Will being 18 help or hurt my chances at a good school?

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super6
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Will being 18 help or hurt my chances at a good school?

Postby super6 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:35 am

Because I did dual-enrollment throughout high school at the local community college for a year and then at the local University (University of Central Florida) I will have my BA degree Spring 2011 so I'm applying for law schools now. I'm only 18 and I'll only be 19 when I start law school, will schools look at this as a positive or negative factor? My GPA is 3.76 right now and I took the June 7 LSAT, I don't have my score yet but I'm expecting it to be in the 160's based on my PT's. I also just found out I'm a National Merit Commended Scholar, but I don't know if that counts for anything at the graduate level.
What schools should I be looking at with these stats? Did anyone else here do dual-enrollment?

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acrossthelake
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Re: Will being 18 help or hurt my chances at a good school?

Postby acrossthelake » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:38 am

From what I know from my friend who also did admissions young(at 17), it will probably hurt you.

super6
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Re: Will being 18 help or hurt my chances at a good school?

Postby super6 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:39 am

acrossthelake wrote:From what I know from my friend who also did admissions young(at 17), it will probably hurt you.

Do you know his GPA and LSAT, and what what school he was at for undergrad? Where did he end up going?

xyzzzzzzzz
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Re: Will being 18 help or hurt my chances at a good school?

Postby xyzzzzzzzz » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:42 am

In before everyone says don't go to LS.

But really, I don't think your age will work out in your favor.

Fark-o-vision
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Re: Will being 18 help or hurt my chances at a good school?

Postby Fark-o-vision » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:48 am

who doesn't want some post-jailbait on campus?

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acrossthelake
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Re: Will being 18 help or hurt my chances at a good school?

Postby acrossthelake » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:50 am

super6 wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:From what I know from my friend who also did admissions young(at 17), it will probably hurt you.

Do you know his GPA and LSAT, and what what school he was at for undergrad? Where did he end up going?


I don't want to say too much because it would out him/her. GPA was over 3.9, LSAT over 170, went to a top 50 ranked(by USNews) public, ended up going to a T10. Feels it hurt him/her at OCI this year. Also was told by Stanford that they don't like it.
Last edited by acrossthelake on Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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tintin
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Re: Will being 18 help or hurt my chances at a good school?

Postby tintin » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:52 am

+1 for hurting you

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eandy
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Re: Will being 18 help or hurt my chances at a good school?

Postby eandy » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:54 am

I think the OCI point is really important. Who wants to hire a 20 year old SA?

I think this dual enrollment thing makes for a different situation than some other young applicants(UG in 2 or 3 years+late birthday people). You need life and most importantly work experience in a real job. Graduate with your BA and get a job/nice internship. Do that for a year or two, then do law school. Go ahead and take your LSAT now if you want, but I don't think going into OCI as a 19 or 20 year old would be doing yourself any favors.

super6
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Re: Will being 18 help or hurt my chances at a good school?

Postby super6 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:59 am

I don't think I look particularly young, I doubt that anyone at OCI would notice unless they asked or saw it. Although I don't really have a lot of 9-5 work experience I formed a general partnership with a friend of mine and ran that for a year, I'm not completely devoid of non-educational experience.
That being said, if this does count against me I assume that waiting another 3 years to apply probably wouldn't look that great either. Even if law schools count it against me I should still be able to get into UF or FSU, right?

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Mickey Quicknumbers
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Re: Will being 18 help or hurt my chances at a good school?

Postby Mickey Quicknumbers » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:02 am

you're going to need an lsat score to figure out if you can get into uf/fsu

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Paratiel
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Re: Will being 18 help or hurt my chances at a good school?

Postby Paratiel » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:14 am

I was in a position almost identical to yours. I also took two years of college coursework while in high school and finished my BA a few months ago at 19. I applied during this cycle and will be at UVA in the fall. I applied to everything at or above USC, except for Northwestern and Yale, so my experiences might only extend to these schools.

First, my age mattered a great deal, both positively and negatively. Beginning with the bad, when I flew to Duke for an interview, the Dean spent much of the discussion agonizing over my age. He seemed concerned with my "social well-being" and interest in student orgs, almost glowering if I spent too much time discussing my academic interests. If you are going to apply at a young age, you have to be ready for the possibility that whoever is reading your application might have the stereotypical image of Steve Urkel (sp?) running through their thoughts. I obviously cannot generalize from one interview, but I believe that the Dean's behavior illuminated the lens of some admissions officers. Now, from a positive perspective, my Vanderbilt interview had an entirely different tone. The interviewer was impressed with my age and found me more interesting because of it. I truly believe that my age, when paired with clear maturity, secured me the $60,000 scholarship.

Second, if you are going to apply now, you should have a full resume. The first question running through the admissions officials' minds will be, "Is this person mature?" Your personal statement, letters of rec and activities must all convey someone who is socially adept, intellectually confident and self-driven. Since you want to combat the assumption that your parents are puppet masters, I would caution against writing a PS about family (unless it demonstrates individual strength) or traditional academics.

