Many students in their first year of law school feel lost. They don’t know how to spend their time (I know I sure didn’t). They aren’t sure if they are studying correctly (and many don’t even know what studying means). So, what do you do? Well, you should check out the resources available to you through your school, but you may also want to explore getting some outside help. Have you ever considered hiring a law school tutor?
Working with a tutor doesn’t mean you can’t do it by yourself, only that you can do it better with help!
Some students think that working with a tutor means that they can’t get through law school on their own. Or that they aren’t smart enough to be there. Well, that just isn’t true!
I am tired of law school being a culture where asking for help or admitting that you are struggling is seen as a weakness when in fact it should be considered a strength.
When your knee hurts, you don’t just go online and try to self-diagnose. Okay, well, most of us probably do that, but that is just step one. You typically go to the doctor, because the doctor is the expert who can help diagnose what is going on and find a solution.
That is what a law school tutor does. A private tutor, at least a good one, helps you figure out what is going on in your academic life. She listens to how you are spending your time. She answers your questions as to what it means to “review” or “study” material after class. She looks at your outline and tells you, “Yeah, that is probably too long” (this is pretty much my universal answer when students show me their outlines).
But more than that, a law school tutor is on your team.
Your tutor is someone you can talk to about your worries and concerns, without judgment; she is someone who can answer the silly questions you may have or can demystify the parts of the law school experience that are, well, mystifying! A tutor becomes your mentor, your friend, and, in some ways, your coach.
And what‘s great about working with a tutor is that it is (or at least should be) all about you.
Working with a tutor isn’t about what makes the most sense for all law students; it is about how you learn best, how you need to prepare for exams, and how you need to write the best essay exam that you can. Many students feel that the commonly accepted way to do things in law school isn’t working for them. Is there something wrong with those students? No! They just need feedback to find a different way to approach the material. And that is why I love my job. That is why I love working with law students.
And here is the best part of my job. Year after year, students come to me and will frequently say, quietly, that they are not sure they are smart enough to be in law school. It’s like a secret doubt that they haven’t wanted to admit to out loud. And I get to tell them that it just isn’t true. Sometimes, they don’t believe me at first.
But I get to tell them that law school is a learned skill. If you are struggling, it is because you need to figure out how to be a better law student, not a smarter person. Sometimes, they still don’t believe me. That’s okay; we still start to work together. They start to change their habits and to try new things. They start to prepare for exams differently, and they begin to get feedback. And you know what? Even students who were once on academic probation (yes, at risk of being asked to leave law school) can get an A. I have seen it. I have watched students completely turn around their academic experience and be successful. And I am proud to know that I was part of the team that helped them become the best lawyer that they can be.
So back to the original purpose of this post, can a 1L benefit from a law school tutor?
Well, the answer is yes—if you want direction and help. Is that you? We are here to help! Alison and I are available for law school tutoring. Send us an email and let us know what kind of help you are looking for. We tutor students remotely all over the country and from all different law schools. We don’t want you to feel lost or confused. We want you to enjoy law school.
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Check out these other helpful posts:
- Surviving the first weeks of law school.
- Law school exam prep 101.
- Getting feedback on past exams is critical.
- Pay attention in class, it can save you time!
Looking for some help to do your best in law school? Find out about our law school tutoring options.