Older Students (early 30s) and Job Prospects

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Thunder Jones
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Older Students (early 30s) and Job Prospects

Postby Thunder Jones » Thu Feb 03, 2011 8:47 am

I've seriously thinking about law school. I'm in at Univ of Tennessee (in-state). I want to work in Nashville. My only serious hesitation is that I'll be 33 September, thus 36 when I graduate. How much will age be a factor when I try to get a job in three years? Thoughts?

nodummy
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Re: Older Students (early 30s) and Job Prospects

Postby nodummy » Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:27 am

I'm in a similar situation...I'll be 32 when I graduate.

What kind of work experience do you have?

I've heard that good experience can add a lot of value and create good job opps...but ive also heard that many firms want to hire young lawyers who dont mind working a ton of hours for little money.

too old for this sh*
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Re: Older Students (early 30s) and Job Prospects

Postby too old for this sh* » Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:30 pm

damned kids :lol:

If and when I finally get around to LS, I would be late 40's, standing in the shadow of 50 at graduation. Fortunately, I have a firm offer with the present firm (who wants me to get off my ass and get the JD already) and even if that did not exist, I am well-enough known in this niche area to make enough to get by comfortably.

At the age both of you describe, the question becomes one of how well you have networked in your respective careers thus far and whether the current careers lend to what you hope to do after law school.

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existenz
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Re: Older Students (early 30s) and Job Prospects

Postby existenz » Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:39 pm

I'm guessing it will still come down to your grades, your work experience and your personality.

sarahh
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Re: Older Students (early 30s) and Job Prospects

Postby sarahh » Thu Feb 03, 2011 6:53 pm

In the OLD SCHOOL thread, a few people said they felt that a lot of law firms saw their age as a negative. I think you need to have a really good explanation for why you decided to go law school at age 33.

mala2
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Re: Older Students (early 30s) and Job Prospects

Postby mala2 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:02 pm

how old do you think the cutoff is?

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tome
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Re: Older Students (early 30s) and Job Prospects

Postby tome » Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:36 pm

I think it probably has very little effect. It is more a matter of how realistic it is to start a new career that takes 3 years of study. I will be mid-30s when I graduate, and coming to law school was a great decision for me. I am definitely on the older side at my school, but it has made no real difference. There is the occasional old joke, but all in good fun. I would seek out a school like Northwestern where students are a little older though, if possible. I have talked to transfers who came from schools where the majority of people are in their early 20s and they said it was not nearly as enjoyable as NU.

jared6180
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Re: Older Students (early 30s) and Job Prospects

Postby jared6180 » Sat Feb 05, 2011 9:21 pm

I will be 35 when I graduate, I am a sophomore in my undergrad currently. My hope is that I plan well and coordinate my classes well enough so that I have time to work at a firm part time, and get Summer Associate jobs while on break from school.

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nygrrrl
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Re: Older Students (early 30s) and Job Prospects

Postby nygrrrl » Sat Feb 05, 2011 9:26 pm

sarahh wrote:In the OLD SCHOOL thread, a few people said they felt that a lot of law firms saw their age as a negative. I think you need to have a really good explanation for why you decided to go law school at age 33.

To clarify, the posters who were saying that were specifically discussing Big Law and they then discussed ways to possibly overcome that issue. (Also, much of the agism they were discussing wasn't so much about how OLD they were but about firms being concerned at how a late 30's person would react to having a younger boss. :wink: )
OP and others, here's the terrific OLD SCHOOL thread - but it is for those of us who are doing this Over 30!
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=143047

enjoy. :D

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mbusch22
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Re: Older Students (early 30s) and Job Prospects

Postby mbusch22 » Sat Feb 05, 2011 9:27 pm

I don't fit in this thread, but FWIW, I was told by a career services lady that biglaw looks down on older students because they like to be able to mold a young brain into their ways of doing business, as opposed to having an older student going in with prenotions about the working world.... or something along those lines. It was career services, so who knows.

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nygrrrl
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Re: Older Students (early 30s) and Job Prospects

Postby nygrrrl » Sat Feb 05, 2011 9:28 pm

mbusch22 wrote:I don't fit in this thread, but FWIW, I was told by a career services lady that biglaw looks down on older students because they like to be able to mold a young brain into their ways of doing business, as opposed to having an older student going in with prenotions about the working world.... or something along those lines. It was career services, so who knows.

