older student (60+)/ GPA /personal statement /references

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retiree
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older student (60+)/ GPA /personal statement /references

Postby retiree » Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:54 pm

4 questions:

1. OLDER STUDENT: Anyone with senior citizens in their classes or you are one? Wondering about the obstacles. I am in my mid 60's, but physically active, young at heart, and energetic.

2. GRAD SCHOOL GRADES: I heard your grad school GPA doesn't count. Is that true? And why don't they consider your graduate school grades? I have slightly above average undergrad grades (a few A's) from 40+ years ago (I worked 37 hrs a week then). Since then, 2 master's degrees (dean's list both times) and 2 more bachelor's degrees. Plus, I have taught college courses.

3. REFERENCES: Don't know any professors (they are probably dead or have dementia!), and been out of the workforce for a few years (no contact with previous co-workers in another city). People with whom I volunteer think I am crazy to want to go to law school (it was always a goal of mine, but life got in the way along the journey) and, further, they are not that educated enough to write what is needed (at least I don't think they are). Any suggestions? How many references should one submit?

4. PERSONAL STATEMENT: What does the older applicant focus on? I have "been there, done that" all over the world, moved a lot, was in the military, taught college, published, professional musician, and now a retiree who has been through all of life's passages (except the dying one). Now I have to do what I have always wanted to do--attend law school. Thomas Jefferson said you don't stop learning until you are six feet under!

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TheBigMediocre
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Re: older student (60+)/ GPA /personal statement /references

Postby TheBigMediocre » Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:56 pm

You're definitely going to want to talk about what you plan on doing with your law degree in your personal statement.

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atlantalaw
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Re: older student (60+)/ GPA /personal statement /references

Postby atlantalaw » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:11 pm

could you get references from your jobs? military recommendations would surely look good. also, what about the teachers you worked with when you taught some college classes? i think the school will understand if you can't track down your teachers from undergrad.

you have so much distance from your undergrad grades that i doubt it will count more than the school has to count it. it will count, though. the school that accepts you has to report it to the rankings, and schools care about the rankings.

i am sure you have a great resume, but make sure you do not repeat your resume for your personal statement. you should send your resume with your application, so schools will know about that. maybe write about what drove you to want to attend law school at this age (and of course what you will do with your degree). try to create a story with your personal statement, but make sure the story isn't all over the place (one cannot write 'the odyssey' in a few pages).

good luck.

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lostjake
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Re: older student (60+)/ GPA /personal statement /references

Postby lostjake » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:15 pm

Do you have any kids? If so why are you pissing away 150k in money that could go to your grand kids education. Or for you to sit on a beach somewhere. This is unwise, and because of your low post history, probably a flame.

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manbearwig
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Re: older student (60+)/ GPA /personal statement /references

Postby manbearwig » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:22 pm

lostjake wrote:Do you have any kids? If so why are you pissing away 150k in money that could go to your grand kids education. Or for you to sit on a beach somewhere. This is unwise, and because of your low post history, probably a flame.


Really? If this is a flame, it's the strangest one ever. Don't jump on the TLS "Flame!" bandwagon.

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lostjake
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Re: older student (60+)/ GPA /personal statement /references

Postby lostjake » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:25 pm

manbearwig wrote:
lostjake wrote:Do you have any kids? If so why are you pissing away 150k in money that could go to your grand kids education. Or for you to sit on a beach somewhere. This is unwise, and because of your low post history, probably a flame.


Really? If this is a flame, it's the strangest one ever. Don't jump on the TLS "Flame!" bandwagon.


At mid 60s you have a little over a 50/50 shot of graduating from law school, not because of the grades and such, but because of death waiting to take you. The OP has 1 post. Have you ever met someone who was 65 who could read and seriously concentrate for more than 30 minutes?

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lostjake
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Re: older student (60+)/ GPA /personal statement /references

Postby lostjake » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:27 pm

As evidence I'll site my grandma, who has a mustache nicer than mine, stays up until 5am in the morning watching game shows and black and white television, and sometimes poops herself. Ready for law school? Maybe not.

