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Author Topic: Nay-Sayers  (Read 2865 times)

dbmuell

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Nay-Sayers
« on: June 08, 2007, 11:50:04 AM »
Okay, this is a bit of a rant, but hopefully it does generate useful discussion.  It seems that everywhere I go, some "helpful" person who is attending or graduated law school is telling me in condescending tones that my plan to continue working (only part time) and take a full course load in Law School will be "impossible."  The common theme seems to be that I will be so shell-shocked by the workload as a 1L that I will not have time to breathe, let alone focus on a job. Any attempt by me to rationalize my decision seems to be met with vague assertions of "what do you know, you're just a 0L" or "you'll understand when you get there."  The problem is, I just can't grasp the "impossible" nature that these people describe.  I know what my schedule will be, I feel that I have a good idea of what the work load will be, and I have made arrangements in my life to set a lot of things aside to make time for that work load.  Can it really be THAT bad?

This raises several questions that I would love to hear from other "non-trads" about.  Am I just being delusional in thinking that I can work this out without having to go without sleep for my first year?  Are the people that I am talking to just talking up the difficulty of the 1L experience to soothe their own egos?  Am I being real with myself in assuming that abilities like time management and priotizing that I have honed in my "real world" experience will give me the edge to pull this off and still be academically competitive? Could this just be a function of the "straight from undergard to 1L crowd" casting their experience on others in a different station in life?  I would love to hear from some other people that did this and can give me some reasonable assessment of what it's actually like to continue a career and be a law student at the same time. 

Astro

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Re: Nay-Sayers
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2007, 12:21:11 PM »
BAFF

Nay-sayers annoy me.
J, if you didn't bring enough penis for everyone, you shouldn't have brought any penis at all. 

Jolie Was Here

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Re: Nay-Sayers
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2007, 12:31:14 PM »
Well, I'm inherently suspicious of anyone who just rejects someone else's plan out of hand.  You may very well be able to hack it, in which case who am I to tell you otherwise?

That said, my immediate instinct is to offer a word of caution.  I'm 30 and just finished 1L.  I spent my 20s in a fast-paced, high-stress career and definitely think I had a different perspective that someone straight from college.  I found the workload pretty intense - usually manageable, but regularly very busy.  Then (particularly around the times when legal writing assignments were due) there were the crazy spikes. Second semester I pretty much worked all the time.  We're talking: reading from about 7-9 am before class, class all morning, studying all afternoon, class again in the late afternoon/evening, study until 11 or 12.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Usually did some work both days of the weekend. 

Again, ymmv - some people surely did more with less, and your school may not require as many credits during 1L.  But don't automatically write off the fear-mongers, even if their style is annoying.  I definitely underestimated the sheer volume of work and arrogantly thought I'd maintain a full, well-balanced life.

Also as a final note - don't let this make you think that I don't like law school.  I'm actually enjoying it quite a bit, except for those moments when I want to set myself on fire. 
I was referring to your intellectual penis. Which is quite robust.

Jolie is creeping up on me. 

DDBY

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Re: Nay-Sayers
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2007, 12:47:18 PM »
I don't know you, or your abilities.  Do what you want. Just make sure you know your limits and have a back up plan.
If you don't like nay sayers then don't tell people what you plan to do... ;D

Festus

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Re: Nay-Sayers
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2007, 01:18:05 PM »
Is it possible?  Sure it is.

Will you graduate?  Probably.

Will you be competitive?  Who knows?  You might not be competitive if you didn't try to work, but its like saying you're going to run the 100 yard dash in leg irons.  Its possible, and you'll most likely finish, but you won't be competitive unless you're superhuman, or your competition is subhuman.

slacker

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Re: Nay-Sayers
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2007, 02:12:25 PM »
It's probably going to be work. Law school takes a lot of time to get all of the reading, writing assignments, etc. completed. It can be mentally taxing at time. A lot depends on your time-management skills as well as the requirements for your job.

Do people do this successfully? Sure, all the time. Are some less than successful? Well, honestly, I've seen that, too.

I'm not going to tell you it can't be done or that you can't do it. I can say that I've had very involved, stressful jobs in the past, and law school was taxing in a way that those weren't.

My only advice would be as it's going on, be honest with yourself about how things are going. Everything. Law school, job, etc. As long as you can keep a handle on stuff, there's no reason why you shouldn't succeed.

Thistle

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Re: Nay-Sayers
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2007, 09:57:17 AM »
I would love to hear from some other people that did this and can give me some reasonable assessment of what it's actually like to continue a career and be a law student at the same time. 

