Law School Discussion

Bias against part time/"second career" (older) students

Re: Bias against part time/"second career" (older) students
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2008, 08:30:57 PM »
I don't think age has anything to do with it.  It certainly has not been my experience.  It is grades + school + individual personality.  That simple.

Re: Bias against part time/"second career" (older) students
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2008, 10:59:38 PM »
I actually think it depends on the firm.

I think for sweatshops, BIGLAW, "prestigious" firms, there may be something of a bias against older students that expect to be treated like a human being in their office. This is just my speculation, but I think someone who has been out in the "real world" a little might have a tendency to buck the billing machine mentality.

On the other hand, there are some firms that really like it for several reasons. I have been told in several interviews that the interviewer was "bias in favor of people with real work experience."

So, some value it, some don't. I actually think the OPs bad luck has more to do with the crappy market than anything.

Re: Bias against part time/"second career" (older) students
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2008, 11:29:37 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?

there is no bias.  there's a guy at GULC in top 25% who i worked w. last summer who's 32 and has offers from, cravath, s&c, covington, and latham.  he's an awesome guy w/ a great personality though.

Re: Bias against part time/"second career" (older) students
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2008, 11:29:51 PM »
I could maybe see a bias if someone's hair was starting to turn grey--it might be strange to partners to have first-year associates as old as they are--but certainly the late-20s to mid-30s set did well at my school.  If anything, they did a bit better, because they tended to work harder in school.

That said, I go to a top school that has traditionally fed its students to big law firms (although this year, I've heard some 2Ls are having problems).  It is always going to be an uphill battle getting hired from a T3, and while you've done amazingly well there, firms are contracting their summer classes.  It's a terrible year to be entering the legal job market, unfortunately. 

Good luck!  If not a law firm, your grades should set you up for a great job of some sort.
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Re: Bias against part time/"second career" (older) students
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2008, 12:06:08 AM »
I think there is only bias against people who are quite a bit older (i.e. 40+)

A 33 year old probably has the upper hand on a 23 year old (better resume, etc.)
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