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Randomness from a 2005 graduate of The Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University

 

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Apologies to Better Late Than Never for taking so long to link... Now that I'm finally doing so, I will also follow MLS's lead and answer BLTN's questions here.

1. How much time per week do you spend studying?

My first year I did treat studying as a full time job. What that meant for me was that I was at school or the campus Starbucks by 8:30am almost every day. I went to class and did my reading in between classes. At 4:00 when class was over, I went home, and that was the end of my studying for the day under normal circumstances. Then on Saturday mornings I would read for 3-4 hours to get a little bit ahead for the following week. Remember, with a full time job, when you leave the office you get to go home and relax. My second year I ended up having to read for at least a couple hours every night because I was so busy during the day with clinics/work/interviews/etc. that I could rarely read during the day. I studied enough to never fall behind, to not have to outline anything in a single weekend, but not nearly as much as some people. And I have no regrets.

2. What's your perception of competition at the school? How have you dealt with it?

I think it is definitely competitive, but there are a lot of ways to deal with that. I think the most important thing to help anyone enjoy law school is to truly not allow grades to define you. Whether you get straight As, straight Cs, or somewhere in between, you need to recognize that you have an identity beyond your GPA. You have an identity beyond your job. You have an identity beyond law school. If you keep those things in mind, and really believe them, the competition will be apparent to you, but will not consume you.

As a side note, some of the competition/nastiness is just plain weird. People will judge the way you dress; people will talk about who you hang out with; people will suddenly stop and start talking to you for unknown reasons. I think this is partially a function of many people still being in a college mindset. But really, I just don't get it.

3. Anything you would recommend reading (or doing) before school starts?

I would recommend reading for fun. You will not have time or energy to do so again for a long, long time. I would recommend going on a vacation. I read all the guides to lawschool because I was so excited. They didn't teach me anything especially useful, but they helped satisfy my anticipation. I read a civil procedure hornbook for months before school started. It didn't help. Enjoy your free time and trust that you are as prepared as you can be before actually getting to class.

I'm sure you can see that there is a very wide range of approaches to law school. My only real advice is to figure out not even what "works best for you," but what makes you happiest. Good luck.
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