How big a factor is age?

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frozennoodle
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How big a factor is age?

Postby frozennoodle » Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:34 pm

I'm 28 now. When I exit LS I'll be 31. At that age, how hard is it to break into the market compared to say someone who is 25 or 26? I'd rather do some type of public law rather than big law or something like that.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: How big a factor is age?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:05 pm

Not a problem at all.

a_fireinside
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Re: How big a factor is age?

Postby a_fireinside » Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:45 pm

How big would 38 be? I'll be 33 tomorrow, and my contract at my school expires when i'll be 35 and would graduate at 38 (if all goes according to plan). Does biglaw or even boutique firms look age any differently for first year associates even if working long hours is not a big deal, or would it have more to do with salary considerations?

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reasonable person
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Re: How big a factor is age?

Postby reasonable person » Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:51 pm

The older the better.
This guy in our school is 67 and he's got a nice SA lined up.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: How big a factor is age?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:00 pm

Generally older students do fine, and any number of people in their 30s get biglaw (or 40s, I think, though I know fewer of those just because there aren't as many people in their 40s going to law school). The potential issue is concern about taking orders from people younger than you are - biglaw can be quite hierarchical, and recruiters can be concerned that older grads won't want to take orders from younger people/start at the bottom/get down in the trenches and do the grunt work that's expected at the start of your career. If you have the qualifications to get biglaw, though, you will probably get the chance to demonstrate (in an interview, I mean) that this isn't the case. And depending on what you did before law school, your previous work experience can be an advantage.

I think there can also be a concern about older candidates being willing to put in the hours that biglaw requires, especially if you have a family and may want actually to see them now and then, but this can be balanced by the plus that older candidates know what it's like to have a full time job and potentially greater professionalism that goes along with that. Plenty of brand new millenials don't want to put in the hours the job requires.

frozennoodle
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Re: How big a factor is age?

Postby frozennoodle » Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:09 pm

That's a great writeup. What kind of work history are they looking for? I'm assuming some type of business related task? I've been working as a paramedic for the last five years. Would I be correct in thinking working with the needy and at-risk populations would benefit me for a PD placement?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: How big a factor is age?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:39 pm

For biglaw, pre-law work experience dealing with finance and the like seems to be especially well-received? I can't answer that very well because I don't do biglaw and if you're talking corporate, barely understand what it is they even do (and "finance jobs" are a great big blank in my head).

But yes, I think being a paramedic and with working with needy/at-risk populations would be great background for a PD. A lot of it is how you can sell your previous work and the skills it gave you, but I think that would be a great match. You could probably sell a lot of leadership/grace-under-pressure kinds of skills for lots of jobs from that background, though.

hlsperson1111
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Re: How big a factor is age?

Postby hlsperson1111 » Sun Dec 21, 2014 3:11 pm

Your 30s (and early 40s) are not too old. I have seen older people with all sorts of work backgrounds, and I don't think it matters what you did so much as whether you can frame it in a compelling way. Some broad categories of prior work experience I've seen from people who ended up in biglaw later in life:

(1) Business, finance, accounting, or consulting experience;
(2) Entertainment industry experience;
(3) Military service or law enforcement;
(4) Academia (i.e. a Ph.D., with or without a teaching job, in an unrelated field);
(5) Engineering or programming experience.

I don't think this is close to exhaustive, and I think that you can have very good employment outcomes regardless of what you did before law school.

sparty99
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Re: How big a factor is age?

Postby sparty99 » Sun Dec 21, 2014 3:20 pm

a_fireinside wrote:How big would 38 be? I'll be 33 tomorrow, and my contract at my school expires when i'll be 35 and would graduate at 38 (if all goes according to plan). Does biglaw or even boutique firms look age any differently for first year associates even if working long hours is not a big deal, or would it have more to do with salary considerations?


I think the closer you are to 40 the more challenging. People start experiencing age discrimination around then.

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baal hadad
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Re: How big a factor is age?

Postby baal hadad » Sun Dec 21, 2014 3:40 pm

The general rule is half your age plus 7

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Cobretti
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Re: How big a factor is age?

Postby Cobretti » Sun Dec 21, 2014 4:17 pm

frozennoodle wrote:I'm 28 now. When I exit LS I'll be 31. At that age, how hard is it to break into the market compared to say someone who is 25 or 26? I'd rather do some type of public law rather than big law or something like that.

You're probably at the perfect age to see the most benefit from being older, its not a detriment at all. I was 29 starting law school and it seems like it was a big advantage for OCI.

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BVest
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Re: How big a factor is age?

Postby BVest » Sun Dec 21, 2014 4:19 pm

sparty99 wrote:I think the closer you are to 40 the more challenging. People start experiencing age discrimination around then.


I generally agree with this, at least with many of the larger firms. The mid-size firms and government agencies seem to have less of a problem with the big 4-0.

But as others have said, OP, ~30 is highly advantageous.

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haus
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Re: How big a factor is age?

Postby haus » Sun Dec 21, 2014 6:43 pm

I suspect that your age means that you are likely to die before most of the posters on this forum do. But for what it is worth, you will likely outlive me by over a decade.

AReasonableMan
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Re: How big a factor is age?

Postby AReasonableMan » Sun Dec 21, 2014 6:48 pm

There may be more of an expectation you'll have work experience if you're older. Depending on what it is, you're better/worse off.




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