Law School Discussion

Advice on living with significant others during law school.

Advice on living with significant others during law school.
« on: January 31, 2009, 10:08:56 PM »
Well, this is officially my first post, and I hope to make this a more regular part of my life over the next several years. As of now Iíll be attending law school in Boston next year (name omitted because Iím waiting on a couple more, and also because itís irrelevant to this discussion). Itíll be three years this March that Iíve been with my girlfriend. Sheís a year older than me, and is currently at Harvard getting her PhD. in Public Health (although I think the technical classification is S.D.). Iíve been looking into finding a place to live for the summer in Boston, and for my time as a 1L. Can anyone offer advice on whether itís wise to move in with a significant other during the 1L year? Assume that itís a very committed relationship (weíve talked about marriage), and that both of us are dedicated and well balanced. Some concerns that Iíve seen voiced elsewhere on the topic have revolved around the potential inability for her to relate to my life, a lack of time, and just general concerns about stress levels with new transitions. What I am most interested in are opinions weighing the pros and cons of living with her over other 1Ls. Weíve lived together in the past, but never for more than a couple of months. Thank you!


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Re: Advice on living with significant others during law school.
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2009, 11:02:54 PM »
I think living with my SO this year probably would have been a disaster... but that's partially attributable to us BOTH being 1Ls.

I guess it depends on what type of person you are. If you respond to stress badly, you don't want your girlfriend around you 24/7.

I think the benefit of living with 1Ls is purely social. It would help you integrate into your class better.

Academically, seeing my roommates studying when I'm not freaks me out, and makes me want to crack the books when its not necessary. Also... I think it would be nice to come home and hear about someone's day that was NOT exactly like your own.

I guess the bottom line is - If you (1) are a mature person who won't let the stress affect your relationship; and (2) social enough that you don't need the extra boost living with classmates, then I'd say live with your girl. 

Re: Advice on living with significant others during law school.
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2009, 02:24:44 PM »
I do not have experience as a 1L yet, but I got married right before grad school (in Boston, by the way) and there were good and bad things about the timing.

My husband and I did not live together before marriage, so it was the first time we had shared space (in fact, we were long distance before). It was a hard adjustment anyway, but the fact that I was in grad school made things a little difficult, especially considering that he was not in school. I don't think we would have as many problems if he was in school, too, because then he would have understood the need to study. I guess that part won't happen with you, but
there might still be a decent difference between the amount of time she needs to study and the amount of time you do.

One thing I will say about moving to Boston is that if the school you're going up there for isn't Harvard, you might want to think about the distance from Cambridge to wherever you're going or the other way around. It is a deceptively large area, and while the public transit system is easy to use, commuting from the Harvard to say Boston College could be pretty hard on you. Alternatively, living in between Harvard and Boston College could very well put you in the heart of Boston, which is really expensive. I lived on Boston Common and the rent was absolutely insane. You want to try and avoid that. I knew a couple that moved to Boston for law school. He went to Harvard, she went to BC. Her commute was rather long and she often spent 40 minutes or an hour on the train, especially if the T was having issues as it tends to do. That's just something you might want to think about.

Re: Advice on living with significant others during law school.
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2009, 11:19:35 AM »
Whoa! Take it from me. The first year living with someone is the ROUGHEST. I did it while I was in grad school and it was really hard to separate home from work and school. I don't mean to be all negative, but do you really want the stress of a full time relationship and full time first year law school?!

I love my boyfriend dearly, we've been together for four years and lived together three so I wouldn't mind living with him (but he has a great government job and isn't moving so it's not an issue).  If it were the first year though, knowing what I know about adjusting to living together, I would never do it during a transition to law school.  My honest opinion.

Re: Advice on living with significant others during law school.
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2009, 04:11:34 PM »
Eh. You know your relationship. My bf and I had a great time living together last year (our first year officially living together--had been in college before, so we each had our own dorm rooms, even if we didn't use both of them very often), which was also my 1L year. Honestly, he kept me sane and happy, despite his not being a student, let alone a law student. I don't think I could have done it without him--including living separately from him.

Only you and your partner know if this would work for you. If it feels right, I say do it. I at least wanted you to hear from a dissenting voice.

Re: Advice on living with significant others during law school.
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2009, 09:10:11 PM »
I agree that it's entirely relationship dependent, and you most likely will not know what the situation will bring until you're in it.  You can't predict it, at least not with certainty.

My boyfriend and I were long distance for a few years, and lived together a year before law school.  Before law school, I was extremely concerned that 1L would put a serious strain on our relationship.  But it was actually a blessing. It was nice to have support at home.  Sometimes it's difficult though, when I need to do work and he gives me an easy out/excuse not to work.  However, it's also nice to have someone do virtually every household task/errand during the weeks before finals.  It's push and pull.

Re: Advice on living with significant others during law school.
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2009, 06:54:37 AM »
I'm married and live with my wife in Cambridge. It works out great for us. Many of my classmates live with their SO's and I don't know of any that have found it not to work out. If ya'll aren't ready to live together that's just fine, but I don't think your student status should make much difference.

As a practical matter be sure to chose a location that is fairly easily accessible from both your schools.

Re: Advice on living with significant others during law school.
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2009, 11:48:11 AM »
I just wanted to thank you all for your feedback. While I've yet to make a final decision, I appreciate the different perspectives you've provided me with.

Re: Advice on living with significant others during law school.
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2009, 01:17:35 PM »
Before coming to law school, my now fiance and I got engaged. He was moving across the country as a transfer law student to be with me as I started law school, so it felt like the right time to take that step. I go to Columbia so in NYC living by yourself is not very economical or practical, so we wanted to live together. I think it's really a decision you need to make on your own, but the biggest thing I thought about was how much time you spend together now - so do you guys spend the night at each other's every single night, do you help each other clean each other's places, do you cook for each other, do you share money/would you be comfortable doing so, etc. We were doing all of these things already so moving in together didn't even feel much different for us. Think about how close you are to actually living together now, and that may be a good judge of how it will work or if you should give it another year.


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Re: Advice on living with significant others during law school.
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2009, 12:07:07 AM »
Like everyone says it has a lot to do with the person's maturity and commitment level. Living together or separate it is not doubt Law school will be very demanding, you know the whole "law is a jealous mistress" thing. From what I have noticed from my lawstudent friends and what I have read, I think the less ambitious and supportive your SO is the more problem you have. But you said she is in Harvard working on her degree, so sounds like she would be busy as well. I guess you just have to ask yourself

1) Can I handle the stress of law school and not having myspace at home
2) Is there going to be a concrete mutual bounderies and understanding for each others space and time/lack of time.
3) Can both of you live apart and still have the discipline/energy to nurture your relationship as much as you would if yall were to live together.

Okay im done being Dr.Phil, hope it helps lol Good luck!!