This blog began in the spring of 2009 as the "memoirs of a law school wife" when my husband first started the process of applying to schools. I wanted to record the emotional, mental, physical, spiritual, and financial stress that the "brutal machine" that is law school enacts on a married couple. Early in the process, someone told us that it is important that a marriage doesn't just survive law school, but thrives in law school. We learned very quickly that there was a direct correlation between how selfless we were and how happy we were in our marriage. We had only been married for one year and a half years when we moved 1300 miles away to attend law school. When we came home, we were closer and our bond stronger. Here are some of the resources we used to do it:
Law School Confidential: A Complete Guide to the Law School Experience: By Students, for Students by Robert H. Miller.
Our 2004 St. Martin's Press edition is just under 400 pages, but you certainly don't have to read it straight through. Great for both the student and the spouse, this book is a really helpful guide for what to expect from the moment you start researching schools up through bar-prep. I think it is most beneficial if read before the first year has really gotten underway. I highly recommend that spouses read Part II (all about the first year) before law school starts, but the rest you can skim.
Love & War: Finding the Marriage You've Dreamed Of by John and Stasi Eldredge.
Our 2009 Double Day edition is just over 200 pages, not including the appendix, and is a very easy read. This book, written from a Christian premise, is excellent for helping spouses understand their own unique needs and wants in a marriage and how the clashing of their weaknesses can weaken their marriage. It discusses ways that couples can fight together for their marriage. Law school will be a challenge even for those in strong, solid marriages and this book can really help you develop a strong understanding to conquer those challenges.
-For more in-depth information about some of the topics covered in Love & War with regard to our individual needs, I highly, highly recommend Captivating and Wild at Heart by those same authors. Women start with Captivating, men with Wild at Heart, then switch. These books were honestly life-changing for me.
The Speaker-Listener Technique
As cheesy and stupid as this technique sounds (and trust us, when we first heard about it in our marriage-prep classes, it sounded really ridiculous), it really does work. Again, law school will place countless stresses on your marriage; however, it is important to not just survive, but thrive during law school. A flourishing marriage is impossible without the proper skills, something this technique really gives.
I recorded the lessons we learned and the advice we received, labeling the posts "law school." Below are a few quick, key posts.
How to pick a law school: Questions to consider
Preparing to be 1Ls: What I think I know about law school
The First Two Years
Effects of the beast: Mental and emotional 1L year
Law school fears: 1L fears
Keeping your marriage strong: 2L year
Second time around: 1L v 2L year
Law school fears: 2L fears
Effects of the beast: Mental and emotional 2L year
The Home Stretch
Keeping your marriage strong: 3L year
Hindsight Bias: What I wish I'd known about law school
Starting to study for the bar: Sprinting a Marathon
Matt's law school ranking: With Great Honor