Social Life SOS: I Have No Social Life Because I’m in Law School

Social help SOS: I have no social life because I'm a law studentPlease welcome back 2L guest writer, Shirlene Armstrong, to discuss how law school has impacted her social life, and how she has managed to find (some) balance.

Forgotten are the days of fun and excitement. Forgotten are the late nights with friends and bar nights. Forgotten are going out and enjoying other’s company. Forgotten are the days of making memories and trying new experiences. Forgotten are the days and nights of youth and undergraduate. This is the life of a typical law student. Hopelessly searching for ways to break the chains that tie them to their casebooks and escape the confines of the law school library. It is a sad and tragic time in the law student’s life. But, does it have to be? One of the most common complaints of law students is that they have no time for what they want to do – that they have “no social life.” This is attributed to the law school experience (re: craziness). However, law school and your social life are not mutually exclusive.       

My Social Life

I am a 2L, meaning I am in the busiest year of my life. And true to the “work to death” law school year, I am B-U-S-Y. Put best by my boyfriend, at any given day/time, I could be in 4 different places. I am constantly running from one activity/job/class to the next. Each minute of my day is calculated, and I have to strategize in order to be successful. Despite my busy life and juggling a million things at once, I actually have a social life. I am able to make time for my friends and family and do things that I want to do. (I also sleep!!) I know, this sounds like an urban legend, but it’s not. There is a way to be a law student, maintain employment, do several activities, and have a social life–all while being successful.

The Law School Dilemma

Let’s be real, law school is crazy. You are busy all the time, you’re constantly stressed about finding post-graduate employment, trying to take all the opportunities you can, and read all the cases your professors have assigned you. How are you supposed to find time for anything else?? Well, law school is designed to get you prepared for being an attorney. However, no one tells you how exactly. Most people believe that law school teaches you how to think like a lawyer and understand law and theory. Although this is true, I’d argue law school really teaches you how to act like a lawyer. By this, I don’t mean stand up in court or argue. Lawyers are VERY busy. At any given moment they could probably be working on several different things. You have to juggle your clients, your assignments, and your deadlines, all on top of maintaining your personal lives. Law school is designed to get you to prioritize, strategize, and organize. In order to be a successful attorney, you have to manage everything, so it follows that, in preparation, you must try to do the same as a law student.

Time and Organization

You are limited to 24 hours, 1440 minutes in a day. At first glance, this seems like an ample amount of time to get everything done that you need to do. However, time is valuable and you must understand this. Your time is affected but what and how you do things. Thus, you must manage your time well so you can do things besides law school. This means not only how long you do something but also how. In order to manage your time effectively, you need to be organized and flexible. This not only means keeping a schedule and understanding your commitments, but also adapting your plan of action and attack strategy when something isn’t working. By working smart and effectively, you will be able to make more time for your social life.

Make Concessions

You are a law student so you cannot do everything the world has to offer. Instead, you have to decide what is more important and make concessions. This involves figuring out everything you need/want to do and prioritizing. This is all about finding balance in your crazy schedule. Some things are more important than others, while others need to be done sooner rather than later. This can also mean actually scheduling time to be social so you don’t prioritize something else over it.

Social Life is Important

Despite what you may think, having a social life in school is very important. It keeps you sane, allows you to de-stress, and gives the appearance of normalcy. Also, your personal life does not stop when you enter law school. Life keeps going and law students typically miss out on a lot of it when during the school year. Thus, make time for your loved ones and have some fun – law school does not have to dictate your entire life.


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About Shirlene Brown

Shirlene Armstrong is a first-generation student in her last year at Wayne State University Law School in Detroit, Michigan. At Wayne, Shirlene has been involved with numerous organizations and clubs, including mock trial, LexisNexis, the Women's Law Caucus, and the Journal of Law and Society. Shirlene enjoys mentoring others and sharing what she has learned on her legal journey and continues to work hard in accomplishing her dreams.

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