#The2Llife: Managing Your Time

GUEST BLOG by Lauren Rose,
2L at University of Detroit Mercy 

One of the keys to being successful (really, I’m just equating success with not losing your mind) during law school is time management.  While arguably this is a key to being successful in life, it is really, really necessary during law school.  Mastering time management during my second year has been essential to my overall plan.

I am involved in two school organizations and I have two jobs.  While I’m not on moot court or law review, I felt the need to push myself into finding two different jobs.  I work better when I am busy because I am forced into managing my time.  While this is often stressful, it is what helps me find balance.

I live by my Google calendar and I use it for everything.  I use it to track midterms, reading assignments, finals, meetings, my work schedules, and outings.  If an online calendar is not your thing, I would suggest getting some type of calendar or agenda to keep track of your life.  I even write down my workouts.  As law students, we are expected to remember the facts and holdings of cases so make it simpler on yourself and write down the date your paper is due instead of trying to remember it.

As horrible as this sounds, I try to avoid watching T.V.  Really, I do this because I don’t have time.  However, I also avoid T.V. because I have been sucked into a binge where I don’t move for four hours.  I will try to watch an episode of How To Get Away With Murder or another show, but I usually record it so that I can watch it when I actually have time.

The point of this post is that managing your time, especially with the use of a calendar, is incredibly important.  If you write something down, you will feel more pressure to actually do it.  While that sounds a little harsh, it is true.  Writing it down will hold you accountable.  So, take it from, someone who learned the hard way, that managing your time efficiently will be crucial to your success in law school.

What are your thoughts? What time management strategies do you use? Tweet me @The2LLife!

#The3Llife: Using Your Resources

GUEST BLOG by Harrison Thorne,
3L at UCLA Law

This past week, I asked a question, and my teacher singled me out in a class of well over fifty students.

She said, “Harrison is always prepared, and always thinks about the material before coming to class.  I know this because he often emails me asking for the answers to the coming week’s readings on the weekends.”  Everybody laughed, and we moved on.

After class, she apologized for “putting me on the spot.”  I laughed and responded, “Don’t worry about it.  I’m embarrass-proof after three years of law school.  And also, why would I not ask a million questions?  I’m taking out literally thousands of dollars for the opportunity!”

I tell this story because it reflects a huge shift in my thinking.  When I first began studying law, I thought of professors as demigods that were to be admired but not spoken to.  I never asked questions or emailed, for fear they would judge my question as dumb.

After a few months, I realized that I was seriously shortchanging myself by taking that approach.  I drastically changed.  My professors essentially know me as the guy who asks forty questions a week now!

Overall, I have learned to use all the resources available to me.  I delegate tasks when I can, I ask questions when I don’t understand something, and I use office hours to gain clarity.

In fact, I’m doing something new tomorrow: a professor had to cancel office hours because of a scheduling conflict, so I pressed him to come up with a time to meet.  When no alternative time was mutually acceptable, he agreed to speak to me over the telephone tomorrow evening.  Tomorrow will be the first time I have ever spoken to a law professor on a Friday night . . .