What I didn't do was spend practically any time socializing with my classmates - which is just as well, as I'm too old to keep up with them anyways.   :D



you are SO not kidding there  :P
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JD

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Re: Nay-Sayers
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2007, 04:06:50 PM »
do not waste time talking to any one who tells you that you can't do something. as non-trads we tend to have all kind of "well meaning" people give us advice, very rarely have any of those people been able to accomplish what we've accomplished so consider the source. most likely they're saying its impossible because they couldn't do it. i was told it was impossible to work full-time and go to school full-time and i graduated with honors. a lot will depend on your employer if they know you're a law student and supportive of that then it could work...if you have an inflexible employer who thinks that you shouldn't be jeopardizing your job, that your only doing to get through law school, for law school than they can make your life hell. personally i am not going to work my first year because i want a break. just having to worry about school will be very nice, and i want to make sure i do the very best i can. i don't know your financial situation but i would say do everything you can to not have a job your first year.
...man, you was who you was before you got here

NATUREBOY

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Re: Nay-Sayers
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2007, 04:35:40 PM »
Okay, this is a bit of a rant, but hopefully it does generate useful discussion.  It seems that everywhere I go, some "helpful" person who is attending or graduated law school is telling me in condescending tones that my plan to continue working (only part time) and take a full course load in Law School will be "impossible."  The common theme seems to be that I will be so shell-shocked by the workload as a 1L that I will not have time to breathe, let alone focus on a job. Any attempt by me to rationalize my decision seems to be met with vague assertions of "what do you know, you're just a 0L" or "you'll understand when you get there."  The problem is, I just can't grasp the "impossible" nature that these people describe.  I know what my schedule will be, I feel that I have a good idea of what the work load will be, and I have made arrangements in my life to set a lot of things aside to make time for that work load.  Can it really be THAT bad?

This raises several questions that I would love to hear from other "non-trads" about.  Am I just being delusional in thinking that I can work this out without having to go without sleep for my first year?  Are the people that I am talking to just talking up the difficulty of the 1L experience to soothe their own egos?  Am I being real with myself in assuming that abilities like time management and priotizing that I have honed in my "real world" experience will give me the edge to pull this off and still be academically competitive? Could this just be a function of the "straight from undergard to 1L crowd" casting their experience on others in a different station in life?  I would love to hear from some other people that did this and can give me some reasonable assessment of what it's actually like to continue a career and be a law student at the same time. 
Very few people can successfully juggle 1L and working part-time.  Maybe if you're only working 10 hours/week.  And that's a maybe.  I only know of one person in my class that worked and she was naturally gifted.  You need to treat law school like a full-time job, though requiring more than a 40-hour week.  You really need at least 50-hours a week set aside if you intend to do it "the right way", which means not taking shortcuts, attending tutoring, counseling with your professors, and getting involved on campus.  You'll find that Legal Writing is a huge time drain.  This isn't like UG where where you "attend school" based on your class schedule.  In law school, you should "be at work" from 8-5 (at least) or 7-7 (at most) regardless of your class schedule.  In other words, you classes are your break from studying all day.  You also have to consider that the school presumes that you're not working, and will therefore schedule lots of extracurriculars in the evening that you may want to attend.  The bottom line: most can't do it.  If you do try it, you're placing yourself at a huge risk.  (1L grades are everything.)  To minimize that risk, I'd say try to only work 8-10 hours/week, preferably on Saturday or Sunday.

wellpreserved

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Re: Nay-Sayers
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2007, 08:21:29 PM »
Well, I'm inherently suspicious of anyone who just rejects someone else's plan out of hand.  You may very well be able to hack it, in which case who am I to tell you otherwise?

That said, my immediate instinct is to offer a word of caution.  I'm 30 and just finished 1L.  I spent my 20s in a fast-paced, high-stress career and definitely think I had a different perspective that someone straight from college.  I found the workload pretty intense - usually manageable, but regularly very busy.  Then (particularly around the times when legal writing assignments were due) there were the crazy spikes. Second semester I pretty much worked all the time.  We're talking: reading from about 7-9 am before class, class all morning, studying all afternoon, class again in the late afternoon/evening, study until 11 or 12.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Usually did some work both days of the weekend. 

Again, ymmv - some people surely did more with less, and your school may not require as many credits during 1L.  But don't automatically write off the fear-mongers, even if their style is annoying.  I definitely underestimated the sheer volume of work and arrogantly thought I'd maintain a full, well-balanced life.

Also as a final note - don't let this make you think that I don't like law school.  I'm actually enjoying it quite a bit, except for those moments when I want to set myself on fire. 

That made me LOL! Well, as long as I'll have an accurate picture of 1st year. :D

I tested between 151 and 162. I hoped for the high end and ended up in the middle. Still, not a bad plan overall, I think.

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