Tangerine Gleam wrote:
Amazing turnaround! Thanks for taking our questions. What year are you?
I'll start with some very general stuff; these questions have been asked many times on the boards, but each unique response is helpful.
- How cold are you right now?
- How competitive is the academic atmosphere? How difficult is the curriculum?
- How much time do you spend studying? Do you have time for weekend relaxation? A social life?
- What's your biggest complaint (or complaints?) about your Michigan experience so far?
2. It's cold, but really not that bad (highs in the 20s and 30s pretty much this entire winter, with a few exceptions in both directions... more in the 40s than the teens though). My 1L winter was kinda medium, my 2L winter was harsh, and this winter is mild. DC (where I lived before law school and where I'm returning in the fall) has gotten WAY more snow than Ann Arbor this year. I'm pissed about this bc I love snow (I'm from the south, so it's still a novelty).
3. It's hard to answer about the competitive atmosphere. I would say that it's not very competitive at all in an adversarial sense, but it's very competitive (at least 1L year) in the sense that everyone wants to do well. So people push themselves and they care about how they do. But people also cooperate: sharing notes, forming study groups, passing along outlines from older students, etc. After 1L, there are definitely people who don't care about grades anymore. And there are others who keep pushing themselves. But even the people who are at the top of the class tend to be friends with one another bc of being in a lot of the same classes and extracurricular activities.
Re: how hard the curriculum is, it's all what you make of it. If you want to coast, you can pick classes that let you do that. If you want to be challenged, there are DEFINITELY classes that will do that. There are very few requirements after 1L (Transnational Law, something to satisfy the ethics requirement, and a class that you have to write a 20+ page paper for... that's it).
4. Studying varies a lot. Early in the semester, if I plan my week out right, I can take the whole weekend off. In the last month or 6 weeks of the semester, I may work on Sunday but take Saturdays off. And then at the end, I work probably 7 days a week. That said, I do not work late into the evening (during the semester done by like 6 and later in the semester done by
, and I take a real lunch break (and other shorter breaks) every day.
People have VERY active social lives. I spend a lot more time with my husband and dogs than out at bars. But the more typical social scene is definitely very prominent, and if you want it you can find it easily (even if you're someone like me who doesn't do it much).
5. I don't really have any complaints? Sorry. I know there are people who do have complaints about things. But my experience has been very positive. Law school really is what you make of it. What you get involved in, the relationships you make for yourself with faculty and other students, etc. I have truly loved law school!