Law School Discussion

To law students 29+

To law students 29+
« on: August 07, 2006, 08:21:41 PM »
What advice would you give "nontraditional" students coming into law school? How do you balance work and study?


  • ****
  • 751
  • super genius
    • View Profile
Re: To law students 29+
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2006, 12:39:47 AM »
This isn't to toot my own horn - but to demonstrate what's possible if you keep all the "plates" balanced and spinning:

I'm 36, and about to finish up law school as an evening student.  During my entire time in law school, I've worked a full-time day job as an engineer for a large aerospace company, been a founding partner in a growing start-up technology company on the side, and commuted 3 hours to get to school and back 4 evenings/week.  Still I'm in the top 30% of my class and graduating a semester early from one of those schools with a so-called "killer curve." 

I believe there are three primary reasons I've been able to manage all of this comfortably:  1) I have enough real-world experience to actually be interested in the details of the subject matter taught in my classes (whereas most younger students consider law school to be academic torture, or just a place to "pay their dues"); 2)  I can write my *ss off (again, real-world business/work experience paying off); and 3) I maintain tight control of my personal life: Thus far I've managed to avoid marriage, kids, spousal support and child support.  Avoiding the pitfalls of marriage/kids (and their likely after-effects) has left me the ability to pay for a new home, my dream car, and school without relying on mommy or daddy's money. 

My home is my sanctuary....a fortress of solitude, if you will.  It is completely devoid of all nagging, bitching, whining, complaining, and any other unnecessary noises, stresses, manipulations, or distractions.  Because I have absolute dominion and control over my home, I can create, at will, an environment of absolute peace and tranquility, like something out of a Disney movie...with soft music, the smell of fresh plants, birds chirping and sh*t like that.  I can completely concentrate in that environment, which substantially reduces the amount of studying I require. 

I stay fit.  When I want to hang out with friends and family, I make time for them.  When I want to get laid, I know who to call.  I'm happier than I've ever been, and becoming even happier with each passing day.  My stock is constantly on the rise, and I don't have to answer to anyone about what I do with my time, my money, or my d*ck.  Life is good my friend.

Anyways...I probably went well beyond what you were looking for in a response, but I figured I'd just put it all out on the table for you.  The bottom line is you just have to find your own balance.  If I can do it, you can do it.

Best of luck to you...and remember, above all else have fun.

Re: To law students 29+
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2006, 09:38:38 AM »
That post was awesome!  ;D

I'm a teacher right now, and I'm definetly going to law school part time. I know that there is a lot of reading & logical reasoning required for class.

Re: To law students 29+
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2006, 09:42:12 AM »
Keep on top of everything. You need to keep up, so try to get into a schedule as quickly as possible that lets you stay on top of all of your reading. For example, my first semester, I had the most reading in torts. I would do all of that over the weekend, along w/briefing the cases. The other classes I'd prepare at different times, but they didn't have the same massive reading load.

Don't let the kids stress you out.


  • **
  • 5
  • DePaul 1L
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: To law students 29+
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2006, 09:42:55 AM »
jeez someone should make a movie about you, or at least a public service announcement. its funny how you started it out with "not to toot my own horn"

Re: To law students 29+
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2006, 12:19:25 PM »
I go to school full time, am married, have a 2 year old. And am in the top 1% of my class. So its not just those who have the 'luxury' of 'avoiding the trappings and pitfalls of marriage and kids' that can be sucessful law students after age 30

Re: To law students 29+
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2006, 02:12:09 PM »
I don't understand why people have the impression that marriage is a detriment to being a law student.  A spouse is an asset, kids are a liability.  Assuming you have the right spouse, that is.

My spouse understands how important these three years are.   When my classmates are carrying cafeteria food into their dorm room and schlepping their underwear to the laundry room, I come home to a home-made meal, and a bag of clean clothes from the local fluff-and-fold (working spouse is key!).

Granted, a spouse with a very demanding job might not be able to do these things, but they would very likely be able to pay for some of the services your classmates have to do for themselves. 

And if a spouse is taking care of a child, they will not have time to take care of you as well - not to mention the child-care duties that you will still have to deal with while a student.  My friends who have kids just can't have school as their top priority - that spot is reserved for their children.  Obviously, that's the way it should be.  Can they still succeed?  Of course.  But I would say that it is quite a bit harder.

That being said, I know squat about part-time; my school does not offer such programs, and I wouldn't consider them if they did.  I function best being able to focus nearly entirely on school, and let my needed downtime and spouse-time coincide organically around it.

Re: To law students 29+
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2006, 03:13:30 PM »
My husband does an excellent job at taking care of both me and our son. Our son goes to day care, which helps things (though it doesn't help the wallet). He does 90% of the drop offs and pick ups. Some nights I stay at school late, some nights I come home and put my son to bed, then study some more. I do school work a bit on the weekends, but not all consuming. I need the balance of my family life to keep me sane. And I seem to be doing all right academically (if top 1% is 'allright).

So with kids it CAN be harder, but if you balance it right, its doable. I have actually seen many parents do much better than our child/spouse free counterparts, simply because we have a more mature view of prioritizing and work ethic. When my classmates go out for coffee after class and bull for 3 hours, I go to the library and study, then I can spend time with my family later, while they are out at the local bars.
Its all relative

Re: To law students 29+
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2006, 02:43:34 PM »
Vera, Off topic but where did you decide to attend?

Re: To law students 29+
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2006, 02:52:41 PM »
For me (4 kids ages 8 -18, also working a start-up tech company on the side), the saving grace that kept all the plates spinning was to make one day a week a Law-School Free Day.

Study happened at school between classes, and in the 7-11pm slot at night, and sometimes half a weekend day. The rest, the chips fell where they may. It worked out pretty well.