Law students have a wide range of relationship statuses. Some are married with children, some are engaged, and some are single and ready to mingle. If you’re single, you likely applied to a bunch of schools all over the country, and are excited to move to a new city, no strings attached. If you’re married, deciding which schools to apply to was probably more difficult, but you and your spouse are committed to making it work. Then there are those of us in the middle. Being in a relationship can make the law school application process even more stressful. Here are some things to consider.
Are you in it for the long haul?
Depending on the stage of your relationship, this may be a tough question to answer. Maybe you have only been seeing someone for a few months, but you’re optimistic and want to see where it goes. Maybe you have been together for years, but it’s been rocky lately and you’re not sure how much longer your relationship will last. When high school students apply to college, the overwhelming advice is to dump your bae and go to the best school for you. High school relationships rarely last, though when you are in a relationship in your twenties, you may have a lot more to lose. Ultimately, the decision to stay together or break up comes down to you and your partner. You should try to figure it out before you start applying to law schools.
Don’t compromise for someone who won’t compromise for you
I have seen a lot of people in this scenario recently:
You and your partner both live in Hometown. The closest law school to Hometown is an hour away, and not a great school. You crushed your LSAT and want to explore options other than Home State Law School. Your partner refuses to move with you. They want to stay in Hometown forever and live happily ever after. You are considering going to Home State Law School to save your relationship.
Why are you considering compromising for someone who won’t compromise for you? Your partner should be your biggest cheerleader, and want you to maximize your potential and achieve your dreams. Of course your partner will have their own goals and dreams, which may not allow them to move wherever you want, but you should be able to come up with a plan together how you can both achieve your goals.
My boyfriend and I have been together for three years. He is my biggest fan, and I am not sure that I would be going to law school if he hadn’t encourage me to apply. We live about an hour apart from each other in our home state. He has a great job that he loves, but he was willing to leave it to move with me to law school. During the application process, we had an ongoing conversation as to where he would be willing to move. We narrowed it down to a few regions where we would both like to live, and where the job market would be good for his career. This gave me a lot of good options to choose from, and I applied to ten schools. Now, we are preparing to move out of state to a new city where I will begin law school this fall. I am helping him with the job hunt, and I am hopeful that he will find a new job that he loves as much as his current one.
My boyfriend and I are excited to start shacking up together after three years of living an hour apart from each other. I recognize that for others, the beginning of law school means they will have to be apart from their partner for a while. Sometimes, it is impossible for two people to achieve their dreams and be in the same geographic location, so some of you will choose to continue your relationship long-distance
As I have never been in a long-distance relationship, I do not have much advice to offer. Law school is stressful and time-consuming, so be sure to make time to communicate with your partner. It will be hard, but if you really love each other, it will be worth it in the end. Three years is just a drop in the bucket of the lifetime you will build together.