By Brian Reid
I was an evening student during my time at Suffolk Law. While working full time and attending law school was a challenge, the support network in place at Suffolk made it possible. I had professors hold office hours at 10 o’clock at night to meet with students. I had friends who would send me notes if I missed a class. Suffolk’s Evening Program provided me with all the necessary tools to be successful as an evening student.
Now that I work in the admission office, I get a lot of questions from prospective evening students about balancing work, family or other obligations with law school. Here are a few tips to help you succeed as an evening student.
- Make a schedule With much of your time taken up by school and work, it is important to make efficient use of your free time. You won’t be able to spend all night watching the new season of House of Cards. Be sure to schedule dedicated times to study. Having a structured schedule will help you stay on top of your assignments.
- Make friends Having a support group that understands the unique challenges you are going through during law school is critical. Having a friend that you can compare notes with, study with, and even vent with will go a long way towards making your law school career easier.
- Get to know your professors Your professors are aware that you are working full time, raising a family or have some other major commitment in addition to attending law school. Evening law professors are extremely attentive to the unique juggling act that evening students perform every day. You’ll soon come to realize that the professors want you to succeed.
- Get involved Evening students have the same opportunities to get involved as day students, though it can be harder given the additional commitments you are taking on. Don’t let that stop you. Take advantage of the numerous on campus opportunities available to you. Getting involved on campus will make you feel like a part of the Suffolk community, will help you network with your future colleagues, and improve your resume. Join a student organization or moot court team, write on to a journal, or get involved in the Student Bar Association.
- Don’t’ be afraid to take time off Law school is a new way of learning for many students. Don’t be afraid to use vacation or sick days to get accustomed to your new schedule. Especially during finals time, being able to dedicate all of your time to school is important.
Brian Reid BS’10 JD’14 is the Assistant Director of Admission at Suffolk University Law School and a double alumnus of Suffolk University. During law school, he worked at a mid-sized civil litigation firm in Boston while earning his JD at night. After graduation, he worked at a boutique civil litigation firm in Quincy.