If you speak with current or past LLM students, then you'll probably find that asking how to balance your LLM studies with your life will get a few laughs.
However, fear not as it's not impossible. With a little, or a lot of, planning you'll be to have a nice balance between your study and life commitments – even when your studies get a bit hectic!
Do a life inventory
Is there anything you're currently committed to or doing that you could cut out for a year a two? On average, most people spend 2 hours on social media every day, have a look at how you relax and check to see what you could reduce. Speak with your employer to see if you are able to delegate any of your work, you never know what might come from an honest conversation with your boss about your current responsibilities.
Understand LLM commitments from the start
Find out everything you can about being an LLM student. Speak to current and past students from the course you are embarking on and chat with academic staff and administrators. Find out in advance when essays, exams and other assessments will be due so you know where you are before you start. There is always a wealth of information provided or available online, like the LLM at the University College London's law school, so read through it all properly.
Prepare friends & family
Do your friends or family have an annual event that is going to clash with your studies? Let people know in advance, so you don't feel guilty. If your friends and family know and understand your commitments, then you'll find they are much more supportive. It's always handy if you can get a former student to speak with your nearest and dearest, as sometimes it's easier to understand a change in lifestyle when it comes from a third party.
Plan by week & by semester
Make a master plan and stick to it. Put all of your commitments down and work out where you are going to fit what you want and need to do. Be realistic with your plan as only some of us can work late into the night and others find working first thing in the morning much easier. There are benefits and downsides to both and since you are a postgraduate student you should have worked out what works for you.
Get going with your studying as soon as you can and get your hand on reading lists early. Your networking with previous students and academic staff should help with this. As this is not the first time you've entered university-level education, you probably won't need to attend the extensive welcoming events held for undergraduate students. But, you should attend some to get to know your fellow students as this will help with relaxing outside of your studies keeping your study and life in balance while you work on your LLM.
How much time should you spend on your LLM studies?
So, just how much time should you be spenidng on actual studying when doing a Master of Laws?