About Merlin Test Prep
Merlin Test Prep was founded in 1995 by Marlon Ritchie, a Maryland Attorney, who graduated cum laude from Georgetown Law (1996) at age 38. He has also conducted LSAT classes for Georgetown University (CMEA), George Washington University, and Hillsdale College in Michigan. Prior to attending Law School, he managed a Kaplan Center in New York for four years, teaching LSAT courses and training LSAT Instructors. He holds BS and MS degrees in Engineering from the University of Leeds in England. He was featured on Fox Television’s Special on standardized testing and has appeared on several Radio shows. He was a University Department Chair and an Assistant Dean. One of the unique features of Merlin is that it offers both LSAT Prep and Bar Review, and many satisfied LSAT students return to take the Bar Review.
Why Choose Merlin?
The fact is that, in Maryland, approximately 30% of the first-time Bar takers who have taken a Bar Review Course fail the Bar! The major companies “use a sledgehammer to kill a fly,” but many students cannot even lift the sledgehammer properly. They’ll argue that their method works – that’s true if you consider a 70% success rate as “working”! You are led to believe that passing the Bar requires trying to learn an unbelievably vast body of law, and that there is a mysterious, “secret of writing the winning Bar Essay”, and that they alone have access to this “secret”.
Merlin, however, takes the logical “Flyswatter approach”. We only care about passing: 70% on the Essays plus 65% on the MBE and you pass – period! Clearly, the Bar examiners do not expect you to know everything – not even close! In Maryland, when it gets complicated and/or too much to remember, they give you the Statute (in Sales, Civil Procedure, Commercial Paper, Negotiable Instruments, sometimes Family Law). Merlin appreciates and stresses the subtleties of the Exam, but the subtleties are not on the “gap” areas of the law, the subtleties are on the regular areas of law.
For example, are you clear on the following issues of basic, “regular” Law?
- The distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic evidence, and when they can be used in impeachment.
- The standards of review in equal protection.
- The distinction between “on-the-contract” and “off-the-contract”
- What “intent,” “actual malice,” “the best evidence rule,” and “malice aforethought” really mean.
- The difference, as well as the overlap, between products liability and strict liability.
- The difference between “past recollection recorded” and “present recollection refreshed”.
Believe it or not, passing the Maryland Bar is about having a thorough understanding of the basics of every topic. It is also about responding to the style of the test: in the MBE, this means predicting the answers; in the Essays, this means focusing on the topics that are frequently tested and not wasting time memorizing 1) Statutes that you’ll be given on the test, and 2) Maryland Distinctions that are rarely tested.
With Merlin’s Deductive Method, you integrate your MBE and Essay studies for Contracts, Evidence, Con. Law, Property, Torts and Crim. You will be able to 1) predict the MBE answers, taking the guesswork out of the “Multiguess,” and 2) spot all of the issues on the Essays, maximizing your score. For the Statute-driven subjects [Civil Procedure and Commercial Law], Merlin’s Proactive Method will let you spot all of the issues while maximizing your time. Merlin students love Statute questions – they’re “freebies.” Mr. Ritchie is both a Lawyer and a Test-prep expert; that’s what you need!
Marlon Ritchie, a Maryland Attorney, graduated cum laude from Georgetown Law, where he obtained an A- average for two years, attending full-time at age 38 while having a family. He has tutored students at Georgetown Law in a variety of subjects since 1995. He previously managed a Kaplan Center in Queens, NY, where he trained Instructors and taught several courses. He has appeared on several radio shows and he was featured on Fox Television’s program on testprep. He was a Research Engineer and has used the concepts of efficiency and optimization in developing a program that is effective without fluff, time-wasting and stress. He has drawn on his experience of living in England, Australia, and the Caribbean, and traveling to Europe, the Far East, and Canada to produce a refreshing, highly effective “outside looking in” approach to the Bar.
Marketing Director / Faculty Member
Gordon-Andrew Lee Fletcher is a Maryland Attorney who graduated from the historic Florida A & M University College of Law in 2010, where he served on the Moot Court & Mock Trials Competition Team, Moot Court Board, Graduate Senator and President of the Caribbean Law Students Association.
He took Merlin Legal’s MD Bar Prep Course and passed after being unsuccessful with BarBri.
He was born in Kingston, Jamaica and raised in Yonkers, NY. He believes in helping others and giving back to his community.
He has mastered the material to become a Faculty Member, and teaches Repeat Bar Takers from his unique perspective. He believes that with the right materials and technique, as well as true dedication, the Bar Exam can be successfully handled by any Law Graduate.
Gordon-Andrew is an alumnus of The American University, and a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity, Inc. He looks forward to seeing a smile on your face when you pass your Bar Exam.