Working Ahead to Find Time for Yourself

Law school is hard, but definitely manageable with great time management and working ahead. While everyone approaches law school and schoolwork differently, I will briefly mention some of the more popular options and what I recommend to provide yourself with a buffer and time for yourself. I want to preface by saying that these approaches may not work for you, and that is okay. Every law school student has a unique background and external obligations such as work or family that makes it difficult to stick to one particular method to get work done on time. Perhaps the most popular option is to stay one day ahead of the class material. This allows you to have the material relatively fresh in your mind in case of the dreaded cold-call and breaks the week down into manageable chunks. However, something to keep in mind is that accidents and emergencies happen. While they may take some of your time away from school, you want to try to avoid falling behind and being underprepared for class because it is difficult to catch up and get yourself back on track.

Another method, especially popular among students who work or are in the evening division, is to complete the majority of your work on weekends since you have other obligations taking your time during the week. However, this poses the risk of burnout. Learning law school related material daily without a break is most certainly going to lead to burnout over time. The semester is a sixteen week marathon, not a one hundred meter dash to the finish. The last method that I am going to mention is the one that I personally utilize and has contributed to my success in law school: staying two days ahead. Staying two days ahead allows you to spend the latter part of any given week preparing for the beginning of the following week, thus freeing up your weekends to spend time on yourself. Most weekends I am either traveling to see my family or my significant other or going to some sort of event. I try my best not to do anything law school related from the close of the business day on Friday until Monday morning. This allows me to avoid burnout and stay motivated. Also, staying two days ahead is being proactive in case of an emergency. If something were to happen during the week, you have created a buffer for yourself to take the day off if needed. While these options are similar, they each provide unique benefits depending on your life situation and specific needs. Choose which works best for you or custom fit a method to ensure you can reach your greatest potential!

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