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Author Topic: Is law school possible at 62?  (Read 11264 times)

Roomdo

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Is law school possible at 62?
« on: September 14, 2010, 02:23:56 PM »
Just completed paralegal cert. school now want Law School except I am 62????  Should I?  There isn't much encouragement in my environment

haus

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Re: Is law school possible at 62?
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2010, 03:07:42 PM »
As with most questions the answer is likely, it depends.

There is no fundamental reason why someone who is 62 or 82 could not do well at the study of law.

You may have less time to enjoy the fruits of your efforts, but that in and of itself is no reason not to move forward. In three to four years at the completion of law school you will be 65-66 years of age. Yet in three to four years your age will be the same even if you do not opt to go to law school.

I would give some consideration to the cost of law school, and ensure that either the expenditure or the cost of loans does not put an excessive crimp in your life plans. If you are comfortable with dealing with the cost and have the time to devote to the studies I would say that law school is indeed something that you may want to give some consideration to.

Roomdo

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Re: Is law school possible at 62?
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2010, 03:58:14 PM »
Thank you- that's the way I feel about it- But I am studying for LSAT  in December but it seems difficult for family to seriously leave me some time. My mother lives with us, she is 88 and in great shape, plus 22 year old son just came home from college to change schools and find a job and an apartment. Then ofcourse there is hubby who has demanding sales job in Petroleum industry and travels some. I want to learn more of the law. The paralegal program just wet my interest. My degree is in economics with some graduate work in computer science. I want to practice Elder Law. What better person than an elder?  But wanting and doing are far apart.
As far as the money goes if I make a decent score on LSAT I think that is covered. And as for the time left to practice well I love a good adventure. I really need to find a local study group inorder to help with motivation.

haus

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Re: Is law school possible at 62?
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2010, 07:48:08 PM »
I understand your concern about finding time.

I am in my late 30s. I am working on finishing my Masters of Liberal Arts in Information Technology. I work a full time+ job (Information Security), at home I have a 18 month old daughter. Currently I am in information gathering mode regarding law school. I plan on waiting until after I graduate before I start spinning up (seriously) on LSAT prep.

I wish you the best of luck on both finding time for test prep and on the LSAT itself.

john4040

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Re: Is law school possible at 62?
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2010, 08:02:10 PM »
Is law school possible at 62:  Yes.  Is going to law school at 62 wise:  No.

Here are a few reasons why law school is not for you:

1. Debt.   Unless you're loaded or get a substantial scholarship, you'll have to deplete your retirement / other assets.  I note that you plan on going the scholarship route... don't count on it.  Kids are much smarter on average (more educated) than those in your generation.  If you do manage to beat the LSAT curve and get a substantial scholarship, realize that scholarships are difficult to maintain at T3s and T4s;

2. Time.   Go do something that is more useful for society - you don't have much time left.  Lawyers rarely see the fruits of their labor and in litigation, everyone tends to lose.  Lawyers do not cure others, they do not produce products that benefit society, and only the best and most experienced attorneys get the opportunity to become agents for significant societal change;

3. Age.    No firm will hire you at your age - you're not profitable.  It'll take you 3 years to complete law school and it will take you another 5 years to learn how to properly litigate (protip:  Law school does NOT teach you how to be a lawyer).  You will therefore have to go solo.  It takes a long time to develop a client base by yourself.  Are you willing to run yourself ragged trying to develop a client base, run your practice,  and take a monetary hit for the first few years?;

4. Lack of Return on Investment.  Self explanatory, considering the above analysis.

5. Law school & Bar Exam will drain you physically and emotionally.  Do you want some young professor treating you like his b1tch? Are you ready to study more than you've ever studied before?  Is your husband ready to play second fiddle to your studies?  Do you feel like taking the bar exam at ~66?

At your age, you cannot reasonably expect to have a profitable career in the law.  The only benefits you will get from law school are self gratification and the ability to analyze problems in a logical manner.  Is the intrinsic value of a law school education worth it to you?

Hamilton

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Re: Is law school possible at 62?
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2010, 10:46:53 PM »
I think john4040 nailed it.  You could use your time, energy, and money in a way that (1) actually benefits society, and (2) is fulfilling for you.

Roomdo

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Re: Is law school possible at 62?
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2010, 11:04:45 PM »
John 4040 and Hamilton

How do you see me "actually benefiting society" in a personally fulfilling way in the little time I have left?

haus

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Re: Is law school possible at 62?
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2010, 11:48:42 PM »
It seems odd to me that Hamilton and john4040 seem to have constructed a norse ship that you can set Roomdo into and set fire to it. Perhaps the heat from the fire can cut down on the amount of snow that we get here in the DC area next year.

As for kids being much smarter, do not count on it. Standardized test scores have been dropping for generations, I spend my days trying to educate the idiots you are coming out of 'good' schools with CS and IT degrees who somehow still do not have basic usable skills. The kids have grown up in a world where everyone gets a trophy and are amazed that somethings actually require work, as such, it would be truly foolhardy to rule someone out because they did not come through the same happy little world that you have.

There is no harm in applying to schools that you are interested and inquiring about what what type of aide you may be to receive. Some aide may be contingent upon performance, but I suspect that you will be somewhat less likely to act like a stupid kid in law school, which will give you a fighting chance to keep your aide rolling in during later years.

While it is true that you will likely not be picked up by a traditional law firm. Although I would hope that at your age you are likely not going to need extra help in learning how to wipe your nose and wash your hands after you use the bathroom. Lawyers traditionally think very highly of themselves even when there is little evidence to support these beliefs.

The area of law that Roomdo made reference to is not one that gets a great deal of attention by law firms. Instead it is dealt with primarily in governmental and non-profit organizations. As a general rule of thumb neither of these categories pay particularly well. But there is a very good chance that you will not be dealing with the cost of setting up a household or paying for children, and it sounds as if there is another good (perhaps very good) income in the family. I would say that you may well be in better shape then most.

Maybe some would rather that you spend your final days baking cookies for your neighbors while they finish the norse death boat. Yes, being a lawyer can be difficult, but if you want to work on matters related to Elder law, being a lawyer will put you in a better position then even a really nice cooking apron. I have no idea if you will be pursuing litigation, advocacy, mediation, or something else all together, maybe you do not even know as of yet. The only thing that matters is what you want to do.

Happy Hunting,

Roomdo

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Re: Is law school possible at 62?
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2010, 12:47:21 AM »
haus
thanks for the laughs- I certainly felt the flames flickering around me. Fortunately I always keep a fire extinguisher on my tool belt along with my lipstick and dish towel.

Roomdo

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Re: Is law school possible at 62?
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2010, 07:01:16 AM »
John4040

People like me, with "real life" experience, can bring something to the legal profession that others do not and cannot. People often trust mature lawyers more giving them  a massive competitive advantage over the kids that came straight through school and university to the law with no idea of how a business is run. As a mature entry lawyer, I expect some difficulty in finding a law firm that is a good fit for my expectations and experiences.  But within two years,  I also expect  to open my own law firm leveraging  my other experience  both legally and in terms of how I  help my clients.
In all my years through school and graduate school and then as a professional in business ( city government, banking, real estate, commercial insurance, retail sales, energy industry ) I have NEVER been treated like someone’s b1tch nor do I ever expect to be.  I wonder if you would have replied as glibly to my question if I had been a male.