Law and Age Discrimination - Too Old?

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Cloud9
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Law and Age Discrimination - Too Old?

Postby Cloud9 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:42 pm

It seems somewhat ironic to be asking this question in a law school forum given that the law is supposed to protect against age discrimination, but here goes. The question is three parts.

First, is mid '40s too old for law school? I'm sure there are likely to be a wide range of opinions on this question.

Second, for those that say, "no" to the first question, what is the likelihood of a candidate attending a top 10 law school compared to younger candidates (all else being equal)?

Third, what are the odds of employment by a top 10 firm (assuming top grades in law school) for a 40 something year old lawyer compared to younger candidates (all else being equal)?

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Unitas
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Re: Law and Age Discrimination - Too Old?

Postby Unitas » Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:56 pm

Cloud9 wrote:It seems somewhat ironic to be asking this question in a law school forum given that the law is supposed to protect against age discrimination, but here goes. The question is three parts.

First, is mid '40s too old for law school? I'm sure there are likely to be a wide range of opinions on this question.

Second, for those that say, "no" to the first question, what is the likelihood of a candidate attending a top 10 law school compared to younger candidates (all else being equal)?

Third, what are the odds of employment by a top 10 firm (assuming top grades in law school) for a 40 something year old lawyer compared to younger candidates (all else being equal)?


1. No

2. Slightly better ceteris paribus. Schools love diversity and love having long age ranges, so they can say 21 - 49 (or whatever your age) age of entering class.

3. This is your problem. It will be hard.... Big firms don't want you working there for five years then retiring. I have heard stories about a top of his class male in his early 50's not being able to find work just because of his age, he ended up in public work and is as happy as could be.

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fl0w
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Re: Law and Age Discrimination - Too Old?

Postby fl0w » Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:59 pm

Cloud9 wrote:It seems somewhat ironic to be asking this question in a law school forum given that the law is supposed to protect against age discrimination, but here goes. The question is three parts.

First, is mid '40s too old for law school? I'm sure there are likely to be a wide range of opinions on this question.

Second, for those that say, "no" to the first question, what is the likelihood of a candidate attending a top 10 law school compared to younger candidates (all else being equal)?

Third, what are the odds of employment by a top 10 firm (assuming top grades in law school) for a 40 something year old lawyer compared to younger candidates (all else being equal)?


If your app is great, they will take you if you're in your 40s. You have to remember there are high level corporate people that go back to school to get a law degree to further dominate the industry.

Odds? Hard to say. Odds for anyone are shit right now. But if you clearly outperform everyone and will work for the same salary, then how can they say no to you?

And "all else being equal"??? If you are 40 and applying to law school I expect all things to NOT be equal. You should be able to CRUSH younger applicants. remember your competition is a bunch of kids that haven't even finished undergrad yet. DOMINATE! Not that you should be overconfident, you should just know that your supposed experience could give you a marked advantage if you can present yourself in the right way.

Cloud9
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Re: Law and Age Discrimination - Too Old?

Postby Cloud9 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:19 pm

@fl0w,

Being the best worker and dominating the competition doesn't mean top firms will hire you specially when you're in your 40s. One may plan on working until 65, but you don't see too many lawyers at top firms that are that old except for the partners.

Kakarot,

I find it ironic, but your statement is true. Big firms don't want lawyers working for 5yrs and retiring, and yet, that's exactly what happens after 5yrs regardless of age. Many 20 something and 30 something year old lawyers work for top firms for 5yrs and move on to do other things.

Retirement age for me is 67 and I would be graduating law school in my late 40s.

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Unitas
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Re: Law and Age Discrimination - Too Old?

Postby Unitas » Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:20 pm

Cloud9 wrote:@fl0w,

Being the best worker and dominating the competition doesn't mean top firms will hire you specially when you're in your 40s. One may plan on working until 65, but you don't see too many lawyers at top firms that are that old except for the partners.

Kakarot,

I find it ironic, but your statement is true. Big firms don't want lawyers working for 5yrs and retiring, and yet, that's exactly what happens after 5yrs regardless of age. Many 20 something and 30 something year old lawyers work for top firms for 5yrs and move on to do other things.

