Sara J. Berman is a nationally recognized legal education thought leader, nonprofit director, and author with recognized expertise in student success, distance learning, and the bar exam. Berman is a relationship-focused leader who inspires and sustains long-term connections with colleagues, staff, students, and collaborators nationwide. She is a mission-driven optimist dedicated to meaningful reform in legal education, true access to justice for all, and inspiring future lawyers as the guardians of our democracy. Berman is an experienced former faculty member, senior law school administrator, and academic success director who taught doctrinal and skills courses and created innovative curricular and co-curricular content – in online and in-person learning environments.
Recruited during a national search, Berman currently serves as the Director of Academic and Bar Success at the nonprofit AccessLex Center for Legal Education Excellence. Berman established and now leads empirical research initiatives and grant funding programs to assist law schools nationwide in improving bar passage and student success outcomes. Berman conceived, founded, and serves as Managing Editor of Raising the Bar, a quarterly publication dedicated to the civil exchange of evidence-based thought regarding law student success and the bar exam. Berman was r
Berman attended the UCLA School of Law for her JD, and received a BA from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa, with Distinction in both the Political Science and French Literature majors.
Prior to her service at AccessLex, Berman served as a professor of law for decades. Her courses included criminal law and procedure, torts, contracts, remedies and community property, as well as legal writing, study skills, and bar exam success courses and seminars. Berman lectured for several bar reviews nationwide for decades, preparing thousands students for both doctrinal and skills portions of bar exams in numerous jurisdictions. Her publications include Bar Exam Success: A Comprehensive Guide, published in 2019 by the American Bar Association and West Publishing, and The Criminal Law Handbook: Know Your Rights, Survive the System and Represent Yourself in Court: How to Prepare and Try a Winning Case, both co-authored with UCLA Law Professor Paul Bergman and published by Nolo.com. Berman has been appointed three times as the ABA Fact Finder to assess applications for hybrid program variances (January 2018 and November 2018), and served on an ABA site team visit in November 2018.