Is Law School Supposed to be this Miserable?

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LOLyer
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Is Law School Supposed to be this Miserable?

Postby LOLyer » Sat Nov 17, 2012 4:31 pm

2L here. I know law school is not supposed to be fun, but is it normal to loath every waking second of your life while you're in it? Does anyone else feel like the stress and pressure is completely destroying their personality and making them miserable?

I want to be a lawyer, but I cannot stand law school. It's completely unnatural. Everything in this sterile ivory tower is abstract and hypothetical. It's like a black hole that sucks out time, effort, and even physical health for no reward.

So what do you guys think: Is it worth another year and a half of misery to keep my grades up, or should I try to enjoy life more and let them drop a little bit?

616rewind
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Re: Is Law School Supposed to be this Miserable?

Postby 616rewind » Sat Nov 17, 2012 4:44 pm

Uh well it depends on whether you have a SA lined up.

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cinephile
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Re: Is Law School Supposed to be this Miserable?

Postby cinephile » Sat Nov 17, 2012 5:26 pm

I really hate law school, but I'm not sure whether or not I'd hate being a lawyer. So I signed up for two clinics next semester to figure that out. I got a talking to from the administration about why it would be a bad idea to skip out on classes altogether in favor of filling up on clinics, but it basically ended with me saying that if it's not prohibited (and it's not, it's just discouraged), then I'm doing it. So, maybe something like that could make you happier.

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kapital98
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Re: Is Law School Supposed to be this Miserable?

Postby kapital98 » Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:05 pm

cinephile wrote:I really hate law school, but I'm not sure whether or not I'd hate being a lawyer. So I signed up for two clinics next semester to figure that out. I got a talking to from the administration about why it would be a bad idea to skip out on classes altogether in favor of filling up on clinics, but it basically ended with me saying that if it's not prohibited (and it's not, it's just discouraged), then I'm doing it. So, maybe something like that could make you happier.


I like this idea :)

Are clinics graded? I would do a full semester judicial externship in one semester and then clinics in the next. 3L done.

With few exceptions, classes are pointless. You spend 15 weeks learning material that will be useless during practice or can be looked up and learned in a week.

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minnbills
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Re: Is Law School Supposed to be this Miserable?

Postby minnbills » Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:10 pm

I'm loving law school so far- though I don't love the anxiety over grades, and if I don't do well this semester I will probably feel different. But most of my classmates seem to enjoy it too. I wouldn't spend three years doing something if I absolutely loathed it. And even though practice is different than school, I would seriously consider whether I am choosing the right career if I hated law school.

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cinephile
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Re: Is Law School Supposed to be this Miserable?

Postby cinephile » Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:16 pm

kapital98 wrote:
cinephile wrote:I really hate law school, but I'm not sure whether or not I'd hate being a lawyer. So I signed up for two clinics next semester to figure that out. I got a talking to from the administration about why it would be a bad idea to skip out on classes altogether in favor of filling up on clinics, but it basically ended with me saying that if it's not prohibited (and it's not, it's just discouraged), then I'm doing it. So, maybe something like that could make you happier.


I like this idea :)

Are clinics graded? I would do a full semester judicial externship in one semester and then clinics in the next. 3L done.

With few exceptions, classes are pointless. You spend 15 weeks learning material that will be useless during practice or can be looked up and learned in a week.


You should do it! Our clinics are sort of graded. There's a seminar component where you write papers for a grade and then there's the ungraded practical side. I could, in theory, do four or five clinics before graduating and not violate any rules about ungraded hours. And I'm totally with you on classes being pointless. It makes me feel like I'm still in second grade. I'm 27 years old and I'm still wasting my time facebooking in class? Just a waste.

LOLyer
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Re: Is Law School Supposed to be this Miserable?

Postby LOLyer » Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:41 pm

I have a good job lined up after I graduate. The thing main that is stressing me out is that I go to a TTT, so staying near the top of my class is more important than a higher ranked school. Ideally, having "Magna Cum Laude" on my JD will help offset some of the (unjust) prejudice that people have. Also, I want to strive for excellence just for its own sake. I don't like knowing that I could have done better than I did. Also, I'm very behind where I normally am at this point in the semester.

But on the other hand, you have the consequences: My personal life is an complete disaster right now. My diet has been extremely unhealthy, and I have no exercised in months. I can't really enjoy much because I have this crushing stress in the back of my mind.

I guess the real question is: Where would you guys, as individuals, draw the line on how much you're willing to sacrifice for your goals?

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gguuueessttt
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Re: Is Law School Supposed to be this Miserable?

Postby gguuueessttt » Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:58 pm

LOLyer wrote:I have a good job lined up after I graduate. The thing main that is stressing me out is that I go to a TTT, so staying near the top of my class is more important than a higher ranked school. Ideally, having "Magna Cum Laude" on my JD will help offset some of the (unjust) prejudice that people have. Also, I want to strive for excellence just for its own sake. I don't like knowing that I could have done better than I did. Also, I'm very behind where I normally am at this point in the semester.

But on the other hand, you have the consequences: My personal life is an complete disaster right now. My diet has been extremely unhealthy, and I have no exercised in months. I can't really enjoy much because I have this crushing stress in the back of my mind.