Retirement age for me is 67 and I would be graduating law school in my late 40s.


Didn't say it made much sense to me, I think big firms may have early retirement packages that lawyers get regardless of tenure. Not 100% sure.

Cloud9
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Re: Law and Age Discrimination - Too Old?

Postby Cloud9 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:32 pm

Many companies offer "early retirement" packages. It's an attempt to push people out the door.

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loser148
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Re: Law and Age Discrimination - Too Old?

Postby loser148 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:46 pm

Last week, I joined and started a thread on this very topic.
I’m overly concerned about age, but it’s my own personal issue and doesn’t seem to be an issue for anyone else.
I have CRAPPY scores and a decent, albeit antiquated undergraduate GPA.

My ONLY goal is law school.

I'll let you know how it all goes....

And the people here, on this forum, they have been my greatest supporters!
Last edited by loser148 on Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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kalvano
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Re: Law and Age Discrimination - Too Old?

Postby kalvano » Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:50 pm

Cloud9 wrote:It seems somewhat ironic to be asking this question in a law school forum given that the law is supposed to protect against age discrimination, but here goes. The question is three parts.

First, is mid '40s too old for law school? I'm sure there are likely to be a wide range of opinions on this question.

Second, for those that say, "no" to the first question, what is the likelihood of a candidate attending a top 10 law school compared to younger candidates (all else being equal)?

Third, what are the odds of employment by a top 10 firm (assuming top grades in law school) for a 40 something year old lawyer compared to younger candidates (all else being equal)?



1) Not at all. I will be 30 for my first semester. Not quite at your stage of wisdom, but it's my belief that age shouldn't be a factor in pursuing a dream. Use it to your advantage. Use your PS / DS to talk about what you bring to the table that a younger person couldn't.

2) All depends on your numbers. If it's borderline, I would say that your age and experiences bring an extra element of diversity that help a good bit.

3) Probably not so good. I've heard from many lawyers that they prefer younger graduates, but anything is possible.

Cloud9
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Re: Law and Age Discrimination - Too Old?

Postby Cloud9 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:07 pm

These responses are the very reason why I broke the questions down into 3 parts.

I expected many to say age doesn't matter, and yet, by the time we get to question #3 we can clearly see that it does matter, specially given a 2-3yr investment of time and $150k+

I do appreciate everyone's honesty on item #3. It's a shame that such age discrimination exists particularly in the legal community, but I guess it's the fallibility of being human.

Though the media might love such a story particularly if it were a top rated law school and graduated at the top of the class. :-)

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kalvano
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Re: Law and Age Discrimination - Too Old?

Postby kalvano » Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:12 pm

Cloud9 wrote:I expected many to say age doesn't matter, and yet, by the time we get to question #3 we can clearly see that it does matter, specially given a 2-3yr investment of time and $150k+



Actually, you asked if "mid-40's" is too old for law school, not if age matters or not.

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Unitas
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Re: Law and Age Discrimination - Too Old?

Postby Unitas » Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:16 pm

Cloud9 wrote:These responses are the very reason why I broke the questions down into 3 parts.

I expected many to say age doesn't matter, and yet, by the time we get to question #3 we can clearly see that it does matter, specially given a 2-3yr investment of time and $150k+

I do appreciate everyone's honesty on item #3. It's a shame that such age discrimination exists particularly in the legal community, but I guess it's the fallibility of being human.

Though the media might love such a story particularly if it were a top rated law school and graduated at the top of the class. :-)


Everyone already hates lawyers so nothing new and media attention against lawyers is risky because the law firms are prone to suing media outlets. Now if you were a pretty woman that would be a different story, then everyone would be sympathetic. Just saying.

However, like we all said this fact shouldn't discourage you.

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hi_im_josh
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Re: Law and Age Discrimination - Too Old?

Postby hi_im_josh » Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:18 pm

I think just going to law school you are good (the school won't discriminate based on your age--they want your money). The problem is when you are going to be going for jobs--they want younger people (almost like the dating game).

