June 17, 2017

Law School Summer - Balancing Clerking and Summer Classes

The summer after my 2L year has been nothing but work and school. I'm sharing my experiences, my schedule, and how I manage to squeeze in some extra pro bono hours in | brazenandbrunette.com

Ok so now back to law related stuff! This post is coming a little late because I've actually been very busy this summer but I wanted to do a post about my summer schedule. As you may recall, last summer I didn't take summer classes and instead balanced two jobs (you can read about that here). This summer, I'm taking summer 1 and summer 2 classes plus working part time (but getting paid😁). 

Summer Classes

I really truly regret not taking summer classes last year. If I could give any rising 2L advice, I'd say take at least 6 hours during the summer! Taking 15 hours this past semester was really draining and I wish that I could've dropped a class without falling behind on my degree plan. Not only that, but you never know what programs you'll get into as a 3L— for my spring semester I'll be in a program where I can only take 12 hours so if I wasn't in summer classes now I'd be taking 18 hours in the fall just so I can graduate on time!

Anyways, so I'm totally new to law school summer classes and still fairly new to student loans so here's a lesson I learned the hard way. I knew I'd need to take out another loan to pay for my summer classes and for my rent. So I applied for a new FASFA so I could get more money since the government loan's interest is wayyy better than the private loan. But then I never got any money so I emailed my financial aid advisor and he was like oh yeah FASFA goes August-August so you won't get that money until the fall semester starts and I had an oh shit moment. Then I quickly applied for another sallie mae loan and that went through all fine and dandy but for some dumb reason (idk if it's my school or the loan company) that money doesn't get dispersed for 11 business days so hopefully that will go through this upcoming week. 

What that means is that I still haven't paid my summer 1 tuition and I'm not sure how I haven't even been dropped from that class so I'll have to go figure that out. I had just enough leftover money to pay my rent but then after that I had $28 combined from my savings and checking account for a week until payday. I'm so glad that this summer I found a paid job or else I wouldn't have money for groceries or gas!

As for the class itself, I'm taking one in-person class during summer 1 and I'm really liking the schedule because we meet for one hour every day and that's it! For summer 2, I'm taking two online classes which I'm nervous about because law classes seem like the kind of classes that I need to be in-person to be learning anything. I thought the reading would be hard because I assumed it would be double what it is during the regular semester but it's actually not bad at all. 

The class I'm in doesn't even have a book so my professor just sends us about 2 cases a day to read. The good part of this is that I'm saving a couple hundred bucks not paying for a book. The bad part of this is that we have to read the whole cases and sometimes one case will take me an hour to read because it's so long. And it sucks because these cases aren't even on Quimbee. One thing that I've learned is that if you read the case summary and outcome and the headnotes you can basically build your IRAC from that. Yes, I've had to go back to IRACs and I thought 3Ls aren't supposed to be doing IRACs anymore yet here I am ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


How I ended up at my job is that it literally fell in my lap when my friend decided to take a more relevant internship during summer 1 and her boss asked her to replace herself while she's gone she asked me! 

I'm so grateful that she did because this job is so meant for me it's crazy. I'm helping my boss do research and reviewing case law and statutes for the same topic that I did last summer so I'm already coming in with a lot of relevant experience. If you don't know what I'm talking about you can read my Summer Internships post from my 1L year here. Another bonus, my boss has me working on a side project that is basically having me incorporate what I do for my pro bono hours and help his office do something like it, so once again I just so happened to have relevant experience. You can also read about what I do for pro bono here

Speaking of pro bono, I'm still doing two hours a week. In Texas, the bar has this thing called the pro bono college which really is just a certificate. You have to do 50 hours a year and I'm trying really hard to make sure that I have enough to qualify for that because I feel like that will look good on my resumé.

Related: Where to find pro bono opportunities 

I know this doesn't sound like a lot, but it's kept my days pretty busy. Here's my schedule for summer 1:

wake up, finish readings from night before, get ready

Ag law

on Mondays and Wednesdays I do pro bono

lunch, get ready for work, pack gym bag

but on Fridays I go 12-4 so I can get off earlier :)

spin class and sauna afterwards

shower, dinner, relax

read as much as I can for the next day's class



  1. Hi Nikki - I've been reading your blog for about a year now, and I have to say how much I love it. I'm starting law school in August and am so very excited. I think reading your blog and a couple of others is giving me a good idea of what to expect as a 1L. Of course, I'm a bit older than you are, but your experiences are so relevant. Thanks for your time on this!

    1. Thank you so much Kim! I know nothing can really explain what law school is like until you're sitting in your first class, but I really hope my blog helps keep you from being blind sided like I was lol. I hope you have a great 1L year!