(Closed) Engagement and Marriage in Law School

posted 5 years ago in Engagement
Post # 2
Member
10309 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

We waited until I was done with graduate school to get married and engaged. And we are getting married right before Fiance starts his PhD. SO glad I didn’t have to add the stress of wedding planning to graduate school (and honestly, my program was probably easy in comparison to law school). One of my friends was planning her wedding in the last year of our program and it was super stressful!

So I guess it depends on how much you want him to help with the planning. If you are good with doing it all yourself – then whenever is probably fine. If you are expecting a lot of help from him then I’d wait until he’s done. 

Post # 3
Hostess
5029 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2016

View original reply
nicole72994:  I finished law school in 2014, so I’m not that far removed yet.  I had one classmate get married and engaged in law school – they got married the summer after our 2nd year.  Fiance and I thought it was better for us to wait until after we finished grad school (he finished his masters after my 2nd year).  We’ll be together for 9 years when we get married this fall.  Honestly, I don’t think there’s a good time to get married in law school. 

The first year is very stressful trying to figure out how to study in a new way and you often do not get your grades until weeks after exams (so you don’t know if you’ve failed your first semester until your second semester has started – your final is 100% of your grade in most classes).  It’s crucial to do internships during school to obtain legal experience, so your SO will likely be interning full time his 1L summer and potentially taking night classes on top of it.  Second year, my classmates and I were all interning at least 20 hours a week while taking full time classes.  2L summer is usually a more intensive internship, also full time, and I took Evidence two nights a week from 7-11pm, which was brutal.  Third year is either easy (one of my friends just took classes) or crazy.  I worked full time with classes at night, other friends did clinic, which is essentially practicing law under a professor.  They’d actually be in court and still had to do their studies.  There are also a lot of extracurriculars.  It’s really important (for most people) to make it on Journal.  I put in a lot of hours for that on top of studying.  Of course right after you graduate, you’re studying for the bar (taken in July or February) and that’s a full time job. 

I know you didn’t really ask for details on law school, but I’d be prepared to not have a whole lot of time with your SO during his studies.  I definitely had a weekly date night with my Fiance and still had a social life, but he’ll be very busy and probably tired a lot.  If it’s possible to wait until after he takes the bar, I’d definitely recommend that.  Long engagements are less stressful anyway!  If you’re ok with doing all of the wedding planning, I would recommend a mid-December wedding after finals so you can go on a honeymoon without him having to take time off from his summer internships or school.

Post # 4
Member
2201 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

I got engaged just as I finished my graduate degree. I couldn’t have been engaged beforehand because I just didn’t have any spare energy or brain power. My husband was still doing professional exams all through our engagement. It meant that I took on the bulk of the research and wedding planning during his study periods and then we split it du his rest time. If you want a big wedding of postpone for a bit. Even the most lee key wedding takes a bit of planning.

Post # 5
Member
26 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2016

My husband and I met in law school. The best option would probably be to wait until your boyfriend was done with school because it’s a really busy and stressful three years. I definitely wouldn’t recommend getting married during the first year because it can be the hardest year, in terms of adjustment. I can understand not wanting to wait three years to get married though, so if you think you’ll do most of the wedding planning, maybe a good time would be during the summer after his first year. Keep in mind he’ll likely have internships or clerkships during the summers, and those will keep him pretty busy as well.

Post # 6
Member
920 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2017 - Vineyard on Long Island

One of my best friends just got engaged.  She’s in law school and her new Fiance is in med school.  They’re waiting until they both graduate to get married because, otherwise, their feeling was that they’d tie the knot and then just head back to school, still be in school debt, not be able to buy a house, and kinda still feel stuck in the swing of school before they could “move on to the next phase of life” as a married couple, which they feel they’d be better suited to do after graduation (combining finances, saving for a house with their new incomes, begin thinking about children, etc.)

Alternatively, when I was completing my Master’s degree, one of the PhD candidates in my department married another PhD candidate at the school while they were both grad students.  She got pregnant and was planning on delaying her defense a year or two to raise the kid.  Neither defended when they wanted to due to delays with organizing the wedding, trying to save while on a grad student stipend, working extra jobs outside of grad school to afford raising the baby, etc.  They both ended up defending their theses and getting their Doctorates, but you could definitely see their struggle both financially and trying to manage the limited hours in the day.

Post # 10
Member
301 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

I would wait to start planning a wedding after 2L year, during the summer. 1L year is very difficult and 2L year is very busy. But if you think you can do most the planning, you can probably start planning after he’s done with 1L year and be good to go. 

Post # 13
Member
1607 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

I’m in grad school right now and planning a wedding. I like it, because wedding planning is a nice break from school. But we are having a long engagement (21 months) so it’s not like wedding planning is particularly stressful. I will finish school 2 weeks before the wedding and I think that’s a great timeline! ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 14
Member
954 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I graduated from law school in 2004, so I’m a little removed, but I would wait until after law school and after the bar exam. The bar exam requires classes for the summer, so it’s essentially summer law school. But then, depending on what kind of firm or job he has, the first few years working can require lots and lots of time and it’s an incredible amount of stress as you figure out how to practice. 

You guys are young, there is no reason to rush.

I’m 43 and will be coming back from my honeymoon to an apartment we rent, why is that a big deal? I don’t get that.

Post # 15
Member
1633 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

So basically you’re looking at a four-year engagement if you want to wait until he’s out (since he wouldn’t start until next fall), which is definitely a long time so I couldn’t fault you for not wanting to wait. I knew a handful of people who got married during law school. My ex and I both went to law school – he started a year or so after I graduated. He proposed in the beginning of his second year and we got married after he graduated and took the bar. I did the bulk of the planning (I was happy to, and he was happy to leave most of it to me, though I asked him for his opinion on food and music and stuff). So when the day came, he pretty much just needed to show up in a tux. ๐Ÿ˜„ And the length of our engagement (almost two years) was perfect because I never felt rushed.

I would suggest letting him get well settled in his first year before you set a date. See how he adjusts to the stress and workload. See if he’s interested in doing extracurriculars like law review or moot court. Because if he does want to pursue those in his second and third years, his schedule will be insane. Either way, he’s probably not going to be able to visit twenty venues and bakeries and photographers with you, but let’s be real, you can still have a life in law school, so you won’t tank his grades by having a conversation about the guest list one night and chatting here and there about groomsmen and food. And it’s not like life becomes a breeze after law school, because then you’re a lawyer, and I’ve basically been running on a sleep deficit for 7 years (10 counting law school).

Getting married the summer after first or second year is not out of the question; as I said just give him a chance to settle in and see how he’s taking it, and realize that you will probably need to do the bulk of the legwork. I can’t imagine having to visit venues, address invites, DIY decor etc, while in law school. And keep in mind you may have to defer your honeymoon.

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