Adjusting to the law school "lifestyle"

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oldschool123
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Adjusting to the law school "lifestyle"

Postby oldschool123 » Fri May 24, 2013 3:56 pm

I'm not sure how to phrase this but I was just wondering if any current students have come across this issue and how well they were able to adjust to it and handle it....

One of the reasons why I was able to excel in undergrad/grad school was because the work load always allowed me to pretty much function on my own schedule. My productivity level kind of comes in peaks and valleys and during the times where it's in a valley, I find it super hard to get stuff done. Sometimes I can push through it, sometimes I can't. Even in grad school I was able to simply skip class and stay home and "recharge" on days where it was extra bad, but I know law school obviously won't offer me this luxury as classes can't just be skipped and there will be constant work to do. I'm the kind of person who, given three weeks to do three different fairly large assignments, will cram them all into the last few days of super productivity and do just as well on the assignments as someone who gradually worked on them over the course of the three weeks. But again, I know this style will not fly in law school.

So I did a pretty shitty job of describing this and for all of you who this is irrelevant to, feel free to completely ignore it...but for any of you out there who can relate, how did you cope with this in law school and did you find it hard to overcome?

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Br3v
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Re: Adjusting to the law school "lifestyle"

Postby Br3v » Fri May 24, 2013 3:59 pm

oldschool123 wrote:I'm not sure how to phrase this but I was just wondering if any current students have come across this issue and how well they were able to adjust to it and handle it....

One of the reasons why I was able to excel in undergrad/grad school was because the work load always allowed me to pretty much function on my own schedule. My productivity level kind of comes in peaks and valleys and during the times where it's in a valley, I find it super hard to get stuff done. Sometimes I can push through it, sometimes I can't. Even in grad school I was able to simply skip class and stay home and "recharge" on days where it was extra bad, but I know law school obviously won't offer me this luxury as classes can't just be skipped and there will be constant work to do. I'm the kind of person who, given three weeks to do three different fairly large assignments, will cram them all into the last few days of super productivity and do just as well on the assignments as someone who gradually worked on them over the course of the three weeks. But again, I know this style will not fly in law school.

So I did a pretty shitty job of describing this and for all of you who this is irrelevant to, feel free to completely ignore it...but for any of you out there who can relate, how did you cope with this in law school and did you find it hard to overcome?


I think the phrase you are looking for is "growing up".
Work isn't going to allow you to sporadically just take breaks either.
Of course everyone has better days than others, and we all get tired from time to time, but if this is a real worry for you then I think you should reconsider law.

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laxbrah420
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Re: Adjusting to the law school "lifestyle"

Postby laxbrah420 » Fri May 24, 2013 4:00 pm

oldschool123 wrote:I'm not sure how to phrase this but I was just wondering if any current students have come across this issue and how well they were able to adjust to it and handle it....

One of the reasons why I was able to excel in undergrad/grad school was because the work load always allowed me to pretty much function on my own schedule. My productivity level kind of comes in peaks and valleys and during the times where it's in a valley, I find it super hard to get stuff done. Sometimes I can push through it, sometimes I can't. Even in grad school I was able to simply skip class and stay home and "recharge" on days where it was extra bad, but I know law school obviously won't offer me this luxury as classes can't just be skipped and there will be constant work to do. I'm the kind of person who, given three weeks to do three different fairly large assignments, will cram them all into the last few days of super productivity and do just as well on the assignments as someone who gradually worked on them over the course of the three weeks. But again, I know this style will not fly in law school.

So I did a pretty shitty job of describing this and for all of you who this is irrelevant to, feel free to completely ignore it...but for any of you out there who can relate, how did you cope with this in law school and did you find it hard to overcome?

No, it'll be like grad school mang. You can miss class --don't miss a lot but it's whatever. Prep for class is ~20-30 pages * 3 each night, so that takes about 3-4 hrs, but you'll likely have time in between class/whatever. Your life will be fine. Feel free to ask for more specific time management requests after the first two weeks of classes...but seriously, don't worry

oldschool123
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Re: Adjusting to the law school "lifestyle"

Postby oldschool123 » Fri May 24, 2013 4:02 pm

Br3v wrote:
oldschool123 wrote:I'm not sure how to phrase this but I was just wondering if any current students have come across this issue and how well they were able to adjust to it and handle it....

