Depict a day in the life of a law student

(Please Ask Questions and Answer Questions)
User avatar
funkyturds
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:32 pm

Re: Depict a day in the life of a law student

Postby funkyturds » Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:01 pm

read for all my classes the following week on the weekend before, which usually takes about 12 hours split up b/w Saturday and Sunday.
classes + 3 hours of studying during the week
fridays i do a little reading but take it easy for the most part

it's not too bad.

User avatar
as stars burn
Posts: 525
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2009 9:04 pm

Re: Depict a day in the life of a law student

Postby as stars burn » Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:32 pm

kalvano wrote:
redgreenpaper wrote:I don't understand why first year is harder than second or third. Can someone please explain?



Where you stand after first year basically determines everything for job prospects. Also, big classes that you are forced to take full of tons of reading and lecture, any of which is fair game for an exam that is typically designed so you need 8-10 hours to really work it, but you're expected to do it in 3.


+1. Right on the money. It's incredibly stressful. Not to mention, you're competing with lots of other smart people so the fight is fierce.

User avatar
OGR3
Posts: 881
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:56 pm

Re: Depict a day in the life of a law student

Postby OGR3 » Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:59 pm

as stars burn wrote:
kalvano wrote:
redgreenpaper wrote:I don't understand why first year is harder than second or third. Can someone please explain?



Where you stand after first year basically determines everything for job prospects. Also, big classes that you are forced to take full of tons of reading and lecture, any of which is fair game for an exam that is typically designed so you need 8-10 hours to really work it, but you're expected to do it in 3.


+1. Right on the money. It's incredibly stressful. Not to mention, you're competing with lots of other smart people so the fight is fierce.


Let's just be clear, if they were smart, they wouldn't be in law school.

User avatar
BrownBears09
Posts: 330
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:48 pm

Re: Depict a day in the life of a law student

Postby BrownBears09 » Thu Dec 16, 2010 9:02 pm

OGR3 wrote:Let's just be clear, if they were smart, they wouldn't be in law school.


All generalizations are dangerous. Even this one.

User avatar
as stars burn
Posts: 525
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2009 9:04 pm

Re: Depict a day in the life of a law student

Postby as stars burn » Thu Dec 16, 2010 9:08 pm

BrownBears09 wrote:
OGR3 wrote:Let's just be clear, if they were smart, they wouldn't be in law school.


All generalizations are dangerous. Even this one.


lol, I agree with both of you.

redgreenpaper
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:03 pm

Re: Depict a day in the life of a law student

Postby redgreenpaper » Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:56 pm

Does 1L have a significantly heavier worlkload than 2L and 3L? If so, why?

User avatar
Loyant
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:29 am

Re: Depict a day in the life of a law student

Postby Loyant » Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:08 pm

Actually, the workload (if you are on journal) the second year is much greater. The difference for me is: now I know how to deal with it. In the first year I had to figure out what worked and what didn't. Exams were a great unknown with anything-goes for the requisite material (closed book too). The FEAR was the problem, and not knowing what your grades will be, etc. There is a saying: Your first year, they scare you to death. The second year, they work you to death. The third year, they bore you to death.

User avatar
Sogui
Posts: 621
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:32 am

Re: Depict a day in the life of a law student

Postby Sogui » Sat Dec 18, 2010 8:19 am

redgreenpaper wrote:so what you all are saying is that I can go through law school and get somewhat decent to decent marks and still have a social life + time to play Call of Duty?


Likewise, my answer would highly depend on the grades I earn but:

My "balance" for anything short of wanting to be Supreme Court clerk would be the following:
1) Read for all your classes, but don't worry about highlighting or any substantial note-taking in the margins
2) Go to all your classes, every day
3) This will leave you with plenty of free time depending on how you spread out your reading. But think, if you have about 100 hours a week after sleeping, eating, showering, traveling, and other necessities eat away your time. You will lose about 15 hours to class depending on your school. That gives you 85 hours, reading for any given day for any given class should take no more than 2 hours most of the time, often less. That leaves you with 18 hours of reading for the week.

72 hours left in for most weeks, you can spend that time on law organizations, working on law related stuff, whatever... but even then everyone has plenty of time for Call of Duty, socializing, whatever. This lifestyle would never keep anyone out of the top 10% of the class. Too many people spend their 1Ls briefing every case for every class or highlighting and noting all over their books for every case that is assigned. This WILL turn your 1L into a career that consumes 16 hours a day and will leave you weary and broken and give you no discernible advantage once outlines are done.

I cannot fathom any benefit that a page full of notes and highlighted text gained for my peers when the professor can't even remember the name of the case off the top of his head and when asked about it, sums up its significance in 2 sentences or less. Those 2-sentences are all he expects you to know for the exam from that case. The 1-page case brief and 6 pages of highlighted text that a friend spent on that same case was a folly in my opinion. It does depend on the professor though.