Cloud9
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Re: Law and Age Discrimination - Too Old?

Postby Cloud9 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:34 pm

kalvano wrote:
Cloud9 wrote:I expected many to say age doesn't matter, and yet, by the time we get to question #3 we can clearly see that it does matter, specially given a 2-3yr investment of time and $150k+


Actually, you asked if "mid-40's" is too old for law school, not if age matters or not.


That was my first question. My 3rd was odds of employment for a 40 something.... (the hidden implication being whether age matters in this journey - "all else being equal").

Lets say hypothetically that odds of employment by any firm for anyone over 40 is 0% even if one attended a top 5 law school and graduated at the top of the class (yes, I know that wouldn't happen it's just a theoretical scenario) what then would be the point in going to law school and get buried in $150k+ debt?

Are legal firms seeking great legal minds to work for them or is that a secondary consideration to youth?

The answer might be somewhere between Josh and Kakarot.... - a young, pretty woman - :)

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kalvano
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Re: Law and Age Discrimination - Too Old?

Postby kalvano » Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:37 pm

Cloud9 wrote:Lets say hypothetically that odds of employment by any firm for anyone over 40 is 0% even if one attended a top 5 law school and graduated at the top of the class (yes, I know that wouldn't happen it's just a theoretical scenario) what then would be the point in going to law school and get buried in $150k+ debt?



Why are you going to law school?

I have no desire to work in a big law firm.

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hi_im_josh
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Re: Law and Age Discrimination - Too Old?

Postby hi_im_josh » Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:40 pm

Cloud9 wrote:
kalvano wrote:
Cloud9 wrote:I expected many to say age doesn't matter, and yet, by the time we get to question #3 we can clearly see that it does matter, specially given a 2-3yr investment of time and $150k+


Actually, you asked if "mid-40's" is too old for law school, not if age matters or not.


That was my first question. My 3rd was odds of employment for a 40 something.... (the hidden implication being whether age matters in this journey - "all else being equal").

Lets say hypothetically that odds of employment by any firm for anyone over 40 is 0% even if one attended a top 5 law school and graduated at the top of the class (yes, I know that wouldn't happen it's just a theoretical scenario) what then would be the point in going to law school and get buried in $150k+ debt?

Are legal firms seeking great legal minds to work for them or is that a secondary consideration to youth?

The answer might be somewhere between Josh and Kakarot.... - a young, pretty woman - :)


I hate to sound cynical, but the biglaw partners are suckers for young hotties (if you're a young pretty woman, that is worth more to them than your legal writing skills).

Cloud9
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Re: Law and Age Discrimination - Too Old?

Postby Cloud9 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:43 pm

To improve our way of life?

Isn't that why we all do things that require hard work on our part to improve our situation?

If the end result of law school was $7 an hour who would go?

By the way, I'm intrigued as to what people plan on doing with a JD. Are you just going to a smaller firm or doing something else altogether?

Cloud9
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Re: Law and Age Discrimination - Too Old?

Postby Cloud9 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:45 pm

Josh,

You may be right, but a sex change and a time machine may be more than I can offer. :)

Eye candy is quite common in other fields as well, though may be more common in law given the number of women that go into the field.

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Unitas
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Re: Law and Age Discrimination - Too Old?

Postby Unitas » Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:47 pm

Cloud9 wrote:To improve our way of life?

Isn't that why we all do things that require hard work on our part to improve our situation?

If the end result of law school was $7 an hour who would go?

By the way, I'm intrigued as to what people plan on doing with a JD. Are you just going to a smaller firm or doing something else altogether?


Politics, public service (DA, public defender, and so forth), judicial, solo practices, advocacy, teaching, and of course people go to work for small firms.

I also didn't mean to say you would have a 0% chance at big law. You might just be a long shot compared to equal younger applicants.

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loser148
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Re: Law and Age Discrimination - Too Old?

Postby loser148 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:50 pm

Well, for what it’s worth or isn't...

