Lauren J. Grous, U. Miami, 2007
Dear LEEWS team:
As I'm about to graduate, I thought I'd drop you a note to thank you for the great program I took in the fall of 2002. My roommate and I took LEEWS together, and we both were Kent Scholars during 1L year at Columbia.
I'll be clerking for a Second Circuit judge next year, and I think your program was helpful throughout law school. Ms. Page's class was great.
All the best.
Ben Trachtenberg, Columbia '05
2004 [Our grads not only routinely compete for A's. They typically populate the top ten in the class.]
Just a quick note of thanks for your program. I took your course in Portland, Oregon during my first year of law school (fall, 2001).
This May, 2004, I graduated #1 (one) in my class, and I will be working at Miller Nash, one of Portland's premier and well-respected law firms.
I was able to serve as executive editor for the law review and graduate summa cum laude. [LEEWS note: the editor-in-chief was also a LEEWS grad and our school rep.]
Your course contributed greatly to my success. I will continue to recommend it to first year law students!
Jocelyn West, Willamette University, JD '04
2000 [One of many who call or write just to report all A's.]
Dear Mr. Miller:
I took your course last fall at the Fisherman’s Wharf Marriott.
Your course materials promised me I could compete for A’s. I didn’t imagine that with the help of your course and a lot of hard work and organization, I could get all A’s – but that’s what I did. LEEWS was the single most important tool in helping me understand how to tackle law school exams. [Original emphasis.]
Thanks for everything.
Sincerely, Jordan Silber, [Univ. Calif. Hastings College of Law ‘02]
1994 [A letter showing not just how effective LEEWS can be, but why some get more from LEEWS than others, and how LEEWS can enable students to transfer from lower to higher ranking law schools — in this instance STCL to U. Texas and UT to Harvard!]
Dear Mr. Miller:
This letter is long overdue, but I wanted to write you and let you know of my success after taking your seminar two years ago.
I took LEEWS as a first semester student in the fall of 1991 while at South Texas College of Law in Houston. My goal was to do as well as possible and transfer to a higher ranked law school. After looking at your flyer I told myself, "Seventy-five dollars [group rate] is nothing compared to what it could do for you in the long run." At the enjoyable Sunday program I was pleased to see only a few other students from STCL. After being taught your system, and in accordance with your advice, I practiced on old exams after completing my outlines.
Well, after first semester exams, I was ranked number 2 in a class of 440, had received the highest grades in two of my five exams, and tied another student for another "highest grade" award. After learning of my success, classmates asked what I had done, and I was told that over 30 STCL students attended your spring program. I thought my big mouth may have ruined my chances to do equally well second semester. However, I still performed as well, and I realized why others who took your program did not — they did not practice your method as religiously as I did! (Original emphasis.)
As a result of my first year performance, I left South Texas ranked number 3 in my class, and transferred to the University of Texas at Austin. There, I am happy to inform you, I have performed almost as well. I will graduate this May in the top 15% of my class with honors, and will begin a federal court clerkship after completing the Texas bar. I credit a large part of my success to your remarkable program.
As a side note, I recommended your program to a cousin who was a 1L at UT at the same time I was a 2L. She just transferred to Harvard. Again, proof positive that your program works for all law schools.
Again, thank you for helping me attain my goals.
Stewart Hoffer, Univ. of Texas '94
1999 [An in depth discussion of how LEEWS helped an older student both in law school and on the bar. It also includes a snapshot comparison with the one hour free exam writing program put on by BAR-BRI and Professor Charles Whitebread at many schools.]
After using LEEWS for nearly all of law school, as well as the bar, I have passed the Florida Bar. I was in the top 20 percent of my graduating class as well. Further, I graduated with honors. Though I am 51, my parents still can’t believe it.
I ordered the LEEWS program on the recommendation of a fellow student during my first semester of law school here at the University of Florida. I simply cannot say enough about your work and LEEWS. Not only had my classmate found it very useful, but I also found immediate application in my classes and study techniques.
I still remember my first “A." With my educational history, a law school “A” is a tremendous success. Well, immediately after that A, more followed, along with many B+ grades. Never in my wildest dreams did I believe this was possible. Thanks to LEEWS, many of my personal goals were achieved and bested – considerably.
