Should I Get a Law School Tutor?
If you are considering working with a law school tutor, we encourage you to give it a try for a session or two. And we strongly encourage you to work with one if you are a 1L who feels you may need extra help. There are many reasons for this.
If you are a 1L
(1) First of all, regardless of your specific goals after law school, the way you perform your 1L year will dictate the majority of your job opportunities.
We work with a lot of students, some who want the big firm jobs that pay high salaries, others who want to work as a clerk, and still others that are interested in public interest work. We tell all of our students, even those with differing goals, that you should strive for the best grades so that you have as many opportunities as possible. It is true that you may not need the highest grades to be competitive for some types of employment. But, having excellent grades from your 1L year will maximize your chances of getting any job that you want. Instead of wanting a job and getting turned down because of your class rank.
If you put in the effort now and achieve a high class ranking, you will see this effort pay off over and over again. In more ways than one.
(2) Secondly, your 1L year determines the majority of other opportunities.
Do you want to be on law review? Your grades your 1L year will determine whether you are automatically on it in many schools. Do you want a competitive clerkship or internship after your 1L year? Your grades your 1L year will determine whether it is available (especially if you want to clerk at the federal level, which seems to be the new prestigious thing to do in place of law review!). Do you want a scholarship? Scholarships are often offered to students who do very well their 1L year. (Your school will want you to stay rather than transfer, so many times they will give you money to help make that happen!)
By putting in time, energy, and effort your 1L year, you will maximize your chances of these fantastic opportunities becoming available!
(3) Third, succeeding in your 1L year means that you will need less help with the bar exam.
In most law schools, if you are a full time student, your 1L year consists of the following classes: Contracts, Criminal Law, Torts, Property, Civil Procedure, and (depending on your school) Constitutional Law. Doing well in these classes means that you have a higher probability of doing well on the bar exam.
This is because 6 of the 7 MBE topics are taught in your 1L year: Contracts, Criminal Law, Torts, Property, Civil Procedure and Constitutional Law. (The one missing is Evidence! Take Evidence your 2L or 3L year even if it isn’t required at your school! You will be happy you did! Criminal Procedure is also an advisable class to take.)
(4) A law school tutor can also help shape your time management skills that you will benefit from for the rest of your law school career.
While a lot of the time that you spend with your law school tutor will likely be on substantive law, tutors are an excellent resource for help with strategy. For example, you could have your tutor help you with outlining strategies or note taking skills if you are struggling in this area. Or, your tutor can help you put together a daily schedule so that you are not spending too much time on certain things and not leaving enough time for things like outlining or practicing exams. Most students find that they can understand the law if they have a good hold on everything else—their schedule, how to read cases, how to take effective notes, and how to outline.
(5) A law school tutor can also help keep you on track.
One of the difficult things about law school is that there is little to no feedback in substantive law classes. A law school tutor can help ensure that you are on the right track with feedback along the way. This is especially helpful with things like outlining and practice exams—two things that your professors may not discuss with you. Having a law school tutor in your corner can help give you the confidence that you need if you are unsure about whether or not you are on the right track. The last thing you want to do is find out you have been preparing all wrong after a semester of grades comes back!
If you are a 2L or 3L
We have helped several students boost their GPA their 2L and 3L year. Many of the benefits are the same as above. Boosting your GPA your 2L or 3L year can increase your class ranking and be a great way to impress employers and open up opportunities. Further, you will learn strategies that will help you succeed on the bar exam.
We also help a lot of students in other “bar-related” classes (Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Wills & Trusts, Business Organizations, etc.). This will doubly help you in law school and on the bar exam.