Tautology
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Re: older student (60+)/ GPA /personal statement /references

Postby Tautology » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:30 pm

lostjake wrote:
manbearwig wrote:
lostjake wrote:Do you have any kids? If so why are you pissing away 150k in money that could go to your grand kids education. Or for you to sit on a beach somewhere. This is unwise, and because of your low post history, probably a flame.


Really? If this is a flame, it's the strangest one ever. Don't jump on the TLS "Flame!" bandwagon.


At mid 60s you have a little over a 50/50 shot of graduating from law school, not because of the grades and such, but because of death waiting to take you. The OP has 1 post. Have you ever met someone who was 65 who could read and seriously concentrate for more than 30 minutes?


This may be the most prejudicial and douchiest thing I've ever seen on these fora.

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lostjake
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Re: older student (60+)/ GPA /personal statement /references

Postby lostjake » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:38 pm

Kalvano-

I believe I'm entitled to at least comment on someone using the words douchiest and fora in the same sentence.

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manbearwig
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Re: older student (60+)/ GPA /personal statement /references

Postby manbearwig » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:40 pm

lostjake wrote:
manbearwig wrote:
lostjake wrote:Do you have any kids? If so why are you pissing away 150k in money that could go to your grand kids education. Or for you to sit on a beach somewhere. This is unwise, and because of your low post history, probably a flame.


Really? If this is a flame, it's the strangest one ever. Don't jump on the TLS "Flame!" bandwagon.


At mid 60s you have a little over a 50/50 shot of graduating from law school, not because of the grades and such, but because of death waiting to take you. The OP has 1 post. Have you ever met someone who was 65 who could read and seriously concentrate for more than 30 minutes?


You apparently have 325 posts, and yet you still haven't learned proper board (or hell, life) etiquette. I would have thought that all of us on this board were past the age where we thought being over 40 was old.

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hoverin Ferb
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Re: older student (60+)/ GPA /personal statement /references

Postby hoverin Ferb » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:43 pm

lostjake wrote:Do you have any kids? If so why are you pissing away 150k in money that could go to your grand kids education. Or for you to sit on a beach somewhere. This is unwise, and because of your low post history, probably a flame.


Not everybody is addicted to TLS. Maybe he just found it.

:roll: Sheesh....



ED: retiree has served this country in uniform so lostjake can exercise his 1st Amendment rights and speak his mind. This right also allows lostjake to make himself look like like an immature brat who wasn't raised properly.
Last edited by hoverin Ferb on Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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kalvano
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Re: older student (60+)/ GPA /personal statement /references

Postby kalvano » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:44 pm

lostjake wrote:Kalvano-

I believe I'm entitled to at least comment on someone using the words douchiest and fora in the same sentence.


What the fuck? Leave me out of your usual douchebaggery, fuckwit.

acrossthelake
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Re: older student (60+)/ GPA /personal statement /references

Postby acrossthelake » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:46 pm

Tautology wrote:
lostjake wrote:
At mid 60s you have a little over a 50/50 shot of graduating from law school, not because of the grades and such, but because of death waiting to take you. The OP has 1 post. Have you ever met someone who was 65 who could read and seriously concentrate for more than 30 minutes?


This may be the most prejudicial and douchiest thing I've ever seen on these fora.


Agreed. As a counterpoint of comparison, I have a grandmother in her late 70s who takes college courses *for fun* (she says parts of history courses are funny, because she was alive during the time referred to as modern history), still writes articles for the newspaper she used to work at full-time for most of her life, e-mails, uses Facebook(my friends get lots of lols at seeing her comment on my status updates), and can still beat me at Scrabble(she's got 50+ years of vocabulary learning on me after all).

