It amazes me that we are halfway through the first semester of law school and more and more people are so antsy that they run out of class the second it is over. We are dishing out tens of thousands of dollars to be here, but education appears to be one of the only things people do not want to get their money’s worth. How many hundreds of dollars do we pay to sit in class everyday? And, then, five minutes before the class is over all you can think of is “time to start packing up” to get to that latte? Or, if the professor happens to hold you a few minutes over, you get so antsy that, as soon as class concludes, you are the first one out the door?
How to overcome this? For starters, calculate the bottom line. With plenty of students indebted by at least $100,000 to attend law school, that runs about $3.80 per hour for every hour you breathe during the three years it typically takes to get your JD. Or, to put it in six-minute increments, it’s 38 cents per tenth of the hour billed—for every hour you breath. But, let’s say you are in class about fifteen hours a week over the typical course of 30 weeks of school. That’s about 1,350 hours of class in three years. Or about $75 for every indebted hour of class you attend. Sure, that’s a low billable rate. But that’s being billed to you.
Here’s how it is supposed to go: the better you focus on school, the higher your GPA will be, the better job you can get, the more money you can make, the faster you can pay down your mounting student loan debt. So take a moment to focus on why you are here and why you want this. Write it down. Seriously, write it down so when you are having doubts or just need some motivation, you can go back and read it. Finally, sit your ass down in class and don’t think about getting out before the professor utters the last sentence about legal duty or causation. And if the prof goes over—be grateful, you are getting more for your money.
Bitter Lawyer is collecting short posts from law students who are in the midst of school. Got an opinion, rant, or post about slogging through school or living life as a law student? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org