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

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

Postby PDaddy » Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:07 am

Not a good age to go to law school. I know of a girl who went at 19 and did quite well, but she was exceptional. You might also be exceptional, but law school isn't going anywhere. My advice is that you travel, get to know the world, work a bit, and, most of all, get to know yourself. Get some life experience, and consider doing an internship at a firm or courthouse to see if you really like the field. If I was an adcom, I would be extremely reluctant to admit a teenager, no matter how exceptional they appeared to be.

BTW, if you're smart enough to achieve the things you have, you already know that you have the "talent" to go to law school. The issue is whether or not you have the "maturity" and emotional toughness to succeed in law school and beyond if you go at such an early age. Law school is about toughness, and most 18 y/o (even the brightest and most talented)won't have the stones to compete with grown men and women, let alone the life experience.

If you apply, the schools might insist on your visiting so they can get a look at how you carry yourself. Northwestern, Texas, Vandy and other schools that provide optional interviews may insist on interviewing you, and Chcago and Cornell are most definitely going to make you do one.
Last edited by PDaddy on Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:12 am, edited 2 times 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 4:09 am

acrossthelake wrote: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.


I second this advice. You will get gems, while also seeing many sure-things fall away. I applied to 17 schools, and it definitely paid off. I was awash in waitlists that should have been acceptances, but also received acceptances/$$ that seemed far-fetched when I applied. Acrossthelake's advice is dead on, at least according to my experience.

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

Postby Quine » Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:16 am

I had almost the same experience as Paratiel. Vanderbilt was particularly (and surprisingly) generous, and I also had a great interview with them, where my age was positively received. I will not be as young, however (22 by OCI). Nevertheless, I think it hurt my application package (I went through college quickly, though with a BS and BA). Many an adcomm has a preconception or two about what going through that time quickly means for (mostly) your social development. Though many will advise you to wait, I'd only wait if you think you can boost your score dramatically (which, in some cases, can be as few as 2 or more points). The time you take off may help edge you into a school that would otherwise have been prejudiced about your age. On the other hand, by the time you apply for law school after taking time off, you could already be done. Something that seems to elude members of this board is that time is our most precious resource, and some people, like you, don't want to squander it working at Walmart for 3 years because it might erase the bias adcomms might have against you for your age. While I can attest to the changes of character one may undergo in an undergraduate setting, I'm not going to presume a) you would have the same experience or b) you haven't already achieved the same end. You will very likely be discriminated against for your age, but I hope that you don't let that deter you. If you know (as much as anyone can know) that law is what you want to do, don't waste any time doing something you don't want to do on the hunch of a bunch of strangers that it may be better for you.

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 4:25 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?


Pictures or it isn't true.

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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 4:33 am

Quine wrote: Something that seems to elude members of this board is that time is our most precious resource, and some people, like you, don't want to squander it working at Walmart for 3 years because it might erase the bias adcomms might have against you for your age.

:roll:
Nobody is telling OP to work at walmart. OP needs to get a professional job or internship.

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

Postby Quine » Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:36 am

eandy wrote:
Quine wrote: Something that seems to elude members of this board is that time is our most precious resource, and some people, like you, don't want to squander it working at Walmart for 3 years because it might erase the bias adcomms might have against you for your age.

:roll:
Nobody is telling OP to work at walmart. OP needs to get a professional job or internship.


You're right, my bad. I must've forgotten the recent surge in demand for 19 yo BAs in the "professional job" sector.

:roll:

Is the market no longer in the shitter? Unemployment is 14% where I live.
Last edited by Quine on Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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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 4:37 am

Quine wrote:
eandy wrote:
Quine wrote: Something that seems to elude members of this board is that time is our most precious resource, and some people, like you, don't want to squander it working at Walmart for 3 years because it might erase the bias adcomms might have against you for your age.

:roll:
Nobody is telling OP to work at walmart. OP needs to get a professional job or internship.


You're right, my bad. I must've forgotten the recent surge in demand for 19 yo BAs in the "professional job" sector.

