So assuming a student is working at the most efficient rate, how many hours of studying one should do to successfully pass law school? Would 30 hours be enough per week? 40? I know there are individual differences, but I also believe there are minimums and maximum numbers. For instance, no matter how smart you are you probably won't be able to learn everything necessary if you put in less than 10 hours per week. Any ideas?
I like to point out that there's an important difference between 1L and upper classes here. During your 2L and 3L you can easily work the ABA-allowed 20 hours a week. I wouldn't recommend it (unless it's a law-related job), but you can do it without problems.
1L, as I've said before, I think you're doing yourself a huge
disfavor by working at all. As for studying 30 hour per week? Are we talking including travel and lectures and seminars? Or are we talking just reading?
You're going to be reading 300-400 pages a week, and it's not simple, quick Harry Potter pages. You're also going to have to remember substantial portions of it, you're going to have to analyze it enough to understand they're not just telling you a story, but teaching you law. On top of that, you're going to have 2 memos and 2 briefs to write (at most schools anyway), on top of a mock trial oral argument. Ideally, you're also going to want to participate in some student organizations.
In short; 1L = 0 hours a week
2L & 3L = 20 hours a week if you feel like it.