Just make sure you start outlining a month before finals start, no later.

User avatar
D. H2Oman
Posts: 7469
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:47 am

Re: Depict a day in the life of a law student

Postby D. H2Oman » Sat Dec 18, 2010 8:58 am

Probably like 75% less bad than law students will have you believe.

redgreenpaper
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:03 pm

Re: Depict a day in the life of a law student

Postby redgreenpaper » Sat Dec 18, 2010 8:17 pm

Sogui wrote:
redgreenpaper wrote:so what you all are saying is that I can go through law school and get somewhat decent to decent marks and still have a social life + time to play Call of Duty?


Likewise, my answer would highly depend on the grades I earn but:

My "balance" for anything short of wanting to be Supreme Court clerk would be the following:
1) Read for all your classes, but don't worry about highlighting or any substantial note-taking in the margins
2) Go to all your classes, every day
3) This will leave you with plenty of free time depending on how you spread out your reading. But think, if you have about 100 hours a week after sleeping, eating, showering, traveling, and other necessities eat away your time. You will lose about 15 hours to class depending on your school. That gives you 85 hours, reading for any given day for any given class should take no more than 2 hours most of the time, often less. That leaves you with 18 hours of reading for the week.

72 hours left in for most weeks, you can spend that time on law organizations, working on law related stuff, whatever... but even then everyone has plenty of time for Call of Duty, socializing, whatever. This lifestyle would never keep anyone out of the top 10% of the class. Too many people spend their 1Ls briefing every case for every class or highlighting and noting all over their books for every case that is assigned. This WILL turn your 1L into a career that consumes 16 hours a day and will leave you weary and broken and give you no discernible advantage once outlines are done.

I cannot fathom any benefit that a page full of notes and highlighted text gained for my peers when the professor can't even remember the name of the case off the top of his head and when asked about it, sums up its significance in 2 sentences or less. Those 2-sentences are all he expects you to know for the exam from that case. The 1-page case brief and 6 pages of highlighted text that a friend spent on that same case was a folly in my opinion. It does depend on the professor though.

Just make sure you start outlining a month before finals start, no later.


why do people say its a waste of time to outline so much?

User avatar
Sogui
Posts: 621
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:32 am

Re: Depict a day in the life of a law student

Postby Sogui » Sat Dec 18, 2010 8:58 pm

redgreenpaper wrote:
why do people say its a waste of time to outline so much?


Huh?

I'm not saying that, and I don't know anyone who's ever said that.

If you're talking about highlighting and briefing before class, yea that's a waste in my opinion.

Starting outlines after you have closed on a "section" of material is perfectly sensible, start a month before exams at the latest.

Anyone who says it's a waste of time is being ridiculous:
1) I'm not saying to spend extra time on it, just start earlier so you have time later to review with friends and go over ALL practice exams or difficult material, which is incredibly difficult when:
2) You are spending 19 hours a day trying to cram in your outline between exams because you had no idea it took so damn long to condense a 1000pg casebook and 50-100+ pages of class notes into a neat little outline, meanwhile by the time you finish you don't actually have time to do the USEFUL activity which is apply the outline to exams.


Outlines themselves are not angels or life preservers during exams, but they work like a charm for condensing the material into a substantive whole in your mind, they force you to review like nothing else. Plus if you do get in a pinch during an exam, the comprehensive outline can get you a clear answer that will save your skin from the kind of generic "oh shit oh shit what was that rule?" that wastes time and can lower your score.

I know from my own rushed outlines that I was missing material on the final, I got it right, but only after wasting precious time having to crack open the casebook and research the issue.

TL;DR Having a good outline that you wrote and can understand is like one of the only two things you need to succeed on an exam.

User avatar
twert
Posts: 414
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 6:13 pm

Re: Depict a day in the life of a law student

Postby twert » Sat Dec 18, 2010 9:12 pm

my first semester i worked about ten hours a day, six days a week. I always slept 8 hours. Its easy to lose track of the remaining six hours. After eating 3 times and working out, there's precious little time to do anything. I socialize never. I have no friends. Law school is awesome.

User avatar
OGR3
Posts: 881
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:56 pm

Re: Depict a day in the life of a law student

Postby OGR3 » Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:54 am

twert wrote:my first semester i worked about ten hours a day, six days a week. I always slept 8 hours. Its easy to lose track of the remaining six hours. After eating 3 times and working out, there's precious little time to do anything. I socialize never. I have no friends. Law school is awesome.


Friends are for the weak.

