OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

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kalvano
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby kalvano » Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:30 pm

groberts wrote:Finals week and a week or two leading up to it, he's promised to give me some leeway.



Change that to a month or so. Legal Writing will suck up at least a couple weeks, maybe three, when it comes time to do memos and briefs.

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nygrrrl
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby nygrrrl » Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:56 pm

kalvano wrote:
groberts wrote:Finals week and a week or two leading up to it, he's promised to give me some leeway.



Change that to a month or so. Legal Writing will suck up at least a couple weeks, maybe three, when it comes time to do memos and briefs.

This. Also factor in stress levels.

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Lisi
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby Lisi » Sun Mar 20, 2011 12:05 pm

I haven't read every post yet, but I wanted to say how happy I am to see a thread like this. I'm 30 and will be 31 when starting LS. My background is simple: college was a double major (Econ + Romance Languages), then I did a PhD in Spanish (got it May 2010). I decided academia is NOT for me because, while I enjoy teaching the occasional class, I really don't want to be a teacher my entire life. I just don't enjoy it. And that's what a lot of academia is right now - at least in my area. Anyway, my UG and PhD program were from top schools. My GPA was adjusted from a 3.75 to a 3.78 by LSAC. I wonder if it factors in the massive grade inflation of recent years? I'd know, since I gave out inflated grades to my students (like almost every other instructor/professor learned to do). If not, it's kind of too late to worry anyway. My LSAT was a 170, and so far I've heard back from NYU (accepted) and Georgetown ('special' WL - I withdrew). I live in NYC right now, but I guess I'd move for LS. If I go to NYU (which I very well might), I'm going to stay in my apartment because it's cheap(er), and I have a dog. My plan has been to go to one of the best schools I can get into. Did I make a big mistake on this front? I've always assumed I'd just end up paying sticker. BTW, I'm single (though I have a boyfriend who's going to be an assistant prof next fall - not in NYC, and I won't be living with him).

Reading this thread has me somewhat worried about my age and lack of WE (which is just a PhD and teaching language and literature courses). I guess I'm a bit of a pollyana (still?) and thought that age wouldn't be a big factor if I worked hard and got good grades at LS. I'm not sure there's a way to spin my WE toward a particular type of law or toward Big Law. I'm not crazy about Big Law, but I've been thinking that it's the most reasonable way to pay off debt. I know a couple people in law and could start to network. My first year should be about networking + getting good grades, right? Or do I need to actively try to pad my resume with clubs or programs or part time work in LS? Thanks so much for starting this thread and for any answers / views you might have on my questions / situation!!!

delusional
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby delusional » Sun Mar 20, 2011 12:41 pm

Lisi wrote:
Reading this thread has me somewhat worried about my age and lack of WE (which is just a PhD and teaching language and literature courses). I guess I'm a bit of a pollyana (still?) and thought that age wouldn't be a big factor if I worked hard and got good grades at LS. I'm not sure there's a way to spin my WE toward a particular type of law or toward Big Law. I'm not crazy about Big Law, but I've been thinking that it's the most reasonable way to pay off debt. I know a couple people in law and could start to network. My first year should be about networking + getting good grades, right? Or do I need to actively try to pad my resume with clubs or programs or part time work in LS? Thanks so much for starting this thread and for any answers / views you might have on my questions / situation!!!

I don't have any experience except being in the same situation, but i plan to approach it the same way I did admissions - as a non-trad with a ugrad degree of limited usefulness, I knew my LSAT would play an even bigger role in my chances than it does for most, and I needed to maximize it. I guess it's the same for LS grades - older, lack of Fortune 500 experience may be to our detriment at median - so let's not be at median.

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Lisi
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby Lisi » Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:14 pm

delusional wrote: I don't have any experience except being in the same situation, but i plan to approach it the same way I did admissions - as a non-trad with a ugrad degree of limited usefulness, I knew my LSAT would play an even bigger role in my chances than it does for most, and I needed to maximize it. I guess it's the same for LS grades - older, lack of Fortune 500 experience may be to our detriment at median - so let's not be at median.


