Commuting an hour and 45 min to law school?

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Young Marino
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Commuting an hour and 45 min to law school?

Postby Young Marino » Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:02 am

So this is something I am really considering as my living cost would only be about $3k-$4k annually by staying at home. The commute would be an hr and 20 min by train then 25 min by shuttle both ways. Obviously I can use this time to plug in some headphones and read, maybe go over a few outlines? Does anyone have any experience doing this as a 1L? Has it worked out alright?

UndecidedMN
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Re: Commuting an hour and 45 min to law school?

Postby UndecidedMN » Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:24 am

A guy from my 1L tried this. Now he was a little more crazy in that he had a job and a family and tried this part-time at night for 11 credits. Needless to say it did not work out well at all and he dropped after one semester. He would listen to outlines, barbri and treasties in the car. I would not recommend it if you can avoid it. It would be worth renting a place if you could. You would make up the rent I think on the gas alone, nevermind the miles on the car.

I used to commute to work that much a day. You think you can listen to things and it will stick in your head. It won't. You are multi-tasking in the car while driving and things just won't stick.

Good luck

lmr
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Re: Commuting an hour and 45 min to law school?

Postby lmr » Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:27 am

ALeal90 wrote:So this is something I am really considering as my living cost would only be about $3k-$4k annually by staying at home. The commute would be an hr and 20 min by train then 25 min by shuttle both ways. Obviously I can use this time to plug in some headphones and read, maybe go over a few outlines? Does anyone have any experience doing this as a 1L? Has it worked out alright?


not worth it, especially during your first year. Seriously w the amount of money you are already spending on school you won't be saving much big picture wise by not spending on rent...commuting is draining and isolating esp as a 1L-don't do it! It will also make it difficult for you to forge friendships w your classmates imo.

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hichvichwoh
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Re: Commuting an hour and 45 min to law school?

Postby hichvichwoh » Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:43 am

pmed you

blong4133
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Re: Commuting an hour and 45 min to law school?

Postby blong4133 » Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:02 am

I know a couple of guys that I went to school with that had at least a 2 hour commute every day to school (4 hours round trip).

They both had a wife and at least one kid, but they managed. The one did it all three years, the other did it only during his 3L year. Both did well - one was one of the better students in our class (the one who made the commute all 3 years), and just found out he passed the bar, the other was on the moot court team with me.

It can definitely be done. But it's going to take a lot of discipline and time management. I don't even want to know the level of stress that is going to consume you when finals rolls around and you have to deal with public transportation for an hour and 45 minutes.

Good luck to you, buddy!

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Young Marino
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Re: Commuting an hour and 45 min to law school?

Postby Young Marino » Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:58 am

UndecidedMN wrote:A guy from my 1L tried this. Now he was a little more crazy in that he had a job and a family and tried this part-time at night for 11 credits. Needless to say it did not work out well at all and he dropped after one semester. He would listen to outlines, barbri and treasties in the car. I would not recommend it if you can avoid it. It would be worth renting a place if you could. You would make up the rent I think on the gas alone, nevermind the miles on the car.

I used to commute to work that much a day. You think you can listen to things and it will stick in your head. It won't. You are multi-tasking in the car while driving and things just won't stick.

Good luck


Well I would be taking the train and then bus to school. My My thinking is that I can use that time to read or outline since I won't be driving. If I had to drive I probably wouldn't do it but thankfully I live in an area where there's an abundance of public transportation. Thanks for your insight.

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Young Marino
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Re: Commuting an hour and 45 min to law school?

Postby Young Marino » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:05 am

lmr wrote:
ALeal90 wrote:So this is something I am really considering as my living cost would only be about $3k-$4k annually by staying at home. The commute would be an hr and 20 min by train then 25 min by shuttle both ways. Obviously I can use this time to plug in some headphones and read, maybe go over a few outlines? Does anyone have any experience doing this as a 1L? Has it worked out alright?


not worth it, especially during your first year. Seriously w the amount of money you are already spending on school you won't be saving much big picture wise by not spending on rent...commuting is draining and isolating esp as a 1L-don't do it! It will also make it difficult for you to forge friendships w your classmates imo.

