Older law school student prospect

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lawschoolmommy
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Older law school student prospect

Postby lawschoolmommy » Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:06 pm

I'm in my early 30's, with a toddler and one on the way. I've always wanted to go to law school, and for some reason or another, I was not able go in the past. To this day, I still would like to go to law school and practice law one day. I'm hoping to apply and start school in a few years. As I am older and have a family with kids, what is the reality of finding a job post graduation (assuming I pass the bar) at my age (probably going to be around 40), especially competing with bright, young law school grads?

Also, does anyone have tips on which method or prep courses really helped them in increasing their LSAT score? And what was the best method in studying that helped you increase your score?

Any feedback would be much appreciated. Thanks.

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reebtoor
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Re: Older law school student prospect

Postby reebtoor » Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:07 am

It seems to be the case that the bigger firms shy away from older applicants for the reasons you alluded to. However, I think the prospects are pretty good for any good student, if you are not extremely selective about the field in which you want to work. I will say that if you have a lower GPA on your record or you don't do well on the LSAT, DON'T GO TO A CRAPPY SCHOOL! The last thing you need is to be off the market for 3 years, and then to find yourself $100,000 in debt and find that your options probably won't pay much more than you are making now. Especially with a family. Younger people without that kind of responsibility can afford to make stupid mistakes. We can't. Good luck.

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PDaddy
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Re: Older law school student prospect

Postby PDaddy » Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:22 am

I would encourage you to go forward. There are plenty of post-40 success stories. While there may be some large firms that shy away from single mothers, not all do. In fact, most people only work for BigLaw firms for a maximum of five years. And there are many mid-sized and boutique firms that pay well and provide less stressful environments. It is believed that they are often more flexible with hours too.

Aside from that, you will likely be starting in 2011-2013 or so. With a graduation year of 2016, there are reasons to be optomistic. First, the economy will likely have recovered. Second, applying to school might be less competitive as a result, meaning there may be more jobs out there. Firms want people with good life experience and maturity, which you would theoretically have. So much bodes well for you.

Try the Powerscore system (#1 IMO) or Testmasters, and take many practice exams, at least 25-30. Prep for 6 months straight before taking the exam. Whatever you do, you will still need to "self-prep" outside of class. It's up to you.
Last edited by PDaddy on Sat Mar 06, 2010 3:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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BLi
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Re: Older law school student prospect

Postby BLi » Thu Feb 04, 2010 7:35 am

O HI.
just upping some posts.

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summerstar
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Re: Older law school student prospect

Postby summerstar » Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:31 am

You should definitely do it if you can, but I would be more concerned about juggling the work load with a baby and a toddler than about being an older student. Just the fatigue factor would have me thinking twice. Are you a single mother?Do you have a great support system to help you out? Cause you'll need plenty of back-up. Pursuing your dream is setting a great example for your children, just as long as they don't suffer for it/ end up paying for it because mom is too stressed or unavailable. Not trying to be negative here, just realistic.

Best of luck!

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Fevsi
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Re: Older law school student prospect

Postby Fevsi » Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:47 am

My friend applied to law school after being in a PhD program for 7 years, and she was also in her early 30s and had 3 kids, two of them <3yo. She graduated from Boalt and said that even though she was advised not to mention during her job interviews that she is a mother of 3, she explicitely stated it in each one and still got a great big law job that she really likes. Her husband was working at the time she went to school, though, and she said they had to get a full-time nanny because she was so busy at school. So if you can get accepted at T14 and have someone to take care of your kids as you go through school, go for it. If not, its a much harder decision. My neighbor is in law school (and doing PhD concurrently as well), and she has 2 toddlers, too, but her husband is pretty much full time dad. I hope that helps!

kaya_belly
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Re: Older law school student prospect

Postby kaya_belly » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:30 am

I am 33, have four children (ages 2 and up), and plan on starting this fall. And I expect to be top of my class! :D I have four kids; I know I need a good job at the end of all of this.

For what it is worth, my dad started law school when he was 50. He had five children under the age of 12 when he applied. He never practiced in a big law firm, but he had a rewarding and lucrative career regardless.

