Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Am I Too Old For Law School?

Many people want to go to law school, but they are afraid that they are too old to enter the legal profession.  Many fear that they will be overlooked if they are not young--not able to stay at a firm for many years.  For others, the fear of standing out in law school keeps many from enrolling and chasing after their dreams.

Even worse, there are articles floating around on the internet that say that if you are over thirty years old, nobody will hire you!  

In order to understand if you are too old for law school, we must look at the age of law students.  How many older law students are out there?  What is an "older law student?"  And, are older law students successful?

Some people say that anything over 30 is an older law student.  I find that absurd.  Let's look at students that are over the age of 45.

The average age of first-year law school students is about 24, according to The Balance Careers.  Yet, I would take everything else that this website says about older law students with a grain of salt.  

Every law student is different.  Every forty or fifty year old is different.  Some people have more energy.  Some people have a "younger mindset."  I have seen sixty year olds with more energy than some thirty year olds.  

Some things to consider if you are an older law student:

•You probably have a larger network of friends and more social connections than a person in their 20's.
•You probably have a highly developed method of living skills that many mid-20 year old students don't have.
•You may be more driven than many younger law students who get lost partying instead of studying or gunning for top jobs.
•You may get on far better with law professors, who tend to also be older. 

What are your goals?

Do you want to go into private practice?  Do you want to work for a big law firm?  Do you hope to work in public service?  Getting into a big law firm that recruits from a younger pool of graduates may be an issue, but this isn't the only route for a law school graduate.  Contrary to popular belief, not everyone desires go land in "Big Law."

Career Trend states:
"There are benefits to attending law school and becoming a lawyer later in life. For instance, students may be more financially stable because they can enter school with less debt and non-traditional students can apply their professional experiences to law school and the practice of law. However, someone over the age of 30 may find it difficult to balance their career and family life with the process of becoming a lawyer.

Let's look at the age of students at law schools:

Age varies by school and program.  Part-time night programs generally have older cohorts than full-time daily programs.  There are some schools that traditionally accept older students.  Many students are over thirty years of age.  

There are plenty of people who started school in their 40s who go on to become very successful attorneys.  

"After a lifelong career in television production, I decided to go to law school at age 50. I still think it was one of the best decisions in my life."

"a lady in her 40s has the best grades in our class (she is going to graduate at the top of our class including day students) and she got offers from every major firm at OCI." See Top-Law Schools.

Here are some examples of age ranges at various law schools.  You can just type "_____ law school entering class statistics" into Google and find out the statistics for almost every law school that you may be interested in.  

WNEU law even had one student that was 69!  What's holding you back?

Brooklyn Law School:


Columbia Law School


Western New England University School of Law
St. John's University Law School:



Conclusion

I went to law school at 28-31.  There were quite a few students who were older than me.  Going to law school at 30 is not an issue at all. 

Going to law school at 40 is not much of an issue, either.  Almost every law school will have students who are 40 or very close to that age.  

Law school is a professional school.  This is not undergrad.  In professional school, you have people from all ages, some who have worked in other careers, entering at different life stages and advancing their careers.  It is quite silly to say that one person is "too old" to go to law school.  

Look at your own goals.

Why are you going to law school?

Do you need a Big Law job to feel satisfaction?

Are you comfortable with the debt or do you have enough money to pay for it?

What do you want to do after law school?

Have you made your decision to go to law school?  If so, let me take one more moment of your time.  

Perhaps you have heard that law school is a pretty cutthroat place?  A place where grades are everything?  Yes, there is some truth to that statement.  

Some law schools are cutthroat.  Some people will do anything to get top grades, even if it's somewhat unethical.  

It's no secret that law schools are full of people who are motivated to win no matter what the cost.

Many people also think that the best grades and the highest ranks are given to those who are gifted. 

Let me tell you right now to rid yourself of that belief.

Those who do the best in law school are the ones who know how to play the game.

If you are an older law student, you likely already know some things that the younger crowd doesn't know.  It's no secret that people in their 20s don't really have their lives together.

A person in their 40s or 50s has been around the block.

Before you begin law school, you should get familiar with how to be successful in law school.

That's where my book comes in.  

I wrote "How to Win at Law School" to help people get the top grades and highest class ranks.  Everyone knows you have to memorize laws and write amazing final exams to get good grades.  Duh!  But, most people don't really understand what goes into that.  

Sitting back and looking at flash cards for six hours a day and highlighting your cases in 5 colors isn't going to get you A's.

I know how to get As.  I did it.  I also saw law school differently than almost everyone in my class.  

One of my professors commented: "You are one of the most serious students in the class.  You will do well."  

I crushed law school.

You can, too! 


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