Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Is law school possible at 62?  (Read 12098 times)

LadyJ

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Is law school possible at 62?
« Reply #90 on: October 06, 2010, 10:06:59 PM »
No, I don't have a "job" lined up.  Instead, I opted to start a business . . . my own law practice.  I am hanging my shingles and opening my sole practice in the field I've worked in for over 16 years.  Currently, I'm still with my 9 to 5 job I held during law school and for the past 16 years, and I am also doing a work-at-home contract job for various federal agencies throughout the U.S. as an independent contractor.   I plan on quitting my 9 to 5 job in 3 to 6 months and holding on to the contract job while I build my practice.  Since I worked in the same field of work I plan to practice in, I feel very comfortable and confident that I will do well.

john4040

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 471
    • View Profile
Re: Is law school possible at 62?
« Reply #91 on: October 07, 2010, 09:47:10 AM »
No, I don't have a "job" lined up.  Instead, I opted to start a business . . . my own law practice.  I am hanging my shingles and opening my sole practice in the field I've worked in for over 16 years.  Currently, I'm still with my 9 to 5 job I held during law school and for the past 16 years, and I am also doing a work-at-home contract job for various federal agencies throughout the U.S. as an independent contractor.   I plan on quitting my 9 to 5 job in 3 to 6 months and holding on to the contract job while I build my practice.  Since I worked in the same field of work I plan to practice in, I feel very comfortable and confident that I will do well.

Cool.  Be sure to come back and post.  Let us know how it goes.

calgal27

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 50
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Is law school possible at 62?
« Reply #92 on: October 07, 2010, 10:47:43 AM »
Just completed paralegal cert. school now want Law School except I am 62????  Should I?  There isn't much encouragement in my environment

Try getting a Master's Degree in Law and Public Policy.  I am 2 weeks away from getting that from Califonia University of Pennsylvania.  GREAT program!  its an acreddited school and all the classes are law related so you spend a lot of time research and writing.  www.calu.edu.  If you do not like them, there are other schools that offer the same thing.   Or, you could get an executive JD.  You get the law but not the hassle of having to worry about sitting for bar.

IPFreely

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 100
    • View Profile
Re: Is law school possible at 62?
« Reply #93 on: October 22, 2010, 11:26:19 AM »
People often trust mature lawyers more
You do understand that the reason people "trust mature lawyers more" is because they assume the "mature lawyers" have been practicing law for years and years, and so have experience?  Would you disabuse your clients of their mistaken notion that you have years of legal practice behind you, or would you let them assume you've been handling people's legal problems for forty or so years?

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.
How does your business experience help you with:
I want to practice Elder Law.
?

What better person than an elder?
How about a 30yo who graduated law school at 25, worked for a firm specializing in elder law for five years, and then started her own practice?  You know, some kids really do love their grandparents, right?  Not everyone wants to stick their parents in a nursing home, seize power over their parents' retirement savings, and then go off to pre-spend their inheritance.

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.
Is your family going to be able to live without you for three years?  If they are unable to give you the time to study for the LSAT, do you think you will be able to put in the necessary time to study for your classes?  Will you need to hire a caretaker for your mother while you are in school, or is she in such great shape that she is truly still independent?

I want to learn more of the law.
That's a noble goal, in my opinion.  But as an academic exercise, do you need a law degree to do that?  Would buying some treatises and reading them on your own suffice?

As far as the money goes if I make a decent score on LSAT I think that is covered.
Maybe.  Depends on the school.  It does sound like you're doing well on your practice exams.  I don't know what UH's scholarship programs are like, so I can't comment on whether you are likely to get your tuition taken care of there.  Your GPA probably isn't going to be much of a hindrance to admission, since you went to school long before the spectre of "grade inflation" reared its head.

If you don't get a substantial scholarship, will you be impacting your and your husband's retirement?

