How many hours does a typical law student study a day?

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patentlaw
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Postby patentlaw » Tue Jul 17, 2007 4:06 pm

Or to put it more accurately, they have said that taking a summer off is not even remotely fatal to getting a job, particularly if you are already at the top of the class with a journal.


Just out of curiousity since you're transferring are you putting down "Offered UI Law Review" or whatever?

lordarka
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Postby lordarka » Tue Jul 17, 2007 4:11 pm

Again, I appreciate that firms may question my work ethic, but I would also indicate again that if that's the sort of attitude that exists at a given firm, it is very telling to me... I would not want to work at a place like that.

My grades, law review, and all that should be indicative of my willingness to work hard. If some firms don't think so, I'll shop around. Besides, why give 3-5 weeks of vacation to new associates, but make a big fuss over why a person (and lawyers in training are people, after all) would want to take a summer off for personal reasons? Of course, you did mention that firms are not above being stupid...

I've heard from some people that not taking work in the 1L summer is a problem, but the overwhelming majority of people have told me otherwise. We'll see how things go in the long term, but I am hoping that my grades, personality, and background will overcome any presumption of laziness that might arise from not having devoted every waking hour to the law.

lordarka
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Postby lordarka » Tue Jul 17, 2007 4:14 pm

Patentlaw:

Honestly, I don't know. I only heard from Duke and LA last week, and I spoke with their career services about resumé review and on-campus early bird interviewing and such. I have a shot at writing onto law reviews at both of those schools, so it may not matter. Either way, I will probably find a way to cram it into my resumé somewhere, depending on what the people at either school tell me.

Also, I am interested in practicing IP law in California; I'm coming into it with 7 years of experience in academic and industrial biotech, and a BS from UCSD in San Diego. I don't want to be pigeonholed into patents, but it seems like a good place to start building a general IP practice. As you are a practicing attorney, and presumably practicing in the area of patents, do you have any advice?
Last edited by lordarka on Tue Jul 17, 2007 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

patentlaw
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Postby patentlaw » Tue Jul 17, 2007 4:17 pm

I'd think that the write-ons would be too late for you to include it on your resume, at least it would have been at my school. I've heard of people writing Offered - Law Review X, not quite sure how I feel about it.

randomposter
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Postby randomposter » Tue Jul 17, 2007 4:24 pm

Well either way, best of luck to you, and I personally wasn't questioning your work ethic :) I just wanted to make the point that it's in the average law student's best interest to pursue legal work his or her first summer. But with your background, I honestly think many firms will be jumping hoops for you anyways.

I think your statement about not accepting a firm who won't accept you is also dead on.

spaghettyhair
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problem

Postby spaghettyhair » Wed May 20, 2009 11:55 pm

im n exchange student that used to the civil law system
now im in oz that used common law ones
its so hard to follow
i stressed throughout the semester and already left behind. after class i dont spend mch time studying n too focus on many unimportant details
exam 3 weeks away and essay 2 weeks away
any suggestion?

Snooker
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Re:

Postby Snooker » Thu May 21, 2009 9:33 pm

patentlaw wrote:I agree with randomposter. I'm sorry, but lordarka that sounds miserable. The whole "you shouldn't have a life first year" I think is kind of ridiculous. Your relationships that you develop in law school will be incredibly important to your career, but more than that you need to have a life outside of school.

I will say that as with randomposter the school I was at allowed me to worry less about grades, but everyone still took school seriously. There's a big difference between taking school seriously and making it your life.


I personally plan on engaging in plenty of physically healthy hobbies in law school - mountain biking, martial arts, weight lifting, etc., are all fun and good for you. I think a person who exercises and studies will learn more than his pasty couch potato counterpart.

HalfManHalfAmazing
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Re: How many hours does a typical law student study a day?

Postby HalfManHalfAmazing » Fri May 22, 2009 6:43 pm

lorddaca either seems like a flame or a fail at life.

Im not sure how one could spent 10 hours studying each day.

You just do your work and that's that. Sometimes you will be ahead in class, and if you don't have property for three days it doesnt make sense to read ahead when its unlikely you will be able to recall what you read anyhow.

Some nights I spent 6-8 studying, some nights it was three, some nights it was none.

Having JUST finished finals, I can tell that briefing is WORTHLESS. It helped me ZERO on the finals. In not ONE class did I say "Oh, I briefed this - I know this".

Taking practice exams is by FAR the most helpful thing you can do.

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waytofailself
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Re: How many hours does a typical law student study a day?

Postby waytofailself » Fri May 22, 2009 7:03 pm

It changed throughout the year for me.

