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Part-time student, what is typical 1L class schedule?

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Kim Sherman:
Hi,

I will be a part-time student at Willamette Law, starting August 2013. I need to work while attending school, and am trying to rearrange my work commitments to align to the course schedule. Can someone please tell me what a typical 1L Part Time course schedule looks like? Start times, courses, days of week, etc...

Thank you!
Kim

IrrX:

--- Quote from: Willamette Law ---Course Schedule

Willamette University College of Law's part-time program is a day program only and students must start in the fall. Part-Time students enroll in the same classes as full-time students. First year courses will be assigned after consultation with the Part-time program coordinator. Notification of fall class assignments and schedule will be made prior to New Student Orientation, which occurs in mid-August.


From http://www.willamette.edu/wucl/admission/apply/parttimeprogram/
--- End quote ---

Unfortunately, the only people who know your schedule--including which courses you will take on which days and at what times--will be you and the part-time program coordinator, after you've spoken.

livinglegend:
As Irrx mentions the best person to ask will be the school and whoever is coordinating the part-time course schedule. I know at my school the first year curriculum was the same for each section time/class/etc I was a full-time student, but the part-timers all had the same schedule. They probably have not put out the course schedule for the Fall semester yet and it will likely come in June or July as the administration likely has not figured out what rooms, professors, etc will be where.

One thing to note is that most part-time students who continue working full-time do not succeed it does mean you will not succeed, but your 1L year is time consuming and balancing both usually results in people failing out of law school. I personally think if your going to law school you should be all in or do not do it all, but that is only my two cents and there are plenty of examples of people succeeding in part-time programs, but the majority of attrition comes from part-time students who simply cannot keep up with a career and the pressure of law school. If you fail out it is a waste of 30,000 dollars in tuition and it may adversely impact your job as well.

Furthermore, even if you don't fail out the majority of other students will not be working and will have a higher class rank than you, which is something to consider. The legal job market is tough and if you finish in the bottom half of the class at Williamette it will be tough to find employment. It is nothing against your intelligence just a simple fact that if you are working the students not working will have 40 more hours a week to study. Again just my two cents as an anonymous internet poster so take it for what that is worth.

CA Law Dean:
Kim, whereas LivingLegend certainly raises good points to consider . . . I would add a different view. First, most part-time programs have 3 instead of 5 substantive courses plus a legal writing course. Each school picks the topics, but they are usually selected from the standard first-year topics, Contracts, Torts, Criminal Law, Real Property, Civil Procedure. Days and times will be provided to you, but if you look at last year's schedule, I bet they don't change much. Second, our school (Monterey College of Law) is entirely a part-time, evening law school, so I do not share LivingLegend's pessimism about your prospects, even though his caution is well advised.

What I see is that you are already reaching out for advice and thinking strategically about time management, life balance, etc. That alone puts you well ahead of the game from my standpoint. Most of our students work full-time and attend law school at night. It is not easy. In fact, it is exceptionally hard. However, if your passion and enthusiasm is to be a lawyer . . . and preferably a great lawyer, there is no reason you cannot achieve that in a part-time program. Keep in mind that just as you are trying to chart your individual course now at the beginning of law school, it will be the same at the end. You will need to be ready to prove yourself at every step to be equally (or better) prepared and talented as the full-time students. Is this fair? Obviously not. But it is the path you are choosing to take, so make no apologies, and give yourself no slack. Our part-time program graduates are Judges, DAs, Public Defenders, and successful private practitioners in every practice area . . . Was it as easy as if they walked in with a Stanford degree? NO. Was it still possible to be a success? YES.

Cher1300:
I'm finishing my 2L as a part-time evening while working full-time and will probably quit my job before 3L so I can focus on internships, etc.  At my school classes are three nights per week so I generally put in some study time for one subject on the non-school night, do Contracts on Saturday and Torts Sunday etc. while leaving my Firday nights free for fun.  Many part-timers actually manage their time a bit better since there is so little of it, but be aware it will be all-consuming your first year and you need to be sure you don't burn out.  Being disciplined and sticking to your schedule will definitely keep you on track.  I hope that helps!

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