Is 36 too old to work in biglaw?

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dirac
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Is 36 too old to work in biglaw?

Postby dirac » Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:02 pm

Long story short: I have a PhD degree and work in academia for several years; will turn 33 in June. Accepted by HLS and want to practice IP law or Corporate law. Wonder if biglaw firms care about my age (especially for corporate law which I do not have any business work experience).

Thanks.

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Capitol_Idea
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Re: Is 36 too old to work in biglaw?

Postby Capitol_Idea » Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:08 pm

(Disclosure: 2L who will be 31 upon entering Biglaw)

No, I don't think 36 is a problem for either IP or corporate, at least not on the grand scheme of things (there may be particular firms that want 'em young for whatever reason - none that I came across).

General consensus seems to be that anything under 40 is generally not a problem - anything over that and you might have to have a good narrative about 'why law and why now.' The PhD more than covers that reason, I think.

Anecdata: I had a professor who taught in a university for 15 years, then went to law school, practiced in Biglaw for a couple years, and is now teaching again. He was considerably older than you and made out just fine - I can't imagine you'll be any worse. Also, I have several classmates in your age range and they all did fine at OCI - age wasn't a factor one way or another (except maybe being able to show professionalism/maturity more easily than KJDs).

dirac
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Re: Is 36 too old to work in biglaw?

Postby dirac » Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:29 pm

Thanks for reassuring me zacharus85. I have been an assistant professor for 3 years (both teaching and doing research) and realized that I might never enjoy this academic job. I heard stories of how labor-consuming and physically challenging the job in Biglaw can be so was a little worried if people had bias against "older JD student". Great to know the story of your professor which is inspiring.

zacharus85 wrote:(Disclosure: 2L who will be 31 upon entering Biglaw)

No, I don't think 36 is a problem for either IP or corporate, at least not on the grand scheme of things (there may be particular firms that want 'em young for whatever reason - none that I came across).

General consensus seems to be that anything under 40 is generally not a problem - anything over that and you might have to have a good narrative about 'why law and why now.' The PhD more than covers that reason, I think.

Anecdata: I had a professor who taught in a university for 15 years, then went to law school, practiced in Biglaw for a couple years, and is now teaching again. He was considerably older than you and made out just fine - I can't imagine you'll be any worse. Also, I have several classmates in your age range and they all did fine at OCI - age wasn't a factor one way or another (except maybe being able to show professionalism/maturity more easily than KJDs).

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: Is 36 too old to work in biglaw?

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Sat Apr 04, 2015 3:08 pm

My firm has a number of associates who started in their 30s (and some partners who did years ago).

dirac
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Re: Is 36 too old to work in biglaw?

Postby dirac » Sat Apr 04, 2015 3:46 pm

Good to know. Thanks Hutz_and_Goodman.

Best
Dawei

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:My firm has a number of associates who started in their 30s (and some partners who did years ago).

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BiglawAssociate
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Re: Is 36 too old to work in biglaw?

Postby BiglawAssociate » Sat Apr 04, 2015 7:49 pm

No, but why would you want to do that? Are you taking out loans? Do you have a family? You may never be able to give them a good life if you're taking out loans for biglaw




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