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Author Topic: Law School and Relationships  (Read 2202 times)

cherylnj81

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Law School and Relationships
« on: April 10, 2006, 09:06:51 PM »
I know this topic has been discussed a lot in various forms, as I have been doing a ton of searching the board.  I have some questions still that I don't feel were sufficiently answered by read past posts.....

Why exactly do so many relationships fail during law school?  A lot of it seems to be the time commitment, but what about the time commitment and how does it ruin the relationship.  What other reasons contribute to relationships failing? 
What have you all seen in terms of your relationship or fellow students' relationships?  For the ones that made it through (hopefully well), what about the relationship or how they handled things made the difference?  Likewise for the ones you witnessed fail. Also, when did they typically fail?  During 1l or some other point.
Do you have any tips for making it thru, especially 1L? 
Would you recommend living with your significant other during 1L specifically, (if you are in an established relationship) or living, say, 45 minutes away from each other.  Will living together and seeing each other at bed time and such help keep the relationship intimate and current?  Or will the bad moods and stressed out moods just make things worse as far as the relationship and succeeding in school. 

Thank you so much, I really appreciate any input.

Kazzzzzzzzaaam

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Re: Law School and Relationships
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2006, 09:24:05 AM »
Based on conversations from some of my friends in L.S - I'm a 0L - it will take alot of understanding and patience.  Fortunately, my s.o is a professional who works around 60 hours a week anyway, so lazy Saturdays, or weekday evenings spent watching T.V took a hit after we graduated anyway, so I feel like it will be easier studying constantly first semester.  That said, I have a friend in L.S whose s.o is a hairdresser, and they broke up by November after 4 years of being together.  She couldn't take the reality that it wasn't undergrad, and that there wasn't nearly as much time for going out, or spending q.t together.  I feel as if both parties are busy, and you still get some really great sex at least once a week, as opposed to not so great "its late but we're still young" sex almost every day, then everything can work out fine.  And face it, guys, now when you're going at it with your girl, instead of thinking about baseball, you can think about property and torts, my friend told me that this is useful in the legal world, as you can be thinking about organizing a brief whilst fornicating, and bill the client!

Shadowalker

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Re: Law School and Relationships
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2006, 09:42:54 AM »
There has to be understanding from the person not attending law school.

Background: I was dating someone when I started 1L, but the time commitment etc. made it to tough. Started dating someone around Thanksgiving of 1L who was in my section. Since that time (about a year and a half), we have since moved in together and are starting to look at employment in the same geographic areas.

So, it can be done. But, through that whole time, I saw a lot of people fail.

The number one reason is that the person not in law school just doesn't get it. I know you have probably heard it a million times, but you can never underestimate it: Law school will forever change you, the way you think, everything. It demands every part of your mind, time, and soul. If someone hs never been through law school, they just cannot understand. No, it does not matter if they went through med school, vet school, digging ditches for a dollar a day in central america school . . . immaterial. They will not understand.

What don't they understand exactly? They do not get why you all of a sudden become leashed to your books, why you walk around muttering random legal doctrines, why you seemingly lose control toward the end of every semester, why you must spend every waking minute studying (and why you feel guilty if you don't), why you must work on a draft for a brief a million times, proofreading 50 times, just to make sure the comma is correct.


PSUDSL08

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Re: Law School and Relationships
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2006, 11:14:47 AM »
If you're 100% sure that you want to stay with the person you're with, you can make it work. It takes a lot of sacrifice and understanding for both parties to make it work.

I've been with my girlfriend for almost 3 1/2 years. We've done almost 2 of them long distance, including this first year of LS. It's been hard on the both of us. She's had to do a lot of the driving/travel, and usually has to wait on me when it comes to talking on the phone, planning weekends to come in, etc. What I would do to alleviate the situation is work ahead in my readings/oulining/legal writing assignments so that on weekends where she came in, I could spend as much time with her as possible. I would kill to be in a position where we could live in the same town, and transferring is part of my motivation for working so hard.

I agree with Shadowalker that your significant other will never truly understand what being a law student is all about. Even my girlfriend will say "You're not the only one working to build a career"...while this is true, your average person who even works 60+ hours a week still USUALLY gets to leave everything behind at the office on friday with the exception of working the occasional weekend, or having the occasional "work from home" Saturday. They usually get the luxury of having at least one "carefree" day on the weekend where they can just relax, or go out without any feelings of guilt. On the other hand, law school generally is a 7 day a week job unless you work ahead to make it a 6 day a week job...and regardless of how much you put in, you'll never feel content about the time you put in

If your significant other is a very needy person, then a relationship through law school probably wont work. However, even if he/she thinks you're a strange, obsessive person when it comes to school...if they're able to look at the big picture (you're fulfilling your career goal, increased potential for earning when married) and are understanding of the time that you need to put into LS, then you should be fine. There's no reason you can't have a minimum of an hour a day during the week to relax, and at least one night a weekend to spend time together.

Wild Jack Maverick

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Re: Law School and Relationships
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2006, 01:00:50 PM »
Without the personal experience, I would surmise that the two biggest reasons are:

The time commitment for school and study;
and....the fact a person drastically changes during law school. The s.o. is in love with the "before law school" person. Staying in love during the process of changing is not an easy thing.
"I enjoy being in school. I've learned so much already, with taking economics and law, and I have marketing and statistics coming up next."

cherylnj81

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Re: Law School and Relationships
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2006, 01:17:38 PM »
Without the personal experience, I would surmise that the two biggest reasons are:

The time commitment for school and study;
and....the fact a person drastically changes during law school. The s.o. is in love with the "before law school" person. Staying in love during the process of changing is not an easy thing.

By change do you mean, the fact that they become obsessed with school?  Or does something else change about a person.  Do they become 'harder' or something?  Is it something about their personality that changes besides being 24/7 obsessed with school?
And in any case, would it be better then, to live with the person and see them more often so that the change is more gradual and less shocking?

Shadowalker

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Re: Law School and Relationships
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2006, 01:52:07 PM »
Or does something else change about a person.  

Change? Oh boy are you ever going to chnage. You move away, start law school, and do not go back home until Christmas, your family will think you are nuts. All of a sudden, you are jaded, cynical, suspicious of everything, ALWAYS thinking about 5 sides of every issue. Also, for me at least, you are faster. I mean literally faster. You walk faster, talk quicker, eat quicker, drive quicker. It is almost like everyone who does not go to law school with you is moving in slow motion.

You know what? I can't even describe it. You just have to learn it on your own. Seriously, every member on this board could try to describe it and you still won't understand. It is sort of like sex -- you just have to experience it. No description will accurately capture it.