Marine Corps + 1 Yr Law Clerk + 2 Years Corp Sec + 3.8 GPA

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HardenUp
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Marine Corps + 1 Yr Law Clerk + 2 Years Corp Sec + 3.8 GPA

Postby HardenUp » Sat Oct 05, 2013 7:22 pm

Hi All,

First off, thanks for your time.

I'm at a crossroad here:

(1) I'm seriously wondering if trying out for law school was a mistake because of my PTs. But it's want I want more than anything.

*I've got an Honorable Discharge from the Marines, did two pumps to Iraq.
*Got out and did one semester at a community college, left with a 4.0GPA for a job in the corporate sector doing executive protection.
*Did the EP job for 2 years, and returned to a private college and am graduating with Honors with a finance and economics degree and the GPA is a 3.80.
*I also worked at a local law firm being a clerk during college for a year.

(2) I'm scoring horribly (148) on my PTs and have been studying sense July. My largest problem is time. I finish about three quarters of my material on the PTs. I'm thinking that I'm just not as smart or didn't gain the skills I needed when younger for reading properly. I'm also having trouble with RC passages, usually getting 3 wrong per passage. You win and lose some.

I've told myself that if I don't get into a T14 school, I'll drop my pursuit. I'm applying to all except the top three. I also thought UCLA, and Vanderbilt could get my app too.

But in all reality, how the hell am I supposed to get an LSAT score by the December LSAT? I need around a 163 by my research to become competitive at those schools, Berkeley being my first choice above all else.

Reality is a killer at times, and I'm wondering if it's something I'm trying not to see.

Thank you in advance.

Moonlight
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Re: Marine Corps + 1 Yr Law Clerk + 2 Years Corp Sec + 3.8 GPA

Postby Moonlight » Sat Oct 05, 2013 7:34 pm

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Re: Marine Corps + 1 Yr Law Clerk + 2 Years Corp Sec + 3.8 GPA

Postby UnicornHunter » Sat Oct 05, 2013 7:35 pm

Don't rush it. It would be far better to apply to law school next year after fully preparing for the LSAT than to apply this year. It sounds like you're going to need to develop the underlying skills the LSAT tests-this takes time. I'd recommend reading The Economist and Scientific American from cover to cover every week in addition to whatever LSAT specific studying you do. Just remember, t14 law schools will still be there a year or two from now.

Moonlight
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Re: Marine Corps + 1 Yr Law Clerk + 2 Years Corp Sec + 3.8 GPA

Postby Moonlight » Sat Oct 05, 2013 7:38 pm

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Marine Corps + 1 Yr Law Clerk + 2 Years Corp Sec + 3.8 GPA

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Oct 05, 2013 7:43 pm

Age is irrelevant.

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haus
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Re: Marine Corps + 1 Yr Law Clerk + 2 Years Corp Sec + 3.8 GPA

Postby haus » Sat Oct 05, 2013 7:52 pm

Hang in there Devil Dog.

THere is a lot of material out there, if you are not making headway with what you have, it may be as simple as finding other material. Also keep in mind that this process may take some time, but do not worry, it is not like law schools are going to disappear on you (OK, some will, but none that you would likely want to attend anyway...)

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Re: Marine Corps + 1 Yr Law Clerk + 2 Years Corp Sec + 3.8 GPA

Postby Arcticlynx » Sat Oct 05, 2013 7:53 pm

I had the same problem when I very first started studying for the LSAT, I actually think it's quite common. The LSAT is a very learn-able test if you study in the right ways, and a very frustrating test is you study in the wrong ways. If you have a 3.8 I highly doubt that you have any quintessential quality, reading skill or otherwise, that would prevent you from getting a 163 (or higher), assuming your not a theater or fine arts major (no offence, but I never see these guys in the library). My guess is it's either part of your reading process or that you don't have all of the question types recognized. There is a fairly predictable pattern to most of the LSAT and once you understand it, the test becomes a whole lot easier. If you can recognize right answers when reviewing your test it's probably just you study process and you just need to learn the test, if you return to the test after getting question wrong and still can't figure any of them out (and you understand what the question is asking) than you might have a more fundamental problem. My advice, don't let the LSAT win.

