Are older students at a disadvantage?

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Hey-O
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Are older students at a disadvantage?

Postby Hey-O » Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:46 am

I just read the older students have a hard time getting hired. I can't believe I've never thought of this question before (I guess I never thought of myself as old), but do people think that firms discriminate against older applicants?

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Ford Prefect
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Re: Are older students at a disadvantage?

Postby Ford Prefect » Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:47 am

What is considered old?

Hey-O
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Re: Are older students at a disadvantage?

Postby Hey-O » Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:52 am

Ford Prefect wrote:What is considered old?


I don't know. Maybe more than 28 (the average student age is around 24).

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fatduck
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Re: Are older students at a disadvantage?

Postby fatduck » Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:53 am

most older students have work experience and most firms like people with work experience

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Cupidity
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Re: Are older students at a disadvantage?

Postby Cupidity » Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:13 am

I'm just a 1L, but the two oldest students in our class have already locked down killer summer jobs

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vamedic03
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Re: Are older students at a disadvantage?

Postby vamedic03 » Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:47 am

I'm a 2L and I'm 30. My age has only helped me - both in Law School and during OCI.

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Cavalier
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Re: Are older students at a disadvantage?

Postby Cavalier » Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:53 am

Not at all. If anything, going straight through from undergrad with no work experience puts one at a disadvantage.

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TommyK
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Re: Are older students at a disadvantage?

Postby TommyK » Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:29 am

I've heard dissenting opinions on this - that some big law firms don't want to hire folks in their late 30's/early 40's, because they feel that it may be difficult to work this person 3000+ hours/ year as opposed to a young fresh grad who they can tear down and build back up.

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JazzOne
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Re: Are older students at a disadvantage?

Postby JazzOne » Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:34 am

I felt like my age did hurt me (33), but I've posted so much about this that I don't feel like rehashing. I ended up with a terrific job anyway, but it was tough.

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vamedic03
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Re: Are older students at a disadvantage?

Postby vamedic03 » Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:02 pm

I'll add a couple things:

(1) I think it matters what you've been doing - if you're 30 and you've hopped between graduate programs, then it'll probably be a disadvantage. If you're 30 and you've had some cool jobs, then I think it's a huge advantage - you have something to talk about and they know that you're able to work.

(2) I think it depends on how you sell yourself - your age and experiences should be used to show that you can handle the work and will be an excellent asset to the firm/agency/wherever you're applying. My perception is that firms are predominantly looking for two qualities: (a) ability to do the intellectual work and (b) a good work ethic that will consistently crank out quality work.

(3) There are a lot of factors that will determine how well you do at OCI / the job search: Grades, Law Review, work experience, personality, etc.

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JRDallas11
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Re: Are older students at a disadvantage?

Postby JRDallas11 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:54 am

Cupidity wrote:I'm just a 1L, but the two oldest students in our class have already locked down killer summer jobs


Older folks who've been in the work force typically have connections. I'm 33 and have friends and clients that work for every major law firm you can think of. Some are even the ones who conduct the actual OCI's at the law school I'm applying to. You can bet I'll be using these connections when the time comes for me to start looking for a job.

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RickyRoe
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Re: Are older students at a disadvantage?

Postby RickyRoe » Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:16 am

What if you are over 30, but look like you are 25? Do many firms come right out and ask you? I f***ed around for a few years after undergrad and would prefer not to have to explain a few years where I did little except bartend and the occasional temp job.

Hey-O
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Re: Are older students at a disadvantage?

Postby Hey-O » Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:33 am

RickyRoe wrote:What if you are over 30, but look like you are 25? Do many firms come right out and ask you? I f***ed around for a few years after undergrad and would prefer not to have to explain a few years where I did little except bartend and the occasional temp job.


Yeah, this is me, too. I can fudge my work experience but it's pretty disjointed.

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LSHopeful2
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Re: Are older students at a disadvantage?

Postby LSHopeful2 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:00 am

.

Renzo
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Re: Are older students at a disadvantage?

Postby Renzo » Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:07 am

vamedic03 wrote:I'll add a couple things:

(1) I think it matters what you've been doing - if you're 30 and you've hopped between graduate programs, then it'll probably be a disadvantage. If you're 30 and you've had some cool jobs, then I think it's a huge advantage - you have something to talk about and they know that you're able to work.

(2) I think it depends on how you sell yourself - your age and experiences should be used to show that you can handle the work and will be an excellent asset to the firm/agency/wherever you're applying. My perception is that firms are predominantly looking for two qualities: (a) ability to do the intellectual work and (b) a good work ethic that will consistently crank out quality work.

(3) There are a lot of factors that will determine how well you do at OCI / the job search: Grades, Law Review, work experience, personality, etc.


As another "old" person, I agree with this. If you look like a career student, you are going to have trouble convincing people that you want a real job now. But having real word/work experience can only help.

Now, if you are 40+, that gets in to a whole other set of concerns; it's possible firms (or other employers, for that matter) may see you as too old to be starting over, and make assumptions about your willingness to be at the bottom of the totem pole and take orders from people significantly your junior.

CP2323
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Re: Are older students at a disadvantage?

Postby CP2323 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:13 am

What if you will be 35 but served 7 years in the military, went to graduate school, and was a school teacher after that?

Do you think that will be looked down upon by potential employers?

Renzo
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Re: Are older students at a disadvantage?

Postby Renzo » Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:20 am

CP2323 wrote:What if you will be 35 but served 7 years in the military, went to graduate school, and was a school teacher after that?

Do you think that will be looked down upon by potential employers?

No. See Vamedic's post. You've proven a) you can take orders b) you're smart. That's what employers want.

Jlare
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Re: Are older students at a disadvantage?

Postby Jlare » Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:46 am

I'm an older student too--32. When I visited a few schools in my area, I met several traditional students that were in their early to mid 20s, but also talked to just as many students who were my age.

The guy who toured me around one place was in his mid-30s and had been a teacher for years before going to law school.

I guess I never really thought about my age as a potential disadvantage....maybe someone much older has a harder time?




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