Does Law School Leave Time for Life?

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A new law student, JP, asked whether he will have time to continue his foreign language studies after starting law school. Read his complete Comment here: New Law School Students� Most Common Questions. If anyone has other questions, please post a Comment. JP’s question is similar to something many law students wonder:

Question: I have some personal projects I would like to do during law school. Will I have time for them?

Answer: Probably not.

Law students are very, very busy. It is difficult to keep up with class readings. There is always more reading to do because the subjects covered in class are complex and deep. The competition for good grades drives many students to study any free moment they have (which is generally unhealthy). For this reason, most students either 1) don’t take time to do other projects, or 2) try to do the other projects and regret it because they feel overwhelmed or their performance in school suffers.

Priorities. However, students should consider what areas are priorities in their lives. Many law students maintain other “projects” that distract them from law school because these “projects” are more valuable to them. Such projects may be relationships, children, a job needed to pay for law school, and more. However, nearly all students decide other areas of learning, such as a foreign language, are not as important as law school.

Hobbies. Some law students try to stay involved in a hobby as a stress release. This is a good idea, but is difficult because of the pressures mentioned above.

1st, 2nd, and 3rd Years. There is a saying in law school: The first year they scare you to death, the second year they work you to death, the third year they bore you to death. Also, the first-year grades are generally the most important for students in the traditional On Campus Interview (OCI) hiring process. The point here is most students are too busy for non-school projects until after the second year. After the second year, a student’s time is more flexible, but many students spend their free time in law-related involvements to build their resume or earn money.

Summary. In short, a law student can be involved in other projects and still survive law school. But the consequences may be overwhelming stress or poor performance in school. I suggest clearing your schedule and project list of everything but the highest priorities, such as relationships, in your life before law school starts. This is especially true for projects that can easily be done after law school.

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4 Responses to “Does Law School Leave Time for Life?”

  1. » 1L Advice: Ways a 1L Can Prepare for Law School - Law School Tips - 1L, 2L, & 3L Student Outlines and Exam Advice Blog Says:

    [...] Complete all other personal projects that would require your time during the next nine months [...]

  2. » Law School Guide - Law School 1L, 2L, and 3L Says:

    [...] Does Law School Leave Time for Life? [...]

  3. Law Vibe - Law Student Blog and Forum Says:

    “The first year they scare you to death, the second year they work you to death, the third year they bore you to death.”


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