:roll:

OP could get a job as a paralegal. According to the circle jerk on this thread, law firms don't care about age.

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

Postby UnitarySpace » Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:39 am

retake if <170 and then work for a year or two. you'd be a super badass candidate then.

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

Postby Quine » Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:39 am

eandy wrote:
Quine wrote:
eandy wrote:
Quine wrote: Something that seems to elude members of this board is that time is our most precious resource, and some people, like you, don't want to squander it working at Walmart for 3 years because it might erase the bias adcomms might have against you for your age.

:roll:
Nobody is telling OP to work at walmart. OP needs to get a professional job or internship.


You're right, my bad. I must've forgotten the recent surge in demand for 19 yo BAs in the "professional job" sector.

:roll:

OP could get a job as a paralegal. According to the circle jerk on this thread, law firms don't care about age.


It's not about age, it's about the DOW being under 10K.

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

Postby byunbee » Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:41 am

Quine wrote:It's not about age, it's about the DOW being under 10K.


You realize that affects law hiring, as well, right?

edit: I guess I'm not really trying to make a point, just saying that we might all be screwed.

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

Postby Quine » Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:44 am

byunbee wrote:
Quine wrote:It's not about age, it's about the DOW being under 10K.


You realize that affects law hiring, as well, right?


I believe that's why I suggested that this guy wouldn't have luck getting work as a paralegal...

If you're insinuating that the bad market will impact his job prospects (which I am sure it will, just like it will for everyone else) coming out of law school, that's an age-independent consideration, and has nothing to do with the current thread of this conversation.

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

Postby byunbee » Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:47 am

Quine wrote:
byunbee wrote:
Quine wrote:It's not about age, it's about the DOW being under 10K.


You realize that affects law hiring, as well, right?


I believe that's why I suggested that this guy wouldn't have luck getting work as a paralegal...

If you're insinuating that the bad market will impact his job prospects (which I am sure it will, just like it will for everyone else) coming out of law school, that's an age-independent consideration, and has nothing to do with the current thread of this conversation.


see: edit

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

Postby byunbee » Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:50 am

Quine wrote:If you're insinuating that the bad market will impact his job prospects (which I am sure it will, just like it will for everyone else) coming out of law school, that's an age-independent consideration, and has nothing to do with the current thread of this conversation.


I believe that some people have argued that job prospects in the legal sector may not be age independent. It has also been suggested that this is precisely one reason why a younger prospect should consider waiting a few years.

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

Postby Quine » Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:59 am

byunbee wrote:
Quine wrote:If you're insinuating that the bad market will impact his job prospects (which I am sure it will, just like it will for everyone else) coming out of law school, that's an age-independent consideration, and has nothing to do with the current thread of this conversation.


I believe that some people have argued that job prospects in the legal sector may not be age independent. It has also been suggested that this is precisely one reason why a younger prospect should consider waiting a few years.


Job prospects as they are affected by a shrinking market. Whether or not he will be hurt by his age is a less out-out-of-his-hands, so to speak. I have heard anecdotal evidence both ways (in this thread alone) and I would agree that it makes sense for hiring to skew older, but this doesn't speak to the point I was making [about the market being shitty], and I think it may end up being irrelevant to the OP's considerations (given the schools he mentioned).

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

Postby creatinganalt » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:18 am

Quine wrote:I had almost the same experience as Paratiel. Vanderbilt was particularly (and surprisingly) generous, and I also had a great interview with them, where my age was positively received. I will not be as young, however (22 by OCI). Nevertheless, I think it hurt my application package (I went through college quickly, though with a BS and BA). Many an adcomm has a preconception or two about what going through that time quickly means for (mostly) your social development. Though many will advise you to wait, I'd only wait if you think you can boost your score dramatically (which, in some cases, can be as few as 2 or more points). The time you take off may help edge you into a school that would otherwise have been prejudiced about your age. On the other hand, by the time you apply for law school after taking time off, you could already be done. Something that seems to elude members of this board is that time is our most precious resource, and some people, like you, don't want to squander it working at Walmart for 3 years because it might erase the bias adcomms might have against you for your age. While I can attest to the changes of character one may undergo in an undergraduate setting, I'm not going to presume a) you would have the same experience or b) you haven't already achieved the same end. You will very likely be discriminated against for your age, but I hope that you don't let that deter you. If you know (as much as anyone can know) that law is what you want to do, don't waste any time doing something you don't want to do on the hunch of a bunch of strangers that it may be better for you.