ITA! I'm glad to know others are in my same position! As for grades in LS, I feel that I can do okay because I have a good work ethic after doing the PhD (I would actually turn my phone off for days at a time and just 'plug in'), and I feel like I won't be as tempted to throw my schedule off by partying as I did in my 20s. But, I worry about my aging mind (if this phenomenon actually sets in around 30)... I worry that my capacity for instant recall won't be at the level of others in the class. Maybe it's good that we'll start LS knowing we're at a disadvantage. This way we'll be much more aware of all other factors necessary for success (networking, planning ahead).

firemed
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby firemed » Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:35 pm

Hi groberts!

Good luck! Make sure you do apply elsewhere for leverage.

I have considered hanging my own shingle as an emergency backup plan. So you aren't alone! :mrgreen:

That place looks awesome.

groberts
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby groberts » Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:38 pm

nygrrrl wrote:
kalvano wrote:
groberts wrote:Finals week and a week or two leading up to it, he's promised to give me some leeway.



Change that to a month or so. Legal Writing will suck up at least a couple weeks, maybe three, when it comes time to do memos and briefs.

This. Also factor in stress levels.


Good to know. I'll have to start sending DH subliminal messages now so he's prepared when it happens.

firemed
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby firemed » Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:40 pm

Lisi:


If you have other apps out, I would try to get schollys and leverage them. With your GPA and LSAT it isn't unreasonable for you to get some.

skippy1
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby skippy1 » Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:51 pm

So nice to know there are other older (and wiser) students attending LS!
I'm early 30s, former engineer, attending LS this fall in Boston. Anyone else heading to Boston on this thread?

firemed
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby firemed » Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:52 pm

skippy1 wrote:So nice to know there are other older (and wiser) students attending LS!
I'm early 30s, former engineer, attending LS this fall in Boston. Anyone else heading to Boston on this thread?



If Northeastern could offer bigger merit and need aid, I would have. But unfortunately (because I love Boston) no.

spondee
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby spondee » Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:38 pm

Lisi wrote:Reading this thread has me somewhat worried about my age and lack of WE (which is just a PhD and teaching language and literature courses). I guess I'm a bit of a pollyana (still?) and thought that age wouldn't be a big factor if I worked hard and got good grades at LS. I'm not sure there's a way to spin my WE toward a particular type of law or toward Big Law. I'm not crazy about Big Law, but I've been thinking that it's the most reasonable way to pay off debt. I know a couple people in law and could start to network. My first year should be about networking + getting good grades, right? Or do I need to actively try to pad my resume with clubs or programs or part time work in LS? Thanks so much for starting this thread and for any answers / views you might have on my questions / situation!!!


NYU 2L here. Also, an old. Some thoughts, hopefully helpful -

- Yeah, focus on grades. Take lots of practice exams. Sometimes older students struggle to transition back to exams because of the time constraints; and sometimes struggle with a trees/forest problem, since so much of post-college life rewards attention to detail.

- As for clubs, remember that your competition is mostly 22-24 year-olds who have empty/fluff resumes. You don't need to try to bulk up your resume with 1L clubs, but if there are one or two that interest you, attend some meetings, do a little work, maybe even run for a leadership position at the end of 1L year.

- More important, think about how to present your past experiences on your resume and in interviews. I think older students are under more pressure to have real/mature answers to "why law school?" or "why big law?" But we also have an advantage if we can tie our past experiences and future goals together into some sort of compelling narrative.

- Teaching is work experience.

- Also, your resume probably looks like you want to be an academic. Some firms will be leery of that. In one interview, a partner accused me of targeting academia. Because it was the first time it came up, I had only a weak answer, and it was clear that he preferred not to hire me because of it. So I'd recommend thinking about how to dissuade firms of that assumption.

- Finally, take the journal writing competition very seriously. Obvious advice, I guess, but I mention it because you have a huge advantage in that your PhD studies probably involved a lot of writing. Most law students aren't very good writers--college just doesn't teach writing well and, most importantly, doesn't provide enough writing practice. If you approach the competition seriously, you have a better than average chance of making the flagship law review.

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kalvano
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby kalvano » Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:58 pm

firemed wrote:I have considered hanging my own shingle as an emergency backup plan. So you aren't alone! :mrgreen:



You won't do anything in law school that will actually prepare you for day to day practice. So it's not really a good idea to plan on hanging out a shingle after graduation.

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Leira7905
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby Leira7905 » Sun Mar 20, 2011 3:42 pm

kalvano wrote:
firemed wrote:I have considered hanging my own shingle as an emergency backup plan. So you aren't alone! :mrgreen:



You won't do anything in law school that will actually prepare you for day to day practice. So it's not really a good idea to plan on hanging out a shingle after graduation.


