Big Law Business just ran an article citing how Malcolm Gladwell recently speculated that perhaps over 50% of Harvard Law School students were abusing study performance drugs such as Provigil or Adderall. The BLB article also cited the recent Journal of Legal Education study that examined drug abuse at law schools and the effects it can have on mental as well as physical health.
We are aware there is and has been a problem with the abuse of these drugs for quite some time. (After all, we get calls from students looking for guidance in these situations.) It’s obviously easy for us to tell you not to abuse these drugs when we’re not the ones in the pressured situation to perform on the exams. What we can tell you is that we firmly believe good study habits can provide a similar performance boost.
Additionally, there is a limit to how many times the body can use these drugs before adverse affects become noticeable. You can’t continue to take Adderall, Provigil or similar drugs indefinitely. If a law firm made you an offer because they saw your drug-fueled test results, what is going to happen when you’re working long hours for them? The drug use is not sustainable. If you ever feel tempted to abuse these drugs, understand that there are penalties if you are caught and please, please, please think about your long-term goals. We’re pretty sure you at least implicitly assume you still have your health when you’ve reached your ultimate career and/or financial goal.