hey terrible lizard,
what was your 1L first semester schedule like? Did you have classes everyday and all day? CWSL's registrar is protecting the fall schedule like it hides the key to the holy frickin grail!
Were you able to put ANY hours in at work or did you live completely off loans? I want to- check that, NEED to work at least a little to make ends meet, but I've heard horror stories like a 40% attrition rate with 80% of all drop-outs being people that tried to work at the same time. Was the first semester THAT strenuous???
You will have classes every day during your first two semesters. You will not, however, have classes all day. They do schedule the classes so that you are stuck at school a lot though. In my first semester, MW I had classes sporadically from 8am till 2:30pm. But TR we were done at 1:00pm.
As far as work goes, I'll preface my answer by saying that the ABA only allows first year law students to work 5 hours a week. I thought I was going to have to work when I first got here as well. However, I qualified for a Perkins loan that got me over the top, as long as I was pretty cheap about those miscellaneous items like, say...food. My advice on this issue is pretty simple: Don't work unless you really have to. For me, law school was an entirely new way of thinking and studying, and it took some getting used to. Additionally, law school requires a lot of preparation for classes (lots of reading and briefing). Finals require a ridiculous amount of preparation. I think, however, that what you have to put into it really depends on you, and what you want. If you want to be at the top of your class, you need to put a lot of effort in. If you don't, you can probably get by with less effort.
If you have to work, here's my suggestion: don't work much in the beginning of the semester, and don't work much at the end. These are crucial times for a first year student. I really can't imagine how I would have handled working near finals time! I'm sure you can do it, but your time will be very limited.
As far as the attrition rate, I'm not sure if those are mostly people that tried to work. I had not heard that, and frankly, I wouldn't believe it even if I had. A portion of our attrition rate is due to transfers and people who don't finish for their own reasons, and a portion is due to people who fail out. The people who fail out didn't put the effort in or just weren't meant for law school. The law does require a pretty specific set of skills, which you can learn and develop in school. Some people just don't want to.
Good luck with your first semester. Try not to get overwhelmed. Law school is rigorous, but it's fun too.