I used Manhattan to study and found it to be intuitive, but I've also heard powerscore recommended a bunch.
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Re: Marine Corps + 1 Yr Law Clerk + 2 Years Corp Sec + 3.8 GPA

Postby MoMettaMonk » Sat Oct 05, 2013 7:57 pm

Someone suggested it already, but I just want to reinforce what they said. Read the Economist, read the New York Times, read the New Yorker, read the WSJ, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, and make sure that what you're reading is high quality and dense. Even reading law review articles can be helpful.

I suppose the point that I'm trying to make is that reading is a skill, and like all other skills, getting better takes lots of practice. As much as the LSAT tests comprehending different logical structures, at its base it is as a test of reading for speed and comprehension. Your scores probably won't jump all of a sudden if your main issue is time, but as long as you're answering the questions accurately your scores will increase the more you practice reading dense material. Your GPA suggests that you've definitely got at least the minimum innate ability to do well on this test.

All the best!

P.S. Manhattan RC and LR, and Velocity LG was helpful for me (at least on PTs, I have to wait until the score comes back to see if it worked on the real thing).

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Re: Marine Corps + 1 Yr Law Clerk + 2 Years Corp Sec + 3.8 GPA

Postby midwest17 » Sat Oct 05, 2013 8:13 pm

I'd work on accuracy before timing. Get to the point where you can get every question in a section right, even if it takes you more than an hour. Then keep doing that until you start to do it faster.

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twenty
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Re: Marine Corps + 1 Yr Law Clerk + 2 Years Corp Sec + 3.8 GPA

Postby twenty » Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:55 pm

First of all, you're not doomed to a 148~ score. But reusing the same materials over and over again and getting the same results isn't helping you -- it's just burning prep materials.

I took the Blueprint class and I thought it was super valuable, especially for someone in your situation. Your GPA and military history will probably help a lot come app time.

Now here's the hard part -- if you're not at your tip-top by December, don't take it. If you don't have a score, don't apply this cycle. You have to treat this like a car dealership; if you're not prepared to walk away if you don't get what you want, you have no business buying. Personally, it took me a year to get from the high 140's to the high 170's. Even if you were to spend the next six months on the LSAT to get into the upper 160s, the difference between your 140's scores and your 160's scores is worth close to 200k right off the bat; probably substantially more in lifetime earnings.

Do you have the GI Bill left by any chance?

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HardenUp
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Re: Marine Corps + 1 Yr Law Clerk + 2 Years Corp Sec + 3.8 GPA

Postby HardenUp » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:47 am

Moonlight wrote:Hey there,

So I'm applying this admissions cycle as well. I'm not going to pitch the drop out or give up speech. I'll leave that to my other TLS forum friends. I scored a 159 with a 3.74 GPA. I suggest using a study company? I definitely think its useful because they'll help you with techniques and the timing. I have friends who started in the low 140s and made their way to at least a 155 without too much effort. I'm sure other people will tell you T-14 or its not worth it but if law is a career you really want, then your school doesn't have to be T-14. Stay in Tier 1 or at worst Tier 2 but nonetheless I think you can still have a career without being T-14. I doubt I'll get into a T-14 unless I'm extremely lucky but I'm still going for it as are hundreds and hundreds of other applicants.


Thanks for responding first off.

One thing I did forget to add is that I've been using Blueprint sense July. They are very helpful, but not when it comes to timing. Do you know where the cutoff is for Tier 1 - Tier 2? How many schools in the first tier? Hopefully you'll get in with the 159, best of luck!

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HardenUp
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Re: Marine Corps + 1 Yr Law Clerk + 2 Years Corp Sec + 3.8 GPA

Postby HardenUp » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:51 am

AfghanTourist wrote:Don't rush it. It would be far better to apply to law school next year after fully preparing for the LSAT than to apply this year. It sounds like you're going to need to develop the underlying skills the LSAT tests-this takes time. I'd recommend reading The Economist and Scientific American from cover to cover every week in addition to whatever LSAT specific studying you do. Just remember, t14 law schools will still be there a year or two from now.


I read an article from The Economist last night, and can see what you're saying. I believe I'll read one every day from now on if I can without having to pay.

The thing about applying next year is that I'll be just turning 27 when I take the December LSAT and I'll be graduating in May '14 from the undergraduate. So if I pass this cycle, I'll be waiting another year to get into law school and am unsure if I want to be 28 and taking off a year of school instead of getting in the workforce again. The thing is I don't want to be the 31 year old being interviewed with 24 year olds with the same degree. Do you by chance (or anyone) know if large firms look down on age once you hit your 30's?

