Applying Blue Ocean Strategy in the Philippines Bar exam review

Blue Ocean Strategy is a corporate strategy that aims to tap unclaimed markets making competition irrelevant. The strategy is embodied in the book entitled “Blue Ocean Strategy” by Professors W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne and Published by Harvard Business School Press. The authors claim that the Blue Ocean Strategy is a result of several years of study of strategic moves by over 30 industries in a span of 100 years.

In the book, “Blue Ocean” refers to an untapped market, a market wherein there is only little or no competition at all enabling anyone to claim the market for his own since it is not yet too crowded. In contrast, “Red Ocean” refers to a market where competition is very high. The market is considered as very crowded already since almost everybody is producing the same type of service and the same kind of goods.

The Blue Ocean strategy is simply to innovate something; something that makes people gives a higher value for a certain product or service. Since doing this would require additional cost, the cost that is incurred by the value added is reduced by eliminating product or service features that the market does not really care about.

A classic example of how the Blue Ocean Strategy was used here in the Philippines is the strategic moves of the Gokongwei group. As we all know, the Gokongwei group owns Mobile phone company, Sun Cellular and airline Cebu Pacific among other companies. If you want to know more bout this, I have written on this extensively in my previous post “Blue Ocean Strategy . . . The future trend of business strategy ?”

jurists.jpgIn the area of Bar review, a new player in the bar review industry has effectively applied this strategy. Jurists Bar Review center, a three year old bar review center has decided to expand its operations in the Visayas and Mindanao area by strategically placing a new review center in Southwestern University Cebu City, Philippines.

Instead of being just another bar review center wherein bar reviewees enroll, sit down to listen to long lecture hours for the next 6 months, Jurists Bar review center has created a blue ocean by giving added value services to traditional bar review approaches. Traditional bar review is often likened to reading a book about running a marathon but never actually practicing to run a marathon. In contrast Jurists Bar Review helps the students not only read about how to run a marathon but rather to actually run the marathon by simulating bar exams conditions through 6 whole day mock bar exams. After each exams, reviewees are assigned a coach that will point out to them the strength and weakness of how they present their answers.

Jurists Bar Review center believes that each law student already has a substantial knowledge of the law, considering that they undertook 4 rigorous years of law school. The cause for failure in majority of the bar examinees is not the lack of knowledge in the law but rather in the way the answer is being presented by the examinees. Mock bar exams and one on one coaching is designed to help the reviewee improve the way his/her answer is presented.

Aside from the mock bar exams and one on one coaching, Jurists offers other value added services. Review schedules are not scheduled daily or for unreasonable length of hours, wearing out the bar reviewee and further dampening his appetite to study. Instead, the review schedules are only on Saturdays and Sundays. Further, unlike in some bar review centers where subjects will vary depending on the availability of the reviewer, in Jurists a certain subject has to be finished first before jumping to another subject. (For example all of Remedial law will be finished first before jumping to Civil or Criminal) This enables the reviewee to have a focus as to which subject he should study during weekdays. When he comes for review during the weekend, what he will be hearing will supplement what he has already read. This kind of setup also helps create a blue ocean as it captures an untapped market of bar examinees who can only review during the weekends as they are working during weekdays.

The administration thoroughly screens the bar reviewer who will be teaching the subject. Reviewers are not mainly drafted on the basis of his or her credentials but rather a reviewer’s track record of being a good speaker and his or her passion for teaching is thoroughly considered. Screening is also aided by the reviewees themselves as evaluation forms are passed out after every lecture. If a certain reviewer gets mostly negative feedbacks from reviewees, it is certain that the administration will act on the matter.

When I attended Jurists Bar Review, I did not realize that they were serious with their compelling tagline that is that “Jurists cares.” At first I thought that this was just a cliché just like what some companies do. But when I began to experience the care that the bar review center had for its reviewees I began to believe that they practiced what they preached and ever since that time I had become an “evangelist” for Jurists Bar Review. Other things that Jurists offered beyond the traditional bar review is conducting a “care givers” seminar, wherein the loved ones of bar exam reviewees are briefed for several hours to help them understand the difficult process that a bar reviewee is going through. Reviewees are grateful that this seminar is given because after their loved ones have attended it as they become more considerate, understanding and supportive to the bar examinee. Jurists Bar Review is also perhaps the only bar review center that has a “tent” every Sunday of the bar exams. Most of the Jurists administration is there to help “cheer” and “comfort” the candidate before and after the grueling bar examinations.

A Grand opening and closing party also helps liven the atmosphere and helps promote camaraderie among the reviewees. There are no preferred seats wherein the” host” schools get all of the front seats or those belonging to the “host” school gets preferred materials. Instead all reviewees get a chance to sit where they want to and any materials that could possibly help a reviewee is freely given to all.

Although the price is a little bit higher than other bar review centers in Cebu, Jurists Bar Review still manages to help bring down costs for each individual bar reviewee. Spending 6 months in Manila is far more costly if a reviewee goes there to enroll in the Jurists Bar Review center in Las Pinas. By bring the “Jurists experience” to bar reviewees in the Visyas and Mindanao areas, Jurists helps lower the cost of a quality and unique bar exam experience for each individual bar examinee.

With a proactive administration, a compelling tagline and pioneering value innovation in bar exam review, Jurists Bar Review is sure to change the landscape of Bar exam review in the years to come.

Review Classes for Jurists Bar Review Center – Cebu will start on the first week of April 2008. If you wish to enroll or know more about Jurists Bar Review Center in Cebu City, Call The Southwestern Univesity School of Law at (032)-4187077 or call the SWU trunkline at (032)-415-5555 and have the operator connect you to the SWU school of Law. You can also contact Atty. Zigfred Diaz at 0928-5059925 or Atty. Alrey Ouano at 0906-4158285

For those interested in Jurists Bar Review in Metro Manila visit or contact, Prof. Manuel R. Riguera, Review Director at Riguera Law Office, 2/F Azucena Arcade, 255 Alabang-Zapote Road, Pamplona, Las Piñas City, Tel. No. (02)-8726216; 8715749, Cell: 09183182130 E-mail: riglawNOSPAM@pacific.net.ph (Note: Please remove NOSPAM to reveal true email address)

Visit our Jurists Bar Cebu website at www.juristsbarcebu.blogspot.com. You can also visit the Jurists national website at www.juristsbar.com.ph.

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