5 Hacks to Balance Law School and Life

Law school is super easy and relaxing.

Said no one ever!!

We've been there/done that. The late night (or all night) cram sessions, the last minute assignments, those horrible hours lost to referencing..., and that one time you and your friends taught yourself the entire unit in two weeks because the lecturer talked to a PowerPoint for 13 weeks. Bless. Throw in a general level of anxiety that you're even going to find work, and you'd wonder why anyone would voluntarily sign up.

So let's all go and drink those thoughts merrily away?

Well, no. There are more constructive (and sometimes just as enjoyable) ways you can balance law with life. Below we have highlighted some tips that we think will serve you very well when you launch into your future career.

Hack 1 - Be in control of your time

What's better to start a list of hacks off with.. hacks! There are so many ways you can start to get on top of the time you have so you can prioritise and take the pressure off. The first step? Do a time audit. Sit down and work out exactly where your time goes. Be completely honest.

But what about actual hacks? Well, here are a few...

  • start making lists (and actually use them...);

  • say no more often;

  • turn off the TV...and close down Netflix;

  • do a social media detox (use something like inthemoment.io to check how much time you’re spending - you will be shocked by how much time you spend scrolling on your phone);

  • use productivity techniques like “pomodoro”;

  • listen to your lecture recordings on your commute!

And if you own a Mac use “Self Control” to lock yourself out of all those distracting websites - farewell ebay, facebook, buzzfeed, junkee, daily mail etc http://selfcontrolapp.com/

There's heaps more, but you get the idea. Your time is yours, take control of it.

Hack 2 - Patience, young one.

This one fits firmly into the “health and wellness” category but it is also vital if you want to get ahead in your career. So many high achievers put a huge amount of pressure on themselves, which is massively destructive in the long term. While keeping yourself accountable and striving to be your best is important, it has to be balanced with a realisation that no matter what happens, you're young enough to fix it. Learning to have patience with yourself, especially giving yourself the time to learn, will make you a much better professional. During your studies, it might mean changing your mindset around some of your choices.

Hack 3 - Study groups are the best

Who doesn't love a good study group goss session? What, not what they are designed for? For us, study groups filled that lovely void where we got to hang with people we liked, and still managed to get some work done! Getting together to share lecture notes, discuss course work and help everyone get their head around exactly what “actus reus” means can't be undervalued.

It's a hard slog trying to work your way through anything by yourself. Law school is certainly no different. Having a group you can meet with each week to discuss your studies, shoot the sh*t and destress with is an important part of enjoying your time at uni.

Hack 4 - There's always professional help available

Struggling with life and need to talk to someone? Let's not play heroes, everyone needs some help at different times. At LawLancer we're huge advocates for seeking help when you need it. Whether that is to discuss something around your studies, or something a bit heavier, there are lots of options for anyone who recognises something is not quite right. Studying law (and working in it), can be stressful, just like any other profession. Most universities have support services that you can utilise, you're paying for them with your tuition fees so you should use them.

If you want to call someone anonymously, Lifeline can be a great place to start on - 13 11 14.

Hack 5 - Find a mentor

Traversing your way through law school and into work is a hell of a lot easier with someone who “gets” you and can give you a hand. Actively seeking out mentors either at university, through your friends and family network or any of the growing number of professional coaches can be hugely helpful.

Mentors are great at helping you get your fears off your chest and lead you in the right direction. A good one will be able to point out your strengths and give you ideas on different paths you can take to leverage them. A wise mentor will be able to give you context that is hard to see when you are the one stuck in the eye of the storm. A mentor is truly worth their weight in gold if they have your best interests at heart as they can give you insight that you'll never have about yourself.

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