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Kaplan to Compete in Full-Service Bar Review

August 4, 2008

     Kaplan, Inc., which trains candidates for the LSAT and other standardized exams, has announced that it will compete in the bar review business, beginning with the next exam.

     A division of the Washington Post Company, Kaplan will initially offer courses in 2009 for the New York, New Jersey, and Florida bar exams.  Kaplan is expected to cherry-pick the jurisdictions, offering preparation for the most profitable states, and allowing the current bar review leader Bar/Bri to continue offering courses also for the less profitable jurisdictions, such as Alaska, Vermont, North Dakota, and Guam.

     Kaplan said that its courses will include unlimited essay grading, technological innovations, and a money-back guarantee.  

     Kaplan's management is dominated by young, technology-savy attorneys, while Bar/Bri is led by a bricks-and-mortar savy 71-year-old.

     Kaplan and Bar/Bri recently settled a class-action lawsuit for $49 million, brought on behalf of recent law school graduates.  The lawsuit alleged that Kaplan contractually agreed not to compete with Bar/Bri in the bar review business and Bar/Bri agreed to stop competing with Kaplan in the LSAT business.  It was also alleged that Bar/Bri paid Kaplan $750,000 a year for every year that Kaplan stayed out of bar review.

     Now that Kaplan is entering the bar review business, Bar/Bri is expected to compete again with Kaplan in LSAT preparation.