JOThompson
Posts: 1311
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 3:16 am

Re: Depict a day in the life of a law student

Postby JOThompson » Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:26 am

redgreenpaper wrote:Is law school really as stressful and soul-crushing as people make it sound? Is there seriously 8 hours worth of reading every night on top of assignments and essays? If so, what is the difficulty of the readings? Do you really have no time for a social life or relationship or even playing Call of Duty on your ps3? How do students survive on 3-4 hours of sleep every night? I used to be down with going to law school but I saw a couple of videos on youtube that made it sound like Hell for 4 years. Can anybody depict a day in the life of a law student?

Oh yeah, also, do you need to graduate like top 10% of your class to get a good job? Or once you're into a good law school you just need to not fail? Is someone who graduates with marks in the middle of all the people in the class going to not get a job?

Depends on the atmosphere of your school.

In my experience, law school sucks but it isn't as stressful as TLS would you lead to believe. I've had plenty of time to read the occasional novel, go out once a week, and I feel like an almost normal human being. I read about three hours per day, then spend another couple hours on reviewing, reading supplements, etc. I averaged eight hours per night of sleep for the first half of the semester and I've still managed to get in about six every night since Thanksgiving. I've only pulled one all nighter and that was for my first memo.

User avatar
kalvano
Posts: 11720
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: Depict a day in the life of a law student

Postby kalvano » Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:38 am

JOThompson wrote:In my experience, law school sucks but it isn't as stressful as TLS would you lead to believe. I've had plenty of time to read the occasional novel, go out once a week, and I feel like an almost normal human being. I read about three hours per day, then spend another couple hours on reviewing, reading supplements, etc. I averaged eight hours per night of sleep for the first half of the semester and I've still managed to get in about six every night since Thanksgiving. I've only pulled one all nighter and that was for my first memo.



Did that extra time seem to fall by the wayside the closer finals got?

That was my experience. I read mainly on the weekends instead of the days though.

erin2012
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2010 4:14 pm

Re: Depict a day in the life of a law student

Postby erin2012 » Sun Dec 19, 2010 4:17 pm

I'm a 2L on journal. I am currently number 6 in my class out of 182, but we'll see how that changes after this semester... Anyways, 2l year has been way easier than one l year. Even though for journal you have to write a 25 page paper and cite check, it really doesn't take up that much time. My law school has fall break, so I just wrote my journal article during that time but only for about four hours a day. Finals time sucks but other than that, 2L year has been way chill. 1L year is way more stressful because of memo's. Your journal paper is pass/fail, so there is no stress involved there, unlike a memo which is graded.

redgreenpaper
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:03 pm

Re: Depict a day in the life of a law student

Postby redgreenpaper » Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:46 pm

Sogui wrote:
redgreenpaper wrote:
why do people say its a waste of time to outline so much?


Huh?

I'm not saying that, and I don't know anyone who's ever said that.

If you're talking about highlighting and briefing before class, yea that's a waste in my opinion.

Starting outlines after you have closed on a "section" of material is perfectly sensible, start a month before exams at the latest.

Anyone who says it's a waste of time is being ridiculous:
1) I'm not saying to spend extra time on it, just start earlier so you have time later to review with friends and go over ALL practice exams or difficult material, which is incredibly difficult when:
2) You are spending 19 hours a day trying to cram in your outline between exams because you had no idea it took so damn long to condense a 1000pg casebook and 50-100+ pages of class notes into a neat little outline, meanwhile by the time you finish you don't actually have time to do the USEFUL activity which is apply the outline to exams.


Outlines themselves are not angels or life preservers during exams, but they work like a charm for condensing the material into a substantive whole in your mind, they force you to review like nothing else. Plus if you do get in a pinch during an exam, the comprehensive outline can get you a clear answer that will save your skin from the kind of generic "oh shit oh shit what was that rule?" that wastes time and can lower your score.

I know from my own rushed outlines that I was missing material on the final, I got it right, but only after wasting precious time having to crack open the casebook and research the issue.

TL;DR Having a good outline that you wrote and can understand is like one of the only two things you need to succeed on an exam.


ya i was actually wondering why you said highlighting and briefing is a waste of time. can you please elaborate?

aad
Posts: 76
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:49 pm

Re: Depict a day in the life of a law student

Postby aad » Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:13 pm

I had time for a couple hours of laziness every night and usually 1/2 to 1 full day of down time on the weekend during first semester of 1L year. Even managed to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night while briefing every case for 3 out of 4 classes.

Law school is really not that horrible. Don't freak out about it.

User avatar
Sogui
Posts: 621
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:32 am

Re: Depict a day in the life of a law student

Postby Sogui » Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:37 pm

redgreenpaper wrote:
ya i was actually wondering why you said highlighting and briefing is a waste of time. can you please elaborate?


