What's it like to move far away for law school?

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.

Is it hard to adjust to a far-flung law school if you've never made a move like that?

Yes. It's tough. Be prepared for what's to come.
4
11%
Sort of. It's a little jarring at first, but after awhile you'll get used to it.
13
35%
No. It's a much smaller issue than you would think.
15
41%
No. Moving away is the best part! Are you kidding me?
5
14%
 
Total votes: 37

born4law
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What's it like to move far away for law school?

Postby born4law » Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:07 pm

I've spent my whole life in California. All my friends and family are here. Now I'm moving across the country for law school because that's the best school with $$ that I got accepted to.

My question is: Is it hard to adjust socially, emotionally, and otherwise to an out-of-state law school? I feel like in addition to the pressures of 1L, moving away to another part of the country adds another dimension of stress that I'm curious to see how others have responded to.
Last edited by born4law on Mon May 06, 2013 6:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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cinephile
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Re: What's it like to move far away for law school?

Postby cinephile » Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:15 pm

It's no different than moving for any other reason. The downside is that if you don't already have a community in your city, your only friends will be law students. But if you can live with that prospect, it's not horrible.

And anyway, among the people I know who went to the same school for undergrad and law school, so many of them lost touch with their undergrad friends because life changes and people in law school just understand your schedule/lifestyle better than old friends.

Moving/apartment hunting sucks, but it's not a big enough issue to pick a local school over a better school.

Go to the better school. You'll adjust.

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Clearly
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Re: What's it like to move far away for law school?

Postby Clearly » Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:28 pm

I'm a 0L so I'm speculating, but I actually like moving, I've done it before. I'd think it'd help with keeping you focused on what you're doing. If you stay home and go to school its your life+law school; If you go away, law school is your life.

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magp90
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Re: What's it like to move far away for law school?

Postby magp90 » Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:01 pm

This doesn't answer your question, but are you planning on moving back to California to work?

I moved from California to Pennsylvania, and I didn't personally feel like it affected me that much. If anything, I felt that being at home was distracting, because I could just tell my family to shove off (lovingly, of course) when I needed to study. There just seem to be more obligations at home, and getting away was kind of liberating as well as probably seriously beneficial to my studies.
Last edited by magp90 on Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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rinkrat19
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Re: What's it like to move far away for law school?

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:11 pm

I lived in Oregon my whole life until moving to Chicago for law school. I miss Oregon a lot, but I'm not homesick for the people so much as for my car and Mt. Hood. The people back home, I can keep in touch with. :P I know quite a few people who moved here from the West Coast and everyone seems to have done fine. Some people are even open to staying here after law school. Everyone has their own annoyances (the weather or living in a city for the first time or not being able to go snowboarding or missing their family) but I don't know of anyone who regrets moving. Most people have even found things they like better about Chicago (I dig the museums and restaurants, personally) than home.

I paid to have my stuff moved. I know people who came here with two suitcases and had to furnish an apartment. There doesn't seem to be a "right" way to do it that works for everyone. Renting an apartment sight-unseen was a little stressful, but I knew I was moving into a building well-populated with law and med students so it couldn't be that bad. I moved with plenty of time (almost a month) to explore Chicago before school started, so I was all settled in and unpacked. I would not recommend trying to move right before classes start.

You're a grownup; there shouldn't be that much of a "learning curve." You might walk to the grocery store instead of driving, but making that change shouldn't come into your decision between law schools, and it's certainly not a big enough deal to pick a lower-ranked school.

born4law
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Re: What's it like to move far away for law school?

Postby born4law » Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:02 pm

magp90 wrote:This doesn't answer your question, but are you planning on moving back to California to work?

Yes, absolutely. If I were to ever get a tattoo, it would be the Bear Flag of my great state.

magp90 wrote:If anything, I felt that being at home was distracting, because I could just tell my family to shove off (lovingly, of course) when I needed to study. There just seem to be more obligations at home, and getting away was kind of liberating as well as probably seriously beneficial to my studies.

I totally feel you on this. It's good to move away someplace to become a fulltime student without the pressures of friends and family. As they say, law school is a time to be selfish with your time. Moving away just makes that easier.

And thanks for your words rinkrat, definitely reassuring.

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magp90
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Re: What's it like to move far away for law school?

Postby magp90 » Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:59 pm

born4law wrote:
magp90 wrote:This doesn't answer your question, but are you planning on moving back to California to work?

Yes, absolutely. If I were to ever get a tattoo, it would be the Bear Flag of my great state.

magp90 wrote:If anything, I felt that being at home was distracting, because I could just tell my family to shove off (lovingly, of course) when I needed to study. There just seem to be more obligations at home, and getting away was kind of liberating as well as probably seriously beneficial to my studies.

I totally feel you on this. It's good to move away someplace to become a fulltime student without the pressures of friends and family. As they say, law school is a time to be selfish with your time. Moving away just makes that easier.

And thanks for your words rinkrat, definitely reassuring.


Yeah, I don't know. Some people work best with a solid support network, so it varies... but if you have a great option waiting for you elsewhere and you think you may be more easily distracted near home, I think you'd be making a good choice to leave... so long as you're attending a school with a fairly portable degree that could take you back to the great state of CA!

shock259
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Re: What's it like to move far away for law school?

Postby shock259 » Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:05 pm

It really depends on your personality type. If you are the outgoing, rambunctious type, you won't miss a step. If you are slower to make friends, expect some lonely nights. As was mentioned, your primary contacts initially will be law schoolers. But definitely try to branch out and meet other people to set down roots.

