Being a law student is hard. Being a busy law student? That’s impossible. Whether you are a “scared to death” 1L who is spending all your time studying, a “worked to death” 2L who is juggling moot court and law review, or a 3L getting ready for practice, all law students struggle with having time for anything other than law school. I bop around with several different rep positions, student organizations, and even a new position at a firm. It gets pretty crazy trying to balance school and all of the extracurricular activities. However, using my experience, follow these tips in order to make your hectic life a little bit easier:
The best way to get ahead is to plan ahead. If you have a clear game-plan for the week, you’ll be able to anticipate what is to come. In order to do this, you really need to know your schedule. As long as you know what the week will bring, you will be able to have some flexibility if things change. You will be able to alter your game plan as your week progresses, especially if something happens. With a clear plan and flexibility, you will be able to accomplish many things while still juggling all of your responsibilities.
One daily task that usually takes the most time is preparing meals. Not only do they take time for preparation, meals also require you to take time to actually cook the food. One way to combat this is to meal prep. On a day (most likely a weekend day) that you have little planned, you can focus on creating a meal schedule and prepping your meals. You can get all of the ingredients together and spend the afternoon cooking. A great tool for meal prepping is a crock-pot. You could even put all of the ingredients in the crock-pot before you leave for class and by the time you get back, dinner will be served. Also, meal prepping is one way to eat healthier in law school. Not only can meal-prepping reduce stress, it can also be beneficial to your health!
Five-Minutes Cram Sessions
By this, I don’t mean right before exams. Instead, when you have 5 minutes between classes, during lunch, or waiting for your friend to arrive, you can take this time to get 5 minutes deep into the law. This gives you a quick chance to check your understanding of the law while also making a productive use of your down time. So, instead of checking your Instagram feed for the sixth time before your Civil Procedure class, work on memorizing your outline or re-reading the case you’re on call for today.
One-Day Errand Day
Believe it or not, doing small menial tasks take a lot of time from your day. Just think about it: how much time do you spend doing the dishes, running to the store, grabbing an iced coffee from Starbucks, or even going to the hair salon? The short answer is a lot. Whether you realize it or not, errands take time to complete and if you are a busy law student, you definitely do not have time to spare. Thus, you should dedicate one day in the week for running all of your errands. Since you will already be away from your casebooks, you will be able to quickly get everything done so you can get back to that hectic schedule.
In addition to errands, household tasks take a large amount of time. Whether you live in an apartment or a house, you should (try) to keep your place clean. However, cleaning takes time away from studying. You need to make sure you have clean clothes, dishes to cook and eat off of, and a home that is hospitable to visitors. In order to make your life easier, you can schedule your cleaning. Instead of doing all of your cleaning on one day, you can do one task each day of the week.
Overall, busy students need to plan ahead to reduce stress. If you have a clear vision for the week or do things ahead of time, you will make your life much easier. Law school is a very stressful experience. Unfortunately, the stress only increases as you get more involved. However, if you work on organizing, you will make your life one step easier.
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