Legal Tutoring Vs Coaching – Which Do You Need?

While used interchangeably, tutoring and coaching have different impacts on a student's performance. This article shows how.


learning materials on desk for tutoring
legal tutoring with The Law

You’re probably familiar with both terms. While some use both terms interchangeably, tutoring and coaching are separate services with varying impacts on a student’s performance. In this article, we discuss the difference between tutoring for Law students (legal tutoring) and coaching. At the end of this read, you’d be able to tell which of the two is best for you.

What is Legal Tutoring?

Tutoring is usually a mirror of classroom teaching. The legal tutor, therefore, goes over the substantive content of the Law courses taught in class. 

An advantage of one-on-one tutoring is that the tutor works with the pace of the student. Also, tutors may use alternative teaching methods such as including visual aids or using informal speech to make concepts easier to understand. And some tutors may use the first language of the student, other than English, in teaching.

What is Legal Coaching?

Legal coaching involves teaching and assisting a student to master skills that are applicable across the Law student’s courses and academic career. Depending on the goal, coaches help the student through frequent monitoring sessions.

Coaching goes beyond teaching and reteaching concepts, to help students attain the skills necessary for them to become effective learners and students. 

Coaches are not always trained in psychology or psychiatry, and professionalism would require them to state this in a disclaimer. Thus, they do well to refer students in need of professional mental health services to a mental health professional, if the case so requires.

What is the Difference between Tutoring and Coaching?

Tutoring helps you understand a course better; coaching makes you a better learner/student. The infographic below considers how these three scenarios – test preparation, assignment assistance, and project management – will be handled under a tutoring program vs in a coaching program.

Infographic showing the difference between tutoring and coaching

Which is Best for You – Legal Tutoring or Coaching?

Now that we’ve cleared up the difference between tutoring and coaching, you might have an idea of what you need. But, to be sure, here are pointers to use in determining which service would best suit you.

Tutoring is best if –

  • You’re working on a short-term goal such as passing a test or an exam
  • You’re dealing with one (or more) specific problem course(s), i.e you have knowledge gaps and find it hard to understand certain concepts in the course.

Coaching is best for you if –

  • You intend to improve your overall academic performance, irrespective of the courses you offer
  • You struggle with organisation, time and/or management, self-esteem, as well as balancing schoolwork with outside-school life.
  • You want to improve skills incidental to your success as a Law student, such as writing, reading, and speaking skills.

Final Thoughts

tutor and student

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be at the bottom of your class before needing tutorials. Everyone could use the extra ‘brushing up’ that tutoring provides. Even students who are ‘intelligent’ and naturally find it easy to grasp concepts when taught will find that receiving coaching makes them balanced and better learners.

Knowing the difference between tutoring and coaching (as was the point of this article) will help you choose which form of assistance you should get. And, considering the benefits, there’s really nothing wrong with getting both.


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