I see where you are coming from but the school I'm considering this at has offered close to a full ride so rent and COL would be my biggest expense. My only worry is that I wouldn't have easy access to the law library and other resources in campus as easily. My gf does live closer to the school so by the time finals rolls around I could just crash at her place. But you are right in terms of forging connections with my class mates. I doubt I'd be going to bar review with them which kinda sucks.

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BaiAilian2013
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Re: Commuting an hour and 45 min to law school?

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:08 am

Realistically, you're not gonna get a lot of outlining done on the train. Maybe if you take all your class notes on your laptop and then don't need the casebook while you're outlining, I guess, but you're not gonna get anything done that requires multiple pieces of equipment. Doing all your reading on the train is more plausible, if you take your reading notes either in the book or in a notebook that can go under the casebook while you read or something. Working on public transit is always easier said than done, although certainly some people do it. Have you done the trip, at the times you'll be doing it for school? Will you get a seat at your stop? Can you look down and read for long periods, or are you prone to motion sickness? 3.5 hours is a lot of time to waste, so you need to be 110% sure you can use the time productively. Honestly, do a dress rehearsal, book and all.

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Samara
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Re: Commuting an hour and 45 min to law school?

Postby Samara » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:10 am

If you're doing it just to save a few bucks, that seems counterproductive. A little bit more debt is worth it to remove a significant obstacle your first year. (How would handle networking and other events?) Better to have more loans and a job than unemployed and unable to pay any of your debt.

helfer snooterbagon
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Re: Commuting an hour and 45 min to law school?

Postby helfer snooterbagon » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:24 am

I commuted to law school about 2.5 hours (1.5 in, because I went from home to work to school and 1 back because I went straight home), by car, while working full time. Personally, it worked out great, I graduated in the top 1% with no debt. Unlike others, I think that audio supplements are great and credit a lot of my success to them. For code/rule intensive classes (bankruptcy, evidence, commercial paper, secured transactions, etc), there are not too many ways to teach/test these classes. Even for the typical 1L classes the audio cds really hammered in the basics. I found by listening to the cds over and over again, throughout the semester, I couldn't help but memorize them. I just rotated through them during the drives and did not find myself spacing out or not listening. For the 1L classes I made sure I paid attention to the professors and little nuances they threw out, but having the core concepts down cold really helped.

Generally, they try to get pretty good professors for these cd recordings, kind of like how BARBRI and other bar prep companies try to get good professors. Some are better than others, but most were better than the professors I had teaching at law school. Granted, these guys get to edit and are not dealing with annoying questions, but still really good stuff.

Its easy to not pay attention to debt now, but small dollar amounts do matter and will add up. If you do not have any income coming in, do everything you can to reduce debt.

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cinephile
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Re: Commuting an hour and 45 min to law school?

Postby cinephile » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:42 am

I had a similar decision to make when I was considering law school. Either commuting 1.5 hours each way and living at home for next to nothing (while paying only 10k a year to law school), or paying more in COL than I would for school itself. I ended up living close to school and I absolutely regret my decision. I wish I could have gotten out of this experience without all this debt and it seems crazy to me that I borrowed more for rent than I did for the education itself.

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Bronx Bum
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Re: Commuting an hour and 45 min to law school?

Postby Bronx Bum » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:54 am

I did this. I didn't learn until 3L about audio barbri/themis/kaplan lectures. I never bought the textbook for evidence, never went to class (well once in the middle just to make sure it's still there), worked full time and got a curved A- in evidence based solely on listening to the themis evidence lecture on the train. I just closed my eyes and listened to it on repeat for 4 months.

I can't stress enough how good audio lectures are for a commute. Reading sucks because you're exhausted at night and you're more likely to say "nah." Audio lectures READ FOR YOU.