Additionally, I have a professor at my undergrad who is in her late 60s who is still teaching a full course load, publishing research, serving as advisor to undergrad honors theses and advising a postdoc, and serving in a bunch of important committees at our university. She also served as interim president in her late 50s. Have I ever met someone at 65 who could read and seriously concentrate for more than 30 minutes? Yeah, she can do thinking far more advanced than what most people decades younger than her can do for more than 30 minutes.


@ The Original Poster: You'll be able to be about as distanced from your undergrad GPA as possible, while still limited by the fact that law schools care about their stats for rankings. aAdmissions will probably be understanding about that and also about not being able to get teacher references(because, as you've pointed out, they're probably dead or demented or at the very least not teaching there anymore and not able to be tracked down). I'll second the idea of trying to get references from former co-workers or any supervisor from the past you can track down. I actually think it'd be a good idea to call admissions offices themselves and ask what they think you should do in this unique situation.

I don't think you'll necessarily face much prejudice in admissions, though perhaps when being hired for jobs afterward. There could be a fair amount of ageism in the hiring process.(I've heard a lot about this from my parents/friends' parents from their working world--my mother dyes her hair and fails to mention that she has a college age daughter when people talk about kids, since people assume she's in her late 30s, which is far from the truth). Is your dream to be a lawyer or just to learn about the law through law school? If it's the former, you might want to look into seeing what your opportunities are for a job before you jump in.

hadokenstyle
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Re: older student (60+)/ GPA /personal statement /references

Postby hadokenstyle » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:58 pm

retiree wrote:4 questions:

1. OLDER STUDENT: Anyone with senior citizens in their classes or you are one? Wondering about the obstacles. I am in my mid 60's, but physically active, young at heart, and energetic.

2. GRAD SCHOOL GRADES: I heard your grad school GPA doesn't count. Is that true? And why don't they consider your graduate school grades? I have slightly above average undergrad grades (a few A's) from 40+ years ago (I worked 37 hrs a week then). Since then, 2 master's degrees (dean's list both times) and 2 more bachelor's degrees. Plus, I have taught college courses.

3. REFERENCES: Don't know any professors (they are probably dead or have dementia!), and been out of the workforce for a few years (no contact with previous co-workers in another city). People with whom I volunteer think I am crazy to want to go to law school (it was always a goal of mine, but life got in the way along the journey) and, further, they are not that educated enough to write what is needed (at least I don't think they are). Any suggestions? How many references should one submit?

4. PERSONAL STATEMENT: What does the older applicant focus on? I have "been there, done that" all over the world, moved a lot, was in the military, taught college, published, professional musician, and now a retiree who has been through all of life's passages (except the dying one). Now I have to do what I have always wanted to do--attend law school. Thomas Jefferson said you don't stop learning until you are six feet under!


Ignore the generally caustic attitudes on these forums.

I think your work and life experiences and maturity would trump 99% of the applicants who may have had great experiences in their life, but lack the wisdom that only someone like you could have through a very long and successful life.

I would not let yourself be discouraged by people who tell you no. I think you should and ought to follow your passions. Law school IS a lot of work and a lot of students tend to be depressed more often than not. But, without the pressure to try to get into a big firm or so, you may be able to get through and really enjoy it, and also empathize with your professors more. Your situation is unique enough to where you could right an addenda to your application and be OK without recommendations from professors. Heck, you could jokingly say that you can't get LoR's as your professors passed on.

If I were a (hypothetical) admissions committee member, I may be interested to hear *why* you are interested in law school, and you should perhaps talk about what motivates you to take on this amount of work. The only obstacle I see is that law schools are looking for people who are starting their careers, although a law degree to go into academia, or to be used in conjunction with another field may be viable.

I love your attitude. It's really an inspiration and I wish many people in law school had the same curiosity and passion. I'm afraid too many people are motivated by prestige and money - I just wish I could call you a classmate! But who knows, it's a small world :).

lostjake wrote:Sorry for being a dick to an elder who has served our country and worked a successful, hard life.


Bravo, way to be mature!

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Kchuck
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Re: older student (60+)/ GPA /personal statement /references

Postby Kchuck » Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:01 am

Should I, a retiree, go to law school?

