Part-time evening workload?

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megee333
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Part-time evening workload?

Postby megee333 » Thu May 19, 2011 9:06 pm

Hi,

Can anybody please give me an idea about the workload I could expect for the part-time evening JD program?

Class is 6-9pm, M-Th. I'll be working full-time 8-5pm-ish.

How many hours of outside school work roughly, weekend hours (all and every weekend?!?) ??

Is it mostly reading and briefing; how many papers weekly and length ??

Rough hours are fine, thanks.

I'm no TLS, I'll be at a T4, so please consider that fact.

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LAWYER2
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Re: Part-time evening workload?

Postby LAWYER2 » Fri May 20, 2011 12:27 pm

Generally you should expect to put in three hours studying for every hour of class. When you get home from class at night, review your notes from class then knock out the next evenings reading. If the thought of going to bed at midnight only to have to get up a six the next morning doesn't work for you like many others. Plan on devoting your entire weekend to catching up on the entire weeks worth of reading.
If you're position at work allows a little down time here and there, read your cases online so not to appear as to be studying for school during work hours

Gideon Strumpet
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Re: Part-time evening workload?

Postby Gideon Strumpet » Fri May 20, 2011 12:31 pm

Thirty-six hours a week outside of class sounds about right. You won't have "papers" except in legal writing. The other classes are graded solely on a four to eight hour final exam at the end. So don't expect to have much in the way of weekends, unless you run well on four to five hours of sleep a night. Doing most of your reading for the week ahead on Saturday / Sunday will help avoid the late nights.

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rdcws000
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Re: Part-time evening workload?

Postby rdcws000 » Mon May 23, 2011 11:36 am

I respect the estimates above, however I find them to be excessive for my study habits. I did pretty well first semester and have my fingers crossed for a repeat performance 2nd semester.

I had class M-Th, some nights for 4 hours, some nights for 2. For 10 credit hours I spent 15 hours outside of class, 20 max.

I would agree with their 36 hour estimate for the weeks surrounding finals, but I can't imagine how I would spend that much time at the beginning of the semester.

My schedule consisted of "finding" 5 hours (total) during the nights throughout the week to read and brief, and then I spent a full day on saturday 10-13 hours outlining from the previous week, and reading/briefing for the next week. I also work full time, about 7a-430p M-F.

I took almost every Sunday off during the semester. No school work whatsoever. You've got to have some donwtime. I think some people start feeling guilty any time they aren't studying, so they spend every waking hour in a book, but in some cases this overexertion produces diminishing returns.

Feel free to PM or ask any questions about the specifics of my schedule if you like.

tesoro
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Re: Part-time evening workload?

Postby tesoro » Mon May 23, 2011 11:46 am

rdcws000 wrote:I respect the estimates above, however I find them to be excessive for my study habits. I did pretty well first semester and have my fingers crossed for a repeat performance 2nd semester.

I had class M-Th, some nights for 4 hours, some nights for 2. For 10 credit hours I spent 15 hours outside of class, 20 max.

I would agree with their 36 hour estimate for the weeks surrounding finals, but I can't imagine how I would spend that much time at the beginning of the semester.

My schedule consisted of "finding" 5 hours (total) during the nights throughout the week to read and brief, and then I spent a full day on saturday 10-13 hours outlining from the previous week, and reading/briefing for the next week. I also work full time, about 7a-430p M-F.

I took almost every Sunday off during the semester. No school work whatsoever. You've got to have some donwtime. I think some people start feeling guilty any time they aren't studying, so they spend every waking hour in a book, but in some cases this overexertion produces diminishing returns.

Feel free to PM or ask any questions about the specifics of my schedule if you like.


I agree with this guy that it can be done in less time. I generally read a little on Fri/Sun (3-6 hours total combined) and a lot on Saturday (probably 5-8 hours). Mon-Thurs I just worked and went to class. I waited until exams period to outline/study/review, which was hectic but I prefer to condense misery into small periods of time.

thwalls
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Re: Part-time evening workload?

Postby thwalls » Mon May 23, 2011 11:54 am

I just finished my 1L year in the Evening Division at Temple U. I had classes generally for 3 hours per night M-Th, however, in the spring semester I only civ pro on Thursdays which was 75 minute class.

