Tutoring Logistics

Please read EVERYTHING on this page carefully, as this will constitute the contractual terms of our engagement should you decide to proceed. If you have any questions, please ask.

No, seriously. Read everything that’s written here very closely. Yes, it’s long, but it’s very important. If you don’t have the time or the inclination to read and follow instructions, then I wish you all the best in your tutor search moving forward.

Preface – Just Be Cool

For me, nothing would be better than never having to even think about any bad stuff like late payments, no shows, and so on. Unfortunately, because the world doesn’t work that way, I need to have something in place that spells out what happens when those things occur. Most of the provisions contained here are for my protection, and are therefore worded in rather severe terms. Know that I will not hesitate to enforce my policies if I have to. But I promise you that I am a very chill and very understanding person who just wants to help you learn the LSAT. I don’t want to have to think about or deal with any of this other stuff, and with most students I don’t have to. I hope that I won’t have to with you, either.

Meeting Logistics

My default is remote tutoring through the Zoom app. Skype and Google Meet are also possible, and I’m open to anything else you prefer – it just needs screen sharing or shared whiteboard capability. Requests for in-person tutoring will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Generally speaking, I’ll do my best to accommodate your wishes as long as it doesn’t interfere with my other scheduling. But if I can’t make it work for whatever reason, you’ll have to be okay with remote sessions. I reserve the right to bill travel time to and from in-person lessons at my discretion, though I will of course always let you know when that is happening so we can all be on the same page.

COVID-19 Note: For obvious reasons, I won’t be doing any in-person lessons until further notice.

Payment Logistics

My hourly rate is $300 USD/hour. I acknowledge that this is a top-of-market rate, but I am confident that you’ll find my decade-plus of experience and expertise warrants it. I am not responsible for any bank or transaction fees incurred by your chosen method of payment – bottom line, a net amount of $300 USD has to make it into my bank account for every hour of lesson time you use. If you have a fee waiver from LSAC, please let me know.

Payment is accepted via the following methods:

  • Venmo to @brightlinelsat
    • No fee if marked as a personal transaction
    • If marked as goods & services, add 2%
  • Zelle payment to jonathan@brightlinelsat.com
    • A list of banks that can send money via Zelle can be found here
  • PayPal to jonathan@brightlinelsat.com
    • US students add 3.5%
    • Non-US students add 4.5% – please make sure to send in USD!
  • Credit card on file (US credit cards only)
    • I will add the 3.5% transaction fee to each transaction
  • Wire transfer
    • Add $15 USD per transfer to cover the wire fee
  • An alternative method, specifically discussed with me

Payment logistics can be handled in one of the following ways:

  • Lump sum retainer in advance – I offer a 5% discount on each block of 10 prepaid hours.
  • Per-lesson payment in advance
  • Per-lesson payment immediately following each lesson
  • An alternative arrangement, specifically discussed with me

If you choose to pay after a lesson, payment is due within 24 hours of the end of the lesson. Late payments will be subject to a $100 late fee per lesson hour at my discretion, and (usually after a few gentle reminders have gone unanswered) I will also start billing you my hourly rate for all the time I have to spend dealing with the issue, in 15-minute minimum increments (as in, if I have to send you an email to chase you down, that’s 15 minutes of billable time). In case you couldn’t tell, I absolutely, positively loathe having to chase people down for back payment. If you are worried that you will forget, please choose one of the advance payment options.

I don’t usually mind setting up installments or other special arrangements (within reason), as long as I’m kept up to speed on what the situation is. But to be clear – any such arrangement must be made explicitly in advance with me, and it is your responsibility to keep me in the loop at all times (as in, not my responsibility to chase you down). If I ever have to ask for an update and don’t receive one in a timely manner, your bill becomes due right away with late fees retroactively applied and hourly fees triggering, same as above.

I offer alternative arrangements as a courtesy, but after a few very bad experiences, I am VERY close (like, one more bad experience close) to just requiring payment in advance, like all the small business books say to do. Maybe I’m just too naïve and trusting to be a good businessman. In any case, don’t be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

First Session Logistics

I hate wasting lesson time. My students ideally come to me already prepared with issues to discuss, and I think the best way for a student to figure out whether we jive is to actually work through some stuff together. So, that’s what we’ll do. My LSAT skills (excellent) speak much louder than my sales skills (poor), so I don’t mind actually demonstrating my knowledge instead of just claiming to know things. We’ll get an hour (or two, if you prefer) on the calendar, and when the time comes we’ll just dive right in, get the diagnosis process going, and work through some issues together.

This is not a free trial. You must pay the first lesson’s fee in advance to reserve a time slot, and your lesson time is not confirmed until payment is received. I will be using the full measure of my experience and expertise in that first lesson right away, and I won’t be holding anything back. Since you will be receiving a real lesson and diagnosis tailored to you and not just some ‘getting to know you’ fluff, it’s only fair that I be compensated for my time and effort spent, even if you choose not to continue with me.

In the process of working together in that first lesson, we’ll discover together whether there is a mutual fit. If so, great – we’ll keep the ball rolling. And if not, that’s totally okay too – there’s no pressure or obligation to continue. I only ask that you please explicitly let me know if you decide not to continue so I don’t waste time trying to accommodate your scheduling restrictions unnecessarily. I will, of course, do the same for you.