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kalvano
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Re: older student (60+)/ GPA /personal statement /references

Postby kalvano » Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:39 am

retiree wrote:4 questions:

1. OLDER STUDENT: Anyone with senior citizens in their classes or you are one? Wondering about the obstacles. I am in my mid 60's, but physically active, young at heart, and energetic.



I have heard of a few. I don't think you'll face many obstacles as far as classes go. Doing something with your JD after school might be more challenging. But then again, I am assuming you have a pension / retirement fund of some kind, so perhaps you could just do pro bono work and help people.


retiree wrote:2. GRAD SCHOOL GRADES: I heard your grad school GPA doesn't count. Is that true? And why don't they consider your graduate school grades? I have slightly above average undergrad grades (a few A's) from 40+ years ago (I worked 37 hrs a week then). Since then, 2 master's degrees (dean's list both times) and 2 more bachelor's degrees. Plus, I have taught college courses.


Grad school doesn't count, though it will be a fair-to-middling soft.


retiree wrote:3. REFERENCES: Don't know any professors (they are probably dead or have dementia!), and been out of the workforce for a few years (no contact with previous co-workers in another city). People with whom I volunteer think I am crazy to want to go to law school (it was always a goal of mine, but life got in the way along the journey) and, further, they are not that educated enough to write what is needed (at least I don't think they are). Any suggestions? How many references should one submit?


Most places look for 2 LOR's. In your case, I don't think they will be too picky about who you get them from. Perhaps an attorney friend or an old boss? You'd be surprised what and who people remember.


retiree wrote:4. PERSONAL STATEMENT: What does the older applicant focus on? I have "been there, done that" all over the world, moved a lot, was in the military, taught college, published, professional musician, and now a retiree who has been through all of life's passages (except the dying one). Now I have to do what I have always wanted to do--attend law school. Thomas Jefferson said you don't stop learning until you are six feet under!



Don't cram in too much. Pick something that appeals to you. When you think back on your life, what stands out? The first couple things that pop out to you are probably a good starting place.

When I was starting out on mine, I found Washington & Lee to have the best advice.


http://law.wlu.edu/admissions/page.asp?pageid=313#b3

The personal statement is your opportunity to give us a sense of who you are beyond what we can glean from the rest of the paper we've required of you. The best use of that opportunity? Tell us something about yourself that we won't discover otherwise. As a starting point, we recommend you imagine that our admissions committee has one seat available, and is considering your file and one other, both with the same numerical qualifications. Your personal statement will be read aloud. What do you want us to know about you before we make a choice? What makes you who you are?

We're willing to take your application as sufficient evidence of your interest in studying law, so you needn't try to convince us of the sincerity of your ambition. Remember, we're trying to get an idea of the voice you might bring to campus. While you'll do a lot of talking about law here, of course, we're after a sense of what might inform your contribution to the conversation. So tell us about your losing season, your musical aspirations, that pivotal vacation experience, the single most important piece of advice you've ever received, your troubled (or wonderful) relationship with your sibling, why you volunteered… you get the idea. Those are the things that bring manila folders to life.



There's a lot more helpful stuff in the link.


Best of luck.

retiree
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Re: older student (60+)/ GPA /personal statement /references

Postby retiree » Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:07 am

[quote="kalvano"][quote="retiree"]4 questions:

With 5 college degrees already, school has never been a problem for me. Although I do have to admit that I would rather be standing up in FRONT of the class (taught college for 20 years) dishing out assignments, than the one having to do them. Yes, I have a very good pension and retirement portfolio, etc.

"Most places look for 2 LOR's. In your case, I don't think they will be too picky about who you get them from. Perhaps an attorney friend or an old boss? You'd be surprised what and who people remember."
Thank you SO much for this comment--you just reminded me I can ask an attorney who wrote an introduction to a book I got published years ago. Knowing him, he is probably still working!