My experiences was pretty jarring, but I'm happy with the decision. It just took a lot longer to get integrated than I thought it would.

dudders
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Re: What's it like to move far away for law school?

Postby dudders » Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:18 pm

Once you get used to the fact that there's no In-n-Out and the Mexican food elsewhere probably sucks, you'll be fine.

And you may not be able to wear Rainbows every day.

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John_rizzy_rawls
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Re: What's it like to move far away for law school?

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:25 pm

Tag.

No advice to give but I'll probably be in almost the exact same situation (CA born and raised, heavily entrenched in So and Nor Cal).

Best of luck.

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06102016
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Re: What's it like to move far away for law school?

Postby 06102016 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 1:40 am

..

062914123
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Re: What's it like to move far away for law school?

Postby 062914123 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 1:47 am

.
Last edited by 062914123 on Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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magp90
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Re: What's it like to move far away for law school?

Postby magp90 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:10 am

bee wrote:
dudders wrote:Once you get used to the fact that there's no In-n-Out and the Mexican food elsewhere probably sucks, you'll be fine.

And you may not be able to wear Rainbows every day.

i was born and raised in l.a. and have lived abroad/outside of california a lot the last few years. without a doubt, the single thing i missed the most was in n out. i also missed good mexican a LOT except when i was in texas.


also you realize how good we have it weather-wise in california. like, i always thought people were exaggerating about how nice the weather it is here, etc. but holy SHIT the weather SUCKS everywhere else. the first time i ever had to deal with humidity, i wanted to kill myself.

@op, the most important thing is attitude. the first time i moved away, it was hard for me to break out of my isolation and go out, make friends, etc. even though i'm naturally pretty outgoing and i was in an environment that was really conducive to socialization (like law school). as dopey as this sounds, you have to go into it with the mindset that your life is going to get better, not worse, and that you won't be losing connections, you'll just be gaining great new ones. force yourself to make new friends, even if all you want to do is skype with people back home. if you don't make substantial connections pretty early on, it gets really hard to be away from your support network (at least it was for me). good luck :)


OH MAN, I wasn't even a California person when I was there, but I miss the In-n-Out and summers SO MUCH. Soak it up, OP, but don't be hesitant to do what you have to do if you think it's better for you in the long run. And maybe get that tattoo! :)

born4law
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Re: What's it like to move far away for law school?

Postby born4law » Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:24 pm

Wow, this is a great thread! Thanks everyone. Such a different vibe here versus the snootiness sometimes found elsewhere on TLS.

I've already had In N Out twice since I decided to leave not too long ago, and will be having it even more in the coming weeks!

I was just in Ann Arbor, MI doing the due diligence for U of M and man... it was sub-freezing there, in April! On one night headed back home, I even heard a local on the street shout to his buddies, "I mean, honestly, why do we live here man? It's f**king April and I'm still so f**king cold!!"

It's true... nothing beats the weather of CA. You just need to be OK with the risk of a massive earthquake every now and then ;)

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JaviSTB
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Re: What's it like to move far away for law school?

Postby JaviSTB » Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:39 pm

born4law wrote:Wow, this is a great thread! Thanks everyone. Such a different vibe here versus the snootiness sometimes found elsewhere on TLS.

I've already had In N Out twice since I decided to leave not too long ago, and will be having it even more in the coming weeks!

I was just in Ann Arbor, MI doing the due diligence for U of M and man... it was sub-freezing there, in April! On one night headed back home, I even heard a local on the street shout to his buddies, "I mean, honestly, why do we live here man? It's f**king April and I'm still so f**king cold!!"

It's true... nothing beats the weather of CA. You just need to be OK with the risk of a massive earthquake every now and then ;)


My friend left CA for UofM for undergrad. She said the transition was different at the beginning, but everyone in Ann Arbor is welcoming and nice so it's a steady transition. I doubt the transition would be much different. You're starting with 1Ls all new in the same boat. Quick to latch on to people especially when you're all going through the same tough times.

born4law
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Re: What's it like to move far away for law school?

Postby born4law » Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:18 pm

JaviSTB12 wrote:My friend left CA for UofM for undergrad. She said the transition was different at the beginning, but everyone in Ann Arbor is welcoming and nice so it's a steady transition. I doubt the transition would be much different. You're starting with 1Ls all new in the same boat. Quick to latch on to people especially when you're all going through the same tough times.


To be clear, outside of the weather issue, I found Ann Arbor to be an awesome place. It's one of the most developed small towns I've been to. Coming from LA, I actually didn't feel that far away. The town is just so damn livable! So many restaurants, cafes, bars, things to do! And to me, walkability = livability, and A2 has that in spades. Honestly, I was very impressed with the place.

I also visited Durham, NC to check out Duke and it just wasn't the same. I felt more isolated there than A2. The advantage is the weather, but somehow it wasn't as lively and inviting to me.

And you're absolutely right: 1L at any T14 is full of people that have moved across the country and are going through the same adjustments. That alone makes for good bonding.

WanderingPondering
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Re: What's it like to move far away for law school?

Postby WanderingPondering » Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:28 am

Don't be a wimp. Its not like you're moving to India or China. Things will be the same.

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stillwater
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Re: What's it like to move far away for law school?

Postby stillwater » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:13 pm

WanderingPondering wrote:Don't be a wimp. Its not like you're moving to India or China. Things will be the same.


This. It's not really a big deal.




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