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The question everyone’s thinking, but is too afraid to ask: Does going to law school mean having to give up my hobbies, social life, and all of my free time? This is often a serious concern for individuals deciding whether or not to pursue a law degree. For Christopher Hernandez, the idea of his passions taking a backseat for a few years wasn’t an option, because Hernandez is not only a 1L at New England Law | Boston, but also a national medal-winning weightlifter.

Weightlifting is a family tradition for Hernandez. In addition to his own love for the sport, Hernandez’s father, and now coach, has a longstanding passion for it as well. Hernandez trained, lifted, and competed for seven years before making the decision to enter law school. Once he was enrolled at New England Law, he had to determine how weightlifting would fit into his day-to-day. 

As a 1L, Hernandez balances classes, studying, training, weightlifting competitions, and oh, he also tutors for the LSAT. He’s sitting down for Legal Research & Writing one minute, and jetting off to his weightlifting gym in Cambridge, MA, to train the next. Juggling that hectic of a schedule isn’t the easiest of tasks, but Hernandez believes that weightlifting makes him his best self and keeps his stress levels in check, so he manages to make it all work. 

medalsHernandez emphasizes how important it is that anyone trying to balance law school with other priorities finds an organizational system that works for them. “I have two big whiteboards in my room to keep everything organized. Having it all in one place rather than separate planners or calendars helps a ton!” He also notes that realistically, there will come times when some areas of your life will need to take priority over others. For example, Hernandez plans his tutoring around his classes and his time spent at the gym around both. Knowing how your priorities rank, and being willing to pivot your schedule when necessary, enables you to accomplish what you dub most important.

Related: How to Manage Your Time Effectively in Law School

Recently, Hernandez traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah, to compete in the 2021 National University Championships hosted by USA Weightlifting, Team USA. This was the second National University and eighth national competition that he’s competed in. The 1L medaled for the first time ever, walking away with a silver medal for snatch lifting 112kgs (247lbs), a bronze medal for the clean and jerk 135kgs (297lbs) and a silver medal overall! 

As he nears the end of a successful second semester of law school, Hernandez is adamant that he’ll continue weightlifting as long as he’s able to. Which serves as a reminder to all of us, that even though law school may be a huge lift, it doesn’t have to be your only lift.


Thinking about taking the leap and adding law school to your to-do list? Get advice from former law students on what they wish they knew before starting their degree.