Thanks for all the great ideas on how to approach the personal statement--indeed, you all have given me some GREAT ideas. And thanks for the website link for WLU. Good stuff.

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A'nold
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Re: older student (60+)/ GPA /personal statement /references

Postby A'nold » Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:14 am

Actually, OP is so dang diverse and interesting that he will likely get in everywhere he applies. I would guess that schools will hardly look at his GPA or LSAT score. In fact, many state law schools allow their seniors to attend law schools for free.

retiree
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Re: older student (60+)/ GPA /personal statement /references

Postby retiree » Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:29 pm

Thank you. I gladly served (both parents served in WWII, and I have my dad's Purple Heart). Of course, lostjake needs to learn that you never mess with a combat veteran (I made it through without getting killed), and you definitely don't want to mess with a Marine, combat or not! No, I am not a Marine--joined the great blue skies of the Air Force.

As for lostjake's comment about no posts, well, I just found this website on Monday night for the first time, and joined. As for kids--funny, none of my circle has ever discussed with each other our financial plans for kids (the older you get, you learn quickly which subjects are off limits). We are more apt to discuss the justifiable homocide tendencies that parents have on occasion with their adult children. None of my business is theirs, and none of theirs is mine. And not all retirees live their lives through their kids. They have decided that retirement is for them to enjoy. It is our turn now. As or sitting on a beach somewhere--uh, I think that's what 20-somethings do on spring break. The rest of us have gotten smart and are trying to avoid skin cancer (that didn't work, but got it removed).

Regarding concentration--let's see: On the computer for stretches of 8+ hours. Hiking for 6 hours at a whack. Chair of a major organization for 6 years running. A personal library of 2500 books that I bury myself in regularly, sometimes reading until 5 a.m. 3 hours at the piano pounding out jazz or something else, practicing without a break. Hiking in Peru at 11,000 ft. with a group younger than myself, half of whom crapped out before the halfway point (not me). No, I believe the ones with the concentration problems would be the guys/girls in their 20s who are oogling all the girls/guys in their 20s. Or perhaps those younger students who have a hard time trying to decide which party to go to on the weekend. I may be a card-carrying member of AARP, but I will match my pool playing skills with anyone (rarely spent a paycheck in Southeast Asia during Vietnam--just played pool for money). Ciao - Gotta go--have 3 hours of a concentrated activity to work on (and no, it isn't a nap or golfing!).

hoverin Ferb wrote:
lostjake wrote:Do you have any kids? If so why are you pissing away 150k in money that could go to your grand kids education. Or for you to sit on a beach somewhere. This is unwise, and because of your low post history, probably a flame.


Not everybody is addicted to TLS. Maybe he just found it.

:roll: Sheesh....



ED: retiree has served this country in uniform so lostjake can exercise his 1st Amendment rights and speak his mind. This right also allows lostjake to make himself look like like an immature brat who wasn't raised properly.

twopoodles
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Re: older student (60+)/ GPA /personal statement /references

Postby twopoodles » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:20 pm

What school are you looking at? They probably published the age range of their students. For the school I'm attending, the oldest is about 40. I'm sure there are other retirees out there, but you should probably expect to be a rariety.

I'd think having an obnoxious professor who was much younger than you would be the worst part of law school for a retiree.

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hoverin Ferb
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Re: older student (60+)/ GPA /personal statement /references

Postby hoverin Ferb » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:17 pm

twopoodles wrote:
I'd think having an obnoxious professor who was much younger than you would be the worst part of law school for a retiree.