Scheduling Logistics

All scheduling is (obviously) subject to my availability. I schedule in 1 hour, 90 minute, and 2 hour blocks, and I will not typically schedule any student more than twice in a given week; otherwise, there’s not enough time between lessons to do anything meaningful. Don’t worry too much about finding the right balance right away – we can always adjust as time goes on.

I typically schedule between 10am-10pm Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. Students with prepaid lesson blocks and standing schedules get first priority on times, after which I will fill the remaining slots in my calendar by proposing lesson times to students on an individual basis. A proposed lesson time is not locked in until the student confirms it either verbally with me or in writing (email or text), and I respond in kind. Confirmations are handled on a first-come, first-serve basis, meaning that if you delay in getting back to me, your preferred time slot may get taken by someone else first. This makes it very advantageous to commit to lessons early and lock them in. This also means that if you haven’t locked in your time slots by prepaying and/or committing to a standing schedule, you may not make it onto my calendar in a given week. I’ve gotten good enough at playing ‘schedule Tetris’ and finding a way to accommodate everyone over the years that this is usually not a problem, but it does happen.

That being said, rarely is there a “perfect” week where everything goes according to plan. If you would like to be notified of when some last minute time slots open up, please let me know. I am in the process of exploring calendar apps that will do this for me automatically.

In general, I am not available on weekends. I have been known to give lessons occasionally on weekend mornings in special circumstances, but it’s very rare for me to give a standing weekend session. It has happened before, though, so if that’s something that you will need, feel free to inquire.

Tardiness, Cancellation, and No-Show Policy

I understand that life happens, so I’ve historically given my students plenty of leeway for emergencies and other such circumstances. If these circumstances are legitimate, infrequent, and you are respectful of my time, you won’t have to worry about a thing. Nevertheless, the following policies will be enforced solely at my discretion.

“Tardiness” is defined as the student not being ready to begin the lesson at the scheduled start time. I am not responsible for any time lost due to student tardiness. Your lesson fee pays for a specific block of my time, which comes and goes for me whether or not you are there to use it. If my schedule allows, I will try to help you out and hopefully still get you your full lesson time, but I am not obligated to do this. Of course, if I am the one running late, I will ensure that you either get your full lesson time or are billed for the appropriate (shorter) amount of time.

A “cancellation” is defined as a student letting me know that they will not be able to attend our scheduled lesson in advance of its scheduled start time. When you schedule a lesson, you are making a commitment. Late cancellations carry a huge opportunity cost for me because giving you a time slot means not giving it to other people who wanted it. Not only do I lose the time slot, but I also lose the time and effort expended to put a schedule together around your requirements. I’m not going to think you’re a horrible person or anything, but I will nevertheless require compensation for holding that time slot for you. I recognize that life happens, though, so each student gets one (1) “free cancellation” pass, after which the following rules apply:

  • Cancellations within 24 hours of the scheduled lesson start will be billed for half (50%) the scheduled lesson time
  • Cancellations within 6 hours of the scheduled lesson start will be billed the full (100%) lesson time
  • No further lessons will be conducted until the penalty is paid in full (and you still owe the penalty fee regardless of whether you choose to continue)

A “no-show” is defined as a student not letting me know in any manner that they will not be able to attend our scheduled lesson, and then not showing up to it. “Tardiness” turns into a “no-show” after 15 minutes, at which point I will cancel the lesson and the following rule applies:

  • No-shows will be billed for 2 times (200%) the scheduled lesson time.
  • No further lessons will be conducted until the penalty is paid in full (and you still owe the penalty fee regardless of whether you choose to continue)

No-shows are particularly disrespectful, which is why they are penalized especially harshly. In addition to the penalty fee outlined above, a no-show will cause me to presumptively terminate our tutoring arrangement (pending an explanation) and all outstanding lesson fees will become due immediately. Should I choose to reinstate you, you will be required to pay in advance for all subsequent lessons. In this day and age, there is zero excuse to not send an email or a text message.    

No Warranties

I make no promise or warranty with regard to your performance on the test as a result of any tutoring provided. My track record demonstrates amply that I know my stuff and am very good at my job, and I will always do my best to help you achieve your maximum potential. But it’s like Morpheus told Neo in The Matrix: “I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it.” And yes, I am really dating myself with that reference.

Choice of Law

This agreement shall be governed according to the laws of the State of New York. Venue for any legal or equitable action which relates to this Agreement shall take place in New York County.

I’ve never had anything get to this point, so please don’t be the one to change that.

Wrapping Up

If you have read, fully understood, and agree to abide by the terms outlined above, please include the phrase “I’m on board!” in your email response to me so that we can proceed to scheduling. In addition, please include the following information for my records:

Student Name:
Email Address:
Contact Number:
Home Address:

If you don’t do both of these things in your response to me, I will most likely drop you one or two very strong hints to do so before just ignoring your emails entirely. I will also bill you for one 2-hour lesson as a penalty fee for not reading this page.

Just kidding about that second thing, I’m (probably) not going to do that – I just want to see who actually reads my logistics. I have an extremely detailed logistics page for a reason, and after over a decade of doing this it continues to surprise me how many people either don’t pay attention to what I say or just think the rules don’t apply to them. This foreshadows problems down the road that I don’t want to deal with. So if a prospective student cannot or will not follow my very simple instructions, I see no reason to engage with them. Plus, you’re going to be a freaking lawyer – read your damn contracts. 

If you’ve made it this far, give yourself a pat on the back – you deserve it. Looking forward to getting started!