How long is too long of a commute?

(Please Ask Questions and Answer Questions)
User avatar
bitlrc
Posts: 148
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:52 pm

How long is too long of a commute?

Postby bitlrc » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:30 pm

I live in western NJ, about an hour drive away from 4 of the schools I applied to. Is an hour drive each way every day going to be too taxing during 1L? How much will I miss out on by commuting so far every day?

I'm all about saving money, so this is my first choice, rather than adding up another $60k in debt by finding a place to rent for 3 years, but I'm just hoping that I won't be spreading myself too thin.

Thanks for your input!

User avatar
macattaq
Posts: 441
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:46 pm

Re: How long is too long of a commute?

Postby macattaq » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:34 pm

Best advice I can give is to live as close to school as possible. After 1L, think about moving somewhere else. I'm currently a 1L, and I live about 10 minutes walking distance from school. If it weren't for this, I would probably be a lazy-ass who hardly studies, since it is impossible for me to get anything substantial done at home. It removes any excuse to miss class, and helps in socializing and forming bonds with classmates. Also, things like receptions on campus are easier to get to, I can go home for lunch and/or take naps and/or watch Champion's League soccer. I can sleep later, which means I can either stay up longer or get more sleep than people who have to commute an hour or so each way. Also, do consider that traffic slowdowns will have a significant, negative impact on your ability to get to class when they occur, and they will occur. Aaand...if you consider that you are driving a minimum of two hours each day, this is two hours of study time gone. Unless you are taking the bus (where you can study/relax), you are wasting time when you are on the road. Regardless of which school you choose, you should definitely consider moving as close to school as possible; it just makes being a 1L so much easier.

HTH.
Last edited by macattaq on Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
beckysoc24
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:54 pm

Re: How long is too long of a commute?

Postby beckysoc24 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:39 pm

My commute is about an hour, a little longer on bad traffic days, and so far it's worked. I have to wake up pretty early, and I'm extremely jealous of my classmates in the dorms that roll out of bed 20 min before class. Other than that, I don't think it's that big of a deal. Is there public transportation? I'm taking the bus a few days a week this semester, and get a lot of reading done then. Oh, but I agree with the last poster- I have very little school social life. I can't easily just meet up with my school friends and go out, cause I'm so far away. This works for me, cause I'm a little older and have a group of non-LS friends in the area, but if this is important to you, consider living closer.

User avatar
Great Satchmo
Posts: 754
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 2:34 pm

Re: How long is too long of a commute?

Postby Great Satchmo » Wed Jan 20, 2010 9:53 pm

I'm not a law student, but I've been doing the commute thing while working a full time job and then studying for the LSATs. It's about a 45 minute commute each direction.

My opinion: NOT WORTH IT.

Losing 2 hours a day (which is roughly what I end up having lost) is significant, more so than you may think.

angioletto
Posts: 285
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2009 8:14 pm

Re: How long is too long of a commute?

Postby angioletto » Sun Feb 21, 2010 2:44 pm

Looking for more opinions on this. My husband and I own our home and it is an hour drive away from the school I will most likely be attending. (not including bad traffic through a major city...)

I dread the thought of spending 10+ hours/week when I already know I will be desperate for more time with my kids, time to study and maybe some time to sleep too.

We would like to try to rent our house out so we can move closer to the school, but we aren't sure if that will work out for us.

Another option I have is spending a couple nights each week at my mom and dad's house, which is only 20 minutes from the school. Of course that option sucks because it would mean being away from my kids, but then again I would have those nights to study so when I am home with my kids I can focus more on them.

User avatar
PigNipple
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 3:57 pm

Re: How long is too long of a commute?

Postby PigNipple » Sun Feb 21, 2010 2:49 pm

While probably not as expensive as renting a dorm room, you have to think about the amount of gas and car maintenance money you will be trowing out as well. May not be worth it.

angioletto
Posts: 285
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2009 8:14 pm

Re: How long is too long of a commute?

Postby angioletto » Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:33 pm

PigNipple wrote:While probably not as expensive as renting a dorm room, you have to think about the amount of gas and car maintenance money you will be trowing out as well. May not be worth it.


Definitely. My car gets good gas mileage, but it would still cost a lot to do that much driving.

User avatar
mikeyp
Posts: 247
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2008 6:07 pm

Re: How long is too long of a commute?

Postby mikeyp » Sun Feb 21, 2010 4:41 pm

macattaq wrote:Best advice I can give is to live as close to school as possible. After 1L, think about moving somewhere else. I'm currently a 1L, and I live about 10 minutes walking distance from school. If it weren't for this, I would probably be a lazy-ass who hardly studies, since it is impossible for me to get anything substantial done at home. It removes any excuse to miss class, and helps in socializing and forming bonds with classmates. Also, things like receptions on campus are easier to get to, I can go home for lunch and/or take naps and/or watch Champion's League soccer. I can sleep later, which means I can either stay up longer or get more sleep than people who have to commute an hour or so each way. Also, do consider that traffic slowdowns will have a significant, negative impact on your ability to get to class when they occur, and they will occur. Aaand...if you consider that you are driving a minimum of two hours each day, this is two hours of study time gone. Unless you are taking the bus (where you can study/relax), you are wasting time when you are on the road. Regardless of which school you choose, you should definitely consider moving as close to school as possible; it just makes being a 1L so much easier.

