18 Year Old (172, 3.4)

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joshuaw

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18 Year Old (172, 3.4)

Postby joshuaw » Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:51 pm

I have a bit of a unique case, as I will be 18 years old when starting law school. I am graduating in the spring with an easy degree from a mediocre university. My stats are 172 / ~3.4, and I'm a white male with absolutely no resumé because I've used all my time skipping grades. What range of schools should I apply to? I have no idea what schools with think of my age - will it be a major advantage or hindrance?

uncle_rico

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Re: 18 Year Old (172, 3.4)

Postby uncle_rico » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:14 pm

First off, I have to ask why do you want to go to law school? You've likely had an impressive academic history up to this point, so are you just trying to collect more achievements? I'd highly recommend taking time off to do literally anything else. I went straight from undergrad at 22 and still I regret not taking time off to work or do something significantly interesting such as the peace corps. Law school isn't going anywhere and is not nearly as exciting as young intelligent individuals think it will be. I've had plenty of times during finals that I regretted the decision to even go to law school and I hate seeing people just go because they think its the right move.

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Re: 18 Year Old (172, 3.4)

Postby Wubbles » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:34 pm

yeah, definitely do not go to law school at that age. Firms would look at you weird. You wouldn't be able to go out with your classmates as easily. You wouldn't be able to legally go out to events during your summer associate program! Definitely find a job, try it out, and then return to the law school application process if you still want to do it. My idea of my career at 18 is nothing like it is now just a handful of years later.

joshuaw

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Re: 18 Year Old (172, 3.4)

Postby joshuaw » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:57 pm

uncle_rico wrote:First off, I have to ask why do you want to go to law school? You've likely had an impressive academic history up to this point, so are you just trying to collect more achievements? I'd highly recommend taking time off to do literally anything else. I went straight from undergrad at 22 and still I regret not taking time off to work or do something significantly interesting such as the peace corps. Law school isn't going anywhere and is not nearly as exciting as young intelligent individuals think it will be. I've had plenty of times during finals that I regretted the decision to even go to law school and I hate seeing people just go because they think its the right move.


Hi Rico, I really appreciate hearing your perspective. I know that I have a lot of time to do a number of interesting things, but law school is what I want to do at this point in my life; I can't think of anything I'd rather do than continue my path towards becoming a lawyer. I also understand that law school isn't always a magical land of intellectual stimulation, I know what I'm getting into (as much as anyone who hasn't been to law school yet, that is). I'm still very interested in what the law school admissions teams themselves would think of me, I would love answers to my original post. Thanks again.

joshuaw

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Re: 18 Year Old (172, 3.4)

Postby joshuaw » Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:02 pm

Wubbles wrote:yeah, definitely do not go to law school at that age. Firms would look at you weird. You wouldn't be able to go out with your classmates as easily. You wouldn't be able to legally go out to events during your summer associate program! Definitely find a job, try it out, and then return to the law school application process if you still want to do it. My idea of my career at 18 is nothing like it is now just a handful of years later.


Hi Wubbles, I appreciate your opinion. I knew that I would be excluded from things like "bar review" but I hadn't considered other events like those for summer associate programs. Nevertheless, I'm aware of my weirdness and I'm still set on going to law school, so I would love to get some answers to my original questions. Thank you.

uncle_rico

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Re: 18 Year Old (172, 3.4)

Postby uncle_rico » Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:27 pm

joshuaw wrote:
uncle_rico wrote:First off, I have to ask why do you want to go to law school? You've likely had an impressive academic history up to this point, so are you just trying to collect more achievements? I'd highly recommend taking time off to do literally anything else. I went straight from undergrad at 22 and still I regret not taking time off to work or do something significantly interesting such as the peace corps. Law school isn't going anywhere and is not nearly as exciting as young intelligent individuals think it will be. I've had plenty of times during finals that I regretted the decision to even go to law school and I hate seeing people just go because they think its the right move.


Hi Rico, I really appreciate hearing your perspective. I know that I have a lot of time to do a number of interesting things, but law school is what I want to do at this point in my life; I can't think of anything I'd rather do than continue my path towards becoming a lawyer. I also understand that law school isn't always a magical land of intellectual stimulation, I know what I'm getting into (as much as anyone who hasn't been to law school yet, that is). I'm still very interested in what the law school admissions teams themselves would think of me, I would love answers to my original post. Thanks again.

