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Having a Social Life at Law School

published July 30, 2013

By Author - LawCrossing
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( 184 votes, average: 5 out of 5)
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Can You Have A Social Life at Law School? Yes, You Can!
 
Having a Social Life at Law School

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Success in law school and a satisfying social life need not be mutually exclusive. But this isn't college, and making a social life for yourself will require more effort for several reasons. For instance, your law school class will probably be a lot smaller than your college class. Students also probably live more spread out from one another than they did in your undergraduate school. Many of your law school classmates will be married, engaged, or living with a significant other. In addition, you will have more schoolwork than you did in college, and the other students will be more stressed out than your classmates in college. But don't lose hope; there are other fun-loving future lawyers out there who don't just want to spend the next three years languishing in the library.

The key to a balanced life at law school-which includes both work and play-is time management: that is, making time for yourself to have fun and still get your work done.

Here are some suggestions to help clear your schedule for some very necessary fun. But underlying all of these tips, remember that if you were a fun person before you came to law school that does not have to change. Seek out others with the same priorities you have, and let the festivities begin!

Get away! If you or a friend has access to a car, take a road trip to see the local sights or to go visit a friend. Or buy a guidebook to the area in which your law school is located to find out what public transportation will take you into the "real world" (even if it might just be a half an hour away). Go skiing or learn to snowboard in the winter. In the spring, take an early trip to the beach. For students living in the big city, a trip to a suburban shopping mall or multiplex movie theater might be enough to give you the distance you need to remember that you had a social life before you came to law school, and that you still can, too.
  • KEEP YOUR NIGHTS FREE.
Law students often have long blocks of time between their classes. Use this time to your advantage. Make a habit of setting this time aside to do the next day's reading assignments. This should make a large dent in the amount of work you have to do in the evening, and it might even free up your evening and nighttime hours completely.

In my first year, my school set up our schedule so that we had hours between our classes on a given day. It was easy to sit out in the sun and waste that time, but it made more sense to just go to the library and get the next day's work out of the way. So when we left school that afternoon, we were free until the next morning. At night, it was like we were not even in law school, because we could do whatever we felt like doing.
  • BE A LEADER.
Don't just wait around for fun to spontaneously take place around you. At some schools, this just will not happen. So be a leader, and inspire others to take the first step away from their books by tempting them with something better. Make an announcement at your Friday class that a group of students will be meeting at a local bar for happy hour. Organize a party in your dorm, or invite people over to your apartment. Get a group together to attend the opening night of a much-hyped action movie. If you give your fellow students a reason to leave the library, they will.

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Near the end of my first year, a group of my friends and I began a tradition that has continued until the present Every Monday night at about 10 P.M. , we all meet at a local bar to hang out, play pool, and drink. It has gotten to the point that you need a hell of an excuse to miss a Monday night-even a final the next day won't cut it. We have grown to such a large group, sometimes reaching 50, that we tend to almost take over the bar. This has become a great way to let off steam and hang out in a non-law school context. -RONEN ELAD, COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL
  • GET INVOLVED IN EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES.
You can improve your social relations even without leaving the law school campus. Most schools have extracurricular activities to suit students of every conceivable interest (read more on "Law Reviews and Journals," and "Extracurricular Activities and Moot Court"). There are journals, political groups, and advocacy clinics that provide law students with great legal experience and spontaneous fun. Even law students will loosen up when put into a large enough group. And these groups often organize social events for their members.

Meeting people through activities can also help you academically, because second- and third-year students involved in the groups will have outlines and advice that will help save you time, thereby giving you even more time to do what you want.
  • GET OFF CAMPUS AND EXPLORE.
I bought a set of tapes on Federal Income Tax. My friend and I got in the car and drove to Walden Pond, then up to New Hampshire, listening and learning about tax law. We stopped for dinner in a small town, and we did some sightseeing on the way back. It was a; great way to study without being trapped in the library, and it's a time my friend and I will always remember. -SHELLY HIRSCHTRITT, COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL

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published July 30, 2013

By Author - LawCrossing
( 184 votes, average: 5 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.