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he’ll practice part-time until he retires from the police force in about three years. “School has been very interesting,” Dexter said. “I’ve been very humbled while studying law because I found out I didn’t know half of what I thought I did about the law.”
How to meet the challenge
As Dexter’s schedule shows, the lives of part-time law students are a pressure cooker of conflicting demands. To succeed, part-timers need to be super-organized and highly energetic. “It’s a heavy load balancing school, jobs, relationships and a commute,” said William Powers, associate dean for admission and student affairs at John Marshall Law School in Chicago. “But as many people like to say,
An acquired awareness:
What the legal community expects from a law school devoted to the big picture.
Vibrant, engaging graduates integrating the theory and practice of law with public service.
‘The more I have to do, the more I get accomplished.’” Fred Cheever, associate dean of aca-
“I consider it fortunate I don’t have kids. Other students do, and I don’t know how they do it.”
—Mathew Dexter, part-time graduate of South Texas College of Law
demic affairs, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, said that despite the difficulties of the workload, few part-time
students ever drop out. “Our part-time students tend to be pretty self-directed,” he said. “We don’t relax our academic standards for them. Generally, day students take 15 credits and part-time students take 12 credits at a time and take four years to finish.” Alan Frosh, 26, combined working full-time or nearly fulltime throughout law school. “It has been grueling timewise, but it taught me good management skills,” said Frosh, who will graduate in May from University of Denver. “But I always stop working at 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and take time off.” Most part-time law students can’t get special breaks at work in order to squeeze in law school. So if you have a particularly demanding job — more than 40 hours a week — you might not want to think about law