If law school is your goal, I would stick with it. If you plan on waiting a couple of years to apply, then you have plenty of time to study for the LSAT. I started studying five years ago, which definitely gave me an advantage when I took the test last year.

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Dimsdale
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Re: Older law school student prospect

Postby Dimsdale » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:47 am

Hi there - I'm in the situation that you describe as happening to you in a few years. I'll be 37 when I start (assuming I get in somewhere). I have two kids, a 3 year old and a 1 year old. I'm going to hang my hat on the old adage that youth and skill are no match for old age and treachery. As for the LSAT, start with a few practice tests and see where you're at. I liked the powerscore books. I never really considered the prep classes, but I know that they have worked for other people. Good luck!

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vanwinkle
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Re: Older law school student prospect

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:58 am

I'm not (quite) in my 30s yet, but can still observe the following things:

1) Most of my classmates are in the 23-25 range, but there are a few people here in their 30s and 40s. Everyone is accepted and we all just assume we're all part of one big family. Going through law school together helps you bond with your peers quickly, whether you're the same age or not.

2) It is certainly possible to be successful competing with younger peers. In fact your work ethic can be an enormous advantage, because law school studying requires more self-discipline and self-training and resembles the real world a lot more than undergrad does. You'll have to teach yourself how to take law school exams because your professors won't teach you, you'll have to figure out the best way to study on your own, and you'll have to effectively manage your time and prioritize things in your life in order to do well. If you've been successful in the real world these are things you'll do better than many younger students.

3) There are several LSAT prep programs available that you can take nights or weekends that will prep you for the LSAT. This is critical because as an older applicant you can get them to overlook a low GPA or any other weak factors on your application because of your work and life experience, but many schools will only be able to fit you into their class if you have a really high LSAT score. They view the LSAT as a strong predictor of bar passage post-graduation (which it is) and it also affects their USNWR rankings.

Spend the money, take a prep classs, and dedicate a few months to acing the LSAT. It'll run you about $1k, but a law school education is $100k+ so it only makes sense to make a small up-front investment to ensure your $100k investment is in the best possible location. There are a variety of groups recommended on here; I recommend Princeton Review as they helped me climb from a 157 at the start of prep to a 170 at the end, and I credit that with helping me get scholarship $$$ offers from many schools and an acceptance at the T14 I'm attending now.

Others will recommend many things. The one certain thing I can recommend is that you take some kind of dedicated preparation, or if you're ready for it, several months of self-guided LSAT prep using the help of TLS posters on the LSAT forum.

[EDITED]

I hope all this helps. Good luck!

DukeHopeful
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Re: Older law school student prospect

Postby DukeHopeful » Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:02 am

.

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natalie123
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Re: Older law school student prospect

Postby natalie123 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:25 am

Hi, I'm also a nontraditional student and a single mom (widowed). I can't speak to job opportunities, but my age doesn't seem to have affected my application cycle so far, and in some ways has helped. My experience is that as an older applicant, I have a lot more real world experience, and therefore much richer material for personal statements, etc. I took a Powerscore course and paid for a private LSAT tutor. Don't underestimate the LSAT... Investing in it is well worth your time and money. Luck!

lawschoolmommy
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Re: Older law school student prospect

Postby lawschoolmommy » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:49 pm

Wow. Thank you so much for ALL your feedback. They have been so helpful, uplifting, supportive, inspiring and so positive. This has truly been encouraging and helped me with my thoughts of uncertainty of job prospects after graduating, at my age. I will invest in the PowerScore books for now to get started [EDITED]. You guys have been truly helpful!

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GATORTIM
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Re: Older law school student prospect

Postby GATORTIM » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:56 pm

lawschoolmommy wrote:They have been....so positive.


just wait until you begin the application process and the TLS claws come out!! jk, best of luck to you!

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bceagles182
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Re: Older law school student prospect

Postby bceagles182 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:04 pm

lawschoolmommy wrote:Wow. Thank you so much for ALL your feedback. They have been so helpful, uplifting, supportive, inspiring and so positive. This has truly been encouraging and helped me with my thoughts of uncertainty of job prospects after graduating, at my age. I will invest in the PowerScore books for now to get started (and won't take TestMasters as the prep course--thanks for the tip). Thank you again for all your insight and advice. You guys have been truly helpful!