Thanks for replying too.

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HardenUp
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Re: Marine Corps + 1 Yr Law Clerk + 2 Years Corp Sec + 3.8 GPA

Postby HardenUp » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:53 am

Moonlight wrote:
AfghanTourist wrote:Don't rush it. It would be far better to apply to law school next year after fully preparing for the LSAT than to apply this year. It sounds like you're going to need to develop the underlying skills the LSAT tests-this takes time. I'd recommend reading The Economist and Scientific American from cover to cover every week in addition to whatever LSAT specific studying you do. Just remember, t14 law schools will still be there a year or two from now.



I agree. Although consider your age too I suppose. Powerscore and BluePrint are good companies I heard.


Ya, that's the factor I'm keeping in the back of my head too. I'll just be turning 27 when December rolls around. I forgot to say that I've been using Blueprint sense July, but their work on timing isn't helping at all.

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HardenUp
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Re: Marine Corps + 1 Yr Law Clerk + 2 Years Corp Sec + 3.8 GPA

Postby HardenUp » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:54 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Age is irrelevant.


Is age irrelevant when it comes to getting hired by the top 250? That's what I was thinking, but am unsure.

I imagined age is someone a positive thing on the applications, showing the schools you have greater experience and you absolutely know that law is what you want to practice.

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HardenUp
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Re: Marine Corps + 1 Yr Law Clerk + 2 Years Corp Sec + 3.8 GPA

Postby HardenUp » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:56 am

haus wrote:Hang in there Devil Dog.

THere is a lot of material out there, if you are not making headway with what you have, it may be as simple as finding other material. Also keep in mind that this process may take some time, but do not worry, it is not like law schools are going to disappear on you (OK, some will, but none that you would likely want to attend anyway...)


Thanks man - I've been using Blueprint, but have heard good things about Powerscore. By chance, any knowledge on the difference in the two or if there's any at all when it comes to the material?

That's one true thing, the ones I want are staying put.

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haus
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Re: Marine Corps + 1 Yr Law Clerk + 2 Years Corp Sec + 3.8 GPA

Postby haus » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:57 am

HardenUp wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Age is irrelevant.


Is age irrelevant when it comes to getting hired by the top 250? That's what I was thinking, but am unsure.

I imagined age is someone a positive thing on the applications, showing the schools you have greater experience and you absolutely know that law is what you want to practice.

If you a concerned about age, take a look at this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=143047

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HardenUp
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Re: Marine Corps + 1 Yr Law Clerk + 2 Years Corp Sec + 3.8 GPA

Postby HardenUp » Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:00 am

Arcticlynx wrote:I had the same problem when I very first started studying for the LSAT, I actually think it's quite common. The LSAT is a very learn-able test if you study in the right ways, and a very frustrating test is you study in the wrong ways. If you have a 3.8 I highly doubt that you have any quintessential quality, reading skill or otherwise, that would prevent you from getting a 163 (or higher), assuming your not a theater or fine arts major (no offence, but I never see these guys in the library). My guess is it's either part of your reading process or that you don't have all of the question types recognized. There is a fairly predictable pattern to most of the LSAT and once you understand it, the test becomes a whole lot easier. If you can recognize right answers when reviewing your test it's probably just you study process and you just need to learn the test, if you return to the test after getting question wrong and still can't figure any of them out (and you understand what the question is asking) than you might have a more fundamental problem. My advice, don't let the LSAT win.

I used Manhattan to study and found it to be intuitive, but I've also heard powerscore recommended a bunch.


Thanks for the reply.

The part of being able to actually learn the test is what I've heard. I just wasn't sure if there's a point, but then again, I haven't done this for a solid year, and repetition does hone skills. I'll be getting a degree in Finance and Economics, so if I apply myself, I can get good grades.

Sufficient, Parallel, Parallel Flaw and MBT questions in LR are the worst for me for some reason.

I've heard of Powerscore too, and good things about that. I'm using Blueprint right now, which I find helpful, but maybe it's just not the niche I need.

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HardenUp
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Re: Marine Corps + 1 Yr Law Clerk + 2 Years Corp Sec + 3.8 GPA

Postby HardenUp » Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:04 am

MoMettaMonk wrote:Someone suggested it already, but I just want to reinforce what they said. Read the Economist, read the New York Times, read the New Yorker, read the WSJ, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, and make sure that what you're reading is high quality and dense. Even reading law review articles can be helpful.

