Too old for Law School?

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egrizzly

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Too old for Law School?

Postby egrizzly » Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:44 am

I will be 37 this coming September and will most likely graduate college December of 2015. After taking BLAW I discovered I have a passion for the legal practice. Am I too old to start the admission journey into law school? What is the estimated number of people that go into law school in their late 30s? Thanks

Smantz

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Re: Too old for Law School?

Postby Smantz » Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:58 am

I had an aunt got to Texas in her early 50s back in the mid 2000's and transition into a successful public sector legal career.

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wingding

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Re: Too old for Law School?

Postby wingding » Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:00 am

First and foremost, what do you plan to do with your law degree?
Second, what are you giving up to pursue a legal career?
Third, can you support yourself?

haus

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Re: Too old for Law School?

Postby haus » Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:07 am

There are no absolutes.

I will be 42 when I start my part-time program.

You may want to look to a thread here for those over 30.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=143047

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YYZ

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Re: Too old for Law School?

Postby YYZ » Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:34 am

Even with an evening program, I guess that no more than 5% are in the late 30s or above. As long as you have the grades, I can't see why your age would impact your job prospects. Personally, at your age, I would consider things like debt and forgone opportunities when considering law school. If you're not taking debt, I don't see as much risk. But, keep in mind that it's very challenging to be in the top 25% of the class, and that's probably the minimum needed for a big law job (e.g. to satisfy the debt load). So, you have to assume that you might graduate with a job that pays approx. $60K. If that would be a disaster to your financial situation, then law school's a big risk. I think that there is a program that allows you to pay law school debt based on what you earn as a lawyer. I'm not an expert on the topic, but my understanding is that you'll have to live on a shoestring budget if you go that route. That's probably not a very appealing thought given that you'll give up 3-4 years of your life for law school.

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First Offense

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Re: Too old for Law School?

Postby First Offense » Sat Jul 12, 2014 2:47 pm

Not many are that old, but you likely won't be the only one. It's not a huge deal though (although I've heard 30+ sometimes underperform their numbers at OGI).

igo2northwestern

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Re: Too old for Law School?

Postby igo2northwestern » Sat Jul 12, 2014 2:56 pm

Check out NU. A few students every year are older--you'd fit in just fine.

egrizzly

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Re: Too old for Law School?

Postby egrizzly » Sat Jul 12, 2014 6:24 pm

wingding wrote:First and foremost, what do you plan to do with your law degree?
Second, what are you giving up to pursue a legal career?
Third, can you support yourself?


My sights are on corporate law since there's a passion for business there as well. I'm pretty one at a Tier 1 level in my career as a Network Analyst (IT field) so not a lot of big dollars there. My concern is how to pay for the housing/tuition, and fitting into the mostly twenty-something crowd.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Too old for Law School?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:28 pm

OP, you might find this thread helpful: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=143047

Late 30s is not too old, and unless you end up at a school almost entirely made up of K-JDs, fitting in socially isn't that big a thing. Debt and likely salary are bigger concerns.

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nygrrrl

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Re: Too old for Law School?

Postby nygrrrl » Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:24 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:OP, you might find this thread helpful: http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewt ... 1&t=143047

Late 30s is not too old, and unless you end up at a school almost entirely made up of K-JDs, fitting in socially isn't that big a thing. Debt and likely salary are bigger concerns.

This.
I would also strongly consider looking into evening programs as a way of both mitigating debt and finding a slightly older crowd: personally, I really liked going to class with a mix of k-jds and second career students, and working while I was in school made the financial situation much easier.

kris4842

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Re: Too old for Law School?

Postby kris4842 » Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:41 pm

I am 38 and starting Law school part time this fall so I will be 42 when Im done. This was my dream my entire life and stupid mistakes and obstacles got in my way but Im doing it now and don't care how old I am. If this was something as important to you as it is to me age doesn't matter.

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Re: Too old for Law School?

Postby sdp001 » Tue Jul 22, 2014 2:14 pm

I'm considering law school, would be 44 when I enroll. One of my biggest concerns was how I'd look to a potential employer as a 47-year old graduate, just about everything I've found is that it's not a problem, may even be a plus especially if the field of law you're looking at practicing in relates to your previous career. Lots of concern about what the job market for lawyers will look like in 3-4 years, but two things to consider:

1. Law school admissions apparently are plunging. That may mean less competition for entry-level legal work coming out.

but...

