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Author Topic: Law School at 52  (Read 8063 times)

mamag

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Law School at 52
« on: March 27, 2011, 04:06:10 PM »
So, I got accepted into a top 100 law school at the tender age of 52. I am excited in that I always wanted to be a lawyer, took my first lsat back when dinosaurs walked the earth, but other priorities prevailed.  Will start fall 2011; but have a question...... how will my "classmates" view me?  really don't want 4 years (going part time due to job) of being alienated.... just curious.

cigarman

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Re: Law School at 52
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2011, 01:09:52 AM »
You won't fit in any more than you would if you decided to go to a bar and hang out with 23 year olds. It's just life. At 46 I don't get all their jokes about Jersey shore etc. And they don't get my jokes about tv and music from the 1960's, 1970's and 1980's. You will socially "get along" at school. Everyone is friendly. But you won't be on the invite list for their drinking festivals etc. You are viewed like they would their parents. You will find you have more in common with the professors. But, its okay. Law School is different when you are older. It is more solitary. We have to be much more careful of time management then 23 year olds without responsibilities. I'd be much more worried about making it through the exams than fitting in!
What was I thinking? Law school!!! ;)

like_lasagna

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Re: Law School at 52
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2011, 05:43:34 AM »
I'd be less worried about fitting in than about finding a job after law school.

Hamilton

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Re: Law School at 52
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2011, 06:21:32 AM »
Right, you will get along fine in class, and will be OK with students (I went at 37-ish) but employers are generally looking for young, energetic, associates who can potentially be groomed long-term.  Not looking for someone who has "paid his dues" already and is not fired up about doing scut work for 80+ hours a week because he realizes that there is more to life than slaving away and he has other things to do...

If I had to do it over, would not "waste" the time with law school.  I hope you are not planning on spending full-tuition price, it could be a very bad investment.

I'd be less worried about fitting in than about finding a job after law school.

mamag

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Re: Law School at 52
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2011, 09:50:04 AM »
thanks for the insights. job hunting not an issue.  already have that angle covered (there is a benefit to being older and wiser).  hea, my kids don't let me hang out at the bars with them either. i am over that. guess this will be an experience...

MikePing

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Re: Law School at 52
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2011, 11:45:15 AM »
You won't be alienated anymore than the young-full-time students are.

The part-time program will be full of people like you (established and working).  You may be slightly older, but I would be surprised if you are the oldest.  You will probably make some great friends by the time full-time students start sharing classes with you. 

I went full time.  My 2nd and 3rd year I took a lot of night classes.  I never saw anyone avoid a student because of their age. I never thought less of someone because they were older. I think your classmates will view you like any other student--someone with a unique perspective that can add to class discussions. 

If you are socially competent in life, you will have a great time in law school. 


FalconJimmy

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Re: Law School at 52
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2011, 09:51:05 AM »
So, I got accepted into a top 100 law school at the tender age of 52. I am excited in that I always wanted to be a lawyer, took my first lsat back when dinosaurs walked the earth, but other priorities prevailed.  Will start fall 2011; but have a question...... how will my "classmates" view me?  really don't want 4 years (going part time due to job) of being alienated.... just curious.

I'm not quite in your boat, but I'm not that far from it.  Let's just say we're rowing in the same lake.

I think they're going to view you as old.  However, I think there are two things that will impact this:

1.  Is it near the top?  Or more like 80-ish? 
2.  Is it full-time or part-time?

Frankly, a lot of the schools lower down the pecking order have quite a few non-traditional students.  It's not that we old folks can't go to schools like Harvard and Yale, but frankly, if we were the types who could nail down a 179 LSAT and a 3.92 GPA, we wouldn't be looking for a career change in our 50s.  We'd be pondering retirement after shooting out of the cannon at full speed when we were youngsters.

I think a lot depends on your personality.  If you act like "the old guy" and want to talk about a bunch of stuff that isn't interesting to anybody, then they're going to find you annoying and generally avoid you.  However, if you have a good personality, can recognize group dynamics and are not a chore to be around, it shouldn't be that bad.  I struck up a conversation with a few "kids" on preview day and if they were put off by my age, they sure didn't show it.

Of course, I was talking to them about things they were also concerned about:  the job market, job prospects, what law school will be like, where are the good places to live near campus, etc. 

So, I don't think being old will be that big of a deal at a lot of schools. 

The folks who are going to have trouble will be the old guys who go in thinking that they have a bunch of wisdom to impart on young people and who never shut up about how they did this, or that, or whatever.  The other law students aren't your kids, they're your peers.  If you show them that respect, they will likely reciprocate.

barond

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Re: Law School at 52
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2011, 02:51:18 PM »
You all make me feel young.  I just turned 32 yesterday and still got another year and a half left.  I remember starting school age 30 and telling myself I will be 34 before I can practice law.  Its a lot of work especially if you have a job.  The daily grind of reading cases and attending class is a struggle.

Your 52 and don't start school until Late August.  Withthe 4 year plan -you won't be practicing law until age 57ish. 

I don't think you'll have any problem fitting in with an evening program.  Theres quite a few people who are late 20's, 30's and even a few 40's.

FalconJimmy

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Re: Law School at 52
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2011, 03:45:36 PM »
Your 52 and don't start school until Late August.  Withthe 4 year plan -you won't be practicing law until age 57ish. 

In a different day and age, this might be a good reason not to attend.

These days, people stay healthy much, much longer.

They also intend to work much, much longer. 

It's not uncommon to see people practicing law past their 70th birthday. 

The law is one of the few professions where it's probably feasible to be long in the tooth, yet still be able to function at a high level, provided your mind stays sharp.

bradyllewis

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Re: Law School at 52
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2011, 05:01:19 PM »
I give you a very high congratulations on returning to the LSAT.  That's terrific.  I don't think you'll have as much trouble as you might think dealing with the other students.  They may think of you as the old person, but so what?  Young people always think of age as a more important factor than older people do.  You may end up being a mentor-like person to some of your classmates which could be very rewarding to you.