Too old for law school?

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boredatwork
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Too old for law school?

Postby boredatwork » Wed May 16, 2012 6:45 pm

Anyone think there is a cut-off age for law school? I see a lot of older contract lawyers at my work and it got me wondering who would be willing to hire a 40 year old who just finished 3L.

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TTTLS
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Re: Too old for law school?

Postby TTTLS » Wed May 16, 2012 7:18 pm

Twist: The old dude you are competing against got his PhD years ago.

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nygrrrl
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Re: Too old for law school?

Postby nygrrrl » Wed May 16, 2012 7:22 pm

No, I don't think there is a cut off age for law school.
Whether or not you can land a Big Law job at 40 depends on many factors.
Don't for a minute think that you are more valuable, because of your youth.

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Nova
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Re: Too old for law school?

Postby Nova » Wed May 16, 2012 7:24 pm

Assuming 100k+ debt... anyone over 40, with children, not going to a T14, should seriously reconsider.

I have no idea how age descrimination actually affects entry level job prospects.

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nygrrrl
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Re: Too old for law school?

Postby nygrrrl » Wed May 16, 2012 7:31 pm

Nova wrote:I have no idea how age descrimination actually affects entry level job prospects.

kinda says it all

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Julio_El_Chavo
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Re: Too old for law school?

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Wed May 16, 2012 8:30 pm

I'd say there is no age cutoff for HYS.

alabamabound
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Re: Too old for law school?

Postby alabamabound » Wed May 16, 2012 8:51 pm

nygrrrl wrote:
Whether or not you can land a Big Law job at 40 depends on many factors.
Don't for a minute think that you are more valuable, because of your youth.


I did. I found the reverse to be true. With a few exceptions, firms seemed very pleased to be talking to an older candidate.

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nygrrrl
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Re: Too old for law school?

Postby nygrrrl » Wed May 16, 2012 8:57 pm

alabamabound wrote:
nygrrrl wrote:
Whether or not you can land a Big Law job at 40 depends on many factors.
Don't for a minute think that you are more valuable, because of your youth.


I did. I found the reverse to be true. With a few exceptions, firms seemed very pleased to be talking to an older candidate.

Yep. This.

Void
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Re: Too old for law school?

Postby Void » Wed May 16, 2012 8:58 pm

alabamabound wrote:
nygrrrl wrote:
Whether or not you can land a Big Law job at 40 depends on many factors.
Don't for a minute think that you are more valuable, because of your youth.


I did. I found the reverse to be true. With a few exceptions, firms seemed very pleased to be talking to an older candidate.


I have also heard this to be true. Especially if you have interesting/related experience at 40, you are actually probably a lot more desirable than an applicant with the same law school credentials who has never had a real job because he is only 23.

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kapachino
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Re: Too old for law school?

Postby kapachino » Wed May 16, 2012 9:01 pm

alabamabound wrote:
nygrrrl wrote:
Whether or not you can land a Big Law job at 40 depends on many factors.
Don't for a minute think that you are more valuable, because of your youth.


I did. I found the reverse to be true. With a few exceptions, firms seemed very pleased to be talking to an older candidate.



Pleased to be talking to =/= willing to hire.

LSATNightmares
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Re: Too old for law school?

Postby LSATNightmares » Wed May 16, 2012 9:26 pm

The smartest guy in my section at a T-30 is currently 32 or so. He'll be around 35 when he graduates I think. It's certainly not 40. I have no doubt judges and employers will want to hire him.

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boredatwork
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Re: Too old for law school?

Postby boredatwork » Wed May 16, 2012 9:42 pm

LSATNightmares wrote:The smartest guy in my section at a T-30 is currently 32 or so. He'll be around 35 when he graduates I think. It's certainly not 40. I have no doubt judges and employers will want to hire him.

40 was just an arbitrary number really, there has to be a point where training you is just too much of a risk for how long you will stay with a firm. I don't know where that is but I feel like many firms have a mandatory retirement age around 65 so somewhere under that. I can see BigLaw liking older candidates because of the way they operate but as you move to smaller firms they probably need to be reasonably certain you will stick around for X years. My initial post wasn't meant to be inflamatory to older TLSers I meet plenty of contract attorneys in their 20's and 30's too.

alabamabound
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Re: Too old for law school?

Postby alabamabound » Wed May 16, 2012 9:49 pm

kapachino wrote:
alabamabound wrote:
nygrrrl wrote:
Whether or not you can land a Big Law job at 40 depends on many factors.
Don't for a minute think that you are more valuable, because of your youth.


I did. I found the reverse to be true. With a few exceptions, firms seemed very pleased to be talking to an older candidate.



Pleased to be talking to =/= willing to hire.


Does extending offers = willing to hire?

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Nova
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Re: Too old for law school?

