Generally speaking, law students are rather bright individuals. Many law students can “get by” or even do “well” with a minimal amount of studying (“minimal” being a relative term).

However, if you view law school as the beginning of your career as a lawyer, are you willing to settle for “getting by?” I encourage students to perform at their personal best levels, preparing for the days when they will be representing clients whose freedom, lives, fortunes and families may well be at stake. Start *practicing* now to be the kind of lawyer you would *hire* if you needed a lawyer.

So how does this translate into time spent studying? Devote as much time to law now as you will when you enter the professional practice. A light week for an attorney is in the neighborhood of sixty hours.

Consider this: 14 hours in class; 42 hours outside of class (3 hours for every class hour). That adds up to 56 hours – one-third of the 168 hours we all have in each week. If you sleep as much as 8 hours each night (7 X 8 = 56), that leaves you with 56 hours to attend to your personal health and well being, to socialize, to shop, to wash the car, shampoo the puppy and do all those other things that make life worthwhile.

If you spend substantially *more * time than this, you run the risk of burning out, ruining your health, giving in to the stresses we all (lawyers and law students) face, and – therefore – doing less than your personal best.

If you spend substantially *less * time than this, you probably won’t be attending to all the essential elements of high-level study and exam prep: reading, briefing, attending every class, taking notes, transforming your notes, creating course summaries (“outlines”), developing flow charts, and answering practice hypotheticals in writing.

For an in-depth discussion of how much time to spend studying, and how to use that time most efficiently, go to your law library and find the September issue of *Student Lawyer*, the ABA Law Student Division publication. The cover article I wrote covers this whole topic, and provides a step-by-step method for allocating your time. There you will find a sample of how a student can determine precisely how much time to spend studying each day.

If you have further questions about this, feel free to e-mail me.