Third, the age may also be a blessing. Some schools really appreciate those who achieve a great deal at a young age and view accomplishments in a new light as a result. For example, UCLA is known for loving young people. I was accepted at the school two days after submitting my application, even when my numbers could not even guarantee acceptance. In the case of UVA, the admissions offical who read my file liked my age and found my experiences worthy of acceptance.

Bottom line, I highly recommend applying at a young age, even though it is a a bit of a risk. If you play your cards right, you should be able to snag a few reaches. However, be willing to face the fact that your proudest accomplishment--finishing college years before your peers--might be viewed as your greatest detriment by others. I think the benefits of graduating law school early far outweigh the unpleasant nature of the application process. Apply freely and best of luck with your cycle. PM me if you have any questions.

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eandy
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Re: Will being 18 help or hurt my chances at a good school?

Postby eandy » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:16 am

super6 wrote:I don't think I look particularly young, I doubt that anyone at OCI would notice unless they asked or saw it. Although I don't really have a lot of 9-5 work experience I formed a general partnership with a friend of mine and ran that for a year, I'm not completely devoid of non-educational experience.
That being said, if this does count against me I assume that waiting another 3 years to apply probably wouldn't look that great either. Even if law schools count it against me I should still be able to get into UF or FSU, right?

Ok.
1. At OCI, they will know. Looking at your resume will make it obvious, don't you think? Looking at your high school graduation date and your college graduation date will give it away.
2. Waiting 3 years can actually improve your application by a lot. Believe it or not, they prefer that you don't come straight out of school.
3. It's not law schools that you should be concerned about in your case, it is law firms.

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Paratiel
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Re: Will being 18 help or hurt my chances at a good school?

Postby Paratiel » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:25 am

eandy wrote:
super6 wrote:I don't think I look particularly young, I doubt that anyone at OCI would notice unless they asked or saw it. Although I don't really have a lot of 9-5 work experience I formed a general partnership with a friend of mine and ran that for a year, I'm not completely devoid of non-educational experience.
That being said, if this does count against me I assume that waiting another 3 years to apply probably wouldn't look that great either. Even if law schools count it against me I should still be able to get into UF or FSU, right?

Ok.
1. At OCI, they will know. Looking at your resume will make it obvious, don't you think? Looking at your high school graduation date and your college graduation date will give it away.
2. Waiting 3 years can actually improve your application by a lot. Believe it or not, they prefer that you don't come straight out of school.
3. It's not law schools that you should be concerned about in your case, it is law firms.


Are you certain that firms would look down upon a mature 20yr old applicant? None of the lawyers I have met with mentioned that this would be an issue, and I always made certain to ask. They emphasized that as long as you have the grades, extracurriculars and interview skills, your age will be irrelevant. Granted, I am sure there are some interviewers who would not appreciate it, but I find it highly unlikely that such a stance would be the norm.

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Re: Will being 18 help or hurt my chances at a good school?

Postby byunbee » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:28 am

Paratiel wrote:Are you certain that firms would look down upon a mature 20yr old applicant? None of the lawyers I have met with mentioned that this would be an issue, and I always made certain to ask. They emphasized that as long as you have the grades, extracurriculars and interview skills, your age will be irrelevant. Granted, I am sure there are some interviewers who would not appreciate it, but I find it highly unlikely that such a stance would be the norm.


A bit naive to take firms and lawyers at their word, no?

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Paratiel
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Re: Will being 18 help or hurt my chances at a good school?

Postby Paratiel » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:33 am

byunbee wrote:
Paratiel wrote:Are you certain that firms would look down upon a mature 20yr old applicant? None of the lawyers I have met with mentioned that this would be an issue, and I always made certain to ask. They emphasized that as long as you have the grades, extracurriculars and interview skills, your age will be irrelevant. Granted, I am sure there are some interviewers who would not appreciate it, but I find it highly unlikely that such a stance would be the norm.


A bit naive to take firms and lawyers at their word, no?


No more naive than using a generalization. Considering that my contacts had no incentive to lie to me, I do not see why they would have lead me to believe something detrimental.

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Re: Will being 18 help or hurt my chances at a good school?

Postby byunbee » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:38 am

Paratiel wrote:No more naive than using a generalization. Considering that my contacts had no incentive to lie to me, I do not see why they would have lead me to believe something detrimental.


Sorry if i came across as a douche, what i meant was that there's some anecdotal evidence and just plain conventional wisdom that points to the advantages of waiting a few years.

Also, the lawyers you talked to might not have any incentive to lie, but it doesn't mean they know what they're talking about. Do they make the hiring decisions for their particular firms? Do they do their firms' recruiting?

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Re: Will being 18 help or hurt my chances at a good school?