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Young Marino
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Re: Commuting an hour and 45 min to law school?

Postby Young Marino » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:17 am

cinephile wrote:I had a similar decision to make when I was considering law school. Either commuting 1.5 hours each way and living at home for next to nothing (while paying only 10k a year to law school), or paying more in COL than I would for school itself. I ended up living close to school and I absolutely regret my decision. I wish I could have gotten out of this experience without all this debt and it seems crazy to me that I borrowed more for rent than I did for the education itself.

That's exactly what I'm thinking. Even if I take the scholly, I'm still looking at $15k annually minimum for COL. Not cool. I have a friend that commutes and she stays at school til everything gets done for the day then takes the hr long trian ride back home at night. It sucks because as soon she gets home, she goes to bed so she has no free time but if I have a realistic shot at keeping my debt under $25k for the entire 3 years in law school, that's hard to turn down

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cinephile
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Re: Commuting an hour and 45 min to law school?

Postby cinephile » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:21 am

ALeal90 wrote:
cinephile wrote:I had a similar decision to make when I was considering law school. Either commuting 1.5 hours each way and living at home for next to nothing (while paying only 10k a year to law school), or paying more in COL than I would for school itself. I ended up living close to school and I absolutely regret my decision. I wish I could have gotten out of this experience without all this debt and it seems crazy to me that I borrowed more for rent than I did for the education itself.

That's exactly what I'm thinking. Even if I take the scholly, I'm still looking at $15k annually minimum for COL. Not cool. I have a friend that commutes and she stays at school til everything gets done for the day then takes the hr long trian ride back home at night. It sucks because as soon she gets home, she goes to bed so she has no free time but if I have a realistic shot at keeping my debt under $25k for the entire 3 years in law school, that's hard to turn down


For what it's worth, I don't know how hassled and exhausted I would've been from the commute. But I know the debt has weighed heavily on me. It's a hard choice, but I think I would've taken the time crunch stress then over the financial stress now if I had the benefit of hindsight.

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Young Marino
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Re: Commuting an hour and 45 min to law school?

Postby Young Marino » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:21 am

BaiAilian2013 wrote:Realistically, you're not gonna get a lot of outlining done on the train. Maybe if you take all your class notes on your laptop and then don't need the casebook while you're outlining, I guess, but you're not gonna get anything done that requires multiple pieces of equipment. Doing all your reading on the train is more plausible, if you take your reading notes either in the book or in a notebook that can go under the casebook while you read or something. Working on public transit is always easier said than done, although certainly some people do it. Have you done the trip, at the times you'll be doing it for school? Will you get a seat at your stop? Can you look down and read for long periods, or are you prone to motion sickness? 3.5 hours is a lot of time to waste, so you need to be 110% sure you can use the time productively. Honestly, do a dress rehearsal, book and all.

Definitely gonna do this a few times

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Young Marino
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Re: Commuting an hour and 45 min to law school?

Postby Young Marino » Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:36 am

If 1L is the largest determinant of class rank would it make more sense to spend $20k living on campus for the first year and then commuting 2L and 3L? By then my debt for the total 3 years would probably be close to $40k or $45k

LSATPREPPER
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Re: Commuting an hour and 45 min to law school?

Postby LSATPREPPER » Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:42 am

I commuted roughly an hour and 20 minutes my 1L year (and doing it for my 2L year also).

Did very well, on law review, and have a biglaw offer.

I thought it was harder socially than academically. I went out, but I ended up home VERY late.

Don't plan to be able to do work on the train.

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Danger Zone
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Re: Commuting an hour and 45 min to law school?

Postby Danger Zone » Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:44 am

ALeal90 wrote:If 1L is the largest determinant of class rank would it make more sense to spend $20k living on campus for the first year and then commuting 2L and 3L? By then my debt for the total 3 years would probably be close to $40k or $45k

Yeah, I think it's worth it. Anything you can do to make life easier during 1L.

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Young Marino
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Re: Commuting an hour and 45 min to law school?

