Age? How Does Being Older Come into Play?

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Age? How Does Being Older Come into Play?

Postby cl101 » Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:39 am

Particularly for BigLaw, are they really more inclined to hire early 20somethings? I've heard BOTH SIDES of the argument
a) BigLaw firms want to hire young grads they can mold to fit their work culture and style. Younger people are perceived as more energetic, efficient and willing to work long hours
b) BigLaw firms appreciate life/work experience and value maturity
I'm not talking really old...just maybe graduating from law school in one's early 30s? I know some schools have an older average age (Northwestern, I believe, which actually places a larger percentage at BigLaw than a lot of other good schools) but maybe those older students aren't the ones getting the jobs. Also, what about how this affects women? Are firms hesitant to hire women in their 30s simply because of the fear they'll get pregnant? (not saying this is right in any way)...Thoughts? Any insight from people in BigLaw or nontraditional students would be wonderful!

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Re: Age? How Does Being Older Come into Play?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:52 am

It won't matter. There may be some places that favor the shiny and new, but enough other places will value the maturity/experience that it will be a wash. Lots of people here know 30+ people who got biglaw (and it's a question that comes up regularly, if you search here, LS FAQ, and legal employment - though don't post in the latter if you're a 0L, just read around).

Whether it's more of an issue for women due to assumptions about pregnancy is a good question and less discussed. To be honest, I figure that if a firm dings you for something like that, I wouldn't want to work there anyway (but I realize that attitude is a luxury). I haven't heard any stories specifically about this, but in part the women I know in that context all already had kids (which presents its own concerns, of course, but not maternity leave). I sort of think if a firm is going to worry about women associates getting pregnant, they won't much discriminate even more based on age (people have kids at such a range of ages), but that's just a guess.

(I was way more non-trad than you and found it posed no problems at all regarding employment. I can't speak super directly to biglaw, because although I went through OCI at my school, I wasn't committed to biglaw [I went fedgov], and at my school/in my tiny market, I didn't have the numbers to be a really strong biglaw candidate. But the age has generally been a plus way more than a negative.)


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Re: Age? How Does Being Older Come into Play?

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:36 am

I'm 30+ and had a 1L big law SA. The interviewers viewed my age either neutrally or as a plus (more mature, if they put you with a client that person is more likely to accept the bill then from a 23 year old). Every single interview asked why law school? But I would say unless you're 40+ it's not an issue and even then I'm not sure they'd care. From an economic (firm) perspective there's really no downside to an older associate.

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