HTH.


TITCR

+4382905

User avatar
Big Shrimpin
Posts: 2468
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: How long is too long of a commute?

Postby Big Shrimpin » Sun Feb 21, 2010 5:03 pm

.
Last edited by Big Shrimpin on Sat Jul 31, 2010 10:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

equestrian22
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:29 am

Re: How long is too long of a commute?

Postby equestrian22 » Sun Feb 21, 2010 5:17 pm

I commuted 45 minutes (best case scenario.. traffic is moving perfectly) to and from undergraduate for 2 years. In my case, there was no reasonable alternate route to school, so one accident could really screw me over. I hated it.. especially on exam mornings when I would have preferred having the time to review. Plus, if you forget materials for class... you can forget about going back for them. All in all, long commutes are really inconvenient IMO and to be avoided if possible. I don't know what area of law you plan on entering, but if you're going for super competitive sectors, then it is even more in your interest to position yourself near school, because if your grades and class rank suffer, you'll regret that more than you will the cost of living debt you accrue.

letsdoit1982
Posts: 151
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:59 pm

Re: How long is too long of a commute?

Postby letsdoit1982 » Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:35 pm

You also have to realize that the commute to class and the commute home will be during rush hour. I'm not a law student, but don't classes typically begin around 8:30 and and last until around 4:30?

cavebat2000
Posts: 238
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:08 pm

Re: How long is too long of a commute?

Postby cavebat2000 » Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:36 pm

After experiencing a 45 minute commute to work in high school, a 10 minute walk in undergrad, a 1.5 hour metro commute in my first year in grad school, and a .5 hour metro in my second year in grad school, I'd say <30 min or it's gonna be a problem.

User avatar
Great Satchmo
Posts: 754
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 2:34 pm

Re: How long is too long of a commute?

Postby Great Satchmo » Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:43 pm

It sounds like a really tough situation, but I think anything other than renting out the house and moving close will result in more stress on your studies, seeing your significant other/kids all that much, and just wasted time.

angioletto
Posts: 285
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2009 8:14 pm

Re: How long is too long of a commute?

Postby angioletto » Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:50 pm

Great Satchmo wrote:It sounds like a really tough situation, but I think anything other than renting out the house and moving close will result in more stress on your studies, seeing your significant other/kids all that much, and just wasted time.


Thanks. As of last night we have made other arrangements that will work out perfectly for all of us. We lucked out.

User avatar
bitlrc
Posts: 148
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:52 pm

Re: How long is too long of a commute?

Postby bitlrc » Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:52 pm

just realized that there is a light rail stop that' about 10 minutes from my house, and then a 45-50 minute train to the campus of one of the schools i'm considering. i have to imagine that a long train commute is a hell of a lot different than a long drive. and only $45 per month for a nj transit pass.

too old for this sh*
Posts: 124
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:48 pm

Re: How long is too long of a commute?

Postby too old for this sh* » Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:29 pm

While not a direct corollary, I changed firms a few years ago...went from a 5-10 minute drive on surface streets to roughly 45 minutes on back roads (both drive times are one-way) figures. While they are both manageable, the longer drive in the current position really impacts on my ability to get certain things done during the week. I am in a house, and I USED to be able to do things like yardword throughout the week when I left the office...it is now dark when I leave for work AND when I get home, leaving me only the weekend for such nuances.

By the time I get home, I really have little motivation to do much of anything. Despite the fact that I am NOT looking forward to storage fees, I will definitely be finding somewhere to place much of the personal crap and moving into a small one or two bedroom place during law school...and let me tell you that 25 years in the workforce allows for a LOT of trappings of wealth to be acquired. Nonetheless, it will be necessary since I really don't want to be on the road for any real length of time even if it was public transit...

letsdoit1982
Posts: 151
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:59 pm

Re: How long is too long of a commute?

Postby letsdoit1982 » Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:33 pm

letsdoit1982 wrote:You also have to realize that the commute to class and the commute home will be during rush hour. I'm not a law student, but don't classes typically begin around 8:30 and and last until around 4:30?

User avatar
macattaq
Posts: 441
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:46 pm

Re: How long is too long of a commute?

Postby macattaq » Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:52 pm

letsdoit1982 wrote:
letsdoit1982 wrote:You also have to realize that the commute to class and the commute home will be during rush hour. I'm not a law student, but don't classes typically begin around 8:30 and and last until around 4:30?


Depends on the school, but the short answer is, it depends. I have one class on Monday from 1-215, but on T/Th, I have two classes from 830-1145. Wednesdays are a combo of the two.




Return to “Law School FAQ”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests