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Author Topic: Bias against part time/"second career" (older) students  (Read 3572 times)

slylives

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Bias against part time/"second career" (older) students
« on: October 09, 2008, 09:07:44 PM »
Hi -

As I've already posted, OCI has been a bust for me. Applied to 8; 2 callbacks; 1 rejection, 1 waitlist. I know it's been a tough year for recruiting but I am ranked 5th in my class, CALI awards, Law Review, great work experience. I go to a T3 regional school (very well regarded) and have only applied to regional firms. I have been feeling a little sorry for myself, but clearly I am not alone.

What I did find out today, though is that out of the top 5 students at my school, we have made around 40 applications and only received 3 offers. That's not an average of three per student - that's three from the 40 applications. We all have Law Review, CALI awards, relevant work experience and we're personable and confident. However, we are all over 30 ("second-career students" I believe they call us!) and are part-time, evening students.

One of our number (one with an offer, incidentally) is convinced that the odds have been stacked against us from day one, and that these firms are looking for 24 year olds who can work 70 hours a week, have fewer family commitments and are more "pliable", as it were. I'm not sure. Frankly, knowing that it may have been a waste of time from day one is no more comforting than thinking that I may just have blown every interview so far.  Either way, it certainly stings to be surrounded by less stellar (on paper, anyway) people who are juggling 4, 5, 6 offers.

Has anyone else got any opinions/insight into this?





slylives

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Re: Bias against part time/"second career" (older) students
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2008, 11:01:50 PM »
Thanks for your responses.

Yes, only 8 law firms. We had a set maximum of 15 bids, and the midwest market I am in is not that large. Remove the IP firms and the purely-litigation firms, and the 2 behemoths that I wanted to avoid like the plague, and that leaves 8.

Drew P. Bottom

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Re: Bias against part time/"second career" (older) students
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2008, 11:08:41 PM »
I've always heard firms like married people because they're less likely to cut and run. That would undercut part of the bias argument. But I'm not sure, honestly...
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ShakedownStreet

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Re: Bias against part time/"second career" (older) students
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2008, 02:08:28 PM »
in Denver, it seems as though there is exactly the opposite bias.  if grades are all the same, those with work experience are favored to those right out of undergrad. 

Matthies

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Re: Bias against part time/"second career" (older) students
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2008, 04:31:15 PM »
in Denver, it seems as though there is exactly the opposite bias.  if grades are all the same, those with work experience are favored to those right out of undergrad. 

hey buddy! I agree with this compleatly, I'm older, have felt no bais
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jacy85

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Re: Bias against part time/"second career" (older) students
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2008, 08:01:29 PM »
You guys definitely didn't apply to enough firms.  I don't know anybody at my T14 who applied to that few... even some top people applied to 40 individually.  You are at a T3 school in an economic crisis that has its own TV news theme.  The odds are stacked against you, but it's not necessarily because you're an older student.

Agreed - far too few firms in this kind of hiring environment.  The economy has the odds pretty well stacked against even the most qualified, and perhaps even more so from lower ranked school (despite the regional reputation).

thorc954

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Re: Bias against part time/"second career" (older) students
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2008, 08:35:41 PM »
I agree with Jacy and YBR.  8 firms is not enough in this economy.  Firms are being way more selective this year.  If you read abovethelaw.com, you will see that most of the offers are already taken this year and its really hitting the harvard kids pretty hard.  Its a difficult economic time.  On top of that, you go to a third tier law school and appear to be a night student.  These qualities are not that exceptional.  Granted you have great grades and probably have a decent resume, but in this economy, the lower schools are going to be the first ones to suffer.

Unfortunately, it is probably too late at this point to do much about it.  Most jobs at big firms are already taken.  On the bright side though, you can probably use your great grades/law review to pull a decent federal district clerkship (in your state) and then get a job at a firm from that.

I wouldnt think it is your age though.  If you read some of the other threads on here, a bunch of non-traditional students have weighed in, and it doesnt seem like many of them have had problems getting a job.

slylives

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Re: Bias against part time/"second career" (older) students
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2008, 09:35:16 PM »
Thanks for your responses.

However, the issue I am interested in is not so much "why didn't I get a job out of 8 applications" but how the older, "elite" (resume-wise) students have fared in comparison to the younger, not-so-elite students. Clearly the economy is affecting us all. But my school is extremely highly regarded locally, and is doing well in OCI this year (certainly comparable to last year, according to our Career Services people).

I know plenty of people around top 25% of the class who applied to 6, and have 3, 4 and 5 offers. No Law Review. That's really the thing that I am surprised by. It's more the inherent traditional v. non-traditional results that I am interested to hear about. If my school is faring well (which it is) it is still somewhat of a mystery to me how the top 5 students are foundering when lower-ranked classmates are seemingly swimming in offers...

rhesusman

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Re: Bias against part time/"second career" (older) students
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2008, 12:04:32 PM »
If anything, I was under the impression that employers liked older second career people because they have more maturity and realistic expectations of what the work will be like.

archival

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Re: Bias against part time/"second career" (older) students
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2008, 09:55:43 PM »
It's more the inherent traditional v. non-traditional results that I am interested to hear about. If my school is faring well (which it is) it is still somewhat of a mystery to me how the top 5 students are foundering when lower-ranked classmates are seemingly swimming in offers...

See this thread: http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,4010139.0.html

You'll note that there are a couple of replies from nontrad women.  We generally felt like age was a bit of an issue last year.
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