Age Discrimination in Big Law Hiring

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FinanceStudent28
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Age Discrimination in Big Law Hiring

Postby FinanceStudent28 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:25 pm

Hey all, just wondering if there would be age discrimination in Big Law and other law type hiring.

Would firms prefer a 25 year old K-JD compared to a 32/33 year old?

And what about even older (out of curiosity)?

Just wondering what the atmosphere is like.

Thanks!

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elterrible78
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Re: Age Discrimination in Big Law Hiring

Postby elterrible78 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:31 pm

FinanceStudent28 wrote:Hey all, just wondering if there would be age discrimination in Big Law and other law type hiring.

Would firms prefer a 25 year old K-JD compared to a 32/33 year old?

And what about even older (out of curiosity)?

Just wondering what the atmosphere is like.

Thanks!


I don't have a ton of insight on this, but it was definitely a concern for me when I started out (I'm a 35-year-old 1L). Based on the little experience I had interviewing for 1L SA positions, I found my age (and the life experience that goes with it) to be an asset, if anything. One interviewer specifically mentioned that one of his biggest problems with interviewing K-JDs is that he has to rack his brain to think of stuff to ask based on their resumes, but with older students there's typically more interesting stuff to keep a conversation going about. Plus - and I could be way wrong about this - demonstrating that you've been able to thrive in a real-world work environment probably is a good signal, too.

Between what I've heard, my own (admittedly narrow) experience, and the fact that from all accounts the K-JDs at my school fare at least marginally worse than people who have been out and done real-world stuff for a while, I don't think it's a big concern.

mx23250
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Re: Age Discrimination in Big Law Hiring

Postby mx23250 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:33 pm

FinanceStudent28 wrote:Hey all, just wondering if there would be age discrimination in Big Law and other law type hiring.

Would firms prefer a 25 year old K-JD compared to a 32/33 year old?

And what about even older (out of curiosity)?

Just wondering what the atmosphere is like.

Thanks!


For IP law, any "age discrimination" would probably favor older candidates over younger ones due to additional graduate education and technical work experience. In the case of finance or corporate law, the same might even hold true. Age in and of itself wouldn't be a factor in these cases (i.e., they wouldn't hire someone based on age alone), but rather work experience that inherently associates with older applicants. In the case of the law profession in general, I'd imagine law school GPA, externships/experience, law review, etc. would play more important roles ahead of age. Just a thought.

FluffMonster
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Re: Age Discrimination in Big Law Hiring

Postby FluffMonster » Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:36 pm

This topic terrifies me, but I've thought about it the other way around. I'll be 24 going on 25 at my time of graduation, and I'm scared that firms will view me as too young...

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Kikero
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Re: Age Discrimination in Big Law Hiring

Postby Kikero » Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:42 pm

Law students have enough to worry about, don't throw age into it. Maybe you'd have issues if you were 50 or somehow ended up in law school at age 18, but everybody graduating in the 24-35 range is within the norm. Sure being older and having a lot of experience/skills could help you, or being old and having no significant skills could hurt you (as an indication that you're not motivated, haven't been doing much during your adult life, etc.), but age itself isn't the issue, it's your candidacy as a whole.

mx23250
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Re: Age Discrimination in Big Law Hiring

Postby mx23250 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:44 pm

Kikero wrote:Law students have enough to worry about, don't throw age into it. Maybe you'd have issues if you were 50 or somehow ended up in law school at age 18, but everybody graduating in the 24-35 range is within the norm. Sure being older and having a lot of experience/skills could help you, or being old and having no significant skills could hurt you (as an indication that you're not motivated, haven't been doing much during your adult life, etc.), but age itself isn't the issue, it's your candidacy as a whole.


+1

FinanceStudent28
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Re: Age Discrimination in Big Law Hiring

Postby FinanceStudent28 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:03 pm

Kikero wrote:Law students have enough to worry about, don't throw age into it. Maybe you'd have issues if you were 50 or somehow ended up in law school at age 18, but everybody graduating in the 24-35 range is within the norm. Sure being older and having a lot of experience/skills could help you, or being old and having no significant skills could hurt you (as an indication that you're not motivated, haven't been doing much during your adult life, etc.), but age itself isn't the issue, it's your candidacy as a whole.


Hey man, not my intention to worry anyone.

I was just curious. It's an issue in other areas.

Thanks for your post and others who contributed. I appreciate it!

