Too Old for NYU?

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piney
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Too Old for NYU?

Postby piney » Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:45 am

I've wanted to go to law school for two or three years. I started preparing for the LSAT too late to apply for 2012. Despite scoring in 170+ on all my practice tests last year, I got very sick and had to postpone my test to December 2012, then scored in the low 160s. I didn't apply. I now have the option of taking the test in October and applying in 2013, but I'll be 29. NYU is my target school. (3.54 cum GPA)

But this means I'll be 6 years older than the average student in my class and starting my career six years later than my colleagues. There will be partners who are younger than me. How much of a problem will this be? Will people see me as "old," and will I not fit in? Will I feel virtually alone in my age group? Will potential employers hold this against me? I know older applicants are common at most schools, but at NYU, only 10% of last years class had waited 5 years or more, and that's still 2 years less than me. At Columbia, which breaks age down into years, only 10 people in a class of 368 are 29 or older. That's 3%. I feel like I would be completely out of place.

This would bother me less if I were in a field that prepared me for law school, but it would be a complete career turn. Since graduating college, I got a MA in history, worked in university libraries for a few years, and now I work as a high school teacher. I'll be staring over in my late twenties, making the past six years since college a complete waste as far as my career goes.

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: Too Old for NYU?

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:02 am

piney wrote:But this means I'll be 6 years older than the average student in my class and starting my career six years later than my colleagues. There will be partners who are younger than me. How much of a problem will this be? Will people see me as "old," and will I not fit in? Will I feel virtually alone in my age group? Will potential employers hold this against me? I know older applicants are common at most schools, but at NYU, only 10% of last years class had waited 5 years or more, and that's still 2 years less than me.

Your age won't be a problem at all for admissions.

There will be plenty of people around your age at NYU. I know someone in his early 30s there, and he made plenty of friends, did well at OCI, and is currently a summer associate at a big law firm.

You might face some slight difficulties at OCI - some firms seem to have a preference against older candidates - but if you have good grades at a school like NYU, age certainly won't stop you getting big law.

29 is really not that old, anyway. There are plenty of reports here of people in their 30s doing great at OCI - better than their grades would have predicted, etc. Age doesn't really become a problem until at least late 30s - depending on factors like how old you look, act, et cetera.

piney
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Re: Too Old for NYU?

Postby piney » Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:15 am

Can I leave gradation dates off my resume? I look really young, and a lot of people still think I'm in college. So that would solve the OCI problem.

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: Too Old for NYU?

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:50 am

piney wrote:Can I leave gradation dates off my resume? I look really young, and a lot of people still think I'm in college. So that would solve the OCI problem.


There's no OCI problem. Being older is not a problem. You do well at NYU you'll get big law. You don't you probably won't.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Too Old for NYU?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:32 am

piney wrote:I'll be staring over in my late twenties, making the past six years since college a complete waste as far as my career goes.

Definitely drop this stance. If you feel like you've wasted the past six years you'll come off that way to employers. I really doubt that you gained nothing in your time since college.

I go to one of the schools mentioned in your OP, I also had six years between undergrad and law school, and I fit in just fine.

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guano
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Re: Too Old for NYU?

Postby guano » Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:53 am

piney wrote:Can I leave gradation dates off my resume? I look really young, and a lot of people still think I'm in college. So that would solve the OCI problem.

That would look suspicious.
Seriously, (for the most part) age is not an issue

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danitt
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Re: Too Old for NYU?

Postby danitt » Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:01 pm

You're not old. If you looked around the forum a bit you'd see a very vibrant thread of 30+ students that are doing just fine. I myself am starting school at 31. All I see is that I have seven years of a solid impressive resumé. If you act insecure about your age and experience, that might be your actual downfall.

Also people make partner at 30?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Too Old for NYU?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:10 pm

Yes, this is a really natural question, but it's also really not a big deal, and there are lots of threads on this forum discussing it. (I guess you can't search by "age" or "old" due to the search engine restrictions, but I promise, they're there.)

Also, 6 years is really not a long time.

In terms of fitting in, the bigger divide is not age-based, but experience - you will fit in fine with other people who took time off and worked before going back to law school, even if they took less time than you did. I mean, I'm sure you'll fit in fine with people who went K-JD, too - I started law school much older than you and had no problem making K-JD friends - but once someone has taken time off, it doesn't really matter whether it was 4 years or 5 years or 6 - you will have a shared experience. And lots of those people will have made a similar turn (I found there were tons of former teachers in law school).

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ScottRiqui
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Re: Too Old for NYU?

Postby ScottRiqui » Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:13 pm

danitt wrote:You're not old. If you looked around the forum a bit you'd see a very vibrant thread of 30+ students that are doing just fine. I myself am starting school at 31. All I see is that I have seven years of a solid impressive resumé. If you act insecure about your age and experience, that might be your actual downfall.


I'm still a couple years away from OCI, but I'll be about 45 when it happens. I'm not too worried about my age, though - I'll have a 20-year military career and a scientific master's degree to talk about during the interview.

Ti Malice
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Re: Too Old for NYU?

Postby Ti Malice » Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:41 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
piney wrote:I'll be staring over in my late twenties, making the past six years since college a complete waste as far as my career goes.

Definitely drop this stance. If you feel like you've wasted the past six years you'll come off that way to employers. I really doubt that you gained nothing in your time since college.

I go to one of the schools mentioned in your OP, I also had six years between undergrad and law school, and I fit in just fine.


OP, read Tiago's post a dozen times or so.

I have to say that's a breathtaking characterization of your time since college. First of all, unless it involves closely reading a bunch of judicial opinions, no field of work will "prepare you for law school" more than any other. And even then, your minimal advantage would last no more than a couple of weeks. More to the issue at hand, a number of my classmates did several years of work that bears little or no relation to their legal career goals (several were teachers), and I can't say I know anyone who has expressed even a scintilla of regret over their indirect path to law school. On the other hand, I have certainly heard more than a few K-JDs and students who took minimal time off between college and law school express regret over not having taken more time off. Surely you believe you have learned something from your work and life experience over the last several years that transcends any one career path, or work altogether, right? Also, there is in fact an advantage to having work experience when it comes to legal hiring: legal employers favor people who have held full-time jobs for a while. They're less eager to hire someone who has done nothing but school since age five.

And, seriously, 29 is not old. Stop making it an issue, because no one else will.

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: Too Old for NYU?

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:34 pm

OP: search "old school." That's the best thread I know for 30+era on TLS.




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