Credited. If one is interested in "hanging your own shingle" then it would be adivsable to find a small firm or a group of lawyers officing together who will let you rent office space and agree to mentor you till you get your feet wet. Getting yourself your own office in some strip mall directly after graduation is not advisable.

groberts
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby groberts » Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:17 pm

Leira7905 wrote:
kalvano wrote:
firemed wrote:I have considered hanging my own shingle as an emergency backup plan. So you aren't alone! :mrgreen:



You won't do anything in law school that will actually prepare you for day to day practice. So it's not really a good idea to plan on hanging out a shingle after graduation.


Credited. If one is interested in "hanging your own shingle" then it would be adivsable to find a small firm or a group of lawyers officing together who will let you rent office space and agree to mentor you till you get your feet wet. Getting yourself your own office in some strip mall directly after graduation is not advisable.


This is what most everyone says. You open yourself up to malpractice, etc. True. But there are a lot of resource out there for people who have done and are doing it. For example, Solo Practice University, and the SOLOSEZ list at ABA. Right now, plenty of grads are hanging a shingle because they have no other options.

groberts
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby groberts » Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:24 pm

spondee wrote:
Lisi wrote:- Finally, take the journal writing competition very seriously. Obvious advice, I guess, but I mention it because you have a huge advantage in that your PhD studies probably involved a lot of writing. Most law students aren't very good writers--college just doesn't teach writing well and, most importantly, doesn't provide enough writing practice. If you approach the competition seriously, you have a better than average chance of making the flagship law review.


What are the 30+ students' thoughts on law review? I know, it's supposed to open employment doors. But it sounds like an incredible time-suck, and a mind-numbingly boring one at that.

One "oldie" solo I've talked to says instead of doing law review, she published a couple of articles in the state's bar association journal, which accepts open admissions, and she got a lot of notice for it.

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haus
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby haus » Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:32 pm

groberts wrote:What are the 30+ students' thoughts on law review?


As an outsider looking in, age is one thing, but I suspect that this group is more likely to consider going PT, while maintaing an actual career. I think that law review could be an quite a challenge while balancing a full time job, family and a part time JD program. I for one would be concerned that time would spent could have a negative impact upon grades.

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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby brokenwindows » Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:46 pm

I
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby sarahh » Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:28 pm

skippy1 wrote:So nice to know there are other older (and wiser) students attending LS!
I'm early 30s, former engineer, attending LS this fall in Boston. Anyone else heading to Boston on this thread?


There is a good chance I will be. I am still somewhat conflicted though. I loved being in Boston for undergrad and am excited about the possibility of going back, but I may follow the money.

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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby Lawst » Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:08 pm

firemed wrote:
skippy1 wrote:So nice to know there are other older (and wiser) students attending LS!
I'm early 30s, former engineer, attending LS this fall in Boston. Anyone else heading to Boston on this thread?



If Northeastern could offer bigger merit and need aid, I would have. But unfortunately (because I love Boston) no.


Yeah, I was really excited about Northeastern until I realized that they were giving me zero merit aid. Uh....no.

firemed
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby firemed » Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:15 pm

Leira7905 wrote:
kalvano wrote:
firemed wrote:I have considered hanging my own shingle as an emergency backup plan. So you aren't alone! :mrgreen:



You won't do anything in law school that will actually prepare you for day to day practice. So it's not really a good idea to plan on hanging out a shingle after graduation.


Credited. If one is interested in "hanging your own shingle" then it would be adivsable to find a small firm or a group of lawyers officing together who will let you rent office space and agree to mentor you till you get your feet wet. Getting yourself your own office in some strip mall directly after graduation is not advisable.



Is being unemployed or underemployed a better option? I doubt it. If I was 22 maybe. But at 33 with a kid and mortgage, that isn't an option really. While you could make an argument that going back to firefighting would be better, that will no longer be an option for me for personal reasons.

All the same I would VERY MUCH PREFER to be employed by someone else, for at least a few years, after graduation. And hopefully that will happen.

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Leira7905
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby Leira7905 » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:07 am

firemed wrote:
Leira7905 wrote:
kalvano wrote:
firemed wrote:I have considered hanging my own shingle as an emergency backup plan. So you aren't alone! :mrgreen:



You won't do anything in law school that will actually prepare you for day to day practice. So it's not really a good idea to plan on hanging out a shingle after graduation.