My academic history is spotty at best. When I arrived in Gainesville, I knew from the first day of class that I needed more than the many books I had already read on law school provided. I read everything I could find about how to “succeed” in law school.
LEEWS was a completely different story. From the start the LEEWS Primer was a perfect study companion. Every step in my study routine for nearly 10 months included constant cross references into the Primer to validate what I was doing was the most effective approach. Each time I varied from the Primer I discovered gaps in my notes, learning, and understanding. Even here LEEWS showed me how to “recover.”
I immediately adopted your “toolbox” approach and technique of weekly summary of class notes. I later increased these summaries to twice or even three times a week for those courses I found more difficult. My best test preparation technique was to begin some 9-7 weeks prior to final exams in replicating the logic and writing patterns you provided in the Primer. When I took my own practice exams I was able to follow a “systematic approach to writing the answers” that matched what the professors were apparently looking for on our exams. There is no doubt in my mind – LEEWS is directly responsible for my GPA and class rank.
But there is more. Your instructions on the Bar were exactly on target. I am positive that without LEEWS and your commentary the BarBri course would have been almost uncontrolled bedlam from the beginning. I greatly appreciate – and thrive upon – effective discipline, a scheme, a plan, goals, objectives. You provided exactly what I needed. I took your Chapter Two and committed it to memory. My wife rolled her eyes, but I created a study plan, right from the Primer’s pages, placed that plan in the middle of my desk, and literally checked it off each day.
No other program comes close to LEEWS. Just one example: Mr. Whitebread’s [BarBri free one-hour exam prep and writing lecture – see discussion in LEEWS difference] commentary is funny and cute, but simply lacks substance when matched against the LEEWS programmatic approach to actually doing what we came here to do – learn the law, and learn how to express ourselves so other professionals are able to understand our expressed reasoning.
Perhaps my letter is too long and rambles. Nevertheless, thank you is all I am able to give you in return for your help in achieving my personal life’s goal. I wish you great and continued success.
Sincerely, Earl B. Christy, Jr. [U. Florida ‘99]
1994 [A letter attesting that hard work in law school is fruitless until the game is understood, and requisite skills acquired.]
During the first half of my first year, I studied like mad and thought that simply out-working everyone else would guarantee good grades. I was wrong. The midterms I thought I had aced came back marked with C's and C+'s across the board. In one class there was only one C+ given — the lowest grade in the class. It was mine.
I became terribly depressed until I recognized the real problem: although I had probably mastered the material as well as (or better than) my classmates, I just didn't know how to write a law school essay exam. I had always been a good writer in high school and college, but had no idea what a methodical, nitpicking, formulaic "science" was required to do well on law school exams.
After taking your course and practicing with the examples in your book, I excelled on finals (4 of 5 grades were above the median) with far less work, and raised my grades from the very bottom of the class to nearly the top third. I absolutely attribute my improvement to your essay exam writing course. I can hardly say that I knew and understood the material better than my classmates. I was simply able to organize and express what I knew better on finals!
I strongly recommend LEEWS to any law student!
Jeff Marx '96, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
1998 [A letter from a Harvard 1L reflecting the positive change in attitude about law school (and exams) LEEWS engenders.]
Dear Mr. Miller:
I attended your Boston LEEWS course today, and I just feel compelled to write to tell you how much I enjoyed the day. You are hysterically funny, but more importantly you really seem to have your finger on the pulse of how law students feel about exams.
Today's $70 [large (12+) group rate] was perhaps the best spent money, or rather the best investment of my entire law school experience. I am finishing my first year at Harvard, and, as your flyer predicted, I really am looking forward to taking my June exams and applying your technique. It's ironic that many of the things you said were aspects of law school that I (and several classmates who also attended today's session) guessed might be the true state of affairs, but was not convinced until you described them in a rational manner. Regurgitating facts is tedious, makes exams excruciating, and accomplishes a "B" at best. Seeing the exam as a game, a chance to offer "educated" legal analysis, makes the process exciting, challenging, and really more "sensible."
Regardless of whether my grades improve, today was worth every penny spent — and probably more.
Please never give up this vocation. Your services are invaluable.
Margaret Watson, Harvard '90
1995 [A letter evidencing a typical result of LEEWS — better grades = greater motivation (= law school becomes enjoyable!).]