My trick to law school was just staying a little bit ahead. God help you if you fall behind in reading/outlining or memo/brief writing for LRW. In both semesters I briefed most of my cases and prepared my own outline. I would read maybe 1 hour or so a night during the week. Usually between 11-12am. I would either read a short case and scratch out my "brief," or I would outline a little bit. I can't stress the importance of a detailed outline enough.

I'm not talking about detail in terms of what's in the book, but you should incorporate what your professor is saying and emphasizing in class. For instance, in property, our professor provided a lot of hypotheticals that emphasized certain specific topics. Wouldn't you know it, those topics found their way on the exam. In other words, you don't want to fill your outline with "weeds" that cause you to miss the "flowers." Start outlining early because, since you're a working evening student, you will need to rely on that outline when exams roll around because you won't have time to look over your cases in detail again. Be thorough, but more importantly, be correct in what you write.

I would force myself on the weekends to get up by 6 and I would study from 6-5pm on Saturday and 6-1pm on Sunday. That would leave the rest of the day to spend time with my wife. Also, I never did work on Fridays. Ever. Friday was date night for us, and it helped to preserve my marriage :D

After your first semester is about half-way done, find a 2-3 other people and put together a study group. You don't have to meet often, but catch up once or twice, and especially get together before finals start. It's one thing to read your notes, and another to discuss them intelligently with your peers. My study group this semester saved my butt in Civ Pro. Then again, I think we saved each other collectively.

Most importantly, follow the advice of my Intro. Chemistry Professor from College: "Do Daily Work." If you keep up with the material and plod along, it will pay dividends at the end of the semester when your memo/brief is due and you have to study for exams. If you stay disciplined, you'll find that Law School is not that crazy and your stress level will be considerably less than the rest of your classmates.

Good luck!

Black-Blue
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Re: Part-time evening workload?

Postby Black-Blue » Mon May 23, 2011 10:54 pm

LAWYER2 wrote:Generally you should expect to put in three hours studying for every hour of class.

That's ridiculous. Most students only study 1.5 hours for every hour of class. http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog ... rev-2.html

Maybe you might feel compelled to study 3 hours per class hour as a 1L, but afterwards, it'll become clear that much of studying is useless, especially in huge issue spotter exams.

megee333
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Re: Part-time evening workload?

Postby megee333 » Tue May 24, 2011 4:37 pm

Great replies, thanks to all of you.

I will take it by ear and start with the 36 hours and work, hopefully, down from there.

Maybe I will get to see some of my baby girl who is due in the Fall :)

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D. H2Oman
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Re: Part-time evening workload?

Postby D. H2Oman » Tue May 24, 2011 4:40 pm

It's not as bad as you're hearing in this thread.

36 hours a week outside of class is insane. It's probably like 5 or 6. Seriously.

cpajd
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Re: Part-time evening workload?

Postby cpajd » Tue May 24, 2011 5:10 pm

After finishing 1L and the getting the grades available so far, my experience shows the following is a good guide for someone of average law school intelligence (yes, its probably oversimplifying it but I think it generally holds true from what I've seen of me and my classmates):

1 hour per hour in class will get you sufficient grades to get you through law school (think a fair number of C's).

2 hours per hour in class will get you solid B's.

3 hours per hour in class should give you good opportunities for A's.

NOTE: this is just reading and refreshing for class. During finals, expect to just spend every waking moment studying for a couple weeks.

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zanda
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Re: Part-time evening workload?

Postby zanda » Tue May 24, 2011 6:33 pm

cpajd wrote:After finishing 1L and the getting the grades available so far, my experience shows the following is a good guide for someone of average law school intelligence (yes, its probably oversimplifying it but I think it generally holds true from what I've seen of me and my classmates):

1 hour per hour in class will get you sufficient grades to get you through law school (think a fair number of C's).

2 hours per hour in class will get you solid B's.

3 hours per hour in class should give you good opportunities for A's.

NOTE: this is just reading and refreshing for class. During finals, expect to just spend every waking moment studying for a couple weeks.

In my experience time spent studying has no correlation with grades.

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Conan
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Re: Part-time evening workload?

Postby Conan » Tue May 24, 2011 6:50 pm

It really depends on the individual but studying 3 hours per hour in class seems near impossible for people who have full time job.

I just finished my 1L year at Fordham and my study times varied from week to week (due to the nature of my job) but I don't think I ever spent more than 2 hours a night on reading assignments.

I did put in lots of hours when I was working on legal writing assignments but that's about it.

I think 36 hours/week studying + 40 hours/week working will probably burn you out half way into the semester (maybe even sooner).