To more directly answer your question, you'll definitely receive acceptances to T14 schools and even some money at the lower ones, although you're a splitter so it would be a relatively harder cycle to predict. While your age won't be a significant knock to your application, law schools have increasingly been accepting older students that have taken time off. Even at Cornell, which I consider to be a very young student body likely due to its remote location, more than 50% of the students are at least one year removed from undergrad. So maybe it would be a negative on your application but not a very significant one. Once again though, I urge you to consider what your goals are for going to law school. If you want to do big law then know that you will certaintly face challenges given your age. Anecdotally, one of my friends began 1L when he was 20 and went through OCI at 21. He finished towards the very top of the class and still completely struck out at OCI which he strongly attributes to his age at the time based on some remarks he received from interviewers. He struggled finding a job just until before graduation and had to settle for an outcome that one would not be satisfied with graduating near the top of the class at a T14 school.

joshuaw

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Re: 18 Year Old (172, 3.4)

Postby joshuaw » Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:47 pm

uncle_rico wrote:
joshuaw wrote:
uncle_rico wrote:First off, I have to ask why do you want to go to law school? You've likely had an impressive academic history up to this point, so are you just trying to collect more achievements? I'd highly recommend taking time off to do literally anything else. I went straight from undergrad at 22 and still I regret not taking time off to work or do something significantly interesting such as the peace corps. Law school isn't going anywhere and is not nearly as exciting as young intelligent individuals think it will be. I've had plenty of times during finals that I regretted the decision to even go to law school and I hate seeing people just go because they think its the right move.


Hi Rico, I really appreciate hearing your perspective. I know that I have a lot of time to do a number of interesting things, but law school is what I want to do at this point in my life; I can't think of anything I'd rather do than continue my path towards becoming a lawyer. I also understand that law school isn't always a magical land of intellectual stimulation, I know what I'm getting into (as much as anyone who hasn't been to law school yet, that is). I'm still very interested in what the law school admissions teams themselves would think of me, I would love answers to my original post. Thanks again.

To more directly answer your question, you'll definitely receive acceptances to T14 schools and even some money at the lower ones, although you're a splitter so it would be a relatively harder cycle to predict. While your age won't be a significant knock to your application, law schools have increasingly been accepting older students that have taken time off. Even at Cornell, which I consider to be a very young student body likely due to its remote location, more than 50% of the students are at least one year removed from undergrad. So maybe it would be a negative on your application but not a very significant one. Once again though, I urge you to consider what your goals are for going to law school. If you want to do big law then know that you will certaintly face challenges given your age. Anecdotally, one of my friends began 1L when he was 20 and went through OCI at 21. He finished towards the very top of the class and still completely struck out at OCI which he strongly attributes to his age at the time based on some remarks he received from interviewers. He struggled finding a job just until before graduation and had to settle for an outcome that one would not be satisfied with graduating near the top of the class at a T14 school.


Hmmm I better understand where you're coming from now. That's definitely something to think about, though I'm not very concerned about going big law. I wasn't even planning on applying T14 except possibly Georgetown or Texas, so it's encouraging to hear I have a relatively good chance at those. If I could get a bit of money from lower T14, then I would gladly take a large scholarship from a T25 or even T50 school if it was in the right place. Thanks again for the advice.

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hoos89

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Re: 18 Year Old (172, 3.4)

Postby hoos89 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:57 pm

joshuaw wrote:
Wubbles wrote:yeah, definitely do not go to law school at that age. Firms would look at you weird. You wouldn't be able to go out with your classmates as easily. You wouldn't be able to legally go out to events during your summer associate program! Definitely find a job, try it out, and then return to the law school application process if you still want to do it. My idea of my career at 18 is nothing like it is now just a handful of years later.


Hi Wubbles, I appreciate your opinion. I knew that I would be excluded from things like "bar review" but I hadn't considered other events like those for summer associate programs. Nevertheless, I'm aware of my weirdness and I'm still set on going to law school, so I would love to get some answers to my original questions. Thank you.