Dear Mr. Miller:
I attended LEEWS in Detroit in March of 1995. Thank you for teaching such important law school skills. My second semester grades improved so much!
My highest grade first semester became my lowest second semester. I've become totally motivated because of your program. Thanks again!
Karenn Florante, Thomas M. Cooley Law School, '97
If anything, students who complete the audio version of LEEWS
seem more consistently and predictably to do well. Perhaps they are more
motivated. Certainly, the audio program, if not as energetic and motivating
as the live, is somewhat more complete and carefully articulated. If you
take the somewhat greater time needed (9-10 hours) to fully work through
the audio program (which students seem to find not just interesting, but
inspiring), you probably not only have a better fundamental grasp of all
aspects of the LEEWS approach than a live attendee, but you are also more
likely to have the discipline to do the practice exercises that are essential
to mastering the various new skills and techniques and implementing them
effectively in preparations and on exams. Indeed, the problem with the audio
version is that some students simply never get around to doing it (which
is the primary reason why the grade guarantee is not extended to the audio
[A Trilogy of Success at Southwestern University School of Law (Los Angeles)]
I— Spring, 1990
Then Southwestern dean [name omitted by request] to Michael Stone '92, who tooks LEEWS after a disappointing first semester — Your improvement in grades is unprecedented in the history of the law school.
Michael Stone '92 (after sitting in on the live LEEWS program a second time) — You'd have to be nuts not to take this seminar.
Dear Professor Miller, [Note: Mr. Miller is a lawyer and a very experienced and accomplished instructor, but not a law professor.]
I've been meaning to write all semester, and am just now getting around to it. In desperation, I purchased your [audio program] following the Spring 2000 semester. A single C- would be enough to place me on academic probation for the following semester. I was sick and tired of working so hard and receiving such poor grades.
I followed all of your advice, especially the gem about getting pissed off. I summarily attacked my Fall exams, and have enclosed the results for your review. Thanks for the encouragement and advice. Keep up the good work.
Sincerely, Craig M. Hopkins, '02Eve., Southwestern University School of Law
The enclosed copy of Mr. Hopkins grades in the term prior to taking LEEWS revealed: Civil Procedure — C-, Legal Profession — C, Property II — C, Constitutional Law — C.
The enclosed copy of Mr. Hopkins three final grades for the term after LEEWS revealed: Evidence — A+, Whitecollar Crime — A-, Unfair Competition and Consumer Protection — B-.
There was also enclosed a copy of a letter to Mr. Hopkins from Leigh H. Taylor, Dean of the law school. It read:
Dear Craig: I am pleased to inform you that you have received the CALI "Excellence for the Future Award" in Evidence A2 for the Fall 2000 Semester. The award, sponsored by the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, is given to the student who has received the highest grade in specified courses. Congratulations on this fine achievement, and best wishes for your continued success.
III — July, 1998 [This letter reflects the important confidence building aspect of LEEWS, apart from effectiveness.]
Dear Mr. Miller:
I never thought I would ever write a letter such as this, even though I am sure you are all too familiar with the following:
I recently finished my first year of studies at Southwestern University School of Law. I became aware of your program by the second week of school. Even after one week of the dreaded "Socratic method" I was looking for an edge. Every upperclassman I spoke with told me how challenging exams were, and were going to be. Needless to say, I felt the intensity of law school early.
So I purchased your tapes and began the program immediately. If nothing else, they were going to make me feel as though I knew what I was doing. But your presentation was humorous, clear, and easy to follow. The closer it came to finals, I was saying to myself, "I can do this."
Well, the results are in and I am more than pleased. I was organized, concise, and supportive of my arguments. My tool box [LEEWS term for course outlines] was full, my outlines easy to follow and use, and my writing style stayed on course. All A's and one B+ is so much more than I expected. I am sold on LEEWS and would recommend it to anyone who is even remotely curious. Thanks so much for bringing your program to those who can do law school, but might need some coaching on how to present what they learned.
Sincerely, Tim Cox '00
2009 [An e-mail from a Pepperdine 2L who took the LEEWS audio program following a disappointing first year]
I received your message the other day about putting fliers in first year
mailboxes and putting up some posters at Pepperdine. I would certainly be
willing to do that for you. My mailing address is:
I also want to thank you for the help that I received by way of the CD's I ordered. My GPA was about 2.49 after my first year, and I had seen more grades with the letter C than I care to enumerate. I listened to the program, utilized the strategy, and my grades this last semester were much better (A, A-, B+, B, B). Put simply, it worked.
