I'm back, after working 30 hours/week during the latter part of 1L and half of 2L, I would definitely not recommend working during 1L. It sucked. The reason it is easier during 2L and even easier during 3L, is because you have less required classes or none at all. Required classes tend to require more work and have heavier curves. Additionally, you can't control your schedule at all during 1L, which makes it significantly harder.
To anyone considering working during 1L, do not do it, wait to start working until your 1L summer.