Advice for part-time, evening students?

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Advice for part-time, evening students?

Postby jeffcooon » Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:28 am

Hi all,

I'm currently a part-time, evening student. My weekday schedule goes:

6:30 AM - WAKE UP
8 AM - 5 PM work
--COMMUTE TO SCHOOL/re-read briefs and prepare for class
6 PM - 8 PM class
--1 hour COMMUTE HOME/Break/EAT/Shower/Take care of home stuff
10:30 PM - sit down for study.

After a long day, I just have hard time sitting down at 10:30 PM and squeeze in those good 1 1/2 to 2 hours of studying. My concentration level is rock-bottom and my ambitious will-power is also abysmal. I usually end up watching golf videos or reading nytimes/wikipedia surfing. I think being at home is a trigger that allows myself to distract myself, but there's no cafe or lib nearby that opens till late.

Of course, my weekend is besides eating, working out, or church, it's all dedicated to reading cases/thinking.

Any word of advice to get myself disciplined for late night studying?

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Re: Advice for part-time, evening students?

Postby Fed_Atty » Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:54 am

I was an evening student that worked part-time. It is a grind, no way around it. For me, the key was to maximize efficiency. I had great success listening to the sum and substance audio CDs for the classes (my commute was via car - so reading and writing was out - may be different if you commute via mass transit). I would listen to them over and over. Each one is about 6 hours, so you will move through them relatively quickly with an hour commute each way. In the end, you can't help but memorize big chunks. The caution is that each professor teaches subjects differently, particularly those based largely on case law (Con Law, Property, Torts, Crim Law) etc. However, for subjects like Civ Pro, Evidence, Bankruptcy, Secured Transactions etc., that are largely based on statutes and regulations the differences between professors are smaller, in my opinion.

Additionally, if things were slower at work, I would try to get some studying or legal writing in. Good luck - the one thing that you can't control is that some of your classmates will have more time than you. Some are working part time or not at all but for whatever reason are attending part time.

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Re: Advice for part-time, evening students?

Postby realdocuments » Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:46 pm


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Re: Advice for part-time, evening students?

Postby haus » Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:34 am

I do not have much in the line of advice, but I wanted to offer my sympathy.

I am a part-time student, with a somewhat unpredictable job (InfoSec, incident response), a long commute (round trip which averages ~3 hrs/day), and a family.

This is my third year, and I too have become a fan of audio supplements where I can find them, as they are a good way to make use of the commute time, especially when ramping up towards exams.

It can be tough when squeezed for time, but try to keep in mind it is a long run, pace yourself, and good luck.

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Re: Advice for part-time, evening students?

Postby chicharon » Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:09 am

Take a ten-minute nap when you get home. If you wake up after ten minutes, great--get to work. If not, then you'll know that your brain was too tired to study and you will at least have eight (or so) hours of sleep under your belt.

One great piece of advice I got at the beginning of PT 1L was to finish all readings for the week, on the weekends. Not only do you get all the reading done, but you will also hopefully get better, faster at figuring out what's important.

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Re: Advice for part-time, evening students?

Postby 9xSound » Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:51 pm

I was a part-time evening student with a full-time career position. It was a grind, but I got through it and passed the bar. You can, too. Like you, I had a one-hour commute each way. I listened to Fleming or I listened to myself reading the rules on homemade CDs. For four years, I had no life except work and school. By the time I got home at night, I was too mentally exhausted to read. I did most of my reading on the weekend and at lunch - whenever I could fit it in. That said, I read every single case during 1L, but it was a total waste of time, as I figured out later. You don't need to read the cases word for word. Just buy the professional briefs that are keyed to your casebooks. You need to study smart. The briefs will get you straight to the point of the case with about 1/4 of the reading. The rest of your study time in law school (the vast majority of it) should be focused on preparing for exams, not reading cases: (1) develop your outlines and understand them; (2) memorize the rules, element by element; (3) review model answers from prior exams, if they're available; and (4) write as many practice exams as you possibly can, analyzing each element and concluding on it one at a time. Get feedback on your papers from your profs or somebody who knows what they're doing. The name of the game is to pass your final exam. Use your limited time wisely.

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Re: Advice for part-time, evening students?

Postby jeffcooon » Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:39 pm

Thanks guys for the input.

I definitely agree with the part about not having to read all the cases.

While outlining for my classes, I just realized that there are some classes in which I didn't have to read the case and was still able to understand rules/concepts fully from class notes/commercial briefs. I definitely feel guilty when I'm not doing enough as the other students from my section.

Time and time again, I must also tell myself that it's about learning facts + applying legal rules.

It's a grind. I think of it as a trade-off.

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