I'll make it as clear as I can:

You will rarely look at a case once it is covered in class

You do not need to brief or highlight to give a good answer in class, especially if you don't read too far ahead

Within 4 weeks you won't remember a thing about the case anyway, no matter how many colors of highlighter you use

By exam time you will remember only what you decide to stuff into your outline, case briefs and highlighted passages will generally not belong in outlines. Outlines are supposed to be a refresher of key material and quick reference tool, not a 150pg. treatise on Torts

I "understood" the law just as well, if not better, by focusing on day-to-day reading and taking good class notes than any classmate who worked 60 hours a week trying to juggle some ridiculous study strategy. Jamming as much information as you can into your head on a daily basis is not going to leave you any better prepared once classes end and cramming begins.

User avatar
kalvano
Posts: 11720
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: Depict a day in the life of a law student

Postby kalvano » Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:28 am

Actually, cases can be important. Some professors like to see them noted on exams, or give points for drawing parallels. Several fact patterns in my exams were directly drawn from cases we studied.

What works for one person, or is correct for that person's class, is not universal.

It pays to be at least passingly familiar with cases come exam time. Long case briefs are a waste of time, but a quick couple of lines to refresh your memory might well be worthwhile on a test.

I highlighted in my book as I read. Didn't really brief. It helped fix the important stuff in my head. Plus, if I got called on, it helped in not looking like a total fool. While it does nothing for your grade, if 3 minutes of highlighting can help you not look like a dunce in front of everyone, why not?

JOThompson
Posts: 1311
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 3:16 am

Re: Depict a day in the life of a law student

Postby JOThompson » Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:37 pm

kalvano wrote:
JOThompson wrote:In my experience, law school sucks but it isn't as stressful as TLS would you lead to believe. I've had plenty of time to read the occasional novel, go out once a week, and I feel like an almost normal human being. I read about three hours per day, then spend another couple hours on reviewing, reading supplements, etc. I averaged eight hours per night of sleep for the first half of the semester and I've still managed to get in about six every night since Thanksgiving. I've only pulled one all nighter and that was for my first memo.



Did that extra time seem to fall by the wayside the closer finals got?

That was my experience. I read mainly on the weekends instead of the days though.

Definitely felt more like a zombie as finals approached. For the last three weeks, I've had maybe an hour or two of free time per night. I think if I dedicated a little more time to outlining and practice tests in September and October, my quality of life could've been decent for the home stretch.

My schedule is loaded on Monday and Tuesdays, so I might start doing the bulk of my reading on the weekends next term. Anyhow, congrats on being a 1.5L now :)

redgreenpaper
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:03 pm

Re: Depict a day in the life of a law student

Postby redgreenpaper » Mon Dec 20, 2010 7:15 pm

Sogui wrote:
redgreenpaper wrote:
ya i was actually wondering why you said highlighting and briefing is a waste of time. can you please elaborate?


I'll make it as clear as I can:

You will rarely look at a case once it is covered in class

You do not need to brief or highlight to give a good answer in class, especially if you don't read too far ahead

Within 4 weeks you won't remember a thing about the case anyway, no matter how many colors of highlighter you use

By exam time you will remember only what you decide to stuff into your outline, case briefs and highlighted passages will generally not belong in outlines. Outlines are supposed to be a refresher of key material and quick reference tool, not a 150pg. treatise on Torts

I "understood" the law just as well, if not better, by focusing on day-to-day reading and taking good class notes than any classmate who worked 60 hours a week trying to juggle some ridiculous study strategy. Jamming as much information as you can into your head on a daily basis is not going to leave you any better prepared once classes end and cramming begins.


thanks for all the advice man. you sure know your stuff.

User avatar
JG Hall
Posts: 364
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:18 pm

Re: Depict a day in the life of a law student

Postby JG Hall » Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:52 pm

I'd be a bit hesitant to take the studying advice of 1Ls before they got their grades back...

User avatar
rbgrocio
Posts: 560
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:58 pm

Re: Depict a day in the life of a law student

Postby rbgrocio » Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:56 pm

I would not be able to depict a day in the life of a "law student." I, however, can very easily depict a day in the life of THIS law student.

1. wake up at 5:45 twice a week. Go to school from 6:45 a.m. to 10:15 p.m.
2. Wake up at 6:30 twice a week. Work from 8 to 5-6 p.m. twice a week.
3. Wake up at 6 a.m. once a week. Go volunteer for Federal Judge
4. Saturdays and Sundays (read/outline/visit parents) That's my life for 9 monhts/year

User avatar
ResolutePear
Posts: 8614
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:07 pm

Re: Depict a day in the life of a law student

Postby ResolutePear » Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:57 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NisCkxU544c

It's something like that - just replace 'boss' with 'law student.'




Return to “Law School FAQ”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest