How old is too old for law school?

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roranoa
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How old is too old for law school?

Postby roranoa » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:33 pm

If I graduate law school I would be around 33-34 yrs old.
(What kind of response would this initiate? Would people be like "Whoa! What happened?)

Most people I know (those who went straight through or had 2-3 yrs of WE) graduated LS when they were 27,8. These people would make partner at 33-34.


What kind of disadvantages would I have for being old? Other than the fact that I have to work for people younger or the same age as me?

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Icculus
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Re: How old is too old for law school?

Postby Icculus » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:37 pm

roranoa wrote:If I graduate law school I would be around 33-34 yrs old.
(What kind of response would this initiate? Would people be like "Whoa! What happened?)

Most people I know (those who went straight through or had 2-3 yrs of WE) graduated LS when they were 27,8. These people would make partner at 33-34.


What kind of disadvantages would I have for being old? Other than the fact that I have to work for people younger or the same age as me?



I will be graduating at 34. I can say that I don't think my age has hurt me at all. I have made plenty of friends, my grades were fine and I did not think it impacted me during OCI. I actually think my age combined with my previous experience helped in terms of time management, perspective, etc.

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Rotor
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Re: How old is too old for law school?

Postby Rotor » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:46 pm

roranoa wrote:If I graduate law school I would be around 33-34 yrs old.
(What kind of response would this initiate? Would people be like "Whoa! What happened?)

Most people I know (those who went straight through or had 2-3 yrs of WE) graduated LS when they were 27,8. These people would make partner at 33-34.


What kind of disadvantages would I have for being old? Other than the fact that I have to work for people younger or the same age as me?

Not a big deal at your age...if anything you'll get a WE/maturity bump that the K-JDs don't get. Get up to my age (46 when I start as a first year in BigLaw) and you have some firms who avoid you, others who have no issues. The big thing for me will be if I stay at the firm I will be 55 or so when I'm up for partner. Doubtful they'd give me equity for 7 years or so. In your case, you'd be 44 or so--and thus nearly 20 years as a partner before Soc. Sec. eligible. Big difference.

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Icculus
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Re: How old is too old for law school?

Postby Icculus » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:06 am

Rotor wrote:
roranoa wrote:If I graduate law school I would be around 33-34 yrs old.
(What kind of response would this initiate? Would people be like "Whoa! What happened?)

Most people I know (those who went straight through or had 2-3 yrs of WE) graduated LS when they were 27,8. These people would make partner at 33-34.


What kind of disadvantages would I have for being old? Other than the fact that I have to work for people younger or the same age as me?

Not a big deal at your age...if anything you'll get a WE/maturity bump that the K-JDs don't get. Get up to my age (46 when I start as a first year in BigLaw) and you have some firms who avoid you, others who have no issues. The big thing for me will be if I stay at the firm I will be 55 or so when I'm up for partner. Doubtful they'd give me equity for 7 years or so. In your case, you'd be 44 or so--and thus nearly 20 years as a partner before Soc. Sec. eligible. Big difference.


I would add you need to be prepared to explain why it took you so long to get to law school. This was basically the first question every one of my screening interviewers asked me.

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spleenworship
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Re: How old is too old for law school?

Postby spleenworship » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:10 am

roranoa wrote:If I graduate law school I would be around 33-34 yrs old.
(What kind of response would this initiate? Would people be like "Whoa! What happened?)

Most people I know (those who went straight through or had 2-3 yrs of WE) graduated LS when they were 27,8. These people would make partner at 33-34.


What kind of disadvantages would I have for being old? Other than the fact that I have to work for people younger or the same age as me?


I'm older than you. Not a big deal. They do ask why you changed careers in interviews, but provided you are under 60 I don't think the majority of employers care (though a few do, mostly in biglaw).

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fundamentallybroken
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Re: How old is too old for law school?

Postby fundamentallybroken » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:14 am

I'll be 38 when I graduate, and my age has only been advantageous for me. (Really advantageous, both in school and job search. Many firms like knowing they'll probably not have to explain how an office job works, or hold your hand through office dynamics.)

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kalvano
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Re: How old is too old for law school?

Postby kalvano » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:37 am

I'll be 33, and it's been more helpful than not. You will need a good reason as to why you're suddenly switching careers.

roranoa
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Re: How old is too old for law school?

Postby roranoa » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:51 am

.
Last edited by roranoa on Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:17 am, edited 2 times in total.

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kalvano
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Re: How old is too old for law school?

Postby kalvano » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:55 am

When did ou graduate UG? What have you been doing?

roranoa
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Re: How old is too old for law school?

Postby roranoa » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:59 am

kalvano wrote:When did ou graduate UG? What have you been doing?


Last year.

For the first 6 months after graduation I studied for the lsat. (Bombed)

Since the beginning of this year I started doing tutor work. I currently got a regular job now (which started this month) but I hate it and I'd rather go into graduate school. But I can only start next year.

I'll be taking the lsat this Oct.

It's all messed up.
Last edited by roranoa on Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:09 am, edited 4 times in total.

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kalvano
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Re: How old is too old for law school?

Postby kalvano » Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:00 am

roranoa wrote:
kalvano wrote:When did ou graduate UG? What have you been doing?


Last year.

For the first 6 months I studied for the lsat. (Bombed)

Since the beginning of this year I started doing tutor work. I current got a regular job now (which started this month) but I hate and I'd rather go into graduate school. But I can only start next year.

I'll be taking the lsat this Oct.

It's all messed up.



So what did you do between HS and UG?

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PDaddy
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Re: How old is too old for law school?

Postby PDaddy » Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:03 am

I know of a man who went to Vanderbilt while in his 50's and is now a successful attorney at a biglaw firm.

I personally think law schools should develop their pools mostly from the 27-40 crowd, like B-Schools do. The majority of straight-out-of-UG or 20-25 y/o applicants are simply not prepared for all that law school and life after will present.

People in the 27-40 range have more life experience and are thus more likely secure about what they want in life and how to acheive it. If I was on an adcom I would hold younger applicants to a higher standard, because they can talk a good game but still not know what they want or what to expect from a law career.

At 33-34 years old, OP is in good position to develop a successful law career.

Note: Originally wrote "...20-15 y/o applicants..."

Fixed!
Last edited by PDaddy on Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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JCFindley
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Re: How old is too old for law school?

Postby JCFindley » Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:44 am

Rotor wrote:
roranoa wrote:If I graduate law school I would be around 33-34 yrs old.
(What kind of response would this initiate? Would people be like "Whoa! What happened?)

Most people I know (those who went straight through or had 2-3 yrs of WE) graduated LS when they were 27,8. These people would make partner at 33-34.


What kind of disadvantages would I have for being old? Other than the fact that I have to work for people younger or the same age as me?

Not a big deal at your age...if anything you'll get a WE/maturity bump that the K-JDs don't get. Get up to my age (46 when I start as a first year in BigLaw) and you have some firms who avoid you, others who have no issues. The big thing for me will be if I stay at the firm I will be 55 or so when I'm up for partner. Doubtful they'd give me equity for 7 years or so. In your case, you'd be 44 or so--and thus nearly 20 years as a partner before Soc. Sec. eligible. Big difference.


This, except I am planning to go the criminal law route and the people I have talked to in the field have not winced at my age and I am a touch older than rotor.

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mr_toad
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Re: How old is too old for law school?

Postby mr_toad » Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:53 am

PDaddy wrote:I know of a man who went to Vanderbilt while in his 50's and is now a successful attorney at a biglaw firm.

I personally think law schools should develop their pools mostly from the 27-40 crowd, like B-Schools do. The majority of straight-out-of-UG or 20-15 y/o applicants are simply not prepared for all that law school and life after will present.

People in the 27-40 range have more life experience and are thus more likely secure about what they want in life and how to acheive it. If I was on an adcom I would hold younger applicants to a higher standard, because they can talk a good game but still not know what they want or what to expect from a law career.

At 33-34 years old, OP is in good position to develop a successful law career.


Second: I actually had a V-15 interviewer tell me straight up she wished that people would take more like 3-7 years between undergrad and law school rather than the normal 0-2. I've done way better than my GPA alone would indicate: I'm sure my 7-10 years of WE have helped, as has the maturity and perspective, etc. You connect differently with interviewers, as well. Have an offer at a V-30 and still waiting on the results of eight other CBs (one post-CB ding, but whatever).

roranoa
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Re: How old is too old for law school?

Postby roranoa » Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:51 am

PDaddy wrote:I know of a man who went to Vanderbilt while in his 50's and is now a successful attorney at a biglaw firm.

I personally think law schools should develop their pools mostly from the 27-40 crowd, like B-Schools do. The majority of straight-out-of-UG or 20-15 y/o applicants are simply not prepared for all that law school and life after will present.

People in the 27-40 range have more life experience and are thus more likely secure about what they want in life and how to acheive it. If I was on an adcom I would hold younger applicants to a higher standard, because they can talk a good game but still not know what they want or what to expect from a law career.

At 33-34 years old, OP is in good position to develop a successful law career.


Wow, I'm blown away. This is such an encouraging, well written piece.
Last edited by roranoa on Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

alabamabound
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Re: How old is too old for law school?

Postby alabamabound » Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:40 pm

I'm a 40something 3L. Matriculated in my late 30s. I found my age to be an advantage in a lot of law school contexts. As someone indicated earlier ITT, make sure you have a good Why Law? story to tell during OCI, assuming you're doing OCI.

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mr_toad
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Re: How old is too old for law school?

Postby mr_toad » Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:54 pm

The story is key. I felt like the interviewers I clicked with were the ones who "got" my story and understood how everything I did beforehand flowed into law, i.e., no crazy cut in the time-space continuum. Those who didn't, well, they didn't. Make your story make sense.

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HBBJohnStamos
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Re: How old is too old for law school?

