Tutoring LSAT while in law school

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Tutoring LSAT while in law school

Postby jordan15 » Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:00 am

All of the advice here is that working during 1L is a terrible idea, and working during 2L and 3L isn't that good either. But has anyone ever tutored LSAT during any of those years? I was thinking that taking 1-4 hours/week to freelance tutor, completely uncommitted (not teaching an LSAT course for a company), could really help offset some of the CoL and make sure you have a comfortable year. I've always done better in school when I took time away from school/studying to work and live comfortably (eating out, Whole Foods, etc), than living on a miserable student budget and stressing about money every day. I'm just assuming that the amount you're allowed to take out in loans is capped at whatever the school feels is a livable budget, which I usually think is too low.

Has anyone done it? I've heard you can make $100+/hr if you have a score above 170, is this true?

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Re: Tutoring LSAT while in law school

Postby mr. wednesday » Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:54 am

You can work during law school. Probably even 1L, though 1L fall post-Halloween, it's a poor decision. But really, think past the next three years. You're gambling the utility of a $200k+ degree for a few thousand dollars. Your 1L grades determine whether you have a chance at a job paying $30k a summer and $160k after graduation. If you don't get biglaw, you need to be spending 2L and 3L getting actual legal experience at a place that could hire you post-grad, not tutoring the LSAT.

Just don't shop at whole foods for three years. You won't die from having to rub elbows with proles at the normal grocery store. If you want to make money, be an RA or something that you can put on your resume so you don't have to be an LSAT tutor after graduation.

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Re: Tutoring LSAT while in law school

Postby Redfactor » Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:40 am

Getting a job should be about reducing debt, not supplementing borrowed money.

It sounds like you could benefit from speaking to a personal finance professional or someone who's fiscally competent about budgets.

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Re: Tutoring LSAT while in law school

Postby bizzybone1313 » Sun Sep 22, 2013 4:17 am

Sell shit on Ebay.

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Re: Tutoring LSAT while in law school

Postby Daily_Double » Sun Sep 22, 2013 3:20 pm

jordan15 wrote:Has anyone done it? I've heard you can make $100+/hr if you have a score above 170, is this true?

I currently tutor, and if I say so myself, do it very well though I don't charge anywhere near $100/hr. However there's no way I'd even think of doing it in law school.

Based upon your previous posts, you have yet to take the LSAT, as a result are not enrolled in law school as of this post, and your statement that a school's budget is insufficient is incorrect in my opinion. But I'm going to overlook the implications of those issues and focus upon the underlying assumption of your question: that people will pay you above market rates to tutor them.

To answer your question, yes it is possible to make over one hundred dollars per hour if you have a score above 170. However possibility should not be confused with probability in this instance. While it is theoretically possible, merely having a score above 170 may not be sufficient to charge over a hundred an hour. In fact, because you probably do not have any prior LSAT tutoring experience, I'd argue it's unlikely that you could charge anywhere near $100/hr, work only six hours a week or less, and gain business from that.

The first barrier to entry in the tutoring business is demand. Depending upon your market, you may not have many, or any students willing to pay you more than 50$/hr to tutor them, let alone $100/hr. This is because most people don't place a high enough value on top scores, even though it's painfully obvious that higher scores can lead to increased opportunities in the future. In addition, tutoring the LSAT is a cyclical position, the supply of students willing to work with a tutor ebbs and flows, for example the February test will probably have a lower supply than October or December. Because demand will probably be low, and because you haven't built a sufficient reputation through experience or advertising, you will need to lower your prices.

Next, you seem to assume that tutoring is easy and not a significant time committment when in reality it is both complicated and time consuming. In order to charge students more than $50/hr you need to take an interest in their progress, goals, and work hard for them. In addition, the amount of time you will need to devote to your students depends at least in part on their level of understanding.

For example, if you are working with an advanced student (someone who understands the concepts and needs help applying them efficiently and correctly), you'll mainly be analyzing and correcting their PTs among many other things. But you'll still need to email your students before every session reminding them to show up, you'll need to email them after each session with things to review, homework, links emphasizing certain concepts, be available to answer any and all questions via phone or email, and send recommendations to them. You'll also need to take and review everything that you tell your student to do. So every PT you go over during your sessions, you'll need to take under timed conditions, and analyze. Keep in mind that, unless you work for a company, the time you spend outside of class is unpaid.

On the other hand, consider the case of a beginning student (one who lacks an understanding of the fundamentals), you have to build these students from the ground up. Whereas for an advanced student you just go over PTs, analyze them, and make recommendations, for beginning students you have to consider what to teach, when to teach it (Assumption family first or Inference family, or Global RC questions, etc.). Thus, in the case of a beginning student, you'll have to make a schedule for them, and still do all of the stuff above while making the sessions entertaining via continuous questions, insights, jokes, and examples.

Also, consider the fact that because you'll be in law school, and assuming people are interested in working with you, you will probably only have enough time to work with one student, but that student may not sign you for more than a few sessions, or just a few months. And you will inevitably have to turn students down because you simply don't have enough time to give them your best effort. You don't want to take too few students but remember that inquiries are not the same as people paying you. As far as I'm concerned my schedule is open to students until they sign with me because there's always students who call you but don't sign and you can't turn students away, or change your schedule until someone takes up your time via contract.

In conclusion, tutoring the LSAT is a very inconsistent and time consuming position. Don't make the assumption that students will contact you, and definitely don't make the assumption that you'll only be working four to six hours a week.

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Re: Tutoring LSAT while in law school

Postby sublime » Sun Sep 22, 2013 3:25 pm


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Re: Tutoring LSAT while in law school

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Sep 22, 2013 3:48 pm

My lsat prep teacher was an incoming 3L.

I think it can be a fine gig for a 2L or even 3L, or an incoming law student who needs a summer job. Also, someone waiting to take the bar, or one of the many unemployed JDs who could realy use the pocket cash.

I get what you mean about stressing over money hurting your academics. Still, by attending law school, you're basically signing on to a life of relative extreme poverty for the foreseeable future. Even when you graduate, on average you'll be making in the $35K after taxes per year range. If you hit it big at OCI with a large firm in NYC, after city income taxes, debt payments, and rent, your food and fun budget is still pretty slim. If you want to live the high life after college, work in investment banking or as a software engineer (both of which run ~$100-110K after bonus); aside from the family trust fund brigade, those are my only friends who can still afford to eat out daily and do shit on wkends.

So I'd just go ahead and accept the lower living standard if you are serious about becoming an attorney

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Re: Tutoring LSAT while in law school

Postby TheLawrax » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:31 pm

If you want to make $100/hr teaching the LSAT, you'll probably have to teach classes for a premium test prep company for long enough to get several raises.

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Re: Tutoring LSAT while in law school

Postby banjo » Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:39 pm

I don't think it's worth it 1L year. I wouldn't even do it for $200/hr.

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Re: Tutoring LSAT while in law school

Postby iamgeorgebush » Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:51 pm

Having done some tutoring myself, just going to second that you won't be making $100+ an hour starting out. There are people with 99.9th percentile scores and considerable experience who tutor for less.

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