Biglaw and age...

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Jimlaw123

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Biglaw and age...

Postby Jimlaw123 » Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:20 am

I have a decision to make about a law school.

My question is about “ Biglaw”, I have read blogs about how brutal it is, and can be, but to pay off loans, you must pretty much get into it.

Thinking of going to a school that gets a whiff at “ Biglaw” ( top 20% of class).

I’m 32 years old, I’d graduate at 35-36 years old.. Doesn’t Biglaw want young guys or girls, that will work crazy hours, kiss butt, learn the culture, and put aside families for the firm?

Even if my scores were there, wouldn’t they shy away from an older applicant? Or not?

I would love any insight into this, thanks.

nixy

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Re: Biglaw and age...

Postby nixy » Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:49 am

Some firms may feel that way, but plenty of people get hired by biglaw in their 30s. Some firms like the increased maturity/responsibility you (may) find in older candidates, and figure if you have a family you’re less likely to bail on a good job. You can also make sure to assuage concerns about whether you could work with/under younger people when you’re interviewing. Lots and lots of people in their 30s get biglaw. If you were in your 50s this might be a bigger issue.

That said, you shouldn’t pay a lot of money to go to Howard with the hope of getting biglaw, especially if you are going to have to count on getting biglaw to pay off the debt - that’s a big risk.

(Technically speaking of course, income-based repayment plans mean you would be able to afford loan payments because they’re tied to your income, but that wouldn’t get rid of them and then you’d have to figure out the forgiveness/tax consequences in 20 years or so.)

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265489164158

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Re: Biglaw and age...

Postby 265489164158 » Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:19 am

I do not think you should let your age stop you. Some firms will really value your prior work experience and life experience. I am older than you and just finished my 2L SA position and had a great time. I think that my maturity was really helpful and I actually was able to sit in on client meetings and be left alone with a client. At 25, I am not sure that would have been the case. However, biglaw is a crap shoot and you should not go to law school counting on that. The odds are high you will be disappointed. Go to law school because you can see yourself practicing other kinds of law, as well.

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Re: Biglaw and age...

Postby QContinuum » Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:59 am

nixy wrote:Some firms may feel that way, but plenty of people get hired by biglaw in their 30s. Some firms like the increased maturity/responsibility you (may) find in older candidates, and figure if you have a family you’re less likely to bail on a good job. You can also make sure to assuage concerns about whether you could work with/under younger people when you’re interviewing. Lots and lots of people in their 30s get biglaw. If you were in your 50s this might be a bigger issue.

That said, you shouldn’t pay a lot of money to go to Howard with the hope of getting biglaw, especially if you are going to have to count on getting biglaw to pay off the debt - that’s a big risk.


Seconding this. IMO OP's main hurdle would be getting strong enough grades at Howard (a challenge which should not be underestimated), not his age. OP may be at a slight disadvantage in the market relative to the prototypical white man in his mid-twenties with one-two years of pre-law school paralegal/TFA experience, no strong political opinions, an average personality, and average looks. But plenty of women and minorities (and white men with less cookie-cutter backgrounds) succeed anyway.

ZVBXRPL

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Re: Biglaw and age...

Postby ZVBXRPL » Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:00 am

Age may stop you, sadly. A friend of mine at a TT (top #%) is about your age. Firms specifically told him he's 11 years too late, "your my age," "when did you graduate high school?" This came from screeners with top, top firms. But it may be different at a T5 with decent grades. TLDR: age discrimination is explicit in the BL screener process.

nixy

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Re: Biglaw and age...

Postby nixy » Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:04 am

ZVBXRPL wrote:Age may stop you, sadly. A friend of mine at a TT (top #%) is about your age. Firms specifically told him he's 11 years too late, "your my age," "when did you graduate high school?" This came from screeners with top, top firms. But it may be different at a T5 with decent grades. TLDR: age discrimination is explicit in the BL screener process.

Eh, if we’re comparing anecdotes, I know plenty of people OP’s age who didn’t face these kinds of questions and who got biglaw. Also some interviewers may say this kind of stuff to challenge a candidate and see how they react, not because they care about a candidate’s age. Finally, even if someone brings this up, if you can make a case for what you were doing and why you didn’t go to law school earlier and what you’re doing now, you can handle it.

I’m not saying it never happens, just that it’s not inevitable.

ZVBXRPL

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Re: Biglaw and age...

Postby ZVBXRPL » Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:08 am

nixy wrote:
ZVBXRPL wrote:Age may stop you, sadly. A friend of mine at a TT (top #%) is about your age. Firms specifically told him he's 11 years too late, "your my age," "when did you graduate high school?" This came from screeners with top, top firms. But it may be different at a T5 with decent grades. TLDR: age discrimination is explicit in the BL screener process.

Eh, if we’re comparing anecdotes, I know plenty of people OP’s age who didn’t face these kinds of questions and who got biglaw. Also some interviewers may say this kind of stuff to challenge a candidate and see how they react, not because they care about a candidate’s age. Finally, even if someone brings this up, if you can make a case for what you were doing and why you didn’t go to law school earlier and what you’re doing now, you can handle it.

I’m not saying it never happens, just that it’s not inevitable.

You're correct. Just something to consider!

QContinuum

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Re: Biglaw and age...

Postby QContinuum » Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:12 am

nixy wrote:Also some interviewers may say this kind of stuff to challenge a candidate and see how they react, not because they care about a candidate’s age.


Agreed - they may be asking these questions specifically to assess whether an older candidate would be uncomfortable taking direction from younger associates (or even younger partners).

And "when did you graduate HS" might simply be innocent "filler" - the interviewer might suspect they graduated HS in the same year, or might know someone who may have attended the same HS in a similar time period.

BlackAndOrange84

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Re: Biglaw and age...

Postby BlackAndOrange84 » Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:40 am

QContinuum wrote:
nixy wrote:Also some interviewers may say this kind of stuff to challenge a candidate and see how they react, not because they care about a candidate’s age.


Agreed - they may be asking these questions specifically to assess whether an older candidate would be uncomfortable taking direction from younger associates (or even younger partners).

And "when did you graduate HS" might simply be innocent "filler" - the interviewer might suspect they graduated HS in the same year, or might know someone who may have attended the same HS in a similar time period.


I agree with all of the above. I've known older students who had trouble, but that had to do not with their age but their attitudes as older people and their ability to take direction from people as much as 7 or 8 years their juniors. It's important to not come across as being a know-it-all or having an attitude with younger people during your screeners and CBs. You need to project openness and willingness to listen and learn.

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Taco

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Re: Biglaw and age...

Postby Taco » Wed Sep 26, 2018 12:48 pm

I started Law School at age 33. Got multiple offers at OCI, I can't say for sure that my age wasn't held against me by some of the firms who didn't give me offers, but it was NEVER explicitly brought up or held against me. In fact, I felt that my prior experience helped me quite a bit in those interviews.



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