I suppose the point that I'm trying to make is that reading is a skill, and like all other skills, getting better takes lots of practice. As much as the LSAT tests comprehending different logical structures, at its base it is as a test of reading for speed and comprehension. Your scores probably won't jump all of a sudden if your main issue is time, but as long as you're answering the questions accurately your scores will increase the more you practice reading dense material. Your GPA suggests that you've definitely got at least the minimum innate ability to do well on this test.

All the best!

P.S. Manhattan RC and LR, and Velocity LG was helpful for me (at least on PTs, I have to wait until the score comes back to see if it worked on the real thing).


I picked up The Economist, and I can see what you're saying. I'll take that advice and apply it for sure. Thank you.

The speed and comprehension is what I'm lacking, but hopefully just reading more will help. I do a world of difference when I'm not running the clock. Hopefully it'll click sooner than later.

Thanks for the help and I'll look into Manhattan and Velocity also.

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HardenUp
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Re: Marine Corps + 1 Yr Law Clerk + 2 Years Corp Sec + 3.8 GPA

Postby HardenUp » Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:06 am

midwest17 wrote:I'd work on accuracy before timing. Get to the point where you can get every question in a section right, even if it takes you more than an hour. Then keep doing that until you start to do it faster.


Thanks for the response.

I'll usually get the games section 100% or -2/3 at most, but is there a better way to apply pressure and still perform the same? Unless it's just repetition.

I'll just stick working on the accuracy for now I guess, I'll put off the practice tests till later. Thanks again.

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haus
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Re: Marine Corps + 1 Yr Law Clerk + 2 Years Corp Sec + 3.8 GPA

Postby haus » Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:11 am

HardenUp wrote:
haus wrote:Hang in there Devil Dog.

THere is a lot of material out there, if you are not making headway with what you have, it may be as simple as finding other material. Also keep in mind that this process may take some time, but do not worry, it is not like law schools are going to disappear on you (OK, some will, but none that you would likely want to attend anyway...)


Thanks man - I've been using Blueprint, but have heard good things about Powerscore. By chance, any knowledge on the difference in the two or if there's any at all when it comes to the material?

That's one true thing, the ones I want are staying put.

My personal favorite at the moment is the LSAT trainer, the author has been answering questions here on TLS, so you can get a good feel for the way he describe things, plus I think he recently said the website he has for his book has the first eight chapters available for free. If you have some time. I would suggest you take a look to see what you think.

Also I have enjoyed the Blueprint LG book, the writing has been vary approachable, diagrams very clear, and the online videos it gives you access to are really well done.

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HardenUp
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Re: Marine Corps + 1 Yr Law Clerk + 2 Years Corp Sec + 3.8 GPA

Postby HardenUp » Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:13 am

twentypercentmore wrote:First of all, you're not doomed to a 148~ score. But reusing the same materials over and over again and getting the same results isn't helping you -- it's just burning prep materials.

I took the Blueprint class and I thought it was super valuable, especially for someone in your situation. Your GPA and military history will probably help a lot come app time.

Now here's the hard part -- if you're not at your tip-top by December, don't take it. If you don't have a score, don't apply this cycle. You have to treat this like a car dealership; if you're not prepared to walk away if you don't get what you want, you have no business buying. Personally, it took me a year to get from the high 140's to the high 170's. Even if you were to spend the next six months on the LSAT to get into the upper 160s, the difference between your 140's scores and your 160's scores is worth close to 200k right off the bat; probably substantially more in lifetime earnings.

Do you have the GI Bill left by any chance?


First off, thanks for the response.

I forgot to mention that I'm also using Blueprint (online). I believe it's valuable too, but I don't see if it's helping me in the timing aspect. Unless that isn't supposed to come from the material itself, rather the individual.

I'm glad to hear that you were scoring where I am now and are pulling 170+. Was there any factor that contributed the most for the LSAT and you "clicking?" Or was it just drilling, drilling, drilling?

Sadly, I'll only have two months remaining on the GI Bill when I graduate in May. But I heard that even with two months remaining on the Chapter 33, the VA (and school if Yellow Ribbon) will pay for an entire semester, which would still help out a lot.

I'm not too sure if you're familiar with the educational benefits, but I heard that Voc Rehab has paid for law school in the past for some individuals. I'm just unsure how to go about that whole process and if I even have time for it.