With a 165, you'd likely get some scholarship money.  But note above about your family's time demands.  Some schools put all of their scholarship students in the same section, and have GPA requirements to keep receiving the scholarship.  Some proportion of the students will lose their scholarships after the first year (maybe after the first semester).  My understanding is that my second-choice school was such a place, and that half of the students lose theirs after the first year.  (They require a 3.0 to keep the scholarship, and 3.0 is the midpoint of the grading curve.)

If you think law school means hanging out on campus, sitting in the sunshine, watching clouds drift by, while talking with your classmates about legal issues . . . that can be part of it.  Most of it is hours and hours of studying.

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.
Why would a firm hire you at age 65 (or would it be 66?), and go through all the effort of training you?  Do you think that such a generous firm would then be overjoyed to see you leave to start your own firm after only two years, presumably competing with them?  Since you imply that you have experience in business, look at it from the perspective of a hiring manager -- would YOU hire a job applicant in such a situation? or would you hire someone who is 25, has no family obligations, and plans to stay with the firm for ten or twenty years?

I really don't mean to throw cold water on your dreams, but try looking at it from the other side of the table.

Anyway, since your later posts make it clear that you don't really want advice, but rather want support and affirmation, I'll recommend that you take as much clinical training as you can in school, and try to clerk for small firms throughout 2L and 3L, so that you can have a basic understanding of how to serve your clients when you go solo.

Also, since you seem to dislike taking advice from young whippersnappers, I would suggest finding some older, perhaps retired, attorneys in your area to talk with.  Ask them their opinions, perhaps ask if they would be willing to let you clerk at their firms.

john4040

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 471
    • View Profile
Re: Is law school possible at 62?
« Reply #94 on: October 22, 2010, 05:04:28 PM »
IPFreely, I can see the response now.....

Quote from: Roomdo
BLASPHEMY!!!!  I LOVE THE LAW AND WANT TO SEEK JUSTICE.  YOU'RE NEVER TOO OLD FOR LAW SCHOOL, YOU CAN DO ANYTHING WITH A LAW DEGREE, AND I'LL BE SEEKING JUSTICE BEFORE THE SCOTUS WITHIN TWO YEARS OF LAW SCHOOL GRADUATION!!!!1111one!!!  I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO QUALMS ABOUT DRAINING MY FAMILY FINANCIALLY AND EMOTIONALLY IN THE FINAL YEARS OF MY LIFE.... AS LONG AS I CAN FULFILL MY UNRELENTING QUEST FOR JUSTICE!!!

I see similar reasoning employed by Pro Se litigants before my court.  You can't argue with them because their argument defies logic.  Best thing you can do is warn them and wish them well on their endeavors.

bigs5068

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1474
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Is law school possible at 62?
« Reply #95 on: October 22, 2010, 06:23:48 PM »

What better person than an elder?
How about a 30yo who graduated law school at 25, worked for a firm specializing in elder law for five years, and then started her own practice?  You know, some kids really do love their grandparents, right?  Not everyone wants to stick their parents in a nursing home, seize power over their parents' retirement savings, and then go off to pre-spend their inheritance.


An elderly person is probably a lot more likely to speak to a more senior person than a 30 year old hotshot. Being young and from a top school is not always the best situation. It is about 90% of the time, but a 30 year old kid will not understand the importance of writing a will for their kids particularly if they do not have any. There are just so many things that a 60 year old person can relate better with a 60 year old to. So regardless of the legal experience that an older graduate has the more able they will relate.

If you want to work at the Chinese Embassy someone who has lived in China and speaks Mandarin and has a freshly minted J.D. from a tier 4 school will probably be more sought after than a 24 year old white guy from Nebraska who graduated from Harvard. People relate better to their own and are more comfortable discussing important things with someone similar to themselves. It is not ALL ABOUT PEDIGREE AND BEING YOUNG. Generally speaking it helps, but there are times when a good pedigree etc can work against you.