Postby HBBJohnStamos » Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:35 am

The answer to the OP's question is, if you look feeble enough to star in an ad for boner pills. Do you satisfy this condition?

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YYZ
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Re: How old is too old for law school?

Postby YYZ » Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:55 am

I've spoken to hiring partners at law firms, and the feedback I've received is that being an older student with work experience is a significant plus in your favor.

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KMaine
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Re: How old is too old for law school?

Postby KMaine » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:21 pm

If you are interested in Biglaw, I would approach with a little bit of caution. I did OCI at 36. Found that my age was a disadvantage with many firms (especially NYC), a wash with some, and perhaps a small plus with some (particularly those in smaller markets). Everything did turn out o.k., but it was a littly iffy there for a while. Approach with some caution, but if you minimize debt, you stand a good chance of having a successful career in law, and I think will be prepared for the professional environment more than most of your classmates.

One real plus, I think the law school stress is less of a problem for those with more experience. Good luck.

r6_philly
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Re: How old is too old for law school?

Postby r6_philly » Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:16 am

KMaine wrote:If you are interested in Biglaw, I would approach with a little bit of caution. I did OCI at 36. Found that my age was a disadvantage with many firms (especially NYC), a wash with some, and perhaps a small plus with some (particularly those in smaller markets). Everything did turn out o.k., but it was a littly iffy there for a while. Approach with some caution, but if you minimize debt, you stand a good chance of having a successful career in law, and I think will be prepared for the professional environment more than most of your classmates.

One real plus, I think the law school stress is less of a problem for those with more experience. Good luck.


Same experience here. Not favored by big NYC firms but valued everywhere else.

r6_philly
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Re: How old is too old for law school?

Postby r6_philly » Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:17 am

mr_toad wrote:The story is key. I felt like the interviewers I clicked with were the ones who "got" my story and understood how everything I did beforehand flowed into law, i.e., no crazy cut in the time-space continuum. Those who didn't, well, they didn't. Make your story make sense.


Why does it have to "make sense" if it is true? Don't hide anything, just let it be. You are you.

ETA: I guess you mean make sense as in don't cut out anything. But somethings it doesn't make sense, some times people just wake up and have an epiphany.

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PDaddy
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Re: How old is too old for law school?

Postby PDaddy » Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:34 am

roranoa wrote:
PDaddy wrote:I know of a man who went to Vanderbilt while in his 50's and is now a successful attorney at a biglaw firm.

I personally think law schools should develop their pools mostly from the 27-40 crowd, like B-Schools do. The majority of straight-out-of-UG or 20-25 y/o applicants are simply not prepared for all that law school and life after will present.

People in the 27-40 range have more life experience and are thus more likely secure about what they want in life and how to acheive it. If I was on an adcom I would hold younger applicants to a higher standard, because they can talk a good game but still not know what they want or what to expect from a law career.

At 33-34 years old, OP is in good position to develop a successful law career.


Wow, I'm blown away. This is such an encouraging, well written piece of writing.


Thank you for the compliment!

I would like to add that schools like NULaw, Stanford, Vanderbilt, and Penn already lean in that direction. They still accept younger students, but they are held to an extremely high standard (i.e. they can't just be exceptional students with high LSAT's), and their soft factors make them no-brainers for admission.

The recent and rapid changes in the profession - such as increased debt levels and increasingly more complex legal issues - demand more experienced students and graduates with work experience (and hopefully some coin in the bank). That so many students were accepted to law school right out of UG has always been a head-scratcher to me.

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mr_toad
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Re: How old is too old for law school?

Postby mr_toad » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:12 am

r6_philly wrote:
mr_toad wrote:The story is key. I felt like the interviewers I clicked with were the ones who "got" my story and understood how everything I did beforehand flowed into law, i.e., no crazy cut in the time-space continuum. Those who didn't, well, they didn't. Make your story make sense.


Why does it have to "make sense" if it is true? Don't hide anything, just let it be. You are you.

ETA: I guess you mean make sense as in don't cut out anything. But somethings it doesn't make sense, some times people just wake up and have an epiphany.


By "make sense," I mean the interviewer shouldn't be scratching his/her head after the interview and thinking "I still don't understand why they're doing this now." The bar is not high: but an epiphany without support will just seem like someone chasing money. Do you really want to hire someone who makes big/important decisions based on a 180 change-in-heart that has no obvious basis in anything tangible/relatable? Sounds like someone who might decide, three years down the road, that their true calling is something else.

The bar is low, but I think there's still a bar.

Nicolena.
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Re: How old is too old for law school?

Postby Nicolena. » Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:04 am

I've been dreading putting off applying next cycle because I feel like starting law school at 26 would leave me at a great disadvantage. However, after reading this thread, I'm starting to feel like maybe it would be a good idea. My lsat score is not where I want it to be and I recently up-rooted my life and relocated. I feel very overwhelmed and l don't think I have enough time to prep for February. Oddly enough I was supposed to take December and I felt really great about everything, but when it was rescheduled and everything I started reevaluating everything. Am I just getting cold feet?




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