« on: July 21, 2006, 12:11:27 AM »
I went back to finish my undergrad after 20+ years away. I had a very tough, hard science major but even that didn't prepare me for law school - it is just different. I do feel your pain about competeing with the youngsters that have NOTHING to be responsible for except themselves and law school. Family obligations are hard to meet. I have a husband and college aged son that are very committed to what I am doing and have no problems with my family. You simply must get your family on board! That is the only way to do it. Many of my classmates have young families and I think the ones that are most successful are the one that have spouses/partners that are really taking on the burden of most of the day to day childcare and family stuff. Is your husband ready for that? Does he have any idea what this is about? Even though your classes will end by 3, that is no guarantee you will be home. There are study groups. research, meetings, etc. Don't count on being able to be home early consistently. Also, that is just one semester...you have no idea what it will be like next semester or next year. I suggest that you join a group for non--traditional law students - that is not just the "old" ones like me, it is also for ones with families, etc. They can be very supportive and provide the social opportunities for your entire family that will help your husband realize that he is not alone and you are truly not neglecting him. My biggest advice is to just simplify your life. Get things like routine doctor appointments and back to school shopping out of the way. Do not in any way shape or form accept any out of school commitments such as PTA. Keep up with your work so that you are not desperate around finals. Be disciplined and don't let ANYONE guilt you into anything. Most important, sit your husband down and lay it out for him. Quite frankly, I have also made a conscience decision to accept lower grades. I have realized that I don't have to study very much except at finals to get average grades and that when I do bust my butt I barely made the top third anyway. My life is easier now that I have accepted the middle. Oh yeah - don't forget that summers are not time for play. You must get internships or you will be at a terrible disadvantage when it comes to getting permanent employment. If you would like to discuss anything, feel free to e-mail me privately. Bottom line is, you can do it. It won't be easy, but you can. Don't be afraid to admit you need help and when someone offers help, take it. One more thing - you mention you are used to a lot of reading. That is good, but this reading is different, it is more tiresome and diffiuclt to plod through. You are not reading for "facts" so much as reading to reach a process of analysis and learning how to (dare I say it?) "think like a lawyer". I, too, used to be able to read and read and read. Not anymore. Plodding through about 50 pages a night doesn't seem like much for voracious readers, but when it is a law school casebook it is pretty tough to do day after day. Just a warning.