By Hannah Lapuck
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 Law 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 Law’s part-time evening JD program provided me with all the necessary tools to be successful as an evening student.
Now that I’m an alumna, I get a lot of questions 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 the Handmaid’s Tale. Be sure to allocate dedicated times to study. Having a structured schedule will help you stay on top of your assignments.
- Find your people 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 time in law school easier.
- Get to know your professors Your professors are aware that you are working full time, have family obligations or have other major commitments in addition to attending law school. Evening law professors are extremely attentive to the unique juggling act that evening students perform every day. Take advantage of opportunities to get to know your professors more, many of them have amazing stories and can help you navigate the legal field in and out of law school.
- 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. Getting involved on campus will make you feel like a part of the Suffolk Law 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. Many of these opportunities are far less of a commitment then you would imagine, and will afford you the opportunity to meet colleagues and gather a community here at Suffolk.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help Law school is a new way of learning for many students, and it definitely takes some getting used to. Don’t be afraid to lean on your classmates, utilize services provided by the school like the Dean of Students Office or Health and Counseling services, or even find a professor to talk with through difficult times. Especially during finals, being able to dedicate all of your time to school is important, so taking care of yourself throughout the semester is vital to your success!
Hannah Lapuck JD’18 is a double alumnus of Suffolk University. During law school she worked full time as the Legislative Aide to state Rep. Joseph F. Wagner. Before attending law school, Hannah was a competitive figure skater on Team USA’s synchronized skating team.