Is 36 too old to work in biglaw?

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dirac
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Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 4:19 pm

Is 36 too old to work in biglaw?

Postby dirac » Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:04 pm

Long story short: I have a PhD degree and work in academia for several years; will turn 33 in June. Accepted by HLS and want to practice IP law or Corporate law. Wonder if biglaw firms care about my age (especially for corporate law which I do not have any business work experience).

Thanks.

sparty99
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Re: Is 36 too old to work in biglaw?

Postby sparty99 » Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:10 pm

dirac wrote:Long story short: I have a PhD degree and work in academia for several years; will turn 33 in June. Accepted by HLS and want to practice IP law or Corporate law. Wonder if biglaw firms care about my age (especially for corporate law which I do not have any business work experience).

Thanks.


I would worry that you are more academic and theory than your age. But if you get good grades and went to Harvard it shouldn[t matter. Just make sure you can relate to the associates who you might be interviewing with and will possibly be older than. You might be the same age as some of the Partners. You will just have to show that you can take direction from people who are your same age or who might be younger than you.

dirac
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Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 4:19 pm

Re: Is 36 too old to work in biglaw?

Postby dirac » Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:23 pm

Thank you for your valuable comments and advice, sparty99. Actually I am not an academic person although I have been an assistant professor for several years (that is why I want to switch to law). Your advice helps a lot.

sparty99 wrote:
dirac wrote:Long story short: I have a PhD degree and work in academia for several years; will turn 33 in June. Accepted by HLS and want to practice IP law or Corporate law. Wonder if biglaw firms care about my age (especially for corporate law which I do not have any business work experience).

Thanks.


I would worry that you are more academic and theory than your age. But if you get good grades and went to Harvard it shouldn[t matter. Just make sure you can relate to the associates who you might be interviewing with and will possibly be older than. You might be the same age as some of the Partners. You will just have to show that you can take direction from people who are your same age or who might be younger than you.

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nygrrrl
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Re: Is 36 too old to work in biglaw?

Postby nygrrrl » Sat Apr 04, 2015 3:53 pm

No, it's not too old. I agree with Sparty that you'll have to show (in interviews) that the age difference won't be a problem for you - and be prepared to answer "why law school?" in every single one! - but I was north of 36 when I went through OCI and only felt my age was a problem with one interviewer.
Congrats on HLS!

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homestyle28
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Re: Is 36 too old to work in biglaw?

Postby homestyle28 » Sat Apr 04, 2015 4:00 pm

Depending on your other circumstances (i.e. married/kids) it will be a strike against you at some firms and a point in your favor at others. Overall life experience is a positive b/c there's a greater chance you're making an informed choice heading to law school and won't bail 6 months into the job.

FWIW I'm 36 and a first year at a big firm.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Is 36 too old to work in biglaw?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Apr 04, 2015 4:34 pm

Age discrimination is illegal = joke of the day.

Age 36 is not too old--especially since many. maybe most, biglaw careers end within seven or eight years or less.

Probably depends upon the firm, its needs, the particular interviewer & your demeanor & what you bring to the table. My best guess is that getting an interview will be as big a hurdle as you'll encounter in the hiring process.

Another thought: A 36 year old is not as moldable as a 26 year old.

dirac
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Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 4:19 pm

Re: Is 36 too old to work in biglaw?

Postby dirac » Sat Apr 04, 2015 5:07 pm

Thank you nygrrr! I also feel very lucky to get into HLS. Your story reassured me.

nygrrrl wrote:No, it's not too old. I agree with Sparty that you'll have to show (in interviews) that the age difference won't be a problem for you - and be prepared to answer "why law school?" in every single one! - but I was north of 36 when I went through OCI and only felt my age was a problem with one interviewer.
Congrats on HLS!

albpert
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Re: Is 36 too old to work in biglaw?

Postby albpert » Sat Apr 04, 2015 5:07 pm

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Last edited by albpert on Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dirac
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 4:19 pm

Re: Is 36 too old to work in biglaw?

Postby dirac » Sat Apr 04, 2015 5:08 pm

Hi homestyle28, how do you feel your first year there? Thanks.

homestyle28 wrote:Depending on your other circumstances (i.e. married/kids) it will be a strike against you at some firms and a point in your favor at others. Overall life experience is a positive b/c there's a greater chance you're making an informed choice heading to law school and won't bail 6 months into the job.

FWIW I'm 36 and a first year at a big firm.

dirac
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 4:19 pm

Re: Is 36 too old to work in biglaw?

Postby dirac » Sat Apr 04, 2015 5:10 pm

Thanks CanadianWolf. The point that a 36 year old is not as moldable as a 26 year old is my major concern why they might prefer young guys.

CanadianWolf wrote:Age discrimination is illegal = joke of the day.

Age 36 is not too old--especially since many. maybe most, biglaw careers end within seven or eight years or less.

Probably depends upon the firm, its needs, the particular interviewer & your demeanor & what you bring to the table. My best guess is that getting an interview will be as big a hurdle as you'll encounter in the hiring process.

Another thought: A 36 year old is not as moldable as a 26 year old.

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BVest
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Re: Is 36 too old to work in biglaw?

Postby BVest » Sun Apr 05, 2015 12:23 am

CanadianWolf wrote:Age discrimination is illegal = joke of the day.


Depends on the age anyway. ADEA is for 40 and older.




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