Successful Time Management = Law School Success

flickr photo by Leticia Chamorro

flickr photo by Leticia Chamorro

By Blake Williams

By now we all know that law school is time consuming, and we can also agree that it’s a full-time job.  Therefore, an important factor for law school success is the ability to manage your time wisely.   Time management is important not only because you must be able to manage your time effectively in order to get everything done in law school, but also because it can help you reduce stress and keep your priorities in focus.


Organization is the key to conquering law school.  Start by analyzing your study habits to determine what works best for you.  Next, acquire a planner that you will always keep with you.  Making and following a schedule is the most effective way to manage your time.  You should approach law school as a job with regular hours.   Set aside time for everything you need to do during the day: classes, work, and non-law school commitments.


Here are some tips that will help you take advantage of your time.  Remember, time management is a learned skill, and if you are on top of your time, you will be successful.

  1. Study in short segments
    • Don’t study for more than a three hour stretch.  Plan your breaks.
  2. Take study breaks
    • Schedule breaks instead of taking them every 15 minutes.  Treat yourself to a fun activity that is not law related when you complete a difficult assignment.
  3. Limit your distractions.
    • Turn off your wireless.  Find a study place free of distractions.
  4. Learn to say “No”
    • Don’t overload yourself with outside activities that will encroach on your study time.
  5. Study on the go
    • Make use of otherwise wasted time.  For instance, listen to study tapes when you’re driving, or study flash cards when you are in the doctor’s office.
  6. Be systematic with your review
    • Review cases before and after class.  Review your class notes daily or at least on a weekly basis.  These reviews will improve your retention and make exam preparation less stressful.
  7. Track your study time
    • Keep track of the amount of time you spend studying each subject.  This will help you estimate the amount of time it will take to complete future assignments, as well as help you create a more realistic schedule.
  8. Treat law school like a full-time job.
    1. Come to campus for class and stay on campus.  Study between your classes.  The more you complete during the day, the more free time you will have at night.
  9. Make sure to eat well and exercise
    • Retain your energy by eating well and exercising on a regular basis.  These activities will keep you focused and alert.
  10. Balance you time wisely
    • Law school requires sacrifice, but make sure to find time for some of the things you enjoy.  Make time in your schedule for family, friends, and other activities.  Balance helps you feel positive and remain productive.
  11. Get some sleep!
    • Make sure to insert sleep into your schedule.  Rest is important to your health and keeps your mind sharp.


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