I also think you should wait at least a year. Attorneys get hired as much based on maturity as academic credentials and I expect that being several years younger will set you back from your peers fairly significantly. Firms might be hesitant to put someone so young in front of clients (you'd be a new attorney at 21), not to mention potential awkwardness or even legal liability of having someone under 21 in the summer program. You'd probably benefit a lot from taking a year away from academics.

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Re: 18 Year Old (172, 3.4)

Postby BobLoblaw18 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:25 pm

joshuaw wrote:I have a bit of a unique case, as I will be 18 years old when starting law school. I am graduating in the spring with an easy degree from a mediocre university. My stats are 172 / ~3.4, and I'm a white male with absolutely no resumé because I've used all my time skipping grades. What range of schools should I apply to? I have no idea what schools with think of my age - will it be a major advantage or hindrance?


Your age is definitely not going to be a major advantage in the application process and, while none of us have a crystal ball in this thread, it likely will be at least a minor, if not a major hindrance. I know you said you want answers to the question "What range of schools should I apply to," but quite frankly the answer to that question is: none. Not right now. You are doing yourself a disservice if you head off to whatever law school will take you at age 18 instead of being patient and getting into a great school a few years down the road.

What kind of law interests you? Why do you want to go to law school? (Besides just the answer you already gave which essentially equates to "because I want to.") I'd suggest you at least find a job as a paralegal for a few years--especially if you have interest in private-sector i.e. firm work--to try to find out if the law is from you. That will help you with admissions down the road. Also, and I cannot stress this enough, focus on YOUR GRADES for the last year of school. Seriously. The difference between a 3.4 and 3.5 or even a 3.45 can be huge in law school admissions.

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Re: 18 Year Old (172, 3.4)

Postby Wubbles » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:34 pm

OP, what are your career goals coming out of law school if you are not planning on biglaw? I fear in your youth you have a rough grasp (like many) of how much what school you go matters for a variety of careers, and how much what job path you go down determines your pay, etc. I think your age will be an issue with numerous employers in any legal sector either way.

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Re: 18 Year Old (172, 3.4)

Postby packer_22 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:44 pm

joshuaw wrote:I have a bit of a unique case, as I will be 18 years old when starting law school. I am graduating in the spring with an easy degree from a mediocre university. My stats are 172 / ~3.4, and I'm a white male with absolutely no resumé because I've used all my time skipping grades. What range of schools should I apply to? I have no idea what schools with think of my age - will it be a major advantage or hindrance?


Your age will be a huge hindrance. Your career will have a lower (but longer-yay!) arc to it. Law schools that might otherwise accept you might waitlist or reject you. Law firms that might otherwise hire you will reject you. Being young shows you are smart, but there is more than being smart to being a good law student and good lawyer. (Maturity, life experience, ability to connect with clients, witnesses, opposing counsel)

Going to law school before 21 by the time you are say, ~30 won't matter. No one will know and no one will care. All you will have done is gone to a worse law school than you would have otherwise, paid more than you would have otherwise, and started at a worse firm than you would have otherwise. All you are doing is handicapping your career at its inception for...what?

If I were you I would:
1. Teach English abroad (apply for a Fulbright)
2. Get an MA (in whatever you want)
3. Work as a consultant/investment bank (if you can)
4. Travel
5. Work as a paralegal

You went to college young (woo!) but you got Bs and B+s (it seems like) so you could definitely stand to improve your academics before entering a T14 law school (I'd say you have a good shot at UVA and down).

But seriously. Don't go straight through.

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Re: 18 Year Old (172, 3.4)

Postby joshuaw » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:48 pm

Wubbles wrote:OP, what are your career goals coming out of law school if you are not planning on biglaw? I fear in your youth you have a rough grasp (like many) of how much what school you go matters for a variety of careers, and how much what job path you go down determines your pay, etc. I think your age will be an issue with numerous employers in any legal sector either way.


I'm not sure what my career goals are, I figure that I'll find that during law school like most people, taking classes in different areas and through internships. But if I had to decide right now I would like to work in a district attorney's office and work my way up. I don't think I'm being naive - I would like to graduate law school with little or no debt and have a relatively lucrative career, I don't need a job in biglaw. But I definitely get your point, I hadn't realized my age could possibly be such a large hindrance.

joshuaw

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Re: 18 Year Old (172, 3.4)

Postby joshuaw » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:52 pm

packer_22 wrote:
joshuaw wrote:I have a bit of a unique case, as I will be 18 years old when starting law school. I am graduating in the spring with an easy degree from a mediocre university. My stats are 172 / ~3.4, and I'm a white male with absolutely no resumé because I've used all my time skipping grades. What range of schools should I apply to? I have no idea what schools with think of my age - will it be a major advantage or hindrance?


