How many hours/week do you spend on law school?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

How many hours/week do you spend on law school:

0-15
14
11%
16-25
11
9%
26-35
13
10%
36-45
13
10%
46-55
23
18%
56-65
16
12%
66-75
6
5%
76-85
4
3%
86+
29
22%
 
Total votes: 129

bconly
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 7:10 pm

How many hours/week do you spend on law school?

Postby bconly » Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:15 pm

As a curious 0L, I'd like to get an idea of how many hours you all spend in class/studying. Do the majority of you try to treat it like a run-of-the-mill job (~40 hrs/week), or is it MUCH more than that. Thanks for indulging me; I think this will be interesting.

By the way: this is meant to be your typical/average week in the middle of the semester... NOT finals week or reading period.

Locke N. Lawded
Posts: 84
Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 9:15 pm

Re: How many hours/week do you spend on law school?

Postby Locke N. Lawded » Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:30 pm

bconly wrote:As a curious 0L, I'd like to get an idea of how many hours you all spend in class/studying. Do the majority of you try to treat it like a job (~40 hrs/week), or is it MUCH more than that. Thanks for indulging me; I think this will be interesting.

By the way: this is meant to be your typical/average week in the middle of the semester... NOT finals week or reading period.


You will find that you spend significantly more time studying during the early weeks of your first semester, and less as time goes on. A lot of people average about 4 hours per subject per day, simply because the reading is so dense and you aren't really sure what you're looking for or what many of the terms mean until you've been at it for awhile.

By the end of the first semester, you will probably need only half as long, but by then your legal writing assignments will be monopolizing much more of your time.

Many of my classmates treated law school like a job, and then some of us were super gunners. This is not representative of the bulk of the class, but my study group met every day at 7 AM (before our 9 AM classes...our section had them all week long), we'd have two classes per day, and three on the day we had legal writing. We'd usually be done with classes by 3 PM, with breaks between when we'd try to get ahead on our reading, and I often stayed at the library until 8 or 9 PM...and that was fairly common for 1Ls.

The first semester will be an exercise in time management as you try to keep up with all your reading, outlining, and writing. Lots of students skip classes on the days when big writing assignments are due and then they have to play catch up. The worst thing to do first year is to get too far behind in the reading, because it is very difficult to make it up without sacrificing many nights and weekends.

You will ultimately fall into a routine and the work will come more naturally, but the first month is definitely the worst.

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danidancer
Posts: 841
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 9:46 pm

Re: How many hours/week do you spend on law school?

Postby danidancer » Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:41 pm

I'm curious to see what current students think about this. As an 0L coming from the working world, I'm HOPING to treat school like a full-time job, but we'll see how that works out...

bconly
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 7:10 pm

Re: How many hours/week do you spend on law school?

Postby bconly » Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:53 am

Whoever chose 86+... do you really study over 12 hours a day (including sat and sun)? I know law school is very time consuming and difficult, but really?

Journeybound
Posts: 254
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:12 pm

Re: How many hours/week do you spend on law school?

Postby Journeybound » Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:24 am

I placed in the top 3% this year.

I got to school everyday at 8:00am, and I went to classes and studied and studied until 5:15pm. I made sure that my time at school was efficient. I only socialized while sitting down waiting for classes to start, and I ate my sack lunch in the library while reading my cases for the next class.

At 5:15 my wife picked me up and I ate dinner with her and maybe watched a TV show until 7:00 - 7:30. Then I went down to my office, or drove back to the library, and I studied until 12:00 - 1:00am. I usually took a 15 minute snack break around 10:00pm every evening.

On Saturdays and Sundays I slept in a little and got to the library at 9:00am. I stayed in the library by my self until 6-7pm, and then I usually spent the night with my wife.

My wife helped me out TREMENDOUSLY. She was a blessing during this year by preparing me meals and lunches, doing my laundry, and giving me the support that I needed. That's why I'm spending every moment with her that I can this summer.

So, most weeks I studied/went to class for about 80+ hours, and I sometimes got near 100 hours when LRW got sticky or during reading week before finals.

Anyways, I KNOW that I wouldn't have done as well had I not put in that many hours. Doing well in law school is a combination of intelligence and hard work. If you are only as smart as everyone else, then you need to spend more time studying to get ahead of them.

Yes, I really studied over 12 hours a day.

Mal
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2009 6:06 pm

Re: How many hours/week do you spend on law school?

Postby Mal » Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:51 am

Locke N. Lawded wrote:You will find that you spend significantly more time studying during the early weeks of your first semester, and less as time goes on. A lot of people average about 4 hours per subject per day, simply because the reading is so dense and you aren't really sure what you're looking for or what many of the terms mean until you've been at it for awhile.

By the end of the first semester, you will probably need only half as long, but by then your legal writing assignments will be monopolizing much more of your time.

