Too young for firms?

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Robert Paulson
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Too young for firms?

Postby Robert Paulson » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:09 pm

I'll be 22 when I graduate. Anyone have any thoughts on whether my age will affect my job prospects? Age hasn't come up in interviews, but employers can tell based on my resume that I am younger than most students.

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Re: Too young for firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:36 pm

I will also be 22 when I graduate. I'm a second year now. I largely think where you are going to school and your class rank will be the deciding factors. I don't think your age will hurt you all that much. It would be more your lack of work experience or potential immaturity. Personally, I never felt like I was at a disadvantage. In fact, I feel like it was more of an advantage because I think it helped show I was smart. I tried to foster more of the unique and focused prodigy image during interviews and largely I felt it worked out well.

Just show that you are smart, hard-working, and serious and I think you will be fine.

Edited to add: that it was clear from my resume as well that I was younger than most students so it wasn't something that I hid. In fact, I tried to showcase my youth compared to other students as a strength during interviews and it came up in almost every interview. It was generally viewed as a good thing I think. Not that I was young, but indicative of being smart and focused. That being said, I did have one interview from hell where it didn't matter what I said or did it backfired and he really took issue with everything on my resume it seemed. Anyways, good luck and I think you will be fine.

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Re: Too young for firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:39 pm

First saw this in the other thread, but posting here.

Yes. I would be genuinely worried about graduating at 22. It depends to an extent on what age you appear. It's more of an issue if you also look young, especially if you could be mistaken for someone in their teens, at which point firms are going to worry about how appear to clients, and your actual age is then pretty irrelevant. But firms are also worried about people lacking maturity. That's a substantial part of the reason K-JDs don't do as well as those who came to law school a few years out of college (work experience is part of it but not the whole story). Anyone younger than an ordinary K-JD (<25 at graduation) is going to have to put significant effort into convincing employers' of their maturity. For some people, that comes naturally, but not for everyone. Without meeting you in real life, it's hard to know whether you need to work at it or not.

I suppose it also depends on how impressive you are otherwise. If you're graduating law school at 22, you might have done some impressive stuff (other than graduating college as a teenager) that would totally negate the age issue.

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holdencaulfield
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Re: Too young for firms?

Postby holdencaulfield » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:47 pm

I see it the opposite way. If I were interviewing you, I'd be impressed; it would also make you memorable.


What firm wouldn't want a wunderkind?

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thesealocust
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Re: Too young for firms?

Postby thesealocust » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:50 pm

Huge problem. Even being 25 when graduating will hurt you. People with work experience between them and college already outperformed.

Employment won't be impossible, but you'll have the doughy-eyes of the people partners hire as disposable paralegals when you try to land a job as a junior associate. That will set you back, I promise you.

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Robert Paulson
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Re: Too young for firms?

Postby Robert Paulson » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:25 am

Would age also largely depend on the type of firm? I am in a medium-sized secondary market looking mostly at mid-sized firms. An NLJ 250 firm not in my region that I interviewed with didn't seem to give me the time of day, but a mid-sized firm in my region seemed to actually consider me. Of course it could just be the fact that NLJ firms have higher standards.

kykiske
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Re: Too young for firms?

Postby kykiske » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:00 am

If you're concerned that your young age could count against you, then do everything in your power to show that you're wise beyond your years.

From an interviewing standpoint, here are some things that help:

Be more professional. Always stand when you're greeting someone, include your name and a "nice to meet you", while smiling. Always wait to sit down until the interviewer says, "please have a seat." As you're meeting with different members of the recruiting committee, always ask for their business cards at the end of the meeting. As you're shifting rooms, always thank the interview for their time. Also, do not forget about making amicable small talk as the attorney/recruiter is walking you to different rooms.

Finally, you will be shocked at how some of your classmates lack a key trait that interviewers appreciate, active and engaged listening.

All that I just said may come off as "obvious". But, do the little things right. It's easy to overlook them.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Too young for firms?

Postby worldtraveler » Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:05 am

How are they going to know you are 22? Did you skip high school, go through college quickly? There is no reason you have to put those things on your resume if you're worried. Do you look especially young?

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Re: Too young for firms?

Postby Itinerant » Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:07 am

worldtraveler wrote:How are they going to know you are 22? Did you skip high school, go through college quickly? There is no reason you have to put those things on your resume if you're worried. Do you look especially young?


yeah, no one is going to know that you're 22.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Too young for firms?

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:46 am

First, have your friends beat your ass before you go, giving you some mean facial scars - you don't want to look too pretty or young or you'll get eaten alive. Then, when you get there, either find the meanest looking motherfucker there and go crazy and kick his ass, or else become someone's bitch. This is how to survive biglaw / prison when you're too young or good looking.

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Objection
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Re: Too young for firms?

Postby Objection » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:08 am

Young, malleable, and desperate to prove you can be as coachable and hard working as older folk?

Perfect for big law.

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Ave
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Re: Too young for firms?

Postby Ave » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:12 am

worldtraveler wrote:How are they going to know you are 22? There is no reason you have to put those things on your resume if you're worried. Do you look especially young?

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Robert Paulson
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Re: Too young for firms?

Postby Robert Paulson » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:48 am

Ave wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:How are they going to know you are 22? There is no reason you have to put those things on your resume if you're worried. Do you look especially young?


Education section clearly shows that I am a couple years younger, and I don't think I can leave that off my resume. Also, yeah, I do look pretty young.

keg411
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Re: Too young for firms?

