49 year old thinking about law school

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ghkdlxld

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Re: 49 year old thinking about law school

Postby ghkdlxld » Tue Dec 13, 2016 2:35 pm

just a side note, you should check out "law school at fifty" by denny fraser... he started law school at 49. talks about his law school experience as an older student, its hilarious, insightful and encouraging. i think ull find many things you can relate to..

mcmand

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Re: 49 year old thinking about law school

Postby mcmand » Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:27 pm

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Last edited by mcmand on Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

trooper10538

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Re: 49 year old thinking about law school

Postby trooper10538 » Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:01 pm

mcmand wrote:
trooper10538 wrote:
mcmand wrote:
trooper10538 wrote:I am a 49 year old man, who has 17 years experience as a Texas State Trooper. I'm currently going through the process of retiring due to two back surgeries. I am no longer able to wear all the equipment etc. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice with a Major GPA of 3.90. I haven't taken the LSAT yet. Will my age hurt me during the admissions process? I will be considering University of Texas Law, University of Houston Law, South Texas College of Law and Saint Mary's Law in San Antonio. Thanks for any input. Ed


Get as high of an LSAT score as you can, and go to the school that will give you a JD with minimal debt (lots of scholarships + no strings attached to said scholarships (i.e., no minimum GPA required, since law school is curved and people lose their scholarships that way)). The law schools probably won't discriminate against you based on your age, but employers might, since age discrimination is sadly very common everywhere, even in the legal field. Best to have minimal financial exposure in the event that you are hustling to find work. (And that's additional hustling on top of the tough hustling/competition for legal jobs as the market exists now.)

Is there a particular line of work you're trying to get into as a lawyer? Are you wanting to stay in criminal law? Prosecution or defense? Trial work or appellate? If you are sticking to criminal law, you probably have lots of good contacts who can answer these questions better than many of the folks on here. There are a lot of current students or 0Ls who dole out advice (current 3L here). There are grads and lawyers, too, but I see that less frequently. You need information from the people who actually have it, which would be practicing attorneys in Texas.

If you're looking to step away from criminal work and get into something different, start researching now and getting to know lawyers now in the practice areas you're considering. They can give you the scoop on starting law school as a second career, connect you with someone who has done the same, and foster more connections for you in your immediate geographic area.

Reach out to your contacts, and maybe start sending some cold emails to lawyers doing work you're interested in about getting coffee and bending their ear for a little advice on how to succeed as a lawyer in Texas starting a little later in the game than everyone else.

This forum's advice is usually a variation of: take the LSAT, retake the LSAT, get 170+, go to Harvard/Yale/Stanford, and if you don't, you're doomed. It's not very uplifting. It's realistic, but only to a point and only if one's conception of success is quite narrow.



Thanks for info. I want to stay in public service prosecutor (federal, state, county). The schools I listed are within reason for me, as far as, moving etc. What materials would you suggest I obtain for the LSAT? Was thinking about February, but may wait until June. I know classes are available are those worth the money? UT would be my best option because I wouldn't have to move at all, but it will be the most difficult to get into. Appreciate the advice. Ed


Wait until June for the LSAT. February is a really short-time frame to start preparing. LSAT scores tend to correlate with amount of time spent practicing, so if you're doing work on it every day for 6 months (and making progress), you will probably do better than trying to rush to be ready for February. Also, the February test doesn't let you view your answers after you get your score. All of the other tests do, which means if you don't do well, you can see where you went wrong. Taking February is basically throwing yourself at it and then having a bad score for schools to see when you apply.

There are a variety of companies that offer courses, some online and some in person. A lot of my peers really liked Powerscore. I took Kaplan and felt it was adequate; my biggest barrier to doing well was time commitment, since I was working full time and had other extraneous stuff during that period of my life that distracted me. If you're medically retired and don't need to start working right away, you could just spend 4-ish hours each day doing LSAT prep and get really good at it. There are other companies out there, and there are usually local teachers in each major city who do their own thing that you can probably find.

You can always self-study, but I appreciate having someone keep me accountable and explaining it if I'm just having a dumb moment, rather than beating my head against a wall. Maybe you're the same, or maybe you really like to work independently. If it's the latter, you can buy copies of recent practice tests and just drill and kill on those.

As for the career stuff as a prosecutor, you should research your local city, county, and federal prosecutors' offices and figure out which law schools most of those folks are coming from, and what career paths they took. The other person's comment in this thread about federal prosecutor's is true: they prefer experienced attorneys, it's rare to go in entry level. As for the law school prestige factor, I think that's more of a function that big firms recruit from top schools, and US attorneys' offices often recruit from big firms. They may not care about the law school at your local US attorney's office (I wouldn't know, but don't want to assume that it's uniform since each office might have different preferences), just the experience, but that interim step (from a less fancy school to a big firm) might be harder to do. People have done it, just not as often.

Regarding city and county, you'll just need to see what their recruitment programs are like. How many entry level people they take each year, whether they want you to intern with them first, how many interns they take, what kind of extracurricular experience and pre-law school experience they value, etc.

Right now, you should focus on next June's LSAT and knocking it out of the park. Aiming for high 160s is a good goal, and if you do better, awesome. You can network if you have spare time.


Thank you for the advice. I'm taking a proctored practice LSAT at Texas State University on 1/27/17. This will show me where I'm at. Then I can study hard for 5 months for the June LSAT. I already watched some Powerscore videos online (about 3 hours worth) and really like those. I do much better in a classroom environment to answer your question. So I will probably sign up at least for the Powerscore online tutorials. The logic games will be my Achilles heel. I have order the bibles already. Thank again. Ed

mcmand

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Re: 49 year old thinking about law school

Postby mcmand » Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:16 pm

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Last edited by mcmand on Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Blue664

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Re: 49 year old thinking about law school

Postby Blue664 » Thu Dec 15, 2016 2:13 am

trooper10538 wrote:
Thank you for the advice. I'm taking a proctored practice LSAT at Texas State University on 1/27/17. This will show me where I'm at. Then I can study hard for 5 months for the June LSAT. I already watched some Powerscore videos online (about 3 hours worth) and really like those. I do much better in a classroom environment to answer your question. So I will probably sign up at least for the Powerscore online tutorials. The logic games will be my Achilles heel. I have order the bibles already. Thank again. Ed


If you have time between now and then, you might consider start studying in earnest before 1/27. A proctored exam in a classroom setting sounds like an amazing opportunity to get a feel for the real test day, and going in with a bit of knowledge about the questions will help it feel like a real practice. Whereas, you don't *need* your diagnostic to be that intense (sorry if I misunderstood what you meant though, and you were already planning on this). As someone who has taken the LSAT 3 times, the biggest shock to me was adjusting to real test day conditions - other people making noise, unfamiliar settings, proctors who didn't keep time in a way I was used to. If you can isolate the content you need to learn from certain sessions where you focus on applying your knowledge amidst these distractions, I think it'll be really helpful!

Also consider the 7Sage online logic games explanations (totally free and no account required) - they use a different terminology and notation for logic games, and for my learning style, it just clicked way better than Powerscore. LsatHacks and the manhattan lsat prep forums also offer detailed explanations for every published LSAT preptest ever - these were my main resources once I spent about 2 months learning strategies, and settled into practice-test-like-crazy mode. There are some example study schedules here about when to transition from the bibles to practice tests: http://lawschooli.com/lsat-study-schedule/. Because of work I needed way more than 3 months, so you can stretch out the schedule if need be.

Best of luck!



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