Postby Young Marino » Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:09 pm

LSATPREPPER wrote:I commuted roughly an hour and 20 minutes my 1L year (and doing it for my 2L year also).

Did very well, on law review, and have a biglaw offer.

I thought it was harder socially than academically. I went out, but I ended up home VERY late.

Don't plan to be able to do work on the train.


Why do you say not to expect to get any work done on the train? Did you stay at school late and just got everything done before you got on the train?

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Young Marino
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Re: Commuting an hour and 45 min to law school?

Postby Young Marino » Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:12 pm

Danger Zone wrote:
ALeal90 wrote:If 1L is the largest determinant of class rank would it make more sense to spend $20k living on campus for the first year and then commuting 2L and 3L? By then my debt for the total 3 years would probably be close to $40k or $45k

Yeah, I think it's worth it. Anything you can do to make life easier during 1L.

Yea and I believe anything under $60k in the hole for the whole 3 years is a solid bargain. The extra $15k will suck but that may be a risk I have to take.

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hichvichwoh
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Re: Commuting an hour and 45 min to law school?

Postby hichvichwoh » Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:21 pm

Danger Zone wrote:
ALeal90 wrote:If 1L is the largest determinant of class rank would it make more sense to spend $20k living on campus for the first year and then commuting 2L and 3L? By then my debt for the total 3 years would probably be close to $40k or $45k

Yeah, I think it's worth it. Anything you can do to make life easier during 1L.


I lived at home and between the free food/laundry service/etc. my 1L year was a looooooot easier

LSATPREPPER
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Re: Commuting an hour and 45 min to law school?

Postby LSATPREPPER » Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:34 pm

ALeal90 wrote:
LSATPREPPER wrote:I commuted roughly an hour and 20 minutes my 1L year (and doing it for my 2L year also).

Did very well, on law review, and have a biglaw offer.

I thought it was harder socially than academically. I went out, but I ended up home VERY late.

Don't plan to be able to do work on the train.


Why do you say not to expect to get any work done on the train? Did you stay at school late and just got everything done before you got on the train?

I always stayed at school until my work was finished. A person may very well be able to get work done on the train, I just think in making the decison a person should assume they will not be able to.

Trains are loud, babies cry, drunk people carry on, the train instantly makes you tired, and often the train shakes.

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haus
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Re: Commuting an hour and 45 min to law school?

Postby haus » Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:37 pm

ALeal90 wrote:
LSATPREPPER wrote:I commuted roughly an hour and 20 minutes my 1L year (and doing it for my 2L year also).

Did very well, on law review, and have a biglaw offer.

I thought it was harder socially than academically. I went out, but I ended up home VERY late.

Don't plan to be able to do work on the train.


Why do you say not to expect to get any work done on the train? Did you stay at school late and just got everything done before you got on the train?

While I was working on a Masters degree, I would commute from Northern VA to Mass. for classes. I have experimented with studying in planes, trains, subways, busses and while waiting to get on any of the above. Progress can be made, but it helps to simplify, make sure what you plan on spending your time on is not spread out over many different books, computers, file folders, instead have your work broken down into manageable segments. Try to anticipate times where distractions will be most likely and avoid trying your most complicated/difficult work for this time.

When available, I found audio resources to be very helpful, especially at the end of a day where the fatigue factor was higher.

Gorki
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Re: Commuting an hour and 45 min to law school?

Postby Gorki » Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:48 pm

Comes down to comfort and workability. I commute 45-55 minutes each day to school and I prefer it. The area around my school has a lot of overpriced shitholes loaded with local UGs though so I would have a hard time studying if I rented.

I drove a car, never listened to barbri or any of that, just talk radio or music. Honestly sometimes it was the most chill part of the day where I could just think (on the way to school) or unwind (on the way home).

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brotherdarkness
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Re: Commuting an hour and 45 min to law school?

Postby brotherdarkness » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:26 pm

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Last edited by brotherdarkness on Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:43 am, edited 1 time in total.




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