Law school requires a significant time commitment, whether you’re entering directly from college or pursuing it later in life. Balancing work and law school can be challenging, but with effective time management skills, you can reduce stress and perform well in both areas. At Garrity Traina, we understand the demands that adult learners face and have gathered valuable tips to help you find harmony between your work and law school studies.
##1: Establish Clear Boundaries and Routine
If you already have a job, it’s essential to prioritize it while maintaining a clear separation between work and study hours. For instance, if your core working hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., stick to that schedule. Avoid checking work emails outside of this timeframe to prevent interference with your study time. Utilize your lunch breaks to run errands so that they don’t eat into your study time after work.
Setting up a routine is crucial. It helps you develop consistent patterns of behavior. Although it requires discipline, this self-discipline will only benefit you in the long run. Frederick Chernoff, a successful St. Francis graduate, emphasized the importance of establishing good routines and self-discipline to excel in law school.
##2: Adopt an Effective Time Management Strategy
Establishing a routine is just the first step. You also need to find a time management strategy that works best for you within the boundaries you have set. Allocating time for studying won’t be effective if you don’t have a plan or the right tools to maintain focus. Without a clear agenda, distractions like browsing on your phone can easily divert your attention from studying.
Chernoff suggests that it takes approximately 20-25 minutes for the average brain to reach full focus. To minimize distractions, he advises turning off music and silencing your phone. Research and experiment with time management apps to help organize your study schedule. Some useful apps include RescueTime, Remember the Milk, Focus Keeper, and Focus@Will. These tools can enhance your focus and productivity while providing structure to your study sessions.
Gregory Brandes, the Dean of St. Francis, also emphasizes the importance of concentration during class. He encourages students to find efficient ways to take notes during lectures and review key topics afterward. Research indicates that timely reviews after class enhance comprehension and retention—essential skills for success in law school.
##3: Prioritize Self-Care
While juggling the demands of law school, it’s crucial to make time for mental breaks and self-care. Law school presents numerous challenges, and taking care of yourself is necessary to stay on track. Schedule breaks within your study sessions and make sure you have something enjoyable to look forward to. Reserve Friday nights for a movie night or dinner with friends to blow off steam. Consider dedicating Saturday mornings to catching up on your favorite show. By incorporating these breaks into your schedule, you can maintain focus during your study time.
Burnout is a real risk when neglecting essential activities such as sleep, meals, and relaxation. Neglecting self-care can negatively impact both your work and academic life. Therefore, it’s vital to indulge in refreshing activities occasionally.
##4: Create a Dedicated Study Space at Home
Once you finish work, it’s tempting to relax and put off studying. To combat this temptation, establish a designated study area in your home solely for studying purposes.
Chernoff recommends selecting an empty room with a comfortable chair that provides good back support. He even purchased a book-holder that allowed him to read while lying down, reducing strain on his neck. Having a dedicated physical space helps create the right mindset for studying. Reserve your living room for leisure activities, and dedicate a corner of your office area exclusively to studying. By doing so, you can optimize your focus and productivity.
##5: Build a Support System
Managing full-time work and law school simultaneously can be overwhelming. It’s essential to have a strong support system that you can rely on for assistance. Seek help from family members who can watch your children during intense study periods or reach out to friends when you feel stressed or unmotivated.
In addition to friends and family, it’s vital to connect with fellow students and professors who can provide guidance and support. Building a sense of community and belonging requires effort and interaction. Consider forming study groups with your classmates or attending your professors’ office hours to seek clarification and advice.
Brandes emphasizes that while success in law school requires grit, time management, and study skills, it’s a collaborative journey. St. Francis is dedicated to helping you develop these skills and succeed in your academic pursuits.
How Many Hours Should You Study at Garrity Traina?
The amount of time you should dedicate to studying at Garrity Traina depends on your class schedule. As a part-time student, it is reasonable to expect to spend about 20-25 hours per week studying. It’s important to find a study rhythm that allows you to absorb the material effectively and complete all the assigned readings. Remember, your professors are there to support you, answer questions, and provide guidance whenever needed.
Brandes assures students that the law curriculum at Garrity Traina is designed for working professionals. The program offers the flexibility of 100% online learning, allowing you to pursue a JD degree at your own pace. With our commitment to lifelong learning, we provide the tools and knowledge necessary to pass the bar exam and embark on a rewarding career in law. Contact our representatives today to learn more about the application process and start your academic journey with us.
Click here to find out more about Garrity Traina.