Law School Discussion

Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 GPA

Miss P

  • *****
  • 19300
    • View Profile
Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 G
« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2008, 10:56:40 AM »
This all presumes he's going to law school for career reasons (as he appears to indicate), and not for social reasons.  If the latter, your concerns are clearly more on point.

I think it depends whether he wants the JD to advance his current career or to start a new career.  Obviously, someone with his financial experience will have a foot in the door with corporate litigation and finance groups, but there is age discrimination against older JDs, and he will need to network to counter that.

Miss P

  • *****
  • 19300
    • View Profile
Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 G
« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2008, 11:35:05 AM »
They're not usually looking for a social scene, and they're unlikely to need others for emotional support in the same way a recent undergrad might.

I wish this were true.

I mostly agree with the rest of your analysis, but (a) having seen some of my own friends have trouble getting the jobs they want out of HLS and YLS, I think you are somewhat overestimating the placement advantages of the top schools for some groups of students and (b) I disagree with your notion that networking isn't important for SEC/Justice positions.  But YMMV.  I think it was helpful for Naturally to share information about the Harvard community even if it is unlikely to be a decisive factor in the OP's case.

Miss P

  • *****
  • 19300
    • View Profile
Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 G
« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2008, 06:37:08 PM »
Yeah, as noted, there's never anything wrong with extra info, I just think it's vital that the OP understands the placement differential b/t HLS and lower T14 schools.  I'd be surprised if any HLS grads had much difficulty with SEC/Justice jobs, given that most HLS grads are seeking the top biglaw jobs.  Either way, there's no question that it's harder from GULC, where many students are seeking such jobs.

I'm also not sure how networking with other students would help much in obtaining government jobs -- it would seem internships, etc., would be the key for this, along with the most impressive degree possible.

I think you are making an unwarranted assumption that employers examine applicants in comparison only to their classmates and not to a larger pool of applicants from all schools.  Indeed, all other things being equal, a school that sends more students to a particular agency may give its students the upper hand; the school has strong ties to the agency and its students are a known quantity.  I'm not saying that this is enough to overcome the real advantage Harvard  students have over students from other schools in general.  I just think your reasoning is faulty.  (FWIW, the advantage is at least in part due to the fact that Harvard's OPIA is so strong -- and such a priority for the school.)

Also, it's obvious you have never looked for a public sector job if you don't believe networking is valuable (for both internships and post-grad jobs).

(Are you a mature male over 40?   ;)

No, I am an immature female in my 30s.  But having been out of school for a long time and having deep roots in my community don't stop law school from occasionally being alienating.  I am very thankful for my friends, who make studying, applying for jobs, student organizing, and just being at school easier.  I imagine the same will be true for the OP.

naturallybeyoutiful

  • ****
  • 1203
  • Everything is everything
    • View Profile
Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 G
« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2008, 10:24:12 PM »
It's more obvious that you've never attended HLS (or know anyone who has) if you think an HLS student has to "network" with other students to obtain a public sector job. 
I disagree.  Networking is invaluable for HLS grads going into either the private or the public sector, and OPIA is devoting significant time and resources to creating and maintaining the connections that help HLS public interest students secure some of the most coveted positions in that sector.

Miss P

  • *****
  • 19300
    • View Profile
Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 G
« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2008, 10:45:12 PM »
It's more obvious that you've never attended HLS (or know anyone who has) if you think an HLS student has to "network" with other students to obtain a public sector job. 
I disagree.  Networking is invaluable for HLS grads going into either the private or the public sector, and OPIA is devoting significant time and resources to creating and maintaining the connections that help HLS public interest students secure some of the most coveted positions in that sector.

Actually, in retrospect, this is true.  Very few HLS students obtain jobs through on-campus interviews, and most get them through friends they meet during school. 

In light of this, I'll wait for the OP to provide further guidance before posting further.

Your sarcasm is misplaced.  I used to participate in hiring decisions for both interns and post-grad fellowships at a major national legal non-profit where we had hundreds of applicants from HYS and the rest of the T14.  Unless people had extraordinary cover letters or experience -- relative to the pool, not to law students in general -- demonstrated ties to the organization, advocacy from OPIA (and its peers at other top schools), and recommendations from people who worked with us were usually the decisive factors in whether we invited people for interviews.   

FWIW, I also know several HLS grads who were unable to get the government and public sector jobs they wanted and ended up working in the private sector or in different fields than they had hoped.  I think you are overestimating the (conceded) advantage of an HLS degree.

