Law School Discussion

How many hours a day do you study?


Re: How many hours a day do you study?
« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2004, 07:07:59 PM »
This thread galls me to no end. Who cares if someone is able to squander three years and end up near the top of their class? Will they get recommendations? Will other students in the class refer work to them? Of course not.

Moreover, law is serious business and it's a profession under attack. If you're giving it anything less than your best, you are not, in my judgment, ethically qualified to join the bar.

If you can succeed in your classwork with little effort, then imagine what you could bring to the profession if it were your consuming passion.



Re: How many hours a day do you study?
« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2004, 04:58:15 AM »
Look, pre 1L right now, dont know anything really, but I do know that people learn differently.  If i could go to class and learn what I needed to, I would do it.  If I have to outline and study 6 hours a day, I'll do it. Other than the socratic issues, I can't see anything wrong with someone's particular way of learning.  Unless of course, aceing your exams doesn't prove that you have learned what you need to in order to practice law, in which case I'm thinking perhaps the exams are lacking and not sufficient indicators of lawyerly competence.

and btw I've misspelled every fifth word above, please disregard everything I've written. Thx.

Re: How many hours a day do you study?
« Reply #22 on: July 17, 2004, 04:34:56 PM »
I put in about 2 hours a night and some of the weekend (depending where I'm at in the class).  But, right now I am only in one summer course (Torts).  I'm expecting to spend more time when my regular class load picks up in August.

I don't brief much.  This is only because I've worked as a paralegal for years, so I can get by with highlighting and margin notes.  I will brief a case if I'm struggling.  I plan to brief during the beginning of each new class so I make sure I'm spotting the issues correctly in each area of law.

I don't agree with not being prepared to present a case in class.  Practicing lawyers don't get away with "not prepared". 

Re: How many hours a day do you study?
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2004, 11:06:48 PM »
So far tonight I put in Three hours. Briefing takes awhile when you dont know what to exactly pick at . When they told me about black letter law I did not expect this much.. Expect to study alot and write briefs its a long process but helps. Good Luck Thank God for prep courses.  This is definatley not undergrad you can not palay here.I am taking a break now so I dont scream.


Re: How many hours a day do you study?
« Reply #24 on: July 20, 2004, 12:33:57 PM »
At risk of sounding really stupid here, what do you mean by "black letter law?"


Re: How many hours a day do you study?
« Reply #25 on: July 22, 2004, 02:56:01 AM »
As a 1L, I studied a lot early on.  Soon, however, I discovered what worked best for me and my study time was reduced (although not dramaticaly).  I probably studied 4 hours a day during the week and 6 hours on saturday.  I always took Sundays off.  Lets face it, you NEED atleast one day a week off and besides, it's the Lord's day (that's the Notre Dame in me).  I am quite certain that many people will say I either studied way too much or way too little, but that is how it worked out for me.  One thing to remember is that many law school studnets take pride in punishing themselves (or making people think that they do so).  I came across many 1Ls that claimed to spend 10 hours a day studying during the week and then all weekend in the library as well.  I doubt they did.  If they truly did, I feel sorry for them, because I didn't see any of them in Law Review the next year.  I studied as much as I thought I needed (no more and no less) and I did fine.  I graduated in the top 10 and actually enjoyed my time at Duke.  Just a sidebar, I can not imagine a professor not dropping a student's grade for constantly being unprepared.  In fact, I would think that the prof would have them dropped.  Maybe that is just Duke, I don't know.  Also, needing to only study for 15 - 30 mins a day is either a gift or a lie


Re: How many hours a day do you study?
« Reply #26 on: July 28, 2004, 08:38:46 PM »
I read Law School Confidential and it suggested that you read for 6 hours a day and outline for 3 hours a day.  If you add classes to that load, you should be spending about 12 hours a day (M-F) studying, and you should have weekends off. That's about 66 hours of law a week. Yikes! =)

Re: How many hours a day do you study?
« Reply #27 on: July 29, 2004, 12:56:49 AM »
Forget Law School Confidential. I am taking a summer course and I am almost always studying. You have to budget your own time. A case brief a 3L can do in a 1/2 hour a 1st semester 1L may take 3 hours to do ( amnd catch all of the key rules facts and issues) I am not paying attention to grammer right now so dont laugh on a message board I dont care about spelling. You have to get comfortable with the methods of your professor. I read all the books and they did not prepare me as welll as I believed they would. It is nothing like undergrad  we are playing a totally different ball game. I study right now briefing reading and outlining about 2-4 hours a day it is intense good luck. By the way social life weekends dont exist if you want to be the best so enjoy summer vacation

Re: How many hours a day do you study?
« Reply #28 on: August 01, 2004, 01:40:41 PM »
Good point about the 3Ls being more efficient with their time.  By that time, they definitely know the drill so it takes them less time to brief and outline.

Funny thing is that as a 2L and 3L I actually spent more time studying than I did as a 1L.  I did really well my first year so I felt an intense need to preserve my top standing.  Sad thing is that even with all the extra effort, my grades remained consistent with my first year performance.   So I'm not sure if the classes were harder in my second and third year so I needed to spend more time on them or whether I had reached a point of deminishing returns and didn't realize it. 

I actually kept track of the time I spent studying all through law school so I can tell you exactly how much time I spent each semester.  I'm an evening student so I work full time (40+ hours) and take 3 classes so the numbers would have been a bit different had I been a full time student with 5 classes.  The numbers below are just the hours I spent preparing for class, outlining, etc -- they're averages for the week so some weeks were more or less but it averaged out to these numbers.  On top of this time I also spent about 11 hours attending class each week and 40 hours working.  The hours for my second and third year do include the hours I spent doing law review work - that may account for some of the differences in time spent each year.

1L: 1st semester:  25 hrs/wk
1L: 2nd semester:  34 hrs/wk
2L: 1st semester:  35 hrs/wk
2L: 2nd semester:  41 hrs/wk
3L: 1st semester:  27 hrs/wk
3L: 2nd semester:  32 hrs/wk

Bottomline is that law school is a lot of work.  Some people claim to skate by and do well, but I wasn't willing to risk it.  If I performed poorly I didn't want it to be for lack of preparation or anything else that I felt I could have controlled.

Good luck to you all.


Re: How many hours a day do you study?
« Reply #29 on: August 02, 2004, 01:33:50 AM »
WGMarkazie - I'm going to Duke this fall as a 1L.  I'd love to talk to you about specifics of the school if you get this!  Email me at if you get a chance!