For the real money, become a surgeon or a physician. It’s not too late. I have friends in their early 30’s, MBA’s, and they've decided that medicine really is the ultimate depression anxiolytic. They are correct. Money is available in health or healh admin. Or use a JD plus MBA and that puts you way ahead of the pack for the admin side of things.

It used to be that JD’s made good money. Surely, that’s the case in some areas despite the age???

Thanks for this post and for all who are answering. The has become such a useful forum!
Last edited by loser148 on Fri Jan 08, 2010 5:02 pm, edited 4 times in total.

Cloud9
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Re: Law and Age Discrimination - Too Old?

Postby Cloud9 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:58 pm

Kakarot wrote:
Politics, public service (DA, public defender, and so forth), judicial, solo practices, advocacy, teaching, and of course people go to work for small firms.

I also didn't mean to say you would have a 0% chance at big law. You would just be a long shot.


Politics - hmm, can't see myself going that route...

Public service - definitely not for me

Judicial - maybe

Solo practice - Definitely an option (though I would expect to do some time at a law firm first)

Advocacy - perhaps as part time work

Teaching - not in the short or intermediate term, but again, definitely an option

Small firms - I can see that at some point.

I was thinking about it like this: Big name firm -> small firm -> solo practice -> teach

You forgot corporate law, patent / IP, real estate, etc. I would probably leverage my Computer Science, Engineering, and Business background with the JD.
Last edited by Cloud9 on Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Cloud9
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Re: Law and Age Discrimination - Too Old?

Postby Cloud9 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:14 pm

L148,

A year ago I considered medicine. I'm in my mid 40s and would need to fulfill the pre-reqs before even heading to med school. I looked into psych, and it's at least 8yrs of full-time work. I'd be into my 50s by the time I graduated and into my 60s before I broke even on the student loans.

That being said, MD would be a great option for anyone under 40. It's the only area that you're virtually guaranteed work. There will be no shortage of demand for doctors for the next 50yrs.

My wife is going the BSN RN route through an accelerated program since she already has an undergraduate degree. The schools around us have very small classes ~ 30-50 students or so and over 1,000 applicants. The average GPA for the most recent class was 3.9 and acceptance rate was 3%.

The other possibility is PA. Starting PAs make in the $90s in major cities, and with just a few years you're in mid six figures. It's #2 in best jobs according to money magazine. http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag ... /full_list

However, one has to work under the guidance of a doctor, so having your own practice isn't possible.

As for money in entertainment, I have 3 friends / relatives in that area that would like to ask where that money is.... one is a special effects person, the other two are on the director / video side.

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loser148
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Re: Law and Age Discrimination - Too Old?

Postby loser148 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:38 pm

Entertainment, you ask. Hmm...

My neighbors, industrious and well, not so educated, are retiring in the 50's (GREEN WITH ENVY) because of their commitment to the film industry and their part time work.

Granted, they have full time jobs, one is a programmer, the other is a receptionist, however, they each received a paltry 1 million, for their December film efforts from Universal Studios.

We've received 'bazillions' (yes, i'm exaggerating b.c.I'm fed up with endless funds distributed to nothing entities, but, the funds are there.)

As an entertainment industry, EMPLOYEES love UT.
We don't have taxes on entertainment. CA does, and from my limited understanding it is much cheaper to film here.
Last edited by loser148 on Fri Jan 08, 2010 5:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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kalvano
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Re: Law and Age Discrimination - Too Old?

Postby kalvano » Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:50 pm

Your neighbors are not typical.

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Stringer Bell
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Re: Law and Age Discrimination - Too Old?

Postby Stringer Bell » Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:52 pm

So what is too old for biglaw hiring? I'll have just turned 32 when I graduate and assumed that having legit WE would help offset for being a few years older than my peers. Are you guys saying this is a bad assumption?

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kalvano
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Re: Law and Age Discrimination - Too Old?

Postby kalvano » Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:54 pm

Stringer Bell wrote:So what is too old for biglaw hiring? I'll have just turned 32 when I graduate and assumed that having legit WE would help offset for being a few years older than my peers. Are you guys saying this is a bad assumption?



Yes.

You are more likely to be hired when you are younger than older.




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