The OP at 62 years old if they want to go to law school they know the risk. They have been through a lot more than me thats for sure I am 25 and have a lot to learn about everything. A degree from Harvard cannot or any type of education is unable to provide you with the wisdom that 30 years of REAL LIFE gives you. I am sure the OP has thought it out and knows the risks. She may or may not succeed in a legal career and it will be harder to recoup the investment at 62 years old, but it can be done.  I don't think anything the OP said was illogical and she came her seeking some basic advice and people start questioning her intelligence and just saying she is illogical and that makes no sense.


At 62 years old the traditional summer associate route will probably not be open to you. You may have to hang up your own shingle and at 65 will you be willing to start your own business that is a lot to ask, but it can certainly be done. Or you might be able to to join a small firm and the bottom line is their options and in general being 62 will not be an advantage, but in certain instances it can be. Particularly if elder law is exactly what you want to do. Good Luck to the OP whatever they decide.

IPFreely

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 100
    • View Profile
Re: Is law school possible at 62?
« Reply #96 on: October 23, 2010, 11:53:07 AM »
The quoting got hosed in your reply, Bigs.  I think I've fixed it, but if any of the below is misattributed, PLMK.
What better person than an elder?
How about a 30yo who graduated law school at 25, worked for a firm specializing in elder law for five years, and then started her own practice?  You know, some kids really do love their grandparents, right?  Not everyone wants to stick their parents in a nursing home, seize power over their parents' retirement savings, and then go off to pre-spend their inheritance.
An elderly person is probably a lot more likely to speak to a more senior person than a 30 year old hotshot. Being young and from a top school is not always the best situation. It is about 90% of the time, but a 30 year old kid will not understand the importance of writing a will for their kids particularly if they do not have any. There are just so many things that a 60 year old person can relate better with a 60 year old to. So regardless of the legal experience that an older graduate has the more able they will relate.

If you want to work at the Chinese Embassy someone who has lived in China and speaks Mandarin and has a freshly minted J.D. from a tier 4 school will probably be more sought after than a 24 year old white guy from Nebraska who graduated from Harvard. People relate better to their own and are more comfortable discussing important things with someone similar to themselves. It is not ALL ABOUT PEDIGREE AND BEING YOUNG. Generally speaking it helps, but there are times when a good pedigree etc can work against you.

The OP at 62 years old if they want to go to law school they know the risk. They have been through a lot more than me thats for sure I am 25 and have a lot to learn about everything. A degree from Harvard cannot or any type of education is unable to provide you with the wisdom that 30 years of REAL LIFE gives you. I am sure the OP has thought it out and knows the risks. She may or may not succeed in a legal career and it will be harder to recoup the investment at 62 years old, but it can be done.  I don't think anything the OP said was illogical and she came her seeking some basic advice and people start questioning her intelligence and just saying she is illogical and that makes no sense.

At 62 years old the traditional summer associate route will probably not be open to you. You may have to hang up your own shingle and at 65 will you be willing to start your own business that is a lot to ask, but it can certainly be done. Or you might be able to to join a small firm and the bottom line is their options and in general being 62 will not be an advantage, but in certain instances it can be. Particularly if elder law is exactly what you want to do. Good Luck to the OP whatever they decide.
Those are all good points too.  Understand, I'm not trying to argue her out of it -- my earlier attempt at a reply (which got lost when my 60-minute login expired before I hit "submit") noted, as did you, that she's old enough to decide for herself.  On the other hand, she has a lot more responsibilities to think about, too.

However, I do think she's being unreasonable when she intends to find a job, work two years, and then tell the firm to kiss her ass as she runs off to go into competition.  I sure wouldn't hire someone if I knew of that plan.

Also, at 65/66, I really couldn't even call it "age discrimination" for a firm to refuse to hire her solely because she's that old -- and just starting out with a newly-printed degree.  At some point, it is simply economically unreasonable to expect a firm to provide training and mentoring to a new attorney -- even one doing elder law who can "relate" to seniors' problems really well.  There are plenty of semi-retired attorneys, with a few decades of legal practice behind them, who can do the same thing.