I was emailing with another bar exam tutor, talking about helping people study for the bar exam. (I know, you are disappointed that I haven’t included the whole riveting email chain here for you to share in.) We were talking about the bar exam tutoring community and how there are tutors out there who, we believe, are giving really bad advice. I hear about their advice because other students tell me about it. So, what do you do if you think you are getting bad advice?
Not all experts are created equal.
I have talked on the blog about selecting the right bar exam tutor for you. But not all bar exam tutors are created equal. What does it take to become a bar exam tutor? Well, a tutor likely has passed the bar exam. Then, he or she throws up a website and starts soliciting students. However, not all tutors have extensive teaching or even bar exam experience. But, hey, they can help people study for the bar exam, right? Maybe.
Well, the Internet can help you determine whether folks know what they are talking about. Blogs enable them to write about their tutoring approaches, so you can get a sense of where they are coming from. Also, law schools may have a list of tutors, ones who have been vetted and can be recommended as legitimate.
But you definitely need to do your research. Read testimonials from successful students. Ask for former students who will talk to you and can serve as references. Make sure you believe that the tutor’s credentials are legitimate. Be smart about selecting a bar tutor, just as you would select any other expert you may hire.
If the advice seems bad, it might actually be.
You are a smart person. You graduated from law school. When you are working with a tutor, you should think about his or her advice and evaluate it. Does it sound fishy? If so, it might be.
Here is an example: There are tutors out there (so I have heard) that recommend that you don’t study for the performance test portion of the bar exam, claiming it is not the best use of your time. (Note: I completely disagree with this perspective but, hey, that is just me.)
Does this sound like good advice to you? To just ignore a large portion of the bar exam? Sounds a little shady to me! I guess there might be a method to this madness (and if I meet one of these tutors, I will definitely ask him or her to justify this philosophy). However, if I were working with or considering working with such a tutor, I would be concerned. My gut would tell me that was a bad call.
So what do you do? Do some research. Talk to some other people. Just because someone is an “expert” doesn’t mean his or her word is the “end-all-be-all.” It is your career, your future, and your bar exam experience. Listen with a critical ear and if a path doesn’t feel right to you, you should say something and do something about it.
This doesn’t mean you need to be combative with your tutor! This just means that you need to own this experience and be an active participant. Hopefully, you will pick the right tutor for you and you won’t feel as if you are getting crummy advice. But if the advice doesn’t sound good to you, I recommend you listen to your gut and challenge what you are hearing.
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Did you find this post helpful? Check out some other great articles:
- How Do You Pick a Bar Exam Tutor?
- If You Don’t Know Why, You Won’t Pass
- What is the Worst That Could Happen?
- The Right Tools for Bar Exam Success