Miss P

  • *****
  • 19300
    • View Profile
Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 G
« Reply #25 on: September 21, 2008, 10:53:32 PM »
Yeah, as noted, there's never anything wrong with extra info, I just think it's vital that the OP understands the placement differential b/t HLS and lower T14 schools.  I'd be surprised if any HLS grads had much difficulty with SEC/Justice jobs, given that most HLS grads are seeking the top biglaw jobs.  Either way, there's no question that it's harder from GULC, where many students are seeking such jobs.

I'm also not sure how networking with other students would help much in obtaining government jobs -- it would seem internships, etc., would be the key for this, along with the most impressive degree possible.

I think you are making an unwarranted assumption that employers examine applicants in comparison only to their classmates and not to a larger pool of applicants from all schools. 

Actually, I'm not.  I'm rather making the warranted assumption that employers DO examine applicants in comparison to the larger pool, where HLS is basically the cream of the crop.  If they only compared them to their classmates, then this might be an argument for choosing GULC, as he'll probably do better relative to them than he would in the more competitive HLS student body.  You may or may not be making this unwarranted assumption, but it's not clear.

I did misunderstand you.  I thought you were saying that it would be harder to get a SEC/DOJ job from GULC because you would be compared to a larger pool of applicants than you would at HLS (where there are fewer people going into government work).  Instead, you were making the more supportable assumption that HLS applicants look better than GULC applicants in general and one way to rise above the mass of GULC applicants is to be from a better school.  I do not, however, understand your argument about the relatively small number of HLS students who go into government work.  Could you please explain it to me?  Taking as a given HLS grads' general advantages in the job market, what difference should this make for the OP?  Is this just your diversity argument?  It proves a bit much.

***

ETA: OP, I'm sorry we've derailed your thread like this.  Lindbergh and I have a difficult relationship.  You will likely get in everywhere you apply (though nothing is guaranteed), and I hope you find the observations of conscientious students like Naturally helpful as you make your decision.  Good luck!

Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 G
« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2008, 05:47:47 PM »
Firstly, 

Thanks for the immense feedback since my last visit. As stated in the OP I am a trader for an investment bank; thus the last 2 weeks have been a circus; hence the late responses. Naturally,  your description of the social terrain at HLS is important, but as Lindbergh stated career change is my primary objective.

That being said, I had not thought of the 'crowded' market for GULC students seeking gov't positions. It's definitely a consideration I must impute.

Being a divorced male having neither a  mortgage nor other debt, borrowing $100k plus for the best education attainable is not a problem; in fact it seems a requirement for overcoming the age discrimination.

Naturally, you mentioned my background for finance and or business litigation practices of BIGLAW firms would be attractive. Could you weigh that against the age factor? 

Thanks again!!

Oh yeah, a prior respondent mentioned my grades were so far in the past it should not matter. One of the reason for the low GPA was that 5 weeks of my first quarter at Stanford were spent laid up with re constructive knee surgery(track athlete) and once I transfered to the University of (football) Miami I worked full-time for two years as an engineering for IBM.

CTL

  • ****
  • 1188
    • View Profile
Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 GPA
« Reply #27 on: September 24, 2008, 06:21:45 PM »
You're kidding!  You have absolutely nothing to worry about re: acceptance to the best law schools in the country.  You will almost certainly have no problem finding work in biglaw as well.  It sounds as though you are a truly exceptional applicant.  Best of luck!

Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 G
« Reply #28 on: September 24, 2008, 06:48:48 PM »
Comotellamas,

So the BIGLAW age discrimination, in your opinion, would not as much of an issue?

CTL

  • ****
  • 1188
    • View Profile
Re: Acceptance prospects for over 40 year old Blk male with 170 LSAT and 3.1 GPA
« Reply #29 on: September 24, 2008, 07:15:07 PM »
I think you will encounter age discrimination in any industry with a career change at 40, but I do NOT think that it will necessarily prevent you from a great career in biglaw.  You have a lot of valuable experience and knowledge of the financial sector which would be a huge asset to a firm.  Moreover, you will most likely bring with you a network of potential clients. 

Age discrimination might come into play in a bigger way when trying to get on the partner track.  You might have to think hard about what you want and where you want to be career-wise before taking offers at a particular firm.  A bit of research into the culture and opportunities at the firms you apply to should mitigate the negative possibilities you might run into. 

This is all speculative, so take what I say with a big grain of salt.  I'm 0L right now, but I'm just trying to think about some problems ripe for pondering in your future.