I would just purchase the full course rather than the books. They will give you the books with the course anyway so it's a waste to buy them seperately. I studied just with the PowerScore books first then took the LSAT and got a score in the mid 150s. I then took the full Powerscore course a year later (having not studied in between) and received a score in the mid 160s.

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UFMatt
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Re: Older law school student prospect

Postby UFMatt » Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:05 pm

natalie123 wrote:Hi, I'm also a nontraditional student and a single mom (widowed). I can't speak to job opportunities, but my age doesn't seem to have affected my application cycle so far, and in some ways has helped. My experience is that as an older applicant, I have a lot more real world experience, and therefore much richer material for personal statements, etc. I took a Powerscore course and paid for a private LSAT tutor. Don't underestimate the LSAT... Investing in it is well worth your time and money. Luck!


Very sorry to hear that. Kudos to you for going to law school.

OP, definitely invest in your preparation for the LSAT. I would consider practicing on your own with old, real LSATs and study guides. If you have a knack for it, an expensive class may not be necessary.

To add to the thread, I'll be 28 when I start this fall. I definitely have a stronger work ethic now than when I was 22, so I think my age will be to my advantage.

Bruiser
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Re: Older law school student prospect

Postby Bruiser » Tue Feb 09, 2010 8:22 pm

I'll have just turned 40 when I start in the fall. I have been teaching for over 10 years and have three kids that will be 18 (in college, hopefully), 15, and 7. I have spoken with a lot of lawyers and law professors in the area and they all said they have seen plenty of older graduates get jobs. In fact, my son's teacher's husband graduated from law school two years ago and he said he didn't see age as a factor, that everyone needs to network and find jobs.
Trust me, I did a ton of research and fact finding from real people currently practicing in the field before I decided to quit my job, go into debt for ls, and switch careers at my age.
On an aside, I used the Powerscore Bibles and the Next 10 Actual Prep Test series for LSAT preparation and I would highly recommend them.
Good luck!

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summerstar
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Re: Older law school student prospect

Postby summerstar » Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:16 pm

older and wiser=true for a reason

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raperez129
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Re: Older law school student prospect

Postby raperez129 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:03 pm

First I want to say: YOU CAN DO IT!!

I am 30's and I *almost* applied 2007 cycle, then baby number three came along. I am just getting to the place where I am ready to re-test LSAT (because it wasn't great to begin with) and be dedicated to this. We considered several arrangements, but for *us*, the only way we see this working is my husband to quit and be full-time dad, and for me to work F/T (keeping our benefits, and my job is flexible) and do school P/T. The reverse, with me NOT working, and doing school F/T didn't seem to get us anywhere, because we would still need daycare F/T for the three kids, since I would also need time to study.

I also did a Princeton class. I recommend the Hyperlearning. You can get your money back if you don't improve, or if you are unhappy with your score, you can retake the class for somthing like $300. Totally worth the investement. Plus, for us, the schedule intensity was enough that it gave us a peak at what LS would be like, so we could get our emotional adjustments out of the way.

swflgirl
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Re: Older law school student prospect

Postby swflgirl » Mon Feb 15, 2010 4:02 pm

Hi all,
I wanted to say hello and that I am glad I found this thread. I am 36, studying for the June 2010 LSAT and hope to enroll for fall of 2011. I have no children and will be divorced by then but I have to say that I am pretty nervous about being so much older than everyone else. On the other hand, I think in many ways I am better prepared for this experience than I would have been coming straight out of undergrad. I am having to work very hard on my LSAT studies because although I was a good student and have been an avid reader for my entire life, the material has not yet clicked for me. I am using the powerscore bibles and basically the lsat tutor's 4 month study schedule. I also decided to enroll in the powerscore virtual course because I learn well with repetition and there are no live courses in my area.
I just want to add my encouragement to all of you who posted to this thread and I hope we can continue to support one another through the process.

