Monday, April 23, 2018

My Law School Life

There really isn’t time to do much else in law school besides study. That’s not the worst thing in the world if you’re like me and you don’t mind spending lots of time reading. It also helps if you think legal concepts are interesting – which I think they genuinely are. Learning law is like acquiring a little toolkit to help people solve their problems. It’s actually kind of a rush when you figure out that something you learned in school can be applied very concretely in the real world.

A typical day for me consists of at least 5 or 6 hours of studying, in addition to time I spend in class. Weekends aren’t really that different — usually I try to max out at about 8 hours each weekend day.

Life is rarely the same week to week, either. A few weeks ago, we turned in our final graded memorandum, then we had a midterm exam. Just last week, we all completed oral arguments — a fun but admittedly stressful experience, and one that, at the very least, disrupted the flow of what would have been an otherwise “normal” week. (The best part about oral arguments, by the way, are the guest judges — mine was an appellate lawyer who asked extremely hard questions and swore a lot.)

But I still try to go for a run every day, and I try to at least to read something — a bit of a book, a couple of newspaper articles — that aren’t assigned for school. And when my brain can’t handle looking at another word, I’ll watch an old episode of something mindless like Seinfeld.

If there’s a single thing I learned about time management my first semester, it’s the importance of a full night’s sleep. Showing up to class on four or five hours of sleep is basically like not showing up at all — you won’t be able to listen and you’ll be too unfocused to take good notes. It’s harder to read and retain information when you’re sleepy, too. If there’s one thing I never miss — even if I’m drowning in assignments — it’s making sure I get my seven hours.

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