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Can a Tutor Help You in Law School?

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By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on April 20, 2016 6:58 AM

Perhaps you're in law school now and you can feel the inevitable slide of your enthusiasm and progress in class. If you're in your first year, this can be especially troubling. Should you stick it out? Or maybe you've considered quitting law school?

Maybe you should consider another option: getting a tutor for law school. And although a lot of your law school contemporaries might be unwilling to reveal whether or not they've considered this line of action, don't be too quick to disregard it for fear of bruising your ego. Just make sure you look around first.

Finding a Tutor

Craigslist is usually one of the first sites that people think of whenever they need something. Not that there's anything wrong with finding quality people on Craigslist, but you also get some weird people out there.

Online tutoring companies are becoming more prevalent, but there does not seem to be any real standardization when it comes to the types of services they offer. Some offer online-courses and others offer in-home tutoring. A lot of students yearn for the person-to-person experience. Be aware however, that in-person tutoring will cost more, so be sure to know which area of study you should be focused on.

Know the Going Rates

Tutors, like lawyers, are not entirely fungible. And as terrible as this sounds, a lawyer who is busy taking on clients is less likely to get out there and take on students for tutoring services. With that said, you can be sure that anyone who asks to charge you $200 per hour on tutoring fees is asking much more than they're worth. If tutoring students was that easy, more lawyers would get out of lawyering and move into tutoring.

The going rates range from $40 an hour to even $100 per hour. Law grads will charge on the lower end of the scale and actual practicing lawyers will likely charge way high to absorb opportunity costs.

Ask Before You Buy

We don't know anyone who would hire an attorney without first talking to them first. It's your prerogative to ask questions. The quality of your tutor will really show through the preparation they take when they first meet with you. At least ask for a sample of outlines and materials.

As a rule of thumb, you'll want to deal with someone towards the upper end of the price scale, especially if they're working with an agency. If you're negotiating for in-person tutoring, try and aim for someone who is amenable to approximately $70-75 per hour. Most likely, this person is not an attorney (or no longer wishes to be) and is not looking to gouge students. Also, ask this person whether or not they have other clients and whether they may contact them as references.

Then there's the Cadillac of tutoring by hourly basis, clocking in at around $160 per hour. At this price, you're essentially paying someone to kick your butt into gear. Maybe you need that, maybe you don't.

Getting a tutor may seem like a big decision but it doesn't have to dictate your life as a law student. Usually, all you need is someone to explain the material in an easily digested manner. In fact, that's how you'll be dealing with the bar exam in a couple of years when it comes time to shop around for bar prep.

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