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Author Topic: How Many Hours Do You Study Per Week  (Read 23521 times)

kenpostudent

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Re: How Many Hours Do You Study Per Week
« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2009, 12:50:19 AM »
Hi Everyone,

I'm not in law school yet, but I'm seriously considering it. I've been doing a lot of reading about different schools, job prospects, etc, and I just read something kind of scary. Just wondering what current law students think.

Below is a post someone made in reaction to the article titled "Law School Is For Everyone" on the USNews site. This guy says that many people at his law school(which he says is ranked in the 50's) study in excess of 80 hours per week.

I realize the number of hours will vary quite a bit depending on the individual - reading speed, dedication, study habits, etc, but just curious how much time all of you are putting in.

One other question. I'm sure this varies a bit too, depending on the course load and year of school, but what is the typical number of pages you have to read per night or per week?

Thanks in advance.
ptoomey

Here's the post:

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I scored a 176 on the LSAT and have not been able to turn a single A. Yes you read that right. Law school is something like what legal practice is. A time draining, balls to the wall death match. You need to understand that your grade stands alone over the bodies of your fellow students. Every law student thinks he/she understands this until one month before finals. You need to understand that 'the lottery' of law school favors those who are most willing to sacrifice--time, family, friends and money. I thought coming in to a school ranked around the 50's with a 176 on the LSAT and a great undergraduate experience in a writing intensive major I would be able to relax a little more than my fellow students and still sail to the front as usual. Wrong! I didn't expect to have fellow students spending 80+ hours studying per week from day one. Look! I am not exaggerating. There are more than a handful of students who spend more than 80 hours a week studying. Brains is only one part of the equation. The other part is time. Then those same people end up practicing law and being your future boss. The same person who sacrificed quite literally everything in life to be the boss at your target firm will expect no less from you. If you don't believe me, just ask around. Big firms are quite open that your job is first and anything else is only incidental.
Do you want to spend $120,000 to be placed in a death match with dozens of other people as smart as you are? The 'winners' will be those who prioritize everything after the law.
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During my first semester, I put in about 6-8 hours a day studying outside of class, 6 days per week. I took Friday nights off to work. On weekends, I put in 12 hour days preparing for classes, writing memos for my legal writing class, and outlining courses. I won't say this is average, though. I probably worked much harder than I needed to. On average, though, even an efficient student studies for 4-5 hours a night outside of class. That is also assuming you take on no extra curricular activities and you've gotten good at reading and briefing cases. It's quite a bit of work. Let's put it this way, if you find time to save anywhere, you will want to spend it doing hypotheticals and problems to prepare for finals. You can NEVER do enough hypos and practice exams!

ptoomey

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Re: How Many Hours Do You Study Per Week
« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2009, 03:04:10 AM »
Id say i put in around 70 per week during finals, but thats mostly because I don't start studying until the last week of the semester and have to learn everything from the beginning. I don't recommend this method, but it works fine for me because I generally take a couple writing classes and only have 2-3 exams.

redjay, that's a risky approach, but I'm glad to hear it worked out for you. I tried that approach in engineering school, because it had always worked before that, and let's just say that I need a really high LSAT score to get into the schools I would like to attend :-[

I put in about 50-60 hours throughout the term (including class time), but I was doing all of my classwork, outlining, and going through supplements at the same time.  Since I followed this method continuously, my workload didn't amp up a ton during finals and I was able to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night during crunch time.  I did take weekends off completely until the last month before finals, though.  It's really about how you organize your schedule and how efficient your study time is.  I've seen others spend 80 hours a week "studying," which really means about 50 studying or in class and 30 on Facebook and G-Chat.  That's an easy way to burn out and not learn the material even though a lot of time is being put into school.

kimber, that sounds like an approach that could work for me. My IQ drops by half when I don't get sleep, so I probably wouldn't be able to do much more than that. And weekends off is essential for me. You sound like you're dedicated, but like you still have a life.
Are you happy with the results? Do you think that the amount of work you're putting in will allow you to rank high enough to have good job prospects when you're done?

During my first semester, I put in about 6-8 hours a day studying outside of class, 6 days per week. I took Friday nights off to work. On weekends, I put in 12 hour days preparing for classes, writing memos for my legal writing class, and outlining courses. I won't say this is average, though. I probably worked much harder than I needed to. On average, though, even an efficient student studies for 4-5 hours a night outside of class. That is also assuming you take on no extra curricular activities and you've gotten good at reading and briefing cases. It's quite a bit of work. Let's put it this way, if you find time to save anywhere, you will want to spend it doing hypotheticals and problems to prepare for finals. You can NEVER do enough hypos and practice exams!

Yikes, that's a serious work load. Does that leave time for kenpo?

kenpostudent

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Re: How Many Hours Do You Study Per Week
« Reply #22 on: December 22, 2009, 10:21:17 AM »
Not during the first semester. I'm hoping to get back to training in the Spring, though.

cooleylawstudent

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Re: How Many Hours Do You Study Per Week
« Reply #23 on: December 24, 2009, 11:38:00 PM »
Are you still working as an engineer right now? What type of engineering did you take? Why the huge shift?
Just so you know you can the patent bar with a bachelors degree in science/engineering and for all practical purposes serve as a patent attorney(although you have to use the title "agent") if you wanted to do that while studying for better scores on the LSAT. Heck it might even pay for lawschool.

Also, you may want to visit http://www.usphs.gov/profession/engineer/default.aspx

It can help get you a commision and pay off student loans with only a 2week basic training. They let you in as old as 44 and the GI bill could pay for lawschool too. They also have a reserve version of them.



redjay, that's a risky approach, but I'm glad to hear it worked out for you. I tried that approach in engineering school, because it had always worked before that, and let's just say that I need a really high LSAT score to get into the schools I would like to attend :-[

Denny Shore

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Re: How Many Hours Do You Study Per Week
« Reply #24 on: December 26, 2009, 02:51:03 AM »
The standard answer I've received on this question from professors and 2 and 3 L's is to expect to study about 2 hours per hour of class time.  It was not uncommon or unusual to study 8 hours a week, for example, for Torts alone.
All told, including class, my average week was between 46-50 hours per week of total work.  Memo's add to the fun and when you have a test coming off, all bets are off.
There were some weeks when I put in closer to 60 hours and rare weeks when I had less than 40 hours (including class time).
During finals, I studied 40-50 hours for Contracts, 55 hours for torts, and 50 hours for Property.
During the semester, I wrote 3 memo's, the first being 10 pages long, the second being 14, and the third being 12.  The memos soak up a lot of time as you have to research, plan, write, edit, double check, and finalize. 
The roughest weeks were when memo's were due and the two times our professors scheduled make up classes, which happened to coincide with the heaviest reading (by chance - no one is that cruel).
I also carefully tracked my reading.  The average reading weeks was between 90 and 120 pages, with the heaviest week requiring close to 200 pages.
Law school requires a major investment of time and effort.  Expect to work harder than you ever have.  If you've come from the "real" world and worked a job with real responsibility, the workload is manageable.  If you are used to college course work and "cramming", you may struggle to adapt to the workload.  I still don't think you can cram for law school with the success it can be done in college (just my opinion).

dunson3L

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Re: How Many Hours Do You Study Per Week
« Reply #25 on: December 29, 2009, 03:14:43 PM »
I did around 10-15 hours of reading during most weeks and maybe 25-30 hours of reviewing my reading during finals week.