In the beginning when I was fully reading and briefing all of my cases: probably an hour per class.

In the middle once I realized I didn't need to brief but fully read my cases: about 45 minutes per class.

Second semester once I realized that didn't even need to fully read the cases anymore (because I was good at identifying what was important from my previous semester of practice): about 30 minutes per class (Even in con law by the end!)

When there was a memo/brief/etc due and around exam time? More. Substantially more. But that's to be expected. I enjoyed my free time while I had it and then had maybe about a month's worth of time total where I really had to push myself.

aetennis17
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Re: How many hours does a typical law student study a day?

Postby aetennis17 » Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:45 pm

i heard upwards of 12 hours/day...true?

CCA
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Re: How many hours does a typical law student study a day?

Postby CCA » Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:11 pm

aetennis17 wrote:i heard upwards of 12 hours/day...true?


not true unless it's the week of exams, and that would still be the upper limit (at least for me)

caoyun
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Re: How many hours does a typical law student study a day?

Postby caoyun » Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:40 pm

smr00 wrote:How many hours a day do you all typically study as first year law students? I'm trying to anticipate how much i will have to put in per day and on the weekends...I will most likely be visiting my fiance on the weekends in another city and want to have an idea of how i will manage my time....


I'm in the same situation (with a fiance in another city, or state in my case). I do maybe two hours of studying a day. More if I have an excessive amount of reading assigned. But you really can't base it on what other people do or even what the average person does. What matters is what is necessary for you to get what you need.

Snooker
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Re: How many hours does a typical law student study a day?

Postby Snooker » Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:46 pm

law school has no feedback, so people vary tremendously on what they do.

ghasafrost
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Re: How many hours does a typical law student study a day?

Postby ghasafrost » Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:53 pm

3 hours/day, including weekends.

afterglow99
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Re: How many hours does a typical law student study a day?

Postby afterglow99 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:28 pm

12 hours a day even during exams sounds like a bad idea, I don't see how anyone could actually absorb that much substantive work in a day. I treated the first semester more like a marathon than a sprint, as I go to a lower T2 and knew top 10% was absolutely critical. This is what helped me pull a 3.7 on a B curve:

1. Read EVERY case and take notes on them - You'd be surprised how many of your colleagues slack and largely ignore the casebook and follow supplements instead. I didn't formally brief every case, but i jotted down enough of the facts and legal reasoning that I could recall how the legal rules applied to the particular fact set of a case. Knowing the black letter cold is certainly necessary, but your application of that law on an exam will be MUCH easier if you can analogize/distinguish your hypo from the facts of the cases you read. This will put you in a FAR better position than your classmates who know nothing about the cases, especially if you have an open book exam. It is critical that you distinguish your exam from your classmates' and I think this is one of the best ways to do it.

2. Work consistently rather than in bouts and spurts - I put in about 4 hours a night of meticulously reading my casebooks, day in and day out. Sometimes it would take me an over an hour to really understand a 10 page case, but after that I knew it pretty solidly. Class time basically served as a second run to solidly the cases/laws/reasoning in my head. Weekends I did about 5 hours of reading every saturday and sunday, and went out both nights. This made for about 45 hours of work every week and helped me avoid the 12 hour a day marathons right before finals.

3. Do most of your work alone, use study groups sparingly, avoid the law school rumor mill, make your own outlines - You will hear all semester about some AMAZING outline that is floating around. However good it is, don't be tempted to completely rely on it. Again, the name of the game is distinguishing yourself from your peers - you can't do this if you all use the same outline. Same applies for using big study groups too often.

4. Have a life! - Even during the 3 weeks before and during finals, I managed to go out one night a week. This was really key for me in terms of keeping my sanity and blowing off steam. I think it definitely helped me absorb the reading I did when I went back to the books. Whatever you love to do with your free time, make sure you find time to do it - It will make the hours in the library far more doable.

5. Get rid of as many other commitments in your life as possible - 45 hours a week of reading and class is pretty reasonable if you don't have an hour commute, part time job, annoying girlfriend, family obligations, etc. I came to law school right out of undergrad and was considering waiting a year or two, but realized that the older I got the more likely it was I would have more going on in my life that would inhibit my studies. Obviously, this isn't possible for many people, but if you're going to go to law school it should be your absolute number 1 commitment. Being able to boil down your whole existence to law school work and having fun will help you avoid feeling burnt out, even during finals.

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nealric
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Re: How many hours does a typical law student study a day?

Postby nealric » Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:19 pm

Actual honest studying?

