« on: May 14, 2005, 03:16:33 PM »
I am a pre-1L so I may not know much but I heard a speech by the UW LS Dean Joe Knight here in Seattle and he says he works 80-90 hours a week and has since he was a 1L at Columbia. He says he budgets his time in weekly intervals of 168 hours.
I don't have the ability to replicate the compelling nature of his speech but here are some of the key takeaways: Don't constrict yourself with a "need" for sleep. He says he's trained himself to need an average of 4-5 hours per night. He answers his email before bed and when he wakes up. He gets his workout in at 5 am, makes his daughter breakfast before school at about 6am and is off to work by 7:30. He leaves work about 7pm (in Seattle that is good thing because of the horrible traffic). He doesn't really eat lunch unless he's meeting a "client" (usually donors and the like).
The point is that you can be really efficient with your time and still spend time with your family, friends etc. If you can restrict work at the office to stuff that must be done there, and do a lot of the "extras" like answering email at home then your time suddenly becomes a lot more abundant. As for the idea of 168 hours in a week, as opposed to 24 hours in a day...that is a very novel and productive way of thinking as I see it. Some days you can be more or less productive as long as you meet your weekly quota. Assuming BigLaw firms are OK with you coming to work before 8 and getting your "other" stuff done off-campus you may be just fine.
In closing, the thesis of Dean Knight's speech (which was delivered extemporaneously and very impressively) was to "Think outside the Box." If you want to get something done and you're only working 90 hours a week, there are still 78 hours left in the week for you to accomplish that thing!