Finding a balance between your life and your work is hard enough, before you even consider throwing an online LLM program into the mix.
It takes hard work, dedication and significant self-motivation to complete an online LLM, and if you've got a career on the go it's even harder. So, how can you keep your life in balance when studying an LLM online?
Don't do too much
The first place that balancing your online LLM studies and your life starts is with you. Don't try to do too much, if you've got an essay or assignment due don't agree to attend a friend's birthday party or go for work drinks. Don't start a home improvement project during term time or think that you will also start writing a novel. These are all pressures that you are putting on yourself, so learn to know what to say no to and be realistic about what you can achieve.
When preparing for the year or two it takes to complete an LLM online you will want to prepare those people in your life for what will be ahead. Speak with past or current students on the course, with the academic staff and the information provided to find out what the workload is really like and let your parents, friends and significant others know what to expect. This will allow them to be able to support you and understand a little more when you have to say no to family celebrations or nights out.
Plan your time
Here's the key – serious planning. You will know early on when essays are due or when exams are held, so that is easy to plan for. Make sure you plan for the reading to prepare for tutorials and lectures, also plan to fit in family occasions and don't forget about busy times at work or any work functions. Get a calendar and put it on the wall, it's easier to see when it is all set out in front of you.
Keep your work informed
Plenty of people undertake an LLM to advance their careers and even if you are doing the LLM online to change career directions, you will still need to inform your employer about what you are doing. Undertaking an LLM shows commitment to your career and you never know how your employer might be willing to support you.
Take time off tactically
This goes together with planning, but aim to time off from work to prepare for the big exams and essays. Then you should also plan to take time off from work and studying at the same time. You don't need to go away on holiday, but take a few days to relax and remember why you are working so hard in the first place.
How long will you study?
It will help with your initial planning stages if you know how long you might be studying your LLM for. Here is a selection of law schools in the UK that offer online LLM programs and the length of study for their programs.
Source: Law schools' websites.