Your age will be a huge hindrance. Your career will have a lower (but longer-yay!) arc to it. Law schools that might otherwise accept you might waitlist or reject you. Law firms that might otherwise hire you will reject you. Being young shows you are smart, but there is more than being smart to being a good law student and good lawyer. (Maturity, life experience, ability to connect with clients, witnesses, opposing counsel)

Going to law school before 21 by the time you are say, ~30 won't matter. No one will know and no one will care. All you will have done is gone to a worse law school than you would have otherwise, paid more than you would have otherwise, and started at a worse firm than you would have otherwise. All you are doing is handicapping your career at its inception for...what?

If I were you I would:
1. Teach English abroad (apply for a Fulbright)
2. Get an MA (in whatever you want)
3. Work as a consultant/investment bank (if you can)
4. Travel
5. Work as a paralegal

You went to college young (woo!) but you got Bs and B+s (it seems like) so you could definitely stand to improve your academics before entering a T14 law school (I'd say you have a good shot at UVA and down).

But seriously. Don't go straight through.


Hi Packer, thanks for your advice I appreciate it. I'll take it seriously and think about those options.

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Re: 18 Year Old (172, 3.4)

Postby sparkytrainer » Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:47 pm

joshuaw wrote:
Wubbles wrote:OP, what are your career goals coming out of law school if you are not planning on biglaw? I fear in your youth you have a rough grasp (like many) of how much what school you go matters for a variety of careers, and how much what job path you go down determines your pay, etc. I think your age will be an issue with numerous employers in any legal sector either way.


I'm not sure what my career goals are, I figure that I'll find that during law school like most people, taking classes in different areas and through internships. But if I had to decide right now I would like to work in a district attorney's office and work my way up. I don't think I'm being naive - I would like to graduate law school with little or no debt and have a relatively lucrative career, I don't need a job in biglaw. But I definitely get your point, I hadn't realized my age could possibly be such a large hindrance.


OP, to be clear, your age will absolutely prevent you from finding almost ANY employment if you head to law school now. Further, most people don't go to law school to "figure out" what they want to do. Sure, most don't have any exposure to corporate legal work before law school, but its not like you go to law school and take property and all of a sudden decide to do property law. What happens is your employment prospects determine your field for the most part.

Further, no respectable DA is going to hire you at 21. They have hard enough time hiring 26 year olds.

OP, we aren't trying to gang up on you, but you do not realize how much your age will be held against you. One poster described a story about a young classmate struggling to get a job. Here is a personal story of mine. I went to mid-t13. Classmate was top 20%ish, but 23 years old. This classmate cannot find a single place to work. No one wants to hire him/her because of his/her age. This person should have many lucrative employment opportunities given the school and how well this person did, but cannot even get hired to do insurance defense work. And that person is 2-3 years older than you when you graduate law school.

Please OP, go do something, anything else. You do not recognize how impeded you will be. Go do something else for 5-6 years. When you are 24 (the average age of first year law students), then consider whether you want to go to law school.

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Re: 18 Year Old (172, 3.4)

Postby TrashSplitter » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:09 pm

Just want to put my input in here: I was in a similar situation when I graduated from college. I was 19 6 years ago and have a similar GPA. I do not regret waiting. Being so young graduating means you have years to build up some real world experience. It can also give you some perspective on how the world works. Law school will be there for a long time and you might even be able to save some money to not become a debt slave while attending a nice school, which is always good.

One of the reasons why my college GPA is not impressive is that I simply never had to work to get a grade before college, so I never developed healthy study and work habits that peers developed. I've learned these on the job where you simply have to develop better work habits or get fired because your edge is not worth much without some effort. I cannot say this is the reason for your poor GPA, but my understanding is that this is a common problem among naturally bright people. Intelligence should not be confused for wisdom, which is often more valuable in the professional world than raw intelligence. Spending some years developing some wisdom and perspective is invaluable for anyone.

