How to Make Law School a 9 to 5

How to Make Law School a 9 to 5

This week we welcome back Julia Gourary to talk about how to make law school like a regular, full-time, job.

Law school is demanding. Between going to class, preparing for class, doing practice problems, outlining, extracurriculars, and applying for jobs, it seems like the work never ends. Law school can and will take up all your time if you let it, crowding out everything else in your life.

My 1L fall, I fell prey to this. I let my work take however long it took, leaving me scrambling to fit in other things like exercise, seeing friends, cleaning, and running errands in the fragments of time that were left over. I always felt like I was in work mode or should be working, even when I was supposed to be relaxing.

My 1L spring, I decided to try something different: making law school a 9 to 5(ish). I would arrive at school the same time every morning, attend class and do my readings during the “workday,” and then go home and be finished for the day. It doesn’t have to be exact—I did work a few hours over the weekend to make my week a little easier, and in the period leading up to exams I didn’t always stick to this schedule. But the general principle is this: if your plan out your time in advance, commit to efficiency during the “workday,” and set boundaries between school and home, law school does not need to be all-consuming.

Here’s how to do it:

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How To Juggle Multiple Work Assignments At Once

How To Juggle Multiple Work Assignments At OnceThis week we welcome back guest writer Marissa Geannette to discuss managing multiple work assignments as a lawyer.

As a law student, you already know what it’s like to have more than one thing due at once. Having competing obligations and multiple assignments due at once is nothing new to you.

When you begin working, especially at a law firm, you’ll likely find that you have even more things to juggle. Sooner rather than later, you’re bound to receive multiple assignments, from multiple lawyers, all due at the same time. So, what’s a new lawyer to do?

First of all, let’s put something to bed once and for all– multitasking doesn’t work. Our minds can’t do two things at once, so when we try to do that, we end up costing ourselves more time in the end.

That’s why none of these tips are about how to multitask. Instead, we talk about other strategies you can implement to juggle multiple work assignments without driving yourself crazy.

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Time-Saving Tips for Law Students

Time-Saving Tips for Law StudentsThis week we welcome back guest writer Julia Gourary to talk about some ideas for saving time as a law student.

In law school, it sometimes feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day for everything. Whether you’re juggling school with a part-time job, a relationship, parenting, or just trying to find time for healthy habits like exercise, sleep, and eating right, time can be tight. Assuming you’ve already gone for low-hanging fruit like putting your phone on Do Not Disturb, avoiding social media, or staying out of Internet rabbit holes in order to avoid distraction, what else can a busy law student do to save time? Read on for some time-saving tips for law students. [Read more…]

How To Save Time On Meal Prep To Have More Time To Study

How To Save Time On Meal Prep To Have More Time To StudyThis week we’re hearing from guest writer Hillary Vaillancourt about how meal prep can be a useful tool to save you time during law school.

Truth be told, my idea of a great Saturday afternoon is spending the entire time in the kitchen rustling up some quality grub. I’m talking scratch-made biscuits baked with real butter, sliced open while still steaming to spread a layer of homemade tomato jam, then finished with a sprinkle of fresh herbs from my garden.

Sadly, there are days, weeks, heck sometimes whole months when life doesn’t afford me the opportunity to spend so much time experimenting with recipes and concocting scrumptious three-course meals for my family.

Multitasking can take a little of the stress out of preparing food while also being able to study, but sometimes it’s not the most practical or desirable option. Instead, here are a few ways you can simplify your meal prep in order to spend more time on your studies. [Read more…]

7 Law School Resolutions For The New Year

7 Law School Resolutions For The New YearThis week we welcome back guest writer Tiffany Lo to talk about starting fresh in the new year with some resolutions.

Being a law student is not easy. There is always room for improvement—to make things more efficient, to grow your knowledge, to hone your legal skills. This year, consider adopting some of these new year resolutions:

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Juggling Kids in Remote School and Law School Life

Juggling Kids in Remote School and Law School LifeThis week we welcome guest writer Emily Carter to talk about managing your kid’s remote schooling and your own law school responsibilities.