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Kikero
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Re: Age Discrimination in Big Law Hiring

Postby Kikero » Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:10 pm

FinanceStudent28 wrote:
Kikero wrote:Law students have enough to worry about, don't throw age into it. Maybe you'd have issues if you were 50 or somehow ended up in law school at age 18, but everybody graduating in the 24-35 range is within the norm. Sure being older and having a lot of experience/skills could help you, or being old and having no significant skills could hurt you (as an indication that you're not motivated, haven't been doing much during your adult life, etc.), but age itself isn't the issue, it's your candidacy as a whole.


Hey man, not my intention to worry anyone.

I was just curious. It's an issue in other areas.

Thanks for your post and others who contributed. I appreciate it!


Haha, I'm not accusing you of fearmongering, I'm telling YOU (and everybody else) not to worry about it since ls applications, law school, and the job search are stressful enough.

badaboom61
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Re: Age Discrimination in Big Law Hiring

Postby badaboom61 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:26 pm

Kikero wrote:Law students have enough to worry about, don't throw age into it. Maybe you'd have issues if you were 50 or somehow ended up in law school at age 18, but everybody graduating in the 24-35 range is within the norm.


For what its worth, I know someone who graduated at 50 and got biglaw, and I know someone who started law school at 20 and got biglaw. Obviously very anecdotal, but seems possible at about any age.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Age Discrimination in Big Law Hiring

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:58 am

I'd view anything between early 20s and 40 as "normal." I'd feel weird telling a 45 year old what to do if I were a midlevel and he/she were a junior. Not that I wouldn't want to work with the person, it's just that I would feel a little... out of place him/her to do stuff, giving them deadlines, etc.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Age Discrimination in Big Law Hiring

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Feb 13, 2014 8:32 am

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:I'd view anything between early 20s and 40 as "normal." I'd feel weird telling a 45 year old what to do if I were a midlevel and he/she were a junior. Not that I wouldn't want to work with the person, it's just that I would feel a little... out of place him/her to do stuff, giving them deadlines, etc.

This came up a lot in my interviews - basically, could I take orders from someone younger than I am? (Or, without my advanced degrees?) In part this is because I was in a previous career for a while and had a lot of independence/autonomy in that career. I'm not in biglaw, but in my current field, and I think generally, you just have to be prepared to answer that head on and be really enthusiastic about working with/under anyone. I usually talked about how I was on e-board with an EIC and ME who were K-JD and awesome to work with, and how my moot court partner was K-JD, and how we were all at the same level in terms of learning the law (which is how I felt - who cares how much older I was? I didn't know anything more about the law than my classmates, and many of them were better at this than I was anyway.) (None of my previous experience was at all law-related.)

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kalvano
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Re: Age Discrimination in Big Law Hiring

Postby kalvano » Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:34 pm

I definitely got asked about working under someone younger. I basically said age didn't matter much to me, they were more experienced and I would look forward to learning from them.

FinanceStudent28
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Re: Age Discrimination in Big Law Hiring

Postby FinanceStudent28 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:17 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:I'd view anything between early 20s and 40 as "normal." I'd feel weird telling a 45 year old what to do if I were a midlevel and he/she were a junior. Not that I wouldn't want to work with the person, it's just that I would feel a little... out of place him/her to do stuff, giving them deadlines, etc.

This came up a lot in my interviews - basically, could I take orders from someone younger than I am? (Or, without my advanced degrees?) In part this is because I was in a previous career for a while and had a lot of independence/autonomy in that career. I'm not in biglaw, but in my current field, and I think generally, you just have to be prepared to answer that head on and be really enthusiastic about working with/under anyone. I usually talked about how I was on e-board with an EIC and ME who were K-JD and awesome to work with, and how my moot court partner was K-JD, and how we were all at the same level in terms of learning the law (which is how I felt - who cares how much older I was? I didn't know anything more about the law than my classmates, and many of them were better at this than I was anyway.) (None of my previous experience was at all law-related.)


kalvano wrote:I definitely got asked about working under someone younger. I basically said age didn't matter much to me, they were more experienced and I would look forward to learning from them.


Roughly how old are you guys? (If you don't mind)

NYstate
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Re: Age Discrimination in Big Law Hiring

Postby NYstate » Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:22 pm

What kind of age discrimination do you mean? If an older candidate can't take direction from a younger person, they are going to have a problem getting hired. That is based on the individual.