See above... and from what I've seen, it's not so much "looks down on" as it is, "wonders if they'll fit in"

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Rotor
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Re: Older Students (early 30s) and Job Prospects

Postby Rotor » Sat Feb 05, 2011 9:35 pm

I'm a 44yo 2L and did well during OCI. It did come up during interviews, but in an oblique way that couldn't be construed as age discrimination. So you'll need to explain your story to put them at ease about being able to work for much younger people, or having had a job with big responsibility and being willing to do doc review etc. If the story is coherent with the rest of your pkg, it'll probably be seen as a big asset (not a liability).

Edit: Clearly my experience was different than what the quoted passage above suggests. I make no representations about which is more universal. My experience was mostly positive (but cannot tell you why some firms didn't give me a callback).

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nygrrrl
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Re: Older Students (early 30s) and Job Prospects

Postby nygrrrl » Sat Feb 05, 2011 9:39 pm

Rotor wrote:I'm a 44yo 2L and did well during OCI. It did come up during interviews, but in an oblique way that couldn't be construed as age discrimination. So you'll need to explain your story to put them at ease about being able to work for much younger people, or having had a job with big responsibility and being willing to do doc review etc. If the story is coherent with the rest of your pkg, it'll probably be seen as a big asset (not a liability).

Edit: Clearly my experience was different than what the quoted passage above suggests. I make no representations about which is more universal. My experience was mostly positive (but cannot tell you why some firms didn't give me a callback).

Rotor! Come join our OLD SCHOOL thread! :mrgreen:

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JazzOne
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Re: Older Students (early 30s) and Job Prospects

Postby JazzOne » Sat Feb 05, 2011 9:59 pm

nygrrrl wrote:
sarahh wrote:In the OLD SCHOOL thread, a few people said they felt that a lot of law firms saw their age as a negative. I think you need to have a really good explanation for why you decided to go law school at age 33.

To clarify, the posters who were saying that were specifically discussing Big Law and they then discussed ways to possibly overcome that issue. (Also, much of the agism they were discussing wasn't so much about how OLD they were but about firms being concerned at how a late 30's person would react to having a younger boss. :wink: )
OP and others, here's the terrific OLD SCHOOL thread - but it is for those of us who are doing this Over 30!
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=143047

enjoy. :D

Also, one of the older posters in that thread did better at OCI than his grades would have suggested, and he reportedly did a lot of research before OCI and carefully selected firms for their cultural compatibility. On the other hand, I underperformed with respect to my grades, and I took the complete opposite approach. I don't know any biglaw attorneys, and I wasn't sure how to go about researching firm culture, so I just used my bids on the most prestigious firms at OCI. I used the shotgun approach. I eventually found a firm with the right culture and interest in hiring me, but I endured a lot of rejections before I found the one (or two, as the case may be).

I think the take-home message is that non-trads should approach the job search a bit differently from their younger classmates. Some of the other posters in the OLD SCHOOL thread outlined their successful approaches to OCI, so I'll defer on that issue. I just wanted to clarify one of the reasons my callback/offer rate was a little disappointing. In retrospect, I would not have been a good fit at the firms I was targeting most heavily, and I'm so excited about my summer jobs at other firms.
Last edited by JazzOne on Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Older Students (early 30s) and Job Prospects

Postby rinkrat19 » Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:01 pm

I'll be 36 when I graduate, although I look quite a bit younger than my age. (Both my parents looked young for a long time--my mom got carded when buying alcohol well into her 40s.) Obviously, I'm hoping it's not an issue when I start interviewing.

I'm curious about the reports that biglaw shies away from hiring older new lawyers, when Northwestern--known for having students a couple years older than other schools--places the highest percentage of their grads in biglaw (at least according to law.com...I think the numbers are 2009 grads)

http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... hbxlogin=1

That said, I can see how firms might wonder if a 40-something would fit in well with his 20-something fellow new hires. Age-wise, his 'peers' would be several steps above him in the firm hierarchy, but it's not like he could expect to eat lunch with the partners instead of the other junior associates.

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nygrrrl
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Re: Older Students (early 30s) and Job Prospects

Postby nygrrrl » Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:07 pm

JazzOne wrote:[AllkindsofgreatadvicejustlikethestuffhesaysinOLDSCHOOL]

:mrgreen: Thank you. You rule.

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Grizz
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Re: Older Students (early 30s) and Job Prospects

Postby Grizz » Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:09 pm

Nashville can be a TOUGH market. A lot more Vandy students than you would think want to stay, even with good grades. Quite a few of them are also from Nashville.




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