2. Many law firms are learning they can outsource some of the 'grunt' work that would have been done by first-year associates in years past, to the extent this trend continues it means the number of first-year jobs available will continue to decline.

So, one good trend (maybe) and one bad trend (maybe). So it may come down to whether or not you think you can be in the top ranks of your class (or attend a T14) to give yourself a good shot at a job right out of law school.

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Re: Too old for Law School?

Postby TLSModBot » Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:34 am

I'm a little younger - will graduate at 31. Still, the difference between me and people who are K - JD is already pretty noticeable. It makes relating with fellow law students difficult, though that should by no means be a deal-breaker when it comes to deciding on law school.

The only additional concerns I'd like to add is that employers will likely want to know A. can you take direction from someone 10 years younger than you? and B. what kind of long-term service are you likely to give to that firm? If they don't think they'll have you for at least 4-5 years minimum, they'd basically be paying for your ACTUAL legal education and then losing you right when you really become profitable to them - a bad deal on their end.

In my evening program there are still a majority of students who are mid to late 20's, with a healthy dose of early to mid thirties people as well. There are extremely few over the age of 40, and the few I can think of already have pretty well established careers and a scholarship so that the law degree is no great cost to them.

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BVest

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Re: Too old for Law School?

Postby BVest » Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:57 pm

YYZ wrote:As long as you have the grades, I can't see why your age would impact your job prospects.


Age absolutely impacts your job prospects with biglaw (negatively). On the upside, however, it's an advantage with many judges and non-biglaw employers.

As far as fitting in socially, as Nony said, it's not a problem. Obviously you don't want to go drink for drink with them on a Thursday night, or you'll be unable to get out of bed for Friday classes (as a younger-than-me-but-still-nontrad colleague was), but even among the K-JD students there's a high level of maturity (not that there aren't exceptions, but those exist among 37-year-olds as well). That might be different if one is hitting on all your young classmates, but then you might have trouble fitting in as a 22-year-old if you are doing that, too.
Last edited by BVest on Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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First Offense

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Re: Too old for Law School?

Postby First Offense » Mon Aug 25, 2014 12:25 am

BVest wrote:
YYZ wrote:As long as you have the grades, I can't see why your age would impact your job prospects.


Age absolutely impacts your job prospects with biglaw (negatively). On the upside, however, it's an advantage with many judges and non-biglaw employers.

As far as fitting in socially, as Nony said, it's not a problem. Obviously you don't want to go drink for drink with them on a Thursday night, or you'll be unable to get out of bed for Friday classes (as a younger-than-me-but-still-nontrad colleague was), but even among the K-JD students there's a high level of maturity (not that there aren't exceptions, but those exist among 37-year-olds as well). That might be different if one is hitting on all your young classmates, but then you might have trouble fitting in as a 22-year-old if you are doing that, too.

I kind of agree, but with limitations. I feel that in some firms, my age has had a negative impact, but in others it plays very well. So while it may have a negative effect on some, it has a positive effect on others - I would probably quantify it as you may get fewer callbacks, but your callback success will be higher on average.

Take that with a grain of salt, however - just my anecdotal perspective.

nouseforaname123

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Re: Too old for Law School?

Postby nouseforaname123 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 2:42 am

BVest wrote:
YYZ wrote:As long as you have the grades, I can't see why your age would impact your job prospects.


Age absolutely impacts your job prospects with biglaw (negatively). On the upside, however, it's an advantage with many judges and non-biglaw employers.

As far as fitting in socially, as Nony said, it's not a problem. Obviously you don't want to go drink for drink with them on a Thursday night, or you'll be unable to get out of bed for Friday classes (as a younger-than-me-but-still-nontrad colleague was), but even among the K-JD students there's a high level of maturity (not that there aren't exceptions, but those exist among 37-year-olds as well). That might be different if one is hitting on all your young classmates, but then you might have trouble fitting in as a 22-year-old if you are doing that, too.


Very limited sample size at SMU my class year, but the students in the age range of OP who were on law review had the same job offers as everybody else on law review.

kris4842

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Re: Too old for Law School?

Postby kris4842 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:03 am

I just graduated this May and I am 42. It was my life dream and would have done it at 70. I loved every minute of it, ok maybe not every minute but age has nothing to with it. If anything, it was an advantage. Good luck!



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