One of the reasons why I was able to excel in undergrad/grad school was because the work load always allowed me to pretty much function on my own schedule. My productivity level kind of comes in peaks and valleys and during the times where it's in a valley, I find it super hard to get stuff done. Sometimes I can push through it, sometimes I can't. Even in grad school I was able to simply skip class and stay home and "recharge" on days where it was extra bad, but I know law school obviously won't offer me this luxury as classes can't just be skipped and there will be constant work to do. I'm the kind of person who, given three weeks to do three different fairly large assignments, will cram them all into the last few days of super productivity and do just as well on the assignments as someone who gradually worked on them over the course of the three weeks. But again, I know this style will not fly in law school.

So I did a pretty shitty job of describing this and for all of you who this is irrelevant to, feel free to completely ignore it...but for any of you out there who can relate, how did you cope with this in law school and did you find it hard to overcome?


I think the phrase you are looking for is "growing up".
Work isn't going to allow you to sporadically just take breaks either.
Of course everyone has better days than others, and we all get tired from time to time, but if this is a real worry for you then I think you should reconsider law.


I mean I am seriously reconsidering it, which is why I wanted to hear from some people who have gone through the same sort of thing. And it's not as simple as calling it "growing up"

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Bronte
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Re: Adjusting to the law school "lifestyle"

Postby Bronte » Fri May 24, 2013 4:05 pm

Like laxbrah said, you can probably maintain the same lifestyle you're describing while in law school. You can miss some classes and you can work weird hours and cram stuff in etc. A lot of people do that. I found it much more effective to work 9-7pm, but others were successful with a more haphazard style.

oldschool123
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Re: Adjusting to the law school "lifestyle"

Postby oldschool123 » Fri May 24, 2013 4:07 pm

Bronte wrote:Like laxbrah said, you can probably maintain the same lifestyle you're describing while in law school. You can miss some classes and you can work weird hours and cram stuff in etc. A lot of people do that. I found it much more effective to work 9-7pm, but others were successful with a more haphazard style.


That's more what I was wondering....cus in grad school I'd say a good 90% of people were able to sit in class from 9am to 3pm and then head right to the library or computer lab to work on assignments for a few hours and I was pretty much the only one who would have to leave the building at 3pm and go home just to get the hell away from there and unwind, and then would get a good couple hours of productivity in sometime later in the night.

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laxbrah420
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Re: Adjusting to the law school "lifestyle"

Postby laxbrah420 » Fri May 24, 2013 4:13 pm

Thatll work fine. Just get your shit in. It's not some crazy camp.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Adjusting to the law school "lifestyle"

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri May 24, 2013 4:16 pm

I think lax is right to some extent, actually (can't believe I'm saying that), in that law school does not have to be as much constant work as you're imagining. It can depend on your profs' policies, but some profs don't enforce attendance (this is probably less the case in 1L than later), and people definitely show up to class unprepared (sometimes they suffer the consequences, but some profs don't care, and in some classes you'll know exactly when you're going to be called upon). I think it's *better* to do all the reading and go to class and work regularly over the semester, as there's a lot of work/understanding that's hard to cram into a short period, but in terms of actually getting graded on stuff, it only happens a few times a semester (finals, maybe midterms, legal writing assignments). So it's a lot of work, but not necessarily on the kind of regimented schedule you're imagining.

Although that's kind of just begging the question because most *jobs* actually are much more regimented than school, and the legal profession is *very* deadline driven, so your concern is probably valid.

Some people really do do their best work under intense pressure (and some people just think they do because they thrive on the adrenaline that comes up in that situation...). But you will probably have to work with people who don't follow your particular schedule, so that may be tough.

Honestly, what you describe sounds kinda like depression to me - the people I know who have suffered from this issue, where they have not been able to conform their work/productivity schedule to an external schedule, have depression. Is that a possibility? In which case, I'd suggest counseling?

Also, have you ever really *had* to work under a more regimented kind of schedule? Sometimes, the more flexible your schedule, the harder it is to organize your time - but once things are due in a sort of timely fashion, you can adjust to that?

(ETA: not that taking a couple hours after class and then working at night instead sounds like it's really a problem with not being productive when you need to be. My depression comment is about people who really could not make themselves work when they needed to, and tended to miss deadlines and not turn things in. So not sure where you fall on that spectrum.)
Last edited by A. Nony Mouse on Fri May 24, 2013 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sparty99
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Re: Adjusting to the law school "lifestyle"

Postby sparty99 » Fri May 24, 2013 4:16 pm

The key to law school is to avoid the heavy reading. Once you have done that, law school is a breeze. You could skip the first few weeks of class and read all the cases.

oldschool123
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Re: Adjusting to the law school "lifestyle"

Postby oldschool123 » Fri May 24, 2013 4:29 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Some people really do do their best work under intense pressure (and some people just think they do because they thrive on the adrenaline that comes up in that situation...). But you will probably have to work with people who don't follow your particular schedule, so that may be tough.


