Time Management for Law Students
No doubt for many of you time management is a skill which often eludes students. Many students are masters of procrastination, waiting to the last minute to complete research papers or study for exams. In other instances, particularly on the graduate level, students become so overwhelmed with the massive daily workload of class preparation, they find little time to think beyond the immediate, short term deadlines. Lost in the maze of reading, outlining, study group meetings, and attending class is inappropriate attention to what is really important.
Success in law school depends on both consistent preparation for class and consistent preparation for finals. Achieving both of these goals and at the same time maintaining sanity involves effectively planning and managing time.
Use a daily calendaring system to plan and record your schedule. Schedule EVERYTHING in your calendar. Use the semester calendar provided by your law school to enter important dates such as the first and last day of classes, school holidays and other important school events. Then use your personal class schedule to add the times when your classes meet and the dates and times of your exams. From there, for each day of the week schedule time for daily activities from eating to sleeping to class and exam preparation. Do not forget to schedule mundane activities such as weekly laundry.
This may seem like a very rigid system. It is. Nevertheless it does allow for a degree of flexibility. If your initial scheduling attempt is not working for you revisit it and adjust it so that it does work for you. When you have a great many tasks to complete over a short time period it is necessary to stay on task and not allow yourself a great deal of wiggle room for distractions.
A tough academic program does not preclude you from social activity. In fact, the more challenging the academic program, the more important it is to find time for leisure activities in order to minimize your level of stress and keep your life balanced. As you schedule your days and weeks, be sure to schedule time for relaxation. This may mean going to the gym, catching a movie, hanging out with friends, visiting family, going to church, spending a little time on social media, or catching up on TV programs DVR-ed earlier in the week. While there is no magic number of hours that you should devote to relaxation each week it is a good idea to schedule at least a little time on most days.
Rid your life of time wasters. When you have a lot of things to accomplish each day, it is easy to get distracted by time wasters, disguised as productivity. For example, while spending time on the internet completing academic work, refrain from sneaking in mindless, irrelevant internet searches. Do you really need to check TMZ.com at that moment? During your scheduled leisure time it is acceptable to spend time on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media. But beware that 30 minutes on Facebook can easily turn into an hour. Stick to your schedule. Catching up with friends after a week of limited contact can be a fun way to wind down. However, getting caught up with a lot of drama and gossip may ultimately be stressful and not at all relaxing.
Remember that in the grand scheme of things law school is a very brief experience where you have only a few fleeting moments to prove yourself. Take the time to put your life in order so that you can maximize the experience and at the same time continue to explore the activities and connections that you found satisfying prior to law school.
This article was written by FindMyLawTutor.com.
Visit us at www.findmylawtutor.com for Help with LSAT Practice Problems and Tutoring, Law School Admissions and Assistance, and Bar Exam Preparation. Our website matches LSAT, Law School, and Bar Tutors with students and legal study materials– Providing Law Students with Help with Legal Exams.