Billyinforsey wrote: ↑
Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:00 pm
Hey everyone. I am so happy I found this thread. I was looking for some stuff on reddit but there werent a lot of military vets on there. Anyways, I wanted to ask the older group (retired guys) if it was hard finding a job in a large or midsized law firm after law school. Is there a lot of discrimination on age?
Also, how much did you talk about military experience in your PS when you applied? I will be a 20 year Marine (logistics CWO with 2 deployments to afghanistan). I have around a 3.8 LSAC GPA. Havent taken the LSAT yet. This isnt really a chance me. I'm more just looking for experience with the process.
Thanks, I appreciate any info.
Cliffs: The route for you is no different than any other perspective law student if you're shooting for biglaw: LSAT --> T14 (assuming you have GI Bill and funds aren't an issue) --> Biglaw.
I'm an older guy, though I didn't retire. I have had some success doing what you're talking about doing but I'm not sure exactly how much my work experience has helped. Anecdotally, I think it has, but it really depends on a number of different criteria.
The most important thing for you, as it is for everyone, is the LSAT. If you can get to the median LSAT number of a t14 school, you're likely to have options. Be careful with guessing what your lsac GPA is. They count a lot of things that most students don't understand (failed classes that were retaken, community college classes, classes taken while in high school). And a 3.8, while stellar, isn't above anybody's median in the t14 anyway (edit: Duke and GTown both have 3.78 medians (as of now, this could change) and a few other schools have exactly a 3.
, so you need to focus on the LSAT. I cannot stress enough how important it is. It's the single most important part of your application, and when combined with your GPA you will have entered into a pile where you're either (1) hoping to give them a reason to accept you even though you're not an ideal candidate or (2) an assumed admit who just needs to avoid red flags in order to be accepted. Obviously it goes without saying, but it is much easier when you're in that second pile. Thousands of applicants apply to top schools every year hoping to talk their way in with subpar numbers. Almost all of them are rejected. Don't think you're the exception because of your work history.
That's not to say t14 is the only way in. There are other options for biglaw, t14 is just the easiest. The schools from roughly Texas through WashU all place the top of their classes pretty comfortably into biglaw. But you're gambling there on being in at least the top half of your class. Good rule of thumb: at HYS anybody who can get through an interview without committing a major faux pas can get biglaw, at CCN, almost anybody can get NY biglaw if smart about how they bid, at the rest of the t14 anybody at median or above should be comfortable getting a biglaw job somewhere as long as they aren't picky, below that it continues to scale down in opportunity and up in difficulty.
As far as messaging your service through statements this is really something you should only think about once you've finished the LSAT. And really it's unique to each applicant. I'll say that the best piece of advice I got was that the most important part of communicating military experience is to make sure that you write considering forward momentum toward the new career you are seeking. An example template would be: "In the military I did ABC which taught me JKL which I feel would help me in law school as the law school students I've talked to have stressed the importance of XYZ and I feel the lessons I learned are a good match for those skills." Obviously you will be a much better writer than I am. Just focus on that forward momentum.
As far as any question about age is concerned, I haven't encountered any overt age discrimination yet (nearing 40) but I imagine it exists. I will say that there are common things that come with age like extra weight, a lack of professional fashion sense, and a general air of overconfidence that, anecdotally, I do think are fitness disqualifiers at many firms even if they'd never say so out loud. If you go to a t14 and get good grades, though, you're going to be fine.