Married while in school?

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magp90
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Married while in school?

Postby magp90 » Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:02 am

What is the general quality of life/marriage when you're in a full-time law school program? I know it's probably easier than when you're actually working in a firm, but I'm just curious.

(On top of it, my boyfriend is in med school in the same area, so I'm kind of bracing myself for the fact that we might not see each other for a few years...)
Last edited by magp90 on Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Starscream15
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Re: Married while in school?

Postby Starscream15 » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:23 pm

Before I started law school I had the same concerns. However at my law school orientation a judge spoke to us at dinner. She told us she was married and pregnant in law school and had a child her 1L year. Her advice was this - If you are in a relationship that matters, make the time to see each other. Law school is hard and stressful. You have lots of demands on your time. However it is no different once you get a job after law school. You must learn to manage your time and take breaks to keep your relationship strong.

During law school I set aside time to see my significant other. I would plan weekends of no studying so we could see each other. We are now happily married. I am 2 yrs out and I passed the Cal Bar on the first try and I am employed. My grades were decent but not stellar but I was pretty happy through my law school experience.

If your fiance is a med student you will have to work doubly hard to find the time to spend together. But quite honestly, if you can't do it now, then how will you do it when you both are working?

I think it is important to put your life into perspective. As a 1L it is hard to do that. Yet you must decide if your life is solely about school and rankings, or about a balanced and happy life with someone you love.

I saw this first hand my 1L year when my classmates wife went into labor the week of finals. He skipped an exam to see his son be born. He was able to make the exam up but I am sure he lost time that could have been used studying to be with his wife and newborn. He passed the exam but his grade probably could have been higher. But I am positive he did not regret his decision one bit.

Law school is part of your life. Don't put the rest on hold for it.

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magp90
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Re: Married while in school?

Postby magp90 » Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:51 pm

Thanks for the response! The both of us have discussed our priorities, so hopefully they don't get lost along the way. We're both academically ambitious, but I can see that it's definitely possible to have both with some sacrifice.

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Dayan114
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Re: Married while in school?

Postby Dayan114 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:14 am

My wife and I celebrated our first anniversary during Fall of 1L, about six weeks before finals. It was fine! We had time to go out to dinner and everything. Because (here's the secret), contrary to what everyone here seems to think Law School isn't some new kind of terrible boot camp hell. It's another year of school. You've had those before, and you know that with a little time management you can make a relationship work. Law School is just more of the same.

I did make the effort to treat it like a job and do most of my work from 9-7, so that when I was home I was actually available. That definitely paid dividends, and I would recommend it as a possible time-management strategy to maximize your time w/ your spouse. Then again, if your spouse is also keeping odd hours you'll just have to experiment and see what works. Good luck, and congratulations!

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patrickd139
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Re: Married while in school?

Postby patrickd139 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:09 pm

Dayan114 wrote:My wife and I celebrated our first anniversary during Fall of 1L, about six weeks before finals. It was fine! We had time to go out to dinner and everything. Because (here's the secret), contrary to what everyone here seems to think Law School isn't some new kind of terrible boot camp hell. It's another year of school. You've had those before, and you know that with a little time management you can make a relationship work. Law School is just more of the same.

I did make the effort to treat it like a job and do most of my work from 9-7, so that when I was home I was actually available. That definitely paid dividends, and I would recommend it as a possible time-management strategy to maximize your time w/ your spouse. Then again, if your spouse is also keeping odd hours you'll just have to experiment and see what works. Good luck, and congratulations!

Though I'm not married, I'd posit most relationships that fail in law school were going to fail anyway. At least that's what I gleaned from watching those marriages that imploded during my time in law school.

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Pathika
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Re: Married while in school?

Postby Pathika » Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:35 pm

I'm married (with kids) and had a career before coming to law school. I actually have more time now with my wife and kids than I did when I was working full-time. If you can treat law school like a job (e.g. I am at school from 8AM until 5PM every day, and that is all the time I spend on school work, which is more than enough), your time commitment to law school shouldn't be an issue. Also, I've found that having someone to come home to and talk with about non-legal issues has been a huge help... a lot of my classmates are always together and can't get out of the law school "suck" and get stressed because of it.

The other married classmates I've spoken with feel the same way; that being married is an advantage. The only negative consequences I can think of are trivial... e.g. I had to forego going out with my classmates after our last day of a class because my kids were being horrible and my wife needed a break, and I didn't feel right going out to a bar and enjoying myself when my wife was at home, stressed, and needing a break. But, that really is a trivial issue to have.

Gorki
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Re: Married while in school?

Postby Gorki » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:10 pm

I married the summer before 1L. I think it actually helps to have someone outside the bubble of depression and anxiety of your 1L section. It is also nice to have someone rooting for you, as opposed to a passive-aggressive "good luck" from classmates you are curved against (I know this depends on your school's culture). TBH it is also a test of your marriage's strength... If your spouse cannot stand the time you commit to law during 1L, you need to seek marriage counseling or work out the kinks before you enter the almost non-existent work/life balance that happens at least the first 1-5 years post-grad.




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