FinanceStudent28
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Re: Age Discrimination in Big Law Hiring

Postby FinanceStudent28 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:36 pm

NYstate wrote:What kind of age discrimination do you mean? If an older candidate can't take direction from a younger person, they are going to have a problem getting hired. That is based on the individual.


I mean the age discrimination stated in your post in the other thread.

You said:

"Older students already have a bias against them for possibly having trouble working with younger, more experienced people. My firm wouldn't touch OP."

Older students already have a bias against them?

OP was 29. Your firm wouldn't even look at 29 year olds?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Age Discrimination in Big Law Hiring

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:02 pm

FinanceStudent28 wrote:Roughly how old are you guys? (If you don't mind)

I started law school in my late 30s.

And NYstate, of course an older law student who has problems working under younger people will have trouble with a lot of jobs, but I think having a "bias against" older applicants for this counts as age discrimination. I mean, we discriminate on age all the time (e.g. you have to be 16 to drink) and I'm not saying it's a crazy concern, but I still think it counts.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Age Discrimination in Big Law Hiring

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:17 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote: (e.g. you have to be 16 to drink)

Haha I like where you live.

OP I'll graduate in my early 30's and I never came across this issue during OCI.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Age Discrimination in Big Law Hiring

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:14 am

Tiago Splitter wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote: (e.g. you have to be 16 to drink)

Haha I like where you live.

OP I'll graduate in my early 30's and I never came across this issue during OCI.

Lol I was going to say "drive" and got mixed up. It's been a long week!

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: Age Discrimination in Big Law Hiring

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:19 am

My experience was that my age wasn't a factor (early 30s; had a 1L SA in regional big law and have a 2L SA in NYC biglaw).

NYstate
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Re: Age Discrimination in Big Law Hiring

Postby NYstate » Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:49 am

That comment was specific to that thread with two people complaining about how little younger people know. By bias I meant the same kind of bias that makes people question ties. Meaning there will be questions asked about the ability to take direction from younger people.
I never said my firm wouldn't hire 29 year olds. My firm wouldn't hire the OP of that thread if he had that attitude toward younger, more experienced people.

FinanceStudent28
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Re: Age Discrimination in Big Law Hiring

Postby FinanceStudent28 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:02 pm

NYstate wrote:That comment was specific to that thread with two people complaining about how little younger people know. By bias I meant the same kind of bias that makes people question ties. Meaning there will be questions asked about the ability to take direction from younger people.
I never said my firm wouldn't hire 29 year olds. My firm wouldn't hire the OP of that thread if he had that attitude toward younger, more experienced people.

Gotcha.

Thank you for explaining. It's truly appreciated.

Capitol A
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Re: Age Discrimination in Big Law Hiring

Postby Capitol A » Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:14 pm

FinanceStudent28 wrote:Hey all, just wondering if there would be age discrimination in Big Law and other law type hiring.

Would firms prefer a 25 year old K-JD compared to a 32/33 year old?

And what about even older (out of curiosity)?

Just wondering what the atmosphere is like.

Thanks!


I was a 32yo SA in regional big law, and I will be 33 when I start as an associate. My understanding was that my age helped me in the hiring process, not in and of itself, but because of the maturity and job experience that I gained prior to law school. So, while my age helped in my case, it may have hurt if I was 32, but acted 19 and had been drifting aimlessly through my late 20s.

FinanceStudent28
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Re: Age Discrimination in Big Law Hiring

Postby FinanceStudent28 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:25 pm

Capitol A wrote:I was a 32yo SA in regional big law, and I will be 33 when I start as an associate. My understanding was that my age helped me in the hiring process, not in and of itself, but because of the maturity and job experience that I gained prior to law school. So, while my age helped in my case, it may have hurt if I was 32, but acted 19 and had been drifting aimlessly through my late 20s.

Thanks, man!

I appreciate the input.

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PepperJack
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Re: Age Discrimination in Big Law Hiring

Postby PepperJack » Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:27 pm

There is age discrimination if you're a bum. If you're 30 they expect you to have accomplished something. I find this interferes with my right to be a bum.

FinanceStudent28
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Re: Age Discrimination in Big Law Hiring

Postby FinanceStudent28 » Fri Feb 21, 2014 6:22 pm

PepperJack wrote:There is age discrimination if you're a bum. If you're 30 they expect you to have accomplished something. I find this interferes with my right to be a bum.

Haha.

That makes sense. If you're 30 you can't have sat in your parent's basement for 8 years.

Thanks for your input.




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