Law School can be extremely stressful. What you encounter in law school is unlike anything you have experienced before. We have all been there! The Law School Toolbox experts share their tips for beating stress and keeping your sanity in law school.
How Did You DeStress In Law School?
“It is so incredibly important to do things that de–stress you in law school. One of the things I tried to do was not study at home much, so home was always a place to relax and get away from school. I would also try to carve out time for exercise or yoga, movies and dinner with friends (including some good wine). I really enjoyed spending time with non-law school friends because they reminded me that the world outside of law school was still going on and they had the ability to bring me back down to earth when the stress started to get to me. It is important to schedule time each week to shut the books and have some fun. And this “fun time” should be guilt free! If you put together a smart study schedule you should have time to relax here and there and get your work done too.”
“I tried to take at least most of a day off once a week (typically Saturday or Friday, when I rarely had classes). I also tried to think of ways to force myself to get exercise. One of the most successful options I found was to sign up for a non-credit gym class, which also required a small fee. Once I’d committed to an exact time – and paid for it – I found I was much more likely to actually go! I took fun stuff like belly dancing, yoga, and squash (also good for networking, since most of the students were from the law school or business school!). It was fun, I met new people, and I got some useful exercise. A triple win! I was also a fan of long walks, since NYC is a great walking city and it’s a good way to calm the mind.”
“Hang out with non-law-school people and talk about things besides law school! Take a walk. Get outdoors. Do something physical. Plan something fun for the end of each week, it can be a nice incentive to study harder.”
“I agree with the idea of planning something fun for the end of each week. Between, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night, I would usually take one or two of those off to do something with friends. Being active and outdoors is really important to take your mind off of studying since it’s about as far from studying as you can get!”
“Build regular time for exercise into your schedule. Treat it like an important commitment. Doing this with a friend or partner will make it more fun and help you keep the commitment. You can also double bill the time as “exercise” and “social life”! If you’re not a gym rat or an athlete, try to walk. I used to walk to and from law school with classmates, about 30 minutes each way. It was great to get moving, get outdoors, and socialize, and it naturally fit exercise into my day.”
Meet The Law School Toolbox Experts
Lee Burgess is the co-founder of Law School Toolbox. She graduated cum laude from the University of San Francisco School of Law, was a TA for Contracts and Torts, and was the Managing Editor of the USF Law Review. Lee left her law firm job and became a private California bar exam tutor and law school tutor when she realized her passion for helping students succeed in law school and pass the bar.
Alison Monahan is the co-founder of Law School Toolbox. She graduated from Columbia Law School in 2006 as a Kent Scholar, a Stone Scholar, and a member of the Columbia Law Review. She was also a Civ Pro TA. After law school, Alison clerked for a federal District Court judge and worked as a patent litigator in a large law firm in San Francisco. She eventually left to start The Girl’s Guide to Law School®, which is a leading resource for individuals embarking on a legal career.
Ariel Salzer is a law school and California bar exam tutor for Law School Toolbox and Bar Exam Toolbox. She has taught everything from conjunctions to calculus on four different continents. As a student at the University of San Francisco School of Law, Ariel tutored Torts and led 1L workshops on time management, exam preparation, legal writing, and outlining. After practicing law as a product liability litigator in California for a number of years, Ariel found her way back to teaching and now enjoys helping students find success in their law school classes and on the bar exam.
Ben Nelson is a law school tutor and California and Oregon bar exam tutor for Law School Toolbox and Bar Exam Toolbox. As the oldest child of two professors, he realized from an early age that he wanted to strike out on his own. He eventually settled on law school and graduated from Columbia in 2014 as a Kent Scholar and a Stone Scholar. When he is not tutoring, Ben is a legal fellow for Earthjustice in Denver, CO where he works to protect the iconic American Southwest and Rocky Mountains from overuse.
Doretta McGinnis is a law school tutor for Law School Toolbox. After graduating from Harvard, she worked in academic publishing until a friend dared her to go to law school. Doretta earned her JD at Penn Law, where she was an editor of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review and a legal writing instructor. Eager to pay off her student loans, she practiced labor and employment law at a major Philadelphia law firm, but soon left Biglaw to pursue her interest in legal education. Doretta joined the faculty at Widener University Delaware Law School, where, over the course of nearly 20 years, she served as Associate Director of the legal writing program and taught labor law, employment discrimination, and bar exam prep. She is the co-founder of Admission Logic, LLC, an independent educational consulting practice focused on college admissions.
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Other helpful surviving law school posts:
- How to Take Care of Your Mental Health in Law School
- How to Get The Most out of Law School with Extracurricular Activities
- How Being a Law Student and a Functional Human Being Don’t Have to Be Mutually Exclusive
- How to Start Law School Right
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