Credited. If one is interested in "hanging your own shingle" then it would be adivsable to find a small firm or a group of lawyers officing together who will let you rent office space and agree to mentor you till you get your feet wet. Getting yourself your own office in some strip mall directly after graduation is not advisable.



Is being unemployed or underemployed a better option? I doubt it. If I was 22 maybe. But at 33 with a kid and mortgage, that isn't an option really. While you could make an argument that going back to firefighting would be better, that will no longer be an option for me for personal reasons.

All the same I would VERY MUCH PREFER to be employed by someone else, for at least a few years, after graduation. And hopefully that will happen.


I get what you're saying; however, after working for lawyers for several years (in small offices), I've seen the benefit of pooling resources. Obviously, if you can't find a job after LS, then going into business for yourself is a good option. My point is, you don't necessarily have to be completely on your own. In my area, there are several small offices that have three, four, five, or more attorneys who rent common office space. They are not affiliated with one another on paper. They are still technically "sole practitioners" but they have the benefit of being able to pick each others brains and refer cases to one another depending on speciality.

If, when I get out of school, I have trouble finding a position with an established firm, I would try to find a scenario such as this. You can often find attorneys renting office space on bulletin boards at courthouses (I do a lot of courthouse filing in five different counties) or on the internet. If you can find someone with some experience willing to let you rent space (an use their equipment and receptionist), that's the type of thing you'd want to jump on as a new lawyer (If all else fails).

Like others have said, they don't teach you how to run a law office in law school. Think: supplies, equipment, law office accounting, setting up depositions and mediations, know your way around the local courthouse, inside scoop on District Judges, handling service providers, advertising, filing, support staff... it goes on and on.

firemed
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby firemed » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:59 am

Leira7905 wrote:I get what you're saying; however, after working for lawyers for several years (in small offices), I've seen the benefit of pooling resources. Obviously, if you can't find a job after LS, then going into business for yourself is a good option. My point is, you don't necessarily have to be completely on your own. In my area, there are several small offices that have three, four, five, or more attorneys who rent common office space. They are not affiliated with one another on paper. They are still technically "sole practitioners" but they have the benefit of being able to pick each others brains and refer cases to one another depending on speciality.

If, when I get out of school, I have trouble finding a position with an established firm, I would try to find a scenario such as this. You can often find attorneys renting office space on bulletin boards at courthouses (I do a lot of courthouse filing in five different counties) or on the internet. If you can find someone with some experience willing to let you rent space (an use their equipment and receptionist), that's the type of thing you'd want to jump on as a new lawyer (If all else fails).

Like others have said, they don't teach you how to run a law office in law school. Think: supplies, equipment, law office accounting, setting up depositions and mediations, know your way around the local courthouse, inside scoop on District Judges, handling service providers, advertising, filing, support staff... it goes on and on.


Gotcha. My emergency back up plan just got better, thanks to your advice. Of course, better than crap is still pretty much crap. So let's hope it doesn't go there.

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oldhippie
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby oldhippie » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:15 am

i am suddenly feeling very lucky - my SO is the office manager of a mid sized law firm so if i'm ever in the situation of needing to hang out my own shingle, i have serious insider information on all of the administrative stuff that goes on....maybe i should just go ahead and marry him already so he'll have to stick around :wink:

in other news, tenants are a bit of a pain in the ass. wish we could have sold the dang house....

firemed
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby firemed » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:23 am

oldhippie wrote:i am suddenly feeling very lucky - my SO is the office manager of a mid sized law firm so if i'm ever in the situation of needing to hang out my own shingle, i have serious insider information on all of the administrative stuff that goes on....maybe i should just go ahead and marry him already so he'll have to stick around :wink:

in other news, tenants are a bit of a pain in the ass. wish we could have sold the dang house....


Oh noes... what happened?

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oldhippie
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby oldhippie » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:51 am

firemed--they are demanding to say the least. in less than one month of living there, they've managed to make the stove no longer work......
and there were too many holes in the wall, and there was a "paint smell" in the garage, and they want another garage door opener even though we told them we only had one....3 weeks they've been there!!!
as long as they pay the damned rent i guess i'll live with it...




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