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Author Topic: How many hours do law students usually spend studying daily?  (Read 7982 times)

MuMuGuy

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How many hours do law students usually spend studying daily?
« on: March 22, 2009, 04:23:14 PM »
I've heard that many law students spend 5-8 hours a day studying (not including in-class time). Is this an accurate estimate for the time required for most law students to spend studying? I'm curious about this because I want to start planning ahead so that I'll know which of my leisure activities I need to sacrifice for the greater cause. Thanks in advance

RobWreck

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Re: How many hours do law students usually spend studying daily?
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2009, 05:28:11 PM »
Instead of looking at it on a daily count, look at it as 3-4 hours of reading/studying for every 1 hour of class. After the 1st year, you can generally cut some of that time down a bit as people switch to book briefing, but then there's other drags on your time... especially if you do a journal.
Oh yeah, and those time estimates do not include when a legal writing assignment is coming do. All bets are off the table when it comes close to a writing due date...
Good luck,
Rob
St. John's University School of Law '11
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bryan9584

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Re: How many hours do law students usually spend studying daily?
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2009, 05:49:22 PM »
Just curious, what are the leisure activities you are evaluating? I think I might be able to give you some perspective on what activities you are able to do.

And I think 5-8 hours would be an overstatement. I'd say I probably average about 3-4 hours a day including weekends on average, but obviously the time spent varies on what assignments you have to do (i.e. before an assignment is due or sometimes I take the weekend off of doing work to do something so I do the work earlier).

MuMuGuy

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Re: How many hours do law students usually spend studying daily?
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2009, 06:36:40 PM »
Just curious, what are the leisure activities you are evaluating? I think I might be able to give you some perspective on what activities you are able to do.

And I think 5-8 hours would be an overstatement. I'd say I probably average about 3-4 hours a day including weekends on average, but obviously the time spent varies on what assignments you have to do (i.e. before an assignment is due or sometimes I take the weekend off of doing work to do something so I do the work earlier).

I play some video games on the weekend, but my main leisure activity is my Muay Thai classes. The place I train at holds classes 3 days a week with an open practice on Saturdays. Depending on my schedule, those would probably have to go the way of the Dodo.

bryan9584

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Re: How many hours do law students usually spend studying daily?
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2009, 06:51:01 PM »
I think those activities are perfectly fine. Its all about time management. If you know you are going to go to train, then make sure to get your work done before (i never suggest to wait to do it until after so you don't feel pressured to complete an assignment). You should definitely be able to fit in those classes, and it might actually be beneficial for you (exercise reduces stress and i'm sure martial arts has other therapeutic benefits like increased concentration or similar). As for video games, use them as a reward for completing your work for the next day. For example, tell yourself, if I get all my work done for tomorrow, I can go home and play a little bit. I normally just watch tv, but I do that because I have my work done.

One more thought, try to treat law school like a job. I am in at 9 and out at 5/6. I have classes for 3-4 hours and I do work in between. I can even converse for a little, although I would not recommend going to leisure lunches cause that takes up time and money (I bring my own food).

mnewboldc

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Re: How many hours do law students usually spend studying daily?
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2009, 09:10:29 PM »
It takes a little while to figure out what each professor wants. But after you've determined that, Bryan's post is excellent advice. Show up early, turn off your online chat, really focus on the material, avoid group lunches and corridor gossip. You can be done by 6 through most of the semester, provided you have a reasonable schedule without a lot of classes stacked one after the other.

All bets are off when you've got a legal writing project due, and during the last three weeks of each semester. 3-4 hours per class hour is probably way too much time.

Cornell 2011

MuMuGuy

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Re: How many hours do law students usually spend studying daily?
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2009, 09:05:10 PM »
OK, thanks for the advice I've received thus far. I just wanted to gauge the general study habits of law school students. I was unfortunately forced to go to a TTT state school because it was all I could afford. As such, many of my classmates were more interested in NFL games and stuff than discussing Kant and other subject matter, so I didn't feel at all challenged in UG.

BikePilot

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Re: How many hours do law students usually spend studying daily?
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2009, 02:30:17 PM »
It really varies a lot from semester to semester and depends on which law student (some study a whole lot more than others) and whether you consider student org activities or independent writing projects part of studying. There are some days where I start at 6-something AM and other than a short break to eat and such keep at it till about midnight, there are other days where I do almost no work outside class. Overall though law school takes a lot of time and is a major commitment. I wouldn't plan on much of a life outside of law school:)
HLS 2010

BJWriter26

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Re: How many hours do law students usually spend studying daily?
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2009, 02:47:39 PM »
Hey BikePilot,

I'm thinking about heading to HLS in the fall. Do you think the heavy workload is a result of the expanded curriculum (int'l law, leg-reg, problem solving, etc.)?

BikePilot

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Re: How many hours do law students usually spend studying daily?
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2009, 03:21:25 PM »
Yes, at least to some extent (its hard to tell if the new 1L system has any effect on 2L and 3L which are still a lot of work). I don't think the workload is heaver than most any other law school though. If there were fewer class hours most would probably just spend more time studying. Also, I came in after the change in grades so can't say whether the "fake grades" will have an effect on how much people work. I was the first year for the new curriculum and I know that some professors found it very hard to scale back their courses (credit hours for some courses where reduced) and I'm sure they've already gotten better at this. From what I hear the course load this year for 1L's is a bit less than the last now that the professors have had a year of experience with the new system.

I do think the new system is a great idea though and found leg-reg to be the most useful course I've taken so far. 

Lastly, I probably didn't emphasize enough how much of the demand is individually determined. Its a lot of work because most people work on at least one journal from 1L year on, many are involved with legal aid, law review, do research with professors, do their own research and are involved with hundreds of other student orgs. Some of these can be very time consuming but also very rewarding. For example, my schedule now is quite packed, but I'm on the leadership boards of 2 student orgs, am doing research for one professor, am writing a paper for another and have a couple of my own independent research projects underway.
HLS 2010