Law School Discussion

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Re: Defer or Reapply? 19 Year Old Wants Your Advice.
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2008, 09:49:43 PM »
I agree with the above.  With your numbers and soft factors you have the potential to get into any school you want. Your age should be a help rather than a hindrance--if, for whatever reason, schools were skeptical about it this year, take another year and prove that you are a mature, well-adjusted person who can successfully assimilate into the "real" world.

On the other hand.  Being underage in law school is not such a terrible or frightening thing as some people might make it out to be.  I am still underage in my 2L year and fit in just fine.  The professors will not know how old you are (or won't care, or at least won't treat you any differently), and your fellow classmates will be impressed but will quickly adjust (presumably you went through similar reactions when you went to college early).  As for the job process, employers are not allowed to ask the age of job applicants, so the only way your age will hurt you is if you look or act particularly young--or, more specifically, if you look or act immature.  (You do have to fill out forms with your birthdate etc. once you have the job, but at that point it's too late for them to back out).  Obviously you can't help it if you appear young, but you've probably had some experience blending in with an older crowd by this point.

In other words, if you want to go right now, I think you'll adjust just fine.  However I do believe that with another year you can substantially increase your chances of getting into a top school.

Good luck!

Hey Serpent, I had a few questions:

1.  What led you to pursue law school instead of waiting a few years to settle down and explore other things?  What's your undergraduate background in?  Were you in some sort of early entrance college program?  I'm not asking this condescendingly; I'm kind of in the same situation (I would be turning 20 during the second semester 1L) but I'm plagued by self-doubt.  I'm deathly afraid of starting law school and then hitting my early twenties and wishing I had gone some other route. 

2.  I look really, really young--maybe even younger than my actual age.  It's to the point where I think it may impact me when I go into interviews.  How have you found the job search process as a younger applicant?  Will you be working for a firm your 2L summer?  What did you pursue your 1L summer, if you don't mind me asking?

Anyway, you sound like an amazingly bright individual.  Thanks for posting here!

serpentstooth

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Re: Defer or Reapply? 19 Year Old Wants Your Advice.
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2008, 04:07:37 PM »

Hey Serpent, I had a few questions:

1.  What led you to pursue law school instead of waiting a few years to settle down and explore other things?  What's your undergraduate background in?  Were you in some sort of early entrance college program?  I'm not asking this condescendingly; I'm kind of in the same situation (I would be turning 20 during the second semester 1L) but I'm plagued by self-doubt.  I'm deathly afraid of starting law school and then hitting my early twenties and wishing I had gone some other route. 

2.  I look really, really young--maybe even younger than my actual age.  It's to the point where I think it may impact me when I go into interviews.  How have you found the job search process as a younger applicant?  Will you be working for a firm your 2L summer?  What did you pursue your 1L summer, if you don't mind me asking?

Anyway, you sound like an amazingly bright individual.  Thanks for posting here!

Hey Ironman,

I can be a pretty impatient person at times, which is a lame but honest excuse for why I went to law school so early.  I did an early entrance program to enter college a few years early, then did undergrad in three years.  I didn't actually plan that part ahead of time, but took an LSAT class a year earlier than planned--due to me being much more of a "gunner" in college than I have been in law school--which resulted in me taking the LSAT that year, then applying to law school that year, and the rest is history.  I had several friends and family members advise me to take a year off before going to law school, but at the time I was still incredibly enthusiastic about learning/school/etc. and just didn't listen.  Do I wish I'd taken more time?  Yes and no.  I think at that stage in my life I wasn't ready to do anything other than school--there weren't any jobs that particularly interested me, and it seemed like I'd be wasting time not to just leap into it.  On the other hand, I've definitely felt thia year (just as a warning, 2L year sucks a bit no matter how old you are) like I'm being rushed to my fate of working at a law firm, with the result that I'm going to take a little time off from law school (to do more school that isn't law) before starting my 3L year.

Any regrets I've had have not been about going the law route--I still firmly believe that a law degree can help me do anything I want, including but certainly not limited to the law.  It can only help.  Mostly I just want to give myself a little more time to decide whether corporate law is what I want to do with myself, and, if not, what might be better.

I think I definitely had a harder time with the job search process than my older peers.  Partly it was because my resume was much less built up than theirs.  Part of it might also have been that I acted less maturely (although I hope not!).  I think it's totally doable, though.  I worked at a firm last summer and will be working at one again this summer, and neither is bottom of the barrel.  In fact, I think if your concern is looking young, it might even be to your benefit to mention your age at some point--I did that at one interview when the woman asked me to tell her something about myself that wasn't obvious from my resume.  She was very impressed.  I didn't ultimately get an offer from them, but I did get to the next round of interviewing.

Did you apply this year?

Hope this helps!  I'm happy to answer any more questions.

ETA: Oh, and I did my undergrad in English and economics. I highly recommend taking some econ to any aspiring law student!