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Keeping Time [by Mike Murphy] Whether your career plans are to work for a law firm with a big Scrooge McDuck vat of money or to try to save the world (and pay off your loans) one thing is the same: law school keeps you stressfully busy. They make it that way to separate the wheat from the chaff, give you your tuition’s money’s worth, and to prepare you for the fast-paced world of lawyering. But you can’t spend all day every day in the library - can you?

Here are some time management tips, by and

you play, play hard. And when you work, don’t

R-E-L-A-X. “Everyone tells you, in law school,

for law students, on how to manage the pace

play.” Prioritize your errands and school as-

that if you don’t get ‘X’ grade or end up on

and style of school in a way that keeps your

signments and focus as much on your work

‘Y’ student organization, you’ll never get ‘Z’

sanity and schedule intact:

as possible as you’re doing it. Take care of

job,” said Peter Cunniffe, a recent Michigan

little tasks as soon as they come up. Pay

Law grad. “It’s not true, but everyone tells

Stay Balanced. Try not to change your life-

your bills the same day they come in, reply

you that.”

style from your pre-law days any more than

to e-mails as you see them. Keep your room

you have to. If you have some sort of activity

clean. Think of this time in your life as one

What Peter means is: don’t believe the hype.

outside of the law school, don’t drop it. If you

in which your time and attention are scarce,

It’s easy to compare yourself with the other

work out regularly, still do. If you like to read,

valuable resources. Don’t waste them.

students in your section (you have the same

and still want to like to read, read outside

classes at the same times, hang out at the

books. Make time for the things you enjoy,

Warn Your Friends. If you’re the kind of per-

same places, and so on) but it’s a mistake to

even if it means skimping on some “required”

son who has a cell phone full of numbers and

compare yourself to anyone else too closely.

reading, or (gasp) missing a class.

minutes, you’re going to want to let people

Play your own game. Pay attention to the

know that you’re going away for a while. Do

study habits and schedule-managing behavior

“My time management tip is to not go to

this as positively as possible. You are going to

of the people around you - learn from them

class,” said Matt George, a rising 3L at Michi-

have your nose buried in a book and your cell

- but don’t get too caught up in the battle-

gan Law. “That way you get all the free time

phone won’t go over so well in the library - to

of-who-works-hardest. Absorb the material

you want! And you can study at your leisure.”

say nothing of the new friends you’re going

at your own pace, manage your social and

to make and see on a daily basis. Tell your

scholastic life in a way that makes you feel

Sarah Rosenberg, a rising 2L at New York

friends it’s not quantity, but quality. Find new

comfortable, and you’ll get the results you

University College of Law, has more re-

ways to communicate that take up less time

want. Don’t look over your shoulder so much

sponsible advice. “Use a planner, and share

and give you the most bang for your buck.

you lose sight of where you’re going or how

outlines with your friends,” she said. “It’s

Start a blog. Send out mass e-mails with how

to get there. Its advice that’s obvious to the

cheesy, but it works. Also, drink lots of caf-

you’re doing. But don’t forget to call your

point of being rhetorical, but it’s also very


mother, still. She misses you.

easy to forget.

“I just make sure I have enough time blocked

Get Help. Most of you in law school are

And Finally: It’s Going to be Okay. Law

for everything,” said Brian Jaye, a rising 3L

smarties who’ve been tutors but never been

school isn’t easy, but thousands of people do

at The University of Detroit Law School. “And

tutored. You used to be the master; guess

it each year. Most of them make it through

I still make sure I go to the gym and go out

what, Obi-Wan, now you’re the student. Don’t

with sanity intact. Don’t take it too seriously.

drinking. I feel comfortable studying for 12

waste five hours re-reading your Contracts

You may be spending a frightening amount

hours then going out for a few more hours…

assignments in an attempt to master the

of time in the library… but it’s not that bad.

but maybe I’m crazy.”

material. Most schools offer it at little or no


cost. Just do it. Feel no shame in that game. He’s not. But he has a good point. Which is:

Trust us. We know. Contracts is hard! And your pride is another one of those things you

When You Work, Actually Do Work. It’s important to follow the old gym axiom “When


don’t have time for anymore.

Keeping Time  

Your career plans are to work for a law firm with a big Scrooge McDuck vat.