News Releases

July 28, 2015: Santa Monica Bar Exam Company Fined for Claims Made to Would-Be Attorneys

Contact: 
Ricardo Santiago, Public Information Officer
(213) 257-2000

A State Bar company in Santa Monica that claimed a 94 percent passage rate for law students using their services for the first time and an 86 percent passage rate for repeat takers has been ordered to pay $130,000 for making those claims, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Deputy District Attorney Leonard Torrealba of the Consumer Protection Division said Barwinners’ actual passage rate for would-be attorneys using their services ranged from 30 percent to 49 percent between 2011 and 2013.

The company was ordered to pay fines and restitution following a joint investigation by the District Attorney’s Office’s Consumer Protection Division and the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office.

The judgment signed on July 23 also prohibits Barwinners from falsely inflating their success rate and also names their parent company, Legal Education Unlimited, Inc.

Barwinners sells online courses to help prepare aspiring attorneys for the State Bar exam, which must be passed before they are allowed to practice law in California. The cost of the course is more than $6,600 and can go up to $12,000 for individual tutoring.

Under the terms of the civil prosecution, Barwinners will pay $110,000 to former customers and $20,000 in fines.

The company also agrees to provide eight full scholarships providing their online courses over the next two years for students in need.

Additionally, under a permanent injunction Barwinners is prohibited from any future misleading or false advertising.