That's one of my bigger concerns in this area--having to work with people who don't follow my particular schedule (or rather, my lack of a particular schedule, because not even I can predict sometimes when these moments or days will fall where I really just can't get anything done)

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Honestly, what you describe sounds kinda like depression to me - the people I know who have suffered from this issue, where they have not been able to conform their work/productivity schedule to an external schedule, have depression. Is that a possibility? In which case, I'd suggest counseling?

Also, have you ever really *had* to work under a more regimented kind of schedule? Sometimes, the more flexible your schedule, the harder it is to organize your time - but once things are due in a sort of timely fashion, you can adjust to that?

(ETA: not that taking a couple hours after class and then working at night instead sounds like it's really a problem with not being productive when you need to be. My depression comment is about people who really could not make themselves work when they needed to, and tended to miss deadlines and not turn things in. So not sure where you fall on that spectrum.)


I've been diagnosed with depression before and have gotten treatment for it in the past, to varying effect/success. I have had to work under a more regimented kind of schedule several times before but always end up struggling with it....when I absolutely have to do something, then I will force myself to (i.e. show up to a job or get fired) but if there is even just a little bit of leeway there then I will usually take advantage of it (i.e. skip a class that I probably should have gone to but know that I can get away with not going to, call in sick to work if I know it won't be the last straw. etc.). I usually kind of push things to their limit while still being able to get by. And I know that this kind of sounds like simply not being able to "grow up", but it's different then that and on another level then your typical kid who just can't grow up and get with it.

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cameronfrye
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Re: Adjusting to the law school "lifestyle"

Postby cameronfrye » Fri May 24, 2013 4:29 pm

sparty99 wrote:The key to law school is to avoid the heavy reading. Once you have done that, law school is a breeze. You could skip the first few weeks of class and read all the cases.


care to elaborate?

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Adjusting to the law school "lifestyle"

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri May 24, 2013 5:18 pm

You'll be in class like 15 hours a week and will need to put in about 15 more hours on your own time, at least at the beginning. Pretty sure you can handle that. Later in the semester you'll probably need to push a little harder, but most of the work will still be done on your own schedule. Having spent a few years working between undergrad and law school one of the things I enjoyed about law school is that I was rarely on anyone else's schedule. But having said that, law school isn't really a program where you can cram for 3 days and cruise to an A. Probably need more like 3 weeks.

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JDndMSW
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Re: Adjusting to the law school "lifestyle"

Postby JDndMSW » Fri May 24, 2013 10:02 pm

oldschool123 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Some people really do do their best work under intense pressure (and some people just think they do because they thrive on the adrenaline that comes up in that situation...). But you will probably have to work with people who don't follow your particular schedule, so that may be tough.


That's one of my bigger concerns in this area--having to work with people who don't follow my particular schedule (or rather, my lack of a particular schedule, because not even I can predict sometimes when these moments or days will fall where I really just can't get anything done)

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Honestly, what you describe sounds kinda like depression to me - the people I know who have suffered from this issue, where they have not been able to conform their work/productivity schedule to an external schedule, have depression. Is that a possibility? In which case, I'd suggest counseling?

Also, have you ever really *had* to work under a more regimented kind of schedule? Sometimes, the more flexible your schedule, the harder it is to organize your time - but once things are due in a sort of timely fashion, you can adjust to that?

(ETA: not that taking a couple hours after class and then working at night instead sounds like it's really a problem with not being productive when you need to be. My depression comment is about people who really could not make themselves work when they needed to, and tended to miss deadlines and not turn things in. So not sure where you fall on that spectrum.)


I've been diagnosed with depression before and have gotten treatment for it in the past, to varying effect/success. I have had to work under a more regimented kind of schedule several times before but always end up struggling with it....when I absolutely have to do something, then I will force myself to (i.e. show up to a job or get fired) but if there is even just a little bit of leeway there then I will usually take advantage of it (i.e. skip a class that I probably should have gone to but know that I can get away with not going to, call in sick to work if I know it won't be the last straw. etc.). I usually kind of push things to their limit while still being able to get by. And I know that this kind of sounds like simply not being able to "grow up", but it's different then that and on another level then your typical kid who just can't grow up and get with it.


You sure you aren't manic depressive?

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Adjusting to the law school "lifestyle"

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sat May 25, 2013 10:07 am

I agree with the general sentiment that your approach to work will be fine in law school, but you may need to find a way to change it in legal practice.




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