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Sam Clarke, 3L's picture

Sam is a 3L from New Bedford, Massachusetts. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a degree in Economics, she worked at Panera Bread for a year. Sam came to law school as the result of a crippling addiction to television crime procedurals. She has since...

Sam Clarke, 3L's Post

The 9-5 (or 7-11) of a Law Student

Posted by Sam Clarke on 01/09/2013 at 02:57 PM

A lot of people ask what a typical day is like for a law student.  What follows is a fictional, but highly representative typical school day for me.  It is absolutely riveting.


7:00 a.m.         Alarm goes off.

7:27 a.m.         I crawl out of bed.

7:35 a.m.         Quick stop at Bristol Bagel Works for coffee and breakfast to go.  Alicia, who works behind the counter, asks me if I just rolled out of bed.  I mutter something incoherent at her.

7:46 a.m.         I arrive at school and settle in to read the news online while I eat breakfast, but am quickly derailed by engagement photos on Facebook.

8:01 a.m.         My friend Allison arrives at school and texts me to come meet her.  We’re going to review the problems for our Evidence class today.

8:05 a.m.         We slowly review each problem, talking about our answers and speculating about who will be called on today.  After we finish, I decide to re-read one of the cases because I still didn’t understand why the court admitted the evidence.

8:47 a.m.         Allison and I walk into our Evidence classroom.  We’re still talking about the case.

9:00 a.m.         Class begins.  For the next hour and fifteen minutes I type frantically and try to understand the professor’s explanation of each piece of evidence and why it came in or was kept out.  In particular I take careful notes about the case that I re-read that morning.  When the professor explains it as a poorly reasoned case, I feel less annoyed about being so confused earlier.

10:15 a.m.       Class is over.  Allison is heading to her internship in East Providence so she rushes out.  I decide to go to the library with my friend Chloe to read for tomorrow’s classes.

10:20 a.m.       Chloe and I unpack our books and highlighters and start reading our assignment for Constitutional Law.

12:26 p.m.       “I can’t take it anymore!”  I throw my highlighter down.  “I have to have lunch!”  Chloe agrees.

12:34 p.m.       Chloe grabs a salad and I get the ham sandwich that I get every day down in the Bistro.  We join Joceline and Susana who are already working at a table.  While we eat, Chloe and I complain about the dissent in the case that makes up the bulk of our Con Law assignment.  Joceline hasn’t read it yet and looks very displeased at the news that the dissent is longer than the majority opinion.  Susana asks if I’ve read Business Organizations yet, and my stomach does a guilty twist.  I haven’t opened the book since last Thursday’s class.

12:59 p.m.       After lunch I run upstairs to grab my Biz Org book and my Sales book, and after a second’s thought, I pick up Chloe’s Ocean and Coastal Law textbook too, hoping to tempt her to stay with me while I read for the rest of tomorrow’s classes.

1:05 p.m.         Chloe thanks me for bringing her book and agrees to stay with me while I finish Con Law and start Sales.  She flat-out refuses to stay while I read Biz Org, which is probably wise on her part, since it is an epic undertaking of four hours minimum and I have no idea how long Sales will take.  I am irritated with myself for not starting Tuesday’s readings over the weekend.

3:55 p.m.         Leticia stops in and asks if we’d like to go to the Hawk’s Nest for coffee.  I jump up to go with her.  My eyes have been sliding shut for the last twenty minutes.  We walk over to the Rec Center for our drinks and talk about the Biz Org reading.  Leticia is almost done with it but I still have the full forty pages to read, since I am still working on Sales.  She assures me it goes quickly and is fairly interesting.  I think she is just telling me that to make me feel better but I appreciate it anyway.

5:26 p.m.         Chloe finally leaves our library room to head home for dinner.  Leticia has stayed on.  She hasn’t started Sales, so she promises to stay with me for another hour or two.

7:01 p.m.         I ask Leticia if she wants to go get dinner, but she’s done for the night.  I walk over to the Lower Commons alone.  I decide to get a sandwich at Quizno’s, but then I realize I can’t have a ham sandwich for the second time in twenty-four hours.  Feeling dejected, I get a cup of chicken noodle soup.

10:13 p.m.       My attention wanders and I play around on Facebook for the next half an hour, shocked to discover the engagement is already off.  I fall down the Facebook rabbit hole trying to figure out what happened and end up looking at pictures of my step-cousin’s bat mitzvah.

10:45 p.m.       I wonder if I should go home, but I haven’t finished Biz Org yet.  I spend ten minutes debating whether or not I should stay or just try to wake up early and finish it.

10:57 p.m.       I head home, still unsure if I made the right choice.

11:10 p.m.       I read another chapter of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and fall asleep.


There you have it – an honest account of the typical day of a 2L student.  Heavy on reading, sandwiches, and a desire for sleep.  Notably absent are opportunities to shout “Objection!” and Reese Witherspoon in a pink outfit.  Still, I love days like this-- I’m with my friends most of the day, reading about what interests me, and preparing for a career I know I’ll love.