Joseph T. Moore
J.D. Candidate 2010
2005 [An e-mail from a Cornell 2L who took the LEEWS audio program first term]
I've already started recommending [LEEWS] to people. I ended up at the top of my class last year, made law review, and have interviews, callbacks, and offers for employment from the best firms in the country. So I've been telling all the 1Ls in my section [in which I am a T.A.] about the benefits of actually knowing how to take a law school exam.
Feel free to refer anyone here at Cornell to me if they have questions about the program and its benefits.
Studying definitely played a large role, but the help from LEEWS was invaluable in helping to aid that studying. I came to Cornell from a school that was not a top tier undergrad [George Washington], and certainly one of the lower ranked schools represented at Cornell. To do so well is a testament to LEEWS, and how it helps people sift through the multitude of material that one learns at law school and get to the meat that professors really want to see on an exam. I fared far better than I ever expected, and it has opened up far more opportunities than I ever thought possible.
Thanks again so much, and if there's anything I can do, let me know.
Sean Akins '07
2003 [A letter reflecting how LEEWS can turn a law school career around and help on the bar exam.]
Dear Mr. Miller [LEEWS founder]:
I graduated from Nova Southeastern University in December, 2002.
I wish I could say that I used your program from day one, but sadly I did not. In fact, when I first saw your advertisement, I thought it was just another way to get money. How wrong I was.
I heard from one of my friends who was a year behind me about you. He couldn't say enough good things about attending your live lecture. I immediately called and ordered the tapes. It was the best investment I made while going to law school.
My grades in subjects where essays were required jumped dramatically. I even received my first (but not last) A. As you and I both know, A's are hard to come by in law school.
It is without hesitation that I recommend your Leews Program to all who wish to excel in their law studies. Thank you so very much for putting this program together.
J.D. Nova Southeastern University 2002
P.S.: Your chapter on taking the bar exam was right on target!
1999 [A letter reflecting LEEWS effectiveness not only respecting grades, but as a stress reducer and investment.]
Dear Mr. Miller [LEEWS founder]:
I am writing to tell you how much I appreciate the LEEWS system. Like most first year law students, I was somewhat neurotic about grades. So when I found LEEWS on the internet, I decided to give it a shot. I purchased the LEEWS audio cassettes last summer, before my first year began. I tried to apply the principles throughout the year. As the first semester progressed and I began to see what professors wanted, I realized that LEEWS was really going to work. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I ranked 2nd at the end of the first semester. I am certain that I would have been 1st after the second semester, but I did not use the system on a final. (I thought that I could beat the professor at the silly little game she likes to play on finals, but it backfired, and I would have been much better off using LEEWS.) I got a significantly lower grade in that class, but I still ended up 5th out of 152 students.
LEEWS was truly a Godsend. I know that I could not have performed this well without your system. It is remarkable how much the system reduced my stress and allowed a person of average intelligence to excel on such difficult exams. I believe that it is invaluable to know what professors want and to have a plan that will allow you to wade through their garbage and give it to them.
After the first semester, I told my friend about it. Only one bought it, and he did not start on the program until late in the semester. LEEWS did not help him as much as he would have liked, but he knows that he can do much better next semester if he uses it all semester. One of my other friend asked me about it after his second semester grades disappointed him again. He realized what I had already discovered: LEEWS is by far the best investment that a low school student can make. It is strange that we pay so much for law school and for only a hundred dollars more [$80-115 for the live program, $120 for the audio program] we can actually learn how to succeed in law school.
1995 [A letter that provides a nice description of program content and how LEEWS improves on standard advice. We may note that the audio program has been redone (and improved) twice since the version that proved so effective for this writer.]
Dear Mr. Miller:
I wanted to write and tell you how effective your LEEWS system was this past semester in improving my grades. I just received third semester grades at Arizona State University College of Law, and the improvement was extraordinary.