As I type these very words, I am remote schooling my children. Now, rest assured, I say this with no pride, no smugness, not even a hair of belief that I am succeeding in this balancing act that somehow, the confluence of a virus, parenting, and work responsibilities has loaded on me and many others.

No, please, be assured, my floor is dirty (macaroni, cheerios, and freshly snipped paper cuttings from an elementary schooler’s project are in the current floor assortment). My meal choices lack nutritional value (hot pretzels for lunch, anyone?). And my oldest son, having just emerged from the bathroom at this very moment, reports that the hand towel is soaking wet, soap scum coats the sink, and, in his words, “it stinks in there.” I blame the toddler, who having quickly graduated from potty training to mostly independent bathroom use, lacks a full respect for cleanliness. [Read more…]

My Law School Morning Routine

My Law School Morning RoutineThis week we welcome back guest writer Cathlyn Melvin to talk about her morning routine to get ready for law school.

My earliest class this semester is 9am. Hallelujah. I like to have time to myself in the mornings: I’m happiest when I can accomplish a few things before I get started with my work or school obligations.

Oh, and also: before I look at my phone (gasp!).

That’s right: when I go to bed at night I plug my phone in and put it face-down on my nightstand. And in the morning, I try not to touch it until my “morning routine” is complete, and I’m ready to work.

So here’s what I do instead.

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Young Lawyer Perspective – How To Keep Yourself Organized

Young Lawyer Perspective - How To Keep Yourself OrganizedThis week we welcome back guest writer Shirlene Armstrong to talk about staying organized as a newly admitted lawyer.

Are you a newly admitted or “young” lawyer? Are you overwhelmed with the amount of work you have to do? Are you not even sure where to start or how to get yourself organized? You’re in luck! I am a young associate who has a passion for organization. I am an attorney at a small-medium law firm that specializes in personal injury. I started at the firm in my first year of law school as a law clerk/paralegal (the only one for quite some time too) and became an attorney after I graduated and passed the bar. Because of this, I was able to learn how to manage assignments and cases and figured out very quickly I had to keep myself VERY organized. When you first get into practice, you are kind of just thrown into things. No one sits you down and tells you, “hey this is how you should keep yourself organized” or “here is a comprehensive guide on how to manage your caseload.” While I may not know everything there is to know about practicing law (yet), I still want to use my experience to help you keep yourself organized. Here are some tips and tricks that have helped me in my practice. [Read more…]

Young Lawyer Perspective – A Day in My Life, Working From Home

Young Lawyer Perspective - A Day in My Life, Working From HomeThis week we welcome back guest writer Shirlene Armstrong to talk about starting out as a new lawyer and working from home in the age of COVID-19.

If someone told me that I would spend my first year in practice working from home for numerous weeks (potentially months), I would think they were trying to pull my leg. However, this is the reality that we are living in. I have been working from home for several weeks now due to the current health crisis. Personally, I am fortunate that I am able to work from home and continue to advocate for my clients. However, this is a new world for me (and I am sure it is for you as well). In an interesting turn of events, my bar prep period kind of prepared me for this. During that time, I had to find a balance between studying and my personal life in order to maintain my sanity. However, how do you find a work-play balance when you are stuck in your home for both? Here is a look into my life working from home as a first year associate. [Read more…]

Five Different Time Management Methods: Getting More Done Without Feeling Overwhelmed

Five Different Time Management Methods: Getting More Done Without Feeling OverwhelmedThis week we welcome back guest writer Alexandra Muskat to talk about coming up with a system for time management that works for you!

I have a unique love affair with time management and multitasking. It started as a child and crescendoed as an adult when I became a nanny to a high level executive’s three rambunctious, adorable, intelligent boys. There is nothing quite like figuring out how to juggle graduate school courses (I had a stint attempting an MLA in Gothic Literature), working on your own novel, and meeting the needs of a two year old who constantly attempted dangerous trapeze acts.

It was during that time that I figured out how to manage my days in blocks of time, and I took that efficiency method into law school and bar exam prep. Having your time blocked out, or following any of the time efficiency methods below, gives you structure and allows you to not feel overwhelmed, which in turn, helps you get more done.

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