By Paulina Bandy, Esq.
If you hired a tutor, then took the bar exam and failed, ask your tutor what happened. Think of it like watching your game footage. Focus on the details to secure your win next time.Seek Clarity from the Person You Already Paid
Contact your tutor. Allow your tutor to help you sort it out. The bar exam is a unique breed of exams. You may work without ceasing, think you did well, and fail. Ask for clarity. Possibly they will secure your passing next time, with just a little guidance. Give them a chance to evaluate your performance and help you stay on track or avoid an obstacle. What do you have to lose?They may want to hear from you. After all, it is a team loss.
If your tutor is worth their salt, and you had a good working relationship, then the communication channel should be open. Although they may not contractually owe you a follow-up meeting, they may want to know what happened. They should want to see you succeed.To Get What You Want, Treat it like a Favor; not, an Entitlement.
Approach them respectfully and ask for this favor to set the tone for the meeting.
The caveat being, they must be secure in their abilities and care about your success for this meeting to work. If they are defensive despite your diplomacy, they are likely insecure with their abilities. They may have already been confronted by angry candidates; possibly, years of angry candidates. It is not appropriate for them to blame you. At this time, it is also not appropriate for them to tell you how successful their program is. In my experience, this is indicative of a tutor who has been unsuccessful getting their candidates to pass the exam. This in itself is insightful to you. If this happens, this will help you evaluate continuing their methodology.
The conversation with your tutor post performance works when the focus is on your success. Blaming each other is not helpful to your progress. You are seeking understanding and guidance from someone who is already paid for and who has seen your ability in practice.Take What You Can Get and Move On
Take what you can get from this conversation with your tutor, and move onward and upward. I strongly suggest not giving them more money because they already gave you what they had.
If the tutorial was beneficial and participation mutual, you may decide to continue executing and solidifying the teachings independently.
If you did not get what it takes from this tutor, giving them more money or time may be a waste of money and time.
Repeating a course for free or a discount may be too passive, and general, to help you make the necessary improvement. In my experience listening to hundreds of repeaters over the years (1,000s?), “guarantees” appear to be more about getting the candidate to sign up in the first place than helping them down the line. Evaluate what they are actually providing. Is it repeating the course as if you didn’t understand? Or, are they providing greater understanding and new services? Typically, specialized and personalized expertise is not free or discounted.
In conclusion, whether it secures your staying on the right path or lights a new path, a conversation with your tutor likely will provide some clarity for your winning performance.
I hope this conversation with your tutor helps you gain the insight you are looking for. This approach takes a team spirit and a focus on your success. Evaluating your own performance is not easy technically or emotionally. Many will avoid it. It is your willingness to scrutinize your performance and make game winning changes which will secure your passing this exam.
Best of luck to you.
Paulina Bandy, Esq.
Bar Exam Strategist
CA Bar Exam Repeater’s Resource
About the Author: Paulina Bandy is the owner of CA Bar Exam Repeaters’ Resource. Her passion is providing what repeaters need to pass the bar exam.