Many of my classmates treated law school like a job, and then some of us were super gunners. This is not representative of the bulk of the class, but my study group met every day at 7 AM (before our 9 AM classes...our section had them all week long), we'd have two classes per day, and three on the day we had legal writing. We'd usually be done with classes by 3 PM, with breaks between when we'd try to get ahead on our reading, and I often stayed at the library until 8 or 9 PM...and that was fairly common for 1Ls.

The first semester will be an exercise in time management as you try to keep up with all your reading, outlining, and writing. Lots of students skip classes on the days when big writing assignments are due and then they have to play catch up. The worst thing to do first year is to get too far behind in the reading, because it is very difficult to make it up without sacrificing many nights and weekends.

You will ultimately fall into a routine and the work will come more naturally, but the first month is definitely the worst.


Jesus, no. First month is a breeze because you don't have enough material to start outlining seriously or do practice exams. Hell, my professors all eased us in and started really slowly. The month before finals is where 90% of the work is done.

I spent probably 35-40 hours /week during the majority of the semester. During the final month it was double that.

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mallard
Posts: 1092
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 5:45 am

Re: How many hours/week do you spend on law school?

Postby mallard » Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:52 am

The first month is definitely the easiest.

yo!
Posts: 653
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 11:11 pm

Re: How many hours/week do you spend on law school?

Postby yo! » Sat Jun 05, 2010 10:39 pm

I'm planning on about 60-70. 5 X 12 hr days with an 8 on Saturday and an off day on Sunday. The Sunday is not a required off day, but rather a day where I will only study if I feel like it. This is pretty close to my current work schedule, so I'm hoping that it won't be a problem.

olanderp
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 9:46 pm

Re: How many hours/week do you spend on law school?

Postby olanderp » Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:05 pm

.
Last edited by olanderp on Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

honestabe84
Posts: 491
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:47 pm

Re: How many hours/week do you spend on law school?

Postby honestabe84 » Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:16 am

OP: I think some by be a little confused by your poll. Are you asking how much people spend studying or are you asking how much people spend studying AND going to class?

solidsnake
Posts: 531
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2008 2:08 am

Re: How many hours/week do you spend on law school?

Postby solidsnake » Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:18 am

12+ hours/day. Depending on your goals/passion/willingness to give up everything else in your life, there's a LOT (beyond rather simple 1L survey courses) that goes into constituting an intelligent, literate, informed life in the law.

bconly
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 7:10 pm

Re: How many hours/week do you spend on law school?

Postby bconly » Mon Jun 07, 2010 3:39 am

honestabe84 wrote:OP: I think some by be a little confused by your poll. Are you asking how much people spend studying or are you asking how much people spend studying AND going to class?


I meant everything. Class, studying, etc.

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shepdawg
Posts: 477
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2009 8:00 pm

Re: How many hours/week do you spend on law school?

Postby shepdawg » Mon Jun 07, 2010 3:13 pm

I am preparing my family for me working 12 hours a day 6 days a week. I wonder what percentage of students at a T4 will be working that much.

GermX
Posts: 562
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:24 pm

Re: How many hours/week do you spend on law school?

Postby GermX » Mon Jun 07, 2010 3:30 pm

I plan on studying 6-8 hours a day, with only Saturday off so that I can actually enjoy life on that day (and go out Friday night etc...). I'll probably still go out all the time and enjoy life, but it'll mostly be at night because from 8 Am till 8pm (if not longer), I plan on studying (classes + actual studying). A good beer after that would be fun. I just really want to break into the top 10% of my class. I know its not guaranteed and its difficult, but I'm at least going to put in the hard work so I can say to myself "well, you did all you could". lol.

Edit: I should add, the 6-8 hours is on top of actual class time, so I guess if you take it that way then yes, that would be 12 hours a day, except for Saturday, and probably just 6-8 hours on Sunday.

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sundevil77
Posts: 391
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:34 pm

Re: How many hours/week do you spend on law school?

Postby sundevil77 » Mon Jun 07, 2010 3:44 pm

Journeybound wrote:Yes, I really studied over 12 hours a day.


Locke N. Lawded wrote:A lot of people average about 4 hours per subject per day, simply because the reading is so dense and you aren't really sure what you're looking for or what many of the terms mean until you've been at it for awhile. My study group met every day at 7 AM (before our 9 AM classes...our section had them all week long), we'd have two classes per day, and three on the day we had legal writing. We'd usually be done with classes by 3 PM, with breaks between when we'd try to get ahead on our reading, and I often stayed at the library until 8 or 9 PM...and that was fairly common for 1Ls.


Geez, this sounds like hell. I'm wondering if this is representative? I talked to a couple of 2Ls at Penn (both doing well) and they said they averaged 3-4 hours of studying per day outside of class. If it's 12 hours/day on a daily basis I'll gladly /killself.