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Re: Marine Corps + 1 Yr Law Clerk + 2 Years Corp Sec + 3.8 GPA

Postby HardenUp » Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:16 am

haus wrote:
HardenUp wrote:
haus wrote:Hang in there Devil Dog.

THere is a lot of material out there, if you are not making headway with what you have, it may be as simple as finding other material. Also keep in mind that this process may take some time, but do not worry, it is not like law schools are going to disappear on you (OK, some will, but none that you would likely want to attend anyway...)


Thanks man - I've been using Blueprint, but have heard good things about Powerscore. By chance, any knowledge on the difference in the two or if there's any at all when it comes to the material?

That's one true thing, the ones I want are staying put.

My personal favorite at the moment is the LSAT trainer, the author has been answering questions here on TLS, so you can get a good feel for the way he describe things, plus I think he recently said the website he has for his book has the first eight chapters available for free. If you have some time. I would suggest you take a look to see what you think.

Also I have enjoyed the Blueprint LG book, the writing has been vary approachable, diagrams very clear, and the online videos it gives you access to are really well done.


I hadn't heard of the LSAT Trainer, thanks for that. I just Googled it and it seems like it'd help.

Is there anything that had gotten you better at timing your PT's? If you ever had trouble with them that is.

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haus
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Re: Marine Corps + 1 Yr Law Clerk + 2 Years Corp Sec + 3.8 GPA

Postby haus » Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:45 am

HardenUp wrote:I hadn't heard of the LSAT Trainer, thanks for that. I just Googled it and it seems like it'd help.

Is there anything that had gotten you better at timing your PT's? If you ever had trouble with them that is.

Timing is a challenge. But it gets easier with familiarity to the material. I would suggest working on getting really comfortable with the material, before focusing much on timing. Also the LSAT Trainer has recommendations along these lines you may find helpful.

Now, I am far older than you (early 40s), but when I was in the Corps, we had several things that we had to do that at first seemed touch maybe even unattainable. Dis-assembly/assembly of my M16-A2, MK-19, or M60-E3 happen to come to mind. For each, it took me just a little time to get the process down, but it took practice to get my times down. With practice I learned how to stage my components on the tear down so that I would not lose time when it came to put them back together. Eventually, not only did I clear my required time, I crushed them, eventually I was able to handle without light or in a gas chamber (I probably will never get to this level of comfort with the LSAT though :) )

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Re: Marine Corps + 1 Yr Law Clerk + 2 Years Corp Sec + 3.8 GPA

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:23 pm

HardenUp wrote:The thing about applying next year is that I'll be just turning 27 when I take the December LSAT and I'll be graduating in May '14 from the undergraduate. So if I pass this cycle, I'll be waiting another year to get into law school and am unsure if I want to be 28 and taking off a year of school instead of getting in the workforce again. The thing is I don't want to be the 31 year old being interviewed with 24 year olds with the same degree. Do you by chance (or anyone) know if large firms look down on age once you hit your 30's?

Thanks for replying too.

No, employers don't look down on you for being in your (extremely early) 30s. There are quite a few career-changers in law, so there are plenty of people going through in their late 20s/early 30s (and older, but that's less relevant to your situation). In fact, many of the K-JDs I know felt at a disadvantage not having any work experience.

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Re: Marine Corps + 1 Yr Law Clerk + 2 Years Corp Sec + 3.8 GPA

Postby gregfootball2001 » Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:58 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
HardenUp wrote:The thing about applying next year is that I'll be just turning 27 when I take the December LSAT and I'll be graduating in May '14 from the undergraduate. So if I pass this cycle, I'll be waiting another year to get into law school and am unsure if I want to be 28 and taking off a year of school instead of getting in the workforce again. The thing is I don't want to be the 31 year old being interviewed with 24 year olds with the same degree. Do you by chance (or anyone) know if large firms look down on age once you hit your 30's?

Thanks for replying too.

No, employers don't look down on you for being in your (extremely early) 30s. There are quite a few career-changers in law, so there are plenty of people going through in their late 20s/early 30s (and older, but that's less relevant to your situation). In fact, many of the K-JDs I know felt at a disadvantage not having any work experience.

Agreed. My anecdotal story: I'm 34, at Georgia (what are we, mid 30s ranked?), just about top 10%, and summering with a mid-size paying market next summer. My age was never a question, and my work experience was always seen as a plus. I mean, look at it this way - I still have a 30+ year career ahead of me. Age isn't really a problem.




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