I guess the real question is: Where would you guys, as individuals, draw the line on how much you're willing to sacrifice for your goals?


I think you need to find a better work-life balance. Realistically it only takes 30 minutes a day to exercise. Go for a walk, run or bike ride. Anyone can find the time to exercise a bit every day if they try. Same thing with eating healthy. Buy better groceries. It doesn't have to be expensive or time-consuming to eat healthy. Turkey sandwiches on whole wheat bread, pre-made soups, whole wheat pasta, fruit, oatmeal, etc. Socializing might be a bit more time consuming, but if it's really important to you then I'm sure you can find time once or twice a week to go out with your friends.

I'm sure you don't spend your entire day doing nothing but working and sleeping. And if you do, you should take an hour out of your day to exercise and make healthy meals. It isn't that hard and it will make you feel way better.

MinEMorris
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Re: Is Law School Supposed to be this Miserable?

Postby MinEMorris » Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:30 pm

It sounds like you must have taken on a large class load this semester or are stacked with extracurriculars. Try pairing down your classload (maybe like 12 units?) next semester and limiting your extracurriculars to your one favorite one.

There's only about a month to go in this semester, so whatever you have to do to keep your grades up I suppose there's nothing to do but power through it. From here on out, however, I think it sounds like you could make serious improvements.

I would recommend cutting down on time spent reading/taking reading notes if you do that. I never took reading notes and always skimmed my readings and it really hasn't hurt me in any class yet in law school. I primarily outline from class notes (if the teacher seems to make a ton of mention of a portion of the reading without summarizing it for us, I flag it to read later), then read relevant chapters in a supplement recommended by a professor and maybe compare my outline to 1-2 old ones. So I spend ~15 hours of class time each week, ~15 hours spent skimming the readings before class, then ~10 hours each week outlining/reading relevant chapters/comparing to old outlines. In total that's ~40 hours a week, or about 8 hours a day five days a week, which leaves me with a shit ton of free time during the week and completely free weekends if I want it. I honestly spend a lot of my free time on law school related stuff right now in hopes of preparing for my summer, and I have a ton of personal life stuff I'm having to deal with, but the point hopefully remains.

I would just really look at how you're spending your time and figure out how you could get on a schedule that would afford you more time. Also, if you're feeling really stressed out, it may help to do things in smaller blocks. For example, instead of outlining for 10 hours straight, try breaking it up a lot with tv shows, going for a run, cooking a meal, etc.

Hope you feel better, man.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Is Law School Supposed to be this Miserable?

Postby Lawquacious » Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:41 pm

If 1L yes, if 2L no unless on journal, if 3L yes due to unnecessary year (although I am grateful it can help even more from flooding the law school market).

rad lulz
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Re: Is Law School Supposed to be this Miserable?

Postby rad lulz » Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:45 pm

It doesn't get more miserable than being a jobless 3L.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Is Law School Supposed to be this Miserable?

Postby Lawquacious » Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:49 pm

rad lulz wrote:It doesn't get more miserable than being a jobless 3L.



Trudat. Though in terms of school itself, 1L is pretty effing miserable (legal writing etc.... but even then, it turns out that this type of shit is actually what legal jobs involve. Who knew? FML).

LSATNightmares
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Re: Is Law School Supposed to be this Miserable?

Postby LSATNightmares » Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:52 pm

I would seriously determine what about law school you hate. If you think it's too "academic" now, it may feel the same if you're in big law... or even in mid law. You probably won't be interacting much with clients at the beginning, and when your goal is to help businesses deal with liabilities, it's going to feel theoretical in many ways. And if you think law school is competitive now, it will probably be more so in big law. However, this doesn't mean necessarily that law is not right for you. You just have to identify what you hate and choose a career that doesn't have as many of those problems... for example, government or public interest.

And honestly, I think there are a lot of bad aspects about law school. While I like law, I don't really like law school culture and all the insecurities that come along with it. It does get better after the first year. I also echo everyone else's points about finding something you love to do.

shock259
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Re: Is Law School Supposed to be this Miserable?

Postby shock259 » Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:21 pm

Really depends. If you have an SA, don't do a journal, and don't take a ridiculous amount of credits, life should be pretty golden. If you don't have an SA, do Law Review, and take a lot of classes, your life will suck.

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I.P. Daly
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Re: Is Law School Supposed to be this Miserable?

Postby I.P. Daly » Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:25 pm

It's miserable, but I've also had some of the best adventures and bar experiences of my life during law school.

Gorki
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Re: Is Law School Supposed to be this Miserable?

Postby Gorki » Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:28 pm

1L is the peak of stress & misery. 2L is better, but at same time nobody I know feels as gung-ho and bright eyed as last year... So less stress with correspondingly less motivation.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Is Law School Supposed to be this Miserable?

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:38 pm

Since you asked, I loved law school. I loved every bit of it. I ended up doing well - was it because I love it, or did I love it because I was good at it? I don't know what's normal.

kingofdara
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Re: Is Law School Supposed to be this Miserable?

Postby kingofdara » Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:45 pm

I know why I want to be a lawyer, but sometimes I need to be reminded of why I should continue being a law student. Really, it's the green at the end of the tunnel that gets me by.




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