I ordered your tapes in September, listened to them, and practiced your techniques. I was stunned! Before this past semester, I had taken 10 classes (the first year core). Only two grades were above 80 percent, the highest being an 84. After listening to the tapes, the lowest grade I received was an 82 in Constitutional Law II. The remaining grades were a 92 in Community Property, 89 in Judicial Remedies, an 87 in Evidence, and an 84 in Criminal Procedure. These grades are proof that LEEWS is a remarkable breakthrough in improving test taking strategies in law school. In four of five classes my exam grade was one of the top seven the professor issued.
I do want to make a few comments about your program. First, the content of your program is fascinating, mainly because it prescribes an orderly and methodical way to spot, organize, and present [analysis of] issues in an impressive manner to a grader. Your concept of premise and counterpremise is extremely helpful. Identifying conflict pairings is a superb method to make sure you are focusing on issues involving certain parties in a hypothetical. Every law student is told to "spot all of the issues" and "use IRAC." With LEEWS you actually learn how to find hidden issues, organize your answer, and impress your professor with a comprehensive, intellectual answer.
Second, I cannot express how important your advice is about incorporating such legal jargon as "supra," "infra," and "arguendo" in an answer. [Note: LEEWS shows you how to incorporate such Latin not in order to show off (although such language surely adds a lawyerly aspect to a response), but because it is simply useful.] Such language shows a professor that you are writing in a lawyerlike fashion. It also makes it easier to refer to ideas you have already written or plan to discuss later on in the answer. In addition, your advice on using separate paragraphs for each issue is extremely important. This is such an easy concept, and I kick myself for not being conscious about doing this last year. It forces the writer to keep answers brief, concise, and organized. Most importantly, it makes it easier for the professor to see the issues you discuss. I would think that students mainly concentrate on LEEWS' issue spotting strategies. However, the way you write your answer is equally important in order to improve grades. I would stress this even more in your tapes.
[Mr. Hyder went on to express concern and speculate as to how different the live program might be from his tapes, recorded ten years earlier in 1986. The current tape purchaser needn't worry. Completely redone in 1995, and again in 2000, the audio program is now more complete and, if worked through completely, very likely more effective than the live program.] Mr. Hyder concluded:
Again, I thank you for your program. My cumulative average increased
over three percent this past semester. If I keep getting these kinds of
grades, I should graduate in the top one-third of my class. I only wish
I had ordered your tapes my first year of law school.
Sincerely, Scott Hyder '96, Arizona State U. College of Law
1988 [Two success stories from Dickinson School of Law (now part of the Penn State University system)]
I just wanted to let you know I received the package of materials. I also want to let you know the results of your course and its effect on my grades.
After my first semester, first year, I was ranked 120/168. In the spring I took LEEWS after talking with a few of my friends. For the spring semester I was 54/168, and for the fall of 1987 I was 41/174. I also wrote a Comment for the Dickinson Law Review.
I now know what the professors want on exams. I have a system to work from, and I am able to both think and write like a lawyer when the pressure is on.
Thanks, Darryl Wishard, Dickinson School of Law '89
1985 [A letter showing LEEWS effectiveness for the bar exam, highlighting why "IRAC" is not enough, and pointing up why law school does a poor job training lawyers.]
Dear Mr. Miller:
Hooray for LEEWS! I used your techniques on the Pennsylvania bar exam and passed with room to spare.
I did not pass on the strength of my multiple choice answers. I passed on the strength of my essays. Your techniques saved me precious time during the exam writing phase, and I used that extra time to hone in on the real issues. BAR-BRI uses IRAC; they assume you know what an "issue" is.
My only regret about the whole law school-bar exam experience is that somebody didn't take me aside and show me your seminar the day I arrived at Dickinson. It's shameful that something so important is left to chance.
Your comments about law school are dead right. A friend of mine (with a Ph.D.) asked the assistant dean whether he could write a seminar paper on some "practical property law," like drafting a deed, searching a title, closing a real estate transaction. The assistant dean said this is unheard of; he would have to consult the curriculum committee.
I truly believe you are right in saying that law professors are in the business of creating law professors and not practicing lawyers. I might add that another purpose of law schools may be to train cheap labor for the big firms. From my point of view, the real losers are the American people, for lawyers get hands-on training at their expense.
Well, thanks again. I'm very glad I finally sent for your tapes after reading your brochures.
Very truly yours, Robbert Glessner, Dickinson School of Law '85