Law School Survival Guide

Law School Survival Guide for Evening Students

Law schools that offer evening classes provide a tremendous opportunity for students to accomplish the goal of obtaining a law degree.  Whether you have a full-time job, are a stay-at-home mom, or have other reasons why night school fits your lifestyle, we can all agree that attending school in the evening can be difficult.  Lincoln Law School of San Jose has some “survival tips” that can help you stay focused and make the best out of your night school experience.

NIGHT SCHOOL SURVIVAL TIP #1: Up Your Energy

It is no secret that attending night classes can be painful for those that are drained by the end of the day.  So, what can you do? Take a power nap.  Yes, it is counter-intuitive to sleep to stay awake, but it is the best way to keep your brain fresh for learning.  A 15 to 20-minute nap can increase your energy level and change your mood.  Not sure how to take a power nap?  Read Sleep Habits’ article “The 20 Minute Power Nap: How to Power Nap like a Pro”.

When a power nap is not enough or just not possible, coffee can help.  Drinking caffeinated beverages at night to stay awake should be done with caution.  The positive is that you can stay awake and alert, but the downside is not being able to go to sleep after class.  Understand your body and measure your caffeine dosage so that the lack of sleep doesn’t become a larger obstacle for your success.

NIGHT SCHOOL SURVIVAL TIP #2: Eat Light Before Class

Sitting in class for 2 to 3 hours can be tough on an empty stomach.  Hunger is a distraction that can affect your ability to focus and learn.  We recommend eating a light meal before class.  EatingWell has some great recipes that can help you avoid heavy food crashes.

NIGHT SCHOOL SURVIVAL TIP #3: Stay Organized

As a student, you probably had been told all your life how important it is to be organized, right?  It’s true.  We are not going to go through all the reasons why, but what we will give you is some good free tools to help you.

Trello – This is a great app to keep a visual status of assignments and projects that are due.  Trello is packed with some great features and it’s free.  Medium, an online magazine, has a great article, “The Student Guide to Trello,” that can help you get more acquainted with this productivity tool.

Google Keep – This a free mobile and desktop application that helps you stay organized in a way that most students relate to.   If you write sticky notes for reminders, you will love Google Keep, it is your sticky notes with technology enhancements.   Matt Miller has a great video, “10 ways Google Keep can streamline your life at school,” which breaks down features within Google Keep that benefits law school students.

myHomework – Do you need an application made specifically for students?  myHomework’s Student Planner may be the solution you need.  The free account features include an assignments tracker, class tracker, due date reminders and upcoming assignment widgets.  This is a cross-platform application which is available on Apple, Android, Windows and Amazon Kindle.

NIGHT SCHOOL SURVIVAL TIP #4: Be Social

So much can be written on the power of creating relationships.  In a world of technology and digital social platforms, we can easily get caught up in operating in our own bubble.  Making it an intentional goal to meet with your classmates could prove to be the key to improved academics.  An article written by Kasia Kovacs and posted on Inside Higher Ed suggests that friendship in college may be essential for academic success.

NIGHT SCHOOL SURVIVAL TIP #5: Stay Positive

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” -Theodore Roosevelt.

Having a positive attitude while attending night classes can be the one best thing you can do for yourself.  Staying positive can improve your quality of life from both a health and social perspective.  As you attend law school at night, it can become daunting. Focus on creating habits that can keep your attitude positive.

John Hopkins Medicine suggests the following:

  • Smiling more can help you reduce stress and blood pressure.
  • Practice reframing – In stressful situations, “reframe” the situation to find the good or count your blessing and appreciate the moment.
  • Build resiliency by adapting to stressful and/or negative situations including loss.

 

Attending night classes can be rough, especially if you are going to law school, but our Survival Guide gives you some practical tips to support your success.  If you have any additional tips you would like to share, feel free to post them in the comments.  We welcome your feedback.