Law school after 50

texaslawyer
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Law school after 50

Postby texaslawyer » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:40 am

I have decided that I want to take the plunge and go to law school in my mid 50s. It's been over 30 years since I finished college. I went to grad school briefly, but dropped out because of a military commitment. I was accepted to the University of Miami over 30 years ago and just kept putting it off. Back then the LSAT had a top score of 800 and it took 600 or better to get in. I know that I need to take a prep course and sadly, Kaplan is the only game in town (Jacksonville, Fl). I've seen one on line called AceLSAT. They claim they have many students who hit 180. I have been told that I need 145 to get in, which I hear isn't difficult to get and if I hit in the 160s I can get grants and schlorships. If any of you care to offer any advice or suggestions, I care to listen. My school choices are Florida Coastal, Northwestern, DC School of Law, Univ. of Richmond and possibly Howard. I want to be a litigator, either criminal defense or elder law.

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jack123
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Re: Law school after 50

Postby jack123 » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:53 am

What is your gpa?

I am in Jville too, and am older (32) so I can give you my two cents. Before you take a class you may want to consider self study to save money. Get the powerscore books, start working problems and see if your comfortable with self study before dropping loads of money for a class. I am using the powerscore books so if I was going to take a class it would be them but in the end its all about the teacher, not the program name.

Use http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com/ for:
1. What gpa/lsat needed for x school
2. What scholly $ they are offering to students like yourself.

As far as coastal you will see in the US news ranking that they are tier 4. While the rep is getting better, they are still at the bottom of the bucket which puts graduates at a big time disadvantage. Also to save big time money you want to look at other schools in Florida, UF, FSU since your a resident.

phila
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Re: Law school after 50

Postby phila » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:54 am

Powerscore offers an online course...supposedly with x hours of live instruction. I have not taken it, but many here claim Powerscore is the best prep class out there. I'm using their bibles in self-study for now, and they are really good so far.

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JuryDueT1000
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Re: Law school after 50

Postby JuryDueT1000 » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:55 am

texaslawyer wrote:I have decided that I want to take the plunge and go to law school in my mid 50s. It's been over 30 years since I finished college. I went to grad school briefly, but dropped out because of a military commitment. I was accepted to the University of Miami over 30 years ago and just kept putting it off. Back then the LSAT had a top score of 800 and it took 600 or better to get in. I know that I need to take a prep course and sadly, Kaplan is the only game in town (Jacksonville, Fl). I've seen one on line called AceLSAT. They claim they have many students who hit 180. I have been told that I need 145 to get in, which I hear isn't difficult to get and if I hit in the 160s I can get grants and schlorships. If any of you care to offer any advice or suggestions, I care to listen. My school choices are Florida Coastal, Northwestern, DC School of Law, Univ. of Richmond and possibly Howard. I want to be a litigator, either criminal defense or elder law.


Sounds like you have it pretty much figured out. Take the class if you have the time and can afford it. Many people here just go through the PowerScore bibles and take LSAC practice tests (and they seem to do very well).

Florida Coastal and Northwestern are on two very different levels though, I realize FC is in Jacksonville where you are now, but are you planning on moving or what? Because I wouldn't recommend that school unless you're set on staying in Jacksonville.

WillyBeachem
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Re: Law school after 50

Postby WillyBeachem » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:57 am

I don't know how schools look at applicants your age, but I respect the hell out of you for trying.

I don't know who has been giving you advice, but you are not getting anywhere near Northwestern with a 145 unless you have a dorm or something named after you. A score of 145 is the equivalent to a 46%.

For those schools I would shoot for something in the 160s, which starts at around a 73%. Northwestern will require something closer to 170.

Those answers are for someone in their 20's with a 3.5 GPA. I don't know how they will treat your application because of your age, maybe someone else can answer that. Good luck to you.

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OssumPossum
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Re: Law school after 50

Postby OssumPossum » Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:03 pm

Not to be a jerk, but that's a bizarre list of schools you're looking at. Not only geographically diverse, but a huge difference between Northwestern and... well, the rest. Definitely invest some time into looking into not only what schools you want to get into, but what schools you CAN get into. If you can get into Northwestern, I don't know anybody who would go to Richmond or whatever DC School of Law is????

phila
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Re: Law school after 50

Postby phila » Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:16 pm

I would think your age might be a very positive soft in admissions. I think they'll like you for your work experience, because you are likely bringing a lot of your own good contacts (i.e., after work for 30+ years, you'll have the contacts to find yourself good employment), and you'll diversify and bring a totally different perspective to your class.

