Can/should I commute?

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lawcommuter
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Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 4:59 pm

Can/should I commute?

Postby lawcommuter » Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:05 pm

Hello!

I'm considering moving 2 hours away for a variety of personal reasons. (For anyone who cares/finds it relevant: my significant other lives there, I plan to work there after graduating, I can afford a much better apartment there (even after commuting expenses) and generally begin my real life instead of waiting to get these three years over with. Additionally I'll be closer to home because my mom is disabled and needs help.)

This is undoubtedly what I WANT to do. I'd just take the train in two or three days per week, which doesn't bother me as it's under 2 hours door to door and I can study on the train anyway. I'd get an iPad. Whatever. Maybe just maybe they'd let me be a visiting student at a closer school next year but I obviously won't count on it.

Anyway, I'm a rising 2L and wondering if this would be a feasible lifestyle. I'd have 4-6 hours of class per day on the days I came in and spend 2 or 3 hours at my journal. That doesn't leave time for much else. In my new city I'd be close to a library as well as another great law school so I don't feel like I'll miss out on speakers, etc, and let's assume I can focus on studying on my own. But as someone who's only been a 1L- can I do this? Would it be a big mistake for my career in some way that I'm missing?

Thanks for your input!

target
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Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 6:40 pm

Re: Can/should I commute?

Postby target » Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:17 pm

You are a rising 2L, so you know how things work already. I think you can do it if you manage your classes and other school activities well on those days when you are at school. A few of my classmates flied back and forth between my school and places where their spouse lives and still ended up doing reasonably well. I can't say whether you should since that is your personal decision. Good luck

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Can/should I commute?

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:21 pm

Where are the firms located where you will be applying to during 2L OCI? Is the area you want to live a big enough legal community? (Or is the area closer to your school bigger?) In terms of school and journal, I don't think the 2 hour commute is a bad idea--as long as you can be productive on the train ride, you really aren't losing study time. Interviewing and applying to firms is the one aspect that I would keep in mind. (If you end up getting a 2L SA at a firm by the school, would you just move back for the summer? --You really do NOT want to do a 2 hour commute for a 2L SA. That sounds way more hellish than a 2 hour commute for school.)

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bk1
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Re: Can/should I commute?

Postby bk1 » Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:26 pm

I commuted 1.25 hours (each way) for a year for work. It sucked and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. It's just a lot of time out of your day and it's inconvenient. I don't think there's any "career" mistake but I do think it would royally suck. Maybe the $, being near your mom, and being with your SO would be worth it but that's a personal decision that nobody else can make. Heck, you can't really judge whether it's better or worse until you actually do it. If you think your mom and your SO are worth it then I'd at least try it.

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haus
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Re: Can/should I commute?

Postby haus » Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:35 pm

As someone who commutes 3 to 3.5 hours per work day, I think that the main thing that you end up giving up, other than time, is flexibility.

When you arrive at your destination and discover that you left behind your (book, badge, wallet, disk, computer...), it is not trivial to undo this mistake. Last minute changes in schedule are more difficult to adapt to, especially if you are dependent upon some transit system and their schedule. Most of these problems can be mitigated by careful planning.

If the upside is high enough you can put up with anything for a short period of time. I opted to pursue a Masters degree from a university in a different state. For a few semesters I flew up to campus once a week attended classes for the day and then flew back the following morning to go back to work. What I learned from this experience was, studying on the move leaves something to be desired and being on the move is fatiguing even if you are sitting around most of the time. I did quite a bit of studying at the airport and on my flights, but you are restricted in space, and surrounded by distractions. Do not expect to be able to retain as much in these types of environments as you could absorb in a quality study location for the same amount of time expended. Getting on and off planes and trains, logging extra miles behind the wheel will drain your batteries, try to plan for this, find some way to recharge with the limited time frame that you will have to work with.

Good luck with whatever path you take.

lawcommuter
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 4:59 pm

Re: Can/should I commute?

Postby lawcommuter » Sat Jul 07, 2012 6:43 pm

Thanks, everyone! I really appreciate the input. Richie- I'm hoping for an SA in the city I'm looking to move to. I agree, I could never do that commute daily and with the more rigorous hours/schedule of a law firm. But being honest with myself, the student life is pretty leisurely.. just want to be sure there aren't in-person time commitments I'm not thinking of, mostly.

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Perseus_I
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Re: Can/should I commute?

Postby Perseus_I » Sat Jul 07, 2012 11:03 pm

lawcommuter wrote:Hello!

I'm considering moving 2 hours away for a variety of personal reasons. (For anyone who cares/finds it relevant: my significant other lives there, I plan to work there after graduating, I can afford a much better apartment there (even after commuting expenses) and generally begin my real life instead of waiting to get these three years over with. Additionally I'll be closer to home because my mom is disabled and needs help.)

This is undoubtedly what I WANT to do. I'd just take the train in two or three days per week, which doesn't bother me as it's under 2 hours door to door and I can study on the train anyway. I'd get an iPad. Whatever. Maybe just maybe they'd let me be a visiting student at a closer school next year but I obviously won't count on it.

Anyway, I'm a rising 2L and wondering if this would be a feasible lifestyle. I'd have 4-6 hours of class per day on the days I came in and spend 2 or 3 hours at my journal. That doesn't leave time for much else. In my new city I'd be close to a library as well as another great law school so I don't feel like I'll miss out on speakers, etc, and let's assume I can focus on studying on my own. But as someone who's only been a 1L- can I do this? Would it be a big mistake for my career in some way that I'm missing?

Thanks for your input!


I was going to laugh at you for being a wasteful energy hogging American. But if you can study on the train, I don't see why you couldn't do this. Just shift 2 hours from the library onto the train. It's not like you'll lose study time. You might have problems when it comes to OCI, interviews, social events, etc. You may not care about some of those. I think, while inconvenient, it's very doable as long as you're not losing 4 hours a day commuting by car.




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