You can go to law school 10 years from now and only be very slightly behind the 8 ball and you might even have built up enough space that the GPA is of significantly less importance. You'll know yourself better and be able to understand if being a lawyer is something you really want to do. Just make sure to keep yourself intellectually engaged in the meantime as those skills can wear off.

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hoos89

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Re: 18 Year Old (172, 3.4)

Postby hoos89 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:26 pm

joshuaw wrote:
Wubbles wrote:OP, what are your career goals coming out of law school if you are not planning on biglaw? I fear in your youth you have a rough grasp (like many) of how much what school you go matters for a variety of careers, and how much what job path you go down determines your pay, etc. I think your age will be an issue with numerous employers in any legal sector either way.


I'm not sure what my career goals are, I figure that I'll find that during law school like most people, taking classes in different areas and through internships. But if I had to decide right now I would like to work in a district attorney's office and work my way up. I don't think I'm being naive - I would like to graduate law school with little or no debt and have a relatively lucrative career, I don't need a job in biglaw. But I definitely get your point, I hadn't realized my age could possibly be such a large hindrance.


You're not likely to have a particularly lucrative career as a DA. If you're not in big law, you probably aren't making six figures right out of law school (and as a DA I'd guess more like $50k), and wage growth is much slower in the public sector. Obviously a few years out of date but still relevant: https://www.nalp.org/class_of_2014_salary_curve

Also you can probably do away with the notion that you're going to graduate with little or no debt. Even with a $130k scholarship (which mylsn tells me is about the highest you can reasonably expect from a solid, albeit not T13, school), you're still looking at six figures of student loan debt unless you have some other source of financial assistance or savings.

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Re: 18 Year Old (172, 3.4)

Postby lawlzschool » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:04 pm

Just finished 1L/worked for two years before/interned at the DA back in undergrad: go work for a DA somewhere. It was probably the single most important internship I did (and I was only a year older than you) because after that summer I SWORE I would never work for the DA. Not prestige or personal money reasons, but because the entire system has so little money that it is dysfunctional (sidebar: I would like to dedicate some portion of my career to fixing this, either through policy or through pro bono work) and because the work was quite literally too emotionally challenging for me (we had a bunch of child molestation that summer including a case where the mother tried to stop the child from testifying--HORRIBLE stuff). I went in with similar aspirations to you--even phrased it the same way. I now have worked in-house twice and for a firm and have found that that's where my real passion lies. I'm also still only 25.

That said, I have nothing but infinite respect for those who choose that path. I think working in the criminal justice system is selfless for many reasons, but it would have been categorically wrong for me. If you realize it really is your passion and you love it, great, your personal statement and interviews will be that much more compelling. if you hate it, also great, it means you figured that out.

Having work experience makes summer job hunting much MUCH better and, in the event that you don't fare that well grade-wise, can give you a bright spot to highlight in your application.

Also second the not being able to drink thing not just from a summer associate/bonding with your class perspective, but because basically every networking opportunity involves alcohol in this profession. Now, I've never had a firm ask me for my age at these things nor do the bartenders card, but if you drank underage at their firm event and they found out about it, that could put you AND them in a very yucky situation. I also imagine it would be unfathomably awkward to be completely sober at one of those things (I wouldn't know--I also am not messy and have gotten interviews/made connections from them)

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Re: 18 Year Old (172, 3.4)

Postby TrashSplitter » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:39 pm

lawlzschool wrote:Also second the not being able to drink thing not just from a summer associate/bonding with your class perspective, but because basically every networking opportunity involves alcohol in this profession.


Is there a profession where this isn't the case? Even most religious ministers I know bond over a few drinks at the bar.

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Re: 18 Year Old (172, 3.4)

Postby DerKatze » Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:48 pm

There was an Above the Law article last month that said the following: "And I can decisively confirm that technical skills, once established, are almost never a reason to make a final hiring decision. Instead, I find that I and many of my colleagues focus on numerous soft skills. After all, we aren’t lawyers in a vacuum, and no amount of technical skills can help an attorney who lacks these innate professional qualities."

None of the traits listed in the article is "above X age," but several are basically the same, including self-management and self-development. Just more confirmation of what was said above.



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