SeanB
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Re: Older law school student prospect

Postby SeanB » Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:43 pm

Bruiser wrote:I'll have just turned 40 when I start in the fall. I have been teaching for over 10 years and have three kids that will be 18 (in college, hopefully), 15, and 7. I have spoken with a lot of lawyers and law professors in the area and they all said they have seen plenty of older graduates get jobs. In fact, my son's teacher's husband graduated from law school two years ago and he said he didn't see age as a factor, that everyone needs to network and find jobs.
Trust me, I did a ton of research and fact finding from real people currently practicing in the field before I decided to quit my job, go into debt for ls, and switch careers at my age.
On an aside, I used the Powerscore Bibles and the Next 10 Actual Prep Test series for LSAT preparation and I would highly recommend them.
Good luck!


Bruiser,

I've been teaching for 10 years, too, with inner city and at-risk teens. Luckily, I have a solid GPA (3.6) left over from my undergrad. I'm not sure how much 4.0 in graduate courses will matter (they practically give away A's in those classes). I haven't started serious LSAT prepping yet, but based on my SAT/LSAT projection and having all summer to study, I'm confident I'll land somewhere in the 160's.

Based on your application experience, do you think the work experience will give me a bump?

Bruiser
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Re: Older law school student prospect

Postby Bruiser » Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:00 pm

[quote="SeanB
I've been teaching for 10 years, too, with inner city and at-risk teens. Luckily, I have a solid GPA (3.6) left over from my undergrad. I'm not sure how much 4.0 in graduate courses will matter (they practically give away A's in those classes). I haven't started serious LSAT prepping yet, but based on my SAT/LSAT projection and having all summer to study, I'm confident I'll land somewhere in the 160's.

Based on your application experience, do you think the work experience will give me a bump?[/quote]

I am waiting for my Feb test scores, so I will let you know after I apply. When I was getting my M.Ed. my educational law professor just graduated from the law school I want to go to, and he is the one that encouraged me to go (after I told him I always wanted to be a lawyer, and was pre-law 20 yrs ago).
From what I have heard, our work experience will help a little (not enough to make up for a 150 LSAT). Also, if you want to go into educational or juveline law, it should help a good deal as in education, you really can't know how it really is unless you have been there. You know what I mean? We know the ins and outs of IEPs and 504s and our contracts and basic things like that.

MD/JD2B
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Re: Older law school student prospect

Postby MD/JD2B » Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:22 pm

Good thread..47 here and will start law school this fall. Excited? YES! Realistic? YES! Insurance commercial? NO!

I anticipate a lot of hard work but also the stimulation I thrive on--its a rush!

utswdukie80
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Re: Older law school student prospect

Postby utswdukie80 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:45 pm

OP, I just wanted to add that my mom didn't start law school until she was 36, as a single mom with two kids. She was able to work, go to law school at night and raise two kids on her own and succeed (passed the bar the first time, had a job lined up, etc). I don't think a lot of people could do this, but it's not impossible... And if you're wondering if this is shameless bragging about my mom, you're damn right it is!

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raperez129
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Re: Older law school student prospect

Postby raperez129 » Wed Mar 03, 2010 5:10 pm

utswdukie80 wrote:OP, I just wanted to add that my mom didn't start law school until she was 36, as a single mom with two kids. She was able to work, go to law school at night and raise two kids on her own and succeed (passed the bar the first time, had a job lined up, etc). I don't think a lot of people could do this, but it's not impossible... And if you're wondering if this is shameless bragging about my mom, you're damn right it is!


As a mom (of three) myself, I wanted to say you RAWK!

leftofthedial
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Re: Older law school student prospect

Postby leftofthedial » Wed Mar 03, 2010 5:15 pm

raperez129 wrote:
utswdukie80 wrote:OP, I just wanted to add that my mom didn't start law school until she was 36, as a single mom with two kids. She was able to work, go to law school at night and raise two kids on her own and succeed (passed the bar the first time, had a job lined up, etc). I don't think a lot of people could do this, but it's not impossible... And if you're wondering if this is shameless bragging about my mom, you're damn right it is!


As a mom (of three) myself, I wanted to say you RAWK!


I had to get in on this. My mom did the same thing - law school, single with two kids - at 32. She is an inspiration to me, and a reminder that hard work and persistence do pay off...my hat's off to all you single moms out there.




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