(I don't think even 30 years work experience is going to overcome a 145 LSAT at a good school, but it might give you an edge over someone with your same LSAT who is coming right out of school.)

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SmittyLaw
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Re: Law school after 50

Postby SmittyLaw » Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:20 pm

Definitely take the time to study for the LSAT - with the PowerScore books you should definitely get out of the 140s. I would recommend reading a couple of informal logic books to learn the basics of argument structure and fallacies. You can do it!

texaslawyer
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Re: Law school after 50

Postby texaslawyer » Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:43 pm

I know that Northwestern wouldn't give me the time of day with a 145. Why should they when they can pick and choose. I was told to apply to four schools, a Tier1, 2 and so on. I believe I can get a 170 or better. I know that Northwestern has a personal interview and I do well in these. One down side is that I wonder if the schools I'm considering wouldn't ask "Why law school now in your 50s ?" I would probaly say that I'm disciplined and commited to my studies, which in undergrad I really wasn't. Wine, women and song in undergrad, however this was in the Swingin 70s, I don't apologize for it, I got the wild oats sowed, I wish I had been more serious about school. I've found when you're my age your GPA doesn't matter as much. The LSAT is absoulutely critical and your work history and what you have done in the community, etc. People ask me if I'm scared or worried ? Oh yeah ! But I believe that 50 is the new 30. I've seen people go to medical school in their 50s. I knew a man who was an airline pilot they have a mandatory retirement at 65 I believe, somehow he was able to stay until he was 67. Upon retirement he went to the University of Miami law school. Graduated at 70 and practice until he died at 86. It can be done.

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JuryDueT1000
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Re: Law school after 50

Postby JuryDueT1000 » Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:50 pm

texaslawyer wrote:I know that Northwestern wouldn't give me the time of day with a 145. Why should they when they can pick and choose. I was told to apply to four schools, a Tier1, 2 and so on. I believe I can get a 170 or better. I know that Northwestern has a personal interview and I do well in these. One down side is that I wonder if the schools I'm considering wouldn't ask "Why law school now in your 50s ?" I would probaly say that I'm disciplined and commited to my studies, which in undergrad I really wasn't. Wine, women and song in undergrad, however this was in the Swingin 70s, I don't apologize for it, I got the wild oats sowed, I wish I had been more serious about school. I've found when you're my age your GPA doesn't matter as much. The LSAT is absoulutely critical and your work history and what you have done in the community, etc. People ask me if I'm scared or worried ? Oh yeah ! But I believe that 50 is the new 30. I've seen people go to medical school in their 50s. I knew a man who was an airline pilot they have a mandatory retirement at 65 I believe, somehow he was able to stay until he was 67. Upon retirement he went to the University of Miami law school. Graduated at 70 and practice until he died at 86. It can be done.


Have you taken a timed practice LSAT yet? Before you start stating you believe you can get a 170 or better...

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JuryDueT1000
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Re: Law school after 50

Postby JuryDueT1000 » Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:53 pm

texaslawyer wrote:I know that Northwestern wouldn't give me the time of day with a 145. Why should they when they can pick and choose. I was told to apply to four schools, a Tier1, 2 and so on. I believe I can get a 170 or better. I know that Northwestern has a personal interview and I do well in these. One down side is that I wonder if the schools I'm considering wouldn't ask "Why law school now in your 50s ?" I would probaly say that I'm disciplined and commited to my studies, which in undergrad I really wasn't. Wine, women and song in undergrad, however this was in the Swingin 70s, I don't apologize for it, I got the wild oats sowed, I wish I had been more serious about school. I've found when you're my age your GPA doesn't matter as much. The LSAT is absoulutely critical and your work history and what you have done in the community, etc. People ask me if I'm scared or worried ? Oh yeah ! But I believe that 50 is the new 30. I've seen people go to medical school in their 50s. I knew a man who was an airline pilot they have a mandatory retirement at 65 I believe, somehow he was able to stay until he was 67. Upon retirement he went to the University of Miami law school. Graduated at 70 and practice until he died at 86. It can be done.


