Surviving Law School for Working Students

There’s an interesting email we received that is better addressed by community members who were working students in law school. The email (identities to remain hidden) goes: “Hello and good afternoon Attorney! I would just like to know how difficult it is to study law while having a full time job? What are the chances of success of a working law student in hurdling the difficulties of law school? I work as a pharmacist in a small pharmaceutical company, and I really wanted to study law, yet I don’t want to give up my job.”

I have lots of friends who are working students while in law school. There is, in fact, a section in UPLaw exclusively for working students. We called it the “evening class”. I believe the survival rate for the “evening” class is no different from us in the “day” sections. Let’s listen to what they have to say.

Rocky says: “I worked full-time as part of the tax team of a Big 4 audit firm while earning my law degree. Looking back, I’d say I took things one day at a time. When people ask me which one is my priority, I’d say, it depends on the requirements of the day. You have to accept the fact that there will be days where you have to skip school to prioritize rush projects at work (this can be done when you’re not on deck for recitation, the professor doesn’t check attendance, etc. etc.). But I really took study leaves (at least 2 days per exam per subject: the exam day itself and the day prior) during midterms and finals and maximized it so I can do well in my exams. During summer breaks, I’d take on large engagements at work so I can show my bosses that I’m capable of handling complex projects.”

We’re waiting for other inputs. Please use the comment section below.

6 comments

  1. I worked full-time as part of the tax team of a Big 4 audit firm while earning my law degree. Looking back, I’d say I took things one day at a time. When people ask me which one is my priority, I’d say, it depends on the requirements of the day. You have to accept the fact that there will be days where you have to skip school to prioritize rush projects at work (this can be done when you’re not on deck for recitation, the professor doesn’t check attendance, etc. etc.). But I really took study leaves (at least 2 days per exam per subject: the exam day itself and the day prior) during midterms and finals and maximized it so I can do well in my exams. During summer breaks, I’d take on large engagements at work so I can show my bosses that I’m capable of handling complex projects.

  2. I worked while finishing law school. I even worked while reviewing for the 2013 bar exams. Did I make it? Yes , I did and now I am already a lawyer. Sounds easy? Of course not!

    There were difficulties left and right, day in and day out.
    1) I went to law school on my own finances. Such that, I did not only battle out with time constraint but more on the financial side.
    2) I went to law school even when I already became the chairperson of the department. Truckloads of tasks went my way everyday such that I only had mealtimes and bedtime to read law books.
    3) The time I went to law school I was occupying a high ranking training task in a company such that I had to travel nationwide and had to be absent a number of times from law school.
    4) I had a major surgery in one of those law school years but I survived.

    Again it was not easy. However, if wanting to become a lawyer is in your veins; if its a business you can’t give up and if the Heavens agree, YOU WILL SUCCEED. I did. You too can!

  3. I too worked full time when I was studying law. In fact, I worked three jobs during my tenure as a law student. First, I worked as a tutor, then worked as a call center agent, then finally, as a web manager. I’ll say, working a full time job while studying law is definitely hard. It took me 5 years to finish my law degree. And I also had to transfer from one law school to another just so I can accommodate my work schedule, among other reasons. That being, my advice is, check the law school first. Do they have a program for working law students? does that program fit you? Next, assess the type of job you have. Will it allow you to go full time in law school, if not assess how much academic load you can take. Do not gamble nor guestimate because a lot of working students I know gamble by taking too much academic load and then fail at the end because they can’t handle it – and that costs a lot in all levels. And if I may, let me share my simple story here how I survived law school and the bar: http://www.uberdigests.info/2015/04/aba-abogado-na-pala-ako/ Thanks!

  4. hi just want to ask if it is true that when you enter law school you will havr no time for others like for your family/wife/husband/children?
    2. you need to have hotel overnight stay or overnight somewhere just to study?
    3. after class do you need to stay with you classmates just to eat?

    sorry i just don’t get it why others will say when you enter law school you should break you boyfriend or girlfriend because hey will not understand you. then how about the one with family so do they need to have a break? silly question but sometimes it frustrates me.
    ??

    btw he’s a full time law student.
    PPS: yes i need your honest answer and suggestions on what will i do

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