I was thinking more of Terguson's Contemporary American History class. :mrgreen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bfgrj_62-Y

CanadianWolf
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Re: older student (60+)/ GPA /personal statement /references

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:27 pm

Have you taken the LSAT ? Why law school?
It will be interesting to follow your progress. Hopefully you don't expect law school to be similiar to getting a bachelors or masters degree.
Your personal statement should focus on why you want to go to law school & how you plan to use the degree, in my opinion.

nrj1084
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Re: older student (60+)/ GPA /personal statement /references

Postby nrj1084 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:24 pm

I wish I could be as active as the original poster when I am their age. I think its pretty awesome that he is continuing to challenge himself and learn more.

retiree
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Re: older student (60+)/ GPA /personal statement /references

Postby retiree » Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:30 am

Not taken the LSAT yet, and am preparing for it though. As to why law school? Why not? It was a goal of mine for many years, but the rest of life got in the way, and moving the way I did every 2-3 years made it impossible to pursue an education that required me to stay put. I started on a Ph.D., but gave up because of the life I had (being moved by my employer). Actually, I do have a real reason, and it has to do with a law that affects the military. I also like elder law. It is sad to see the elder abuse that is going on. But I think the military draw is stronger. Of course, I could win the lottery, and then have to decide what I want to do (besides have lunch with my broker-ha!). I have gotten a lot of really good suggestions, and have already started making notes for the p.s. Most people I would have have some things to explain in the p.s., mine are just more focused on explaining the age factor. It is damn hard to try to tell someone that my age is nothing but a number. (You can find your RealAge online at http://www.realage.com - great website). If I get in, I get in. If I don't, I don't, and I take that safari trip that I have planned in the next 5 years sooner than I had planned.

CanadianWolf wrote:Have you taken the LSAT ? Why law school?
It will be interesting to follow your progress. Hopefully you don't expect law school to be similiar to getting a bachelors or masters degree.
Your personal statement should focus on why you want to go to law school & how you plan to use the degree, in my opinion.

retiree
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Re: older student (60+)/ GPA /personal statement /references

Postby retiree » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:50 am

Am trying to get used to the navigating on this website and the page alone with all the posts, and looked for what I thought had been my last post for last night, because I was still being referred to as "he" and said I wasn't a "he" but a "she." (Wonder how "lostjake" will take that one!) I had put that into the response and thought it had posted. Obviously not. Oh well, instant sex change! I went through the military (joined to get the G.I. bill for grad school) with my name being listed as a male--gave up trying to correct it. Showed up at one base and was put into a trailer with 5 guys (as in all male). When I asked at the lodging office what the story was, I learned the problem--they had combined my middle initial with my first name and it came out as a male. They had no more space, so thank God there were always at least 2 empty bedrooms to sleep in, as we were all on different shifts. (I used to write for a men's association as their military correspondent, and used my married name, where you couldn't tell if it is a man or woman writer. The editor was concerned that his readership would drop if they knew I wasn't a man--this was back in the "old days." Everyone assumes that a Vietnam veteran is a male. I assume the advice you all have given still applies, whether the person is male or female. Or are there some nuances I should be aware of. I wouldn't think so, but you never know.

For anyone wondering about the pool--our dad taught all of us how to play pool. he said if you ever need money, go play a few games. He was right. (But my youngest sister is the real pool shark.) We had a gorgeous antique Brunswick pool table with a real slate top, carved leather pockets, the old-fashioned pool cue rack, and the poolroom lights. It came with the house when my folks bought it. My neighbor down the street has a pool table in his dining room. Way to go, if you ask me.

You can be active, too. Exercise EVERY day--I do, although I try to schedule one day where I cut the time in half, or I just do 15 min. (I also come from good genes and long lives.) The second in our family is 1 1/2 yrs behind me, and lives in a neighborhood where she and her husband are at least 25 years older than the next youngest couple in the cul de sac. My sisters and her husband are the life of the party, and everyone wants to go to their parties (they have a commercial Margarita machine--THAT is the life of the party!). We are all active in our family. As for acting our age, ummmmm, since I have never been my current age (until now, of course), it is a new thing for me. My sister's concept of retirement is non-stop parties. (She and lostjake would get along fine, since he likes the beach scene.) Okay, I am going to press the submit button very hard--this one better get posted.


nrj1084 wrote:I wish I could be as active as the original poster when I am their age. I think its pretty awesome that he is continuing to challenge himself and learn more.




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