1-2 hours a day at the beginning of the semester. 2-3 mid semester, 6-7 finals. Was slightly higher 1L year.

sophie316
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Re: How many hours does a typical law student study a day?

Postby sophie316 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:59 pm

nealric wrote:Actual honest studying?

1-2 hours a day at the beginning of the semester. 2-3 mid semester, 6-7 finals. Was slightly higher 1L year.


This. Except I'm a 1L and it's not higher. During finals I never worked past 9pm or started earlier than noon, and taking into account lunch breaks/time wasting I probably would do about 6 hours a day during reading week/exam period. During the semester I probably average 2 hours a day with a bump for writing assignments. There's really no need for law school to take over your life.

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sf87
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Re: How many hours does a typical law student study a day?

Postby sf87 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:10 pm

Basically all of my free time goes into studying- with the exception of one night a week that I take off...which ends once it gets close to finals.

heyguys
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Re: How many hours does a typical law student study a day?

Postby heyguys » Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:09 am

sophie316 wrote:
nealric wrote:Actual honest studying?

1-2 hours a day at the beginning of the semester. 2-3 mid semester, 6-7 finals. Was slightly higher 1L year.


This. Except I'm a 1L and it's not higher. During finals I never worked past 9pm or started earlier than noon, and taking into account lunch breaks/time wasting I probably would do about 6 hours a day during reading week/exam period. During the semester I probably average 2 hours a day with a bump for writing assignments. There's really no need for law school to take over your life.


+1

Snooker
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Re: How many hours does a typical law student study a day?

Postby Snooker » Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:31 pm

I have been hearing from more foreign students who didn't understand a thing of what they read for the first three months of the course, figured out the rules in the last month, then went on to place in the top third. It makes me wonder whether most of the work one does at all in law school really affects test performance.

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Cavalier
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Re: How many hours does a typical law student study a day?

Postby Cavalier » Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:55 pm

It varies. I see some people in the library all the time, even in the beginning of the semester, while other people don't do a whole lot of work until finals. Personally I didn't study nearly as often as many people I knew, yet I still did well in my first semester. How many hours a day you study isn't nearly as important as what you spend your time doing. For instance, many people brief cases, which is a complete waste of time.

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apper123
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Re: How many hours does a typical law student study a day?

Postby apper123 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 5:25 pm

I've recently started keeping a journal of the work I get done out of my own curiosity. I found that a lot of the time I spend in the library "studying" I'm not actually studying. I'm socializing, on facebook, on TLS and other forums, etc. If I just worked efficiently, I could save so much time. I didn't realize how inefficient I was until I actually paid attention and saw what I got done.

heyguys
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Re: How many hours does a typical law student study a day?

Postby heyguys » Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:52 pm

apper123 wrote:I've recently started keeping a journal of the work I get done out of my own curiosity. I found that a lot of the time I spend in the library "studying" I'm not actually studying. I'm socializing, on facebook, on TLS and other forums, etc. If I just worked efficiently, I could save so much time. I didn't realize how inefficient I was until I actually paid attention and saw what I got done.


Posts like this make me feel like you're the Neo of gunning :lol:

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apper123
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Re: How many hours does a typical law student study a day?

Postby apper123 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 9:35 pm

heyguys wrote:
apper123 wrote:I've recently started keeping a journal of the work I get done out of my own curiosity. I found that a lot of the time I spend in the library "studying" I'm not actually studying. I'm socializing, on facebook, on TLS and other forums, etc. If I just worked efficiently, I could save so much time. I didn't realize how inefficient I was until I actually paid attention and saw what I got done.


Posts like this make me feel like you're the Neo of gunning :lol:


No I'm the Neo of going to the library for 5 hours and accomplishing nothing but gchat and facebook. I have serious attention problems, so I have to do stuff like that to keep myself on task. Studying for me when there are distractions around, even of the SLIGHTEST bit, is really hard.

eth3n
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Re: How many hours does a typical law student study a day?

Postby eth3n » Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:58 pm

apper123 wrote:
heyguys wrote:
apper123 wrote:I've recently started keeping a journal of the work I get done out of my own curiosity. I found that a lot of the time I spend in the library "studying" I'm not actually studying. I'm socializing, on facebook, on TLS and other forums, etc. If I just worked efficiently, I could save so much time. I didn't realize how inefficient I was until I actually paid attention and saw what I got done.


Posts like this make me feel like you're the Neo of gunning :lol:


No I'm the Neo of going to the library for 5 hours and accomplishing nothing but gchat and facebook. I have serious attention problems, so I have to do stuff like that to keep myself on task. Studying for me when there are distractions around, even of the SLIGHTEST bit, is really hard.


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