Not wanting to disagree with your larger point (that young age =/= immaturity) but I don't think that time is your most precious resource. Freedom is (cue national anthem - just kidding). Look, your career will probably last at least 40 years. Once law school is over debt and responsibilities will constrain your actions for the next 40 years+. Even if you are going to school debt free, career considerations become incredibly important. These are real constraints and real considerations. Making a choice to go straight to school is to accept these constraints but please don't fool yourself that you've somehow figured something out that no one else on this board has. Most people could have gone straight to law school and chose not to. I was on the fence and thank God every day that I took time off. That 'year' stretched to 3 years and I don't regret a minute of it. If you really believe that in 40 years I'm going to regret only being a lawyer for 40 years, instead of 43 then you really still have a lot of learn.

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

Postby super6 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:14 am

I've read every reply and I really appreciate the advice everyone is offering.
I understand that maturity will have a lot to do with my acceptance and I'm glad to hear that those in a similar situation as me were given an interview and many schools. I can also understand the qualms an admission councilor would have because my high school also had and IB program and I know how those kids are socially, they have good reason to question the ability of a young person to perform in the setting of law school.
Unless no school ranked at or above FSU accepts me then I'll wait a few year but, barring that, time is of the essence, as one poster alluded to. If I go through law school and have trouble getting a job that's ok, if I didn't go to law school I definitely couldn't have gotten a lawyer job.
Additionally, I think I'll be adding Vanderbilt to the list of schools I'm applying too if they will view my age favorably.
Paratiel, if you don't mind, what was your GPA, LSAT, and what schools were you accepted to?

Fyre182
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Re: Will being 18 help or hurt my chances at a good school?

Postby Fyre182 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:18 am

I know kiwi camara personally, he is doing fine

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

Postby hellokitty » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:19 am

.
Last edited by hellokitty on Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby hellokitty » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:19 am

I think you should take a few years and go see the world.

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

Postby sdv » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:27 am

eandy wrote: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.


do people really put their high school graduation date on professional resumes? really?

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

Postby Mr. Pablo » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:43 am

OP,
I bet that your are a bright, motivated person. I bet that you will have great success in your life. But your really ought to wait a couple of years. I hate to be the marginally older douche (I'm 30), but you will change significantly over the next few years. What you want, how you think you are going to get it, what you are willing to do, all sorts of things. The reason there are so many miserable lawyers is that people get into it far too young, before they have a chance to gain an understanding of what it means to be a working adult, before they develop a sense of how they really want to spend their time.
I do not doubt your maturity relative to your peers, but you will still change from who you are today. There is no reason to rush into this. Go out and do something productive in the real world. You have a chance to gain some real insight into adult life at any early age, you should take advantage of that. It will serve you incalculably.

/just my .02

Edit: I know you feel ready. We all feel ready to tackle the world at 19 and 20, but we aren't.
Last edited by Mr. Pablo on Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby blurbz » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:47 am

Here is the prospective of the dean of admissions at Illinois:

From Illinois Article wrote:Sometimes, being cut of a different cloth can work against you. If you are under 21, Pless “really needs something in the file to show maturity” or responsibility, like a leadership activity, excellent and thoughtful writing, or a clear reason for your decision to apply to law school.



http://www.top-law-schools.com/illinois ... f-law.html

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

Postby kams » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:54 am

Not saying this will happen to you, but I have a really close friend who graduated from college at UCLA early. She came to BU, and she was top 10% in her class and LR. And she got absolutely nothing. The economy is pretty bad but those stats should have been sufficient to land her something. She said her age and lack of work experience were big factors in her not getting callbacks. If you do decide to go to LS early, make sure you have a lot of work experience. But that might be tough b/c how much work experience can you really have at like 19.