GPA may not matter to you, but it will matter to the university that has to average your GPA into their entering class... If you think for second your GPA doesn't matter you're going about this all wrong. As for the apply to four schools, tier 1, tier 2, etc... I'll let everyone else on this board tell you how completely ass backwards that is.

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anmo
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Re: Law school after 50

Postby anmo » Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:59 pm

I actually know the guy who created the ACE lsat program and everyone I have talked to who has taken his course (DVD or live) seems to have benefited, and yes in the past 2 or 3 years he's had about 5 180 students. That being said, I think you should do whatever is most convenient/affordable for you. Good luck!


P.s. You're only as old as you feel. My mom went back in her late 40's and has never regretted it.

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Brent
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Re: Law school after 50

Postby Brent » Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:00 pm

I think that the first thing to do would be to take an LSAT and see how well you are doing right now. If you want a relatively accurate assessment, download the June '07 test that is free on the LSAC website, and take that one. There are some people who have said this is a waste of a recent test, but that attitude is laughable, and ignores the main purpose of taking a test before you begin your study. If you want an accurate assessment of where you are at, you have to take something at least relatively recent. Besides, if you are serious about your study, there are still lots of tests to take, including recent ones.
Based on that test score, you will have a better idea of how much work it is going to take to get you into the different schools that you are looking at. I would plan on giving yourself 6 months or more to study (depending of course on your score).
With regard to your age. Your comments are right on track. Your age is going to help you in the application process because you bring experiences, and viewpoints that people fresh out of undergraduate programs cannot.
Basically, dive in and see how it goes.
Feel free to email me if you have specific questions, or post them on here as well.

Bankhead
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Re: Law school after 50

Postby Bankhead » Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:36 pm

No reason to choose schools until you have some idea of how you are going to do on the LSAT. If you are practicing in the 170's (which would be quite an achievement for someone 30 years out of undergrad, but definitely attainable) then no reason to look at Tier 4's. If in the 140's or 150's, you might want to look exclusively at Tier 3/Tier 4's. Whoever told you to pick one school from each Tier... ehh not the best idea.

Also, your GPA will still be an important factor, because most schools will not even consider your extracurricular/job history unless you are a borderline candidate. Schools subscribe to a strict GPA/LSAT review because that's how the rank formula is determined, mostly. You will most likely be reduced to a column on a spreadsheet (a spreadsheet is this new fangled... Just kidding! :-))

MrGradgrind
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Re: Law school after 50

Postby MrGradgrind » Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:48 pm

This has to be a flame. Unless someone is immortal, then its common knowledge that law school for people that close to the age of retirement is a waste of time and money. Law school is too expensive for the investment of time and money to be worth it at that age. Chances are the TC, even if he/she graduated wouldn't get much of a return on their investment, especially since there are too many lawyers right now AND employers are known to favor younger workers for hiring unless an older candidate is a last resort or if they have special qualifications (which the TC lacks for legal work due to not even having a JD as of now).

I'm ashamed of myself for not catching it the first time, but why post this thread in the LSAT Prep Forum when a thread like this clearly belongs in the Law School Admissions Forum?
Last edited by MrGradgrind on Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jack123
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Re: Law school after 50

Postby jack123 » Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:13 pm

texaslawyer wrote:I believe that 50 is the new 30. .


And 21 is the new 1

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uvalaw4l
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Re: Law school after 50

Postby uvalaw4l » Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:18 pm

MrGradgrind wrote:This has to be a flame. Unless someone is immortal, then its common knowledge that law school for people that close to the age of retirement is a waste of time and money. Law school is too expensive for the investment of time and money to be worth it at that age. Chances are the TC, even if he/she graduated wouldn't get much of a return on their investment, especially since there are too many lawyers right now AND employers are known to favor younger workers for hiring unless an older candidate is a last resort or if they have special qualifications (which the TC lacks for legal work due to not even having a JD as of now).


He's not close to the age of retirement. He could go to law school and get a good 10-15 years in practice easily before he hits retirement age. There were definitely some baby-boomers in my class. He wants to do criminal defense or elder law litigation - for both of these he could go solo if he goes to the right school (regional school that focuses on black-letter law and practical litigation skills).