Postby Nova » Wed May 16, 2012 9:53 pm

alabamabound wrote:
kapachino wrote:
alabamabound wrote:
nygrrrl wrote:
Whether or not you can land a Big Law job at 40 depends on many factors.
Don't for a minute think that you are more valuable, because of your youth.


I did. I found the reverse to be true. With a few exceptions, firms seemed very pleased to be talking to an older candidate.



Pleased to be talking to =/= willing to hire.


Does extending offers = willing to hire?


Yes.

alabamabound
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Re: Too old for law school?

Postby alabamabound » Wed May 16, 2012 9:59 pm

That was semi-rhetorical, but thanks just the same.

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BarcaCrossesTheAlps
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Re: Too old for law school?

Postby BarcaCrossesTheAlps » Sat May 19, 2012 1:12 am

Apart from the question regarding "age bias" in hiring practices, I would say that 40 is a cut-off for career change into law.

My thinking is, if you don't graduate by 40, you can barely put a solid 25 years into a career. There are exceptions, I'm sure, but it seems silly to get out of law school at 45 or 50 and spend about as long as it takes to pay off debt in said field. I'm a non-traditional student but there is no way I would take on debt for the lottery that is law school employment, especially in this economy.

VincentChase
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Re: Too old for law school?

Postby VincentChase » Sat May 19, 2012 7:08 pm

I'm 35 and about to graduate. I got the feeling at OCI and callbacks that my age and experience was a positive for some employers and a negative for others. As much as employers like to see people stand out from the pack among the people they interview, I also think that some tend to be very conservative (behaviorally, not politically), and are, perhaps even subconsciously, looking for candidates with the standard profile - 25-28 years old, 0-3 years of work in a field that seems to make sense, etc., etc., highly ranked UG and law school, grades, law review, etc., etc.

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ilovesf
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Re: Too old for law school?

Postby ilovesf » Sat May 19, 2012 7:12 pm

I don't think anyone is too old. That being said, some of the older people in my class (around 40) have a harder time keeping up. I think part of it is that they are far removed from being in college, for the most part, and they don't really have study habits and had a hard time catching on. On top of that, one of my friends in his 40's is just a really, really, slow typist. I honestly think that's one of the things that negatively impacted his grades. Not everyone older has these problems, but I think it is more prevalent with older students.

VincentChase
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Re: Too old for law school?

Postby VincentChase » Sat May 19, 2012 7:16 pm

ilovesf wrote:I don't think anyone is too old. That being said, some of the older people in my class (around 40) have a harder time keeping up. I think part of it is that they are far removed from being in college, for the most part, and they don't really have study habits and had a hard time catching on. On top of that, one of my friends in his 40's is just a really, really, slow typist. I honestly think that's one of the things that negatively impacted his grades. Not everyone older has these problems, but I think it is more prevalent with older students.


I felt actually like my study skills were better than a lot of my classmates' when we started, but that might have had nothing to do with age and everything to do with me. Could just be an outlier.

One thing that makes it tough is having obligations outside of school by the time you're older. Children, spouses (and it is way different than a BF or GF), etc., etc.

r6_philly
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Re: Too old for law school?

Postby r6_philly » Tue May 22, 2012 12:34 am

boredatwork wrote:Anyone think there is a cut-off age for law school? I see a lot of older contract lawyers at my work and it got me wondering who would be willing to hire a 40 year old who just finished 3L.


I will be close when I graduate, and I am a 1L SA.

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fundamentallybroken
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Re: Too old for law school?

Postby fundamentallybroken » Tue May 22, 2012 1:16 am

r6_philly wrote:
boredatwork wrote:Anyone think there is a cut-off age for law school? I see a lot of older contract lawyers at my work and it got me wondering who would be willing to hire a 40 year old who just finished 3L.


I will be close when I graduate, and I am a 1L SA.


Same here - 1L SA, will be watching 40 come around the corner when I graduate.

The other 1L SA hired from my school (at my firm) is about my age as well.

VincentChase
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Re: Too old for law school?

Postby VincentChase » Tue May 22, 2012 8:07 am

I was 34 last summer and I know I was the oldest of 40-plus summer associates at my firm, FWIW. Obviously that could be self-selection, too.

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Series70
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Re: Too old for law school?

Postby Series70 » Tue May 22, 2012 8:38 am

For going into BigLaw, I think it depends. If you're approaching 40 and have great work experience in the financial sector, then firms would love to have you. I don't buy that "only putting in 25 years requirement"--firms only expect you to work 5-6 years anyway before you're pushed out. They're not looking for partners when they hire law students (unless Mommy or Daddy was a judge or a big-shot lawyer or something). They're looking for partners when they hire former AUSAs.

On the flip side, if you're past your mid-20s and have work experience in a totally unrelated field, they'll think you're weird. This is where the conservatism comes into play. All else being equal, they'd rather have a 25-year-old with no work experience than a 33-year-old who's been a teacher, an artist, a plumber, or something like that.




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