Postby keg411 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:54 am

Robert Paulson wrote:
Ave wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:How are they going to know you are 22? There is no reason you have to put those things on your resume if you're worried. Do you look especially young?


Education section clearly shows that I am a couple years younger, and I don't think I can leave that off my resume. Also, yeah, I do look pretty young.


This is probably going to come off the wrong way, but do you go to YHS or have a T14 full ride? If not, why didn't you just work for a few years and re-take? I can't see why you jumped into law school as a teenager when you could've worked a few years and put yourself in a better position (well, I guess I can... but not in a good way).

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Ave
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Re: Too young for firms?

Postby Ave » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:12 pm

Robert Paulson wrote:
Ave wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:How are they going to know you are 22? There is no reason you have to put those things on your resume if you're worried. Do you look especially young?


Education section clearly shows that I am a couple years younger, and I don't think I can leave that off my resume. Also, yeah, I do look pretty young.

Hmm? I must not understand how the education section works or something because when I look at my education section, there's nothing indicative of age. Did you put silly unnecessary things like "graduated early"?

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Objection
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Re: Too young for firms?

Postby Objection » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:13 pm

Ave wrote:
Robert Paulson wrote:
Ave wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:How are they going to know you are 22? There is no reason you have to put those things on your resume if you're worried. Do you look especially young?


Education section clearly shows that I am a couple years younger, and I don't think I can leave that off my resume. Also, yeah, I do look pretty young.

Hmm? I must not understand how the education section works or something because when I look at my education section, there's nothing indicative of age. Did you put silly unnecessary things like "graduated early"?


It's a pretty good assumption that someone went to college soon after high school.

So...

XYZ University, 2008-2010
ABC Law School, 2010-2013

Would probably give it away.

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Ave
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Re: Too young for firms?

Postby Ave » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:17 pm

Objection wrote:
Ave wrote:Hmm? I must not understand how the education section works or something because when I look at my education section, there's nothing indicative of age. Did you put silly unnecessary things like "graduated early"?


It's a pretty good assumption that someone went to college soon after high school.

So...

XYZ University, 2008-2010
ABC Law School, 2010-2013

Would probably give it away.

XYZ University '10
ABC Law School '13

Now, he can be just like any other K-JDs (most of whom aren't 22)

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unc0mm0n1
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Re: Too young for firms?

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:20 pm

Ave wrote:
Robert Paulson wrote:
Ave wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:How are they going to know you are 22? There is no reason you have to put those things on your resume if you're worried. Do you look especially young?


Education section clearly shows that I am a couple years younger, and I don't think I can leave that off my resume. Also, yeah, I do look pretty young.

Hmm? I must not understand how the education section works or something because when I look at my education section, there's nothing indicative of age. Did you put silly unnecessary things like "graduated early"?


I'm assuming he put something like

Lehigh 2009-2011
Graduated Magna Cum Laude

Stanford Law School
J.D. candidate 2014

Then when the interviewer sees he graduated college in two years and went straight through they'd assume he was young esp. if he looked very young.

edit: Beat me to it

badaboom61
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Re: Too young for firms?

Postby badaboom61 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:22 pm

Objection wrote:It's a pretty good assumption that someone went to college soon after high school.

So...

XYZ University, 2008-2010
ABC Law School, 2010-2013

Would probably give it away.



You don't need to put 2008. Just put "XYZ University, Degree Awarded 2010".

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Objection
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Re: Too young for firms?

Postby Objection » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:26 pm

badaboom61 wrote:
Objection wrote:It's a pretty good assumption that someone went to college soon after high school.

So...

XYZ University, 2008-2010
ABC Law School, 2010-2013

Would probably give it away.



You don't need to put 2008. Just put "XYZ University, Degree Awarded 2010".


There's no reason to really worry anyway.

No big firm is gonna care that you're 22. If anything, they'll consider it a plus. It's also an easy thing to hit out of the park if people ask you questions about it in interviews.

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Re: Too young for firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:05 pm

A friend of mine who graduated a year early from college and went straight through ended up at Wachtell, so I think as long as you have the credentials and the interviewing skills you should be fine.

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TTH
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Re: Too young for firms?

Postby TTH » Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:28 pm

If just means you're going to have that much more energy for them to grind out of you. You're fine.

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somewhatwayward
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Re: Too young for firms?

Postby somewhatwayward » Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:40 pm

If you aren't already in law school, I would strongly recommend taking some time off between college and law school to get work experience. There is literally no down side to it. It will be either a neutral or a slight positive for admissions, and it will improve your legal job prospects a lot, and you will be more in line with everyone else age-wise. You'll actually have an edge on the people who are actually your age because you'll be 23ish but have actual work experience while they'll have gone straight-through, which is a negative in OCI. Also, if you haven't maxed out your LSAT, you'll have time to do that.

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Ave
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Re: Too young for firms?

Postby Ave » Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:53 pm

somewhatwayward wrote:If you aren't already in law school, I would strongly recommend taking some time off between college and law school to get work experience.

Robert Paulson wrote: I am in a medium-sized secondary market looking mostly at mid-sized firms. An NLJ 250 firm not in my region that I interviewed with didn't seem to give me the time of day, but a mid-sized firm in my region seemed to actually consider me. Of course it could just be the fact that NLJ firms have higher standards.

Seems he's already in law school: soon to graduate, in fact.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Too young for firms?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:48 pm

Just chiming in that there's no reason to give away your age on your resume. It's not going to help you that you graduated in 2 years or whatever and it might hurt, so why not just put your graduation year? Mine just says the name of my college, bachelors, "awarded May 20xx." I think that is pretty standard.




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