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uvalaw4l
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Re: Law school after 50

Postby uvalaw4l » Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:21 pm

I'm ashamed of myself for not catching it the first time, but why post this thread in the LSAT Prep Forum when a thread like this clearly belongs in the Law School Admissions Forum?


Because of this:

"I know that I need to take a prep course and sadly, Kaplan is the only game in town (Jacksonville, Fl). I've seen one on line called AceLSAT. They claim they have many students who hit 180. I have been told that I need 145 to get in, which I hear isn't difficult to get and if I hit in the 160s I can get grants and schlorships. If any of you care to offer any advice or suggestions, I care to listen."

Although he's asking about law school admissions in general, he's also seemingly inquiring about LSAT prep companies.

texaslawyer
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Re: Law school after 50

Postby texaslawyer » Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:30 pm

I'm going to shoot for 170, however I'll be happy with anything over 160. Florida Coastal is a Tier 4 school, but let's face it at my age the BIG LAW firms don't want for a variety of reasons. Frankly, I don't want to work 80-100 hours/wk when my name isn't on the door. Also, I'm not "moldable" to their designs and lastly the big boys eat their young when it comes to junior associates. From what I've seen if you aren't on the partner track after three years, you're shown the door.

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aguyingeorgia
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Re: Law school after 50

Postby aguyingeorgia » Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:31 pm

texaslawyer wrote:I have decided that I want to take the plunge and go to law school in my mid 50s. It's been over 30 years since I finished college. I went to grad school briefly, but dropped out because of a military commitment. I was accepted to the University of Miami over 30 years ago and just kept putting it off. Back then the LSAT had a top score of 800 and it took 600 or better to get in. I know that I need to take a prep course and sadly, Kaplan is the only game in town (Jacksonville, Fl). I've seen one on line called AceLSAT. They claim they have many students who hit 180. I have been told that I need 145 to get in, which I hear isn't difficult to get and if I hit in the 160s I can get grants and schlorships. If any of you care to offer any advice or suggestions, I care to listen. My school choices are Florida Coastal, Northwestern, DC School of Law, Univ. of Richmond and possibly Howard. I want to be a litigator, either criminal defense or elder law.


Best wishes. I admire you for heading back to school.

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JuryDueT1000
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Re: Law school after 50

Postby JuryDueT1000 » Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:32 pm

Now I'm calling flame.

texaslawyer
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Re: Law school after 50

Postby texaslawyer » Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:45 pm

Call it what you wish, I know where I want to go and I have an idea of how to get there.

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JuryDueT1000
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Re: Law school after 50

Postby JuryDueT1000 » Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:48 pm

texaslawyer wrote:Call it what you wish, I know where I want to go and I have an idea of how to get there.


You go boy.

MrGradgrind
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Re: Law school after 50

Postby MrGradgrind » Thu Nov 20, 2008 7:16 pm

nitsudrx wrote:No reason to choose schools until you have some idea of how you are going to do on the LSAT. If you are practicing in the 170's (which would be quite an achievement for someone 30 years out of undergrad, but definitely attainable) then no reason to look at Tier 4's. If in the 140's or 150's, you might want to look exclusively at Tier 3/Tier 4's.


A law degree from any Tier 3 or 4 school is useful as little more than toilet paper. Very few people, if any take a JD from a Tier 3 or 4 school seriously, which is why many people avoid those schools like the plague and the T14/Tier 1 or Bust mentality is so commonplace.

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uvalaw4l
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Re: Law school after 50

Postby uvalaw4l » Thu Nov 20, 2008 7:42 pm

MrGradgrind wrote:
nitsudrx wrote:No reason to choose schools until you have some idea of how you are going to do on the LSAT. If you are practicing in the 170's (which would be quite an achievement for someone 30 years out of undergrad, but definitely attainable) then no reason to look at Tier 4's. If in the 140's or 150's, you might want to look exclusively at Tier 3/Tier 4's.


A law degree from any Tier 3 or 4 school is useful as little more than toilet paper. Very few people, if any take a JD from a Tier 3 or 4 school seriously, which is why many people avoid those schools like the plague and the T14/Tier 1 or Bust mentality is so commonplace.


They can do fine as solo practitioners. Those schools are avoided because people want good job prospects. But if you're aiming at working for yourself, it doesn't matter.




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