I'm not saying you can't pull it off. I just can't see myself following that schedule but I'm sure other people have done it.

My 2 cents.

cpajd
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Re: Part-time evening workload?

Postby cpajd » Tue May 24, 2011 7:22 pm

I think for most of my classes, I could get the reading done the night before in about an hour or a little more. Although the time spent during the semester may not be exactly correlative to final grades, the people I know who consistently were getting A's tended to spend the extra time during the semester reviewing and working on outlines, etc. The truth is that most real learning is done in the last couple weeks (cram factor), but those who are spending 3 hrs per class are definitely doing extra during the semester. Thus an easier time preparing at finals, and probably better grades.

Black-Blue
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Re: Part-time evening workload?

Postby Black-Blue » Tue May 24, 2011 10:54 pm

zanda wrote:In my experience time spent studying has no correlation with grades.

I would say that the correlation is moderate, but the causation is low. Someone who tends to study 3 hrs per class hour tends to be more concentrated, and would do well. But if that person has the same concentration and only studies 1 hr per class hour, there wouldn't be a big difference in outcome.

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zanda
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Re: Part-time evening workload?

Postby zanda » Thu May 26, 2011 7:25 am

Black-Blue wrote:
zanda wrote:In my experience time spent studying has no correlation with grades.

I would say that the correlation is moderate, but the causation is low. Someone who tends to study 3 hrs per class hour tends to be more concentrated, and would do well. But if that person has the same concentration and only studies 1 hr per class hour, there wouldn't be a big difference in outcome.

I meant within one student, in which case we agree. What I mean here is that controlling for student and saying that there will not tend to be higher grades in those classes for which he studies 3 hrs per hr vs 2 or 1 is the same as your conclusion, which does not control for student and suggests that those who study more might tend to be more focused. Your way of talking about things, not controlling for student, was a more natural way of discussing it, since my method gave correlation essentially the same meaning as causation.

cpajd
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Re: Part-time evening workload?

Postby cpajd » Thu May 26, 2011 7:35 am

zanda wrote:
Black-Blue wrote:
zanda wrote:In my experience time spent studying has no correlation with grades.

I would say that the correlation is moderate, but the causation is low. Someone who tends to study 3 hrs per class hour tends to be more concentrated, and would do well. But if that person has the same concentration and only studies 1 hr per class hour, there wouldn't be a big difference in outcome.

I meant within one student, in which case we agree. What I mean here is that controlling for student and saying that there will not tend to be higher grades in those classes for which he studies 3 hrs per hr vs 2 or 1 is the same as your conclusion, which does not control for student and suggests that those who study more might tend to be more focused. Your way of talking about things, not controlling for student, was a more natural way of discussing it, since my method gave correlation essentially the same meaning as causation.


Causation Shmausation.... you can get your work done in an hour per class most of the time. Going beyond that will probably help you get better grades if the time is put to good use.

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howell
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Re: Part-time evening workload?

Postby howell » Thu May 26, 2011 9:42 am

3 hours per credit hour is ridiculous. Our school's "rule of thumb" is 2 hours per 1 hour of class time, which I think would be a very generous amount of time to prepare for class (and outline) every week. Good luck getting that much in working full-time and going to school part-time. It's doable, but extremely difficult to do regularly if you have a real job and any other commitments (which is the very reason most PT students are going PT, especially at schools outside of the top 30).

Some people could skip class all semester, look at another student's outline, take a few practice exams, and CALI a class. If that's you, then great, but that's not common. I need more work than that, because it's much easier for me if I can hear it from my professor - I seem to remember things much better that way. So I do best if I prepare well for class, pay attention, take good notes, get an outline together before finals start, and work through practice questions/exams. Unfortunately I do not always get to do that, but it's still not an unreasonable amount of work. The times I have done more work than that, I have realized that I wasted a bunch of time on things that didn't matter (for the final).

Briefs/memos during 1L are a different story. I know very few people who could plod away for 2 hours a night on those things all semester. Most people either put in massive amounts of work on a weekend early in the semester to knock it out or, more common, people would go without much sleep the weekend before a brief/memo was due. If your 1L legal writing course is graded, remember how many hours it is. This is especially important for PT students who have less hours in the week per hour of class to devote to studying. That extra 20 hours you spend on your brief may take you from a B+ to an A-, but if it costs you the same or more in your other classes, you just killed your GPA.




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