Postby byunbee » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:41 am

anyway Para, you seem like an exceptional case, i think you're more mature than most people are at ages 17-19

xyzzzzzzzz
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Re: Will being 18 help or hurt my chances at a good school?

Postby xyzzzzzzzz » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:46 am

.
Last edited by xyzzzzzzzz on Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Paratiel
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Re: Will being 18 help or hurt my chances at a good school?

Postby Paratiel » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:50 am

byunbee wrote:
Paratiel wrote:No more naive than using a generalization. Considering that my contacts had no incentive to lie to me, I do not see why they would have lead me to believe something detrimental.


Sorry if i came across as a douche, what i meant was that there's some anecdotal evidence and just plain conventional wisdom that points to the advantages of waiting a few years.

Also, the lawyers you talked to might not have any incentive to lie, but it doesn't mean they know what they're talking about. Do they make the hiring decisions for their particular firms? Do they do their firms' recruiting?


I can't deny that there are anecdotes, and I have heard some myself. I also acknowledge that my contacts, except for one, are not directly involved in hiring and could very well be mistaken. Ultimately, it has to come down to the individual. The OP has to carefully evaluate his/her interview skills and resume in order to determine if s/he really is hireable at this point. On average, yes, it seems like some young graduates are just repressed teenagers. However, others are ready for the work world.

OP, I would recommend you start talking to people in the field and other professional contacts in order to better gauge your position. Ask about the role of age, and, if you feel comfortable enough, seek some personal feedback as well. After this, you can decide about whether or not to take some time off.

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Paratiel
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Re: Will being 18 help or hurt my chances at a good school?

Postby Paratiel » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:51 am

byunbee wrote:anyway Para, you seem like an exceptional case, i think you're more mature than most people are at ages 17-19


Thank you, byunbee.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Will being 18 help or hurt my chances at a good school?

Postby acrossthelake » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:58 am

In my group of childhood friends, a lot of us graduated early from hs or skipped it entirely (we all met at a magnet program), and we've had varying experiences. All of us report that some people will prejudge you as immature before even talking to you---a lot of these prejudgers are often premed(wtf is up with those bitchy premeds?)--and there's always the unlucky chance that it's an admissions dean or recruiter. A fair number of people are also impressed--my admissions letter to my university mentioned it outright--and a fair number will ding you for it. I know for undergrad some schools are more friendly to younger applications(like MIT) than others. It just might make your cycle and your OCI unpredictable in that you might get things you wouldn't get by numbers alone, but also rejected by things that were sure bets numbers alone. If you do decided to apply this cycle, compensate by applying to a lot of schools.

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Paratiel
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Re: Will being 18 help or hurt my chances at a good school?

Postby Paratiel » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:59 am

xyzzzzzzzz wrote:
curious to know what you think the benefits are.


For one, starting to practice at the age of 22 or so provides a great buffer for if/when the OP plans on having a family. After working for several years, s/he will be more established and in a much better position to support a spouse, children, etc. Instead of scraping by as a starting associate while pushing thirty, s/he will have already found a niche and comfortably settled into a long-term career. This is especially relevant for females, since extended maternity leave is easier to win when you already have secured your importance for an employer.

Second, it is much easier to tolerate an associate's life when you are younger and have less obligations. People in their early twenties are less weighed down by family, finances, etc. and usually have more energy, thus making it easier to feed the company's bottom-line.

Third, firms could view graduating at an early age as a sure sign of drive, focus and maturity. Obviously, the interview and resume will have to demonstrate this, but it provides a potentially positive means of separating oneself from the otherwise innocuous pack of other applicants.

Anyway, these are just a few considerations that I ran through when facing the same decision as the OP.

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Re: Will being 18 help or hurt my chances at a good school?

Postby byunbee » Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:00 am

Paratiel wrote:
byunbee wrote:anyway Para, you seem like an exceptional case, i think you're more mature than most people are at ages 17-19


Thank you, byunbee.


You're welcome, but I just have to point this out because I've been waiting for this moment:

:lol: You just said, "Thank you, constipation (byunbee in Korean)."

Yes, I'm 23 years old. I think I just proved your argument for you.

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Paratiel
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Re: Will being 18 help or hurt my chances at a good school?

Postby Paratiel » Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:01 am

byunbee wrote:
Paratiel wrote:
byunbee wrote:anyway Para, you seem like an exceptional case, i think you're more mature than most people are at ages 17-19


Thank you, byunbee.


You're welcome, but I just have to point this out because I've been waiting for this moment:

:lol: You just said, "Thank you, constipation (byunbee in Korean)."

Yes, I'm 23 years old. I think I just proved your argument for you.


I did not see that one coming! :lol:

byunbee
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Re: Will being 18 help or hurt my chances at a good school?

Postby byunbee » Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:06 am

Seriously though, you've obviously thought about this decision a great deal more than a lot of people who decide to go to law school. Best of luck!




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