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Tangerine Gleam
Posts: 1349
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:50 pm

Re: How many hours/week do you spend on law school?

Postby Tangerine Gleam » Mon Jun 07, 2010 3:46 pm

TLS could use a great, in-depth article on the day-to-day life of a law student. Anyone interested in writing such an article and submitting it to the TLS Content competition should check out this thread:

http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=118839

06072010
Posts: 1468
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 2:30 pm

Re: How many hours/week do you spend on law school?

Postby 06072010 » Mon Jun 07, 2010 3:49 pm

I did 9/10 hours a day, including class, on weekdays. I'd usually take one day off on the weekend and do all the reading for the week on the other.

luchy204
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:10 am

Re: How many hours/week do you spend on law school?

Postby luchy204 » Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:01 pm

I think some of the people that have replied to this are insane. 2 hours per day per class is a very good assessment. Then of course the workload increases with an LRW assignment.

Here's the thing. I took entire days off during the weekend, spent a ton of time with my boyfriend, enjoyed every minute of Mardi Gras and the Superbowl, and I am in the top 15-20%.

If I had spent 8-12 hours per day studying, maybe I would be in the top 3% of my class. That would be nice, but it really isn't the most important thing. In addition to school, I spent 8-12 hours per week volunteering at the public defender's office. When it came time to apply for jobs for the summer, every employer wanted to ask me about my experience there. I am not even working in criminal law this summer, but the fact that I had practical legal experience in any field was a real plus for my employer. I have no doubt that it is the real reason I got the job. I know individuals in the bottom 10% who secured employment for the summer, and I know individuals in the top 10% who did not.

What it all comes down to is experience and networking. Grades are important, and there is a ton of pressure on 1L's to do well, but it's not the most important thing. You want to do things that will make you stand out. Then you want to deliver excellent work product at your summer job, and make the most of every networking experience that it provides you with.

So take a deep breath rising 1L's. Success in law school is about a lot more than just grades, and there is no reason to kill yourself over them.

My two cents. Hope it helps.

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sundevil77
Posts: 391
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Re: How many hours/week do you spend on law school?

Postby sundevil77 » Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:20 pm

Ok. Thanks, luchy204. I'll come back in off this ledge :)

slider
Posts: 368
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:35 pm

Re: How many hours/week do you spend on law school?

Postby slider » Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:44 pm

luchy204 wrote:I think some of the people that have replied to this are insane. 2 hours per day per class is a very good assessment. Then of course the workload increases with an LRW assignment.


2 hours per day per class? Say you have 4-5 classes x 2 hours each daily = 12+ hours a day if you include class time.

Maybe I'm missing something but is it safe to assume "2 hrs per day per class" figure includes class time?

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Paichka
Posts: 287
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Re: How many hours/week do you spend on law school?

Postby Paichka » Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:49 pm

I typically did 10 hours a day, including class, lunch and gym breaks. Two days a week I was at school total for 14 hours, but that was with a break for the gym...so I probably never did more than 12 hours per day even on my long days. I saved weekends to play with my daughter, but I'd study a couple of hours while she was taking a nap or after she was in bed.

We don't give out anything past top 15%, but guessing based on my GPA I'm in the top 5%. I worked my ass off for it, and maybe to some it was a waste of time, but it was worth it to me. *shrug*

GermX
Posts: 562
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Re: How many hours/week do you spend on law school?

Postby GermX » Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:52 pm

I think some of the people that have replied to this are insane. 2 hours per day per class is a very good assessment. Then of course the workload increases with an LRW assignment.


And? 4 classes X 2 hours= 8 hours of studying per day. Add in class time and it hits about 12 hours.

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D-ROCCA
Posts: 324
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Re: How many hours/week do you spend on law school?

Postby D-ROCCA » Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:53 pm

slider wrote:
luchy204 wrote:I think some of the people that have replied to this are insane. 2 hours per day per class is a very good assessment. Then of course the workload increases with an LRW assignment.


2 hours per day per class? Say you have 4-5 classes x 2 hours each daily = 12+ hours a day if you include class time.

Maybe I'm missing something but is it safe to assume "2 hrs per day per class" figure includes class time?


I think they meant 2 hours per class per day, only for that day's classes. I've been told a good rule of thumb is for every hour spent in class, you need to spend 2-3 hours working outside of class, unless it's exam time.

luchy204
Posts: 3
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Re: How many hours/week do you spend on law school?

Postby luchy204 » Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:55 pm

Yes I did mean two hours per class per day for the classes I actually had. It amounts to about four hours per day. Six including actual time spent in class.

luchy204
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Re: How many hours/week do you spend on law school?

Postby luchy204 » Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:56 pm

And never more than four hours in a day on weekends, and sometimes very little work at all on weekends.




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