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

Postby Quine » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:32 am

creatinganalt wrote:
Quine wrote:I had almost the same experience as Paratiel. Vanderbilt was particularly (and surprisingly) generous, and I also had a great interview with them, where my age was positively received. I will not be as young, however (22 by OCI). Nevertheless, I think it hurt my application package (I went through college quickly, though with a BS and BA). Many an adcomm has a preconception or two about what going through that time quickly means for (mostly) your social development. Though many will advise you to wait, I'd only wait if you think you can boost your score dramatically (which, in some cases, can be as few as 2 or more points). The time you take off may help edge you into a school that would otherwise have been prejudiced about your age. On the other hand, by the time you apply for law school after taking time off, you could already be done. Something that seems to elude members of this board is that time is our most precious resource, and some people, like you, don't want to squander it working at Walmart for 3 years because it might erase the bias adcomms might have against you for your age. While I can attest to the changes of character one may undergo in an undergraduate setting, I'm not going to presume a) you would have the same experience or b) you haven't already achieved the same end. You will very likely be discriminated against for your age, but I hope that you don't let that deter you. If you know (as much as anyone can know) that law is what you want to do, don't waste any time doing something you don't want to do on the hunch of a bunch of strangers that it may be better for you.


Not wanting to disagree with your larger point (that young age =/= immaturity) but I don't think that time is your most precious resource. Freedom is (cue national anthem - just kidding). Look, your career will probably last at least 40 years. Once law school is over debt and responsibilities will constrain your actions for the next 40 years+. Even if you are going to school debt free, career considerations become incredibly important. These are real constraints and real considerations. Making a choice to go straight to school is to accept these constraints but please don't fool yourself that you've somehow figured something out that no one else on this board has. Most people could have gone straight to law school and chose not to. I was on the fence and thank God every day that I took time off. That 'year' stretched to 3 years and I don't regret a minute of it. If you really believe that in 40 years I'm going to regret only being a lawyer for 40 years, instead of 43 then you really still have a lot of learn.


I don't understand the condescension - unless you're seeking validation? Your post is full of presumption (i.e. bolded), and then you tell me I have a lot to learn? Here's something you should learn: freedom is not a resource. I understand it's value, and I agree that it's paramount - but freedom is not a resource, it's a presumed manifestation of agency (or, simply, agency itself). You might not think 3 years is a big deal in retrospect (after you're 60), but it's during a very pivotal time in one's life. If you found something meaningful to do, or learned a lot about yourself/life, that's great - seriously. I don't think no one else has considered it - I think the people on this board (for the most part) advise that people like the OP do whatever it takes for even the smallest advantage in the admissions process. I am providing a counter-argument because I don't think it's always worth it. Moreover, though you refer to "most people" choosing to take time off, almost every school I applied to had a median (and more often, average) age of 22-23. So, either "most people" are finished with their degree at least a year early, work for a year or two, and then go to law school or, more likely, "most people" go straight to law school after undergrad, and simply aren't discounted because they are the same age as everyone else. The fact of the matter is that this has everything to do with age and presumptions about what it means, and very little to do with work experience. Very few people are in the OP's situation to begin with, and I'm willing to bet that many people on this board who frequently advise cases like the OP's to take time off to work have not done so themselves.

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

Postby creatinganalt » Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:34 pm

Something that seems to elude members of this board is that time is our most precious resource, and some people, like you, don't want to squander it working at Walmart for 3 years


If you want to take the high road then you might want to avoid straw men and condescension yourself.

Quine wrote:I don't understand the condescension - unless you're seeking validation? Your post is full of presumption (i.e. bolded), and then you tell me I have a lot to learn? Here's something you should learn: freedom is not a resource. I understand it's value, and I agree that it's paramount - but freedom is not a resource, it's a presumed manifestation of agency (or, simply, agency itself).


:roll:




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