How to Cope With Stress in Law School

Stressed person

Law school can be extremely stressful. Between exams, finding a job, and adjusting to a new environment, pressure is all around you. Unfortunately, because law school is a six figure investment, the stakes are high.

In order to deal with this pressure, you need to find ways of coping with stress. You'll be in a better position to succeed in your courses and be happier with your overall experience.

My Strategies

While everyone has their own methods of reducing stress, I’d highly recommend exercise. Studies have shown that virtually any form of exercise can act as a stress reliever. True, you have to make an effort to interrupt your study schedule in order to do this. But the benefits absolutely outweigh the costs.

Whether you are running, lifting weights, doing yoga, or participating in a weekly recreational league, it pays to be active. You’ll come back relaxed, refreshed and ready to attack your reading. You don’t necessarily have to work out every day, but I found it extremely beneficial, especially when stress increases before exams.

Along with exercise, I’d recommend some form of meditation or mindfulness. Again, you don’t have to go all-out and go on a silent retreat. But even spending just five or ten minutes alone to focus on your breathing can make a big difference. Mindfulness is becoming increasingly prevalent in the legal field. Firms are even holding mindfulness workshops for their attorneys. Like exercise, studies show that mindfulness reduces stress.

Finally, it’s helpful to just go out and socialize. It doesn’t necessarily have to be with your law school classmates. In fact, I’d argue that it’s important to find friends outside of law school so that you aren’t thinking about school 24 x 7. Just make sure to go out, make friends, and live your life. If you don’t do this, you’ll likely burn out.