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golfguy

1L Time-Management

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Would someone in 1L (or someone who went through 1L) be able to describe their average week in terms of hours spent on studying/classes and their hours spent on extracurriculars?

I am starting 1L this coming fall and trying to get a grasp on what my time-management ought to look like come August. 

Thanks everybody!

Edited by golfguy
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This is what I've been doing:

  • I do all my readings for the next week over the weekend. If you have 3 courses each at 3 sessions per week, I'll do 5 hours of reading and briefing on each of Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That is, I'll do the first session of each course on Friday, the second session on Saturday, and the third on Sunday
  • During the week (Mon - Thur), I don't do any work for classes. I find that I'm usually tired after class, so I either just relax or do work for my extracurriculars
  • I don't really touch my outlines until reading week. Over the course of reading week, which is roughly 1/2 to 2/3 of the way through the semester, I try to catch up on all my outlines. Combined with preparing for my classes the week after reading week, that usually takes the whole of reading week
  • After reading week, I add to my outlines bit by bit on the weekdays or after I do my readings and briefs on the weekends--really, whenever I have some spare time
  • Once exam season hits, I basically spend as much time as possible throughout the days refining my outlines, making attack outlines, reviewing, and doing final papers

So I'd say that, including time spent in class, preparing for class, and preparing for exams (but not including extracurriculars), I do about 30hrs/week of work until reading week, after which I do about 40hrs/week of work. During exam season, that jumps to like 50-60hrs/week. That is time actually working, not just time spent at my desk. For example, I say that I work 5 hours per day on each of Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but it takes me more like 9-10 hours because I like to take breaks and sometimes get distracted

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27 minutes ago, HappyJDStudent said:

This is what I've been doing:

  • I do all my readings for the next week over the weekend. If you have 3 courses each at 3 sessions per week, I'll do 5 hours of reading and briefing on each of Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That is, I'll do the first session of each course on Friday, the second session on Saturday, and the third on Sunday
  • During the week (Mon - Thur), I don't do any work for classes. I find that I'm usually tired after class, so I either just relax or do work for my extracurriculars
  • I don't really touch my outlines until reading week. Over the course of reading week, which is roughly 1/2 to 2/3 of the way through the semester, I try to catch up on all my outlines. Combined with preparing for my classes the week after reading week, that usually takes the whole of reading week
  • After reading week, I add to my outlines bit by bit on the weekdays or after I do my readings and briefs on the weekends--really, whenever I have some spare time
  • Once exam season hits, I basically spend as much time as possible throughout the days refining my outlines, making attack outlines, reviewing, and doing final papers

So I'd say that, including time spent in class, preparing for class, and preparing for exams (but not including extracurriculars), I do about 30hrs/week of work until reading week, after which I do about 40hrs/week of work. During exam season, that jumps to like 50-60hrs/week. That is time actually working, not just time spent at my desk. For example, I say that I work 5 hours per day on each of Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but it takes me more like 9-10 hours because I like to take breaks and sometimes get distracted

Thanks for the reply. That sounds like a great way to schedule your weeks throughout the semester. 

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I have about 13 hours of lecture every week, stacked from Monday-Thursday. I tend to maybe do an hour or two of school work these evenings and then relax after a long day of zoom. For each hour of class there is anywhere from 1-3 hours of readings which I try to complete Friday-Sunday. In all honesty, I struggle to keep up with some of these and rely on reading groups with buds to get through the more dense reading courses. I prioritize reading for classes where there are cold calls, and for the ones where there are not I try to catch up on whatever I'm behind on during reading week.

I also don't touch my outlines till reading week. During/after reading week I slowly make my outline and then in the last two weeks before the exam I kick into high gear and make those outlines into a useful map for the exam. 

There are extracurriculars too which take up time. In any given week I spend between 2-10 hours on extracurricular activities, depending upon exactly what deadlines are approaching. Generally, however, I have about 5 hours of extracurriculars per week. Take this with a grain of salt, as I took on a slightly higher EC load than is normal. 

All in all, I still have time on evenings and weekends to relax, at least until exam season hits. 

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29 minutes ago, albertabean said:

I have about 13 hours of lecture every week, stacked from Monday-Thursday. I tend to maybe do an hour or two of school work these evenings and then relax after a long day of zoom. For each hour of class there is anywhere from 1-3 hours of readings which I try to complete Friday-Sunday. In all honesty, I struggle to keep up with some of these and rely on reading groups with buds to get through the more dense reading courses. I prioritize reading for classes where there are cold calls, and for the ones where there are not I try to catch up on whatever I'm behind on during reading week.

I also don't touch my outlines till reading week. During/after reading week I slowly make my outline and then in the last two weeks before the exam I kick into high gear and make those outlines into a useful map for the exam. 

There are extracurriculars too which take up time. In any given week I spend between 2-10 hours on extracurricular activities, depending upon exactly what deadlines are approaching. Generally, however, I have about 5 hours of extracurriculars per week. Take this with a grain of salt, as I took on a slightly higher EC load than is normal. 

All in all, I still have time on evenings and weekends to relax, at least until exam season hits. 

Thanks for the response! Seems like you and @HappyJDStudent have similar breakdowns in that you both like to use the weekend to catch up/prepare for the upcoming week. 

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2 hours ago, albertabean said:

I have about 13 hours of lecture every week, stacked from Monday-Thursday. I tend to maybe do an hour or two of school work these evenings and then relax after a long day of zoom. For each hour of class there is anywhere from 1-3 hours of readings which I try to complete Friday-Sunday. In all honesty, I struggle to keep up with some of these and rely on reading groups with buds to get through the more dense reading courses. I prioritize reading for classes where there are cold calls, and for the ones where there are not I try to catch up on whatever I'm behind on during reading week.

I also don't touch my outlines till reading week. During/after reading week I slowly make my outline and then in the last two weeks before the exam I kick into high gear and make those outlines into a useful map for the exam. 

There are extracurriculars too which take up time. In any given week I spend between 2-10 hours on extracurricular activities, depending upon exactly what deadlines are approaching. Generally, however, I have about 5 hours of extracurriculars per week. Take this with a grain of salt, as I took on a slightly higher EC load than is normal. 

All in all, I still have time on evenings and weekends to relax, at least until exam season hits. 

Thank you for sharing! If you don't mind me asking, which law school do you go to?

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